Effulgence Fandom Ideas

Plain old discussion of Alicorn stories.

Effulgence Fandom Ideas

Postby Tamien » Fri Mar 21, 2014 10:19 pm

What fandoms do you think would make interesting additions to Effulgence?

Currently my top choice is the Abhorsen/Old Kingdom trilogy (in particular Sabriel), because a Bell as the Abhorsen would be fun to see and I suspect that Touchstone could be productively replaced with a Joker. Plus a Cricket version of Mogget would be particularly amusing, and Charlie as the previous Abhorsen actually makes a lot of sense.

I've also toyed around with how the Effulgence cast might fit into the Kushiel's Legacy world (the local Joker would almost certainly be an anguisset/te, but how does everyone else fit in?) and the world of Ethshar (just because I think they'd have a field day with the magic systems).

Anyone else have ideas for how those fandoms might work, or for other fandoms that seem like they think would work well in Effulgence?
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Re: Effulgence Fandom Ideas

Postby Tatterdemalion » Sat Mar 22, 2014 12:11 am

Oh, I'd love to see the Effulgence cast in the Welcome to Night Vale world. It would be so fun to see what went wrong in some of their lives or otherwise led them to Night Vale. Probably not feasible due to... well, just the way WtNV is told, but who wouldn't want to see a Bell dealing with the City Council? I guess if you were doing a replacement thing rather than just adding the characters in, you could possibly have a Joker for Cecil and a Bell for Carlos. That mangles a good deal of backstory, though, at least for the Joker.

I've also been wondering how a Bell would get on with a MoR Hermione, solely given that that Hermione views taking over the world as evil.

I'll have to re-read Sabriel and maybe the other two books, now that you've mentioned it!
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Re: Effulgence Fandom Ideas

Postby Kappa » Sat Mar 22, 2014 6:27 am

I've read the Old Kingdom trilogy, but not recently enough to comment on replacing Touchstone with a Joker, except to say that if I remember the origin of the name correctly it would make a good Joker name in a general sense. (As an alternate suggestion, I put forward: Kibeth.)

IIRC Alicorn has no plans to put any of her characters in Kushielverse, but I've toyed with the notion before for mine. A straight-up replacement of Phedre with a Joker, and very possibly Imriel with a Chainsaw, would be interesting. No idea what I'd do with Joscelin, though. (I've actually thought out a Kushiel AU of a Tony-Sherlock pair already - Tony as a blacksmith, Sherry as his trans identical twin kicked out of the Cassilines for refusing to pretend she is still the boy everyone thought she was when she joined. But I'm not sure if they fit that well with Anguisset(te) Joker. Man, that word looks so weird with the masculine ending.)

What in heck is Ethshar?
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Re: Effulgence Fandom Ideas

Postby tau » Sat Mar 22, 2014 9:39 am

Oh, Old Kingdom would be excellent. Touchstone would make an excellent Joker. Though so would Kibeth. Obviously. But Kibeth is unlikely to have the upbringing problems.

I'm not certain what Nightvale would do to a Bell. She'd probably decide to go into psychology again.
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Re: Effulgence Fandom Ideas

Postby Alicorn » Sat Mar 22, 2014 10:12 am

I've never read the Abhorsen series. Should I? Is it recommended (on its own merits and not just because people want to see it Belled)?

I read the first book in the Kushiel series but didn't like it.

I've never even heard of Ethstar.

We've considered Night Vale. I think it would have less of a stunting effect than the MUniverse, but it still isn't Optimal Bell Growing Conditions. Replacing Carlos with a Bell would be a reasonable way to do it if we wanted to (Night Vale doesn't concertedly punish science the way the MUniverse does, so some sort of research profession would be the obvious place to put her while she looks for a suitably exploitable eldritch horror), but it's not in the works.

Eliezer has read a little of Effulgence (he stopped because he got tired of the unapologetic power tripping and because he didn't like the obstacle/reward nonlinearity), possibly enough to comment on how Hermione would get along with a Bell. Maybe I will ask him to swing by and remark on that.
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Re: Effulgence Fandom Ideas

Postby Kappa » Sat Mar 22, 2014 10:49 am

The Abhorsen series is pretty solidly good fantasy and I enjoyed reading it. I'm probably going to do a reread one of these days.

It has one flaw, which I might describe as... shallow worldbuilding? I wish this forum had spoiler tags, in case someone might not want to be spoiled. I guess I'll just be vague. In general, the world and magic of the Abhorsen books are interesting and consistent, and the magic is pretty unique, but a lot of the time it seems like things haven't been thought through in detail. The non-magical part of the world is a very generic semi-industrialized Engandish sort of place, and the magical part of the world is a very generic vaguely European fantasy kingdom. Magic done onscreen obeys all explicit magical rules except where there are explicit magical exceptions, but it doesn't always give the impression of... hm. I'll see if I can say this another way:

Deep worldbuilding, to me, means that when I'm reading a story it looks like the author is chronicling actual events from an alternate universe. There is a sense that there is a world outside the story, even if we're not seeing it.

In the Abhorsen books, a lot of the time, it looks like the author is making up a story about events in a world that works the way he says it does. The magic doesn't break its own rules, but it doesn't feel complete, either. Often when the book shows me a new thing about how magic works, it doesn't feel like learning new information about a thing that already coherently exists; it feels like the new thing has been added where it previously wasn't. Not every single time, but often enough to be mildly annoying.

That said, I still really like the books. (And, Bells being Bells, I'm curious as to what they'd think of a world whose cosmology is so heavily slated towards "cheating death is bad"... although come to think of it, that part might not be very Alicorn-friendly...)
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Re: Effulgence Fandom Ideas

Postby EliezerYudkowsky » Sat Mar 22, 2014 11:25 am

Re: Hermione/Bell: I think there'd be a clash of backgrounduniversal assumptions. Hermione lives in a world where taking over the world really is more dangerous, both physically and morally, then it's depicted as being in Effulgence. Conversely, the Bells live in universes where the sort of chiding Hermione does of Harry is genuinely inappropriate because Harry and Hermione would have taken over the Potterverse via Comed-Tea manipulation in Ch. 17, and all the uses of power that came to their minds would turn out to be appropriate and nobody would be too unhappy with that or if it were it would be easily fixed, and the question would be what they could do to help their less fortunate selves in e.g. canon!Potter. (Except that then that whole scenario wouldn't have happened because the Defense Professor would have taken over that universe a good deal earlier.)

Hermione and Bell live in different moral worlds.
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Re: Effulgence Fandom Ideas

Postby Tamien » Sat Mar 22, 2014 11:47 am

I'm not nearly caught up in NIght Vale enough to comment - as much as I enjoy it, I have a very hard time paying attention to it, so I'm still on something like Episode 8 until I get more time when I can do literally nothing else but focus my attention on the audio. In general I approve the thought of seeing how Bells deal with weird and creepy worlds, though.

Phedre-Joker pretty much just stands to reason, although how that would change the story would indeed be interesting. A Libby might make a good swap-in for Melisande. Chainsaw Imri makes a creepy kind of sense (I never much cared for Imri or his stories, though). Ex-Cassiline Sherlock would be awesome. I think it would be kindof amazing for Ex-Cassiline Sherlock to end up as Phedre-Joker's guard in line with the original story - I have no idea how a story in which the two of them come as a pair rather than either of them paired with a Bell would go. If you went with the Libby-Melisande then that puts Sherlock and Libby somewhat in their traditional positions, and Jokers also historically play convoluted power games with their love interests, so the two of them against her would kindof work, although the situations would have to be carefully arranged to make two-on-one not immediately unbalanced. But Melisande was already in a good starting position and Phedre and Joscelin weren't, and I don't imagine any of them being replaced with their Effulgence counterparts would be likely to even the playing field, so it would probably still work.

Alicorn: The Old Kingdom series is among my most-beloved childhood fantasy series, possibly on par with the Enchanted Forest Chronicles. However, while I still enjoy rereads, when I've recommended it to a friend who didn't read it as a kid, they were less impressed, so I'm not sure whether to recommend it if you haven't read it. I think it's solid YA fantasy, but Kappa does have a point about shallowish worldbuilding. The "cheating death is bad" aspect of the world is one of the big reasons why I think a Bell would make an interesting Abhorsen - the canon Sabriel was never very happy with that, and I think a Sabribell (that is a terrible name, there has got to be a better name) would, well, give up less easily when told not to.

Kappa: Hmmm, Kibeth as a Joker could work too, but then I assume you'd be following Lirael's story, not Sabriel's, and I think Sabriel's works much better as a Bell-origin. Plus Touchstone's name pretty much fits Joker naming conventions to a tee, and his backstory is much more amenable to the standard minimum level of Joker suffering. Kibeth's backstory would need to be twisted much more (maybe if someone other than Lirael got to the statuette first..?) Of course, if Lirael were the Bell and not Sabriel, then probably Tony and Sherlock would be Sameth and Ellimere. Who would Sabriel be in that case? Although, I guess that question kindof stands in reverse if Sabriel were the Bell. Now I'm not sure which version I'd want to see more. There isn't really a good reason for a Sabriel and a Joker to have a Tony and a Sherlock as kids, considering they already have a set of templatey kids, so if those two are gonna be in there, the Lirael version is probably the way to go. But I still think the Sabriel story fits better with the Bell concept. Plus, Bell puns!

Ethshar is a light-hearted high-magic fantasy world created by Lawrence Watt-Evans. The setting was originally created as a roleplaying setting, but then he decided it worked better as just a novel setting. It's in some ways similar to the Enchanted Forest Chronicles, and maybe in some ways like the MUniverse (not the science problem; more other stuff - I only really know the MUniverse through Effulgence, though). The reason it wasn't at the top of my list is because while I'd be curious to see how a Bell or a Joker would get on in that world, I'm not sure it would actually add much to Effulgence as a whole, considering the ways in which it's similar to already-Belled worlds. That aside, I would recommend the series on its own merits outside of the fact that it might be interesting to Bell.
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Re: Effulgence Fandom Ideas

Postby Alicorn » Sat Mar 22, 2014 12:02 pm

I tend to follow Night Vale via transcripts more often than not. It loses something in the transcription, but not enough that I want to devote lots of time and concentration to taking it in as audio every single time.

I've obtained Old Kingdom and will probably get around to it eventually, but Ethshar doesn't seem to be available for piracy. Pity, it sounds fun.
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Re: Effulgence Fandom Ideas

Postby Tamien » Sat Mar 22, 2014 12:25 pm

I keep meaning to check out the Night Vale transcripts. At the very least, they'd probably help me actually pay attention to the audio if I read along as I listened.

I'll be curious to see what you think of the Old Kingdom books, once you've gotten around to them!

Parts of Ethshar are serialized online before they are published, but even though the stories're mostly stand-alone, you'd probably want to read the earlier ones first. If you're looking to pirate, I found a minimally-sketchy Russian site hosting a bunch of Watt-Evans's books, so you might look up The Misenchanted Sword or With a Single Spell, which are probably the best starting points. It looks like the site lets you read them in browser or download them in a variety of ebook formats, so you've got your pick.

Oooh, I just remembered the Sharing Knife series. Is anyone else familiar with them? Do said anyones have any ideas of whether that world could be Belled?
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