wendelah1: (But what of that?)
[personal profile] wendelah1 posting in [community profile] xf_book_club
One of the things that impresses me about this story, is the intensity of the (albeit short) sex scene. It's amazing what an author can do with a few choice pieces of dialogue in the right setting. If you're a Krycek/Mulder fan, and hell even if you're not, you'll find this story very appealing.
~Bright Shiny Objects

I'm not so sure about that, but we shall see.

One of the fascinating things to me about fandom is how we're not all watching the same show.

Let's try again, shall we?

While we may all be playing the same DVDs (known hereafter as The X-Files), we can have completely different reactions to the same episode. For example, I think "Paper Hearts" is one of the worst episodes of the series but a good friend believes it's the best, and we can both make convincing arguments for our respective positions. Fans can make completely opposite interpretations of what it meant when Mulder told Scully that he even made his parents call him "Mulder." What hooks us into the show (and then the fandom) isn't always the same thing either. For some fans, The X-Files is about Mulder and Scully, two heroic FBI agents who investigate the inexplicable and fight the forces of evil. For others, it's a show about Mulder and Scully, two gorgeous and sexy FBI agents who fall in love, and okay yeah, so they solve crimes sometimes, too. And for some fans of the series, the most important or at least the most fascinating thing about The X-Files is the character of Alex Krycek.

Someone posted to the Confessions from the Basement tumblr that they "wished this fandom wasn't so militantly anti-slash." I can't speak for everyone else, but I'm not anti-slash. I read slash, although less in this fandom than most. Although you've probably already read it, here you go, anonymouse from tumblr, have some great Mulder/Krycek slash.

Read "Let's Play House."

Love it or hate it, please let us know what you think. And please, especially if you want to read more slash, leave us some suggestions in the nomination post for next time.

(frozen)

Date: 2012-05-30 08:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] edisto0304.livejournal.com
"One of the fascinating things to me about fandom is how we're not all watching the same show."

Totally beside the point and I'm pretty sure you didn't mean it like that at all, but this sentence made me laugh so much. I'm stealing it and sharing it with my friends, who will appreciate this as much as I do.

And even though I don't normally read slash fic, simply because I'm a mono-ship kind of person and my ships are usually f/m, I have absolutely nothing against people, who ship Mulder/Krycek or any other slash/fem-slash coupling. And I can't think of anyone, who would hate on a person because they read that type of fic. So I wouldn't say this fandom is "miliantly anti-slash".

(frozen)

Date: 2012-05-30 10:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] edisto0304.livejournal.com
No, no, no! I'm sorry, I didn't mean to offend you and I wasn't laughing at you. This is just something I hear people frequently say, both about X-Files and other shows as well and I really like that you put a positive spin on the saying, because usually when I read it, it's in a negative way. So positivity all the way!

You're right, and I always forget how extraordinarily, surprisingly and luckily great my experiences with the X-Files fandom have been, especially in comparison with other fandoms and I'm sure there are intolerant people out there and anonymouse is absolutely valid in having come to that conclusion.

And I'm not saying I'm displeased in any way, quite the opposite, I'm very happy that you guys choose such a variety of genres/ships/styles, etc. in these fics. But you're absolutely right, I should actively show support and will read the fic.

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(frozen)

Date: 2012-05-30 09:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mosinging1986.livejournal.com
"wished this fandom wasn't so militantly anti-slash."

Are you kidding me? I'd never even heard that word before I discovered the XF online world! Out of all the things I love about fandom in general, this making up of relationships that aren't even remotely hinted at onscreen has been one of the most shocking and annoying.

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(frozen)

Date: 2012-05-30 10:45 pm (UTC)
hesychasm: (Default)
From: [personal profile] hesychasm
Thank you for the modding in the thread above. I really thought people would have gotten over the fact that slash exists by now.

One suggestion about directing discussion, which obviously you're free to disregard: I notice that this post has no summary of the story in question, no thoughts from you as a reader. Most of your other story discussion posts do have these things, and I think what's written in the original mod post tends to be what's responded to by initial commenters.

This post, as written, is mostly about how different fans read the show differently, and how slash is viewed by the fandom. There is very little about the story itself. So I'm not surprised it has prompted a reaction such as the above, because it sort of implicitly undercuts the validity of slash as an interpretation, and also undercuts this story as one worth discussing just like any of the (mostly) MSR stories highlighted here.

Basically: I applaud the motivation to be more inclusive. But the execution, for me, could be tweaked a bit.

Now off to read the story. Woo Mulder/Krycek!

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(frozen)

Date: 2012-05-30 11:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] littlegreen42.livejournal.com
One of the fascinating things to me about fandom is how we're not all watching the same show.

So true, so true. I think that this is how so many different people can all enjoy the same show -- they kind of have to have their own interpretations of it in order to like it, because everyone has such different tastes and interests. And it is fascinating to see how many angles from which you can look at something.

(I know we're supposed to be reading and commenting on the story, but this is such a fascinating discussion in itself -- and I don't know if I am going to read the story.)

(frozen)

Date: 2012-05-30 11:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zeldana.livejournal.com
After reading some of the replies above I'm actually rather intimidated to assert my opinion one way or another... but I was curious to see how others got into the show and what they look out for when they watch certain episodes. I was initially drawn to the paranormal aspect of it but I got hooked on the M/S relationship because it felt "right", at least to me. Barring the agents' genders and everything, they based everything entirely on trust and it's rare to see that on TV (and in real life) these days.

The episode "Milagro" was what drew me in.

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(frozen)

Date: 2012-05-31 01:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] foxy11814.livejournal.com
You know, it's funny, because I never considered XF to be "militantly anti-slash." The first time I ran across slash was in the XF community, and from my point of view, it was very popular. Of course, it isn't as popular as MSR, but then again, the show wasn't about Krycek, so that's what makes the difference.

But again, I think it's sad that people would even want to post negative comments about someone's ship. As you've said, we all read and watch things and have different interpretations about them because we have different backgrounds. That's true with regular fiction and fanfiction. And, of course, if you don't like the ship, then don't read it! Don't bash others that do! It's that simple really!

(frozen)

Date: 2012-05-31 01:57 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I'll admit I was anti-slash before I started in this fandom. So I can't really form an unbiased opinion on it, because two previous fandoms wrecked it for me.

I think that Mulder is more likely to end up with Krycek than Scully. But that's really the best I can do.

(frozen)

Date: 2012-05-31 02:46 am (UTC)
ext_20969: (Default)
From: [identity profile] amyhit.livejournal.com
Still to Come: a comment on the actual fic!

I am of the opinion that every ship (that doesn’t inherently involve rape) was created equal.

That said, I’m going to stick my neck out a little bit here and say that in this specific fandom, for me personally, Mulder/other-male-character pairings sometimes bother me, but ONLY because it bothers me to see Scully so blatantly overlooked. Scully is a strong, compelling female character with a role that is – against the odds – roughly equal in screen time and importance to Mulder’s. She is the female lead in a show full of almost exclusively male characters. Because of this, when a fic passes over the canonical M/S ship in favor of pairing Mulder with a male character, it rankles with me on a feminist level.

However, I’ve heard people say that part of what slash does is makes up for the fact that homosexual characters have always been excluded from or marginalized in popular fiction. For that reason I think slash deserves recognition, consideration, and support.

Also, I’ve recently been spending a LOT of time reading (and adoring) a slash pairing in another fandom, and I’ve come to realize that slash – apart from having much of the same appeal as het – has certain appeals that het does not have. There is a lot more leeway to explore relationship power-dynamics, as one example. What I’m saying is that slash is not just an alternative to het, where both the characters are male. It’s an alternative to het that offers some distinctly different things that may appeal to the reader as well.

Slash is far more than just the desire to see two dudes making out. Which for most of us probably goes without saying, but given a certain narrow-minded comment posted up-thread, it seems worth saying anyway.

Despite the opinions of a few narrow-minded (I'm going to leave it at “narrow-minded” for now) individuals in TXF fandom, I disagree that TXF fandom is anti-slash. The fact is that well over half of the fanfic posted on AO3 is slash. By that standard, of course a fandom like TXF, which is primarily het, is going to seem “anti-slash.” What TXF fandom actually is, is primarily MSR – nothing “anti” about it. I can definitely say that in all my time spent on Gossamer, I’ve seen LOTS of slash, and the comment up-thread is honestly the most anti-slash thing I’ve encountered in the fandom in five years.

(frozen)

Date: 2012-06-01 05:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bardsmaid.livejournal.com
Back again, having read and digested the story. I'm not one, personally, who sees slash in the dynamic between Mulder and Krycek (though I certainly do see a strong dynamic between the two), so what I like in a M/K story is a strong sense of the characters we see on the show, and that signature tension between the two is very evident here.

I enjoyed the imagery, and Alex's musings and reactions to the situation. It made me think again of something I've had on my mind lately, of how differently one tends to approach writing, and a style of writing, when a piece is short as opposed to one that's, say, novel-length. I know when I write short fic I tend to let myself play with words and imagery more, and am more conscious of style (and, frankly, of me writing, rather than trying to simply be a clear window through which the characters appear), which is something you really can't sustain over the course of several hundred pages... and no doubt shouldn't. For me, this story fell right in some sort of margin-land in this regard, where I was nearing a point of feeling a little weighed down with the cleverness and observation as I tried to make my way forward through the plot. I think this is what happens to me when I read Parabiosis: I love the spot-on observations and the style and the wordplay and the characters, but after a while I start to feel like they've become hip-boots slowing my forward progress through the story. All of which is just my personal quirky reaction as both a reader and a writer.

(frozen)

Date: 2012-06-02 01:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] estella-c.livejournal.com
Wow, what an interesting conversation erupted while I was busy with my shopping kink! Wendy, I think you should allow OT comments; they all circle around to the same place and they allow a certain freedom of expression.

I'm a die-hard shipper--came for the weird, stayed for the sex--and I'm not a slasher. Het porn makes my motor run, but a m/m "smut biscuit" would not. I admit that I find the wide popularity of slash with female fans somewhat mysterious, though I don't object to it at all. I think the "militantly anti-slash" comment might be due to the fact that slash is proportionately less in X-File fic, and the reason probably is that Scully is such a strong presence on the screen and in Mulder's life. She can't be frivolously disregarded, and one reason I like this story is that she is not: she is treated with a respect that is actually poignant in nature. (Scully's bathroom is a safe place for Krycek, where is regresses to a childhood belief in possibilities long destroyed. Eating Scully's toast, he thinks of sainthood-- maybe earlier--and he thinks he might have been a writer. The heart is touched. Well, possibly not Wendelah's heart ;).)

I love the writing, I like the sense of metaphor experiment, but there's no doubt it's sloppy. Should have betaed, or at least carefully reread. See Hesychasm's listing of strained metaphors; I love it when other people do the work. But, like the show itself, we don't always feel words in the same way. I agree that the scuffed suede is ludicrous, but I kind of like the egg-shaped radiator drops. Go figure. One glitch I definitely noticed--when there's a lot of physicality you have to pay attention to who's where and who's doing what to whom--is when Mulder has Krycek shoved up against the wall so hard the screws in the picture frames are shaking. Yeah, a bit much, but intense. So they're back to front; Krycek can feel Mulder against his ass. Then, "All the color is sweated from his skin." Krycek can't see his own skin. He can't see Mulder's skin. Who is observing?

I'm a nit fiend. I would have edited the hell out of this.

But I liked it, truly. Of course the only possible relationship between Mulder and Krycek is sadomasochistic. I did think it was a bit overstated--or maybe I just don't like my Mulder being such a brute--but the sexualization of the violence rings absolutely true. And I do think that Krycek is in love with Mulder, the term "in love" being extremely elastic. He can't love a woman sexually; they're all on the pedestal. He is self-hating, so he takes pleasure in teasing the beatings and the arousal out of Mulder, which I'm sure arises from Mulder's self-hatred as well. (Is this getting me into trouble: linking S and M with self-hatred? Probably.) I think what convinces me of the "love" is that wonderful paragraph in which Krycek describes the sense of freedom and possibility in being with Mulder, the infinite, twisted weirdness that is in Mulder's brain. It's not a healthy love, it's very desperate and edgy, but that's the situation, guys. Desperation saturates this story, which is why the little bits of safety and serenity (at Scully's place) and the brief taste of happiness (after Krycek sleeps with Mulder) are so heartbreaking. Krycek could been friends with both his enemies, but he killed the father of one and the sister of the other. He is truly trapped in the circumstances of his life.

Mulder does come off as a bastard, though the show allows for this. I kept wanting him to cool it. Still, actual torture...is disturbing.

I can't wait for someone to argue with me so I can explain what I mean. Then I will actually figure out what I mean. The twisted weirdness in my brain.

(frozen)

Date: 2012-06-02 06:39 pm (UTC)
ad00absurdum: (xf - 3 monkeys)
From: [personal profile] ad00absurdum
Of course the only possible relationship between Mulder and Krycek is sadomasochistic.

I disagree. A good writer can make anything work (though probably not m-preg *trolol*) and while there's a lot of canonical violence in the Mulder&Krycek relationship, there is also possiblity for something else.

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Date: 2012-06-02 06:35 pm (UTC)
ad00absurdum: (xf - 3 monkeys)
From: [personal profile] ad00absurdum
Interesting. I wouldn't describe TXF fandom as militantly anti-slash, really. I've never seen such huge fic archives dedicated solely to slash as in this fandom, truth be told, though admittedly, that may be because my other fandoms are, well, small.
That said, maybe the places for discussion: forums etc. are overwhelmingly MSR or gen. Well, the one forum I sometimes go to is pretty much gen-only so I can sort of see why the commenter thought TXF fandom is anti-slash.

But this: One of the fascinating things to me about fandom is how we're not all watching the same show. This made me LOL. In a very good way. Isn't it wonderful how many interpretations can one thing have? Not that I actually think the whole of TXF, or even part of it, could be interpreted as a Mulder/Krycek love story even though by all acounts I could be called a slasher. There are, however, possibilities. Like the look Krycek gives Mulder after handing him the car keys and knowing Mulder will find cigarette butts in the car's ashtray or the "stupis-ass haircut" comment or The Kiss or... well, you get the picture. Interesting little points of divergence, of roads not taken by the show overtly.

Well, OK, to put it simply, I'm never interested in what's right in front of my nose and that's probably also why I'm not a fan of MSR - Carter made Mulder and Scully a pair on the show, killing such a wonderful friendship/UST/whatever you see *here follows a rant on how I've always liked M & S better as friends etc.* Unforgivable really.

Anyway, the fic. Thanks [livejournal.com profile] wendelah1 for pointing out something I've never read before. Interesting story, though it won't become one of my favourites. Too much angst and Mulder being a sadist. I don't really like seeing Krycek being beaten in fics. I reckon he's had enough of this kind of treatment on the show, so when it comes to fan fiction, I like to see him at least fight back. Or, well, being the "top" as it were since we're talking about slash.
Have I mentioned I've also got equality kink?

I like how the story was written, though - such a verbose prose and even though some of the metaphors or similes may not exactly work. the whole thing is pretty well written.
Also, I like how it isn't about love. Mulder definitely doesn't love Krycek and I don't think Krycek loves Mulder despite him saying so. It's like he says it just to see what Mulder would do - he predicts a beating, gets it and grins that he can also get some sex out of it. It's like a twisted version of his usual screwing with Mulder.

(frozen)

Date: 2012-06-02 08:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] estella-c.livejournal.com
I do think Krycek loves Mulder. But it's a very narrowly defined love, and--Wendelah alert--a doomed ship!

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Date: 2017-01-16 05:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bmerb.livejournal.com
Interesting. I think my favorite line is this one

For a second, Mulder makes like he's puzzled, but he isn't, not really. It's the I'm-so-straight-I-don't-even-know-what-you're- talking-about face; Alex has seen it lots of times. It just doesn't stop being funny.

I kind of love that line. It's perfect and hilarious and oh so true. The rest of it had moments but nothing that really grabbed me, and honestly I'm perfectly happy with m/m, f/m, or f/f sex or romance if it's written well (though I suppose I'm generally more predisposed to f/m and f/f truth be told).

I think I wanted both more and less from this fic. Like, why bring up the morphine issue but ignore it later? If he needed to shoot up in the likely less than 12 hours at Scully's house, why no mention of it in the more than 24 hours at Mulder's place? Apparently I wanted more there as I liked the potential complications indicated (and now I too want to know if he was using clean needles, and did Mulder use a condom? Geez Mulder, first the vampire/blood sports lady and now Krychek, hope you practice safe sex).

I'll be honest. I didn't jive with the second sex scene. I mean actually the scene was pretty dirty nasty hot, what with the Doggett cuckolding kink fantasy and all which was great, but I don't buy the premise of the scene AT ALL. Time frame wise Mulder has been recently returned from the dead and clearly was/is in an intimate-ish relationship of sorts with Scully (she's having his baby right?). I cannot buy for a minute that fantasizing about Doggett or Krychek was happening at any conscious level, or really spending much time in the background either. Too much serious deep trauma, too many issues. A little sexual tension with people you aren't deeply emotionally engaged with and trusting just doesn't seem to take the forefront in my mind.

Now the conversations in the comments above WERE fascinating, very much so. Not sure how the one commenter didn't see Krychek as having killed the tram operator, nor seen any indication of that (huh??), and it must have been seriously contentious for the reply function to have been locked on all comments. Interesting! Wish I'd been here then!

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