Dear Yuletide Author,
Thank you so much for writing for me! Yuletide is one of my favourite times of the year because I adore my tiny little fandoms, and it is often the only chance I get to read any fic for them. So the fact that you are willing to write for my tiny/non-existent fandom makes me incredibly happy.
My tastes have been pretty consistent over the years, and you can see my prior year Yuletide author letters tagged under 'yuletide'. I am sure that I will adore whatever you come up with, but a vague squeeing sound is no-one's writing aid, so here are some quick points on what I like and what squicks me, both general and fandom specific. General thoughts:
1) I love slash, het, gen and femslash, and my requests reflect that. I love the relationships between strong, interesting people (or weak, interesting ones!), especially if it wouldn't be something that would occur to them at first glance, whether canonical or not. To illustrate this, some couples I love in big fandoms are Snape/Harry, Snape/Black, Draco/Hermione etc in HP (so, those that generally would hate each other on sight!); Steve/Tony, Natasha/Clint, Tony/James Rhodes in Avengers (a mix of reluctant teammates and best friends); Buffy/Faith, Giles/Buffy, Cordelia/Xander in Buffy (again, a mix of those that were close to begin with, and those that hated each other); Kirk/Spock, Sarek/Amanda, McCoy/Spock in Star Trek (unlikely couples, best friends and teammates). If you opt for a slash, het or femslash fic, I picked characters that I would be happy to see together in a relationship. (Except for Cesare and Caterina. Cesare/Lucrezia or Caterina/Lucrezia would rock, though.)
2) I love character studies and long, thoughful looks at a character's motivation, which is probably reflected in what characters I find interesting. I like characters that aren't generally liked in the world they are in, or the people around them; ones that suffer and survive and show strength of character. I love hurt/comfort as a trope, especially if the one offering comfort is reluctant, or not on the best of terms with those they are trying to comfort. I love best friends sticking together. I love a united front in the face of adversity.
3) I don't really hate any characters in the fandoms I have requested, so please no character bashing. This is especially the case in opting for slash and femmeslash couples - I may love characters A and B and slash them, but I wouldn't want to see character bashing of A's wife or husband as part of that.
4) My squicks are fairly standard. Sex-based squicks are graphic sexual violence, underage, watersports, scat, humiliation, extreme or ritualised BDSM (including where fics are set in BDSM universes). I'm also not a fan of alpha/beta/omega, amnesia fics, baby fics, AUs (e.g. high school settings or similar), meta tropes or otherwise breaking the fourth wall.
5) Things I love in fiction in general: long, glorious world-building; characters that have UST and spark off each other; hurt/comfort, first times in shippy fic, great feeling in a world that doesn't permit it, character studies (especially of female characters), clever dialogue, vivid storytelling and a sense of peril. I love them, and therefore want them to suffer, of course.
Fandom-specificRequest 1: Seafort Saga - David Feintuch (Nicholas Seafort, Edgar Tolliver)Sign-up details: What I love most about Nicky is his ability to commit himself entirely to a course of action. What I love most about Edgar is how he is able to back Nicky fully in public, and then rip strips from him in private when he doesn't agree.
There is so little fanfic available for this fandom, and yuletide is more or less my only chance of acquiring more. So anything that showcases these two, snarking at each other while everyone else has heart attacks at the familiarity, would make my day. Maybe someone overhears or sees Edgar being too familiar, and Nicky has to step in before his second gets squished? Maybe one of Nick's many enemies figures out his never-ending capacity for guilt and self-sacrifice and decides to kill two birds with one stone by kidnapping Edgar? My personal favourites in their timeline are the HMS Victoria return journey from Hope Nation, Tolliver going crazy trying to find Nick on Earth when he runs off to find Annie, and post-retirement Tolliver sticking to Nicky's side through exile, revolution, and a second bout of child rearing. My personal headcanon is that sometime after they meet again in Book 3 they end up together, but if you're more inclined to gen that makes me equally happy.
I request these characters every year, mainly because requesting fic seems to deliver fic. No fool I, basically.
Why do I love this fandom so much? Mainly because Nicky is an idiot who seems to think that he is responsible for all the trauma in the world. Edgar is a no nonsense sort of person who thinks that Nicky is an idiot. Ergo, I love them. I love that Edgar basically threw his life away trying to save Nicky's (because either way, once that helicopter started spiralling out of control, Edgar was going to die... but Nicky didn't have to), and that Nicky can't unbend enough to overlook it, but can manage just enough
to spare Edgar's life. I love Edgar's dignity, and the clear boundaries he sets up with Nicky - who should ostensibly have the power of life or death over him, but doesn't quite manage it - and the way all that dignity goes out of the window if Nicky is threatened. I love how much Nicky tries to fix everything wrong in the world, and how his sheer arrogance at thinking he is at fault if he can't fix everything
is something that he trusts Edgar to call him out on. Like a walking, talking, snarking hairshirt.
What sorts of fic would I like? Any fic where thse two characters feature, because I love them so damn much. Nicky caring for Edgar is a bulletproof kink for me, and the closer Tolliver gets to peril, the more my heart flutters. Because Nicky has lost so damn much, and having the threat of taking Tolliver hang over his head is like the sword of Damocles. And Edgar - Edgar would die for him, Edgar would suffer for him... Edgar would go into exile and leave his family behind so that Nicky wouldn't be alone. Shippy fic for these makes me happy, but any gen character study of their relationship would also be loved.Request 2: Rush 2013 (Niki Lauda, James Hunt)
Sign-up details: I'm equally happy with gen or slash for these two!
I absolutely loved James getting into a fight with the reporter being cruel to Niki; Niki's slow but growing confidence in his own appeal - and how it is destroyed by the crash; Niki needing to watch James win 'his' points to force him through his recovery; way back when they were young and furious and arrogant and just as likely to kill each other off the track as on it. Anything that plays off the way they need each other in order to succeed would be very welcome.
I requested the film rather than the RPF because I don't actually know much about these two outside of the film. Suffice to say that the film inspired me to learn more about them. My knowledge of Niki is through the following generation of drivers - Prost and Senna and Piquet - so seeing him young and arrogant and ready to bash James's head in was lovely. I knew nothing about James Hunt at all, except for his nickname, which I always assumed referred to his capacity for being a bit of a bastard. As it turns out, he was a bit of a bastard who tended to crash spectacularly. Who knew?
The scenes I loved best in the film were when James beat up the reporter, while Niki stared at James winnning 'his' points and made himself get better. These two really do bring out the best - and worst - in each other, and they're both bastards, really. I do enjoy that. I loved Niki being recognised in Italy, and the whole racing world and how slapdash James's racing team was, and their very different approaches to racing. I'm a bit of a motorsport afficionado, so anything set in that world would make me very happy. Again, happy with gen or slash for these two.
Request 3: 15th Century CE RPF (Caterina Sforza, Cesare Borgia, Lucrezia Borgia)
Sign-up details: Caterina was held prisoner by Cesare for some time. Anything about her interacting with the Borgias, particularly Lucrezia (and Lucrezia's relationship with Cesare at that point) would be very welcome. It's a pretty brutal part of Caterina's life, and my headcanon is that Caterina was raped by Cesare and did not seduce him as he claimed. I'd therefore ask that you do not include any graphic non-con, please (although if you go towards the - consensual - femslash of Lucrezia/Caterina, that would be welcome). If you can work in someone telling off Caterina's blasted self-absorbed sons, that would make me very happy.
This is the only request where I have requested characters that I wouldn't necessarily want to see together (Cesare and Caterina) due to the circumstances of their interaction. I love Italy, and this time period, and am fascinated by the Borgias and their enemies. I am especially fascinated by Caterina, who was easily as ruthless and capable as Cesare, and how they fought each other. I also adore Lucrezia, and her relationship with Cesare. Given that Caterina was such a public prisoner, and so obviously ill-used by her captors (and her blasted children; honestly, her dratted sons needed someone to beat some sense into them!), I wonder what Lucrezia thought of her, and her captivity? How did the two women relate to each other, if they met? How did their relationships with Cesare change as a result? Ship-wise, I'd be happy with Caterina/Lucrezia, or Cesare/Lucrezia, but please do Cesare/Caterina. Gen fic would also be very welcome! My Italian is fairly basic, but I know this part of history well, so if you feel inspired to world-build, please do!
Request 4: 18th Century CE RPF (Marie Antoinette, Marie Louise of Savoy | Princess de Lamballe, Yolande Martine Gabrielle de Polastron | Duchess of Polignac)
Sign-up details: I'm fascinated by Marie Antoinette's relationships with the Duchesse de Polignac and the Princesse de Lamballe. Anything about them from a happier time, perhaps at the Petit Trianon, or around the birth of Marie Antoinette's babies, would be fabulous. I realise that Marie Antoinette was first in the Polignac circle and then became friends with the Princesse de Lamballe subsequently, so please do not feel pressured to include all three if they don't work in your timeline - Marie Antoinette plus either the Duchesse de Polignac or the Princesse de Lamballe would be fabulous. Gen or femslash welcome!
OK, so, when I read about how the Princesse de Lamballe died, I cried for hours. When I read about how she was accused of having a relationship with Marie Antoinette, and how that led to it (at least partially), it got worse. Basically, I have a weakness for Marie Antoinette and her coterie of girlfriends and girl friends. Anything gen or femslash would be welcome for them, looking at a happier time for Marie Antoinette and her friends. Obviously, given the timeline, do not feel pressured to include all three - Marie Antoinette plus one or the other would be fabulous. Bonus points for amazing hairdos, Marie Antoinette getting on with her husband, any politics or meddling. A million bonus points for political statements through clothes (because, yes.) My French is serviceable and I know this part of history fairly well, so if you feel inspired to world-build, please do!