sqbr: Are you coming to bed? I can't, this is important. Why? Someone is wrong on the internet. (duty calls)
Wednesday, December 26th, 2012 08:36 pm
Yes, really.

Because while I may not be into m/m much most of the time, and have my own Issues With Slash Fandom, I've seen a few posts pop up on tumblr recently (here's the most recent) which have been taking the very simplistic line that slash's popularity is purely a result of misogyny, and that writing m/m is equivalent to only writing about white people. These posts also act like het is this POOR OPPRESSED MINORITY which, no.

It's nearly 2013, fandom, have we still not moved beyond this? Can't we argue about something else now?
Cut for those as sick of it as me )
sqbr: (up)
Friday, March 30th, 2012 01:38 pm
This is a mix of great stuff which is ok about disability, ok stuff which is good about disability, and a smattering of stuff which is awesome in every way. My bookmarks aren't tagged to remind me how well stuff handled disability, so this list is pretty arbitrary.

Mostly the same fandoms as my post of fanworks I've made myself.
Read more... )
sqbr: (up)
Friday, March 30th, 2012 11:47 am
Normally I'd be loathe to be all "LOOK AT MY AWESOMENESS" but it is SO HARD to find not-totally-creepy fanworks about disabled characters that I decided this would be worth doing. Here's some recs to other people's fanworks.

All art has a description, and all comics have transcripts (if I've missed any let me know), and all art is safe for work (not all the fic is, but it's labelled). All characters mentioned are canonically disabled, and I've only included works where the disability feels at least vaguely relevant.

Pride and Prejudice, Avatar: the Last Airbender, Mass Effect, Homestuck, Misc )
sqbr: zuko with a fish on his head (avatar)
Wednesday, August 11th, 2010 03:01 pm
First: I finished the Dragon Age story I asked people about (in a locked post), here it is at AO3 and at Fanfic.net for anyone who doesn't read [personal profile] alias_sqbr and is curious to see how it ends. Further criticism entirely welcome. I don't know that I'm up to editing the story any further but if necessary can add a note or something.

Anyway: While I can intellectually understand the appeal of modern AUs of non-modern stories they tend to leave me a bit cold(*), but I have encountered quite a few Avatar ones here and there on my travels and found some enjoyable enough.

The thing that bugs me, though, and I was wondering if anyone who seeks the genre out knows of any counterexamples, is that they all seem to be set in the modern U.S.

Specifically, none are set in Asia, nor do they have Asian protagonists. Apart from the issues of race and representation etc I just think this is a missed opportunity for potentially interesting stories. That and I find myself wanting to write an AU where they're all Asian Australians or something (and then I remember I suck at AUs) I've often had the idea for drawing them as modern day teenagers from the respective cultures that served as inspiration for the different nations or the adventures of Mai, Tai Lee and Azula as Shoujo schoolgirls but I don't feel up to getting it right. Still. I realise the show itself is from the US, but that just goes to show that writing beyond what you know can be done.

EDIT: I don't think there's necessarily anything wrong with any given individual modern U.S. AU. But it just seems a pity that that's all anyone ever seems to write/draw. And for example I get the impression that a moderate number of Merlin AUs (not the ones where they're actually the same characters in the future) written by US writers are set in England because they see the characters as Inherently British. Or maybe there's just more British fans of Merlin than Avatar, idk.

Since I tend to skim over them vaguely I'm not sure if the characters are always white (apart from maybe Sokka and Katara). Zuko does get to keep his scar most of the time at least.

It bugs me a little with Dragon Age as well, but it's not like a modern British AU would be all that different to a modern US one, and it's not subject to the same subtext of cultural and ethnic erasure. And I do understand the "write what you know" thing: when I did my own Dragon Age modern AU I imagined them as Australians just because why not. Maybe I just need to get into more culturally diverse fandoms...

(*)Unless they're movies, for some reason.
sqbr: She's getting existential again. It's ok I have a super soaker. (existentialism)
Friday, July 9th, 2010 12:21 pm
EDIT: I have realised that this post, while it may have some merit, is mostly wrongheaded. I'm going to edit it to try and knock it into some sort of sense but keep in mind it used to be different. (Yes this erases my mistake, but it also means it's readable as a coherent argument)

I'm taking a break from responding to comments or editing the post etc while I think about the points people are making but I am increasingly uncomfortable with what I was saying. Ack.

Proof I shouldn't post when I have a cold )
sqbr: pretty purple pi (I like pi!)
Monday, April 12th, 2010 05:13 pm
I'm currently working on a Dragon Age: Origins fic which amongst other things addresses the position of the Denerim elven Alienage under Anora. Since the alienages are fairly obviously based in part on Jewish ghettos I've been looking into them and it's just as happy funtimes as I was expecting.
cut for depressingness and links )
sqbr: She's getting existential again. It's ok I have a super soaker. (existentialism)
Wednesday, January 20th, 2010 09:56 am
My last post and related discussions have got me thinking about the ways in which fic in general, and my fic in particular, pokes at social justice issues, as well as what it is about f/f romance that pings for me in a particular way other types of stories don't.

And I've realised that what I really like reading is stories that not only highlight the inequalities in society, and show people from marginalised groups being awesome, but show them working together to overcome those inequalities.

Note: the rest of this post is self indulgent introspection. But I am curious to know if anyone else seeks out stories like this. I know people see it as a trope that SHOULD be written for sensible socially conscious reasons, but for me it's also a very strong entirely selfish personal preference, akin to my love of schmoopy m/f romance.
Read more... )
sqbr: Are you coming to bed? I can't, this is important. Why? Someone is wrong on the internet. (duty calls)
Monday, January 18th, 2010 12:19 pm
There's been a bunch of discussion about the portrayal of gay men in m/m slash and published m/m romance recently, and despite this being a fight that doesn't involve me and I shouldn't derail I keep finding myself wanting to rant about side issues, and eventually I decided I needed to get some stuff of my chest to avoid
derailing other people's conversations.

EDIT: This post is not about issues with the way slash or published m/m fiction portray gay men. I think those issues are real, and worth addressing, and I really don't mean to minimise this important question. I'm not talking about it because I'm not a gay man or a writer of m/m fiction, so it's not my question to answer. All the stuff in this post is side issues that have been coming up in the conversation around the question of representations of gay men in m/m, and I decided to needed to get them out of my head so I didn't derail the much more important conversations other people are having. In retrospect..probably should have been a locked post.

I hope I'm not being derailing or appropriative in this post, and am going to try to be open to criticism on that score. Not screening comments anymore because the conversation is moving too fast and noone is saying anything problematic (touch wood).
Read more... )
sqbr: A cartoon cat saying Ham! (ham!)
Friday, July 31st, 2009 08:49 pm
Reading this misogynist slash fangirl bingo card I started thinking about how much more effective it would be if you put the contradictory squares next to each other. It's rather like solving a jigsaw puzzle making them all be contradictory, including the "Sod it, this doesn't quite fit but I'll put it there anyway" stage :D (And yes, no "Free Space", it mucked up the order)
Slash Mysogny bingo card

Note: Not all slashers/yaoi fans are misogynist, not even (necessarily) when they use these arguments. But if you manage to fill an entire row all at once then you probably are.

I had some gaps, then came across this post about Uhura bashing in the Star Trek kink meme via friendsfriends. The "GLBT activists" pushing for Kirk/Spock is a good example too. Thanks for the inspiration, Star Trek fandom!
sqbr: A happy dragon on a pile of books (bookdragon)
Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009 02:55 pm
Having written Why I like Gen and Why do we femslash? I felt I should finish off the "Fanfic which is not slash" tryptych :) (I do like slash too, but I think there's enough meta on it out there already)

So: Het has a bad rep. It's all soppy and romanic and sexist and cliched and boring. Except it's not.

Since I think we can all agree that "Stories containing heterosexual relationships" have the potential to be good (that description covering most of all fiction ever), I've tried to give a bunch of examples to show that het fanfic is (sometimes) awesome or at least interesting in practice. (Though of course Sturgeon's Law applies)

Note that I'm not saying that not-het isn't awesome too. If you prefer not-het but think het is all fine and well for what it is, that's fair enough. It's the "All het is crap" argument which bugs me.

EDIT: Written in 2009, slightly updated in 2013.
Read more... )
sqbr: A happy dragon on a pile of books (bookdragon)
Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009 04:00 pm
Right, and now some thoughts on the actual content of Admitting Impediments: Post-WisCon Posts, Part I, or, That Post I Never Made About RaceFail '09 and other related conversations, based largely on comments I left there and on my post Two Fandoms both alike in dignity... Since her terminology means something different in the context of local fandom I'm going to use "fanfic" and "old school" instead of her "media" and "book". They're still wrong, of course, but in a different way :)

Paradoxically, I think the fact that she has a point and tries to express it in an inclusive way has helped crystalise for me some of the ways fanfic meta tends to be seriously flawed and uninclusive. Normally I just roll my eyes and go "Yeah, yeah, more smug fanfic meta" and scroll by, but I don't let myself scroll by racism meta that makes me uncomfortable, so I really poked at my reactions (I REALLY hope I haven't ended up being all white person defensive about race in this post, but am open to the possibility that I may be). This post is more about the general arguments I have seen than any one post.

I'm not going to argue that fanfic fandom doesn't deal better with race, because afaict FOC (non-white fans) think it does and their opinion is the only one that counts. And given that this is the case, I think old school fandom should try and learn from fanfic fandom's example (see bottom of post).

But I'm sick of so many conversations being framed as "Why my form of fandom is Better and the True Form Of Fandom", so that even when it's true (in at least one respect) it's hard to engage with an open mind. I wrote up my general annoyance in What annoys me about fanfic meta.
Read more... )

And some ways similar ideas will benefit those outside old school fandom (separated out because this is not the same as fighting racism):

  • Be more open in general and acknowledge that not only has fandom changed, but that parts of fandom have been excluded for years. There needs to be a multiplicity of voices in fandom: fans of anime, fanfic, roleplaying, comics and webcomics, as well as people who interact online or in other places beyond Proper Cons. See these people as Real Fans, and take their opinions on fandom as seriously as anyone else's.
  • Accept change. You personally do not have to start liking fanfic etc, but accept that other people have other tastes, and if the overall taste of fandom changes (which it has before, is now, and will again) then fandom and conventions (especially "comprehensive" ones like Wiscon or Worldcon or Natcon) need to change to respect that (luckily, by my first point, it should still make space for your tastes too, even if they end up being a minority)

What we should NOT do is dismiss this all as "Some bunch of (American) fanfic writers complaining about nothing". Because fanfic writers are fans too, and because regardless of what social group they're in, when POC complain about racism and the only people who think it's not a big deal are white people, it's time to take a good hard look at yourself. And because there are FOC in "old school" fandom (including in Australia) and always have been, and because we are human beings in an unjust world and it's the right thing to do.

(nb comments screened since I used all the spoons I might use to answer comments to this post writing it! Will get to comments eventually. I will NOT leave anything which follows my commenting rules screened, even if it says I'm an idiot or whatever, I just want to make sure I'm in a state to deal with anything problematic before other people have to)
sqbr: Alien city skyline (atlantis)
Thursday, May 14th, 2009 08:35 pm
A fic rec: Male Enhancement (The Soul and the Company Store Remix), Stargate Atlantis, Shepphard/McKay, rated sexitimes, by Leah.

Some thoughts: The thing with this story, is it started out as a remix of a sex-robot slash pwp but by the first sequel had turned into mostly gen science fiction about sentient robots and it continued in that vein until by the last story (of..four?) I was sniffling in happy tears at the heartwarming story of humanity and belonging.

So if you like porn but not thinky gen stick with the first story (or be prepared to skim a LOT :D), and if you like thinky gen but not porn just skim the sex scenes. It's a pity about the premise or I think Cam might like it, but the whole sex robot thing was apparently too off putting :)

The premise bugged me too: I have HUGE problems with any sort of power differential in relationships, as well as any romance where a love interest starts out being nice because it's their job and there's no clear distinction made of when they start being sincere, no point when it feels like they seriously considered not being yielding and perfect. Pretty Woman type scenarios Skeeve Me Out, and the fact that the robot has only been sentient for five years hits my age-gap squick in a weird way.

These issues are at least largely acknowledged, and it wasn't so squicky I didn't enjoy the story, but I think could have been handled in a more nuanced and indepth way. I guess I'll have to write my own fic :)

Stupid SGA fandom and your engaging fic, you keep making me want to watch the show and then I remember how irritating and dull it was.
sqbr: me cosplaying the bearded dwarf cheery longbottom, titled Expressing my femininity with an axe (femininity)
Monday, May 4th, 2009 01:35 pm
Via [personal profile] hl: Here, let me mansplain slash to you..

Wow. And thus I have some vague understanding of how "exotic" peoples feel when anthropologists write books about them.

Brief description: A male evolutionary psychologist "explains" slash as this weird anthropological oddity, making it sound like he stumbled on it and figured out it's significance all by himself. Said significance being: it's a way for straight women to fantasize about heterosexual sex but as an equal. Also the fact it's monogamous is NOTHING like "real gay sex".
sqbr: calvin and hobbes with a duplicator, Copyright violation: ho! ( not intended to encourage copyright violation) (yay copyright)
Tuesday, March 31st, 2009 08:55 pm
So, Dreamwidth is starting up soon(*).

I find it and the OTW (specifically an Archive Of Our Own) interesting (I think I have an invite for that if anyone's interested, btw). Both were formed by groups of mostly female fans(**) who got sick of being messed round by badly written and run online facilities for fandom and decided to create their own, egalitarian, professional, fan-run alternatives. Time will only tell if they work, but they seem to be doing ok so far. (EDIT: Dreamwidth is not just fannish)

They make an interesting contrast to more "male" geek open source projects etc. From my limited experience I'd say there's a lot of differences and a lot of similarities too, certainly the camaraderie and idealistic imagery. I guess fanfic writers and open source programmers both tend to emphasise a free and unfettered sharing of ideas (especially those who are both, like Naomi Novik :)).

Now I'm wondering if there's much/any fanfic written about Linux...

(*) There's a lot of broken links still, if you're interested in seeing what an actual account looks like here's one off metafandom.
(**)I'm not sure how much crossover there is between Dreamwidth and OTW. I'm sure there's some, they certainly seem to come from the same broad social group of lj based fanfic writers, but they're not formally affiliated afaict.
sqbr: Alien city skyline (atlantis)
Friday, March 20th, 2009 08:25 am
Mafdet, Slayer of serpents, a silly little Stargate comic I made. Whether it's movie canon or SG1 canon depends on how you squint, both are somewhat contradicted by the vague attempt at historical accuracy so it's all a bit of a mish-mash :)

Somewhat inspired by [livejournal.com profile] velithya's story Momentary Paws about Tony Stark turning into a kitten :D

It really does feel like my likelyhood of being inspired to write about something is inversely proportional to how much I know about it. On the plus side, I'm pretty sure that after a afternoon or so of googling I know more about ancient and modern Egypt than your average Stargate writer...

I may get it beta-ed at some point (I certainly intend on waiting a bit then going back and fixing the dialogue and spelling etc), but right now I can't be bothered. I've decided I just need to write more rather than worrying too much about making everything perfect, if nothing else it's very cathartic getting down my personal canon/things I feel canon lacked (like giving the ancient Egyptians any agency..)
sqbr: Alien city skyline (atlantis)
Saturday, February 21st, 2009 01:43 pm
After discovering a bunch of comms and challenges etc (which you can find in my userinfo) I've actually reached the point of having enough femslash, so have been reading [livejournal.com profile] thefourthvine recs.

Absolutely the best so far is walked right out of the machinery by [livejournal.com profile] rydra_wong, actual honest to goodness science fiction SG1 gen. It's an AU of Abyss and explores the whole Tokra thing MUCH better than the show EVER did. A really good Jack centered piece too.
sqbr: calvin and hobbes with a duplicator, Copyright violation: ho! ( not intended to encourage copyright violation) (yay copyright)
Monday, January 26th, 2009 04:26 pm
First off, the title is deliberately misleading, this is definitely about why I like femslash. But hey, I think that's a problem with most of these sorts of essays :)

Every time I've seen femslash and yuri brought up in discussions/meta, it's generally quite quickly dismissed as not that interesting (or is theoretically interesting but the author knows nothing about it and isn't going to research), and the assumption is that the only people who read it are (a)Lesbian or bisexual women or (b) Straight men. (I've never heard anyone bring up bisexual male femslashers but they would presumably be explained the same way)

Since I am neither of those things (which is to say, I'm a straight woman, not a gay man. The thoughts of a gay male femslasher would be interesting too :)) and there has recently been angst over the lack of femslash meta I thought I'd think about why I like it, and what being a straight-girl girlslasher means. VERY much about my personal experiences since I don't know enough to generalise!

I should say first: I am VERY new to femslash fandom, so this may all be bunk. I've liked the idea since I first encountered the idea of fanfic but had real trouble finding any I liked. Some time last year I was pushed in the direction of comms like [livejournal.com profile] ffslashrecs and got more into it, and late last year started writing my first fanfic, which turned out to be femslash (still working on it, 9th chapter is on it's way :)) Also I do read slash, gen, and het as well, but have a special soft spot for femslash.

And of course not all people fit into any of the gay/straight/lesbian/bi boxes, and I haven't seen any related femslash meta on that score beyond questions about genderswap fic.
Why I like femslash )
Issues around being a straight-girl girlslasher )
sqbr: A happy dragon on a pile of books (bookdragon)
Sunday, January 11th, 2009 11:15 am
There's a very interesting post Why we do what we do: riding the wave riffing off another post which I didn't find all that interesting. Anyway, her point (as I see it) is to ask: Why are fans so hesitant to admit they get into fandoms partly due to peer pressure, and given that this peer pressure exists, do we have a responsibility to consider the social consequences? I started writing a comment and it expanded into this post. The context is fanfic writers but I think a lot of this applies to scifi fandom too.
Read more... )
sqbr: A happy dragon on a pile of books (bookdragon)
Sunday, January 11th, 2009 09:34 am
This is rather a trite observation, but: in any sort of fandom (including scifi, fanfic, etc) you have lots of conflicts, and people often cast it in terms of "We are just expressing our love for X, while these haters putting us down are motivated by elitism/anti-intellectualism/peversion/narrow-mindedness etc" But most of the time, while those things may be in play, a lot of it is just that people are expressing their love in different ways.

I think one of the main ones which comes up in many different guises is "I love canon as is" versus "I express my love for canon by looking at it from different angeles/picking it apart/recreating it etc".
meandering thoughts )
sqbr: me cosplaying the bearded dwarf cheery longbottom, titled Expressing my femininity with an axe (femininity)
Sunday, December 21st, 2008 03:33 pm
The mysterious geographic explorations of Jasper Morello (full movie on youtube) Oh. My. God. This is an amazing neo-victorian short film, utterly gorgeous. But don't do what I did and go in expecting Tim Burton-esque darkness-hiding-a-schmoopy-heart, this is more Lovecraft or Edgar Allen Poe. Blarg. I haven't been that slowly horrified by misreading the genre of a film and letting myself get attached to the characters since "The Talented Mr Ripley".

Also, two fanfics where I've spent AGES wishing someone would write something like this but noone does, may actually appeal to non-fanfic types (both are G rated :))

First Passing Through Nature To Eternity a gen fic showing what it might have been like for the four founders during the founding of Hogwarts. From the POV of Rowena Ravenclaw which is an added bonus.

Second Boston Marriage (Gilmore Girls), a note-perfect Rory/Paris fic that never loses it's snark or descends into schmoopiness. A quote:
Inside was a forty-page printout of a PowerPoint presentation entitled Boston Marriage: The Thinking Woman's Solution. Rory gripped the doughnut between her teeth and sat back on the couch, PowerPoint in one hand and coffee in another. She paged through the presentation, determinedly not pausing at a chart labeled "A Historical Analysis of Gilmore Dating: Two Decades of Disaster." When she got to the three-page bibliography at the end, she flipped back to the beginning and read it again, more slowly.

It's pretty much exactly the sort of story I'm aiming for with "Marriage is Destiny", may have to give up in despair of ever being so awesome :)

Also, this may have less appeal to people who aren't me, but if there was ever a show which had potential for book-centered femslash(*) it's "Read or Die", and I came accross a slight but sweet Nenene/Maggy fic Kiss Me, I’m Drunk.

(*)I think my love of this genre goes back to my obsession with "Anne of Green Gables" as a child :D