skygiants: Nice from Baccano! in post-explosion ecstasy (maybe too excited . . .?)
So I've fallen into a bit of a Baccano! vortex, due to the fact that Yen Press is now at last translating the light novels!

For those unfamiliar, Baccano! is an anime that came out in 2007. Set in the 1930s, it features about five colliding train heists, two blithely clueless thieves, four different gangs, a collection of conspiratorial immortal alchemists, a whole baker's dozen of murderous psychopaths, and a bunch of delinquent bootlegging teenagers who are just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Somehow, it all generally turns out OK (except for the nameless murdery people we don't like, who tend to get their comeuppances in extraordinarily gruesome fashions. The named and protagonist-y murderers, on the other hand, get adorable romantic meet-cutes in between or occasionally during bloodbaths.) It's bouncy, bloody and bizarre -- the title in Italian means "stupid commotion" and the story does its level best to live up to that premise.

The anime covers the first 3-4 books in a long-running series about these wacky, frequently murderous immortals and their assorted gangster buddies. I am exceptionally excited for the point when Yen Press starts translating the books not covered by the anime -- assuming that they do; I have a terrible and probably-ungrounded fear that they're going to cancel the project before getting around to the later stuff -- but it's already been fun reading the three that are out so far:

The Rolling Bootlegs, in which an immortal alchemist's attempt to recreate the elixir of immortality is rudely interrupted by his homunculus servant-daughter's inconvenient development of a conscience, as well as a running succession of of rowdy gangsters

1931 - The Grand Punk Railroad (Local), which recounts the TRAIN HEIST FIVE-WAY COLLISION OF DOOM with a focus on the heroic intervention of a gang of teen delinquents led by pyromaniac Nice Holystone and nervous crybaby Jacuzzi Splot

1931 - The Grand Punk Railroad (Express), which clears up all the mysteries of the last book by recounting the TRAIN HEIST FIVE-WAY COLLISION OF DOOM with a focus on the heroic (....sort of) intervention of unaccompanied minor Czeslaw, intrepid reporter/information broker/repeat ride stealer Rachel, and the Rail Tracer, a lovable monster who saves the train by rampaging up and down through the cars murdering almost everyone he meets

OK, that's the write-up for those who haven't seen the series; for those who have, but not read the books yet, I'm going to put some further impressions under a cut! )
skygiants: Nice from Baccano! in post-explosion ecstasy (real nice girl)
Yuletide reveals are live! I wrote three fics this year, thus officially ending my streak of writing one more fic each year than the year previous, ah well.

My main assigned fic was Nice Holystone Remains Unafraid To Throw Herself Into Explosive Situations, a Baccano! fic about Nice and Jacuzzi, and Eve Genoard, and Al Capone, and obviously a whole lot of bombs.

I got called out as the author of this almost the first day the archive opened, which, I will admit I was sort of expecting, given that it is exactly like all my other Baccano! fics in being enormously long and having a ridiculously convoluted plot full of lulzy cameos and too many puns. In short, I AM THE SNEAKIEST NINJA. (Although I laughed so hard when I saw the comment -- [personal profile] nextian, it's not fair, I didn't even know you'd seen Baccano! I guess you have probably earned some sort of fic-shaped prize if you want one though, so let me know!) One way in which this is not exactly like all my other fics: people actually make out onscreen! THIS IS A STRANGE AND PERPLEXING THING FOR ME. Generally as far as I get is people hanging around not making out due to their issues. So go me, I guess?

The other full-length fic I wrote was And Every Homestead Holds a Ghost, a Downton Abbey pinch-hit I grabbed for [personal profile] newredshoes, because a.) I love her and I wanted to write something for her and b.) I'd been eyeing her prompts for the past two months. So, uh, HAPPY YULETIDE, ESTHER! :D

I think I may have been slightly more successfully sneaky on this one,even though it's much more the kind of thing I usually write - gen, ensemble-fic, and what [personal profile] genarti called a very Diana Wynne Jonesish ghost, although thinking back it was probably based more on the Shirley Jackson I'd been reading than anything else. I spent a few days complaining to my long-suffering betas about my extreme frustration with the fact that the Downton Abbey Christmas special was not going to air until the day after fics were due; then it did air and spoilers! )

Lastly, I wrote Barriers for Hexwood as a Yuletide treat, mostly because [profile] dictator_duck and I had been talking about Hexwood a lot recently and I had it on the brain.

Barriers was a weird fic for me to write. Basically, it was my effort to show some of Mordion's severe and complex psychological trauma, while keeping a DWJ-ish style, and also trying to deal with the fact that Hexwood -- while containing absolutely nothing sexual and barely even romantic onscreen -- is nonetheless one of the most strangely sexual of DWJ's books. (ALIENS TRY TO MAKE THEM DO IT. Still not over that one.) I have no idea if I succeeded in any of this, and basically what it boils down to is a proud return to form of people hanging around not making out due to their issues, so, uh . . . happy Yuletide, world!

Edited to add: I forgot that I was also going to use this time to talk about what I wrote for Kaleidoscope, since I never did that! I wrote Soulmates Never Go Out of Fashion, a Capital Scandal backstory fic about Cha Song Joo and Woo Wan being lulzy friends that officially means that 50% of the Capital Scandal fic in existence was written either for or by me! CAPITAL SCANDAL-INATING THE COUNTRYSIDE, ONE FIC AT A TIME.

Also now I can say thank you to everyone who took the time to listen to my Yuletide (and Kaleidoscope) flailing and read my fics in their proto-form: [personal profile] genarti, [personal profile] thewickedlady, [personal profile] agonistes, [personal profile] saramily, [ profile] rushin_doll, and [profile] dictator_duck. (Special kudos go out to Gen, who refused to let technology defeat her and wrote out a detailed line beta for my fourteen thousand word Baccano! fic THREE TIMES OVER. That is dedication far above and beyond the call of duty.)

Speaking of Gen: I may have forgotten to mention it, but I kidnapped her for an awesome weekend that included hijinks and fic-planning and the lovely [personal profile] aquamirage, and today she's driving me back up to New York, where we will proceed to kidnap [personal profile] jothra! So I have been scarce and will probably continue to be for a few days, and you can all spend your time being jealous. :D
skygiants: Princess Tutu, facing darkness with a green light in the distance (ooooh)
[ profile] kd7sov asked me for my top five 'most awesome relatively-underpowered characters.' As I said when I was talking about bulletproof tropes: I LOVE underpowered characters. I especially love underpowered characters when the narrative allows them to be awesome despite the fact that they're the only one not shooting laser bullets with their mind, although sadly this doesn't happen nearly as often in fiction as I would like. But whenever it does, I'M THERE SO FAST, guys. SO FAST.

Cut for images and babbling! )

Talk to me about your favorite underpowered characters, flist!
skygiants: (wife of bath)
Title: The Host Club's Refreshing Interdimensional Tour!
Characters: The entire host club, plus assorted special guests
Word Count: 3351
Summary: Does what it says on the label, guys. In other news, this is quite possibly the silliest thing I have ever written.

Nobody will own up to having made the terrible decision to show Tamaki a science-fiction film, which is probably wise, since, whoever that person was, Kyouya seems quite likely to have them quietly assassinated as soon as their identity is revealed. )
skygiants: Princess Tutu, facing darkness with a green light in the distance (a girl needs a knife)
So NOT ONLY did I kidnap [ profile] genarti for the last week of December, but I ALSO chained her to the computer and forced me to co-write a New Year's Resolution fic with me! Which is now up on LJ as well as on AO3. With thanks to our betas [ profile] futuresoon and [ profile] dictator_duck!

Title: Five Times Firo And Ennis Fought Together, And One Time They Danced
Authors: [ profile] genarti and [ profile] bookelfe
Characters: GUESS. Uh, but okay, Firo/Ennis with cameos from the Gandors, Czeslaw, Maiza and Claire.
Spoilers: Post-canon, with spoilers for the entire series.
Summary: When you've got this kind of lifespan ahead of you, you can afford to take things kinda slow.

(The way Firo sees it it's more important that they're in rhythm with each other, and they've sure got that part down by now.)

And now I am going to talk a little bit about the co-writing process! )

In the end, I think, you can tell co-writing is going well if it's fun - if you're constantly filled with glee over the bits that your partner is doing, and excited to add your part. Which is how we ended up writing about 6000 words in one evening. NOT USUAL for me, I can assure you.

What about you guys? If you co-write, what methods work best for you?
skygiants: Princess Tutu, facing darkness with a green light in the distance (whut)
I survived this week! . . . and to celebrate, I return with more EPICALLY LONG fic! \o/? I comfort myself with the knowledge that no one else in all of ever has written Elean-Rachel hijinksfic, and therefore there is nothing out there by which it can suffer in comparison. Thanks to [ profile] dictator_duck for the readthrough and [ profile] genarti for the beta!

Title: Despite an Unexpected Amount of Interest from the Public, The Daily Days Decides Not to Publish the Full Story Behind Recent Executive Upheavals
Fandom: Baccano!
Characters: Rachel, Elean, Nicholas, the Beriams, and a few special guest stars
Spoilers/Warnings: Set post-anime, so implied spoilers for everything. Suggestions of violence, but nothing explicit
Word Count: 9,806
Summary: Senator Beriam attempts a coup; Rachel and Elean attempt semi-professional heroics; a number of persons attempt unique varieties of assistance. Result: stupid commotion?

I guess he was just trying to help. You know, in his way. )
skygiants: C-ko the shadow girl from Revolutionary Girl Utena in prince drag (someday my prince will come)
I am back from a fabulous and productive weekend! Despite dire predictions - okay, mostly mine - we have all survived. (Look, I had reason to be worried, okay? LOOK AT THIS EVIDENCE )

I still say it's a miracle we made it; also that I would do it again in a heartbeat.)

In other news: all of a sudden Revolutionary Girl Utena is a thing that is all over my flist again! This pleases me, and therefore, instead of catching up on booklogging as I should, I have instead decided to present you with:

The Top Ten Revolutionary Girl Utena Crossovers That Don't Exist But Should (Unless They Do Exist And Nobody Linked Me To Them, In Which Case, Fail, World!)

10. Revolutionary Girl Utena/Harry Potter: Because I firmly believe that Dumbledore and Akio had a passionate affair back in the '50s and have been exchanging letters ever since about the challenges of running a school that is 95% focused on the character development of a special chosen one, and the aggravating necessity of having 'other students.'

9. Revolutionary Girl Utena/Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Jonathan is a prime candidate for the special Ohtori exchange program! (And Faith is a prime candidate for pulling Buffy's heartsword. if you know what I mean.)

8. Revolutionary Girl Utena/High School Musical/Glee: Speaking of special exchange programs . . . the only thing that Utena is missing is a musical episode. (Alternately, imagine one of the duel songs as performed by a cheery Disney chorus. AMMONITE!)

7. Revolutionary Girl Utena/The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya: The funniest part would be that, due to the rules of the metanarrative, Haruhi would never figure out that there was anything at all out of the ordinary about this school, even while Yuki and Anthy were fighting an epic emotionless laser-glasses battle in the background.

6. Revolutionary Girl Utena/Baccano!: Basically I just think that Isaac and Miria need to cameo in everything ever. They're dangerous duellists! Yeah! Dangerous!

5. Revolutionary Girl Utena/Ugly Betty: You know you want to see Akio trying to seduce Daniel too. - okay, maybe you don't actually want to see it. But you want to see Betty's face when she finds out! ("DANIEL," she says, "YOU DON'T KNOW WHERE THAT'S BEEN.")

4. Revolutionary Girl Utena/Ouran High School Host Club: Because Tamaki and Touga's Prince Character-Off would be a thing of greater beauty than words can really express, and so would Nanami and Renge's Evil Laugh-Off.

3. Revolutionary Girl Utena/Leverage: After a phone call from a distraught Kanae about her cheating power-abusing fiance, Nate smirks, adjusts his sunglasses, and says, "Let's go steal a duel." LITTLE DOES HE KNOW.

2. Revolutionary Girl Utena/Princess Tutu: Mytho and Dios ARE THE SAME PERSON. I don't think I need to say more.

1. Revolutionary Girl Utena/What Not To Wear: Someone. Please. COME SAVE THESE POOR CHILDREN FROM THEMSELVES.

Feel free to suggest more! OR TO LINK ME if any of these actually exist. :D
skygiants: Izumi and Sig Curtis from Fullmetal Alchemist embracing in front of a giant heart (curtises!)
It's been two and a half months! So I allowed myself near Photoshop again . . . and we all know that is a TERRIBLE IDEA.

As per usual, feel free to edit any bases, just come back and show me what you did so I can admire! :D

109 Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood icons )

94 Baccano icons )
skygiants: Azula from Avatar: the Last Airbender with her hands on Mai and Ty Lee's shoulders (team hardcore)
I have only read an infinitesimal number of Yuletide fics so far, all in the As - aside from my own brilliant gifts which I can never ever glee about enough (Which World and Brush Contact, guys! I will fangirl until the COWS COME HOME). I regret this especially because there were a few of your fics I wonder if I would have been able to guess if I had gotten to them pre-reveal! But I am super looking forward to reading them all as I get to them. :D :D :D

I wrote three stories this year - one assigned, one pinch-hit, and a Madness drabble. My goal was to write more stories than last year so I am moderately pleased with this. Next year perhaps I will write FOUR! Though let's not get crazy in our ambitions.

My assigned story was for Joie de Combat ([ profile] joiedecombat) in Baccano! fandom: While Recognizing the Importance of Luck in Certain Situations, Eve Genoard Continues to Disapprove of Gambling. It's about Eve Genoard and the Gandor brothers and Mafia politics, and features Luck Gandor getting kidnapped because it amuses me. I almost never write anything involving action, so this was epic amounts of fun for me to write - kidnapping! arson! assassins! severed fingers! dramatic games of billiards! - which is possibly also why it grew RIDICULOUSLY long. Also, [ profile] genarti and [ profile] areyoumymemmy are to blame for any and all horrible puns in the title and the chapter headings.

My pinch-hit was for Katrick ([ profile] kindness_says) for Tamora Pierce's Tortall books: Armiger, a series of vignettes about the changes that take place in the friendships between Alanna and Jon and Gary and Raoul and Alex over the course of In the Hand of the Goddess. It was a bit bizarre writing fic in this fandom because the last and only thing I ever wrote for the Alannaverse was, um, my thesis, which meant I constantly had to remind myself that I was not allowed to get on any hobbyhorses about crossdressing and gender roles and Judith Butler. But fun!

And the one Madness ficlet (and the only DWJ fic I wrote this year, shockingly!) I wrote was for MiraMira ( for Homeward Bounders: Jamie Hamilton's Rotten Luck. I wrote this in half an hour in my towel on December 24th when I was struck by an idea that made me giggle in the shower, so I don't take much responsibility for it, but I never turn down an excuse to write dorky Homeward Bounders crossovers.

Also, while I am linking things, it strikes me that I never linked back here the fic I wrote ages ago for the Avatar: The Last Airbender Ladyfest ficathon. It was Jailhouse Rock for [ profile] escalove and was about Mai and Suki not doing the insta-bonding thing postcanon (OR DO THEY???) I was quite pleased with it until I read it right after posting my Baccano! fic and realized I used at least two of the exact same turns of phrase. Uh. YOU NOTICED NOTHING.

[ profile] genarti, [ profile] areyoumymemmy, [ profile] varadia and [ profile] dictator_duck were all marvelous about beta-ing; thank you all so much! Special thanks goes to Emmy and Gen, however, for not only beta-ing an epically long fic in a fandom they knew not much about, but then patiently listening while I explained every little reference to them, usually while cackling maniacally ("NO SEE IT'S FUNNY IF YOU KNOW ALL ABOUT CLAIRE STANFIELD HERE LET ME TELL YOU!")
skygiants: Princess Tutu, facing darkness with a green light in the distance (bang bang)
This weekend I had the joy of kidnapping [ profile] varadia! And certainly did not force her to watch through all of Princess Tutu with me. There was just mild encouragement! Um.

However you all know my feelings about Princess Tutu (show of my heart and story of my soul etc.) so there is no need for me to reiterate them really. Instead I am going to talk about the other show we watched, Baccano!, which I was introduced to about a week before Lynne got here and was super excited to watch through again, which should tell you how much I liked it.

Basically, Baccano! is about gangsters, immortals, a couple of gangsters who are immortals, and an EPIC TON of completely insane people who collide in often brutal and often hilarious ways. (One of the funniest scenes involves two dangerous lunatics in a fight on the roof of a train, while a third patiently stands back and waits for her turn.) The story is told anachronically; there are three main linked plotlines that affect and impact each other:

- in 1930, two bottles of elixir of immortality go through a wacky Rube Goldberg-esque series of adventures that result in a bunch of Camorra bigwigs accidentally becoming immortal

- in 1932, an girl looking for her missing asshole brother gets caught up the fallout of the conflict between two mafia families and the Most Badass Newspaper Ever!

- and in 1931, a group of wannabe immortals staging a politically-motivated kidnapping; a group of psychotic gangsters staging a train hijacking for the ransom, the violence and the lulz; a group of teenaged bootleggers staging a robbery for the money; a scheming immortal child transporting secret explosives; and a pair of wacky thieves escaping from their latest train robbery all happen by pure chance to pick the same train. Which may or may not also be haunted by a bloodthirsty monster called the Rail Chaser. AS ONE MIGHT IMAGINE, hijinks ensue!

ETA: Now ACTUALLY with picspam!

However, if you are like me, what you will find most fun are the characters. Therefore, because I can: a character introduction picspam! )


skygiants: Princess Tutu, facing darkness with a green light in the distance (Default)

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