Francine - harvest
I Blame the Dutch mpoetess
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For the record (and indeed for your reading pleasure), Sidelines by Anna S. rocks the metaphorical casbah. Xander/Spike, as if Season 4 had given Xander the coming out experience, instead of Willow. The actual plotty type parts were perhaps a little too subtle for me -- I can't write plot to save my life, but I'm completely unfair in demanding it of other folks -- in showing what happens with the Adam plot in this version. But there was just enough there to be intriguing. In that "Ooh, I want the S4 DVDs now, so I can see the whole story again, instead of just Xander's POV. Oh, shit. I forgot. This is an AU...." way. And the X/S is painful, funny, just on that edge of lurve...

Well. Wolfling said "Anna S. has written an X/S story," and I responded with "Ah. Good. I needed my daily dose of intimidation." I see no reason, after having read it, to withdraw the statement. It's a compliment, albeit one delivered through clenched teeth, seething with poisonously bitter block-induced jealousy. ;-)

--

But dude, when you rec something to a list with "I don't believe in S/X slash, I'm a fervent X/S anti-shipper, I think there's no canonical support for it and no one''s ever made me believe it -- except for this *one* shining light of a story..." Gee. Thanks. That didn't insult any of the X/S writers on the list.

/end trans

mcee

2002-08-12 08:14 am (UTC) (Link)

mmm, one paragraph and i'm already entertained. i haven't read X/S in way too long. thanks for the rec!

gem225

2002-08-12 08:27 am (UTC) (Link)

But dude, when you rec something to a list with "I don't believe in S/X slash, I'm a fervent X/S anti-shipper, I think there's no canonical support for it and no one''s ever made me believe it -- except for this *one* shining light of a story..." Gee. Thanks. That didn't insult any of the X/S writers on the list.

People shouldn't insult you. I don't like it. *frown*

I've told you before, but I'll tell you again that you and James Walkswithwind and Wolfling are the ones who got me to believe in Xander/Spike slash, made Xander and Spike and Giles and Buffy and Willow and Oz and Angel real to me without me ever having seen the show, so that's something, isn't it?

I'm so sorry about your block.

mpoetess

2002-08-12 08:41 am (UTC) (Link)

Gail is our slash bodyguard! Love her! We command it!

__


Nobody directly insulted me - or even intentionally insulted anybody, I think. Everybody's entitled to say "This pairing/plotline/whatever" never worked for me until I found Story X." It's just... grating, to read the implication that either the speaker has never read my attempt(s) at said pairing/plotline/whatever, or, more likely, didn't buy them. And to get the feeling the speaker (and it happens frequently with different folk - I dunno that I wasn't guilty of it when I recced Jess and Kita's dark Spuffy story) doesn't get that the phrasing could *possibly* be insulting.

I also hate with a flying purple passion, the need to *apologize* on BetterBuffyFics for reccing slash, or reccing a certain pairing. It's one of the most backhanded compliments I've ever come across -- "It's slash, but tasteful..." "It's slash, but you can skip those parts without losing the story..." (No, you can't! Slash is not the smutty parts of a m/m or f/f story. It's the STORY.) "It's S/X, and most S/X sucks, but not this one!" Ah, so my choice in reading and writing material sucks, except for this story. I'm so grateful for slash being recced on this list at *all*, I guess I'll consider that a shared compliment...

I'm going to go away and be bitter elsewhere...

gem225

2002-08-14 06:19 am (UTC) (Link)

Gail is our slash bodyguard! Love her! We command it!

I have a new title! Thank you! I'm honored to be your slash bodyguard, O great and powerful Empress of Spike and Xander and Angel and Wesley and Gunn and Giles and a cast of thousands. :-)

I'm glad that no one insulted you, and I understand what you said above now. Thank you for explaining it to me. :-)

*genuflects to MP*

boniblithe

2002-08-12 09:33 am (UTC) (Link)

I'm sorry, MP, for making you feel bad. I've read your stuff, and it's very good :-) Enjoyable stories, hot sex, and whatnot. But for me, they are in the realm of AU stories because of, well, I said how I felt about the pairing before. It isn't anything I haven't said a million times over on other lists, my LJ, and so forth.

Which is not, by the way, meant to be judgemental against anyone who is *for* the pairing, because we all have our likes and dislikes and mine are just ... mine.

Anna started the story as a WIP in emails and so I knew that she had taken the specific challenge of S/X and making it work *with* canon as best she could.

That is to say: angry Xander who has been betrayed by Angel and Spike in that they are worthless demons allowed to live while his former best friend Jesse is vampdust on the floor of The Bronze; demon Spike who has wistfully said that the day he gets his chip out, the first thing he's eating is Xander.

And I told Anna there was no way in hell she'd be able to do it for ME. And I had to eat crow, because I was wrong, because I got to the end of the story and said, damn you Anna.

It isn't meant to be any denigration of *your work* or your stories because they are well written and interesting. I hope that you can forgive me. I gravel at your feet.

Re: *genuflects to MP*

wolfling

2002-08-12 09:49 am (UTC) (Link)

Don't want to start a debate or anything, love MP's stuff, love Sidelines, and understand that everyone has certain pairings that don't draw them as much as others.

But... Sidelines is as much AU as Chocolatey Goodness. That's what rewriting canon *is*.

Re: *genuflects to MP*

mpoetess

2002-08-12 10:07 am (UTC) (Link)

You don't have to apologize for liking one story over another, or one story over all others. Though I thank you kindly for your comments on my stories, you certainly don't need forgiveness for not buying into them as realistic, vs someone else's. Or not buying any particular pairing, or someone's treatment of that pairing.

I just get that grrr-argh feeling from recommendations that have to point out how unbelievable a pairing is, how awful most of the stuff written in that pairing is, just to show how good the fic being recced is. That feels like an implicit insult to everybody else who writes in that pairing/genre/whathaveyou, because it dismisses all the rest in one fell swoop.

That said - my opinion on the believability aspect, just for discussion's sake: I loved Sidelines. And I tend to think Anna S. is a much more talented writer than I am - I enjoyed this story as a complete entity more than most if not all of my own writing.

But I saw nothing in this particular story that made the plotline -- or characterisation -- any more believable for me than my own progression for them getting together, or quite a few others. Kay's "Discoveries" series, for instance, did the "Spike got Xander kicked out of his house by making his dad think he was gay" two years ago, and just as believably.

I don't see this Xander as angry Xander, except about his own marginalization. And that's actually more fanon than canon -- that is, he *was* marghinalized in S4, but he was barely aware of it, where he definitely is here. I do think Spike is right on, for S4 Spike, and this si an S4 Xander I would have *liked* to see -- but I personally don't see what makes them any *more* believeable than, as I said, several other S/X getting-together scenarios. But certainly, that's based on personal opinion, what pushes my buttons vs. what pushes yours, in connecting with the characters.


Eeek! Pity the poor flogged X/S writers

saturn_girl

2002-08-12 10:01 am (UTC) (Link)

I winced when I read the Yahoo post you're talking about, too. It laid out the two big stereotypes the community has about X/S writers - we all suck, and we all write mindless shmoop.

X/S writers are the Rodney Dangerfields of the BtVS fandom. We're cursed three times, doomed to be instantly despised by the large contingents of anti-Spike, anti-Xander and anti-slash fic readers. But because there is so much genuinely crappy X/S fic circling the bowl, posts like the "this is the only X/S fic that doesn't blow" rec make me self-conscious enough to worry about my own stories and wonder whether I should sweep all of them under the rug.

Re: Eeek! Pity the poor flogged X/S writers

mpoetess

2002-08-12 10:12 am (UTC) (Link)

My thing (okay, as we all know my extended neuroses, I should say "one of my many things") is that I feel I have to be *extra special good, mommy may I have a gold star please* to convince people of my pairing, because of all the bad writers of it out there. Because someone has written X/S badly, does not mean I have to write it closer to canon or more brilliantly, for it to be as believable as your insert-your-favourite-Spuffy-fic that's *just* as AU or moreso. I am *not* responsible for the rotten writers of my ship-of-choice. Hey, for people who say I odn't *read* X/S because there's so much bad stuff out there, I'm sad, but yeah, I sympathise and can't lame them. But for people who do read it anyway, but hold my fic to a higher standard than some other pairing because people who aren't me have written it badly? The mind boggles.

apetslife

2002-08-12 01:38 pm (UTC) (Link)

I feel the same way. I was at a comic fic convention in Toronto last weekend, and there were a number of people there also active in the Buffy fandom. When they asked what I wrote, the "Spike/Xander" always came out a little defensively, and I always ended up justifying the pairing hotly and at length. And it was a little hurtful to hear the "oh, well, I wouldn't have read your stuff, then, sorry," that I got a number of times. Ack.

unfortunately, the pairing does seem to attract the badfic writers on a scale close to the Spuffy. I can't imagine why, but it's apparently so. However, there is so much *amazing* S/X out there, I'm actually upset that people are not reading it, just because they think that S/X automatically equals terrible characterization, bad plot, and awful dialogue.

giogio

2002-08-12 12:26 pm (UTC) (Link)

Love your stuff. Adore your stuff. Think it's some of the best fanfic I've ever read. Will beat up anyone who says differently, just tell me where to find them ;-)

As for the comment that there is a lot of bad S/X fic out there, well yeah, can't stop bad writers from writing fanfic (unfortunately), however, the amount of bad S/X fic positively pales in comparison to the amount of bad Spuffy fic out there... so on the whole, I think, this here be the better fandom. Course I'm biased ;-)

mpoetess

2002-08-16 09:47 am (UTC) (Link)

:) <g> Thank you much of a muchly.

Yeah, I'm the first to say a large proportion of S/X fic sucketh. I think the reason I may get so thinskinned about people pointing it out as a reason not to like the *idea* of the pairing, or in comparison to this one great fic that someone has read, is that, yo, we all *know* a large proportion of S/X fic sucketh. Feeling as if we have to overcome other people's bad writing as well as be convincing on our own merits, seems like one straw too many.

I dunno about as compared to spuffy -- I think there may be a very similar proportion, and it's just that there's so much more Spuffy fic *out* there. Not that, since I don't like that pairing on a purely "I don't like that pairing" basis, (as well as a "hetfic doesn't much appeal to me recently for whatever inexplicable reason, possibly glandular" basis) I read much of it. There are Spuffy writers whose work I like on an "Is this good? Is it touching, is it funny?" level (Mer & Keren, Wisteria, Herself and Kalima, Annie Sewell-Jennings) but since I just don't like Spike with Buffy, even excellently written Spuffy isn't going to turn my crank.

Er, yeah, preaching to the choir, I know.

apetslife

2002-08-12 12:53 pm (UTC) (Link)

But dude, when you rec something to a list with "I don't believe in S/X slash, I'm a fervent X/S anti-shipper, I think there's no canonical support for it and no one''s ever made me believe it -- except for this *one* shining light of a story..." Gee. Thanks. That didn't insult any of the X/S writers on the list.

Word.

Thank you so much for the rec. This story was a real treat; finding good slash written with my first loves is always wonderful (and may I say that you pretty much singlehandedly turned me into a Spike/Xander shipper? *grin*). It's lovely and meaty and *long*, and sets the old S/X nerves a-itchin'.

heh. Maybe we can send our blocks out to have coffee together, and move with no forwarding addresses while they're gone? It's just a thought.

-Pet

mpoetess

2002-08-12 12:55 pm (UTC) (Link)

lovely and meaty and long...

We scare us, sometimes.


Maybe we can send our blocks out to have coffee together, and move with no forwarding addresses while they're gone?

Oh, yes. Yes, please? Mine likes strawberry-mint mochas. With whipped cream.

apetslife

2002-08-12 01:43 pm (UTC) (Link)

We scare us, sometimes.

*laughing* Oh, man. That was entirely unintentional, actually. Talk about your slips, jeebus.

Oh, yes. Yes, please? Mine likes strawberry-mint mochas. With whipped cream.

Mine's a snippy bitch who'll only drink double nonfat mocha lattes with organic carob sprinkles on the top. I'm not a fan. I think it's best that we make this happen, since frankly, this block has been freeloading in my brain for *far* too long.