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Author Profile: Speranza
Blade Wicked
mamaffy wrote in ds_profiles
Author: Speranza, cesperanza
Website/link to fic: Speranza's Fiction
Fanlore page: Speranza's fanlore entry
First DS fic posted: January 2001
Full disclosure: I'm simply another one who loves her stories. In fact, her writing hooked me to fanfiction in the first place.
Pairings: She describes herself as a Fraser/Kowalski slasher with Vecchio friendship. Some flashfiction is Ray/Ray and there is some gen. She posted her last Due South fic in 2005 and is now primarily writing SGA fiction. She also wrote for The Sentinel, The West Wing, Dead Zone, and a couple of other fandoms. The links are on her site.
Style and strengths: She is just a wonderful storyteller. She can take an unusual idea (like Fraser, the criminal mastermind) and develops a detailed and convincing scenario that is true to canon, yet stretches it into something new. Her stories often have a complex overall plot with enough detail to make it unforeseeable. It's like watching the show sometimes, or reading a very good book with beloved characters. She involves crimes, action scenes, backstories, the bullpen, quirky events, and full-fledged OCs. Slash is plentiful and special but not always front and center. Every story has something different to it, and it's worth to read them all.
It's close to impossible to boil down the favorites to 3-5. Among her often recommended classics are also: Eight Sessions (amazingly insightful piece about Fraser and Kowalski in therapy), Passion (excellent Fraser backstory), Chicago's Most Wanted (exciting case-fic with a drift), Juggling Act (hilarious undercover-fic in a circus), and With Six You Get An Eggroll (convincing PCotW kid-fic scenario). Other Stories that I love madly are An Admirable Solution (Fraser seems to like his sex casual), Hanged Man (an affair in a motel), A Dare's A Dare (funny and hot crossdressing-fic), A Moment Of Insight (case-fic with special interference of the FBI), Wildly Dangerous Ways (accidental sex on the job), Interrogation (short and powerful, Kowalski interrogates Fraser), Next Of Kin (interesting Fraser/Stella scenario), and About A Dog (unusual Dief helps to solve a case). She wrote some excellent flashfiction, too, for example Number Eight (the boys in a gay bar).
Other DS/C6D activity: She wrote one Wilby Wonderful Story and a couple of HCL fics. The podfics and fanart for her stories can be found on her site. She also posted vids, but not for DS/C6D.
Community-wise, she is an archivist of the Due South Archive, moderates DS mailing lists, ran challenges, founded ds_flashback, and used to moderate dsreporter, ds_noticeboard, and ds_flashfiction. She published in the Duet Zines, won the Best Zine Award for The Bodyguard, and the Best Writer Award in 2003.
Some favourites

Beyond Embarrassment (Fraser/Kowalski, ~11,000 words)
Wonderful spin on the magical realism in Due South. It's angsty, emotional, and very exciting to read.
"Jeezus!" Like a shot, Ray was on his knees in the doorway. Fraser was — well, dirty was the first, wrong adjective that flashed through his mind. True, but not the point. Yeah, the red uniform was smeared with black-brown dirt, and so was Fraser's face and hair and —
Hatless. Yeah, that too, but still the wrong fucking answer — a problem but not the problem right here, right now —
Bleeding — yes, that was the word! Benton Fraser was fucking dirty and hatless and bleeding right here in his hallway at four o'clock in the fucking morning!

Kowalski Is Bleeding (Vecchio, Fraser/Kowalski, ~40,000 words)
Vecchio rushes to be on Fraser's side when Kowalski goes missing. It's very angsty, has beautiful Fraser-Vecchio friendship, and great Vecchio POV. There is also a DVD commentary for this story that explains some of the decisions behind this fic, f.e. the slightly unusual format.
Fraser was sitting at the kitchen table, his head braced on one hand. He looked up when I pushed through the door, and Christ, he looked older. There were fine lines around his eyes and mouth that I didn't remember being there. And maybe it was just the light, but I could swear he had flecks of gray in his hair.
I wondered if I looked that much older to him. "Hey, Benny."
"Ray." The hard lines in his face softened, and he stood up, his chair scraping the linoleum. "Ray..."
A blur of steps and then I had Fraser in the tightest bear hug I could manage. I grabbed so much flannel that I thought I'd split the back of my fancy suit jacket, and moreover I didn't give a shit. Fraser hugged me back with equal force, and I figured he was pretty damn pleased to see me, too.

Ping (Fraser/Kowalski, ~6,900 words)
One of her shorter stories, it's hilarious and much fun to read. Fraser pings on another man and Kowalski is not amused.
Aw, hell. Fraser just went ping.
Fraser almost never goes ping, which doesn't mean he never does. Just almost never. Figure one in a thousand.
Though it's really hard to tell because practically everybody pings on Fraser — even chicks who I personally know to be lesbians ping on Fraser, which is really saying something.

Scrabble (Fraser/Kowalski, ~29,000 words)
At first, I was silly enough to ignore this piece because of the unusual format. The story is told with parallel Fraser- and Kowalski-POVs, presented in a table next to each other. It's just a trip to read, to see how their thinking differs (just look at the exerpt). There are links for two different browser versions to choose from.
He thrusts his hands into his jacket pockets and turns to me.Or maybe I'm just hungry. I mean, that could be it, too.
"So whattya say, Frase--Lenny's?" Ray is scowling now; he's really hungry. Yet his suggestion is meant to please me, as indeed it does. Left to his own devices, Ray would as soon have a frankfurter on the street. Three bites and it's gone--and Ray is ready to go, too. It's for me he eats in restaurants, knowing I need peace and quiet to recharge. God bless him."So whattya say, Frase--Lenny's?" Fraser's looking distracted, but Lenny's'll cheer him up quick. Underneath that starched exterior, the Mountie's got a thing for French fries. Guy loves 'em, and no one ever guesses, but he'll eat all of his and half of mine. Then again, he'll give me his pickle and cole slaw, so we'll come out even like we pretty much always do.

Some Strange Prophecy (Fraser/Kowalski, Vecchio ~53,000 words)
The arrest of Victoria worries Vecchio so much that he urges Kowalski to keep an eye on Fraser. And that is necessary. This story combines apparent lightness with intense worry. Great Vecchio cameos.
"You don't have to understand," Vecchio interrupted angrily. "Because I'm telling you: Victoria Metcalf is dangerous to him, and I mean really dangerous. So if you give half a shit about Fraser—"
And christ, that hurt; Vecchio couldn't possibly know how he felt about Fraser. Who the fuck did this guy think he was?
"—you'll stay with him, and look out for him. Please," and Vecchio was practically begging him. " Please, okay?"
Except Ray knew who this guy was: he was the real Ray Vecchio, Fraser's partner, the guy he'd been hired to replace. Ray wanted to hate Vecchio for out-Vecchioing him, but he couldn't, because Vecchio loved Fraser too, even if not in the same hopeless stupid way, knock on wood.

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Yay you! Very cool write-up ;)

"Eight Sessions" was probably the fic that got me hooked on DS fics. And "Scrabble" just rocks, I love the format so, so much!

Great favorites - made me realize I hadn't read "Some Strange Prophecy" yet, which I need to do ASAP.


Thank you for telling me, you're so sweet! ;)

Eight Sessions wonderful hands down. Glad I could point you to an unknown one. \o/

Wonderful write-up! *applauds*

Thanks for the profile. I've updated her Fanlore page to include your comments. For such a prolific writer her page was a bit bare. So it looks much better now, at least from a dS point of view. \o/

Great, I'm glad! Thanks. :)

(Deleted comment)
Thank you for your feedback, I am so glad you like that story. :D I love Speranza's Vecchio lots and lots!

I still think the authors of the bad!RayV stories owe the fandom a big apology, however.
I am sorry you got so burned in DS fandom, it makes me sad. I am a little torn here, though. While I fully agree with you that it's not my preference at all (!), I also firmly believe that we shouldn't censor people in their writing. If they want to write it for whatever reason, I use my back button. And I don't think there is much of a market for that kind of fic anymore anyways. But a warning would be nice, so that everyone can avoid it. ;)

(Deleted comment)
Except the thing is that one fan's character bashing is another fan's sincere reading of that character and it's not appropriate for anyone to apply that label to someone else's work - as much as I want to scream every time I read another SG-1 story where Sam is boring, predatory, or jealous of Daniel's relationship with Jack, that really is how some people see her and, moreover, sometimes they're using that to tell another kind of story.

For a more coherent example in this fandom: there are a tonne of F/K stories that pitch Ray Vecchio, or Kowalski pere, or Maggie, or the Duck boys, or !character, as homophobic. This is infuriating if you like the character in question, and sometimes it might seem like a pretty clear-cut case of character bashing. Sometimes, though, it's in the service of telling a particular kind of story. Many gay people - especially 10-15 years ago, when DS was airing - experience(d) rejection from close family, friends or colleagues. And not everyone doing this was a villain, you know? These were ordinary people doing and saying hateful things to people who they loved and who loved them. It's painful. Plenty of fic in DS fandom explores the experiences two gay or bisexual men in typically homophobic professions might have when embarking on a relationship, or may have run into during their lives - I am sure this is as true for Fraser/RayV (which I don't read) as it is for Fraser/RayK, Ray/Ray, and F/K/V. While it would be nice to think that !favourite character would be able to rise above, it's not necessarily true - and there are actually some compelling reasons for writers to choose fan favourites to do this rejecting: it's jarring. It's viscerally upsetting to the reader.

The point is here that it's not possible to make a kneejerk reaction going oh this story is character bashing, that one's not. Much of that is subjective. But even when it's not, it's really not the business of the archivist, you know?

Excuse me for butting in once more, even if the discussion is huge and not really related to Speranza's work.

I am trying to look trough your eyes and I understand your frustration. Me, I can enjoy for example bad!Fraser (or even horrible!Fraser) but that has a whole other fandom history and subtext than the dismissal of Ray Vecchio. I think that it would be nice if authors would warn for trigger-y stuff and as I understand Vecchio bashing can be a huge trigger. I disliked it in a bunch of fics and I can only imagine how hard it was on you.

Still, we are a non-centralized community and everyone contributes. Me, I would like to read some RayK bashing just for research purposes (again, I know that is no comparison to your situation, I just agree that it's hard to find). I am puzzled, too, that these fics are gone. I heard you can still read them in zines and members-only lists but I never came across them.

I think to understand DS fandom, it's interesting to know that Ray Kowalski used to be hugely unpopular and some of the bashing is that of a former minority. I mean that simply as a historical explanation. Maybe that can give you some comfort, as to the fact that it wasn't a majority trying to drive the minority away. I recommend the Fanlore Site on the Ray Wars for reference.

If I were an archivist (and those peeps have a lot of work with the tagging, I think, unpaid, I might add), the task to rate all the fanfic that exists as to character bashing is just a huge task and not a small thing to ask. And that is not taking into account the understandable discomfort to subjectively rate other people's work. It would be a bit like censorship and if I were the author, I'd probably object to it.

I still want the same you want. Newbies should be able to easily find great F/V fic and feel the love for him. I would just like to propose a different approach. We need more Vecchio squee. And more recs for great Vecchio fic. For example great Vecchio picspams in ds_closet, or Vecchio meta in ds_meta, lots of recommendations for great Vecchio stories on ds_recsredux or crack_van. I feel that you have read a lot and know the fandom fairly well by now. If you could imagine helping with that, I am sure everyone would be very grateful. I'd be glad to help or brainstorm, seriously, just nudge me anytime. And I can also think of a few other people with even more experience with pure F/V (I admit, I like Kowalski to be in my fics).

Also, I can hardly think of a current prolific writer that doesn't write multiple pairings, so maybe I'd like you to see that, too. There are lots of Ray/Ray and Fraser/Ray/Ray fics, too, at least in my circle, and it feels like a lot of people are not mono-pairing shippers for F/K.

Sorry, I hope I could explain my doubts that your wish (archivists warn for homophobia) will be met. But I think it would be worth to try to spread more Vecchio love. He is awesome, after all! :)

Oh and one last thing, I feel that the community as a whole isn't allowing Vecchio bashing on inclusive boards anymore. Which is a sign of respect in my interpretation. Again, I hope these are not my majority goggles but I've seen it criticized on a few occasions (like not specifying which Ray on the ficfinder-communities). So I hope you'll stick around and be a strong Vecchio voice around here. ;)

If I were an archivist (and those peeps have a lot of work with the tagging, I think, unpaid, I might add), the task to rate all the fanfic that exists as to character bashing is just a huge task and not a small thing to ask. And that is not taking into account the understandable discomfort to subjectively rate other people's work. It would be a bit like censorship and if I were the author, I'd probably object to it.

I just think there is SO much DS fic out there, it would be impossible to tag everything, aside from censorship issues and warnings being subjective.

I guess going by the date a story was written may help, but yeah, how's a "newbie" to know that...

Edited at 2010-05-14 11:17 am (UTC)

Thanks for the wonderful write-up! \ela/ So many of my personal favs here, like Juggling Act (read this first during a difficult time and it made me truly happy for a few hours) and Scrabble. And I can't believe I haven't read Wildly Dangerous Ways yet! *runs off*

BTW, I'm still relying quite a lot on your wonderful dS fic recs. Keep 'em coming! ;)

Aw, thank you!! How nice. I remember actually laughing out loud during Juggling Act, great that it cheered you up. Enjoy WDW! :)


Speranza was one of the writers who really got me into dS fanfiction, but I guess that's true for many of us.
Eight Sessions really changed my life as fic writer. After I finished it, I sat there motionless for about ten solid minutes. Then I thought, "Oh my god. I want to do this too."
Great post! \o/

I so know what you mean! I also read "Eight Sessions" first and it made me appreciate the possibilities of fanfic. She also got me into fanfic, her work is just ... - well as you said. :)

Thanks for telling me, by the way, and sorry for being so late with my answer. And good luck with your further fanfic writing. ;)

keep posting like this it’s really very good idea, you are awesome!

Thanks - so very nice of you to say. :)

Sorry for my bad english. Thank you so much for your good post. Your post helped me in my college assignment, If you can provide me more details please email me.

I am glad I was of service. :) Feel free to pm me with further questions, as I am not sure what you mean with "details". Anyway, thanks a lot for your feedback - I am glad. And sorry for taking so much time to respond.

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