First of all, thank you. This exchange is easily one of the most complicated fic challenges out there, and yet continues to produce some of the niftiest and most purely amazing stories I see over the course of a fannish year. As a practitioner of the crossover art myself, I am invariably impressed both by the quality of stories that show up here in general – and by the ones that are written for me in particular. I have no doubt that whatever I receive when the reveal goes live will be wondrous, and for that I am profoundly and unreservedly grateful.
Now, then. This will be in four, count them four, parts this year, because the pre-exchange brainstorming and rules tweaks this year suggest that the reasons we’re here are more varied than I might have thought. So what you’ll get first is the “why I’m here” spiel, followed by likes and dislikes, followed by canon-specific notes, followed by notes on my actual request-clusters.
But first you get a cut, because this is long
Why I’m here:
Three words: flexibility, challenge, and surprise.
As a writer, I come for the challenge. While I’m careful to offer for fandoms I know I can write, I tend to offer them in combinations that I also know will stretch my internal idea generator and my storytelling muscles. And I’ve offered – and will continue to offer – fandoms in clusters of four or five so that I absolutely won’t know ahead of time what my matches will look like; much of the fun for me is in the range of what I might be asked to do. I want to be surprised by my recipient’s requests, and by the nature of the specific challenge facing me in any given year. Up to now, specific matching protocols notwithstanding, there’ve usually been several options open to me from among my recipients’ requests, and I hope that remains true this time around.
As a requester, I come bearing flexibility. As with offers, I tend to cluster my requests in groups of four or five, because – again, notwithstanding the specific match AO3’s Sorting Hat may generate – I want you to have choices too. In a way, I think of this as the thematic opposite of Yuletide, where we often do request specific heart-fandoms and hope for particular elements in the stories arising from them. Here, I am looking not for the story I’d write, or even the story I’d most like to read – rather, I’m looking for the story a given pair of crossed fandoms makes you write, because that’s most likely to be one I would never have thought of.
Thus, as both a writer and reader, I come to Crossovering for the surprise. I enjoy being surprised by the stories my muse draws from the match(es) I’m handed, and I very much enjoy being surprised by the stories your muse draws from the one(s) I’ve supplied for you. This is why I tend to give broad, general prompts rather than specific ones for this exchange, and why I haven’t specified characters in the fandoms I’ve requested. Having said that: if you would like more specific prompts than what I’ve supplied, please contact the Crossovering mods, and I will cheerfully amplify on any of my individual request-clusters – which won’t spoil any surprises on either end, since only you will know the specific combo on which the original match was made.
Likes & Dislikes:
My tastes in fic are wide and eclectic -- I read and enjoy gen, het, and slash (both flavors) at all ratings and have very few outright squicks aside from noncon, incest, and adult-child kink, but I am not typically attracted to stories for erotic content or angst quotient. Rather, I like good characterization, authentic-sounding dialogue, effectively sneaky plotting, and well-developed wit. I am equally intrigued by clever use of canon and thoughtfully developed AUs, and I am disturbingly fond of crossovers [obvious much?] and well-woven meta threads.
As to romance: where crossovers are concerned, I'm hardly ever drawn to write one for pairing-related purposes, and within individual fandoms I normally gravitate to canon-consistent pairings -- but in the crossovers I read, I've been wowed by a startling range of intriguing cross-fannish relationships (up to and including Buffy Summers and a Ninja Turtle). That said, I add the observation that in my book, well-sustained UST (heavy on the T) is often as good as or better than actual sex, in crossovers as well as canonical relationships.
As a rule, I prefer crossovers (incorporating characters from both source fandoms) to fusions (characters from source #1, superimposed on source #2). That said, I’m absolutely not opposed to fusions, especially in some cases; there will be more about that in the request-cluster notes.
And it's definitely true that my own writing also reflects the kinds of things I like to read; my AO3 archive is here, and you're welcome to prowl.
If a particular series isn't listed below, assume I've seen all of the aired/filmed/published canon.
Agent Carter: I've seen both seasons in full but still haven't got hold of the original one-shot.
Avengers (Movies): In addition to the Avengers films, I’ve seen “Winter Soldier”, “Civil War”, “Ant-Man”, and “Spider-Man: Homecoming”, as well as the Thor movies. I have not seen any of the MCU or MCU-tangential Hulk movies.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: I own the full series on disc, and have seen all of Angel (though I don’t own it). However, I have only glancing knowledge of the post-series comics. I’m in the group that really liked the musical episode, didn’t much like Season 6 and significant parts of 7, and was supremely annoyed at what the writers did to Anya in Season 7.
Castle: The first six seasons – and the non-arc episodes from 7 and 8 – are fun; the Bracken arc, the “Loksat” arc, and the “missing memory” arc all jumped way over the shark (and badly warped both Martha’s and Alexis’ characters in the process). I am also strongly biased against Pi and later Hayley; likewise, no matter what canon says about it, “Jackson Hunt” isn’t Castle’s real father. Romantically speaking: canon pairings should be canon-consistent, save as noted above. Martha and Alexis, though, are wide open for age/experience-consistent pairings with crossover characters – either het or slash – if well-developed.
DC Animated Universe: I watched all of the Bat-series as they appeared, but somehow the Superman series slipped right by. I own all of Batman Beyond and Season 1 of The Zeta Project, have seen all of Static Shock (and would buy that series in a heartbeat if released), and by hook and crook have absorbed most of the assorted Justice League series. I did catch the brief network run of Legion of Superheroes (does that count as Timmverse?), and am familiar with the early DVD features under the Timm umbrella. I have no particular romantic ‘ships in this ‘verse at all.
Doctor Who: I came into the fandom via Three, Four, and (especially) Five, but I'm conversant with the full classic canon from One through Seven plus Eight's movie. Of the "new" series: I've seen all of Nine, bits of Ten and Eleven, and a good deal of Twelve [I finally gave in and got cable when I had to change ISPs a couple of years ago], plus the first season of Sarah Jane Adventures. I'm still not conversant with any of the Big Finish audio material (darnit!). I am an unabashed fan of Anthony Ainley's Master (though I must admit "Missy" is growing on me), was underwhelmed by the whole Rose Tyler arc, and pretty much skipped Torchwood.
Gargoyles: I own the complete first two seasons on disc, but skipped the Goliath Chronicles and sadly have not managed to keep up with the post-series comics. OTOH, I have prowled extensively in the online reference wikis while researching my own fics and so have broad general knowledge of what has come before and since the events of the show as aired.
Honor Harrington – Weber: I’ve read all the Weber solo books and most of the collaborative sub-series (including the YA treecat trilogy and the two books predating the discovery of the Manticore Junction). I’m attracted to the broad canvas Weber’s created as well as to the strong characters, although I could wish for more of Honor herself in some of the more recent volumes. That said, I read the series as much for the Havenite and Graysonian arcs as for Honor’s and Manticore’s (and we have not seen nearly enough of Shannon Foraker in particular in the latter part of the series....).
Nancy Drew: My Nancy is the classic yellow-spine character, though I have read a handful of the books in their earlier blue-tweed editions and one or two of the first mass-market paperback series. Thus, my Ned Nickerson is also the one from the yellow-spine books, as opposed to the Neds we’ve consistently gotten onscreen (under-characterized, yes, but never less than capable), and I tend to prefer Nancy/Ned to the Nancy/Frank Hardy we often see in this fandom.
Stargate SG-1: I am conversant with the full series plus the two post-series movies, though my viewing of the last couple of seasons was rather scattershot (loved Vala, didn't care for the Ori at all).
ST:TNG: I'm conversant with the complete run of the series, as well as with all the other canonical TV series. I've also read widely in the tie-in novels, though I'm more thoroughly versed in the earlier material than in the current "extended continuity" novels.
Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego?: This refers to the DIC animated series (I own it on disc) as opposed to the computer games or the various PBS game shows.
Young Wizards: I have and enjoy both the original and New Millennium texts right up through Games Wizards Play, plus most of the "extra" short pieces (I’ll have the second “On Ordeal” ebook by the time reveals hit); feel free to use whichever continuity you need to make a crossover/fusion work.
REQUEST #1: Agent Carter, Castle, Gargoyles (TV), Murder She Wrote, Young Wizards –Duane
This is my New York-centric cluster; as such, most of the modern crosses pretty much come naturally. Agent Carter might work better as a fusion (in either direction) – although there are parts of Gargoyles canon that could be woven into that period, and Young Wizards does have access to time travel.
REQUEST #2: Adventures of Brisco County Jr., Doctor Who, Gargoyles, Thor (Movies), Wild Wild West
Broadly speaking, let’s call this the “History & Weird Science” cluster: two steampunk Westerns, one set of time travelers, one Shakespearean epic spanning a millennium, and one futuristic Norse epic with multiple worlds in play. Some of the matches are clearly likelier than others, but even Gargoyles shouldn’t take too much arm-wrestling to connect to any of the rest (Macbeth and/or Demona, for instance, could easily turn up in the Old West).
REQUEST #3: Avengers (Movies), Birds of Prey (TV), Castle, Supergirl (2015), Nancy Drew
Two sets of sleuths plus three sets of superheroes; what could go wrong? :-) Note that Birds of Prey and Supergirl, despite both being DC properties, inhabit distinctly different settings and slightly different time frames from one another; this is why I’m willing to drop them into the same cluster and count the possible match as a crossover, should you choose to go there. That said, I’d find any of the cross-genre matches highly amusing, and even Castle/Nancy Drew would likely make an entertaining cluefest (one has to wonder whose side Alexis would end up playing for).
REQUEST #4: Doctor Who, Honor Harrington – Weber, Stargate SG-1, Young Wizards - Duane
Two straight space operas, two sprawling multiverses, no waiting – this is the pure SF Adventure cluster, and the likeliest crossovers are probably the ones where a team from one of the sprawling multiverses shows up in one of the space operas. Quite how the SG-1 players might fall into the Honorverse – or vice versa – might be a challenge, but I think it’s a solvable one. And there’s at least one subtle canonical link between the Whoniverse and the Duane canon already, though its very subtlety is enough to maintain the official distance between the two.
REQUEST #5: Agent Carter, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Nancy Drew, Star Trek: TNG, Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego?
This cluster is clearly where I’m indulging my “let’s see how cracktastic we can get” fancies in the current round. In most cases here, a pure crossover is likely to produce the most entertainment value (although I can see fusion possibilities in Nancy Drew/Carmen Sandiego). Let’s face it; Carmen would cheerfully write herself into any of these milieus (and if you go there, don’t hesitate to indulge the potential for meta). If necessary, TNG’s holodeck tech could make any of these an easy finesse, but I’d prefer a more direct interaction in most cases, and all of these canons save Nancy Drew have more than enough handwaveable science/magic to plausibly field a multi-parallel space-time inversion™ if need be.