You may know this week's author as scienceandmysticism or as pinebluffvariant but if neither name rings a bell, get yourself over to tumblr or A03 and get caught up right now. Her ficlet "On Fourteenth Street Bridge," a quick look at the events on the bridge of "My Struggle II," will have you begging her to keep going in that universe. "Polysemous" is one of my favorite Season 10 post eps, a sweet but heartbreaking conversation set after "Founder's Mutation." I may have sent that to a few people with the disclaimer "here, enjoy some pain." It's a pain that hurts so good. There are many other excellent stories in this author's library and an afternoon spent reading through all of them will be time well spent.
We're delighted scienceandmysticism took the time to chat with us about writing and The X-Files!
How long have you been a Phile?
I started watching The X-Files sometime in 1996... my memory is a little fuzzy, but I remember becoming more and more aware of the show and catching stray episodes here and there, learning the characters' names, and thinking "I should remember when this is on". I stopped watching almost completely after Requiem; it felt like the show had run its course. But I did catch up on the last two seasons eventually, was very much caught off-guard by IWTB, then dropped out again, and have been enjoying participating in XF fandom more actively since the announcement of Season 10. The X-Files and I have had twenty intense, and always devoted if not always happy, years together.
What was your first episode?
The first episodes I remember watching and getting that "wow" feeling, where I knew I would be back next week, were Nisei/731. I came into the show a big science fiction fan and the mythology arc at the time was so interesting, and so dynamic. I remember loving the global scope of the conspiracy.
How long have you been writing fic?
I wrote my first story in the summer of 2015, so I still consider myself pretty much brand new at this fanwork creation thing. But I've been *reading* XF fic, in periods voraciously, since the late 1990s.
For more questions, read after the jump.
What inspired you to start writing?
You know, I'm not sure... I had never written creatively in any form before I started playing around with XF fanfic. It's probably got something to do with actively participating in the fandom for the first time. I had lurked on many boards over the years but never said a thing, and all of a sudden there we were, with filming about to start and a million rumors and theories about what Season 10 would bring. And I started wondering, who are these people now? It's tough to speculate with incomplete information, so I figured I'd make something up.
Who is your favorite XF character to write?
Well, Mulder jokes pop into my mind all the time, so I suppose I feel most at ease with him. He's an interesting person to play around with, because he can seem so straightforward, so I like to try to find something unexpected in him. Scully, I struggle with much more, but it makes getting something about her right all the more rewarding.
Are there any XF characters you dislike or find too difficult to write?
Ask me again when I've attempted to bring more of them to life! Canon-compliant William seems very difficult, because he's a complete abstraction.
Is there a story you're most proud of or that's a favorite?
These two were very challenging because I'm sometimes wary of dealing with Scully, but I'm very pleased with the Scully voice in "The Unmoved Mover" and "Stop Me If You've Heard This One Before." If I may plug a story that happens to be NSFW, "First Person Narrative" is probably my favorite. It's got a little bit of everything; humor, history, weirdness, MSR, vague old school Mulder/Krycek...
Where can people find your work, and what's the best way to send feedback?
Do you take fic prompts from fans?
Absolutely, you can send me prompts on Tumblr. I'm always happy to write from a prompt when I can find the time!
Have you written your own original characters outside of fandom?
No, fic really is my first and only foray into creative writing. Maybe in future?
Anything you’d like to share about your writing process?
It's kind of chaotic. I try to start with a take-away point, a start or an ending, and build from there. I'm always checking in with myself, "what am I trying to say?" My next challenge is taking on a larger project, with a richer narrative. I'm a classic "perceiver" in MBTI terms, so structuring in advance is outside my comfort zone. Can't wait to learn and grow through this process!
Do you have a favorite author? (fanfic or published!)
Oh, too many to list. I'll give a shoutout to three of my favorite old school fic writers: Khyber, Bonetree and Tesla. Each of them builds huge worlds and creates unexpected insights into the characters. The XF universe is so huge and alive to me, in part because of ambitious and challenging fic like theirs.
Octavia E. Butler is a constant inspiration to me; she taught me to see the world for all its imperfect complexity.
Is there any advice you'd give to aspiring writers?
Keep working, ask for help, and be open to critique at all stages of the process.
Anything else you'd like to share that I missed?
I'm very happy to have the opportunity to share a little bit about my fic, so thank you to XFN for making it happen!
Thank you to scienceandmysticism for talking with us!
Here's a taste of "The Unmoved Mover," set in Season 10.
Standing at the staff coffee machine on the oncology ward, Dana closes her eyes against her humming frustration and stirs another spoon of sugar into the weak brew. It hits her in the face like raindrops blowing upward in a storm: the rage and the fear, the unfairness of it all. She’s stood at too many bedsides in her lifetime and the thought of what might be coming nauseates her. As a physician she should know better. She absolutely does not know better.
Her mother has asked Dana to wait outside while she consults with her doctor, despite the usual protests from her daughter. “I’m a grown woman, Dana. If I have questions for you I’ll make sure to ask them. Now get some coffee.”
So here she is, thinking about parents and children while the ghosts of the living and the dead swirl about her face in the steam from her mug.
At fifty-one, she finally knows not to argue with the woman who gave her life. The parent-child relationship is recursive, of course. She and Mulder talked about this once on some godforsaken highway, cautiously sharing some light family facts: family temperaments and family roles are a relay race, passed down from one person to the next. It’s the essence of who we are, in a sense, mirrors and versions of those who came before us, paving the way forward. Somehow she knows that even then, when Mulder’s truth was hidden from her by layers of clothing and sarcasm, even then she wanted to make a life with him.
This is the one thought that has kept her sane since she lost her son: that something of her, of the both of them, remains in him, waiting to bloom.
Read the rest here.