From Fanlore
(Redirected from Cesperanza)
Jump to: navigation, search
Name: speranza, User:Speranza
Alias(es): cesperanza, Cesca, Ces, Francesca
Type: fanwriter, vidder, moderator
Fandoms: C6D, due South, M*A*S*H, QAF UK, Stargate Atlantis, The Dead Zone, The Sentinel, The West Wing, Sherlock_(BBC), True Blood, Fringe, Person of Interest, Avengers/Thor, MCU
Communities: sga_flashfic, sga_noticeboard, sherlock_flashfic
URL: Speranza's Fiction (see wiki page Speranza's Fiction)
Speranza on AO3
Speranza on livejournal
Cesperanza on tumblr
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

A prolific writer in multiple fandoms, Speranza has most recently been active in the MCU, particularly Captain America. She spent several years in the 2000s primarily writing fic and making vids in the Stargate Atlantis fandom. She wrote in due South fandom beginning in 2001 and migrated to SGA in 2005, with a number of other ex-Sentinel dS writers. Anything for Love, a 2012 Vividcon vid she made with astolat, can be read as part fannish autobiography, showing how astolat seduced Speranza into a succession of fandoms that Speranza had previously insisted she would never be interested in.

She used to mod the SGA flashfiction LiveJournal community [1], the SGA noticeboard LJ community [2], and the Sherlock flashfic Dreamwidth community [3].

She currently serves as the archivist of the Due South Archive [4], and is also the moderator of the dS mailing lists DSX and DIEF. She was a moderator of LJ communities DSReporter and DSNoticeboard, modded the dS flashfiction community from its inception until 2007, and founded the community dS flashback.

In addition to her community-infrastructure work in her current and past fandoms, she has also run several multifandom writing challenges, most notably the Canadian Shack Challenge, the Inappropriate Elf Challenge, and the Tax Shelters Challenge.

In 2007, her post Dear Fandom: Could You Please Stop Saying That? called for fandom to stop saying that fanfic was illegal when it wasn't; in her response to that post, astolat made the first call for "An Archive of Our Own." Later, Speranza made the rallying cry for fandom "to own the goddamned servers".

Speranza: "No, I haven’t actually [written in every fandom]! You know I always used to joke that I’m the person who goes into a fandom and builds like the post office and the town hall and a subway. I go in and I live there for ten years and build infrastructure. I’m not on the cutting edge … But when I leave a town, it is built, my friend!" [1]


Francesca / Speranza / Cesca / Cesperanza / Ces

Speranza first gained fannish fame in The Sentinel fandom under the name Francesca. When she first entered Due South, she wrote under a new name, Speranza, and made no reference to her Sentinel stories, perhaps wanting to see how her stories would be received if read on their own merits rather than through the lenses of already knowing and liking her work. Alternatively, she may have wanted to avoid the persistent Sentinel fans who kept asking her to continue updating The Nature Series.[2] In 2014, Speranza said: "It also had something to do with the fact that there's already character called Francesca in DS, Francesca Vecchio. The name meant different in DS." [3]

Regarding the origin of her fan name, Speranza said in 2016: "... it’s actually an Oscar Wilde reference; Lady Jane Francesca ‘Speranza’ Wilde was Oscar Wilde’s mother. She’s like a wealth of cool names – but Speranza was her literary pseud, so I took it for mine. She also claimed to be related to Dante – a total lie, but you have to love her for trying. Cesperanza is just the variant I came up with when Speranza was taken on social media." [4]

Speranza's LiveJournal user name is Cesperanza, and she also goes by the nicknames "Ces" and "Cesca". For many years, her LJ was subtitled "Like Men, Only Better," a phrase which has been taken up in some parts of fandom and acafandom as a way of explaining slash fiction in particular.

All these aliases account for the perplexing file structure of her website, Fanfiction by Speranza.

A fan in 2012 wrote: "Speranza has a very particular and identifiable voice when she writes - which was why it was a secret for like 5 minutes when she tried to write under a new pseud even in a new fandom back in the day...." [5]

Writing Style

mamaffy in ds_profiles says about Ces's due South writing:

"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." [6]

Fan Comments

I've had a recurring discussion with a few people lately, namely, trying to pick a favorite Francesca story. I can't remember what they decided, and I can't quite remember what I decided, but I do know that every time I have that discussion I keep mentioning "that story with the plumbing," which, as it turns out, is called I love you, and "that story that is like one long run-on sentence," otherwise known as Tahiti. Oh, and then there's the "banana in a nutshell" story: Nothing on.[7]
I'm aware that recommending Francesca falls into the "yes, indeed the sky is blue" realm of the obvious, but it still needs to be said. She is the undisputed master of quirky, which is so suited to this particular pairing. Most everything at her website is worth reading, and I cannot say enough good things about her last few tales; she's at the top of her game in those. (Many rave about her Nature Series; I'm not as fond of those stories as I am of her stand-alones, as I find them to be naggingly unfinished — essentially the literary equivalent of a backed-up sneeze. However, the underlying premise of the series is intriguing, and the stories are worth a read, particularly the early ones.) [8]
Francesca's best-known works in this fandom are certainly her "Nature Series" and its continuation, "Cycles", but this story has all what her novels have as well - a strong bond between Sentinel and Guide, and a friendship that survives the new intimacy thrust upon it. In fact, I prefer "The Object of my Erections", for here, Jim and Blair may be forced to re-evaluate their relationship due to a new obstacle raised by Jim's Sentinel senses, but their coming together is still less fraught by tension than in the "Nature Series". Francesca writes unbelievably well and has a very good grip of the characters, and soon successfully applied her writing skills to other fandoms. [9]
Let me start by noting that, in the world of The Sentinel, she is known as Francesca. For old hands, that’s no doubt sufficient. Newer fans, as I learned, have an amazing treat in store when they first encounter her work....

Some TS authors are intriguing because they have provide a very consistent characterization of Jim and Blair, and the fascination comes from the placement of those stable characters in different circumstances facing different options. Francesca, like many TS authors, presents a number of “first time” stories, but in these she explores the interactions of a number of different Jims and Blairs, all plausible, but each bringing new perspectives and distinctive reactions which shape the situations in unique ways. All satisfying, all different: try “No Lothario,” “Nothing On,” “The Object of My Erections,” “Armchair,” “Legacy,” “Mia,” “Cheap,” “The Night Sandburg Graduated From the Academy,” “The Thought that Counts”—oh, try any of them! (For example, in one story Blair might be comfortably gay or bisexual, whereas in another he might be completely in denial or straight. Some Jims are reluctantly drawn to Blair; others know what they want but just aren’t sure it’s safe/wise/practical to reach for it. Warning: "The Fire" might disturb some readers because of age-of-character issues.) Then, if you are game for five fascinating character studies which she developed around the theme of voyeurism, try the “In the Eye of the Beholder” set. It’s not surprising that she won a number of awards in the early years of TS fandom, including, appropriately, one for “Best Use of a Sex Scene for Character Development.” If you want to settle down for a novel-length experience, check out the “Nature” series; I hunted her down online after reading eliade’s high praise of this in her set of TS recs which started me off in this fandom. After a wonderful, painful opening, these chapters develop a solid relationship between two strong, complementary individuals. She’s a wonderful, sensual, talented writer whose craft is so well-honed that it isn’t even noticeable—only the impact is. No wonder she has such a solid reputation—I know I re-read her work often.

cesperanza is yet another in the group of TS and BtVS writers who have sucked me into this new universe of Stargate Atlantis. If you don’t want to start with her two most recent longer works, “MVP” or “Things To Do In Denver When You’re Dead,” you can begin with the shorter “Rodney’s Last Message” to get a feel for her work in this new fandom. I enjoyed all of these; I will admit that the “Haldoria” fantasy is the least satisfying to me, so I wouldn’t recommend starting with that one, though you might find it fun. Again, she demonstrates her skill as a stylist, a master of dialogue, and a writer of steamy, relationship-building sex. Who could ask for more!

I have to admit that I haven’t yet had a chance to delve into her writing in other fandoms, but I’m looking forward to it; sort of like having a stash of goodies waiting for that moment when you need something you know will be wonderful. The “Due South” stories alone should keep one busy for weeks.

So I’d strongly urge newcomers to Sentinel fandom to discover this early TS writer; you won’t be disappointed. (But you might find yourself suddenly reading about Rodney McKay and John Sheppard on Atlantis without being exactly sure how you left Cascade . . . ) [10]

Influential Works

due South Notable Works

  • 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.
  • 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; for example, the slightly unusual format.
  • 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.
  • Scrabble (Fraser/Kowalski, ~29,000 words). An 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. There are links for two different browser versions to choose from.


  1. from Just a Fan from Brooklyn -- Speranza
  2. Liviapenn. Fanlore talk page comment, 9 October 2008.
  3. An edit Speranza made to this Fanlore page, 21 November 2014.
  4. from Just a Fan from Brooklyn -- Speranza
  5. Madrigal's Stargate Atlantis Recs, Archived version (2012)
  6. mamaffy, due South Author Profile: Speranza posted on 30 April 2010 (Accessed 9 May 2010)
  7. the flambeau factory: recommendations 2000
  8. a comment from a fan who recommends Speranza's Sentinel fiction at This is Katya
  9. the sentinel fan fiction: recommendations by allaire mikháil, January 2012; reference link
  10. 2005 comments by Cindershadow