cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (Default)
The other day in the shower I had an epiphany that I will never be able to ~move on from the unfinished novels that are contributing to my writer's block if I don't post them, so I got rid of the 8-year-old one and the 5-year-old one, both of which present practical difficulties that I haven't figured out yet. (And if you haven't figured out a plot snarl in 5 years, you probably won't.) And I do already feel a bit lighter, actually!

The first one was my original SGA Harlequin, actually started before the original Harlequin challenge and never finished in spite of all [personal profile] isilya's efforts. I got through the arranged marriage bit but then I kinda lost steam without writing the conflict. And the second one is a medieval Vampires vs Werewolves MCR AU. I'm still sad about this one - I loved the premise (which was inspired by header spelunking back in the day) and it was so fun. I bit off more politics and warfare and action than I could chew with the plot, though.

The Trophy Husband (18974 words) by cimorene
Fandom: Stargate: Atlantis
Relationships: Rodney McKay/John Sheppard

"I would marry you--actually get married to you--we would be spouses--"

"Yes, yes, yes, holy matrimony, husband and husband, yes."

"And in return you would pay for all the medical care my mother needed."

"I think that's the point. Yes."

"So we would get married, and then I would, what, I would be your wife?"

The Midnight Council (42323 words) by cimorene
Fandom: Bandom, My Chemical Romance
Relationships: Frank Iero/Gerard Way
Characters: Mama Way, Mikey Way
Gerard, the child of a forbidden love between vampire and werewolf, ascends the throne of werewolf clan Wajdra at the tender age of eleven. The political situation between the dwindling numbers of the werewolves and their ancient enemies, the vampires, is precarious at best, and when his vampire mother and brother retreat to Transylvania, the only one Gerard can truly trust is Frank, the little werewolf cub who swore himself Gerard's liegeman the very day that they met. Gerard and Frank are raised side-by-side in the castle in a political tinderbox, but as Gerard's coming-of-age approaches, a war between vampires and werewolves looms ever nearer, while humans encroaching on their territory threaten both with extinction.
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (determined)
After last week's chat with [ profile] bexless's lovely husband about Russell T. Davies and the future of Torchwood, last night I had a pretty amazing dream about it!

I dreamt that RTD left the show and they hired Joe Flanigan, Rachel Luttrell, and Jason Momoa, and made the show a crossover where they were still playing Sheppard, Teyla, and Ronon! The three of them had joined the main TW team in Cardiff, and in a shocking season finale, some completely unsuspected ninja bad guys walked up out of nowhere and assassinated Ronon right in front of the rest of the team's eyes as he was walking towards a building. It was like kind of mafia-ish. Sheppard and Teyla immediately called up Rodney, who was in North America working on Science still, and they went rogue/badass and set out to take the entire organization down - without the knowledge of the rest of the TW team, which was still just trying to find out what happened, not KILLKILLKILL.

(Wax pointed out that Jack would totally help, but he wasn't present in the dream - I think he was temporarily out when it happened, and Gwen was leading the team, which consisted of her, Tosh, Owen, and Martha. Man, I would love to watch that.) I didn't get to see the rest of the plot, though. They were actually all at a really fancy dinner gala when I woke up.
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (pastoral)
Last night I dreamed my 8th grade English teacher was in charge of a class that included me and all the fictional characters in media fandom, and she put me in a group with Ronon, Teyla, and Gwen from Merlin and then assigned us dust (literally: dust) as an essay topic. I was so pissed off that I started ranting at her - "I can't write an essay about DUST!" - but unfortunately for me, Ronon was laid-back and Gwen and Teyla were too nice, and kept saying they were sure it would be fine, while she assigned other groups topics such as Spaceballs and romance novels.

She wouldn't listen to me, and actually seemed kind of smug - although this particular teacher never did it, you know that way teachers do, when you're the ONLY one who ever has the answer, and they've just decided not to listen to you, as if it's your fault that nobody else will raise their hand and apparently nobody else even knows because they keep calling on other people who guess wrong, and then they finally tell someone else the answer, rather than calling on you at all, and then they're like "Look at my awesome teaching skills, I got someone other than Cim to give a shit" even though the person totally didn't give a shit, and when enlightened was just like "Duh, uh-huh".

ANYWAY, she was like that. And she refused to let us write about anything other than dust. Ronon pointed out that Rodney knows everything, so I asked Rodney to find some kind of tangential connection to something interesting, like big shiny machines. When I woke up, I was saying, "Like, a whatsitcalled collider thingummy, it bombards particles with other particles, right? And dust is particles, right? I mean, different particles, but dust must be involved somehow."
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (determined)
Here's a crazy thought I had today: original Star Trek was one of the best racially representative shows in science fiction tv. It certainly did better than TNG (the only black member one of 2 black regulars on the cast was a savage alien - extra points if you've reimagined aliens who originally allegorically represented the USSR as ultra-violent, hulking black guys with a tribal bent; the other's a blind sidekick, essentially, the way he's usually written as Data's bff, whose sole romantic encounter is with one of the vanishingly-few black women they meet! And Whoopi's Guinan is a magical, sexless, ALIEN negro who tells fortunes, provides motherly advice as well as sassy straight-talking, and wears a robey-muumuu thing that I'm pretty sure is also offensive) and DS9 (one Indian, one black guy who is essentially the governor of a huge-ass COLONY and a diplomat, but is somehow militarily ranked below Picard and Kirk; a bunch of aliens, but none of them dark-skinned; of the two newly-introduced races we have Bajorans who are white, and Cardassians who are PAINTED GREY but always played by white people!)

I believe Voyager had a black Vulcan and a North American native (as well as maybe an Asian cast member? Am I remembering that right?). BSG has some racial diversity from what I've seen (I've not watched it myself), but the Stargate franchise has always been pretty abysmal (Teal'c: he's black, alien, AND a magical negro! And let's not start on Ronon and Teyla's treatment in canon).

So I mean, essentially, race has not made progress in mainstream tv sf since 1964.
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (kinky!)
Slashiness vs Writing Quality Scatterplot #1
(Big version here)

Please click for the bigger version. This is based on data taken from two polls performed by [ profile] thefourthvine, with the data in my tables taken out on 22 Feb 2009.

This plot follows the same format as my earlier graph here, which, of course, did not have any Science behind it, only me squinting at the screen and placing the dots by the seat of my pants. I've reversed the axes in this one, however, so that better-written canons are at the top of the graph and gayer ones to the right this time. I prefer placing slashiness and quality on the two axes so that there's one data point per show and one show per data point, which lets the interaction be more easily seen.

(ETA: The clearest example of skewing I see on the plot is Highlander. LOTR might be skewed, too, by people's childhood memories or something, I guess. But Highlander? Look at it! IT HAS THE SAME QUALITY SCORE AS SGA. I'm pretty sure that it's not just my personal... weirdness, or whatever, that wants to ROFL at that. SGA is bad, but it's not that bad.)

It should be noted that mean is only one measure of central tendency and, at these sample sizes - which is to say they're all rather small but they vary from fandom to fandom - it's important to look at the others as well. To that end, here is the table I used to generate the graph:

(big version here)

Median and mode (ie, the most popular rating) are just as interesting as mean in their own ways. Scanning down the standard deviation columns, a few of those numbers will jump out as extremely large, representing a much higher degree of disagreement on the rating in question: the slashiness of Supernatural (no surprise where the primary pairing is incest) and the quality of Merlin (I'm kind of at a loss for this one but there it is), for example.

It's well worth checking out the results in the two posts of [ profile] thefourthvine's where I took the data because you can easily see the bell curves for some questions, and distinguish others where the distribution shows much higher or lower consensus. (The Science of Slashiness & Moar Science!)

recent sga

5 Dec 2008 02:49 pm
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (pastoral)
Hey, did someone start a fest or movement in SGA fandom called something like, "Let's Ignore Recent Canon and Write Everything in Some Nebulous Past Era When Elizabeth Was in Charge?" Because there's a lot of that going around, seems like. Not that I'm against it, it's just a little. Surprising.
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (can he type?)
It's been a long time since any discussion made me as furiously angry as the comments in this post.

In case you're worried about your blood pressure, let me summarise the argument in advance:

Silly little women, SGA is about boys! If you wanted women to be treated with equal screentime/writing/dignity/quantity, you just came to the wrong show! Take your mean feminist critique out to the real world and quit harshing our blinkered homosocial squee! Also, more men have died on SGA than the total number of women who ever appeared in more than one episode, so it's totally not sexist at all!

cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (you know what)
I had a thought about the cross-fandom reappearances of certain characterisation tropes, or elements of characterisation, so that the badfic!fanon characterisation of Patrick in Fall Out Boy RPS resembles, to a significant degree but only in certain elements, what I once called the AngstyGothTeenie characterisation of Rodney McKay in SGA's bad/mediocre fanon (what I also might call the Wraithbait characterisation). (I don't mean to suggest that these stereotypical characterisations appear only in badfic, merely that they are most clearly and strongly repeated there - in, sort of, the fannish collective unconscious.)

There's been a lot of meta about the feminisation of one half of a slash pairing and its distribution throughout different fandoms over time, the heteronormativity inherent in that choice, and the inheritance, especially in early slash, from the traditional romance genre. But I don't even want to necessarily call this particular modern phenomenon feminisation, although there is no doubt a connection to that. I want to talk about making a character emotionally/physically insecure and needy, clingy, passive-aggressive, etc. To call these traits inherently "feminine" is undoubtedly offensive as well as inaccurate, but in the context of the traditions of the romance genre it can be argued that those traits are markers of the feminine role.

My thought was this: that the strongest concentration of Romance Heroine traits tends to cluster around the most popular fannish access character. )
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (Default)
i feel acutely my lack of fandom (read: arashi) participation over the last couple of weeks. ohmiya daily has been on hiatus because i ran out of capped ohmiya episodes and time for watching japanese reality tv on my own. i still love arashi! and you guys! and after my exam on monday i'm sure i will have some fandom time again.

in the meanwhile for stress relief i've been surfing delicious1 and reading stargate atlantis again. [ profile] isilya and [ profile] wax_jism have heard a bit of half-formed meta stewing in my brain about the phenomenal popularity of sheppard/mckay, which i think can be compared to no other fandom/OTP explosion in the past decade so germanely as to the qui-gon/obi-wan one after TPM (which was similarly popular and also based on a similarly slim foundation of canon).

1. procedure: click on a "also saved by n other people" link from your own page of bookmarks, preferably from a story you like a lot; the trick is not to pick a story that's been saved by too many other people. the best is one you like which isn't very popular and isn't by one of the authors whom everyone bookmarks; the incidence of their stuff is going to be high in any list of bookmarks, and it's not much use to you obviously, unless you've just discovered fandom this very instant. browse the comments/tags used by the other people who bookmarked it. click on the fandom/pairing tag of one of these users and skim their bookmarks for new reading material.

csi ny ) veronica mars ) and house was just as brilliant as everyone else is saying. i was somewhat disturbed by the fact, though, that the elder of the two guest stars bore a strong resemblance to my crazy conspiracy-theorist homophobic racist maternal grandfather. much more cultured accent though.

ooh, the new itunes has a slightly updated interface. i like it.

also, a couple of days ago i pouted until wax agreed to watch a bit of sherlock holmes with me. did you know that "the second stain" is "den andra fläcken" in swedish? it's great that their word for "stain" is the same as their word for "speck". it's one of my favourite film episodes because of the scene involving the titular stain when holmes and watson get my little rat boyfriend lestrade out of the room for about two minutes and holmes frantically examines every inch of the floor in his absence. also, holmes absent-mindedly sets the newspaper on fire at breakfast.

cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (Default)
tuesday 9amso it snowed on halloween, when wax had worn her completely inadequate little silk esprit sneakers to work out of irrational dislike for boots. by the time she came home that afternoon the snow had turned to rain and started forming the deadly half-malleable slush that sticks in the waves and whorls and track marks of people's footprints and freezes overnight. this is more than a month earlier than it snowed last year or the year before. i hope it doesn't melt enough for the ice to turn smooth and instead snows a lot more, and soon. it seems like it was barely a month ago i was wading through the snow to [ profile] emmuzka's little apartment in studentbyn with a bag full of dvds! i'd never have thought i'd come to love snow, after a fashion.

also, i have recently made the significant choice to switch from black to brown as a basic colour in my wardrobe, which is meaningless to wax, so i felt like i should share it with someone who would know what i was talking about. also also, does anyone want to rec me some source of sga recs (aside from the obvious big reccing communities either multifandom or sga-specific - it's not finding any at all that's the problem, it's finding a good one to start with; i don't want a huge comprehensive one, i'd prefer one kind of selective)?

ps. i don't think i ever mentioned that i have a new lj layout that's kind of gorgeous.
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (arrrgh brains)
uh, so, i seem to have started reading sga again, though only from links i find from other people (there's just no way i could go archive-wading again in a fandom that big). it's funny, but i have some old-fandom nostalgia and everything for it even though it hasn't even been a year since i stopped reading and watching it.

on the other hand, while i do dislike giant fandoms for the pure sake of their giantness, another factor which sends me away from them is the increased quantity of bad and mediocre which accompanies the increased quantity of good (and even more particularly the increased quantity of fanon, which is like the opposite of a kink for me - not even a pet peeve exactly, because my boundless fuming rage at fanon is really totally illogical and kind of hair-triggered - but doesn't persist in all fandoms since, like, you could never read highlander or the sentinel or tpm at all if you didn't like fanon sometimes). perhaps going from sga into small fandoms with much lower quality overall has let me regain some perspective, much the way even food you are getting a bit tired of (say, plain mashed potatoes) will seem like a good choice if the other dishes on the banquet table are those really gross fish things that nordic people like to serve for christmas (lax and sill, i think, but that's beside the point; you just have to know that i can only eat like a milligram of them at a time, even smothered in cream sauce).

my point, though i've digressed from it rather, is that in big fandoms there is so much fiction that if it were possible to rank all of it you could split the bell curve into 1/10ths and 1/100ths of a percent; whereas in tiny fandoms, distinctions of quality almost don't exist (and really don't seem to for most of the denizens) because there's so little to draw on that even if you force the grades into a curve the top six ranked stories might go below the mean quality. (and of course in other even smaller fandoms, there might not even be six stories total, but i haven't been reading in ones quite that tiny)(and of course, even if there's a total of 25 stories, which means the top six wouldn't go down to the mean, the sample's still small enough that it might be really improper to force them into a curve). the bigger the fandom, the better the mean story quality is likely to be (although i don't think that's a straightforward positive correlation at all). if you take "mediocre" to mean, say, 20th to 40th percentile, the high end of it is highly readable in a big fandom, whereas in a small one it likely suffers from multiple kinds of mechanical errors and unintentionally hilarious dangling modifiers (which, okay, is readable in the sense that you can read to the end of it, but by the end you're just wheezing with laughter, not taking the story-telling  seriously in any sense).

i can read from other people's recs, but my preferred method is to use those only as an introduction to a fandom; i'm a compulsive completist and never really feel right about it till i've been archive wading. so for my methods of reading, a fandom's size gets inconvenient as soon as it grows past the rate of fic-production that i can somewhat kinda keep up with reading. even if it's going to produce five reccable things a day and even if i had time to read all the bad and mediocre ones in between, the increased quantity of non-reccable will put me off. if it's five reccable things in, say, two weeks, and the accompanying twenty to forty unreccable things that go with them are stretched out over the same period of time, it's totally manageable. but if you prefer reading only from recs everywhere you go, a giant fandom is totally ideal; because you never have to touch anything below the mean quality (hypothetically, assuming reccers agreed about measures of quality, which i know is a counter-factual assumption).
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (i'm an ancient! i love chiffon!)
my baby made her first vid! i've always suspected she would have an uncommonly good sense of timing, given what i know of her voracious film-devouring habits and her film-based writing strategies. sadly, her practise exercise is done with a film i've never actually seen and therefore doesn't make much sense to me (that, and the vid is very visual and dancey). of course, it is still very pretty, because as she says, there's nothing wrong with paul walker and jessica alba in swimwear. you can be happily confused for four minutes or something. but the real significance of this event is that now she has taught herself to use final cut pro she will be able to make the real vids that we always talk about, but never make. she spent 20+ hours on this one, though, so i'm not planning to follow her into the abyss anytime soon.

also, we finally watched sga. i don't really have anything spoilery to say. i still like much of john's and rodney's dialogue (and ronon's), as well as teyla's abdomen, but i was bored for most of the episode. i didn't really like about half of season 2 very much anyway, and i think now the love is pretty much gone. however, i will still give it a shot next week as well. maybe i will like half of this season too.

meanwhile, i have already explained the premise of the slashy part of hikaru no go to [ profile] wax_jism and so far she has mocked it far less than she ever mocked prince of tennis. i don't know if this is because she is becoming accustomed to my anime habits, or because she finds melodrama about board games more plausible than melodrama about ballgames, or because the essence of the slash setup is easier to outline in a few sentences. also, a ghost is always a nice outward signifier of coolness.
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (huh?)
stargate: atlantis 2x16 )

completely OT: the girl who plays lucy in narnia seems, to me, to bear a slight resemblance to tori.
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (huh?)
i didn't rec this when [ profile] permetaform first posted it because by the time i saw it her bandwidth had already been used up, and that would have been a cruel tease.  but this is one of the best vids i've watched in this fandom (not that i'm a comprehensive watcher, but it's definitely a really really good vid).  the timing is absolutely exquisite, the storytelling is deft, and it's gorgeous--basically it's outstanding all around.

welcome home, by [ profile] permetaform.  atlantis and elizabeth, gen, set to a piece of gorgeous instrumental music from the soundtrack of boondock saints.  it can be downloaded from her journal.
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (arrrgh brains)
"this is the story i [pick one:  totally would write if i had more time;  have been dying for somebody else to write for me;  think would be really great but don't dare do and hope some other member of the fandom will take over for me;  dreamed up last night at a slash get-together while high on sugar and pot brownies; wrote in chat a few minutes ago and desired to share with you all the delicious crackedness of].

two paragraphs of rambly outline-story-thing )
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (bang)
i feel like coming out as a detester of crackfic.  it's somewhat ironic, actually, because i often enjoy badfic and read it for amusement.  and i've always liked crackfic before.  i enjoy it as crack and not as normal fic, but in general i've been fine with that.  what's been making me cranky lately is that i prefer real fic, dammit, and the ratio of crack:real is getting too high for me.  now i can't enjoy the crack properly because it's just boring by comparison to the real fic which i can wistfully imagine enjoying. 

i'm mostly talking about sga fandom, here, which is the one i'm principally involved in.  and my preferences are different in every fandom, so it's not like i've actually gone off crackfic as a whole.  but wow, am i past fed up with it here.

it may be that there's something specific about the canon that lowers my crack tolerance.  as i said, my preferences are different in every fandom.  i wonder if it has something to do with the hefty dose of fantasy that's already inherent in a canon that's stuffed with star trek-esque pseudoscience and has a very deep fount of potential deus ex machinae in the form of the ancients.  i love my pseudoscience and the mixture of fantasy and hard sf elements and the cynical contemporary reactions of the main characters when they're stuffed into these plots and situations.  i'm right there with everyone else on the coolness of the fact that, with this canon, you can believably pull off almost anything.  perhaps what makes it especially annoying in this fandom is that going even beyond canon's levels of improbability seems, to me... unnecessarily greedy.  i mean, it's so improbable already--can it be that your thirst for the improbable (or your reliance on the large wiggle room provided by the expansion of probability) is so great that the quantity of it in canon doesn't satisfy you? 
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (can he type?)
there was a tshirt making party.  wax didn't participate, and chi and i didn't end up getting shirts because emma's friend had ruined her silkscreen.  but fun was had anyway.  emma made a my little pony shirt and an sga crack!shirt and sugar made an oscar wilde shirt and a robyn hitchcock shirt (although the latter didn't turn out very well). 

tshirts and, uh, some cats. )
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (thattaway)
i might have been lying about the "stuff" in order to have three items in the title. 

anyway, everybody else has talked a lot about the various stupidities of weir's actions in general throughout the series, or just weir in a broader, not-just-actions sense, and also the other thing i want to mention, so i doubt this post will be anything new, but i just feel like ranting about it a little. )
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (pastoral)
[ profile] isilya: a momentary functional condensation of the SPACE
isilya: use that in a sga story!
cim: i keep THINKING about rodney
cim: doesn't that sound like sga pseudoscience?

ZELENKA: what the mobile phone does is actually alter the traditional spatial division as we know it!
RODNEY: see, traditionally, space is divided into centres and peripheries--
ZELENKA:--but by making a call on their mobile phone, mobile phone users ACTUALLY CREATE a momentary functional condensation of the space!
RODNEY: movement and functional condensation haven't created distinct forms for USE of mobile phones!  instead they've become part of the prevalent urban culture themselves!*

...i'm afraid i'm always going to hear social science bullshit narrated by rodney and zelenka now.  i can't decide whether this is a good thing or not.

*this is practically word-for-word from the actual book.  Read more... )


cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (Default)


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