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Rarewomen 2013: Dear Author

Thanks very much for signing up to write me a story! Please enjoy yourself with this! And don't be intimidated by my list of stuff here. I myself would rather have more info than less, and it's in that spirit that this is given. But optional details are optional.

Preferences

I Don't Like:

  • Characters acting OOC, especially if the purpose is to force them into a relationship (doubly bad if that relationship is romantic or sexual)
  • Romantic/sexual relationships between partners of very uneven levels of power (adult/child, master/servant) - only a couple of writers have ever managed this without squicking me out.
  • By-the-numbers, every-action-described explicit sex (first they do this, then they do that, then ...)
  • Mpreg
  • Sweet girlish stuff with no edge (most romance-focused fiction/shoujo manga leave me cold)
  • Extensive use of epithets, or epithets that don't match the character POV (no one should think of his or her long-time lover as "the green-eyed man," for example): these will throw me right out of a story

I Like:

  • Friendships - although I am a romantic sort of person, not every relationship has to be romantic (I do like the trope of friends becoming lovers, however)
  • Strong characterization (including character-appropriate dialog: no earthy, uneducated characters using $50 words)
  • Wry and even dark humor in the course of a more serious story
  • Positive emotional payoffs that are well-earned
  • Passions that are strong without being mushy/fluffy
  • Moments of realization - satori
  • And I like any of the following "cool bits":
    • hurt-comfort
    • being cozy indoors when it's rainy or snowing
    • senses of smell and touch and memories attached to them
    • cynics with secretly soft hearts
    • water running over pebbles or stones
    • romantic partners who are both competent
    • someone gradually waking and smiling when they realize their beloved is there
    • a study or library or even just a book as a refuge against the outside world
    • kissing the inside of the elbow or the base of the throat
    • a market or seaside boardwalk or other place filled with joyful bustle and the smell of good things to eat
    • drops of water clinging to hair and/or skin

I'm quite content with both straight and gay relationships. I do tend to ship the canon relationships, unless it's a character who has had no clear relationships shown in the story. I'm not comfortable with sexual relationships shown in children under the age of, say, 14 or so, and even then it's better in context (teens with other teens or in a societal setting where girls expect to marry by 16-18 anyway).

The Women and Their Stories

Alliance-Union - C. J. Cherryh
Allison Reilly, Bet Yeager, Meg Kady, Sal Aboujib, Signy Mallory

Not all these women are on quite the same timeline, but it would still be awesome to have them encounter each other (presumably not all of them at once ... ). It can either be just a chatty encounter (over drinks?) or something plotty. Signy's lonely command decisions and wry, dark sense of humor; Allison's Merchanter princess background, determination, and long learning process about reality for the less privileged; Meg's indomitable spirit, out-there fashion sense, and old-style revolutionary zeal; Sal's intensity, caution, and loyalty; Bet's secret soft spots amidst her cynicism and near-superhero toughness: these are the things I love. As the Company War progresses, there are a number of chances that could lead to any of their crossing paths at jump points or stations. Meg and Sal will be older than they are in canon, but that shouldn't slow either of them down.

One heads-up: I wrote a long, plotty sequel to Heavy Time/Hellburner myself several years ago: Homeward. I'm fairly certain that Meg and Sal end up on Norway, as they do in that story: Graff certainly does, canonically, and so does another Hellburner program vet, Almarshad.

Books of the Raksura - Martha Wells
Frost (Books of the Raksura), Lithe (Books of the Raksura), Malachite (Books of the Raksura), Pearl (Books of the Raksura), Jade (Books of the Raksura)

Encounters between or interactions among these female Raksura are what I thought about when I proposed the characters and fandom, but if you want to focus on just one of them, that would be awesome too. Frost finding her place at Indigo Cloud as she grows up; Pearl's reactions to that, and to the involvement with the court of Opal Night; Jade's position halfway to being the ruler of Indigo Cloud; Malachite and her great losses, including losing Moon all over again; Lithe's position as (perhaps) a permanent outside among her own (would she be better off at Indigo Cloud? How would Pearl and Jade react?) ... all sort of possibilities.

Chanur Series - C. J. Cherryh
Haral Araun, Pyanfar Chanur, Chur Anify, Geran Anify, Hilfy Chanur

Interactions among these Hani women who have known each other all their lives would be great, or focus on one of them. My faves individually are Pyanfar and Chur, but looking at things through Haral's eyes would be really interesting too. I love Py's relationship with Khym, and her prickly resignation to her galactic role; Chur and Geran's closeness, and Chur's difficulties in reconciling her preternatural perceptions and her originally practical, cheery nature ("Chur with the smile, and Geran with the knife"); Haral's steadiness, loyalty, and (I think) warmth; and poor, confused Hilfy, with responsibilities and longings pulling her this way and that. This could be a missing canon-era scene, past fic, or future fic, as you like.

Black Lagoon
Balalaika (Black Lagoon), Eda (Black Lagoon), Rebecca "Revy," Shenhua (Black Lagoon)

I never would have thought I would like such a violent, cynical series, but it has such awesome women! (It's also sicko funny, and very interesting.) Eda's my favorite, but they're all cool. I don't think we've had a scene between Eda and Balalaika at all. Does Balalika have a clue about who Eda really is? (I find it hard to believe she doesn't.) What were Eda's early days at the church like? (If I could have added Sister Yolanda to the nominations, I would have ... .) What do BalaIaika and Shenhua think of each other? Would Chang ever assign Shenhua to work for his rival, Balalaika? I didn't put Sawyer on my list, but domestic crack with her, Shenhua, and Rotten would be wonderful. What about Revy and Shenhua in a tight spot, where they have to depend on each other to get out? Any of a variety of interactions, either in a plotty story or crack (like a girls' night out) would be wonderful.

Rivers of London - Ben Aaronovitch
Anna Maria (Isis) de Burgh Coppinger, Beverley Brook, Cecilia (Lady Ty) Tyburn Thames, Lesley May, Miriam Stephanopoulos

We see Peter interact with all these women, but we rarely see interactions among the women themselves. How do things go for Beverley at Isis' home? What does Isis think of the bargain involving Beverley and her son? What is it like for her, having Beverley in her home? How do Lady Ty and her younger sister Beverley get along? (Or, for that matter, Beverley and any of her sisters or cousins?) Does Ty ever regret any of her stern, political decisions? Does she have a soft spot anywhere? What would Lesley or Det. Stephanopoulos think of the Rivers? What would Stephanopoulos make of Lesley's growing powers? An encounter between Stephanopoulos and some eldritch London denizen would be awesome: she's so downright. What if one of them wanted her to solve a crime?

Chronicles of the Kencyrath - P. C. Hodgell
Brier Iron-Thorn, Jamethiel "Jame" Talissen, Rose Iron-Thorn,

I love Jame's wry and dark sense of humor, and I love the prickly relationship she has with Brier. Interaction between Jame and Brier, between either of them and the other cadets (I love Rue, too, for example), or mother-daughter interaction between Rose and Brier would be excellent. You could show some of the canon events from Brier's viewpoint, or give me some of her childhood, before or after Rose's death. Or we could see some of Rose's history, with her view of events at Urakarn, for example. Finally, for Jame, missing scenes from canon era or before, grimly or wildly humorous or whimsical, weird (in the Master's House), sad (in the Haunted Lands, in her childhood) - any of those would be great. Or come up with something else ... really, I want intensity of characterization, rather than any specific plotline.

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