alixtii: The OTW Logo. Text: "Fandom is My Fandom." (Fandom)
The notion of "transformational" versus "affirmative" fandoms found via this metafandom'd post by [personal profile] damned_colonial is really a genius ones. What those two posts only really begin to come to terms with in the comments, though, is just how affirmational much of female-dominated LJ/DW-located media fanfiction fandom really is.

Which isn't a bad thing in and of itself--I'm down with loving things, really--except when it begins functioning as a normative standard. But I remember just how often during the Diana Gabaldon affair and the discussions which followed, how often it was put forward that fanficcers were doing what we do out of love, as if that should matter somehow, and how problematic it was, this implication that it'd be right for us to be ashamed of what we do if we did it--when we do it--out of hate or anger or merely mild interest or simply because we can, that it's only because it's being done out of love that what we do is okay. And I really can't begin to describe just how damaging that seems to me, how pernicious I find the notion that really, fanfiction ought to be celebratory.

(Also how every year everyone angsts so much on whether their remixee for [ profile] remixredux will like the remix they write despite being repeatedly told that's not really the point.)

It's helpful, I think, to have names--and names which don't begin with "Cult of," although they do I think they map fairly neatly onto what in years past have been called the Cult of Nice and the Cult of Mean--for these strands of media fandom, because they better help understand the diversity of opinion on some subjects such as the role of warnings, about concrit, or about the appropriateness of writing fanfiction with/out (asking) permission. The affirmational school focuses on privileging authors (including fan authors of fanfic) and their feelings; the transformational school, on open discussion and critique.

If there's any doubt about my own allegience, it's with the latter school, which has a wonderful history of producing such wonderfully rich, "thick" (in the litcrit sense) texts such as [personal profile] helenish's Take Off Clothes as Directed which subverts assumption about the use of BDSM as a fanfic trope, or these stories which do something similar with genderswap tropes, or the hilariously wonderful J2 fic Common Knowledge. (Recs for more fics with fall more on the transformative rather than affirmational side of fandom are totally welcome in the comments.)

These do not really seem to be, insofar as I can tell, particularly gendered phenomenon, no matter how much we might like to wave them off as being such. (It's interesting to look at how our instinctive gendering of the Cult of Mean/Cult of Nice divide and of the Affirmational/Transformative divide are actually completely opposite.)

This seems to me to be linked somehow also to this meme of "Fandom is my fandom": the notion that insofar as (what we have been calling) transformative fandom is affirmational, it's affirmational not of a text or an author but of a community readers who are also authors (and vice versa), a group of online contacts, and perhaps most of all a set of values which promotes dialogue and dicussion, critical response and critique, and, well, transformation.

ETA: For some background/context on the Cult of Nice/Cult of Mean discussions, see this post by [personal profile] synecdochic.


Mar. 7th, 2010 10:05 pm
alixtii: Mac and Cassidy. Text: "*squee!* (Cindy Mackenzie)
I have a whole collection of links and memes I wanted to post, but I'm on my way out the door, so I'll simply post what I'd consider the most important: [personal profile] yvi is considering running a Buffyverse RPG on Dreamwidth. That's something I've always wanted to participate in, so if you're interested, check out this post with a poll looking for input.
alixtii: Dawn Summers, w/ books and candles. Image from when Michelle hosted that ghost show. Text: "Dawn Summers / High Watcher. (Dawn)
Four years ago on this date, I created my LJ.

For some of the greatest hits of the Tradëscan Codex, see last year's LJ-versary post. For a comprehensive fannish biography of Alixtii O'Krul V, see my Fanlore user page.

For four years, this LJ has been an integral part of my life. Some of you I've even known longer than that, whether from the time I was reading LJ before creating a journal of my own, from the time I spent at or the City of Angel boards, or offline in high school or college. ([ profile] ladyphoenixmage still wins the award, though, since I've known her over half my life.) I love you all and I thank you sincerely for bringing me so much porn joy these last four years. Here's for another four and beyond, whether here on LJ or on some other vehicle.

I do plan on getting a Dreamwidth account at the end of the month. This promises to be a time of heavy turmoil for me in my personal life, though, so I'm not sure how I'm going to use it. If I have the time, I'd like to create a filter on LJ for mutually friended friends who haven't navigated over so I can still read flocked posts, then read everyone else from over there while crossposting. But I might be forced to stay put out of necessity.

I've been spending some time lately re-reading some of the great chaptered fics I've encountered during my time in fandom, so I'm going to use this space for recs. These are all at least moderately long, plotty, and fun, with healthy helpings of the will-to-power. Some are pulpish with occasional lapses into OOC-ness; others really are deathless prose. They all always reward a re-read for me, though, so I thought I'd share the list as part of the anniversary celebrations. A lot of these count as classics, or at least should, but it's possible that not everybody knows about all of them.

the list )

Today's also Good Friday, so here's a link to my Good Friday ficlet "Mystery." And here's the audiofic version.
alixtii: The potential Slayers. Prominent in the icon are Kennedy and Amanda, although many more are seen. (potentials)
The alt text of this xkcd really made me laugh.

. . .

Sugar and Spices and Explosive Devices, D.E.B.S. Lucy and Scud's backstory, with a coda with Lucy and Amy. Fits perfectly into canon, capturing the tone and characterizations perfectly.

Stepmotherhood, Into the Woods. Cinderella learns to manage in their strange makeshift family.

iDo Lunch With Freddie, iCarly. My brother watches this show, I don't know why, possibly to mock. Anyway, Sam's by far my favorite character, and this fic catches her voice perfectly, while respecting the social dynamics of the trio and making all three of the main characters more three-dimensional than they are on the show.

und mit Geistesstärke tu ich Wunder auch, The Time-Traveler's Wife. Oh, Alba. You hit my (non-sexual) kinks so hard.
alixtii: Player from <i>Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego?</i> playing the game. (Default)
Consider a Box, T, intersecting a Circle, O Heinlein's World-as-Myth multiverse. I don't want to spoil the crossover if you can't figure it out from the title--although I will say I positively squeed when I realized who Lib was talking to--but even before the crossover happens this is a wonderful piece, with a great use of the canonical voices and characters, the fun self-indulgence of Heinlein's later work, biting satire, and delicious meta. It helps that the author grounds it in the Cambridge, Mass. of our world or a close analogue--it's the little details that really make the story.

Cartograpy, A Little Princess. A missing scene from Ram Dass's POV which does many things--fills in backstory, provides insight into the perspective of a minor character (and a character of color) from the story, and evokes a wonderfully appropriate mood--but does everything naturally and organically.

Silver Bells and Cockle Shells, The Secret Garden. Mary/Dickon. Some beautiful imagery: Her Garden. Dickon. They are linked for Mary, just like the secret room and Colin, the nursery and Martha, long strands of pearls and her mother's fading face. Mary is associative by nature; she remembers in pairs, in groups, and Dickon cannot be separated by her dotted landscapes, cannot be removed from crocus bulbs and the smell of freshly turned earth.

If Only for Today, Ultimate Spider-Man. Jessica and Peter spend Christmas together. Remember how I've been wanting a fic like this ever since I read Ultimate Clone Saga? Nice supporting roles from May, MJ, and clone!Gwen too.

I'll take it, it'll do, Arcadia. Preserving the Thomasina/Septimus OTP is really all that's needed for me to fall in love with an Arcadia fic, but this has a premise I haven't seen before which lets the author go to new places with the characters. And now I'm envisioning a Thomasina played by Amanda Seyfried, and there's no bad there.

Warmth out of the Cold, Matilda, Matilda/Miss Honey. Brief but sweet.

just one look and now you'll be seeing double, High School Musical RPF. Zac E./Vanessa H./Ashley T. I've never seen HSM, and I only have the vaguest notion of who these people are (I gave last initials because I'm not positive what their last names are); if you gave a photo of all three of them I think I could tell you which is which, because if I'm not mistaken one is a blonde, one is a brunette, and one is a boy. But young love and a m/f/f threesome is never bad.

Sapphism is Catching, The Importance of Being Earnest. A very brief treat, but the prose is perfect for the fandom.
alixtii: Player from <i>Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego?</i> playing the game. (Sarah Connor Chronicels)
I think this is sufficiently different from previous years' to justify posting: 12 Days Graphic )

Um, that last one (Cameron in a Firefly, for those who haven't clicked on the cut) . . . yum. Someone needs to write Cameron on Serenity. Especially if there could be River/Cameron femslash. Guh.

While I'm sort of on the subject, let me point people to [ profile] ithiliana's Twelve Days of Fandom.
alixtii: Player from <i>Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego?</i> playing the game. (Default)
Well, it also not only fails the Bechdel test so badly that it not not passes it but flunks it so badly it could be sleeping with the professor and still not manage a D. Which is a function of the fact that there are only four speaking parts (at least so far) in the whole thing (and NPH, Nathan, and Felicia are all perfect for the roles)--but explaining away the individual situation is always a bingo card response.

So it comes down to me that it's all about a pattern--Whedon has a good track record on feminist issues and a lousy one on race issues. After Buffy and its (admittedly multi-faceted and contradictory and self-problematizing) messages of female empowerment, and Angel and Firefly with their wonderful female characters in their ensembles even if the protagonists are male (and Firefly/Serenity is ultimately River's story at least as much as Mal's), not to mention Astonishing and Sugarshock (which I still have not read) and Runaways (which Amazon tells me is in the mail!), it's okay to me that he's telling a story with only one female character, and one who is essentially a prize to be won at that (although Felicia plays Penny wonderfully).

"This is the story I wanted to tell," is a bingo card response not because we shouldn't be telling stories like that (I mean, there are times when I think romcom formulas can be doing actual damage, but I'm not sure this one), but because it sidesteps the issue of why other stories aren't being told. The answer is always pluralism, more voices at the table, not less. Because I have a love for stories like Dr. Horrible, too, I've pretty much spent the entire time since I've gotten home work in tears, first crying through The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement and then through Superman: Doomsday, so the traditional stories are able to affect me in ways that are near and dear to my heart.

Dr. Horrible is so short--about the length of a single (non-musical) episode of Buffy--and simple that I don't think there's really enough to hang a critique on. OTOH, neither does it suddenly earn him points or turn over a new leaf when he should be working to do so. Luckily for me from my position of privilege, I can roll my eyes and just groan, "Oh, Joss" at just how white the show is and go on loving the show (almost three hours until the denouement!--how will I go on after there is no more left to look forward to?)--but not everyone is so lucky.

. . .

So once the canon is closed (or at least flat-lined, if one will be treating Commentary! as canon, which I probably won't be 'cept for RPF), and the possibility of being jossed eliminated, what Dr. Horrible femslash should I work on?

[Poll #1225918]

ETA: I forgot to put Who on the list! I really want a Dr. Horrible/Torchwood crossover. I mean, like, badly.
alixtii: Player from <i>Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego?</i> playing the game. (Default)
It always amuses me to watch people kneel to an empty tabernacle.

. . .

Other than that, I still don't have much to say; there's no ficlet (yet; maybe next year, but I doubt I'm going to have inspiration in the next two hours for this year) for Holy Thursday and I can't say I'm feeling particularly spiritual. Hopefully I'll get to watch Jesus Christ Superstar tomorrow to fix that. I was thinking I might make a post about why I find that musical so spiritually fulfilling, but I don't think I'll have the time or energy to make the post.

I will be seeing [ profile] ladyphoenixmage tomorrow, though, so yay about that! And I'll get to give her back her comics trades (a couple of New X-Mens, Morrison run, trades that really aren't worth my buying since their Cuckoo content is minimal but which I was glad I got to read) which makes me happy because it makes me uncomfortable having responsibility for them.

. . . I forgot to ask her if she wanted anything in return. Well, I'll just show up with what I think she'd be interested in. Astonishing, probably.

. . .

Fic rec: Phallocentric, by [ profile] mmmchelle. SGA, John/Rodney. Rodney can't let John suck his dick, because it's a phallocentric sex act which means their sexuality has been warped by the patriarchy. Or not.

I love how these characters (their fanonical versions, at least) lend themselves so well to this sort of meta-point-making fic. Porn (well, the lead up to offscreen porn, at least) in defense of porn, slash in defense of slash--what's better than that?
alixtii: Player from <i>Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego?</i> playing the game. (Default)

[ profile] 3_ships fics are up here! If somehow, despite the incredible difficulty of such a task, guess which one I wrote, go here and tell me and I'll write you some amount of fic. Full rules to be found at the linked post.

Written for me was Tea Party (We're All Mad Here), a Keith/Veronica/Mac that might just be the best thing I've ever read, ever. It's absolutely amazing and I can't recommend you read it strongly enough, assuming the presence of father/daughter 'cest doesn't send you running away (and it's not exactly fluffy 'cest, either).

More Recs

Jan. 1st, 2008 11:10 am
alixtii: Player from <i>Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego?</i> playing the game. (Default)
I Friend You, You Friend Him, Hercules the Legendary Journeys. The 'verse was always able to use deliberate anachronism to produce a wonderful blend of meta and humor, and this much-recced fic does the same here.

The First Twelve, Twelfth Night. Sometimes you want Orsino/Cesario genderfuck which intelligently responds to the gender issues of the play. For everything else, there's hot Olivia/Viola. This fic is for when you actually need the former.

Also, I want to rec [ profile] pearl_o's fic posts here and here, which are in some bandom fandom or other with characters with whom I am not familiar at all (and you might not be either, which is why I'm reccing it despite it being on my flist, because it's more than worth reading if you share my kinks), but it's underaged het incest genderswap, with the second one taking the genderfuck to the next level, and it's all so incredibly awesome as a universe. 3 paragraph excerpt, from the middle of the first post )
alixtii: Player from <i>Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego?</i> playing the game. (Default)
Natural Theology, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. "X doesn't believe in Fred, but Henrietta's not given up hope. [. . .] there is a Fred. There must be. [. . .] there's a Fred because there's love. and that's the surest sign." Meta and moving at the same time.

Sea Legs, Narnia. Just a moment, really, but it captures part of what I love about Narnia, the way the kids take on such wisdom and responsibility. Will-to-powery.

Q & A, Batman Begins. Fairly intricately rendered fic which brings in various comicsverse minor characters.
alixtii: Mal and Kaylee, from Serenity the Movie. Text: "I Love My Captain." (Mal/Kaylee)
Temptations and Sins, Big Love. Nikki/Sarah. So hot.

The Teenage Queen, the Loaded Gun, Runaways. I was never a huge fan of Chase or Chase/Gert (except insofar as I like Gert and want her to be happy) in canon, but this is just heartbreaking.

Document 32 from the Russel Collection, on loan from the Franklin Institute, Have Spacesuit--Will Travel. An older, professional Peewee writes a letter to Kip. Awesome and sad at the same time, but a great extrapolation from canon.

He did what?, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. Some of RAH's attempts at worldbuilding are better than others; Mistress is clearly one of the better ones, and the story builds with that well here, extrapolating and expanding the universe in a fragmented attempt on the part of Mannie and the Loonies to reconstruct Prof's life story.

Some Origins of the Fire, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. Wyoh's story--and a perspective on Heinlein's universe RAH would never have been able to provide.

Where the Air is Clear, Mary Poppins. Sweet and sad and with a sense of wonder, drawing on canon but giving it a twist.
alixtii: Player from <i>Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego?</i> playing the game. (Default)

The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down, Who Framed Roger Rabbit? metafic. Jessica Rabbit is accused of the murder of Lara Croft. A twenty-first century expansion on the movie's worldbuilding. (Although there's a moment with Princess Jasmine and the hookah from Alice that reads racially iffy to me.)

Further Notes on Botanical Discoveries, Arcadia. Play structure, with three scenes, one with Hannah, Chloe, and Valentine, the other with Thomasina and Septimus (OTP!), then back to the present day again only to converge, like in the play. Contains the line "Continental philosophy is its own very special brand of teenage rebellion."

How to Change the World Without Even Trying, Terminator, between the first and second movies. Exactly what I imagine it was like for John to be on his own.

the end of the world as we know it, Terminator, after the third movie.

Seven Layer Confusion CakeShe's the Man. This is the fic I desperately wanted after seeing the movie. Okay, to be honest, I want Olivia/Viola/Sebastian but even without added twincest Olivia/Viola is something to be loved.

Kiss the Girl, She's the Man. Short, a Yuletide Treat, but there's no such thing as too much Olivia/Viola.

Summer Sang in Me, Twelfth Night. Missing scene while Viola was still pretending to be Cesario. 

Why Sex Ed Should Stay in SchoolsSesame Street. "The lab said that boys and girls need to know what happens to their bodies when they get older, and since they can't talk about it in the schools, we Muppets are going to step in and help out."

alixtii: Avril Lavigne, wearing glasses, from the liner notes of "Let Go." Text: "Geek." (geek)
The comments to Scalzi's post on OTW actually turned intelligent again (thank the Lord!) after that hetero/sexist detour I posted about previously, and have well and truly broken the 500-comment mark at this point. (I can count on one hand the number of times I've broken the 50-comment mark and have had my threads collapse.) But I've seen, here and there, references to a post about Heinlein where the comments were also nearing the 500-comment mark, and being the huge fan of Heinlein that I am, I went over to read. It's here.

I haven't read the comments yet, but the post itself is fantastic. I don't always agree with it;Scalzi seems (at best) ambivalent as to whether Heinlein was a sexist (and other things), and I can't really accept that, although I'll concede that trying to construct the author-function based solely on the published fiction is a more difficult prospect than it seems, because one quite quickly finds oneself coming up against a wall of unreliability: yes, a lot of his point-of-view characters sound alike (hardly a bad thing, IMHO, since the voice is so engaging) and it's tempting to assume they're all mouthpieces for Heinlein, but the fact of the matter is that Maureen Johnson and Lazarus Long hold differing positions (assuming one can trust them to be espousing the positions they actually believe in, which is always iffy with Lazarus) on any number of issues, and Heinlein undermines his narrators' reliability in other ways as well.

None of this means that Heinlein wasn't a sexist bastard. (I think other accusations, such as heterosexism and racism, are fair but more subtle-- he embraced his sexism wholeheartedly.) Just that texts don't speak with moral voices, as I might have mentioned before in this journal?

(If you have an hour, I'll give you my reading of Atlas Shrugged as advocating Rortian liberalism.)

Anyway, read Scalzi's post. It's intelligent and powerful--just like Heinlein at his best.

ETA: Note also that my favorite Heinlein books are the later ones--Time Enough for Love through To Sail Beyond the Sunset. I asked for Laz/Lor for [ profile] yuletide. And I like the Starship Troopers film too--but then, you already know I'm not a purist.


Oct. 6th, 2007 05:19 pm
alixtii: Mary Magdalene washing the face of Jesus of Nazareth, from the film production of Jesus Christ Superstar. (religion)

Fandom is a-flare with Yuletide excitement!

Part of me thinks that [ profile] yuletide is not the sort of thing that needs pimping--in some ways, it is the ficathon, my flist is crazy with posts talking about what they signed up for or what they will sign up for. But also, it occurs to me that some of the people on my flist who are here because they know me from high school or college or who are otherwise on the outer limits of fandom might be interested in playing along. Because the exchange focuses on "obscure" fandoms--from Homer to Shakespeare to Austen, from Orson Welles to Stanley Kubrick, from lyric poems to webcomics--it tends to have a more "literary" feel. The stories don't always "read like fanfic" (whatever that would mean), so if there's something about fan culture or the typical tropes of fanfiction that keeps you away, that needn't be a problem. And plenty of the fandoms are in the public domain, if that's been worrying you.

Maybe you shudder at the thought of writing a sappy sex story about Buffy and Angel (and fanfic has much more to offer than just that, but that's a different conversation for a different day) and run screaming from Mary Sues. (Maybe you have no idea what a Mary Sue even is.) Then maybe a Sherlock Holmes pastiche is more up your alley. Or a look at what a few characters from Shakespeare were doing off-stage. An introspective piece about Baudelaire's childhood. A revisioning of a beloved tale from your childhood. Take a look at the fandoms in play and see if there isn't something that is to your taste, something you'd really like to read or to write. It's a diverse and ecclectic list, and I'm willing to be that there's something on there for everyone.

Come join the fun!

alixtii: Avril Lavigne, wearing glasses, from the liner notes of "Let Go." Text: "Geek." (geek)
The Guild, the web series about gamers created by, written by, produced by, and starring Felicia Day, has posted its third installment to YouTube. So awesome, people.

embedded )


"Codex, Slayer of Masculinity."

ETA: Oh! And her blog is pretty cool too. All in all, Felicia's even geekier than Vi is. (She has a new cat named Speedbump. Adorable.)

ETA2: OMG, pic with glasses on under the cut!

there is a picture of a young woman wearing glasses underneath this somewhat self-referential LJ-cut )
alixtii: Ult!Kitty looks away sulkily as Ult!Spidey pays attention to Ult!MJ. From a cover of Ultimate Spiderman. (X-Men)
The claim post for the femslash community [ profile] innumerablehues has been up for a couple of days now, and there are still a few great prompts left to claim--including all four of the awesome prompts I suggested. So go over there and sign up to write fic!
alixtii: Kitty and Emma un/dressing. From AXM, "Gifted." (femslash)
Apparently claims start today (Monday) for [ profile] innumerablehues, a femslash community on the model of [ profile] slashfest (of which I've never heard before, but maybe you have). I got my prompts in just before midnight (not realizing the deadline was quite so close when I did so), putting forth Fred/Kitty, Cally/Kara (Thrace, not Zor-El)*, Martha/Reinette, and Ace/Kaylee as prompts.

Presumably the claim post will be up sometime in the next 24 hours or so--hopefully I'll remember to link to it when it does go up--and you can promise to write these for me. And then we all win.

*Although now I want Specialist Cally/Supergirl fic too.
alixtii: Mary Magdalene washing the face of Jesus of Nazareth, from the film production of Jesus Christ Superstar. (religion)
I want to link to this post, "Christians are. . . .", by [ profile] lottelita, which perfectly sums up my thoughts on what Christianity is and is not:
"The Bible does not 'define' the beliefs and behaviors that constitute Christianity. First of all, texts are meaningless without interpretation in a personal and social context. Literary theory, people: It's not just for deconstructionists anymore.

[. . .]

As far as I'm concerned, if people say they're Christian, they're Christian."

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