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[personal profile] sprocket
FYI, consider the letter a work in progress until the day after signups.



Dear Rarelywritten author,

First, thank you so much! 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. You have no idea how excited I am to find out what you do with these characters.

Optional details are optional! If details are not your thing, here's the very short version:

Gen: yes
Explicit: yes
Do Not Wants: PWP, bloodplay, coffeeshop AU, high school/college AU, explicit descriptions of sexual assault
Flavor text: the recurring theme in my requests is the diversity of awesome represented in the canon. Mothers, sisters, daughters; women closely tied to their families, and women happy as independent operators, or as part of a chosen family. Working professionals, and women who are happy in non-professional roles. Women who struggle with trauma or loss, with their entire life rearranged by the loss of a parent or spouse or child, or refusing to let trauma define them, or making it part of who they are (by adopting the scars of their enemies' attacks as badges, see Shaal Mayan in B5, or sometimes in the literal form of a robot arm see Fringe). Women who are what they do, or who they know; women who go down fighting, or keep getting back up, or who leave their mark on the world, even when they can't handle that world anymore, or refuse to be beaten down ever.

People who like space: go forth, find words. I look forward to reading them!

For those of you for whom tl;dr is a challenge and inspiration:

My biggest hope is that, like me, you have spent too much time thinking about the way these characters fit (or don't fit) into their worlds, and what this means. If this engagement with the canon needs to be expressed through comedy or crackfic, or their interactions with other under-represented characters I have neglected to include in my requests, go for it! Character requests are "or", not "and". I am also fine with OCs and, if you are in the mood, turning any vagueness in description into an opportunity to squeeze in more diversity (PoC, QUILTBAG, etc).

If you're into gen, rock on. Gen is buddies. If you're in a porny mood, go for it! Add "in bed" to most of the below to get me hot and bothered. Extra points for that rare genre, femslash. But please keep the knives and blood out of the sex: I am not a big fan of mixing pain and orgasms. Likewise, not so much with the BDSM.

Fandom cliches that have made me happy include kidfic, friendships, N Things, genderflip, darkfic, sedoretu, superpowers, cuddling, backstory, timestamp, apocalyptic... go for it. If you're familiar with more than one of these fandoms, I'm fine with crossovers or fusions for any of these. Treat the canon with affection (if not always great reverence), and have fun.

Alliance-Union - C. J. Cherryh (Elene Quen, Signy Mallory, Allison Reilly, Alicia Konstantin): Book fandom of my heart! It's difficult to explain without a five paragraph essay how hard I imprinted on Cherryh's dense prose, her worldbuilding with many shades of gray, most of them dark, and the sleep-deprived narrators trying to save, well, something, or at least not let down their family or family-of-choice in whatever desperate situation they wound up in.

I would absolutely adore any flavor of Quen the politican. She's Pell Dockmaster in Merchanter's Luck and Stationmaster of long standing in Finity's End. And somehow, in all this, she raises two kids and doesn't destroy her marriage. (Along those lines... dear writer, I'm fine with rocky relationships, but please do not break up Elene and Damon. I love OT3s, but cheating on your partner(s) is kind of my anti-kink.) Imagine Quen and Mallory dickering about the balance of power between Pell Station and Alliance Security, or five moments in a busy political life, negotiating the oddities of being a cultural spacer building a power base among stationers.

Speaking of power, Allison moves from having the security of Dublin Again and its crowd of Reilly kin to a chancier, but more independent, life aboard Le Cygne. How does that affect her? What does the shifting fortunes of the War after Merchanter's Luck mean for a Kreja-Reilly ship? Do Allison and Sandor settle into predictable trade-loops? Catch as catch can, from Cyteen to Pell and the Hinder Stars and back? Elene pines to be back in space, but the merchanter life has its own challenges. Do these two women cross paths on dockside? How do they feel about their choices, five or ten years on?

I sort of love Mallory's character arc in Downbelow Station. At a point where she has every bad option in front of her, she is challenged to do the right thing, and she does it. Well, something like a right option, in her inimitable violent style. I would be all right with the Making Of special too. What compromises has she made to keep her ship and people alive, where other captains failed? What challenges does she face after the War, going after her former comrades?

It came up in conversation that readers actually learn very little about Alicia Lukas-Konstantin. She has an ambitious brother; an accident crippled her; and.... what else? She seems to be engaged in the well-being of Pell. How? Alicia the politician, Angelo's manager by remote? Alicia the scientist, or the engineer, or the xenoanthropologist, contributing to Pell by way of 24th century voice recognition software? Admit it, you're curious too, and would cheerfully write your way into figuring it out.

Babylon 5 (any): TV fandom of my heart! My introduction to epic multi-episode, multi-season plot arcs, with spaceships, attempts at plausible science, and a diverse range of non-male characters.

I would love some character-centric "missing scene / day in the life / AU" fic in this fandom. Wouldn't a "Talia doesn't die!" AU carried forward to S4 or S5 be awesome? Because clearly there would be Susan/Talia, and I see no bad there. Or maybe Anna Sheridan and Catherine Sakai crossed paths when IPX found something... interesting... on a Q-40-rich planet, and archaeology vs geological exploitation conflicted... IN SPACE. Or maybe Sakai and Winters had professional dealings on B5?

And then there's the S5 and post-S5 political scene. How do Lochley and Tessa interact, once Tessa is on B5 full time? Is Luchenko still the acting President? Does she interact with the characters on B5? How does that go?

And this is a show with aliens. How do gender roles play out across species? The Centauri seem to have very different expectations for men and women - how does this affect Timov, or Adira? The Minbari can be just as rigid in expectations, though along caste and clan lines rather than gender lines. Or are they? How does the traditionalism of Minbari culture impact Shaal Mayan's development as a poet? And for the Narn, is there significance to Na'Toth pursuing a diplomatic career?

Or, ohhhh, post-canon Na'Toth and Lyta, following Lyta and G'Kar's space road trip.

Fringe (any): Other TV fandom of my heart! Or perhaps the fannish left and right ventricles. But heart is the operational word here. Fringe has never let logic or scientific plausibility get in the way of really good feelings. After all, as Tumblr has said, "Fringe is basically five seasons of various amazing women trying to keep Walter and/or Peter from doing something incredibly stupid

with interludes of Olivia doing something incredibly amazing and badass"


This is not 100% true, but it seemed relevant as I stared at the RW signup form.

I have requested any of the ladies because I would be thrilled to hear about the experiences of any of these characters. A day in the life of a Cortexikid! I would be beside myself with joy for a story that plays with the double-universe double-timeline life stories of Miranda the lawyer, or twins Susan and Nancy, or Sally. Or maybe alt!Marilyn and alt!Elizabeth bond over being grandmothers! (Y'alls have no idea how much I would love this. Two awesome women, both coming to this grandmother thing with baggage, and it's... imagine the awkwardness.) Or give me a Rachel story. Allll the Rachel stories, from S1 through Brown Betty through S4, or what happened to Rachel and Ella in the alternate timelines? If you ever wanted to write something about the other Dunham ladies in the "Day We Died" timeline, or the Observer future, I would read that while making absurd high-pitched noises of glee.

I haven't even gotten into Nina Sharp and all the reasons I would make equally absurd gleeful noises while reading about all your Nina headcanon. Nina the businesswoman! Nina who probably got high as a kite with Walter and Belly in the '60s and '70s. Nina who is always nice to Astrid!

And you could write all the Astrid. Astrid who is too smart to get involved with the Fringe multiverse love polygon. Astrid who totally is in love with Olivia. Astrid and alt!Astrid and coffee. Astrid in 2036! She did more than dig Walter's plot coupons out of amber, I am sure.

..and I also have not touched on Etta. Etta reminds Broyles of Olivia, but I look at Etta, Peter, Walter and think, "the woman acts like Team Ruthless B- Bishops." I want the AU where Etta saves the world, or the timeline shift where we find out who she might be in a non-Observer 2036.

Steerswoman series (any): SFnal-ish series of my heart! I live in hope that I will someday read the next novel in this series. And the next after that. And the next... anyway. I love the way the story is framed as a fantasy quest, but reveals the science fiction at its core. I love Rowan's enthusiasm for knowledge: acquiring it, mastering it, and sharing what she's learned. I love that my omnibus of the first two novels has a map which is expanded in the third novel, and expanded again in the fourth. It's a nifty reflection on Rowan - and Bel, and the Steerwoman Society - learning more about the world. Rowan and Bel's friendship is part of the bedrock of what I love about this series, because how often do you see a quest story about female friendship?

I'd love to see that theme expanded to Rowan and Zenna's relationship, or Henra and Keridwen's experiences along those lines. I'd love a story, however short, that evokes the feel of the novels, that wonderful sense of figuring out a piece of the world. Or a story about Steerwomen in the world: sharing knowledge, a day on the road, drabble-sets about wizard artifacts as seen through trained observer's eyes and recorded in the Archives for others to discover.

And if you are scratching your head at these prompts, going "how do I do that?" ... write what you love. If a Daemonverse AU is what's speaking to you, or another off the wall concept, rock it.
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