prodigy: A parody Choose Your Own Adventure book cover with the title "Gay Viking Holiday." (take your protein pills)
the late, or rather, later Henrik Egerman ([personal profile] prodigy) wrote2013-10-21 10:42 am
Entry tags:

Dear Yuletide Writer 2013

Dear Yuletide Writer,

Hello and apologies that this letter's so late-- I got your message through the mods, please excuse my tardiness due to IRL busyness. Thank you in advance for putting this much thought into writing me a gift I'll like! I'm sure it'll be great and I hope you have fun writing it and don't stress too much.

If you've read my letter from last year or previous years, then you already know some general stuff. Not much has changed in that department, except that the kinds of requests I have this year may lend themselves to different things-- you can still find me on Tumblr at ourlightsinvain where I update a lot more than I do here.

A couple words on dark content and triggers and other stuff: several of these are at least semi-horror canons, several are violent, and one contains an at least borderline-abusive, if not straight-up abusive relationship. I wanted to say you can consider yourself to have basically carte blanche on violence, horror, abuse, and such to your discretion as suits the canon of each--I don't really have fic triggers and as long as everything is properly marked I'd be happy to receive IC darkfic. More details on how that applies to the individual canons below.

I'm also open to fic of any rating--I might put a comment on the Yuleporn post saying so, but it mostly just applies to my BioShock: Infinite request. More on that in its section. But basically, if you have an idea for something but it involves content you're worried about, go ahead-- I read body horror, guro, dubcon and noncon, and a bunch of other stuff in that vein, so I wouldn't worry about putting me off, if it suits the story. I'm not sure that'll come up much with my particular requests, but I figured I'd let you know. Also, if you're not interested in writing darkfic whatsoever don't worry about it-- that's not a request, just a disclaimer.

Onto the requests! I have them all blacked out in spoiler text since three of the canons came out just this year and ALMN would look, uh, lonely by itself.

American Elsewhere - Robert Jackson Bennett: I dig this fucked-up family. I'd like something with the siblings formerly known as Mr. Parson and Mrs. Benjamin-- whether before, during, or after their 'Mr. Parson' and 'Mrs. Benjamin' identities, in either or both worlds. I also really like their brother First, so if you want to include him (or the Cupbearer or the Wildling, or Mother, for that matter) feel free. No real preference on gen or messed-up surreal transdimensional monster incest, so do what you wish.

So how about the dysfunctional families of transdimensional, madness-inducing monstrous aliens of inconceivable size? One of the things I love about this book is that Mother and her family are horrific, surreal, Zdzisław Beksiński-esque creatures and yet that's not intrinsically evil; the book's not about the human Mona reeling from and battling the unfathomable terrors from beyond, it's about Mona unraveling the story of Wink, of her mother and real family, and the choices then faced by her and the rest of Mother's children. I'd love any story about "Mrs. Benjamin" and "Mr. Parson" to integrate their fundamental nonhumanness, from the strange terrible beauty of their true forms and their world to the very way they think, along with the very relateable, very... er, human dynamic of their enormous family and their rather manipulative and abusive mother.

Given these characters are otherworldly godlike creatures with tiny human puppet forms, I am pretty much cool with anything that reflects that, be it body horror or psychological mindfuckery or whatever you come up with. They're also the rebellious children of a mother who uses them, though, and they don't even necessarily get along themselves--but they have a point of bonding, which is doubting and resisting Mother. I'm fine with any canon point: pre-canon before they even get to Wink, their time in Wink, post-canon, all of them, whatever. I also like First and their other siblings a lot, so I'd be happy to see them too, but that's not needful.

The Folly of the World - Jesse Bullington: Medieval Dutch-ish found family of my heart! I love Sander and Jolanda's unlikely hilarious familial bond and I'd basically just love to read about them on adventures and grousing and getting into trouble and whatever the hell. Referencing Sander's terrible taste in men is cool; undead and/or hallucinatory Jan is cool too, as is Sander and Jan's messed-up relationship, although I'd still prefer a focus on Sander and Jolanda. I'd take either post-book or during their Graf Tieselen stage.

Oh, Sander and Jo, what a pair of hot hot messes. Particularly you, Sander. This is a Bullington book, so I'm not averse to and probably expecting some requisite combination of sex and violence and gore and dead things and grossness, but I'd prefer bittersweetness and dark comedy over straight-up grimdark, as in keeping with the canon. I'm also most attached to gen for this prompt: I really do like Sander/Jan and Sander and Jan's relationship, but mostly in this case as a background for him and Jo, though I think it's likely Sander still won't be over him post-canon and probably won't be over him for quite a while. Undead Jan is totally welcome. Longsuffering Jo is always welcome.

Basically my dream fic for this fandom could be summed up as "Sander and Jo Adventures": about those two friends off getting into post-book Bullingtony hijinks, dealing with the annoying specter of Sander's boyfriend either metaphorically or in the flesh, grousing, bonding, dealing with more weird supernatural shit, whatever. I'd like something ultimately upbeat for the future of Sander and Jo's friendship, but given that the book contains Gilles de Rais and Sander's general sexual proclivities and, you know, everything in it, I've got pretty much no squicks.

A Little Night Music - Sondheim/Wheeler:Wow, so worst marriage ever or worst marriage ever? I would love to read fic about the best worst marriage ever. Black comedy preferred, since it's a good way to swallow the Malcolms' horrible relationship, although I'd also take depressing seriousfic about it if you prefer. Any timeline is fine, as long as it focuses on the terrible two and their terrible matrimony.

Oh God, getting it out of the way to begin with--for all Charlotte is pretty fucked up herself, Carl-Magnus is completely the problem with the Malcolms' marriage, no question. He is basically one hundred percent horrible to his wife and ninety-nine point nine percent horrible to everyone else. I definitely do not expect you to apologize for him or make him look any better: he's an entitled, violent, jealous, hypocritical, vain, sexist pig and he's also generally as dumb as a box of rocks. He doesn't deserve Charlotte by any measure and she definitely doesn't deserve the likes of him. However, it seems she loves him anyway-- hell, there's a whole bitter song dedicated to it. It isn't fair, and I think in something with a heavier touch than Smiles of a Summer Night/A Little Night Music it might be kind of disturbing. Hell, it's still kind of disturbing.

So there are basically like two tacks you could take with this: gallows humor in the spirit of the canon, or a serious fic taking the absurdly terrible actions of canon seriously and examining what this marriage would actually be like. Either is fine by me: I have a slight preference for the comedy, but if you're not up to making light of this stuff, that's also cool. Their relationship is unfair, power-imbalanced, and pretty warped by any measure--there's no tidy moral to be had. I'd like it if Charlotte were given her dues too, though: she's hardly a passive victim, but has plenty of snark, scheming, and vindictiveness in her own right, and she's a hell of a lot smarter than he is. I'd like to see her hold her own with her dreadful husband like she does in the canon. But basically I shamefully love these two and find them hilarious and want to see more of them.

BioShock Infinite: So I would basically love some bitter, dysfunctional Lutecest - I love the hints of their relationship fracturing, of Robert threatening to leave Rosalind unless they put things right, and more than anything I love the subtle *differences* between them: Rosalind's more dominant personality and ruthlessness, Robert's guilt and passive aggression. So fic about the trajectory of their relationship from that standpoint would be great. If you're not into the pairing I'd also take gen about their relationship from that viewpoint.

I have a bunch of Lutece and Lutecest headcanons that you can take or leave as you please. Fundamentally I'll be happy with any messed-up Rosalind/Robert you write--I know there's an argument for the Luteces as fundamentally happy little vain clams, separated only by a single chromosome as Rosalind says, with some outlying disagreements, but I like to think of this as kind of Rosalind's ideal for the relationship: we see them bicker and snipe incessantly and, fundamentally, the very plot of Infinite wouldn't happen if the two of them didn't change their minds and disagree. So I prefer a version of the Luteces that are stuck together whether they like it or not, emotionally and metaphysically--they may not be strictly happy together, but there's no going back now, and besides, who else could understand either of them? Who else ever has?

I like to envision Rosalind as the more dominant, take-charge twin when it comes to decision-making and choices, because it seems in keeping with canon; Robert seems a little more passive and passive-aggressive and snarky, but also a bit more doubtful and questioning and in possession of an itchier conscience. I don't think this is because Rosalind is somehow fundamentally crueller, though--I like to imagine the life of a female scientist in her time period is one that ended up hardening her a lot more into a decisive, cynical, unsentimental person in order to make her way in her field, an experience Robert wouldn't have had, for good or for ill. They're both party to and complicit in Comstock's crimes, though, and I see them both as sympathetic and unsympathetic at the same time. As far as romantic and sexual dynamics go, I'd love to see them as kind of clingy and desperate. I'm open to rough sex and power play and even angry dubcon (Robert does have a lot of resentment to vent) under the right circumstances, but I'm not too attached to seeing either of them as a top or bottom or switch--I just love the toxic inextricability of their relationship. And again, if you'd prefer to avoid incest and do gen, that's also totally cool.

If you have any more questions, you can go through the mods or, alternately, feel free to ask my friend [personal profile] relia/lifecrystals, who knows my preferences fairly well. Thanks again for your interest and your efforts, and happy writing!