Single White, Double Yellow

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Zine
Title: Single White, Double Yellow
Publisher: Morgan Dawn
Editor:
Author(s): Big Pink
Cover Artist(s): smilla02
Illustrator(s): Sylvia Bond
Date(s): 2006-2007, 2008
Series?: yes
Medium: online, print
Size:
Genre:
Fandom: Supernatural
External Links: online versions of some of the series, podfic versions
cover for the podfic version of Red, designed by Cybel Harper
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Single White, Double Yellow is a series of gen Supernatural stories written by Big Pink. Also known as The Red Series, the 11-story series was originally published online in 2006-2007. In 2008, a printed copy of the entire series was auctioned off as part of the Sweet Charity auctions. The perfect-bound version of the series spans three digest-sized volumes averaging 350 to 500 pages each, with color covers by smilla02 totaling two or three million words. Volume 3 also featured black and white photographs taken by Sylvia Bond. Morgan Dawn did the book design and layout. The series was offered for free as both a printable pdf and in eBook format for offline reading and remains online for web reading.

Two of the stories in the series, Red and Verbal, were recorded as podfics. The story Fire in the Hole inspired one fan, Olivia Chrestomanci, to write and record an original song.

Volume 1

Volume 1 contains 269 pages and the two stories "Red" and "DNR".

  • Red: Something evil is killing treeplanters in the forests of the Pacific Northwest, possibly the same predator that Dean narrowly escaped years before.
  • DNR: "John comes to a decision while wearing a blue terry-cloth robe. Not remotely humorous."

Volume 2

Volume 2 contains 352 pages and the two stories Dazzleland and Verbal.

  • Dazzleland: “Someone goes over Niagara in a barrel. You gonna jump in and try to save them?” Sam’s making plans, and they don’t include his father or hunting. They might not even include Dean.
  • Verbal: Dean spills his guts. Sam is amused, then appalled.

Volume 3

Volume 3 contains 554 pages and three stories: Fire In The Hole, The New Deal and a missing scene from The New Deal

  • Fire In The Hole: After Sam leaves for Stanford, Dean falls hard and John doesn’t catch him. Two stories from the same long bloody year, one moving forwards, the other moving back, meeting somewhere in the silver mining district of western Nevada, where both father and son must face their worst fears.
  • The New Deal: Nebraska isn’t where Dean wanted to spend his last February on earth, but an angry Depression-era ghost makes things complicated.
  • Missing Scene, The New Deal (chapter 1)

Reactions/Reviews

[The entire series]:"I’ve read Red, Dazzleland, and Fire in the Hole, and found myself being AMAZED at the quality and craft of this writer’s fanfiction. Everything she does elevates what she does into the stratosphere, and if that sounds like an exaggeration, it is not."[1]
[The entire series]: "I just have to rave, because this is some of the best fiction I’ve ever read, fan- or no. It’s like she honed in on the most profound, emotionally powerful aspects of the series, and used these fics to delve deeper than the show ever went. She writes beautifully about family, loss, grief, and love. She also creates incredibly well-researched and vivid environments for each story, from loggers and protesters in the Pacific Northwest, to a high school in Niagara Falls, to an old silver mine in Nevada, to a shantytown in Nebraska during the Great Depression. Plus, she writes a variety of fabulous three-dimensional female OCs (if you’re looking for a primer on how to write a female OC without wandering into Sue territory, read these). They are also very well-plotted, well-paced, and snappily written. I think my favorite was the last one, The New Deal– it’s basically about how Sam and Dean deal (or fail to deal) with Dean’s impending death in S3. It could so easily have fallen into angsty tropes, but instead she uses imagery and symbolism to create something more evocative and thought-provoking than I’ve seen from fanfic in a long time."[2]
[The entire series]:"She was my first honest-to-God fancrush on SPN. Her stories are so well-built and well-written that you actually feel like reading a book. I spent DAYS doing nothing but read her fics, from morning to the moment my eyes wouldn’t remain open. Plus, they’re linked together (though you can read them apart). She’s a total BAMF for characterization, plot and suspense. Her writing-style is fluid, both simple and amazing, and every OC she introduces gives another depth to the story. No Mary-Sue/Gary-Stu here, just normal people with their own background, personalities and contributions to the plot. Her work is not so much about the romantic/sexual relationships the boys may have with ‘outsiders’ as it is about family and how complex, uneasy and yet important it can be. The whole ‘Red Series’ (Single White, Double Yellow) tell about Dean and Sam, about how they became what they are when the show starts. Both of the first two stories, “Red” and “Dazzleland”, are part-flash back and part-present time. And while each story follow a specific storyline, it also deals with issues only hinted in canon. How far Dean was willing to go to protect Sam; how messy and dangerous their lives have always been; how Sam could never settle down and pretend his family was just like any other kid’s; their complex relationship with John; how Sam came to leave; why Dean stayed."[3]
[Red]: "It's difficult to know where to begin describing this fic. It's a casefic and a fairy tale; it’s lushly written at a luxurious pace that allows for plenty of wallowing in the setting, the ambiance, and the characterization. It’s a braid of three different time-lines ranging from teen!Chesters to the present day. And folks, it’s gorgeous. There are fics that illuminate canon and fics that take canon and make it into something more, and this is one of the latter. I cannot recommend it enough."[4]

[Red]: Because Sometimes We Need to Face the Big Bad Wolf Through Our Characters. Red, by big_pink. Supernatural, gen. (Note: I don't consider this an animal harm story. You might think so, from the description, but - well, I just don't. If you disagree, let me know and I'll slap a warning up here.)

First, let me say up front that I do not know from Supernatural. To me, this is a fantastic story, but it could be wildly out of character and out of canon for all I know. I really doubt it, but even if it is, I totally don't care. It is a fusion of Little Red Riding Hood and Supernatural, people. How could that be other than awesome?

It couldn't be. Or, well, not in this writer's hands, anyway.

And, see, I was never a big fan of the story of Little Red Whiny Hood. For one thing, I pretty much hated her, and I wasn't that fond of her grandmother, and I definitely despised the hunter. I always wanted the wolf to win. He seemed like the only person in the story whose motives I could really get behind, you know?

Oh, how this story cured me of that.

Well, okay. I guess technically it didn't. I mean, I still want the wolf to win in the original fairytale. But this version of it made me like the hunter(s), which - wow. You people who know me, you know how extremely unlikely that is. And it made me fear the wolf. I mean, maybe the Brothers Grimm said that the wolf was big and bad, but big_pink made me believe that he was.

And this is a story that I think could not work in the format of the canon. It had to be written, not filmed. (Two reasons, just as examples: first, in a TV episode, the awesome detail about treeplanters and logging and so forth just wouldn't make the cut. And, second, wolf-human things always look laughable and sort of pathetic on film. You just cannot make a decent wolfman in live action, and, frankly, I really wish people would stop trying.) Which is why we need fan fiction: to tell the stories the canon can't tell. [5]
[Red]:"I had never heard of fanfiction before I read this story. I stumbled across fandom by pure accident: I had seen SPN a few times and decided to google photos of Dean Winchester, but I neglected to clear my browser window first, which held the words "Nevada mining" as part of research for an essay I was writing at the time. So what resulted was a google search for "Dean Winchester" "Nevada mining," and in spring of 2008 the first hit that came up was this story. I clicked. I read. My life was changed. This fic is very near perfect. The Northwest setting is beautifully-researched, the casefic is horrifically enthralling, the characterizations of Dean and Sam (as both adults and children) is illuminating and moving, and the prose is clean, lush, detailed, straightforward, complex, disturbing, and magical. It's one of the best stories I've read, both in fandom and in the "real" world -- and let me tell you, I've read a lot of stories. But this one is special. This one is pure gold: valuable and impossible to tarnish."ref>sawedoff recs LJ community's final recommendation post dated August 31, 2011; WebCite.</ref>
[Red]:"This is one of the most widely recced gen fics in the fandom and I have tried time and again to read/listen to it and I just cannot. It's so weird because she's a good writer, but the story bores me enough that I can't get past the first third of it. Weirder still, I feel bad about it for some inexplicable reason. Every time I see it recced, I want to give it another try and this time is no different. Perhaps this time I will start where I left off and hope it manages to keep my interest. *shrugs*"[6]
[Fire in the Hole]:"All I can say is this story is just pure genius. There's 2 timelines ongoing, one that moves backwards in pieces, and...yeah you just need to read it."[7]
[Dazzleland]:"I finished this story a few days ago, stayed up until three in the morning reading it because I simply couldn't bring myself to stop. And I absolutely have to tell you how amazing this was to read. I especially loved your characterisation, the way you made each Winchester so very human, with their own flaws, strengths and well-kept secrets. Your original characters were all fantastic, fleshed-out, real and so very believable. They are probably the most in character Winchesters I have ever read in the time I've spent in this fandom. I loved Toad, Elise, the sociopathic Billy and even the brainless goon Marcus because they all just seemed so real. The way you interwove the backstory was absolutely beautiful, at the ending of each story, I found myself feeling warm, contented, understanding and satisfied, a feeling that is incredibly rare to find at the end of a fanfic. Your writing style is also so natural and beautiful, and I have to say you have an amazing way of painting pictures with your words. Some stories tell you what happens, some describe to you what occurs, but yours painted such a beautiful and vivid image, reading it felt more like watching a full length movie, with every sense catered for and fulfilled. I felt that this story is perfect, in every sense of the word." [8]
[Verbal]:"A while back, I said I had a huge thing for stories where Sam can read Dean's thoughts, or Dean can't lie, so this pretty much made me ecstatic. It's funny, until it's really, really not. Surprisingly heartbreaking, painful, even horrifying story, but I mean that as the highest compliment."[9]

Podfic

Art Gallery

Original Song

The story Fire in the Hole inspired one fan, Olivia Chrestomanci, to write and record an original song. Lyrics excerpts are below and the song can be heard here.

I spent a nighttime chasing poltergeists and I fell down
You told me to stay put till you could bring the car around.
I’m waiting in a pitch black parking garage by the side of the Vegas Strip
I’m paying for an oversight that you won’t admit
And I’m not sure who I’m talking to right now –
It could be you or it could be him
Yeah I think it’s him.
I fell farther than a person should fall
but I’m tough and I pulled through
Just before I hit the ground
I thought of you.
I didn’t try to stop you
But I wanted to.

References

  1. Right Up There: Anything By Big Pink by Sylvia Bond; WebCite.
  2. rusty halo reviewing The Red Series in SPN Fic Rec: The Red Series by Big Pink; WebCite.
  3. "nowgiveus-akiss tumblr rec Big Pink Rec, undated, accessed June 12, 212.
  4. rocksalt recs recommendation, August 24, 2012; webCite.
  5. rec by thefourthvine at 168: Fandom, I Love You., June 6, 2007
  6. comment in rocksalt recs recommendation, August 24, 2012; webCite; Archive.is (accessed April 17, 2013).
  7. lsketch42's lsketch42 review of Fire in the Hole; WebCite.
  8. Ingu reviewing Dazzleland on FanFiction.Net; WebCite.
  9. killabeez reviewing Verbal.
  10. reference link; reference link.