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01 March 2009 @ 08:54 pm
Story 76: "Negative Utopia" by prufrock's love  
Since the last story just wasn't enough of a downer for me, I decided to bring bring out the big guns. For real angst, nothing beats a post-colonization story by prufrock's love. This is almost certainly her darkest post-col. "Negative Utopia" is a novel, it's MSR, everybody/other, and NC-17, so underage readers turn back now. This story is not for the faint of heart. My apologies to those of you who were hoping for some lighter fare. Maybe next week. Maybe.

Part I: Scully

I am his now.

It's still surprising to me how readily I think of myself as
property. As though I have no say over my life anymore, no
voice.

In truth, I don't.

I haven't for a long time.

Granger, the leader of the colony where I was living, told me to
pack my things this morning. I obeyed, although there wasn't
much to pack- a change of clothes, my doctor's bag, a few
toiletries, an old picture of Mulder and one of my family. And
the watch. I dug the man's watch out of its hiding place - duct
taped under my night stand - and wrapped it in my spare pair of
jeans before stuffing it in the very bottom of my duffle bag. No
one was going to steal my dirty jeans. I figured I'd been traded
to another colony again. A doctor was a powerful bargaining chip
and winter was coming. They needed supplies.

I looked around the old house that had been mine for the last few
years and said goodbye to things I'd come to think of as my own.
A vase of fresh flowers from the man next door, my examine room,
a warm bed that I slept in alone. None it was actually mine, of
course.

I only hoped the next colony would be as nice to me. I hoped it
was a colony I'd been traded to and not a single man.

Maybe Skinner had found a way to get me back. Could I go back
to him at Alpha Colony? It was safe with him, too.

Yes; I could go back to Skinner. I didn't hate him. I
understood.

Maybe it was Mulder. Maybe Mulder had finally found me.

No.

I can't even think that after this long. Mulder is never going
to come for me.

I hope it's Skinner instead of a stranger. I can still feel his
hands and breath on me, so careful. As careful as Mulder was.

STOP THAT!

Don't even think it!

He's never going to come back for you.

I pulled myself up to my full sixty-two inches, took a deep
breath, and opened my front door to discover who my next owner -
or God forbid - owners, was.

Mulder was standing in the shadows of my porch next to a wooden
box about the size of a milk crate. I thought at first he was a
mirage, one of my dreams come to life. No, he was really there.
Finally, really, there. I wanted to touch him, but he didn't
move - he was so still he could have been a statue of a vengeful
angel. Mulder had no expression, made no sound to acknowledge
me. The leader lifted the box lid, nodded, and without a word,
handed my duffel bag and doctor's bag to him.

The deal was done. Whatever the terms were, they were
acceptable.


Negative Utopia

The X-files fanfic of prufrock's love


No email address for the author, so you're off the hook there. Discussion to follow. Suggestions for next time may be made here at our nomination post.

SPOILERS IN THE COMMENT THREADS!
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jessie_venna on March 2nd, 2009 07:12 pm (UTC)
I love his stories. I read them a long time ago, so can't really post a comment about that one. Should read it again. But I remember how great they all were (are).
estella_cestella_c on March 2nd, 2009 08:34 pm (UTC)
Her, her, I'm pretty sure.

I read or at least skimmed this one, and it's a beaut, though kind of...hard...to...process. (Go for the ellipses, right Wendy?) I look forward to reading it again, though it will take time.
All the letters I can writewendelah1 on March 7th, 2009 08:33 pm (UTC)
When in doubt, elipse...at least that's what I've always thought.

I always thought her, too, though more because fandom is so female, than because of anything about the writing.
estella_cestella_c on March 7th, 2009 08:41 pm (UTC)
I'm pretty sure that the gender question was resolved in the olden days of fandom, though I can't quote proofs. In any case, I'm not relying on womanly prose style or any of that shit.
All the letters I can writewendelah1 on March 7th, 2009 08:50 pm (UTC)
It's not that I think there is a "womanly prose style" but I was positive that Khyber was a guy before it was confirmed for me. For example. I have no idea why I thought that, either, but I can't deny making the assumption based on something. Maybe I should drop this line of reasoning quickly and get back to the fic and the comments here...
petite0red0headpetite0red0head on March 2nd, 2009 10:15 pm (UTC)
So I just read Arizona Highways for the first time and was in a funk because I thought I have read the best fic ever and that anything else would pale in comparison. (And yes that is the best fic ever but Negative Utopia does not pale in comparison.) First it is a delight to read because it is well written. That is a huge consideration in fan fiction. I don't really know why I liked this story I almost gave it a miss because I don't like post colonization and I don't like M/O, S/O stories. But I am so glad I read it.

Now this might seem odd but I will start with the things that I did not like as much. In the end Mulder is a little waffly and I can understand that it is in character but it was a little too much for me. I kind of wanted to say make up your mind and stop thinking about it. For the most part I find the characters very well represented especially Scully. And I can buy that Mulder wanted to marry Scully and that she is the only woman he wanted to marry I can't quite believe that he wanted to adopt lots of children with her. That just doesn't seem like Mulder to me. There was so much more to explore IMO with the Mulder/rape mention. I felt like it was stated and not followed up on too much and that is a pretty big side line to give us and then not deal with very much. I also did not like the Gibson part. I always liked him in the show and this story changed him into a dark perverse character that creeped me out. But again that was so in keeping with the tone of this fic, so I did not like it but it was well done.

As to what I liked OMG! So dark, so angsty! I love that when Scully is with Skinner it is because she thinks Mulder is feeling those sensations too and I love that she touches herself when she thinks he is in her mind. And Mulder's 'Ok touch yourself' in the end when he is remembering. It is almost funny and tragic that he is tuning into her to find out where she is and she thinks it is because he wants the pleasure. I also really love the whole mini story of the watch and the baby. So haunting and sad. (Although I wish the watch had been engraved and Scully knew for certain that it was his.) That part of the story could have carried on but it was beautiful and really filled out this whole desperate universe they are in. And Skinner's head. That is why I love fan fiction that would never work in the show or a movie but in this story in these circumstances it is right and believable. The author gets you to the right moment to accept that, an amazing accomplishment. That is why I read fan fic to get to those moments and I would reject and find them so well done that I buy into them.
All the letters I can writewendelah1 on March 7th, 2009 08:56 pm (UTC)
You should go read everything else she has written, since you liked this. She's a great writer, one of our best. I just realized that her stuff is not at Gossamer. I'll put a link to her website in the entry.

"Arizona Highways" is an amazing novel, but there are others. Try "Iolokus" by RivkaT and Mustang Sally, and "Sokol" by Khyber. Both are long and just as brilliant as Fialka's fic.
petite0red0headpetite0red0head on March 9th, 2009 04:14 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the recs. I am reading Iolokus. I like to read a little each day and slowly digest longer fics. Although with AH I could not stop myself. I plunged in at full speed. I will finish Iolokus and yes I am enjoying it but I find the Mulder/Scully characters like Mad Magazine caricatures of Mulder and Scully. Mulder seems to be writen from a feminist view of men, and yes in the show Mulder and Scully do hurtful things to each other. Mulder more deliberately and Scully more as an act of shutting him out but they way they are using each other in Iolokus I find difficult to believe. Frankly (and maybe this is more of a personal over identification) I don't think Scully would use sex and certainly not sex with Mulder as she is so far in the story. Again it isn't to say I'm not enjoying it I just don't accept it on the same level or in the same way I do my very favorite fics.
god help the girl: Mulder yachalsixpences on March 3rd, 2009 05:38 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure I would call this 'dark'... more like 'blacker than CGB Spender's tar-stained soul'!

I think the story was extremely well executed as a very bleak but quite realistic vision of a world after the 'human harvest' described. I felt very convinced by the world-building, though I felt like the references to other dystopian novels were a bit heavy-handed- I don't really need an author to shove it down my throat that they've read Atwood and Orwell.

I also wasn't entirely convinced by Scully in this. Obviously she'd been traumatised by the events she'd been through, but the whole way through she felt... absent, just a bit too disconnected from the Scully I see in canon. I've found this with other fics by Prufrock's Love actually, which is a shame as I think her Mulder is rather better. It just felt like Scully was blankly observing her own life.

I also found the ending a bit odd- particularly when Scully had earlier been extolling on how difficult it was for people to get on living away from the colonies. The skills that Scully in particular has are conducive to living in a community, not in the middle of nowhere, but there was no indication that their holing up in the cabin was anything other than a permanent arrangement.

Overall it was a pretty difficult read just for the subject matter, and I did enjoy the story itself, but I felt pretty unsatisfied by the characterisation.
petite0red0headpetite0red0head on March 3rd, 2009 07:51 pm (UTC)
I agree this Scully does not seem like the Scully I know from the show or from other fics. I just took it as Scully transformed by the why the world is now. More interested in observing and not investing in what is going on. This could have been made more obvious though. When she is coming to terms with Mulder being with other women and she doesn't judge because it is what he had to do she could have remembered the professionally polished agent who was wildly jealous over any woman she thought Mulder might have an eye for, make the contrast in Before and After even more striking.
god help the girl: Scully croppedsixpences on March 3rd, 2009 09:10 pm (UTC)
I agree that this is clearly a traumatised Scully, but she just seemed so blank at times that I just could not believe it. To draw a comparison that the author herself invites, Offred in The Handmaid's Tale suffers in an equally debasing and horrifying dystopian society, but retains her agency and an internal rebellion against her situation. We see that Gilead is awful in part because of what it does to this woman.

But in 'Negative Utopia' Scully barely seems to register that there is something wrong about this new world- she just acquiesces to it with barely any inward resistance, let alone outward, which I just cannot see Scully actually doing- particularly when it seemed clear to me that she does have the opportunity to wield at least a little social power as a community's doctor.
petite0red0headpetite0red0head on March 3rd, 2009 09:42 pm (UTC)
Again I do agree that this is not the Scully we are all familiar with, and yes perhaps it would have been a more interesting choice to have her fight against this world she is in but I found her acceptance heartbreaking. And frankly I did not find the Mulder to be the one we all know. He was unbelievably stoic and quiet and yes I know he had to be. It created more uncertainty for Scully and showed us just how far apart they had become. I also think that more could have been made over the fact that he was raped. That is pretty huge and not really gone into. In terms of what it did to him and him healing.
All the letters I can write: Mulder is pensivewendelah1 on March 7th, 2009 09:32 pm (UTC)
To draw a comparison that the author herself invites, Offred in The Handmaid's Tale suffers in an equally debasing and horrifying dystopian society, but retains her agency and an internal rebellion against her situation. We see that Gilead is awful in part because of what it does to this woman.

This dystopia is much, much darker than the one in The Handmaid's Tale. Although, I think it is plenty dark enough to be recognizably dystopian without Offred, she does give us someone we can identify with, and as you point out, that is her purpose in the novel's structure. One of them, anyway. In an original novel, where you have to create the characters from scratch, part of the conflict is how that character deals with whatever the author throws at them.

By contrast, I think in "Negative Utopia" part of the conflict comes from how the Scully we know, "our Scully," is different from the one we see in prufrock's love's fic. The author's stated intention was to create this universe and see what the worst case scenario would be for her characters.

Characters in this story are the ones we know and love from the X-files after an apocalypse destroys everything they use to define themselves. It answers the question: what becomes of humans when there is no humanity left? Who is sane when there is no sanity?

In this story, Scully's gone numb as a survival mechanism, which would not be so obvious and horrifying, if we didn't already know her as a character from watching the series.

If you like a feistier version of Scully (I do, too) and you like post-colonization stories, you might check out "Life During Wartime", a post-col series, written from different points of view. It was a collaboration of cofax, Maria Nicole, Fialka, and Marasmus. It is imperfect, but brilliant. That series is the reason I started watching the show.
amyhitamyhit on March 6th, 2009 06:06 am (UTC)
I've always waffled with how I felt about Prufrock's Love's fanfic. on the one hand, I loved 'Flesh and Blood'. on the other, I loathed 'Cycles'. 'Paracelsus was intriguing, but despite its initial charm and its decent writing, ultimately it felt like reading nothing more than a historical romance novel. I'd seen Negative Utopia rec’d elsewhere before and always opted out of reading it, figuring, how dark and sensitive to the subject matter could it be, written by someone who seemed to specialize in writing romance? as it turns out - it could be very, very dark and excellent.

I don't quite know what to say about this fic. I love it. overall, I think it is sublime. but I also have a few big problems with it. as petite0red0head said, I felt like mulder's part was a bit wishy washy. I understood what an impossibly hard decision he was attempting to make, and that he would have been driven to the brink of insanity with uncertainty and mental torment, but I felt like his state of anguish would have been obvious even if the text hadn't actually put his thoughts into words a good twenty times: stay or go. I’m a terrible person. scully can't love me. stay or go. once or twice would have been plenty. unfortunately/fortunately, some of part three (mulder's part) contained some of my favorite examples of how one goes about establishing a scary-as-all-hell post apocalyptic world. THE DETAIL. OH MY GOD THE DETAIL. Pru is fearless and sensitive to every horrific little detail and I am in awe.

I wanted to shoot her (maggie scully) before she realized what was happening, but my gun wouldn't work. I couldn't bring myself to choke her to death, so I just sat there and held her hand. It's exactly the same size as yours is, Scully.

it's not even that she manages to establish a believably horrific post. col. world, so much as that she makes it an interactive experience for mulder and scully. she shows how all of the anguish has affected them personally. it's found them 'where they live' so to speak. it has stripped them of everything.

She (marita) can't cook and I'd hear him being hungry - I was scared he was going to starve like those kids in India.

everything about this line is telling. it's so in character for mulder, who has no idea how to be a father and doesn't exactly want to be, to none the less feel protective of the unmolested 'goodness' of the boy, and to seize on one single behavior (providing food) to belie how much importance he secretly places in the boy. and 'India. what is there to say about india. oh god. i actually applaud Pru for 'going there'. in my eyes, her description of the children abandoned and rotting and starving was about as disturbing and insightful as anything i've ever heard.

also, mulder's ability to hear thoughts was, for once, not done in a haphazard way. Sometimes I forget that I even -can- speak out loud. hallelujah!

one other BIG thing in mulder's part that I just couldn't agree with: I did whatever they wanted as long as they left that bunker in West Virginia alone. I think it speaks to how strong Pru's writing is that it didn't strike me as being wrong at first read. but for me it is. even if mulder knew without a doubt that the humans didn't have a chance to fight back against the aliens, I don't believe he would sell out humanity. it goes against much of what i see at the core of mulder's character. it also betrays scully, by betraying their joint purpose up until that point in time. he is literally conspiring with the enemy. he is worse that the CSM. i believe in all of the other awful things he did, afterward, but not this. he would not conspire to kill helpless innocents.

cont...
petite0red0headpetite0red0head on March 6th, 2009 02:52 pm (UTC)
I love that the boy is just referred to as a good boy. I know it is small but it is so perfect for this story. That is all there is to say and that is enough. It keeps the feeling of this world where everything has gone back to primordial basics that now good it the ultimate positive quality a person can embody.
All the letters I can write: although our minds so differwendelah1 on March 7th, 2009 10:20 pm (UTC)
I think Mulder is a pretty great guy, though not quite as great a guy as you (and nearly everyone else in this fandom) seem to think he is. After all, in "Paper Hearts," he used the authority of his status as an agent with the FBI to check a mass murderer/pedophile out of prison to pursue his personal agenda. When he thought the end was at hand, in "One Son", he was ready to go with Diana and the CSM to El Rico Air Force Base.

MULDER: Because there's nothing to be done. And at some point, you just have to accept that the only way those you love are going to survive is if you give up.

If it wasn't for Scully, he would have been a crispy critter, just like the rest of the Syndicate. Even in his dream in "Amor Fati," he willingly throws in the towel, marries Diana, while the world collapses around him. In his dream, it's Scully who tells him, that this isn't real, that this isn't for him. "Get up and fight." She really is his touchstone, and without her by his side, I don't have that much confidence that he would do "the right thing" by humanity. Besides, by the time they're in the bunker, their cause is lost. There is nothing left for him to betray. The only thing left now is survival. He wants Scully to survive, so he is ready to give up his fight.

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

I think it's Scully's characterization that seems more off, so I have to accept that in the worst case scenario of "Negative Utopia," that is how the author thinks it would have gone down. Plus, we aren't watching it in real time, are we? Scully's version is mostly told in retrospect, and she seems pretty numbed out by that point.
zellie: tv | x-files : trustleucocrystal on March 8th, 2009 01:32 am (UTC)
This is an argument I can actually see both sides of, though it's clear I don't see the same Mulder that you do (or the same Scully, for that matter). I'd argue that Paper Hearts illustrates his selfishness because of his actions, but also his will to do right. That line, "It is somebody, though," hinges everything, I feel. Yes, he uses his credentials to pursue the case to the end, and his most driving force behind that action is to find out whether the final victim was Samantha, but I don't believe that's the only driving force, or even the ultimate one. Whether or not it's Samantha, it is someone, and Mulder needs to know who. I suppose I just believe in (and see on-screen) the Mulder who's showcased in Oubliette; who's about both trying to break his own cycle of victimhood, and to save the victim who is a stranger (and whose motivations aren't always so simple as going back to his sister, and nothing else).

That said, Mulder IS a human character, which means he has a spirit that's capable of being broken, just as Scully has. I think TF/OS is an example of what would happen to Mulder if he were to truly believe that everything he'd done meant nothing, and that the future was hopeless. (bardsmaid's commentary on the episode articulates that point better than I could, though.) And I do think that, if we're talking about a Mulder whose spirit is broken, he'd grasp at the last (and possibly most) important thing to him, which is Scully's safety, as long as he's able to guarantee it.

All that said, I must admit that I have not read this fic, and it's not particularly high on my To Read list, either. I've only read one fic by prufrock's love, "Cycles," and I found it both laughable and insufferable. I'm not particularly interested in "Paracelsus" either, though it's recc'd all the time; historical AU just holds absolutely no intrigue for me. I might try this one sometime in the future though, we'll see.

Edited at 2009-03-08 01:33 am (UTC)
amyhitamyhit on March 6th, 2009 06:19 am (UTC)
as to scully's parts of the story, what sixpences said is interesting to me: I also wasn't entirely convinced by Scully in this. Obviously she'd been traumatized by the events she'd been through, but the whole way through she felt... absent. just a bit too disconnected from the Scully I see in canon. I've found this with other fics by Prufrock's Love actually, which is a shame as I think her Mulder is rather better. It just felt like Scully was blankly observing her own life.

i agree with this, mostly, i think, and yet somehow in this particular fic the distance - the blankness - of scully seems fairly believable to me. It was her way of showing strength, being impassive - internally inflexible, but externally flexible to her circumstances. she does it in canon all the time. her simply 'observing' her own life did bother me though. it made sense to a point, that she would simply learn to subsist under the radaar, and that her ability to subsist would prove her strength, but i feel like Pru took that a little too far. i wanted to see her kick some ass - really prove that the brutality of the world had toughened her up and that she had readied herself to do whatever she had to do in order to survive and get what she wanted when it was really important. this may be completely off the mark, but i've always associated the slightly vacant quality that sometimes slips into Pru's scully with the fact that Pru (from what gossip I’ve heard) writes genre romance, which doesn’t tend to put a ton of emphasis on the deep set fortitude of female attributes. The fact that even in scully's parts of the fic, the story seemed to revolve around what mulder was doing was an interesting dynamic, and it did play fairly well because the writing was so strong, but it diminished scully's character a bit, i felt.

He'd been all over the Earth After, even crossing the oceans. Now he roamed, searching for a woman. Others said he just roamed to kill for the highest bidder or for revenge. If there was a war between colonies, Mulder was there, bringing death with him. If you wanted something transported across the country, through the badlands, he was your man. The legends said he was the cruelest person alive. My Mulder.

i loved the sense of time and expanse that we get with this description. the apocalypse really feels global, enormous, pervasive, and now, so does mulder. it is a return to the ancient times, when myth and legend shaped belief so thoroughly that anything could be true and so much is assumed to be. the harsh grandeur of mythology is stunning, and i think this fic is startlingly in touch with that dynamic.

unlike petite0red0head and sixpences, i really liked the references to other stories of disaster. i felt like it was important that the world hang on to some of the shards of its shattered culture.

It’s a testament to how much I ultimately liked this fic that all I could think for the last third was: ‘why end it now, Pru? Don’t you have another 500K that you could put into this gem?” I felt like she had just got the world they were living established to the best of her ability and I wanted her to write me an actual story that occurred in that world. I wanted to see how mulder and scully would preform not that they had begun to get their feet under them a little.

one final though: boy do i not like scully repeatedly referring to mulder as "her mulder" vs. the mulder she is faced with now. it's a melodramatic description and I don't think it fits scully's character, or her actions towards mulder at all.

Anyway, I’m glad this was rec’d here so that I finally got the push I needed to just read it already.
All the letters I can write: Despairwendelah1 on March 7th, 2009 10:29 pm (UTC)
i loved the sense of time and expanse that we get with this description. the apocalypse really feels global, enormous, pervasive, and now, so does mulder. it is a return to the ancient times, when myth and legend shaped belief so thoroughly that anything could be true and so much is assumed to be. the harsh grandeur of mythology is stunning, and i think this fic is startlingly in touch with that dynamic.

I agree, this helps convey just how bad the post-col existence really was. I haven't read "The Stand" but compared to "Negative Utopia," the denizens of Brave New World and A Handmaiden's Tale have it pretty easy. I think the novels are mentioned purposefully, as a point of comparison, for both the characters and the readers. Definitely, this story could have been longer. I would have happily read another 500k of her dark vision.
estella_cestella_c on March 7th, 2009 02:14 pm (UTC)
I think that Negative Utopia is one of the genuine milestones of our fanfiction. I'm no angst buff, so I didn't like it much. That's beside the point. It's not there to be liked.

Some of the difficulties have been touched on already: detached Scully, self-pitying Mulder. If you're familiar with Prufrock's Love's stuff, you know that she draws her characters like this repeatedly, and I've learned to be wary of a Mulder and Scully that I can't really glom onto successfully, that seem to be creating unhappinesses for themselves just for the sake of it. Pru is really into the bad stuff (as in The Wasteland). Me, not so much.

In Negative Utopia, however (and why not Dystopia? anyone?), the postapocolyptic scene pretty much justifies anything she can do to these people. It seems to me that when the whole world is warped almost beyond recognition, "character" is going to suffer like everything else. I believed in Scully and I believed in Mulder, although as someone noted, he does harp on his self-loathing to an exasperating extent. For someone who has gotten out of the habit of talking, he can't hardly shut up. Pretty good excuse for jabbery thought-balloons, I suppose.

Actually, Pru has here provided an almost-happy ending. If, that is, you can forget about starving babies in India. The version I'd read before was incomplete.

This is a brave, tough fic that follows the lightly proffered notions of canon to a hideous conclusion. I'm glad to have it and to have read it, though I probably won't again.

There are some minor nits. Mulder as a reluctant father is very touching, but worrying about Boy starving because Marita can't cook? Hey, this is a life-threatening situation, and cooking ain't brain surgery. It seems an oddly coded way of saying that Marita would drink and not bother to provide. Well, I said minor.

Slightly more major is--acknowledging that this is a super-talented and obviously sophisticated writer--how about some beta? I'm in the minority here, I'm pretty sure, but grammatical problems drive me up the wall. In particular, for God's sake learn to distinguish between the verbs "to lie" and "to lay" and their tenses. The lapses really stuck in my eye during the strongest and most touching scenes. I had never heard that Prufrock's Love wrote romances, but she *did* once allude to her educational degrees.

I've read some after-the-end fiction, being an sf buff (though not the Atwood). I'm not fond of it. I really don't know, judging by what we see around us, that the better angels of our nature would survive. So the horror and self-loathing in NU strikes me as honest.
All the letters I can write: apocalypsewendelah1 on March 7th, 2009 10:52 pm (UTC)
I think that Negative Utopia is one of the genuine milestones of our fanfiction. I'm no angst buff, so I didn't like it much. That's beside the point. It's not there to be liked.

I liked how unrelieved the angst was, actually. It made it more real. No happy sexy tiems, either, which also seemed believable. One of the things that bugs me when reading post-col is a happy sex scene. I don't think the drive goes away under these circumstances, but I do think it is brutalized, which seems realistically portrayed in this novel. Women are horribly objectified in this fic, as they are often in times of war and societal disintegration.

Slightly more major is--acknowledging that this is a super-talented and obviously sophisticated writer--how about some beta? I'm in the minority here, I'm pretty sure, but grammatical problems drive me up the wall. In particular, for God's sake learn to distinguish between the verbs "to lie" and "to lay" and their tenses. The lapses really stuck in my eye during the strongest and most touching scenes. I had never heard that Prufrock's Love wrote romances, but she *did* once allude to her educational degrees.

I know nothing about the writer other than her fanfic work. Given that she has contributed 18 pieces of mostly brilliant fiction to this fandom, I am willing to overlook her occasional lapses of grammar and some typos. Even the best beta misses something occasionally, so that isn't any guarantee of mistake-free fic. I have only posted one fic off-site, and it went through three betas and two re-postings before I got all of the typos (I hope).

Okay, three fics off-site now. But still.

Edited at 2009-03-07 10:54 pm (UTC)
estella_cestella_c on March 8th, 2009 02:42 am (UTC)
Of course I forgive occasional lapses and typos, but there are persistent and recurring errors that indicate to me that, probably, no beta was involved. The lie/lay thing is a common mistake but no professional writer would get away with it and no educated individual has an excuse not to get it under control. This is writing, not talking.

Sorry. I am immovable on this subject. And now I have to turn the clock forward an hour. Poor me. Oh, you too?
All the letters I can write: Flashlights!wendelah1 on March 8th, 2009 02:58 am (UTC)
Okay, so no beta was involved and it bugs you. I'm not saying you are wrong. There isn't much to add on that point, then. All I am saying is I would rather have her unbetaed writing, with its annoying flaws, than not. I would prefer it had been betaed, but Oh Well. You are not alone, by the by. There are people who will not even read unbetaed fic on principle, period. Not even hers.

We need to read something cheery, don't we? And I just posted another downer fic here. Okay. I'm going next to Alelou, I promise. Right after Khyber's story.

Not only do I have to turn the clock forward, but I have to go to work in the morning, having slept even than usual. Boo Hoo.
amyhitamyhit on March 10th, 2009 12:37 pm (UTC)
No happy sexy tiems, either, which also seemed believable. One of the things that bugs me when reading post-col is a happy sex scene. I don't think the drive goes away under these circumstances, but I do think it is brutalized, which seems realistically portrayed in this novel. Women are horribly objectified in this fic, as they are often in times of war and societal disintegration.

this is me nodding so enthusiastically it hurts. i may be biased by the fact that my personality type (*cough*5*cough*) pretty much perceives all intimate contact to be somewhat painful at all times, but i really can't stand the bizarre notion that in a time of violence and distress, sex, of all things, will be comforting and gentle. sex is hugely based in biology and there is nothing comforting or gentle about biology. sex may also be based in love, but in a world where love is out of place, sex that involves love will be most likely to act as a catalyst for a deluge of pain, and sex that doesn't involve love will likely present itself as More of the Same: or, as wendelah1 suggests: brutality. horrible objectification.

and in a world when lust has often as not turned to bloodlust out of necessity, how is that going to manifest in the bedroom? (i think i have a pretty good idea...and i don't like it.)
bmerb on September 25th, 2016 05:26 am (UTC)
^^^ yes yes yes to the. Moments above re sex in a horrible dystopia. Yes! So glad someone else can voice things when I can't.
isabelle_lilaisabelle_lila on August 7th, 2010 07:30 pm (UTC)
My favorite fic have been already discussed. I'm too late. But I loved reading all your comment on it.
All the letters I can write: beautiful Mulderwendelah1 on August 7th, 2010 07:36 pm (UTC)
You know we are doing some reruns now. So put your suggestions in the nomination post, even they have already been discussed. Also, I get every comment on every post. I'd love to hear your thoughts on anything we're read here.
isabelle_lilaisabelle_lila on August 8th, 2010 06:34 pm (UTC)
It's a good opportunity to re-read this fic :o))

I will also check the nomination post. there is so many good xfiles that I will try to come up with a story that haven't been proposed.

By the way, you have a great community. I'm so happy to have discovered this lj.