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five things in sga fanfic that i am thinking about
children of dune - leto 1
Okay, five things about SGA fandom I am discovering about myself in fic due to fatuorum. And the fact that svmadelyn is back in the country and I haven't missed her *at all*.

1.) In many cases, I stop accepting a characterization and situation due to fannish glut.

Okay, example. John the Sex Slave, which at the beginning was the hottest thing ever. Then I hit my limit up hard and fast and then I backdated to stop being able to read *all* of them, even the ones I used to love. And yes, while it does have something to do with some writers' handling of it, it's also just--hmm. You know, part of it has to be the early ones were either short and to the point and didn't give me time to think beyond 'oh god hot', or they had enough background and story to make me get *why* the guy who, you know, *kills people that piss him off* would submit to sexual servitude. At this point, I would need the entirety of Atlatnis held hostage, Rodney being tortured in front of him, and probably a serious dose of drugs to go with it. And John to be unarmed and possibly tied up. A lot.

Just in case this isn't clear--I'm not saying brilliant ones aren't being written. I'm just saying, I can't suspend disbelief for it anymore.

2.) I tend to really dislike Rodney in about a third of McKay/Sheppard fic.

This is also a product of fannish glut, but also a product of second season canon. I was far more willing to buy totally oblivious and terminally socially stupid Rodney right up before Duet. Then there was Trinity where I totally fell in love with him, and I got protective of his social issues, because oh God, he *tries* and sometimes characters on the show totally do not see that he's trying and I kind of want to slap them for not being up on Rodney-speak. Because I just don't see him being able to maintain a relationship with *anyone* when his default setting at all times is vicious and cruel and just--no. That, too, is backdated, which is depressing, because some of the earlier high-sarcasm Rodneys made me happy and now I can't enjoy them.

3.) I tend to enjoy John most through another character's pov.

I am shocked I did not realize this about myself earlier. I love him through Rodney's--Rodney is not a social genius, but he *is* fairly good at knowing who he is working with--again, see flawlessly beautiful and deeply fucking *fantastic* manipulation of John in Trinity, for which he wins at *life*--and it just--well, works. Also high on the scale is Lorne from miss_porcupine, who also gives fantastic Sheppard. They see the good parts, the flawed parts, the weaker parts, the breathtaking parts, and how those things make John the man they like/love/care about, and God, why isn't there more Sheppard/Lorne fic? Screw the chain of command--that would be so *good*. Also a close runner up is Ronon--he tends toward a slightly idealized John, but as a reader, I know his perception is flawed as well, and it's nice to have one character that thinks John is as wonderful as I think he is.

Obvious example: Exigencies by rivier. That one still blows me out of the water, every time. Outside pov, limited experience, seeing John through an outsider's eyes was both chilling and illuminating and painfully *real*.

4.) Semi-reliable narrators work for me.

This joins back with three, actually.

By the nature of viewing one character through another's eyes, there's a margin of error. It works for me best when the author knows it and *uses* it to show both how the character as the pov character sees him and how the situation *isn't* as perceived. Honestly, nothing makes me happier when there is that subtle difference that lets the reader, while still seeing throught pov character, *know* that teh situation isnt' quite as they think it is--and better--that there is *no way* the pov character could know otherwise.

Okay, example, because that's a terrible explanation--Pru's Stitch and Bitch, in which practically everyone knows John totally wants Rodney and Rodney does not know. The thing is, Rodney isn't actually being particularly dense--everyone knows because they're reading too much into things, and John is being almost painfully subtle. Without a serious leap of faith, there's no way Rodney *could* know, so how he sees the situation makes sense. And how he reacts to it makes sense. MVP is another excellent example of how the situation isn't quite how Rodney perceives it, but only the reader really knows this for sure. In the confines of the story, there is no way that Rodney could know.

helenish's Your Inevitable Unhappy Ending, oh, that one hits me *everywhere*. John's painfully unreliable as a narrator, you can *see* Rodney not making the right connections with limited information at his disposal--he earns his genius title with working out what is actually going *on* with John through a process of trial and error--the *situation* is unreliable and pretty much works against them figuring anything out. That they muddle through and figure out how to be together is amazing and almost an accident and *so good* that it's one of my absolute favorites in the fucked up John category.

Speaking of that, a story that I would kill to get a Rodney POV on is Shalott's Proof by Contradiction.

I'm going to reinterate my original thing here--this has nothing to do with teh quality of the story or the author in question. Christ, this is astolat. Her grocery list would fascinate me.

Most of the story I absolutely hated Rodney enough to kill him in his sleep and maybe admit to it in a spate of pride. Being a John pov story, and very strictly in it, we only got his perception of Rodney, who spent the entire story in a fit of assholery unseen before in history, then begins to lighten up near the end and gets back in my good graces by the time he tumbles John on his back and they have non-drugged gay sex. Because John's perception of Rodney in this case is a Rodney that treats John's upset at public drugged sex kind of cruelly, and that bothered me. But again, the John pov limited exactly how much he saw of Rodney, and later, I read it wondering, okay, so John sees this, but actually, where is Rodney coming from *here*? A similar thing with Tango, but in this case, amireal gave me an intriguing explanation of the last third that completely changed how I viewed the story.

5.) Gen John works better for me than slash or het John. I mean, *much* better than het John.

I am thinking this has a lot to do with three and four and again, fannish glut. But I need to think more before I make a pronouncement.

Short version: All things ltlj and miss_porcupine are default on how I view John Sheppard. They're kind of where I hope to *get* eventually when writing John. For slash only, cesperanza and rageprufrock are the closest to perfect. dvswraatins is also there, especially with Under the Skin, which still is my favorite of the first season stories and fairly high up overall.

Okay, now I go back to lazy.

*edited to correct title of story attributed to dvswraatins

Rodney's characterisation in a good 2/3s of all categories of fanfic annoys me, especially when he is teamed with either John or, well anyone else. He is getting to be a character who is just as hard as John to write without caricaturing. Onions, layers and other type things that make my eyes water.

I'll agree with the fact that John is best through another perspective other than his own, but for me it really does have to do with the fact that I just can't hear his internal monologue like I can Zelenka or Rodney. To have him shown in glimpses (or shards of glass if we go with a fractured mirror metaphor) works so much better, for any characterisation of him. Never quite in reach. Not to mention it is kinda how we get him in canon. Those stories which are John's perspective are only good when his voice is unreliable and we end up getting him through people's reactions to his actions anyway. Anything else and it makes me skeptical.

I think I read one sex slave story, and skim uber fast through the rest. :P

Re Rodney - *yes*. God yes. They take him to extremes--either he is a total asshole or he's unnaturally *wonderful* and woobiesh and both just are like chalkboard and nails, you know?

John - you know, that's at least part of it for me.

Sex story - *giggles* There are some that have him either slave or drugged sex and I'm totally okay, but I mean--at least a *nod* to the fact that he's trained to kill and why he isn't killing anyone would be good. Well, no, I want more than a nod, I want a full *explanation*.

Slave fic also runs hard against my humiliation squick, and perceived humiliation squick, so that's part of it, too.

I'm selfishly hoping that someone comments with the links to the fics mentioned ;)

anyway. I'm so familiar with the fannish gluttony, only *I can't stop* even when the stories start causing pain and misery. One of my obsessions are kidnapping-and-whumping, in which I'm already sick of but still keep reading. Like there wouldn't be better stuff out..

the romantic characterisation of Rodney can truly be tricky. He can be clueless, he can be hopeless, but he is never stupid, so Rodney making informed and still irritatingly unlogical decicions drives me to walls.

I can do the links. *g* Sory, my fingers got tired coding and then I got into the meta rhythm.

I'm not--actually sure where Exigencies is right now. Never mind. This isn't locked.

Exigencies by rivier - http://rivier.livejournal.com/267985.html

The Atlantis Local Stitch and Bitch by rageprufrock - http://glitterati.illuminatedtext.com/fiction/435.html

Your Inevitable Unhappy Ending by helenish - http://www.helenish.net/inevitable.shtml

MVP by cesperanza - http://www.trickster.org/speranza/cesper/MVP.html

Proof by Contradiction by astolat - http://www.intimations.org/fanfic/stargate/contradiction.html

Tango by astolat - http://www.intimations.org/fanfic/stargate/Tango.html

Under the Skin by dvswraatins - http://www.svendra.com/fanfiction/shorts/lj/skin.html (correction for Beneath the Skin)


I, too, like the unreliable narrator format. One of my favorite devices is when the POV character is convinced, absolutely convinced, that the other person is uninterested, and then surprise! not so! I always reread those stories with glee, looking for the things the narrator missed.

Is there a characterization that you know can't be backed up by canon, but you fall for it anyway?

Hmm. Yes, but I can't think specifically now--I need at least a kernel of canon and have to agree with how that kernel is interpreted to go to that place.

Oh God, now i have to *think*. Gar. Give me day to think about it.

I love you more than anything for what you said in 1 and 2, especially one because I can't do it either. I think would end up dying trying to get himself out the situation than being a sex slave. As for two, fics where Rodney is like that makes me want to force people to rewatch certain eps over again, like Trinity, Aurora and Grace Under Pressure.

*nod* I need serious *reasons* John would be in that situation, yeah. And *good* ones that don't preclude him trying ot get them to kill him.


Honestly, I just feel like sighing. I was saying this to celli earlier tonight: I've reached a certain numbness when it comes to SGa. Oh, sure, I read and enjoy and giggle. But when it comes to the characters themselves, I have no set-in-stone characterisation ideas. I will believe almost any characterisation of them if the author writes well (and within the limits of reality, honestly).

The upside to this is that I don't get bothered by certain tropes appearing again and again. I don't have that mildly offended feeling of knowing an author just didn't *get* John or Rodney and why they shouldn't act like that.

On the downside, I no longer have those blissfully laser-bright moments of knowing, absolutely *knowing*, that the author completely understood everything I believe and love about the character. I miss those moments.

On the other hand, suddenly having no fannish time to myself means that I simply can't read as many stories as other fans so I haven't hit the point of glut on anything (other than "aliens made them do it" stories. Because those now bug me enough that I'll avoid them.)

*grins* *nods* I totally understand.

i'm not yet burned out on aliens make them do it, I think. but I'm sure I'll get there soon. *g*

perhaps it's merely the sheer number of fics that i've read, but i've rapidly become desensitized to the horrible characterization that occurs. i concluded along time ago that john and rodney of fanon are completely different from that john and rodney of fic. and the john and rodney of each author varies greatly from each other. i can watch SGA and read fic, but i don't seem to associate them with each other.

and there are situation within fic that i love, but for most of them to occur, i pretty much have to refuse to believe that the john and rodney that they speak of are not the john and rodney that i love from sga.

Ooh, the other side, desensitization. *hugs you* Poor baby. That is--yeah. That can happen too.

One thing that I've been thinking on, that your post sort of brought to the foreground, is the differences in Rodney's character within the series, and how that has affected how he's written. For example, think back to Rising- in the beginning of that episode, he's actually insanely calm and well-settled, and makes everyone else look crazy by comparison. When everyone else is floundering around the chair, he starts giving instructions, explains things to everyone, doesn't get sidetracked, just lays it out. And then when they get the gate open, Elizabeth is, like, hyperventilating- and he says, very very calmly, "I've never been so excited in my life."

This is a very different Rodney from the man who goes into full-on babble mode when faced with certain death and has no poker face. And yet most fiction that I've seen has him completely unable to carry a calm conversation, without going into run-on sentences or snark attack! mode. Another thing that bothers me is showing him as a callous and petty dicator in the labs, which is absolutely not without basis, but not the whole truth either. My impression is that he's actually an extremely effective leader, who's capable of both cutting you off at the knees (or higher, depending on how stupid you are), but also of building up the ones that earn his respect.

Overall, I certainly don't dislike reading Rodney written this way. It's comedy gold, which is why he gets those moments on the show, but when I'm reading a more serious story, I usually find myself left a little wanting, because it doesn't touch enough on all the things that make him a real, complex person rather than a bundle of brains and neurosis.

I can only rarely feel John's POV, because he's so hard to pin down. Which is an absolutely brilliant thing for a tv character, because you can do absolutely anything with them and have it be reasonably plausible, but it's more difficult when I'm reading. I mostly love stories written from the characters that have much more vibrant, splashy characteristics- Rodney McKay, Jack O'Neill, Xander Harris, and so on. None of them are uncomplicated characters by any means, but even their complications are highly visible, so their psyche is easier to navigate, and their inner voice is easier to recreate because their regular voice is so trademark obvious.

I'm just going to ditto all of this. Yes on all Rodney comments. You totally expressed what I couldn't put into the proper words.

I was halfway down your list, bopping my head and muttering yes, yes yes yes, she *gets* it! - and then you ref'd me and now I'll look like a smarmy bitch! Oh well...

What you say in this post jumps me right back to what I see in my head as the big fandom schism that doesn't really exist, and none of us talk about it publicly anyway. I got into the show about half-way through the first season airing. At that time, the fandom hadn't hit its huge growth spurt - most of the writers were, I think, ex-SG-1 early adopters. Many of those early stories were perfect, for me, because they were the first ones - the first Aliens made them do it, the first Rodney-is-oblivious-to-his-own-seduction, the first h/cs. The first AUs, indeed. So many good stories, but in a comparatively quiet and small pond.

As the fandom has mushroomed so spectacularly, and as new authors come in and have *their* first ride on the alien sex wagon or the blithely oblivious Rodney wagon, I've certainly found it hard not to have the reaction that I've read the concept before, done perfectly well before - the novelty for the incoming writer isn't there for me as the reader with slightly longer legs in the fandom.

The fandom's growth spurt also seemed to coincide with a kind of statistical accumulation of takes on McKay and Sheppard in particular, which skated over the surface and missed the depths by a country mile. I can understand that it's easy to look at Rodney and see him in two cliched ways - either he's the incessantly whiny, belligerent bully, OR he's the man who quietly lets himself drown unnoticed as he tries to save others. Rodney can be hard to reconcile, especially in a short story - the show has 40 hours of narrative, within which Rodney's complexity has been played out and makes (for me) coherent sense).

In a story, the easiest thing by far to reproduce is Rodney's words, because he's the external manifestation of the internal monologue of sarcasm and contempt for stupidity that I suspect a fair number of us have running in our heads all the time. But like you say - what he says isn't necessarily what he means. Even less is it an accurate way of conveying what he *is*, what he adds up to.

Sheppard's character is far harder to pin in a narrative, especially from his POV, because he conceals himself and, as the show has shown, he's done so remarkably well with the people around him. We've seen his mental processes in Home, the coin-toss, the enigmatic message home when he'd denied there was anyone to send it to... *we* know we've only seen as much as Sheppard wants others to see, with the exception of those few sneaky insights which tell us that he isn't just a pretty, bland surface.

But there is such a massive superficial attractiveness, to the show and to the McKay and Sheppard snark-fest especially, that it makes sense that so many people have wanted to jump in and play with the characters. The fact that many writers are content to play with them on superficial terms, and I'm guessing many readers are content with Ranty Rodney and Slacker Shep - well, it doesn't dent my love for the show, but it does make me picky about what I read and who I read.

And it makes me extremely demanding of good writers and long, well-written stories, because I have - like you, from this post - a very clear feel in my head for how I believe these people think and act and react, and why, and any story that falls back on the cliches of Sheppard as sexually submissive but desperate for it, or Rodney making all his science colleagues cry twice a day and three times on Sunday, is just going to bail me clean out of the story without bothering to discover whether it was the best and most elegantly executed thing ever written.

I read SGA fic because I want to know more about the depth of the characters in SGA! That's about it, really.

And I am very very complimented indeed by you citing Exigencies as an example. I know for certain that it was easier to try to show a version of Sheppard through the eyes of someone else than I would have found it to describe the same storyline through Sheppard or McKay themselves.

You did a far better job than me of explaining my problems with some of the fanon Rodneys. That is it, exactly. Because the thing is, I totally believe he can be several things all at once--on SGA, he's comparatively speaking, a fairly well-rounded character, and he can be bitterly sarcastic or extremely heroic or *both at the same time*.

In a story, the easiest thing by far to reproduce is Rodney's words, because he's the external manifestation of the internal monologue of sarcasm and contempt for stupidity that I suspect a fair number of us have running in our heads all the time. But like you say - what he says isn't necessarily what he means. Even less is it an accurate way of conveying what he *is*, what he adds up to.

Oh yes. Totally. Completely.

I'll just nod along with your Sheppard thoughts too. Just ditto to all and sundry.

Exigencies rocked. It was--it wasn't just that it showed a feral John, but that you did this amazing pov outside character that was completely reliable about what she was seeing, but not really. She saw this scary, violent man, which he *is* but the audience through her view could also see *just how far* John had been pushed to get to that point. So it was perfectly in character for John to act as he did.

I'm with you on the sex slavery thing, although for different reasons--rageprufrock posted Cartography by Touch, and on the same day astolat posted How to Succeed in Sex Slavery Without Really Trying, and no. I can't accept both of those premises at the same time, and it partly killed my suspension of disbelief and partly killed my enjoyment.

I find it very interesting that you prefer gen John but write such wonderful slash.

Ooooh. Oh *Wow*. Okay, that is--God, I'm going to try and say this right.

You have totally hit something that's been percolating in my mind with that. I have no idea how to put it, but a huge yes to that. Cartography is another, and possibly a big reason, that a lot of the funny semi-consensual and the drugged sex ones leave me uncomfortable,and I totally forgot about that when I was thinking over my discomfort with the genre. Because Cartography *is* the what happens next after forced alien sex when it's not consensual.

In fanfic, there's a certain level of accepted sexual comfort--all sex, with anyone, anytime is okay--and that's *fine* and I have nothing against it. But thinking about it even before, one of the things I wondered was if the characters would actually *be* okay with alien-induced sex or alien-forced sex and etc. Which Proof by Contradiction and some others treated the situation as weird a character *would* be upset after, and while I can suspend for the humor factor of the story, it just--huh. Yeah. That does bother me that someone being *upset* after the forced or drugged sex was considered both funny and the wrong attitude to have.

Wow, that's *good*. Thank you so much.

(Deleted comment)
Yes, yes, yes. On occasion he can be a jerk, but most of the time, not really. There's him geeking out with Radek in The Storm, pointing out John's unhealthy lust for weapons in Trinity, calling himself an old romantic in Condemned, which even makes John laugh. There's also his finger-click in Epiphany, which makes Ronon grin. I can never see him as vicious as cruel. Even his remark in Sanctuary, which was heading towards telling John to stop thinking with his dick was hardly vicious or cruel. Rodney just doesn't censor himself very well. Whereas everyone else might think about why ascended women go after John, Rodney will just say, "What is with you and ascended women?"

That's what attracts us to him. He is 100% pure and unconcentrated truth.

Yes yes a thousand times yes. He *is*. He's not actually vicious for the sake of being vicious, and he *is* aware when he dashes mouth first over the line of good taste and backtracks (sometimes. Ther'es this look he gets that kills me, becuase I can see it on my own face when I do that). And--yes. Okay, just a generalized ditto.

Hey, Under the Skin is my warm and fuzzy comfort fic still. They're just so *them*.

I'm trying to play blissfully ignorant with the whole John Sheppard thread because I saw myself mentioned and it's embarrassing to look like I'm just showing up because I'm being praised, but... you're actually on my friendslist, so I've got a real reason. ;)

1.) In many cases, I stop accepting a characterization and situation due to fannish glut.

... is it okay to do with with fanon glut? Because I find myself twitching when I see things like pudding. Someone can have a brilliant story, lovely characterization, and a gratuitous pudding reference and I get shaken out of the glee of it all. I can usually fall right back in if the story's good enough, but...

3.) I tend to enjoy John most through another character's pov.

... Me, too. Someone with some insight into John? Is that what they call a bulletproof kink? I've always imagined John as a man who understands certain aspects of himself -- pragmatic things, like his physical limits of endurance or drinking -- but has never really looked too hard at the rest of himself. Isn't sure he wants to or that he can. So when someone else does with any clarity of vision? I'm very there.

I have spent an embarrassingly large amount of wordage describing John from other narrators' perspective (Lorne, O'Neill, Elizabeth, Caldwell, Zelenka, Yoni Safir, Ford, Teyla, and Some Marine) and proportionally very little from inside John's head. Most of this is because, like the Wizard of Oz, I feel John works better as enigmatic and it's harder to be opaque as a narrator. (I had to dance very carefully in "The Pegasus Galaxy Presents: George Romero's Alice in Wonderland" in order to keep the backstory as elusive as possible. It's written out, but with John, it's better off referred to vaguely than explicated.)

4.) Semi-reliable narrators work for me.

... When it's done well, or else it starts to read like character assassination by making the narrator mean or stupid.

As a writer, I love playing with the incomplete picture. Limiting myself by what a character is exposed to and then forming their opinions from there. The marines' view of Sheppard (pre- and post-Atlantis), for example, or Jack O'Neill armed only with the databurst from Atlantis.

There's also a far more pervasive personality thing. Elizabeth sees John better as a man than anyone else, but in the end doesn't have great insight into him because she misses (usually intentionally) the military mindset and (my) John is career military. Lorne sees McKay a particular way because as much as he knows that McKay has saved them so many times, Rodney annoys the hell out of him and Lorne is responsible for most of the people Rodney treats the worst. (I won't get into the Rodney inconsistencies; you got it right the first time.)

edited to add the important part: *glee* and Thank You. Because I thrill to your fic and such stuff always sounds nicer coming from people whose work you admire.

Okay, you made me totally giggle here with teh pudding.

1.) Yes. And yes. Fanon can be just as mentally exhausting. I mean, totally as mentally exhausting.

2.) That is definitely a big part of it. John as the object of a character's regard, positive or negative, is utterly *fascinating*. I think you are right with what John knows about himself and what he doesn't. I am also convince there are oceans of things he deliberately refuses to think about in regards to himself or other people. And that would be hard to convey.

4.) That is definitely the skill of the author in makign the audience understand the level of truthfulness and perception of the pov character. Jack, for example, is a default *good* narrator--canonically, he is good at sizing up people and situations correctly, so through him, we feel we are getting a very accurate John Sheppard. Off the top of my head, I cannot think of a story where the narrator was terribly unreliable--I think the two I mentioned of Helenish and Cesperanza are the closest I can come, but there are better examples of the audience being very aware that the pov character isn't accurate at all, or missing huge chunks of the situation/story. I'll have to think about this.

I havent' feedbacked you much--or God, possibly at all, but that's not your fault, I keep just reading from your site and I'm used to lj instafeedback, which is a shitty excuse--but your John completely--revolutionized?--my view of how I think the character should be seen and written. Between you and ltlj, it's shifting me more and more on how I see John and I thank you for this. There are a million writers who give good Sheppard/McKay and in some cases, though certainly not all, there's a base standard for characterization of Sheppard that never seems to take in his military roots, but only a tiny handful that give perfect Sheppard, a Sheppard *standard*, and I'm grateful for that beyond my ability to describe. It's what keeps me utterly riveted to this fandom. So thank you so much, and I swear I will do better with feedback in the future.

and God, why isn't there more Sheppard/Lorne fic? Screw the chain of command--that would be so *good*.
More Sheppard/Lorne would make me *so happy*. Guh.

*delurks to comment*

The biggest problem that I have with SGA, and probably with any fandom, is the fact that every author has a bias towards one character or another, and about 98% of the time, I can see it in their writing. Don't get me wrong, this is completely natural, hell, I have biases myself, and they're going to show up in my writing.

But there's always one character the author loves just a little bit more, and it does show. I can count on one hand the number of authors that I can consistently read and not get any sense of bias from. And I'll still have two or three fingers left over.

If the writing's good enough, I can get past it, but when the bias gets too pronounced, I can't keep reading. Doesn't matter if the preferred character is John or Rodney, when it gets to be too much, my teeth start grinding.

*sighs and nods* Yeah. It's funny--I don't notice as much when it's my favorite character, but the second I *do* notice, it kicks me right out of the story. I'm actually now trying to think waht my tolerance is for favortism of a character that I like more and one I like a tiny bit less.

Actaully--and this is the funny part for me--SV Lex was my favorite. Most of my fandom was overwhelmingly Lex centric. So it took me a *long time* to really note a noticable bias and to start controlling my own bias enough to be fair to both characters. I try, but rarely succeed, but I try to get it at least at a rough level of fair. And SGA is my first fandom where I wasn't in love with the character the majority favored. I mean, I love Rodney, but John's my favorite, so--yeah. *grins* It's noticeable when it's happening to *me*.

Yes, to all of it. I explained (at length) my reasons for a lot of this in fatuorum's post, but I agree with a lot of what you've said here, too.

# 1 especially. Oh, God, yes. I really don't care for slave John fics. Mostly because I don't think it's funny or hot to turn this fiercely independent man into a submissive. For months everyone was reccing resonant8's "Advantage" and I was all, grrr! No! *will not read* until I finally did. And it kind of remains one of two slave fics that I actually like. Mostly because it does treat the slavery aspect as a violation and Rodney realizes the whole time (even though it's not really his fault at all) that there will be consequences for this.


I'm going to reinterate my original thing here--this has nothing to do with teh quality of the story or the author in question. Christ, this is [info]astolat. Her grocery list would fascinate me.

Most of the story I absolutely hated Rodney enough to kill him in his sleep and maybe admit to it in a spate of pride.

I thought I was the only one. She's such a fascinating writer and in other fandoms I've loved the greater proportion of her stories. But in so many of her John POV stories I spent so much time wanting to punch Rodney really really hard that I had to stop reading them altogether.

In this story that was especially true, though that is at least somewhat tied up with my feeling that fandom can be a little glibly judgemental when it comes to the military on SGA. John did just have very public, not entirely consensual sex with Rodney. The fact that Rodney was okay with it made me happy for Rodney that he wasn't traumatized, but I don't think the fact that John couldn't dismiss it so easily made him an asshole. And John is the military leader so the public gay sex thing has more consequences for him. The military's institutionalized homophobia is bullshit and I don't think anyone would defend it, but it is real and not really John's doing. Being outed has more consequences for him in terms of his career and his ability to lead than it does for Rodney. And I don't think him being more concerned about his career--you know, the thing he's devoted half his life to--than about having a relationship means that he's being OMG so mean to Rodney. And then Rodney had to go and make that speech about undermining Elizabeth's authority which--everything he said was true but I didn't buy most of it coming from Rodney. Teyla, yes, Rodney, no. The insight about what the science staff needed from John, absolutely, but his defense of Elizabeth when he himself buts against her in canon? It didn't work for me at all. Though I will admit that this is in part my hatred of characters giving long insightful speeches to other characters whose behavior we are meant to believe is assholish and then having character B immediately admitting the truth of everything character A says. Even if I agree with character A (which is a big if) most people don't like having their flaws held up in front of them and most of them, if they are not actually pod people, aren't going to just sit there and accept it.

Advantage is a good example of the way I can deal with slave fic--and even then, I had to suppress my humilation squick a *lot*. Resonant does a lot of the work herself in making it clear how utterly wrong it is, so yeah. I don't re-read it, but I keep it as a *good* example of how slave fic can actually *work* and be good.

Proof - see, that's a whole separate issue. I hate how the SGA fandom treats the military. I just--it was cute and funny at first, but it's one of the fanon things that *grates* now to the point where if Rodney does one more slam of John's career, I want to *hurt* him. And he *does not* do that in canon, so it frustrates me even more.

See, I never got that Rodney *wanted* a relationship from that story. I got him just being an asshole because he couldn't for the life of him put himself in the position of imagining how someone who wasn't him felt about something. Again, this is a John pov limit for that story; without a view of Rodney's head, it came off with him looking just unforgivably *nasty* through a lot of the story. Though you know, a lot of his behavior makes some sense with that view. Hmm. *g* IT reminds me of my first reaction to Tango and then Amireal saying, "No, wait, Rodney thinks they're *dating*," which totally explained the last third of the story to me.

Hmm. Okay, here's my thing. *Was* John supposed to be the unsympathetic asshole in Contradiction? Or am I just way too much of a fangirl? Because John's attitude, to me, made far more sense than Rodney's without some kind of explanation where Rodney was coming from.

Thinking more, I think I used Astolat's Controverted to help get where Rodney might be mentally in that story. Hmm. I may need to reread both together and see if that fits.

Honestly, nothing makes me happier when there is that subtle difference that lets the reader, while still seeing throught pov character, *know* that teh situation isnt' quite as they think it is--and better--that there is *no way* the pov character could know otherwise.

I commented on the external character view of John in a response to your comment on fatuorum's post, so I won't repeat myself here. I will say that your comments on the semi-reliable narrator articulate *why* I like them so much better than I ever could. I also really like when the POV is from a stranger--someone not Rodney and someone who doesn't know John well (again Exigencies comes to mind)-- because it ratches this whole idea up even more. So that now the reader is not only trying to figure out where the POV character is going wrong in their POV of John but also trying to figure out John's motivations/thoughts given the limited information filtered through that other character.

God, why isn't there more Sheppard/Lorne fic? Screw the chain of command--that would be so *good*.

::eye glaze::

Yes! Why, oh why, isn't there more? I find that pairing so utterly *hot*, even though the chain of command puts a wrinkle into it. However, it's odd because I absolutely *loathed* O'Neill/Carter because of the chain of command thing. Okay, also because it was het, which is not my favorite, and because I was a rabid Jack/Daniel fan *g*. However, I think I can suspend belief enough to get over it for Sheppard/Lorne. It helps that they aren't on the same field team. I'm honestly not sure why there isn't more fic for this pairing, because *guh*, but I've only seen 5 or 6 stories for that pairing; one of which is your permanently unfinished Sheppard/Lorne WIP.

And how come when I proofread before posting a comment I never see the spelling and grammar errors in my comment, but the second after posting them they are glaringly obvious? Sorry.