[Edited 3-5-13 to add a link to my book discussion of the Aeneid. Edited 3-4-13 to take out inaccuracy in Susan Calvin and to give People prompt ideas. Sorry!]
Dear rarewomen writer,
Thank you so much for writing for me and my wacky fandoms! I am so excited that you, like me, love these wonderful women, and I am excited for whatever you write!
I, uh, don't have much to say that I didn't say in the prompts, but let me see:The Aeneid - Virgil
(Dido): Dido is awesome! But she doesn't get to be awesome in the Aeneid. Make her awesome! I'd love the AU where she never falls in love with Aeneas, but joins forces with him and does something cool -- take down her brother, or a god or two? (I'm not real excited about the gods in the Aeneid.) Or really anything where she got to be awesome and politically savvy, the way we're told she is -- maybe the story of how she led her people to freedom, the story of how she got married in the first place... anything would be great, except for Dido/Aeneas (I am not a huge fan of their Doomed Romance). Crack AU's (spaaaace, post-apocalyptic, ivory-tower academia, whatever) would be fine for this one :)
ETA 3-5-13: Oh, I should also link to my ongoing discussion of the Aeneid so you have more details as to what I think of it: here
. Life sort of got in the way, but I'll probably post on the last half in the next couple of weeks.Robots - Isaac Asimov
(Susan Calvin): I love how smart and capable and no-nonsense and snarky Susan Calvin is -- she is one of my childhood heroes. More! Casefic along the lines of the original stories would be awesome, but really anything showing off her smarts and snarkiness :)
Oh, actually I have a little more to say about this one re the childhood hero stuff. Susan Calvin may have been the only awesome female scientist I read in my classic-SF days when I was a kid, and even though I didn't realize it as a kid, looking back on it, I think she had an influence on me. She was so very good at what she did that she needed no other justification. The others (mostly men) ragged on her, but they also admired her. I think she's great! And she and Byerly in "The Evitable Conflict" are awesome, and I would definitely not say no to more of their interaction.The People - Zenna Henderson
(Any): I adore Zenna Henderson's People stories and always have, and just want more! The thing I love most about it, I think, is the effervescent joy, the childlike wonder, that permeates each page. But also... the moving depictions of familial and mentoring relationships; the utter sense of belonging: to a people, to a community, to a family (and which also plays into the teacher-child relationships she depicts); the drive to make things whole; the lovely understated way she's constantly drawing from Biblical imagery and quotations and tropes for the themes and images of the stories.
If you need ideas... I'd love to know what Shadow's story is; she's always been in a secondary role as Bethie-too or Remy's Shadow; how does she step into her own rightful place? Did Dr. Curtis learn anything from Dita? What's up with the Kroginolds' story -- they were always troublemakers; I imagine there's a story in how they grew up? But really anything with any character (or none at all, a new story with original characters would be quite excellent), with some of that joy and wonder in it, some of that exuberant borrowing and flavoring with Biblical tropes and quotes, would be totally lovely.
I will say that I tend to be more interested in the Earth stories than in Home or New Home, and I didn't like "Return" as well as some of the others (I guess I just don't like whiny narrators?), but hey, if your muse takes you there, go for it. I have a strong preference for a story that is at least mostly gen, but I'm open to either het or slash as long as canon pairings are respected (e.g., Valancy/Jemmy as a long-standing relationship is canon, and I'd rather Valancy didn't run off with Karen or something).General
: I love plotty fic because I can't write it myself, but by the same token I know it is hard to write and I certainly don't expect it. I love character-driven fic that thinks hard about the ramifications of characters' choices. I love for there to be some sort of character arc or characters (and/or the reader) coming to a greater understanding of something or someone during a fic. I love and adore friendship/partnerships, especially platonic ones, of all gender-variety. I am more a fan of gen than anything else, but I'm open to both het and slash, though I tend to be respectful of healthy overt canon pairings (which, um, basically means that I respect the Zenna Henderson pairings, and I'd rather Dr. Calvin not be in a romantic long-term relationship unless it's motivated really really well; Dido/Aeneas is not healthy and I'd rather not see that; I do respect Dido/Sychaeus).
Things I don't like: gratuitous violence or gratuitous character death. (If it's logical, then okay, but for these fandoms I'd prefer only minor character death. Aeneas would be okay; Dido, please not.) I'm not a huge fan of anything above PG-13 and will probably skim over anything really explicit unless something about the explicitness itself plays into character or plot development, in which case all bets are off :) I usually like darkfic, but not for these particular fandoms, please (the Aeneid is quite dark enough!) I would not mind a crack AU for the Aeneid (though am also fine with canon time/place), but I don't want AU for the Asimov or Henderson.
If you get stuck with your match, I think all three of my fandoms this time are a fairly small body of work. Basically only cantos 1 and 4 of the Aeneid are relevant to Dido (though knowing the whole thing might give a little more context); most of the Susan Calvin stories are all collected in I, Robot
, which is easily available at libraries and online (the comment below reminded me that there are more sprinkled here and there -- I think All the Robot Stories
has them all -- but the ones in I, Robot would be enough to go off of; my favorites are "The Evitable Conflict" and "Intuition," the latter of which isn't in I, Robot); and The People is a large canon of work, but the stories are a fast read, and you could probably read a couple of them ("Ararat" is probably a must, and perhaps "Shadow on the Moon" to get the second-gen perspective) and get the feel of it pretty quickly -- I don't think Henderson herself worried too much about keeping everything strictly canon-compliant detail-wise.
Thank you again, and I'm sure I will love whatever you write!