Dear [community profile] yuletide Author

Nov. 12th, 2009 03:23 pm
alixtii: Is it Yuletide yet? (Yuletide)
[personal profile] alixtii
(N.B.: Portions of this letter have been lifted from last year's letter.)

Thank you for signing up to write a story for me! You're one of three people (one of whom was me) who offered to write for The ILLUMINATUS! Trilogy, one of seven people (one of whom was me) who offered to write for The NeverEnding Story film trilogy, one of eight people (one of whom was me) who offered to write for Heinlen's books, and/or one of nine people (one of whom was me) who offered to write for Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego?, and I love you for that alone.

If you check out my userinfo, you'll find a 'thon policy which implores that you be true first and foremost to the prompt and your muse, and to consider whether I'd like a story as, at most, a secondary concern. I stand by that, but I also recognize there is a sense that a [community profile] yuletide story is explicitly a gift in a way which most 'thon fics aren't, so feel free to surf through this journal to get a feel for me, and here's a little bit more, if you are interested, to help you understand how I relate to the specific texts and characters in the fandoms I've requested and what I might like. OTOH, don't be intimitated; this letter might demonstrate that I've thought long and hard about why I want what I want, because I'm full of myself and like to navel-gaze so you can get a feel for my tastes, but the specifics of what I'd like are intentionally vague even in my own mind.

I'm drawn to what I call will-to-poweriness, the adolescent fantasy, the desire to exceed oneself that also draws me to things like superhero comics (one of my fandoms is, indeed, X-Men) and fantasy shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer (which is my main fandom). My especial kink is (female) children and teenagers who prove themselves to be the equals (or betters) to adults because they are just that awesome. All of this comes through in my requests, I think. There is a clear will-to-poweriness in Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego?, most of all in Carmen herself, of course, beyond good and evil, doing whatever she wants whenever she wants because she can, stealing things for no good reason except as an expression of her superiority, the former ACME agent engaged in a perpetual game of cat and mouse. But also, on one level, in Zach and Ivy, the young (!!) ACME agents who pursue her, and on another level, in Player, just as much a teenager, radically empowered within the world of the game she plays and manipulates, Carmen's eternal antagonist. Likewise, Miss Portinari is a girl who is both a teen and the spiritual leader of the Lief Erikson, commanding a position of authority and respect while be sexually and spiritually and practically liberated. Bastian and Nicole are teens who have command the awesome power of the NeverEnding Story and of the Auryn. And the Childlike Empress--well, I could go on for ages about the Childlike Empress. Likewise, Laz and Lor always get the better of their elders.

This, actually, is where my interest in incest comes from: with these radically autonomized figures no real problematization of consent is possible, an argument I make more fully in this post from 2006. But don't feel like you have to write incest if you've matched up with me on The NeverEnding Story or Heinlein (although, really, Laz/Lor is canon, no?); I'd much prefer experiencing the characters as you see them behaving in-character as you see them than twisted out of shape to force them into bed with each other. The most important thing is to preserve the canon dynamics--I have my trusty 'cest goggles for everything else. Although if you throw me a bone in making it subtexty, that's wonderful too. But there is a way in (my corners of, I don't know whence you hail) fandom that we use sex as a metaphor for emotional intimacy, so that incest becomes the deepest, strongest type of interpersonal communion imaginable (with the platonic ideal being, ultimately, twincest)--and this is the dynamic I'm looking for with Bastian/Nicole or Laz/Lor if you go down that route, a demonstration that their strongest bond (or, at least, an exceptionally strong bond) is to each other, and if you feel most comfortable providing that bond in a non-sexual way that's still absolutely wonderful.

Beyond that, I like to think I'm easy to write for. I have few squicks--I'm fine with character death, BDSM, mpreg, dubcon, noncon, chan, incest (obviously, given the above, and in both the fluffy and dirtybadwrong versions, although I prefer fluffy for sibcest), you name it, I'm probably okay with it. Just please no bashing of my favorite characters, and only break up pairings if you're going to put the characters back together again in a combination that fits my requests. Happy, uplifting fics are good, but so are soul-crushingly depressing ones so long as the pairings and characters get to be awesome. Ambivalent fics where we're not sure whether we should cheer or cry are probably best of all. If I didn't like existentialism and pseudo-nihilism in my fic, I wouldn't be a Joss Whedon fan.

Fandom: Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego?
Characters: Carmen Sandiego/the Player
Request: The story of a young girl and an artificial intelligence, of passion and obsession, of love and war, of crime and detection, and of a computer game which is ultimately so much more.
In Where on Earth I'm fascinated by the way that the relationship between the Player and Carmen so easily reads as slashy, and by the level of investment they've each placed in their antagonism. I'm interested in finding out more about the way in which Player relates to what is essentially a character in a video game, and the way in which Carmen, as a liminal entity, relates to the Player. And I'm interested, although significantly less so than I am in character issues, in how the whole edifice works on a meta-level: not only does Carmen herself recognize Player's existence in the framing scenes, but so do Zach, Ivy, and the Chief within the game/cartoon itself.

Nota Bene: Player was, at least in the early seasons, deliberately androgyne in the series--she is, on some level, Everyman--and was played by both male and female actors in the course of its run, but Player has always been female in my head, even before I myself had a sexuality as such. And one of the things I'm looking for is the shift from general to specific, away from Player as Everyman to Player as one specific young woman playing a video game with her own life story in need of telling. How is it this girl has ended up with a virtual nemesis who just happens to be able to pass the Turing Test? How is it that such richness as we saw in the show could be programmed into a simple game? Is it part of some experimental program? Did Carmen gain sentience through some freak accident? The show leaves so many storytelling possibilities open; pick one and run with it--although, again, I'm even more interested in Player's interiority than I am in the worldbuilding (but that doesn't mean the worldbuilding issues aren't fascinating!).

Fandom: Robert Shea & Robert Anton Wilson - The ILLUMINATUS! Trilogy
Character: Miss Portinari
Request: What is it like for a teenaged girl to be the spiritual leader of the Lief Erikson. Show me Miss Portinari being awesome.
I'm interested in learning more about Miss Portinari. She hits all my kinks, as noted above. Pretty much any point in canon would be great, although I would especially like to see some of Miss Portinari after Hagbard appoints her the spiritual leader, and setting it after the Lief Erikson becomes a spaceship in RAW's Schrodinger Cat trilogy would be awesome. (For some reason, I have this image of her being the spiritual leader of not only the ship, but also a planet named Fred. Don't ask me where that came from.) But finding out more about the time when she had just joined the crew of the Lief Erikson would be cool too. Basically I just want to see more of this very cool character we saw relatively little of in canon (and much of what we did see only in an appendix).

Fandom: Robert A. Heinlein - World-as-Myth multiverse
Characters: Lapus Lazuli Long/Lorelai Lee Long
Request: Laz and Lor, pwning the multiverse.
I have less to say about Heinlein. I love the books (my favorite book ever is Time Enough for Love), love all the characters but Laz and Lor most of all, and would cherish the chance to get to spend some more time with them, especially if it let the reader know them more intimately than in canon, which sometimes provided a view of the twins which was more superficial than not. I enjoy metafiction, if you want to play up the aspect, but mostly I just want to see Laz and Lor.

Fandom: The NeverEnding Story (movies)
Characters: Bastian Balthazar Bux/Childlike Empress/Nicole
Request: Tell me about these three after the third movie. Stepcest, het, femslash, or even a threesome all would be fine; so would gen, although I'd like to see some sense of Bastian and Nicole as hormonal teenagers.
After the third movie, Bastian and Nicole have used the Auryn to (in an ethically questionable, to say the least, move) rewrite the social dynamics of their school and still have access to The Neverending Story, albeit only as a reference book. They're on good terms with a being of virtually unlimited power. I'm interested in what happens next as Bastian and Nicole navigate their step-siblingship and their high school experience (and feel free to set it any point of their teenagerdom past the third movie; if you're more comfortable writing them as 18-year-old high school seniors, that's fine).

The third movie was, essentially, a romance between Bastian and Nicole, in the way that the film version of Matilda is a romance between Matilda and Miss Honey. (Seriously, I can't be the only one who watched the scene in the rain shown in the image to the right and wanted to yell at the screen for them to kiss.) So it provides us with an ideal of romantic siblingship (as a parallel to romantic friendship), which may or may not be sexual (although the fact of the matter is they are meeting for the first time as teenagers; it's hard for me to believe their thoughts would be completely chaste, assuming they're both heterosexual). This is set up as a deliberate foil to Bastian's relationship with the Empress, which is essentially a reproductive parable in the first movie (he instills her grain of sand with the vital power of his imagination!), and is played in the third as some type of coquettish flirtation. (IDEK.) I'd like to see these relationships respected or even intensified; it's their strength that really appeals to me in this movie (which, let's face it, is otherwise littered with flaws).

Of course, there is a great gulf in characterization between the flawless portrayal of regal innocence by 11-year-old Tami Stronach in the first film and the Valley Girl with a British accent that we get from 21-year-old (!!) Julie Cox in The NeverEnding Story III (which should not be read as a criticism of Cox, who is sublime in Children of Dune--she's simply somewhat miscast as well as being badly written and directed), so go with whatever characterization works for your story. (Also, I saw III before the other two movies or reading the book, at the age of fourteen or fifteen, so you can understand why I have love for a movie that's admittedly not a great piece of work, and why I've had a crush on the Childlike Empress for as long as I've known who she was.)

I'd especially love to see Nicole and the Empress actually get to meet, to see how the two most important women in Bastian's life react to each other.

One last thought: any sexual experience between Bastian or Nicole and one of the Nasties would, as far as I am concerned, be rape. Don't feel the need to shy away from the possibility as a storytelling option, but I would like the story to be cognizant of that fact if you choose to go there.

Thank you again for writing a story for me. Be true to your own muse, and I'm sure I'll love the result!

Yours in La Mancha,

Episkopos Reverend Alixtii O'Krul V, TRL
Church of St. Jesu the Heretic, Discordian

(no subject)

Date: 2009-11-12 11:27 pm (UTC)
waywren: Artemis and Luna, being their adorable selves. (lovecats)
From: [personal profile] waywren
Dang, now I wish I HAD signed up for Illuminatus!--but I haven't read it in years. And I didn't get to see much of the Carmen Sandiego cartoon, which I now bitterly regret.

But after reading your letter, I now wish to add you to my circle. Is that terribly stalkerish? *nervous laugh*

(no subject)

Date: 2009-11-13 09:06 am (UTC)
waywren: (Default)
From: [personal profile] waywren
Yay! *does this*


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