paxpinnae: Yuletide is the most wornderful time of the year. (yuletide)
Another Yuletide has come and gone, and I wrote in a fandom that isn't Young Wizards this year!

Postcards from After the End for Kass. Newsflesh Trilogy, Georgia Mason/Shaun Mason. They sent their posts and articles via blind relay. They sent their very rare postcards much the same way.

I'm very much afraid that it wasn't my best effort, but my recipient liked it, and that's what matters. Also, it has hockey references, because apparently that's how I roll now and forever. The zombie apocalypse has to happen first, but the Maple Leafs do, eventually, win the Stanley Cup again.

In return, I received TWO OUTSTANDINGLY AWESOME WORKS, BOTH FROM MY ASSIGNED YULE GOAT. Y'all, I don't know how they did it, but belford deserves all the praise in the world and you should go give them some.

The first present was Bigger Than You Think an interactive story of exploration, which was a CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE VIDEO GAME COMBINING XKCD AND ITALO CALVINO. I almost burst out crying Christmas morning, I was so happy with it. Also, it wasn't quite The Fic That Won Yuletide (I think the Twisted Princesses fic that got linked on i09 did that), but it was up there, and I am happy that it was FOR MEEEE.

The second present was Tropesis, in Young Wizards, which was The Winged Defender/The Lone Power in the time before entropy. I know I said I loved the video game, but this one hit me where I LIVE, and I think I love it EVEN MORE than the video game. Go read it, it's beautiful.
paxpinnae: Yuletide is the most wornderful time of the year. (calvin and hobbes)
Yuletide has come and gone for another year. I'm going to be a while longer slogging through the backlog of posted fic, though, because the Dread God Real Life has been very active lately, but here, have my reveal and a few recs.

I wrote Automotive Testing Procedures in the Young Wizards fandom. I'm pretty sure it was an easy guess for anyone who cared to take a swing at it, since my affection for Kit and Ronan and penchant for pretentious titles are dead giveaway tells in Young Wizards. I also received fic in Young Wizards, Remaking, a wonderful little slice of Tom/Carl that was exactly what I was hoping for when I asked someone to write me the fic their heart desired.

Other fic I liked included: )
paxpinnae: Does this icon make me look canon? (Fire the canon!)
The Kaleidoscope fics are live, and while I can't tell you which fic I nearly killed myself writing until next Saturday, I can recommend quite a few of them.

Recs in Coffee Prince, The Inheritance Trilogy, Saving Face, The Epic of Gilgamesh, and Mongolian History RPF under the cut! )

If those weren't enough, there's a list of all the fanworks, gifts and treats alike, here. Go give them some love.

Now, I need a favor in return: I'm about to embark on a three-day cross-country drive with my father. My type-A, ADD father, whom I adore but who also is not, shall we say, good at transitional periods, change, sharing, or driving for extended periods of time. We have audiobooks and NPR podcasts, but those only go so far. For the sake of our filial relationship, please, recommend to me any good, novel-length fic you've read recently, preferably on the AO3 for ease of Kindle-ing. I don't care about the fandom or pairing, though I have been heavily into the Avengers movieverse lately.
paxpinnae: Inara Serra,being more awesome than you. (sherlock)
Okay, so I said I was gonna do the awesome female meme, and I still am.  Just, you know, slowly.  One of the reasons for the slowness has been a new fandom acquisition.  And I gotta admit, this fandom? Should be shameful.  But you know, I can't help but love it, and I feel like this vid, with all its awesomeness, does a lot to explain why.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the best darn fandom populated entirely by people who have never been in fandom before: My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.

Gotta love the bronies.
paxpinnae: I had to be a bard.  I was found in a bag.  It's traditional. (Bard in a Bag)
Today is my birthday! As a reverse present, have some first-run Yuletide Recs. More will be coming once the AO3 recovers a little.

Anthropomorfic, Foxtrot/Calvin and Hobbes, Young Wizards, DCU/Young Wizards, and Lost Girl Recs )
paxpinnae: Inara Serra,being more awesome than you. (Default)

There are many, many reasons why I love dead-tree media, not least of which is that I hope that one day they will give me a job, but the one most pertinent at the moment is that they can yield up articles that set your world on its head in ways that might take a small fleet of blog posts to accomplish.

E.G., I present this New York Times article about Afghan girls who are raised as boys in order to give their families the prestige (and monetary opportunities) that their all-girl families would otherwise lack.

Yeah, it blew my mind too.  In one of the most gender-stratified societies in the world, there are enough of a certain kind of cross-dresser that they have their own noun: "bacha posh," or literally "girls dressed as boys."  These girls are dressed as boys from a young age.  Some attend school as girls, then work after-school jobs, socialize, and play sports as boys.  When the bacha posh hit puberty, or become engaged to be married, they transition back into girls. 

I urge you to read the whole thing; it says a whole lot about gender and identity and the social pressures to have a male child in Afghanistan without simplifying the issues overmuch, and is an enormous credit to the reporter.  Some of the girls interviewed loved the freedoms they got; some were uncomfortable socializing with boys and playing the male parts.  One little girl interviewed kept stealing her older sisters'  clothes because she didn't like hers; one teenager, Zahra, was referred to with female pronouns in the article but said ze never wanted to transition back, because "nothing in me feels like a girl."  One woman didn't transition back until she was 20 years old.

Reading the article was kind of heartbreaking, because while most of the women interviewed said they liked living as boys for as long as they got to do it, it's difficult to separate out whether they liked being men or just the freedom that came with being men.  Most of the older women interviewed said that their time as boys gave them strength and confidence, and let them deal more evenly with their husbands; but most of them also found switching back to be incredibly confining, "like being born again."

As soon as I read the article, I shared it with my roommate, J. J and I have talked before about our slightly gender-atypical childhoods; we were both tomboys growing up, but this article helped me realize that we constructed that identity in different ways.

I was always happy being a girl, but I wanted to be a girl who could be Han Solo.  I wanted to swoop in, crack jokes, and save the day, and I wanted to do it without all this goddamn talking about FEELINGS -  but I was a girl. This led to some frustrating moments of gender-confusion until I found myself some heroines who acted like heroes - Alanna of Trebond, Kara Thrace, Amelia Peabody, and others who were definitely female but who interacted with the world on male terms because that let them get shit done.  J, on the other hand, says that when she was a kid, she definitely wanted to be a boy, because girls were weak and sissified.  She was proud of being her father's "oldest son," and didn't start being comfortable with girly things until college.  It's weird, because we've talked about this at least four times and never really understood what the other one was saying.

So!  The reason I'm letting myself post about this in a fandom blog is because after the discussion with J, I remembered this fic that I read a while back that dovetails quite nicely with the whole "do I want to be male, or just interact with the world on male terms" quandry.  It is Hating the Weather, by [ profile] rivkat , and I have it bookmarked as "the genderfuck I have been waiting for since I learned the genre existed," because it isn't "What if Dean Winchester was born a girl" or "How does Dean Winchester cope with being turned into a girl," but rather "How does a Dean Winchester who was born a girl cope with being turned into a man (and furthermore, what are Sam's thoughts on the matter)?"  And whoa, does that make for one hell of an interesting story. It's long (40,000 words), plotty, AUs the whole of seasons 2-4, and if you were allowed to nominate fanfiction for the Tiptree I'd be circulating petitions as we speak.  Go read. Now.

I had more thoughts, but J apparently needs me to kill a cockroach.  What the hell.

paxpinnae: Inara Serra,being more awesome than you. (firefly)
Evan Lysacek has been a douchebag again.  This is nothing new, and Johnny Weir has also been less than gentlemanly  in their ongoing attempt to make the world wonder just what their deal is*,  but the difference is that since the Olympics, Johnny is on Showtime and Evan is on cereal boxes.  One of these things has a much better chance of spreading its message to small children than the other.  So, if transphobia and homophobia in an Olympic Gold Medalist make you a little angry, consider writing to one of his sponsors and expressing that fact.

[personal profile] laurashapiro  has posted Stay Awake, the only fanvid I can think of that has ever made me want to scream in horror.  Seriously, it's beautiful and economical and after I saw it I went and sat under the shower with all my clothes on for a while.  Watch it now.

And once you've gotten your fluffy blanket and mug of hot tea and recovered from that, watch [personal profile] damned_colonial 's A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, which is a panfannish lovefest dedicated to the women of the Age of Sail and which will make it all better, guaranteed.

*Seriously, they need to either accept their mutual right to live in the way that they choose or fuck.  Not sure which, but this whole bitchy questioning of each other's gender and sexual identity is getting old, fast, and harshing my squee.

paxpinnae: Does this icon make me look canon? (Fire the canon!)
So Highlander has eaten my brains. I am filled with love for Methos and - well, it's just Methos. I understand there are some other people, and they are also kinda cool, especially that Duncan MacLeod guy, but I've only seen three episodes of the actual series. I'm in China, so Hulu's blocked and my internet sucks golf balls through a krazy straw when it comes to downloading. My knowledge of Highlander is limited to What Fandom Hath Wrought, and What Fandom Hath Wrought is a lot of excellent fic about Methos.

This is not my usual modus operandi at all; generally speaking I have to read or watch Everything Ever in a fandom before I am comfortable reading fanfic. In this case, I blame [personal profile] thefourthvine. She recently recced an ancient Highlander fanvid called I'm The Cat in such a way that I decided to go ahead and watch it, even though I'd never seen Highlander before and had always thought that it was vaguely cheesy. So I watched the vid. And then I watched it again, about 20 times in a row. And then went back and watched it some more after work. I am still not tired of this vid. It is all kinds of incredible. And then [personal profile] thefourthvine went ahead and linked me to this post which lets you know what to skip in the early seasons to get to the good bits, so I decided to give it a shot.

Well, Highlander is incredibly cheesy. The special effects are bad, the dialogue is worse, and there are swordfights in every episode. But it also has this one character, Methos. I have only seen this dude in two episodes (the first two he's in), and he's pretty good, but not captivating. His portrayal in that vid, though, was so good that I decided to cheat and read some fanfic. And then. This guy, as written by fandom, is so compelling that even if his canonical self gets infected by a Wraith virus while discussing his daddy issues ad nauseum with a previously unknown brother from another mother as they plot to remove the chip that prevents him from doing violence from his head so that he can use the incredible number of powers he has stolen from other people in the series to their full and devastating effect, I will still love him forever. Seriously, he is clawing his way up into the pantheon of all-time favorites, though I'm holding off on the deification until I actually, you know, watch the show.

This got me thinking: there are other characters who I didn't really love or pay attention to in their original canons but whose portrayal in fandom was so damn awesome I had no choice but to love them. You should love them too. Here they are, presented with some of the fics that made me love them so.
Gaila )
Christine Everhart )
Teyla Emmagan )
Neville Longbottom )

Holy Mother of Run-On Posts that got long. To sum up: what made me love these characters was not the ways in which their creators made them, but the ways in which other people reacted to them. That, in my opinion, is what fandom is, and why it's worth it.

EDIT: Holy CRAP do I hate the rich text editor.  I hate it so.
paxpinnae: Inara Serra,being more awesome than you. (Default)
So I don't know if something got into the water supply lately or if it is just the natural creative juices of summer and the end of finals, but there have been an awful lot of really amazing alternate-format fanworks floating around lately. As at least two of these made me want to run raving into the street, thrust a laptop screen at random passers-by and scream "READ THIS NOW," I thought I'd do the next best thing and post a recs set.

FANART: Doctor Who: In which we learn that maps can make you feel more lost than before: A Partial Map Of Your Tardis (Subject to Change) by[ profile] alibi_factory

If you find yourself in a place which is no longer there, count to ten and step approximately 17 cm to the right. If at any time you should become hopelessly disoriented within the TARDIS, simply scream until help arrives.

When I was a wee lass with a book surgically attached to my hands at all times, one of my favorite parts of reading through authors like C.S. Lewis and Tamora Pierce was that if you had the nice hardback edition, or sometimes even the tatty paperback edition, the endpapers of the books would have maps of the places in the books. You could see that Mordor was almost a whole hand away from the Shire, and that Cair Paravel closer to the Stone Table than the Lantern Waste by a whole pinky knuckle. As I got older and took more geography, the source of amusement changed (usually to laughs of the "Deserts don't work like that" and "What, a despot is really going to PLAN a city with narrow, easily fortified alleyways? Riot control, people! Look at Paris!" variety), but I still love maps of places that aren't there.

What[ profile] alibi_factory has done here is map the unmappable, the place that's bigger on the inside than on the outside, in the only way that makes sense - the completely nonsensical and utterly real. The Library has a card catalog, but it also has sections for "Lies" and "Yet to Be." One floor is The Aether, with a simple red balloon floating in a grey mist; the shuttle can take you anywhere, but it may not take you back. All of this, I might add, is presented in near-perfect modern graphic design form, with clean, beautiful lines. READ THIS NOW.

FANFIC: Iron Man Movieverse: In which we are reminded that Pepper Potts is more detail-oriented than you and learn that Happy can apparently pilot a Helicarrier: Benefit Limitation Agreement by [ profile] quigonejinn

This Benefit Limitation Agreement (the "Agreement") is entered into as of this 19th day of July, 2008 (the "Execution Date"), by and between VIRGINIA ELIZABETH POTTS, a natural person residing at 3948 Garden Drive, Apartment 138, Pacific Palisades, California, 90272, and ANTHONY EDWARD STARK, a natural person residing at 12 Andrews Street, Malibu, California 90263.

Okay, so this one is technically two years old, but it was published at the same time of year and is newly relevant with the appearance of Iron Man 2, so I'm including it anyway. In addition, it is almost unbearably awesome, and I need to make sure that everyone I know has read it. It is, in point of fact, a contract, drawn up by Pepper and Tony, governing the limitations on their "friends-with-benefits" agreement. If you are contemplating a similar arrangement, I strongly urge you to take it as your template, particularly the provisio re: "Supporting Our Troops and Recognizing the Contribution of Labor Unions." READ THIS NOW.

In which the universe tries to make my head explode with concentrated awesome: Survival by Eliot by [ profile] sullensiren

And the two normal-looking guards they'd seen on the way in hadn't fared too well, since the last time Eliot saw them, right before he and Alec were running to duck and cover, they'd had two of the diseased-types chewing on their faces. Eliot didn't know what they were, but they sure as hell looked like-

"Zombies," Hardison said, half urgent horror, and half geeked-out glee that made Eliot want to grind his teeth.

This multimedia event hits every story kink I have - unusual story presentation, OT3 of Thieves, zombies, badass teachers, footnotes, needing to know the plural of apocalypse, jokes about fan culture - Every. Damn. Thing. It takes the form of a website where Eliot gives advice on how to survive the zombie apocalypse while Hardison compiles everything and makes snarky remarks in the footnotes, with cut-away links to story vignettes that show how the apocalypse started and how Eliot, Hardison, and Parker worked to save everyone. The website itself is a thing of beauty, with links to FAQs, bios, forums, and a Dreamwidth community. The story is good, and this is format porn at its finest - it actually got me to use Formspring. READ THIS NOW.

FANVID: Doctor Who: In which [ profile] di-br says goodbye to the Tenth Doctor and the rest of use split our sides laughing: Tenth Doctor: The Musical by [ profile] di-br

The Tenth Doctor Era, told through the power of interpretive dance music!

I was slow to warm to this vid, at first, as the whole "character theme songs" bit has been done and overdone, at least in anime fandom, and this didn't seem all that different from those videos. But it is, dahlinks. It is. [ profile] di-br re-tells the whole of the Tenth Doctor era in just under 7 minutes, while Nine watches and cringes. ( I have often wondered what my younger self would think about my older self; I have a strong suspicion she would be disappointed by the lack of cargo pants and 18th century merchant vessels, but such is life.) The moment I was sold was the moment that Martha Jones came onscreen to the tune of "Fuck You," because if any character in the Whoniverse has earned some gratuitous profanity, it's her. It just gets better from there. READ THIS NOW.

FANFIC: Star Trek Reboot:
In which we are reminded again that the mommas of Jim Kirk, Josh Lyman, John Sheppard, and other J-named rebels against authority should probably be canonized post-haste: {beep} Or: A Lifetime of Problems Told Through Winona Kirk's Answering Machine. by [ profile] vivid_butterfly

Stardate 2244: "Sweetheart? It’s your mother. I heard about what happened with little Jimmy. This is because you’re never around you need to quit your job and-/Are you sure you want to delete this message?/  (beep)"

Okay, so this is another cheat, as it's a year old, but it's either this or {and swallow fireflies}, the Amy Pond fanmix/fanfic by [ profile] paperclipbitch , and I can't do a rec set that is 60% Who even if the Who fen are being BAMFs right now. My hands-down favorite thing about the Trek Reboot fandom is its slavish devotion to taking the female characters who were tossed haphazardly into the canon and making them into real people, with thoughts, feelings, and personal agendas.  I don't think I've ever seen anything like it.  The trend especially stands out with Gaila, the green-skinned space babe who was onscreen for about two minutes and who has had literal reams of digital ink devoted to her, but Winona has also fared well.  READ THIS NOW.


paxpinnae: Inara Serra,being more awesome than you. (Default)

October 2013



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