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Sprocket ([personal profile] sprocket) wrote2015-10-25 10:18 am

Yuletide Letter

Dear Yuletide writer,

We like the same rare fandoms, clearly only good can come of our match-up. And by "good" I may mean interstellar siege warfare, or the terrible things people do when they've lost everything, or ways of making a new home in another world entirely. I love all these fandoms, so don't feel like prompt length has anything to do with desirability. The character requests are the characters I am most excited about getting fic for, and I would suggest, even encourage, additional characters if that's where your story takes you. And if your story includes just some of these characters, that's fine too.

What do I like? N things, place as character, fork in the road AUs, hugs, comfort sex. Misunderstandings and their resolutions. Worldbuilding! Stories that play on the worldbuilding, using some quirk of the major McGuffins or themes for Reasons. Competence, whether it's at scholarship, or diplomacy, or shooting things. Consequences, good or bad. If you're moved to write a crossover, go for it. Anon comments are enabled if you want to ask about a hypothetical crossover, or any other question.

Gen or shippy fic are both up my alley. OT3 is one of my favorite solutions to love triangles. The pan-fandom ship I will go down with is Favorite Characters/Happiness. (The road to Character/Happiness may be fraught. I eat that up with a spoon.) Rape, bloodplay, and infidelity are major turn-offs.

Other do not wants: epistolary fic, coffeeshop / modern day AUs, explicit descriptions of sexual assault, violence that's more intense than canon-typical levels.

Alliance-Union - C. J. Cherryh: Damon Konstantin, Elene Quen, Joshua Talley

I want to know what happened post-War that Damon didn't take up his father's post and Elene did. I would not mind Estelle backstory at all. I would find that missing scene where Josh says, "so, Norway," and Damon says, "um, what?" highly relevant to my interests. I would be absolutely okay with five double-drabbles(-ish) strewn across canon. I would be perfectly happy with a gen (or gen-ish, or shippy) post-War pre-Cyteen story, if you want to just revel in the cold war politics of the Merchanter's Alliance, Union, and Sol. Either internal - imagine Quen and Mallory politicking! - or external. I will make an exception to my usual stance that pining is boring for late Downbelow Station Damon/Elene to the slightly ironic tune of "They Can't Take That Away From Me". Because, of course, a key plot point in that novel is that memory wipes are totally on the table.

If you are into threesomes, Damon/Josh/Elene is the utterly uncanonical OT3 of my heart. But don't feel like you have to write it! If you really want to write a day in the life for any of these characters, believe me, I would be thrilled.

Fall of Ile-Rien - Martha Wells: Tremaine Valiarde I read this trilogy for the first time this year and loved it. I've also read most of the related short stories as well. I love what Wells does with worldbuilding and big ensembles, and how she juggles action and character. I like that her characters have different strengths and weaknesses: Tremaine is not a wizard, Ilias doesn't have the skills with people Tremaine does, etc. I requested just Tremaine because she's the character I most want, so please feel free to add any characters from canon for her to interact with.

What's not to like about Treimane? She starts out The Wizard Hunters with some serious issues, and works through them, accruing the respect of her friends and family, as well as a husband and a new family, along the way. Though the wizards How about some backstory about Tremaine the writer, before the Gardier war? Or the time she spent in her Uncle Ari's care, after her mother died? (I sort of adore Arisilde, at least what we saw of him.) What about life after the novels? Does she get involved with Giliad's work as the Chosen One?

Imperial Radch Series - Ann Leckie: Seivarden Vendaai, Sphene, Tisarwat, Zeiat
I was all set to not request this, then I read Ancillary Mercy, and now I want all the stories. I love what this series does with the setup for the last confrontation between Breq and Anaander Mianaai. I love the questions of identity and the messiness of any attempt to put anyone in a category.

I want Tisarwat figuring out who she is. She's not the Tisarwat who she was pre-Ancillary Sword. Now, she's a lot less frivolous (except when she's not, oh darling child), and a lot more prone to politics. Tisarwat Learns About Powersharing (With AIs and Humans), A ShortLonger Story, would be awesome. Or how do Tisarwat and her various friends and associates fit into the (provisional) Republic of a Thousand Eggs Two Systems? This can be fluffy - Tisarwat's eighteenth birthday? (Radchaai birthday traditions? Does Breq suggest Kalr Five let Tisarwat can use the Bractware to impress her guests?) - or sexy - Tisarwat flits with Basnaaid! Piat teases Tisarwat! Poetry optional - or darker - as Tisarwat struggles with being Anaander Mianaai.

I want Seivarden trying so hard to be more considerate and screwing up and struggling with the fact that no one cares about her feelings. It's tragic and hilarious. Gosh, I wonder what would happen if she re-took the aptitudes? Leaving aside the can of worms of whether the aptitudes were rigged in the past, or are rigged in the present, or have always been and continue to be rigged, but in different ways over time, would she still test for the military? How would she feel about the outcome, if she didn't - or if she did? What does it say about this bedrock of Radchaai society if it throws her right back into what she's been struggling with? Incidentally, I will note that Incorrect Imperial Radch quotes kind of nailed Seivarden's issues in one hilarious misquote. (Seivarden: What? Lead? Me? No, no, no. No leading. Bad things happen when I lead. We get lost, people die, and the next thing you know I'm stranded somewhere without any pants.) I want Breq and Mercy of Kalr and Seivarden negotiating whatever relationship they all deem mutually beneficial (and just, and proper, or as proper, just, and beneficial as things get with two ships and Seivarden's issues in the mix). And by "negotiate" I may mean "makeouts, possibly with Ekalu", if that's what you're Yuletiding for.

I love Sphene and Zeiat, the two outsiders on Mercy of Kalr. So I want missing scenes from Zeiat and Sphene's Calvinball-esque counters game. How did the eggshells get involved? What is Sphene thinking about all of this, as an ancillary cut off from its ship, not expecting to come back? Does Zeiat ever refer to her job as Translator, in her own "not thinking like anything in Radch space" fashion? What do passing crew - and Mercy of Kalr - think of this oddball duo? Do they ever meet again, in some future event?

Random Zeiat and everyone - anyone - else is a tall order, but if you are so moved to, say, try 1,000 words of Zeiat bugging Tisarwat (who, with Anaander Mianaai's memories, might have some interesting feelings about Presger Translators), or anyone else, go for it!

And Sphene! Seriously, you would write 1,000 words of Sphene reading the telephone book, sarcastically and caustically, while contemplating murderous vengeance on Anaander Mianaai, and I'd be thrilled. Ancient history like the Notai defeat that ended in the deaths of Captain Minask Nenkur and Sphene's crew would be tragic and awesome. Or the Sphene and Queter Bitter Injustices Of The Universe Show, With Tea, that would be cool. Or Seivarden and Sphene, the captain who lost her ship and the shop that lost its captain, and their mismatched issues, have to team up, for Reasons. Bonus points for any time Sphene calls Breq, or Athoek Station, or any other AI cousin.

But most of all, dear writer, have fun! I don't get to read a lot of fic in any of these fandoms, so I really will be happy if you just write that one story you've wanted to get out, however serious or silly, and haven't gotten around to. Happy yuletide!

P. S. So matching snuck up on me and I made some tweaks on 10/30. HTH, writer.