wasuremono: Ness, Jeff, and Poo from Earthbound, riding in a car and bobbing their heads. (o/` What is PK Love? baby don't hurt me)
[personal profile] wasuremono
Dear Yuletide Writer,

Thank you! Thank you for participating in Yuletide, thank you for writing for me (or considering writing for me, if you found this via the community post and got curious), and thank you for reading this letter. Before we get started, there are three general points about me and Yuletide.

1. In the event you found this from the LJ community or a DW search, my AO3 username is Wasuremono. This is obviously redundant if you're my assigned writer, but you never know.

2. None of the fandoms on my list is a gimme/consolation-prize fandom. All of the canons I've requested are things I really like and would be overjoyed to have Yuletide fiction for, so whichever one you matched me on, don't worry that it's not what I really want! The length of my prompts and notes varies a bit by fandom, but that's not a reflection of my degree of desire for them. Whatever canon we matched on will be fantastic!

In the event of a last-minute pinch hit on other Yulemergency, probably the easiest and least time-consuming of my canons to learn is Moon Colony Bloodbath, a 16-minute-long EP available on YouTube. The Poirot request may also be viable, since one of my requested characters (Amy Carnaby) only appears in two short stories and another (Henrietta Savernake) is a supporting character for a single novel. The other fandoms (a novel/short-story series, a 2-season TV show, and two JRPGs) are likely to take some more time to get into.

3. Above all else, I want you to write something you want to write. One of the great joys in Yuletide is writing in a rare fandom, and I want you to really enjoy the act of writing for me. To that end, please remember that all my optional details are optional! I'd like for my prompts and general likes/dislikes to be kept in mind, of course, but at the end of the day, what I really want from my Yuletide story is something crafted with joy and love for our shared rare fandom. If that means writing completely off my prompt, I don't mind at all.

Likes: Gen, whether plot-based or just slice-of-life; I'm down with anything from low-key character-development pieces to insane adventure craziness, although I would prefer at least some degree of substantive plot and development. I also really like stories that develop settings -- tastes of everyday life in fantastic worlds, imaginary histories, that sort of thing. I enjoy fic set all along the time spectrum, from pre-canon events to fill-in-the-holes to post-canon; that said, I'd appreciate if stories set within the canon have something more to add to the story than just a fresh POV of your own words. I enjoy happy endings, where characters find contentment and safety (or make good progress in finding it), and in general notes of hope and optimism are always appreciated.

For non-gen stories, I tend to prefer non-dysfunctional relationship dynamics: relationships where the characters in question authentically like each other and can both grow as people because of their connection. Similarly, I prefer sex scenes to be cheerful, obviously consenting (no dubcon/noncon or seriously impaired characters), and mutually satisfying. I don't really have any kinks, so vanilla sex is fine, but the introduction of some mild kink is fine too -- light BDSM (simple bondage, blindfolds, lighthearted wrestling, that kinda thing) or genderplay, say, if it fits the scenario and characters. Het, slash, femslash, and any and all permutations thereof are fine with me.

Dislikes: PWP and similar stories focused on the raw action of sex/kink; I prefer that porn be used to develop the characters in question and their relationship to one another, so I'm generally more interested in the characters' thoughts and feelings during sex than a play-by-play of the action. For similar reasons, I don't like crack pairings, and in general I'm not fond of crack or excessive AU-ing. "What if?"s based on canon or branching off from canon are great, but I'm not into coffeeshop/high-school/"not in their canon at all" AUs. I also don't like character-bashing exercises or excessively downbeat endings. I would prefer no unprompted crossovers, please; I'm fine with crossovers and fusions and whatnot, but my fandom tastes are sufficiently esoteric that I might not know or appreciate even a big fandom enough to enjoy a crossover involving it.

Squicks: This is probably redundant given my Likes section, but just in case: I really don't want to read about non-consensual or questionably-consensual sex, either for fetish or for drama/tragedy. Humiliation and abuse, particularly domestic abuse, squick me the fuck out in both sexual and platonic contexts; in general, I don't like "comedy of cruelty" sorts of material where the goal is to watch repulsive characters treat each other poorly. It's okay to have characters struggle and fail, but if they're not at least a little sympathetic and they don't have at least the possibility of a moment of grace, it's probably more irritating to me than interesting. I would also prefer no heavy kink beyond what I've already mentioned as okay and no animal cruelty, particularly directed at cats.

A quick note about British canons: Three of my requests this year (Look Around You and the two Christie requests) are for British canons. I would prefer that the canon setting be retained for the Christie works, but I'm not going to be nitpicking too heavily -- I'm American and won't be thrown out of the story for American spellings or whatever. Please don't feel obliged to agonize about Britpicking!

Anyway, onto the prompts and fandom-specific notes!

Moon Colony Bloodbath (Concept Album) - any character (Narrator, Narrator's Ex)

Fandom-specific DNWs: explicit sex

Moon Colony Bloodbath has been the soundtrack to 2016, weird as that is. I love this album's tone of inevitable doom, as well as the implicit questions it raises about how said doom should be faced: with resignation, or with desperate flight? My interpretation is that there are two characters in the album: John Darnielle's narrator (odd songs), who tries distraction and acceptance, and John Vanderslice's narrator (even songs), who tries for flight and a search for secrets. (Per the character tags, I assume this would be Narrator and Narrator's Ex, respectively? I'm not partial to their relationship; they can be partners/ex-partners, friends, or just coworkers/acquaintances. They're definitely in this moon colony doom thing together, though.)

My interpretation of the album is that something body-horrific is happening, and the "new and dreadful form" referenced in Emerging is totally not a metaphor; the transformed narrator may be able to blend in with the rest of the workers in his suit, but something has to give. Is this going to end on the colony, or is he going to be able to get back to his machine cocoon and die there? Is there a cure hiding in the mountains? Can this even possibly end well? Probably not!

Please note: for this fandom, I'm fine with a fair degree of violence, gore, and unhappy endings. However, I would prefer you to avoid any sexual or relationship-based violence. Thanks!

In case it wasn't clear from the prompt, this is my Crueltide fandom for this year. I didn't put it down in my general likes because it's situational for me, but I really enjoy body horror, and this album just oozes body horror potential. Certainly, the Narrator (John Darnielle's "character") is undergoing some kind of hideous transformation. You are free to go totally nuts with this, with the caveats about sexual violence mentioned above.

Further thoughts: is this even unintentional, or is whatever's happening to the moon colony workers entirely according to plan? They were deliberately isolated from society and loved ones as a condition of their employment, after all. Were the bodies in the pods even intended as organ-transplant fodder, or was the plan for them to be food all along? Backstory for the moon colony project is also great. Feel free to take notes from 1970's dystopian SF-horror if that helps you -- this album really gives off that vibe to me.

Availability: Moon Colony Bloodbath was only released commercially as a tour EP, but it's available on YouTube, and the various supplementary material written about the album is available freely online.

Look Around You - any character (no characters nominated)
Fandom-specific DNWs: Romantic/sexual focus

What I love most about Look Around you is its straightfaced absurdity: the impression that we're getting a look at a deeply weird world, not just a collection of science gags. I'd love some exploration of that world and its scientific principles, working under the assumption that the canon we have is really how things work. This can be in the form of an episode or a standard fanfic narrative, as long as it has the feel of the canon about it. Here are just a few things I'd love to see:

* The history of the Besselheim plate: who was Besselheim, and what stroke of genius produced the world's most ubiquitous piece of labware?
* A look at the fight against Cobbles, or other public-health issues in a world where Cobbles can even be a thing
* What was the research and development process like for the world's scariest picture? Is there a device that can precisely determine scariness?
* "At last, the greatest mystery in modern science is solved. Ladies and gentlemen, we have conclusively identified what birds are."

Finally, if you're a science wonk like me, I would absolutely love to see some Look Around You-verse material directed at a more academic or professional audience, compared to the pop science of the canon. What do lab safety videos look like in this universe? Primary literature and industry publications? Equipment catalogs and manuals? SOPs? Safety and regulatory documentation? Don't feel obliged to go crazily technical, but if you want to go crazily technical, I will eat it up. Sky's the limit.

First off: I was the nominator for this fandom and deliberately didn't nominate any characters, because I'm not really interested in the preexisting cast of Look Around You. If you like them, feel free to use them! I'd just prefer a piece focused on setting and worldbuilding over character.

I sincerely hope the last paragraph of this prompt doesn't come off as intimidating if you're not involved in science! It's completely not necessary, so don't feel obliged to submerge yourself in scientific jargon if you're not comfortable with that. I'm not going to nitpick, because c'mon, it's Look Around You. This goes for the British elements of the canon, too; like I mentioned in my Britpicking note above, I'm American and will probably not even notice a lot of Britpick failures, so no need to agonize. Heck, set this somewhere other than Britain, if you'd like.

That said, if you read that last paragraph and are into it, seriously, GO NUTS. I work in industry and have a focus on quality and associated documentation, so I am the kind of person who would delight in a fic in ISO documentation or work-instruction form. Even just a look at university- or graduate-level science instruction and academia in the LAY-verse would be unspeakably delightful.

To gratuitously steal from another Look Around You Yuletide letter: thanks, author. Thauthor.

Availability: I'm not entirely sure where Look Around You is available for streaming at the moment, but it's definitely available on DVD, and probably via typical non-legal download channels. But you should give the creators money.

Mother 1 | EarthBound Zero | EarthBound Beginnings - any character (Ninten, Ana, Lloyd, Lloyd's Father)
Mother 1 is a real fandom of my heart, and there's not much in it that I don't want to read! I'm fine with any of the nominated characters in the tag set, and feel free to use un-nominated ones as well. I'm probably going to do a lot of rambling in my Dear Author letter about my theories, but here are a few prompts:

* Ninten and Ana's relationship as they grow up: in the world after Giegue, how does their instant connection become something more? I ship Ninten/Ana and would prefer a story on these themes to have a happy resolution, but growing pains are entirely welcome. I'd also be interested in Ninten and Ana as psychic ambassadors to the world, helping to navigate the changes caused by the alien invasion and the emergence of psychic power in humans.

* What's the deal with Lloyd's family, anyway? His dad is the obvious hook here -- seriously, what's going on there? -- but anything else about his home life is welcome too. Is he able to make it any better after Giegue, or is he still largely on his own? What does someone like Lloyd do with a little bit of self-confidence for once?

* I've always been fascinated by Magicant in this game, especially the implication that some parts of it were independent of Queen Mary -- after all, you can still go there after she's gone, even if there's nothing left. Is this just an echo of Queen Mary, or is there still some "real" Magicant left? Can something rise from the ashes?

In terms of ships for this fandom, I tend to prefer Ninten/Ana and Lloyd/Pippi, although the latter is a little cracky (but fun!). I prefer Teddy not be shipped with any of the main cast given the age discrepancies, and I'd like any ship stuff to stay age-appropriate, with no underage sexual content.

Note: Unfortunately, I have yet to play Earthbound Beginnings; my experience with this fandom is purely through EB Zero and Mother 1 + 2. If any of my prompts don't make sense with the EBB localization, that's on me.

Oh, Mother. I could ramble about the Mother series basically infinitely, and I love all of its unanswered questions about the world. If there's some element of the canon that you always wanted to explore, feel free!

For the Ninten/Ana request: one of the things that has always struck me about this pairing is that it's the most clear-cut romantic connection in any of the Mother games, happening to characters who are so young. Like I said, I would prefer that this be age-appropriate stuff, but feel free to write about them as adults if you'd like. How much of their connection is psychic, and how much isn't? I love psychic connections as a romantic trope (telepathy as love), but Ninten and Ana aren't exactly overwhelming telepaths, so there has to be something to their connection beyond that.

For the Lloyd request: Lloyd is interesting to me because, even beyond the "bullied kid with low self-esteem" level, he seems to be perilously close to being a feral child, and the appearance of his dad only makes it clearer that something bad's up at home. If you want to tell me just what Lloyd's dad is doing in a trash can in the middle of nowhere, and how Lloyd feels about this whole mess, I'd love to hear it.

For the record, I'm open to crossovers with Mother 2/EB for this fandom! My personal assumption is that the Mother 1 setting is in the same world as the M2 one (possibly on the southern continent under Eagleland on the <url="http://earthboundcentral.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/worldofmother2.png">Mother 2 world map, since the coldest regions are in the far south) and that M1 takes place ten years before M2, so the cast of M1 would be in their early twenties when Giegue returns as Giygas. Obviously, they might get involved in the new War, but I'd be most interested to see that take a form other than just more beating up Starmen. Maybe this is the time when Magicant begins to reawaken?

Availability: Mother 1 is available as "Earthbound Beginnings" on the WiiU Virtual Console, and there are plenty of YouTube Let's Plays available of it, either as Earthbound Beginnings or Earthbound Zero.

Mother 2: Gyiyg no Gyakushuu | EarthBound - any character (Ness, Paula Polestar, Jeff Andonuts, Poo)
I love Earthbound for its heart: the warmth and emotional depth of the game, a world that's often silly without being shallow, and its charming and sympathetic cast. It's hard to go wrong writing it for me -- gen or shippy, drama or comedy, character study or action-adventure, I'll love it. I'd love to see the continuing adventures of our protagonists after the War on Giygas, navigating adolescence and adulthood with each other's help, or an exploration of the details of the setting that we don't see during the game. A few ideas:

* How do the "rogue," possibly alien-derived psychic powers that Ness and Paula manifest interact with the traditions of Mu that Poo uses? What do these two schools of psychic practice have to teach each other?

* Continued alien activity and influence on Earth, even if it's just a few lingering pockets of Giygas's forces who want a ride home now that the war's over. Can the Chosen Four negotiate peaceful relations with the galaxy and maybe prepare humans to reach out to space themselves?

* Was the Mani-Mani statue really just about illusions, or was something much stranger going on? Are there other weird remnants of wartime alien technology on Earth?

All that said, pure slice-of-life (with psychic powers and weird science) is great too. I love these characters, and I'm happy just to see them grow up together.

If you want to do shippy stuff for this fandom, I ship the Chosen Four pretty broadly: Ness/Paula and Jeff/Tony as sort of the "default" ships, with Jeff/Paula and Ness/Paula/Jeff as my guilty-pleasure ships -- in no way required, but delightful if you want to try them. Chosen Four OT4 is also delightful.

Like I said above for M1, I could ramble about the Mother series forever. I could ramble about so many things, but I'll try to keep it related to my prompts:

On psychic power, Mu, and the Mani Mani statue: This is only my personal theory, so feel free to discard it if it doesn't fit your own thoughts, but my assumption is that Mu power predates the arrival of Giegue/Giygas on Earth and is of actual human origin, as opposed to the psychic seeds that Giegue's arrival planted on Earth and give Ness and Paula (and presumably Ninten and Ana from M1) their power. It's possible the Sound Stone/Your Sanctuary circuit was intended to harmonize that power with Earth's, but there may still be rough edges that integration with Mu might smooth out? This is some of the same ground as my M1 "psychic ambassadors" prompt, because I figure the 199X return of Giygas is going to raise the same sort of issues in the world that his 198X one did.

The Mani Mani statue is of particular interest to me, because I've always been a little dubious of the "illusions" explanation. What struck me about it in particular is that Moonside really seems Magicant-y: specifically, the Magicant of Monotoli, Fourside turned into a dark and twisted maze. If the Mani Mani statue is some sort of evil Magicant-invoker, well, that's got potential. If this intrigues you, I'd love to see what you can do with it.

I'm very interested in fallout of the War Against Giygas, but if the fallout is mostly just the Chosen Four's already-complicated lives getting more complicated, that's fine too. I love the protagonist team as a team, acting as friends, and for potential romantic entanglements as mentioned above. (My one caveat there: for Jeff/Paula or Ness/Paula/Jeff, I don't really want Ness and/or Tony getting killed/turned evil to make the pairing work. Honestly, the Ness/Paula/Jeff thing I sort of see as a poly situation where Jeff's primary is still Tony, but everyone's worked things out to be a little flexible... but, uh, enough about half-finished story drafts I have sitting on my hard drive.) As with M1, though, I'd like all romantic content to be age-appropriate, so nothing actively smutty unless you want to write the characters as adults. (But please feel free to!)

Availability: M2/Earthbound is available on the Virtual Console for both WiiU and New 3DS, I believe, and is certainly available on the Internet in more readily-accessible, dubiously-legal formats. And there are always Let's Plays.

Poirot - Agatha Christie - Hercule Poirot, Amy Carnaby, Henrietta Savernake
Fandom-specific DNWs: Romance plots involving Poirot, any requested character as a murder victim

First of all, please don't feel obliged to include all my requested characters for this fandom! These are just the characters I'm most interested in; they certainly don't all have to appear in the same fic.

For this request, I'm interested in some more character-based material; casefic is great, if you'd like to write it, but I'd like at least a decent amount of character focus. Here are my thoughts and prompts for each of the characters I've requested:

Hercule Poirot: I'd love to read a story about Poirot's younger years in the Belgian police, either a case he worked or just his day-to-day life. Really, there are a lot of topics in Poirot's past that seem ripe for exploration in fanfic form. The Poirot we see in the present is self-assured to a fault -- what were things like for him when he was less well-practiced and less self-satisfied?

Amy Carnaby: Amy is one of my favorite minor Christie characters, a clever and sympathetic con artist using her socially marginalized position to her advantage. I'd love to see her further adventures after her introduction to crime-fighting in "The Flock of Geryon." Does she collaborate with Poirot again, or does she strike out into detection on her own? Detective work in Christie's novels often involves a healthy dose of grift, so I imagine Amy would be a natural.

Henrietta Savernake: Henrietta is one of the most affecting of Christie's supporting cast, and I'd really like her to have a second act after the events of The Hollow, which strike me as sort of a childhood's-end situation for her -- an awakening into adulthood after the extended adolescence of her former life. She no doubt has challenges ahead, but I'd like to see her find her way to a new and better life, through her art or through some other opportunity to work through her grief.

I'd prefer gen for this fandom, although canon-typical romance arcs are fine. (I'm not interested in Poirot being paired off, though -- he's always struck me as a solo act.)

I've been reading a ton of Christie lately, and what's always struck me as a great strength of her novels is the strength of their secondary casts. I suppose that's what inspires this request -- specifically, two minor Poirot characters I'd very much like to read more about, as well as some of the untold stories of the great detective himself. Feel free to use this characters separately or in any combination that strikes you. I'm also open to crossover with characters from other Christie novels, if you'd care to go that route; if you're familiar with the Parker Pyne stories, for example, I feel like Pyne and his supporting cast would be a great fit with an Amy Carnaby story.

One thing that's always struck me about Christie's work is just how foreign the world of her novels feels to a modern American reader, and I'd love something that maintains that early-mid-20th-century British setting, if you feel comfortable writing that. I particularly enjoy seeing Christie's characters navigate their sometimes-treacherous social roles, so any of that would be just great, particularly for Amy Carnaby, whose greatest struggles and greatest strength both come from her rather ignoble social position.

As I mentioned, I would prefer gen for this fandom, but I'm open to romantic content for anyone but Poirot himself. My one word of caution is that I'd prefer to avoid the occasional Christie trope of "man proves himself to be tough/dangerous, therefore causing (often previously strong-willed or independent) love interest to swoon over him and pledge to obey him forever." I know it's very period, but... yeah.

Availability: There are a ton of Poirot novels, and most are available at any bookstore, with used bookstores often having a good supply of cheap paperbacks. Henrietta Savernake features specifically in the novel The Hollow, and Amy Carnaby features in the short-story collection The Labours of Hercules, specifically "The Nemean Lion" and "The Flock of Geryon."

Miss Marple - Agatha Christie - Jane Marple
Fandom-specific DNWs: Miss Marple as murder victim

What I love best about the Marple series is when we get flashes of Jane's inner life under her placid exterior: her steely determination and stubbornness, as well as her anger on behalf of victims and innocents. I'd love to see Jane Marple in her avenging mode, working for justice in her own very particular idiom, although it doesn't have to be in a standard murder-mystery scenario. After all, if there's anything that Miss Marple knows, it's that the minor dramas of small-town England can be world-shattering in their own right.

My major request for this fandom is a little strange, but here goes: between her unchanging nature over decades and her occasionally miraculous leaps of intuition, Miss Marple doesn't always seem human, so what if she isn't actually human? What if she's a minor godling, spirit of justice, or genius loci of St. Mary Mead, focused on the village but able to branch out as duty demands? Just how long has she done her work, and is Jane Marple the first human persona she's adopted? Is her emotional investment in the humans around her a liability? It's mostly translating subtext into text, admittedly, but I'd still love to see a story of Miss Marple as a literal Nemesis or expatriate Fury, knitting for babies and punishing the wicked.

If this doesn't work for you, though, don't feel obliged to write it! Mortal Miss Marple is perfectly fine. I'd generally prefer casefic, but slice-of-life about St. Mary Mead would also be lovely. I'd prefer gen, but canon-typical romance subplots with supporting characters are fine.

First off: while I've only specifically requested Miss Marple, feel obliged to use the rest of the characters in the tagset, if they work for your story! There's nobody in the tagset I'd prefer not to read about.

I realize the supernatural prompt is a bit of a stretch, but it's the one that really grabbed me; still, feel free to completely disregard it. What I want from this fandom is just more Miss Marple doing what she does best, using her social position as a harmless old woman to mete out justice in the world.

Like I mentioned in my Poirot prompt, I very much enjoy the sense of time and place of the original Christie novels and would be happy to read fic set in that time period. However, if you want to go with my supernatural prompt, feel free to diverge from this -- either to the modern day or future of St. Mary Mead, possibly with a descendant of a supporting character (a Clement?) starting to put two and two together about the village's eternal Aunt Jane, or to the past and whatever her existence before the Miss Marple identity may have been. Even if you're not into the supernatural element, honestly, backstory is totally great. I know we have a touch of it in a few of the Marple stories, but more is great!

Availability: Like the Poirot series, Agatha Christie's Marple novels and stories are widely available in bookstores, generally quite cheaply so in used paperback form. If you're just diving into it, my prompts are probably most inspired by A Caribbean Mystery, Nemesis, and Pocket Full of Rye, although The Murder at the Vicarage is also a favorite.


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