January 3rd, 2014


three cheers to the professor

Tomorrow (meaning today, January 3) is a very special birthday of everyone's favorite Oxford don.

"And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'
He chortled in his joy.

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

... Or perhaps not that Oxford professor. No, Towkien: Towkien is what bwings us togevvah.

And in memory of the man of the four initials, have a song from the London stage adaptation of "The Lord of the Rings," accompanied by shots from the Lord of the Rings movies of all our favorite characters breaking bread together:

Or, if you really must, Ian Holm singing the JRRT song it's loosely based on, from the BBC radio dramatization that first introduced me to these books.

And on a more serious note (*sniffles*), here's Sam from that same BBC production, voiced by Bill Nighy, singing about Gil-Galad. Sometimes I'll still find myself humming the melody, playing it against the resonance of the subway walls, and always get a bit teary-eyed.


I said in another post that Tolkien fanfic had been my fannish bread and butter for over a decade, and after I typed it, it struck me that that wasn't an exaggeration. I first started writing (*cringes*) my epic Mary Sue "Lady of Gondor" on a tour coach in March-April 2003, I believe on the road from Bern to Rome. I found HASA and the Henneth_Annun listserv somewhere after when a first beta suggested I might check out the website. Damn, but it's been a long decade. Horrible in many ways, but fandom is not one of them. Actually, if you're reading this, there's a good bet that you're a big part of what's made it anything approaching bearable - one of the few enduring good things to come out of the last ten years and change.

Here's to ten more.

Fandom Snowflake Day 3: Sherlock Genfic Recs

Fandom Snowflake Challenge banner

It's that time again. Today's challenge:

In your own space, post a rec for at least three fanworks that you did not create. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so. See if you can rec fanworks that are less likely to be praised: tiny fandoms, rare pairings, fanworks other than stories, lesser-known kinks or tropes. Find fanworks that have few to no comments, or creators new to a particular fandom who maybe aren't well known or appreciated. Appreciate them.

I've talked quite a bit about Sherlock lately and about the degree to which I do or don't "ship" Sherlock and Watson. In my experience so far (and I'm a relative newcomer), this fandom seems to break down into various "ships" much more than the Tolkien fandom does. And for reasons I've gone into before (most recently here and here), I've really taken to fanfic that deals with romantic relationships between those two. But I've also come across some really good fan fiction looking at the John-Sherlock friendship in a platonic way, or can at least be read that way, and I wanted to recommend some of that.

First up: Equal and Opposite, by methylviolet10b

"Equal and Opposite" is set at an accident scene where quiet blogger John Watson turnes into BAMF!army-doctor!John Watson and Sherlock gets a glimpse into the man his flatmate used to be. Rated teen for the gore you'd expect a reasonable depiction of this kind of scene. not only does this fic do a great job of giving us an adventure fic without an actual adventure - all packed into one tidy scene, but with all the excitement and energy the best of that genre bring to play.

Second: Idiothropy, by Writernon

The author's summary simply describes this fic as written to fill the prompt "Sherlock is a were-idiot," and at the end of the day, that really is all there is to it. Sherlock becomes progressively more and more stupid as the full moon approaches and tries to solve a case before then. Deliciously out of character, dialogue-only, very short (< 400 words)... pretty much the kind of genre that I just never like, which isn't a criticism but a statement of personal taste. But I loved it. Even thinking about it enough to recommend it has me giggling.

And finally: The Empty House, by theumbrellaseller

This is a bit of a cheat because the author says she intends this as preslash but that it can be read as "good old platonic friendship." I certainly read it that way. Sherlock flogs a corpse to satisfy his curiosity and acquire some marginally useful medical evidence, and he ends up showing insufficient respect for the dead in his flatmate's eyes. In fact, Sherlock ends up making a mockery of the approach to life and human dignity that got John through medical school and Afghanistan. This is the story of how john tries to show him just why his actions are so offensive. Probably the best character-work I've ever seen on John Watson, at least outside of slash.

In fact, I'm seriously considering adding a fanfic story to my list of stories and TV/movie scenes students can use as the basis for their in-class presentations. This is it.

Until next time...