Invariant Factors

From Fanlore
Jump to: navigation, search
Sentinel Fanfiction
Title: Invariant Factors
Author(s): Livia
Date(s): 15 June 2001
Length: 19,500
Genre: genderswap, f/f
Fandom: The Sentinel
External Links: Invariant Factors (AO3)
Invariant Factors (contest page, Wayback)
Invariant Factors Illustrations

Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Invariant Factors is an "always been a girl" genderswap retelling of the pilot episode, The Switchman. It was written for the Thin Blue Line Contest in 2001 and won Second Place, Team Choice.

Team Comments: "This story scored well in mechanics across the board. The characterization is funny, stylish, the narrative voice appropriate to characters; Jim and Blair, done realistically as women. Not an original idea, but never seen in TS before. Difficult to do this sort of story without leaning heavily upon 'gimmick' yet the author managed it well. We enjoyed the writing style and were pleased that the author knew something about archaeology."

Authors Notes

From the author's notes:
Te really helped with some advice on the sexy bits. I especially, *especially* want to thank Resonant and Lanning-- both let me talk out problems, encouraged me *and* sent me back rough drafts of "Invariant Factors" after I accidentally deleted it. (Yes, twice.) Also, thanks to everyone on Prospect-L who discussed the TBL stories. Even if you didn't like mine. :) I appreciated every comment.
I was inspired by a lot of different things. It's always been a pet theory of mine that Cassie was Pet Fly's attempt at a "female Blair" (and a lot of people were afraid she'd actually replace Blair.) while Megan is sort of a "female Jim," complete with lone-wolf tendencies and vehicle abuse. And I've always been fascinated by stories where a character is transformed from one gender to another, like Russet McMillan's "The Body Thief" or Gillian Middleton's "B.J. Sandburg," but I wasn't really interested in *writing* a story like that. Then I came across "Gentler" by Gemma Files and Nicole S., an OZ fanfic that switched the genders of all the characters. It was an incredibly interesting AU, and so I began to wonder what Jim and Blair's lives would have been like had they been born female. [...]
About the title: an invariant is something that remains the same after it's been transformed. For instance, a piece of music put in a different key.[1]

Missing Scene

Pares wrote a missing scene, Urban Subcultures. It's a Sentinel/Highlander crossover femmeslash threesome. About Invariant Factors she said: "I didn't rec it when I first read it because... well, it's a little strange. Perhaps I just needed some time to digest it. Although Livia did a wonderful job reimagining "The Switchman" and made some really snappy background tweaks to the Sentinel Universe, her squarejawed 'Jen' took some getting used to. Perhaps it's not surprising to learn that Blair translates without a hitch, however. Livia's Bayle? Cutest. Thing. EVER."[2]


  1. Livia. Author's note. (Accessed 21 January 2011)
  2. Pares. Urban Subcultures story notes. (Accessed 30 January 2017)