wendelah1: (love in black and white)
[personal profile] wendelah1 posting in [community profile] xf_book_club
When I first began reading XF fanfic, [livejournal.com profile] crack_van was my, uh, crack supplier. I started at the top of the Memories and just kept on reading. "Pillar of Salt" was recced there by [livejournal.com profile] runpunkrun back in 2003. Unfortunately, by the time I found the site in 2007 or so, the links to this fic were broken. Eventually, I found a copy of "Pillar of Salt" archived—somewhere else—and was able to read it. I loved it. SO MUCH. Her Scully sounded just like the one on screen, and her Mulder did, too. Their relationship was just as codependent as the canon version. She wasn't trying to rewrite canon, she was enlarging it and adding to it! I had to have more Nascent fic. Because she'd taken down her website, it was a long, tough search.

But in 2011, Nascent archived some of her fanfic at Gossamer. This is particularly significant for "Pillar of Salt" because she rewrote an important section.

"Pillar of Salt" is set Winter 1998, post-"Fight the Future." It's told in first person, Scully's POV, which works wonderfully in Nascent's hands. As the story begins, Mulder has invited Scully away for a weekend, but under false pretenses. What can I say--it's Mulder being Mulder. I don't want to give anything away but let's just say the vacation does not go as expected--for either of them. Nascent is particularly good at integrating the relationship story into a well-plotted X-File.

Thank you to [livejournal.com profile] ledez_dreams for the nomination. The link is to Nascent's page at Gossamer. Please scroll to the fic. Don't forget to let us know what you think, and please keep the nominations coming.

Read Pillar of Salt by Nascent.

Great story!

Date: 2015-11-14 06:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] stefrobrts.livejournal.com
Pretty sure I read it back in the day too, but it hooked me and I couldn't put it down this time. First person POV is a challenging choice, but it really works, she's got Scully's voice just right.

Also I was pleased to see another of her stories 'Mulder, it's May' which I always thought was a clever little piece, so read it to while you're in her Gossamer archive :)

RE: Re: Great story!

Date: 2015-11-19 02:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] addisonzella.livejournal.com
I had tried to find this story before because someone had recommended it, but I couldn't find it. Thanks for the link. What's 201 days of xfiles in relation to fanfic? I know people are watching one episode a day until the new series.

This story had me on the edge of my seat at parts. Clever plot. Could seriously be an actual episode. I'm a shipper all the way, though, so I wish it had ended with more than friendship.

Date: 2015-11-26 10:29 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
This is one of my favourites (I put it in my top ten in the last post!). It was the first work of Nascent I read and I remember not being able to put it down, devouring it in one sitting, only to wish I had allowed myself to drag it out more. Here's why:

Nascent does a great job with the science. Obviously NDE's aren't hard science, but I really appreciated the discussion on how to create cardiac death, and how to revive the patient. It is much more concerned with expressing science than the show ever is. Scully's disgust with the process is very in character, and she of course is right to be disgusted, it does go against her beliefs, as a scientist for the risk posed to the patient, and as a spiritual person in it's attempt to, as Dr Von Deer says, "trick" the soul. I love the line to Mulder
"How dare you put me in this position, where to refuse you is to somehow betray you and to agree to play along is to betray myself?"

The X file is well thought out and interesting. What starts as a test for M &S's relationship and Scully's ruminations on her own faith and beliefs turns into a very interesting case. I'm actually curious to find out what is going on in that hospital and who is responsible. It also culminates in the perfect explanation for who is responsible, one that manages to be a surprise when you find out, but so clear upon re-reading. The story works as a whole, the x-file and Mulder's original intention for coming there isn't simply a vehicle for M&S to address their feelings for one another. There is a lot going on in this story, and I tend to like anything that isn't straightforward.

I'm not sorry the story doesn't culminate in a traditional relationship. Like Wendelah said, Nascent is adding to canon rather than diverting from it. She places the whole story into canon, but she scratches my relationshipper itch by finally having these two frankly and honestly discuss their relationship and their feelings for each other. I happen to think this story is very romantic, even if there's no actual romance (unless you count the dream sequence- or NDE that Scully experiences). I think this slots itself nicely into a season sixish spot, and it won't be long before they do succumb to their feelings.

The rewritten dream sequence. I read the new one, and re-read the old one at keyofx. Not sure what I think of it. I didn't dislike the old one and the new one is also fine. The sex in the first draft might have been a bit obvious, I can see why she might have wanted to scratch that. But at the same time, I find the original a bit more dreamlike and nightmarish, something that I liked. Scully sees all kinds of unsetting and disjointed images, and discussions with the important people in her life and I also liked the recurring snake in each scene and the culmination of Scully finally realizing what that means. The rewritten portion is a little more… straightforward. I liked the pregnancy though, it is definitely an expression of something Scully is preoccupied with at the time and it makes sense that it's expressed. I'm interested to know what other motivations others think Nascent had for the re-write. Like I said, it's much more tidy, so I could see the desire to edit, but the disjointed chaos of the first one actually appeals to me.

This story is a classic example of how this show has resulted in very rich fiction, that so often (and sadly in a way) surpasses the quality of the show itself. I think if a premise like this had been the episode "Demons," This one just seems so much richer in both character and plot.

Date: 2015-11-27 02:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ledez-dreams.livejournal.com
Haha yep, it was me. Totally forgot to log in!
Hope you feel better, migraines are the worst!
Edited Date: 2015-11-27 02:40 pm (UTC)

Re: Attempt the second

Date: 2016-05-31 05:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bmerb.livejournal.com
Dang now I have to go read the original!

Date: 2016-08-01 04:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bmerb.livejournal.com
I truly love this fic, and all of Nascent's writing. I wonder why there were so few comments on this piece though? I see so many more following Parabiosis, yet I find this to be far more "X-Files" than many if not most fanfic. As others have said, Nascent writes within canon, expands canon, and IMPROVES canon. For my tastes you don't get much better than Theory and Practice or Pillar of Salt, although I do love her take on the mytharc too. I'd love to see more thoughts from others on this one. Why so few comments? Not "shippy" enough?

Date: 2016-08-01 03:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bmerb.livejournal.com
Ah sad. UST is so good!

Date: 2016-08-01 04:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bmerb.livejournal.com
Also, thinking about the dream sequence, I actually read the revised version first so reading the original later was interesting. I too liked the original dream for its truly dreamlike qualities, the repeated elements, the way things flowed into horror easily. The sex scene seemed somewhat obvious as others mentioned, but also fitting so I have no real complaint about it.

The addition of the child in the second version added multiple layers I thought, particularly regarding the mind state of the "villain" since it was her own horrors she was struggling with.

Still, what struck me most in terms of difference between the original and the rewrite is the aftermath of the NDE/story climax. In the original her entire dream state experience was lost or hidden from Scully, or repressed (so canon!), whereas in the rewrite she is left aware of her experience, at least somewhat. That she remembers her dream state leaves an entirely different feel to it, at least for me, and different implications going forward.

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