day two: fave character • costumes or disguises
Passing this along 😊
What story do you consider your best work so far and why?Spread some self love in the writing community, pass this ask on to a few friends 💕
Oh, thanks for inviting me to play! Thinking over the 123 fics in the 9 different fandoms that I’ve written in over 17 years…
I started to write a whole thing about which fandoms sharpened my writing skills and which stories over all I’m immensely proud of but that isn’t in the spirit of this ask! So I’ll say that, for SGA (and McShep, in particular, because they are the ONLY pairing I’ve written in this fandom - what can I say? I’m an OTP sort of gal 😁) then I’m stuck between two stories.
I wrote Easy in 2005 and I was just starting to get my John & Rodney groove on, especially with regards to their banter and their characterisation. This is classic light angst with a happy resolution; friends to lovers where they are actually having sex then realise they’re in a sexual relationship and OH SHIT, they might actually be in a relationship relationship! And there’s quite possibly love there too!
The other one I really love is Coming Down which was written a year later. The summary is ‘Before Afghanistan…before Russia…John and Rodney meet’ because I couldn’t resist writing a story where they meet before Atlantis and how that scenario might play out. It was most definitely influenced by Johnny Cash’s 'Sunday Morning Coming Down’ and has a sweet melancholic feel that will hopefully leave people with a smile on their faces at the end.
I was going to wait on Stargate Atlantis since I just posted about SG1, but it turns out I have more bad news to share.
Wraithbait is gone.
Both Area 52 and Wraithbait. Jesus. So much for early Stargate fic!
SGA, as it is often abbreviated, followed SG1 in the Stargate franchise. Slash fandom’s focus was largely on John Sheppard and Rodney McKay. John is an ace pilot. Rodney is a hypochondriac scientist. They’re both total dorks.
As cheesy sci-fi, SG1 and SGA are pretty similar. As fandoms, however, there’s quite a difference:
SGA hit just enough later that it attracted tons of livejournal-based fans I knew who had never dipped a toe in SG1 fandom. It was a Fandom That Ate Fandom, draining the BNF writers from all over slash-dom.
Being a little later also meant that it has exponentially more good vids online. I always kind of resented SGA fandom for eclipsing my beloved SG1, but I sure do love the vids!
One of the more famous ones to show at Vividcon is Another Sunday by Jescaflowne. Youtube has it region-blocked all to hell, but it’s still up and probably viewable through the usual sketchy means.
And how could I not share the glorious crack of Soccer Practice by bironic, a rare slash vid showing off hottie Jason Momoa as Ronon Dex. On AO3 here.
For the juggernaut ship, no vid could be more in-character for melodramatic Rodney than Grace Kelly by Diana Williams:
SGA was squarely in the Livejournal era, and a lot of fans from back then have migrated to AO3. Its influence on modern AO3-ish fandom is tremendous, as I’m sure half of you reading this can attest better than I.
One effect on a more meta level was to make female fandom more irate than ever over TPTB being sexist little shits. Reportedly, SGA attracted too many female fans for the showrunners’ comfort, and they wanted to retool their franchise as SGU, a darker and edgier version designed to attract a more BSG reboot-like audience.
Needless to say, when you’re a franchise that’s good at putting aliens in gold lamé bikinis rather than at coherent writing, going darker and edgier does not work.
SGU was a miserable flop, the entire Stargate franchise stalled, and SGA slash fandom developed an enduring hateboner for TPTB.
At Escapade, SGA has had a steady presence from 2005 through to the present. Past panels include:
- 2006 - First Marriage of Classic and Postmodern Fandoms? (Are we writing fanfic for the show, or are most stories just meta versions of stories from older fandoms, and commenting on each other comments? Remember when people complained all we had was hummus? All SGA has is crack(fic).)
- 2007 - John Sheppard: Psychokiller or Pretty, Pretty Princess (From mild-mannered sci-fi geek to special-ops xenocide, John Sheppard is one of the prettiest psychopaths in two galaxies. Which is the ‘real’ Sheppard? Can these two personalities be reconciled? How does this dichotomy in canon affect how we choose to portray him in fanfic?)
- 2008 - Crackfic, AUs, and Characterization, Oh My! (SGA canon is full of AUs and crack. Do the show’s wacky plot twists encourage us to boldly go further out than other fandoms have gone before? And what happens when we go AU: why are John, Rodney, Ronon, and Teyla so recognizable even when they’re planted in Harlequin romance, NASCAR, a symphony orchestra, or a diner in Maine?)
- 2009 - On a Clear Day, I Can See the Pegasus Galaxy (How are you feeling about the end of SGA-relief or regret? Are you looking forward to the rumored film(s), or planning to be snuggled up with your favorite fic that night? Have you ever been part of an active fandom whose canon closed, and do you have any thoughts (or advice!) about how to keep the fannish energy going? Let’s discuss our hopes, fears and fondest dreams for the future of the fandom.)
- 2011 - Stargate: The End? (We were charmed by the original movie concept, many of us were fannishly enslaved by the first television series, others were entranced by Atlantis and some of us even tuned in for Universe. Are we ready to let the Stargate concept go or are we sitting on the edges of our seats, anxiously awaiting the next incarnation?)
- 2012 - SGA: Rodney and John: What We See is Not What We Get (We know we’re adding slash to whatever’s on the screen. With McShep, we really know. John the MENSA/slacker who knows how to fit in chasing brilliant yet obnoxious Rodney? How the Hell did we ever think they wouldn’t kill each other, John with his P-90 or Rodney with his brain? Come prepared to argue the pros and cons of Sheppard and McKay, support your favorite character, and argue why Ronon is/isn’t damned hotter than either of them.)
- 2013 - The Cool Kid and the Geek (Rodney loves John because John is sexy-handsome, lithe-and-cat-like, athletic, brave, and ridiculously pretty. He’s also one of the Cool Kids, so, yeah, Rodney might fall hard. But Rodney is not sexy-handsome, lithe-and-cat-like, athletic, brave, nor ridiculously pretty. He’s the Geek, so why is John drawn to him? Come argue your point!)
- 2017 - Stargate: Classic Fandom Flashback
- 2018 - Stargate: Ten Years On
@cassiope25 Now that you’ve shown me the audio/visual of this, my life is complete 🥰
DHew said he was massively into the Dr. Who fandom back in the day so he definitely knows about fanfic 💖
Their eyes logged in… 😉
Alright, who’s got a gif of when dhew tweeted from his basement while doing live rewatch of an episode and said, “McKay looked at Sheppard; Sheppard looked at McKay; their eyes locked…”
@logicgunn You absolute freaking LEGEND!
rodney’s “thought there’d be more hot girls” while he’s in john’s dreamed version of atlantis in doppelganger truly haunts me. it just!! does not make sense on any level!! i get that they were going for a quick quip and some levity, but a) all episode long the characters have been having very bad nightmares and now you have rodney, very smart man, going “oh, i thought there’d be more sexy women in your worst dreams” to john, I GUESS, and b) if we assume literally anything else than this still being the remnants of john’s nightmare, that just means we’re being told that john sheppard does not dream of hot girls, he dreams of himself and rodney in the privacy of an otherwise deserted city of atlantis (or seeing as rodney is the actual rodney, alternately it might mean that john dreams of atlantis and rodney just SHOWS UP and puts himself squarely in the middle of that dream, which is not any less charged), and actually also c) john’s worried frown and slightly belated “… yeah!” are the most incredibly hilarious way they could have made him respond. good catch john. that was very convincing.
Do you think the belated “yeah” was a Joe Flanigan acting choice or a director addition? Cause either way that one word is an entire story in itself.
I vote acting choice. There were so many little details that got added to John’s character because of how Joe played him. Like the kind of detail I don’t think production would have thought of (or in some cases even approved if they recognized).
He played John in a beautifully subtly gay/ace way. I know people like to say you see what you wanna see, but really its kind of undeniable that undertone was there.
agreed! though at the same time with stuff like this i feel there’s also always, like… the option of a straight reading of the scene being the only one that was originally intended (because it overshadows seemingly obvious queer subtext through the blinding light of heteronormativity, possibly even in the eyes of the people who made a thing), which is probably also what a lot of viewers will see. like, john is freaked out, he just almost died, this is all very weird, and the dot-dot-dot yeah! is a result of an understandable need to catch his breath and get his brain to stop reeling rather than anything else. it could have been in a script pretty much that way - just two straight men fresh out of a near death experience wondering where the girls are, cue laugh track because of the sudden tone shift. it’s a funny mood-lifting stress-reliever line after the big action climax in the writing of the episode, and there’s not overly much thought given to ways to view it other than just a silly little moment between two friends, comfortably assumed straight by default.
but then with a character like john those isolated silly little moments do of course just keep adding up and you get something, of the type where it seems odd to think people intimately involved in the making of the show wouldn’t have noticed. and if we are assuming some kind of intent then yes, acting choice, definitely! i don’t know that much about tv production, but it seems infinitely more likely to me for one actor to play his lines with a level of ambiguity than for a concerted effort in the form of a tiny production crew conspiracy to leave the character open to queer readings, and directors often only do a few episodes per season, so to consistently get these little rainbow colored grey areas in john sheppard’s everything, if anyone was actively working towards that, i think joe flanigan would have to be the most likely prime suspect.
Adding to the chain again sorry 😅
The awkward “…yeah” moment being a destress brain reboot moment is possible, BUT personally I find it hard to see that way. Here’s why.
Prior to the ‘yeah’ moment they have a light back and forth [R: which one are you? J: me. R: good you or bad you? J: me, me.] I find it hard to view John’s awkward ‘yeah’ after this as shell shock, given that they already had a casual exchange that was less awkwad. Also, John has been though arguably much stranger and more dangerous situations (i.e. suicide missions, fire fights, physical and mental torture) it seems unlikely to me that this one instance would have him so rattled. Combine with his expression it just feels….suspicious.
I don’t think the show its self meant for John’s orientation to come across so ambiguous, they make enough Kirk jokes that clearly they meant him to be the classic laidback ladies man. But the life given to the character by Joe painted a diffrent picture. Was that his true intention? Maybe not, but you never know. (And there is the fabled clip that no one can seem to find of him saying his, “feeling for David are platonic, but John’s feeling for Rodney might not be.” Have heard about this clip on multiple sites but have never seen it myself. So, who knows maybe its an internet legend.)
Overall I feel like there are just two sides to John’s character. The side the writers/producers wanted us to see, and the side we actually saw.
What is even more interesting is that when this show was made, DADT was a thing. For the ENTIRE show. Given the huge military presence on the show, queer characters were just….nowhere near a possibility. And so whatever the reasons behind all this is (acting choices, deliberate queercoding, etc), the end result is that it reads really, REALLY heavily that John is a gay dude in a DADT military exaggerating how much he’s into women as a form of self-protection, but who never seems to know what to actually do with these women, none of whom stick around. And also, canonically, Kirk was not a ladies’ man, just pretending to be one, which Rodney as a nerd would have KNOWN, which adds a whole new layer to Rodney bitching about him “Kirking around.”
I mean, that’s where I got this whole train of thought. I didn’t read fic back when I made my first watchthrough back in like 2012 (i.e. like right after the DADT repeal) and was watching through painfully heteronormative glasses, but in retrospective, and with all the fic I’m reading, it’s just so glaring?? Although part of it is the phenomenon all TV shows suffer from if they have male leads: if it’s an action show, the men can’t have long-term female love interests because those (apparently) clash with the male-dominated world of violence, killing, and action. And so you just get….lots of homoerotic, homosocial, homo-whatever stuff going on.
But also, Sheppard is just such a male character cliche in a show that is so deeply, deeply aware of the cliches of its genre that you gotta wonder what they were thinking.
Straight from jflan’s mouth: