Sunday, September 29, 2013

The big wonderful cosmos of Sherlock.

After listening to part one of the Baker Street Babes's two-part "Sherlock After Dark" podcasts, I remember writing that they spent too much time with the foreplay -- commercials, intro, theme song, etc., before they got to the good stuff. For part two, however, perhaps I was anticipating the episode too much, but Kafers talking about tea in the very opening moments seemed to be bringing the sexy from square one.

(Kafers, of course, has been one of my favorite Babe voices from square one, and now that Curly is back in London, I'm looking forward to some very good things from the sultry-voiced English accent mixing it up with the perky American one. Okay, I'm stopping now before I start writing creepy-old-guy Babes audio slash fiction.)

Since "Sherlock After Dark," part two, is the second half of an ongoing conversation, this one takes no time at all to get to the good parts: sexual inexperience, early porn usage -- the Babes are not shy about bringing their personal experiences to the table to discuss how they feel about Sherlock and his sex lives. (How many of us get to actually have sex lives? Go legendary cultural icons!) But then the conversation actually goes deep: dominatrixes, female empowerment dressing, and the finer points of sequins. There's a reason these ladies have such a popular podcast: They aren't stupid, and their thoughtful musings can even make sequins curiously interesting.

The "After Dark" podcasts aren't entirely about fanfic: Lyndsay's experiences as a female Sherlockian before and after the current wave of Holmes popularity are well worth any Sherlockian's time. I fear those who most need to hear her words won't be listening to the podcast, having already dismissed it as some silly Cumberbatchian fawning. But the fanfic comes back in really quickly.

The comparison of getting into a fandom to deep sea diving (Was that Reapersun or Sketchlock? I lose track of voices in these things sometimes.) is an excellent explanation of how to approach fan fiction. With a range stretching from "fluffy" to "vampire omegaverse," the point that a novice coming into the worlds of fanfic needs to pace themselves is well made. And if you were wondering what "omegaverse" was, the explanation (and its nervous beginning) is worth diving into the podcast by itself.

Listening to the podcast definitely makes one want to track down a few specific fanfics mentioned: "Alone on the Water" and "Performance in a Leading Role" by MadLori, the "Seven Moons" by Ladyflodi, as well as tracking down Reapersun's Red Pants Monday, which is the most specific corner of Watson fandom you'll ever find. (And do the red briefs subliminally represent Watson's classic wound, even if it is psycho-somatic in Sherlock? I couldn't help but think they were there to help classic Watson cover a still-bleeding wound to his butt cheek.) The work of  candle_beck also comes up as a "rec" ("Recommendation," I'm guessing -- these kids today and their hip lingo!). Podfic? There's podfic? How did the world get so freaking big? At some point it gets hard to keep up with taking notes on the recs getting mentioned.

"I think that fan fiction and pastiche -- identical terms. That is same deal . . . [except] pastiche tends to get dollars handed to them." Nice quote from Lyndsay. (Though damned hard to transcribe -- you really need to listen to this podcast.)

If you get nothing else from the second part of "Sherlock After Dark," it's that there are universes upon universes of Sherlock Holmeses out there. Alternate universes, which used to be a unique science fiction concept back in my classic Trek childhood, is now common coin of the fan realm. Imagination rules the internet, more than any of us ever realized it would, and the Babes give a wonderful overview of just how diverse and incredible the worlds of Sherlock Holmes now are.

It's oddly humbling to consider the size of the Sherlock fanfic cosmos after just finishing a discussion of "Elementary is a great show" universe versus "Elementary is an awful show" universe. It's like gazing up at the stars and realizing how small we are in the greater scheme of things. Limiting one's self to the classic Sherlock Holmes fandom of twenty years ago almost starts to seem Amish in the light of all the creative thought going on out there. Sometimes, as we age, we don't mind the Amish lifestyle and want to stick to the familiar paths. But other times, no matter what our age, we crave new worlds to explore. And fanfic, if you find it something you can be open to, has soooooo many worlds to explore.

Yes, you do have to sometimes be open to alternate, and sometimes very alternate, lifestyles. But that's just a part of the infinite diversity (in infinite combinations -- yes, I am an old Trekkie). And this is a wonderful podcast for repeated listenings, just to get plenty of details to introduce you to it all.

And, of course, to hear Kafers talk about tea. (*Sigh like Cecil on Welcome to Night Vale talking about Carlos.*)

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