September 2003 I've been generally avoiding reading Remus/Sirius stories set during OotP, because I'm working on one now. Hello paranoia. But here are a couple I just couldn't resist:
Ephemeris, by Amadeo. I love this story, which I largely see as Remus and Sirius negotiating between their old lives and new ones. There's such a sense of good will that comes through in the style, the dry humor of the dialogue. I think this is my favorite bit:
"What's for supper, then?"
Also on the OotP spoiler list is victoria p.'s Wherever You Will Go, which is a slightly darker story, bringing out more of the frictions between them. I like the way the story starts in the middle, dipping into the past and fleshing itself out along the way.
You know, all summer I was able to maintain my denial of the big spoilery death in OotP, and then Halrloprillalar had to go write In Lieu of Flowers, and then Te wrote Quiet. The first is Remus/Kingsley, with a past Remus/Sirius, and I blame Hal for making Remus/Kingsley my secret ship. I love the quiet movement in this story, and it's a post-OotP scenario I find utterly plausible.
"Quiet" is Remus/Snape, another post-OotP pairing I find very plausible, as long as Snape is actually written in character--and Te does that excellently. I love this paragraph particularly:
And there's a sneer in the man's voice, and he really is just as nasty and unpalatable as he's always been, but... Remus opens his eyes and stares into a face no more time-raddled than it should be. Crow's feet creeping around black eyes, mouth twisted into a sneer polished with practice. He smiles. "It's good to see you, too, Severus."
Moving back to R/S, but still in post-OotP land is a strange little story: Consequence, by Wicked Cherub. The style is very unusual, and *could* be annoying but isn't, not for me, anyway. Each sentence is like a blow, no frills, no talking around the issue. That last sentence gets me everytime.
Also R/S, spanning the MWPP era to post-OotP is Something, by kaydee falls. Each section moves forward in time, adding an extra layer to the whole. It makes me emotional *g*. It's also subtle and well-crafted, so check it out.
I think I first saw Triumph of the Last Maurader by mousapelli on Ash's journal (to which I say, thank you!). It's gen, post-OotP from Harry's pov, and wonderful. Go read it.
Last on the HP list is Blood Will Tell, by Halrloprillalar. Okay, so I helped beta this, and it's definitely one of my kinks, but this is so much more than a kink story. Even if you're wary about the subject matter, give it a go, because it's a brilliant character study of Sirius. Not to mention its sheer power and richness. There's a point at which the story grabs you and doesn't let go, and I highly recommend taking that journey.
Okay, on to The Dark Is Rising.
The End of Summer by Ashura turns one of the potential problems in any kind of Will/Bran relationship into a bonus. It's exactly the kind of thing I would want to happen for those two.
September Song by Natalka is wonderfully subtle, evoking mood and scene with an economy of words, and the end is like a window opening.
Not-quite-a-story, but a lovely little mood-setter nonetheless, is phineas's Will/Bran snippet, which I very much hope she continues.
Pirates of the Carribbean
I meant to mention this story when I first read it, because Shrift's Hurricane Jack is freaking brilliant. I haven't read much PotC fic, but I imagine Jack's is a hard head to get into, and Shrift does an amazing job. I love the narrative style, which fits perfectly with the tone of the movie. If by some slim chance you're a PotC fan and haven't read it, get thee there now.
I've been on a lotrips reading craze, trying to track down stories with either Sean B. or Viggo as one half of the pairing, preferably together. What I wanted to find was a huge archive devoted completely to them, with hundreds of stories, long 200k+ stories, that I could just wallow in for a few weeks. Where is my archive, damn it? But I did find some very nice stories through hard work and some diligent googling, and I'm feeling very self-satisfied now.
First up are Karelian's SB/VM stories. I think my favorite one is Fog, in which there are misunderstandings, but not really:
size="-1">The roads had been terrible all the way back, shrouded in fog, covered with mud and rocks dredged up by the storm. Viggo's rented Jeep slid all over the place. It was almost as bad as flying. Sean was exhausted, had nothing in the fridge for dinner -- not even pop -- and didn't fancy having to run out to the shop in this weather. So when Viggo invited him to wait out the storm and have dinner at his place, he didn't have to think before saying an enthusiastic yes.
And then there is Shared Warmth, in which Sean and Viggo experience the cold:
"Shitwit," called Viggo cheerfully from the luxury of his bag, in a muffled imitation of one of their younger castmates. "We could put ours together."
Outdoors fun continues in Camping and its sequel, Journey.
They had avoided any topic related to sex all day -- marriage, divorce, dating, on-set affairs. Yet Sean had been no less physical than usual, with the same self-deprecating jokes, the same easy stretches of quiet. A couple of times Viggo had glanced over to find his colleague looking at him with something stirring in the depths of his eyes, but Sean would shrug and grin, so it couldn't have been raging passion. Viggo thought that if Sean ever looked at him with raging passion, he'd be paralyzed.
Lastly, there is We Two Kings, which is short and sweet and Christmassy.
When the package caught up with him, he thought at first that it had to be another joke from the kids, or something that a strange Scottish fan had gotten someone to forward to him. Whisky wasn't his drink and the hideous tartan boxers had yellow stripes amidst the blues and reds. Then he read the note and started to laugh. Dialed the number even though he had no idea exactly what time it was. Left a message, one king to another.
Next up: Holding the Pose, by sheldrake (SB/OB), which is just a beautiful story with layers and richness like dark truffles.
size="-1">It's a painting, or at least, a photograph of a painting. The kind of thing you might get in an art gallery. A seated man holding a staff, his body banded in light and shadow, eyes downcast. A quantity of fabric - red velvet, white cotton, fur - is arranged just so around his lower body. It hangs down over his right thigh and falls to the floor. In just a moment, thinks Sean, Derek will call 'Cut,' and everything will be minutely rearranged, the cloth pulled up a little here, down a little there. His left hand moved half an inch to the right. His head back a touch. He will sit on, still and stiff, holding the pose. He will have an ache in his right shoulder. Sean turns the postcard over.
Moving to the VM/OB side of things is Panoramic, by Kyra Leon (Viggo, Orlando, Elijah). Okay, so it makes me sad, but in the best possible way.
size="-1">He calls you Viggo, the accent on the first syllable, the second syllable a brush of breath near your ear when he wants your attention, and only your attention.
In a similar vein is Meixia's Left Behind, and its sequel, Holding On (OB/VM).
Orlando quit smoking a while back, but he's started again, that and a knack for Dr. Pepper. He sips his soft drink, which is odd, to be called soft, that is, and chews gum that's lost its flavor hours ago because smoking is prohibited indoors.
And there's more! What it is--LoTR RPS by Zarah. I'd recommend all of Zarah's Lotrips (haven't read her stuff in other fandoms, but I probably will). I think all of the pairings involve Orlando in some way, but he's paired up with pretty much the whole cast *g*. My favorites are the Flash series (Viggo/Orlando): Testshot, Black, White, Red; also De.crescendo (Viggo/Orlando); and Two (David Wenham/Orlando; David Wenham/Viggo).
I also like Calico's Clean-cut, Desirous, and Crest (Viggo/Orlando).
I do actually have some non-LOTR RPS recs here. I've been caught up in reading the Oliver/Marcus (HP) stories/drabbles at Proclivities. My favorites are Sylvia's Mr. Storyteller, V's True But Not Nice, Quiproquo, and sacrifice; and Drew's Whisper Softly to Me, Standing Still in Time, Settle for the Thrill, and When I Start to Make You Nervous.
Also, I did find that Neverending Story story I was looking for earlier: Prodigal, by Thaumocracy. (Bastian/Atreyu). A very realistic vision of how Bastian would turn out a few years down the road. I thought at first it was based on the book version, which is darker and all around more screwed up than the movie, but it turns out it's not; doesn't matter, though, because it works well for both versions. ****
sheldrake posted a lovely DIR story: Protection (Will/Bran). The tone of the story is so reminiscent of the books it's scary, and the characters are spot on.
And Hal has a new LOTR story, Durin's Day (Gimli/Galadriel), which is just cool and creepy. Her Galadriel brings on both shivers and longing, just as she should. ****
Te's Logos (Firefly). "In which names are named." This is a strange little story, perfect for River; there's a mystical quality to her madness that Te brings out with her usual flair for the extraordinary.
Jenn's The Autumn People (Smallville). Chloe, Lex, and much hotness. I really like the way Jenn writes Chloe; I can see her clearly as she is on the show, but Jenn fleshes her out even more with nuance and depth.
torch's RPF (nsync, back street boys). Funny and sexy, and very very hot.
Anna's Throwing Shapes (Buffy). Spike, Xander, amnesia, bank robbery, car sex. Anna calls this every cliche in the book, to which I say, bring them on. ****
Shrift's Breathing Water (Smallville). It flows back and forth in time, each segment building on the previous and up to the next one, but no clear picture emerges. Lovely and evocative.
Also, stolen shamelessly from Ash and Jay's recs is A Scrap of Humanity, by HF (Harry Potter). Set ten years or so in the future, after the war we all know is coming, it looks at the world through Draco's eyes and memories. This is a Draco I can believe. I don't even particularly like Harry/Draco, but this is a gorgeous story, and you should read it. (It's only archived at fanfiction.net, and that's where the link will take you. Sorry about that.)
Jay's On the Seventh Day (Good Omens), which is smart and hilarious, and has lines like:
Crowley, holding the feather, had a revelation. His face paled and hands fisted.
Debchan's Deliverance (Angel), which is the best Wesley angst I've ever read, and just an all around good story.
Anna S.'s Stargate stories. Last weekend I rec'ed them to some friends, so of course I had to go back and reread them. Meetings still tears my heart out. ****
I've recently rediscovered my Dark Is Rising slash love, thanks to Ash's dir-slash mailing list. I like Jay's Beneath All Pleasant Things (Will/Bran) very much; it's a vignette-type thing somewhere between prose and poetry, weaving time and space, tense and point of view, into a fascinating whole.
Another good one is Ash's Light Breaks (also Will/Bran--I should mention here that any DIR stories I rec here will almost inevitably be Will/Bran), which she describes as a PWP, but it's a 40k-odd PWP that's like a long slow ramble through love and the past. Also by Ash is Awakening, which takes the familiar theme of Bran's memory/remembering and gives it new depth.
Gleaned from rosa's recs is All That You Can't Leave Behind, by Mary Borsellino, a LOTR clip about Boromir and unrealized futures.
A story I'd meant to rec months ago is Jintian's Tumbleweed, a SV Chloe/Lois Lane story that made me "get" f/f. It's authentic and hot, and her Chloe rocks.
November 30, 2001
That Way, by Caroline Baker Sports Night, Dan/Casey I'm not sure how to describe this story. It's about Casey and Danny, but really about Casey, and I'm not sure if the ending is happy or not. The dialogue reminded me of SN fic of yore, and Caroline does a great job using the tone of the show to talk about more serious issues. ****
August 9, 2001
The Fog's Lifting, by Violet
Sports Night, Dan/Casey
Danny angst, and I do like Danny angst. Violet balances said angst nicely with the tone of the show, and has some nice, fresh dialogue bits that don't make me feel like I'm being smothered in witty repartee. The Fog's Lifting is first-person Danny, something I'm not usually fond of, but Violet does it so well that I like it.****
June 4, 2001
Player Piano, by Punk and Sabine
Sports Night, Dan/Casey
Just wacky. This is one of those stories that's good to read when you're feeling blah and cranky, because it's fun. Go, read, romp in the poppy fields of Danny's psyche. ****
April 15, 2001
Last Minute Trade, by Nestra and Shrift Sports Night, Dan/Casey Mm...Sports Night. There's been an influx of new, good authors into this fandom, which is always a good thing, even if it does me make me deeply envious of others' knack for witty dialogue and original plots. Ah well. It makes for excellent reading and has rejuvenated my interest in SN (which was never really gone, just hibernating for a while).
March 17, 2001
Where Have You Gone, Tom Glavine, by Sabine
Sports Night, Dan/Casey
I haven't been this excited about Sports Night fic in a while. This story has everything: great plot, real sports, angst, witty dialogue. All of the requisite chest-tightening moments apply.****
November 27, 2000
The Memory of Hurts, by Sinead
Sports Night, Dan/Casey
I'm completely envious of Sinead's knack for details--she creates character histories and personality traits that work themselves smoothly into the story. This is a great "what if" story, as in "what if Danny and Casey flew out to L.A. to check out that L.A. job?" So it's both original and plausible, a lovely combination <g>.
The First Move, by Sinead
Sports Night, Dan/Casey
After reading The Memory of Hurts, I went looking in the archive for other stories by Sinead. I'm not sure how I missed this one when it was first posted, but I'm glad I found it. All of the aforementioned Sinead qualities apply, and I think I like this one even better than The Memory of Hurts.****
July 19, 2000
I thought it was about time to make this page a little less lame <g>. So I went back to the stories and thought a little bit more about Sports Night and the fanfic it produces. It's an interesting fandom and seems to attract a lot of people who write in The Sentinel, probably because of the "buddy" quality of the show. That's not an aspect of slash (or het fiction, for that matter) I usually find appealing; for me, sexy is conflict, surface incompatibilities, frustration, and impulse. But I find Sports Night and its fanfic wildly attractive. As far as the show is concerned, the answer to that is clear: it's sharp and intelligent; it involves sports (I'm a sports junkie, yes); there are two hot and sexy leads; and it's a sit-com that merges fantasy life with reality in a carefully-crafted way. As far as fanfic is concerned, I need to be convinced of the slash relationship between the two of them. Not because I don't want to see it (I do! I really do!), but because I think the "close friends to lovers" transition is the hardest to pull off; harder than enemies to lovers, or strangers to lovers. Luckily, there are an astonishing number of good writers in this fandom, more than those morons at ABC deserve. So the following fics are what "do it" for me, by convincing me of the relationship within the context of the show.
Dan and Casey canonically sleep with women and they work in sports (a big foghorn of heterosexuality, likely so athletic men can hug and cry and pat each other on the ass without fear of having their masculinity questioned). So there's got to be some impetus for them to realize their abiding love for one another, a spark of realization, a transition into another worldview. Well, it's not usually quite that dramatic, but something pretty major has to happen for one or both of them to switch gears. Done well, these hooks really work for me.
The great thing about Sports Night is that the fictional show has viewers, whose opinions can become a way for the slash writer to tell the boys to get it on, already. I Got Rhythm, by Miriam Heddy
Ruts (Vibrating or otherwise)
Life is dissatisfaction; the grass is always greener, two birds are better than one, etc., etc. This can be a great hook as well; it shows the development of the characters and the show, and it brings the feelings of one character to bear on the other, illuminating their relationship and the shifting spaces between them. And in these two stories, an added bonus is a spot-on feel for the dialogue and characters of the show. Shell Game , by Miriam Heddy
I wouldn't have thought one story could sum up the show and characters so perfectly, but here it is: Synergy , by Meredith Lynne
"...it feels like hunger."
Okay, this is one of the sexiest hooks in slashdom: the deep, near-obsessive love/lust for another character. If this is your kink, check out the following: Vaguely Gay , by Miriam Heddy
and.... Making it Real , by Emily Brunson
This is the "I think I might have the hots for you, I'm still exploring the idea and I'm kinda interested in what you think" hook. I love it; it's a good way to show tension and angst and to explore the frightening depths of one's feelings. Check out these stories: Hypothesis , by Emily Brunson Rest Assured , by Charlemagne Call of the Wild , by Helen
"Why are you in my bed, naked?"
Sex, (usually) beer, and indiscriminate horniness: the "Are you feeling me up?" hook. It's hot and sexy, and it's even more fuel for the angst-fest of morning afters. The Lost Boys , by Bone Getting Lucky , by Cori Lannam
And a slight variation on the above:
"Two men gettin' it on" or "Gay sex is hot"
Sex and men in their most unadulterated forms. This will do it for me if it's well-written and sexy, which Te's "Friday Night" most definitely is. Friday Night , by Te
As a bonus rec, here is some pre-slash yumminess. I like this passage because it makes me hurt for Danny. Sappy, but true. Kickoff , by Meredith Lynne
June 4, 2001
Argus, by Jintian X-Files, case file I may be biased, because I had the chance to read and comment on this story in its early stages. But I'm recommending it anyway, because I think this is a first-rate case file, very well-researched and detailed; great Mulder/Scully interaction, and a kick-ass Krycek. Jintian manages to make the events between Tithonus and Two Fathers make sense, and for that alone she deserves a medal. You know, the kind of medal CC doesn't even get to dream about, because he's never going to win it. ****
July 20, 2000
Graphology, by LizardChyck X-Files, Skinner pov, vignette I go back and forth on the Scully/Skinner pairing. Sometimes I see it, sometimes I don't. What's great about this vignette is that Lizard goes beyond the typical "romantic" feel of a pairing and explores the deeper character interactions underneath: their values and human fallibility. And she puts the reader right inside of Skinner's head.
Petaluma, by Jintian Li X-Files, Scully pov, vignette Jintian is one of the most powerful writers I've read. Her stuff is hard-hitting and almost achingly sharp.
And the Lights Go Out, by Jintian Li X-Files, Scully/Krycek, post-colonization Another one by Jinitian, longer and exquisitely written. Scully/Krycek is an unusual pair, but she pulls it off with spot-on characterizations. And sometimes I just want to roll around in Jintian's writing to savor it longer.
...And We Will Point the Gun, by Ashlea Ensro X-Files, post-colonization This is an older story, and not for the faint of heart, but I love the slashy subtext and deft handling of an apocalyptic-type post-colonization fic. ****
November 30, 2001
Theory of a Girl, by Jintian Li BtVS, Faith pov; Buffy/Faith implied I've been skirting Buffy fic, reading here and there, knowing that it's a dangerous bog waiting to suck me in. Not a smelly, peaty bog, but a nice, sort of homey one---which makes it all the more dangerous. I haven't consciously looked for Faith-centered fic, just because I find some of the other characters more interesting. But it was Jintian and so I read; and now I'm finding all sorts of interesting things about Faith. This is meaty story with plot as well as a rich emotional landscape; the view from Faith's head seems to me dead on. The writing is lovely, and Faith's voice comes through with just the right mix of rage, flippancy, and longing. As in her other work, Jintian moves the story along with a very natural storytelling ability--something I've always admired about her writing. Now I'm off to find more Faith fic.
Meetings, by Anna S. SG1, Daniel pov I haven't read much Stargate fic, and in truth I probably won't go looking for it; I've seen the show a few times, and while I don't think it's bad (and there are quite a few things I like about it) it hasn't grabbed me in the fic reading way. But whether or not you're a fan of the show, I highly recommend Anna's Stargate stories. I liked Meetings the best; Daniel, in Anna's hands, is one fascinating character. Another one by Anna is The Woods, an unfinished Sentinel story that has all sorts of characteristics about it I wouldn't normally read; but I'm very glad I read this one. The link will take you to Anna's main page; click on "Sentinel" on the left and each part will be listed at the top of the page. Your enjoyment is probably going to depend on your tolerance for unfinished stories. I was a little frustrated at the end, wanting that conclusion, but overall the richness of what's there outweighed my frustration. There's some really superb writing in The Woods, parts that made me just sit back and marvel, so give it a try.
Distal, by Debchan L.A. Confidential, Bud pov Here is a Bud who is immediately recognizable, and a future that seems uncannily plausible. It's a short story, like a hard fast punch to the gut. In a good way, that is.
Triptych, by Debchan Six Feet Under, Brenda/Billy/Nate Another one by Deb--I'm not usually one for threesomes, and I haven't even seen Six Feet Under, but I loved this. It's fairly short, but with such emotional depth to the characters that I felt like I had been reading about them for much longer. And I need to go watch this show. ****
August 9, 2001
Rising, by Te Highlander, Duncan/Methos Two recs in one: Te's Rising is a sequel to Kat Allison's The Parting Glass, and if you haven't read that, I highly recommend it. (an understatement, because The Parting Glass is one of my top five favorite stories on the net.) Te captures and sustains the mood of Kat's story, giving us a rather bleak vision of the future and how Duncan is living in it. Still, despite its grim scenario, I get the sense that Duncan is being tempered, drawing closer to Methos' experiences and perhaps even at some future date understanding him. In Rising we get glimpses of that progress (though Te might not agree with me that it's progress <g>), the necessary pain of accepting what is beyond his control, and the anger and resentment---and maybe at some points, serenity---of accepting his own weaknesses. Or maybe that's just me, and the vision the story inspires in me. Go read it, and let me know what you think <g>.
Winterlong, by torch
Gundam WingTo tell you the pairing would spoil it a bit, I think. torch calls this an indulgence; I'm very happy that she indulged. Wufei chops onions, Quatre cleans house, Heero and Relena play chess, and a cat is involved. I love pretty much everything about this story-vignette, so let's just roll the clip and I'll be quiet. ****
June 4, 2001
Wildly Dangerous Ways, by Speranza Due South, Fraser/Ray K. I feel a little silly recommending this; I don't read Due South fic, I've only seen one episode of Due South (though it was the first one with Ray K., and I liked it), and from what I hear, Due South fans are going to read it in any case, because it's Speranza. And after reading this story, I know why. So maybe this rec is for those non-Due South fans out there. Basically, I saw a link to it this morning, had a few free minutes and decided to check it out. I have no idea how much time passed--however much time it took me to read the story. I'm thinking about bugging friends for tapes. I'm thinking about reading more Due South fic (and to clarify: the reason I'm thinking about it rather than having already done it, is that I don't have time to get into another fandom! I don't!). But I am definitely glad I spent my morning reading this. ****
April 15, 2001Gundam Wing has been making me very happy. Torch's Gundam Wing stories have me walking around in a dream state, smiling at everything and looking like a loon (a happy loon). Combined with the advent of Spring in this part of the world, I am generally in an "all's right with the world" kind of mood. My favorites are Drift, The weather outside, and What it's like, but go to her Gundam Wing page and read them all.
I don't usually read crossovers, but there are some shows that demand to be crossed. Like Fight Club and Futurama. And X-Files and One Life to Live.
The Glee Club, by Debchan
Juarez, by Gemma Files
X-Files/One Life to Live
Alex Krycek/Todd Manning (for Te's Little Black Dress challenge)
I am going to steal Elizabeth's idea on her rec page and mention some non-fanfiction stuff I've been reading, though my choices tend to pale in comparative literary quality to hers. Because of a resurgence in my artistic side, I've been re-reading Ellen Raskin's The Tattooed Potato and Other Clues, which is a combination art manual/detective novel, with characters such as Dickory Dock and George Washington III. It's for kids, I suppose, though I've read it more often as an adult than when I was younger. Sadly though, I think it's out of print.
And because it's Spring and riding weather, I've also been re-reading W. Museler's Riding Logic, which was perhaps meant more as a reference guide but reads very nicely as a complete book. The author writes:
Riding is a thing of beauty
and can be made into an art form. All of us would like to be
considered artists, but the only ones who will achieve this
are those who try sincerely to enter into a horse's mind and
effect rapport with him by sympathy rather than brute
strength. Sympathy or feeling is not an unnatural science: we
can all develop it to a considerable degree. The aim in
dressage is complete harmony between rider and horse---quite
simply, beauty. Then the horse looks relaxed and at ease and
there is nothing in his rider's demeanour to show the efforts
he has had to make.
I think writing is very similar to this, in that writing, good writing, should look effortless and in balance with itself. The sheer work involved in writing a story completes itself in a kind of self-negation, like a brick wall in which the bricks and mortar are made invisible by the full appreciation of the thing itself (if one tends to appreciate brick walls, that is.) It's maybe a little depressing to think that all of that work goes into making a thing look easy, and maybe even more depressing to think it takes that much work for something to be at ease with itself, which is why I think we get academic books in which the author makes damn sure her work and effort is visible for the world to see, however unreadable it makes the text itself.
In checking for a link to it on Amazon, though, I see that it's out of print as well. Grrr.
Continuing the horsey theme, I just started reading Horse Heaven by Jane Smiley, who also wrote A Thousand Acres. My mother bought it for me on the recommendation of her friend the bookstore owner, even though she (my mother) didn't like A Thousand Acres. I haven't read A Thousand Acres, and I'm not far enough into Horse Heaven to know how much I like it. But I'm still reading it, which is a good sign. And the author begins with the stories of four two-year-olds, describing one as:
Well, he knows who he is! Yeah, he knows he's a son of a bitch, or, rather, the son of a son of a bitch! He's a big burly colt. The farrier doesn't like to trim him and no one else likes to do much with him, either.
So I think I will like this book.
In checking for a link to it on Amazon, I see that it is still in print, which makes sense since it was just published last year. And the editorial review contains this quote:
Horse love is one of those
things either you get or you don't, and for the vast majority
of the populace, horse stories tend to read like porn written
for 13-year-old girls.
Porn and perversity. I think I really will like this book.****
March 17, 2001
Reunion, by Bone
Get Real, John Dixon/Steven Carter
I read this while stuck in a cheap hotel outside of Philadelphia; near enough to the city so that it was congested and generally a pain to drive around, but not close enough to get out and wander Center City. Thank god for Pares' Rec-O-Rama, through which I found this story. It's sweet and lovely, and made me very happy.
Clouds and Lions, by torch
Gundam Wing, gen
Thanks to this story, I'm now hooked on Gundam Wing. It's wonderfully developed with a nice, slow pace--torch has such a natural intuition for these characters. Trowa-centered, with all of his subtleties and potential; lovely writing and a well-crafted plot arc. Superlatives pale <g>.
I haven't read X-Men fic in a while--my initial surge of interest seems to have worn off a bit. But these two stories have stuck with me. Lovely writing, subtle development--and slash! Well, the first one is slash. The second is Rogue-centered, with marvelous insights into her character.
Penumbra, by Elizabeth
The First and Last Places, by Nexus Meng
X-Men, Rogue, gen
All Who are Hungry, by Jane St Clair
West Wing, Josh/Sam
I'm on the fence with West Wing slash (and WW fanfic in general)--I can see it, I love the canon screen time, but I'm not quite there. This story brought me one step closer to that happy fic place <g>.
And for some LitSlash:
Handsome, by Gunbunny
The Dark Is Rising, Will/Bran
I've been meaning to rec this story for a while. It's short and sweet, but never sappy. It makes me want to purr.****
November 27, 2000
Multiple fandoms this time. I've recently been lured into Sentinel slash, just for the sheer number of stories posted and the excellence of the writers posting. This first one has been rec'ed everywhere, it seems, and for good reason. But it never hurts to mention a good story again <g>.
Nuance, by Livia and Resonant
The Sentinel, Jim/Blair
It's got plot, creative use of Jim's senses, fascinating original characters, lovely moments between Jim and Blair. And lots of other things, like good craftsmanship and interesting details. And the pacing is wonderful--usually there's at least one spot in every story's narrative that starts to bog it down (usually the point at which I stop reading for the night and go to bed). But I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning reading Nuance, my laptop disconnected from all its sundry attachments, curled up with it in bed unable to stop reading. At the same time, this is a story worth savoring.
Strains May Float, by Anna S.
The Sentinel, Jim/Blair
I'm fascinated by this story. It has everything that Anna is known for: gorgeous writing and thorough characterizations, fresh insights and relationships that reference deep, archetypal connections as well as being very "real." In addition, we get a surprisingly compassionate look at human failings and needs.
Achilles Heel, by Elizabeth
Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffy/Spike
Yes, this is the same Elizabeth who writes X-Men fic, and yes I'm rec'ing her again <g>. Write, and I will rec. This is a story that will satisfy all of your Buffy/Spike needs, and I gotta say that after the past few episodes, I've got a lot of them. I don't even usually read Buffy fic, but this story hits the tone of the show perfectly. Astoundingly perfect, it makes me green with jealousy.
LitSlash! My (not-so-new-anymore) favorite thing.
Red, by Jessica Harris
Anne Carson's The Autobiography of Red
Jessica has made something very exquisite here. Her style is so effective as to be invisible; tight, neat phrasing, a masterful use of language. You don't need to have read the book for this to have impact (or at least I don't think so). Still, I need to go read that book....
Servants With Torches, by Jane St Clair
Romeo and Juliet; Mercutio/Romeo
Shakespeare slash--what would be better? Well, this story, for one. Not only does it center on one of the most compelling characters in Shakespeare's plays (Mercutio), but it utilizes one of the most under-used appeals of the slash genre. Telling you what that is would ruin the story, however, and hey, it's just my opinion anyway <g>. This story hit a lot of buttons for me, not least of which is Jane's lovely writing.****
October 6, 2000
X-Men! Lots of X-Men. More specifically, a trio of Xavier/Magneto stories of a very unusual kind:
Torque, by Gemma
There are many things I like about this vignette; chief among them are excellent writing and a slightly unbalanced development that makes me think of layers operating on levels connected by rapid brushstrokes of words/thoughts/meanings. The story makes more sense than that, trust me :).
Clamor, by Molly
Rogue deals with the after-effects of absorbing both Logan and Magneto's life force. Good idea, good execution. Molly's got the voices down, reveals them through Rogue with skill and precision, and somehow balances the numerous character relations that are developed in the story.
In Dreams, by Elizabeth
This is a more developed story plot-wise but still maintains a vignette-like quality. I like Elizabeth's attention to details, her narrative style, and her excellent feel for the characters; all of these are amply demonstrated in this story.****
August 13, 2000
Well, I've seen the X-Men movie and am now rapidly devouring the fanfiction <g>. This one is a definite keeper. Safety in Numbers develops with balance and ease, skillfully revealing the deeply-ingrained need for human contact and touch through Rogue's particular characteristics. And Elizabeth captures the tone of Rogue's feelings for Logan with a natural and graceful writing style that leaves me in awe.
Animal Instincts, by The Brat Queen Fight Club, gen Hosted at the Fight Club Slash Archive I love the rhythm of Animal Instincts---it fits in with the movie so well. There's a kind of bemused wackiness to this story, an acknowledgment that however fucked up the world is, you still gotta love its little peculiarities.
Eliminate the Negative, by MonaR L.A. Confidential, White/Exley (slash) Hosted at the L.A. Confidential Slash and Adult Fanfic archive This rec is thanks to Rachel, who finally got me to read it. I'll admit that while watching the movie, I didn't see much slashiness between Bud White and Edmund Exley. Now I can only conclude that I was insane at the time. So this story is part of my conversion narrative---it made me sit up, figuratively hit my head and say "of course!" And I love the understated dynamic between these two. ****
July 29, 2000
Recently I've been reading Voyager slash (who knew?), and came across !Super Cat's Lair, thanks to torch's recs. Wow. Just go to the site and read everything, which includes fanfic from Voyager (C/P), Vampire Chronicles, and Anime/Manga. Her writing is edgy, sharp, and captures a realism so real it's almost mythic.
On the anime side of things...if you haven't already, go read torch's The best policy, a Here is Greenwood story. Click here for her updates page, which lists some links with information on the fandom. I know nothing about the fandom (except what I've read through her links), but torch has that ability to make me see characters I have no previous reference for. She did this for me in China as well; I've never seen Methos on screen, but she gave me an immediate sense of who the character was and why I should care about him.I have to recommend Sweetly and steadily by torch as well. It's an older story, but I read it only a few months ago and was completely taken by it. It's a version of Gawain and the Green Knight that is infinitely more satisfying than the original, which I love, while still firmly (in my mind) engaged with its universe.
For some Once a Thief slash, check out LeFey's So Inclined series. LeFey has an intuitive grasp of the transformations involved in Vic's identification from straight to gay, competitor to lover. Her dialogue is sharp and in-character, and makes me laugh. Best of all, her men are men.