beatrice_otter: A horserider with a glowing blue sword--from the cover of Robin McKinley's The Blue Sword (Blue Sword)

The Hugos are (supposed to be) the Oscars of sci-fi and fantasy fandom.  But in the last couple of decades, they’ve divorced pretty far from the mainstream of the genre.  Not in the way that the Sad/Rabid Puppies claim (becoming an elitist bastion of SJW’s persecuting Manly Men).  But simply because there is now a HUGE swath of fandom that is younger, online, and watches SF/F TV and movies and webcomics, but doesn’t read much published SF/F or participate much in the events that the book people put much stock in.

This is, to me, evidenced by the nominations for Best Fan Artist.  They’re all competent, but … I have seen way more awesome fanart on tumblr and DeviantArt and the like.

Next year, when the Hugos are being nominated, I shall put out a call for y’all to tell me who you think are the best fan artists are, so I can nominate them.

*The Hugos give all voters e-copies of most of the works on the ballot, so we can make informed decisions.  Since anybody who pays the $40 for a supporting membership can vote (and thus get the packet), it’s a pretty good deal.  I’m really enjoying a lot of this stuff that I would never have gotten to read otherwise.  And that also means you can nominate in the next year.
beatrice_otter: Luna Lovegood, Hermione Granger, Cho Chang (Girls of Potter)

So I was reading a Harry Potter fic, and something occurred to me which never had before.  And it’s a question about mail.  Because the wizarding world is the opposite of the muggle world, in that they have instantaneous physical transportation (floo, apparition, portkey) but not instantaneous text-based communication (letters carried by owl).

What happens if an owl is bringing you a letter from London and you are, say, in Scotland, at Hogwarts, and the owl is almost there, and then you floo/apparate/portkey somewhere else.  Say, London.

Does the owl know and turn around mid-flight?  Would the owl then become very bad-tempered from the extra distance you made them fly?
beatrice_otter: This looks like a good day for World Domination (World Domination)
The One Where They Track Down an Arsonist (43740 words) by DomesticatedChaos
Chapters: 6/6
Fandom: Teen Wolf (TV)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Graphic Depictions Of Violence
Relationships: Derek Hale/Stiles Stilinski
Characters: Derek Hale, Laura Hale, Stiles Stilinski, Scott McCall, Alan Deaton, Sheriff Stilinski, Kate Argent, Chris Argent, Allison Argent, Isaac Lahey, Peter Hale
Additional Tags: Alive Laura Hale, Alternate Universe - Canon Divergence, Awesome Laura Hale, Laura Hale & Stiles Stilinski Friendship, Canon-Typical Violence, Canonical Character Death, Pre-Slash, Past Kate Argent/Derek Hale, Warning: Kate Argent, Artist!Derek, General Hale Family Feels, barista!Laura, Allison is a Disney Princess, Scott McCall & Stiles Stilinski Friendship, Angst, past babysitter!Laura, Laura was Stiles' babysitter
Series: Part 1 of The Beacon Hills Reboot
Summary:

Derek was never what Laura would call exuberant—no, that was strictly Laura’s territory. But after the fire, Derek withdrew completely, shutting himself off from the world. For the first week, he wouldn’t speak at all. Months after, Laura was lucky if she could get him to say a few words a day.

It had been a long six years to get Derek to where he was now, socially (mentally, really, if Laura was going to be honest with herself). But she had a feeling Derek was never going to be quite the same happy kid who loved playing sports, pulling pranks on his younger siblings, and sneaking out at night to hang with his friends.

That’s okay, Laura told herself. She was just happy that he was here by her side.

-

Laura gets a letter that sends her back home to Beacon Hills, Derek in tow, to investigate the deaths of her family. The mystery runs a lot deeper than she expected.

This is a wonderful AU, I love the way Laura is written--too often, when she's in a fic, she's the manic pixie girl to get Derek and Stiles together.  This is just perfect, and I wish there was a sequel!  It's interesting to see the ways that Derek's presence changes things in canon--and not just the fact that Laura survives, but other things, as well.
beatrice_otter: Cameron Mitchell, bored with a stack of files (Schoolwork)
I have a month to write this story.  My recipient would like a) romance, b) casefic, or c) some kind of awesome AU like space pirates.

The only thing that's coming out is gen domestic fluff.  (I don't really ship these two, although I love them together.)  I don't really like AUs well enough to write one.  And I can't think of a case for them to investigate.

Any ideas for a sf-nal case?
beatrice_otter: Peggy Carter handcuffed to a table (Peggy Carter)
patron saint of shiners and showgirls (8526 words) by sevenfoxes
Fandom: Captain America (Movies)
Rating: Mature
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Peggy Carter/Steve Rogers, Steve Rogers/Original Female Character(s), James "Bucky" Barnes/Original Female Character(s), Steve Rogers/USO Tour Dancers, James "Bucky" Barnes/USO Tour Dancers
Characters: Steve Rogers, James "Bucky" Barnes, Peggy Carter, USO Tour Dancers (Marvel), Howard Stark
Additional Tags: au where the uso girls are the howling commandos, AU, Threesome - F/F/M, not canon compliant in some significant ways, Awesome Ladies, idk the uso girls are just badass in this, it legit bums me out that the howling commandos aren't girls now, oh peggy is also one of the HC, BECAUSE THAT'S THE WAY IT SHOULD BE

Summary:

The newsreels hit the US a few weeks later.

CAPTAIN AMERICA AND HIS HOWLING COMMANDOS TAKE ANOTHER NAZI STRONGHOLD NEAR TURIN! AMERICAN BEAUTY MEETS NAZI-KILLING BRAWN AS THE COMMANDOS TAKE DOWN NEARLY A HUNDRED MEN.

Every few weeks, they send a news crew out to film them when they come back to camp, muddied and bruised, but always victorious. Phillips seems to loathe it even more than the Howling Commandos do, surly as he stomps around their outpost, muttering under his breath that, the front ain’t Gone with the fucking Wind.

“That’s real nice,” the slimy director tells them later that afternoon, looking over the list of shots they’ve taken today. “But I’d like to see the old uniform. The boys need a little something to look at. You know, get excited over?”

Margot’s perfectly shaped eyebrows don’t raise a single inch as she says, “Well, I guess we can see if Kitty kept Steve’s old skintight red, white and blue number,” and Bucky laughs and laughs and laughs until he cries.

--

The USO girls are Steve's Howling Commandos. Bucky's died and gone to Heaven.


I DID NOT KNOW I WANTED THIS, BUT OH, IT IS AWESOME!
beatrice_otter: WWII soldier holding a mug with the caption "How about a nice cup of RESEARCH?" (Research)
So, I have several different emails for different purposes, and I am very adamant that The Streams Do Not Cross.  Partly this is due to a confluence of fannish/personal/professional issues, and partly it's because I am anal about such things.  Two I access via webmail, and one I use Thunderbird for.  I would like to switch one of the webmail ones to an email client such as Thunderbird that would download the messages and store them on my harddrive.  BUT I don't want to use Thunderbird, because I don't want the streams to cross.  (Unless there's a way to use Thunderbird with two completely separate accounts where they don't connect at all?  I know how to set up Thunderbird with multiple email accounts to the same inbox, sorted into folders, but not to have two completely separate inboxes, and anyway, two programs would probably be easier for me mentally to manage than both on the same one.)

So!  I need recs.  Free-or-cheap email app for PCs, not Thunderbird, what do you recommend?  Do I just switch back to Outlook?  (Which, I could do, the learning curve would be small, but at the same time ... it seems like such a retrograde maneuver.)
beatrice_otter: Peggy Carter handcuffed to a table (Peggy Carter)
Hands by which we take hold (2758 words) by argyleam
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Avengers: Age of Ultron - Fandom, The Avengers (Marvel Movies)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Graphic Depictions Of Violence
Relationships: Bruce Banner/Natasha Romanov, Background Laura/Clint, Clint Barton & Natasha Romanov, Laura Barton & Natasha Romanov
Characters: Bruce Banner, Natasha Romanov, Clint Barton, Laura Barton, Lila Barton, Cooper Barton
Additional Tags: Childhood Trauma, Red Room, Child Abuse, Childbirth, Recovery, Family, Friendship, the Barton Farm, Parenthood
Summary:

Lila Barton is the same age that Natasha was when the Red Room took her.

A fix-it for Natasha.

AO3 Stats

May. 7th, 2015 09:07 am
beatrice_otter: Aim high--you may still miss the target, but at least you won't shoot your foot off. (Aim High)
Last time I did this was apparently in April 2013.  Let's see what's changed!  I think we'll do overall and specifically 2014.

Overall stats )

Now for 2014 specifically.  I only wrote nine stories, so they're all in the top 10!  Hah, that's one way to do it, I suppose ....
By hits, they order up this way:
2014 Fic Stats )


Three of those are Yuletide fic, which means that aside from Yuletide I averaged one fic every two months.  Ugh.  These are all short things, I hope to do better this year.  Lots of WIPs I'm slowly plunking away at.
beatrice_otter: Since no one is perfect, it follows that all great deeds have been accomplished out of imperfection. (Great)

Remix Redux 15: The Dirty Dozen | Archive of Our Own

Ever read a story and think, wow, what a fascinating story, but if I had written it, I would have... Well, now here's your chance to do just that. Rewrite someone else's story. Take the work of another person and wrap it up in your vision and style, just like a remixer does to songs.

Hey, guys, it's time for the next Remix!  It's a lot of fun, one of my favorite ficathons.  And this year, there's no list of approved fandoms--you can sign up with any fandom you've written at least 5 500+ word fic in (or 7 100+ word fic in).  This is on the understanding that if you only have rare fandoms, you will recruit others who write those fandoms so that you are matchable.

beatrice_otter: Ginger Rogers--Dancing! (Dancing!)
[Podfic] To The Stars (50 words) by Hananobira
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Singin' in the Rain (1952)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Lina Lamont
Additional Tags: Podfic & Podficced Works, Podfic, Podfic Length: 20-30 Minutes, Audio Format: MP3, Audio Format: M4B, Women Being Awesome, Science, Robots, Community: podfic_bingo
Summary:

Lina Lamont: Mad Scientist

[archiveofourown.org profile] Hananobira  did a wonderful podfic of one of my favorite fics!  Go listen!
beatrice_otter: Luna Lovegood, Hermione Granger, Cho Chang (Girls of Potter)
Dances, Dulcimers and Marginalia Dragons (7027 words) by Gehayi
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Harry Potter - J. K. Rowling
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Helga Hufflepuff/Rowena Ravenclaw
Characters: Helga Hufflepuff, Rowena Ravenclaw, Original Female Character(s), Original Male Character(s)
Additional Tags: Pre-Hogwarts, Epistolary, Deaf Character, Male Character of Color, Female Jewish Character, Magical Art, magical music, Magical Dance, Sign Language, Centaurs, Witches, Wizards, POV Female Character, POV Multiple, Education, Magical Artifacts, Past Tense
Summary:

Helga knew, even before Hogwarts was founded, that teaching "the rest" was important.


This is a really wonderful fic.  I've read other Founders-fic, but I love the way [archiveofourown.org profile] Gehayi makes them come to life and explores their world, and the details of Helga's first students.  I only wish it were longer!

beatrice_otter: Saavik (Saavik)

I was reading a Sentinel-AU fanfic, and it occurred to me that reading and writing such fics would be good practice for writing autistic characters.  Because Sentinel fics are all about the senses and thinking through what it would be like if you had hypersensitivity.

Guess what!  Hypersensitivity is a common symptom of autism spectrum disorders!  We’re not Sentinels, of course, but we are often really sensitive to things that allistic people don’t even notice, and we often have trouble filtering out the things we’re sensitive to.  That’s one of the more common causes of autistic children having meltdowns (which allistic people sometimes mistake for temper tantrums).  The world is a big, noisy, smelly, overly-bright place designed for people whose senses work differently than ours, and children especially have trouble processing it, and so they get hysterical because they Just. Can’t. Cope.  (Which is why one of the most effective ways of dealing with a meltdown is to take them into a dimly-lit, neutral room and have them lay down under a blanket you know they like the texture of, so you can block out all the overwhelming stimuli.)  Adults tend to have better coping skills and better ability to avoid the things that really knock us for a loop, but it’s no more pleasant for us as adults than when we were kids.

So you know how in Sentinel fics, clothes feeling like sandpaper is a major clue that Character A is now a Sentinel?  It is super-common for people on the autism spectrum to have that issue with clothes feeling like sandpaper.  And yet, at the same time, that same person might not even notice getting a cut–it’s a different sensation.  It’s not all things relating to a particular sense, for us; we tend to be hypersensitive to certain things.  For example, my nose is normally pretty bad, I’m not good at picking up and determining odors, but the “new car” smell makes me nauseous and I JUST CAN’T STAND IT.  Most textures don’t bother me to feel (and a few I really, really love), but there are a couple that freak me out.  So if you’re writing an autistic character, and you want to get into their head, pick a couple of sensitivities and show the reader why the autistic person doesn’t like them (or, conversely, really really likes them).

Of course, one of the differences between Sentinels in fic and autistics in reality is that when a Sentinel has a sensory issue, most people are sympathetic.  When an autistic person has a sensory issue, we’re told to get over it and stop being so weird.
beatrice_otter: Me in red--face not shown (Default)
Stubborn Mouths: Humans In Translation (62938 words) by Hannah
Chapters: 23/23
Fandom: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Rating: Mature
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Julian Bashir/Elim Garak
Characters: Julian Bashir, Elim Garak, Jadzia Dax, Odo (Star Trek), Kira Nerys, Quark (Star Trek), Miles O'Brien, Keiko O'Brien, Benjamin Sisko, Minor Characters
Additional Tags: Disability, Disabled Character of Color, Autism, Canon Character of Color, Neurodiversity, Implied/Referenced Child Abuse, Alien Cultural Differences, Judaism, Jews In Space, exploring replicator limitations, Literary References & Allusions, Neko Case - Freeform, Alternate Universe - Canon Divergence, Autistic Character
Summary:
If you’re sending yourself out to the edge of civilization, people expect it to be done for fame and glory – but then, Julian Bashir has never been what’s expected of him. He’s quite happy to agree with the reasons other people provide, because he isn’t sharing the private whys and wherefores when people are more than happy to fill in the gaps themselves. There are other, better things to worry about, work to be done and friends to be made – possibly even a lover, if he’s lucky…

...all while fighting to maintain his worth, and remain exactly who he’s always been.
This is an awesome story, taking an AU premise (what if Julian’s parents had been caught before they could have him genetically altered?) and exploring it.  I love the characterizations, I love how three-dimensional everyone seems.  But if you might be triggered by parents “treating” their child to make them “normal,” you might be bothered by this fic–we never even meet them, but it deals with what they tried to do to him.
beatrice_otter: A horserider with a glowing blue sword--from the cover of Robin McKinley's The Blue Sword (Blue Sword)
Matthew David Surridge, nominated for Best Fan Writer on the Sad Puppy Slate, goes into great detail about why the reasoning behind the Sad/Rabid Puppies Slate is completely wrong and why he is declining the nomination.  He doesn't go into great detail about the racist/sexist aspect of their thinking, but demonstrates quite well that their entire perception of the history of SF/F and the Hugos is pretty much dissociated from reality, and why that means they are completely wrong about what's happening in modern SF/F and whether or not it's a good thing.

beatrice_otter: Me in red--face not shown (Default)
The Hugo awards are the top award in Science Fiction, given out yearly, and they are nominated on and voted on by people who have memberships to the World Science Fiction Convention, wherever that may be held.  (Note: you can buy a supporting membership that does not give you the right to attend but does give you the right to nominate and vote.)

For the past several years, a slowly-getting-louder vocal minority of poo-slinger dudebros has been whining about how "biased" the Hugos are because their poorly-written white-male-power idfics don't get nominated.  Vox Day (aka Theodore Beale) is by far the loudest.  He's also stated publicly that he doesn't even really care about winning any more, he just wants to destroy the Hugos.  So last year he put together a slate of like-minded authors with Hugo-eligible works, called it the "Sad Puppy" slate, and urged his followers to nominate them.  They did, and those works got on the ballot, and none of them won for obvious reasons.  (If they'd had actual good works of SF with enough literary merit to be worthy of a Hugo, they might have had a chance.  And the Hugos have historically been very easy to game in the nominating phase and very hard to game in the voting phase, because there are a lot of people who vote every year but never nominate.)

This year, Vox Day's Sad/Rabid puppy slate managed to game the system such that there are six whole categories with NOTHING but Rabid Puppy nominations.  He did this by calling on GamerGaters to flock to his banner and buy memberships solely for the purpose of hurting "SJWs"  (Note: some of the authors whose works are on his slate were not aware of it before the nominations were done.  Some of them have already withdrawn their work from consideration because of their disagreement with Vox Day and his tactics.)

Of the various responses to this that I've seen, Abigail Nussbaum's is the best at laying things out clearly.

How am I going to respond to this?  Personally, I'm going to buy a supporting membership to Worldcon this year, and will vote for NO AWARD in the six categories they swept and instead of ranking their works in other categories.  And next year, you can bet your sweet britches I'll be nominating works that actually deserve a Hugo.
beatrice_otter: Sarah Connor--made for me, not shareable (Sarah Connor)
DON'T PANIC.

This is a very long letter with lots of stuff, but DO NOT PANIC. I'm actually fairly easy to please; I am very rarely disappointed with a ficathon story. I write long and detailed Dear Author letters because I find such things helpful when I'm writing for other people; if you are like me, here you go! If your style is different and a detailed letter makes you feel hemmed-in, feel free to do what works for you.

The most important thing for me in a fic is that the characters are well-written and recognizably themselves. Even when I don't like a character, I don't go in for character-bashing. If nothing else, if the rest of this letter is too much or my kinks just don't fit yours, just concentrate on writing a good story with everyone in character and good spelling and grammar and I will almost certainly love what you come up with.

One thing: I do have an embarrassment squick, which makes humor kind of hit-or-miss sometimes. The kind of humor where someone does something embarrassing and the audience is laughing at them makes me uncomfortable because I identify too much with the person getting laughed at, so instead of being funny it is squicky. On the other hand, the kind of humor where the audience is laughing with the characters I really enjoy.

General Preferences )


Fandoms )
beatrice_otter: Me in red--face not shown (Default)
And A Hardboiled Egg (3755 words) by icarus_chained
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Discworld - Terry Pratchett
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Havelock Vetinari, Samuel Vimes, Carrot Ironfoundersson, Roberta Meserole, Rufus Drumknott, Moist von Lipwig, William de Worde
Additional Tags: Havelock is a scary man, Character Study
Summary:  A character study of Havelock Vetinari from a young child up as far as Unseen Academicals. Mentions of most of the major Ankh-Morpork players, especially Vimes. Takes off from Havelock's musings on the nature of evil in Unseen Academicals.

Vetinari is one of the most difficult characters to get right that I can imagine, and this character study nails him.  Perfect.
beatrice_otter: Maria Hill (Maria Hill)
Hypothetically (1116 words) by scribblemyname
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: The Avengers (Marvel Movies), Captain America (Movies)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: James "Bucky" Barnes/Maria Hill
Characters: James "Bucky" Barnes, Maria Hill, Pepper Potts, Natasha Romanov
Additional Tags: Post-Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Friendship, Pre-Relationship, Flirting
Summary:  Stark's people expect Maria Hill to kick up a fuss when Steve Rogers brings back the Winter Soldier and so do most of the Avengers. In SHIELD, this would've been history repeating itself.

This is sweet and fun and so in character, I love it!
beatrice_otter: Luke and Leia on the Death Star (Luke and Leia)
You know what's really frustrating?  Finding a fic with a really awesome, interesting, and unique idea, but so badly executed/poorly executed that I can't bear to read it.  Everything from homonym fail to characterization fail.  (But, like really weird homonym fail, too--more proofreading was needed.)  But it was a really great premise that I wanted to explore!  And there was so much promise; they'll probably be a really great ficcer when they get some more experience.  But this ... gah.  What finally threw me out so hard I stopped reading was when a Luke Skywalker who had been raised as a Jedi was more hotheaded and aggressive than canon!Luke had been in the same situation on screen.  Like, yelling and shoving people when canon!Luke just shrugged and ignored it.

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