alixtii: Princess Leia of Hungary from The Black Adder. (Princess)
[personal profile] alixtii
(N.B.: Portions of this letter have been lifted from previous years' letters: 2009 2008 2007.)

Thank you for signing up to write a story for me! You're one of 15 people who offered to write for The Black Adder and/or one of 3 people who offered to write for Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego?, and I love you for that alone. It doesn't look like anyone offered to write The ILLUMINATUS! Trilogy for me this year, sadly, but I'll leave that part of my letter in too in case you decide you'd like to give that a try (the book's only 800 pages! and you can find excerpts here), or you are a pinch hitter or a treats writer.

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] yuletidestory 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. (Also I sort of love that she is always referred to using honorific, even if that means we don't know her first name.) Leia is a princess and a married woman, treated in many ways as an adult, even if at the same time she exists in a society which trades her as property. I talk more about my love of radically autonomous young female characters in this post from 2006 and provide more examples of the specific dynamic I like and why I think it rings for me; I go on to talk about incest, but since that's not relevant for any of my requests this year you can feel free to ignore that part.

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--you name it, I'm probably okay with it. Just please no bashing of my favorite characters. 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, 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.

Feel free to age up Player to college age or her mid-twenties if that makes more sense in terms of what you are doing with her in the fic (for example, if she's a researcher on a computer science development project).

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. (Presumably you would give her an actual name as well.) 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: The ILLUMINATUS! Trilogy - Robert Shea & Robert Anton Wilson
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 and wise and a teeanager (with a sex drive) and having fun all while she's at it.
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 just 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 that the Lief Erikson is in orbit around. 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.

What is it like to have reached enlightenment when your body is still changing and being flooded by hormones--and where do you go from there, when you still have the rest of your life in front of you? (Apparently, in the universe next door she visits a man in prison.) How does she interact with the rest of the crew, before and/or after her appointment as episkopos? (We know George Dorn was intimidated by her immediately after her elevation.) Does she miss the company of other people her age? What is her relationship with Hagbard? We know from the appendix that she and Hagbard occasionally have sex (but "never became lovers"); does she have any other partners, and how does she approach those relationships? 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), taking control not only of her own life, but being responsible for the spiritual well-being of an entire submarine.

Fandom: Blackadder
Character: Princess Leia of Hungary
Request: Leia, after her marriage to Edmund Duke of Edinburgh, before and/or after his death. Show me her navigating her roles both as a married (and/or widowed) royal princess (or queen, technically, at the end of the series--but she might not want to publicize that fact!) and as a little kid who needs (or at least wants) a bedtime story, and/or as a teenager. (Wikipedia calculates her age as 14 at the end of the series.)
I remember watching The Black Adder for the first time about a year and a half ago. I instead fell in love with the plots and dialogue taken right out of Shakespeare, the War of the Roses milieu, and the vividness of the characterizations--not to mention the unrestrained earnestness of the whole thing. (I was mostly disappointed by the more sit-commy nature of the subsequent series, since I'm really not a fan of that sort of humor.)

For my fic, I'd like something focusing on Princess Leia of Hungary, the childbride of Edmund Duke of Edinburgh (the eponymous "Black Adder"). While Edmund and Leia's relationship is certainly not a marriage of equals, even with Edmund's general incompetence levelling the playing field somewhat, and they're clearly not in love with each other, there is still a sense nonetheless in which their marriage is a real and genuine partnership, with the two members in the arrangement accepting the other for who they are, where they are, not who they'd like them to be, and then going from there--whether it is Edmund reading Leia a bedtime story or Leia visiting Edmund in prison prior to his scheduled execution. And it's absolutely true that in all their canonical interactions, Leia very much has the upper hand (just watch the way she drags him to the altar in the clip below!), not being prone to Edmund's Hamlet-like dithering.

Feel free to set your fic at any point after Leia and Edmund's marriage. What was it like for them to navigate their "marriage" and discover their roles in the first couple of weeks? What was their first Christmas like? Did they ever consummate their marriage? Does she have interactions with other people her age? Ladies-in-waiting?

What happpened to Leia after Edmund's death? Since he was King of England for a few seconds, she'd technically be a queen--but she might not want to publicize that fact under the reign of Henry Tudor. Would she go into hiding? Would she return to Hungary? (Does she even remember Hungary? She speaks with a British accent.) What if she were pregnant with Edmund's child--the rightful heir to the crown? What would happen then?

Or you could set the fic in the alternate timeline created by the modern-day Edmund Blackadder in Blackadder Back and Forth, where presumably our beloved Black Adder rules from the throne as Edmund I (allowing modern!Edmund to become Edmund III). Does modern!Edmund meet Leia, and if so, what does he make of her? How does Leia react to being the consort to the Sovereign while still being a teenager (not that she would have thought of herself that way)? Does she become the power behind the throne? How does her relationship with Edmund change? Does she become, as the Back and Forth closing theme puts it, "a queen who looks good naked"?

Most of all, I'd like a fic that shows Leia with agency, working within the historical context of the culture in which she was raised, which seeks to deny her her ability to self-determine due to her age and gender (but mostly her gender), in order to achieve her goals--whether those goals be political power (for herself and/or Edmund), sex, and/or some milk and cookies.

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

Yours in La Mancha,

[ profile] alixtii / [personal profile] alixtii / [ profile] alixtii
Episkopos Reverend Alixtii O'Krul V, TRL
Church of St. Jesu the Heretic, Discordian

(no subject)

Date: 2010-11-20 06:28 pm (UTC)
waywren: (Default)
From: [personal profile] waywren
I wish I had my copy of the omnibus around! I can't even remember Ms. Portinari, and that makes me sad.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-11-20 10:54 pm (UTC)
waywren: (Default)
From: [personal profile] waywren, I think that must've gone right over my head as a wee thinglet. But then, I was only 14, not nearly so five-y a number as 23. Ah well. I should find a new copy and see what I do with the mindfuck these days!


Date: 2012-12-23 09:59 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
for what it's worth, I wasn't at the presentation. but the sidels strike me as an excellent example (ha!) of leading by example; a reminder to the community from others in the community of things to look for.Here's the thing. It *sucks* for our community that the people who are currently left out (women and people-of-color are at the top of the list here) are the ones who have to point out that hey dudes, we're being left out here! It's *awesome* that @skud has the tenacity and patience to keep telling a room full of people who don't really want to see (the 80%/20% graphic is pretty strong evidence here) that they should pay attention, but it's really *our* job, the guys' job, to notice that this is missing.Complaining that her chastising is making you uncomfortable is sorta saying I was *happy* when I didn't realize how exclusionary I was being how dare you mess with my bubble! and all that is a variant of the Tone Argument derailment: how can you be so *mean*? @skud is not chastising . She's asking, rather politely and remarkably patiently, to be included. (Rage and calls to burn the fucker down would be completely justified, IMHO Stallman's behavior and the couchdb debacle being particular cases-in-point.)Identifying the specific behaviors is really above and beyond the call of duty the duty is mostly ours, as people-of-privilege but it's welcome, because those are specific things *we* can watch for, in ourselves and in our IRC conversations and lists.


Date: 2012-12-21 05:08 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Hackers are the reason LJ's been mnanulctiofing?"the belief in the sinister powers of the Russian government" ...I'll just wait for the Putin and/or Medvedev jokes to appear. Do you have a link to the Russian news site that reported it? I'd like to read the original article.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-01-01 11:42 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Well, I was totally blown away with that. I told my wife and she agreed. I would like to hear whatever else you have on this. Excellent!

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