Fanfiction Fridays: The Courtship of Mr. Bond


“I just thought you might go pay a visit,” his mother suggested.

“Me?” Q asked, aghast. “Pay a visit?”

“He must be starved for proper gentleman company, now that he’s settled in so far from London–”

“I am far from proper gentleman company.”

“–and perhaps if you befriended him he could introduce you to some nice heiresses.”

“Heiresses?” Q repeated, baffled and horrified. “What in the world would I do with heiresses?” (x)

Today’s fanfiction recommendation is a lovely historical AU set in the James Bond/Skyfall fandom.

The Courtship of Mr. Bond by marlowe_tops is set in Regency England and is actually more of a Pride and Prejudice AU, when you get right down to it. Q is the eldest brother and breadwinner of the Boothroyd household, with a mother and several sisters of marriageable age to provide for. He works as an engineer, inventing and fixing mechanical items for his neighbors. When a Commander Bond, unmarried and formerly of the Navy, moves into a neighboring estate, Q’s sister Georgiana sets her sights on him as a potential husband—but as Q chaperones Georgiana’s visits to Mr. Bond, the good Commander seems far more interested in Q than in his sister.

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Sexualized Saturdays: Playboys and Fluid Sexuality in Fanfiction

Bond-Silva-InterrogationToday I’d like to address a trope that has begun to bug me more and more recently. For me, it all started with Skyfall. Surprisingly engaged by the movie, and finding it surprisingly full of slash-bait, I drove home from the theater discussing the shipping possibilities with my friend and good-naturedly arguing over what exactly Bond meant when he said “What makes you think this is my first time?”

My friend pointed out, “Well, he is the quintessential playboy,” arguing that someone as addicted to the sensual pleasures as James Bond wouldn’t necessarily limit himself to experiencing those pleasures with just one gender.

I’ve also seen this a lot in Avengers slash fanfiction, especially about Tony Stark. It’s supposed to be unsurprising in these fics that he is bi, because hey, he sure does love having sex with women! Doesn’t it follow that he would love having sex with guys too?

Um, no. Not necessarily.

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Fanfiction Fridays: That Which We Are

I’ve been reading fanfiction for almost a decade now. That’s almost half my life. And it’s interesting to watch, as time passes, the leaps and bounds fanfic makes in terms of various issues. Years ago, almost every slashfic I read was about characters who were straight ‘but-you’re-my-one-exception’; now many fics delve into the complexities of the orientations between straight and gay. Writers have gotten better about not completely writing off canon love interests or prominent female characters just because they get in the way of a ship.

But it wasn’t until recently that, for the first time in my decade of reading, I found a fanfic that, instead of a straight character being queered, featured a cis character portrayed as trans.

article-2209436-153C1F56000005DC-992_634x400That Which We Are by mikkey_bones is a Skyfall fanfic that centers on the Bond franchise’s new Quartermaster, as played in the movie by Ben Whishaw. The summary states:

Q seems to explain gender theory, the Kinsey scale, and things like that on a daily basis. The dictionary by which he defines his identity isn’t an open book.

It’s relatively short (less that 5,000 words), but in that space mikkey_bones manages to make you really feel the discomfort, dysphoria, and panic that Q would feel regularly as a transman in a high-ranking government position. I didn’t like this fic—it made me uncomfortable and bore no resemblance to the sort of feel-good fanfic I generally seek out.

But I applaud it, because that’s what it was intended to do—to put you in Q’s place, and give you an insight into his experience. It’s tremendously well-written, contains no ships, and helps to fill a much needed void in representation in fanfic. I encourage everyone to check this out.

Let’s Put the “Gender” Back in Genderbending

Ever noticed how some fanfics write your favorite male characters as girls?

A gender bender, or genderbending, is when an author writes a character as the opposite of the gender that he or she is in canon—that is, the writer changes the character’s physical gender (not gender identity, although that could make for a fascinating fic as well). Relatively few stories use genderbending as a way of exploring transsexuality or the more complex issues of gender identity. Typically, as MadameAce has said in a previous post, genderbending is used to spice up existing romantic pairings between characters.

There are several reasons that authors normally use genderbending. The author might want to see more girls, due to either a lack of existing female characters or the existence of really poorly written female characters. Sometimes if the relationship in the story is (as fanfic tends to be) comprised of two guys, the author genderbends one of the characters so that the pair can more easily have children. But regrettably, in most fics, genderbending reads as a trope where guys (for the most part) are turned into girls and then there is a lot of sex, for reasons. The problem is, if you’re changing something as fundamentally definitive as a character’s physical sex, it shouldn’t be glossed over or used as a gimmick.

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Sexualized Saturdays: Oh, Mr. Bond!

So I saw Skyfall on Monday, and although I never expected to do a review of a James Bond movie for a feminist website—the two terms ‘007’ and ‘feminism’ are basically antonyms—hooooo boy, are there a lot of things to unpack, sexuality-wise. For those of you who haven’t seen it, spoilers will abound—this is going to be somewhere between a standard Sexualized Saturdays and a basic Skyfall review—so consider yourself warned.

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Web Crush Wednesdays: James Bond Lifestyle

I don’t know how high up James Bond is on your list of favorite things, but let’s be real honest: a large majority of the population loves a good James Bond movie. Or book (because on this blog, we like to read). So in honor of Skyfall, the next film in the Bond series which comes out November 9th, I bring you James Bond Lifestyle. I first learned about this site from my friend, who is a huge Bond fan. I decided to give it a whirl, hoping it would prove interesting.

Now I don’t know about you guys, but part of me wants to be James Bond. Especially for guys, James Bond is a specific kind of ‘man’s man.’ He gets the girls, gets the bad guys (in a different sense than the girls, of course), gets the martinis shaken and not stirred; he’s a suave badass and a cultural icon. It’s no wonder that many people, guys and girls alike, want to be like him.

This site enables you to do just that. Did you guys ever get those catalogs with all of the random LotR and Harry Potter memorabilia? This website makes those guys looks like amateurs. Holy cheese on rye, do they have a lot of Bond stuff. They already have every single jacket Bond wears in Skyfall. You name it, you can probably buy it on this site. Do you want to go stay in the hotels Bond has stayed at? You can through this site. Interested to learn more about the limited edition “Spy Gear” Sony has released to celebrate Casino Royale? You can do that too. Do you want a fake credit card that doubles as a lock pick set? You can get that too!

So if you want to be James Bond, all you need to do is buy everything on this website! Simple enough, right? Well, if you have enough money it is. Again, the website is James Bond Lifestyle and you can go there by clicking here!