sprocket: The trusted assistant at work (Astrid Fringe)
Back from an East Coast vacation, and what do I want to talk about? Harvard grazing rights. The band Udderly Tuba took part in the event and played a range of musical selections, including “Fair Harvard” and “Old MacDonald.” Fangirl moment aside, my wit fails me in the face of this utterly delightful evidence truth is weirder and more interesting than fiction.
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Raspberryhunter: POI or Leverage?
Me: If you catch a couple of episodes of Leverage, you know enough for casual beta. POI has a lot more time-specific character info to track.
Me: S4 is also Fringe levels of hot mess.
Me: And then there is Harold, who... oh.

(Someone pauses to recall the one with the AI learning to be a person and the human/AI interface issues and the flashbacks which everyone in this conversation ate up with a spoon.)

Me: Yes, I think I can talk you into enjoying POI.




Once upon a time a man saw his country rocked to its knees and said, "what we need is an all-seeing artificial intelligence to prevent this from ever happening again."

So he built one and made sure it found its way to the US government, which is well known for its responsible use of surveillance powers.

As plans go, this wasn't quite up there with "and now I will steal my son from another universe", but the burden of these actions put it in shouting distance.



The hard sell, with general spoilers. )



Watching POI
The first three seasons are on Netflix. Picking a handful of POI episodes that will hook someone is like asking for the best intro eps to The Wire. It's ideal to start with the pilot and revel in the unfolding arc, but that's a lot of TV to ask friends to watch.

Here's a tentative set list for The Machine And Root Show. This throws The John And Harold Are MFEO Show under the bus, and also there are only flashing glimpses of the Joss Carter Could Keep Up with Olivia Dunham Show. But S1 sets up everything else, and I am weak in the face of good acting, so I've got semi optional episodes in parentheses.

If I've forgotten something obvious ([personal profile] kerithwyn? Drive-by fans reading this?) please throw in Root- and Machine-significant episodes I've missed. "Significant" as in plot, because yes, it breaks my heart that the Eggs Benedict; and Grace; and Carter reporting Reese to the feds; and the rooftop scene didn't make the first cut.

...okay, I'm putting the roof back in. There are other events in 2x13 that play a part in the Machine arcs.

Season One )

Season Two )

Check in again after 2x16 for what to watch next.

Useful links:
Person of Interest IMDb page

The Person of Interest Crack Van summary is dated, but includes character pics.
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Dear trick-or-treater,

First, thank you! If you're reading this, we've matched on a fandom I love, and characters I would be ridiculously pleased to see featured in a fic. I will be thrilled to receive pretty much anything that is not explicitly invoked in my do not wants. ODAO, character requests should be considered "OR" not "AND", etc.

If you look at the "dear author" tag, you'll notice some patterns in my requests. People working together to overcome obstacles, snark and snappy dialogue, banter, darkfic, place as character, postapocalyptic, N Times Characters Did A Thing. A+ parenting and its tricky parent-child relationship consequences. I have a bulletproof love of competence, including competence at being villainous, and characters finding connections and trusting each other. Add "in bed" to any of this for great shippy times.

Do Not Wants: PWP, bloodplay, coffeeshop AU, high school/college AU, explicit descriptions of sexual assault, cross-generation ships, infidelity, violence much more intense than canon-typical levels.

Shippiness is okay, and background pairings, whether F/F, F/M, M/M are all excellent options. OT3 is one of my favorite solutions to love triangles. Outside of a handful of canon-specific "no not want" pairings*, I'm very ship-flexible. The pan-fandom ship I will go down with is Favorite Characters/Happiness. My shippy Do Not Wants: cross-generation (May-December) relationships are not my jam. Infidelity is also a huge turn-off.

*POI: Root/Finch. It's not Character/Happiness for me. Sense8: Please don't break up Nomi and Amanita or Lito and Hernando unless you are writing that darkfic trick; otherwise, adding people to their happiness adds to my happiness.

That's it, that's the letter. Everything else is fandom-specific prompting. If you have an idea, go forth, write. If you're looking for ideas, read on.

Babylon 5 )

Fringe )

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood and Manga )

Person of Interest )

Sense8 )
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I wrote The Adventure of the Sanguine Client for sandyk.
Fandoms: Elementary (TV), Fringe
Rating: General Audiences
Warning: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Peter Bishop/Olivia Dunham
Characters: Olivia Dunham, Joan Watson, Sherlock Holmes, Peter Bishop
Additional Tags: Crossover

Summary: Olivia might be able to order Watson out, but if Peter's assessment of Holmes held true, she would have more luck clocking him over the head and dragging him to an elevator than using her words.

I posted my original crossovering story, took a cold hard look at it, and said, "...no." Two and a half days later the first draft of "The Adventure of the Sanguine Client" was done. My wrists and I do not recommend this strategy.

Elementary and Fringe are a very natural crossover: procedural dramas with a New York connection in roughly the same time frame. Elementary plays with a variation of the old Law and Order format, filing the serial numbers off contemporary issues before weaving them into a case. A subset of these are more technical than L&O: cybersecurity and the erosion of digital privacy, designer drugs, P versus NP*. That angle is a great lead for something Fringe-ish leaking over into Elementary.

*For those who find this relevant to their interests: 2x02 "Solve For X". There's not a lot of math, but there's a lot of criminal mathematicians.
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I will shake my tiny impotent fist at POI S3!

Feelings about POI 3x09, or, What Is This, Wait That's a Cross-Fandom Spoiler )

Speaking of Fringe, if you want a textbook example of titillation and the male gaze, contrast POI 3xo3 "Lady Killer" with Fringe's "Concentrate And Ask Again". The POI camera pans over Carter, Morgan and Shaw in ways that are very much about their sexiness in sexy cocktail dresses, in ways that undermine my competence kink and cry out for a Charlie's Angels quip, not in the good way; when Olivia dresses to kill, the camera frames her for narrative function.

I'm just saying.

There's an entire thing I'm not doing with the POI's fairly arbitrary contrast of Reese violence and Shaw violence; though Finch claims Shaw is more likely to unleash lethal force and dangerous mayhem, from where I sit, their methods don't look so very different. Still looking for that Shaw-and-Root thing I was promised by fandom.
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In thrilling news, I have received Astrid Farnsworth-centric fic in two exchanges in a row. Fringe Wizardry is a variation on "Astrid is a wizard", and the author's note gives me warm fuzzy feelings: someone liked my fusion-ish idea enough to adopt it and make it their own.

Do people still do the "guess what I wrote and leave a prompt in comments" thing? I think it's dead easy to guess what I wrote, so honestly, I'd rather just throw open comments to drabble-ish prompts and ride the exchange high into additional word count.

Exchanges!

Aug. 30th, 2015 10:56 pm
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[community profile] crossovering (1,000 words): all bears have been defeated! The fic is resting before a (hopefully) final round of beta and polishing edits.




Trickortreat nominations are open until September 8th. For the curious, this is the current approved tagset. I've nominated in Babylon 5, Fringe, FMA, Matthew Swift, Person of Interest, Sense8, Star Wars, and Young Wizards, but may shuffle those a bit this week. It's my hope someone will help fill out the Fringe and Sense8 character lists before nominations close.

Right now I am dithering about signing up, because of some RL stuff, but I had a good experience last year, so it's likely I'll sign up. How hard could 300 words be?

(Ha. More like, how hard could plotting to stop short of 2,000 words be.)
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There is a Valdemar fic fest taking prompts! It... seems to be spun off a certain emo Herald-Mage winning an FFA woobie contest, so beware a certain irreverence toward canon.



I've watched the second season of PoI. Now I know how to do the Fringe crossover.

(I do hope S3 brings together Carter, Shaw, and Root in some Bechdel-passing scenario.)



[community profile] crossovering (1,000 words): BEARS.

I'll get past it.
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I flippantly typed "Walter fanfic" during a conversation about S5, and [personal profile] raspberryhunter said, what if the entire S5 turned out to be just the ramblings of Walter writing self-insert RPF and I said WRITE IT.

And she did!

The Transilience of Liberty by raspberryhunter
Fandom: Fringe
Rating: General Audiences
Warning: Choose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Peter Bishop/Olivia Dunham
Additional Tags: Humor, Crack, Characters Writing Fanfiction, Fifth season never really happened, Critique probably not disguised particularly well as fic

Summary:
In which it is revealed that the entirety of Fringe's S5 is all the fevered imaginings of a writer with an agenda.

Or: It's scary how much more sense fifth season makes if you postulate it as in-canon RPF.

(And in which the rest of the Fringe team critiques.)


Disclaimer: this isn't very reverent toward the fifth season. And I beta-read, so of course I think it's hilarious.




Other fannish items:

I watched the first season of Person of Interest. It's so easy to sketch out a crossover for Person of Interest mid-S1 / Fringe around "The End of All Things", or "Brave New World", I don't even want to write it. (Olivia's number comes up, Elias and/or HR has cut a deal with Meana, Reese narrowly avoids becoming collateral damage as Olivia saves herself, thank you very much. There is much lampshading of the numbers coming up in NYC - always NYC, how convenient - and violent crime rates in the USA, why these numbers when people get into trouble every day, etc.)

In other news, [community profile] crossovering will get written. Dear story, I am not above locking a couple of characters into an elevator until someone cracks and the plot gets going.
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Dear Crossovering writer,

Thank you! Crossovers are one of my favorite things about reading and writing fic. Please get peanut butter in my chocolate, garnish my orange jucie with mint, go wild with ridiculous ideas you've been looking for an excuse to set loose.

In general, I love genfic, and also enjoy more explict fic too. Background pairings, F/F, F/M, M/M are all excellent options. OT3 is usually my favorite solution to love triangles, and I'm flexible on pairings with one exception: if you're writing Sense8, please don't break up Nomi and Amanita. But adding people to their happiness adds to my happiness.

Do Not Wants: PWP, bloodplay, coffeeshop AU, high school/college AU, explicit descriptions of sexual assault

Pining For: people working together to overcome obstacles, snark, banter, flirtation, people finding common ground, darkfic, postapocalyptic, N Times Crossover Characters Did A Thing.

Fusion or crossover? It's a spectrum, yes to both options.

Above all, have fun. If you know the fandoms you wish to cross and have a story you're burning to write, stop reading and write it! If you're cruising for ideas, have an excessively long prompt list.

Very general starters by canon:

Community: Here's a chance to lampshade tropes in your fandom (thanks Abed!) and bring in some comedy.

Elementary: Sherlock's irregulars encompass many fields of expertise. Imagine Joan walking into the brownstone with a cross-fandom consult in action.

Fringe: altverse version of your favorite characters!

Leverage: the con goes to pieces because the other fandom gets involved, shouting happens, everyone joins forces because Moriarty / Massive Dynamic / this novel's representative of the Lone Power is a problem for both groups. Or, characters have history.

Orphan Black: Someone in your fandom is a clone, or knows someone in the clone club. FYI, I'm a season behind, but don't let that stop you from using the S3 material.

Pacific Rim: who can say "drift compatible" with me?

Sense8: asking for a cluster is a lot to ask. But if you're inspired to write about a psychic connection to seven other people, go for it! Sense8 is very optimistic about people immediately coming together in a cluster and that could be a thing to be affirmed or examined in a crossover.

SGA: Field trip to Atlantis!

The X-Files: ohhh, casefic. Or cases that get taken away (or taken on) by other agencies and organizations.

Young Wizards: character of your choice is a wizard. GO!

Elementary, Fringe, Leverage, Young Wizards: The almost New York pool! )

Fringe, Orphan Black, Pacific Rim, SGA, The X-Files: the mad scientist pool! )

Community, Fringe, Sense8 (TV), The X-Files: Casefic pool, with Community as your comedic ringer. )

Thank you in advance for the wonderful fic you're going to write, I can't wait to read it! Happy crossovering!

Sense8 S1

Jun. 18th, 2015 12:53 pm
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I watched Sense8, to no one's surprise.

For people who missed my incoherent acquisition of a clue, Sense8 is about eight people across the world who become psychically linked, for Reasons. And by "reasons" I mean "the Wachowskis and Straczynski and the go-to interests of that trio." Between the Wachowskis and JMS, there's brilliant visuals and lots of fight scenes and multiepisode plot arcs and dialog with the subtlety of a brick between the eyes.

Mild spoilers, right through the finale. )

This is not perfect, but I enjoyed the first season. Sense8 focuses on threats from outside the cluster, rather than considering the conflicts that might rise from eight people being thrown into each others' lives and heads. The sensates really roll with the punches of the dub-con psychic link shenanigans we know and love and sometimes wrestle with in fandom. It's not bad, it's just a choice. The story is painted in broad strokes and bright contrasts: the factions are clear, the themes are set out with all the nuance of a floodlamp.

On a really shallow note, I love playing the location game with the San Francisco scenes.
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So you know that moment when you go from "that sounds interesting, put on the to-watch list" to "WHAT. TOP OF THE PILE".

Mine is "Joe Staczynski worked on the thing. I must experience the thing! Now." (Even if it turns out to be less than awesome, like that thing with Luke Perry.)

Brought to you by my bulletproof attractor, science fiction serials with multi-episode plot arcs.

(...and it's made by the Wachowskis. I must watch the thing.)
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Title notwithstanding, Mad Max: Fury Road is a movie about the Action Girl saving other women. The MRA community is acting out against it, which is generally a sign something is worth a closer look. Fury Road delivers. It passes the Bechdel test: women of diverse ages and agency emerge throughout the movie. And it's so organic to the story I didn't even notice.

It would be interesting to discuss the role of disability and damage in the movie, as well. The female protagonist is missing an arm, Max is having self-acknowledged mental health issues, and very few characters are in good physical or emotional shape.

It's still a violent postapocalyptic action movie, just with women, so if violent onscreen death is on your "nope out" list, wait for your reliable movie-screening companion(s) or until this comes out in DVD, so you can turn off the sound or fast-forward through the first half hour or so as appropriate.

If you're looking for discussion of the movie, Abigail Nussbaum nails my talking points and extends them to cultures of toxic masculinity (caution: spoilers):

A lot of what Fury Road does with regards to women--making the prime mover of the story a woman who is not sexualized or treated as the hero's prize, featuring multiple female characters, not all of whom are young and beautiful, passing the Bechdel test--is not so much revolutionary as the very baseline of what we should expect from most movies--what we would expect, if we hadn't become so accustomed to the toxic sludge of misogyny that Hollywood blockbusters have been serving up for twenty years. In fact, the more I think about it, the more Fury Road seems not like a revolution, but like a throwback to the action films of the 80s.


As someone who routinely nopes out of most action films for being, well, dumb, I appreciated this movie for being really clear about what it was trying to do, and doing that with excellence.




I also have seen Age of Ultron. How did a movie with Joss Whedon at the helm and Robert Downey Junior in front of the camera come out so bland?
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[community profile] intoabar: Done. This isn't my favorite piece ever, but it's done and not defaulted.

I really want to clear out some pieces from the WiP folder. In the interests of the conversion from dithering to words, I am setting some arbitrary deadlines and opening an incomplete draft from the Fringe folder. Let's see how this goes.

BTW, how are the trendsetters getting from DVD to animated gif these days? I have VLC player and Adobe Creative Suite 5 on hand, but I'm not limited to those options.
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Oh right, [community profile] rarelywritten doesn't have an anon period.

For [community profile] rarelywritten I received ASTRID FIC. Astrid is so often a supporting character in Fringe canon and fanfic I am always thrilled when she gets the spotlight. [personal profile] kerithwyn delivered, writing the first chapter of "The Secret Life of Astrid Farnsworth", covering Astrid's experiences during the Fringe pilot. I'm still thinking about the title: on the one hand, her work life is a secret from the rest of her life. On the other hand, her personal life is something that very rarely is touched on in canon, so in some senses that's the "secret" life. Either way, I'm pleased to see this fic in the world, and excited to see what [personal profile] kerithwyn does with upcoming chapters (and would be happy to beta, cough).

I got [personal profile] minutia_r's request for Elene Quen, with a request for OT3.

After hemming and hawing and tearing up several drafts, including the thing which kicked off with three plot arcs and four named OCs in the first thousand words, I wrote OT3. "2379" is 1,900 words Damon/Elene/Josh setup, because I have all these feelings and meta on this topic.

tl;dr with lots of Downbelow Station spoilers. )

Fringe fans, if you're reading any of this and applying it to adventures in multiverse multi-timeline identity issues... yep. It's difficult to do a straight up Cherryh/Fringe crossover, because the timelines don't align well, but thematically, or as a fusion? The possibilities are terrifying awesome no actually they're terrifying, imagine Ari and Walter cutting deals between Reseune and Defense, and that one deal for Peter Bishop PR, or better yet don't.
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[community profile] rarelywritten (1,000 words): The first draft is done and out to beta, far closer to deadline than I'd like. Either it's pretty good or a hot mess, at this point I sincerely can't tell. (It needs makeouts, my ridiculous teenager-brain whispers. Spoken like someone who didn't have to do the grown-up work of getting these people in the same room.)

Speaking of getting people into a room: [community profile] intoabar (500 words): with the RW fic in "cool off" mode, canon review is clearly in order.
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An outbreak of Real Life has done nothing good for my productivity.

[community profile] rarelywritten (1,000 words): ...huh. This is either an almost complete first draft or so wildly OOC it can't be salvaged. I'm going with Option A for now.

[community profile] intoabar (500 words): I'm not looking at this until after the RW default deadline. Which is Friday, so.




While not writing, I watched the second season of Orphan Black. Finished all of The Wire a while back, and I'm up to date on Elementary. Despite myself, I can't tear my eyes from the Hugos. Every time I think puppygate is settling down, someone kicks over another rock.

What are people watching these days? I was about to start catching up with AtLA and Korra, but Amazon instant video isn't playing nicely with my laptop this week.
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[community profile] rarelywritten (1,000 words): 2,000 words, non-sequential. At the "tear things up and rearrange" stage. Or possibly the "lock Character A and Character B in an elevator" stage.

[community profile] intoabar (500 words): Your assignment is:

Nina Sharp goes into a bar and meets... Trevor Slattery (Iron Man 1-3)!


I'm going to sit with this one for a few minutes. Bars are Trevor's natural habitat... this might be, Trevor walks into a bar, and Nina blames Sam Weiss. Hmmm.
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[community profile] rarelywritten (1,000 words): Word count achieved! 1,100 mostly sequential words unlocked. Soaking in unrelated very long novels may not have been the best prep for writing a fic that has a deadline.

[community profile] intoabar (500 words): After hitting RW word count, I slipped and fell into a sign-up. Signups close on April 5th, prompts go out on or after the 8th.
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