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Doctor Who ; Clara, Amy, Eleven ; G ; 1300 words ; no content notes ; also at the AO3
Clara's always been a fan of Amelia Williams.
from Wikipedia, the free encyclopeida
Amelia Jessica "Amy" Williams (née Pond), was a Scottish writer, publisher and activist best known for her novels for children and her science fiction. Her books have been translated into over 30 languages and have been adapted for TV, radio and film and won numerous awards, including the Newberry Medal and Carneige Award. Williams was the first woman to win the Hugo Award for Best Novel for the first installment of her Petrichor trilogy, The Tear in Time.
Williams was a prolific writer, contributing to many newspapers and magazines and writing several works of non-fiction, mostly notably a biography of Vincent van Gogh, Bright as Sunflowers.
Williams' work draws heavily from mythology and classic literature, with literary allusions reworked into her signature blend of science-fiction and fantasy. Almost all of her novels have female protagonists who are usually outspoken and adventurous, with the most notable exception being The Last Centurion, a historical fantasy novel about an ageless Roman soldier who devotes his life to guarding a magical box that has the power to save his beloved's life.
She was heavily criticised by the SFF establishment during her lifetime for her rejection of contemporary science fiction conventions, with one critic writing that "Mrs Williams shows no regard for any kind of realism or logic, instead choosing to disregard plausibility in favour of outlandish fantasies with no basis in scientific fact. Her work is a clear example that the genre of science fiction is no place for female authors. Her novels for children have enjoyed modest success, and we can only hope that Mrs Williams returns to more suitably feminine pursuits posthaste."
Williams found far less resistance from critics when she published under one of her many pen names, A. J. Pond, where her work was taken to be that of a man's and was more warmly received. She went on to found the independent publishing house Pond & River, best known for publishing the popular Melody Malone mysteries.
Little is known of Williams' early life. She and her husband, Rory Williams, emigrated to New York in 1938, where they adopted their son, Anthony. Williams also spoke of a daughter, Melody, but there are no official records of her birth. Both Williams and her husband were outspoken activists during the political upheaval of the latter half of the 20th century in the US. Williams frequently attended civil rights marches and wrote regularly on political topics. Her politics were also clearly present in her fiction, causing them to be regularly banned due to their sexual content and positive depictions of racial integration and homosexuality. Feminist critics have praised her work for its portrayal of women who challenge the sexist norms of their society, though some of her work has come under fire from some feminist circles for its focus on her character's femininity and sexuality.
Picture books (also illustrated by Williams)
Sally Goes To The Moon
The Raggedy Doctor
The Summer Falls series
Wanda and the Whale
Young Adult fiction:
The Rita Investigates series
The Petrichor trilogy
The Woman Who Stopped Waiting
Brighter Than Sunflowers: A Biography of Vincent van Gogh
We're All Stories In The End
Amelia Williams, The Collected Articles
Clara grew up on the stories of Amelia Williams. First the picture books, like Sally Goes To The Moon, read to her from her mum's own much-loved copies. Then, when she was old enough to read by herself, the Summer Falls series, where a young Clara fell in love with the adventurous heroine, Kate, who stood up for herself and always tried to do the right thing.
When she starts travelling with the Doctor, she moves a few things into a bedroom on the TARDIS. She puts her Petrichor omnibus up on the shelf next to a few other trinkets she's brought with her. It's probably silly, she doubts she'll have much time to read, but she likes to know that it's there. Like all of the best authors one loves as a child, Clara considered Amelia Williams to be rather like an imaginary friend, who had always been there for her when she needed her. She pats the spine and runs back to the console room to see what her next adventure holds.
"Let's go meet someone," the Doctor says, clapping his hands together. "Come on, who do you want to meet? What about Jane Austen, or ooh, Oscar Wilde, good old Oscar, he's a laugh."
"Um," says Clara. For once, she can actually think of an idea right away, she's just a bit worried the Doctor's going to think it's rubbish. "I would like to meet an author, actually. My favourite author. Amelia Williams."
The Doctor stops everything he's doing and turns to face her, looking shocked. "What?"
"I'm sorry, what's the matter?" Clara asks, alarmed by the abrupt mood swing.
"Amelia Williams," he says, and the way her name sounds in his mouth breaks her heart and explains things.
"She travelled with you," she ventures. "Oh, wait, wow, because her early life's a total mystery! No one can find any record of her before she moved to New York. That's because of you, isn't it? She was here!" Clara sits down, a bit overwhelmed.
"Yes," he says softly. He tries a smile, and comes to sit next her. "I'm no good at this, you know. I don't -- I try not to look back more than I can help it, because it hurts."
She rests her hand on his forearm gently. "I'm sorry, I had no idea --"
"No, it's all right. Yes, we travelled together, Amy and Rory and I. For a long time."
"What were they like? What was she like?"
"They were --" he shakes his head, struggling for words. "They were the Ponds. They were wonderful, just like you are. Just as all of you are." He smiles at her. "My friends have always been the best of me."
"We can't go and see her, can we?"
"No. I'm sorry."
"That's okay." She grins at him. "Oscar Wilde, then?"
He nods, standing up. "Oscar Wilde."
She follows up and takes his hand, pulling him down into a hug. He flails a bit, then rests his hands gingerly on her back.
"Amy!" Rory calls out from downstairs. "Letter from River!"
Amy abandons her typewriter and runs down the stairs, snatching it out of his hands before he's had a chance to open the envelope.
"Hey!" he protests, but she just sticks out her tongue and lets him read it over her shoulder.
The letter is long and satisfying, full of River's stories from university and daring deeds across the galaxy.
Now then, news from the Doctor. You'll be pleased to hear he's made a new friend and they're zipping around the cosmos together as I write. She hasn't met me yet, but I've met her, and she's wonderful. Smart and clever and just what she needs. Her name is Clara, and she's rather a big fan of the novels of one Amelia Williams, so she's a woman of discerning taste.
I'll be in touch again soon.
All my love,
Clara and Artie are browsing a second hand bookshop together, one of their favourite Saturday afternoon pasttimes.
"Ooh, Clara, look at this!" he calls out from the sci-fi & fantasy section. "I haven't read this one yet!"
Clara wanders over from the thrillers to have a look. It's an old edition of 5:02, by A.J. Pond.
"That's one of Amelia Williams' pen names," Clara says.
"Yeah! It looks really cool. Have you read it?"
"Once, a few years ago," she says, taking it to have a look. "It's very good, but you might be a bit young for it, mate."
She flips open the front cover and her jaw drops.
"What?" Artie asks, impatient. "What is it?"
I wish you well in your travels, and hope that you and the raggedy man and his little blue box look after each other.
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