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Dear Yuletide 2015
Dear yuletide writer,

Thank you for writing for me! Feel free to ignore these words — I love seeing how other people think about my favorite fandoms, and I love seeing interpretations that are different from mine (some of my favorite fics are the ones that made me look at things in a new way).

Der Ring des Nibelungen(Brunnhilde, Loge): Brunnhilde and Loge never explicitly meet in the Ring Cycle, but I'm fascinated by the idea of what they might have to say to each other. I'd be interested in whatever subject they might have to talk about (what does Brunnhilde think of the Rhinegold? The Rhine maidens?) — the major elephant in the room, of course, is Wotan. Both of them have fraught relationships with him, in very different ways. It would be interesting to see them talk about Wotan post-Rheingold and pre-Walkure, when Brunnhilde still adores him but Loge is not happy with him. Or post-Walkure! Loge is the fire Brunnhilde sleeps in; maybe they talk in her dreams? I'd super be up for a fork-in-the-road AU where Loge convinces Brunnhilde to explicitly bring down the gods, or something. (Feel free to come up with an alternative to Siegfried and Gotterdammerung. I'm really in Ring "fandom" for the first two operas :) )

I'd like to say here that Loge != Loki, and much of what I find so fascinating about Loge are ways in which he is not, in fact, Loki. The two share a lot of qualities as well — they're both not 100% aligned with the other gods, just for starters — but please don't write Loge as a Loki clone. I also kind of think of Loge as a fire elemental, and as such I'd really prefer him not to be romantically paired with anyone.

I talk more about Die Walkure here.

Miss Marple - Agatha Christie (Jane Marple, Lucy Eyelesbarrow) : Miss Marple is is totally awesome and I love her! I love that everyone completely underestimates her incredible smarts and people skills. I love how she's pretty sure who's done whatever because it reminds her of someone in her village who acted exactly the same — but it doesn't stop her from getting all the evidence and proving it. I love how twittery and, well, innocent she seems at first glance, even though she's anything but.

Lucy Eyelesbarrow is also completely awesome. I absolutely love that she makes her fortune doing really good and competent domestic labor, and that she's the perfect person to investigate mysteries because of her smarts and competence. I I kinda also ship her with Dermot, because Dermot is great, way better than the two other guys in the Paddington book whose names I can't even remember (and if anyone could solve mysteries while being a work-at-home mom, it would be Lucy), but I'd also be totally happy with her remaining single and happy. I'd be super happy with her investigating something either with or without Miss Marple herself.

ETA now that I've actually signed up: I would love to see a casefic here, but I know those are difficult! Small mysteries (why did Griselda buy a new hat? What was going on with the butcher's boy?) would also be awesome. And there's the big mystery I've always wondered, with Miss Marple: why is she a Miss Marple? (There's one line in one of the books -- Nemesis, maybe? -- with an image of her as young and pretty, and presumably not lacking in offers.) She doesn't seem to have any amorous connections, either male or female. Perhaps she was a little too good at solving the mysteries of where her suitors went when they weren't with her?

(And I did ask for both, but I'd be super happy with either Lucy or Jane :) I don't ship them, though.)

I do have one request for this fandom: if you write a mystery, I'd really prefer not to have the ending be the thing that Christie does all the time where the detective tricks the villain into confessing. I don't mind the villain breaking down when confronted with the evidence, but for some reason it bothers me when all the villain would have to do would be to stay calm to get away with it.

Robot Series - Asimov (Susan Calvin): Okay. I want to stress YOU DO NOT HAVE TO DO THIS, but I must confess there is something I think would be really neat: a crossover with Miss Marple, where Susan Calvin and Jane Marple are partners and solve crimes and/or robot problems together! Maybe Miss Marple is Susan Calvin's second cousin twice removed? Or maybe Dr. Calvin happens to be vacationing in St. Mary Mead and brings a robot along? Or I would be totally happy for Jane Marple to be moved into Susan Calvin's world as a peer: maybe they are old college friends; or maybe Jane works at US Robots and Mechanical Men, Inc. (as a human psychologist rather than a robo-psychologist?? Or maybe she is an older lady that is working as a secretary because they don't realize her mad people skills??) or maybe she works at a rival institution… the possibilities are endless! I'd prefer the general focus to be on their friendship/partnership rather than on romance, either between the two of them or with a third party. (Though I am not ruling out understated/implied ships. I just don't want it to be the focus.)

But really, you probably signed up for this not expecting a crossover, and maybe you haven't even read the Miss Marple stories, so I want to assure you that I adore Dr. Calvin and would be super happy with any story about her! I love how smart and capable and no-nonsense and snarky Susan Calvin is -- she is one of my childhood heroes. Susan Calvin may have been the only awesome female scientist I read in my classic-SF days when I was a kid, and even though I didn't realize it as a kid, looking back on it, I think she had an influence on me. She was so very good at what she did that she needed no other justification. The others (mostly men) ragged on her, but they also admired her, because how could they not, she is made of awesome. More! Casefic along the lines of the original stories would be awesome, but really anything showing off her smarts and snarkiness :) And she and Byerly in "The Evitable Conflict" are awesome, and I would definitely not say no to more of their interaction.

Mabinogion (Arianrhod): I have loved the Mabinogion ever since I was a kid, and even more when I got to study it for a short period of time (don't worry, I've forgotten most of what I learned :) ) — I love how it has all these callbacks and allusions to myth and the triads; I love all the little details, the tiny flashes of ironic humor that we see here and there ("Though I be not a lady…"), the hints of deeper allegiances and motifs.

I have always found Arianrhod incredibly fascinating and wondered what was going on with her. Did Gwydion know that she was not going to pass Math's test? Why didn't she protest or say anything about it, instead waiting until Math's test? (Surely, given the power and the implacability we see from her, she could have at least manufactured an excuse for not wanting to be subject to the test?) Why did she hate Lleu Llaw Gyffes so much, instead of Gwydion or Math? (It makes me sad that she hated him, even if it's understandable, and I would totally be up with a fic that gave her a more nuanced view towards him, or had a way of understanding the events of the Fourth Branch that didn't require her to utterly hate him. Or a meeting in the future, where Lleu and she could meet at least on a neutral level, without Gwydion pushing her about it?) What happened to Dylan, and did Arianrhod and he ever meet again? What happened to Arianrhod in the end? I just want her to have power and agency and understandable motivations. Political webs between her and Gwydion and Math and Lleu (and Goewin? and Cigfa? And…?) would be awesome as well.

Please feel free to reference any of the rest of the Mabinogion and/or any other bits of Welsh lit/myth! (Or, feel free not to :) ) (I also want to say: I adore the Mabinogion fic already on AO3. But it just makes me want more! :) )

General: Things I love (I don't expect all of these by any means, this is just a random sampling of Things I Like): I love worldbuilding fic and plotty fic because I can't write it myself, but by the same token I know it is hard to write and I certainly don't expect it. I love character-driven fic that thinks hard about the ramifications of characters' choices. I love for there to be some sort of character arc or characters (and/or the reader) coming to a greater understanding of something or someone during a fic. I love and adore friendship/partnerships, especially platonic ones, of all gender-variety. I love it when all the characters are understandable rather than straight-out villainous or malicious, or where expectations of malice are subverted. I am more a fan of gen than anything else, but I'm open to het/slash/femslash.

ETA: I forgot to mention AUs! I would be so on board with AUs for all of these canons except for Susan Calvin. Arianrhod as a queen of SPAAAACE, or Brunnhilde as a cyborg? YES PLEASE.

Things I don't like: graphic gratuitous violence or gratuitous character death. (Character death that is logical is just fine. Mabinogion and Ring might have some of that.) I'm not a huge fan of anything above PG-13 and will probably skim over anything really explicit unless something about the explicitness itself plays into character or plot development, in which case all bets are off :) Darkfic is fine for Ring and Mabinogion, but I would prefer no darkfic for Marple or Calvin.

Consuming canon: I think all my canons are fairly easy to find this year. The easiest to find and shortest canon here is the Mabinogion. I grew up with the Charlotte Guest version which is available via Gutenberg. I also found a great translation with footnotes online here. (The Fourth Branch is the only part of the Mabinogion where Arianrhod appears.)

Much of the Ring Cycle is available on Youtube. I'm basically imprinted on the Boulez version of Die Walkure with Donald McIntyre and Gwyneth Jones, available with English subs here (Acts I and II) and here (Act III). The Boulez version of Rheingold is also here.

I also rather liked the Sawallisch version of Walkure here (Part 1) and here (Part 2), although I think Wotan's hat is really weird.

Most of the Susan Calvin stories are all collected in I, Robot, which is easily available at libraries and online. There are more sprinkled here and there -- I think All the Robot Stories has them all -- but the ones in I, Robot would be enough to go off of; my favorites are "The Evitable Conflict" and "Intuition," the latter of which isn't in I, Robot.

And the Miss Marple books and stories are, of course, easily accessible in libraries and online. Lucy Eyelesbarrow appears in 4:50 from Paddington, which was published in the US as What Mrs. McGillicuddy Saw. (She's mostly the same character in every book, so reading one or two would be enough to go off of.)

ETA 10-19-15 to add more prompts for Miss Marple and to add that AUs are welcome.

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