Log in

No account? Create an account
10 December 2009 @ 10:18 pm
... and quacks like a meme ...  
So. I don't do memes. It's in my contract.

But ... I like to do fanfic meta, whether reading it or providing it. And thanks to sholio, I've become aware of a fanfic meta ... thing ... that's making the rounds:
Pick a paragraph (or any passage 500-1000 words) from any fanfic I've written, and comment to this post with that selection. I will then give you a DVD commentary on that snippet: what I was thinking when I wrote it, why I wrote it in the first place, what's going on in the character's heads, why I chose certain words, what this moment means in the context of the rest of the fic, lots of awful puns, and anything else that you'd expect to find on a DVD commentary track.

I can't promise anything quite that exciting, and I've only written four stories, but I'm willing to play. Over in sholio's journal, folk are posting snippets along with their particular reasons for selecting that passage or questions they have about it, which seems like a very useful way to spark thought processes. So if you have any such questions or interest, please feel free to pose such questions here.

I consider this journal to be my primary fiction location, but my filtered Dreamwidth account is the easiest way to see all my stories at a glance.
Current Mood: curiouscurious
sophia_sol on December 11th, 2009 04:41 am (UTC)
I'm hugely in love with your story about Rodney and Sam and 48 Hours. And what I REALLY want to ask about it is whether Atlantis is real or a delusion*, but I know that you're not willing to answer that question, given your discussion at SGA Talk, so...

McKay immediately pointed to the markings, identifying the script more quickly than the physical scientists usually ever did, his hands never moving closer than a good foot away from the surface. "Two clusters. The first looks related to two — pair or couple, maybe, or join. The second one is more vague. Delay or time … or forecast? That's the one that would be trouble. But you've had this thing for a while, so let's skip the pop quiz. What does it say?"

"Well, we're still not certain," Daniel said, warming to the topic, "but that's actually very close to what we found. You're right, that second term is the harder one. I think prediction or forecast is the best fit, but we weren't able to find any supporting artifacts, so it's still tentative. We've just been calling it 'the Valentine,' though, based on what it does. Or what we thought it did, at least."

McKay gave him a disgusted look. "All right, that does it. Please stop pretending linguistics is remotely related to science. You see something that could be related to pair and something that could be forecast, so of course you decide it's a Valentine's card. It could just as easily mean quantum entanglement!" With that he stomped over to the whiteboard, grabbed a couple of markers, and slashed a line down the middle of the board.

Daniel was starting to understand that edge McKay inspired in Sam's voice. "It's actually just a nickname," he said. "The people who gave it to us were using the devices as matchmakers, but they had scavenged them from an abandoned civilization that died out or drifted away thousands of years ago. That society was probably pretty close to a true Ancient influence on their technology, based on what the analysts here say about the design of this object, but the writing shows clear signs of drift. We have no way to know how much their version of the language itself had changed by then, especially if they were only using it as a scientific language, which we've seen before. For that matter, we can't be certain whether the original designers included those markings or whether some other group added them later. We have several viable interpretations, but as I said, we weren't able to track down any supporting artifacts and only have a few fragments of any form of script from that society."

I'm very intrigued by the device, and would love it if you could share how you came up with it, what its actual history is, what it was created to do, etc etc.

*Interestingly, when I first read the story, I was utterly convinced that Atlantis was real, and didn't even consider the possibility that SG1 might be right and it was all a hallucination type thing. Despite the fact that now, when I reread it, there is plenty of space left open for the latter interpretation.
michelel72: SGA-Rodney-Fingermichelel72 on December 11th, 2009 07:09 am (UTC)
Oh, a nice tough one right off the bat!

I've actually written the backstory for the device, but I can't share it or even explain the device properly without spoiling the sequel, unfortunately. So I'll talk around it a bit.

In terms of my creation of the device, it was first only a prop in a drabble about Sam's determination to make Rodney understand. I started thinking about the two shows in meta terms, though, and it rapidly became something else entirely. (Yes, "Remorse" was meant to work as meta commentary as well as a story in itself, though the story is absolutely meant to be primary.) It changed yet more through the beta process; and to be perfectly honest, it's been refined a bit more in the development of the sequel.

The device was never completely designed, top to bottom, for what it actually is. Seeds of its function were designed a very long time ago, and that long-ago device's constituents were passed down, disassembled, reused, copied, studied, adapted, found amid ruins, evolving so far that the original device's intent could never be truly discerned by modern humans. Given the history of the Milky Way in the Stargate franchise, technology isn't a clean, regulated development; surely things are picked up, used for whatever they seem to do, and adapted or copied from there without a true understanding of the underlying principles necessarily being present. (Imagine if you found an object that lit up briefly when you pressed a button, so you built it into your new gadget that needs to light up, never realizing the object was an mp3 player with much more to it than lighting up. Then multiply that by thousands of years.)

The Kauai usage was not especially related to the original device's intent. (They are clearly accomplished entrepreneurs: they found something, played with it, and then built a business model around it.) Sam's purpose, though also not right, is closer.

That specific passage was meant to show that, whatever's happened to Rodney, he can now read Ancient better than his contemporary history explains. At first I wrote it poorly, making my beta think Rodney was schooling Daniel at linguistics, so I expanded into the current version ... because I think it's cool to consider just what challenges would face someone trying to read isolated markings in the Stargate Milky Way I described earlier. I don't have an actual English term for the phrase marked on the device; in a sense, Rodney's offhand remark is closer than he knows. That sense would be "if you're a poet with a remarkably metaphorical interpretation of physics concepts", though. (And no, pondering that really won't tell you anything useful. Heh.)

I will reveal the full truth of the device in the sequel; I have to, really, for the structure to work and to be fair to the reader. Figuring out how was quite a challenge, though! I have a plan; it's an odd one, but it'll do if I don't find one better.

I meant all along for the reality of Atlantis to be in question. I suppose I didn't sell that well enough, unfortunately. (I did have to be careful not to make Daniel and especially Sam villainous by having them insist on it even more strongly than they do.) That's actually why Part One is wholly from Sam's and Daniel's perspectives: I wanted the reader, but not Rodney, to rule out the VR ("virtual environment!") scenarios, so that the reader was stuck between, not knowing which side was actually right. In fact, I planned for Part One to be the full story, which in retrospect was insane; I'm profoundly glad I realized I had to keep going!
sophia_sol on December 17th, 2009 06:12 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for sharing what you could about this! It's all very fascinating, and I am muchly looking forward to the sequel.

And on reread, you really did sell the questionable reality of Atlantis well. I'm just...too attached, I guess. Such that I wouldn't let myself think that Atlantis might be unreal. :P