It's FriYay! Well, at least is here in the State, so what better way to kickoff the weekend than another installment of Larafan's Literary Likes. I apologize for the delay this week, but rather than gush a plethora of excuses at ya'll (and I have a bunch), I'll just get to it. This week's spotlight is on:
While the name Marknew probably needs no introduction to most of the long time readers here, his word processor has been rather quiet the last few years, opting mostly for small vignettes and/or a few select interactive story chapters over at writing.com. However, back in the late 90's and early 2000's, there was arguably no more prolific ubergirl and/or FMG writer than Marknew, whose calling card of writing "snatching power from a male and giving it to the female" gave us many classics in the genre. In spite of writing so many great tales, one of his works stands out head an shoulders above the rest...The Super One!
I discussed the whole "Mount Rushmore thing" a few weeks ago with Serena's Lucky Day -- but speaking without hyperbole --The Super One would be up there as well for me. Published originally at DtV back in 2005, The Super One is a wonderful tale of a global superpowers lottery on Earth where ONE lucky winner would be chosen to receive superpowers. Of course, in true Marknew form, the male protagonist, Andrew, is selected as the winner, but never quite receives his prize due to a serendipitous stroke of luck for his nemesis, Andra. And we're not talking some pitiful superstrength and superspeed here. We're talking 1,919,080,981,800 different powers (it's explained in the story), making Andra possibly the most powerful character ever in the SWM-verse!
That is perhaps one of the things that I find so appealing about the story is that I find it indredibly entertaining DESPITE her insane level of power. Full disclosure, while I love a girl who can toss a volvo a mile out to sea with minimal effort, I'm not really a fan of super-OP (overpowered) characters in my stories. I know, I know....different strokes for different folks. Still, in The Super One, Marknew never really goes into full-on "Super Saiyan" mode with Andra, choosing rather to pick and choose his display of her powers usually one at a time in various handpicked parts. In fact, most of the time she just talks about them rather than showing them off. An interesting approach that works beautifully in his whimical approach to his goddess-like anti-heroine.
True to form, Marknew also brilliantly sets everything up throughout the story, choosing for some characterization of the five or so finalists before actually jumping head first into the "power up" part of the story which is magnificently written so much that I "homaged" it (aka stole it) for one of my stories, Tink, Tink, Boom, when Tinkerbell gains her superpowers. In fact, if I really think about it, I'd have to say that this story, more than any other, has influenced me in terms of specific imagery, plot ideas, and gaffes that I've used in my writing. Hell, I even "homaged" the whole story in my story, The Chosen One (giving Marknew full credit, for the record)! THAT'S how I know I love this story! :P
I know Marknew is still out there, popping in from time to time on DA, writing.com, and sometime even here at SWM. With any luck, he's prepping another masterpiece like The Super One. If not, I just hope he realizes the ubergirl fiction universe is missing one of its great Jedi Masters.
Happy Humpday, everyone! First off, want to extend a thank you to Woodclaw for dropping an assist and filling in for me last week when I was tied up. With that said, I'm back on serve this week with another installment of Larafan's Literary Likes. And this one is a doozy!
While all of the previous installments focused on older and lesser-hyped one-shot stories, I decided to take a different tact this week and feature a story that is probably a bit more popular in the SWM circles. Why you ask? Well, in the last few months, we have seen an uptick in new visitors -- both on the site and in Discord -- and after talking with a few of them, I discovered not just one, but two people who had never read -- or heard -- of Serena's Lucky Day. So while it is featured in the Multi-Story Library on the site, it IS pretty old and probably has been missed by a lot of our newer members. I felt obligated to remedy this!
Over here in the States, the "Mount Rushmore" model is frequently used in sports to denote the top four of all-time in a particular discipline. For example, if someone asked who was on your Mount Rushmore for best players in basketball of alltime, you might say "Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, and Wilt Chamberlain". Ok, with that context explained, if I had to select a "Mount Rushmore" of SWM Stories, I would probably have to say that Serena's Lucky Day would be up there for me. The story date in our library is list as May of 2006 but, if memory serves, it was on SGI even before that. Regardless of it's exact age -- we'll just call it 'old' -- it is a classic! While there are several elements of the story that make it the great tale that is, there is one particular element that sets it apart from the rest -- the transformation scene!
I know I'm not alone in saying that one of my best parts -- if not THE best part -- of ubergirl stories is the origin/transformation part of a story. Some authors do it better than others, but no one does it better than Yosh does with Serena. In my opinion, it is THE quintessential transformation scene written in the genre -- which is quite remarkable to considering it was written 15 years ago! Admittingly, it probably gets some additional brownie points for being so damn long, but I don't anyone can dispute the amount of detail and sensuality that is written into paragraph after paragraph, depicting Serena's transformation from ordinary to amazing in Chapter 1. In my early conversations with Yosh, he joked that he thought it was too repetitive and that he just kept adding to it trying to end it. The next thing he knew, he had PAGES worth of excrutiatingly detailed transformation. Yosh...not too repetitive at all!
But the transformation scene is not the only thing that makes this story great. The subsequent "power discovery" scene is just as good, with Yosh focusing on every ability with fantastic detail and decription. One of the best parts of these scenes, in my opinion, was the highlight of her super senses and intelligence which was probably one -- if the THE -- first significant uses of this in an ubergirl story. While all stories highlight an ubergirl's ability to fly, repel bullets, and lift cars, Serena was the first one I can remember (along with Marknew's Spell 'R' Us) that focused significantly on showcasing her super intelligance and super senses (in Chapter 2). I don't mind admitting that it inspired my writing significantly enough to say that writing "super smart" scenes is now one of my favorites!
If I'm being honest with myself (and everyone else), Serena's Lucky Day starts out strong with the first two chapters and then levels off, seemingly trying to do "something" with Serena but not quite getting there. Yosh admitted this to me one time which is probably why it kinda just stops with Chapter 6 rather abruptly. Sadly -- and this is becoming a regular thing with my spotlights -- Yosh never wrote any more chapters or any other ubergirl fiction after this. He lurked for many years on the site and would pop up on the forums from time to time, getting bombarded with requests for more Serena, but alas, no more from him.
After asking and begging him via chat a million times to continue, I finally came to a stage of acceptance that there would be no more. During one of our chats, Yosh told me that Francine Dee was one of his inspirations for the character, and that years later he actually met her at a party. Talk about blurring the lines of fantasy and reality! Anyways, as a tribute to Yosh and to help me with closure at the reallization that there would be no more Serena from him, I composed a fake "movie poster" of Serena's Lucky Day for SWM's Movie Poster Contest back in the day that features Francine Dee as Serena (and Alisha Cuthbert as Hyperwoman)!
I have no idea if Yosh still visits the site and if he is still lurking, but to him I say, "Well done, Brother!" And to anyone who has not read Serena's Lucky Day, I say emphatically, "Go read it, now!"
Howdy, all! Welcome to another installement of Larafan's Literary Likes where I help to spotlight some of my personal gems of the past in our extensive SWM library. This week, I feature a "one-hit wonder" dating all the way back to December 2005:
A New Leaf should please a lot of "bad girl" fans in the crowd here, as it was written and submitted for SGI's* Workshop 1.06, "An Ubergirl Changes Sides from Good to Bad". A New Leaf tells of the tale of Katie Thurmond who finds herself the beneficiary of supergirl-like powers while away at summer camp. Katie assumes the classic role of do-gooder in her town, assuming the mantle of WonderGirl, as she fights crime in her local city until one night she receives a visit from her old roommate at camp that causes her attitude and overall moral compass to start to slowly shift. I won't spoil what happens or give any of the details but, just as you can judge from the title of the workshop theme, you can probably write WonderGirl off as the darling superheroine of her city by the end of the story!
The original concept and goal of the workshops were to help encourage and solicit more new authors which proved to be successful in the early days. This was illustrated here by Helix111's participation, as he/she/they had never (to my knowledge) written an ubergirl story prior. Yay! Sadly, after submitting A New Leaf, we never got a sequel (it kinda begs for one) or even another followup story after. Boo! I'd say it was a great story for a first time writer, but it's a great story, period! While it covers a bunch of commonly used tropes, it has a good blend of sexiness and storytelling that has always made it one of my favorites -- probably cause it uses a lot of the commonly used tropes. :P
Hopefully, it'll resonate with some of you as well, so give it a read by clicking on the title above and telling him/her/them you loved it in the comments. With any luck, Helix111 might be still lurking (or using a different username) and hopefully is out there still listening. If you are, Helix, I got two words for you......See Quall! :)
* Author's Note: For those not familiar with the history of the site, 'SGI' refers to Supergirls, Incorporated, a website run by Larafan, which was the precursor to SWM. The story workshops started over at SGI and continued till the site was shuttered sometime in 2007. Those workshops were then converted over to SWM when it was launched.
With Fats off flying around Europe, delivering much needed supplies to people in need (thanks, Fats!), Woodclaw and myself will be helping him out and picking up the slack in the short-term. So, you're stuck exclusively with our literary tastes for the time being. Therefore, I bring you another installment of Larafan's Literary Likes:
It still amazes me sometimes how LONG it's been and how fast the time has flown since some of these stories were posted. In doing the "research" for Lucille's Lingerie, I practically fell over after seeing that it was submitted in the Spring of 2012 -- EIGHT years ago!
Based soley on it's 'shelf age', I'm sure this story has escaped the watchful eyes of some of our readers, especially the newer visitors to SWM. Lucille's Lingerie is a classic tale that you'd find in any "Beautification & Superpowers via Mystical Clothing" section of your local ubergirl bookstore. While it doesn't have nearly the depth or plot as some of the stories at SWM, one will find it hard to not recognize Vortigern's formidable skills on display with turning a mousy girl into a swan--a Super Swan, no less! Despite the rather short length, the story packs a lot of steamy sexiness and beautification along with some classic ubergirl feats of strength. I always appreciated this story, and when we came up with the Story Spotlight, I always knew it would be one of my early choices. The author, Vortigern, wrote another story, Darkness Rising, as a followup but then sadly disappeared from the ubergirl fiction scene, disappearing across the ubergirl fiction horizon like so many other authors do...
Quite concidentally, a wonderful new series, A Common Weakness, recently was posted to our library by a new author, Dumanoir. I sent him an encouraging note with some feedback, as I sometimes do, and we ending up striking up a conversation over a series of emails. Well, lo and behold, Dumanoir has written some stories earlier under the the name--yep, you guessed it--Vortigern! Never since the whole "Einhorn is Finkle, Finkle is Einhorn" thing had I been so surprised, pleasingly as well, especially since I was actually getting ready to feature it in this column. Dumanoir actually gave me permission for the pseudonym reveal for this writeup as well, so thanks to him for that as well as he's fantastic stories.
I hope you'll check it out Vortinoir's (or is it Dumagern?) story, Lucille's Lingerie, by simply clicking on the title if haven't already or maybe go back and give it another read and tell him you loved it. If nothing else, with some added encouragement, we'll get a lot more Common Weakness!
Welcome to the first episode of Admin Spotlight Story Theatre, where the admin staff at SWM picks and spotlights a personal favorite or forgotten gem, plucked from the vast archives of the SWM Library. With nearly 1000 stories in our ubergirl archives, it's easy to miss, and sometimes forget, some of these stories. So Fats, Woodclaw, and myself will be spotlighting a different story each week in hopes everyone, especially those who have recently joined SWM, will give it a read and maybe comment on it. So without further ado, here is the first featured story of Larafan's Literary Likes:
When Woodclaw asked me which story I was thinking of featuring, this one came to mind rather easily for a variety of reasons. Those quite familiar with ubergirl fiction might remember this tale fondly from back when Diana the Valkyrie's library was worth visiting on a daily basis. In my mind, it was one of the first stories back then (circa 1997) that really showcased a sexy protagonist being super and relishing in the experience in a wonderful fantasy-fueled tale. How much did I like it? Well, when I started the now-defunct Supergirls, Inc site, it was the first story I remember loading in the library. Flashing forward to the early days of SWM, what do you think was the first story that was loaded in the library? Yep, CMac!
On a personal note, CMac was the story that actually prompted me to pick up a pen...er...keyboard and begin to write my own stories, the first eventually becoming the screenplay of The Awakening! Several stories later, I have 007 to thank, or blame, depending on your perspective. Shortly after CMac appeared, 007 did a second story called Gym Conqueror which featured one of the sexiest and rather X-rated gym scenes you'll find in ubergirl fiction. It was just as fantastic, but then...
007 disappeared like the stealth secret agent he is, never to write another genre story (that I am aware of). Many years later, as part of one of the SWM writing workshops, a sequel to CMac called aptly Christina McCallister Part 2 was submitted under the nom de plume of 008. It just wasn't the same. I don't say that to diss the author because I can come clean now and admit that myself and Conceptfan wrote it under the 008 moniker. I did contact 007 prior and get his blessing prior though, begging for more from him, but I didn't get anything other that his blessing to go ahead with the sequel.
Ironically, 007 popped up recently this past year in discord, and we've chatted a few times. He talked about possibly writing genre fiction again one day, but to this date he hasn't submitted anything that I know of. And that is just fine cause he already gave us a great legacy with Christina McCallister, Part I. I hope you'll check it out by simply clicking on the title if haven't already or maybe go back and give it another read. It's worth it!
With all the hullabaloo about Supergirl, Jessica Jones, and the rest of the mainstream media ubergirls, it's been a while since we did a recap/report of some of the latest offerings by our genre producers. Before the 2015 bumper crop of ubergirl shows like Supergirl and Jessica Jones hit, the genre producers were one of our only outlets to get our "fix" for superstrong and sexy women kicking ass. We hope we'll continue to support these outfits so that they'll continue to make more of these in the very near future.
While KAK has being disappointing to many of us for their lack of "superness", they occassionally have thrown our genre a bone and given us a superheroine-themed video from time to time. The is little doubt that the Kandy Girls are some of the most beautiful AND physically gifted genre actresses around. That is why it always seemed such a "waste" to NOT have them endowed with superpowers and kicking even more ass than they normally do. Well, time to rejoice cause KAK this past week just posted "Last Kandy Hunter" starring Kix in one of their best -- if not THE best -- storylines featuring a superpowered protagonist. While Kix is not in a traditional superheroine costume, her powers are undeniable. Invulnerability, throat lifts, bar bending and even a touch of superbreath are exhibited by the beautiful ubergirl in her own snarky style that is sure to please even the most discriminating purchaser. This video was shot as a custom for one of our own members, so that you tell you that this one is a must see! Trust me, guys....buy it.....now!
Amidst the hoopla of better know and more publicized genre outfits, TKS Productions has grown a strong following within the genre and has been cranking out solid uber-themed vignettes at an incredible pace. His latest endeavor is titled "The Secretary" and is another solid production. In my opinion, TKS has steadily improved his production values and FX, incorporating more "uberness" aside from his trademark throatlifts in some of his latest projects. The Secretary is no exception with samples of bar bends and superbreath incorporated as part of her power set. TKS videos are all action driven, and there is not a lot of fluff in the films, so I hope SWM fans will give this a second look -- as well as a third and fourth look! I was privy to a sneak peek of one of his upcoming projects which is bigger in scale, and it looks really good! There will also be some customs coming up in the near future featuring costumes that I know everyone will want to see as well! But until then, make sure you check them out!
With the depart of SSH and the Steeles, Project: Superwoman dominated for a while in the costumed girl-power arena for a while, but they've since been on a hiatus of sorts, with only a few products being released rather sparsely. I have been told, however, they they are STILL in business, and the release of their photoset last week somewhat confirms that. In addition, I was told there will be another release of a photoset featuring fan-favorite Ashley coming soon as well as a video starring AZ Powergirl which is now in post-production. While their quality hasn't suffered, I look forward to them returning to a more regular schedule in the future. Until then, make sure you check out their library of fabulous ubergirl videos!
In celebration of the premiere of Supergirl on CBS here in the States, SWM would like to declare the 2015 Winter Writer's Workshop Open! For those unfamiliar with our writing workshops, it is basically a workshop/contest where we challenge our fanbase to create a story matching a particular theme (e.g. "Sibling Rivalry"). Well, after almost 30 different workshops, we've decided to take different spin on the Workshop this time, in an effort to pull in more entries -- from existing and new authors! Rather than having the participants write and create a story around a central theme, we're simply going to provide the following three 'writing prompts' from which the user will be required to pick one as the first sentence of their entry:
- The young woman stood silently with her fists clenched as she stared up at the massive steel door.
- She instinctively groaned softly as she suddenly regained consciousness, feeling suddenly energized more than she had ever felt before.
- The gunman smirked as he suddenly raised his weapon and fired it suddenly at the woman.
After that first sentence, it's completely up to the author! Two page superheroine anecdote? 10,000 word ubergirl saga? Simply a kick-ass action scene in a few paragraphs? Pulse racing supervillainess rampage scene? A power fantasy dream sequence? It's all whatever the author feels suits them best!
This go-round there is no word minimum or maximum, and the entry does not even have to be a complete story or involve a complete plot (though that would probably garner more votes, IMO). Also to note is that after starting with one of the prompts, the entry does not have to simply progress from there. Flashbacks, flash-forwards, and even flash-sideways are perfectly allowed if the author so desires.
We purposefully tried to make things as 'generic' as possible for the authors to take their own literary license and head down more than one possible path, so hopefully one (or more) of these ideas will get some creative ubergirl ideas percolating inside some of our authors heads.
Due to the 'experimentation nature' of this workshop, we've decided to not award prizes this go-round, other than bragging rights. Our goal , as with all the workshops, is to provide some fresh content for the Library as well as foster some dormant creativty in the minds of not only our existing writers but also any budding authors out there.
As for the "rules", here they are:
- Each entry MUST start with one of the three provided prompts
- Authors may submit up to three separate entries
- All entries must include an 'ubergirl' type of character in their story
- All characters must be over the age of 18
- SWM reserves the right to withhold and/or disqualify submitted entries based on their sole discretion of the content.
- Entries must be received no later than Dec 15th, 2015 at 11:59pm EST. SWM, however, reserves the right to grant reasonable deadline extensions.
- Once submitted, entries will be voted on by the SWM user via an online poll
With all the announcements of the Supergirl TV series and the recent behind-the-scenes work on the publishing system, we have held up the announcement of the 2015 Winter Workshop Winner for far too long. If you had been following the poll, it should come as no surprise that GeekSeven's "Lara Croft and the Torch of Rao" torched the opposition to a comfortable win. Please help me in congratulating G7 on a well-deserved win and a great addition to the library.
Thanks again goes to all those who participated as well in the workshop and added their works to our growing fiction library. You can check out "Lara Croft and the Torch of Rao" as well as all the other entries HERE.
“May You Live in Interesting Times” is a popular Chinese saying that has been around for a while and has even made it into a couple of movies, most notably Donald Sutherland’s CEO speech in Disclosure. Aside from the fact that Disclosure was a pretty bad movie, and the fact that it’s not a saying (it’s apparently from a curse), and it’s not Chinese in origin, I STILL think it’s never been more apropos in the Girl Power Community than right now. With the announcement yesterday of various members of CBS’s Supergirl’s cast and production crew, it is now official: ubergirl fans have NEVER had so much to be excited about!
I, like some others here, have been in this community for a long time. How long? Long enough to have written and helped produce a full length superheroine film (The Awakening) – over 7 years ago! Long enough to have started and run arguably TWO of the premier ubergirl sites on internet (SWM and SGI). Even long enough to remember when the Aurora Universe got started – on the Amazon Arena BBS! And in no time during that period, have we had more ubergirl content to soak up and enjoy for the masses than we do now.
Comics. Comics have been the one mainstay for our genre and have usually been one of the only resources ubergirl fans had been able to flock to. Comics are still around, but superheroines are getting much more airtime than previous. While relegated often to being members or even auxiliary members of superhero teams, our girls are now more at the forefront. Powerhouse heroines like Supergirl, She-Hulk, Captain Marvel, Ms Marvel, Power Girl have all had their own titles in the past year. All female X-Men and Avengers teams have joined the fray as well (or soon will) letting mainstream comic readers follow the exploits of a female superteam, a space of comicdom previously only occupied by AC Comics’ Femforce and a few fledgling independents. And speaking of independents, Comixology and other digital outlets have made producing and reading superheroine books easier than ever. Small press titles that feature superheroines like Tomorrow Jones, Once Upon a Caper, MegaWoman, and others are now available with a Paypal account and a single-click (well, a few clicks).
Internet Content. With the departure of the Steele Family and SuperSexyHeroines.com, there appeared to be a lull in the “genre space” category of internet ubergirl content which has since been filled quite adequately by newer production outfits like Wicked City Girls and TKS Productions who have been cranking out great looking short-films, chock-filled with strength-feats and action. In addition, though things have slowed down, Project: SuperWoman still appears to be the go-to site for girl power and action featuring costumed actresses and models. And I’ve heard rumblings of more potential producers or productions on the way, including the highly anticipated Mighty Woman! Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention MaidenComics.com somewhere in here. If someone had told me ten years ago that there would be a streaming site like Hulu and Netflix, completely dedicated to female action and girl power, I would have laughed at them. But that day is now, as MaidenComics.com has now taken girl power mainstream with their new channel, featuring female action series, including offerings from Wicked City Girls as well as original ubergirl-related films like Athena, Goddess of War. While their content base is a little limited right now, it appears they are moving in the right direction, and I hope a large part of our community will support their efforts.
Television. I think a lot of people in this community can credit their gravitation towards superheroines somewhat in part to watching Lynda Carter and Lyndsey Wagner doing superheroic things on the screen back in the mid 70’s. Since then, however, superfem action time on TV has been almost non-existent, as most were left settling on episodes of various programs that might have superheroine tropes. Boy, are we making up for lost time now! First up, we have Agents of Shield which now has a bonafide superheroine (Skye) on its team and includes another superpowered female (Raina) along with possibilities of ubergirl guest stars (Sif) and plotlines. Next, coming in a few weeks we have Powers which features a host of ubergirls (Retro Girl, Zora, Callista), depending on how they choose to depict them. Jessica Jones on Netflix, featuring the former superheroine Jewel, is next up on Netflix later this year and offers great ubergirl possibilities. Messengers on CW, and even iZombie (CW), Agent Carter also may not feature superheroines but they all seem to include kick-ass girls as integral parts of their cast. Teen Titans (featuring Starfire, Dawn and Raven) is also strongly a possibility for next year’s lineup on TNT, and let’s not also forget other possible comic superheroines or villainesses showing up on Flash or Arrow. Finally, about a year or two ago, I was lamenting on what-could-have-been when the WW Pilot was not picked up. However, the ubergirl gods smiled down on us and left us with something possibly better – Supergirl!! Supergirl on CBS is the most exciting news for our fanbase (well, most of them) since….well, EVER! I’m sure Supergirl’s time onscreen will pale in comparison to Kara’s – and we will all complain – but the fact remains, that our genre has hit the mainstream! And that is beyond a good thing….
Movies. For mainstream superheroines, the past 30 years on the silver screen has given us Supergirl, Elektra, and Catwoman. Umm…..no comment. Fear not, SWManiacs, cause the next three years is going to yield us a Wonder Woman solo movie (after a prominent role in Superman/Batman), and a Captain Marvel movie!! In addition, appearances by superheroines in the Avengers and Justice League is almost guaranteed. Even our friends across the Pacific have a new Darna movie coming out later this year! And that doesn’t even cover the plethora of superheroine independent films/projects being Kickstarted or independently produced (see Maiden’s Athena, Goddess of War)!
Whew! I’m sure I missed something in there, but hopefully I made my point about the “interesting times” part! Hopefully, everyone here recognizes that ubergirls are chic right now (my god, “Supergirl” was trending on Twitter the day Melissa Benoist was cast)! As such, it might be people’s reactions to talk less about it or create less because there is now more around us, but that’s not what I hope everyone is thinking. I sincerely hope everyone is as excited as we are about these “interesting times” and continues to make their voice heard on the forums and in their creations. A voice that says “yeah, I liked this stuff before it was cool!”
This week, we had the deadline to the 2015 Winter Writing Workshop, and are pleased to present the four entries to everyone. The theme of the contest was trying to write a story based off the artwork submissions from the previous Graphical Workshop, "I Wish I Was Kryptonian" which basically was imbuing a non-powered female character from animation or comics with the powers of Supergirl or Superman.
We had some very nice entries this time around which should make excellent additions to our library. Please help me congratulate all the participants on their entries:
|Lara Croft And The Torch of Rao||Geekseven|
|Tink, Tink, Boom! -- Part 1||Larafan|
|One Cold Night in Gotham...||Castor|
We'll be posting a poll in the next few days for everyone to vote on their favorites, but in the meantime, please check them all out and leave comments at the end of the story if you liked them!