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[personal profile] firerose
First of all, a heartfelt thank you for writing for me. I'm sure I'll adore whatever you give me! This letter just gets longer every time I write it, so do cut loose now if detail makes you anxious.

Some generalities: I'm both a 'more of' & a 'more from' canon girl; that is, I'd be equally overjoyed to receive a story that captures the precise tone of canon and one that cleverly turns canon on its head & stomps all over it. I love stylish prose, accurate pastiche, unusual formats, structural interest, world building, politics, intellectual discussions, science, steampunk, robots/AIs, mythological parallels, vividly painted backdrops, friendship, competence, female-centric stories, well-developed original & minor characters, villain PoVs, shades of grey, dollops of plot, casefic, documentfic, plausible sideturn-from-canon AUs, dry, sly & black humour -- and above all stories that surprise me. I'm equally keen on gen, het & slash, though I usually prefer to close the bedroom door.

I don't tend to enjoy heavy-handed angst, hurt/comfort, poly relationships, PWP, kinkfic, Omegaverse, soulbonding, slapstick humour, crackfic, alternate realities especially modern/mundane AUs, pregnancy, kidfic, curtainfic, schmoop & fluff. Darker stories are absolutely fine, but suicide is a potentially triggering subject for me.

As this journal is sparse, try my recommendations site if you're interested in further hints as to my fictional tastes. There's a lot of Bujold recs, though few as yet for Sharing Knife, a handful of Chandler, and a scattering of 19th-century literature. (The themed recs posts from recent Yuletides might be helpful.) My fanfiction masterlist might clue you in to some of my obsessions. I'm also Espresso Addict on LJ/DW, but much of that journal is friends-locked. I was rather verbose in my prompts; nevertheless there are a few extra hints to be had under the cut.

Daniel Deronda
Characters: Catherine Arrowpoint
Catherine Arrowpoint is one of Eliot's most successful women. She gets to be a musician of notable talent with the balls to hold out for a marriage to an odd musical genius who also happens to be Jewish, but then the narrative neglects her. I'd love to see more of her story. What in her backstory gives her the courage and broadmindedness to pretty much propose to Klesmer? Or an AU in which she is disinherited. Or a glimpse at her married life; does she get to perform? to meet historical composers? to continue to compose herself? Gen or het, please. Please no Catherine/Grandcourt! I'd rather the story didn't focus on pregnancy, childbirth or childrearing, except in the background.

Daniel Deronda's such a complex, wonderful, problematic novel, problematic particularly in the disjunction between Daniel Deronda's & Gwendolen Harleth's plotlines. Catherine stands at the very centre of the novel both for her musical talent & for her choice of marriage partner.

Julius Klesmer is of course another favourite; though not nominated I'd be happy to read about him. I'm a big fan of music from this era but I'm not knowledgeable enough to have an opinion on which of Liszt, Rubinstein or Wagner Klesmer might be based on. Neither am I at all knowledgeable about Victorian Jewish politics, but feel free to debate Klesmer's cosmopolitan view vs Zionism if that's your interest in the novel. As I write under Marlowe, I'm not personally bothered by fiction that reflects the attitudes of the source or historical period, however racist or sexist these feel to modern ears. There again, clever authorial undermining of such attitudes is always a bonus.

I'm with Leavis on thinking the novel might have been better as Gwendolen Harleth; Gwendolen is another favourite, and there are plenty of parallels between her & Catherine that could be explored. As I said in the sign-up though, please don't write an AU in which Catherine ends up forced to marry Grandcourt!

I love Eliot's prose style but know it can be intimidating to penetrate, so if you want to write in a different style that would be fine. Crossovers with other 19th-century lit or an injection of history both welcome.

Daniel Deronda is available online via Gutenberg. It's a long novel, around 800 pages, with Catherine playing a relatively minor role.

Philip Marlowe
Characters: Anne Riordan, Philip Marlowe
I've always felt that Anne made the best female foil for Marlowe, either romantically or as friends/colleagues. I'd be equally interested in a friendship story with them solving a case together or mulling over cases from later novels, or an AU continuation of That Scene where Marlowe stays the night. An Anne-centric story would also be welcome. Though Chandler's prose style is one of the major draws of this fandom, I would be open to reading something in Anne's point of view, if you wanted the challenge of developing a Chandleresque-but-feminine style. Gen or het, please.

What I particularly like about the series is Chandler's amazing style and his loving portrait of all sides of the city.

Something that probably needs to be addressed if you want to go the het route -- there's this weird Austen-like feel to Marlowe's relations with women. They divide neatly into good girls & bad girls, and Marlowe treats the good ones' virtue like he's one of the more stuffy Heyer heroes. (Chandler writes in his essay on detective fiction that the hero would not spoil a virgin.) Perhaps meeting up again when Anne is older & more experienced?

Obviously I don't read Marlowe as exclusively homosexual; if you do, I'd prefer it if you wrote them as friends, rather than eg Marlowe realising he's gay in bed with Anne, or Anne playing the classic Mary-Sue role of educating Marlowe on his 'real' sexuality. By the way, I'm not personally bothered by fiction that reflects the attitudes of the source or historical period, however racist, sexist or homophobic these feel to modern ears. There again, clever authorial undermining of such attitudes is always a bonus, and I certainly don't see Anne as passively accepting society's views of how women should behave.

Other characters... Lieutenant Randall is one of the most sympathetic police officers in Marlowe canon.

For anyone new to the fandom, there are seven completed Marlowe novels; all are quick reads. Anne appears only in the second one, Farewell, My Lovely. Marlowe does evolve a little from novel to novel, but you wouldn't need to read more than FML for this prompt.

Sharing Knife
Characters: Arkady Waterbirch
I'm primarily interested in worldbuilding about the Lakewalkers' groundsense/groundsetting abilities, with Arkady as a teacher or a researcher. Some specific ideas... I love Arkady's mentor–mentee relationship with Dag, where each has much to teach the other. I'd love to see them researching something new together. Arkady teaching an OC, or how he learned his craft, especially the groundsetting aspects. Arkady telling a story from the pre-apocalyptic era or he & another Lakewalker discussing what they know about the origins of groundsense or what the old mages could achieve with groundsetting. Documentfic about Arkady's (& Dag's) work, perhaps some future author writing a history or textbook? Gen, please; I'm not really interested in shipfic for this prompt. Please don't focus on Bryna's failed pregnancies.

I'm interested in a rational basis for groundsense/groundsetting that doesn't simply treat it as magic. I love Lakewalker worldbuilding and I'm enduringly fascinated by the hints about the historical apocalypse. (I received a great story last year set during that era and if you were drawn to explore that angle feel free to ignore the characters.)

In terms of Arkady's canonical history, I'm not interested in Bryna's failed pregnancies, or Arkady's pain over that topic; to be honest, pregnancy is a bit of a squick for me. I don't particularly ship Arkady with Sumac and I don't greatly enjoy Arkady/Sumac romantic or domestic stories. Feel free to use either canonical relationship in the background, though. I'm interested in most of the Lakewalker characters, especially the older generation.

I'm not particularly invested in Bujold's prose style, so feel free to pastiche it or not, whatever works best for your story.

I'm a lifelong Tolkien fan, so the obvious parallels/contrasts with his works, with the Lakewalkers as Rangers, the lost civilisation as Numenor & groundsense as the high elvish ability to see the real & spirit worlds simultaneously, would also be of interest. There's a great conference paper on the topic online here. (Arkady as Elrond???)

It's a four-novel series, but it's a very quick read. Arkady only appears in the final novel, Horizon, but discussion of groundsetting starts in the second novel.
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Fiction in a range of rare fandoms

January 2016


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