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[community profile] fannish5: Which 5 persons from any fandom would you place on a lonely island to get the most interesting reaction?

1) Peter Kavanagh, Stargate Atlantis: If a Kavanagh complains in the wilderness and no one is around to hear him, does he make a sound? I've always been interested in Kavanagh's character. As unlikeable as he is sometimes, I never perceived him as evil. (I know people a lot like him, actually.) He's obviously a capable scientist, or he wouldn't have been offered a place on the expedition in the first place, but he's got this thing where he gets wrapped up in every worst case scenario ever. He also seems to feed off the energy of conflict, taking an active role in stirring the pot. So... what happens to Kavanagh when you isolate him from everyone else and make him fend for himself with no one to complain to but his own self? How long does he contemplate the unfairness of it all before he sucks it up and starts dealing with the situation? And then, how does he deal with it?

2) Angus MacGyver, MacGyver: Do I need to give a reason? How long would it take him to build a super rescue radio out of driftwood and random metal bits?

3) Dale Cooper, Twin Peaks: I just love his running monologue. Would he write notes to Diane on palm fronds?

4) Higgs, Sammeeeees: (this may be one of my very smallest fandoms. If you want to know more about the wonderful Sammeeeees story, go here, watch the intro video, and click through the links below it. It was a non-linear experience, so putting the pieces together might take a little work, but the story is well worth it. The digital prequel is an awesome read, as well. And I'll be happy to answer any questions! I'm working on a fic to post to AO3, but it's taking forever to finish.)

OK, new paragraph after that long intro. Before his involvement with the Sammeeeees, Higgs (not his real name) was a brilliant physicist. He experienced a sort of breakdown before falling into the clutches of Mr. Alan Johnson. I'm not sure what he's doing now, but last I saw of him, he was free, and, I hope, happy. I would choose him to put on a lonely island because I'd be interested in what he would do when left to himself, out of peril. He thinks a lot. Would he write out theoretical physics equations in the sand? Would he be glad of the silence and peace? Or would he try to escape the island and go back to civilization?

5) River Tam, Firefly: Away from the pressure of people's minds, thoughts, terrible deeds; left alone, what would she do? River seems to me to be a character who, if she had not been so horribly tampered with, would have been content to live a life of the mind. I can see her on a lonely island, easily adapting to the ins and outs of survival, and, once she had her routine in place, exploring, creating art, and building her own world. I don't think the loneliness would harm her, as long as she knew her brother was somewhere safe. But if she wanted to leave, there would be no stopping her.

ETA: The more I think about it, the more I want fic about all of these characters together on the lonely island, just to see how they interact with each other, deal with their situation, etc. I may have to add this to my "to-write" list. :D

elegantpi: (Default)
For [community profile] fannish5 7/2/2010: Name your five most-loved fairy tales.

1. Deerskin by Robin McKinley

Deerskin is a re-telling of the fairy tale "Donkeyskin" and other fairy tales of the same sort. It is not a happy tale - there is a mad king who wants to marry his own daughter, Lissar, who escapes his clutches and goes to live alone on a mountain and later in the palace of a king in another kingdom. It's hard to explain why I like this book, even though it's so difficult to read, but the writing is beautiful and I fall in love with Lissar and her dog, Ash, every time I read it.

2. Beauty by Robin McKinley

McKinley is sort of my fairy tale goddess. Beauty is the first book I ever read by her, and it remains one of my "comfort" books that I can read in an hour on a day that I'm feeling not-so-great. The invisible servants in the castle, the beautiful dresses, Beauty's sisters (who are not at all wicked but lovely, in fact), the Beast, the library that holds all the books that have been and all the books that will be, and the roses - it's all just perfect and has not diminished with time.

3. Stardust by Neil Gaiman

I didn't become familiar with the name Neil Gaiman until my friends on LiveJournal started writing reviews of some of his novels. I hadn't read the Sandman graphic novels, either. But back in 1997, an advertisement slip appeared in my box at my local comic book store announcing a 4-book series illustrated by Charles Vess. I ordered a copy of the series because of Vess - I was, like many people in the late 90s, deeply in love with Vess' art. And I loved this little series - the art and the story - and still have the four volumes. It wasn't until much, much later that I realized it was written by Neil Gaiman, and that was after I'd read Neverwhere.

The story of Stardust is so... glimmery and dark and gorgeous. Yvaine is so snarky and Tristran so patient, and then there are the brothers of Stormhold and the witches and it is all a delightful, violent, pretty tale indeed. I have seen the novel published without Vess' illustrations, but I don't know how anyone can read this story without them...

4. "Stone Soup"

This is one old fairy tale that has a happy ending and while teaching a positive lesson - qualities that are a bit rare in fairyland... In many variations of "Stone Soup" (or "Nail Soup" or "Axe Soup"), a traveler comes to a town where the people are poor and no one wants to share what they have for fear that they will end up with nothing. So the traveler borrows a large pot, puts in some water from a stream, and a large river stone and starts it boiling. Then he tells the villagers all about "stone soup" and how delicious it is. Then, he turns their curiosity about "stone soup" into a means of getting them to share what they have and add it to the soup - a little seasoning here, a few potatoes there - and finally, after everyone has put something into the pot, the whole village feasts on soup that they made together.

5. "Scheherazade"

I'm not fond of all of the Arabian nights tales, but my favorite is the over-arching story of Scheherazade and how she saved herself, her sister, the women of her country, and even, in some ways, the king himself. Scheherazade is the young woman who, seeing that no one was willing to do anything about a terrible situation, stepped in and handled it herself, with wisdom and wit.

One of my favorite feminist authors, Fatima Mernissi, talks a lot about Scheherazade in her autobiography, Dreams of Trespass (also titled The Harem Within) and analyzes Scheherazade's relationship with her husband in feminist terms and in terms of psychology and psychoanalysis. Her conclusions are fascinating and changed the way I read Scheherazade and her tales when I dig out my old Arabian Nights collection.


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