thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
It's the last day of happiness! Not that I don't plan to be happy tomorrow, but I probably won't be posting about it. The meme is done.

Here's what I learned: man, I don't have time to post every day. If you posted this week, I almost certainly missed it, because it was all I could do to get these up and reply to a few comments. (I will honestly try to get to the rest very soon. But posting had to come first! Well, after the earthling, I mean.) I miss you folks! I miss your lives and wit and wisdom and random posts about cats! You're pretty much my entire social life that doesn't involve a charming but pre-verbal baby. In the future, I will cling to you much harder. There will be squeezing involved. Some of you may pop. Sorry.

But, on the other hand, this was tons of fun. I got to post things not in sets, things I couldn't fit in sets, sets that were too small or too weird or whatever. I posted things that were not polished and things that maybe made no sense, and I did not feel bad. And, most of all, I got to express my love for fandom, which makes me so very very happy.

I love you all! You bring me joy! And the eight days are up. Maybe next year I'll try for fourteen, but until then, I'm going back to once in a blue moon posting. But first: metafic.

The One That Hurts and Heals. And Notice I Did Not Type That "Heels." General Wrongness in the Hub, by [ profile] travels_in_time. Torchwood.

The sad part is that every single time I read this, I have this moment where I flinch away from the screen and try to remember why I bookmarked something that's so horribly, horribly - oh, right. It's metafic, and it's supposed to be that way! And then I return to reading a much happier person.

No. The really sad part is that I've seen every mistake in this story made so many times that I have some kind of post-grammatic stress syndrome going on in my head that makes me twitch convulsively each time I read this. Because, see, the author is not exaggerating at all here, and that's the true tragedy.

But also the source of the humor, of course. And it's awesome to be reminded that all these errors can be corrected! The universe can be saved!

Relatedly: hug your betas, people. And then hug other people's betas. They save us from so very much humiliation and agony.

The One Where We Learn That Fandom Has a Big Black Cock. I Can't Say I'm Totally Shocked. Making up Is Hard to Do, by [ profile] china_shop. Fandom/LJ.

Haven't we all, at one point or another, snapped, "Oh, suck my cock, LJ" at the computer screen? Or, if we haven't, maybe we should. I mean, I never knew I wanted to see Fandom topping LJ, but clearly -

Oh, god. There's no way to write this rec, because it goes well past the familiar if occasionally awkward fields of double entendre and all the way to the somewhat less familiar climes of meta-within-a-recommendation-of-a-meta-piece. There's too much meta on my screen right now! My fingers cannae take much more o' this, captain! (Trek fans: did I, uh, do that right? I'm not fluent in your in jokes, but I'm trying.)

Anyway. This is surprisingly hot, considering it's, you know, Fandom/LJ, and it's also surprisingly compelling - I care about the characters an awful lot, given that they are not exactly my usual sort. And it's totally appropriate to the time when it was written (two years ago). But I do wonder, when I read it now, how a story like this would look now. I am guessing Fandom would be negotiating a polyamorous relationship with LJ and IJ and her new sweetheart, DW. (But part of her would want to stay monogamous and cleave only unto LJ! And part of her would want to leave his skanky ass for good! She'd be torn, is my point. Poor, poor Fandom. Thank god for feeds.)

The One in Which Burton Guster Gets Outed. No, Not Like That. Worse. Gus Goes for the Gold Star, by [ profile] liviapenn. Psych.

It's a Yuletide story about Yuletide. It had to happen, and it's just totally brilliant that it happened with Burton Guster. (Side note: am I the only person who desperately wants to see a crossover between Leverage and Psych? I just think Hardison and Gus would like each other. Unless they got into a vicious argument over Horde v. Alliance, I mean. And although I don't know either fandom well, I sort of suspect that Parker is Shawn's kryptonite.)

Gus, in this story, out-nerds me with ease - I have no idea who Ben Sisko is. Also, of course, I've never won a gold star in Yuletide. (I try! I do! But there are extenuating circumstances. Yes, every single year. Yuletide is hard.) And he does it with such style. The man has special lucky writing socks. Maybe if I had special lucky writing socks, I too could get a gold star.

Or not. But Gus can. And I generally cringe at fandom-within-fan-fiction - it often just does not work all that well, and usually I prefer that the characters stay in their world and out of mine. But Gus just seems to fit right in with the Yuletide madness.

And he deserves a gold star, damn it.
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
I love alternate universes. Good ones, that is. I just got finished trying to read an original fiction author's hideous, horrible attempt to write an AU of her own (published) work, and it made me appreciate fandom even more than I usually do.

You people have a deft hand with the AU, and I love you for it. It's not just that I could count on virtually every author I love to get a supernormal powers AU (the kind the published author failed failed failed at) exactly right; it's that most of you have already gotten it right, and then graduated to things like random inanimate objects or apocalypses or everyone is one inch high and lives in the walls of a castle AUs.

So here I celebrate two of my very favorite kinds of AUs: the kind where someone is a robot, and the kind where they all have different jobs. Yay AUs! That are written by people who know how to write them!

The One with Baby Robots. Baaaaaaaby Robots. Why Is There Not a Community Dedicated to Pictures of Baaaaaaaby Robots? Muscle and Blood and Skin and Bones, by Leah, one half of [ profile] leahwoof. Stargate: Atlantis, mostly gen with background John Sheppard/Rodney McKay.

I have a well-documented, possibly unholy fondness for robots. Particularly for turning characters into robots. Not like the Buffybot, though. No. More just like - what if John Sheppard was really a robot? What if Rodney McKay was? (And, huh. I don't think I've seen any Rodney is a robot stories. Am I just forgetting some? He has a brain like a computer! What if it WAS a computer?) So, of course, I've already recommended Male Enhancement (The Soul and the Company Store Remix). And this story is a sequel to that one.

But, oh, it's so much more. Because this is the story of how John and Cameron grew from little bitty boxes with treads to be, you know, Real Boys. I love Lorne in this, I love the background of it, and I just insanely love the Johnbot and the Cambot. I actually re-read this story far more often than I re-read The Soul and the Company Store, because it makes my heart swell with happiness.

And, see, I never really wanted to see John Sheppard or Cameron Mitchell as human babies. But as robot babies, they are so insanely cute that I just cannot even deal with it. (Possibly this says something bad about me, that I find robot babies cuter than human babies. But I would submit, in my defense, that a) that's not true in all cases - I find the earthling indescribably cute - and b) I'm pretty sure John WAS a robot baby, so I'm just going with what nature intended.)

The One Featuring an Uther Pendragon Who Is Clearly Closely Related to Lionel Luthor, and, Wow, Isn't That a Terrifying Crossover Waiting to Happen? We're a Storm in Somebody Else's Teacup, by [ profile] paperclipbitch. Merlin, Merlin/Arthur Pendragon.

So, I know that all of Merlin fandom was asquee about this story, but I found it totally randomly. I saw the link from the Merlin newsletter while I was looking for stories to Kindle, clicked through, and saw this line:

Merlin meets Morgana Le Fay at a support group for People With Freaky Unnatural Powers.

And I thought, yeah, I'd like to read that.

This turned out to be one of my more fortunate snap decisions, because this is - I don't know how to describe it, even. It's utterly addicting - I read it on my Kindle while the earthling was nursing, and I found myself desperately hoping he would eat for just a few more minutes, because I had to know what happened next. (I think, if I'd been reading this as it was posted, the wait would have killed me.) I was entirely caught up! I cared immensely about these characters and their lives and their decisions and their hair and their coffee table books!

It was a total immersion story experience. I loved it.

This was one of the earliest stories I read in the fandom, and I'm just lucky that it didn't set my expectations so high that I spent the next month reading Merlin stories with an expression of spoiled disappointment on my face.

Anyway. This is a modern Merlin AU. (Side note: why do modern Merlin AUs so frequently feature a Merlin hitting the coffee so hard you expect his eyebrows to zing off his face? Is this canon or something? I mean, they have tomatoes. I guess they could have coffee. Although that's veering perilously close to, like, Post-It notes and Gaius as a first generation hacker with punch cards and - wait. Is there a Merlin hacker AU? If not, why not?) There are powers! There is drama! There are action sequences and love scenes! But that's all beside the point. The fact is, each sentence is laced with undetectable but extremely savory and instantly addictive glee. Read it.
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
The One with Magic Horseradish. Beat That, Harry Potter. Why Is This Night Different?, by Janni Lee Simner.

This one might only make people who have celebrated Passover happy, but as it so happens, I am one of those people! And we are talking about things that make me happy, so.

Okay. I sat through Seders as a small child waiting intently for the moment when we opened the door for Elijah. Beyond that, it was just a lot of Hebrew before we got to eat anything. (For reasons that turned out to be very good ones, no one went into much detail with me about, you know, the plagues of Egypt and so on. Why was this a good idea? Well, to give you some idea: I cried through The Prince of Egypt, and when I say "through," I mean that I started during the opening credits and kept on pretty much until the closing ones, traumatizing Best Beloved and astonishing the kids around us. At one point Best Beloved turned to me and whispered, "Why are you crying for Ramses? You do realize he's killing your people, right? You can't root for both sides!" But in fact I am perfectly capable of, if not rooting for, at least crying for both sides, even if one of the sides is, you know, pretty much intent on enslaving and killing me. This is why I don't like team sports or elections much.)

Anyway, my point is: to me a Seder is lots of talking before you get food, and the world's most terrible wine. (Is there some kind of religious requirement that Passover wine has to be bad? Someone must make good Passover wine, right?) So when I say this story brought new meaning to Seders for me, it doesn't exactly mean it rocked my religious world. It's just that most rituals would be a lot more meaningful if you added vampires, I think.

And I also love this because - look. I, too, read The Vampire Lestat as a wee proto-slasher, and I too loved it despite all its flaws because OMG LOUIS/LESTAT 4EVA SQUEEEEE, except I was much too snotty as a young teenager ever to type anything like that. (If I had been in internet fandom as a fourteen-year-old, I would have been the person starting wank about improper use of semicolons. As opposed to now, when I just kind of rant about it in my head. I have grown as a person and mellowed with age for sure.) But sometimes I want the other side of vampires, where they are not sexy, not deliciously homoerotic, not pretty pretty princesses with body glitter, but rather, you know, crazed undead killing machines who probably smell like old blood, which those of you who have smelled it will know is not a supersexy aroma likely to be heavily featured in the next BPAL set. And this story does indeed feature that kind of vampire.

So, overall, this story makes me happy twice. (And I think there's a Doors song about that. Anyone who sings it gets a fork to the ear.)

The One That Demonstrates That Power to the People Sometimes Just Results in Electrocution. Figuratively Speaking. Wikihistory, by Desmond Warzel.

For many months after reading this story, Best Beloved and I would be discussing some internet storm, and we would end up by saying one thing at pretty much the same time:

We're adults; can we keep sight of what's important around here?

And that line is why this story makes me happy. I mean, yes, it will certainly appeal to anyone who has spent any time reading Wikipedia talk pages, where you can meet people who have true and intense rage over pickled vegetable classification, who would, if they could just get their attendants to let them out, go and hurt people over their hideous bad wrongness with respect to pickled vegetables. (The sad part, actually, is that most of them are not locked up, and are probably perfectly kind and decent people who just, for some reason, lose their shit when pickled vegetables come on the scene.) And it will certainly make you deeply appreciate the various time agencies who have, in fiction, kept control of time travel out of the hands of the common person. (Okay, many of those agencies are various kinds of evil and oppressive and so on, but at least they aren't streaking at the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, which is absolutely the first thing that would happen if college students got hold of a time machine.)

But most of all, this story reminds me, every time I read it, that people are often Wrong on the Internet. And even when they aren't, they are very much inclined to obsess over minor side issues. (Of which I am guilty! Totally and completely guilty! I've definitely been Wrong on the Internet, too, but at least I'm sorry about that. I am proud of being obsessed with minor side issues, which makes me one of the internet crazies.) The last line of this story reminds me to bring it back to what really matters.

And to open a damn window, from time to time.
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
I love vids. Even more, I love the twisty minds that vidders have. Okay, first, they must watch, like, a lot of source. A lot. Whenever I consider what it takes to be a vidder, the very first thing that stuns me is - holy shit, these people have to watch stuff all the time. I myself do not have the necessary brain power to watch that much, so it's kind of stunning.

But it's the way they watch stuff that is so especially wonderful. Your average ordinary viewer might watch 45 minutes of a TV show and be like, "Well, the plot was pretty good, but I could have lived forever without that upskirt shot, and I really wish we could have seen more Peregrine and Tucker." (Note: names not from an actual fandom as far as I know.) Whereas I imagine a vidder watching those same 45 minutes and, at about 21:13, sitting bolt upright, groping feverishly for the remote control, and shrieking: "ORGASM FACE ORGASM FACE ORGASM FACE YESSSSSSSS!" Or, "Oh my god, the backgrounds look exactly the same, and the motel beds look exactly the same - I can cut that so they look like they're lying in the SAME BED even though they're in different rooms." Or, "Did she seriously just lean in, smile, and then TURN HER HEAD? The gods smile upon me."

Vidders, in short, must be experts at taking things out of context. It's their gift! (One of many, actually.) And because they also sometimes have, well, ever-so-slightly dirty minds, very often what they do with their out of context shots is - well. As follows. (Note that you don't need to know the fandoms for any of these vids. You just need to know what two hot guys do when they're alone.)

The One That Will Likely Someday Win a Prize for Best Ever Use of Unicorn Horns out of Context. Reach out and Touch Me, by [ profile] solanyxe. Merlin, Merlin/Arthur Pendragon. (And how.)

Sooooooo. I don't really know how to summarize this one. I mean, I could say, "Here we have Arthur setting his sights on Merlin, hunting him down like an exceptionally hot and tasty unicorn, and then fucking him into the ground." But that would be - hmmm. Accurate, actually.

And yet it all uses footage from a show that airs on regular television. Now, admittedly, it's British regular television, and probably they have mutant British-style rules. (Like, I don't know - maybe "It's totally acceptable to show two guys getting to third base in prime time if they're celebrating their country's victory in the World Cup." Could be anything, is my point. They're wild and crazy over there.) Still. I'm pretty sure that if they had actually shown footage of Merlin and Arthur having sex, someone would have told me. (And if that did happen and no one told me: really, people. I'm hurt.)

This vid, in short, is a masterpiece of taking shots that a number of people - actors, directors, editors, the guy who gets the coffee for any of the above - saw and thought were perfectly clean and PG-rated and suitable for showing to nuns and grandparents, and turning them into something you have to watch twice to be sure there's no actual penetration shown.

The One That Takes the Phrase "In My Pants" to a Whole New Level. One Where You Will Probably Hurt Yourself Laughing. Supernatural (In My Pants>, by [personal profile] deirdre_c. Supernatural, Dean Winchester/Sam Winchester (plus assorted inanimate objects and light breezes).

I have to wonder what the creative process was for this vid. I'm guessing it was, "You know, Sam and Dean make a lot of funny faces. I bet I could do something really evil with that." Where "really evil" means "likely to cause neighbors to call the police because of the prolonged hysterical laughter."

Because. Okay. We had to declare a moratorium on all Supernatural vids for about two weeks after Best Beloved and I watched this, because we'd be watching this very deep, moving exploration of Dean's anguish, and the camera would zoom in on his face and he would look tormented and then, inevitably, one of us would mutter, "in my pants." Or just hum a little. And then we'd both collapse into giggles. What I'm saying is, this vid destroyed my ability to take manpain seriously. I'm not sure if this means we should bottle [ profile] deirdre_c and sell her, or if it means we should lock her up for the good of fandom. Maybe both.

This vid also has one of the best builds I've experienced in recent memory. At first, I was like, "Oh, yeah, Sam/Dean, I get you, but what is with this song choice? I seriously do not get why...okay, I see why, but that doesn't explain - okay, it kind of does, but...[COLLAPSES LAUGHING]." I suspect that will be your experience, too.

The One Where the Cars Are a Metaphor, but Not a Very Subtle One. Mmm Papi, by [ profile] talitha78/[personal profile] talitha78. Whatever it is that we're calling The Fast and the Furious fandom these days, Brian O'Conner/Dom Toretto/a whole bunch of cars.

I admit it: I haven't seen Fast and Furious. I want to! I do! But I have an eleven-month-old earthling. The idea of getting two hours to watch a movie is far-fetched. The idea of going to a theater without the earthling and spending upwards of three hours there is - well. It's also entirely possible that sometime this month I might win a lottery, despite never buying a ticket. The odds are roughly the same.

But, nonetheless, I heard the squee - and suspiciously ecstatic moaning gasping noises - that shot around fandom when the movie came out. There were a lot of incoherent posts along the lines of, "I - I did not - did they seriously - OH MY GOD BEST MOVIE EVER!" I assume some day I will get to see why.

Except I already kind of have. Because, for one thing, I've seen the first movie, which should have been titled, The Fast and the Furious: It Makes Perfect Sense Provided You Assume They're Fucking. (I'm guessing the fourth one is secretly called Fast and Furious: Now Even We, the Filmmakers, Have to Assume They're Fucking.) For another - well. I've seen this vid.

I admit that Talitha78 didn't have to take things very far out of the context for this one, since 40% of the first movie consists of longing stares between Dom and Brian, and a further 20% consists of very loosely disguised metaphors for sex between Dom and Brian. (I can only hope the fourth one measures up.) But. Still. This vid takes the essence of the movies (Dom and Brian: so in love and so totally doing it) and makes them reality.

Plus, there is a sequence that makes it very clear that the whole thing with the cars is not so much repressed homoeroticism as it is a chance to do some explicit man-on-man action without the MPAA getting all het up.
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
The One with Elf-on-Elf Combat. Oh, Don't Look at Me Like That. Like You've Never Wanted to See Elves Whale on Each Other.* The Crown of the Summer Court, by [ profile] astolat/[personal profile] astolat. Merlin, Merlin/Arthur Pendragon.

There was a period of about a week after I read this story that I spent seriously considering that maybe I was just done with Merlin. It seemed like this story had fulfilled my every wish and desire, and I didn't need any more stories in the fandom; I was replete.

I got over that. Of course. I mean, for one thing, I haven't even found an Inappropriate Centaur story in Merlin - I can't possibly be done. (And, also, I'm not done with the characters; there's that, too. It's just - until you've found a few Inappropriate Centaurs, you really don't feel you've come to grips with the fandom. And by "you," I mean me.)

But this story is just that awesome. I have been secretly wanting fairy and elf AUs for quite some time (and this despite the fact that at least 98% of urban fantasy novels make me want to stab the author with a knife inscribed with celtic symbols; as with MPreg and woke-up-animal stories, elves and fairies seem to be one of those things that should really remain in the hands of fans). I'm sorry! It's just this urge I get sometimes. I want someone to put on something sparkly and wave a wand around.

And Merlin - well, come on. It's halfway there already - I mean, sharpen a few ears, add some magic competence, you've got it. But - the magic! The tests! ARTHUR QUEEN OF THE FAIRIES OMG! I just cannot even express my love for this story enough in words. (Where is the Squee Font? That, like, contains only hearts and flowers and sparkles and exclamation points? It would make my recs sets so much easier to write. Harder to read, possibly, and likely to give people Twilight flashbacks, but easier. When will font-makers meet my needs?)


* I should perhaps explain that I spent a lot of time playing AD&D in my youth. The Cult of Elf got incredibly annoying. Ninety percent of new players wanted to play an elf. If they wanted to play a high elf, you knew they'd maybe eventually grow into real actual roleplayers if you could resist hitting them with a Player's Handbook. If they wanted to be a dark elf, you knew you were going to be trying to get the chaotic neutral character to kill their characters by the third game.
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
The Ones That Suggests Some Plots I Never, Ever Want to Read. And Some I'm Delighted I Already Have. Found and Searching, by [personal profile] linabean.

Know this: I love storyfinders communities. I love them unashamedly, unabashedly, unironically. One of the first things I do in a new fandom is hunt down the local storyfinders. Yes, there are some risks inherent in this - every tenth post on one of these communities is absolutely horrifying, and every fortieth makes me recoil from the screen, cover my ears, rock in my desk chair, and weep silently for my people.

And yet. And yet. The other entries are educational! Every time someone posts, I learn what people consider the money shot of any story. (Hint, anyone out there who is searching for either the story that starts with a spanking that John gets because of Rodney or the one where they find all the extra control chairs called cathedrae: it's Indelible, it's by Shaenie, and there's about a million words of awesomeness and plot between those two apparently very memorable points. Enjoy!) I also learn that there are many kinds of people in my fandoms, and some of them are very different from me. Some of them even seem to speak an entirely different language than any of those ever spoken on the planet earth. (This means I am sharing my fandom with aliens! I am always delighted by that news. Hi, aliens! Hi hi hi hi hi!) But most of all, I just love seeing what people look for. Sometimes I get links to stories I've read and loved and need to put on my Kindle. Sometimes I get links to great stories I somehow missed. And sometimes I get links to stories that are so mind-bogglingly horrible that I have to tell myself the person was just searching for it because she was trying to deal with a very serious story-induced trauma head-on.

But, as much as I love storyfinders communities, I love these poems even more. They capture everything that's fabulous about the communities. (The desperate tone! The pleas for help! The one where McKay is turned into a puppy with many exclamation points, like this: !!!) And they also capture an awful lot of the essence of SGA fandom. And then they create something entirely new, all in themselves - I mean, these are really awesome poems.

I smile helplessly every time I read these. And then I giggle a lot. And then I want to cuddle fandom to me. And then I want to slap it in the face. These poems bring me many feelings, is my point. But the dominant one is happiness. Pure, unadulterated joy that there could be something so awesome that storyfinders communities are only one small part of it, and that someone could take a segment of that awesomeness and distill it and purify it and make it even better.

Fandom, I big pink line you. Totally.
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
A long time ago, I was in a creative writing class with a person named Kelly. (And, seriously, why isn't there some service for finding fangirls if you only have their RL names? If she's not in fandom, she should be. And if you're reading this and you're named Kelly and you're a librarian and you once took a poetry class from a professor named Pat, I want to talk to you.) She wrote a poem about wishing she could send a videotape (See? A loooooong time ago.) back to a younger version of herself. I thought about that a lot. I still do.

And in these two stories, it actually HAPPENS. Sort of. In both cases, a reset (or Retcon) button gets pushed, and younger versions of Ianto and Rodney get inserted into the lives of current Ianto and Rodney. I cannot tell you how much I love this. I want this to happen to everyone. (Okay, not everyone. In Teal'c's case, lots of people would die, because younger-Teal'c would likely not be behind this whole killing-the-gods thing. And some people are so young already that it would be more like a de-ageing story - Clark, Merlin, I'm looking at you. But Depot-era Benton Fraser, oh my god. Ronon Dex before he was a runner. Jim Ellison before he joined the military!)

So, on to the specific stories.

The One That Demonstrates Why People Should Not Plan Like Action Heroes Unless They Happen to Be in an Action Movie. (If You're Not Sure, Assume You Are Not in an Action Movie.) Rewind, Reboot, Restore, by Rheanna, aka [ profile] rheanna27 and [personal profile] rheanna. Stargate: Atlantis, Rodney McKay/John Sheppard.

This story - well. If I had to pick just one character who got to see his new life as his old self, it would have to be Rodney. Because - okay. I used to complain that the Gateverse canon writers did not exactly get this novel concept we call "character development," but in Rodney, they totally prove that they do get it (they just mostly don't like it, and try to avoid it when they can, sort of the way some people are with cilantro). Rodney of pre-Atlantis really is a very different person than the Rodney we know and love, and that makes for quality drama when the two Rodneys meet. And in Rheanna's hands, it is quality indeed. If I had imagined how this might work, well, I don't think I could have imagined anything as wonderful as this.

Also, this story has one of Those Lines. The ones that stay with you and define the story for you, and that you think of often. (I cannot be the only one who has these. I refuse to believe it.) I am not sure if I should include it or not, so here it is, behind the cut:

Spoiler line. Do not cross unless you just like that sort of thing. )

For one thing: hurray, a use of "literally" that actually means literally, and if you don't think that's something to celebrate, I would like to live where you do, please.

But more - that line is the story. Except the story is so very much more. And if I listed all the things I love about this, I would spoil every last plot development, so instead, how about you just read it?

The One That Proves That If You Spend a Lot of Time near Jack Harkness, You Should Plan Like an Action Hero. It Might Be Fun, and It's Not Like You Could Make Your Odds Worse Than They Already Are. The Theory of Two Centres, by [personal profile] sam_storyteller. Torchwood, Jack Harkness/Ianto Jones.

This one fascinated me. See, I have never seen Torchwood, and I don't read huge amounts in the fandom (although that is changing, especially since people keep writing nice long stories for me to put on my Kindle, and TW folks, I will totally take any recs you might have for those), so I really don't know much about Ianto. I know he wears suits. I know the entire fandom seems riveted by him. I know he's the guy who did right by Jack after the Master knocked him up. (Okay, maybe that isn't canon, but it should be.) Beyond that - well, I have a seriously hard time telling the Torchwood people apart, and they seem, from the posts I see on my friends list, to spend most of their time having massive team orgies, so it's not like there's been a pressing need in my life to know who's who.

In this story, though, Ianto is awesome. He seems kind of like Giles, except a) he went through his transformation from Ripper to the Librarian with the Core of Steel in four years instead of twenty, and b) it's not magic and demons, it's the Rift (and excuse me if I have some difficulty telling the difference sometimes). I - I have a weakness for characters who had wild youths and grew up to be staid individuals, for reasons that might be apparent to those who know me pretty well, and this makes me like Ianto so much. I just really admire those who, sure, they could have the sex and drugs and rock 'n' roll and dangerous leather outfits, but they'd rather have this spreadsheet. After all, it's an awesome spreadsheet.

So I love that, and I love the point of view factor here. (Rewind, Reboot, Restore is from the loved one's point of view, and Theory of Two Centres is from the actual rewound person's point of view, and it is fascinating to me the difference that makes in the tone of the story.)

And, most of all, I love that this story gave me the chance to get to know both younger-Ianto and, by the reactions of people around him, canon-Ianto. For people who don't actually know the canon, this story really cannot be beat. And that is very happiness inducing for me.
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
As I remind myself endlessly when really cool memes are going around: I don't do memes. Except it occurred to me, when the eight days of happiness meme was going around, that I could in fact do that one. Because fandom brings me happiness! I can talk about one aspect of fandom that makes me happy, and provide a rec or two as an example, and I would be doing a meme. I formulated this plan as soon as I saw the meme and waited patiently for someone to tag me.

And then I remembered that a) most of my friends know I don't do memes, so they weren't going to tag me and b) even if they did, there was a good chance I wouldn't see it, because what with replying to comments and parenting the increasingly mobile and active earthling, I've been sort of sporadic on the friends list reading lately. So I decided to tag myself. Novel concept, yes, but I was not about to let a meme I could do pass me by.

So here I go. Eight days of fannish things that bring me happiness, part one: fanart.

The One with the Doughnut. This Is Where We'll End It, by [ profile] zoetrope. Due South, Benton Fraser/Ray Kowalski.

This is the work that got me looking at fanart. Because, okay. I had been traumatized by some fanart in the past. (Before I was in fandom, I was on a message board that spent some time making fun of fandom, and while I didn't get into that, it did mean horrific fanart was passed around very gleefully on that board. I had seen the kind of photomanips that make your eyeballs peel. Plus, three words: pregnant elf Blair.) I thought fanart was all the sort of thing that would keep you up at nights thinking of Legolas's horrible twisted neck pasted onto what was, quite clearly, the body of a weightlifter who had a lifetime membership in a tanning salon. (Once, I swear I saw Aragorn's head on Arnold Schwarzenegger's body. The very thought still wakes me up in a cold sweat some nights.)

And, also, I am not a graphics person. I am a word person. And so I just assumed that even if there was good fanart out there - well, there is also good beer out there. Doesn't mean I want to drink it. (I am sorry,
[personal profile] norah. I am hoping you will love me anyway.)

But then - this. Which is a comic book, which I totally get, except it's about Fraser and Ray instead of homoerotic guys in tights manifesting their daddy issues. (Which is not to say that this is not homoerotic. No. Nor is it intended to suggest I have issues with guys in tights. Far from. But who knew comic books could also feature Mounties and cops with experimental hair? Not me! ...And now, of course, I am wondering where all the superhero AUs are in dS. People, please point me to the large number of dS superhero AUs I have tragically missed.)

So here we have a story. And some wonderful art. And the reason I started clicking on links to fanart. All this time later, This Is Where We'll End It can still make me happy - not just because of the story, but because this is where some love began, you know?

Plus, it's pretty. I think that's a definite bonus when it comes to fanart.

(And also, of course, there is Diefenbaker's OTP. That is one of my favorite comic book panels of all TIME. There could be an actual, canon comic book panel with Batman blowing Superman in midair, and I'd be all, "...Well, that's pretty good. But the Dief panel is better!")

The One with the Best Fictional Dog in the Universe. Lirael and the Disreputable Dog, by [ profile] pentapus. Garth Nix's Old Kingdom series.

And just as we started with the piece of art I fell in love with first, here's the piece of art I fell in love with most recently.

Unsurprisingly, both these works involve dogs. (I'm so much more likely to understand art if dogs are present. I really would have gotten more from Art Appreciation, also known as Art for Philistines and Science Majors, both of which I happened to be, if Van Gogh and Rubens and Picasso had included more dogs in their paintings. (And also if we hadn't had the really weird art professor teach two weeks, including one full class of a guy being crucified on a Volkswagen - seriously, folks, if you ever have to bring the art love to people who think real and brilliant art is the periodic table, don't bring up people nailing themselves to cars. Especially not at 9:30 in the morning, oh my god. I was eating breakfast and suddenly a crazy dude was bleeding on his sunroof.)

See, I have such love for the Disreputable Dog - she is quite honestly one of my favorite characters in all of literature. And this is HER. (Plus Lirael, who I also quite like. It's not her fault that she's overshadowed by the Most Awesome Creature of All Time.) I would kill - maybe only a plant, but still, death would be involved - for an icon of the Dog. Because she is the definition of love.

And all of you people who have no idea who I'm talking about - SHAME ON YOU for not having already read Garth Nix's Old Kingdom series. Strong female characters! Strong female dog characters! The Library of the Clayr, which is up there in the top five of my favorite fictional libraries! And zombies, for you sickos who like that kind of thing. Really. Read these books.

And then come back and look at this picture for a while. Your heart will swell with happiness.


thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
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