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Shipping Ask Challenge

Fandom Shipping Ask Challenge

I kept seeing this fandom shipping challenge doing the rounds on Tumblr, so of course I had to give it a go!

(If you're not up on the fandom lingo, check out the brief history post I did for last year's International Fanworks Day.)


1. Talk about the first ship you ever had.

Probably Data / Geordi La Forge in Star Trek: The Next Generation. I mean, I doubt I actively realised I was 'shipping' them, but I certainly wanted them to just spend all day every day having cool adventures, then come home to raise Spot together.


2. Talk about three of the most important ships throughout your life.

Snupin. (Remus Lupin / Severus Snape in Harry Potter.) It was my first OTP and it had a big impact on the kinds of fic dynamics I ended up preferring.

 Robin / Vlad from Young Dracula because it was the first ship I finished Fanfic_100 for!

 McShep. (Rodney McKay / John Sheppard of Stargate Atlantis.) It's like a comfort blanket ship. If I'm feeling sad, I can always rely on my old McShep bookmarks to pick me up again.



3. What’s your current OTP?

I can't get enough Jim Gordon / Harvey Bullock at the moment. ♥


4. What’s your current NOTP?

I've never really had one. There are ships I don't like, sure, but I just scroll on by.


5. Do you have any poly ships?

Nope. I want my romance to be all 'one true love' and epic devotion. It's a hard dynamic to replicate when there are more than two people involved.


6. How do you feel about love triangles?

Hmmm... It depends. I like the drama and the tension, but I also like happy endings which love triangles aren't really conducive to.


7. How do you feel about RPF?

Been there, done that.


8. Have you ever shipped yourself with a character?

No, it's just not where my shipping interests lie.


9. Do you have many ships that never got together at all?

This describes almost all of my ships. I think this has been one of the biggest fandom shifts I've witnessed since I got into the hobby. Time was, there was 0.0000001% chance of a slash ship ever becoming canon so it wasn't even a consideration when it came to shipping. These days, people will tell you you're doing fandom wrong if your preferred ship is unlikely to become canon... It's like, who cares? Fandom is there to build on canon, not simply rehash what is already there.

If the 'fandom olds' (I don't know where that term came from - FFA, maybe? - but I love it) had been hung up on staying true to canon, none of the great slash ships would even exist!

Starsky and Hutch


10. Do you ship any characters that have never met?

Possibly... I can't think of any off the top of my head, but I'm sure there's one or two, at least.


11. Talk about your favourite first kiss.

Craig Gilmore and Luke Ashton on The Bill. It was one of the slashiest storylines I have ever seen on TV. By that I mean it actually played out as though it was written as slash - with all the associated tropes and genre norms - rather than a realistic look at gay issues within the police force. Craig did so much pining it was unreal.


12. Have you ever been disappointed when your ship finally got together?

I don't think so? I rarely ship things which are likely to become explicit canon, so the writing of their eventual hook-up not living up to expectations isn't really a risk I need to worry about.


13. Has a ship ever broken your heart?

All the time. Ted and Ralph from The Fast Show is one of the most tragic ships out there. Ralph just can't stop hoping that somehow, some day, Ted is going to love him back...

Ted and Ralph


14. How do you feel about will they/won’t they?

A+++. Especially in canon because it still gives plenty of scope for fandom to write future fic, either for the ship in question, or for one it prefers as it has never been outright jossed. I was really happy that Jo / Henry never made the jump to 'this is happening' in Forever, for example, because I totally preferred Henry / Lucas and Jo / Mike. (Or Mike / Lucas which sadly doesn't seem to exist outside of my own head.)



15. Have you ever “shipped at first sight”?

All the time! The latest is probably Lewis and Dominic in Channel 4 comedy drama, The Aliens. In the very first scene they share together, Dominic is already wearing his heart on his sleeve, and has bought Lewis a birthday card even though Lewis insists they are not friends and never will be. They end up best friends, of course, and Dominic makes it very clear that Lewis only has to say the word for it become something more. Which would totally have happened had C4 renewed the show. (Shhh, don't burst my bubble on this, alright?)

The Aliens


16. Talk about a ship you initially disliked.

I really disliked the idea of Sam Tyler / Gene Hunt (Life on Mars) at first, but I came around to it. My top LoM ship is Chris / Ray though. I blame Elfbert.

Life on Mars


17. Talk about a pairing you’ve stopped shipping romantically.

Is this even a thing? Once I ship something, I ship it forever.


18. Talk about a moment which made you question an entire ship.

No ship is completely unsalvageable. That's what fanfic is for!


19. Have you ever shipped something despite yourself?

Yep. I usually feel like this about stuff I liked as a kid because then romance was the very last thing on my mind, and now it's the first thing I look for in a canon.


20. Talk about a ship you feel alone in shipping.

Alan Humphries / 'Creamy' Eames from Tucker's Luck. It's a Grange Hill spin-off from 1984 so, for the most part, nobody even remembers it  - and those that do definitely aren't seeing any homoerotic subtext between the two of them. I was totally convinced though and wrote 9k of ship fic for poetry_fiction a few years back which has since been read by a grand total of about 3 people!


21. Is there a ship you just don’t get, but have nothing against?

Superman / Batman. Like, I can see the appeal but I just don't really understand why it's so popular when both have way more interesting slash ships in their own immediate universe. Batman / Joker, for instance, as the Hero / Villain ship, or my personal Batslash of choice, Bruce / Alfred, because Bruce would totally be crushing on Alfred - even though he knows that it would freak Alfred out, and is probably the direct cause of him traipsing off around the world for a few years in an unsuccessful attempt to get over it...

Then, there's my super (geddit?) favourite ship, Clark Kent / Jimmy Olsen. Jimmy's ginormous crush on Superman is basically canon - the comics show us the guy's literal shrine to him - and he isn't that much better around Clark, either. I like to imagine that Jimmy knows all about his Super Pal's secret identity, but won't push Clark into admitting it until some life or death crisis or other, because they're both too polite and awkward.


22. Which of your ships have the best chemistry?

Bodie and Doyle in The Professionals. It is not one of the most enduring slash fandoms in the history of fandoming without reason, after all.

Bodie and Doyle


23. Which of your ships deserve better writing?

Not so much a case of better but any writing - they haven't interacted at all for what feels like millennia. Gobblepot, i.e. Jim Gordon / Oswald Cobbelpot, deserves way more screen time. The Penguin is a hardened criminal who develops a heart every time somebody so much as mentions Jim Gordon, and Gordon is far from indifferent to Penguin's fate, no matter what he does.


24. Do you mostly ship canon pairings?

No. I like plenty of canon pairings, but it's actually quite rare for me to ship them. They're already together, and that kind of limits the scope for ship fic which is my number one interest in any shipping scenario. Saying that, I would happily take some fix-it fic for Geschlecht in Fesseln though.


25. Have you ever shipped a pairing before you even started watching the show/movie simply because of gifs and graphics or similar?

John Cooper and Ben Sherman in Southland. The whole set up of the rookie being paired with an older mentor he looks up to is always a ripe environment for shipping. I'm watching S2 at the moment and ship it just as hard as I thought I would.


26. Have you noticed a pattern in your shipping? Is there a romantic dynamic you’re more drawn to?

Mutual pining, or at least the scope for it, is my jam. So, imagine Character A is - on the face of it - the way more desirable of the two, and it's all but inevitable that Character B is hopelessly in love with them. But, actually, Character A thinks they'll never be good enough for Character B because they have qualities they hold above their own.

To give an actual example... Reginald Jeeves is a paragon, there is nothing the man cannot do, and Bertie Wooster has basically devoted his life to writing odes to how much he loves the guy. But. Jeeves has all kinds of deeply ingrained class difference hang ups, and moreover thinks that Bertie's innate kindness, generous nature and sunny disposish, are worth more than all his genius. Thus they both pine away in silence until it all gets too much and love declarations must be made.

There you have my perfect shipping scenario.

Jeeves and Wooster


27. Is there a ship you’ve shipped for most of your life?

Sherlock Holmes / John Watson. I’m not really into the modern day settings though - Victorian all the way for me! I will accept Edwardian though; The Case of the Silk Stocking with Rupert Everett is one of my favourite versions. Of course, Jeremy Brett and David Burke will always have the top spot.

Holmes and Watson gif


28. Does shipping come easily to you?

Yes. Always has done, probably always will do. Now enjoy a picture of yet another of my favourite ship (Arthur Hastings / Herclue Poirot):



29. Do you need to ship something to really enjoy a movie/book/tv show/comic?

No, but it definitely makes me enjoy it more. If I like something one of the first things I'll do is go and check it out on AO3 and see if there's a fandom for it. Sometimes I'll even be looking as I'm consuming the canon - The Hobbit was, it must be said, one of the most boring film series I have ever been dragged along to see, but shipping got me through! Just check out this super cute Boffins (Bilbo Baggins / Bofur) fanart moeskine drew based on one of my fics. :D


30. Name a couple of fandoms in which you have no ships.

Er... I don't really get fannish - in the transformative fandom sense - about anything unless it involves shipping. I'm not interested in gen fic.


31. Talk about one of your favourite headcanons for a ship you love.

I am big into 'gordlock' - Harvey Bullock / Jim Gordon - at the moment and my guilty secret headcanon is lots of sexuality angst. It's a big no-no in fandom these days, probably because it was once pretty much the only variety of slash out there, but nobody is going to convince me that young Bullock didn't have huge problems back in the late 80s and early 90s reconciling his tortured Irish Catholic soul with the fact he wasn't only interested women.


32. Share five must-read fics.

I did a bunch of recs for the Fandom Snowflake Challenge, so I'll just link that post:

Fandom Snowflake Challenge


33. Name your favourite fanartist(s).

There are lots of awesome fanartists in my current fandom of choice (Gotham), like Selene, Ponderosa, and Seventhief.


34. Share your favourite fanmix for your OTP.

This is my all purpose fanmix for writing shippy fiction -

Spread the Love Playlist


35. Recommend 5 shipper blogs.

Here are five blogs which are always relevant to my interests:

 Fail Fandom Anon.
 Fandom Calendar.
 Gobblepot Gazette.
 Key Smash Blog.
 The Mary Sue (/Fandom).


36. Do you create fanmixes/gif sets/fanart/fic/fanvids and so on for you ships?

Yes, yes, and yes. Mostly fic though because that's the only bit I can actually do decently!


37. Do you have a favourite trope and/or AU for your OTP?

I did a whole post on my favourite tropes - find it here:

Favourite Fictional Tropes


38. Do you like and use ship names?

I use them but there are not many of them I particularly like. They're just a necessary evil for as long as fandom is centred on a platform with as terrible a search function as Tumblr's. Plus the preferences for ship names are baffling - why would anyone call Kirk / Spock 'Spirk' when they could be calling it 'Kock'??

Kirk and Spock


39. Is there a fictional relationship you’d really want for yourself?

Old joined-at-the-hip bickering married couple is the relationship I already have. <3


40. If you could change one thing about your OTP, what would that be?

I would just make more people ship it, so there would be more fic, more art, more meta, more everything!

For more like this, please click the image below:
Fandom - my life as a fan


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