Author has written 30 stories for Doctor Who, Firefly, Castle, and Lord of the Rings.
A former software consultant who enjoys good sci-fi and fantasy stories as well as mainstream and classic fiction. My favourite writer is Charles Dickens. My favourite living writer is shifting towards Stephen King, who, scares aside, seems a literary, modern-day Norman Rockwell. Other writers whose work I enjoy greatly include John Scalzi, Neil Gaiman, Guy Gavriel Kay, Jo Walton, and Connie Willis.
In October, 2017, Big Finish announced that my story, Landbound, was selected for the Paul Spragg memorial contest. It will be released in December.
You can catch me on Twitter: @SelimPensFctn and at my blog: selimpensfiction.com
My Favourite FanFics
I've written a fair number of fanfics at this point. Enough for about two respectable novels if you go by word count. When I look back at them, some of them make me shudder, some make me smile. I thought I'd make a list of the ones I'm most fond of. If you're just starting to read my stories, this list might help. The timing seems right. If I haven't stopped writing fanfiction, I've certainly slowed down.
"Rook to Castle" was one of my early ones and I think it's held up pretty well. A very simple story simply told, we see Rick Castle meeting his own creation. I also quite like "Western Castle", one of my longer stories. It was inspired by an episode of The Prisoner in which the story of the agent who retired was re-told as a western.
My favourite here is "Bookends", which tells the story of how Zoe and Wash went from mutual dislike to man and wife.
"Fate of the Earth" isn't particularly well written, but the core idea is still one I'm proud of. "Walk the Plank", is a small story about the young Doctor's first attempt to steal a TARDIS. The story concept was provided by Thomas0399. I like the idea that the last Doctor that Sarah Jane Smith encountered before her passing was the Fourth Doctor, who bent the laws of time to pay her one last visit. That adventure is told in "End Game". Finally, I'm fond of "Mirror Mirror", which was actually my (non-winning) entry for the 2016 Big Finish Paul Spragg memorial contest.
I only actually have one crossover, told in a series of stories, in which Rick Castle teams up with the crew of Firefly and then with the Doctor. The series begins with the Firefly story, "Goodbye" which was never intended to be part of a series. Then I wrote "A Firefly in the Castle", "Castle Serenity", and then "Miranda". Look out for the Doctor's cameo in "Castle Serenity". That little hook let me write the final story in the series and bring it to a nice conclusion. It really is true that stories sometimes have a life of their own. Hopefully, as the series progresses, you'll see an improvement in my writing. Certainly, Miranda was the most complicated story I've written in terms of plotting. I had to fit the story into the framework of Serenity (the movie) and my own "Castle Serenity".
Sigh. Castle, Season 5, episode 16: "Hunt" blows apart a key pillar of my Firefly-Castle crossover story, "A Firefly in the Castle" (Castle's father turns up). Mind you, I could probably still weasel my way around it, but for now note that the story was written well before the episode aired. It was an excellent episode, though, so it's hard to stay too bitter...
Just posted "Seeing is Believing". The next one will be a Castle story.
"Rook to Castle" was fun. Am now preparing the (admittedly predictable) followup, "Castle to Rook".
"Castle to Rook" is done. Was just re-reading "A Firefly in the Castle" and found a huge whopping error: Beckett pushes into Castle's apartment with her gun and says, "LAPD". D'oh!
Not sure what my next FanFic project will be. Am working on a short horror story that will go up in Wattpad when it's done.
Well, got that out of my system. Only one hit on the story though :-(
Currently in progress, a Firefly story featuring Kaylee called "My Shiny Jewel". This one is inspired by having (all too briefly) met Jewel Staite at Ottawa ComicCon.
A note about "Castle to Rook"
This story, a sequel to "Rook to Castle", was probably a bit self-indulgent in that I threw in a lot of references to things I enjoy that not everyone will get. Some Castle fans, like myself, got interested in the show by following Nathan Fillion, who's portrayal of Malcolm Reynolds in the tragically short-lived series Firefly was brilliant. Castle is littered with references to Firefly. Oddly enough, this story isn't. Mind you, in "Rook to Castle", I couldn't resist having Castle curse in Mandarin when he witnesses a car accident.
There are references to The Wizard of Oz, Star Trek, and Doctor Who, not to mention the "Richard Castle" books, Heat Wave and Naked Heat. Not every fan of Castle will be familiar with the specific episodes and situations that I point to, though everyone knows The Wizard of Oz, so references to ruby slippers or the Yellow Brick Road are straightforward.
The reference to Star Trek relates to an episode of the original series called "All Our Yesterdays". (You have to admit, the episodes of the original series had great titles.) When a planet is about to be destroyed, Kirk, Spock and McCoy beam to the surface to look for inhabitants. There are none, except for a librarian called Mr. Atoz, though there are multiple copies of him. It turns out that the inhabitants have already escaped by travelling back in time. When Kirk hears a scream through a doorway, he runs to investigate and finds himself in the planet's equivalent of the middle ages. The situation in "Castle to Rook" is a nod to this, replacing Atoz (A-to-Z) with Beetoy (B-to-Y), replacing the planet's library with the 5th Avenue branch of the NY Public Library, and replacing time travel with travel to a parallel universe. The fact that Mr. Beetoy is back in the library after apparently being killed is a nod to the multiple copies of Mr. Atoz. However, keep reading.
There are lots of references to Doctor Who in the two stories. Doctor Who is about the adventures of "the Doctor", the last of a race of Time Lords who travels through space and time in a ship disguised as a London police box (the ship's chameleon circuit got stuck--don't ask). In "Rook to Castle" a man claiming to be Jameson Rook appears in Castle's world. Castle tells Beckett about my (first) FanFic, "Doctor on Set" in which the actual Doctor finds himself in a parallel universe (not necessarily ours) where his adventures are shown in a fictional TV show. If such a thing were possible, Castle tells Beckett, Rook might be who he says he is.
Later on in "Castle to Rook", when Castle goes back to the library, he finds Beetoy. While this is a nod to the copies of Mr. Atoz, this is also a nod to the Time Lord ability to regenerate a new body after suffering a fatal injury ("I've got more lives than a cat."). The first incarnation of the Doctor travelled with his granddaughter ("At least that's what my granddaughter says."). Then, of course, Beetoy's mannerisms and posture change, reminding Castle of William Hartnell, the first actor to play the Doctor.
The intent was to make Castle's journey seem surreal, hence Beetoy's foreshadowing that Castle would meet Nikki Heat, the photos and model car in Beetoy's apartment, the children playing with yellow sidewalk chalk, the seemingly broken compass, and, of course, Beetoy's apparent return from the grave. Perhaps Beetoy really was Castle's guide on his spiritual journey. After all, he tells Castle that on the other side of the doorway he may find the woman of his dreams. And who is the first person he sees upon wakening...?
As to whether it really was Rook in "Rook to Castle", or whether Castle really travelled to another world, that is for you, dear reader, to decide.
Sometimes writers on FanFiction.net write M-rated stories. This may be because sexuality is essential to the story, or, let's face it, because it's fun to imagine our favourite characters in these situations. If you might be offended by such a story, let me suggest with respect that you simply avoid it. I haven't written such a story. At least, not yet. While authors always welcome feedback--sometimes we don't get enough--adding a negative review because an M-rated story includes sexuality is like criticizing a FanFic for using pre-existing characters.
About "Lord of the Wings"
It turns out there's a YouTube video based on the same premise as this story. Search YouTube for "how lord of the rings should have ended". I hadn't seen this before I wrote the story, but don't I think I imagined I was the first one to come up with the idea. It's pretty obvious, really. I just hope you enjoy the (very short) story for what it is.
A Milestone Reached!
Checking my story stats this morning, I was delighted to see that for the first time one of my stories reached the 1,000 hit mark. It's my Firefly-Castle crossover "A Firefly in the Castle", currently at 1001 hits, with my first fanfic, "Doctor on Set" following close behind at 999. Many thanks to my readers. Thanks for the opportunity to grow as a writer and have fun at the same time.
Castle episode: "Time Will Tell" (Minor spoilers)
As I mentioned before, I fell into Castle by following Nathan Fillion's career from his time in Firefly. There have been two things I've loved about Castle. One has been its battle of the sexes sensibilities, reminding me at times of the old Tracy-Hepburn movies. The other is the odd breadcrumb they occasionally but consistently throw to the sci-fi fans. This week's episode, "Time Will Tell" was the ultimate breadcrumb. I so loved it. The gang captures a man claiming to come from the future who is here to prevent a catastrophe. He says another time traveller is also here to change the future and cause the death of billions. Is he actually from the future or is he just a nut case? They leave it deliciously ambiguous. The show included references to Doctor Who (first time ever as far as I recall) and the Terminator movies. Case in point, the psychiatrist come to examine the time traveller is a Dr. Silberman (the name of the psychiatrist who interviews Kyle Reese). Throw in a nice side-story about Castle's relationship with Alexis, and what more could you ask for? Best. Episode. Ever.
Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor
Minor spoilers below.
If you, like me, were trying to keep your expectations in check for this episode, well, we needn't have bothered. It would be easy to argue that this was the best episode in the history of the series. And it's starting to occur to me that, as a writer, Stephen Moffat could give Joss Whedon a run for his money.
For me, one of the cool things about this episode is that it supports my story, "Fate of the Earth", in which an entire planet is sent through the time vortex. In DotD, the Doctors collaborate to place a planet into a pocket universe, freezing it in a moment of time. If Moffat can do it...
If You Have an Idea...
... get it out there. I just read Neil Gaiman's Fortunately the Milk. A father goes to the corner store to buy a bottle of milk for his children's breakfast and his tea. He takes longer than the children expect. When they query him, well, he tells an amazing story. Sigh. When my son was younger, and he asked me how my day was, I'd tell him something like: Well, first I was kidnapped by aliens and fought in an intergalactic war. Then I fell through a black hole and emerged a thousand years in the past. And then... well, you get the idea. I've thought I should make a book out of those tales, but now it would just look like I was copying Mr. Gaiman. Ah well, lesson learned. What is it they say? Oh yes. You snooze, you lose.
An anonymous reviewer of "Castle Serenity" asked if Castle would appear to be older than Mal. Good question. The approach I took for this story as well as the earlier "Firefly in the Castle" is that, if there were an episode of Castle in which Mal appeared (was that a "squee" I heard?), they would appear identical since the same actor is playing both roles at the same time. So, I'm going to take the position that for all intents and purposes, the two characters look identical. I know that Castle is supposed to be in his 40's and Mal in his 30's, but there's only so much you can do. And anyway, with the hard life he's lived, maybe Mal looks 10 years older than his age. I think it provides for many more interesting story opportunities if they seem to be identical.
About "Who's the Fool?"
OK, yes, when I wrote "Who's the Fool", I had no idea that Castle's birthday was on April 1st. Of all the days in the year... So I'm outed as someone who very much enjoys Castle but hasn't necessarily committed to memory every detail. Hope you enjoyed the story just the same, warts and all.
Castle Writers: Let's have some fun!
My Castle stories of late seem to have become increasingly silly, from "Who's the Fool" to "A Bat in the Castle" to "What Really Happened." The good news: I think I've got it out of my system. But the real reason for going on a silly streak? A reaction, I think, to all the heavy drama in the Castle group. As an experiment, I filtered the 15.8K Castle stories for those with a "Humor" genre. This reduced the 15.8K stories to 2.8K. Why is that? Surely one of the things we love about the Castle TV show is the mix of humour and drama. Yes, some episodes are heavy on the drama side, but those are balanced by the ones that are pure silliness. Most contain a healthy mix of both.
A nice example of combining humour and drama is in CharacterDriven's story,"Full Moon in Manhattan, or, Kill Your Darlings". The opening scene is brilliant as some NYPD constables stumble across a young, inebriated, and naked Castle on horseback in Central Park. As if that wasn't enough to have the constables scratching their heads, upon asking Castle "So, uh, what seems to be the trouble, son?", Castle replies, "I'm pregnant." How can you not laugh, picturing their faces upon hearing that? The story contains its share of drama as well. An unhappy Meredith threatens to terminate her pregnancy if Castle doesn't get off his butt and sell the book he's been writing. If she's going to keep the baby, she won't be able to work. They'll need income from somewhere to keep them going. Talk about high stakes.
So, think about it. I don't know about you, but I'd love to see more humour in the stories in this group.
About Castle Serenity
I posted the first chapter of this story in June. Looking about, I find to my surprise that we're already half way through August. So, I wanted to apologize that it's taken so long to get this far. The story has been a bit complex, plot-wise, and then there's life, which has a way of happening. Anyway, the next and hopefully final chapter will be posted in early September. Thanks for following along. I hope you're enjoying reading Castle Serenity as much as I am writing it.
About "Blazing Castle"
Well, the public has spoken. Loudly and clearly. I had really planned to finish the story with chapter 4, but will add one more chapter to tie things up with a bow. Thank you, dear reader, for your support. "Blazing Castle" is now my most popular story. And by the way, no one commented on "Shuster & Wayne" in Chapter 4. Does that ring a bell? At least with any Canadian types? Or am I just showing my age...?
Putting Down the Pen...?
While one should never say never, I suspect that with "Walk the Plank" I've written my last fanfiction. If this isn't the series finale, so to speak, it's certainly a hiatus. Thanks to all of you who have read my stories. And if I can put in a small plug, "Walk the Plank" has been out there for a while and has been sadly overlooked. Please give it a try. It's a gentle story, not that much happens, but if you enjoy Doctor Who, I think you'll like it. Meanwhile, I'm trying my hand at original fiction. My unpublished short stories will be showing up on my blog at selimpensfiction.com. I'll still be reading the great stories that show up here, so keep up the good work. Happy writing!
Doctor Who and Prophecies
So. In the second episode of series 9, The Witch's Familiar, mention is made of a prophecy that may concern the Doctor. Meet my fanfic, Walk the Plank, which predates the episode, and also mentions a prophecy. Seems almost timey-wimey.
In Other News...
If you love Firefly, you've likely heard of Con Man. There's a fanfiction contest in progress at the time of writing. My entry, which is a Con Man / Firefly crossover, is here: inkitt dot com slash stories slash 60703.
This Doctor Who - Firefly crossover is primarily a Doctor Who story set in the Firefly universe. However, it brings to a conclusion my time travelling Firefly stories, starting with "Goodbye", then "A Firefly in the Castle" and "Castle Serenity". If you haven't read them, you can still enjoy "Miranda", which comes with a summary of what's happened before. The story begins during the events of Serenity (the BDM) and then carries forward in time. Plotting this out, getting the story to mesh with Serenity and with my previous stories, has been quite a challenge, but a most enjoyable one. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I loved writing it.
All to often, anonymous guest reviews are used to send abusive messages to fanfiction authors. I'm fortunate in that it's never happened to me, but nonetheless, I don't think the site should support this feature. As a result, I won't approve any guest reviews for posting, whether good, bad or indifferent. Sorry if logging in is a pain, but in this day and age of Internet abuse, I think it's necessary. As always, I'm grateful to all my readers for the time they spend in my worlds.
No, I'm Not Dead
Just resting, actually. Life, you know, is happening and sometimes has its way of hungrily eating up your time and energy. And I'm certainly not put out that nearly no one has read my latest Doctor Who fanfic, "Mirror Mirror". Actually, I am part way through a new Castle story. Now if only I can persuade life to find a nice shop where it can mellow out on tea and biscuits, that story will see the light of day. One of these days...
About Finding Serenity
As I write this in mid-January, there's one chapter left to conclude Finding Serenity. Apologies if you've been patiently waiting for it. There are personal issues that need taking care of which has left me with little time, and frankly, little inclination, to get this finished. However, I plan on getting back on the saddle very soon and hope to have a completed story for you within the next couple of weeks.