Saturday, April 24, 2010

"Emissary From Another World". Read It.

A while back, Robyn E. Kenealy contacted me about a Baltar/Six novel she had written called Emissary From Another World. I read the whole thing and it's brilliant, just brilliant. It's a fantasy of what Gaius and Six's life may have been like after the finale - but it's written in a painfully realistic way, with lots of emotion and deep thought. It really goes beyond fan fiction. Gaius Baltar is not an easy character to write about, but I think Robyn has him to a T - pompous, guilty, lecherous, ridiculous, childish, caring, cowardly, brave, he's everything he was on the show.

I told her to send it to a frakking publisher (although I'm not sure how it would work if Gaius Baltar is a registered trademark of Universal or whatever). She prefers to publish it pro bono in blog form, with some selected illustrations. So here it is.

Do read it if you like Baltar, or Caprica Six, or good fiction. It's going to be published one entry at a time, so it's a bit like a diary blog for Gaius. If you can imagine him writing one in the New Earth while living a rustic farmer's life. (OK, it doesn't make sense, but even Betty Draper from the 1960's has a Twitter account, so let's allow modern-day artists some levity with medium.)

Robyn discusses her obsession with Baltar in the "About this project" section (note the hilarious ad for Baltar's self-improvement classes!)

I’m still not entirely sure whether this identification with Baltar is the epicentre of my obsession. I know it has something to do with it, but I can’t help feeling more. In short, something is happening here, and I don’t know what it is. All I know is I wanted to write about it. And I didn’t want to write against it, I wanted to write inside it. I wanted to see how I was putting this obsession together. This seemed like the right way.

Actually, some of this comes close to what I'm doing with this blog. (especially if you substitute Baltar for "James Callis".) I can't write as James, and I have to be careful because he's a real person out there somewhere. But I'm writing from inside my own obsession and fantasy about him, hoping it will be relatable to others too. Now I brought it back to me and my own fandom, but Robyn's writing will do that - she always makes me deep-think myself and my own mind.

Or maybe it's because fandom really has a common thread of living inside a character or (the fantasy of) a celebrity? Gaius is especially good for this, because while he's difficult to write about, he's very relatable as a character. Few (if any) of us would like to be him, but many viewers grew to like him and see a reflection of ourselves.

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