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One of the attractions of the mystery for me has always been the way it addresses the contrast between the wild and violent and unknowable (the villain, the metropolis, the human heart) and the logic and order of deduction. The best mysteries aim for the difficult compromise--too much left unknown, and the solution is unsatisfying; too much mastery or logic or too contrived a solution, and it degenerates into formula, deprived of its emotional impact.

[Lengthy and dull critique of where Sherlock went wrong on this front has been redacted, for your reading pleasure. Also because I don't want to lose all my internet friends due to my sheer inability to say something positive about a cultural text. Moving on!]

But but but! I love it when smart fanworks comment on themes and problems like this one. Want to remember what was frightening and unknowable about the BBC series? Go. Watch this vid: Anomie (link to vidder's DW post, work-safe, gen, 3:12 min.). Summary: A faceless city where everyone is a stranger. Clever in concept, beautifully edited, and thoughtful in its reconstruction of some of the series' themes. Also, Durkheim! How can you not click? (Er, even if you don't know or care about Durkheim, click! It's that good.)

ETA: Thanks to [personal profile] sasha_davidovna for pointing this one out!

ETA2: Okay, I'm breaking my promise not to say anything negative here, but I can't help myself. SERIOUSLY, OBAMA? (youtube video, work-safe, 3:08 min.) Is this a joke? A vague, non-committal "It gets better?" message for us? Don't blame yourselves? Who do you think has the power to begin addressing systemic issues of inequality in this country? Gah!
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So many birthdays in September! A happy day to the fabulous [livejournal.com profile] melusinahp, to my favorite extrovert [livejournal.com profile] midnitemaraud_r, and to the thoughtful and perceptive [personal profile] sophinisba, all on the 19th; to [livejournal.com profile] sam_storyteller, whose daily posts I throughly enjoy, and to my long-time flister [livejournal.com profile] archon_mentha, whom I haven't seen in far too long (hello if you're out there!) on the 20th; and to the lovely [livejournal.com profile] rian219 on the 21st. And belated birthday wishes to [livejournal.com profile] chiralove, who is probably just as mystified that it's mid-September as I am. Hope the day was a good one, despite the busy time of year, sweetie!

A few things that might be of interest to those of you in the various Sherlock Holmes fandoms:

* There was a great discussion of the myth of genius and intellectual bullying started by [livejournal.com profile] beatrice_otter on [livejournal.com profile] sherlockbbc a few weeks ago, in which some strong and insightful opinions on the political implications of Sherlock's more obnoxious behavior, both as "geeky empowerment fantasy" and as "supercilious and bullying" or "mysogynistic," are expressed. It always astonishes me how slightly different points of entry into a fandom--just something as simple as an attachment to one character, or defensiveness on the part of another--can result in such very different interpretations of the whole show. It's worth reading through the comments here.

* A short and sweet ficlet that reads like meta on the change in attitudes towards queerness in the last hundred years or so and on the impact Sherlock will have ship fic: Nothing Gold by [livejournal.com profile] lilapaddy (Holmes/Watson, John/Sherlock, Teen, perhaps 1500 words). Summary: It’s not the first time two bachelors have shared rooms on Baker Street.

As problematic as I found Sherlock, it did free us reader and writers from the stultifying sexual repression of the late nineteenth century. Which can only be a good thing.

* And a thoroughly charming anti-romance romance: Let You Kiss Me by [archiveofourown.org profile] out_there (John/Sherlock, G, 8700 words). My summary: The first time Sherlock kisses John, John checks his wallet is still in his pocket.

I tend to be a pretty conceptual reader--that is, I value a story's ability to say something new about the world far more than its language or plot or characterization--but this fic gives you the best of both worlds: a clever riff on the basic concept "Sherlock Holmes doesn't do romance like the rest of us" as well as some fabulous lines and a sly, funny, well-constructed story.

ETA: I forgot something important! [livejournal.com profile] therealsnape is hosting a Hogwarts Christmas Party, [profile] hogwartyxmas! It's a low-key holiday fic exchange for Hogwarts staff members (and selected older-generation friends)--much fun for those of us interested in the adult generation(s). To sign up, go to the LJ post or the DW post. Go nab a spot now, because the thirty slots for writers are going quickly. Or you can always just join, so that you're ready to read along during the twelve days of Christmas.

Haha! I have figured out how to make that AO3 username symbol. *is proud of self* ETA: Whoops! Don't have the community symbols down yet, though. Does anyone know how to make LJ community links?

Podfic!

Aug. 27th, 2010 11:32 am
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* [personal profile] via_ostiense/[livejournal.com profile] jaebi_lit has recorded my Sherlock character fic Good to Know (John, Sherlock, gen, 14:00 min) as a podfic! Summary: If Sherlock didn't make a mistake every once in a while, he wouldn’t learn anything unexpected. (Link takes you to the DW audiofic archive [community profile] amplificathon) Thanks so much, [personal profile] via_ostiense!

* While you're there, you might also be interested in downloading another of her podfics, Other Things To Do After Buying A Cat (Sally Donovan/Molly Hooper, teen, 17:00 min.) by [personal profile] blackeyedgirl. Summary: It starts because of Sherlock (most things seem to). It's up to them to make it come to more than that. This is a thoroughly charming fic, recced here already, that also attempts to address some of the gender issues of the show. Enjoy!

* And a quick, non-podfic rec: [personal profile] sophinisba has written Saving Face fic: Who Taught You How To Fall (Vivian/Wil, 2850 words, R) Summary: Vivian notices that Wil dislikes hanging out at the dance studio. Enjoy this one, too!

Heh. It occurs to me that I should have a tag "omg lesbians!" for dyke-centric posts like this one. It pleases me to no end that I have three lesbian-related items for you.
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A couple unrelated items on a wet, cool, late-summer Wednesday:

1. A reminder: if you're interested in joining the first [profile] lgbtq_recs book and movie club discussion, you've got ONE WEEK left to watch the September 1 selection, Trembling Before G-d. It's available online at IMDB, so there's no need to think ahead this month--just sit down and watch and join the discussion. On October 1 we'll discuss the YA novel A Love Story Starring My Dead Best Friend.

2. I've finally finished watching Avatar! I'll put Five Things About Avatar under a cut, because if you haven't watched, you really should remain thoroughly unspoiled. And watch as soon as possible. )

3. I continue to watch the Sherlock fandom grow. Fascinating stuff. Two fics you might find interesting: Black Hole and Revelation by [livejournal.com profile] unsentimentalf (John, Sherlock, R, 5600 words), which deals unflinchingly with issues of homophobia implicit in the series, and The Lost Weekend by dogpoet (Sherlock/John, explicit, 4500 words), a great story with a strong stream-of-consciousness narrative voice. (Sometimes I just enjoy a good story, I promise!)
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A very quick rec for a charming short fic, Other Things To Do After Buying a Cat by [profile] black_eyedgirl (Molly/Sally, PG-13, 2500 words). A light-hearted getting-together story with an undercurrent of critique of the show's gender problems. And kudos to the author for her sensitive portrayal of Molly as a woman who can be self-effacing and reluctant to say no but is not abused or condemned for it. The show didn't give this character the time of day, so it's gratifying to see an author think her arc through with such nuance.
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Title: A Life of Crime
Characters: Mrs Hudson, Sherlock Holmes, John Watson (BBC version)
Word count: 2600
Rating: G in the sense that it's gen. Discussion of drug use.
Summary: How innocently it all starts.
AN: First, a note to the creators of this latest, appallingly racist episode. Then fic. Spoilers for and commentary on "The Blind Banker."

To the creators of the new BBC series, Sherlock )

At first, Mrs Hudson was only concerned about the state of her floors. )

Also on LJ here.
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Title: Good To Know
Characters: Sherlock Holmes, John Watson (BBC version)
Word count: 1600
Rating: G
Summary: If he didn't make a mistake every once in a while, he wouldn’t learn anything unexpected.
AN: Is it possible to write preemptive fix-it fic? Quick and unbeta'd.

Contrary to popular belief, Sherlock Holmes enjoyed being wrong occasionally. )
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