January 2nd, 2014


making sense of Sally Donovan

sally donovan(What follows was written before seeing “The Empty Hearse.” Viewing party got pushed back until 11 because of someone’s work schedule, so I still haven’t seen it. If you’re avoiding series three spoilers, you should be safe on that front, though it does rather give away the ending of “Reichenbach.”)

This is Sally Donovan. To paraphrase a meme I can’t seem to lay my hands on at the moment, the Sherlock fandom does not like her. In fact, disliking her takes on a bit of an artform, I’ve been thinking quite a bit about why people hate her so much and why the show portrays her so negatively. She’s not the only person who doesn’t get on well with Sherlock, after all, and the fact that she’s the only non-white character on the show (aside from bit parts in “The Blind Banker”) and really the only women who challenges rather than supports Sherlock, that reaction makes me a bit uncomfortable. Why does she react to Sherlock the way she does? And why does the Sherlock fandom hate her so thoroughly?

Let’s start with the facts.

1. We first meet Sally in the press conference at the beginning of “A Study in Pink,” where she and Lestrade are giving a press conference to journalists. She’s singled out, from the Scotland Yarders, as the person who will represent their department along with Lestrade. She clearly has some skill at being professional and only letting out the bits of information the police want to release. This is the press conference where Sherlock makes a mockery of Lestrade (and by extension her) by correcting their statements through texts. (video clip)

Read the rest of this entry »

Originally published at Faith Seeking Understanding. You can comment here or there.


Fandom Snowflake Day 2

Fandom Snowflake Challenge banner

Today's challenge: In your own space, promote three communities, challenges, blogs, pages, Twitters, Tumblrs or platforms and explain why you love them. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.

Which just... again, how do I choose? To make things easier, let me pick one group at random from the three corners of fandom I've gotten involved in.

1) First, Swordspoint. If you like comedies of manners where rapier wit doesn't necessarily just refer to the manners, this book is for you. And if you're lucky enough to get involved with other fans of this book, you know that Ellen Kushner is one of the most supportive authors a fandom could hope for. She is wonderfully accessible and kind and warm and welcoming, and makes time to talk to her readers - I hesitate to use the word "fan" because that's simply not the dynamic. She has an LJ and a FaceBook page which gives you a nice way to connect to her. She also talks about upcoming books and audiobooks and speaking events and the like.

On a related note: the _riverside community is your one-stop shop for all your Swordspoint fanfic needs. Such inventive people doing good work there.

2) Second, BBC Sherlock. If you follow this blog at all, you know that I am *cough* a little overenthused. Also that I like fanfic. There are many great Sherlock communities out there. Most of the ones I've found, I've found through the 221b_recs community. I'm yet to come across a recommendation that I read and didn't enjoy. Of course there are some characters and summaries and topics that don't inspire interest, and since it covers all variations of Sherlock Holmes, some fandoms I simply don't know enough about to be drawn to (apologies, Elementary!). However, the stories I start to read are always high-quality and have introduced me to many fun authors and artists as I've found my footing a bit in this overwhelming fandom. Plus the pace is just right for my reading habits.

On a related note (because we're apparently going for six rather than three): wellingtongoose has the best (and most consistently thought-provoking) Sherlock BBC meta I've come across. If you're interested in how the show's details fit in with RL situations common in the UK, particularly related to how health care works and how that matches up with John and Sally. Other things, too. Not to be missed, and she just had a birthday - I'm sure a comment would be a lovely gift.

3) Finally, Tolkien. All things Tolkien, and to a lesser degree all things Peter Jackson, have been my fannish bread and butter for over a decade now. There are so many great sites worth mentioning, but I think the one community that really stands out is b2mem, the Back to Middle-earth Month. I love them not only because they generate so much energy and fun and because they get some of my favorite Tolkien authors writing Tolkien fanfic even when they've moved on to other things, but also because they cross over so many of the lines we tend to draw for ourselves in fandom. You get people who are Gondor + Rohan fanciers, Hobbit lasses, Silmfic afficionados - all reading and writing and reviewing more or less together. March comes soon, so anyone interested in this yearly fest, do friend the community and look out for the announcements.

And because I'm apparently going three for three at keeping these limited to a single journal or comm, do check out Dawn Felagund's Heretic Loremaster (LJ /// blog). dawn_felagund is the master behind B2MEM --I should properly say the workhorse, since I know what goes into those kinds of events all too well-- but she's also an opinionated, educated, and very incisive commentator on all things fannish on her own. The Heretic Loremaster isn't updated all that often (and reasonably so, given what else Dawn has on her plate; she also helps run a major fandom archive), but I always love reading her thoughts and opinions on fannish news and issues. Check out her old posts, and subscribe so you won't miss out the next time she posts something there. It's always worth reading.