Author: Lizbeth Marcs (liz_marcs)
Summary: Sam has learned that it’s better to be a crow than a bird of prey. Strangely enough, he’s okay with that.
Fandom: Battlestar Galactica (2003)
Spoilers: Definite spoilers for the New Caprica arc at the beginning of Season 3; vague spoilers through the end of Season 3.
Title, Author and URL of original story: Tessellation by fahye
There's this saying on Battlestar Galactica (2003):
"All of this has happened before, and all of this will happen again."
Battlestar Galactica was my original fandom (think pre-adolescent) and the first fandom in which I wrote fanfic.
And here's me again writing Battlestar Galactica as an adult.
Talk about your Cycle of Time, hunh?
True fact: The very first fanfiction I ever wrote, all of which was hastily scribbled in grammar school writing in an old-fashioned locked diary, was Battlestar Galactica (1978). As for my very first story, all I remember that it was some kind of adventure thing, although the details elude me. The other stories were all pretty much the same.
Would it shock you to know that even in my pre-teen days, all my stories were pretty gen? As in very gen? As in, "let's write a viper dogfight!" gen?
It appears that, even as a kid, I was missing that switch in my brain that understood the meaning of the word "shipping" and "romance."
The locked diary (and the scribbled stories) are long gone, but I know where they are. In a Massachusetts dump. I tossed the thing out when I was in high school because — locked diary or not — I was embarrassed as all hell. I can't tell you what embarrassed me more: that the stories kind of sucked or that I wrote (Horrors!) fanfiction.
And no, no one ever read them or even knew I wrote them. What, did you expect me to admit it? I was having a hard time admitting that I liked Disney cartoons. No way in hell was I going to admit that I wrote stories based a show that had been voted as one of the worst sci-fi series of all time.
Also true: The first fanfic I ever read (back in the days when you had to purchase something called fanzines), was a Battlestar Galactica (1978)/Dr. Who (Fourth Doctor/Tom Baker) crossover fic called Well Met in Time and Space. It spoiled me because, yes, it was actually pretty good. Later forays into consuming fanfiction were, to put it diplomatically, a shitfest. Let's just say I got a practical demonstration of Sturgeon's Law. Considering that back in the bad ol' pre-Internet days you had to pay for fanzines, my fanfic reader days were cut very, very short.
There's this theory, by the way, that in the Age of the Internet badfic has become more common.
In my humble opinion, bullshit.
The Age of the Internet has seen the quality of fanfic increase by leaps and bounds all across the board. The wide-spread use of beta-readers, supportive fan communities that are willing to leave concrit, and fanfic writers that support each other (even if those fanfic writers are on opposite sides of the world) have all helped boost the quality.
Also very important factors: readers are increasingly holding fanfic writers accountable for quality (which I admit is a double-edged sword) and rec communities with clear guidelines on what makes a story worth reading help good fanfic via word-of-mouth.
Or maybe the reason is simple: I suspect that there are quite a few people (like me) who wouldn't bother going through the hassle of submitting fanfic to a fanzine, but have no problems putting their stories directly out there electronically. More writers equal more stories equal the part about Sturgeon's Law no one thinks about. Maybe 90% of everything out there is crap, but if you have a bigger sample size, that 10% of the good stuff proportionally gets bigger.
At least I like to think so.
Also true: The first fanfic I ever published on the Internet was a Battlestar Galactica (1978)/Quantum Leap crossover. Surprise, surprise, it was gen and a murder mystery.
I know. I know. You can stop clutching your heart in fake surprise.
Anyway, it lived on the AOL boards for awhile (back when AOL had less than 500,000 members and you paid by the minute for access), but then AOL decided that all fanfic was verbotten and it was wiped out. I had it on diskette for awhile, but four computers later and a boost from Windows 3.1 to Windows XP means that, no, even if I had it, I couldn't access the story anyway.
Despite all that, when I pulled fahye for the Remix, I panicked. Not because of her, so much, but because a lot of her stuff was in the Battlestar Galactica (2003) fandom.
Don't get me wrong. I love the new Battlestar Galactica, I own the first two seasons on DVD, and I accept the new fandom and television series for the very different animals they are from the originals. There are some fantastic writers working in this fandom, and they have great source material to work with. Certainly their source material is better than what those of working in Battlestar Galactica (1978) fandom had.
But writing in the new fandom? Me?
I tried remixing three different stories, before settling for Tessellation. I started six stories and abandoned all of them. The problem was mostly at my end. If you read the original story, our writing styles — not to mention the subject matter we'd write about — are galaxies apart.
Finally, I threw up my hands and started writing The Murder of Crows, which barely touches on the original. In truth, initial drafts show that it was a not very interesting story of Sam looking for Kara in the aftermath of her leaving with Leoben.
Then Ron Moore saves my poor ass with that gift of a S3 finale. There was my cool hook for the story, and that's when The Murder of Crows (finally) took final form.
What went into writing The Murder of Crows? I haunted the Television Without Pity Battlestar Galactica boards. I buried myself in the Battlestar Wiki. I re-watched the first two seasons on DVD twice. I downloaded the New Caprica Arc from iTunes and watched those episodes three times. I re-watched the Battlestar Galactica Webisodes.
Despite all that, I had to fight old fandom instincts all the way. What are the Colony names in the new series? (Yes, they're slightly different in the old.) How is "frak" spelled in the new series? (Yes, it's spelled differently in the old one.) I even caught myself typing "centon" and "micron." (The words for minutes and seconds, respectively in the old series). And I wondered what the Galactica word for "band" was. (Thank God for the "Kara Thrace and Her Special Destiny. That sounds like the name of a bad cover band, Sam." joke.)
And let's not get into the key element that I completely forgot: that Sharon-Boomer knew that Sam was in the resistance.
I finished the story and was ready to submit the thing early when a discussion thread on TWoP reminded me that Sam had interacted with more than one version of Sharon.
I screamed. I cried. I wailed.
And then I re-wrote.
I barely finished the story in time.
But here it is, in all its shiny glory.
Before I link to the story, I want to thank nwhepcat and soundingsea for listening to me rant, rail, and wail via email while I wrote this.
So, will I write Battlestar Galactica (the new version) ever again?
I really, really doubt it. Canon is flipping complicated and intricate. That's why there's a huge Wiki for it.
But then again, when I stopped writing fanfic the first time — and the second time — I would have confidently told you that I would never, ever write Battlestar Galactica fanfiction ever again.
Which only goes to show, doesn't it?
The Murder of Crows (Blackhawk Down Remix), Part 1
The Murder of Crows (Blackhawk Down Remix), Part 2