Fanfiction Fridays: Guidance by Alara J Rogers

Trigger warning for depression, mental illness, and suicidal ideation up ahead.

Lately I’ve been watching Star Trek, which I feel I should have gotten into years ago, but for whatever reason did not. On top of that, I finally started medication for my depression, but as I’m still on the long road to recovery, I’ve been reading a lot of fics about characters struggling with problems similar to my own. A lot of those fics can be upsetting—they feature panic attacks and suicide attempts—and while they do show the recovery process, I wanted to find a fic that was nowhere near as triggering. Enter Guidance by Alara J Rogers, a Star Trek: The Next Generation fic about Q and Picard.

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Fanfiction Fridays: The Courtship of Mr. Bond

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“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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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.