- SCIENCE FICTION :D
- narratives about women and their relationships with each other, whether platonic or romantic (so feel free to make everyone a woman, regardless of singer gender)
- achieving greatness via wanting to do something, then doing it so hard one becomes great in the process.
- competence porn
- snark (if mutual)
- loving descriptions of landscapes, space, whatever
- Shown Their Work details
- generic nerdery and science feels
- academia and assorted academic pissing contests and infighting when played for humor
- happy endings
I tend to prefer fics that are about an (external) thing happening (eg. There is an engineering malfunction!) more than fics that are about a trope (eg. Accidental Baby Acquisition or what-have-you). I appreciate this can be a fuzzy line to tread, but I hope this helps you in your ficcraft.
- Dystopias of any stripe – I want lightish shades of grey currently
- character death
- violence to fingers or eyes
- noncanonical permanent disability or the acquiring of such
- animal harm (especially negative outcomes for horses)
- sexism, homophobia, racism, etc and narratives built solely around them
- religion, especially real-world religions
- plots based entirely on miscommunication
- pure introspection/character study/slice of life or angst
On Original Characters
For pretty much everything, I absolutely adore competence, especially in women. Competence, ambition, determination, use of every tool at her disposal. The archetype I uncritically adore is the Scientist: the smart, competent person who is absolutely thrilled to have discovered something, anything new. To have understood one more piece of the universe. Other aspects I appreciate in characters are the ability to enjoy adrenaline thrills, curiosity, knowing WTF they're doing or at least pretending that they do, and women lifting heavy objects. Creativity and creative problem-solving. Knowing the rules and exploiting them.
For serious things, gambits, schemes, and pile-ups of the aforementioned are welcome, should you wish to try your hand at it. I prefer no black-and-white morality with generic idealized heroes who do no wrong. Sure, the morality can be dark grey and light grey, but the villains should have some motivation beyond "because we're evil" and the heroes should be human (or alien) and not be avatars of perfect goodness. Essentially, things about human beings, warts and all, who occasionally struggle to be good but do the right thing anyway.
For light-hearted things, I like the sort of "sane person against the Universe" dynamic found in Connie Willis' "In the Late Cretaceous" and/or this Vorkosigan fic by Ankaret. Life is absurd, and bureaucracy even more so. Red tape and counterproductive regulations are a theme that can have me doubled-over laughing. Light-grey-and-light-grey morality.
Please, no slapstick or anything based on embarrassing people.
Automatic - Amaranthe (Song)So lift me up and take me high and make me everlasting
Why does the narrator want to be saved from hirself? Is it linked to the "I am automatic" bits – perhaps the narrator suffers from some degenerative disease and wants to be "upgraded" into a cyborg? How easy is the process? Has the narrator already embraced the cyborg/transhuman/"automatic" identity, and what was the tipping point? What's the thing in the air? Is desire for immortality part of the narrator's motivation? How much control over hir own life does the narrator have? Do they have a scientist friend they've agreed to become a prototype/proof of concept for?
Dangerous - Within Temptation (Song)It makes your blood run, to throw the dice
The narrator is very much an adrenaline freak, I think. In any case, a narrator who does risky things – "throws the dice" – and succeeds. A joyful edge of mania? Perhaps the narrator is running an Admiral Naismith -type show, or in charge of a significant operation (Special Forces?), or is a pioneer of spaceflight (Mars? :D) or an extremophile of some other stripe. What's the destiny the narrator speaks of? What is the thing the narrator'll die for? What is the bit about "worlds colliding" about? Is the "edge of life" perhaps an actual place the narrator could journey to? What made the narrator decide ze couldn't change?
Endless Forms Most Beautiful - Nightwish (Song)Alive, aware, in awe
Before the grandeur of it all
A time-traveling biologist/palæontologist takes a trip to see one/many/all of the named things? Or the Cambrian Explosion, with its weird, wacky, and wonderful wildlife? Did something get left outside the known fossil record? – Or is it the ancient wildlife that have come to visit the modern era? What accommodations do they need? What crocodile hunter -type wrangler gets assigned to wrangle the animals and plants? Lots of squeeing about biology and its wonders very welcome. Infodumps and nerdery and specialist knowledge, too.
Let It Roar - Battle Beast (Song)I fear not the unknown
So, the narrator's on a voyage through space! What sorts of hijinks does she get into to get to her beloved? What is the Hell within her, apart from the long-distance relationship? What does racing the cosmic storm winds look like? What was it like to touch the edge of the universe? What is Planet X like? What aliens does she have to ask directions from? Why is her beloved far away from her? What happens when they reunite?
Sonne - Rammstein (Song)Sie ist der Hellste stern von allen
Intriguing in its simplicity, I have two different branches of prompt for this song:
An (ant)arctic civilization, greeting the first sunrise of the coming spring. What's their society like? How do they greet the first sunrise of coming spring and the first sunset of coming autumn? (DNW exception: fictional religions okay.)
Is the Sun some sort of transhuman Empress/other ruler/influential person? What's the society like? How did she come to her position? How common is transhumanism?
Stand My Ground - Stratovarius (Song)And I will stand my ground
I need to see where it leads
So, where does the narrator's ground lead? What does ze defend hir beliefs agains? What are the narrator's dreams? The narrator's destiny? Basically, just a narrator who stands with hir head up high and spine straight against the universe and achieves hir dream(s), whatever they may be – discovering more of how the universe works, running for high office and winning, etc. (And a slight exception to my DNWs: some bleakness/sexism/religion etc allowed here, as long as it's fixed by the end/is being fixed at the end.)
Storm the Sorrow - Epica (Song)To grasp the meaning of it all
To overcome my limits
The narrator has obviously undergone some journey of self-discovery, and struggles, but what I really really love is her underlying philosophy: No heed for shadows on your way / That try to steal your laughter. How does she manage to abide by her philosophy? What is the hardest part? What is the sorrow she couldn't storm? How did she get from her prior incarnation to here? – And, as an extension of that, her overcoming her limits. Her intertwining the lines and making new, novel connections. Her discovering something. Her succeeding.