- Merfilly's "An Interlude in the Family" (~1.3K words) features an epistolary exchange between Janette and Nick, most probably in the late twentieth century, most probably culminating either in Nick's move to Chicago (c.1964) or to Toronto (c.1989). But the story is deliberately untethered in time. This could perhaps be almost anywhen after Nick's first only-the-guilty code (c.1590)... and that's the point.
- Greerwatson's "Out of the Night that Covers Me" (~4.7K words) explores the astonishingly likely — and yet never, to my memory, previously invoked — possibility that Natalie did not promptly dispose of Urs's body, but instead tucked it away for an examination that Natalie never got to carry out. (Now that Greer has shared this scenario with us, I hope to see lots of different angles on it from every faction! ~grin~)
- Coralysendria's "Echoes" (~9K words) wraps a frame narrative featuring Cohen's daughter and husband, many years later, around letters that she wrote to them — perhaps never intending to deliver them; the story leaves Cohen's ultimate intentions unknown with her death — during the period that she had Nick and Schanke under her command. (I find the frame narrative the most compelling part, personally, but I believe that the epistolary succession is brilliantly targeted for the specific recipient in this exchange game.)
- There are two Galavant stories. Didn't read them yet. Just saying, because I've seen several of you celebrate this series's renewal. :-)
- Kalisgirl's "Dreams of Silence and Shadow (Sleepy Hollow, ~1K words) zooms in on Jenny Mills. It's dream-laden and likely for committed fans only, not casual viewers.
- Betony's "arktoi" (Greek & Roman mythology, ~2K words) features Iphigenia in a mostly-internal, essentially life-long, struggle for independence and self-assertion, helped/hindered (blessed/cursed) by Artemis. It's easily accessible even where classical knowledge is sketchy.
- LadySilver's "Adventure" (The Tomorrow People, ~1.8K words) is a quintessential morning-after to a teenage hero character discovering her special powers and using them for the first time. My imagination's flavor centers registered a dash of resemblance to Colleen Doran and a pinch to Chris Claremont.
Comments and kudos seem a bit thin on the ground in this year's game. I've wondered whether that might be due to the transition from "RareWomen" to "RarelyWritten"; or perhaps to releasing the stories on the same weekend as the Age of Ultron premiere, that big boxing match and the Kentucky Derby; or perhaps the very same lamentable neglect of certain characters that the ficathon was conceived to battle. I've also wondered about the readership effects of prioritizing the rarest requests for matching, instead of the most common.
Curiously, last night, the rarelywritten moderator announced a new rule for next year's game. Players must comment on the stories written for their requests or be banned from future games. That's always been an implicit rule in every exchange ficathon, surely (with allowances for those sad situations when a story openly disrespects the request it's supposed to fill). It's extra sad that this ficathon has come to needing to enshrine this rule.
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