Web Crush Wednesdays: Are They Gay?

web crush wednesdaysI’m not sure where I first stumbled upon the Are They Gay? web series, but I’m sure glad I did. This series provides a funny, inclusive, and informative analysis of various slash ships that starts and ends with asking the titular question: are these two people gay? It features a wide variety of pairings including mlm and wlw slash ships, and is a great primer to the history and background of certain ships in addition to ultimately offering an answer to that pressing question.

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A Lack of Femslash Fills You with Determination

Light spoilers for Undertale. Continue at your own risk.

I don’t think I’m alone in saying that Undertale was the unexpected hit of the year as far as video games are concerned. The Earthbound-esque indie game born from the mind of Toby “Radiation” Fox (Homestucks should recognize the name, as his hands are all over the various soundtracks for the webcomic) follows the story of a young child, Frisk, who has fallen unto the Underworld, a land beneath the human world that monsters call home. It’s up to Frisk to find a way back to the human world. However, to do so, they’re told they must break through a barrier separating the two worlds from each other, and to do that they need to combine the power of a human soul and a monster soul. One of the more interesting things about Undertale is how it attempts to break down the clichés of traditional RPGs. In doing this, the game is more of a morality tale on what you’re willing to do to reach your goal—are you going to kill the monsters to get stronger? Or will you find a more peaceful way to traverse the Underground—as well as an examination on a player’s own drive to be cruel for their own entertainment. Though, as with most pieces of media, the aspect that keeps people playing the game and in the fandom is the characters.

Undertale TitleUndertale offers its players a complete cast of interesting and quirky characters that also manage to scratch some diversity itches. The robot Mettaton is coded heavily as trans, delighting in his life now that he has a new body that he feels comfortable in and that expresses the real him. Frisk, the player character, is purposefully addressed using the pronouns “them” and “they”, giving players a young non-binary lead (and perhaps even a non-verbal lead, if fan theories prove to be true). The topic of depression is viewed through the eyes of the ghost Napstablook and the royal scientist Alphys. And ladies are given just as important roles as the men are; both are cast as knights, protectors, caretakers, and powerful, intelligent creatures; both have secondary and supporting roles. Each character is memorable and likable, yet, as usual, fandom love is not doled out as equally.

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Sexualized Saturdays: On Sterek, Shipping, and Selfishness

Teen_Wolf_Season_3_Episode_4_Unleashed_Keahu_Kahuanui_Charlie_Carver_Danny_and_EthanAfter two seasons of showcasing nothing but heterosexual relationships, Teen Wolf will be taking a big risk next Monday by showing a gay sex scene between Danny, who’s already been shown as canonically gay, and Ethan, one of the Alpha twins. The two have shown a mutual attraction to each other; whether they are romantically interested like Scott and Allison, or just looking for a quick hookup like Lydia and her many S3 boys, it’s only fair to give their relations the screentime that it deserves. Continue reading

Web Crush Wednesdays: Imagine Your OTP

It seems like I’m always late to the party with these things. That is to say, this is another webcrush that has reached its end of its regularly scheduled life.

With the birth of the internet, fans of certain things were finally able to congregate together and support each other though more organized gathering places such as forums, chat rooms, and writing hubs like Archive of Our Own and Fanfiction.net. Needless to say, thanks to places like this, fanfiction became one of the most numerous, and infamous, mediums on the web. Being a fanfiction author myself, there’s nothing I like better than seeing other people’s takes on characters and the plethora of creative ideas that weave themselves through the authors words. AUs, family problems, medical issues: I love all of them. Yet sometimes when I finally put pen to paper myself I face a very serious issue: I have no fucking clue what to write about. That’s where this site comes in.

webcrush picPerhaps it’s a little bit catered to my endlessly shipping heart, but the Imagine Your OTP Tumblr has provided me with more prompts and more bursts of creativity than anything else has in a long while. As advertised in the title, this Tumblr offers a large array of reader-submitted prompts with a theoretical pairing (or OT3, depending on the prompt) being placed in a number of situations. Yet, perhaps contrary to what one would guess, not all the prompts are romantic and not all the prompts hold a Disney style ending. The prompts can range from simple scenarios such as “Person A and Person B are treasure hunters” or “live in an apartment together and Person A hates Person B’s cat” to more involved ones containing socio-political intrigue. And for every “Person A has an awesome time with Person B” there’s a “Person A ends up killing / dying with Person B” to follow it up. As to be expected though, many of the prompts are romantic in nature varying from adorable fluff to NSFW smut, but luckily all the posts are tagged for your convenience so you can merely skip these if they’re not your cup of tea.

Strangely Accurate

Strangely Accurate

Imagine Your OTP is, at its core, a distillation of the larger fanfiction sites, or writing sites in general, where only the most basic of ideas are being shared with not attempt at convincing anyone that certain characters need to take the anonymous roles of A and B (or even C). Even if you’re not using it to stoke a writing muse, it’s still plenty fun just to browse through, to see all the different and creative ideas that have be submitted over time. Hopefully though, if you’re going through a rough patch in your writing or it simply feels like there’s too much and nothing at all to write about, this site can help you out the way it has helped me in the past.

Fanfiction Fridays: When the Music Stops

Hello readers, it’s me, Fiyero3305, bringing you another wonderful AU Big Time Rush fic. Today’s story comes from the very talented author candidcanoe and is titled “When the Music Stops“.

Kogan

As I’ve mentioned in my reviews of the show, the boys of Big Time Rush started out as four friends growing up together in Minnesota before unexpectedly ending up with a trip to Los Angeles to become a boy band for a desperate record producer named Gustavo Rocque. This story is AU because it explores how things would be different if one of the four guys never moved to Minnesota, making for a completely different dynamic for the trio of friends as opposed to the quartet we know in the show.

In this story Logan suffers an accident as a child which leaves him deaf. Because his parents don’t want to uproot him in light of the situation they decide not to move to Minnesota as planned and Logan instead grows up in Texas, never knowing the three boys who would have been his best childhood friends had he gotten to meet them. Up north, James, Carlos, and Kendall grow up loving each other but never having the proper symmetry to their friendship. This is felt most keenly by Kendall, who has to deal with knowing James and Carlos share a closer bond with each other than they do with him while he has no one to call his own, to be his best friend.

Logan’s absence affects the group in another way: they never become Big Time Rush. Gustavo Rocque still comes to Shakopee, Minnesota on his talent search but instead of accepting Kendall’s terms of making his friends into a band in order for him to sign on with the producer’s label, he passes on the offer of a three-man boy band. The trio does feel the call to music, however, and try to make themselves a band and move to LA on their own.

Music also becomes very important to Logan in his adolescence. Growing up without his sense of hearing he has a unique appreciation for music in that he feels it rather than hearing it but it fills a need in his soul. Logan in this story grows up very differently than Logan in the show. He’s isolated and relies only on himself. He has trust issues and doesn’t express himself very well or put himself at risk of emotional pain but finding music gives him an artistic release. He pursues his dreams of being a drummer by attending school in LA.

From here, I’m sure you’ve guessed that he meets up with Kendall, James, and Carlos but things don’t go so smoothly. Read the story to find out all the twists and turns of how these four friends find each other and how differently they work together having grown up apart. It’s not so easy as one may assume and I love that candidcanoe keeps the story character-driven and doesn’t make things easy or clean when the four finally meet. There’s no magic moment of fitting in and understanding; it takes work and not everything is perfect harmony. I love it when authors don’t sacrifice characterization for a neat and pleasant story, so if you’re like me then you should definitely give this story a read.

Sexualized Saturdays: “Straight guys don’t do that!”

I’m sure our readers know that I am a big fan of Big Time Rush, but you may not know that I am also a fan of Supernatural. In fact, I was the one to tell Ladies Geek Girl and Saika about the show in the first place and encourage them to watch it, so…

I’m not very active in the SPN fandom anymore, though, because my work schedule makes it difficult to keep up with the show, which is why I don’t really post about it. (I am watching the anime version right now though, so expect a post or two about that once I finish the series) Back when the show started, however, I followed the fandom pretty closely through LiveJournal and forums (these were pre-tumblr days folks!) so I was very aware of the shipping and all that in the fandom. One of the things I noticed that irked me, which I’ve also noticed in the BTR fandom, was that any time Sam and Dean (or Jared and Jensen, for that matter) showed affection or concern for one another everyone jumped all over it as being proof that they were gay for each other.

 

Why does this bother me? Well, for one, I related strongly to the family dynamic in Supernatural. I saw myself in Sam so much and the relationships he had with Dean and John hit really close to home with my own relationships with my brother and father. It was wonderful to see them try, fail, try again, make headway, etc. in their relationships with one another and the strength of familial love between them reminded me of my own and gave me hope that no matter what troubles may exist in my own family we could get through them because we loved each other.

Then I went online and that love was turned from something purely familial into something lustful and I was made to feel uncomfortable and confused. Why did it seem no one could believe that these men loved each other as father and son, brother and brother? Why did any sign of affection have to be turned into something romantic or sexual? One of the phrases I saw thrown around a lot in the SPN fandom and even more so in the BTR fandom is “Straight guys don’t do that.”

And any time I see that phrase, or some variation thereof, I want to ask “Says who?”

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Fanfiction Fridays: Hanging On (At the End of the World)

Whenever I hear the word “epidemic” in conjunction with post-apocalyptic stories I assume “zombies”. This story does not have zombies but I still chose to write about it as one of my Halloween-themed posts because it’s awesome and the collapse of civilization is still a pretty frightening subject so I think it counts.

Hanging On (At the End of the World) is an AU Big Time Rush fanfic written for this year’s Big Time Big Bang by author CerinityKS with artwork by teh_emowaffle.

WARNINGS: I must warn for violence, a graphic almost-sex scene, and mentions of offstage sexual abuse. It’s rated M for a reason, this story ain’t kidding around, but I think these situations are handled pretty well by the author.

The story follows the four friends as they deal with the aftermath of a deadly black market drug which causes either death or animalistic homicidal rages in its users. The premise has a very 28 Days Later feel to it and definitely has some similarities to other pandemic films but it doesn’t feel unoriginal and Cerinity’s writing is strong enough to make the story very much her own.

I wanted to finish introducing Big Time Rush the show before posting any fanfiction about it but since those posts have been put on hold in favor of my spooky October posts I had to give up on that hope. Thankfully the story is fully AU so it doesn’t matter too much if the reader is unfamiliar with the show’s canon. CerinityKS has written a piece that I believe is complete on its own and doesn’t rely very heavily on the reader knowing the characters beforehand since they have new backgrounds anyway.

The story involves shipping, namely Kendall/Logan (my OTP) and James/Carlos but what I love is that it’s still a story independent of these relationships. It’s not just relationship drama, it’s a story that has relationship drama included. The story gives focus to these aspects but it’s not just one character yearning for another and then confessing his love at the end. Instead, it’s a very character-driven piece which I absolutely love.