Sabine

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Name: Sabine
Alias(es): Sab, Makiko, makikosab, iamsab, sabine101, V. Salmone
Type: archivist, moderator, podficcer, writer
Fandoms: Slings & Arrows, Doctor Who, NCIS, Bones, Torchwood, Stargate Atlantis, Green Wing, Teachers, The Book Group, Black Books, How I Met Your Mother, The Office (US), Dark Angel, House, M.D., Scrubs, Family Guy, Bones, M*A*S*H, Band of Brothers, Firefly, BSG, Babylon 5, The X-Files, ST: DS9, ST: VOY, The West Wing, Sports Night, Farscape, Jeremiah, Cheers
Communities: scrubsfic, sitcomathon, multi_pass icon challenge
Other:
URL: iamsab on Livejournal and sab on Dreamwidth

Sab and other pseuds on the AO3

you guys are just fucked, fanfiction by Sabine (via the Wayback Machine)
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Contents

Overview

Sabine was a multifandom fan fiction author, as well as co-founder and co-archivist of the sorkinfic archive Our Boys with Punk Maneuverability. She launched several fan communities and fic exchanges, and was the driving force behind Yes, Virginia and The Mango, two private mailing lists that brought together a small group of fans and created enduring communities.

Sabine was fannishly engaged with Slings & Arrows, The X-Files, Farscape, Babylon 5, Band of Brothers, and M*A*S*H. Other fandoms included NCIS, Doctor Who, The West Wing, Sports Night, Stargate Atlantis, a variety of Star Treks, and anything involving David Tennant. She also wrote under the names Makiko and, with Punk, V. Salmone.

A small selection of her fanfiction can be found at her fic journal, fromthesabrary, but her AO3 account is a complete archive of her work and contains over 150 fics in 45 fandoms. She also recorded almost twenty podfics, her own fic and others', which can be found at the audiofic archive.

She died in January 2013.[1] Her AO3 account is now maintained by Punk, who hopes to make it a comprehensive collection of Sab's works.[2]

History

Sabine got started in fandom as early as 1991, though back then it was in the form of bulletin board services like Prodigy and Compuserve, where she was a member of fan groups for Star Trek and its various characters.

Later, in or around 1996, she discovered fan fiction, and began writing and posting to mailing lists and newsgroups, including alt.startrek.creative and later alt.startrek.creative.erotica.moderated. Her experience on newsgroups led her to X-Files fanfiction in 1998, where she met Punk on alt.tv.x-files.creative, and they began to co-write under the pseudonym V. Salmone, which later became the two-headed beast known as punkensab.

Sabine started writing fic in the Farscape fandom shortly thereafter. She used the name Makiko because there were members of the Farscape writing and production staff who knew her as a fanfiction writer under the Sabine name.

In 2000, in response to a job offer that meant she'd have to go off the grid, she assembled Yes, Virginia, a private mailing list that was mostly made up of The X-Files fans and meant to keep her in touch with fandom while she was working. It quickly turned into a thriving community with its own vocabulary, beta practices known as machete beta, and, of course, scandal, when it was revealed there was an angry mole in the group. The group survived, though, and in 2001 Sabine started The Mango, a similar mailing list for fans writing Sorkinfic.

She also started her LiveJournal in 2001, and began to write and read in many fandoms, frequently several at a time. It was around this time that she became interested in slash. Prior to this she'd mostly been writing het pairings, but with Sports Night and West Wing her focus grew to include m/m pairings.

In Sorkinfic, she created and maintained the Our Boys fic recs site and archive, which went down when its domain lapsed several years ago. With the help of the AOOO, she was trying to resurrect it.

In 2004, she created and moderated, with the help of Punk, the multi_pass multifandom icon challenge community on LiveJournal, which enjoyed more than a year's worth of weekly challenges. This was also the year she became active on theatrical_muse as mun to Citizen G'Kar, among others.

Meanwhile, in space, Stargate Atlantis began to air, and Sab joined up in 2005, eventually adding Slings & Arrows, Doctor Who, and M*A*S*H to her fannish rotation. She was branching out into more of a multifannish lifestyle and becoming increasingly interested in small, Yuletide-type fandoms, as well as f/f slash.

She wrote My Big Breakup on a whim, never having read Scrubs fanfiction in her life, and, after gauging interest in Scrubs fanfiction, started the LJ community Scrubsfic. Later, noticing a continued interest in sitcom fic, she ran the Sitcomathon in 2006 with Kyra Cullinan. The year before, she helped develop the Multiverse many-worlds crossover challenge with Andraste, and Andraste took over the challenge completely after its first year.

Sabine took part in Yuletide the very first year it ran, in 2003, and along with Victoria P's multifandom remix challenge, it was one of the things Sab tried to do every year; she had many rounds of each under her belt.

She was never shy about discussing her fannishness with the outside world, and she'd tell anyone who listened that she wrote fanfic and hung out with other fans. She was so proud of fandom.[3]

Writing Style

Sab liked to play with language, to twist it into unusual shapes, to use the word "credenza." She liked a lot of plot, a lot of plot. She liked people working together to build something. She liked it when things weren't easy, when people were a little mean to each other, or a lot mean to each other. She liked an apocalypse, a dystopia, a spaceship.

Ten Signs You're Reading a Story By Sab, in Sab's own words:[4]

10. People are fat and/or ugly and/or awkward.

9. And sort of hate each other or are deeply envious of one another and therefore mock one another relentlessly.

8. But are miserable and lonely and filled with self-loathing and therefore must rely on one another.

7. People spend more time beating themselves up for doing things than they spend actually doing anything.

6. Unless we're in space, in which case fat, ugly evil people are simply misunderstood (and miserable and lonely and filled with self-loathing) and will sabotage something or punch someone and then leave in a huff and hope that they'll be missed.

5. All sex is blowjobs. During which people often try to talk and/or grin wickedly.

4. Everyone, even evil warlords, hides their insecurity with humor and sarcasm.

3. Someone is undoubtedly woozy or nauseous, and if we're lucky, someone vomits and/or considers vomiting.

2. The POV character never knows what he's doing, and often finds himself in a sprawling embarassing (and/or galactic-war-causing) mess.

1. In the best case scenario, a story by Sab is then saved from the pits of senseless bitter irony and an overuse of fat, nauseous, socks-wearing losers by the divine editorial ministrations of one runpunkrun who reminds us that humans are not all vomitous freaks, and our boy is vindicated, gets his man, surrenders to the possibility of humanity not totally sucking after all, and it is another working day in Canada space the Internet.

She liked her characters deeply flawed, almost to the point of unlikeability, but it was important that those flaws were balanced with bravery and compassion, usually hidden away and saved for worthy instances. She liked a reluctant hero, an anti-hero. And competence was a must; they needed to be brilliant, to possess an unrivaled skill at something and have the talent and the will to pull through when it counted, whether it was to serve their own agenda or someone else's.[5]

Gul Dukat, Tony DiNozzo, Londo Mollari, Greg House, Temperance Brennan, Scorpius, Rodney McKay, Perry Cox, Quark, and Starbuck all fit her requirements, and she liked to pit them against their tempering influences, like House/Wilson in HUGE EGO SORRY.

Nemesis fic was also a favorite of hers. She wrote several pairings that involved hatesex or enemyslash, including Kira/Dukat in Dislocation, Condemnation, Revelation, In Temptation (DS9), Crichton/Scorpius in A new device is being tested (Farscape), Aeryn/Crais in Hard/Work (Farscape), Geoffrey/Darren in And So Are You (Slings & Arrows), and Tenth Doctor/The Master in Give Up the Ghost (Doctor Who). Sexual tension between enemies or reluctant allies showed up repeatedly in her writing.

Her stories were also rich with sensory details, smells and sounds and sights meant to set the scene and give readers a glimpse into the character's state of mind, the external action and the scene dressing often mirroring the internal goings-on of the characters.

For titles, she liked something with a little irony, a phrase that was in conflict with the meaning of the story and asked the reader to look for the gallows humor underneath. In her apocalyptic X-Files fic, Everybody Having a Good Time, no one was. Casey's life in Sport Night's Pretty Life might have looked good to him, but the reader knew better, and the thanks in her West Wing/X-Files crossover Thanks of a Grateful Nation is hollow and meaningless. Sab wrote, "When I set out to look for a title, I look for perverse irony first, and then, if I can't find anything good there, I look for something with rhythm."[6]

Sabine had a distinctive style that she cultivated in her fanfic, a quality known as "Sabby," but she could turn it on and off when it suited her, and so her voice could vary across fandoms.

"In general," she wrote in an interview in 2001, "I write a lot about people not being very nice, and things falling apart. I use the phrase 'arrogant fuck' a lot. I figure out what's wrong with the characters, and then exploit it, or try to."[7]

Transformative Works Policy

Sab wrote in her LJ profile:

"I'm all about communal fanworks, so if you want to remix/sequel/podfic/illustrate any of my stories, no need to even ask. Same goes for translating into foreign languages. Just don't make money off me and we're cool like three Fonzies."[8]

Notable Fanworks

Babylon 5

Casanova

  • Us -- Sab's first vid, made in August 2006, set to Regina Spektor's Us.[9]

David Tennant

Farscape

Scrubs

  • My Big Breakup -- As Sab herself put it, this has "the dubious distinction of being one of the first JD/Cox stories on the internet." [10]
  • My New Pants -- Podfic of a story written by Punk, in which Sab pronounces "JDnitor" flawlessly.

Sports Night

Star Trek: Deep Space 9

Stargate Atlantis

  • The Pegasus Society -- Rodney's wrapped up in IQ tests; Atlantis is wrapped up in John and Rodney.

The West Wing

  • Statesmen Cycle -- A five fic series that focuses on Josh Lyman. It starts pre-series West Wing and moves on into Bartlet's time in office.

The X-Files

Remembrances

anatsuno writes:

"She sent me a postcard once, in character, as Bones (Temperance Brennan, not Karl Urban). I loved her writing so much, and her wit, her humour and sharp, insightful mind [...] I had so much admiration for this amazing person; she was one of those people where every time she answered a comment of mine or I could answer a question for her I felt lucky, privileged to know her. She shone so bright and smart and fun."[11]


andraste writes:

"I loved her stories - especially her Farscape stuff, which I read before I ever interacted with her and which turned my brain inside out in the best possible way. But the best and most important thing she ever did for me was say 'hey, we should run a ficathon!'
Back in 2004 - and I can't believe that it's been nine years - we were on AIM one afternoon, talking about how we should totally get selenak to write a Londo/Chiana story. And it was Sab who came up with the delightfully crazy plan of creating a whole space show crossover ficathon to achieve this. Thus was Multiverse born."[12]


ciderpress writes:

"I didn't know Emily personally but I do know her work. We tell stories of our wayward fandom youthful times, stories about how we found fandom and what we get from it. For me, Emily was the first fanfic writer that made me fall in love with fanfic. I'd been noodling around on the edges of fanfiction fandoms for a while, a graduate student, ill and with too much time on my hands and then completely by accident, I read a Sports Night story that she wrote.
She was that writer for me, the writer who made me click that 'email me' link for the first time and babble-gush about how much I loved that story, her writing. Following her stories, I came across other West Wing and Sports Night fanfic writers, the writers I still think are the best ever, Punk, the Sandys, Sinead and others. Following their breadcrumbs, I found my way to Livejournal and to Fandom with a capital 'f'. Years later, I found her on lj and I found out that as well as being a talented writer, she was a great fan: humorous, witty, sharp, intelligent and giddily and dorkishly loving of things."[13]


general_jinjur writes:

"she was instrumental to the beginnings of my life in fandom, and, through a chain of occurrences, also instrumental to the creation of the audiofic archive. she was a first time podficcer in the very first amplificathon, in 2008 [...] she was an enthusiastic supporter of podfic, and i'm glad we still have her voice, telling us stories in the dark."[14]


Pares writes:

"...Emily was profligate and generous, as many have said, and flung love like ribbon streamers at all her friends, more love than I returned from my miserly heart. Because of Emily, I read stories I wouldn’t have, and I wrote stories I wouldn’t have, and many riches in the vault of memory are due to her. She gave us all places to be together, to squee together, to flail around goofily, mad and giddy and alive."[15]


Punk writes:

"She was my fannish other half for a very long time. The first time we chatted together on AIM we accidentally cranked out a bizarre The X-Files/The Sentinel crossover. (Is that true? Maybe it was the second time.) Years later, we used to look back on the things we'd written together and joke that we couldn't tell which of us wrote what, despite the fact that we each had a distinct writing style; when we wrote together her edges were softened and my softness grew a few spines, and we could look at a passage and say, 'Did I write that? Did you write that?' And we couldn't remember, and it was kind of wonderful."[16]


Richard Manning writes:

"A lot of people in a lot of places and a lot of fandoms are grieving today at the loss of Makiko aka Sab aka Makikosab aka, simply, Em. She was many things, but primarily she was an Illuminator of Rooms, the sort of human dynamo universally described with phrases like 'contagious energy' and 'delightfully skewed' and 'fearless enthusiasm' and 'one of a kind.'"[17]


se_parsons writes:

"She was a talent and a bright light and very importantly an organizer and a hub of getting people together and motivated to work on things. We are all better people and better writers for having known her."[18]


selenak writes:

"[A] little less than ten years ago, when my B5 fanwriting and roleplaying was at its most intense, she was the citizen_gkar to my londo_mollari at theatrical_muse, and we enjoyed that tremendously. There are stories I never would have written without her, and not just in B5 - my DS9 story Five Things Which Never Happened Between Kira And Dukat was written for her, because she dared me to write Kira/Dukat, and also because of several Dukat discussions we had. My B5 story End of the Affair was originally posted as part of the Londo/G'Kar storyline we wrote at Theatrical_Muse, and would have been unthinkable without her and her G'Kar.
Then there were her own stories - her Farscape fanfic especially, which I read before I ever 'met' her, virtually speaking. She always was my favourite writer for the Crichton & Scorpius relationship. Her DS9 and B5 tales, too. Her smart and funny commentary on other people's stories. A discussion she had with cremains in comments to a B5 story written by the later was what made me think about Londo and the Narn language, and thus later inspired Lost in Translation. We didn't always agree, fannishly speaking - for example, I saw Doctor Who canon often very different from her - but she was always captivating to read, and posted all too rarely."[19]

External Links

References

  1. January 24, 2013, Sab, my Sab by runpunkrun
  2. emily's archive (Last accessed 16 February 2013)
  3. cutting my teeth on the gristly parts of TV (Last accessed 22 February 2013)
  4. iamsab: on breezy, sarcastic, socks-wearing days (Last accessed 17 February 2013)
  5. emilyss: (no subject) (Last accessed 18 February 2013)
  6. iamsab: overstuffed Narn (Last accessed 4 March 2013)
  7. sab in the hot seat (Last accessed 22 February 2013)
  8. iamsab's LJ profile (Last accessed 25 January 2013)
  9. iamsab: they made a statue of us (Last accessed 17 February 2013)
  10. cutting my teeth on the gristly parts of TV (Last accessed 26 January 2013)
  11. anatsuno: Iamsab (Last accessed 27 January 2013)
  12. andraste: Vale, Sabine (Last accessed 27 January 2013)
  13. ciderpress: (no subject) (Last accessed 27 January 2013)
  14. amplificathon: a personal note about a podficcer and friend (Last accessed 27 January 2013)
  15. kormantic: Emily (Last accessed 27 January 2013)
  16. runpunkrun: Sab, my Sab (Last accessed 26 January 2013)
  17. RIP Emily Salzfass (Last accessed 27 January 2013)
  18. se_parsons: Sabine (Last accessed 27 January 2013)
  19. selenak: No. (Last accessed 27 January 2013)
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