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Burning Fringe Questions?

Hey, Fringe fans,

When I was brainstorming ideas for Olivia's prequel, I was inspired by a question posed online by fans:

"Why is Olivia unable to tell John Scott she loves him?"

Answering this question ultimately became the emotional heart of book 2.

(edited to add: Just to clarify and avoid misunderstanding, book 2 is not about Olivia's relationship with John Scott. It's about her teen years and what happens to her that makes her unable to commit to a serious relationship later in life.)

So tell me, what other burning questions about Olivia and Peter's background/early life would you like to see answered in their respective books?

(edited again to add: These books are officially licensed tie novels. Click for more info.)

Post your questions here, and while I can't promise that every single one will be explicitly addressed in the books (since all story elements are ultimately subject to approval by Bad Robot) I'd really love to hear what's on your minds.


( 45 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 6th, 2013 11:48 pm (UTC)
Yes, the shooting of Olivia's abusive stepfather is featured prominently in the second book, along with more detail about the abuse that occurred.
Jan. 7th, 2013 12:29 am (UTC)
Peter's background. All we know is he was up to some very shady stuff (in the Middle East) and had lots of dubious contacts (at least in the first season - the whole mysterious past bit seems to have been dropped by the second season.)

We know he had some experience/training as an engineer (which has come a couple of times) but he can also handle a gun and has probably killed people in the past.

I've often though I'm far more interested in the original Peter's "mysterious past" than the makers of the show.
Jan. 7th, 2013 12:40 am (UTC)
Peter's shady past will be explored more deeply in book 3. I was always curious about his past too, so that part will be fun for me.
Jan. 7th, 2013 07:34 am (UTC)
With Olivia I've always wondered most about what happened to her and her sister after their mom died, and how she ended up at the boarding school, so I'm pleased to see it looks like those questions will be answered!

But I'd also love to learn more about her real dad - we know he was an important man in the military, but that's about it. What happened to him?

For Peter I would really love to see more of what his relationship with his mother was like.
Jan. 7th, 2013 10:44 am (UTC)
In season 1 we learned that Olivia was in a relationship with Lucas when she was younger and that he didn't treat her very well in that relationship. Maybe some of that coupled with her childhood abuse left her wary of opening up.... also you rock, thanks for letting us be interactive!
Jan. 7th, 2013 10:58 am (UTC)
I've always wondered about Olivia's biological father.
Jan. 7th, 2013 11:25 am (UTC)
Cortexiphan, abilities: We know that she doesn't remember the trials. But what does she remember from all those years? Are there any signs of her abilities?

mother: We know that her mother died of cancer. I'd like to see how she's dealing with that, how it impacted her.

father: We know almost nothing about her real dad. Just that he was an important man in the Military, but has never been mentioned. He was there when Olivia first went to the trials, so he must have some involvement. I'd like to know what happened to him and how does Olivia feel about him and about what happened to him.

step-dad: Olivia shooting him when she was 9 is such an important moment in her life, but it was never really treated accordingly. I'd love to see her insight on that.

future FBI agent: Olivia knew what she wanted to be from the age of 9. So at this age she must already be focused on that path. I'd like to know what motivates her and how she's acting in that direction.

These few important points impacted Olivia so much, but they were never really explored. I can't wait for this book!!! Thanks so much for writing it! :)
Jan. 7th, 2013 04:35 pm (UTC)
Yes yes yes! All these things and more.
Jan. 7th, 2013 11:27 am (UTC)
I have always wondered about Olivia's biological father.
Jan. 7th, 2013 01:32 pm (UTC)
We know that Peter and Olivia met each other for the first time in Jacksonville. This has never been addressed later on. They always had this strong bond and connection, why did they never wonder why? Why does Olivia's gift s only come to live when Peter is around?
Jan. 7th, 2013 04:34 pm (UTC)
Olivia's early relationship with Peter will be touched upon.
Jan. 7th, 2013 03:37 pm (UTC)
I don't know... John Scott was the character that almost made me give up Fringe. I think I'll skip that novel - sorry, I can't stand him :( - but I'm definitely interested in Peter's novel. He's still such a mystery. He's never been allowed a voice about his mind and feelings in the show, so I'm looking forward to this one. I've always been interested in his life as the drifter, that did a thousand of different jobs, but I'm somewhat wary about how you might tackle this, because the comics made him such a horrible character with zero morals and Peter has never been depicted like that in Fringe, not even at the beginning of the show. Somewhat shady and amoral, maybe, but he was never evil. Could you ease my mind about that?

Another thing I've missed about Peter in the show has been his emotional development during those years before he returned to Boston. Will you get to tell us about his girlfriends? His first love? His friends and weird connections? His mother? Thanks!
Jan. 7th, 2013 04:31 pm (UTC)
No need to skip the second novel because you don't like John Scott! It's not about him, it's about Olivia as a teenager at boarding school and what happened to her that made her emotionally unable to commit to an adult relationship later in life.

As for Peter, he will not be portrayed as an amoral villain, but a complex, flawed, gray-shaded character with depth and heart. (My favorite kind.)

And yes, you will get lots of background on his early life.
Jan. 7th, 2013 07:15 pm (UTC)
That's a relief, thanks! I don't understand, though... Olivia committed to several adult relationships later in life. Her relationship with Peter is just one of them! :-/

I'm happy about that description about Peter, it makes me very excited about that book :-)
Jan. 7th, 2013 07:55 pm (UTC)
I'm not talking about her relationship w/Peter or anything else that happens after Scott. I'm talking about her early adult relationships pre-2008 and her difficulty with saying the words "I love you" when we first meet her in the first season.

Trust me. I'm not allowed to go into too much detail on this thread but it will be clear exactly what I'm referring to once you read the book.
Jan. 8th, 2013 07:56 am (UTC)
All 3 books sound really interesting, so I wish you great success and I hope you can continue with more tie-in books.

Re: Olivia and her difficulty to say "I love you". I never saw it was that difficult for her. Actually, she told John Scott I love you several times. I've always thought that her hesitation to reciprocate in the pilot wasn't so much returning the "I love you", but that it meant a step forward in a relationship and that was something to consider carefully. That goes to show everyone has a different head canon :D
Jan. 8th, 2013 04:12 pm (UTC)
Funny how different people see things differently. I'm sure many people will ultimately view my tie ins differently, as they always do no matter what property they are based on.

I just thought it would be interesting to look at questions that fans were asking online and "Why can't Olivia tell John Scott she loves him" was one that stuck out to me. Maybe because I'm kind of uptight about those three words myself and am reluctant to get involved in serious relationships. Though, like Olivia, I'm happy to get laid as much as possible.

TMI, I'm sure. ;-)
Jan. 8th, 2013 04:13 pm (UTC)
PS - Hence, my icon!
Jan. 8th, 2013 07:08 pm (UTC)
Heh! Nice one ;-)

Now, if there was an explanation why Peter is so reluctant to say those words... He only said those words once. Over the phone. LOL!
Feb. 4th, 2013 05:33 pm (UTC)
One of the things I liked about Peter is how much he changed over the course of Seasons 1 - 2. He started out as severely amoral and some fans called for his death. Joshua Jackson described Peter in less than flattering terms at that point, saying, "Peter is a shallow, venal, hedonistic, nihilistic man." But by the Season 2, Peter is a very different person and the shift is so gradual that it's hard to pinpoint where he changed.

Jan. 7th, 2013 05:21 pm (UTC)
I do not care for Peters past, we have had so many episodes him talking about his childhood, and he had two Walters and his mother in many scenes.
-We had nothing about Olivias father
-We had nothing about Olivias mother, other than being beaten by the stepfather.
-The stepfather was a caricature.

--I wanted adult Olivia to be given a chance to talk about her mother, father, and have her deal with her abuse, not be the victim.
--I wanted Olivia to confront Walter and Bell, to take control, but instead she had to say in finale Season 4 that she was still used by Bell and Walter.

Olivia Dunham is the lead of Fringe, and nothing done with her backstory, just some lines,
so you could easily do a trilogy:
-Olivia the years with the abusive adults
-Olivia escaping that at boarding school and the marines etc
-Olivia how I wanted her to get a storyarc in Fringe: dealing with nasty Walter that damaged her life.
Jan. 7th, 2013 07:24 pm (UTC)
Re: Olivia
Huh? Why are you telling me you don't care about Peter's past? That's your problem. I find him the most fascinating of them all and his adventures before joining the Fringe division would make for tons of delicious material. Such a rich world to be explored!

Hopefully the books will be successful, so that more books can be written and they don't have to be about the main characters, either! One character that has been named a few times and who seems to have been very interesting is Robert Bishop. I'd love it if a possible future book was about him. The Bishop family is fascinating!
Jan. 7th, 2013 05:36 pm (UTC)
Olivias story were just some lines scattered, and as a Olivia fan I can give you the episodes.
I am mostly interested in adult Olivia before Fringe , how she ended up in the Marines, and how her life looked like then,

Olivia before the Bishop Boys more or less ruined her, Walter made adult Olivia into a victim, and Peter into his wife.
Olivia in the pilot was happy, independent and taking charge, assertive, pro-active, but that went after she returned in season 3, her role as hero was reduced to Peter and again in season 4,
writers had no idea of Olivia, she would never give up her life and being for a man, not with that abusive past.

I would love to see a series around Olivia and Charlie, Olivia being her own person.
Anna Torv, awesome Olivia creator, said in the beginning that she saw Olivia as a woman that had a lover in every port, and her scotch.
Which is logical, Olivia with her past being abused by men, is never giving up het being for a man.
Jan. 7th, 2013 10:52 pm (UTC)
Re: Olivia
The author is going to come across several unstable folks in the fandom who can only seem to focus on their own warped sense of what Fringe should be.

For instance, this one has a known hatred for Joshua Jackson and the character of Peter Bishop. I hope these crazies have no influence. Fans who loves all the characters and the show have suffered their tirades for years.

Fringe is about THREE heroes. :D
Jan. 8th, 2013 01:37 am (UTC)
Re: Olivia
Welcome to the fandom, Ms. Faust... you will probably find most of us quite sane... hopefully not boringly so... the few (probably ONE) fan who isn't, will probably become easily recognizable to you despite the 1,000 screen names she uses. Because she always posts the same general idea.

The idea of 3 books, one for each character, is pretty thrilling!
Jan. 7th, 2013 10:01 pm (UTC)
I am just curious how these books will actually be published? Will it be an online thing or will it actually be a book? I am obsessed with Fringe and I can't even begin to describe how much an impact they made on my life. I can't believe we only have 180 minutes left of it. Those last few minutes are going to be rough. That is why I am very curious about these books. I'm glad Fringe will be kept alive.

I'm not sure if you were only focusing Olivia and Peter, but it would be interesting to hear about Nina and all of her relationships. We know she had a thing with William Bell and in one episode she kissed Broyles. Just a thought. And because in the new timeline Nina raised Olivia I would like to know about her.

I would love to hear about Olivia's backstory especially her in high school. I can picture her as a young elementary student but not in high school. It would be interesting to she how she and Rachel interacted back then.
Jan. 7th, 2013 10:08 pm (UTC)
Re: Publication?
These are officially licensed tie-ins that will be published both in print and electronic form by Titan. You can preorder book 2 on Amazon now, but books 1 and 3 are not yet listed.


Book 1 is about Walter, Bell and Nina back in 1974. The reason I didn't ask for any suggestions from fans on that book is because it is already finished and set for publication and I've only just now been given permission to announce the project online.
Jan. 7th, 2013 10:41 pm (UTC)
Here's the thing. There may have been a reluctance on her part to say the words 'I love you' but the fact that she was far more care free and light to what she eventually became cannot be ignored. The actor who plays Olivia frequently referenced the fact that Olivia pre John Scott death was easier going and fun and it wasn't until the events of the pilot that she became really hardcore, stone cold. She didn't even remember that she had been a part of the Cortexiphan trials until later in season 1. So while I accept and very much appreciate that the abuse contributed to how she was shaped in her adult life, once she started to remember it- the risk taking, carefree, lets-have-a-fun-affair-with-my-partner equally has weight. So, objectively I think both are important to address (the reluctance to say I love you- which she herself puts down to just not being good at relationships and the vivacious fun seductress!) Later in season one we see flashbacks of Olivia and John on a date, at one point she looks shy, fiddling with something in her hand as he's speaking and then a complete opposite moment when she gets up from the table and walks away and she absolutely has that look on her face with a cocky smile that says 'I'm confident, this is amazing, we're going home together.' It's extremely brief but definitely there. The carefree Olivia continues momentarily into season one after Scott's death when we see her getting ready to go to a party, which eventually doesn't happen. Personally, I always preferred her relationship with Scott over Peter as she seemed truly, happy and free with Scott (but then perhaps this is because she was unaware of her Cortexiphan past.)
Jan. 7th, 2013 10:56 pm (UTC)
Re: Toby
I'm not going to change her being a vivacious fun seductress and carefree about sex on her own terms as young adult, just show why she had a hard time saying the words "I love you" to Scott and why she was, as she claims, "not good at relationships."

Also, I really didn't mean to make it seem like the whole book is about why she has trouble with the words "I love you." That's only minor one aspect of the story, but asking myself that question as a starting point was what made all the other aspects of the plot come together.
Jan. 7th, 2013 10:59 pm (UTC)
Re: Toby
Truly Happy and Free? While John was using her? Sure, there is some excitement in being like giggly teenagers, seeing each other in secret. But real relationships are more than a false facade. Peter and Olivia overcame a lot together, and that is the most enduring relationship.

Yeah, let's be happy until the false skin falls off of old Mr.Boring Scott...
Jan. 7th, 2013 11:04 pm (UTC)
Re: Toby
Also, as I stated in another reply above, book 2 has nothing to do with Scott. It takes place while Olivia is a teen in boarding school and show what happened to her at a young age to make her reluctant to say those words later on.
Jan. 9th, 2013 09:38 pm (UTC)
Re: Toby
But Toby's point was that with Lucas and Scott- her younger relationships, she was happy and free. That she wasn't always walking around with the weight of the world on her shoulders. She may have as a child, it obviously lessened as a young adult (her relationships with scott and lucas) and then returned again sometime in season 2, pre Peter. It would be disingenuous to say (and Im not saying that you are) that Olivia was the sad Olivia we met as a child in 'subject 13' and continued that way right into adulthood with an ability or a reluctance to say 'i love you'. When it's more like she was sad (as a kid), then happy (as young woman), then sad (post scott death), then happy (peter). I know I'm simplifying if by calling it 'happy/sad' but you know what I mean. I would see it as thought she was a burdened child due to everything that happened to her but that college, the military and quantico became a good distraction for her and that' why we meet her in the pilot as carefree. It's only after Scott's death and remembering the cortexiphan trials that she reverts to the burdened self of her childhood.
Jan. 9th, 2013 09:51 pm (UTC)
Re: Toby
Understood, and I hope you can trust me take my word that the story I'm telling about her teen years will not in any way contradict the idea of her as a generally carefree and happy young adult. I'm just not allowed to go into enough detail to make it any clearer than that.

I will say this. Conflict and drama is a requirement to tell a good story. It's impossible to write a whole novel about a person who is perfectly happy and without emotional baggage of any kind. So I have to have give her some emotional drama in her teen years, other wise it would be a very dull book.

Besides, who doesn't have emotional drama in their teen years? That's pretty much the definition of a teenager.
Jan. 7th, 2013 11:21 pm (UTC)
Really can't wait for these. Fringe fans are starved for anything good about our fave show and characters. Fan fiction can only do so much...

Also, most Fringe fans refer to the collective fandom as "Cortexifans" or "Fringies." ;)

Just minor details and what-ifs:

Why did Peter leave high school -- drop out?

What kind of friends did he have. He has an easy way with people, so I bet they were diverse, from all walks of life.

What prompted him to go to Europe?

MIT? What kind of papers did he write?

When Walter brought him to this universe, he knew everything was wrong, but he eventually gave in and accepted Walter/Elizabeth's story. Did he ever get those thoughts again? The dreams/nightmares he had must have been about this?

Details about his reaction to his mother's suicide would be a good touch.

He owed a lot of money -- exactly how did a genius like him get into so much trouble?

Olivia's real father was referred to as a very important man in the military. What happened to him and how did her mother end up with the abusive stepfather?

Did she have ever have any thoughts about the little boy--Peter-- who comforted her in that field of white tulips in Jacksonville?

Here's one small detail: Why does Olivia hate the color yellow? Is there an explanation?

Edited at 2013-01-08 12:19 am (UTC)
Jan. 8th, 2013 01:34 am (UTC)

About Peter... As you may know, the show somewhat changed its direction about midway through Season 1... leaving us with some Peter details (such as Big Eddie, and Walter doing experiments on Peter as a boy) which were probably deliberately left unexplained, as they no longer served the storyline purpose.

It would be an interesting experiment if you could somehow allude to those dropped details in the story you tell (if not actually explore them). On Fringe, although some plot details were dropped early on, they were never retconned away, and it would be cool if you could allude to or even explore them.

Also, want to know more about Peter and his (adoptive) mother Elizabeth after Walter went into St Clare's and before she killed herself. When and why did Peter leave home etc.

Jan. 21st, 2013 03:49 pm (UTC)
You are the wrong person to author fringe novels
I really am not comfortable with a writer of porn, more or less, writing novels about our beloved Fringe characters. This is degrading to us true fans. Insulting as well. Why not stick to your trashy writing and leave our Fringe as it is meant to be: intelligent, respectable, and quality.
Jan. 21st, 2013 04:18 pm (UTC)
Re: You are the wrong person to author fringe novels
I was hired to do this job by WB and Titan, based on my proven abilities to write more than one kind of book on a tight deadline. Having written seven professional media tie-ins with no porn in them whatsoever, I can assure you that there will be nothing pornographic or trashy about the Fringe books. There isn't even any hard swearing! I think a member of the band Violet Sedan Chair says "shit" once in the first book (in reference to some LSD) but that's it.

That being said, you are entitled to your opinion, and I cannot make you like the books if you've already decided that you won't. But I do hope that you'll consider being more open-minded and checking them our despite your feelings about me as a writer and a person. You might be pleasantly surprised.

Feb. 4th, 2013 05:46 pm (UTC)
Re: You are the wrong person to author fringe novels
I have never read anything by Ms. Faust (although, as someone curious about how FRINGE may continue in spin-off media, I will be reading some of her past work to get a sense of what I have to look forward to or dread). That said, it's cruel and vicious to attack her on the grounds that her bibliography does not meet your peculiar and personal and individual moral beliefs. That is in no way a measure of the quality of her writing. The fact that she has written material in genres you don't care for does not mean she can't write strong descriptions or produce compelling plots or create memorable dialogue and satisfying resolutions.

I've no idea whether she's a good writer or not. Looking at the genres she's written in doesn't tell me whether or not her writing is intelligent or respectable or of any decent quality. Considering the first season of FRINGE frequently had Olivia stripping down to her underwear, I wouldn't put it on a pedestal above Faust.

I do have strong moral objections towards filmed pornography as I have read enough to know it is an industry that abuses women mentally and physically and tosses them aside once they're used up. I'm betting prose pornography, however, is just ink on a page. (If I'm wrong, let me know.)

Edited at 2013-02-04 05:47 pm (UTC)
Feb. 4th, 2013 09:24 pm (UTC)
Re: You are the wrong person to author fringe novels
Hey, thanks for coming to my defense! If it puts your minds at ease, my previous tie-ins have been nominated for the International Association of Media Tie-In Writer's Scribe Award. I even won once. I've also won several additional awards for my original crime fiction, so I guess that means I must be doing something right. ;-)

Also, keep in mind that this is not my own personal fan-fic project where I'm free to write any way I like. I'm working very closely with Bad Robot on this gig and they have to approve every single word I write before it can be published. They would not allow me to write the Fringe books in a trashy or pornographic way even if I wanted to.

Bottom line, I'm a pro, and I take my job very seriously. I do my best to honor every property I'm hired to work on, from Fringe to Friday the Thirteenth. I wouldn't have it any other way.
Mar. 13th, 2013 02:34 am (UTC)
The right person
Hey there,

Most Fringe fans I know are terribly excited about the novels and I for one am glad that someone with a sense of style is writing them! (And how many Fringe fans are quite content to read X-rated fanfic, LOL! so hypocritical...)
Feb. 13th, 2013 07:15 pm (UTC)
The books will be released in Brazil?
Feb. 14th, 2013 11:21 pm (UTC)
Re: fringe
I don't know what plans are currently being made by Titan as far as foreign sales and translation, but if I hear any news I will let you know.
Mar. 6th, 2013 09:17 pm (UTC)
reading some reviews of the third season, I cannot understand why Fringe took out focus of Olivia in the half of S3, and on S4 and S5, since that she was the favorite character of most of fandom and Anna is an actress respected and beloved by critics and by fans
Mar. 13th, 2013 02:36 am (UTC)
Here we go again...

Olivia was not the fave character of "most of the fandom" - fans loved all three main characters. And if you don't want to read about anyone but Olivia... hooray! Just buy the Olivia book and leave the rest of it alone! Your loss
Mar. 24th, 2013 07:47 pm (UTC)
I know the three characters are the beloved inside of fandom but, Olivia is the favorite character of most them. I participate in several forums, and in several polls she always wins as favorite character, by passion of the fans, I know the book about Olivia. It’ll be the best selling; the fandom loves Olivia and Anna.
Who lost with the focus taken from Olivia, it was not me, but the show, and just compare the reviews of S3 with the reviews of S4 and S5
PS. sorry my English I'm Brazilian
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