noracharles: (Default)
I try to avoid fic demonizing women and promoting damaging sexist stereotypes.
I try to avoid fic pushing narrow concepts of ideal womanhood (and am grateful to those authors tagging theirs with "ladies being awesome").
I try to avoid fic reducing female characters to objects to be conquered or won.

So that does make it a bit difficult to find het fic for the ships I like. Mostly I stick to enjoying canon, and making up my own stories. Sometimes an author I trust will write het (slashers tend to be relatively good with avoiding stereotyped gender dynamics), and sometimes I'm lucky and randomly come across a het fic I love:

"An Algorithm for Mistakes" by fleete is great. It's strongly grounded in canon characterization and makes reference to events and mythology from the show, but it's long and meaty enough a character-driven story that I think it can be read and enjoyed by those only familiar with Teen Wolf by fannish osmosis.

Lydia in this fic is not a lady being awesome, she is a BAMF. She's flawed (real person flaws which impact the plot, not Hollywood flaws making her quirky but cute), she has a mysterious traumatic back story and super math skills (not the man pain and super strength and healing of Derek, but still that over the top deliciousness I prefer in my hero fic), and yes, she is a hero: she overcomes the obstacles, she owns up to and fixes mistakes, she grows as a person even when it is painful, she wins the pretty boy, and she does it all while being smart and funny and mean and fashion-self-conscious.

An Algorithm for Mistakes (26861 words) by fleete
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Teen Wolf (TV)
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Lydia Martin/Stiles Stilinski, Derek Hale/Stiles Stilinski, Lydia Martin/Jackson Whittemore
Characters: Lydia Martin, Stiles Stilinski, Derek Hale, Jackson Whittemore, Allison Argent, Scott McCall, Vernon Boyd, Erica Reyes, Isaac Lahey
Additional Tags: Future Fic, First Time, College, Science, BAMF Lydia Martin, Angst

Lydia has a plan: attend college, study the biological makeup of werewolves, win prizes, and wear amazing shoes. She does not expect to make friends with Stiles. Or flirt with Stiles. Or accidentally start a pack war with Stiles. Whatever. The point is, Lydia has a plan.

noracharles: (Default)
I was catching up on the spnkink_meme just now. This time there was a lot of noncon and dubcon, as there often is. And noncon and dubcon can be really hot and enjoyable to read. I like it a lot both when it's treated strictly as a sadomasochistic and/or D/s fantasy and when it's emoporn teasing out all the nuances of the experience. I don't like it when it's presented as not being noncon/dubcon, and the wonderful thing about kinkmemes is that the prompters and writers own their kinks and don't try to sell them as the natural or ideal way of interacting sexually and romantically.

Then there was this fic: J2 AU, happy ending massage, and much as I like noncon/dubcon sometimes, I just want to hug and squeeze this fic and tell it that I love it.

Anyone adult can read this fic, it does not depend on or refer to any canon, and it'll take you two minutes, since it's quite short. Go on.

Now that you've read the fic )
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Hand-Painted Blue Periwinkles by [ profile] curia_regis, written for [ profile] thelittlebang.

Elizabeth is worried about Hyacinth when Richard leaves her after 35 years of marriage. She starts making an effort to see Hyacinth more and be there for her. She remembers how they first became friends, how fascinating Hyacinth is, what she likes about her, and the fun comes back into their friendship.

The whole cast of characters from the show is here, everyone totally in character with his or her charming quirks. Elizabeth's gradual awakening from apathy is wonderful and engagingly written, and it's suspenseful and heartening to see her taking baby-steps in standing up for herself.

I particularly liked the description of female friendship in the lives of two women whose lives revolve around men, and how the presence or absence of those men affect the friendship. The backstory of how Elizabeth first became friends with Hyacinth, and Elizabeth's relationship with her husband John is subtle and thought provoking.

The sex is tastefully non-graphic and alluded only in the degree necessary to understand what is going on, since it is Elizabeth narrating after all.
noracharles: (Default)
When I was in Smallville fandom, back in 2001-2002 I used to hang out with some fellow fangirls in an AIM chatroom. We were all slashers, and all pretty open minded about slash pairings, including incestuous slash (Lex/Lionel). However we disagreed very strongly about the character Lana, to the point where we had to stop even trying to discuss her. The general consensus was that Chloe was everything that is awesome (and if anyone disagreed, they didn't dare say so), but Lana was continuously bashed.

I think there were several reasons for this )

I wanted to look beyond the poor writing and uninspiring acting, suspend my disbelief and just go with who Lana supposedly was, taking it as a challenge to flesh her out, since she was a key figure in Clark's life, and I needed to make her worthy of his love in order to respect Clark, rather than out of any feminist desire to have a realistic girl on TV, but I gave up when my attempts were met with indifference or even rabid fury by other fans. I left Smallville fandom shortly after, and since then I haven't bothered rolling that particular boulder up the hill.

A lot of the women others have mentioned in their celebration of female characters are more or less of the same type as Lana. Their onscreen lives revolve around male characters, they're there to comment on male characters; to be sexual opportunities or challenges for male characters; to show that male characters are so wonderful that they can hang out with women, often two-fers; to be damsels in distress; to be mother-figures; to be the loving child figures without the tension of the expected power-struggle between sons and fathers (because girls never grow into women, at least not until they reach menopause or if they're ugly); they're there to unsettle male characters, lead them into temptation and attack them with their foul sexuality, etc. etc.

Often someone will say to me, isn't so-and-so a kick-ass heroine? I'll probably politely and not very convincingly agree, all the while going "meh" on the inside and feeling disgruntled. I don't want to have to do the leg work on fleshing out those characters! I'm done with that, and I'm done with being satisfied with substandard writing like that. I will not be silenced by a sop like an idealized, beautiful, smart, courageous, bantering kick-ass lust-object for fanboys like the hateful Lady Christina de Souza in Doctor Who. "But, but... she kicks ass?!" All the more to be a good trophy for the Doctor when she begs to accompany him, my friend.

The female characters I'm going to celebrate use their powers of awesomeness for their own good, rather than for the good of a male characters. They are the heroes of their own lives, not the supporting characters in some dude's life. I don't care how smoking hot Zoë Washburne is (very in case you're wondering), she is not the kind of character I want more of. I say that as a bitterly disappointed fangirl who was thrilled about Zoë after watching one episode of Firefly, only to realize the evil bait and switch Joss was playing on female Buffy fans.

Mehitabel Parr
One of three main characters in Sarah Monette's books Melusine, The Virtu and The Mirador. I came for the delicious slashiness, I stayed for the humor, suspense, and vivid characters and settings. The books are narrated from each of the main characters' POV, with very strong and individual voices. They overlap often, leading to interestingly contrasting views of the same events, but each character has their own life and subplot. Mehitabel grew up in a traveling circus, but ran away from home to become a classical actress in a respectable theater. She's good at her job, interested in other people, and in many ways just an ordinary single woman struggling to make ends meet in a stressful world and maybe find some happiness along the way. Because she's one of the main characters in a fantasy novel, of course she has to deal with a lot of challenges along the way, and she proves to be vulnerable, but with an unbendable spirit; unfair and kind of distant to her friends sometimes, but loyal and good when it comes down to it; funny, but kind of mean... she's totally awesome. She has believable flaws, and is no superhero, and when she triumphs or gets in a good zinger, it's impossible not to cheer for her.

Cordelia Naismith
The main character in Lois McMaster Bujold's books Shards of Honor and Barrayar, and an important supporting character in the rest of the Vorkosigan saga. Shards of Honor reads like slash. Cordelia is the captain of a survey ship who crashes on a planet where the only other person is a fearsome warrior from a paternalistic, very traditional culture that has recently been at war with Cordelia's people. In Cordelia's culture, sex and gender are a matter of personal preference, and many different sexual and gender orientations are recognized and celebrated. She happens to be female and a woman, but mainly identifies as a scientist and the leader of her crew in this context, but she is aware that gender roles are rigidly defined by society, not individual preference in Aral Vorkosigan's culture. Now the bookish geek must win the respect of and form an alliance with the aggressive and very physical warrior in order for both of them to survive. It's the perfect union of action adventure and a respect -> like -> love story free of icky gender roles.

To be continued
noracharles: (Default)
Why isn't everyone reccing this story by Phaballa all over the place? That makes no sense.

It's called Real Person Fiction, and it's about you and me and everyone in fandom ^_^
The characters are taken from CWRPS, a popular real person slash fandom, but that's really totally irrelevant except for being an excuse for the punny title. I promise, familiarity with that particular fandom is completely unnecessary. (That is not to say that Jensen and Jared are not delightfully in character, according to fanon.)

Jensen is a slash writer, who has an active and rich fandom life on the internet. But there's one fandom friend in particular who means a lot to him. Not only do they email and IM regularly, they've even talked on the phone and Jensen has shown him real photos of himself! O_o

It's so cute and funny and sharp and real, people. The angst is light, and rather humorous, but still totally made my stomach ache all the way through, for real. It brought up a lot of memories of online friendships and crushes, how our fandom relationships can be intense and intimate in a way face-to-face interaction isn't, but at the same time the anonymity that allows you to bare your soul means you can never know how the other person is truly reacting, or if who they say they are is who they really are, and OMG, what if you don't get along when you meet at the con?

Read it and rec it, you'll be glad you did.


Aug. 24th, 2008 05:11 pm
noracharles: (Default)
Wonderful movie, enjoyed it very much!

And of course it teaches a good moral lesson too: if the girl you're interested in doesn't want to be with you, just do it with her while she's unconscious/in a coma ^_^ She'll probably thank you later!

Oh, and don't bother learning her name. Eve, Eva, whatever, once you slip her some roofies she'll stop jerking away or trying to shoot you every time you clumsily grope her.

Hmmm, edited to add: I noticed the 2001 homages while I was watching the movie, but now I wonder if tearing off her arm was a nod to Boxing Helena?
noracharles: (Default)
Pale Green by Torch

Excellent fic. Harry/Snape, inspired by the sexy bitch challenge.
Unlike any Potter fic I've read before, in a very enjoyable, refreshing way.

The dialogue is exceptionally natural and close to the way the characters speak in the books, and the story is clever and subtle. Go read!
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From A Certain Point of View by lethe medusa

Very, very funny fic. Wonderfully in character Snape. Short, and perfect, except for the very last sentence, which totally blows, and not in the good way.
Never the less fic is good, and I recommend that you go read it, now.
noracharles: (evil)

'I always knew that werewolves were lecherous perverts,' growled Snape, barely audibly, but loud enough for Lupin to hear every syllable.

Okay, I am so not into Snape/Lupin, or anyone/Lupin for that matter, but Watching His Buzz by Viv is just too damn funny and sexy, with wonderful, irascible, in-character Snape.

Highly recommended.

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noracharles: (Default)
I've been reading the Buffy board on Television without Pity.
I don't know why I always do that to myself, when I know I'm gonna hate it. Anyway, Ostentatious gave a very well-put, somewhat satisfying rant about the Willow's magic addiction storyline, and I agree with most of what she/he(?) said. I just get so tired thinking about it, the way you do when you're deeply unsatisfied with something, but know there's nothing whatsoever you can do about it. One bad episode you can just sort of ignore or explain away, but when the season arch stinks, it's hard not to get frustrated and disappointed. I only care because I love Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It's the one show I not only hope for, but expect excellent storylines and acting from.

And it's not only that I thought the addiction storyline was a dud, it's that it (almost) totally wrecks everything they had built up about Willow's power issues, identity crisis, and supressed passive-aggressive anger. A character they built up over 6 years! A fascinating, well-rounded, deep character you could identify with, and they suddenly decide to use her very real-life issues as a metaphor for some totally other real-life issue, and "resolve" it in a cheap, unsatisfying way.

I'm not saying that drug addiction/abuse is not a relevant issue, but I agree with the person (I wish I remember who, maybe it was one of the TwoP recappers) who said that Willow's powerabuse was about (used to be about) her controlling herself and her surroundings, not about letting go.

This reminds me of Saber ShadowKitten's story What I Did on my Summer Vacation. (Willow/Angel, Content warning: Deals with the idea of Dominance/Submission, NC-17) --Go read that if you want a good story that deals with Willow's power issues ^_^
Saber ShadowKitten has a wonderful grasp of the characters, and an amusing tendency to pick up on the character development archs and take them to their logical (and highly entertaining) conclusion years before Joss. Her stories are always funny, emotionally intense, and action packed. She writes (wrote) both gen, het and slash.
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Recommended Buffy fic: Waking the Dead: "Set twenty-one years post Normal Again, assuming both realities are valid. Dawn is visiting her catatonic sister when strange things start happening."

Very interesting look at the alternate reality from Normal Again. AU-Dawn is very realistic, it is easy to emphasize with her because she is so well-written, she is threedimensional, both Dawn and not-Dawn. Buffy is more action-oriented than contemplative, a good future extrapolation of the Buffy on the show. Her scenes are quite gripping, especially in the first chapters.

The peeks at the regular show-reality are not as fleshed out as the Normal Again-AU, and fall a little flat in comparison, but they're still interesting.

The fic is definitely worth reading because of the emotional intensity and portrayal of AU-Dawn, though I found the plot resolution a little too hurried. The author has implied she may edit it through again, so who knows, it may be even better by the time you read it ^_^

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