Hi, AE! I’m Aja, and I’m delighted to be back this week for the 2nd issue of The Shipping News! This week we’ll check trends in publishing, showcase a very slashy gif of the week, and explain what you call that one ship you can’t live without—which I proceed to demonstrate by rambling about the ship I personally love the most.
Slash Dictionary: OTP
Often in a storyline we love, there are multiple characters drawn to each other in interesting, slashy, or potentially romantic ways, and we may ship many of them at once. But what about that one pairing you truly believe is meant to be—the pairing you’re drawn to, the one you most want to read and daydream about and envision happy endings for?
That, my friends, is called an “OTP”: the One True Pairing. (It’s like the One Ring, but hopefully less lethal.) You can have many OTPs to go around, depending on how many fandoms you’re in—or you can just have one that stands above them all. Fanlore points out that sometimes saying “I ship it” and “it’s my OTP” mean exactly the same thing. But what it really means is that if someone says “oh my God, Character A and Character X are so in love,” the two of you are about to do some hardcore bonding, because YES OMG.
There are variants of OTP, most notably OT3 and OT4—for when shipping two people together just isn’t enough to contain all their sexual chemistry and/or devotion to other characters. So Gaius/Gaeta from Battlestar Galactica might be your OTP, but Gaius/Gaeta/Six might be your OT3, and Gaius/Gaeta/Six/Apollo might be your OT4. (By the way, if anyone knows of any actual Gaius/Gaeta/Six out there, please hook me up, because this is a thing that I would like to read.)
What’s my OTP? Read on to find out!
Fandom Style: News Roundup
- Did you guys catch the affectionate nod to slash fandom and slash fanfic specifically that this week’s Parks and Rec sent us? If not, here’s a summary in gif-set form as Adam Scott’s character Ben Wyatt treats us to a glimpse of his Data/Picard slashfic!
- [Spoiler alert: Supernatural spoilers ahead!] Crushable’s Natalie Zutter has a rather magnificent recap of Sam and Dean’s totally slashy breakup on the premiere of season 8, along with plenty of Wincest fangirling:
[W]e know that the writers are well aware of the Wincest fandom. They’ve mocked it before, in episodes where people assume that Sam and Dean are lovers or even where Sam has acknowledged that slash fanfiction about them exists. So when the brothers are at odds, I can’t help reading it as lovers fighting. Especially when Sam is counseling young prophet Kevin about how “it gets better” and Kevin shoots back, “You know I’m not gay, right?”
Sam offers Kevin Tran an It Gets Better speech on Supernatural
- MTV announced the winner of its Teen Wolf fanfiction contest this week! They had over 10,000 entries, and although the winning entry wasn’t a slashfic, all 4 of the runners-up were Sterek! Go check them out!
- One of the juggernaut fics of Sherlock fandom, MadLori’s “Performance in a Leading Role,” a John/Sherlock Hollywood AU, is being produced as a radio drama! (You may remember Lori as the author of last week’s featured fanfic, “Alone on the Water.”) There’s an open casting call being held right now for an enormous cast of over 30 parts—check out this Google Doc for details!
Artist to watch: coldslough
New to Tumblr, Coldslough has been doing stunning Thor/Loki fanart, full of a dreamlike majesty that really encapsulates the dichotomies in the pairing and reminds us that before they were Marvelverse, they were mythos.
Coldslough is also reblogging amazing slash fanart from around Avengers and other fandoms, so don’t miss following them on Tumblr if you want a regular influx of gorgeous artwork.
M/M Pairing of the week: Arthur/Eames, Inception
I choose to start with a spotlight on Arthur/Eames, not only because it’s been my OTP for 2 years now but because to me, Inception fandom exemplifies what makes fandom unique. Here Christopher Nolan thinks he made this epic portrait of an alpha-male dealing with emo man-pain from the death of his wife, and then Inception fandom comes along and decides that, no thanks, that guy’s kind of a major douchebag and we’d rather focus on the two hot dudes flirting in the background.
Inception fandom illustrates that how fans interpret content is never fully in the creator’s control. And Arthur/Eames illustrates that you don’t need more than 3 minutes of actual interaction in order to generate two years’ worth of fantastic fanon. All you need are two incredibly attractive men playing suave, debonair criminals with a shared history… and a few brief moments of hardcore flirting.
Eames, who clearly enjoys becoming a woman and flirting with other men, is partially inspired by queer vintage heartthrob Farley Granger. Arthur, who may know Eames from their shared military background, is apparently inspired by GQ.
Normally a stand-alone film like Inception would never have a large fandom, but Inception fandom has thrived for two years, mainly because of the onscreen chemistry of Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Tom Hardy. The result is a huge amount of fanfiction for interested newcomers to peruse, the vast majority of it wonderful Arthur/Eames fic. There’s also incredible artwork and equally amazing fanvids.
Fic Rec of the Week: Don’t Fall in Love with a Dreamer by eleveninches. If you want to try an Arthur/Eames fic that’s hilarious, warm, and scorching hot, it doesn’t get better than this fic, set after the film, in which Eames and Arthur become partners in more ways than one.
One morning, Arthur entered the workshop, set a coffee on Eames’s desk, and smiled at him.
He was rather adorable when he smiled, all dimpled cheeks and bright eyes, but it was also unsettling, since Arthur tended to smile over things like big guns and the latest designs in menswear, neither of which boded well for Eames. Until this moment, Eames had managed to get Arthur to smile at him exactly once, and only because he had sacrificed a large part of his dignity to do so. It had involved loads of alcohol (loads), a fake beard, and a battered copy of Lady Chatterley’s Lover. Eames didn’t like to think about it.
“I brought you coffee,” Arthur said, still smiling.
Eames glanced down at it. “Why?” he asked sceptically.
Arthur’s smile slipped slightly, but he seemed determined to keep it up. “I can’t bring you coffee?”
“That depends,” Eames said. He poked the cup with a finger. “Is it poisoned coffee?”
This time Arthur’s mouth flattened into a familiar thin line. He yanked the cup off the desk took a long swill. “Would I have drunk it if it was poisoned?” he demanded after setting it back down.
“You would if you had already taken the antidote,” Eames suggested.
Arthur threw his hands in the air. “Drink the damn coffee, Eames!”
So what did you do during the great Tumblr apocalypse, when Tumblr went down on Saturday for “scheduled maintenance?”
Probably not something this cool. Er, did we say cool? Make that hot.
“Sterek fandom, I made you a present,” wrote the artist behind this tasty GIF. Please, madam, we want some more.
(Source: once-upon-a-time-the-end / Tumblr)
That’s it for now! Thanks for reading and see you next week!
Oh, and now that you know my OTP, what’s yours? ;)