Poll: Which 'Firefly' crewmember's past seems the least known/most mysterious? Vote Now!
Author has written 33 stories for Gen13, Firefly, Gunslinger Girl, Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles, and Burn Notice.
DOB: Oct. 4, 1955 (Sputnik went into space on my 2nd birthday)
Just started writing, which is a radical departure from my usual pastimes. While I have other fandoms, I write primarily for Firefly and Gen 13, which appeal to me for a common reason: they take a new approach to an established genre and give them a fresh twist. In the case of Gen 13, it’s the teen superhero team; in Firefly, the space Western (yes, there really are a lot of them). Usually these genres treat their characters like cardboard cutouts moved around by the plot; you could switch the characters’ lines around and no one would notice. Firefly and Gen 13 create an ensemble of interesting, complex characters and place them in a mixture of dramatic and everyday situations.
The Gen fandom is the smallest of my 'doms, but it represents about seventy percent of my posted work, and, I believe, some of my best stuff. It's an easy fandom for a new reader to get into. I wrote these stories assuming everyone is new to it, and anyone taking an interest can get into the story and characters solely from my fics. Note to all the 'Firefly' fans who enjoyed 'Man of Honor', 'Man of Action', etc.: if you read Firefly fic for the reasons I mentioned, give the Gen13 stories a look. Read 'Foxhunt,' or 'Class Reunion,' or 'Bobby's Girl,' or 'A Normal Life,' or 'Lab Ratz' (Chapter 2 of 'Anna the Caterpillar', a sort of story-within-a-story), and I bet you'll want to get to know these people better. For Gunslinger Girl fans, especially those who appreciate the sort of OC-fratello stories featured on the Cyborg Central website, give 'Pretty Poison' a try. Here's a short list of the principal characters:
Caitlin: every nerd’s fantasy girl. Redheaded, green-eyed lingerie model on the outside; shy computer geek with astronomical IQ on the inside. Her inner monologue is… complicated. Also, she can juggle bulldozers. Not that she ever would; people would stare.
"I don't want to be a part of this. But I don't want to become a prison whore, or be driven insane, either." - The Hammer Falls
Roxanne: youngest and smallest of the teens, with the biggest chip on her shoulder; something of an exhibitionist, she often dresses in revealing or punky styles just for the reaction. And yet, sometimes she seems so level-headed and wise beyond her years, you wonder if there’s a very different girl under the façade. Rox can play games with gravity, and her power gets difficult to control when she’s angry.
"Love paints people better than they are. That says as much about you as them." - Geographical Solution
Sarah: think Pocahontas in the Disney cartoon. Half Apache Indian, Sarah’s into her family, her native heritage, worldwide social reform, and other girls. She has a strange kinship with the forces of nature, and her favorite trick is zapping people with miniature lightning bolts. But she has other talents, oh my yes.
"Following my heart leads me facefirst into a brick wall." - Dear Anna: Advice to the Lovelorn
Anna: the group’s pixyish and awesomely capable little housekeeper and den mother, devoted to her boss and the kids in her care. ‘More than meets the eye’ is a phrase that was coined just for her. Starting with the fact that, strictly speaking, she’s not human…
"In my very limited experience, when they talk about sex, people often say one thing and mean another." - Anna the Caterpillar
John ‘Jack’ Lynch: the scarred mystery man who rescued the kids from government ‘custody’, and now hides and protects them. He has issues, and nobody who gets in his way does it twice. But he’s devoted to the kids in his own way, for his own reasons, and he’ll never let them down. Witnessing his special talent in use has been known to produce nightmares.
"I don't like killing people who buy me lunch." - Edge of Sanity
Bobby Lynch: Jack’s son, a young man with a troubled past; all things considered, it’s scary how normal he seems. Estranged from his father Jack for most of his life (they were separated when he was a newborn, and he thought he was an orphan) Bobby has unresolved relationship issues with his dad and with Sarah, who he’s been crushing on since first meeting. His magic trick is pyrokinesis, which earns him nicknames like ‘Burnout’ and ‘Hot Stuff.’
"We always have choices. But sometimes every one of them sucks." - Geographical Solution
Eddie Chang: if still waters run deep, this guy must be the Marianas Trench. Nothing gets to him but the sight of Caitlin in a swimsuit. A true horn dawg, he’s constantly dodging Rox, his sort-of girlfriend, in his half-playful, half-serious pursuit of strange. The joker of the group, he sometimes lets his clown mask slip to reveal a keen intelligence. He has the ability to assimilate and transmute things he touches, which makes him a riot at parties.
"I’ve seen what it takes to keep an open-ended promise. It took more patience and understanding and care than I’ll ever have." - The Hammer Falls
The Gen13 stories are written in the form of a serial. They are, in chronological order:
Reading them in order isn't strictly necessary, but knowing the story order may tell you where to look for answers to continuity questions. I've been adding stuff regularly, as you can see by my publish and update dates.
Three Blind Men Meet the Elephant: Anna gets in touch with all the members of her former research team, and makes a full -and surprising- discovery of her beginnings.
Seduction: Frank Colby only thought he had bad luck with women, until Nicole Callahan came calling.
Race Relations: Anna's sisters, the 'Angels of Death', are preparing for a war of extinction with humanity. Can she negotiate a settlement before events get out of hand?
Hitters Never Prosper: IO contracts a hit with the infamous Angels of Death. Things don't turn out as planned, oh no precious.
Reunions: Sarah takes Bobby to the reservation to meet her folks, and he learns some things about prejudice.
Modus Operandi: A collaboration with Stormbringer951. International Operations was a very different outfit in the Seventies, before the Genesis Project, but the seeds of what it would become were already planted.
A Walk in the Woods: A Twilight/ Gen 13 crossover story. Don't be scared, I know what I'm doing. Jacob's pack, hunting a rogue vampire not far from La Push, comes across four travelers who smell like trouble.
Everybody knows Joss Whedon's wondrous, stillborn space Western, right? I write 'Season Two' Firefly fics, meaning that I write episodic fics that pick up where the TV series left off -I'll borrow stuff from BDM and the comic books, but they're not Scripture. Within those strictures, I'm a canon Nazi. But that means that, in my version of the 'Verse, Wash and Book are alive and aboard, Mal has a sense of humor, River is a disturbed genius with psychic abilities and not a ninja assassin, and Reavers are Hannibal Lecter-class psychopaths, not crazed zombies.
I've recently been asked to order the Firefly stories as well. This is a bit more difficult, since some of them intertwine chronologically, but I would suggest this as a reading order:
A Man of Honor
A Man of Conscience: What is Shepherd Book doing on Serenity, anyway?
Children of Darkness: Reaver-centric. Approach with caution; therapy is expensive.
In for a Penny: An 'Oxbow Incident' sort of story, set on Kaylee's homeworld... with Jayne Cobb the voice of reason on the posse. Oh, my head...
This manga/anime doesn't have much traffic on this site, although it has a big following elsewhere, and a couple of excellent fansites. It's not for everyone. Gunslinger Girl is a dark fairy tale without a happy ending in sight. It's a story whose principal characters are a group of young girls with horrifying backstories, shortened lives, and tragic futures, trying to reclaim their stolen humanity before the lights go out. Their world is embroiled in an endless war with no victors, few survivors, and a great many victims; the deeper you get into it, the more blurred the distinction between the 'good guys' and the 'bad guys' becomes. The action is intense but sparse; the meat of the story is the interactions among the girls, and between them and their 'handlers,' adult men in whose keeping each of them is placed. The girls' outlook on life, shaped by their 'conditioning' and their stunted social environment, is a mixture of sensitivity and callousness, naivete and worldliness. One scene early in the first season anime comes to mind: Rico and Henrietta sitting in their dorm room between missions, hesitantly discussing boys while Rico cleans her gun and Henrietta sews a bullet hole in her shirt.
Fans will doubtless see I've taken liberties with the dubbed dialogue in my expansion/rewrite of the Elsa cycle. In my defense, I would simply say that, since nobody (except for the few Japanese speakers among us) really knows what the characters said, and since it's hard just to get two translations that agree (try watching an episode with English dub AND subtitles; you'll be holding your head before it's half over), I felt entitled to make a few changes in order to smooth the conversations out and make them more credible.
The Last Days of Lauro de Sica
Dreaming: It's an open secret that the cyborgs dream, sometimes vividly. It's a closer secret that the handlers do too.
Made for You: Jean / Rico origin story. He chose her ... but she also chose him.
The More Things Change: A chance meeting between Marco and Caterina, two old friends who've drifted farther apart than they could ever guess. (incorporated into 'Hunters in the Dolomites' by Professor Voodoo)
If you've read any of my stuff yet, you might think I rate them conservatively. This is a result of my age and upbringing. The first time I said 'damn' in a conversation with my father, he slapped me, only the second time he'd ever struck me. I was nineteen. I don't doubt there are thirteen-year-olds on this site who think even my M-rated stories are kid stuff. So be it. Jack Lynch's wards aren't the only kids growing up too fast these days.
I don't abandon stories. But I prefer to complete stories before I publish, rather than string them out chapter by chapter; also, I'm usually working on several stories at a time, and not necessarily the next one in line. Both habits sometimes make for a bit of a wait between stories. Recently, to my shame, I've broken this rule, and I now have two incomplete stories on-site. My bad. I intend to clean up my 'in-progress' list before I start anything new (but you know what they say about plans, and good intentions).
I write mostly for myself, but I enjoy sharing. For some reason, my visitors hesitate to review my work (fewer than one percent). I don't bite. If you did more than a drive-by, and you liked it, drop a line, no matter how brief. If you have a problem with it, drop two. I enjoy praise as much as anyone, but I learn more from people who disagree with me. A simple suggestion from Vettac about pronoun usage caused me to edit half my published stories, and I think they're better for it. An unsparing critique by Nadrek pushed me into a thousand-word rewrite of the first chapter of 'Game's Afoot,' which provided a more realistic scene and left me much more satisfied with the characterizations of Frank Colby and Gerry Ruche. And TOW Gunner's knocking-about of my first draft of Dan Grissom's last patrol in Iraq in 'Adult Education' gave me the courage to continue it - in a rather different direction.
12/21/08: First post. Merry Christmas.
6/2/2009: First 'Firefly' fic.
6/10/2009: Only been posting for six months; just passed the half-million-word mark. Writing is addictive.
12/1/2009: First post on Fictionpress.com
12/13/2009: One year on site, 640,000 words. Pacing myself a little.
12/15/2010: two years on site, 790,000 words. Cruise control is engaged, I think.
9/29/2011: First Gunslinger Girl fic.
10/20/2012: One million words on FFnet. I think the millionth word was 'the'.
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