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HIV, in fanfic and in real life - Mo's Journal — LiveJournal
June 21st, 2005
02:03 pm

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HIV, in fanfic and in real life

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From:mofic
Date:June 21st, 2005 08:26 pm (UTC)

Re: forgetting?

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On the responsibility issue - I don't think authors are bound in any way to only write characters engaging in admirable or responsible behavior. And certainly fantasy has its place. I'm not suggesting that authors should feel they have to talk about HIV at all. I do find that when stories are set in a milieu where I'd expect some HIV concern (even if the characters choose to engage in barebacking or other risky behavior) and it's not even mentioned, it doesn't feel real to me as a reader. But that's a personal issue. Some people probably think stories about a guy who can kill people with his eyes aren't so realistic :-) and I have no problem with that at all. So, it's all very individual what fantasy elements one can swallow. My general principle is if everything but the mutant superpowers is very realistic, it's easier to believe in mutants.

OTOH, even though I don't think anyone is obligated to write about safer sex or HIV. as I said, I felt bad that I wasn't dealing with HIV, even though it didn't fit what I was writing at first. And I have been glad to deal with it later, in what I hope is a realistic fashion. Some of that is just my preference for realism over fantasy. Some of it is latent AIDS activism...

Oh, and LOL about the forgetting. It's sort of like me forgetting condoms get used for birth control, because the idea of sex having a connection to reproduction is so divorced from my own personal experience...
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From:mofic
Date:June 21st, 2005 11:45 pm (UTC)

Re: forgetting?

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I don't think I ever heard the term "Blue Boltz" but I get the sense it refers to highly fantastic stories divorced from the real world.

Hmmm, what do I like? The setting for me can be quite divorced from reality. I love Star Wars; I enjoy books where magic is real; I'm happy with settings that just could not happen. But I want the setting to be internally consistent and I want the people to feel real and to have depth. I want the villains to not be totally evil; I want the good guys to do bad stuff sometimes. I want complex relationships and complex motivations and genuine sounding joy and pain and fear and triumph. I don't need (or even want) reality - if I wanted reality I wouldn't be reading or writing about a guy with eyes that kill. What I want is credibility. I want verisimilitude.

This is also why I inherently prefer movieverse over comicverse. There's at least an attempt to make it realistic (what I'd call 'pseudo-realism') in the way of SF, not the fantasy of the comics.

That's an interesting point. I definitely prefer the movie to the comics, and a whole lot of that is because I got that feeling of it being a real world with real people from the movie, and tend not to from the comics *usually* (there are exceptions). But I find that a lot of comicverse really does work at realism and plenty of movieverse fanfic doesn't. So I don't know that I prefer movieverse to comicverse, and I think I look for the same kinds of qualities in both. For comicverse writers I think that often means ignoring a whole lot of canon (because it's just too convoluted to be believable) or going with a narrow range of canon (like the Ultimates).

It's before my time, but my brother tells me that Magneto's Brotherhood was originally called "The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants." That totally cracks me up - only in a comic book does someone consider himself evil and want to join an organization with that in the name. Other than for comic (in the sense of humor) value, I want a Magneto who doesn't think he's evil, who thinks he's doing what's right, or at least what's necessary or expedient. I want him to seduce other people to his vision because he's compelling and convincing, not because they're inherently evil. I want the same people who are drawn to Charles Xavier's vision to be drawn to Magneto's, in different ways. I loved the whole Ultimates plot of Cyclops defecting for Magneto and coming back - I liked that we could see the appeal of both sides. I felt similarly about Pyro defecting in X2.

All of this is veering pretty far from HIV :-). Anyway, thanks for your thoughts, Min. Always useful....
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From:mofic
Date:June 22nd, 2005 10:41 am (UTC)

Re: forgetting?

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I just touched on the HIV issue again in Grail.

I'm looking forward to reading it. After I'm done with my own version of the Phoenix saga, which may take a while. I finished the ficathon thing a couple weeks ago and have been working on my "After Charles" series. It's coming along, but I just had a "back to the drawing board" few days which reminded me of why I just can't post WIP. I admire you and others who have enough structure in your head that you can write and post and not have to go back and redo.

I had 9 stories written, betaed, and was pretty happy with them. Then I reread and decided that they were fine as individual chapters, but there was something missing in them as a series - they just didn't hold together well enough. I wasn't establishing enough connections. So, I did a lot of reworking. I have 10 stories out of what I think will be a 13-15 story series now.
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