Aurora Cloud (auroracloud) wrote,
Aurora Cloud

Dear Yuletide Writer

Dear Yuletide Writer,

First, thanks for offering any of my tiny fandoms! I'll be delighted with a story from any of these. The letters may say more about some than others, but it's not a measure of what I care most about. I made sure I picked fandoms where I'd be equally happy to receive a story. Beyond the Do Not Wants, you can ignore any part of prompt or letter if it gets in your way.

Generally, things I Do Not Want: Incest, rape or non-con, graphic violence and goriness, major non-canonical character death, character bashing. Also no child abuse or animal abuse. And no drastic AU of the high school / college / werewolf / vampire sort, or changing historical to modern or fantasy/scifi to mundane world. Basically, I prefer playing in the world of the canon we know. Generally, I can enjoy the sort of AU where you change a canon event and see what comes out of it, but I have no particular interest in that in these fandoms right now. Also, I don't want the story to promote sexism, homophobia or racism, though in the world of some of the canons it makes sense some characters would have such attitudes.

I'd prefer matching the tone and darkness/lightness level of the canon, though in the case of Custard Protocol I would enjoy a more serious story as well, if that's what flows better for you.

I throw in some ideas both in the prompts and in the letter, but don't feel obliged to fulfill any of them. As long as you write about these characters in these worlds and avoid my Do Not Wants, I'll be glad.

A few things I particularly like:
- female characters who are strong, smart and capable in a variety of ways, not just the traditional-male-hero strong
- strong bonds between female characters
- strong bonds between family members, members of the same crew/team, or friends
- same-sex romance
- expressing feelings through sex
- in pairing stories, I'm equally happy with stories with or without sex. If there's sex, I prefer it not to be the entire story; I'd like to see at least some development of characters/relationship.
- wonder and amazement about the world
- in the worlds where it's appropriate, technobabble / science babble is fun if you can do it, but not required; I don't know much about technology, so you'll be able to fool me easily, though *g*

And, well, anything I listed in the specific prompts and specific parts of the letter.
On to the requests! And because my layout doesn't show LJ cut texts (need to change it as soon as I have the time), the requests are in the following fandoms: Custard Protocol - Gail Carriger, The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage - Sydney Padua, Skuggserien - Maria Gripe, The Wayfarers Series - Becky Chambers. The letter lists them in that order.

Request 1
Fandom: Custard Protocol - Gail Carriger.
Characters: Primrose Tunstell, Tasherit.

Prompt details: F/f much preferred, especially as it's already canon that they're interested in each other (even if Prim hasn't directly confessed to it yet).
Ideas to help you along, if you need them: I'm curious about what they've been talking and doing in those meetings and conversations that Rue hasn't witnessed. How does Tasherit "persist in trying to woo" Primrose? Has anything beyond talking happened so far? Tasherit seems to make her interest pretty clear to Prim - how does Prim react to it, especially the first time it happens? Something along those lines could be fascinating – or just give me something where they get together already. I'm sure Gail will eventually give it to us, but the next book is a long way away!
Anything from sweetest, most demure romance to hottest sex is fine with me, but I prefer there to be some kind of plot other than just sex. Bonus points if the steampunk elements and the alternative history of the canon play some important role in the story!

I love Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate and Custard Protocol books for the combination of adventure, humour, steampunk, alternate history, fantasy, strong female characters, important bonds between female characters (friendship, family and otherwise). I tend to not be drawn to her main het pairing, but go absolutely crazy about the same-sex romance that runs alongside the main story. Did that with Parasol Protectorate, and I was delighted to discover that in Custard Protocol the same-sex romance was going to be between two capital females, because there are too few awesome f/f relationships in books that I love. I adore Primrose, with her very 19th century girliness that doesn't make her any less strong and smart and capable; I love that her skills with tea and manners are actually important to keeping the airship running smoothly, and that her best friend Rue knows it. I love that she's so clearly in love with Tasherit though the expectations she has grown up with make her struggle with acknowledging it.

With Carriger's main female characters so often flaunting rules completely, it's good to also see with another character how difficult it can be to overcome social expectations and be true to your own feelings. I also feel that with her tendency to write a brash, bold female lead and a more conventional, girly, frilly best friend, she's finally struck gold with Prim: she's not any less than Rue simply because she's more conventional, girly and frilly; she's very sensible, smart, has her own conflicts, and Rue depends on her emotionally.

And Tasherit! She's such an amazing character, defies categorization and follows her own course as cats tend to do. I love that in her we get more female supernaturals, and I love that she's both feminine and whatever she damn well pleases. She and Primrose come from very different backgrounds, and I bet many things about Prim's social conventions are very puzzling to her – would love to see that explored a bit, if it fits the story.
Just give me anything with these two that honours what we know of canon, and I'll be happy.

Request 2:
The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage – Sydney Padua
Characters: Ada Lovelace, Charles Babbage.

Prompt details: Gen, please. Any sort of big or small adventure for these two, in the spirit of the comics. Maybe just exchanging ideas on something (possibly something that gets a bit absurd, given these two!), maybe fighting crime or getting caught in the wobbliness of the timelines of the Pocket Universe, maybe meeting some historical figure, maybe some fun romp involving the Engine – or anything else you please.

This is a fandom you can easily try to get to know quickly, if the request we matched on doesn't work for you. Alternate history / steampunk webcomic with zany characters, brilliant woman mathematician, a gigantic steam-powered computer, wobbly timelines and more! Find it here: Also, I read the book version and just realised there are things on the website that aren't in the book! Guess what I'll be reading the next days... Anyway.

I would find it very strange to pair up these two in a romantic way; it's their camaraderie and partnership in all things mathematical and Difference Engine, and the contrast between their characters, that's so much fun. I discovered the comics this year and I knew I wanted more of these two. The alternate universe gives so much possibilities; what about if Jane Austen got involved (she likes her characters rational, so she and Ada could get along! and in this universe, I so could see her writing a Babbage-like character into her books if she met him)? What about some time-weirdness happening? Who else could need something from the Engine than we've met so far? Or just a little bit of fun interaction between these two. Any time Babbage makes a big social blunder and Ada facepalms and tries to set things straight is fun. Or, just anything you please.

Request 3:
Fandom: Skuggserien / The Shadow Series – Maria Gripe.
Arild Falck af Stenstierna, Rosilda Falck af Stenstierna

Prompt details: I'm fascinated by all the weird family dynamics in this story, and what it was like for the Rosengåva siblings to grow up, and how they'll adjust to being out in the real world more. I absolutely Do Not Want any form of incest. I'm interested in the family relationship here.

Possible topics: what it was like growing up in Rosengåva, between all the secrets and their consequences; any point of view of these two during the story of the books, maybe their reaction to anything that happened; or anything that happens after Lydia's return, and how they adjust. Adding any of the characters from the book is fine: Lydia, Carolin, Max, Berta, or any minor character who fits. Treating some of the confusion about gender and sexuality is fine, too, what with both of the siblings crushing on the same man who turns out to be a woman in disguise. I'd always have loved to know more about what it means to both of them. Arild was particularly furious about the revelation, after having been miserable about his forbidden feelings, while Rosilda took it in her stride. Both are interesting reactions.

It's the sort of thing I didn't realise I could even request until I noticed someone had, last year. I adored these books as a child, read them many times over and I think they've influenced much of what I love in literature: historical environments where the characters, not historical details, are the main thing; siblings and weird families; strong bonds between women; secrets, especially family secrets; double identities; confusion about gender and sexuality; mysterious castles; dreams and art and mirrors; characters who don't fit into the rules and categories and the way things are supposed to go.
We learn a lot about how both Berta and Carolin feel about Rosengåva and the family there, both the siblings and the absent, mysterious Lydia. But I was always fascinated by how it was for Arild and Rosilda themselves; in many ways they're like straight out of a Gothic romantic story, but they're real people in this world and I'd love to know what it's like to be them, grow up alone in such a strange, beautiful, magical place that doesn't quite feel real. And how they react to the events, how they react to each other reacting to the events, and how they go about their relationship with the world.

I don't have much to add to the prompts in the details. Just making it clear one more time: absolutely no incest, either between them or with any other family member. Other pairings is fine, like including their crushes on Carl/Carolin (as long as it doesn't go really far, considering she's really their sister though they don't know it) or examining Arild's relationship with Ingeborg (I always found that one to be a bit odd, despite liking Ingeborg). Exploring what the whole Carl crush thing means when they both think it's a man when actually it's really a woman in disguise, that always fascinates me in my head. Also, given the oddness of Rosengåva, it could be interesting to go a bit in the realm of fantasy: dreams, mirrors, paintings showing things they shouldn't or becoming places you can go to, that sort of thing.

Request 4:
Fandom: Wayfarers Series - Becky Chambers
Characters: Rosemary Harper, Sissix.

Prompt details: Really, I'd love anything aboard the Wayfarer or otherwise in this world, as long as these two are in it because they're my favourite characters from the book. Rosemary with her curiosity, open-mindedness, goodwill and eagerness to learn to understand others; Sissix with her friendliness, touchiness and openness and her awesome Aandrisk culture that's so different from humans. I adored it that they became a couple in the books, so you can show something of their relationship either during or after the book, or just a bit from the phase where the attraction is growing. But you can also just write something with the whole Wayfarer team, as long as these two are present. If you include others, I particularly love Kizzy, Dr. Chef, Ohan, and Ashby. Space things are a nice bonus!

I read this book just around when the sign-ups opened and was happy to realize it was in the tag set. Took me some time to decide if I was going to request Any, or request my two favourites, Rosemary and Sissix. You can read my first reaction to the book from this post, that'll give you an idea of what I most loved about it.

I ended up requesting Rosemary and Sissix because they're my favourite characters and because I was so delighted to read a scifi story with a lovely f/f pairing. I also love that the Aandrisk culture just views relationships, families, touching and all that differently from humans, and I'd love to see a bit of that in the story, also how Rosemary adjusts to it, how Sissix adjusts to being with a human, all that. But if you prefer to not do a pairing-oriented story, I'd be equally happy with something involving the whole Wayfarer team, or at least some of them. I love them all to bits.

I enjoy the fun and optimistic tone of the book, and the fact that it still has room for depth, emotions and big questions. The fic can lean towards either side, or both, whatever works for you.
Tags: becky chambers, custard protocol, dear yuletide writer, fandoms, gail carriger, lovelace and babbage, maria gripe, primrose/tasherit, rosemary/sissix, skuggserien, wayfarers series, yuletide
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