(I'll also be interested, in a sort of anthropological way, how much fic writers take up the blatant Hamilton/Washington daddy issues--not my thing, having recently-ish acquired a power-differential squick--but really, the lyrics are flat-out inviting it.)
I would also like to strongly encourage everybody-lives-and-nobody-cheats AUs; here's a delightful modern one from magneticwave called "the challenge demands satisfaction" (4k, teen and up).
*goes back to mentally practicing "revolutionary manumission abolitionists" while waiting for doctor*
Okay, that's not true, because I am an analytical type when it comes to my entertainment, but much less than some other things.
In short: very entertaining; successfully adapts the book in terms of streamlining and making emotions more present (Mark is a very peculiar brand of unreliable narrator, in that he says "I cried" and you don't really feel it on a gut level); surprisingly resists the urge to Hollywood it up until the end; could've done better on casting in terms of racial representation, but it could've been worse, too; whoever did the soundtrack was having a lot of fun.
As for the casting bits: Kapoor is Hindu in the book and is played by Chiwetel Ejiofor in the movie; he does have a line about his father being Hindu and his mother being Baptist in the movie, but when Irrfan Khan turned them down (h/t musesfool), well, it's nice they didn't go with a white guy, but it's not like there's only one Indian actor out there in the world, you know? With that casting, the only visibly Asian main characters were of East Asian ancestry. On a similar note, point for casting Rich Purnell (race not specified in book) with Donald Glover, and minus for not casting Mindy Park with an actress of Korean ancestry. (Point for making one of the guys in China a woman, as well.)
Finally, I don't know what Sean Bean and his non-American accent were doing in this movie. I am entirely willing to believe it was solely in the service of a particular meta joke that had the entire theater laughing uproariously, but I shamefully admit that I think it was worth it: ( tiny, tiny spoiler ).
And now, some spoilers about the adaptation and ending:
( spoilers how for the movie ends, and the book too )
I dipped into the fandom tag on AO3 and was depressed to find it was full of Watney/Beck (a.k.a. the power of two vaguely conventionally attractive white dudes—seriously, they have minimal interaction in the movie, and if you must break up canonical m/f pairings, Martinez is his best friend in the book), so I will take any gen recs from you all, but I can enthusiastically recommend the Interstitial series by Lanna Michaels, which is a book-style continuation (so far two short-ish pieces) that's perfectly in character and just terrific. Also, for the brilliant crack, Lanna also did a fusion with Jonathan Strange. And now the kids' morning TV is done so I will save the trailers until later.
I have to start generating draft post link dumps as I post things to G+.
You should be reading Wesley Morris, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his movie criticism, regardless of whether you want to see the movies he's writing about. Here he is about the truly appalling Ted 2:
For people of color, some aspect of friendship with white people involves an awareness that you could be dropped through a trapdoor of racism at any moment, by a slip of the tongue, or at a campus party, or in a legislative campaign. But it’s not always anticipated. You don’t expect the young white man who’s been seated alongside you in a house of worship to take your life because you’re black. Nor do you expect that a movie about an obscene teddy bear would invoke a sexual stereotype forced upon you the way Kunta Kinte was forced to become “Toby” [in Roots].
And as a palate cleanser, his review of Magic Mike XXL.
The AV Club's Random Roles series is almost always great. Here's Diana Riggs, who I've never even seen on screen and who I now want to be when I grow up.
I also love their Expert Witness series; here's a recent one on being a second-unit director on Hollywood blockbusters and one I somehow missed on from a camera operator on the Puppy Bowl.
I don't watch Penny Dreadful but glvalentine's recaps of it are worthy of live-blogging on their own. The one about the most recent episode contains such gems as "Somehow opting not to just go full Gothic and have sex in front of the corpse" and "(He had so much trouble just facing his mother’s death that he made three more people. Then he had sex with at least one of them. The man is troubled.)"
This review of For Such a Time by Kate Breslin makes you wonder how on Earth anyone could possibly think that it was a good idea. (Content notes: Holocaust, dubcon.)
Palate cleanser: absolutely hilarious Imperial Radch AU by Rachel Swirsky.
@AcademicsSay: The Story Behind a Social-Media Experiment, an interesting look at the growth of that Twitter account and what the academic behind it decided to do with the social capital it had.
Yakhchāls: "By 400 BCE, Persian engineers had mastered the technique of storing ice in the middle of summer in the desert."
A Mostly Accurate Norse God Family Tree, in comic form, with research notes. A.K.A., "TIL that Odin's grandparent was a cow."
The Poet Laureate of Fan Fiction, an interview with someone whose work was appropriated by Supernatural fandom.
Did my boyfriend just get married? on AskMetaFilter; search the poster's username for updates.
What This Cruel War Was Over, the meaning of the Confederate flag in the plain words of those who bore it.
The operative parts of the description were: "Can fanfic writing and QUILTBAG activism potentially intersect? What does it mean that fans of works with cis, straight characters are looking for more variety in the fiction they consume?" And the panel was pretty much about the second part and not on the first.
( a few notes )
I don't remember much else; I don't know if "um, it depends" collapses down really small in summary or I'm just forgetting stuff after a long night. But I'd like to brainstorm updated fanfic panel descriptions for next year. Four years ago at WisCon we did Fanfic 401 (operative portion of description: "bisexual invisibility, the erasure and/or marginalization of female characters, authorial intent, trigger warnings, underage audiences, and source problems"), for which I have no notes but which was too overstuffed by far; at Readercon also four years ago we did Borders (if Any) Between Fan Fiction and "Original Fiction", which was way less 101 than I expected; and the year before that, Fanfic as Criticism (Only More Fun), which could probably be less 101 than it was. Do those prompt possible topics? What else: underrepresented identities? The fic we'd like to see (some of us don't write, you know, so we just have to wist in fandom's general direction)? Speculative fiction ways of looking at gender spotted in fanfic? Promote your very fic-able fandom that has canon underrepresented characters and a low barrier to entry?
to validate my belief that I don't want to watch Agents of SHIELD: that's the length of the previously-on for the season opener and it just made me want to yell "WRONG! WRONG!" and then flip my desk over.
(I wanted to see the flashback, of course. I have extremely grave doubts about the ability to make a satisfying Agent Carter series post-Cap 2, but, Peggy!)
. . . I suppose this post should have some actual content. *pokes at bookmarks* Here, have some fic I bookmarked to rec a long time ago and don't have time to re-read now.
( seven recs )
There's more, but I don't have time to sort through the maybe-rec tag now.
This is impossibly long, so, broken up by theme!
( The OC section )
( The AU section )
( Silly. )
. . . I need to not let these pile up so much next time, huh? (To be crossposted in relevant part to mcugen.)
So I figured I should make another rec post, because I can feel my tolerance for scrolling past a million indistinguishable angst-ridden ship fics on the AO3 RSS feed diminishing rapidly [*], and because this week is going to be overwhelming, meaning I don't know whether I'll keep up with new fic for a while.
Crossposted, in part, to mcugen.
And outside the cut, because it seems likely to have broader appeal (but still has movie spoilers): a pastiche, inspired by fanart, of Frozen's "Do You Want to Build A Snowman?", which is absurdly cute.
I'm home with the Pip this afternoon because daycare is closed, and I can't take a nap because I had to do things and now it's too close to the time he'll wake up, so to keep myself awake, some more fic recs post-Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Spoilers below; organized chronologically except the one that I had to yell about.
( SPOILERS )
Oh my god this day. Here, let me dump some more Captain America: The Winter Soldier feelings. (I haven't seen it again, because free time, hah!)
Some fic recs, which I think ought to be pretty clear what they're like from the tags and summaries:
( cut for length )
Another great panel in a much-too-small room, and one that could have gone on much longer. (I went to non-me panels today but I'm writing this one up now while it's still fresh.)
(My first draft of this was a wall of text, so I'm making all my sentences bullet points; since that takes up a lot of scrolling space, I'm also putting it behind a cut.)
Much fanfic has a large interest in QUILTBAG themes. Maybe your fic involves making characters of the same gender fall in love with each other, having a character established as cis turn out to be trans, or asking if Sherlock has never shown any interest in a "proper" Victorian marriage because he's asexual. Can fanfic writing and QUILTBAG activism potentially intersect? What does it mean that fans of works with cis, straight characters are looking for more variety in the fiction they consume?
Kate Nepveu, Julia Pilowsky, Adrienne J. Odasso, Cassandra Lease
I reformulated the order and phrasing of this description somewhat, and set out a three-part structure for the panel: why queer canon; what general ways can fic advance activism; and how can specific story types/tropes queer canon?
( panel notes )
And I think that is the gist of it! If I forgot stuff, let me know, my note-taking tailed off toward the end. I had a lot of fun and those there seemed engaged and enthusiastic (also very patient waiting their turn for questions!), which makes me really glad.
Edit: remembered one additional bit: an audience member asked about creators, especially TV show runners, interacting with fandom and whether we thought that might lead to changes in the shows etc. We thought it could go either way, but that the more significant change might come from fans rising to positions of creative power within TVs and movies, much the way fic writers and other fans are increasingly getting published without disclaiming all involvement in fandom and bringing the discussions they've had in fandom to their professional writing.
I promised trent_goulding recommendations for Dresden Files fanfic last week, and my brain is 95% dead and therefore suited to cutting and pasting information about stories I already selected: six, to be exact, behind the cut in order of increasing length, because why not.
Note that descriptions contain spoilers through, let's see, Changes.
When I gave my Mary Sue talk, it was at a quasi-academic conference in a session on fans and gender. One of my co-panelists was Olivia Mendoza, a student at Ithaca College; she gave a great presentation on genderswapping fanfic, focusing on the Rule 63 variant in Avengers fandom.
She's kindly put her slides up on Dropbox; take a look! And feel free to leave recommendations for your favorite fics on the topic as well as any comments. (I'll be dropping her a link to this post.)
I already recommended one of my favorites here, which swaps both the Sherlock versions of Holmes and Watson:
Boston Marriage (75193 words) by pendrecarc
Fandom: Sherlock (BBC) - Fandom
Warnings: Author Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Sherlock Holmes/expensive violins, John Watson/OC
Characters: Ensemble Cast - Character
Additional Tags: Genderswap, Case Fic, Big Bang Challenge, Women Being Awesome, Bechdel Test Pass
Series: Part 1 of Suite for Strings and Steel
Summary: (see notes for warnings)
In which Jo Watson tries to take this therapy business into her own hands, London produces enough crimes of interest to satisfy even Sherlock Holmes, and the Bechdel test doesn't know what hit it. Game on.
I have more, but I really must be doing other things now, so. What about you all?
I have spoiler thoughts about last week's Elementary, but I'm just going to combine them with a reaction to tonight's season finale, so in the meantime:
Con or Bust generally runs a bracket-style challenge at Wiscon's Gathering, thanks to the heroic efforts of popelizbet, which pits characters of color from SFF against each other in a light-hearted "who's more awesome" way. Nominations for this year are open, and anyone can nominate online.
Anyway, in a fit of absent-mindedness I nominated Joan Watson, forgetting that Elementary cannot really be considered SFF. Later, in one of the nominations for Wendy Watson of The Middleman, the nominator left a note saying, "Can we do Wendy Watson vs. Joan Watson?"
Well, sadly we cannot, because like I said, Joan is not eligible. But now I desperately crave a crossover fic in which they are cousins of some degree, meet up at a family reunion, compare notes about their situations, and kick some butt.
Someone make that happen, please? *puppy-dog eyes*
Here is the text of my Mary Sue talk! [ETA: for people coming here through outside links, this was given at a quasi-academic conference with a fifteen-minute limit.] It is mostly as I gave it except I skipped a couple of paragraphs for time. I do have slides but I'm not sure I'm going to bother, they were very text-heavy and not that interesting. (Edit: moved the links to the end of this post, since there were no comments on the links-only post and this way everything's all in one place.)
( the links )
You know, the panel before this ended early, and while the last panel looked interesting, my neck and shoulders are screaming at me from spending most of the day bending over my netbook, and if I leave now, I can eat a leisurely dinner and then go see Iron Man 3 instead of bolting my food and fretting the whole way. So despite my guilt, I'm playing hooky.
If you were at the conference, say hi! I do have notes about my co-panelists' talks, which I will post, but maybe they'll put their slides or notes up somewhere. Stay tuned. Just not until tomorrow, probably.
What stories have you read?
My thesis is that occasional readers are most likely to have read Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality; scifigrl47's Avengers toaster-verse; and whatever the breakout Yuletide story of the year is. Yes, no, what else?
Anon commenting is on, if you prefer.
Here's the conference program for Pippi to Ripley: The Female Figure in Fantasy and Science Fiction, being held at Ithaca College in NY on May 5. I'm giving a talk "An Introduction to Mary Sue and Her Critical Uses and Abuses," on a panel that also has a talk on Women in Refrigerators and on gender-swap fic, so I'm looking forward to it a lot. (Also, Tamora Pierce is the keynote speaker, which is cool.)
Question for you all: it seems to me that I don't see Mary Sues (or Gary Stus, if you prefer that terminology) in slash fic. First, of course, I see very few canon/OC slash pairings (people seem to do crossovers if they aren't feeling any of the canon dynamics). But the slant taken on canon male characters in slash seems to me to be geared toward making them objects not subjects, or to put it more concretely, woobiefication seems to be undertaken to make them suffer more prettily for the authors'/readers' aesthetic appreciation, not so that authors/readers can use them as placeholders for themselves. But this is just my impression and, of course, I don't write the stuff, so what do you all think?
(By the way, I had not noticed TV Tropes' opening quote when I picked this icon. Great minds, apparently.)
In May, I will be giving a 15-minute talk based on the following abstract, which is not the most elegant thing I ever wrote but which does get the idea across, I hope.
An Introduction to Mary Sue and Her Critical Uses and Abuses
“Mary Sue” was coined in the 1970s by a Star Trek fanfic writer to criticize fanfic characters who were improbably wonderful authorial self-insertions (e.g., she’s the youngest Captain in the history of Starfleet, she has amethyst eyes, and every character is hopelessly in love with her). Since then the term has become common among other groups of science fiction and fantasy fans, who use it to refer to characters outside of fanfic, and has even spread into the mainstream media. Today, people use the term to mean anything from the original adolescent wish-fulfillment character who warps the entire story around her to any character who seems to resemble a female author. This talk gives a brief overview of Mary Sue’s history and multiple meanings, and then explores the ways in which she is a useful concept and the ways in which she is used to suppress women’s writing.
This is a mostly-academic conference, the first instance of which I blogged about two years ago, and so though it talks by default about "papers," I don't think I need to have a formal paper written, just a presentation. Which is good, because reading prewritten remarks in a useful and interesting way is not a skill I have.
I will probably be running drafts by y'all closer to, but if there's anything you think might be a bit of a less-common take on the topic, feel free.