Browsing Tag



Things I may eventually write in my copious free time

As y’all know, I am partial to the whole Tauriel/Kili romance in the Hobbit movies, and I have this idea for a short piece in my head wherein Tauriel must go to Dís and bring her news of the deaths of both her sons and her brother. I’m seeing this as perhaps Tauriel’s last act before she bails for Valinor—or perhaps thinks she’s about to bail for Valinor. I can totally see her and Dís teaming up together to roam Middle-Earth for a while in shared grief and companionship. It could even be a parallel to Legolas and Gimli, later. And mostly I just have an urge to write about female dwarves.

But while I’m on the topic of Middle-Earth fanfic, Dara and I got into discussing a potential AU last night after I finished rewatching the first half of The Two Towers. I was struck anew by the scene in which Sméagol banishes his darker Gollum-self—and how for a very short time, he’s just so happy. “Sméagol is free!”

And then of course it goes back to hell after Faramir’s men are so harsh to him. Gollum becomes the dominant personality once more. But Dara and I wondered: what if that hadn’t happened? How would the scene at Mount Doom played out differently?

I can see Frodo maybe beating down poor Sam just before he proclaims, “The Ring is mine!”—but then, Dara and I decided, Sméagol would put a hand on his shoulder to stop him.

And he says, “I know. Let the Precious burn.”

I. Not we. Because now that I have finished my reread of the books, I am reminded that Tolkien did indeed use pronouns as a marker of Sméagol’s mental state. And in this version of the story, he would have become more stable than he’d been in centuries.

The Eagles would have had three small travelers to rescue, not two.

Dara and I think that perhaps Sméagol could not have handled going back to the Shire, and that perhaps Gandalf would have taken him into his care—properly this time, not as a prisoner. And as he is finally free of the Ring, I see Sméagol learning to welcome the touch of sunlight once more. Remembering the taste of fresh bread. Maybe even being able to touch things made by the elves without pain.

But Sméagol, much, much older than Bilbo, would quickly start to age and draw near to his death. And he would have been on that final boat to Valinor, ancient, wizened, and so fragile that he might not even have been able to walk. Perhaps Gandalf would have carried him.

Yet he would have been granted a place on that boat. And a place in Valinor. Because at the end of the day, he too was a Ringbearer. And he paid his penance for the slaying of Déagol, for all the many long, dark years that he kept the Ring under the Misty Mountains.

As the Fourth Age began and the War of the Ring passed into the legends of Men, Sméagol’s name would have been spoken alongside that of Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee. He would have been hailed as a hero for having kept the Ring from Sauron—secret and safe, for five hundred years, even though it nearly destroyed his mind.

Don’t get me wrong; I would not trade a single word of the narrative as actually written.

But this makes for one hell of an AU. Sméagol. Sing his name, sons and daughters of the free peoples of Middle-Earth. Remember him with honor.

About Me, Other People's Books, The Internet

A few things make a post

Some good reading on the Intarwebz today! First up, I bring you today’s Big Idea column over at the Whatever, where Mr. Scalzi brings word of Brad Meltzer’s new children’s books about Amelia Earhart and Abraham Lincoln. Parents of small children, especially daughters, go check this out. Especially if you’re fans of Calvin and Hobbes. The art for the Amelia book looks adorable.


Meanwhile, Jim Hines has put up a good post today going over a writing advice question I hear time and again: i.e., whether you should try to write to the market. I said over there, and I’ll say here too, that even though “don’t try to write to the market” and “be aware of the market” seem contradictory on the surface, for me they’re actually kind of not. You want to be aware of what people who aren’t you are writing, so you aren’t writing in a complete and utter vacuum, and accidentally writing stuff that people lost interest in reading five or ten or even more years ago. Plus, you never know what awesome ideas you may have spark for your next book.


Fellow Carina fantasy author Shawna Thomas is talking up her work over at Eleri Stone’s place, and in particular about coming-of-age fantasy. Go give her a look, ’cause fantasy by Carina is love!


I’ve been following the news posts on for a while now, because hi, yeah, Tolkien geek, yo. But this post of theirs made me up and join their message forums for the express purpose of voicing my appreciation to their forums member who wrote some nice fanfic about Dís, the mother of the dwarves Kíli and Fíli, the only female dwarf Tolkien ever named. Looks like Cirashala’s getting her epic on with further fanfic about the character, too, based on what she’s saying in the thread that the news post links to. I approve!


And last but least, speaking of Tolkien, I’m posting about reading fantasy in other languages over on Here Be Magic today! I talk up the Trilingual Hobbit Reread, but also a couple of the novels I want to read out of Quebec SF/F as well, like the ones by Élodie Tirel I’ve been talking about, as well as Esther Rochon.

C’mon over and tell me about nifty non-Anglophone genre works English speakers should know about, won’t you?

About Me

Hi there, visitors from

Whoa hey, a sudden flurry of hits from the site has alerted me to having gotten linked to right over here! It’s a roundup of reactions to the story I posted about last month, when a Sherlock fanfic writer’s saucy fic got unexpectedly thrust into the faces of Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman when interviewer Caitlin Moran asked them to read it out loud.

So um hi, people coming over from! Say hi if you see this post. As I said in the post that got linked to, I’m fanfic-friendly, and have been both a reader and a writer of fanfic in my day!

And to the rest of you, if you’re also fanfic-friendly and don’t already know about, you might go check ’em out.

The Internet

On fanfic and how NOT to treat its authors

I’ve been seeing a good-sized explosion rolling around the Interwebs about this story, covering how a woman named Caitlin Moran put Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman on the spot by making them read some saucy fanfic she’d pulled off the Net. Without, it goes without saying, the permission of the fanfic author in question.

And I’d just like to go on record as joining my voice to that of the author of the above link, expressing the many and varied ways in which that was SO TOTALLY NOT COOL. It makes me irritated on behalf of the actors and even more on behalf of the creator of the fic. It smacks of pointing and laughing, and of telling somebody that the art by which they’ve chosen to express themselves is worthy only of ridicule.

Certainly, I am fanfic-friendly. I’ve written quite a bit of it myself, both in actual fanfic form and in the form of the hundreds of roleplay logs I still have in my personal archive to this day. And as a writer, I’d be tickled to death if somebody decided to write fanfic either about the Warder universe OR the universe of Rebels of Adalonia.

But mostly, I’m a fan of not pointing and laughing at people. There’s way too much of that in the world. And not enough encouragement of people to make some goddamn art.

Here, have a link roundup of others discussing this:

Author Martha Wells posts about it on tumblr

Mary Robinette Kowal, as usual, is awesome

The author of the fic in question, from what I see on her tumblr, is also awesome

In closing, remember, kids, Wheaton’s Law applies here, just as in all walks of life.

Music, Writing

Note to my brain: no, you may not write this yet

Memo to my brain:

No, you may NOT write a short story based on the Le Vent du Nord song “Le dragon de Chimay”. No matter how awesome a mental image you have in your head of a dragon breaking out of chains that hold him underground and surging up into the open air in desperate search of his lady love, and finally transforming back to human shape before her…

… damn, that’s an awesome image, innit? And it is NOT HELPING that I’m totally seeing this young woman and her “preux chevalier si tendre et amant”, as the cathedral collapses on him and he’s forced into dragon shape and she frantically tries to dig him out and no, no, no, dammit brain! You have a novel to finish and a novella to finish and a whole other novella to write and plan for all these lovely Kickstarter people throwing money at you, so STAY ON TARGET!

You are, however, totally allowed to geek right out over the translation of the lyrics, and listen to the song as many times as you like.

Because yes, folks, I like this band so much I want to write them fanfic. Or in this case, songfic!