snickfic: action!Sam (Sam action)
First, [livejournal.com profile] shipswap has signups open
Meanwhile, [livejournal.com profile] beyondpanels also has signups open.

Beyond Panels: A Comics Fanwork Exchange
fic & art | all comics welcome
nominations Jan 12 | sign-ups Jan 23
A03 | LJ | DW


And hey, what do you know, [livejournal.com profile] genteensybang signups are also open!
teensiestbang-small
snickfic: text: Geno 71, I'm Score (malkin)
Somehow I have posted nothing whatsoever on this blog for a full week. The last time that happened, I think I was on a camping trip with zero internet connectivity. It's been really busy around here, you guys.

ANYWAY. My fic for the holiday hockey exchange posted a couple of days ago! And here it is! Writing this one involved a lot of angst and flailing on my part, which I've written some about under the cut.

Title: Switch Hitter
Fandom: Hockey RPF
Pairing: girl!Sid/Geno
Words / Rating: 9600 words / R for kink
Contains: D/s AU, switching, kink negotiation, internalized sexism, spanking, verbal humiliation, offscreen platonic D/s between Sid and third parties
Summary: Geno's a dom and only a dom, Sidney's a sub who doms sometimes but only because people keep asking her nicely, and all their feelings for each other are entirely platonic. Yeah right.

WRITERLY ANGST )
snickfic: Karen Gillan as Nebula (mcu)
TV:
Agent Carter - saw the third episode, loved it. Love the Peggy+Angie friendship, love how complicated things are. Jarvis is wonderful. Everything looks so pretty. My feelings are simple, here. Oh, and in this ep we learn that Howard Stark is actualfax Blood Stupid Johnson.

Comics:
Sleepy Hollow - first two issues of a mini by Marguerite Bennett and Jorge Coelho. Two of the things I thought were out were delayed, so I picked these up instead because I'd been eyeing them every time I went in the store. (It was the Phil Noto covers, darn it.) They're a lot more directly tied into the show than I was hoping - a lot of references to stuff I didn't know. The banter is good, though, and Noelle Stevenson (of Nimona) has little two-page mini comics in the back, which was a pleasant surprise.

Copperhead - finished its first arc. I continue to enjoy everything this comic chooses to be. Liked the resolution to the mystery, am intrigued by these "Natives" that we murder with impunity but also have a treaty with and therefore can't prosecute by ordinary means; hope we see more of them. Also needed: more Clara, Broo, Ishmael (desert hermit android!), and Mrs. Sewell.

If this comic has sounded interesting to you at all, definitely check out the first trade when it comes out next month.
snickfic: half-portrait of Natasha (art by Noto) (Natasha)
I've rather abruptly gone off Marvel, for the most part. It's been a combination of becoming disenchated with:
* the charms and (mostly) pitfalls of massive shared continuity, especially re: crossovers and events
* things I like getting canceled before their potential is realized and developed
* the hamfisted, po-faced earnestness of the things that DO get lots of issues. (If I never see a superhero attempt to talk about politics again, it will be TOO SOON.)
* the vulnerability of any given comic to editorial whims and artist availability

I talked about most of those things a little bit here, and it hasn't changed much, I guess.

So, the result is that right now this is what I'm reading with enthusiasm:
* Ms. Marvel (still my fav Marvel book)
* Gotham Academy (teen girls and basically zero dependence on outside continuity)
* Saga
* Copperhead
* The Wicked + The Divine (because Jamie McKelvie, basically)
* Ody-C
* Bitch Planet
* a bunch of new Image things I'm looking forward to soon

And these are books I'm reading until my Marvel subscription runs out:
* Black Widow (although I have to say I actually liked the interwoven story structure of #12 quite a lot, even though it was only a set-up issue)
* Storm (love the art, but the story doesn't seem to be going anywhere in particular)
* Loki: Agent of Asgard (I have no idea what's going on with Loki anymore, if I ever did, and the crossover mini that I didn't read just compounded the problem)
* Captain America and the Mighty Avengers (wow do I hate what Axis did to this book. I hate it SO MUCH. And somehow Luke Ross is bizarrely Greg Land-like with his faces? Is that just me? I feel like I still haven't escape Land-face.)
snickfic: (Default)
I got goodies for Christmas!

* Pacific Rim - As pretty as I remember; I grinned through the entire opening sequence, again.

* Dragon Hunters - oddball little animated movie that I'm thinking about requesting for YT and will also be foisting upon everyone within range (fair warning).

* Leverage S2 and S3 - okay, something terrible has happened since I last watched this show, because I'm finding Eliot pretty appealing now, despite the terrible hair. Has he been getting more character stuff to do in S2, maybe? IDK, right now my feelings are all Eliot feelings. (Look at me! I'm watching TV again! Two different shows in one week!)
snickfic: [Saga] Gwendolyn (Gwendolyn)
Image is selling another of their Humble Bundle deals right now, and it is frankly amazing. For a pay-as-you-want amount (but with all the goodies unlocked for $18+), you can get:
* Saga #1-18
* The Walking Dead #1-48 (!!)
* The Manhattan Projects #1-10
* The Wicked + the Divine #1-5
* about fifteen other things

Seriously, this is a ridiculous deal. AND you're not paying Amazon or going through Comixology's hinky comics viewer, which is a plus, IMO.

EDIT: now with a link! *facepalm*
snickfic: (Saga)
Sooo, one of my fannish resolutions for the year was to write more Saga fic, but especially in fandoms this small, it helps my motivation a LOT to write for a specific person (if for no other reason than because I'm likely to get at least one comment!). So if you follow me and are interested, I would like to write you a Saga fic!

FYI I find it easier to work with "What if" or "What happened when" scenarios, as opposed to prompts that are like, "Write something about The Stalk." Moods or settings can be helpful, too, though. And obviously if you have some particular fic you want, I would like to try and accommodate you.

Basically: PLEASE LEAVE ME SAGA PROMPTS. :D
snickfic: [Saga] Alana cradling Hazel and holding a cudgel (Alana)
Title: second star to the right
Fandom: Saga
Characters: Klara, Hazel
Words / Rating: 260 words / G
Spoilers: through #19
Summary: Klara shows Hazel the stars.

A/N: Lookee lookee, my first fic of 2015! This was written for [personal profile] goodbyebird for [community profile] fandom_stocking. It's also on AO3 here.

ficlet! )

#sagafest

Jan. 3rd, 2015 08:16 pm
snickfic: [Saga] Alana cradling Hazel and holding a cudgel (Alana)

Look look! #sagafest promotion is live! It's going to be super low-key, and all kinds of fanworks are welcome. There's a place to submit prompts if that's your thing, and they're collected into a google doc to browse.

Signal boosting appreciated, for those on Tumblr who are so inclined. I hopeful that much Saga loveliness will come out of this. :D

PINING

Jan. 3rd, 2015 11:27 am
snickfic: I lost my shoe (quote lost shoe)
The problem is that I love pining with a deep and unhealthy love, but I need the pining to make sense. These people need actual real reasons for not just speaking up. It's a major reason I love Fastening One Heart to Every Falling Thing SO much - because the worldbuilding is such that Geno's been told his whole life that he can't bond or have a real relationship, so of course he wouldn't think he could ever have Sid.

Choosing not to communicate to each other, OTOH, is NOT an actual real reason. There's a line between believably characterized reticence and plot-motivated self-sabotage, and most pining fic falls on the wrong side. WOE IS ME.

my Yuletide

Jan. 2nd, 2015 05:38 pm
snickfic: (Saga)
So I wrote three fics for YT! Two Saga (I bet NO ONE saw that one coming, after the sudden and apparently unwarranted burst of Saga posting I did about two weeks ago...) and one for a little-known horror movie called Decoys

If Wishes Were Fishes, Saga, The Stalk/The Will, 4.6k
In which The Will and The Stalk partner up for a job on the steampunk planet. This was my main assignment for [tumblr.com profile] pinstripesuit, whose request was "The Will (finally) has a good day." At first I thought this was going to have to mean fluff, and I am TERRIBLE at writing fluff on purpose (or possibly I just hate the process), but then a friend commented on what a wide-open prompt that was, and I realized, oh, it kinda was. So instead we got this assassins-on-the-job thing, with costumes and banter and snark and shippiness and maybe some stealth feelings. (And no spoilers, btw; if you've read the first volume you're good.)

Meet-Cute, Saga, Klara/Barr, 1.3k
I was determined to write at least one Saga treat, and this turned out to be it, Klara and Barr's first meeting at that youth hostel at the Craters, although it's really more an excuse to write about Klara's mom and also a coffee plant that likes sex jokes.

I Dated a Tentacle Babe from Outer Space, Decoys, Roger/Constance, 7.4k
I discovered this movie via someone talking it up during noms, and I watched it on account of CANON XENO HET MPREG, for this ship that is absolutely adorable. And then I wrote a ton of words of fix-it fic that is possibly the least filtered my id has ever been. Which is to say, a lot of cute in the midst of weird and a lot of mpreg. (I'll probably work up a promo post for this movie, because it's not exactly GOOD but it's quirky and its treatment of certain things is unexpectedly complicated, and I want you all to watch it and then talk to me about it.)
snickfic: text: Geno 71, I'm Score (malkin)
This was the year of ALL THE FANDOMS and ALL THE EXCHANGES. I didn’t so much mind hopping and skipping around fandoms, but my first and foremost goal for next year is FEWER EXCHANGES.

Anyway, as a result of those two things, my writing has been kind of fragmented. I ended up posting 75k words in finished fic, which is down just a tidge from last year and included several exchange fics I was really happy with. I ended up writing 21 fics - 4 hockey, 4 SPN, 3 Buffyverse, 3 Marvel comics, 2 Saga, 1 SPN RPF, 1 MCU, 1 Downton Abbey, and 1 Decoys (movie).

In addition, I wrote somewhere between 30 and 40k this year on various other fic projects that have not yet seen the light of day, which is a little frustrating. One of my goals for the new year will definitely be to get some of those finished up and out into the world.

Below the cut I go into a LOT more detail, because these retrospective things are better than cake.

my year in fic, in much greater detail, with a meme )

other fannish things )
snickfic: (Saga)
YOU GUYS. Check out this article with bunches of concept sketches. See what kind of hair Alana might have had! See Marko's piratical alternative costume design. SEE HOW HE ALMOST HAD A TAIL.

This is fantastic stuff. I love seeing the could-have-beens.
snickfic: (Yuletide)
I got TWO YT gifts! My main gift, So Goddamned Beautiful (Saga, 4.6k words) is pretty much EVERYTHING I HAVE EVER DREAMED OF in Alana/Marko and more besides, with great character voices and insight and sexy vignettes and development of setting and EVERYTHING, and also it is mpreg. So it is pretty much the best ever, and if you like Saga, YOU ALSO SHOULD READ IT.

AND I got a treat, A Tale of Two Thieves, (Uncanny X-Force, 2.3k), which Betsy/Cluster after I'd just about given up on ever getting Betsy fic. It's a sweet fic that finds them finding each other again after the events in Humphries' run, even though Betsy is still trying to decide whether she wants to be found.

Recs of things not gifted by me probably coming tomorrow!
snickfic: photo, Marc-Andre Fleury makes a save (fleury)
* I didn't think it was possible for us to get MORE INJURED, but behold, we are MORE INJURED. No Ehrhoff, no Martin. Three of our D were under the age of 23 (and that's not even counting Olli, who it looks like may very well be out for the season with his shoulder *sob*). Please note three of our top 4 D are out.

* On the plus side, we're getting to exercise all that defensive depth! Like Pouliot scoring a goal in his first NHL game.

* On the other hand, the defense's defense, hoo boy. Flower stopped 45 shots out of 46. ALL HAIL FLOWER, but dude, that is crazypants. We should not be making him do that, like, ever.

* But hey, Vezina, anyone? Fleury's 3rd in the NHL for save %, fifth for goals allowed, second in wins, and tops in the league with six shutouts. It's pretty much him and Rinne in the standings right now.

* In other news, Letang got in a fight (!), Downie got 17 more PIM, and Geno roughed up baby Panther rookie Aaron Ekblad, among the many, many crimes and misdemeanors of this game.

* In conclusion, FLOWER.

blargh

Dec. 20th, 2014 07:11 am
snickfic: (Spike disapproves)
Heads up, I seem to be incapable of directly accessing LJ right now, even via the mobile interface, which is my usual fallback. IDK if this will change before the new year, so, don't expect from replies from me on LJ anytime soon. :\
snickfic: close-up crop of Storm (drawn by Ibanez) (Storm)
I've been feeling just much more enthused about Image than Marvel lately. It isn't that Marvel isn't producing stuff that is at least in theory relevant to my interests; in March alone there's an all-female team book, 10 female superhero solo books, the Peggy Carter + Howard Stark team-up, and a Princess Leia solo. Compared to even a year ago, that's AMAZING.

The thing is, I've been reading Marvel for a year and a half and I'm already tired of falling in love with books only to have them canceled, tied up in crossover events half the time, or on the creative team merry-go-round. Then there are the ones that I can't fall in love with because they are so deeply mediocre; I don't know if that's better or worse. I am particularly sick of all the things I like getting canceled while all the things I find so mediocre go on for 30-40 issues. I covet that kind of length for the titles I love, so that writers can really dig in and take those characters places.

Meanwhile, over at Image, we get the same creative team for dozens of issues, crossovers are vanishingly rare, and when things get canceled, at least we can chalk it up creator decision and not that of some marketing department somewhere. Plus, from Image I can get my space western AND my pulpy women's prison AND my cosmic SF myth retelling AND my space opera. And no prior knowledge required!

Basically I'm starting to believe that standalone comics with the breadth and artistry and creative control we see at Image are the wave of the future, and in fact the future might already be here.

Ahem. With that, on to the March solicits.

Image
* New title Descender, Dustin Nguyen (!!) does a sad child robot story. Just lookit this cover:
cover )

* Southern Cross - the actual premise doesn't do a lot for me, but come on, grungy SF + weird fiction + female protagonist + Becky Cloonan? I'll definitely give it a try, at least.

* Otherwise my comments this month are primarily "Yay! More issues of that comic I like!" Such comics include Bitch Planet, Ody-C, and SAGA (YAY MORE ADVENTURES OF [SPOILER] AND [SPOILER] :DDDD)

Marvel
* New Hawkeye. Very much doubt lightning strikes twice, but apparently it is still a book with two Hawkeyes, so I'm pleased to see that, at least. The cover art is intriguing; I wonder if this is anything like what we should expect from the interiors:
cover )

* Silk, Spider-Gwen, and Spider-Woman. Someone will have to tell me which if any of the spider-lady books to read.

* Judging by the Thor solicit, the identity of the lady Thor is STILL a mystery in MARCH. Erg. How are we supposed to get any kind of character development when the book won't even tell us who she is?!

* Again, someone will need to tell me if this Operation: S.I.N. book with Peggy Carter and Howard Stark is good. Likewise, if G. Willow Wilson manages to rescue X-Men from the mess it is, someone let me know. Apparently March's issue is big on Psylocke, and that is a plan I support heartily.

* Black Widow summary continues not to enthuse, but I think I quite like the cover design:
FLAAAMES )

* More Ms. Marvel, yay. More Storm, yay. Those are my two favorite things out of Marvel right now, I think.
snickfic: [X-Men] Psylocke (art Olivier Coipel) (Psylocke)
Artist Jake Wyatt is selling prints and originals on Etsy, including several original pages from Ms. Marvel.

Meanwhile Comixology is giving away free #1s of various books, one per day through the 22nd.
snickfic: photo, Marc-Andre Fleury makes a save (fleury)
One aspect of the game where Fleury has not been good at all is scoring. 647 NHL regular-season and playoff games, and not a single goal scored! That's even worse that Zack Sill, our 4th liner who presently holds the NHL record for number of games played by a forward without a goal.

However, Fleury's failure to score is not for lack of trying, as he showed again last night:
gif behind cut )

One of these days!
snickfic: close-up photo of Marc-Andre Fleury (fleury close)
Pens 4, Tampa Bay 2. Wow, that was a game. We were SO TERRIBLE that first period, I really wasn't sure we were even going to get a goal. And then we got four, including a short-handed goal for Sutter and two first NHL goals, one for Rust and one for Dumoulin. Good job, kiddies.

But meanwhile in that first period Fleury was SO GOOD. Wow. As soon as a gif turns up of that one really spectacular head-to-post save, I will link. EDIT: Here it is. You finally get a really good look at about the 20 second mark.

I just looked up his numbers, and he's .926 for the season so far, which if he maintains will be his best season EVER - even better than 2007-2008, which all the naysayers call a fluke. There's evidence that suggests we're seeing more this season than statistical variance, however. Mike Darnay at Pensburgh calls it the Mike Bales effect, which includes a graph that shows both how much more consistent Fleury's play has been since Bales was hired as the goalie coach and how his play is on the whole trending upward.

I've seen discussion of the fact that Pittsburgh, cash-strapped as it was when Fleury arrived, never really found him a goalie coach in those early years, and how the guy who eventually filled the position before Bales was not so much a coach as a cheerleader. So what Fleury's getting with Bales may very well be the first NHL-level goaltender coaching he's ever had - and hey, it only took nine years in the organization to get it. It means he finally has someone helping him consciously develop his positional play, his puck playing skills, and similar technical skills to supplement the famous athleticism that even all the detracters agree he has.

(Just think if he could have gotten that kind of instruction five years ago. Ouch.)

So basically, Fleury's best years may very well be ahead of him. Certainly all signs point to him being in one of them right now. As someone deeply invested in the Fleury Redemption Story, I could not be happier.
snickfic: (Saga)
One piece of Saga meta I have seen is this panel discussion of the first three volumes by the ladies over at [community profile] ladybusiness. I particularly like the ideas tossed around about how the structure of the story, with Hazel narrating, might affect the story down the road.
snickfic: [Saga] Alana cradling Hazel and holding a cudgel (Alana)
(So right now my plan for dealing with my Saga feelings is just to make a whole bunch of observations which are maybe obvious but which I nonetheless don't see anyone making. For being a hugely popular comic, I've seen very little actual discussion about it, what it is, what it's doing, or even what's happening in it or how its plot elements fit together. Maybe I'm just looking in the wrong places. Anyway, more observations of dubious value forthcoming.)

One of the things about Saga that I think is neither good nor bad (though some might disagree) but definitely different from a lot of comics, especially mainstream superhero ones, is how simple the page design is. Greg Burgas at Comic Book Resources has been analyzing comics art every day this year (which I HIGHLY RECOMMEND), and in the scans he's chosen of significant comics artists, there's a lot of pyrotechnics going on in page design. Staples forgoes all that. She never goes for scenes bleeding into each other or overlapping panels. Her panels rarely even have anything but square corners (or corners that are clipped, like photos - I guess for visual interest?), and they pretty much ALWAYS read left to right and top to bottom. IMO it's one of the many reasons Saga is such a great comic to start people with - as comics go, it is super easy to read.

She's also fonder of splash pages than most artists I can think of. It feels a little self-indulgent sometimes, because the story doesn't usually need full pages devoted to a single panel - it's not like we're using the extra space to show off a battle scene or spaceship schematics or anything like that. But man, she uses them so well. Frequently she introduces new characters that way, which means we get to luxuriate in her absolutely gorgeous character designs. The introductions of The Stalk and Gwendolyn are both great examples. Another one is these guys, the fishy journalist boys in love from Jetsam:

image )

More often, though, Staples uses the splash pages as emphasis. Often they function as reveals - of new characters, changed situations, what have you. Other times, you know, we really just need a full page of The Brand in her tie and crash helmet, saying pithy things about governments and PR.

Below we have one of those changed situations. It's also the last page of #24, so beware huge honking spoilers, but ugh, this panel made me SO HAPPY.
spoilery image! )
snickfic: (Saga)
(Can we pretend someone requested I talk a bunch about Saga for the talking meme? Because if we do, then look, a talking meme post!)

So I've been rereading Saga from the beginning, and I'm noticing things I didn't the first time. I actually have a whole bunch of observations, but it's late, so one long one is all you get. Spoilers through #24 (the most recent issue) under the cut.

spoilers! )
snickfic: (Willow magic)
As of Jan 1, Pinboard is going to an annual payment model versus the one-time-only payment model it uses right now. Which is to say, if you want a lifetime account for $10.55 on what is as far as I can tell the internet's best bookmarking site (to be fair, I don't know of any others besides Delicious), do it by the end of the month.
snickfic: black and white image of Sidney Crosby, text "Crosby" (crosby)
There seems to be no way to make DW embed this properly, but this Pens ad is by far the coolest hockey ad I've seen since, well, since Sidney Crosby recited a bunch of hockey terms. (Except that one was more hot than cool.) Really like the editing on this.
snickfic: text: Geno 71, I'm Score (malkin)
* Look look, someone made me Geno icons! I think I'm snagging numbers 1 and 5 for immediate use, but if anyone wants to nab any of the others, I am happy to share. :)

* Someone asked for Spike/Buffy prompts, and I am trying to oblige, but SO MUCH Spuffy fic has been written, and I'm having trouble thinking of things I haven't seen. Most of what I'm coming up with is either verrrry Snick specific (for example, a/b/o) or things that are not new ideas, but that I just want new treatment of. I was not happy with a lot of Spuffy fic at the time for it treated their dynamic, but now I'm a lot more able to put my finger on things that bother me, most of which boil down to Spike being predatory towards Buffy and the fic treating that as both okay and IC for Buffy to put up with.

But "Write this premise lots of other people have written, only better" leaves something to be desired as a prompt. I think this person may very well end up with a space AU as one of their prompts.

(If it turns out the person with that request is on my flist, I'm going to be very amused.)
snickfic: photo, Marc-Andre Fleury makes a save (fleury)
* My favorite part of yesterday's game was probably the bit where Flower took flight in order to glove a puck. Just look at that third image. HOPPY GOALIE.

* The bit where Geno made a one-touch "pass" off his skate was pretty incredible, too.

* Very pleased with the Klinkhammer trade. He has solid possession numbers, sample size of one game says he draws penalties, his cap hit is miniscule, and hey, we got him for free the price of one Philip Samuelsson! Also, most important: NOT INJURED.

* I'm sure I would find the Andrew Shaw vs James Neal incident below just as funny even without my Jame Neal grudge. Almost just as funny. (It's Shaw shoving his legs over after the check is already finished that makes it.)
gif )

* Now this is media management: Sens coach Paul MacLean was asked how his lines will look today. Deadpan, he said, "We'll have 12 forwards and use them in groups of three." (x)
snickfic: Buffy Dawn weird love is better than no love (Buffy Dawn sister love)
Someone - [personal profile] lettered? - asked me a while back how I distinguished between soul mates and soulbonding as tropes, and lacking the wherewithal to address any of the talking meme questions anyone has actually asked me, I'm going instead expand on my answer to this one.

First, definitions: by soul mates I mean people who are destined to be together - your one perfect match, the person at the other end of your red thread, the person whose name is a magic tattoo on your wrist - written in their handwriting, even! A soul bond, OTOH, to me means something formed between you and another person that connects you somehow metaphysically in a way that affects you mentally, emotionally, and/or physically.

As suggested above, the soul mates trope presents in all sorts of different ways. There's the wristname tropes, the red thread trope, I think in one fandom there's something about having matching beauty marks? (MLP:FiM? Possibly I'm confusing soul marks with cutie marks.) Or just the warm happy glow in your chest that appears when you first meet your match and never fades.

Regardless, the sense of destiny hangs over everything, which right off makes the trope less appealing to me, especially if that destiny specifies that your soul mate is your perfect fit and the person you will be happiest with and if the narrative supports that interpretation. How boring! And in fact in most of the wristname fic I've read in hockey fandom, the conflict centers on people finding their soul mates in the first place, because what conflict could you possibly have with someone who is the most perfect person on earth for you to be with?

Actually, I think there's still a lot of potential there for conflict; see Emma Caulfield's quirky, unsettling movie TiMER, about a world in which you can have a device implanted that tells you the amount of time you have left until you meet your soul mate. What if you meet them when you're still a teenager? What if you won't meet them for forty years - what do you do in the meantime? What if you find someone you'd rather have than some unknown, however soul-mate-y? But fic generally seems less interesting in asking those questions.

(Also, this video, purportedly about Finnish people meeting for the first time, is clearly actually about Finnish people meeting their soul mates for the first time. See the slow opening of the eyes! The nervous smiles, the awkward introductions!)

In addition, the worldbuilding that goes with some of these particular expressions is just wonky. I've been reading a lot of wristname fic recently, so, who is it that decides whose name goes on whose wrist? Are you telling me that's somehow a natural process? Unless you do some work building a world in which wristnames are a natural expression of this, that, and the other magical fact, I pretty much have to conclude there's a deity putting their hand in, and I can't say I care much for that either. And what about the hundreds of millions of people in history who were illiterate - did they just have an X on their wrist? The basic premise drives me batty. And then even once we accept it, the world that results from the premise rarely makes any sense. Why isn't there some database somewhere, in this world of digitization, that keeps track of everyone's wristnames and helps match them up? Is it because there is a massive cultural accretion of taboos and mores that prevent it? What would those be? Fic rarely answers these questions for me.

That said, I've read some wristname fic that does do some neat cultural stuff that I've liked. There's a really excellent WIP on the kinkmeme where wristnames are rare and finding your other half is rarer, and there are hints at some of the expectations and conflicts that arise from those facts, and [archiveofourown.org profile] sherlockelly's Benn/Seguin fic does some exploration of how wristnames might work in general, especially in a world that still has a lot of homophobia.

On the whole, though, soul bonding is much more up my alley, because it's basically forced intimacy cranked to 11, with all the potential conflict that implies. While you might for a soul bond with your soul mate in some universes, in most fics I've read soul bonding can happen between lots of people. Sometimes there's an element of compatibility, but other times it's just a matter of them doing the right (or wrong) things at the right (or wrong) time. Accidental soul bonding is a special favorite of mine, as you might guess. Maybe they don't like each other! Maybe they don't even know each other! Maybe soul bonding right now is just really inconvenient. But like it or not, now this unfortunate pair has no choice but to feel each other's feelings, read each other's thoughts, and/or spend time in each other's space, depending on the rules of the world.

In fact, take away the mindreading and maybe the empathic component, and soul bonding is just regular old biology-based bonding or mating, like a person might find in a/b/o or werewolf fic. I have an a/b/o fic that I've been working on for a while that I figured out pretty fast is actually basically my soul bonding fic, even if souls don't really come into it as such. There's still the forced proximity because of physically needing to be around each other a lot, the affecting each other's moods, and, bonus, the occasional need to have sex with each other.

Again, there are a bunch of ways to expand on this that I haven't seen very much yet, but I have seen fic where hockey players bond voluntarily to improve team chemistry, or where a person is expected to have both platonic bonds and a romantic bond. I've heard tell of poly bonding, although I don't know if I've read it yet. And I would be deeply remiss if I didn't mention Fastening One Heart to Every Falling Thing, by [archiveofourown.org profile] thefourthvine, the story of Geno who can't bond and Sidney who really doesn't want to, and which is single-handedly responsible for me being in hockey fandom.

So: soul bonds. Soul mates. Can work quite differently, depending on context! Which do you prefer? Recs?
snickfic: black and white image of Sidney Crosby, text "Crosby" (crosby)
Everyone is injured. By the end of the game our top six wingers were Spaling/Downie and Comeau/Megna. Hornqvist went out after a hit in the second period and didn't come back. Also, Crosby missed an open net, the Pens got their first second-period shot on goal twelve minutes into the period, Greiss misplayed the puck on that last Vancouver goal, and the Pen with the most shots by the end of the game was Craig Adams.

Everything is terrible.

wow

Dec. 3rd, 2014 07:21 pm
snickfic: (Buffy Willow)
Between new acquaintances and the December talking meme, the first page of my DW flist has forty entries just in the last two days. The first page of my LJ flist has forty entries in the last three days. For the first time in ages, I feel like I can do fandom via blogging platforms rather than having to go to Tumblr (ugh) or anon memes (which I am fond of, but which I'd rather not have as my sole fandom interaction).

This is amazing.
snickfic: girl reading on bench (mood reading)
I am so pleased I have things to report this week! I got tons of reading done over the holiday break. (Although I got basically no writing done in the same timeframe; this may be significant. You have to read to write, though, IMO; the one fuels the other.)

What I have just finished reading:
The Raven Boys, by Maggie Stiefvater. In which a daughter of psychics is drawn into the quest of four private school boys for a sleeping Welsh king. This was superb. Stiefvater has a precision with language that takes my breath away. Her five main characters are all so distinct in their strengths and private conflicts, and she sold me on her plot despite my total disinterest in tarot cards, ley lines, and imported Welsh monarchs.

spoilers )

I said on Tumblr that the proof would be if I liked the book well enough to put a library hold on the next book, and I just today picked it up from the library, so.

The Story of Christianity, Vol I, by Justo L. Gonzalez. The first volume of two, this is a nice very basic survey if you have an extremely weak grasp of European history, which I do. Gonzalez is a historian, and I thought he did a good job of balancing page constraints with specific detail. I found it very readable. This first volume was from the time of Christ to right before the Reformation, which I shall now being reading about in volume II.

The Left Hand of Darkness, by Ursula Le Guin. I'd read all her major novels except this one; not sure why it took me so long. I'd been spoiled for the basic premise by her much later short story, "Coming of Age in Karhide," which is all about someone experiencing kemmer, sexual characters, and sex for the first time, and was therefore altogether much more interested in the juicy details of those topics than the original novel was. I was thus somewhat taken aback by how much politics there was in it, especially in the first half or so.

In fact, since the first-person POV character through most of it, Genly Ai, is a first-time visitor and envoy to the planet, the book maintains a pretense of objectivity for quite a while, mixed in Genly's rather pettily expressed personal concerns, which makes for a somewhat dryer book than I was expecting. Also, Genly's kind of insufferable for quite a while - small-minded, self-centered, and sexist, although IMO he gets better on all those counts eventually, which I think was a major point of the book. In that way this book reminds me some of A Wizard of Earthsea, except that Genly is never as overtly obnoxious as Ged and also doesn't get hit over the head with a moral lesson the way Ged does. It does make for rough going in the first half, though.

The sexism might have been what grated the most, though, and what I think dates this book. The fact that Genly isn't sure how to deal with an agender population isn't notable, so much as the lens through which he does try to deal with them. Gender essentialism is rampant in his thinking in ways that I would hope an interstellar diplomatic organization would train its ambassadors out of - he talks about one citizen as having womanly hips, another having masculine energy. Like, dude. Have you never met a genderqueer person in your life?

He also refers to all the citizens of Gethen with male pronouns, with the reasoning that those are more universal and less gendered than female pronouns, which is I think clearly meant to point up his gender assumptions, but at the same time gives the reader the impression that this is a planet made up wholly of men. It has a weird flattening effect on the worldbuilding around gender that I think Le Guin was trying to get across.

And yet despite all these caveats, I ended up really liking it, largely because the last seventy-five pages or so feature a get-there-or-bust, two-month mad dash across a glacier with his Gethenian ally, and that hits like half a dozen of my iddy spots. It's there that we realize that this novel has a much more intimate story at its core than I thought it did, about two people from different planets coming to understand each other after a lot of cultural misunderstanding and a lot of mistakes and hiccups as a consequence. I really liked the way that snuck up on both me as a reader and on the characters.

So the gender stuff did not do precisely what I wanted it to, but it gave me plenty to think about, as you can see, and the interpersonal stuff more than made up for it, IMO. I like this one more the longer out I get from it, and the more I chew on it.

What I'm reading now
I'm working very slowly on a reread of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, but I keep being distracted by other things. Likewise I still want to finish Peter Enns' Inspiration and Incarnation.

What I'll read next
As I said, I just picked up the next Raven Cycle book at the library, and I'd like to get started on the second volume of the Christian history book. It's also time to start my annual Hogfather reread! Yet another thing I've suddenly realized I have a looming Christmas deadline for.
snickfic: (anya bunnies)
* Look look, my Raven Cycle friends! [community profile] ravencycle_kink! I am not far enough along to take a peek yet, but I KNOW I have people on my flist for whom this is relevant.

* Today’s Featured Recipe: A Quick and Easy Stanley Cup Championship. The "comments section" on this is AMAZING. Oh, Montreal. Oh, Edmonton. OH, EVERYONE.
snickfic: black and white image of Sidney Crosby, text "Crosby" (crosby)
Finished The Left Hand of Darkness over Thanksgiving, and now obviously I need a hockey AU. Obviously Gethen has hockey - another name for the planet is Winter, after all! A bunch of players of indeterminate sex 26 days out of the month and male or female the other four, at random, when they're in kemmer.

Possibly the very best part of this plan is that I can have female hockey players on my team, and it won't even be notable. None of the players will have an sexual characteristics 80% of the time anyway, so it will be completely unremarkable if some of their names are Julie and Hilary instead of James and Thomas.

Obviously that other 20% will also feature in the story. Obviously a kemmer house must be visited at least once (and bless Ursula Le Guin for coming back twenty years later to write the salacious expose fic to her work of Serious SF Literature). Probably a pair will vow kemmer to each other at some point.

I wonder if there's a "Alternate Universe - Left Hand of Darkness" tag on AO3...

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