selenak: (uptonogood - c.elisa)
1. Norma Bates (Bates Motel version)

2. Philip Jennings (The Americans)

3. Missy (aka Gomez!Master) (Doctor Who)

4. Jimmy McGill (Better Call Saul)

5. Rachel Duncan (Orphan Black)

6. James McGraw/Captain Flint (Black Sails)

7. Ahsoka Tano (Star Wars: The Clone Wars)

8. Bernie Gunther (Philip Kerr: The Bernie Gunther Mysteries)

9. Sarah Connor (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles)

10. Alfred of Wessex (The Last Kingdom)

11. Andra'ath/Miss Quill (Class)

12. Londo Mollari (Babylon 5)

13. Phyllis Crane (Call the Midwife)

14. Doc Holliday (Wynona Earp incarnation)

15. Jessica Jones (MCU version)

And you came up with some awesome prompts!

Now the questions: )
selenak: (The Americans by Tinny)
The Americans:

While pondering whether or not to volunteer for The Americans this Yuletide, I checked whether there were new stories since last year, and indeed there were. I especially liked:

It's never over: a look at Oleg in season 5.

My last night: Philip and Elizabeth post Martha.

The Defenders:

Saints in Effigy a Claire pov on her relationships.


Spider-Sitting: what Happy Hogan thinks about basically being made Peter's handler.
selenak: (Twelve and Clara)
Defenders: all spoilery, hence a protective cut )

Doctor Who:

Impossible Mercy: set during early s9, in which the Doctor post The Witch's Familiar goes back to Skaro for Missy, and Clara hates it, but never is one to stay passive about something. Good voices for all three characters, and I appreciate that Clara gets to react to what Missy did to her in the above named episode AND to have lingering Danny- and Cybermen related issues from the previous season.

Wynona Earp:

The Treasure in your Eyes: aka one of the rare Wynona/Doc stories without s2 spoilers yours truly, who only watched the first season so far, has found, and a very plausible Wynona voice it has, too.
selenak: (Rachel by Naginis)

Gone for Soldiers: Claire and Jessica at a certain memorial service post show. In which two backstories the series left out are addressed. Excellent Claire and Jessica voices.

Above, but undermined: neat missing scene between Matt and Jessica.

Orphan Black:

The sun that's setting in the east: what Rachel did next.

Tatiana Maslany about Orphan Black interview: in which she looks back on the show, sees P.T. Westmoreland as the perfect analogue for a current head of state (hint: mediocre man in his early 70s with his power based on lies, obsessed with himself, no regard for anything not him) and thus a good final villain, and reveals which Clone was the most fun for her to play.
selenak: (Abigail Brand by Handyhunter)
Reader, I marathoned it. It being shorter than any previous Marvel Netflix series, this didn’t take that long. (No filler episodes.) Above cut judgment: overall plot meh, worth watching for the character interaction, with my particular highlights being Jessica & Matt, Luke & Jessica, Luke & Danny (I haven’t watched Iron Fist, nor do I intend to watch it now, but the scenes with Luke were the occasions when Danny shook off blandness and became an entertaining character), and all four spending an entire episode stuck in a Chinese Restaurant. Also Matt & Spoilery character, Alexandra (Sigourney Weaver’s character) & Madame Gao, Alexandra & Spoilery character.

heavy spoilers beneath the cut )
selenak: (Kitty Winter)
RE: ongoing horror show, err, US national and foreign politics: this is yet another reason why I find the entire Hydra in Marvel comics & MCU concept so stupid, not just in the WWII era, where the sheer logistics (or lack of same) break my brain, but also in the present day. Super-secret organization, master assassins, gadget weapons? This just isn't how fascism works. This is how fascism works. It shouts its goals to the winds and gets itself voted into power.

There is not a single member of the Republican party, nor any other voter who either elected the Orange Menace or by not voting enabled it, who can claim this isn't EXACTLY what they voted for or allowed to happen. Because Agent Orange certainly hadn't kept his views a secret. Nor did his minions.
selenak: (Henry Hellrung by Imaginary Alice)
Okay, that's it. As Civil War made me suspect, Tom Holland is my platonic ideal of Peter Parker, at least in his teenage phase. Also, while I had liked the first Raimi/Maguire movie and parts of the rest while increasingly disliking other parts of those films, and liked the first Garfield without thinking it needed to exist while extremly disliking the second one, this latest cinematic go at Spidey was a complete delight to me and I love it.

Ramblings beneath the cut )
selenak: (Bruce and Tony by Corelite)
Tomorrow, in a year (8124 words) by Selena
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Agent Carter (TV), Captain America (Movies), Iron Man (Movies)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Peggy Carter & Howard Stark, Howard Stark & Everyone, Abraham Erskine & Howard Stark, Steve Rogers & Howard Stark
Characters: Howard Stark, Peggy Carter, Abraham Erskine, Werner Heisenberg, Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker, Konrad Zuse, Fritz Haber
Additional Tags: For Science!, Dubious Ethics, Ethics, Nuclear Weapons, Chemical Weapons, Computers, Morality, Historical

Inventions, the consequences they have and the choices you make: Three encounters Howard Stark has with German scientists he does and doesn't work with.

This was my [community profile] ssrconfidential story for this year. The reason why I assumed it was patently obvious who authored it was that, well, who else among this year’s participants would write about Howard having debates with a bunch of German scientists?

The prompt had asked for Howard Stark recruiting, via Operation Paperclip, the top German cybernetics expert in order to meddle in artificial life. This to me sounded like it was going for a tale with a Nazi robot on the rampage, which yours truly would not have been keen to write (there were other prompts by my recipient I’d have then gone for), but at the same time, the phrasing left me just wriggle room enough to come up with something more interesting and challenging to me, on the subject of Howard and German scientists. Given that the MCU has Howard Stark as a participant in the Manhattan project, and that I’m a fan of Michael Frayn’s play Copenhagen about Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg, I already knew there’d be a Howard & German nuclear physicists encounter in my story.

Canonically, Howard worked with Abraham Erskine who in the MCU hails from Augsburg (like Bertolt Brecht) and thus most definitely qualifies as a German scientist, so the first Erskine-Stark encounter was a given opener for the story. Now the MCU Wikipedia has them meeting in 1934 at a conference in Switzerland, which sounds a bit unlikely given the birth year the same entry provides for Howard, but Switzerland in 1934 was also where Fritz Haber died, which made it a must for me. Because if there is someone ideal to embody the two sides of science and to kick start the question as to what the responsibilities of a scientist are, it’s the inventor of fertilizers and weaponized chlorine gas. Also, given Erskine’s age it made sense to make him a colleague and friend of Fritz Haber’s whose WWI experience gave him the original idea for what became the supersoldier serum.
(BTW, having recently had Fritz Haber on my mind for this story made me go “so…does Haber not exist in the DCU?” when a certain character in the new Wonder Woman was introduced.)

But I still needed a computer genius which was what the prompt had asked for, after all. Did we even have those in that era, I wondered, researched a bit, and found out about Konrad Zuse, fascinating computer inventor with a sideline in painting, two of whose war time created computers even were in the city where I lived, Munich. Zuse’s memoirs were also available for reading and contributed such details as his fondness for Fritz Lang’s movie Metropolis, language difficulties and other personal details which made it into the story. I was tempted to call the Zuse section “Zuse and Stark”, after “Einstein and Eddington”, that, or: "Science Bros: The First Generation", but you might as well have called it Iron Man 0.1, because it’s also a riff on Tony’s origin story as well as a contrast – one of my betas, asked to guess the prompt for the story, thought it must have been “Why Howard Stark didn’t become Iron Man”, and while I hadn’t thought of it like that at first, yes, that’s also one of the themes. Father and son are very similar, but there are also differences, both in circumstance and reaction to certain situations.

Lastly: I apologize for giving Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker my “Hydra makes no sense” rant. But Hydra makes no sense.
selenak: (Peggy Carter by Misbegotten)
I've been waiting for this WIP to conclude, and now it has. Delightful time travelling shenanigans with some of my favourite MCU people, as Natasha, Bruce and Tony end up in 1950s Cuba with Peggy Carter, Howard Stark, Maria Carbonell (aka the future Mrs. Stark), Edwin and Ana Jarvis, Angie Martinella plus surprise guest Dottie Underwood.

Relatives in Spacetime (85499 words) by Thassalia, feldman
Chapters: 13/13
Fandom: Marvel Cinematic Universe, The Avengers (Marvel Movies)
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: natasha romanov & tony stark & bruce banner, Howard Stark/Maria Stark, Peggy Carter & Howard Stark, Peggy Carter/Angie Martinelli, Bruce Banner/Natasha Romanov
Characters: Natasha Romanov, Bruce Banner, Tony Stark, Maria Stark, Peggy Carter, Howard Stark, Angie Martinelli, Odin (Marvel), Edwin Jarvis, Ana Jarvis, Nick Fury
Additional Tags: Time Travel, Sex Farce, Pre-Cuba, Cold War, Red Room, 1950s, Asgardian Magic, SHIELD, period-typical drinking, Period-Typical Homophobia, Mutual Pining, Espionage, Complete

That time Odin made our intrepid trio crash the rocky courtship of Maria and Howard Stark, which had already been crashed by Peggy and the Cold War--AKA, that time everyone was in an espionage sex farce except Tony.

selenak: (Tony Stark by Gettingdrastic)
So, the trailer for Spiderman: Homecoming debuted, and I find myself looking forward to a new Spiderman movie for the first time in eons. (I did end up liking the first Garfield movie, but I also felt it deeply unnecessary, and then the second Garfield took away what I had liked about the first one, so.) Which means Tom Holland's debut in Civil War has done its intended job for me, I suppose. And I freely admit one aspect I'm looking forward to is Tony Stark getting the morally ambiguous mentor role this time around. (Plus it won't be an origin story, THANK GOD. We really don't need to see Uncle Ben dying for the third time in a row.)

Incidentally, Tony saying "don't do anything I would do" suddenly made me wonder whether someone has done the glaringly obvious and made a vid about him and Howard to the tune of Harry Chapin's Cat's in the Cradle, preferably using the Johnny Cash version. So I checked YouTube, and sure enough, someone did, but the vid is four years old, which means they can't have used any of the Howard footage from Agent Carter (and probably none of the Tony footage from Age of Ultron), and of course not the virtual memory from Civil War, or the Tony and Peter interaction there. And the vid of my dreams would really be focused on the Tony-Howard parallels rather than just being about Howard's lack of time (though that of course would also be there, it's in the lyrics, after all). Using Ultron (Tony's creation) and his devastation possibly intercut with Doctor Faustus and the movie massacre (Howard's creation), the Howard-Peggy argument scene from "The Blitzkrieg Button" intercut with Tony and Steve early on in "Civil War", Howard and Tony both making presentations and speeches in their flamoboyant ways, Howard in the plane over Manhattan with Tony as Iron Man near the end of "Avengers", and so forth.
selenak: (Omar by Monanotlisa)
I liked, but didn't love it. (Though I dearly wish I could have done, for the obvious reason.) Partly for tangible reasons - which I'll get to in the spoilery section of the review -, and partly for reasons that are all about it emotional resonance, which has nothing to do with objective criteria. Of the Marvel tv shows, Jessica Jones and Agent Carter, different as they are from each other, grab me on a deeply personal level, Daredevil and Luke Cage do not. (And I still haven't gotten around to Agents of SHIELD.)

What's great about Luke Cage: definitely the Marvel show with the best sense of place, says the non-American tourist who's been to Harlem all but two times. Even with that qualification, though: for all that Daredevil has both Matt and Wilson Fisk go on and on about "my city" re: Hell's Kitchen, I never got a sense from the show of what Hell's Kitchen is like as opposed to other sections of tv and movie New York. In Luke Cage, Harlem is definitely a character, and main locations such as Pop's Barber shop or Cottonmouth's night club aren't ornamental but crucial to the plot, and part of several people's characterisation.

Also, this is a good ensemble show; it builds up its characters, gives them important relationships with each other, not solely with the hero. And not to delay stating the obvious any longer, all but two or so of the minor supporting characters are black, and so, articles about the show tell me, are the writers, which is still unusual enough to be noted in the publicity for the show, apparantly. There is no attempt to pander to the audience by inserting one of those supposed audience surrogate white characters into the narrative, and the show is the better for it.

And one more general observation: it's an unabashedly geeky show, with Luke as well as several other characters often depicted reading and discussing novels as well as movies. (Even in the last scene of the season finale.) I love that about it.

With all those virtues, what's keeping me from loving the show?

Well, there's... )

None of this means, btw, that Mike Colter isn't appealing in the central role - he makes Luke quietly charismatic with a sense of humor, and I'd take him over Matt Murdoch any day. And did I mention he's into debating favourite books and movies?

So all in all, flaws not withstanding, it was a show I enjoyed watching. But not one that leaves me with the urge to rewatch, if I had the time, or with the need for more.
selenak: (Katniss by Monanotlisa)
Not only are Yuletide nominations now a go, but here is the Yuletide Confirmation Post, where you can see what everyone else (who comments) has nominated - handy, to avoid doubling, etc. (As I expected, for example, in Black Sails Flint, Silver, Billy and Vane were nominated immediately, and for The Americans Elizabeth and Philip - this is why I knew I wouldn't have to bother and could nominate someone else.)

Meanwhile, fanfic recs:

The Hunger Games:

From such great heights: Caesar Flickerman, the Tributes and Snow. Just how Caesar related to the people whose deaths (and occasional survival) he helped to sell, and where he came from is up for speculation, and this is a great reply.


Snuff: Peggy finds a certain surveillance video. As someone who wrote a story in which Peggy also almost finds out the truth about the Starks' deaths, I'm always intrigued of how others do it if they don't go the AU route and keep it within canon. This version of the conclusions Peggy draws feels plausible.
selenak: (Servalan by Snowgrouse)

The BBC is currently broadcasting a radio version of Night Watch, available on iplayer for us non-British folks, and I'm listening, enthralled, to the first episode.

Blake's 7:

If you're a B7 fan, chances are you've already read this, but if you have not: a great new essay, on B7, Blake, Gareth Thomas and Chris Boucher. It's passionate and highly enjoyable to read. (Minus a few unneccessary swipes at non-B7 topics such as John Crichton, Clara Oswald and David Tennant's performance as Richard II. But it would be a boring internet life if we agreed on everything with the people we agree on some things. :)

Stephen King:

Handy and amusing flowchart showing how all the novels and characters are connected.


The Lingering Reminders: hands down one of the best, most even handed post-Civil War stories, in which Tony Stark runs across one of Peggy Carter's old mates. No, not that one. The author's take on old Jack Thompson feels extremely plausible, and there's a hilarious inside gag if you're familiar with the Spider-man mythology. (If you're not, you'll still be amused.) Great mixture of humor and angst all around.


Sons of York: Great take on Shakespeare's version of the York family, specifically the two Richards, father and son.
selenak: (Black Sails by Violateraindrop)
Black Sails:

The Prince in the High Tower: charming fairy tale AU. I can so see everyone mentioned in these roles.


Who only stand and wait: Edwin Jarvis, as summarized by Vision. There are a very few stories who make use of the Jarvis - JARVIS - Vision connection, and this one does so in a unique way.

Deep Space 9:

War Songs: lovely DS9 ensemble story; aw, DS9.
selenak: (Black Widow by Endlessdeep)
One more day to sign up for the History Exchange! Come on, fellow history loving readers, you know you want to. 500 words is really low pressure and can be easily done.

Babylon 5:

Every now and then you need a story that's a break from the angst and is just hilarious. Like this one.

Perception: in which it turns out that Refa had an, err, somewhat mistaken impression about what the Londo and Morden relationship was all about. This has lasting consequences. :)


If running's a plan: Natasha-centric story that takes her, and the team, from the end of Avengers to the end of Age of Ultron, showing the growth and change of the Natasha/Bruce relationship and the team coming together. As opposed to majority of the fandom, I actually liked Natasha/Bruce in AoU, but still, fleshing out how they got there really good to read about, as was the Avengers going from almost strangers (except for Natasha and Clint, of course) allied by necessity to a team working together. While Natasha/Bruce is the main relationship of the story, I really appreciate it also gives storytime to Natasha's other relationships (Clint, Nick Fury, Tony, Steve) - so often fanfiction focuses only on one and lets the characters live in isolation.
selenak: (Peggy Carter by Misbegotten)
Because apparantly I can go through years of only writing Yuletide stories, but once the muses start yapping again... Anyway: this isn't the story I've written for the Agent Carter ficathon mentioned in the last post. It's the one I wrote after writing both my ficathon story and the one before that. Personally, I blame Civil War.

Funeral Games (5693 words) by Selena
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Agent Carter (TV), Captain America (Movies), Marvel Cinematic Universe, Iron Man (Movies)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Peggy Carter & Howard Stark, Joseph Manfredi & Howard Stark
Characters: Peggy Carter, Howard Stark, Joseph Manfredi, Whitney Frost, Tony Stark, Nick Fury, Peggy Carter's Son, Peggy Carter's Daughter
Additional Tags: Captain America: Civil War (Movie) Spoilers, Male-Female Friendship, Relationship Study, Grief/Mourning

A chance encounter with a face from the past at Howard Stark's funeral causes Peggy Carter to look for the truth - about Howard's death, and about their relationship.

selenak: (Ashoka and Anakin by Welshgater)
Goofiest fannish thing of the month I did: going to the Star Wars: Identies exhibition which is currently here in Munich and taking pictures of the Ahsoka Tano part of it.

Under the cut )

Re: the exhibition itself, costumes, models and props from all eras. (I.e. from early storyboards for A New Hope to BB8.) The infamous slave girl costume for Leia from Return of the Jedi brought it home that poor Carrie Fisher must have hungered and/or drugged herself to a painfully thin state for that movie - those sizes are tiny!

It's very much aimed at a young audience, with educational mini lectures (I don't mean this in a deragotorily) all over the place, like in a science museum. One of them, however, awoke protective feelings about Shmi Skywalker I didn't know I had. The subject was different methods of parenting, and the speaker, using clips from A New Hope (Toshi Power Station!) and The Phantom Menace (Shmi tells Anakin only he can decide whether or not to go with Qui-Gon to become a Jedi), tells us that while both Owen & Beru and Shmi were loving parents, Owen and Beru gave Luke discipline and boundaries whereas Shmi basically let Anakin do what he wanted and hardly gave him any rules at all. (Implication: and thus a future dark sider was made.)

Now look here, Star Wars: Identies. I'm all for defending and giving the two Lars' credit, not least because Uncle Owen was vilified in some older SW fanfiction. However, you really can't compare these situations. "Hardly any rules" doesn't apply when both Shmi and her son are slaves, and their entire existence is ruled by someone else. And how was Shmi supposed to react once Qui-Gon's offer was on the table? "No, Anakin, remain on Tatoine and stay a slave with me. Maybe you won't die on the next pod race Watto puts you in, either." Sure.

And that's leaving aside that you can speculate about reasons for the way Anakin's personality developed endlessly, but "lack of rules to obey" certainly wasn't one of them. He went from spending the first nine years of his life as a slave to spending the next fourteen as a Jedi, in an order where you address your mentor as "Master", are expected to feel benevolently for all species in general but must not get overly attached to any particular individual, something practically everyone else takes for granted, and where you go where they tell you to go. And then he spent the remaining 20 plus years of his life as a Sith, in a situation where while a great many people feared him (with reason) he still was expected to unquestioningly and absolutely obey the Emperor, who between Watto and the Jedi Council certainly wins the price for "most obvious tyrant ever in charge of Anakin Skywalker".

Switching fandoms, since I'm in a complaining mood: yesterday, my suspension of disbelief snapped again in an otherwise not half bad post Civil War story where the author declared that Tony Stark was incredibly awkward around children. Look, author, I don't care how much you're attached to the fanon of Tony incapable of most social interactions, but we actually have screen canon on this. (I.e. how Tony Stark acts with children.) He's not awkward at all. Now you can argue he treats children like adults and whether or not that's a good idea, but he hits it off with Harley in Iron Man 3 almost instantly. There's no moment of "oh God, a child? What do I say?"; instead, Tony draws the correct conclusion that Harley is a mini nerd who gets bullied at school and bribes him with something to use against a bully, and has a wry, amused rapport with the kid throughout the rest of the movie. And in addition to Harley, there's the scene early on when Tony is having lunch with Rhodey and a couple of kids come to them because they want Tony to sign their pictures for them. Which he does without hesitation and with a friendly joke (that he then gets into a panic attack isn't because they're kids but because one of them mentions New York). Hell, in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, as far as I call, one official tells Nick Fury he wants Iron Man to come to his niece's birthday party, and it's not phrased like this is something unprecedented. In conclusion: MCU Tony Stark not only isn't awkward around kids, he seems to be well practiced in dealing with them. In fact, you could say he's got a talent for it.

For that matter, he's good with teenagers, too, if Peter Parker is anything to go by. Before anyone of the "recruiting Peter was unforgivable" persuasion strikes, I'd like to point out that by "good" I don't mean "morally upstanding". I mean "knowing how to interact with a teenager he's never met before and whom he wants something from". Which isn't something most adults can pull off.
selenak: (First Class by Hidden Colours)
There's a scene in this movie where young Jean Grey, Scott Summers and Kurt Wagner have just watched Return of the Jedi and are discussing the Star Wars movies (I thought of [personal profile] penknife and [profile] amenirdis's old X-Men stories!), Kurt being pro Empire Strikes Back while Scott champions A New Hope, and Jean then concludes that at least they can agree that "the third one always is the worst". It's an obvious meta moment that just about gets away with it, and its charm embodies why despite this not really being a good movie I was entertained and glad as to where it left the characters.

more spoilery talk beneath the cut )
selenak: (Tony Stark by Gettingdrastic)
Not the Agent Carter story I'm supposed to be working on, but it wanted to be written, not least due to a certain movie. Also, it's another of my meta-disguised-as-fanfiction efforts, this time on Howard Stark.

The dreams in which I'm dying (3348 words) by Selena
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Agent Carter (TV), Captain America (Movies), Iron Man (Movies), The Avengers (Marvel Movies), Marvel Cinematic Universe
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Major Character Death
Relationships: Howard Stark & Maria Stark & Tony Stark, Peggy Carter & Howard Stark, Steve Rogers & Howard Stark, Howard Stark & Tony Stark, Nick Fury & Howard Stark, Howard Stark/Maria Stark, Howard Stark & Joey Manfredi
Characters: Howard Stark, Peggy Carter, Maria Stark, Tony Stark, Steve Rogers, Joey Manfredi, Nick Fury, Edwin Jarvis, James "Bucky" Barnes
Additional Tags: Backstory, Character Study, Non-Chronological, Non-Linear Narrative, Bisexual Male Character

Past, present, future: fourteen memories Howard Stark experiences in the minutes before his death.

selenak: (Black Sails by Violateraindrop)
Just because I've currently two mega fandoms (MCU and Star Wars) on the brain, and am trying to stop myself from writing what would basically be a bad issues fic (consisting of Rhodey venting at Steve; self: character A giving character B a "The reasons you suck" speech is just the type of fanfiction you don't like as a reader! Don't do it!), doesn't mean I love my tiny fandoms less.

Black Sails:

Time covers everything: This is the Miranda story I wanted to have for Yuletide, and which someone just happened to write completely unrelatedly, describing her entire adult life. I loved reading it.

The Windmill Knight and the Meditating Emperor: in which tiny Abigail Ashe comes across Lt. James McGraw when he and the Hamiltons visit her father. Funny and touching at the same time, with great glimpses at James, Thomas and Miranda in ye olde days.

Penny Dreadful.

Inevitable Spoilers for season 2 and 3.02. in the story description )


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