alixtii: Player from <i>Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego?</i> playing the game. (Default)
[personal profile] alixtii
(N.B.: Portions of this letter have been lifted from previous years' letters: 2010 2009 2008 2007.)

Thank you for signing up to write a story for me! You're one of 4 people who offered to write for Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego? and/or one of [x] people who offered to write for The ILLUMINATUS! Trilogy , and I love you for that alone. It looks like I was the only one to offer for Tart, sadly, but I'll leave that part of my letter in too in case you decide you'd like to give that a try, or you are a pinch hitter or a treats writer. (The movie's available for free on Hulu, and is embedded below.)

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.

As you can probably tell from my requests, I'm interested in female characters--in particular, adolescent female characters with agency--and the relationships between them. 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).

There is a clear "will-to-poweriness"--a type of adolescent fantasy of sorts--in Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego? that I love, 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.

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: a girl who is both a teen and the spiritual leader of the Lief Erikson, commanding a position of authority and respect while being sexually and spiritually and practically liberated. (Also I sort of love that she is always referred to using the honorific, even if that means we don't know her first name. Assuming of course that her given name isn't actually "Miss"--which I think is a fairly safe assumption to make, especially given her Catholic parents and the fact she was born prior to the Second Vatican Council.) Talk about being will-to-powery!

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: Tart
Characters: Cat Storm/Eloise Logan/Grace Bailey/Heather von Strum
Request: More of the girls' interactions, please, as femslashy as possible.
This movie frustrated me, because it spends the first two acts focusing on Cat's relationships with her peers, including some majorly femslashy scenes, and then MASSIVE SPOILER happens and--Cat reconnects with her mother? It felt as if the ending was the resolution to some OTHER movie about a girl and her mother, not the one I'd actually been watching. I don't necessarily expect you to provide the resolution the movie didn't, but I would like some further exploration of the relationship dynamics between the girls. How does Cat get through school after the movie ends? Is she able to repair her relationships with the other girls? Can Grace get over her prejudices? Is Eloise really a lesbian?

Note that while the movie is Cat-centric, she doesn't need to be the protagonist of your fic; I'm interested in the relationships between all the girls more or less equally. Either femslash (up to and including explicit PWP) or subtexty gen (you know, like the ostensibly platonic naked hug in the screencap to the right--you can never have too many naked hugs!) is fine. Het (again, up to and including explicit porn) is too, as long as the relationships between the girls are addressed as well. Crossovers are okay, if you have the undeniable urge to have Cat turn out to be a Vampire Slayer and have Grace come from a long line of Watchers, or have Eloise be recruited by the Stargate program, so long as it doesn't overwhelm the fic and distract from the relationships between the girls.



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,



[archiveofourown.org profile] alixtii/ [personal profile] alixtii/ [livejournal.com profile] alixtii
Alixtii O'Krul

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Date: 2011-12-25 05:39 am (UTC)
100indecisions: (Default)
From: [personal profile] 100indecisions
I'm not your Yulegoat (obviously, or I wouldn't be writing this now), I just came across your prompts in Yuletide Madness, but can I just say I love you for the Carmen Sandiego prompt? Fic being written for fandoms like that is one of my favorite things about Yuletide anyway, but the academic approach you're taking to it is fantastic. I don't know, I'm just a huge academic nerd too and there's very little I love more than applying these kinds of ideas to really, um, unconventional texts. Especially games. Well, really anything pop-culture that almost none of my grad-school professors would consider a text, but especially games.

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