azn_jack_fiend: (Dagon)
Warning: this is a very long post. I think [ profile] alt_universe_me  is going to BUG OUT when she reads both the fic and my analysis of it. Other than that, I have no idea whether or not this will be of interest to anyone. But it sure is to me! I really got inspired.

So a few months ago, I signed up as a cultural beta for Chromatic Yuletide. I wrote a post explaining the concept here. I ended up getting a beta request for Mexican-American and US POC issues in general. I'm not Latina, so I made sure to specify I wasn't a primary source. I just have some decent Spanish, plus I've studied a lot of Latin-American history and culture, including a summer I spent at the UNAM in Mexico City. I figured I could beta the basics of Mexican-American stuff, and I'd pass on anything that I didn't feel comfortable giving opinions on as a non-Latina.

Anyway, it turns out the source canon was quite familiar to me.  In fact, it'll be familiar to anyone who has ever spent more than five minutes listening to a classic rock/AOR ration station.  It's... wait for it...

HOTEL CALIFORNIA!!!  BY THE EAGLES!!! That mystic and vaguely Satanic drug-freak yacht-rock anthem!

The author wrote a brilliant, almost 10k fic exploring the Latino/Chicano roots of Hotel California. A 19th century man (I would guess the date as very early, perhaps 1800) by the name of Gerardo de la Cruz sets out on his horse for a new life in Alta California. Up ahead in the distance, he saw a shimmering light, his head grew heavy and his sight grew dim, he had to stop for the night...

Siempre Cambiando, Nunca Cambiando. Go read it!

rest of my post contains some spoilers for the fic as well as a ton of geeking out about race, language, translation and fiction )
azn_jack_fiend: (Default)
So far there are 29 stories at the Challenge including my own, and it took a while, but I read them all.  It was a fascinating experience. I decided I'd do a top three rec post but I ended up changing it to top six.  This list doesn't have any pretension of objectivity. Many of the fandoms are unfamiliar to me, and so if I didn't get the references, it was too hard for me to decide how much I appreciated the piece.  It's also very imbalanced because my own leanings are sci-fi, fantasy and historical... for example, none of the modern-day crime show fics made it into my personal top six, even though they might be quite good.  Here they are in no particular order.

Moses among the Bulrushes by toujours_nigel - Harry Potter
All I know about Harry Potter is snatches of the movies, but it's enough for me to enjoy this very short piece.  The language is rich, the racism is sharp and strikes me as terrifyingly convincing, and the ending is still sunny.

Sometimes I wish I could fly, Like a bird up in the sky by fresne - Superman
Stylistically and in terms of content, this is brilliant, gorgeous and awe-inspiring. Transracial adoption in the Superman story is a buried subtext, and this fic digs it out and shakes the bones around.  The first chapter reminded me strongly of the memoir Jesus Land, and the way the setting was painted sent chills down my spine.  The second chapter is just as good with imagery.  I had no idea I would like this piece as much as I did, but it blew me away.

Don't Go to Strangers by mjules - The Little Mermaid
I can't stand Disney, but I love variants of the Little Mermaid story (absolute favorite: Oscar Wilde's "The Fisherman and His Soul").  This fic is short, straightforward, and clearly brings out the issues of choice and sacrifice that lie at the center of all the versions.  I also tended to like the fics in this collection with sort-of-happy endings, and this was one of them.

Trembling on with steady aim by gloss - Captain America
This one was VERY hard for me to read because it was so emotionally disturbing.  It reimagines Bucky as a Nisei. I'm very familiar with Golden Age Marvel comics -- the pre-Comics Code ones are actually much darker and more violent than Silver Age -- and this one really brought out the darkness. I thought some parts of it set in Asia were too heavy-handed, but most of it felt true to history. Just given my connection to the topic I find it easier to watch/handle slightly more positive and patriotic depictions, like Lane Nishikawa's movie Only the Brave, but something as grim as this is also called for.

Five Things People Might Have Read On The Psychic Paper (If Things Were Slightly Different) by Grey_Bard - Doctor Who
The other DW story! It's short, sweet, sad and funny. I didn't want to take this particular tack because I figured other people would be doing it, and I'm sooo glad someone did do it for Doctor Who, and did it perfectly, with just the right tone and fantastic dialogue.  The bit about the bowtie... it's absolute GENIUS.

By Sun and Candlelight by Destar - Sherlock Holmes
I enjoyed the style of this piece and the tangled sentences.  It's a nicely simple concept, very accessible, and it's got a happy ending with slashy sex forthcoming.

I enjoyed many more of the pieces than I listed here, however.  The variety of fandoms and subjects were so awesome.  Congratulations to all the participants and the organizers.
azn_jack_fiend: (Default)
Title: The Battle of Songhu
Author: [ profile] azn_jack_fiend
Characters/Pairings: Jack, real!Jack, Rose, Ninth Doctor, AU versions of several minor characters, OCs, mystery historical figure
Rating: PG-13 (some explicit violence, sexual suggestiveness)
Warnings/Spoilers: Spoilers only for "The Doctor Dances"
Total Length: 5000 words
Categories: AU, Adventure/War
Summary: AU. Premise: the events of "The Empty Child", "The Doctor Dances" and "Captain Jack Harkness" occur in and around 1937 Shanghai during the opening phase of the Second Sino-Japanese War. All period characters are Chinese or Chinese-American.
Disclaimer: I don't own anything.
A/N: In order to avoid repetitiousness, I concentrated on events before the canon story and around the edges of the story. I'd like to note that there's a lot of anti-Japanese sentiment expressed by characters in the story and some brief secondary British-bashing. Additional warning/teaser: story contains a biplane-versus-monoplane dogfight and Communist innuendo of questionable taste. A million thanks to my betas: [ profile] heddychaa, sinngrace, [ profile] canaana and [ profile] springgreen.

Read more... )



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