(updated version December 3, 2015)
After sifting through a wealth of Voltron fan fiction on Fanfiction.Net to build what is now the Keith and Allura Community List, I found myself still craving more than just stories featuring our favourite canon pairing of #KeithandAllura. Being a very visual person, I also love VF KA Fanart. Hubby Chris occasionally indulges me with delish VF KA fanart, but when I need my KA fix, my quiet, happy escape to get through the tough days of real life, I also turn to Cheetoy.
I was so inspired from all the stories that I began writing fanfiction myself. And thanks to Cheetoy, she inspired me to take up art classes, so that one day, I too could draw VF KA fanart.
However, like other KA fans, I was still hungry, insatiable even. But where else could I find KA? Suddenly curious, I began my first step of finding KA by researching via the Internet. What would I look for? Would I look for similar physical attributes, character traits or both? But first, where do I look for KA?
KA in Anime / Manga
Since Voltron began as an anime in Japan as Beast King GoLion circa 1981, the first stop was anime and manga land. Do present-day animation companies still use the classic template that Toei Animation had used for GoLion’s Akira Kogane and Fala Hime more than thirty years ago? Fortunately at this day and age, there are now (android) apps that could play/stream full episodes of animation for mobile phone devices. There are also apps where one can read the latest manga issues in English. It has been thirty years since Voltron and there has been a lot of anime and manga produced since then. So, I decided to focus on what was readily available on mobile apps.
I was blown away with the stuff I found. The Het pairing of (dark, brooding, loner Commander/Protector/Knight/Noble) with (bright,leading female Princess/Ruler/Fair maiden/Royalty) was everywhere. Some anime/manga literally were reincarnations of KA, with Knight-Princess pairing. There were anime/manga types that had no pairings, but the lead male character looked like Keith Kogane. I found so many manga/anime KA-lookalikes, (and most some titles were in Japanese too) I decided put the images randomly together to show you a mere glimpse of what I found.
KA in Fiction
But I wanted to read romance and outer space, just like in the Voltron universe. The hopeless romantic and KAshipper in me was still hungry and was hankering for more KA-esque characters to read. Then, one day on Twitter, I saw a retweet about this Aussie author with a new book that had the story elements I craved: Sci-Fi / Romance, or simply SFR. I was gobsmacked to find such a genre I never knew actually existed. I’m such a late bloomer; I spent most of my twenties on autopilot: as a corporate drone, buried in graduate school studies reading academic journals, and in my thirties I was devouring parenting, motherhood and breastfeeding books. Anywhooo…
I was having an author crush on Anna Hackett. Here was a fellow Aussie, a mum of two young kiddies, and a published author writing the kind of stories I was looking for. And yes, Anna grew up watching Voltron too! *sparkly teary eyes* Her book Winter Fusion (now with Audible narration with “Galactic Holiday” ) had KA-like characters: ex-space marine Savan and planetary negiotator Brinn. Another of Anna Hackett’s book In the Devil’s Nebula had VF KA-esque space pilot Commander Zayn and blonde-haired Ria as her kickass couple.
I was smitten from the get go. From there, the floodgates opened and found myself immersed, reading e-book after e-book of SFR. I also found myself following both Sci-Fi Romance Quarterly and SFR Brigade on Twitter.
KA Fanfic Writers Turned Authors
At the end of the day, I went back to our fandom and continued to look for more KA-pairing stories. But something was still missing. I wondered about fandoms. The big fandoms / mega-fandoms have their own fanfic writers-turned authors. After reading Anne Jamison‘s FIC: Why Fanfiction Is Taking Over The World, I found myself reading all of Christina Lauren‘s books, and the (in) famous Fifty Shades by E.L. James. By this time, I wondered if the Voltron fandom has its own fanfic-writers-now-published-authors? And the answer is yes! One of them is Shannon Muir: one of Voltron’s first fanfic writers and is an author of several books. Surely there are others too, unbeknowst to this newbie fangirl? Amongst KA fanfic writers, even? Was there a fanfic-writer-turned-author from KAEX yahoogroup?
And the answer is another big yes! One of the KAEX Yahoo Group’s earliest members, David A. Tatum aka Desaix on FFN, has had a few published books under his belt and his latest one, The Kitsune Strategem, had KA-lookalike characters. I was instantly drawn to the book cover. It was like looking at KA from a different universe. I was mesmerised from page one and couldn’t put the book down. It was like reading Go-Lion/Voltron but in a fantasy version, with a solid, expansive, and detailed world-building universe behind his main characters Keiras and Mathis.
But I do need to mention that Kitsune Strategem is not SFR genre, but rather heroic fantasy genre. But still, I loved the way he wrote Keiras and Mathis, the friendship that appeared to grow chapter after chapter, how they look after and protect each other, it was like falling in love with KA all over again. David A Tatum’s Mathis and Keiras reminded me of KA’s GoLion and Voltron DotU universes, where fans could logically infer something was going on between Kogane-Fala / Keith-Allura (however, unlike the Voltron Force Nicktoons version, KA was affianced by the end of the series). By the time I finished reading The Kitsune Strategem, I wanted Book 2 straightaway. Just like KA, I wanted to find out (and speculate?) if there would be more than friendship between Keiras and Mathis. (Suddenly itching to write a fanfic *tee hee*)
So, who else among the KA fanfic writers have published books? I’ve asked our current and amazing fanfic writers –Drowningblonde, KathDMD, Mertz, and RedLion2– if they’re close to publishing soon? They got their stories under wraps. They got me all excited, eager to cheer and promote our fandom’s next batch of upcoming authors.
KA in Voltron’s new 30th Anniversary book
At the end of my research / reading journey, I eventually went full circle. I found KA again, inside Voltron’s 30th Anniversary book “From Days of Long Ago.” It’s a beautiful coffee-table book and a must-have for Voltron fans from every generation.
Now the only thing left is, unfortunately still stuff of science-fiction: Is there a way to program an e-Reader to change characters’ names and attributes to match my favourite couple? *grins*
Long Live Keith and Allura!
This blogpost became live on 13th November 2014: Cheetoy, I dedicate this blogpost to you: Happy Birthday fangirl!