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[identity profile] amyhit.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] xf_book_club
There aren’t that many season nine fics out there, and for me "Vehicle and Tenor" is literally the only one that springs readily and fondly to mind. It’s quite short, as all of Suture's fics are, but it clearly demonstrates Suture’s almost signature knack for writing from secondary character’s POVs. In this case, we’re seeing Mulder through the eyes of Gibson Praise, as well as seeing Gibson’s life – the isolation of a boy who can read minds.

Read Vehicle and Tenor.

The recommendation page is always open, and sending feedback to the author never hurts. Then come back and join us for the discussion.

Date: 2012-06-11 08:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] infinitlight.livejournal.com
I really liked this. Gibson is a hard character to understand, and I like that here he's more than just a mind reader, he's a character in his own right. He tends to be a plot device in a lot of fanfic. The details of each little scene (snapshot?) are well done, memorable and believable but not overwritten (the sound of the tests, the teacher's description, the comparison with a baby when Gibson wakes up from a nightmare). In keeping with the title.

Even having said that, though, he is the vehicle here (isn't he?). The basketball scene is lovely but of course, it's not really about him.

The scene that worked least for me was the "Angel" scene. It might be because I never really watched the show but I feel like I missed a lot of nuance. Without knowing the show, that scene read to me like the writer wanted to tell me something about the tv show, and it was going to be shoehorned into this fic whether it fit or didn't.

Date: 2012-06-13 12:17 am (UTC)
wendelah1: (Default)
From: [personal profile] wendelah1
Even having said that, though, he is the vehicle here (isn't he?). The basketball scene is lovely but of course, it's not really about him.

"Not everything is about you, Mulder."

Except with The X-Files, it kind of is, don't you think? Mulder is crowding Gibson, by taking over part of his trailer, by inserting unwanted commentary, verbal and non-verbal, into everything that he does. Mulder's thoughts are so loud that Gibson can't sleep. Gibson comes to care about Mulder but he also resents him. The story is about Gibson's relationship with Mulder, about their differences and but also their similarities. I think it's also about how Gibson is changed by his time with Mulder. As good as Suture is, I'm not sure we'd be reading "Vehicle and Tenor" ten years after the series finale if it was only about Gibson.

The scene that worked least for me was the "Angel" scene. It might be because I never really watched the show but I feel like I missed a lot of nuance. Without knowing the show, that scene read to me like the writer wanted to tell me something about the tv show, and it was going to be shoehorned into this fic whether it fit or didn't.
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That scene was put in solely for the part about William. At first I thought it went on too long but I think she's doing it to lull the reader into thinking it's just about them hanging out and watching some random television show, then wham! She hits you in the solar plexus, just the way Mulder gets hit by seeing the scene of Angel with his newborn son. I think it's pretty brilliant, actually.

Date: 2012-06-14 11:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] infinitlight.livejournal.com
Yeah, I think I lost the bigger picture in that scene because I was busy trying to figure out what part of the other character mentions were important.

And yeah, I do think everything in The X-Files revolves around Mulder. Look at the cancer arc, which are stories about Scully that become as much about Mulder's reactions as anything.

I like to think I'd read a good story about a minor character ten years on, even if it wouldn't be here for public discussion.

Date: 2012-06-14 02:52 pm (UTC)
wendelah1: (Default)
From: [personal profile] wendelah1
I was busy trying to figure out what part of the other character mentions were important.

You might have lost the bigger picture even if you had known the series inside out. Maybe the scene did go on too long. If you couldn't follow it without getting distracted, that's the logical conclusion. I still think it was a deliberate choice on the part of Suture; I'm just not sure it was the best one.

I like to think I'd read a good story about a minor character ten years on, even if it wouldn't be here for public discussion.

You would and a few others, and of course, I'd like to think I would too, since I've written one. But having done so, I know how little attention that kind of story usually gets, even from the people who ostensibly might appreciate it.

And yeah, I do think everything in The X-Files revolves around Mulder. Look at the cancer arc, which are stories about Scully that become as much about Mulder's reactions as anything.

Yeah, I know. It bothers me. It used to bother me more. Even most of the fanfic about Scully's cancer is about Mulder. It's perplexing. Although when you think about it, maybe not. Not many people who are writing for television have ever come that close to death, or even been diagnosed with a terminal illness. It's easier in any case to imagine what it's like to lose someone you love than to lose yourself. Psychologically, spiritually, whatever way you want to look at it, we aren't equipped to deal with that.

That's one of the reasons I like this story. It is about Mulder, we're in his head because Gibson's in his head, but at least it's a little bit filtered. Has anyone written a story about that missing year, or however long it was, from Mulder's POV? I'm trying to think of one and failing. There have been a few stories written about what it was like for Scully, but not even many of those. We know he spent some of the time with Gibson, but that can't be all he did.

Did anyone ever write a story about how Gibson got out of the nuclear reactor? That's always perplexed me, and it's on my mind again because I just rewatched The Beginning.

Date: 2012-06-21 09:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] estella-c.livejournal.com
The show had fallen apart at that point, which is why there are no answers to your questions. No one bothered to imagine them.

I love this story, as I do all of Suture's. She really slow-spins a situation around, analyzes it, polishes it up and sets it on a pedestal. VAT is a very literary story, with the Ms Teacher interludes (I have no memory), and it is true that Mulder rules the atmosphere and the delicately curved arc. It's a good metaphor (a metaphor about a metaphor), because Gibson can observe more than the average secondary character. He is so open and vulnerable; he is probably going to go crazy some day, but Mulder won't send him there because Mulder has respect. He understands open and vulnerable.

I ended up bleeding for Gibson, but Mulder--well, we just don't have enough canon. We know too much about Duchovny leaving to be with his wife and it gets in the way because nobody managed to make the show come together with enough narrative sense to make us forget. It gets hard to focus. But I did feel for Gibson.

DD was not/is not a GREAT actor, but he's pretty good and, more important, he has star quality, Charisma. Given the givens of the show, of course it was about him. But GA has charisma too, and she gave him a good run. I still think and care about the actors, but...hate to say it...the show is thinning out in my brain.

If I'm not making sense, it's because I just had a re-root canal. Not a root canal. A RE-root canal. Yeah.

Date: 2012-06-22 11:40 pm (UTC)
wendelah1: (Default)
From: [personal profile] wendelah1
The show had fallen apart at that point, which is why there are no answers to your questions. No one bothered to imagine them.

Yeah, I can see that. There were some people writing fic but just not about Mulder's absence. It just seems like a lost opportunity. I'd like to try to write it but I'm not sure I have enough imagination to create a story that would sustain interest. I don't think anyone has written a great novel about Mulder and Scully after "The Truth" but before "IWTB." I thought there were some great short stories but nothing long. Again, it's coming up with enough plot, especially since the ending is fixed, unless you want to do an AU.

Date: 2017-01-16 05:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bmerb.livejournal.com
Damn I REALLY liked this one. Loved getting insight into Gibson and Mulder-through-Gibson, loved the various scenes, the deliberate sketched out quality of "where has Gibson been and how did he get there," and I love love loved the lessons in simile and metaphor, tenor and vehicle, relationship and family. And having watched all of Buffy and nearly all of Angel, I both felt the emotional impact of that scene in this story and felt it coming just a moment before it slammed home (and ouch so much heartbreak), AND I enjoyed the Mulder mental/verbal bitching going on as I had similar frustrations. Gah, so much success in those shows, why no voice coaching? It was atrocious.

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