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Dear Yuletide Writer
SSar's Beast
Dear Yuletide Writer
Hello, and thank you - either for the story you will write for me, or just for being interested in what I have to say about these canons.

In my story, I don't want you to dwell on harm to hands, memory loss, or any kind of substance abuse.

What I do like is a much longer list. Crack, and then crack explored in all seriousness. Worldbuilding. Canon-divergence alternate universes. Tiny little details. Competence. Loyalty. Self-awareness. Mentor relationships. Making mistakes and learning from them. I like all-out action and I like quiet reflection. I like conversation. I have optional pairing suggestions for each canon, but background ships can take any form you like. I will be excited to receive a story in past, present, or future tense, and in first, second, or third person. (Maybe not all at once.)

Okay. Let's get to the biscuits.

Solitaire - Kelley Eskridge
Ren "Jackal' Segura, Snow Laussen

Okay, so the book is full of Jackal being awesome, and Snow occasionally being even more awesome; I could go on about this for days, and I do go on about it a little more in my letter. But what I'd love in a fic is Jackal And Snow When They're at Home. Pre-canon would be great, though I'd also be interested in post-canon. I just want them spending time together at a point when their lives are not turned upside down.

Perhaps as an alternative, I would also love scenes that include background characters, especially Snow and Jackal's webmates at Ko, Neill, Crichton, Estar, Jane, and the "fan" crowd at Solitaire. I would love any expansion on this world and these people's place in it.

Solitaire is a book in a future Earth with a combined government and slightly better technology. At the beginning, our protagonist, Jackal, who has been given an artificially privileged role, discovers that that role is false and she isn't who she thought she was. Things get worse for her. Luckily, she is fierce and competent and brave, and... actually, there are a lot of competent people in this universe. For example, the protagonist's girlfriend, Snow.

I love these two as a couple: I love their loyalty and their honesty with each other and the way they're both good at people, but in very different ways. I love and slightly over-identify with Jackal, but then I think of Snow's strength and insight and I am awed. (I'd really love a better view of what Snow draws from the relationship; this is Jackal's perspective and she doesn't spend much time daydreaming about her own attractive qualities.)

Some more things I love in this book: sense descriptions, the sense of home that Jackal values so much, rocking at job interviews, rocking at project management, Neill & Jackal as a (fraught but valid) mentor relationship, the sense that destruction and catastrophe don't have to be permanent.

Also, yes, yes, I ship Snow and Jackal. If you want to write sex, I'm not really interested in "do me now!" sort of lust/desperation - I guess I like the idea of sex between these two that's a bit more tongue-in-cheek. Um. Bad pun, and I'm not sure how to put this but... I think for these characters, something where sex evolves from emotions in an earlier scene (whether that's irritation or amusement or mischief or...) would work for me better than when sex is what the whole story builds up to. For this canon, orgasms, physical affection, sexual tension, all great, but I don't want to read a story where orgasms are the entire point. (I'm open to your favourite kink, whatever that is; just convince me it works for the characters.) But that's only iff you want to write sex; it's one of many possible things I'd be interested in reading here.

Sunshine - Robin McKinley
Rae "Sunshine" Seddon, Aimil (Sunshine)

I would love Sunshine & Aimil friendship fic. Sunshine is great for found family, and the sense of good, strong, sure people who are built up around our protagonist is a really lovely aspect, and Aimil is one of Sunshine's oldest friends. Please give me a story about them. I am also keen on any worldbuilding aspects you want to explore.

Since being assigned Sunshine last Yuletide, I've written a few fics in this canon. Rather than satisfying me, this just means I want to know more about these characters and this universe. I selected Aimil because she hasn't been written about much and yet you could do so much with her. Come on. She's a part-demon librarian.

More seriously, there are some dark edges to this friendship; especially, when SOF brings Sunshine into their recruiting conversation with Aimil. "Because you're a friend of Sunshine" - what does that mean? That makes me wonder what Sunshine's childhood actually looked like to anyone who wasn't Sunshine. (Did wee!Aimil once overhear a conversation in which adults discussed the Bad Cross Gene Potential, and come away from it wondering if her new best friend was going to explode?) Secondly, her partblood revelation can't have been fun. Please, if you want to take a look at that, don't dwell on the angst potential; I'd rather it not read too much like an unhappy coming out story - but at the same time it's an interesting thing and may also have affected her willingness to be friends with a sorceror's daughter. And I've mentioned the earliest parts of their friendship, but I'd also enjoy fic set closer to canon's timeframe. They could discuss books and go to more yard sales! That would please me.

And generally - I requested these two together because there is so much you could write about them that I would like, but If you'd like to make them a small part of a story that explores the world, that's great too. I am so curious about New Arcadia and how it survived the Voodoo Wars and what else on the continent survived. I am so curious about where this alt-America matches up with the real America. (It's never quite stated, but I'm pretty sure we're on a continent that looks like North America; I have no idea about the political boundaries there.) I would love to know more about Sadie and Mrs Bialosky and Maud and Sunshine's grandmother and other bit characters, if there are any that strike your fancy.

I don't ship Sunshine and Aimil. I don't think its impossible, but there's already so much going on in canon with Sunshine's love interests that another romance would feel like too much to me.

Other things I like about this canon: all the interesting hints about the world, Sunshine's habit of feeding people, ordinary lives that keep on going while crazy supernatural stuff happens, magic, snark. I also go on a bit with squeeing in an earlier post.

Pegasus - Robin McKinley
Any (Ebon, Sylvi, Minial, Hirishy)

Write me the story you want to write in this universe, and as a bonus, it might be nice if it included a cliffhanger fix-it, or Minial being interesting, or Hirishy being awesome, or Sylvi & Ebon friendship, or Sylvi/Ebon shipping, or details of the world.

Pegasus has such a pretty world. There are flying horses that are so pretty people almost can't stand them. There is a princess and her pegasus and a telepathic bond between them that is so perfect that it worries people.

And then there's that ending.

Supposedly, Robin McKinley is writing Pegasus II this year; here is her last word on the matter: March 26, 2013: a little more blog comment catch up. But by now I have spent a little time fuming over the Pegasus cliffhanger, and a lot of time wondering about how to make sense of the puzzle pieces we are given, and I would almost rather read a fanfic idea of "what else" or "what next" than the official sequel. (I'm going to have my cake and eat it too. Fanfic then sequel, please.) (Also, I feel as though I cannot possibly put as much pressure on you, excellent writer, as McKinley's fans are putting on her.)

What I'm saying is, you have free rein. Do something in this universe that interests you. Or do something with my (optional) prompts, below.

Sylvi and Ebon's relationship, and all the cool things Sylvi gets to do - they are somewhat indulgent, but they are really charming. I love that Sylvi has three older brothers (or four? can't remember), and Ebon has a younger sister, and these dynamics play into their friendship. I like Ebon's teasing but also his kindness. I like Sylvi's stubbornness and her earnestness. I would like to see all of their best qualities come out to play.

I also ship them. They're both autonomous and sentient. It's fine if you don't; it's just that it's a very intense friendship. Intensified further by physical contact. They're already breaking some taboos; I can see them breaking more. To clarify, write what works for you, but I'm not interested quite as much in odd genital combinations, or "this is so wrong but so right", as I am in seeing more of that intensity (even if nothing physical happens).

I also asked specifically for Hirishy and Minial to be nominated. Hirishy is an interesting contradiction you could use to pry at more cracks in the world and in pegasus society. She is also adorable. She's a very kind, somewhat awkward character who's bonded to a captain queen. She would be fun to learn about.

Similarly, Minial. Minial is a powerful and important magician who takes her knitting along to ceremonial events and sits down somewhere unobtrusive. You could have a lot of fun or tell me a lot of interesting things about Minial. Hirishy and Minial stories also go together because just as Hirishy is the queen's pegasus, Minial is the speaker magician assigned to the pair. How do they both feel about that? Hirishy's not around the palace all the time - what does Minial do then? The etiquette of human-pegasus-speaker trio interactions is hinted at, but somewhat done away with, by Ebon and Sylvi; you could get a great comedy of manners out of this.

I have some silly ideas about what might be going on behind the scenes in Pegasus - the only one I feel worth sharing is that for magicians known as "speakers", that particular group has an interesting focus on seeing no evil, hearing no evil, and speaking no evil, and that - as well as other issues of linguistic practice - might be fun to explore.

Finally, a story that tells me more about how people live in this world is welcome even if it focuses on characters that weren't nominated. Want to go back to the first human visitors to the country? Go for it. Want to talk about pegasus shaman training? Great.

Danger 5
Any (Claire, Ilsa, Tucker, Jackson, Pierre)

Give me utterly improbable situations played straight. I am interested in team fic, any two of the main five characters interacting meaningfully with each other, ridiculous references, and of course, killing Hitler.

You probably thought this was going to be another fantasy/sci-fi single book request with a focus on female characters and worldbuilding, right? Surprise! It's a short Australian TV series about a set of super-spies in the 1960s who have the supremely important task of killing Hitler.

There are dinosaurs and gold-plated tanks.

Okay, the official website is here, and that includes a link to the first part of the pilot, "Diamond Girls". You can see all of the pilot on YouTube. I understand one can get the other six episodes on Hulu, and of course by ordering the DVD from Australia.

Danger 5 is kind of intense. I fell in love with it the second time I tried to watch it; the first time, I said, "What is this?" and recoiled. It is deliberately cheesy and staged and over-the-top and there are moustaches. But it is also hilarious, and intelligent, and the main cast is a wonderful, larger-than-life group.

Danger 5 takes itself just seriously enough that it is interesting to wonder how this bizarre world situation has come about. I'm interested in all the animal-headed people; on the other hand, one way to interpret the premise is that World War II never ended. That's chilling.

Wacky or serious, I think you can't go far wrong if you start with, and stick with, the team. I kind of love their clichés. I love what the actors and the scripts do with the material of a sexy wild girl who'll do anything to get the mission done, a rugged, manly man with inflated national pride, a prudish good girl who disapproves of fun, a man-child with delicate sensibilities, and a man with an easy laugh and a dark past. And then, you know, they have actual motivations. And hobbies! And occasionally I think they have superpowers.

I am curious about how any of the two individual members of the team see each other or interact with each other on a longer mission. I'm trying and failing to imagine Pierre, Tucker, and Jackson as an effective team together; they really need Ilsa and Claire for things to start to gel. But watching them try could be great. Basically: pick your two favourite characters and tell me a story, that'll work fine.

I am vastly amused by the Claire/Tucker and Ilsa/Jackson dynamics. I don't really ship them in any longterm sense, but watching them collide, strike sparks, and spring violently apart again - that works. Also, I love flying monkeys (bestiaries in general) and pneumatic tubes, and hot air balloons, and miniaturized devices, and laser beam traps, and I have a shameful secret, which is that I'm not really up on 60s tropes, so specific references may go over my head, but you can safely play by the Rule of Cool in this fic.

Above all, I hope you have fun.
-Morbane (same name at AO3)

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