kiki_eng: GIF - Nikola Tesla of Sanctuary has eyes closed, text: "SCIENCE!", Tesla opens eyes, Text: "(with benefits)" (Nikola Tesla: Science!  With benefits!)
Science, y'all. and More Science! by [personal profile] melannen
This is some really fantastic meta that was written and compiled in response to this prevailing image of slashers as heterosexual housewives. [personal profile] melannen went looking for all the sexuality surveys of slashers that she could find and ran the numbers and found that, actually, a lot of slashers were queer, way more than 10% (which is the queer portion of the general population statistic I hear a lot), in fact, most slashers identified as queer. Numbers are pretty cool. I really love that there's this thing out there that I can point to when people talk about slash as being this het female thing. I think this is super-interesting meta.

Podfic as transformative works--Let me count the ways by [personal profile] podcath
[personal profile] podcath wrote some really awesome meta about podfic as creative works and in relation to fic and about fannish etiquette and some goings-on in the podfic community, which are all really interesting to me. [personal profile] podcath includes some really neat links that show a little bit of the history of the podficcing community. I don't identify as a podficcer, nor do I listen to a lot of podfic, but I think it's great, and this meta is incredibly interesting and does a good job of showcasing podfic as a valuable creative endeavour in its own right.

Women's Hockey Primer by [personal profile] pineapplechild
Hockey RPF
I went through this thing a bit ago where I started getting into Hockey RPF and then it was February which is the month in which all my fannish intake is about ladies, basically, and I swore a bit. I had a lot of trouble finding any fic about women who play hockey (not gender-swapped NHL-ers, but people who are on women's college hockey teams and women's Olympic teams) and I really wish this primer had been around then. It's great! There are pictures and videos and fun facts! ...and I want to add something here, about the CWHL. If you want to support women's hockey you can do the financial donation thing through the Friends of the CWHL. You can also buy merch, so, say, if you were really excited about the U.S.A. Olympic Women's Hockey team you might also be interested in buying a tee from them with, say, Chu's name and CWHL jersey number on it. (It is sort of hockey and Olympic season here, so I am just, you know, throwing that out there.)

This post is for [community profile] snowflake_challenge. Details about the third day are here.
kiki_eng: Breakfast at Tiffany's - Holly Golightly - Audrey Hepburn (woman in evening wear & sunglasses stands before shop window) (breakfast at tiffany's)
The [livejournal.com profile] yuletide_admin signups post is up, and there's a link to a tutorial on the process. (Everything's happening on the AO3 this year, so you need an account to participate in yuletide. If you don't have one write to the yuletide admins at yuletide@yuletidetreasure.org and let them know and they'll send you what you need to get one.)

The way yuletide requests work is this: you make your fandom and character requests and that's what your writer gets matched on and has to write - a complete work no less than 1,000 words long in one of your fandoms that includes the character(s) you requested for that fandom. After that everything is optional, and then we start getting into conventions, stuff that's common or suggested practice but not rigidly defined or enforced.

Your optional details, for example, are optional. They're usually the first thing that your writer is going to read after their matching fandom and characters. Conventionally, your optional details are basically a quick rundown of what your yuletide writer might write.

There's a large body of meta about yuletide and yuletide requests out there. There's a lot of stuff written about yuletide, period. The first year I did yuletide I researched. I read the FAQ, I looked over the two livejournal communities ([livejournal.com profile] yuletide_admin and [livejournal.com profile] yuletide), and I read meta, and I read a few people's letters, and I figured out how this yuletide thing worked. (That is how I roll.)

So, I have meta recs for figuring out how to write your requests - your optional details and your likewise optional yuletide letter:
Random Blithering and a Poll on Prompts and [Meta]: The Yuletide Prompt Poll Results by [personal profile] thefourthvine
Thoughts on Yuletide prompts & requests by [personal profile] liviapenn

Those are all really awesome resources for figuring out what this request business is about and what prompts and the yuletide letter are and do. There's some really good discussion in the comments and I love the poll answers for just how clearly they demonstrate that different people have very different approaches to yuletide.

My first year I read all the meta, I'm pretty sure, and I read a few other people's letters, and then I followed the instructions. And after I wrote and posted my letter I read more people's letters from the dear yuletide writer letter collection post and I began to feel progressively more, um, special, because none of the letters I read looked much like mine. Mine was long and picture-heavy. There were useful biographical links.

Signups and the yuletide letter are actually my favorite part of yuletide, because I get to be ridiculously organised and excited about small fandoms. ("Some day," she said, "my yuletide letter will be perfect." There was a terrible glint in her eyes.)

I'm pretty ridiculous about sign-ups and the letter, and it's this whole absurd process for me, that, really, I wouldn't necessarily recommend for other people. I figure that sign-ups and the letter are a pretty individual thing.

Reading all of that meta I developed a kind of theory or philosophy of yuletide (...yeah.) and a kind of system for approaching it that has a lot to do with what kind of fanperson and person I am, which I will share, in case it's useful to anyone.

One of the suggestions that people make with fandom selection is that you set it up so that your writer has an out, so that they can run away from whatever fandom they got matched to you on and write a different fandom for you. You can do this by nominating your fandoms in pairs with similar source material or including two fandoms that are easy for your writer to bring themselves up to speed on. I try to do the latter, but it's not necessarily something that I succeed at, because I don't know what source material is accessible to my writer - I don't know what's available where they live or what they can find online - and I also might get really distracted by some shiny fandom that I really want to request, and that's fine; yuletide is about shiny fandoms.

Remember that your character requests are something that your writer has to fulfill; all of the characters you request need to be in the fic that they write for you. Keep this in mind when you're filling out your optional details and yuletide letter.

The optional details boxes of your signup form are where your prompts go. Something to remember is the diversity of fandom: your usual might be angsty character-driven slash and you might get an author who writes fluffy adventure-driven gen. Giving your author different directions to go in is a good idea. What I try to do, because I like prompts, is give my writer six different basic story ideas. I think about what type of story I'd like to read, and what kind of directions someone might go with that fandom. "What would futurefic look like?", "What about back-story?", "Is there something going on in the story that's interesting, a B-plot or some little detail?", and "What would happen if someone wrote a particular genre or trope?" are questions I might use to come up with prompts.

The optional details is also where I toss in that I'm good with whatever, any rating or relationship genre, because I am. I've seen it recommended that if you have triggers you mention them there.

Your optional details are optional. Technically it's something that they don't even have to read, but yuletide is all about it being a gift and writing a fic for someone specifically - that one person who's going to read your fic, because you wrote it for them.

The yuletide letter is also optional. I include the information from my signup in my letter, so that its accessible to people who aren't my assigned writer and so that my writer has everything in one place. I write about why I love my fandoms, so that my writer has some kind of raw data to work with and can see where I'm coming from and kind of pick and choose elements that make them happy. I formatted that as a pretty straight-up fandom recruitment thing last year because it made sense to me; I got to talk about why I thought the source materials were awesome and maybe lure in people who were just kind of casually reading my letter. How I'll end up writing it this year is going to depend on what I request. I like having pictures, because I do write at length and I think that pictures help to break up that text and can help with structuring things, but that's a format that works better with some fandoms than others. I try to write about my fandoms at an equal length and enthusiasm level, because I don't want my writer to feel like what they matched me on was my second or third or last choice; they're all things I'm going to be really excited to get. So I pretty much try to just be really enthusiastic at them.

There's also a section in people's letters where they write more generally, about what they like or don't like in stories in general - their story kinks, pretty much, and their back-button things, including that list that goes something like "so, this might be your kink, and your kink is okay, but it is not my kink". People write about themselves. They might include a link to an "about me" post or their reccing website or whatever, anything they think it might be useful for their writer to know.

Your yuletide letter is also an address to your writer, so it's a "hello" and "have fun" and whatever else. Be friendly!

There's a lot of variation among yuletide letters; people approach them differently and do different things. My yuletide letters are here if you want to look. I'm pretty serious about the one day my letter will be perfect thing, just in that there's stuff I've done that I'd do differently and will do differently this time.

I try to give my writer as much information as I can without tying them to anything. Writers are different. There are people who would honestly like a detailed fic outline and others that want no additional information, so I try to make something that will make them both happy, or not unhappy, anyway.

So a lot of what I've written here is a reiteration of what's in those three meta links. They're good. I like them. You should check them out.

Signups are open now. They close Monday, November 21, 2011 at 01:00:00 GMT. (I should get on that.)
kiki_eng: light purple lilacs with soft unfocused blue-purple background (lilacs)
One Girl Revolution by [livejournal.com profile] arefadedaway
This is a vid that was made for [livejournal.com profile] halfamoon, as a celebration of female characters in fandom. I love it. I love that it uses the art for that challenge year, which featured female characters sorted by Hogwarts house, and then the rest of the vid shows women being awesome in all kinds of different ways - women reading, women fighting, women doing science, women working together, women dancing, etc. I love the opening footage of this vid, and I love all of the footage of women striding and moving.
(Song: One Girl Revolution (Battle Mix) by Superchick)

Space Girl by [personal profile] charmax
It's a history of women in science fiction and it is brilliantly executed. It starts off with black and white footage and then makes this seamless transition to colour that is brilliant to watch. It showcases all of these different roles that women have had in sci-fi and how they've changed over the years. The music that its set to is integral to the vid and there are some fantastic sequences in this.
(Song: Space Girl by The Imagined Village)

Hook Shot by [personal profile] kuwdora
This is a vid that has amazing movement. The song that it's set to is an instrumental piece and the vid is a solid three and a half minutes of women physically kicking ass, moving, driving, piloting, shooting things, and blowing things up. It looks choreographed. It is visually stunning.
(Song: Hook Shot by Wolfgang Gartner)

[livejournal.com profile] arefadedaway wrote meta about her vid. "This is our heroines at their most magnificent: asserting their independence, celebrating their agency and strength, triumphing over all the odds, whether they be personal, global, or the whim of the writers who let them down; rejoicing in their victories, and ultimately taking charge of their destinies with both hands and never letting go."

"[T]he whim of the writers who let them down" is something that I've been thinking about lately, watching Doctor Who, and having thoughts like, I really like Amy, but I really hate what the writers are doing. I've been thinking about female characters and their treatment by their source material and vids.

[personal profile] thingswithwings has written an interesting piece of meta on this subject - ladies (en masse) are awesome - that I recommend reading. There's a nice list of vids and some good recs and conversation in the comments. There's some really excellent discussion about this genre of vids and what they do and why they exist with specific examples.

One of the things that vids, especially multifandom vids can do is recontextualise clips. What this translates into, especially with multifandom female-centric vids, is that these women get away from their writers, they get to participate in a different narrative. The way that vids function as transformative works is something that's really interesting to me, in part because while vidding is very identifiable as remix culture, the nature of the medium can make a vid's message less parsable than that of other fanworks. I think that vids tend to require a more actively engaged audience. Narrative vids, for example, require interpretation in a way that fic doesn't.

Sometimes it takes me a while to figure out what a vid is trying to say, to catch all of the lyrics, to sort out everything that is happening in a clip, to interpret a clip choice. Space Girl was posted about a month after Elisabeth Sladen, who played Sarah Jane Smith on Doctor Who, had died, and ends with a clip of Sarah Jane Smith walking off. That clip niggled at me. Space Girl is a history of women in science fiction, and there are clips of Sarah Jane from both old and new Who in it. Sarah Jane Smith walks off with K-9 at the end, and then, after, she got her own show. Bringing that bit of context to that clip makes it really awesome. Sarah Jane Smith of Doctor Who goes on to become the title character of her own show.

I had that same issue with Hook Shot, where I was watching the end clip and getting stuck. Then I watched Sucker Punch. I hated Sucker Punch; it was skeevy and it made me angry. There is a clip from Sucker Punch in Hook Shot, which, when I was watching it looking for a cleanser, meant that it didn't work as a cleanser. So I thought some more, and remembered other films that had skeeved me out. Personal Best. I watched an interview with Robert Towne, who wrote and directed it, right before I saw it, and he talked about how much he liked women's bodies, liked athleticism in women, liked watching women's bodies' move, and then I watched Personal Best, and there are sections of that that are exactly like Baywatch, only not shot on a beach and with less of an emphasis on breasts. I felt like I was watching porn that Robert Towne had written and directed for himself. ...and then I thought about Kick-Ass, and the context of that clip where Hit Girl shoots out the camera. Do you know what she says, right after she's taken out the men holding her father, right after she puts the fire out, right before she shoots out the camera? "Show's over, motherfuckers." Three and a half minutes of gorgeous movement in that vid, and then Hit Girl shoots the camera out.

[personal profile] kuwdora hasn't posted meta on her vid yet, and I feel like the piece is very open to interpretation. I feel, with Hook Shot, that I am getting what I need out of it. After 110 minutes of Sucker Punch that wasn't a girl shooting out the camera, but a really angry girl shooting out the camera.

Sometimes what I need to see is women being awesome in all kinds of different ways, moving forwards and having agency. Sometimes it's the history of sci-fi, and the knowledge that the role of women in sci-fi is changing.

So. The last movie I saw was Sucker Punch. The last TV episode was The God Complex. Does someone want to rec me something good?
kiki_eng: GIF - Nikola Tesla of Sanctuary has eyes closed, text: "SCIENCE!", Tesla opens eyes, Text: "(with benefits)" (Nikola Tesla: Science!  With benefits!)
Bad Romance by [livejournal.com profile] sisabet
Smallville/DCU/Superman Returns
It’s an epic Clark/Lex vid that pulls on a variety of source material, including comics and animated works. I really like the way that all of the versions of Clark and Lex are consistent with Smallville, how none of the Superman Returns footage in this really shows their faces clearly; there’s a really nice unity in this. It is an excellent, fun, and thorough depiction of the Clark/Lex relationship.
(Song: Bad Romance by Lady Gaga)

Reconcilable Differences by [personal profile] astolat
Smallville/DCU
Rating: NC-17
The first thing that needs to be said in relation to this is that Superboy is the test-tube child of Lex Luthor and Superman, canonically. There’s a spectacular fusion of the Smallville and DC universes in this. It’s really glorious kid fic; Clark and Lex are both paternally inclined and there’s fantastic shuffle dance as they both work on raising their teenaged child. There is also the Batman, geekery, and teenaged shenanigans; it is hilarious and amazing.

Batman: Great Family Issue(s) by [livejournal.com profile] jemppu
DCU
Rating: G
I’m kind of ridiculously in love with this comic. It’s five pages of adorable bat-family relationship dynamics. It features Alfred, Tim, Dick, and Bruce; they’re all completely awesome in this and incredibly endearing. It’s fantastically cute and happy-making.

How You Train Wild Gypsy? by [livejournal.com profile] maelithil
DCU
It’s a shippers manifesto for Bruce/Dick that includes all sorts of scans and quotations. Batman’s been around for over 70 years, so it’s especially fascinating meta because there is so much source material available. It’s comic-based and has its thesis backed up by primary source material like no one’s business. The essay also does a really good job of sketching out the basic canon and the characters, in addition to their relationship with each other; it’s incredibly accessible.
kiki_eng: whale wearing headphones that connect to a heart (whale music)
Okay. So I need to do an actual Inception rec set because it has kind of eaten my brain. (For now there's a general rec set with a fic rec.)

This Inception kink meme thread is why I love fandom; it is amazing. I got about halfway through the fills and then just pretty much broke down from awesome for a while. It was kind of hard to breathe under the weight of all this awesome, I tell you.

I love kink memes for their incredible enthusiasm. I love the comments in kink memes. There is so much capslocky and keyboard smash and general excitement. There are people making friends in this thread and geeking at each other and there is so much joy and fannishness in it. There is cover art for one of the anon stories; it is essentially a love note to the anon's anon awesomeness. Seriously.

I watched Sherlock in hopes that it'd give me another fandom and pairing to read, but, you know, it hasn't gone down like that. I watched the first episode, went, Fuck, yes, that was good for me, basked, metaed sexuality at/with [personal profile] readbystarlight, powered through the next two episodes, and the end result has been... a playlist of songs to grind to and a desire to read the original stuff, not fanfic. So. That failed. I do not particularly mind, though. [It was shiny. (There are undeniably some issues, especially with the second episode, though.)]

Also in the realm of things that are shiny is this - it's the official music video for Le bien qui fait mal from Mozart l'Opera Rock, so, yeah, there is an entire musical of this and I'm kind of ridiculously intrigued. I've been trawling youtube for clips from it and it looks amazing. (Mozart! Rock! Period-inspired costumes! Leather! Shiny things! Vocals!)

In kind of the same vein, as it is indeed interesting music is We Are The Robot Pirates. It's geeky and fantastic. I've kind of got a ridiculous affection for what I think of as "Hawking voice" and this has that. It's also got a really endearing combination of geek and pirate humour. It reminds me a bit of a Doctor Who episode that Douglas Adams wrote.

SolarBeat is something I'd put into the same sort of box as We Are The Robot Pirates, but it is more elegant. The Solar System! Made musical! It's a neat concept, something like an abstract modern update of a street organ or a music box.

The Tiger Beatdown Review of Titanic is hysterical and awesome. It's a really fun read. There's a really nice discussion of the villain of the piece that fills me with glee before the romance aspect of the story gets tackled, which is also, yes, glee-inducing.

There's some kind of interesting How I Met Your Mother meta from NPR on Ted Mosby. It's a nice piece. I think it's sometimes easy to forget that Ted's the narrator of the show, or easy to forget what that means. There's some nice examination of that in here.

Michael Buble Being Stalked By A Velociraptor is an utterly amazing tumblr. There are ridiculous publicity photos, screen shots, concert photos and so on made more awesome with photoshopping from a wide range of ability - it's kind of like a twisted and awesome version of Where's Waldo at times.

There's a neat duet with Charlotte Gainsbourg and Neil Hannon from Taratata, which is a really excellent French music show. There's a good chunk of material hosted at their website; there are some really fantastic performances.

(So, indeed, recs - my miscellany folder has been growing for a while. One day there will be a coherently organised recs post again.)

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