Tag Archives: writing

Abundance vs Scarcity Mindsets in Fandom as It Pertains to Viewing Opportunities and Other Races

I’ve blogged before about optimism in Wraith fans in this light-hearted, but true example.

Time and time again, I have seen seen a marked difference in mindsets within the Stargate Atlantis fandom from many years of viewing fanart, fanfiction, including the licensed tie-in books, and forum posts.

The Abundance Mindset (most fans of Wraith and other scifi races)

*Expanded circles of compassion, often including all animals (humans and insects are animals)

*See opportunity everywhere and that gains can be had with knowledge, learning, sharing, and cooperation

*Engage in continuing education, keep current with books and podcasts, do life-affirming activities

*Think creatively, brainstorm a multitude of mutually beneficial solutions for all; going beyond merely asking if something wonderful can be done to how all it can be done

The Scarcity Mindset (most xenophobic people)

*Concern limited to the self, probably also immediate family, and maybe those of the same skin color, sexual orientation, gender, national origin, etc.

*See life as a zero-sum game, to be lived in fear, with violence as the only solution

*Stuck in the past, yearn for “simpler” time periods when there was more oppression

*Think retractively, even imposing additional constraints (!) on characters and settings that were not seen in the TV show at all, getting facts incorrect, further obscuring, narrowing, and eliminating available options

What mind-forged manacles might be weighing down those trapped in scarcity mindsets in real life? Who taught and/or continues to reinforce the mindset of scarcity and, thus, keep people from becoming more in real life too? Parents? Teachers? Managers? Anyone else continuing to enable apathy and to not expect the best versions of ourselves?

Thankfully, the mind works as a muscle and those in the scarcity mindset can break free and jump onto a better track of mind, with positive books and techniques, such as The Miracle Morning. It just takes awareness and willingness.

*(Thinking back to my grade school years, I can say that every single book I was forced to read had an unhappy ending that conveyed the message of, as Homer Simpson put it, “You tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try.” I never accepted that and even went so far and to give one teacher a list of books similar to the ones she was teaching in time period and in theme, but that had positive outcomes as rewards for courage and ingenuity. What she did with that list was up to her.)

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Hoffan Plague Considerations for SGA Fanfic Settings

This plague was under-examined on the show and comes across more dangerous than the show gave weight to.

*In The Kindred, Part 1, Jennifer says about the Hoffan plague, “It’s possible it was administered through their food and water supply.”

If this protein can so easily be spread outside of the human body and through liquids, would kissing a person with the Hoffan plague be deadly to those whose bodies can’t tolerate the protein?

What about the biological waste of infected individuals? Would burying Hoffan-infected individuals contaminate the soil and, if so, for how long? Would soil bacteria eventually break this protein down?

Could a mother conceive a child whose body can’t tolerate the plague and could the baby’s life be jeopardized during birth? Does the protein pass on to the children?

How was it added to the food supply? Raw food such as dried fruit or can it survive being cooked at high temperatures, such as infected grain being milled and baked into bread?

*”The Last Man” poses grave concerns and incremental doses even in small scales. Keller got it from repeated exposure. Repeated exposure to what? Water droplets from infected people breathing (as it can be spread through water)? Or, infected blood from dying people coughing it up?

Maybe only dying people are contagious, if their bodies become overloaded with the plague? Else, every time survivors get the flu or allergies and are coughing, they would be spreading low doses of plague to others just by breathing which could build up over time and spread more plague.

*What if a Wraith drank wine poisoned with the Hoffan plague, being that their digestive systems are not active? Does the protein only work if it gets into their feeding hand or can it be absorbed anyhow?

It is possible that the plague is only a danger to the Wraith if it gets into their feeding hands and into their energy distribution. In “The Last Man,” it was stated: “Michael returned to the human populations he’d infected with the Hoffan drug. He selected the strongest and the healthiest of the survivors and converted them to hybrids.” So, Hoffan survivors can be hybridized after having been given the plague, suggesting the plague might interact with Wraith feeding systems and chemicals and not their inactive* digestive systems.

I’ve seen some fans theorize the protein has to keep being administered, because it was called a drug, but always thought of it as permanent because of refugees such as the Balarians retaining it in their bodies for a long time, even after relocating, and the Wraith not just waiting for the protein to dissipate.  Plus, it built up in Keller over time and took her life.

The Hoffan plague seems long-lasting and with effects that should have ended the Atlantis expedition in permanent quarantine. Based on the dangers of this plague, anyone who went to Pegasus should not come back to Earth, lest they put everyone else in danger.

*(fan theories ranging from adult Wraith bodies rejecting the solid food and throwing it up to the more common theory that the food just passes through their bodies, not in any way implying that the food stays there forever, just that it doesn’t sustain them, but that is a whole different topic)

Hiveship Interior Comfort Setting Considerations

Hive interior conditions seem to be variable–maybe to conserve energy, to meet needs of inhabitants, or to meet the needs of equipment or other purposes.  Mostly, they seem to be comfortable enough to human visitors as to not be obtrusive.

Misty vs Dry

Going by canon, on-show visual cues, sometimes rooms have mist in them, but not always. Fan theories are that mist level is controlled by room and by Wraith and/or by the ship sensing what the Wraith might want, such as sending them a soothing mist to comfort them, depending on how active in the lives of the Wraith the fans think the ships are.

Michael and Taina’s ship windows and human eyeglasses were not misted over either. The hiveship mist didn’t seem to cling to anyone, condense, or bother any visitors in any way.

Temperature

Again, going by visual cues, hiveship temperatures seem moderate or comfortable enough range for most humans. The Lanteans didn’t bundle up when they went into hives and their breathe could not be seen, so the hives can’t be that cold. Nor did the humans take off clothing layers or sweat, so they can’t be steamy hot either.

Jennifer wore the same type of jacket-like top visiting Todd’s hive in “The Queen” as she did in “First Contact” while onboard the Daedalus.

Going by dialogue, temperature was mentioned at select times and may also be variable by room or by Wraith control.

Cocoons might be warmer than other parts of the hive. No one really said anything about temperature in “No Man’s Land” until McKay went inside a cocoon. He said, “Now, you see, they’re actually quite comfortable. Surprisingly warm; take all the pressure off the spine.” But, after he got out of the cocoon, and into temperature he had not previously complained about, he said, “Oh! Oh, it’s freezing out here!” Freezing is McKay-style hyperbole, of course. No one else seemed to care and even after that McKay didn’t bundle up for subsequent hive visits.

In “The Hive,” Neera used lower temperatures as an excuse to try to get close to John, for spying purposes. “For warmth,” she says, and John doesn’t seem convinced and no one in the other rooms mentioned it. If it were cooler in that particular room, the temperature could have been lowered there just for the purpose to help Neera spy. The worshippers’ clothing was soft and comfortable-looking and adorned with care with Wraithy designs and hair wraps. It’s doubtful the Wraith on Betty’s hive would want their worshippers to be cold or uncomfortable throughout the hive while putting so much other care and detail in their clothing.

Based on their overall unobtrusiveness, temperature and mist usually do not figure into Wraith fanfics as bothersome, unless someone, such as a child or prankster, goes out of their way to alter the settings to make a noticeable difference.

Kintsukuroi and Characters

Which Wraith and other characters might this concept symbolically apply to?

Did they rebuild themselves or did they have help?

What was the way they repaired themselves?

Of course, they were always beautiful, but how might they have come out stronger than before, in talents, abilities, and knowledge?

Todd, John x Todd, Michael…?

Do you have any OCs like this?

How might Wraith culture and the Pegasus galaxy look after the civil war and Wraith-Lantean war are over? Can things be made whole again, even stronger than before, after many years, with new alliances and galactic peace?

Legacy Fanfics Need to be Tagged as Legacy

Legacy fanfics need their own separate tag, because Legacy has too many non-canon details and is its own separate world.

Coming upon unexpected, non-canon details throws the whole stories off track and throws me out of the zone of stories. I have to pause, set down my eReader, and take a moment to re-orient everything to Legacyverse. Sometimes, I can’t get back in the stories either, not wanting to go back and re-read from the Legacyverse POV or if I am not in a Legacy mood.

Legacyverse and Wraith romance is an especially difficult combo. The baseless, non-canon photophobic eyes thing intrudes upon Wraith x human stories, because everything hurts the Wraith’s eyes. No sunsets, no strolls through Lantean towers, no movie screens are free from pain. Even their own Wraith tech, such as hive teleporters, hurts their eyes. I sometimes wonder if the Legacy authors themselves meant for things to get so carried away! They did give some of them names such as Lastlight and Waterlight which seemed to not have painful connotations. Recalling visits to the eye doctor where they dilate your pupils and a scene where the Wraith is suffering ruins the romance. Just about every Legacy fanfic has to have Wraith eye pain in it, too. It’s the one non-canon Legacy detail out of dozens that Legacy fanfic writers remember and insist on including—and the one I most want to forget, especially in a sensual setting. The more Wraith romance stories with Wraith eye pain I encounter, the less I care for Legacy, to be honest. That and Legacy people incorrectly telling other writers Legacy is canon and trying to dissuade Wraith romance.

Some people want to read Legacy fanfics and search for them. Others don’t want to read Legacy fanfics at all. Not everyone has read the books or even wants to. Tie-ins are not canon, per the source hierarchy, after all. If the story is complete, I am likely to give it a try, but would like to be told upfront what I am getting myself into by committing time to read the story.

It sometimes feels like a trick to get half way into stories and realize they are Legacy. Tagging, or at least telling readers in the intros or summaries, that the stories are Legacyverse would be helpful.

Addendum: Similarly, it’s also helpful if Legacy-esque fanfics have upfront intros telling readers if the stories are inspired in part by Legacy but are not Legacy.

When Writers Ask for Advice and Non-Writers Respond

Non-writers who have the gall to respond to writers asking for writing advice are usually the last ones to take advice from. Not always, but usually.

Quite often, these people are not even avid readers either, to at least be able to appreciate and analyze what the techniques are.

Steer especially clear of self-appointed advice-givers whose so-called solutions to everything are xenophobia and violence, killing off entire classes of characters. Writing is a skill which requires the ability to consider all aspects of settings and characters. 2D worlds, and also 2D self-centered racists, are not compelling.

I’ve also seen a non-fanfic writer hanging around in a fanfic writing forum, scaring fanfic writers with nonexistent laws. When challenged on that, the person was unable to and even tried to dodge the question.

Check to see if the advice givers are creatives themselves who know how to write complete stories, poems, etc., on a fairly long-term basis, and offer complex insights on settings in book and television show discussions.

Consider the sources, as tennis players, investment bankers, trombonists, etc. would do in their respective fields when seeking advice.

How Many Fiction Writers Update Their Works with Newer Editions?

It’s accepted that university text books are updated every few years, even expected, in order to stay current with social progress and knowledge gained.

So, why not fiction too?

With computers over the typewriters of yesteryear, the edits are just as easy, and fiction readers also want up-to-date books.

Especially in this increasingly fast-paced age, all writers learn and grow and find out more about both themselves and the world around them and should grant themselves the space for updating their works.

PS: one consideration for chapter-by-chapter fanfics on fanfic sites is to not flood subscribers with repeat chapters of works they have already read just for the sake of a few changes. Better to make minor edits in the original story itself, such as grammar fixes, or to upload a second version with more substantial additions or changes all in one go, rather than posting each chapter separately.