graycardinal: Shadow on asphalt (Default)
Remix Revival is live!  I can't tell you what I wrote yet (anonymity, you know), but I can tell you that I was remixed by a Super Genius (probably not the actual Wile E. Coyote, but one can't be too sure nowadays).  The work below takes a bit of whimsy I put together for "Into A Bar" a couple of rounds back, and cranks both the crack-o-meter and the hey-this-is-good-o-meter up to C-11. 

[puzzled reader voice] "C-11"?
[Foghorn Leghorn voice] "That's a joke, son!" 
Which you will totally get if you read the story.

Needless to say, I am delighted.  And have been chuckling all day.

The Super Genius Caper (The "Left Turn at Albuquerque Caper" Remix) (7650 words) by Anonymous
Fandom: Castle, Gargoyles (TV), Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego?, Looney Tunes | Merrie Melodies
Rating: Not Rated
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Words: ~7650
Relationships: Kate Beckett/Richard Castle
Characters: Victoria Gates, Richard Castle, Carmen Sandiego, Kate Beckett, Wile E. Coyote, Zack (Carmen Sandiego), Goliath (Gargoyles), Elisa Maza, The Chief (Carmen Sandiego)
Additional Tags: Crossover

As he hung suspended from an ACME branded rope, Castle's first thought was to hope it was something Carmen had stolen from the detective agency... and not one of the coyote's oft ill-fated purchases. (Seriously, did ole Wiley never read Consumer Reports? Or Amazon reviews? Or the Darwin Awards?) His second thought, as the Gargoyle's stone skin began to crack in the fading light, was to wonder how he'd ever explain this to Beckett.
graycardinal: Alexis Castle, smiling (Alexis (smiling))
Holmestice reveals are up, and I once again wrote a story that everyone immediately pegged as mine. (One of these rounds I will succeed at being sneakier.) I am amused and pleased that the story has been applauded both by those familiar with both obscure Holmes fandoms and by those familiar with neither.  I have not done a tally yet, but I also maintained a solid record of entertainingly wrong guesses about who'd written what.  Others did much, much better than I did at guessing this session.

So this one was my gift to [personal profile] language_escapes:

Charlotte Holmes in the 22nd Century
Fandom: Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century (Cartoon), Charlotte Holmes Series - Brittany Cavallaro, Sherlock Holmes & Related Fandoms
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings:
No Archive Warnings Apply.
Presumes general knowledge of the two Cavallaro books published to date while avoiding plot-specific spoilers; extrapolates (sometimes sharply) from there.
Words: ~5800
Characters: Beth Lestrade, Charlotte Holmes, Martin Fenwick, Original Characters
Additional Tags: Alternate Universe - Fusion, Crossover

One hundred forty-seven years.
Too long, I thought, and not nearly long enough. “I don’t imagine you’ve woken me just to chat about our respective ancestors. And the Yard has always had trouble with really creative criminals. Still—”

“We had hardly any criminals, period, for over fifty years,” Lestrade interjected. “Then about three months ago, things changed.

////

And I was gifted with a positively brilliant story focusing on a little-examined aspect of the Holmes-vs.-Moriarty conflict (no, [personal profile] trobadora , you are never going to stop blushing!).

The Question
Author: Trobadora
Fandom: Sherlock Holmes - Arthur Conan Doyle
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Words: ~2000
Relationships: Sherlock Holmes & James Moriarty
Characters: Sherlock Holmes, James Moriarty
Additional Tags: appearances by Lestrade & Watson & Moran, Story: The Final Problem, Story: The Adventure of the Empty House

Of all the unanswered questions I had collected over the course of my career, none weighed upon me as much as that posed by the inexplicable inaction of Professor Moriarty.


graycardinal: Alexis Castle, smiling (Alexis (smiling))
Well, for relative values of "popular", anyway.  At any rate, some observations on the new live-action iteration of Disney's Beauty & the Beast:

First and foremost, this is very much its own movie -- although it's spun from the same root, the fabric of this narrative is distinct from what you've seen in the animated version and/or stage production.  (I have seen the stage version -- specifically, the first national touring production, which inherited some of its cast from the original Broadway run.  I also own the Broadway cast album for the show, as well as a set of CDs including not just the animated soundtrack, but additional developmental material by Ashman and Menken.)

Think of it this way: the animated feature is essentially Belle's story -- she is the primary focus around whom everyone else orbits.  It's the closest of the three to a pure romance, and the one of the three that really acknowledges the passage of time as the central relationship develops (compare "Something There" in each version, and you'll see what I mean).  By contrast, in the stage version, it's Lumiere who's at the center of things -- it's his musical presence and status as nominal host that focuses the action, particularly in the second half of the show, driven in part by the expanded attention given to the Beast's houseful of transformed servants (notably in the long number surrounding "Human Again").

This shifts again in the live-action movie: this time, it's Gaston who's chief catalyst and motivator.  It's Gaston, much more of a direct threat much earlier on than we've previously seen, who propels Belle and Maurice into the events that lead them to the Beast's castle.  In this version, what happens to Maurice and to Belle is in significant part driven by Gaston's active antagonism, and likewise the Beast's actions are driven in part -- if less overtly -- by Gaston's influence.  This is an altogether nastier, darker, more knowingly Evil Gaston than he's been before, and the whole movie is colored by that difference.

Which is not to say that all is dark and grim and moody, because it's not.   "Be Our Guest" and the post-climax grand ball are still spectacular, the banter between Lumiere and Cogsworth is still delicious, and Kevin Kline injects some wonderfully dry wit into Maurice's character.  Indeed, this is a more character-driven film than either of its prior counterparts -- we get more back story for all of the principals, including additional songs for Maurice and the Beast (in fact, very little music is borrowed from the stage musical).  There is also some further context for the spell and its effects, with ramifications that are likely to generate a good deal of fanfic.

All in all, I liked the movie a great deal.  Ironically, the one area where it doesn't quite sparkle is the singing, which just can't quite compete with the iconic performances from the animated original (although the live version of "Gaston" comes close).  Don't get me wrong -- it's mostly very good, just not really at the level of either of its predecessors.
 

graycardinal: Shadow on asphalt (Default)
An especially joyful Yuletide this year for me: I had been morally certain that the count showing two Yuletide stories for me was a system bug (the second showed up right after the restore of all those accidentally purged assignments), but lo and behold I discovered two stories under my virtual tree when the archive opened. And both of them are seriously nifty....

First we have Oz (well, technically, mostly Philadelphia with an eventual excursion ending up in Mo), featuring a really thoughtful and engaging look at two of my favorite characters, a very neat interpolation between several relatively obscure parts of Baum canon, and just exactly the right amount of emotional subtext between our protagonists.  I have certain suspicions about the authorship of this one....

Twin Properties
Written by: ??
Fandom: Oz - L. Frank Baum
Characters: Button-Bright, Polychrome
Rating: General Audiences
Words: ~4900
Warnings: none
Additional Tags: Reunions, Pre-ship, (if you want to read it like that)

When Polly gets lost in the US, she seeks out her only mortal (actually, only in general) friend.

AKA How Button-Bright ended up in that popcorn snowdrift.

 

 
 ////

And then we have an equally entertaining tale of my very favorite Forgotten Realms characters -- this one mostly sorcery rather than swordsmanship, with deviously complicated magic and a cleverly executed meeting between arch-wizard and arch-rogue that catches both characters very well indeed.  I have absolutely no idea who may have written this one, but I'm extremely happy to have gotten it.


The Amethyst Gate
Written by: ??
Fandom: Forgotten Realms, Songs & Swords - Elaine Cunningham
Rating: General Audiences
Words: ~4500
Warnings: none
Characters: Arilyn Moonblade, Danilo Thann, Elaith Craulnober, Khelben Arunsun

It's an ordinary-looking magical portal - but when Danilo steps through, it collapses in on itself, leaving Arilyn with a mystery that even the Archmage of Waterdeep and a guardian of Evermeet may not be able to fully unravel.
graycardinal: Anya from "Anastasia"; "What was that title again?" (title)
Playing catch-up: the story written for me in this season's Holmestice exchange was a delight -- all the cheerful roguery of the movie from which it's derived, plus bonus "Mary Morstan" and several cartons of canonical Easter eggs. 

The Design of the Four
Written by: SCFrankles
Fandom: Without a Clue (1988)
Rating: General Audiences
Characters: Reginald "Sherlock Holmes" Kincaid, John Watson, Lily "Mary Morstan" Aspinall (OC)
Words: ~7800
Warnings: none
Additional Tags: Humor, Community: holmestice

Having recovered from the shock of Dr. Watson being the true detective and ‘Sherlock Holmes’ being an actor, Watson’s publisher has become more enthusiastic about the fictional aspect of the stories and is insisting Watson insert some romance by finding himself a temporary fiancée.

Luckily Kincaid has an old friend he believes is perfect for the job, and so ‘Miss Mary Morstan’ makes her entrance. True love does not ensue, but she does turn out to be most useful in the work that they do.

 

 
graycardinal: Shadow on asphalt (Default)
Written for me in the just-concluded summer round of Holmestice: an elegant and wholly convincing coda to (IMHO) one of the best 20th-century Sherlock Holmes films we have (starring Christopher Plummer and James Mason as Holmes and Watson).  Viewers may recall that Mycroft doesn't actually show up in Murder By Decree at all -- so it's entirely appropriate that this Mycroft is extrapolated as much from the Conan Doyle canon as from the events of the film...and that in this story, we see a Mycroft who's both utterly true to what we see of him in Doyle, and very different in some ways from many of the character's more modern renderings.

Art in the Blood
Author: rachelindeed
Characters/Pairings: Gen; Mycroft Holmes, John Watson, Sherlock Holmes
Fandom: Murder By Decree (1979 film)
Rating: G
Warnings: Major spoilers for the movie (the fic gives away the film’s ending)
Length: ~4,700 words

After the events of Murder By Decree, Mycroft Holmes leaves the British government and tries to decide what to do with the rest of his life.
graycardinal: Alexis Castle, smiling (Alexis (smiling))
What it says on the headline. Here's the link:

Facing the Music (podfic) -- podfic by blackglass (aka [personal profile] xdiorix) story by Gray Cardinal

"No, worlds music, with an S."

This was originally a crossover-intensive Buffyverse drabble-sequence written for [livejournal.com profile] tthdrabbles; the podfic adds the actual songs referenced in the chapter-titles and thereby creates a really nifty short radio adventure in a way that I totally failed to anticipate when I wrote the initial work. I am utterly delighted and charmed.

So thanks to [livejournal.com profile] jedibuttercup all over again for hosting the [profile] tthdrabbles comm, and to blackglass for a fantastic translation-to-audio of a story I had a lot of fun writing.



graycardinal: Shadow on asphalt (Default)
Next, written for me in the current round of Holmestice:

to cradle the world in his hands
Fandom: Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century
Written by: language_escapes
Characters: Tennyson, Wiggins, Deidre, Sherlock Holmes
Type/Rating: G • gen
Additional Tags: Ableism, British Sign Language, Canon Disabled Character, Character Study, Disability, Languages, Origin Story
Warnings: none
Words: ~7900

He does not feel limited.
A Tennyson origin story.

This story, like its protagonist, is enormously intelligent and immensely likeable, even as it tackles a complicated and prickly set of issues with deft and sensitive wisdom -- and reveals that even Sherlock Holmes is occasionally challenged.  Clearly I've won the story lottery this holiday season....
graycardinal: snowy gateway: Yuletide, Enter Here (Yuletide)
I am behind by several acknowledgment posts (and indeed, one whole exchange), so don't be surprised if the order of the next few posts is a little odd as I attempt to catch up.

First up is the Yuletide story written for me:

This Soft World

Fandom: Tomorrowland (2015)
Written by: ???
Characters: Athena, Frank Walker, David Nix
Relationships: Athena & Frank Walker, Athena & David Nix
Rating: T / gen
Additional Tags: Friendship, Loyalty, Androids, Developing Autonomy
Warnings: none
Words: ~22,000 (!)

Athena has always been clear about her purpose in life and no amount of reprogramming will change that. It's what Frank likes most about her.

I am pretty much gobsmacked.  This is brilliantly-worked-out AI spec-fic, beautifully executed relationship fic, and a deep and intricate extrapolation of both movie canon and material from the prequel novel Before Tomorrowland (though you do not have to read the latter book to appreciate what's here).  I count Tomorrowland as the most underappreciated movie of the past year, and I think my mystery author must agree with me; this story is flat-out amazing.
graycardinal: Shadow on asphalt (Default)
And for Fic Corner, I have a really remarkable crossover piece featuring my favorite Tom Swift universe very neatly integrated with the Marvel Cinematic Universe (including a lot of highly entertaining cameos) and featuring an answer to the question Madeleine L'Engle fans have been asking about Charles Wallace for simply ages.

Sandra Swift, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.
by hhertzof

Fandoms: Tom Swift IV, MCU, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Agent Carter, Austin/Murry-O'Keefe families - Madeleine L'Engle
Characters/Pairings: (F/M) Sandra Swift, Charles Wallace Murry, Tom Swift, Rick Cantwell
Rating: G
Warnings: none
Words: ~ 1500

Summary:

Sandra's path after high school isn't one she expected.


graycardinal: Anya from "Anastasia"; "What was that title again?" (anya)
First in a quick flurry of posts catching up on the current exchanges:

For Crossovering, I received a highly entertaining ST:TOS/Narnia yarn, complete with wardrobe and faun:

...To Coldly Go...
by foxtwin
Fandom: Star Trek: TOS / Chronicles of Narnia
Characters: Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Uhura, Tumnus, Digory Kirke
Rating: G
Warnings: none
Words: ~ 2600

....this is pretty clearly exactly what would have happened if Our Heroes had beamed down to planet!Narnia. The early-gen tricorder would indeed have gone slowly out of its tiny duotronic mind, Spock would have been mistaken for an Elf...and then, of course, there's the backwards journey into the wardrobe....
graycardinal: Anya from "Anastasia"; "What was that title again?" (anya)
It's no secret that I'm a theater buff, and that there are at least two or three other theater buffs in my immediate circle-slash-friends-list.  But there's a regional division between the East Coast theater crowd and those of us out here on the other coast, and for that reason I'm going to point the whole gallery at one particular post from my reading page, namely a review (sort of) of something called Head Over Heels, presently in mid-run down at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.  Between that post, the official Web page for the show, and what I've been picking up in person now that my field reporter is back from his trip, I have to conclude that this production must be unusual even by OSF standards....

I am told that, my title for this post notwithstanding, that there was no streaking.  There was, however, evidently cross-dressing, emergence from chamberpots closets, onstage not-exactly-adultery, same-sex marriage, lion-wrestling, blatant disregard for the the existence of fourth walls, and a whole lot of Go-Gos music.

It sounds...exuberant.



graycardinal: Anya from "Anastasia"; "What was that title again?" (title)
Not Prime Time is open, and I have been officially wowed.  My gift story is a truly excellent, canon-wise deconstruction of a character who may never actually have been a supervillain after all.  There is much other good work in the collection as well, some of which I hope to rec later, but here's what was written for me:

Wreck My Mind While the Planet Turns
Fandom: Sky High
Character: Gwen Grayson
Rating: none
Warnings: none
Words: ~ 1600
Summary:
She’s still not exactly sure what she’s actually going to make of her life, but she knows that whatever she does, she won’t be wasting her potential.
graycardinal: Anya from "Anastasia"; "What was that title again?" (anya)
I got not one but two absolutely amazing stories in this summer's Holmestice exchange (as the title suggests, focusing on the infinite variety of Sherlock Holmes).

Echoes of the Past

Fandom: Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century
Pairing: Sherlock Holmes and Beth Lestrade
Word Count: ~3100
Rating: G
Warning: None
Summary: There’s more than one way to connect with a previous century.

and

On Verity and Verisimilitude
Characters/Pairings: James Moriarty (hologram)
Word Count: ~1200
Rating:
G
Warnings: None
Summary: Moriarty gazed on the stars, and trembled at the possibilities.
Author Notes: Alternatively, the one in which you know Moriarty is evil because he thinks Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem is funny. Severe spoilers for Star Trek: The Next Generation 6x12 "Ship in a Bottle."

I also direct the reader's attention to the following story, which was written for gardnerhill but which I certainly could have asked for.  (Note that the Author Notes are from the currently-anonymous writer, not from me.)

A Handsome and Generous People
Characters/Pairings: Holmes & Wt'sn, Holmes/Watson
Rating: Teen
Warnings: None
Tags: Hurt/comfort, angst, humor, copious ACD canon references, happy ending. 7.5K words
Summary:
“Watson,” Holmes said, reaching up to clasp my wrist.
“I’m sorry, old chap,” I said, giving him my hand. “It’s only Wt’sn.”


Author Notes:
Sherlock Holmes in the 23rd Century was a never-produced Filmation series; the pilot became a stand-alone two-parter within their space-western Bravestarr. (It's available on Hulu, although mislabeled there; skip to 1:10 to get past the obnoxious credits. There are also a few copies floating around YouTube.) Most of the backstory you'll need is in the first ten-to-twelve minutes; by the time Marshall Bravestarr shows up to ask for help you're pretty much set, although I do refer to the case once or twice.

Or, if you prefer a quick textual recap: During the fight with Moriarty at Reichenbach, with Watson too far away to give aid, Holmes is the one who falls. On the way down, he passes through a timewarp and into an 1890s-meets-the-1980s 23rd-century London. Holmes immediately meets Dr. Wt'sn, a green-skinned alien physician from a planet in the Rigel system, and the two get on well enough to solve cases together. Also, Holmes can shoot lightning from his fingers. (I dunno, it's a falling-through-a-timewarp thing.)

However, time warps, lightning bolts, and digital clocks aside: this is simply a canon-heavy story about being the wrong Watson.

graycardinal: Alexis Castle, smiling (Alexis (smiling))
Amusingly -- and for the first time, I think, since I began playing in Yuletide umpty-mumble years back -- the story I gave and the one I received are both in the same fandom. And since the Rarely Written mods don't do an anon phase, I can show you both of them now....

Here's what I received:

You Make Your Own Destiny by Sumi
Galavant
G • gen • ~1100 words
Isabella, Madalena

Madalena wanted it for reasons that are more practical. She wanted to rule the kingdom and make sure no one opposed her. It was a much more realistic wish than wanting to be like your childhood hero, Super Knight.

And here's what I wrote:

A Woman Is Entitled....
for Missy
Galavant
G • gen • ~3500 words
Madalena (and Richard, Gwynne, Jester, Chef)

The opening number seems clear enough: Madalena and Galavant were madly, hopelessly, genuinely in love. Yet the Madalena we meet at her wedding to Richard -- to say nothing of the woman she proves to be as the series progresses -- doesn't seem to have been in love with Galavant at all. Surely both these stories can't be true...

...but then again, this is a musical. And a fantasy, since there's an actual wizard in it. And that being the case, there just might be an explanation.
graycardinal: Shadow on asphalt (Default)
Double pleasure this time around; I have a story and a treat, both from L. J. Smith's Night World  series.

Feel the earth move and then • by [personal profile] flamebyrd 
Fandom: Night World (L. J. Smith)
Rating: G
Length: ~1100 words
Characters:
Raksha Keller, Galen Drache (Galen/Raksha)
Warnings: none
Tags: AU, first meetings, spies & secret agents

Agent Raksha Keller has been assigned a new partner. She is not impressed.

This is mildly AU, treating the Night World as spy/intrigue fare with a first meeting between Our Heroes that hits all the right notes.  Fun yet nuanced, and quite well executed.

Vacation • by [personal profile] flamebyrd 
Fandom: Night World (L. J. Smith)
Rating: G
Length: ~650 words
Characters:
Aradia, Maggie Neely, Delos, Raksha Keller
Warnings: none
Tags: team bonding, late night conversations, quiet moments

Aradia is not used to down-time.

 
And this is a shorter piece, a thoughtful and perceptive character snapshot of Aradia -- a secondary but important character who turns up in the last couple of Night World books.

I'm very happy with both stories, and especially grateful to have both an "official" story and a treat from the same talented writer.  That's beyond the call of duty for sure, and very much appreciated.
graycardinal: Anya from "Anastasia"; "What was that title again?" (rec)
Written for me in the just-opened collection for Crossovering 2014:

Maps of a Myth by ?
Buffy the Vampire Slayer / Star Trek: Deep Space 9
~2300 words
Rating: teen
Warnings: graphic violence (i.e. high-end Buffyverse slayage)

no, it was a myth, she was a myth...it couldn't be
or
The one where Kira meets Buffy in a forest on Bajor.

I am well pleased. It's an ambitious and interesting fusion, and a thoughtful extrapolation of the Slayer legend into Bajoran context, with an intriguing pre-series Kira Nerys and a scarily competent Bajoran!Buffy, plus bonus points for impressive fight choreography.

I hope to have more recs posted shortly, but dinner and arm-wrestling with my Fic Corner assignment are also beckoning....

graycardinal: Shadow on asphalt (Default)
What I wrote for Not Prime Time this year:

The Virtue of Redundancy
Doctor Who (1963)
(Fifth Doctor, Nyssa, Tegan, Turlough, the Master (Ainley))
G • No Archive Warnings Apply
~ 4000 words

For [personal profile] sirvalkyrie (aka [archiveofourown.org profile] VampirePaladin).

The Master smiled silkily. “That’s the virtue of redundancy, my dear. Even if you had, the watch and the Kalisutra parasites would have been enough to carry the day."

In which there are watches, cheese, chocolate, and a twist or two.

And what I received:

Rebuilding, by [livejournal.com profile] kalisgirl / [archiveofourown.org profile] kalisgirl
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
(Phil Coulson, Melinda May, Pepper Potts, Maria Hill, Grant Ward)
G • No Archive Warnings Apply
~ 3000 words

Four Times Melinda Didn't Mean to Hurt Phil Coulson (and One Time She Sort of Did)

A delightful backward/forward look at the Coulson/May character bond. Just what I hoped for, and a pleasure to have had written for me.

Charter

This is a fanfic journal. I'm interested in a wide variety of fandoms as well as in meta- and theoretical discussions; see my interests list for specific fandom categories. Comments, critiques, recs, reviews, and the like are always welcome.
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