Cosmos

Mar. 10th, 2014 04:38 pm
arduinna: early galactic star formation (star formation)
I saw my first ad for Cosmos about a month ago, which consisted of a lot of visuals and no obvious indication of who the host would be.

First reaction: outrage! "Cosmos is Carl Sagan's! No one else can do it!"

Second reaction: "... hm, unless they got Neil deGrasse Tyson. He could do it."

*brief interlude of rewinding and watching the footage slowly over and over again, trying to pin down the tiny flash of host I'd caught out of the corner of my eye*

Third reaction: "WOO Neil deGrasse Tyson! This should be great!"

The first episode aired last night, and was everything I'd hoped. There were a lot of callbacks to the original that made me happy, including some straight-up repetition of approach and dialogue. But it wasn't a rip-off; it was clearly an homage to tie the two versions together. This is an updated revision, not a wholesale rewrite, and I totally dig that. Also it's hugely clear that Tyson admired and respected the hell out of Sagan, as a scientist, a person, and the man who'd helped popularize a lot of science almost 35 years ago. The final few minutes of the episode had me choking up.

(Also holy cow, they got Obama to do the intro.)

I can't wait for the rest of this series.

And then there's this, which has me grinning all over my face:

arduinna: a tarot-card version of Linus from Peanuts, carrying a lamp as The Hermit (Default)
I keep meaning to post about this and then getting distracted, and it's probably all over Tumblr anyway, but hey.

So, last year, when the Kickstarter campaign got announced, I was both intrigued and wary -- what a cool idea! But erk, what if Hollywood decides "get the fans to pay to make the movie, then pay to watch it, woo" is a great business model? But I figured there's no way this movie had a chance in hell of happening otherwise, and I'd loved first season VM, so... sure. I kicked in. Then watched in awe as the numbers climbed and climbed and CLIMBED.

From the get-go, I thought Rob Thomas was being pretty damn decent about everything. The rewards were spread out nicely, and a digital download came at a lower level than the DVD, instead of being added as an extra perk for a higher level, so more people had a shot at it. The original idea was to get people the digital download a few days after the theater premiere, which is more than reasonable.

I've been on the backers update mailings ever since, and I gotta say: the VM team is working its ass off to make this movie available to as many people as possible, as fast as possible, with as few hurdles as possible. The first few months were obviously focused on making the movie, but the last few months have all been about distribution as far and wide as possible.

At this point:
  • They got the entire series streaming on Amazon Prime in time for people to watch one ep per day leading up to the movie release.

  • The movie's being released widely across the US. And there are advanced screenings the night before in 17 US cities. For a fan-funded movie.

  • The movie will premiere in theaters in Canada, the UK, Ireland, and Germany on the same day. No staggered releases. (... wait, I take that back. Germany's premiering it on the 13th, a day earlier than the US.)

  • Some countries that aren't officially getting it in theaters are getting "fan screenings" set up by Warner Bros: Sweden, Mexico, Australia.

  • Can't get a theater or fan event? Check your cable/satellite, or digital retailers (like Amazon or iTunes). This is being released digitally across the world on premiere day. All backers who contributed at least $35 will be sent instructions on how to stream/download their copies on the same day as well. No waiting.

  • They've set up a line of tie-in novels. Because fan-funded film. The first book is co-written by Rob Thomas and will be available on March 25 (I haven't read the blurb or anything else, and would rather not hear spoilers, if this is canonical to post-VM-movie, tyk!). He's already said that the first novel is canonical to both show and movie, and will remain so; if there's another movie, it will either be an adaptation of that book or will be set after it. (Which totally counts as a gift to the fans because look at all the arguments about "yeah but is the book *canon*?" he just stopped!)

  • At the same time Rob Thomas is working on his own tie-in novels, he's added the VM universe to Kindle Worlds and announced that now people can write fanfic! Which, okay, I pat them on their little heads at the idea that fans need an official sandbox to play in, but still: it's a solid tip of the hat to the idea that this universe is about more than just them, and it gives fans who want to go that route a chance to make some money for their fanfic, just like him (at least in theory). (Also, sort of adorably, he carefully explains that Kindle Worlds novels won't be canon, they'll be fanon. Although tsk, he links to Wikipedia instead of Fanlore for both definitions. Someone needs to put him in touch with Orlando Jones, he'll steer him right.)

  • They set up a Cafepress fan portal as the gateway to all VM merchandise on Cafepress -- from official merch to fan-created stuff, all mixed in together. Fan-created stuff has limitations like no images from the source, and needs to be approved before it's added, but anyone can make it, and again can make some cash on sales of stuff relating to this universe, with official blessing.

  • For US folks only, Apple has a few Countdown to Veronica Mars offers, including a free download of the extended pilot (not the aired version), a behind-the-scenes featurette, and ways to order or pre-order VM stuff (soundtrack, novel, movie).


This is all just sort of unreal, in terms of how Hollywood usually treats fans. They're going way out of their way to make this as inclusive a deal as possible. Warner Bros is doing a lot of the heavy lifting there; they told him they'd do distribution if he raised the money to make it. But this is just staggering. Free screenings, international distribution deals (whatever they set up with Germany set back the DVD release, so there's some real negotiation going on here), merch and fic that fans can get a cut of, simultaneous global digital release across both broadcast/on-demand and download services, not to mention on the same day as the global theater release... holy cow. If this is the lesson Hollywood takes away from this Kickstarter, everyone wins, man.

I can't believe all of this has only taken a single year. This is amazing stuff.
arduinna: a tarot-card version of Linus from Peanuts, carrying a lamp as The Hermit (Default)
Does anyone know how to rip an Amazon video to be able to vid with it? It's even legal now (woo, DMCA exemption!), but the googling I'm doing is bringing up very few programs with even fewer reviews, so I'm not sure what's reasonable and what's potentially malware. I'd be happiest with something free, obviously, but am willing to pay for something that works. Amazon has some stuff that iTunes doesn't, and it's starting to get frustrating.

The two options that seem to be most likely are GetFLV and Aimersoft Video Converter Ultimate. Anyone have experience with either one, or know of something better? (CNet loves GetFLV, gave it a five-star Editor's Pick rating, but the user reviews are full of people claiming spyware/malware...)

Legal or not, it is so hard to leave this post open!
arduinna: chibi Finch and Reese from Person of Interest (POI - Finch <3 Reese)
I have hit that point of not posting where posting is hard and I feel like I need to work and rework everything to make it good enough to put out there, which is ridiculous and yet. (Even more ridiculous, as I still have a couple December questions to answer, and at this point we're coming on for February...)

So this post has been written in three phases. I'm just going to post it as is, a little disjointedly, because trying to mesh it all into one thing that looks like I wrote it in one sitting will take me another month, and I'd rather have it up while last week's episode is still vaguely "new". ish.

So!

For [personal profile] astolat: Talk to me about Harold/John! Especially Harold/John right now! (I totally want help with my own rowing.)

I'm writing I was writing this with half an hour to go before tonight's last week's episode (3x13), and may well rue this by the time it's over. But I've been thinking about the past few weeks, and how I'm making them work in my head, so.

spoilers for s3 of POI )

Okay, so at that point the ep had been airing for half an hour and I couldn't take it and had to go watch. So now I am caught up to 3x13 and will be talking about that, too.

more spoilers! 3x13, '4C' )
arduinna: Nathan hugging the stuffing out of Duke, from Haven (Haven hug)
I wrote Haven for Yuletide! I was a little hesitant to offer it, partly because I'd also requested it, and partly because I'm always nervous writing for the first time in a non-tiny fandom for some reason. But I love the show, and this season in particular I was over the moon about Duke and Nathan, so it was too tempting to resist.

Bank Shot (5522 words) by Arduinna
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Haven
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: Author Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Duke Crocker/Nathan Wuornos
Characters: Duke Crocker, Nathan Wuornos
Additional Tags: Pre-Canon, Reunions, Reunion Sex
Summary:

Nathan's got the weekend off, and Duke Crocker's back in town.



That's not the best summary ever, but I was stymied. My title and summary always wind up being last, and this time I had a punch-drunk version in my head I couldn't get rid of, and that I couldn't use because they were: )

... yeah. No. *g* But it meant I was scrambling and wound up with the most basic thing imaginable. Oh well. I'm pretty pleased with the title, at least.

I was extra-happy to be asked about Haven and the Duke/Nathan fanservice coming out of it this season in the December meme, because it let me wallow around in fourth season and do some more thinking about these two and how they fit together, even if I then had to be very careful not to go into anything that might give away what I was writing. Thanks, [personal profile] justhuman - that couldn't have been better timing! <3

rambling a bit about story process )

Meanwhile, in the rest of Yuletide, I didn't get nearly enough read this year before reveals, and my recs count is woefully down from previous years. I blame the Wednesday holidays; I didn't have any time off from work, and just never had time to settle in to a few days of nonstop reading like I prefer. Next year, I am determined to do more!

In the meantime, though, here's the handful of recs for this year so far, and I should be adding to this for a while.
arduinna: Cartoon Walter and William Bell from Fringe, with the thought bubble "how wonderful!" (wonderful)
A week late, but here we go with the catch-up edition of the meme.

[personal profile] quarter_to_five asked for: Fringe vs. Person of Interest

Huh. I'm not sure what angle to tackle this from! But I'll ramble on and see what happens.

I was intrigued by Fringe from the original ads, and watched the first few eps live, but I think I drifted away for a bit. Partly things weren't quite grabbing me hard enough, and partly I stopped trusting JJ Abrams shows after Alias; he loves mysteries but hates answers, and that's frustrating to me. But by mid-season I was back and caught up, and never left again; by the end of first season, I was actively pimping people into the show. Some of the things that really upset a lot of the fanbase in the last season or two didn't bother me; I was along for the ride without any real qualms. It was one of those shows where I watched pretty religiously but didn't really go looking for fanac, beyond enjoying vids at Vividcon, and I didn't pay that much attention to what other people were saying about it.

In a lot of ways, I reacted to it the way I did Farscape several years earlier; I was in it for the mindfuck and the sheer sense of "this is SF, and we can do whatever the hell we want to". Hedgehog man? Sure! Time-traveling bald aliens in hats? Sure! FBI agent all mpregged up with worms? Sure! A cow hanging out in a lab where homemade LSD was being created next to genetic experimentation next to a window into an alternate universe? SURE! \o/

I was absolutely terrible at keeping track of things except in the moment; I was hugely impressed at people who were writing in the different universes, or crossing the different universes, because my brain was basically just stuck on "wheeee!"

Person of Interest was different; the few ads I saw before it aired didn't particularly interest me, and I never even turned it on. Then partway through first season, [personal profile] dorinda came to town for a visit with a fistful of eps (having recently been pimped in by [personal profile] sakana17, and by the time she left a few days later, [personal profile] mollyamory, [personal profile] therienne, and I were all completely hooked. For the first time in years, I wanted everything with this one: more canon, all the fic, vids, art, gimme gimme GIMME. (Not that I've managed to catch up with everything, or keep up as things have gone along, mind you.)

About the only thing it has in common with Fringe is that it has SF elements; it approaches them very differently, with no real sense of gleeful abandon. More of a wary paranoid protectionism. *g*

It's -- huh. Huh.

Fringe had that gleeful abandon in the possibilities it was willing to explore and was full of people being heroes, but really was dystopic; universes crashing together, thousands people dying horribly, really just vast amounts of misery, and nothing anyone did made a difference, except to make things demonstrably worse, at least for someone, somewhere, right down the line. (Which is why I still think they got the finale wrong, but hey.) It was all sort of summed up by Walter at the heart of it all, singing and dancing in delight but so incredibly, incredibly broken at his core.

POI is way more dystopian on the face of it, with the sociopathic spies and the brutal government agencies and the secrecy and the spying and seriously, but the heart of it, to me, is people learning to trust and love each other, creating families out of (often self-imposed) isolation, learning to look past the grimdark world and find a little comfort and humanity. Trying to make things better almost always works, if only in small ways (and small ways are almost the only way it works -- Finch already knows that trying to save the world will only make it worse).

I think, with Fringe, I watched to see what would happen next; I was in it for the characters, sure, but also hugely for the universe itself, and all the weirdnesses therein. And the multiple versions of the characters, of course -- ye gods, but Anna Torv and John Noble are good at that. But I never got personally invested in the other versions, particularly. As the show got increasingly convoluted and started eating its own tail a bit, I was a distant enough observer that I could ride it out, just sorta fascinated to see where it went.

With POI, I watch for the characters and their relationships, and "what happens next" is basically just the framework within which those relationships develop for me. I don't sit back and go "wheee!", I lean forward and go "omg he *tapped the eggs benedict on the menu*!" and "oh he's so upset that the phone went dead!" and "holy crap, that was a complicated emotional eyeroll! From JOHN! eeee"" and "omg WASHING BEAR TOGETHER" and the like. And I am super-invested in these characters, which is making the current part of the current season kinda dicey for me, where if this season's POI events had happened in Fringe, I would have sailed right past them, I think. (I'm sort of... rowing past them, in POI. It's a lot more effort and my shoulders hurt and there are blisters involved and ow. But I'm moving.)

Okay, that was really interesting to sort out in my head. Very cool question!

---

Full list here, with a few spots still open!

Yuletide!

Dec. 26th, 2013 03:16 am
arduinna: Santa-hatted Momo (from Avatar the Last Airbender), saying "mo mo mo" (Yuletide)
(But first, I am so far behind on the meme, zomg -- I'm currently very glad that most of the end of the month didn't fill up, so I can shift the questions I haven't answered forward. I will get to them all!)

Yuletide bears ate me for most of the last week, but I got a story done and posted and edited and tweaked and made myself stop touching it a few hours before midnight on the 24th, to be safe. *g* Today was supposed to be for hours and hours of reading, but was more like a little reading, and then hanging out with [personal profile] mollyamory and [personal profile] therienne for a wonderful dinner and some presents and Doctor Who and a very nostalgic trip to the pilot episode of Stargate Atlantis.

But I did manage to read both my gifts, of which I got two! I don't usually get treats, so I was hugely chuffed to see one this year.

My official story was in Haven, which I'm just beaming over, having spent some time earlier this month wallowing in the joy of this season of Haven -- the story itself is set during the season opener, which! Really couldn't be better timing. This melted me into a little puddle of happy goo.

Complicated (3081 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Haven
Rating: Mature
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Duke Crocker/Nathan Wuornos
Characters: Duke Crocker, Nathan Wuornos, Jennifer Mason (Haven)
Additional Tags: Bruises, Hurt/Comfort, Bathing/Washing, Reunions, Missing Scene, Complicated Relationships, Self-Flagellation, Empathy, Kissing, Minor Injuries, Napping, Season/Series 04, Established Relationship, Yuletide Assignment, Yuletide 2013
Summary:

Having just found Nathan busily involved in his own peculiar brand of self-flagellation, Duke spends some time getting him cleaned up and the both of them reacquainted. (Takes place during the reunion scene of Season 4, Episode 1, "Fallout.")



The treat was in Forever Knight, and also made me really happy. I miss Schanke like crazy, and the author did a great job with him and the world he inhabits (and if you're a Cohen fan, she nailed Cohen in this, too).

Copper's Instinct (5788 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Forever Knight
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Nick Knight, Don Schanke, Amanda Cohen, Natalie Lambert, Officer Lipinski, Sgt. Mandrake (Forever Knight), Myra Schanke, Jenny Schanke, Det. McCabe (Forever Knight), Det. Dreyfus (Forever Knight), Janette DuCharme
Additional Tags: Canon Related, Wordcount: Over 1.000
Summary:

Schanke's perspective on the events of the Season Two premiere, "Killer Instinct".



I foolishly didn't take any time off this week or next, and I'm losing prime reading time on Sunday to a family get-together, so I'm flailing a bit at how to make it through the rest of the archive before reveals. But it's a fun kind of flailing, at least.

Yay, Yuletide!

And now to bed, so I can work tomorrow. Woe.
arduinna: Santa-hatted Momo (from Avatar the Last Airbender), saying "mo mo mo" (Yuletide)
for BEARS.

I'm behind again, and am going to stay that way for a few days -- I'll shift the questions out a bit and tackle them after the Yuletide deadline.

(I'm behind on comments, too, but hopefully won't have to push them out quite so far *g*)
arduinna: Nathan hugging the stuffing out of Duke, from Haven (Haven hug)
I shifted the Dec 14 question forward a few days, since I did two posts on Saturday, and then I forgot to answer Sunday's. Whoops! So this one is for December 15.

[personal profile] justhuman asked: Tell me about Duke and Nathan and the fanservice that's gushing out of Haven

Oh, man, I'm not even sure I can be coherent about this. This season has been a Duke/Nathan slasher's dream )

---

Full request list here, still open!
arduinna: slice of a Stargate cake, showing the Earth glyph (starcake)
Another make-up post! This one was meant for December 13.

for [personal profile] princessofgeeks: How you came to compile your absolutely kickass and indispensable handbook for the Gateverse.

Believe it or not, it was kind of an accident.

And oh, hee -- this has morphed in my head over the years to just "I wanted to write SG-1 and was intimidated by the sheer amount of information in the show, and wanted to have a way to look things up by subject rather than episode (which is how existing sites, like the fantabulous rdanderson.com, tended to organize things)." But I've been poking at old versions of the site and just came across a note that says that I started it because I wanted to know what Jack's medals were, which sounds... exactly right.

But the other is also right, if less specific. I'd never been involved in a military-based fandom and didn't have a strong grip on the military stuff, and for all I've been an SF fan forever, I'd never written any before. Plus there were lots of characters to keep track of. I wanted information at hand to look things up as I needed to when I started writing, and going by episode was too cumbersome for me. I wanted things organized by subject so I could see at a glance all the times Jack got injured, or whatever.

So just for myself, I started organizing some vital stats on a webpage so I could get at it from anywhere; I think the very first one was just a plain list. Eventually I organized that into a nice little table, and I think that's the point at which I told a few friends about it, since I knew they were also writing SG1 and thought it might be useful for them.

Then a while after that, someone on a list asked a question, and someone I'd never heard of linked them to my page. Oh dear god. *g* I'd never actually intended it for broader public consumption; it wasn't that good! I'd never even linked to it from my main page. But clearly it was public now, and I had two options: buckle down and make it better, or take it down quietly (at that point, there was still some info on it basically taken directly from other sites -- when this was a personal project, I wasn't worried about that, since I knew I was using those sites for reference, just reorganizing the notes a bit. So I didn't have disclaimers or whatever up.)

I enjoyed the taking notes and organizing info, though, and honestly it was really happy-making to see people getting use from the site, so I decided to keep going with it. I reworked everything that I'd borrowed with my own notes/observations, I expanded things, I started putting updates pages up.

Note-taking got steadily easier and more complicated at the same time: I went from tapes and a pen&paper to a TiVo (pause and rewind, omg yay) and eventually a laptop (no more transcribing!), then DVDs and a better laptop. Easier and easier! I built myself templates for as much as possible, so I could just plug things in as I went through episodes. But the easier it got to focus on tiny details, the more tiny details I wanted to focus on.

I went from tracking major things happening to the main characters to tracking everything that happened to everyone, every race, every planet, every Earth-based organization, every bit of technology, every scrap of alien language. It originally took me a couple of hours to take notes on an ep, I think, and then another couple to transcribe and format the info to put up. By the end, it was taking me 5-10 hours per ep for notes, and several hours for formatting/inserting into the site (which meant not just putting the info in its own slot, but crosslinking it anywhere it needed to be crosslinked, keeping the Site Index updated with new terms or additions to old terms [like new SG teams, new people in established races, new tech], repeating everything in a structured, easy-to-read format on the Updates page -- there was lots of detail work).

I revamped and/or relocated the site every couple of years, trying to make it easier to navigate and more useful for people. I was really set on keeping it all on one page for many years, though; I didn't have a search engine, and I think I wanted people to be able to just ctl-f to whatever they needed. When I started breaking things out, it was sloooowly.

I loved it; it had become my main form of fannish engagement (I wound up barely ever writing a word of SG-1, I was so caught up in the canonical details of the show), and I just really loved being useful to people. I tried hard to keep the site shipping-neutral, and tried hard not to present my opinions as facts; I included them when I felt strongly about something, but I tried to make sure they were clearly marked as opinions in that case. When it got too unwieldy to include SGA information, I revamped the entire site into CSS and created two versions, one for each show (oh my god, coding a site that big and sprawling, all written in plain html, into CSS -- it is not fun. But for a while there, I was really good at coding basic CSS! Okay, it wasn't good CSS, it was kludgy and odd in spots. But it mostly worked, and I think the site looked cleaner and easier to read.) That took months (I was starting from less than zero, and there were a lot of failed attempts), and that put me months behind on eps. So I spent the next year trying to catch up, and failing, and burning out. Which made me cranky, because seriously, I cannot tell you how much I loved working on that site.

At some point I decided, okay, instead of just failing to catch up, I'm going to take a break, and let myself not worry about it for a month or two. I was clearly burned out and needed to recover. I spent the next several years absolutely convinced I was going to go back to working on it, any day now, and just utterly unable to face starting, because in the meantime I'd rediscovered the rest of fandom. I was reading fanfic again; I was watching vids; I was watching tv and reading books. And I had so much to catch up on in terms of notes for SG-1 and SGA that I knew it would take over my fannish life again. (I was also suffering from an undiagnosed sleep disorder that meant I was beyond exhausted all the time without even realizing it, so looking back on it, it's no wonder I couldn't face the effort it would take to pick it back up.)

And by that time, there were SG wikis, and all kinds of other resources out there. My site was no longer necessary the way it had been originally; people could easily find out whatever they wanted. So it languished, and I've largely stopped feeling guilty about it.

But hey, for what it is, it's pretty complete and useful, and it's not bad for something I started completely by accident, because I didn't want to forget how many times (and when) people got injured. *g*

Every now and then I've had a moment in other fandoms where I wanted to start it all up again for something new; the urge to catalog ALL the details can be really strong for me. But I think the SG Handbook is going to stand alone. <3

Okay, I'm hijacking this a bit for my own purposes here - I'm figuring how and when I changed things, with links to old versions where I have them )

---

Full request list here, still open!
arduinna: a tarot-card version of Linus from Peanuts, carrying a lamp as The Hermit (Default)
I'm so late with this -- sorry! It was mean to be for December 12. Apparently performance review week at work was just enough added stuff to push me off my schedule.

for [personal profile] sholio: how about your favorite fannish trope? Or any one of them that you'd like to talk about. :)

Oh, there are so many tropes that make me happy. I've been thinking and thinking about this question off and on since Sholio asked it, thinking wow, I'm just fickle; I keep veering from one to another. I mean, I've always known that I don't have a bulletproof trope kink the way a lot of people do, but still - surely I could settle on something.

So I settled on first time, then realized that well, first time but also all kinds of tropes that can lead to first times -- hurt/comfort; cave fic / desert island / Canadian shack; two men, one bed; huddling for warmth...

And then I realized that really, I like all of those for gen, too, if the point of them is warmth. Er, emotional warmth, not just physical warmth. *g*

Which is when the lightbulb went off: my bulletproof trope kink is intimacy tropes in general. And not really established intimacy -- which I also enjoy! -- but growing intimacy, or even surprise unexpected intimacy. I don't think there's one specific path that makes me happiest, but what I love is people realizing that they mean more to each other than they'd thought, or knowing that and finding the courage to say or do something about it, or realizing that the other person feels like that, too.

So in canons, one of the things I'm drawn to is characters who don't necessarily expect to like or trust each other, then that starts changing -- White Collar, where Neal and Peter like and trust each other even when they know they shouldn't, necessarily; Person of Interest, where Finch and Reese, who should be safely isolated from each other in their complementary paranoid distrust of everyone, instead grow together to the point that have rainy-day activities and walk their puppy together and panic if one of them loses contact; Haven, where Duke-the-smuggler and Nathan-the-cop bitch and moan about each other and declare to anyone who'll listen that they don't like or trust each other, but who have each other's backs without a blink (okay, maybe with a blink *g*); Grimm, where Nick runs into people who should hate or fear him, or whom he should be lying to to protect them, and instead just talks honestly to them and builds himself a Scooby gang like no Grimm has ever had before, with people willing to go to the mat for him on all sides (and vice versa); on and on.

Give me a mismatched set of people, or people with obstacles between them that they overcome to deepen their relationship, and I'm there. (Or, for that matter, characters like Magneto and Xavier, who started out friends, realized that they have intensely fundamental differences and wound up on opposite sides, but who never lost their connection; see also Doctor and Master, etc.) Found families ftw.

In fanfic, I like that extra little (or big) push than we tend to see in canon, whether gen or slash -- the h/c, the bed-sharing that isn't played for a joke, the intimacy that can come with isolation. I also like a particular version of WNGWJLEO; not in a "we could never be *gay*, ew" way, but if one or both characters has always thought he was straight, and finds himself falling for his partner and realizing oh, er, not so straight after all - I love that. It's a huge obstacle, and it tends to work best for me in buddy pairs that would expect to get along -- cop partners, fellow soldiers, fellow scientists. Which really should have a different acronym, I guess -- something like Huh, I Never Knew I Was Queer (HINKIWQ). (Which in my head is now "hinky-wick", which is cracking me up.)

So, yeah. Tropes that lead to intimacy; they'll get me every time.

---

Full request list here, still open!
arduinna: a tarot-card version of Linus from Peanuts, carrying a lamp as The Hermit (Default)
For [personal profile] cesperanza: Why one vid a year, why??? How do you know what fandom? Is it compulsion? a list? the song?

Sometimes it's two! One year it was three! ... Okay, that was the first year we made anything, and it was a fluke. *g*

But yes, okay, most years it's one vid. We don't do it on purpose. It's more a combination of things: we're hugely deadline-driven, we're entirely song-driven, and we have limited vidding time.

We basically only vid for cons, which works out to "we vid for Vividcon"; I think we've released two vids at Escapade in 12 years, and everything else has been Vividcon. It's also really hard for us to vid for a con we're not going to be at; we want to see the reaction. So years that we don't go to a con, we may very well not produce anything, despite making the attempt; there's just not enough push to finish if we start having problems.

We can't start until we have a song; neither one of us understands how people decide on an idea and then go looking for a song that matches it. We do have a small pile of songs we've collected over the years that we want to make a vid to someday, but mostly we get inspired by things we hear during the year. We send things back and forth to each other, and at some point something sticks. But because we're deadline-driven, we usually really only start *focusing* on songs in February or March, when we start thinking about that year's VVC. It's completely normal for us not to have a song, and thus no idea for a vid, until March and sometimes even April. (We start getting twitchy if we don't have anything by April.)

We never know the fandom till we have the song. The odds are extremely high it'll be something we're currently invested in, but we watch a lot of stuff and it could be any of it. We generally both gravitate toward the same fandom for a given song; sometimes we don't, but one person's idea will match it better, or they'll have a better story idea, or whatever, so that fandom takes over pretty fast. I think there's only ever been one where we went back and forth on the fandom almost up till the moment we started vidding (Haunted, which could have been a Dead Zone vid instead of Odyssey 5 - but I think we made the right call there).

We also do sometimes hit the barrier of one of us loving a song, or loving it for a particular fandom, and the other one just not really feeling it. Those vids tend not to get made, just because it's easier for us to vid together, and generally there's *something* we can agree on out there. We're lucky in that our fandoms overlap to a ridiculous degree, as does our idea of what makes a good vid song for us to work with.

So once we've got a deadline and a song/fandom/idea we're both on board with, we start vidding. But we do our vidding at [personal profile] therienne's place, which has always meant I have to physically be there. So between our offset work schedules and the fact that I'm a raging introvert who needs lots of down time, that means that most of our vidding happens on Saturdays. On top of that, we're usually only good for about six hours of vidding in any given day (flat-out or broken up into chunks, doesn't matter -- it almost always adds up to six hours max). At six hours a week, it takes a lot of weeks to get a vid done! (Okay, it takes us a lot of weeks. I know other people can produce an entire vid in six hours, but we're slow.)

We do ramp up more as the Vividcon deadline approaches; I start going over both days on the weekend, and in the last couple of weeks, I go over after work more and more as well to get in at least an hour or two of tweaking things and working out technical issues. By the final week, I'm there basically every day for at least a few hours, more if I can manage it. But by the time we're done and uploaded, we're both so burned out that we don't want to see each other for a while, and then we get out of the habit of vidding. And then it's Yuletide, so it's writing time, and vidding gets punted till the next year.

A lot of years, we have more than one vid in mind, and will even start working on more than one. This past year, we had three going at once. It was very ambitious! But as the deadline approaches, we have to decide which one gets the most focus, and put the others aside. Some years we can still manage to get two out; most years, it's just the one. (If it's two, it's likely to be one more complex/involved one and one much simpler one. The one year we produced two complex ones -- Jerusalem and Walking on the Ground -- nearly killed us.) We don't forget about the ones we put aside; some stay on the back burner. But some were really only viable for the particular season we were in, and we never really touch them again.

So we sort of only vid for 4-5 months out of the year, a few hours at a time, usually on just one song (or narrowing down from several to one as we go), and then we take a really, really long break before we start up again. *g* Despite our repeated best intentions to not stop this time, which we say every year before we collapse from VVC deadline stress.

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arduinna: a tarot-card version of Linus from Peanuts, carrying a lamp as The Hermit (Default)
For [personal profile] heresluck: Of all the vids you've made, which is the one where what you actually produced most closely matches what you wanted to do?

Oh, huh, good question! (er, [personal profile] therienne and I vid together as [personal profile] flummery [all vids here], for anyone reading along who didn't know that. So when I talk about vidding, it tends to be in the plural.)

We usually talk vids out pretty thoroughly before we start vidding, so there aren't really many that go off in a direction we didn't expect. But it is true that we often refine and adjust as we go, so the end result isn't quite what we'd planned initially.

I think the one that comes absolutely closest is our first-ever vid, Kryptonite for Invisible Man. We didn't just talk that one out originally; we outlined it verse by verse, line by line, well before we ever started vidding. (In fact, we were those fans, the one who earnestly sent that outline to a vidder friend saying "hey, we had this great idea, can you make it?" She was very kind in her refusal. *g* ♥Snady♥)

We lost that outline before we got into vidding ourselves, so we thought we were basically starting fresh with the vid, talking it out all over again and writing notes. Plus we were vidding live source, right up to the weekend before it premiered at Escapade, so things had to have been changing. But years later we found a copy of that original outline, and it was astonishing how closely we'd hewed to it after all. So on a very specific level, that's the one that matches.

Although even as I'm typing that, I'm having little "but what about!" moments, because a lot of our vids definitely tell the story we wanted them to from the getgo, we just had to adjust our approaches to make them sharper, clearer stories. We always start with the music that leads to the idea, not an idea that we then have to search for music for, so we usually have a pretty solid goal in mind by the time we start laying clips.

Okay, I'm amused; I just called [personal profile] therienne to get her opinion, and she came up with a three-way tie -- and then went on to talk about how Kryptonite was line-by-line exact to the outline we'd written up a year and a half before vidding it. So clearly that's her strongest candidate, too.

We differ slightly on the next two: we both agree that Walking on the Ground (meta) is a close second -- once we realized what kind of meta we were going for, we knew exactly what we wanted, and that's what we wound up with. For me the third closest is Handlebars (Doctor Who); for [personal profile] therienne, it's Jerusalem (BSG). Both of us can see the other's reasoning on those, so maybe those are a third-place tie. (We knew the Handlebars theme instantly, and how we wanted to present the Doctor, but we weren't sure about specifics, and had to grind our way through the verses a bit; Jerusalem fell into place a bit more easily once we realized it had to be a triple POV and what "Jerusalem" meant for each character, but that was not our original thought, and it took a lot of working things out to realize that's what we needed.)

I think the big exception to matching our original intention is Ramalama, for Once Upon a Time. We talked out the Regina-and-Snow vid we wanted to make for it, we got all our clips, we started vidding -- and partway in, we realized it wasn't supposed to be Regina-and-Snow, it was Regina-and-Rumple-mirrored, and the entire focus of the vid changed. We had to reclip and re-do everything. Very annoying, as we'd specifically chosen not to clip most of the Rumple shots, because we were worried he'd take over the vid if we included him. (Yeah, that should have been our first clue, really.)

---

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arduinna: a tarot-card version of Linus from Peanuts, carrying a lamp as The Hermit (Default)
for [personal profile] kass: reminisce about your first fandom. What did you love about it?

This ties back into the first post I did, about the people I encountered first in fandom: my first online fandom foray was Forever Knight, and I adored it. Part of it was the fandom itself; I really had a blast, met some great people, wrote my first fanfic there*. Part of it was just that it was the first time I realized that hey, I really am a media fan -- and wow, other people liked this weird little show that I loved! Cue fandom honeymoon phase. *g* I should say upfront, though, that this was nearly 20 years ago (wow, seriously -- next spring/summer will be my 20 year online-fandom anniversary), so I've lost a lot of details, and a lot of what's left has turned rosy in memory.

I kept going off on tangents here about my pre-FK background, but suffice to say that I didn't know any media fans, and was always surrounded by people who thought it was weird to want to watch a tv episode more than once, or tape it so you didn't miss an ep, or talk about a show in any depth. So to find people who not only liked to watch tv the way I did, but loved this one particular oddball, late-night show, was amazing. I only had a computer at work for the first year or two, so I would stay late and go in on the weekends to keep up with everything. I looked like the world's most dedicated employee. *kof*

Then I started going off on more tangents, because my remembered love of FK is inextricably linked to my delight in finding the internet and online fandom at large: the lists, the shared culture (and the bits that weren't shared), using tools like IRC and FTP, putting fannish images into a rotating screensaver, realizing that the lists were full of women -- not exclusively, but there were a lot of women, and it was so rare for me to find women who liked the things I liked.

So all of that was also great, and is a huge part of my memory of FK fandom.

I loved the way the fandom structured itself. The main list was Forkni-l. Basically everyone was on that list; that's where the fandom lived. There was also a fic list, fkfic-l, for gen fic, and an ftp archive to store the stories that got posted there; an erotica list, JADFE, for het or slash erotica (this kinda blew my mind, that you could get erotica so easily, and slash, too! that wasn't about Kirk and Spock!) (not that I was specifically looking for non-K/S, just that the only slash I'd seen in almost 15 years was K/S, and it was a revelation that people were writing it for other characters. IDK, I was sheltered or something.). And partway through second season, another list was created, FKSPOILR, for spoilery discussion, to keep the main list safe for people who didn't want spoilers. I actually joined the spoiler list! ... For about a day, then realized nope, I really didn't want to know. I was happier on the now-spoiler-free main list. (No, I didn't imprint at all on the idea that spoilers should be kept completely separate from general conversation, why do you ask?) And the different factions would form off-list "loops", where they could focus more intently on the characters or pairings they liked, without taking over the main list, which then got to stay for general show discussion that everyone could participate it. It was the best of all worlds, IMO; a really centralized place where the entire fandom hung out together, and lots of smaller offshoot areas where people could focus on their own thing.

It was a great gateway fandom for me all around. The list was active and full of people who liked all sorts of different things about the show, and that "we all like different aspects and characters" was built in to the list culture in the form of factions. Which I guess might sound confrontational? But they weren't; factions were just a way of letting people know what character or pairing you liked best, and it absolutely didn't mean you were bashing other characters or fans of other characters. (There was even a faction for people who liked all the characters equally.) It made it really weird for me later in other fandoms, when things started turning into "well, if you like that pairing, you must hate this other one!" because -- no? It's just not my thing, and that's okay. And there was never a limit on factions; as the fandom grew, the number of factions grew, as people liked more and more things. There was room for absolutely everyone. Not that people didn't some time get a little over-invested in their factions, but mostly the point was to have a good time with it.

The faction thing was also the first way I learned about fandom wars -- but not like any other fandom's wars. FK wars were giant round-robins where factions competed and collaborated and had a blast. They wouldn't have been nearly as much fun if everyone approached the show from the same direction.

Forever Knight also started me on the road to technical competence, as I learned how to hook two VCRs together to dub tapes so I could swap with other people (this seems so meaninglessly easy now, but it was hard then; I had an idea of what I wanted to do and knew it was possible, but the guys at Radio Shack were utterly flummoxed. And the cables I used were like nothing I've used since; they were specifically for dubbing VCR to VCR, and when I finally unhooked those two original VCRs last year -- no, really, they'd been hooked up all that time -- I didn't even recognize the cables). I learned what IRC was and how to use it, including things like dcc'ing files around, and then made friends with people in the IRC channel who I'm still in touch with nearly 20 years later, and it's still one of my favorite ways to get to know someone. I learned not to be shy about contacting people, whether to see if I could get tapes with the Canadian eps (which I could, and which I still have some somewhere <3) or just to strike up an offlist conversation.

I went to parties and gatherings, mostly with the local slash contingent, where we had a good time. My favorite memory of that was someone trying to figure out the name of the episode where a particular thing happened, and everyone saying no, that never happened, until someone realized she was talking about a Susan Garrett story. *g* (Seriously, very easy to mistake one of her stories for canon -- she created an OC that was so well-drawn that he had his own faction.)

I got my hands on whatever images I could; I just found a folder with a bunch of FK images from 1996 and 1997, although I don't know whether I got these over email, IRC, AOL chats, or what. They're mostly tiny by today's standards, but I loved them; I think I put them into a rotating screensaver. At least one is a digital manip. I'm grinning all over my face looking at them now; I remember them so well!

I got exposed very fast to the idea that TPTB were around and interacting with the fans; we had both actors and behind the scenes folks on the list, and while Nigel Bennett (Lacroix) never said anything publicly that I remember, Fred Mollin (the music guy) used to post fairly regularly. When Sony decided to try tie-in novels, they read the archive and hired three fanfic writers to write them. Really good training for the steady erosion of the fourth wall, when you get right down to it.

FK was the first time I heard people talking about songs that went well with particular fandoms; basically they were talking about vidsongs, although I'm not sure if I quite understood that at the time. I remember a conversation with someone where I was all "oh, huh, it never occurred to me to listen to music like that, to match it to a show" and them saying that once you start doing it, you can't help it, you do it all the time. I think I thought that was a little silly. hahaha. *looks at 'vid ideas' music directory*

Basically, reading that list was my favorite part of the day. I got into huge offlist conversations with people, often because we had different takes on things and it was fascinating to see how other people interpreted things. I found out about other fandoms there as well; there was a lot of overlap between FK and Highlander, especially, and people would mention what was happening on Highla-L or hlfic-l, not to mention all the crossovers. There was a little less cross-cultural stuff with the Due South list, but there was some, and I'm pretty sure FK is how I found the DS lists.

I loved that it was my entry into online fandom, and that it just kept going long after I'd moved on. I still recognize names as I move around fandom, especially if they're faction-based; there's just no mistaking a faction-based name for anything but what it is, and I smile every time I see one.

♥ FK ♥

* ahaha, no I didn't. I just made myself check. I'm always completely positive that I wrote my first fanfic in FK, and I'm always wrong; it was Due South, after which I wrote a couple of FK stories. But FK was such a well of firsts in other ways that it feels like the first one I wrote in, regardless of the truth. It is, however, the only fandom where I ever wrote fic under my real name. *g* At the time I figured I'd do gen under my real name and slash under a pseud, but that was way too unwieldy so I just switched to all-pseud, all the time. (back to post)

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arduinna: a grey kitten's head snuggled into an orange kitten's shoulder as they both snooze (kitten cuddles)
Second post for today, catching me up to today...

For [personal profile] eviltammy: cats! With mandatory pictures!

Oh, I can talk about cats for days. But I'll restrain myself. *g*

My current cats are a pair of same-litter brothers that I got from a shelter almost two years ago now (wow). I dithered over their names back then, settling tentatively on Darien and Hobbes, which not only stuck, but turned out to be prophetic.

Hobbes, in particular, matches his namesake: he's a bit skittish, a bit paranoid, a lot jealous, and very cuddly.

The jealousy is the thing that cracks me up most. Hobbes wants all the attention. ALL of it. All the time. Even if he doesn't want it right then, if Darien's getting any attention, he needs to come take it away.

For example! )

For another example! )

Dari gets his own back, though. He's a burrower; if he were an outdoor cat, he'd be digging all the little rodents out of their dens. So when he thinks Hobbes is under a blanket, he loses his little kitty mind and goes full-on hunter, digging and digging. He manages to pull the blanket away enough to get a paw in under and start whapping at Hobbes, who gets very annoyed -- usually Dari is so hunter-focused that he's whapping too hard, so Hobbes winds up crying and running away.

This is all a little disconcerting when it's happening in your lap, I must say.

Dari goes all dramatic when he sleeps, like he thinks he's performing Shakespeare or something. )

Hobbes... does not think he's performing Shakespeare. Ever. )

They seem to still like each other fine, Hobbes' little jealous self aside; there's lots of chasing and wrestling most days. But they're also totally prepared to entertain themselves:

Dari contemplating how to catch the bug on the ceiling )

Hobbes doesn't want to contemplate, he just wants that bug )

But sometimes, togetherness is where it's at:

Hobbes and Dari pondering the best way to tag-team the bug on the wall )

And if not always cuddly, at least comfortingly nearby )

♥ ♥ ♥

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arduinna: a tarot-card version of Linus from Peanuts, carrying a lamp as The Hermit (Default)
A day late, but no less sincere! This was for December 6.

For [personal profile] torch: three characters in three different fandoms from your past that you have known and loved, max three paragraphs each (and minimum three sentences, I hope *g*). Pics would be lovely, of course. :)

(Sorry, no pics! I forgot, woe)

So many fandoms, so many characters! I was trying to figure out how to choose, and decided to sort of go by decade. I also discovered doing this that I tend to think in pairs, not individual characters, which I hadn't quite realized before. But I could separate out a few, at least:

Dan Fielding, Night Court (1980s)

Dan Fielding was a mammal. Wait, no, that's the eulogy. Okay, so, the thing is, Dan Fielding is skeevy. He just is. He's a brown-nosing suckup to anyone he thinks has power or authority; he's rampantly sexist and chauvinistic, and mostly only likes women when they're naked; he's a greedy, money-grubbing, manipulative prick; he's coldly indifferent at best to anyone he sees as beneath him (which is a lot of people).

And yet at the same time, I kind of really adore him. Almost all of that (except the "will sleep with anyone, anywhere, any time" part -- he's one of the most highly sexed characters I've ever seen) comes from fear and a desperate attempt to protect himself. He was raised dirt poor by dirt farmers (as he put it [paraphrased], "No, really. They farmed dirt.") who loved him dearly but never understood him; he was smart, ambitious, driven, and desperate to get away from them, down to completely denying his upbringing (until they actually showed up one day and he had to admit to it). He spent his youth and young adulthood scrabbling furiously to fit in with the moneyed class he so wanted to be a part of, and which scorned him. His parents were decent people that he wanted no part of, so he learned to be indecent at the same time he learned how to be proper. It's a weirdly compelling combination.

And over the series, as he learns to trust Harry and the rest of the courtroom staff (but mostly Harry), bits of his decency start shining through. He hates to let anyone know about it, but it's there. He's the only person who has the guts to tell Harry off when Harry goes self-indulgently off the rails. He's there for Roz when she has a really scary diabetic episode. He finds ways of connecting with all kinds of people he thinks he can't stand for one reason or another; he just can't maintain his masks 24/7, no matter how much he wants to believe those masks are the truth. And he loves Harry, so very much, even if it's hard for him to say. ♥

Ray Vecchio, Due South (1990s)

Oh, Ray. <3 I fell for him in the original CBS pilot movie for Due South, and that just never changed. He's another one who's soft on the inside and hard on the outside, but not in a clammish way; he's more like a porcupine, all sharp spiky spines sticking out all over to protect his soft underbelly.

He's sharp, sarcastic, cranky, easily annoyed, brash, endlessly generous, boundlessly loyal, utterly devoted to the people he loves. He's got a smile that just melts me. Watching him take care of his family, take care of Fraser, make sacrifices over and over to help (crawling out of a hospital bed to fly to Canada to help Fraser take down his father's killer; killing his beloved Riv to help Fraser, after giving up his longed-for Florida vacation also to help Fraser; handing his new-Riv money out to total strangers to support Fraser's filibuster in hopes of saving a building; mortgaging his house to pay Fraser's bail...) -- he's just amazing, and he hides it all behind that brash sarcasm, because he doesn't want anyone to know that he's a sweetie at heart.

I don't even know how else to explain him. I could have watched any number of seasons with him, snarking his way through all his deep affection for people, and never gotten tired of it. (And he loves Fraser, so very much, even if it's hard for him to say. *g*)

Bobby Hobbes, Invisible Man (2000s)

I almost didn't include Bobby Hobbes here, not because I don't love him like crazy, but because I named one of my cats after him. It starts to make it weird to type his name and not mean the furry one. *g* But I will just stick with Bobby here. Because Bobby is awesome. <3 <3

You don't think, when you're watching the pilot, that he's the guy you're going to fall for. He's kinda short, he's balding, he's kinda pudgy, he's not very articulate, he's awkward and uncertain and insecure about a lot of things. And yet at the same time, professionally? He's confident, assured, and absurdly competent, and that starts taking over. When he's in a place where what he wants is for people to like and respect him, he goes all wobbly and unsure; when he's in a place where he needs to be able to determine an assailant's location by the sound of the shot whizzing past, he's the best there is and he knows it. He's so self-assured that you think it's idiotic overconfidence -- until no, it isn't, he's really that good.

He comes pre-loaded with more issues than anyone should have to deal with; he's been kicked out of job after job as a result of those issues until he's scraping the bottom of the government-agency barrel by working for the Agency. He's known and mocked among other agencies because of his mental health issues; he's on medication and has been for a long time, and it doesn't seem to have always worked for him. But he tries! He sticks to therapy, he takes his meds, he knows the signs to watch out for. And even his deepest issues are about wanting to take care of people, to do good: he gets terribly, obsessively, outrageously, protectively paranoid for the people he loves. To the point that he stalks them to make sure nothing bad will happen to them. Which is not good, and he knows it's not good, and he tries hard to channel all of that into appropriate venues. But it means he's incredibly loyal and devoted, and when he loves someone he really, really loves them. And when push came to shove, when he'd been given a chance at what he considered true greatness, he gave it all up to save Fawkes's life. Because he loves Fawkes, so very much, even if it's hard for him to say. *g*

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meme delay!

Dec. 7th, 2013 04:53 am
arduinna: a tarot-card version of Linus from Peanuts, carrying a lamp as The Hermit (Default)
This is technically still the 6th because I haven't been to bed yet, but I'm too tired to see, and my post keeps going off into incoherence. I'll double or triple up at some point this weekend to catch up.
arduinna: a tarot-card version of Linus from Peanuts, carrying a lamp as The Hermit (Default)
For [personal profile] marginaliana: if you could commission the perfect piece of fiction, what would it be like?

Oh, this one's hard for me. I like surprises and discovery, and commissioning something would take some of that away. So it's not the sort of thing I think about, usually.

Although, oo, wait -- for profic, I'd commission The Door Into Starlight from Diane Duane. There's been a spot for it on my shelf for ages now.

But I suspect this is for fanfic, so. Hm.

If I were commissioning a desert-island kinda story, I'd go for something long -- really long, over 100,000 words, possibly a lot over. *g* Slash, with a slow-building relationship leading to a first time and then maybe establishing itself (or at least starting to), probably woven into a case/mission/other plotty thing -- doesn't need to be complicated, necessarily, just something so they're doing something (preferably together) as well as developing a romance. (I would far rather watch them open a restaurant together for 100k words, slowly falling in love between arguments about decor and bonding over the menu, than watch them go out to dinner on dates for 100k words, IOW. Although the dinner date thing is also good in shorter stuff!) (Also also, I loved The Larton Chronicles, so really, sometimes the plottier stuff just isn't necessary.)

(... I am very bad at this "what specific thing do you like" thing *kof*)

Okay, so, er, long, and maybe plotty and maybe not, but slash and romance. That's a start. I also really like warm stories -- no objection to hot, mind you, but warm is also key for me. I like cCharacters who have genuine affection for each other -- not just lust or even love, but like, too. Mutual respect and trust, either right from the beginning or growing through the story. (Actually, that goes for the like/lust/love, too -- it can grow, it doesn't have to be there from the beginning, depending on the characters; the moment when a character realizes that things have changed is one of my favorite things, done well.) I like fairly even power dynamics; I love competence, and when characters are competent at different things and respect each other for it.

I tend to like canon-based and canon-divergent stories best, but also certain kinds of AU, depending on the fandom; I'm not keen on most of the current popular AUs like high-school, college, barista, A/B/O, but others can really work for me if the characterization is there.

I love happy endings. <3

So: long/epic, maybe-plotty, slash, romance, warmth, affection, trust, respect, competence, a relationship that grows, first time. /tags

Other tropes are welcome in there, but that's probably the core of it. Mostly I'm a pretty vanilla sap who likes characters who like each other and want to make each other happy, who maybe have some (mis)adventures along the way.

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arduinna: a pile of open books (book pile)
[personal profile] dorinda requested:

please talk about fanzines! For instance, maybe the first time you discovered them, your relationship to them, what you liked/didn't like about them, specific zines that might come to mind that were particularly good/interesting (or not)...just anything about zines that you care to share.

Oh, zines. <3

I may have seen them around earlier (probably did, in fact), but I discovered zines in the mid-80s. I was at an SF con, probably Boskone, and was in a dealer's room -- she didn't have space in the main Dealer's Room, she was selling out of a hotel room, and she had lots of zines. I was poking around, sort of vaguely interested but not enough to shell out any money; I was sadly too indoctrinated into the SF world's then-snobby response to media fandom, despite being at heart a media fan myself.

Then I hit the box marked with the strong, clear K/S on the top, and reached my hand in to poke around in there like I had everything else. I was in my early 20s, and looked like I was in my mid-teens, and the woman who owned everything (and who I suspect had been keeping a wary eye on me as I wandered toward the slash box) instantly asked if I knew what the slash meant. I didn't; she told me. My eyes went round, my eyebrows went up, and I held out my spending money for the weekend and asked her how much that would get me.

Seriously, nothing like discovering slash and zines basically at the same time. The money let me buy six zines, I think, all K/S, and I read them over and over again for the next several years. There were a few Naked Times, and a Daring Attempt, and maybe a couple As I Do Thees, and I thought they were the greatest things I'd ever read.

I was in college at the time, and didn't want to risk more issues coming to me either at the dorm or at my parents' place, so I just hoarded those few zines and hoped to find more at another SF con -- but I never saw that dealer again, and I don't think anyone else ever brought any, either. (Really, the mindset against media-fandom stuff was hard to break past back then.)

So technically I was reading zines in the zine heyday. But I was never part of zine culture; never wrote a LOC, never tribbed, never even wrote to a publisher asking for more, or for a flyer. Then I got online almost a decade later and discovered media fandom and realized I was home. <3 Online fanfic was amazing, but I still loved my zines, and when I got into Due South, I started buying everything I could.

This was a kinda dicey proposition; especially early on, almost everyone I ordered from was in the UK or Australia, and there was no Paypal then. I wrapped up cash carefully and sent it off, hoping to get a zine back. And I did, and they were fantastic. When I started buying from US publishers, I could use checks, and I wrote them religiously. For the next several years, I was buying zines as often as I could -- new, used, whatever -- and borrowing/swapping zines around with a bunch of people. DS, Pros, Starsky and Hutch, multi-media, Quantum Leap, Alias Smith and Jones, Sentinel, Ladyhawke, Robin of Sherwood, Equalizer, Kung Fu: The Legend Continues, you name it.

I loved online fic and devoured it, but there was just something about holding a whole book of stories in your hands - especially if you'd tribbed to it. Which I didn't do often, but there were a few! So my collection grew. I was particularly determined to have a good Pros collection; so much good Pros fic was in zines, and the lists talked about them regularly. You could get really good recommendations just by hanging out on the list and watching the convos; you could figure out whose tastes aligned with yours, and whose tastes were exactly opposite to yours. You could also write to the list and say you wanted to order some zines, you liked x and y stories by a and b authors, what should you be looking for? And people would give you a list of things that would probably appeal to you. Fantastic resource, Pros fandom back then.

Anyway, so, I bought hundreds of zines over a few years. I loved them; I waxed enthusiastic about them to anyone who'd listen. But then somewhere in the very early '00s, I stopped buying so many, and then tailed off very fast into basically not buying any at all. It was a combination of things )

Some of my keepers )

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Full request list here, still open!

(ETA: Wow, I feel like this is really disjointed and odd. I totally ran out of time. Sorry! If I wind up with empty slots maybe I'll take another stab at this...)

July 2017

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