FIC: was Re: [LMB] Re: Slash (was OT) now Bujold Romance/Slash Meta

quietann quietann at
Thu Jan 4 04:01:30 GMT 2007

On 1/3/07, Azalais Aranxta <tiamat at> wrote:
> On Wed, 3 Jan 2007, quietann wrote:
> >
> > From what I've seen poking around LJ, this is a very common reaction WRT
> > fanfic based on Bujold's books.  Or people will be very critical of
> anyone
> > who does not capture "Bujold style" in their works.
> That seems unfair to me, because really, you cannot expect a fic
> writer--even a good one--to write with the same style as a
> published author.  The fic writer's style may be just as good but
> it won't really be the same.

I have run across a few people who've managed to capture Bujold's voice (or
at the very least have a similar writing style).  I am *not* one of them.
At all.

(My motivation for writing fanfic may ostensibly be filling in
> missing pieces of canon or addressing some imbalance I see in
> canon, but the actual motivation is always this:  a character
> who, technically, doesn't belong to me has got into my head and
> will not shut up and is telling me stories and demanding I write
> them.

Same here, largely.  I've woken up in the morning with my head full of
stories, and I've gone to bed at night with Gregor or Aral or Ges (!)
talking to me.  And if it's strong enough, I'll write down what they have to

> Not only does the Vorkosiverse not generate a lot of slash, it
> also does not generate a lot of villainfic.  That is to say, I
> have not noticed a lot of fanfiction of any of Lois' works that
> purports to be from the POV of the Designated Bad Guys.
> There are three types of villainfic...  There are the people who
> like Bad Guys *because* they are bad.

Maybe it's just that Lois's readers tend to be a pretty mature lot.  And
even her evil characters have enough backstory that it's clear that they are
not "Designated Bad Guys" in any shallow sense.  Think Ges.
Ryoval/Lily/Georish.  Even Cavilo.  The closest Lois gets to a "bad guy"
IMHO is Metzov, and much of his badness is that he's just plain apesh*t

There are the people who like to play Devil's Advocate,
> literally.  (I have fallen into this contingent in many fandoms.)
> They think that the Bad Guys Have Some Points, and that the good
> guys aren't as Good as they like to think they are.  Some of them
> will write fanfiction that inverts authorial intent, and some of
> them will write fanfiction from a perspective where everyone's
> kind of morally ambiguous.

This is where I've fallen, most of the time.  Certainly the Ges/Aral I have
written is exactly this.  Ges isn't just this sociopathic, manipulative
hedonist; he's also *smart* and dare I say it a bit sensitive.  And Aral
(especially as a young man) isn't all heroic; he's also anxious and perhaps
a wee bit insane, especially after his first wife dies.

I take mostly the latter position -- that no one is All Good or All Bad, or
even Mostly Good or Mostly Bad; what matters is the interaction between two
characters who have different needs and motivations, some of which may
develop into something Bad (Ges) or Good (Aral).  Going back in time has
proven to be a good strategy, because people do change over time; one can
"seed" them with characteristics that will become important later.

Lastly, there are the people who like to Redeem Bad Guys.

I haven't seen this type at all in Vorkosiverse fanfic.

> There may be some Redemption fic out there; I know some people
> who have the occasional temptation to humanise say, Ges, or
> Cavilo.  But I've not seen it.

Very odd.  I found it extremely easy to humanize Ges, but I can't imagine
doing that with Cavilo.  Maybe it's just a failure of imagination.

...although there is the
> occasional entertaining crossover in which we learn that Neville
> Longbottom and Cordelia Naismith are related.


Reading Lois may leave me with a lot of ideas racing through my
> mind and the urge to go Write Something, but it doesn't leave me
> feeling that there's something more that needs to be said that
> the author will never say because s/he is unwilling or unable to
> acknowledge it.  None of her characters ever take up residence in
> my brain and refuse to shut up till I tell their side, or the
> whole truth, because Lois is already doing that.

Absolutely.  In my case, I'll write it anyway, but it's mostly for my own

quietann at

aka "The Accidental Jewess"

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