May. 11th, 2011 11:29 pm
tevere: marines in protective gear (MOPP)
Après moi le deluge by Lake (GK, Brad/Nate). Wow, I am just that behind in this fandom that I'd never come across this amazing story before. Do you like the soul bond trope? Do you want to read a long, emotional story with one of the most deserved resolutions of anything you've encountered in a good long while? Get thee hence!

So what else did I miss in GK during anno domini 2010? Fill me in! GK and I broke up for a while back there, but current developments suggest we actually have one of those love-hate on-again-off-again relationships that everyone else is sick of hearing about. Sigh.
tevere: Jihae, solemn with hint of smile (Default)
I like [personal profile] facetofcathy's clear and articulate explanation of the institutionalised systems of privilege that lead to something like the J2 Haiti story coming into existence. I don't think it's particularly productive to focus on [ profile] gatorgrrl as an individual,* when it's our (for varying values of 'our': white, Western, developed-world, storytelling, media-consuming, fannish) culture that implicitly and explictly produces, endorses and perpetuates narratives like these.

*[ETA] I'm not saying she doesn't bear responsibility for that story. She does. And she should be criticised. But I feel that story is a symptom of a wider problem that also needs to be addressed. Loudly and angrily, where necessary.

To me, an interesting part of the discussion around this story is the ongoing conversation on whether or not fanfiction -- as opposed to original fiction -- is ever an appropriate vehicle for the exploration of real-life natural or man-made tragedies, particularly in non-white and post-colonial settings. The Haiti earthquake, 2004 tsunami, genocide in Rwanda, the reign of Idi Amin or the Khmer Rouge, the war in Iraq. (Or even fictional scenarios that are stand-ins for specific real-life tragedies.) This is clearly not to say that original fiction has carte blanche in its exploration of these topics, but: is there something inherent in the structure, audience or culture of fanfiction that makes it unsuitable for this purpose?

I don't have any answers to this question, and I know other people are saying insightful things about it elsewhere. Instead, I'll just offer a personal example as further food for thought.

Last year I wrote a fairly long fanfiction AU set during East Timor's Popular Consultation for Independence. In September 1999, approximately 1,500 Timorese were killed by Indonesia-supported local militias and Indonesian soldiers; more than 400,000 people were displaced; and 80% of all infrastructure was destroyed. The story I tried to write was about (highly problematic) Western perceptions and experiences of those events, about white privilege, and about the hypocrisies of international intervention and humanitarian aid. (Whether or not I succeeded is up to you.) It also, not incidentally, contained a romantic sub-plot between the (white, male, US national) protagonist and another white male US national.

A few people who were unfamiliar with the source material told me that story worked well enough as original historical fiction. I briefly considered filing off the serial numbers, as it were, before abandoning the idea. The thing is: if I had written it as an original story, I would have written it quite differently. Why?

Some examples )

In conclusion: I'm not sure whether all of that means fanfiction is fundamentally unsuitable for these topics; is generally unsuitable but can be made appropriate through careful choices of style, genre and source material; or is just different from original fiction.

tevere: Jihae, solemn with hint of smile (Default)
So, do you remember how I posted that the USS Bonhomme Richard came to town? And you remember how I jokingly said,
What are the chances, do you reckon, that Brad Colbert or any other GK marine is out there right now?
Well, hell. [ profile] minzky has dug up photos of Brad Colbert and the First Recon Battalion Marines doing their pre-deployment training with the 11th MEU. The MEU that is on the fucking USS BHR.

Yep. Brad Colbert was chilling out within eye distance of my house -- hell, for all I know he came and chilled out at the fucking bar next to my house -- and I DID NOT KNOW.

(Yeah, yeah, even if I'd seen him on the street I would've totally ignored him -- I mean, what the hell would I say? -- but that's not the point!)
tevere: Jihae, solemn with hint of smile (Default)
Happy Idul Fitri! I figure I've done my Eid duty with Sixteen Days, which had a Muslim cast of thousands (okay, six), so here is something entirely unrelated.

Title: Real
Pairing: Brad/Nate
Length: 3500
Notes: An overgrown comment fic for my MRE guinea pig [ profile] kaneko, who wanted Brad going to visiting Harvard.
Summary: He's cracking open his life like a self-storage unit that hasn't seen the light of day in years.

Real )
tevere: nate with a thousand-yard stare (thousand-yard stare)
This weekend is Timor-Leste's 10th Anniversary of the Popular Consultation for Independence. Happy anniversary, Timor-Leste, and here's to hoping the next ten are better than the first.

Title: Sixteen Days in September
Pairing: Ensemble, Brad/Nate
Length: 43,500
Warning: This is a war story, and as such contains some violence, civilian deaths including children, and a non-explicit reference to sexual violence. If you're all right with canon, you should be right with this.
Disclaimer: Many characters in this story are based upon those in HBO's fictionalised mini-series Generation Kill, and are not intended to represent the beliefs or actions of any real individuals.
Notes: Main notes at the end. Up front, though, I want to give heartfelt thanks to [ profile] kaneko, my partner in crime on all things GK! I absolutely would never have finished this without her indefatigable cheerleading and awesome beta. And many thanks also to [personal profile] norah, who generously fixed my inevitable Australianisms.

Summary: When Peace Corps assigns Nate to East Timor, a tiny half-island in eastern Indonesia, he figures he'll have a lot of time to catch up on his reading. But the year is 1999, and the shock fall of military dictator Suharto is still reverberating throughout the country, triggering changes nobody ever thought possible. As East Timor moves inexorably towards freedom – or war – Nate is drawn into events that will define the future of the province forever.

* Glossary
* Organisational Chart
* Map

Sixteen Days in September )

If you don't have a Dreamwidth account or OpenID, you can also comment over on livejournal.
tevere: Jihae, solemn with hint of smile (Default)
There are three book exchanges in Dili. All are in a pretty sorry state, because desperate readers (like me) have gone through and picked out all the good items, exchanging them for things like the photocopied Charles Dickens we bought at the airport in Vietnam in 1995. After about a year, the only books left in circulation are a sad flotsam of 1980s murder mysteries, Tom Clancy and fantasy novels with the covers ripped off.

But just the other week, the hotel next to my house opened a book exchange. And it is amazing. Not just for the fact it has non-fiction, or that most of the books look new. Observe this photo and tell me the reason why I started laughing to myself in a manner that made the receptionist edge away nervously:

THAT'S RIGHT. After all my trials and tribulations with Amazon, Nate Fick has made it to the Dili book exchange next to my house.

The sheer improbability of this is hard to encapsulate. It's Heart of Gold improbable. It's like walking into the Simpson Desert and finding an esky by the side of the road that contains a still-frozen pint of Ben&Jerry's Chunky Monkey.
tevere: Jihae, solemn with hint of smile (Default)
So, Generation Kill people on my flist (yes, I know there's only two of you):

1. Get thee hence to [ profile] romanticalgirl's story Ergo Sum (Brad/Nate). It's Brad POV, the perfect distillation of the wrongness of being home.

2. For reasons that don't need exploring at this juncture, I find myself in possession of an extra (brand new) copy of Nate Fick's book, One Bullet Away, and a worldwide shipping envelope. Drop me a comment with your email address if you're interested. Claimed!

3. Although I've been working industriously on a GK epic, here's a small GK story wot I wrote while on holiday last week:

Title: Semper Fi
Pairing: Brad/Nate
Rating: Sex of the intermediately-descriptive variety
Length: 2100
Disclaimer: This story is based strictly on the HBO miniseries, and the characters depicted therein
Note: Thanks to [ profile] kaneko, for cheerleading and squee-sharing
Summary: He already knows what he'd choose.

Semper Fi )
tevere: Jihae, solemn with hint of smile (Default)
For those of you on the Generation Kill bandwagon, yet another Ivy League ex-Marine lieutenant has released a book about his infantry platoon's experiences in Iraq (Ramadi, 2004): Joker One. The NY Times exerpted its first chapter and it sounds pretty good -- to the point where I think the author, Donovan Campbell, might even have a better way with words than Nate Fick (and perhaps more of a sense of humour). Worth a look.

For lovers of Stark Sands as Nate Fick, I present you with this photo of adorableness. (With bonus Alexander Skarsgard!)

Meanwhile, I raise my head in exhaustion from a fledgling Generation Kill AU, which is 11,000 words and growing. It even has a plot! (Admittedly a plot taken directly from real life events.) And as previously mentioned to [ profile] kaneko as somewhat of a joke, last week I actually managed to kidnap a member of the military for research purposes. Well, more accurately, I was out in the districts and ran into a bored Army patrol, whereupon the chattiest of them invited us back to 'his' base for coffee. Since I've never gotten the hang of reading uniform insignia (stars, lines, crowns, chevrons, bzuh?), I figured he was a corporal prone to exaggeration -- I mean, he was as cute as pie and about twenty-three and his name was Justin, for god's sake. But, as we were somewhat stunned to find out, he was the platoon commander and it actually was his base.

I mean, dude. I probably earn about three times as much as that baby lieutenant, and I manage absolutely nobody. He's twenty-three and has responsibility for peacekeeping in an area of operations that's half the country. That's some scary shit, yo. Maybe one day he'll write a book about it.
tevere: Jihae, solemn with hint of smile (Default)

I can't believe I never knew about Generation Kill. How come nobody told me about hotass slashy marines on TV? Fail, internet, fail.

As part of my Yuletide procrastination, I have sussed out this story that y'all should read if you have even the slightest passing interest in Colbert/Fick: A House Half the Way by [ profile] nigeltde, which is sad and deeply sexy and weaves seamlessly through the narrative of the seven episodes. I held my breath as I read, and the ending is absolutely stunning.

I'm a little disturbed, though, at the discovery that I'm a mere two degrees of separation from the real Nate Fick. And now I can't get his image out of my head when I'm supposed to be thinking of cutie Stark Sands who plays him in the show, and that's just... weird.


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