First, Grana is one of my favorite clothes shops--the materials are really high quality and their modal/cotton tops are the softest I've ever had. There is a big clearance now, and if you use this link then you get 10% off and I get $20 in credit. (Socks & tops are really cheap in the clearance.)

I went to see Alexandra Petri's To Tell My Story: Although the structuring conceit is a loose retelling of Hamlet, with a modern-day fangirl as the tragic protagonist Elsie, there are a number of other fandoms represented, most obviously Harry Potter, secondarily Twilight (though only identified as “vampire” in the promo materials, grrr), MCU (similar, grr), LoTR, Sherlock, and Historical RPF (Abraham Lincoln). Some observations:

1. Just as Ready Player One hails as its ideal reader an 80s fanboy, this play hails a 21st-century fangirl. I laughed a lot.

2. Me, a pedant: Technically, this isn’t a “fanfic,” but a “fandrama” or “fanwork,” though I understand why they used the more well-recognized term.

3. For a number of reasons, commercial “fanworks,” if you accept the application of that term to them—and for this play at least I think we should—tend to be metafictions, interested in the mechanisms of storytelling (see, e.g., Jasper Fforde’s series, Dumas père’s Kean as remixed by Sartre, Supernatural’s Fan Fiction and Slash Fiction episodes), especially if you include in the metafiction category retellings from the perspective of a character whose experience is elided from the original (see, e.g., Wide Sargasso Sea, Lo’s Diary, The Wind Done Gone, Jacqueline Carey’s retelling of LoTR). This play is no exception, as the title indicates, and I also sense a reference to Hamilton’s “who lives, who dies, who tells your story”—especially since Petri’s play, much more than Shakespeare’s, emphasizes that you (the character) have little to no control over those things. In Petri’s version, Elsie is not able to orchestrate the narrative for Horatio to repeat.

4. The program fascinated me because the format is very specifically taken from the Archive of Our Own, with its major tags, additional tags and kudos count, as well as fandom categorizations. And I’m pretty sure all the additional tags are canonical, even though some of them are not what we envisioned when we set up the additional tags field. That’s folksonomy for you. Anyway, obviously I don’t think there’s any trademark problem, and wouldn’t be for a creative work even if it used more of the Archive’s trade dress, but it’s notable that the AO3 now provides some standard formatting choices.

A few reviews, in the fannish theme:

Joe Harris & Dirk Maggis, The X-Files: Cold Cases (audiobook):I was on the fence about whether hearing those familiar voices would be worth it saying new variations on the same dialogue (at least there’s no Scully yelling “drop it!”), and enjoyed the first few episodes’ worth of total nonsense, including the return of the Flukeman and some other name-dropping. But then things took a turn for the worse with an X-File in Saudi Arabia where the voice actors and situations seemed to have been plucked from 50s stereotypes, and the nonsense overwhelmed the pleasure. (If this is supposed to be canon, then the next season may be even harder to understand.) As a not-actually-dead character said about the “explanation” he was being given, “If that’s true, it’s messed up.” Truer words, my not-friend, truer words.
Cherie Priest, I Am Princess X: Priest tries her hand with modern YA, complete with tumblrs and Dropbox accounts. Libby was May’s best friend; Libby illustrated May’s Princess X stories. Then she died. Three years later, May starts seeing Princess X stickers around town, and finds a webcomic (many of whose images are shown in the book) that seems to tell a version of Libby’s own story. Now what? Breezy despite the relatively grim subject matter.

Jeremy Whitley & M. Goodwin, Princeless Book One: Save Yourself: Cutely done version of fairly first-wave feminist tropes (see title), including the sensitive bad-fighter prince who’s the twin of the scrappy princess, locked up as a prize for the first prince who can defeat her dragon (spoiler: they can’t). The main humans are people of color, with a few weedy white princes and a half-dwarf girl and a greenish elf for contrast. It’s got a superficially strong message, but something [personal profile] astolat said to me once kept coming back to me, about how narratives that prioritize the single strange female rebel (or even the duo, once we get to the half-dwarf girl) reinforce the idea that female strength has to be fought for, instead of presumed to exist. Sometimes you want more from your fantasy. OTOH, as part of a broader diet, this is pretty cute.

Neil Gaiman, Norse Mythology: Gaiman retells some of the key Norse myths, and it’s enjoyable, though I liked Astolat’s version of Thor’s near-marriage to a giant better.
Identity URL: 
Account name:
If you don't have an account you can create one now.
HTML doesn't work in the subject.


If you are unable to use this captcha for any reason, please contact us by email at

Notice: This account is set to log the IP addresses of people who comment anonymously.
Links will be displayed as unclickable URLs to help prevent spam.


Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags