Mar. 26th, 2017

sanguinity: woodcut by M.C. Escher, "Snakes" (Escher Snakes)
[personal profile] sanguinity
Title: The Professor's Daughter
Author: pocketbookangel
Pairing: Gen
Length: 4489 words
Rating: Teen
Warnings: Canon-typical Violence
Verse: Laurie R. King novels
Author's summary: Written for Holmestice Winter 2015
Inspired by the prompt: Patricia Donleavy, Spinster Mathematician, at any stage of her life -- her budding interest in mathematics, her own academic career, whether she took over her father's organization or built a new one to challenge it.
It should be noted that Mary herself does not appear in this story.

Reccer's comments:

Preliminary note for those who aren't fans of Laurie King's Mary Russell stories: "The Professor's Daughter" works excellently as a straight-up ACD-verse story; no knowledge of (or affection for) King's stories is required. However, its premise spoils the first of those novels, so it seems polite to put the particulars of the rec under the cut...

So! This is the story of Patricia Moriarty, aka Patricia Donleavy, the beloved daughter of Professor James Moriarty, talented in mathematics herself, who had to make her way in a world shaped by Dr. Watson's and William Gillette's wildly popular accounts of her father's death.

I started reading the King novels because I'd heard of the existence of Patricia Donleavy -- a lady mathematician! who could be read as Sapphic maybe! -- and when I got far enough in to learn that she wasn't just a side character, but Moriarty's daughter, I wanted all the things.

And pocketbookangel gave them to me! The author has done a beautiful job communicating a Moriarty-sympathetic pov without outright excusing murder, and they made the challenge and irritation of living in the shadow of Watson's and Gillette's stories feel organic and true. I love the duality in the imagery -- the spinning coin, the spider, the Huntress -- and its thematic emphasis that there is often a second way of viewing a thing. The story is beautifully executed, too: the period dialog among Patricia's school chums, for example, feels spot-on, and I laughed outright at several points. (Patricia's dismay at being mistaken for a Sherlockian!)

The story was written for me, to my own prompt, so I admit to being partial, but c'mon, it features a Sapphic mathematician! Who has snarky things to say about Sherlock Holmes! Surely that's enough appeal for anyone?
sanguinity: woodcut by M.C. Escher, "Snakes" (Escher Snakes)
[personal profile] sanguinity
Music Title & Artist: "Love Game" by The Vitamin String Quartet (Lady Gaga cover)
Vidder: redscullyrevival | GeekyKristie
Pairing or Character: Sherlock Holmes & Joan Watson
Verse: Elementary
Warnings: blood, corpses, drug paraphenalia.
Link: tumblr announcement post (and on youtube, because tumblr URLs are exceptionally fragile)
Vidder's Summary: Different kinds of love, different kinds of games; the evolution of relationships.

Reccer's Comments: A beautiful study of the progression of the S1 partnership, from its origination in a paid sober companion and her resentful client, building through the tricky business of learning to work with each other instead of against each other, to the ultimate triumph of teamwork and trust against a manipulative mastermind. The music is by turns prickly and lyrical as the vid details the frustrations and rewards of the developing partnership, and the absence of vocals allow us to observe the dynamic on our own terms. Various events of the S1 arc are obliquely referenced, but the vid relentlessly returns to the painstaking slog of the work, to the hours upon hours, casefile after casefile, that these two spent building their partnership.

There's a cry you sometimes hear in the Elementary fandom that no one is here for the cases, that we care more about the partnership, the character development and backstories, and less about the whodunnit of the week. (Unsurprising! By the end of the current season, we'll have seen twice as many cases as were in the original canon, and even those original sixty cases had more than a few retreads and what-were-you-thinkings among them.) Even Holmes himself has commented this season that he's come to re-evaluate the relative importance of the work in his life. "Love Game" was made immediately after the S1 finale, but its casefile-centric perspective of the Holmes and Watson relationship makes it fascinating to rewatch as the first seeds of that long, long arc:

When you and I first started, I quickly recognized your merits both as a detective in your own right and that you facilitated in my own process. I’m better at the work I do because of you, but over the years the relative importance of those those two values has flipped. I now value the work that we do first and foremost because I do it with you.


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