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Thread: Colors by anaross starting 17th August 2018

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    Default Colors by anaross starting 17th August 2018

    Hi all,

    we will be reading and discussing a Buffyverse/Serenity/Firefly crossover fanfic from Friday 17th of August on.

    It is Colors by anaross and you can find it on AO3:

    https://archiveofourown.org/works/34...apters/7525940

    Summary:

    The surviving crew of the Serenity picks up a new passenger who turns out to be one of those supposedly extinct vampire fellas. He just wants to get back home, but that's a mite tricky when home is hundreds of years in the past, on Earth That Was.


    With about 25k words it is a shorter fic and I hope everyone is able to read it until next Friday.

    Ít would be very helpful if those of you who have watched Firefly7Serenity could give a short introduction to the series/movie and the characters we will meet in this fic.

    flow

    ETA: If you are anaross or a writer of fanfiction and you have found your way to this thread, please be so kind as to read this
    http://www.buffyforums.net/forums/sh...re-you-proceed!
    before you proceed. Thank you for your consideration.
    Last edited by flow; 26-10-18 at 09:31 AM.
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    Discussion is officially opened!

    flow
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    I am so sorry, I forgot all about this one. I shall read it as quickly as possible and comment when I can

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    I read it and enjoyed it. I've only seen the first episode of Firefly but, coincidentally, watched Serenity last night. TBH, I kept expecting Spike to appear in it, which is probably an indication of how well he's integrated into the Firefly verse. Unfortunately - since it's at least a fortnight since I read Colors - I've forgotten the story so I'm rereading it now.

    It's very cinematic - and not just because of the conceit of colour. Zoe's voice, her description of Wash (her dead husband) and her relationship with both Wash and Mal is (IMO) spot on. I like the veiled reference to BtVS here: "He takes off his black hat – in fact, he frowns at it for a moment and then chucks it to the side, and it falls into the dusty grass below. I guess he doesn't much care for hats".

    I've copied the plot synopsis of Serenity from Wiki (below https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serenity_(2005_film)).

    Spoiler:
    In the 26th century, humanity has left an overpopulated Earth to colonize a new solar system. The central planets formed the Alliance and won a war against the outer planet Independents—those who resisted joining the Alliance. River Tam (Summer Glau) is conditioned by Alliance scientists into becoming a psychic and an assassin. She is rescued by her brother Simon (Sean Maher). During her training, River inadvertently read the minds of several top government officials and learned their secrets. Consequently, a top Alliance agent known only as the Operative (Chiwetel Ejiofor) is tasked with recapturing her.

    The siblings have found refuge aboard the transport spaceship Serenity with Captain Malcolm "Mal" Reynolds (Nathan Fillion), first mate Zoe Washburne (Gina Torres), pilot Hoban "Wash" Washburne (Alan Tudyk), mercenary Jayne Cobb (Adam Baldwin), and mechanic Kaylee Frye (Jewel Staite). Despite Simon's objections, Mal brings River on a bank robbery. River warns them that savage and cannibalistic Reavers are coming. They escape, but Simon decides he and River will leave Serenity at the next port. Once there, however, a subliminal message in a television commercial causes River to attack numerous bar patrons, and Mal takes the siblings back aboard the ship. The crew contacts reclusive hacker Mr. Universe (David Krumholtz), who discovers the message designed to trigger River's mental conditioning. He notes River whispered "Miranda" before attacking and warns that someone else saw the footage.

    Mal receives an invitation to visit from Inara Serra (Morena Baccarin), a former Serenity occupant. Despite knowing it is a trap (Inara did not argue with him), Mal goes to rescue her. The Operative confronts Mal, promising to let him go free if he turns River over. Mal refuses and, with Inara's help, barely escapes. River reveals that Miranda is a planet located beyond a region of space swarming with Reavers. The crew flies to the planet Haven to ponder their next move, but they find Haven devastated and their old friend, Shepherd Book (Ron Glass), mortally wounded. The Operative claims responsibility, promising to keep pursuing them and killing anyone who assists them until he gets River.

    Despite the crew's objection, Mal disguises Serenity as a Reaver ship and travels to Miranda through a Reaver fleet without being attacked. On the planet, the crew find all its colonists dead and a recording by the last surviving member of an Alliance survey team (Sarah Paulson). She explains that an experimental chemical designed to suppress aggression was added into Miranda's atmosphere; the population became so docile they stopped performing all activities of daily living and placidly died. A small portion, however, had the opposite reaction and became extremely aggressive and violent beyond madness. In effect, the Alliance created the Reavers and this is the secret River Tam had discovered.

    Mr. Universe agrees to broadcast the recording, luring the crew to the Operative. However, the Operative kills him, orders the destruction of his transmitting equipment, and prepares an ambush. Knowing this, the crew deliberately provoke the Reaver fleet into chasing them and lead them to the Alliance armada in orbit of Mr. Universe's planet. The Reavers and Alliance ships battle while Wash manages to pilot Serenity through the crossfire to the planet; despite taking serious damage, he crash lands near the broadcast tower before being killed by a Reaver spear. The Operative's ship is destroyed but he manages to get to an escape pod and also heads to the broadcast tower.

    The rest of the crew make a last stand against the Reavers to buy Mal time to broadcast the recording. Through a message recorded by Mr. Universe before his death, Mal learns of a backup transmitter, but the Operative comes across this message as well. Sustaining heavy injuries, the crew retreats behind a set of blast doors that fail to properly close. A Reaver shoots through the opening, severely wounding Simon. River dives through the doors to close them before the Reavers drag her away. At the backup transmitter, Mal fights the Operative, finally subduing him and forcing him to watch the broadcast recording. Mal returns to the crew, and the blast doors open to reveal that River has killed all the Reavers. Alliance troops arrive, but the Operative orders them to stand down.

    The Operative provides medical aid and resources to repair Serenity. He tells Mal the broadcast has weakened the Alliance government, but while he will try to convince the Parliament that River and Simon are no longer threats, he warns that they will likely continue their pursuit in retribution for getting the word out. Serenity takes off with River as Mal's new co-pilot.

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    Hope no-one minds if I post as I read. I have seen Firefly once, and wasn't impressed. It's just not my sort of story and some of the performances and characters annoyed me.

    I love Anaross. She has a sweet simple style that I like and I've enjoyed most of her other fics. Her vision of Spike and Buffy always work for me.

    Chapter 1 - Really emotional start, that actually put a lump in my throat. You feel Zoe's pain and I love the use of colour to show that pain. There was one sentence 'Like I might fall apart or do something scary like cry in front of him' that I ddint like because it used the word 'like' twice, but an further reading, it sounded better in my head.

    Zoe tells us that we should expect her to fall for Mal and not Wash, but I assume most of the audience can totally understand why she fell for Wash, so this seems a little redundant. But maybe it's only me who thought Mal was actually a great hulking bore? I guess Anaross might be drawing a parallel between Mal/Angel and Wash/Spike??

    Inara being both beautiful and down to earth is made to seem strange, as though a woman cannot be both. Surely they're in the 23rd Century (are they??) and that sort of belief about women, especially by another woman, wouldn't still be prevalent.

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    Inara being both beautiful and down to earth is made to seem strange, as though a woman cannot be both. Surely they're in the 23rd Century (are they??) and that sort of belief about women, especially by another woman, wouldn't still be prevalent.
    I dunno...it's a dystopia isn't it? There's the idea that "progression" can be regression. It's the search for the perfect society that brings about

    Spoiler:
    the end of desire in some and replaces desire with primeval "want" in others. I'd have to go back to Serenity but I wonder whether this maps on to Angel/Angelus?


    I haven't given it much thought.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TriBel View Post
    I dunno...it's a dystopia isn't it? There's the idea that "progression" can be regression. It's the search for the perfect society that brings about

    Spoiler:
    the end of desire in some and replaces desire with primeval "want" in others. I'd have to go back to Serenity but I wonder whether this maps on to Angel/Angelus?


    I haven't given it much thought.
    You're right, that it is a dystopian future and I should keep that in mind.

    I am enjoying it. The new pilot is interesting, in that he's not accepted as part of the crew. I wonder if we'll see more of him. I like Zoe's 'voice', although I can't remember her from the show at all, her emotions and asides feel accurate for a woman who's lost her husband and is surrounded by people who don't know how to deal with her feelings

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    Chapter 2. Zoe: (His name is Pencil, at least that's what Mal calls him, I guess because he's so thin.) I'm just wondering why Zoe seems to have good insight and yet seems naive or innocent?

    Pricey: d'you think this ambiguity feeds into her comment about Inara? Does she have problems reconciling contradictions? Seems to be borne out by this: "That girl still gives me the creebies. Half the time she's crazy, and the other half she's not, and sometimes I don't know which half is which".

    Okay - in relation to the above, this interests me: "a man's bare forearms are prime licking territory, and these forearms are real lickable, especially the faint pink lines just above his wrists". It's the seam that's erotic - the place where two edges meet. That's straight out of Roland Barthes

    River as

    Spoiler:
    Slayer


    is what I thought watching Serenity.

    This is telling: Zoe: "Well, I know the system pretty good. I'll bring some maps, and we'll plot out a course." As is this: "River is sitting on the floor by the hatch, and as he pauses right by her, she reaches way up and strokes his forearm like it's a pet gee-gee or something. "Nice scars," she murmurs. "I like the scars.". Interesting that Zoe is related to traversing known space, while River is tracing a path only she and Spike know. I think Whedon missed a golden opportunity not filming this!

    "Serenity's the boat I want," he says. Ahhh...

    I'm really enjoying this. It's very clever.

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    TriBel The idea of River being
    Spoiler:
    a slayer
    is great, really like that she and Spike can converse in
    Spoiler:
    slayer memory language


    The idea that Zoe cannot deal with contradictions really works. Is she not a soldier? Used to following orders, never questioning the rules and regulations? Mal is obviously meant to be the maverick leader, so in terms of tropes, Zoe would be the rule following second in command, the ying to Mal's yang (I've no idea what ying and yang stand for by the way)

    If I remembered Firefly I'd know if Zoe were being written the same as the character on the show, but she may be written differently here

    - - - Updated - - -

    Chapter 7 - Zoe is in love with Spike. It's understandable but I think it happened a little too quickly. She was grieving for Wash not two chapters ago.

    What is a post-modern ending?

    - - - Updated - - -

    This is such a difficult decision. As far as Spike knows, Buffy has moved on, she doesn't love him, and possibly never did. Yet his full of his own overwhelming love for her. Here is Zoe who loves him, who wants him to stay, he's got a place to live, a job, he can train River . . . from his pov, perhaps staying would make more sense

    - - - Updated - - -

    Chapter 9 - figured out what post-modern means. I like the idea of Jose and I think it works and is fun. But I don't want that post-modernism to infringe on a sweet Spuffy make-up session . . . keep Jose and Marti out of the bedroom say I, and not just for the sex, but Anaross writes such lovely dialogue and it's her fic, I want to hear her, not them.

    Finished. I had stopped reading Spike/Other fics, because for me Spike has to be with Buffy. I used to read Spike with everyone, but it got porny and repetitive and so I stopped. This story wasn't porny or dull, it was incredibly well written and a fun story. But Zoe and Spike? Not my ship. After reading this, I still don't really know who Zoe is, or why she love Spike so much so quickly (accept in the sense that we all love Spike) Spike/Buffy works (for me) because their relationship is built on years of knowing each other, moving from enemies to colleagues to lovers to friends and the relationship in this fic just happened too quickly.

    I love the romanticism of Spike living long enough to find his way back to Zoe, but I have the same issue, would he really remember a relationship that lasted days, for several centuries? If I knew Zoe and loved her as a fan would, maybe I'd find it more believable.

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    Here's a few Firefly clips for those who don't know the show. You'll also see Hamilton, Caleb and Jasmin (aka Mal, Jayne and Zoe). River is the ballerina from Waiting in the Wings, and Knox also shows up in one episode.

    This is why there has been speculation that River is a slayer. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehDU-S2Jrfs

    This gives an idea of how Zoe can handle herself and why Spike would be attracted to her - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pr11K6akTMk&t=1s

    Zoe talking about apples and why they should be cut before eating - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=auF9gWaGCwo&t=1s

    Firefly clips - I highly recommend the first 4 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=15Fl1RDE0V8

    I love the story. I think Anaross captures Firefly really well. I can see why Zoe and Spike would grow to really care for each other, and I can definitely see River as a slayer.
    Can we agree that the writers made everyone do and say everything with a thought to getting good ratings and being renewed. This includes everything we love as well as everything we hate.

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    I love the story. I think Anaross captures Firefly really well. I can see why Zoe and Spike would grow to really care for each other, and I can definitely see River as a slayer.
    I agree. I thought the weakest part was the po-mo ending (and giving two endings means her own fic breaks the wall). I'm not averse to such endings (I actually like postmodern literature) - I just thought it was clumsily done compared to the rest of the fic.

    If I shipped, I could ship Zpike.
    Last edited by TriBel; 19-08-18 at 12:00 PM.

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    I have to admit that i haven`t read it yet. I will try to catch up next week and post my thoughts then.

    flow
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    I agree that the relationship develops a little too quickly, and more importantly we don't get a chance to settle into it before everything is shaken up again. That said, I buy it, with Platinums. As Priceless says, we can all appreciate why someone might fall for Spike. I think Anaross captured Zoe very well and she is not stupid, if a tad literal at times. A man like Spike doesn't come along very often, I'd guess. Mal, Jayne, and Simon as the usual variety she runs across, so I can see why she'd go for him PDQ. They start by comforting each other, and when they realize that they fit pretty well, there's very little impediment to building something new, even with their shared grief. (I was grieving an old relationship when I got together with my spouse. 30+ years later, I'm pretty happy I didn't wait until I was "over" that grief.) Carpe diem, Zoe!

    I've read so many stories with River as a slayer, I think I'd be more surprised if she wasn't a slayer. I could have used a little more Kaylee in this story, but I understand that her natural flirtatiousness would have ended up annoying Zoe, and therefore the reader.

    The character that really got to unexpectedly shine was Jayne. He's such a great lummox that he's easy to dismiss, but I was tickled that he and Spike bonded over weapons and fighting. Generally, Spike is pretty antagonistic toward men, and spends a lot of time throwing his defenses around, but once Jayne ran him through with a sword, he seemed uncharacteristically accepting. Maybe Jayne didn't present a real threat to him? IDK. But Jayne really came through for Zoe when he allowed her to make the call about whether to inform Spike about the "wizard". On the show, Jayne was not nearly so loyal...

    I have read this story many times, and I still don't know what I think about the PoMo part. Ultimately, I can buy that Pater Jose (or whatever) is a PTB, but I don't like the discussion about it with Buffy. (Although some of it is pretty funny.)

    The ending, where he's lost his "frosting" but found Zoe again is the sweetest. He lived his life with Buffy, and it was a good one. He did his service to the cause, and it was a mixed bag. Zoe's analogy that acting as a consort to Slayers was a little like Inara's job is an interesting, depressing side note. There's the implication that another big bad is brewing, and that's why River has been called. He's onto the next chapter of his unlife, and he's got a good woman, a strong woman, with whom to face the it. I find it exciting and hopeful.

    Herself_nyc also wrote a Firefly/Buffy crossover that has some interesting stuff in it, but it's not nearly so sweet as this is. (It's sort of a continuation of Bittersweets, though I think she split up the series on AO3.)
    Last edited by Rebcake; 20-08-18 at 08:45 PM.
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    The character that really got to unexpectedly shine was Jayne
    Oh definitely. Jayne stands out in this fic, maybe more than any other character. Anaross obviously likes him and wants to redeem him from who he may have been on Firefly and I think she does a great job. I really like Jayne in this.

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    I caught up!

    I absolutely loved this story. Once again anross has proven herself to be an outstanding writer.

    I loved her characterization of Spike who very much acted like season 7 Spike (my favorite version of Spike). He took the blow of ending up where he was remarkably calm and sensible. I loved how he was getting presents for Danw and Buffy. It showed how much he was thinking about nothing but going back to them.

    I loved his interaction with River and I loved the grief and the loneliness he shared with Zoe and how they found comfort in each other. I did not think the love story between them was too rushed because it felt to me more like solace than like everlasting love. The "normal" ending worked for me although it was - maybe - a bit weak. Did anyone notice the significance of the date Spike picked for his return? I only did, because this is the one thing, I have in common with Joss Whedon

    I couldn`t take the post-modern ending seriously and I`am not sure it was supposed to be taken seriously. I laughed out loud several times, much to the dismay of my husband, because I was reading this late at night yesterday and he got woken up more than once by me laughing.

    But lines like "She made me take off my shirt a lot, so I could get in touch with my inner emptiness" and "Marti warned me not to leave him alone with another character for long, bvecause someone is going to ship them" are just hilarious and made the po-mo-ending worthwhile.

    I did not like the epilogue ending. The one that was set five hundred years and a month later. TBH I don`t like to think of Spike as having to live through five hundred years. This is a burden no one can and no one should have to carry. Centuries bleeding into each other, memories fading, beloved ones lost again and again and again...I like to think that Spike would simply walk into the sunlight instead of dragging himself through the years.

    But this fic is clearly a 9/10 for me.

    flow
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    I loved the story too. I liked reading things from Zoe's perspective, a bit literal but also open and accepting. Spike's interactions with River but also with Jayne were very enjoyable. The alternative po-mo ending was silly and fun; obviously not to be taken seriously.

    Quote Originally Posted by Priceless View Post
    I love the romanticism of Spike living long enough to find his way back to Zoe, but I have the same issue, would he really remember a relationship that lasted days, for several centuries?
    Spike hasn't been in many truly equal and loving relationships in his unlife; I think he'd remember this one as a standout worth getting back to, even though it didn't last very long.

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