ricardienne: (christine)
[personal profile] ricardienne
Dear Writer,

First: thank you so much for writing for me! I should say up-front that I requested fandoms where I’ve read every scrap of fic I can find multiple times and desperately want more to exist. So I’ll probably be happy with whatever you write! This letter got long, because I like to talk about what I like, but please don’t take anything in it as a hard and fast demand (except for the part about no nuclear war. Which was unlikely to come up anyway, and I apologize if my mentioning it has given you a thousand plot bunnies that I am now forbidding you to write for me. But massive fiery death is a hard NOPE for me.)


I tend to prefer gen stories, but I certainly don’t object to stories centered around slash, het, poly, or any other kind of grouping, whether “canon” or not. My preference is for the less explicit and for sex not to be the focus of the story, but if it’s is character-centric and furthers the development of a relationship, especially if complicated feelings, power dynamics, and social expectations are involved. (In general: I am very fond of character-centric stories, but my favorite is the character-centric story with a plot).

As for DO NOT WANTS, here’s what I would say: please no nuclear war, genocide, apocalyptic destruction, or death on a massive scale. And, since it’s Yuletide, maybe no complete societal collapse or major upheaval beyond what’s in the canon? On a smaller scale: please no body horror or excessively graphic gore, and no incest, sexual relationships involving children, or rape.

But I do realize that a number of these things (almost all of them) are background canon for one or more of the works I’ve requested, so I can’t say “please don’t under any circumstances include any of them at all.” Everything I’ve requested has a canonical dark side where coercion, dubiously-free consent, and abuse of power in various ways are things that happen, not to mention things blowing up, genocide, imperialism, summary euthanasia and execution, worker exploitation, slavery, and lots of other bad things. If dark is where the spirit leads you, I don’t mind, because I trust that you’ll be thoughtful about it, especially with regard to rape and sexual abuse. And -- I don’t mind unhappy endings, but I do like satisfying ones. But please please please try not to blow up any cities or airships or spaceships or temples or planets in an inferno of fiery death and destruction (or any other way).

By contrast, here’s a list of things that make me happy when I see them in fic -- not that I am expecting them all, but one might kindle a fiery plot-bunny of burning inspiration with you! (But if it doesn’t, that’s okay too!):

-Loyalty, whether it underlies friendship, romance, family affection, the bond between student and teacher, the duty of a inferior toward a superior, or really, anything else. I love stories about characters who are devoted to each-other, especially when those genuine loyalty/devotion/obligation feelings involve people with unequal amounts of power or/and status whom social hierarchies dictate *ought to* display obligation/obedience/loyalty to each other.
-Small-scale plots that primarily affect individuals and their lives rather than plots with universe- or even country-altering implications.
-World-building about culture and references by characters to in-universe music, literature, poetry, popular history and legend, theology, pop-culture, religious festivals, differences between cultural practices etc.
-also food, decorative arts, and clothing!
-Linguistic games and code-switching, puns, allusions to other works of literature, whether in-universe or extra-universe.
-Unreliable narrators and sympathetic characters who misread and misinterpret what’s going on or who believe things that aren’t true,
-When people have to make difficult decisions about whether to do what is right or what is expedient/conducive to survival, having to compromise your principles, and finding ways to live with the consequences. That last part is important!
-Hard looks at colonialism, imperialism, militarism, feudalism, or any other -ism.
-But also..the universe not being grimdark even if it is kind of grimdark.
-Class conflict
-But also upper-class dinner parties and banter.
-Female friendships and mentoring relationships and women being awesome.
-Politics, social maneuvering, and machinations of all kinds

Okay, so since this letter is already monstrous, I’m going to be very brief about the fandoms that I requested:

Imperial Radch Series — Ann Leckie
Any Character(s)

No character preferences, because I don't want to limit you, dear Yuletide Writer, and because my favorite "character" in the series is Radchaai society at large: I will love anything that deals with the people and AIs of this glorious space-roman unjust mess of an empire, especially if it deals with imperialism/colonialism, unequal power dynamics and hierarchies, or/and the lies people and AIs tell themselves to justify not looking to closely at the cost of their "civilization." Or/and having to cope with challenges to those things.

I love Breq, Seivarden, and Mercy of Kalr, to pieces, but I'd also love to read, exemplorum gratia, a story about Justice of Toren at an earlier point in its existence, or about Mercy of Kalr's first human crew and the mutual adjustments that that required, about Sphene and its Captain, about Ekalu coping with the change in her rank, or about a completely different ship and its lieutenants. (One thing I would request is that you maintain universal "she" when writing from a "Radchaai" character perspective.)

The Goblin Emperor -- Katherine Addison
Vedero Drazhin

I would really like fic that includes Vedero in a prominent role, butshe doesn't have to be the main character. (I'd love to read more about the women of the Untheileneise Court in general, past as well as present, and if these means no Vedero, that's okay!)

Some possible prompts (but by no means intended to be limiting!): How did Vedero negotiate as much independence as she did? What goes on in her circle of learned women? What was her relationship with her father's subsequent wives? How does she negotiate being constantly under the eyes of the court, constantly attended by servants and guards, and being utterly powerless? Why did Hesero care for her husband, how did she survive their fall from favor, and what will she do now? Arbelan as a newly-married empress, watching the court from exile, or reclaiming her role as the dowager empress in Maia's court.

Dreamblood Series -- N.K. Jemison
Any Character(s)

I would love something about Hanani and Yanassa post-book, or about Hanani, Wanahomen, and Tiaanet (and others!) trying to put Gujaareh to rights. Or a story about one of Sunandi's adventures prior to the start of the series. Or any story about people caught between Kisua and Gujaareh, whether before, during, or after the books. (What's the effect of the invasion and rebellion on those old aristocratic families of Gujaareh who pride themselves on close connections with the motherland?)

But, honestly, I would be delighted with any story set in Gujaareh that explored some aspect of its culture, social structure, history, theology, or/and politics, whether within the timeframe and characters of the books or not!

Once again, please don’t feel limited by anything I’ve written: this is all just happy fannish burbling that may give you some idea of who it is you’re writing for.

Yours truly,

ricardienne (sigaloenta)


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January 2017

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