Coming Home (Stargate Atlantis story)
|Genre:||slash, BDSM AU|
|External Links:||Coming Home at the author's website|
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It is set entirely in an alternate universe where bisexuality is the norm and sexuality is classified according to BDSM power dynamics rather than gender preference. The story is a prequel to her earlier novel, General and Doctor Sheppard. Unlike the earlier story, which contrasts a comparatively canonical universe with the one Xanthe created, Coming Home stands on its own.
Author's summary: "Colonel John Sheppard knew, from the moment he first met Dr. Rodney McKay, that the man would be trouble. This novel-length story is a prequel to General & Dr Sheppard telling the story of how the AU John and Rodney first got together. This novel contains loving, consensual BDSM sex and spanking scenes."
Going against a trend sometimes described as ironic distance in fanfiction, Coming Home consciously and deliberately steers right into the id vortex by spinning a tale of true love, lifebonds, kinky sex, first times, and epic emotions.
In her author notes, Xanthe states the following:
First and foremost this is a story about two people finding each other and learning how to be together. The BDSM is just a backdrop to that story. [...] Please don't post to tell me how and why this society won’t work – I'm pretty sure I already know! If you like this kind of thing then it's an enjoyable fantasy. It's not intended to be a 'how to' guide to the functioning of a BDSM society or as to how BDSM should be practised.
Coming Home was posted in nineteen parts over the course of ten days, resembling the old-fashioned mailing list restrictions on post length. The daily postings built up a level of expectation and excitement among readers and inspired discussion between postings.
Coming Home was well received by the fans of the original General & Doctor Sheppard novel and also drew in a new audience, some of whom found the compare and contrast of the original difficult to find a connection with but could lose themselves in the straightforward love story of the prequel.
In 2007, Coming Home won the Stargate Fan Award for Best Romance in the Sheppard/McKay category as well as the multifandom Titanium Whip BDSM Award 2006/7 for Best First Time Slash and Best Spanking Scene.
In November 2006, Helen posted Take Clothes Off As Directed, a responsefic to Xanthe's story premise from Coming Home, that took the original novel's universe and restructured it into a way to explore gender roles and sexism in modern society. The story achieved popularity with some readers for its metaphorical approach to gender roles. However, the story generated a lot of controversy. See Take Clothes Off As Directed for more information.
The unique universe and strong emphasis on romantic relationships in Coming Home inspired two stories that retold the origins of the main characters and their developing connection. Both stories adhered closely to the romantic tone set forth in the original story, and the authors sought and received permission from Xanthe before posting their works.
Xanthe herself has expanded her Coming Home universe in 2008 with a sequel to General & Doctor Sheppard that features a crossover between Stargate: Atlantis and NCIS with a focus on Gibbs/DiNozzo. The title is Hiding In Plain Sight.
More broadly, the current popularity of BDSM AUs as a panfandom trope can be traced to Coming Home.
Seperis posted an essay on fanfiction as romance, where she listed Coming Home as one of her top two choices for escapist romance reading, along with thoughts on why fandom sometimes seems to dismiss or mock the romance genre in fanfiction. Comments in the entry also explore the underrated genre and various opinions of the stories Seperis cited to illustrate a fanfiction romance.
- General & Doctor Sheppard, 14 February 2006, (Accessed 17 October 2008)
- Xanthe, Author Notes , 11 September 2006, (Accessed 17 October 2008)
- Seperis, Rec – Coming Home by Xanthe, 17 September 2006, (Accessed 17 October 2008)
- McKay/Sheppard Fan Awards – Winners 2006 (Accessed 17 October 2008)
- Stargate Fan Awards 2007 (Accessed 17 October 2008)
- The Titanium Whip Awards – Results, (Accessed 17 October 2008)
- The Space Inside 03 February 2007, (Accessed 17 October 2008)
- First part: High School Confidential: John, 29 July 2008, (Accessed 17 October 2008)
- Xanthe, Writing BDSM, 31 March 2008 Accessed 17 October, 2008
- Seperis, Romantic Shenanigans Are Like Music, You Just Need to Know What You're Hearing
- Take Clothes Off As Directed by Helenish, 15 November 2006. (Accessed 21 May 2010)