Oh my god I know this is RIDICULOUSLY late. I am totally That Recipient, the one who makes you rant to all your friends, completely justifiedly. So a) I’m really sorry, and b) if you’ve already started writing or gotten an idea and don’t want to deal with an influx of new information, then don’t worry about it! The only thing I'd really like to ask is that you try your best to avoid glorification or long graphic descriptions of suicide, sexual assault, infidelity, or physical torture (as in, say, Character X has been captured by the enemies and they are torturing him for information). (That doesn't mean you can't deal with these things at all, though, especially if the canon does. Just not, like, torture porn, you know?
You may perhaps have read my past years' letters by now, but in case you haven't, a quick general rundown:
I am fine reading underage sex down to age 15; very consensual incest; mild kink; stylized or non-standard language; open consensual non-monogamous relationships; holiday-themed stories; and stories involving children/pregnancy (even mpreg if that is how you roll!).
I am particularly fond of: linguistics and language-play, character development, bittersweet stories, passion/geekery, unexpected perspectives, post-apocalyptic settings, non-normative gender/sexuality stuff, worldbuilding, awkwardly too-intimate situations with interesting results (not as in, say, sexual situations where the participants aren't comfortable, but like bodyswap or being handcuffed together for some reason or something like that), irreverent women (and awesoem women in general, irreverent or otherwise)... And I am always up for reading a coming out story, whether it's a more traditional story or a story that messes with our received ideas of what coming out looks like. (Think of these as vague potential prompts rather than a laundry list of demands.)
I’d love something worldbuild-y, that engages closely with the worldbuilding in some way. Or if that’s not your thing, I also adore the characters and think they all have their own fascinating POVs or backstories you could tell. Sofia, Anne, D.W., and Emilio are probably the closest to my heart, but I really would love to read about any of them. I know the Runa aren’t in the character list, so no pressure, but if you’re interested I also think it would be really fun to do something from a Runa POV. (That part where the Runa are bewildered by gardening, for example, had me in stitches.) The first encounter scene when Emilio meets Askama is one of my favorites -- what was it like from the Runa point of view? Or Rakhat futurefic -- what happens after Emilio leaves, after everyone is gone? What happens to Emilio -- how does he rebuild his life afterward? Or show me some of those biological/anthropological/linguistic papers the group wrote and sent back to Earth. (I probably wouldn’t understand some of the bio/anthro terminology but I’d be totally happy to look stuff up.) Or explore the sociology of gender and sexuality among the Runa and/or Jana’ata, perhaps involving D.W. in some way. Or tell me what would have happened if things had turned out differently on Rakhat, if the travellers had been able to stay there longer or more peaceably. For example, what would Jimmy and Sofia’s kid have been like, growing up on Rakhat? (One caveat: I haven’t read the sequel, so if you have, I’d appreciate it if you could avoid major spoilers.) Happy, unhappy, or bittersweet endings are all fine with me (after all, it can't possibly be more gutting than the canon!).
As you might have figured out, what I love most about this book is the worldbuilding. I was really impressed (in my non-expert opinion) with the creative biology and anthropology (I guess that's a misnomer if they're not human? but I'm not sure what else to call it); the linguistics is often laughable but I enjoyed it a lot anyway!
If you're looking for more ideas besides the above prompts, religion is obviously an important part of this book, and I'm really interested in the diverse and complicated relationships the characters have with religion or lack thereof. (Though to be honest I thought the narrative shortchanged George and his atheism a bit.) Any exploration of alien relationships to religion (Earthly or Rakhati) would also be fascinating.
If you want to write sexytimes (I'm good either way), I am okay with cross-species relationships/sex. Obviously age of consent is hard to determine with alien species, but I'd prefer we be able to tell that everybody involved is sentient, fully-grown, cognitively mature, and clearly consenting (unless you're dealing with canonical non-con). Or unless you want to write about teenage fumblings between, say, Jimmy and Sofia's kid and an adolescent alien. I'm also okay with any combination of the travelers together, but preferably not contradicting any canonical gayness (and if it involves a priest, there should probably be some kind of reflection on that decision and what it means to them, to avoid straining credulity if nothing else).
The Kindergarten Teacher, The Bodyguard
If you're looking for a quick fandom to switch to, the entire canon can be consumed in under a minute here: http://bigbanshees.tumblr.com/post/
The request details are basically what you'd expect -- I'd love to a) find out why a kindergarten teacher needs a bodyguard and b) watch them fall slowly and cluelessly and denial...ly in love. (Pieces of this process would be great too, if you don't have time to write the entire arc of their relationship.) I would prefer a happy ending, though unhappiness along the way is fine (in fact, I'm a sucker for hurt/comfort). I imagine lots of fannish tropes applied to this fandom would be fun -- huddling for body heat! pretending to be a couple! (Maybe they don't want people to know that the teacher has a bodyguard?) bodyswap! sexswap! genderswap! etc. -- but if you want to do something totally original that has nothing to do with any of that, that would be equally awesome, if not more so. AUs or crossovers are welcome if you are so inclined (though preferably not a crossover that needs a lot of background knowledge on fandoms I might not be familiar with). Basically, I don't have anything really specific in mind, I just encountered the fandom and was like, "That sounds like so much fun, I want to know more!" so feel free to just go where your creative impulses take you.
Possible (completely optional! only if you need ideas!) AU-type situations: they are in space! they are wizards! there is time travel involved! I'd prefer that you keep the basic premise of bodyguard + kindergarten teacher, though, since that's...pretty much the entirety of the canon. :)
If you want to take inspiration from the actors or characters they've played, feel free, although I know little to nothing about them, so if you include in-jokes or something that relies on a lot of background knowledge, that's fine, I just probably won't get the joke. (Although from what I know of Abed, an Abed-like character would probably be kind of an awesome kindergarten teacher.)
One trivial thing -- if you could name at least one of the characters something other than Daniel/Danny, that would really help me not confuse them. (But if you really want to keep the names for some reason, well, you know, I'll survive!)
Brown Haired Girl, Red Haired Girl
Who are these girls? Are they friends, sisters, lovers, partners in crime? Why do they live alone together in what appears to be the only house as far as the eye can see?
What is this strange world they live in? Clocks move faster (0:07), music is visible (0:15), and the girls can fall from great heights without getting hurt (1:13). Why do the girls travel on a giant leaf like a flying carpet (0:58)? Is it magic, science, a dream, a metaphor? What is with the pink castle in the glowy bubble (1:02)?? Why are there hearts EVERYWHERE? Why is the topography of the landscape so weird (2:35)? Who (if anyone) is piloting the hot air balloon (2:53), and where to, and why? Why is the world spatially (rather than temporally) divided by season (3:35 -- the tree looks like it’s literally split down the middle between winter and spring)? Why is their house built on top of a hyper-fast-growing tree? Why are they so preoccupied with this imminent storm -- what will happen when it arrives?
Don’t feel you need to answer all the questions or take everything as literally as I did -- I just did it because that provides more potential story ideas, but if you have your own ideas, feel free to ignore mine. On a more general note, I’d love adorable femslash or friendship fic, or something stranger and darker and worldbuildier. Maybe it just looks cute and fluffy but is actually sinister! Or maybe it really is just as dreamy and sweet and lovely and whimsical as it looks. Although why the undercurrent of sadness? Why does December feel so wrong? Who exactly is not where they belong? Why do “they say we’re buried far” and what does that mean (and who are "they")?
Feel free to steal character elements from the actual singers (the animated characters are obviously designed to resemble them, after all), or think of them as completely separate -- just as long as they are different in some way and not total RPF set in Animated Winter Wonderland.
Creative interpretation of the setting is of course more than welcome, but I would prefer that you not write a total AU with no recognizable connection to the canonical setting, because I feel the setting is an important element of this tiny canon, and getting to see it explored somehow is part of why I requested this fandom.
That's it -- I hope that was helpful (or else that you were so inspired that you didn't even need help), happy writing and happy holidays!