barometry: solid wall of paperbacks stacked up (Default)
[personal profile] barometry
Dear Yuletide Author,

First, let me say that I am so excited that you matched on one of my fandoms! I can promise that whatever you write for me, I will be thrilled that you wrote it for me: if you're inspired by what appeared in my prompts or by the additional details I've written here, that's amazing, but if you have some other story that you really want to write instead, by all means write do that! I didn't list specific characters for any of the fandoms I've requested, and I really did mean that: I love these sources, and I'd love to see your take on them.

I apologize for the fact that this journal is mostly locked, though I haven't posted here much in the last couple of years in any case. You can find me on tumblr at [ profile] barographe, which is a pretty good catalogue of my random fannish delights. If you want to get a sense for my taste in fic, my AO3 profile also has a large collection of mostly-unsorted bookmarks: if I've bookmarked something, that means I liked it enough to think that I might one day want to read it again.

I don't have any triggers that I ask you to avoid. I do have a pretty serious embarrassment squick: situations where someone is a fish-out-of-water tend to make me scroll really fast, especially if the character somehow doesn't realize they're a fish-out-of-water. I also don't enjoy reading stories with infidelity, or stories that gloss over power asymmetries between characters in a pairing. Finally (just because it's sometimes a trope): I have a lot of personal sensitivities around drug and alcohol abuse. I would probably really enjoy a story that engaged with those topics seriously (this could come up really naturally, for example, in a story about John Kennex from Almost Human), but I have a hard time reading or watching anything where addicts refuse to admit they have problems, or where addiction is treated as not a big deal.

I generally prefer happy (or at least hopeful) stories: I don't usually enjoy stories that end on a totally hopeless note ("everyone is dead and the world is about to be destroyed"), but I often enjoy stories that are quite grim ("everyone might die and we are facing the possibility of world destruction, which we nonetheless face with heroic resolve."). For Yuletide I really enjoy stories that explore or expand the edges of the canon universe, stories that move the focus from the central characters out into other aspects of the world, or onto other characters with priorities and interests of their own. I also slice-of-life stories, or slice-of-life AU stories -- these glimpses into character are often so interesting to me.

I also generally read a lot of long-form first-time fic. Yuletide is the major exception to that trend, but I also wouldn't in any way object to stories that focused on the establishment of a new relationship. I read mostly male slash, but also femslash and het and gen and occasionally poly -- for almost any relationship or lack-of-relationship configuration you want to write, anywhere from platonic affection through explicit sexual content, I will be happy to read it!

Again: I'm writing these things to try to distill down what I enjoy about the fiction I read. If any of this is stressing you out, please disregard it! I certainly don't want to make your Yuletide less fun -- I am really just so glad that you're willing to write a story in one of these fandoms.

The Two Sides of Monsieur Valentine - Spoon (Song)

Ever since I first heard this song, years ago, I have felt that it would make the perfect Yuletide fandom. "He kidnaps the queen, he swordfights the duke", but then later in the same song "He kidnaps the duke, he swordfights the queen, no one sees the two sides of Monsieur Valentine". Who is this person? What is his interest in the queen? In the duke? Is Monsieur Valentine their enemy? Is Monsieur Valentine in love with either of them? With both of them? Are they in love with each other? Is it all very tragic, or very charming? On another note, I'd love to know more about this sword fighting queen!

If you're unfamiliar, you can find the complete song on YouTube:

If you miraculously matched me on this fandom, I am thrilled beyond words. If you matched me on another fandom but are inspired by this song, that would be amazing! Go wild!

The prompt I wrote above takes the song on face-value, with its own original characters. I would love to read such a story, but I also think the song could inspire some kind of fascinating AU of an entirely different fandom, and I would also love to read that story! My AO3 bookmarks provide a reasonable record of fandoms I'm familiar with; I'd also be happy to respond to anonymous questions about whether I've heard of a fandom you have in mind.

October Daye series - Seanan McGuire

I would truly be happy with any story set in this universe, but I am perhaps most interested in the non-main-stage characters. Particularly Maye and Jazz: the stories aren't directly about them, but they're caught up in the narrative all the same. I would love to see a moment from one of the books from either of their perspectives, or even a slice of life (or a wider story) of their meeting and falling in love.

On a broader note, I'd be particularly interested in any story that explored the crevices around the world of Faery in these books, in which case I'd be happy with original characters or with characters we already know from the series.

When I say that I'd be happy with any story set in this universe, I think I mean it. I refrained from requesting specific characters precisely because I wanted to leave you free to write whatever you wanted, Dear Author. If constraints would be helpful, I'm particularly curious about Jazz: her background, her relationship with Maye, her feelings about October. I'm also curious about what might have happened to the native Faery courts of North America: we've met characters from East Asian and other mythologies, but North American fae seem to be largely from European mythological traditions. Are there fae who are reflected in North American mythologies? Did their disappearance track human colonization from Europe, or did it have a different source? Is this another side effect of the Daoine Sidhe thirst for power?

Arkham Horror (Board Game)

I'd love to see some of the aspects of the game world deepened in a story, addressing what it would be like to be in a small New England town fighting great old ones with a tommy gun, or finding spell books in the university library. You could probably pick up any character card and use the back as the starting point of a story, and I would be deeply interested in the result. A story that brings in elements from the new sister game Eldritch Horror (sort of Arkham Horror meets Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego?) would also be really interesting.

I requested this last year as well, and my ideas for a story haven't changed much. To quote from last year's letter: "I have loved Arkham Horror since shortly after it came out. I love the world it describes, sort of noir gangster period piece meets unknowable eldritch mystery." I'm not so fond of H.P. Lovecraft's fiction, but I love Lovecraftian fiction: Neil Gaiman's A Study in Emerald, parts of Welcome to Night Vale, etc.

If you'd like a more focused idea, I'd be really interested in a story that explores the backstory of any of the non-white playable characters, particularly one of the female characters. I'd love to hear more about any of these characters than the few paragraphs on the back of their card.

I should also say: I mentioned Eldritch Horror in my prompt, but that is absolutely beyond the scope of the request. If you haven't played it, I totally recommend it as a fun game, but don't feel you need to track it down for this story.

Almost Human (TV)

I would really enjoy reading a story about the development of android and AI rights in this fictional future. In the show we are presented with Dorian as a person, but the entire legal and social framework of the fictional world regards him as an object. I would love to see any character grappling with that conflict. If that's not your cup of tea, I would also enjoy any story developing Valerie Stahl's backstory, which we saw tantalizing glimpses of in the show, or even lighthearted bantery casefic. One note: while I have read and enjoyed John/Dorian stories, I have a hard time with stories that don't acknowledge the power imbalance between them (see above on Dorian not being legally a person), and I tend to be jolted out of stories where androids enjoy human sex (or at least, enjoy in in exactly the same way that humans do), so if you want to include that pairing it would be great if you took those things into consideration. But I would be perfectly happy with other relationships, or with gen.

Almost Human, for me, is a show that sadly never lived up to its absolutely amazing premise. When I think about the show it could have been, I usually think of the Penny Arcade story Automata, which has this wonderful noir feel and also engages with questions of personhood and legal rights.

Obviously I feel strongly about android emancipation, but as I said in the prompt I certainly don't require that you write about that. I would absolutely enjoy any story set in the show's universe that manages to be smart and thoughtful, two things the show itself mostly fell short of. Or funny! The show was occasionally very funny, and a slice-of-life focusing on Dorian's sense of humour would be absolutely charming to me.

I hope that some of these additional details are helpful to you! Again, take what's helpful, ignore the rest. I wish you a very happy Yuletide, and I really look forward to seeing whatever you write!


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barometry: solid wall of paperbacks stacked up (Default)
Barometry Jones

October 2014


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