ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith posting in [community profile] poetree
Going in chronological order, I'm going to discuss the series submitted for the serial poetry challenge.

[personal profile] primeideal decided to explore the Schrodinger's Heroes  project, a science fiction shared world with contributions by myself and various other folks.  (For more details, see the SH menu page.)  Each poem crosses over with a different fandom.  This creates a cluster effect, showing how one series changes -- and yet remains recognizably itself -- as it interacts with others.  Most of these I'd heard of, but didn't know in depth, so I did a little extra browsing to learn more about them.

"The Tentacle Monster Chronicles" crosses with Animorphs.  The overlaps here include shapeshifting, interspecies dynamics, and morality.  There is always something alien, and always something familiar, if you look for them.

"Taxicab Geometry" crosses with Numb3rs.  Common ground includes linguistics, mathematics, and the camaraderie of intensely intelligent people.  Who sometimes overlook sort of massive details.

"The Shirt Off Her Back" crosses with Revolution.  Here the overlaps deal with power, technology, and fundamental alterations of reality.  A particularly poingnant part of the poem comes with the triple intersection of the cultural idea of giving someone the shirt off your back as a means of support, the Schrodinger's Heroes  use of t-shirts for characterization (Ash appears in this poem wearing the same power symbol shirt as in this poem), and the Revolution  logo (which uses the power symbol for the second O).  I only caught the logo when it appeared on someone else's television; I hadn't seen it before, and I was utterly thrilled by the precision of the match.  The best crossovers seek out such direct overlaps and capitalize on them.  

"All Politics Is Local" crosses with @MayorEmanuel.  Common themes include cyberspace, parallel dimensions, and technology.  This also follows "The Shirt Off Her Back," tying the two together with a connection within the set within the larger project.

"Who Let the Dogs Out" does not have a single direct crossover, but rather touches on a widespread motif.  Black dogs appear in Harry Potter  and Outernet.  Black dogs also appear in folklore across Europe, variously associated with the Devil, the Wild Hunt, the Fey, and other mystical matters.  Now in Schrodinger's Heroes,  the core example is a not a black dog but a cat.  However, traits can change and shapeshifting happens in the canon, so the poem deals with the weirdness of transmuting a cat to a dog, and how that affects the other characters.  Which is a wonderful comment on wider characterization, because "Schrodinger's Heroes Are Cat People" is a fundamental if subtle aspect of the project.

The tonal variation across the different poems reflects the variation in the project, from the descriptions of the apocryphal episodes to the posted fanfic and poetry.  There are serious bits, haunting and melancholy bits, whimsical bits, all wound through with an appreciation of science, intelligence, and diversity.  It captures the unity of the original by looking at it from widely different directions.  That's another hallmark of good crossover work, when someone makes a linked set of pieces like this.  So as a series, it forms kind of a starburst shape, each poem radiating from the same center.

Date: 2012-11-15 01:22 pm (UTC)
primeideal: Multicolored sideways eight (infinity sign) (Default)
From: [personal profile] primeideal
Thanks for reading and commenting, makes me sound deeper than I am :D. Glad the "Cat People" was a real part of the project.

(Having reread "Who Let The Dogs Out?" I realize I mislabel Alex as Ash a couple times towards the end. It should be relatively clear from the background story who's meant, but all the same, am I okay editing that? If not, that's fine.)


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