My Favorite Things: Comedic Sidekicks, Fanfiction, and More Love for Alien Languages

They might not be raindrops on roses or whiskers on kittens, but that doesn’t mean that we love them any less. Welcome back to My Favorite Things, a weekly column where we gab about the greatest in geek. This week, we’re all about an incredibly funny (and gif-able) actor on the CW’s Supergirl, the top fanfiction you need in your life, and showing more love for the stunningly designed alien language of the movie Arrival. Read on for more!


Carey’s Favorite Thing is… Jeremy Jordan!

Jeremy Jordan is my favorite thing this month. Okay, he’s one of my favorite things anytime I see him on Supergirl. Jordan plays Winn Schott (yep, son of the infamous Toymaker) on Supergirl, and also happens to be Kara Danvers’ best buddy. In the first season, Winn and Kara worked at CatCo, where Winn worked IT and Kara put up with the (sadly missing from the second season) Cat Grant. In the second season, Schott’s IT work landed him a job with the DEO working with the Danvers sisters — and then he started to jeopardize that role by working with a certain someone (no spoilers) as Metropolis’s newest crimefighting duo. In a recent second-season episode, Alex Danvers drags Winn offworld to help save Supergirl — all while Winn has to convince himself he’s “not the redshirt.” Jordan’s comedic timing is too perfect (apparently he’s also fresh off the Broadway show Newsies and I would go see it just for him). He imbues Winn Schott with a gamut of emotions and an exuberant personality that delightfully elevates Schott’s character above standard best-bud/comic relief. And really, his performance just begs for more Internet memes. How are there not more Internet gifs of Jeremy Jordan? From that smile to saving the planet, everything he does is GIF ready.


Sherry’s Favorite Thing is… the alien language of Arrival!

I am in love with the language system of the aliens in the movie Arrival. Whenever the aliens were asked a question, they responded with an inky circle containing sections that are thicker than others, and lines coming off it. It sounds terrible to describe it with words. The images are stunning. According to, Montreal artist Martine Bertrand created each of the circles. Over a hundred of these logograms were created for the movie, creating a complete alien language. The logograms absolutely stunning. I would love to have prints of them to put on my walls. Each logogram denotes an entire response of both words and emotions. I don’t know what each of the logograms specifically mean. I’d have to watch the movie dozens of times or find some way to study the logogram bible to be able to do that, but just looking at them stirs a strong emotion of wonder and hope in me.


Lane’s Favorite Thing is… Archive Of Our Own!

My favorite thing this month (and truthfully, many other months) is fanfiction at Archive of Our Own, which makes fanfiction so damn accessible. I suppose as a novelist, I’m not supposed to love fanfiction, but I really really do.  I love the scope and the possibilities of it. When I’m writing books, a lot of times it feels like I’m collapsing possibilities.  If I write A, then B follows, and all those other possibilities wither away. But fanfiction is about exploring all the possibilities it can wring out of the source material.  If A, then X, Y, Z, and frog plus watermelon! Even if I didn’t enjoy fanfiction for the story, I think I’d enjoy it as a tool for analyzing story elements — plot and character and style.

I could meander on and one about the generalities of fanfiction, but I’d rather give you some specifics. Want a story where the events might as well be canon, but the effect is really different?  Check out Owlet’s This You Protect about what happens if the Winter Soldier remembers Captain America and escapes his programming.  It’s long and wry and eminently quotable.

Or for an alternate take on story canon, you could check out KouriArashi’s Coming Undone, which involves the Teen Wolf characters ending up with a very different and delightfully conceived Alpha.  Or, one of my all time favorites, LTLJ’s Retrograde, which is a novel in its own right, about an Atlantis that lost communication with Stargate Command right after their arrival. Adventurous and plotty and wonderful.

Any thoughts on the selections above? Let us know in the comments.


  • steelvictory March 20, 2017 at 9:29 am

    This is me flailing about someone else who loves the Retrograde series! That’s also a fantastic Captain America epic. –Signed, another novelist who loves fanfic

    • Lane Robins March 20, 2017 at 10:42 am

      This is me flailing in response. 🙂 I adore Retrograde. It’s one of my near annual rereads.

      • Carey Ballard March 20, 2017 at 7:18 pm

        If there’s anything I love about Stargate (actually there are many things), the fanfiction is one of them. I will never not like fanfiction–and I do know there are a couple of authors (Sabine Bauer, for one) who used to write Stargate fanfic and are now published Stargate authors.

        And now I have a totally new place to get fan fiction. Just in time to procrastinate on projects. Huzzah!

        • J.L. Gribble March 21, 2017 at 10:54 am

          Carey, I am happy to send you plenty of starter SG fanfic if you let me know what sort of stories you’re interested in. 🙂

  • Nancy O'Toole Meservier March 20, 2017 at 10:30 am

    Winn is (one of) my favorite things about Supergirl. Can’t wait to see him singing in the musical episode!

    • Carey Ballard March 20, 2017 at 7:11 pm

      Me either! SOON. SOOOOOOOOOONNN…

      That sounded more ominous and less sing-songy, but whatevs.

    • Lane Robins March 20, 2017 at 9:41 pm

      I really started to like Winn once they stopped writing him moping over Kara. He’s so much fun as the snarky sidekick! I think I watch the CW shows primarily for the sidekicks, sometimes.

  • Carey Ballard March 20, 2017 at 7:22 pm

    Sherry, I would like to have a few logogram prints for my walls as well. I loved everything about Arrival, but specifically the artistic language. Thanks for tracking down the name of the artist–I was unaware because I figured the logograms were something created more or less “on the fly” for the film (although the film is so well crafted, I ought to have guessed).

  • Shara White March 20, 2017 at 9:14 pm

    Okay, so Archive Of Our Own is totally where I get my Hannibal fanfic. Yes, I read Hannibal fanfic. One of my FAVORITES (and this is based off the Bryan Fuller television show) is Texts from Hannibal. While not finished, this sucker has me giggling on a regular basis. And based on Lane’s recommendations, I may need to branch out to some Captain American fic!

    Carey, I love that gif you chose. It fills me with joy, and I don’t even watch that show!

    And Sherry, love that movie, and I love the language as well. So gorgeous!


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: