thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
The One That Will Give You Flashbacks to the 1980s, Even If You Didn't Live Through Them. Kings of the Air, by [livejournal.com profile] fabularasa. Top Gun, Iceman/Maverick.

Okay. So. Two years ago, for reasons that do not need exploring at this juncture, I re-watched Top Gun. I had not seen that movie in a long, long time. It, um, looked a lot different the second time around. (This resulted, by the way, in a never-posted Top Gun recap that would probably have broken the LJ post character limit, and 30% of those characters were along the lines of "RANDOM GAY VOLLEYBALL PORN OH MY GOD ARE THEY FUCKING KIDDING?")

Anyway. My point is: this is the story for that movie. This is what they were working towards the whole movie, even if they didn't know it (although, Jesus - how could they NOT know, given all that random gay porn?). This is the only story you need to read for this fandom. Although I myself would not mind several thousand more stories exploring the really gay, not really subtext of Top Gun, but my point is: if we never get them, that's fine; we can still file this fandom in the box marked "done," thanks to this story alone.

This is also a story you can totally read if you've never seen the movie. I will provide you with a summary, in case you need it. Spoilers, obviously.

Maverick: Hi, I am a Navy pilot, and I am just totally awesome. People cannot even get over how awesome I am. I sure can't get over it, because I am such hot shit my ass routinely catches on fire. Hey, would you like my autograph? Yeah, that'll be fifty bucks.
Goose: I am Maverick's gunner or wingman or something, and he's, yeah, fairly awesome. I am a nice guy who has a lovely wife and adorable small children. This is usually a terminal condition in an action movie. Just, you know. FYI.
Iceman: I am also a pilot. And, Maverick, sometimes when your ass is on fire, it's because someone is beating it. That person would be me.
Charlie: I am the token girl. I have a Ph.D. and a desire to fuck one of my students! And, mmmm, I love the taste of arrogance in the morning. Now, who shall I pick?

[Painful singing interlude.]

Charlie: I choose you, Pikachu! I mean, Maverick!
Maverick: Yay. And yet - Iceman - I must - um, engage in conflict with him. Yes. Conflict.
Iceman: You're not hot enough or good enough to engage with me, boyo. Just stand there and let me stare at you.

[Random gay volleyball porn.]

Iceman: Maverick, you piss me off so much that I need to punch you just so I can feel my skin against yours.
Maverick: YES, BABY, YES. Fuck - I mean punch - me harder.
Goose: *dies*

[WOE.]

Iceman: I win the competition we were having to be the best Navy pilot in all the land!
Maverick: PUNCH ME HARDER. I mean. Um. Yeah, you win. But I have Become a Man! In all senses of the word! Oh, god, YES.
Charlie: ...Wasn't I supposed to be the love interest?
Goose: *remains dead*

The One That Teaches Us That Brain Parasites Can Be an Effective Therapy. (Don't Try This in the Real World, Though.) Tongues of Men and Angels, by [livejournal.com profile] mad_maudlin. Stargate: Atlantis, John Sheppard/Rodney McKay.

Okay. I have - a thing. The Goa'uld make me want to CLAW MY SKIN OFF. Just, you know, preemptively. In case they turn out to be real. And yet. This story, for me, is alllll about a relationship, and it's not the McKay/Sheppard one. (Not that I am not bang alongside the McKay/Sheppard one, of course. I enjoy it! I am pleased it is here! But it is not the centerpiece of the story for me.)

Because this is a non-Atlantis AU, and there are Tok'ra in it, and this, for me, is about what being a Tok'ra is like. It's about the relationship between Tok'ra and host, and it's the first story I've ever read that made me believe the Tok'ra might be more than just Goa'uld with slightly (slightly!) better press. I actually like the Tok'ra, as they are portrayed here. Okay. A few of them. But that is a huge thing for someone who is as mind-controlling-parasite averse as I am!

But this story is 60k words of gateversey goodness, so it is also a fantastic action piece, and it has great hurt/comfort, and some very nice bits for SG1, and engineering, and sarcasm, and, just, everything I want from an SGA story (except Go-playing ghosts and John and Rodney turned into seahorses who are disturbed to discover that MPreg is their new canon, because no SGA story can be absolutely everything). In fact, this story probably also makes perfect toast and can bring rain to parched lands. It's that good, people.

And it's amazing to me, because it's a happy ending for John and Rodney that doesn't involve Atlantis, and the thing is - I always kind of assumed that there wasn't a happy ending for them that didn't involve Atlantis, largely because, well, it seemed like they had had that relationship conversation with earth. You know, the one that goes, "It's not you, it's me. It's just - we don't feel the same way, and we want different things, and - yeah. I mean. I care. I do. But it's not working out." (In Rodney's case, he'd be the one saying this. In John's case, it'd be earth.) So I am frankly stunned that [livejournal.com profile] mad_maudlin could use the guys as, you know, roughly the same people (and not seahorses or circus performers or satellites or whatever) and find them a happy ending that does not involve a certain imaginary flying city.

Anyway. Read this. It's awesome.

The One with the Most Nearly-Literal Slave Collar I've Yet Seen That Is Canonical. Did the Canon Writers Notice This? Were They Paying Attention? Figure It Out, by [livejournal.com profile] lightgetsin. White Collar, Elizabeth Burke/Peter Burke/Neal Caffrey.

Okay. I do not know from White Collar. I'm at that stage where I have to check IMDb to find out what the full names of the characters are. Usually, at this stage, I have about a one-sentence summary of the fandom in my head, but in this case, I don't. Instead, I have a picture. Which I am unfortunately unable to show you, because I can't get into LJ Scrapbook for some reason Which I can totally show you, thanks to [livejournal.com profile] tzikeh. (It shows Neal handcuffed to Peter, who is kissing Elizabeth.) And, really, that says it all. Or at least all the parts I'm interested in.

Anyway. Like I said, I don't know from White Collar, but based on this story, if the DVDs were available, I would totally have Best Beloved watching it already. I might even be watching an episode myself (although that is unlikely, what with my current Kirk and Spock issues - but the very fact that I, deep in this weird TOSian fever, am willing to consider watching something else is significant). Because the characters are awesome, the concept is deeply appealing, and the dialog is first rate. In the story, I mean. My primary concern, if I had Best Beloved watch this, would be that the canon might not measure up to the fan fiction. This has happened before.

But, oh, it would almost be worth it, to know these three people better. Plus, you know, other people. I am sure there are other people in the show worth knowing. Probably.

So, this story - well. It is about Neal (conman!) and Peter (conman-catcher!) and Elizabeth (person who catches the conman-catcher!) and their really pure true love. But what I mostly love about it are the central questions it seems to ask, which is - how do you trust someone whose whole life has been built around making people trust him even though he's not, you know, actually trustworthy? How do you love someone whose job it is to make people love him? (And I would just like to note that it is awesome that for once the person whose job it is to make people love him is not a prostitute.) And exactly what happens when what is holding you together goes away?

(SECRET HINT: Sex! And PURE TRUE LOVE. And, knowing these three, someone (Neal) getting tied to something. But that's just my guess.)

The One Where We Learn That Even Logic Crumbles in the Face of a Really Short Skirt. Listening to Hear Where You Are, by [livejournal.com profile] frostfire_17. Star Trek Reboot, Jim Kirk/Spock/Nyota Uhura.

Sooooo. As some of you may be aware, I have recently had my brain taken over by Star Trek: TOS. And Reboot. Anything with a Spock, basically. (This is a painful process, but I am told that eventually I may regain the ability to speak in complete sentences, so I am trying to be strong. And you should all give Best Beloved massive, massive love for standing by me through it.) And, see, my TOS obsession makes this story even better (although I'm going to be honest here and say a) it did not need to be made even better and b) Frostfire may be liable for various damages to readers' brains for the stunning level of betterness in this story even without TOS as a point of reference), because now I have seen the women's uniforms that are the centerpiece of this, and, well.

Look at some of the images Frost linked to in her notes.

Okay. Now picture that outfit on Reboot Kirk. (In a fetching shade of gold, naturally). Yeah, I thought that would get your attention. Because, let's be honest here - Kirk was born to wear that dress. And Spock and Uhura were born to fuck him senseless in it.

Seriously, this is like 8k words of fantastic threesome porn, which is all by itself a reason to love the story, but what I really love, here, is how in character everyone is. This is an awesome Uhura, an awesome Spock, and a Jim Kirk in a dress. (Which is, obviously, the definition of awesome.)

And it's also an awesome use of a costume that actually made my jaw drop the first time I saw it in action, because holy shit that is a short dress. (Usually the argument against skirts on people in space is that if there's an artificial gravity failure, the wearer will end up with a skirt in the face. Let's just say that is not a problem here, since in the event of a gravity failure, this skirt will look exactly the same.) This story made me love the uniform a lot more than I previously did.

Also, did I mention the threesome porn?

The One to Read to Remind Yourself It Could Always Be Worse: You Could Be Spending the Holiday of Your Choice with the U.S. Congress. Die Hard 4.5: I'll Be Hard for Christmas, by Aja, aka [livejournal.com profile] bookshop (thanks to multiple people!). Live Free or Die Hard, Matt Farrell/John McClane.

I'm going to just pause for a minute so you can let the awesomeness of the title wash over you. Pause - pause - pause. Are you ready? Let's move on.

So, I think the title alone is sufficient reason to convince anyone, including people who haven't seen the movie (me!) and people who sometimes fantasize about punching Bruce Willis in the teeth (hardly me at all, anymore), to read this story, but I have more reasons even than that.

Like, okay, obviously I haven't seen the movie, but I always think the aftermath of action movies would be so much more interesting than the part where our hero blows something up and our villain meets his graphic end, often more than once. What happens when our hero stands up in the wreckage of a major American city, tosses aside his rebar, and goes back to work the next day? (Or, okay, six to eight weeks later, to allow for healing.) And that's what this story is about.

I also have to note that this story has the most wonderful original character ever. (At least, I'm assuming he's original. If he's a stealth crossover from somewhere, please god tell me where.) I don't know when I last met a character who could pack so much world-weary, cynical snark into a single sentence. Every bit of this story that he's in is awesome, and I would totally read a large number of stories in the Amit Sasses Washington fandom, or whatever it would be called.

Plus, you know, there's a whole thing where Matt and John find love in the midst of briefings and Congressional meetings, which has to be a first. (At least, it's a first in that no one was prosecuted or lost a major election afterwards.)

And there's a fivethirtyeight.com reference. Seriously, there's something here for every fan, except possibly those who hate happiness and good sex.
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
The One in Which We Learn That You Can't Give the Dead Too Much Artistic License. Especially If the Dead Person's Name Is Bob Fraser. Pornography, by [personal profile] china_shop. Due South, Benton Fraser/Ray Kowalski.

Benton Fraser has porn. I just want to repeat that, because I think it's a brilliant concept that deserves far more attention than it is currently getting: Benton Fraser has porn. Yes, this story is just as good as it sounds like it must be.

But there is a down side to it, and it is this: after reading it, I could not stop imagining the porn collections of other fannish favorites. Rodney McKay likely has roughly a terabyte of porn, but really only uses three short clips and one still photo. He's just completist. Jim Kirk (Reboot) also has the terabyte of porn, but he's actually working his way through it - he jerks off to something new every time. It's all hot if you look at it the right way, you know? Batman's porn does not bear contemplation and is certainly not something I would ever want to see, so I am pleased and comforted to know that it is hidden somewhere no one will ever find it, and also it is designed to self-destruct if anyone besides Batman touches it. Clark Kent likes the underwear catalogs. He's never been able to bring himself to get turned on by anything more explicit; he's always afraid his mother will walk in. (Lex Luthor's porn, it goes without saying, is his extensive Clark Kent memorabilia collection.) Methos's porn is called his memory. Jack Harkness's porn is called everything in the world, because everything is hot. How can you put a plug in an outlet and not get turned on? And laundry! All those dirty clothes, shirts and pants and trousers all touching, writhing together: clearly the hottest thing ever.

Anyway. Obviously, if Fraser has porn, Kowalski has an interest. (And Thatcher has an issue. Turnbull has an issue, too, but it's with a faulty oven; I'm not entirely sure I want to contemplate Turnbull and porn. It's either going to be men dressed up like the Queen or - you know what, seriously, let's not go there.)

The One in Which We Learn That All Vulcans, Male and Female, Can Breastfeed, Which Is an Innovation I Support So Completely I Am Prepared to Do Illegal Genetic Experimentation to Make It Happen. A Beginner's Guide to Vulcan Sexual Practice, by [personal profile] thingswithwings. Star Trek Reboot, Jim Kirk/Spock.

There's a whole history of how this story came to be, but I'm not going to go into it here, because you don't really need to know it. You just need to know that this story is one of the more awesome explorations of kink I have ever read. The message I take away from it is: there's nothing either kinky or vanilla, but thinking makes it so. And when Jim Kirk (Reboot) is doing the thinking, you know it's going to come out (hee!) kinky, even if he has to oppose millennia of Vulcan culture to do it.

And can I just say that I love the idea of writing endless commentaries on commentaries on a list of Things Good Vulcans Don't Do? That's the concept here, and it made me want to take it to the logical conclusion, and imagine the lecture, um, circles (pits?) on Vulcan, with horrified thirteen-year-olds who are already traumatized from learning about Pon Farr being forced to present papers on and debate about things like the No Breathplay rule.

That's actually probably where the rumor that Vulcans only do it once every seven years comes from. It has nothing to do with Pon Farr, it's just, it takes the first fifty years or so of their mature lives to get over the trauma of having had to learn all the sex rules. (Because I've been watching TOS, and it's obvious to me that Spock has sex more often than One Upon a Pon Farr. He's married to Kirk! Kirk likes the sex! QED! And, no, I won't listen to counterarguments: the crazy shippiness knows no logic.)

The One in Which Morgana Punches Arthur. I Suggest Re-Reading That Part a Lot. It Never Fails to Cheer Me Up. Reciprocation, by [personal profile] astolat. Merlin, Arthur Pendragon/Merlin. (Okay, it just occurred to me - I can think of three major pairings involving a character with a single name: Kirk/Spock, Duncan/Methos, Arthur/Merlin. What's the fourth? It'd make a great recs set.)

I can tell you what I love about this story in one sentence: Arthur Pendragon is totally clueless. I mean, how could he not be? He is exactly the kind of guy who goes through life assuming that he is Just That Awesome, and yet he's decent enough to be horrified when he realizes there is a small (very small, of course, because he's Arthur Pendragon, who is, by definition, awesome) possibility he is not awesome enough.

(This is a rare intersection - stunned by own awesome x still a reasonably decent human being - and I'm not sure I can think of another character in fandom who lives there. Hell, I can only think of one person I've known in real life who does, although, sadly, I can think of many, many people who lived on just the first street. In my teen years, I slept with basically all of them, so it makes me especially happy to see one getting, you know, schooled, even in fiction.)

And Merlin - he is a reasonably decent human being who gets laid a lot, which is as he should be.

The funny thing, of course, is that Merlin could totally be Arthur times a million, because instead of princeliness, he has magic, and in other fandoms, he'd be all strutting around magicking people into worshipping his cock or whatever. (Deny it. He'd be like Jack Harkness with a magic wand - or, as I am sure Captain Harkness would insist I put it, Jack Harkness with a second magic wand.) ...And now I kind of want to read that AU, BUT. Let me soldier on with this rec.

This story is awesome, and it features these characters pretty much exactly as they are in my head, and also Merlin educating Arthur will never be less than totally appealing. Read now.

The One in Which We Learn That Draco Malfoy Is a Far Better Housekeeper than I Am. I Know. I May Not Recover from the Shame. Theft of Assets, Destruction of Property, by [personal profile] helenish. Harry Potter, Neville Longbottom/Draco Malfoy.

You know all those charts that show the various phases of the menstrual cycle with, like, drawings of the corpus luteum and stuff? That are so traumatizing when you're twelve? They should be labeled like this:
  • Ow, My Side Hurts (part of one day)1
  • Extremely Productive (eight days)
  • Days of Angst and Irritation (three days)
  • ALL THE CHOCOLATE IN THE WORLD (roughly four days)
  • For God's Sake, Let's Not Do That Again (one week)
  • Voluntary Total Amnesia about All This Crap (one week)
  • Ow, My Side Hurts (part of one day)
And so on. If they'd only posted that chart in health class, I guarantee you I would have written it in my notes, rather than the song lyrics I chose to immortalize. (I bet they were something about standing in the rain. Because of pain. I was predictable that way.)

Anyway. I try hard to save [personal profile] helenish's stories for my Days of Angst and Irritation, because they so perfectly match what I crave at that point. Things start off badly! There is miscommunication! Hurtful things are said! And then everything gets cleared up and there is True Love Forever! And all of this is wrapped in a layer of awesome so thick you want to eat it with a spoon.

But this story - this story is even better than that, because it features Draco forced to marry Neville for deflowering him, which is one of those concepts that shouldn't work at all (or be a total farce), but here it so, so works, and somehow it is just the crunchy awesome center of the awesome candy. Seriously. Read this. Especially if you're in the Days of Angst and Irritation. (I am not admitting anything in a manner admissible in a court of law here, I am just saying: I read this at exactly the right time, and there might have been tears. Possibly of joy, possibly of profound feeling. Who can say? But if there were tears, they were entirely justified, is my point.)

-Footnote-

1 Yes, I know that traditionally the first day of the cycle is the first day of your period. Of course I know that; how do you think I got the earthling? But I have considered Ow, My Side Hurts to be the start of it all since the day in my high school drama class when Mari announced she was ovulating, and all the guys reacted like she was giving birth to a tiger, and I learned that my mother had not lied: menstruation really was powerful and magical. Just, she failed to mention the magical power in question was to make boys writhe in horror.
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Hi! I keep thinking, "When I am less miserable, I will post recs." And today, as I threw up for the third time (thanks to my allergy shots, of all things), it occurred to me: maybe I'm this miserable because I haven't posted any recs. Perhaps I am experiencing withdrawal symptoms. Perhaps the hideousness of withdrawal from recommending fan fiction is the thing no one warns you about until it is too late. (If it is, I am totally blaming all of you, and especially you recommenders. This is your fault. Maybe.)

It's a working theory that will keep me from despairing, and, frankly, that's what I need right now. I don't even care if it's not logical. Don't tell me. I want to believe that if I only post recs I will regain the ability to breathe and swallow, okay?

So. I sort of remember how this goes. I, um, pick a theme, right? And then I rec stuff in it. Except, whoa, I have no idea what theme to pick. So here's a thought: how 'bout stories that are not scary - are, in fact, funny and hot and deeply satisfying - that I still associate with fear?

Look. I said I was rusty. The goal here is to get my recommending back in gear before I die of fan fiction withdrawal. I don't have time for the niceties, people.

The One That Brought Me the Terrifying Knowledge That We Live in a World That Contains Two Orange Sports Coats. Two! How Could There Possibly Be Two? Will Dunk for Brains, by [livejournal.com profile] minervacat. Sports Night, gen.

I even checked with the author to be sure she wasn't making it up, and although she could have lied and let me move back to my happy place, she chose not to. Apparently she lives in service to the truth or something. Or possibly she just enjoys seeing me cower under my desk in terror. In any case, she says that there really are two orange sports coats in this world. And they both belong to men named Bruce. (I knew there was a reason I didn't trust that name! Obviously, Bruces are allied with the Dark Arts. The fashion-impaired Dark Arts.) I haven't seen photographic evidence on this, but I am still shattered.

It's just. It's hard. I mean, you want to believe good things about this world, you try to believe good things about the world, and then you find out that not only are there orange sports coats in it, but we could very well someday face the tragedy of having them on television. Where innocent children can see! (And, worse, where I can see.)

But, so, okay, this story shattered my world in the first few lines. I love it anyway. I mean, it links college sports with zombies. And it does so in a way that is awesome and totally in voice and funny. (Although we all know zombies aren't funny, right? Because they are the number one imaginary menace to our society. When you add that to orange sports coats, well, this story has a really high Society Menace Quotient. Possibly [livejournal.com profile] minervacat is trying to destroy us all.)

And it is Sports Night, and we all know the magic equation: Sports Night = love. So, trust me, you'll love this - it's a good Sports Night story, so what choice do you have?

Just, uh, keep a weather eye out for sports-coated flesh-eating zombies named Bruce. (Or Tyler.)

The One That Has Me Living in Fear of the Scorn of My Bookcases. Curtains Are Monogamous, by [livejournal.com profile] sheldrake. Anthropomorfic, Curtain/Curtain.

Okay, more than anything I love the tone of this story, the voice of it. I am quite convinced that if curtains could talk, they'd sound like this. (This is why we have blinds. No offense to curtains, mind you, just - if inanimate objects are going to be committing acts of intimacy on my windows, I at least want them to be having an orgy, by gum. None of this sappy curtain monogamy for my windows! OT16 all the way.)

Also, I love this because it contains Deathless Truths for the Ages. ("Curtains don't care whether people are girls or boys or anything, although we are mainly interested in other curtains." Those are words to live by, and I am quite seriously considering printing them out and putting them over my computer. Plus, I am going to try working "We are mainly interested in other curtains" into every sentence I can. Should be fun. Should also be unfortunate evidence in my inevitable committal hearing, but maybe I'll get lucky and get a fangirl judge.)

So, really, it's a minor quibble, really, that this story has left me wondering if all bookcases are that snarky and petty, and if they are - god, we have, um, lots. What if they all hate us? What if your furniture is what votes on whether you go to a Good Place or a Bad Place after you die? Our bookcases would definitely have the swing vote, and probably they deeply resent our habit of double-shelving and our half-assed approach to earthquake strapping!

Okay, okay, panic over. And it's a fabulous story. Just, you know. Maybe try to read it in a room without bookcases, if you can. (Do you think ours would forgive us if I hugged them? Hmmm. Probably they'd consider it a liberty. Also, there's that committal hearing to worry about; "hugs furniture" almost certainly would not go on the "sane" side of the balance sheet.)

The One That Reminds Me of the Night of Shrieking Terror, Also Known As the Night I Fired My Entire Friends List in Absentia. Stuck in Traffic at the Magic Roundabout, by [livejournal.com profile] xwingace. Torchwood x Doctor Who, and frankly I refuse to assess the gen/slash/het quotient of any story involving Jack Harkness. There is not world enough or time.

So. Okay. Those of you who have been constantly telling me that it's insane that I love time travel and yet have not seen New Who, fine, whatever, you win. The ninth Doctor is made of awesome, the new series is made of awesome, and I love all characters in it immensely and uncritically. Plus, OMG, time travel. You were right. Happy now?

But wait. Do not do your little victory butt-dance yet, my friends. You are still fired.

Because you also said, "Oh, you'll love Jack Harkness! He's fabulous! He's a fifty-first century guy!" and so on. And not one of you warned me that the two-part episode in which he is introduced is one of the scariest things ever recorded. I left claw marks in Best Beloved. I insisted we stop in the middle and turn on all the lights and lock all the doors. I squeezed my dogs tightly and refused to let them leave me. I hyperventilated, people. (Yes, fine. Those of you who are all brave and stuff can mock me. And those of you who are wondering why I haven't tried Supernatural, well, now you know. I don't handle stark terror well.) (And, by the way, what is wrong with the British? Life on Mars has a creepy child with a clown. Doctor Who has a creepy child with a gas mask. Am I the only one who can sense the evil plot at work here?)

Still, you were right. I do love Jack Harkness. Those of you who have seen the end of the first season will understand why I was thus a little less than pleased with it. (Okay, actually, a lot less than pleased. *snf*) It sort of left some, uh, loose ends, ends that Best Beloved tells me are not tied up in the next season. (I am resisting the next season. I don't handle change well; this may make me an unsuitable case for Doctor Who fandom.) But this story? This story ties all the loose ends, explains everything, provides the perfect link between Doctor Who and Torchwood (Which, no, I haven't seen - look, I'm getting there, okay? Eventually. Praise me for what I've accomplished!), and just basically makes me a shiny happy fangirl.

Seriously. If you've seen the first season of Doctor Who, read this. (If you haven't, go watch it and then read this. You won't be sorry, I promise you.) It will make your heart happy. (Which it will probably need after episodes nine and ten. Oh my god the terror. SO VERY FIRED, all of you.)

The One That Makes Me Fear Dorinda and [livejournal.com profile] tzikeh. Trust Me, If They Combine Their Evil Superpowers, No One Will Be Safe. Admittedly, What We Won't Be Safe from Is Mostly Porn and Such, So I Can't Say I'm All That Worried, but the Point Stands. Some Living After We Die, by Dorinda. Life on Mars, Gene Hunt/Sam Tyler.

The moral of this story is kind of hidden, but it's very clear to me, so let me just state it right here, for the record: do not challenge [livejournal.com profile] tzikeh. Because, okay, you might be sitting around in her LJ one day, making casual comments like, "Oh, I really don't see the slash in Life on Mars, because blah blah blah blah." And then she will give you a single devastating link and change your whole outlook on life and you will be forced to admit to her that yes, she was right and you were totally wrong. And also you will have a great story to read.

...Wait. What was the down side to challenging [livejournal.com profile] tzikeh again? I think I will go pick an argument with her right this minute and see what else she links me to.

Because this story, oh, god, it is so wonderful. See, I had this list of reasons I didn't see the Gene/Sam - like, you know, they're both obsessed with their jobs, and that's not how they work out the tension between the two of them (usually there's just a lot of punching), and also Gene wouldn't think of himself that way even if he did give a blow job, and anyway getting that man on his knees would require, I don't know, a gun and a couple of swift kicks.

But in this story, Dorinda takes all those reasons - acknowledges them, works with them, and then turns them into alleyway sex. I don't know how she did it, precisely - I assume magic was involved - but oh, I know it works. After reading this story, I went from "Yeah, I don't see it" to "Well...I don't exactly - okay, look, fine, I get it, I love it, I will totally take it home with me and feed it and let it sleep on my couch. So why aren't there more stories like this, damn it?" Because this is a Sam I buy, and a Gene I buy, and it is a perfect depiction of the relationship between the two of them. And it involves alleyway sex. Life just does not get better than that, people.

So, I guess the real moral here is: go argue with [livejournal.com profile] tzikeh. You'll like her methods of changing your mind. But first read this story, because you'll like Dorinda's methods even better.
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Do you ever have one of those Bad Fannish Idea days? Where, like, you think, "I know what'd be cool! A Fullmetal Alchemist x Supernatural crossover. Yes, I want that, despite the fact that I don't know either fandom and it would be so angst-filled that small nations would simply collapse under the weight of the despair and never really know why." Or you think, "OMG! I will buy a vidder in Sweet Charity, and I will have her vid Smallville to Thunder Road, with Lex as the narrator and Clark as Mary." (Speaking of Sweet Charity, won't some ho-ish type go over there and offer her services in Making LJs Pretty? I don't want a banner; I want someone to create general prettiness via magic, because I am really damn tired of my blue boxes. Someone must be willing to do that for a good cause!)

Anyway. I am having a Bad Fannish Idea day, obviously. (Come on! It'd be the Angsty Sons of Tragically Dead Mothers crossover. Or, OMG, a fusion, where Dean and Sam are alchemists and Sam is a suit of armor and - oh my god, this is total craziness. I don't know either fandom. Someone help me. At least give me a Bad Fannish Idea in a fandom I actually know.)

So, here is my feeble attempt at distracting myself from my Bad Fannish Ideas. (Or, like - I could buy a vidder and have her do "I Will Survive" for Jack/Daniel after Daniel's ascension: "So you're back/from outer space/I just walked in to find you here/With that same look upon your face/I should have locked the stupid gate/I should have changed your IDC/If I'd known for just one second" - oh god it's a sickness I can't stop won't someone for the love of all that is holy please help me? Think of the fandom!) Other people's Good Fannish Ideas! They can save me!

Perhaps I can catch some sanity off these stories. God, I hope so.

So, is there a theme to this set? Not really. Kind of. See, a while ago, I did the interview meme in [livejournal.com profile] vassilissa's LJ, and one of the questions she asked me was what I'm reading right now. I gave her the non-fannish answers right away, because, well, it's easy to list the books I have in my purse, on my bedside table, next to the stove, and next to the computer. (Yes. Fine. I have a reading problem. I've gotten better, okay? You should have seen me when I was little - except, wait, you couldn't have, because my face was always buried in a book.) The fannish answer, though, was a little harder.

I guess you could say right now, I'm reading sort of randomly. I'm in a phase of waiting, fannishly speaking: waiting for the next fandom to eat me alive, waiting for the next fandom I feel compelled to read through the entire catalog of and then whine bitterly for more more more. (If you've ever felt the desire to pimp me into something, now would likely be a good time.) So, while I'm waiting, I'm reading a combination of new fandoms - fandoms I don't know at all, with, of course, canons I don't know at all - and new stories in old favorite fandoms.

Let's start with the new stories in old favorite fandoms, shall we?

The One That Proves That When We Talk About How the Other Half Lives, We Really Don't Know the Half of It. (Uh, That Pun Was Unintentional. Please Forgive.) Freaky Tuesday, by [livejournal.com profile] etben. Due South, Benton Fraser/Ray Kowalski.

Oh, due South. I will forever love you, and not just because you have communities with names like [livejournal.com profile] stop_drop_porn. No, really, the love mostly comes straight from the characters themselves, and of course from the fact that in dS, anything goes. Bodyswap? Of course, no problem - if the canon had run a season longer, it would certainly have happened, and it probably would have in fact been explained just the way it is in this story: a minor error in the application of fabric arts.

(Hey, I'm not pointing fingers at the person who made the error, here. Macramé is hard. I know this for a fact because my mother took it up when I was six, mercifully briefly, for a summer that will probably be known in our official family history, in the unlikely event that someone writes one, as the Time of Unfortunate Knot-Related Incidents. Also, let me just share with you a hard lesson learned early: if someone asks you to hold something just for one second, and that person is doing a craft, don't. You'll end up knotted into a plant holder while your mother tries to figure out how to get you back out. I suppose my parents were lucky CPS didn't stop by while she was flipping through the book looking for the part titled "If You Have Accidentally Made Your Child a Permanent Part of Your Project.")

And this story reminds me of all the reasons I love and will always love dS. I mean, the way the guys adapt to being in each other's bodies - for Ray, this is just some deeper-than-usual undercover work, and for Fraser, well, he has weirder things than this in his closet, and I mean that literally. Plus, hey: it was written for [livejournal.com profile] stop_drop_porn. So there is sex. And since I firmly believe that these guys were OMG MEANT TO BE, like forever, with cherries on top (Yes. Cherries. Oh, you are totally a perv, you know that? You just read dirtiness into everything. It's why I love you.), so in love and totally doing it, the sex makes me almost as happy as the bodyswappage does.

The One That Got Me Reading a Book About a TV Show I Had Not Even Heard of Prior to Reading This Story. Yes, That's Pathetic, Because It Turns out to Have Been the Basis for One of My Favorite Shows Ever, but - I'm Slow, Okay? Five Things Sorkin Never Got to Steal from Sportscenter (But Probably Would Have, if Sports Night Hadn’t Been Cancelled), by [livejournal.com profile] scrunchy. Sports Night, gen.

Oh, Sports Night. I will forever love you, and this despite the fact that you managed to make me feel like a total idiot for not realizing that Sports Night, the show, was inspired on an actual TV show on an actual TV station. (They have shows! About sports news! On TV! Who knew? Oh, right, everyone in the whole world but me. Please hide your mocking laughter and pretend, at least to my face, that I am not pathetic and so culturally out of touch that I might as well be from Planet Zik'tch. Also, if you are in the neighborhood of Zik'tch, stop by and tell my people - no, not those people; I still have my boobs - that I miss them, okay?)

This is just - I am incoherent with glee about this story. For one, I cannot believe that these things more or less happened in the real world. For another, Scrunchy managed to convert them into the SN world so perfectly that I am starting to believe she's Aaron Sorkin reborn. (And before you say, "But Aaron Sorkin isn't dead," - look. I'm not saying he is. I'm just saying I think Scrunchy has his soul and his writing mojo. Maybe they have a timeshare arrangement or maybe she made a dark pact with the Elder Gods - I'm no expert on the metaphysics of writing, people. I just know absolutely perfect voice when I read it.) For yet another - wow, this totally gave me the best kind of emotional whiplash. It's not often that I go, within the space of a single five-things story, from real, honest laughing out loud to snuffling sadly to saying, "Awwwwwww" to the monitor, but this one makes me do that. Every single time I read it. And I will have you know I've read it an indecent amount since it was posted.

The One That Proves That the First Rule of Elf Orgies Is - Look, It Doesn't Matter, Because You All Stopped Paying the Slightest Attention As Soon As You Read the Words "Elf Orgies," Didn't You? An Earthly Knight, by [livejournal.com profile] ltlj. Stargate: Atlantis, John Sheppard/original female characters, John Sheppard/original male characters.

Oh, SGA. I will forever love you (and, yes, you do qualify as an old favorite now, so there), because - well, just look at this story. John turns into an elf. ([livejournal.com profile] ltlj has, um, some pictorial evidence that he maybe didn't have that far to go, which she might show you if she's feeling nice.) And it's just - well, of course he does. It's the Pegasus Galaxy! These things happen! If the characters have any sense, they're just thinking, "Well, it could be worse. He could be a feral elf vampire. With wings."

And, see, in another fandom, any story with this concept (and certainly any story with the rating "NC-17 for elfsex" - I mean, except in LotR) would be crack (...and if anyone mentions elf MPreg drawings right now, that's five points off the house of all humanity, and ten more if anyone links to them), but this is SGA. So it isn't crack. It's just a bunch of folks asking themselves that eternal question: what do you do with a feral elf? My own personal answer would be, "Run," but this is why I am not cut out for life in Pegasus, I suppose. The characters just knuckle down to some problem solving, Pegasus-style. (Except John, who knuckles down to the elf orgies. It's hard to be John Sheppard, folks.)

Note, by the way: this was written for the awesome [livejournal.com profile] 14valentines project, which I admire more than I can possibly say. It's over for this year, now - god forbid I should ever recommend anything in a timely fashion - but you can still hit the community and check out all the awesomeness it inspired. And you can still give to the causes it was built to support, because, sadly, women are still in need.

The One That Made Me Nostalgic for Peanut Butter Sandwiches, Which Is Odd, Because I Only Started Eating Peanut Butter Sandwiches This Year. Feel That, by [livejournal.com profile] fearlessfan. Friday Night Lights, Tyra Collette/Jason Street.

Yes, this would mark my subtle transition from fandoms I love to fandoms I, well, barely know. Fandoms, if you will, that I have slept with a few times, and now I'm trying to figure out their last names and if I want to hook up again with them on the weekend, and, like, do I have their phone number, even? Normally I try to avoid recommending stories when I'm in this stage with fandoms, mostly because it involves a lot of embarrassing things like admitting to myself that I don't know the full names of the characters, even, and cannot say what is canon and what is not, and in fact could not testify in court that the canon even exists. All I can say is, blame [livejournal.com profile] vassilissa. She asked.

So. I can't tell you anything at all about Friday Night Lights. (It's about teenagers! In Texas! Who play football! So actually I do know stuff. Just not, you know, minor details. Like names and things.) But I can tell you that I love this story, because, well. First, this is high school, people. Or perhaps I should say, "this is adolescence." I mean, I did not go to a small, football-obsessed high school in Texas - one could, in fact, say I didn't really go to high school at all, in any practical sense. But I did my time as an adolescent, as we all must. And that, of course, means I did my share of adolescent stuff (and also the shares of at least three random strangers - I was very dedicated to the whole teen experience, or at least the really stupid parts). And, wow - in this story, [livejournal.com profile] fearlessfan so perfectly captures the feeling of adolescence - the intensity, the awkwardness, the surprising moments of sweetness, the less-surprising moments of sourness, the way things change, the way small moments are really really huge.

Basically, I love this story because it made me like the characters. It made me believe in the characters. What more can I say?

The One That Proves That, No Matter What Hallmark Might Try to Tell You, an Anachronism Is Really the Greatest Gift of All. The Discovery, by [livejournal.com profile] kaneko. Torchwood, Jack Harkness/Ianto Jones. (Hey, I only had to look up last names for half of this pairing! I already knew Jack Harkness, and I'm very proud of that, despite the fact that I believe everyone in fandom has heard of him by now. The man seems to, um. Get around a bit.)

Some of you may be aware that I have a time travel kink. And when I say "kink," I am - well, wildly understating the matter.

I've said this before, but - I watched the 2002 movie of The Time Machine with incredible enjoyment, despite the fact that - as Best Beloved pointed out to me when we left the theater - it, well, sucked. Because: time travel. You take a character, you send him through time, and I will be captivated and happy, even if the part of my brain that has actual intelligent function is sending out desperate cries of, "OMG help cannot take the suckage SAVE US." My point: time travel hits me in my primitive hindbrain, and my primitive hindbrain doesn't care if something sucks.

But this story, this story is the precise opposite of suck: it made my hindbrain and my actual brain happy. If time travel = happy TFV, then time travel + good story = TFV weak with joy. I mean, I don't know these characters at all - I understand that Jack is a stuck time traveler, and I hear he's in charge of a team of (possibly) lovable misfits in modern-day Cardiff, but that's where all my understanding ends - but I didn't need to know them to love this story. And I don't want to spoil the central plot point, here, but - god, it works. It's so perfectly normal, and then it's so perfectly time travel, and I loved every minute of Jack's reaction to this situation, I loved loved loved the plot point, I just - I loved the story, okay? And it satisfied the voracious beast that lives in my hindbrain and shrieks non-stop for time travel stories.

Really, I could not ask for more or better than that. Except maybe more of the same. The hindbrain beast is ever hungry, you know.
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Okay, first I just need to say something to the people on my friends list who are weirdly obsessed with Bruce Springsteen and Thunder Road. I downloaded it a long time ago, about the 18th time one of you announced that it was the Best Song in the Whole History of Ever and that anyone who had never heard it could not technically claim to be alive. But I have a rigid system that determines what never-played music I am allowed (or required) to listen to, and for a long time that system did not turn up Thunder Road, and I was just as happy that way, frankly.

Except. Today it did. And I listened - okay, maybe a touch resentfully, because I do not like Bruce Springsteen, and, yes, I know several of you are right now wincing and hitting defriend. But I listened, okay? I'm prejudiced, but I'm not unreasonable.

And. Well. It's a pretty good song.

Okay. Maybe I found the volume inexplicably creeping up all on its own, and maybe I did an utterly humiliating at-my-desk version of Paul Gross arms at the end, and maybe I went back and replayed it in total defiance of the system. (Which, of course, immediately exacted its horrible revenge, about which the less said the better, except - some of y'all are sick, and especially the person who posted that song, and I admire you for it. But from a distance.) And maybe I felt inexplicably uplifted, which I really needed, because I've had a bad day (any day in which plumbers start drawing you helpful diagrams and sketches is a bad day in my book, and the sad part is, I've had enough of those days to know it for sure).

So I apologize to you Springsteenians and Thunder Roadiacs for the resentfulness with which I downloaded the song. And now I'm saying thank you.

And now we move on to the actual content of this post, which is: SG-1. See, [livejournal.com profile] katie_m is a wonderful person. She is very wonderful, and when I asked her what she wanted as tribute to her wonderfulness, she said: an all SG1 recs set. I have no idea why she wanted this; the odds I'm going to link to something she's never read are slimmer than the odds that Daniel's next death will be peaceful, at his home surrounded by his loving family, and permanent. But it's what Katie wanted, and it's what she's getting. (I'm just grateful she didn't ask me to finish the SG1 Fandoms I Have Loved.)

The thing is, though - almost all of my SG1 stories were on my old bookmark/database system, as opposed to del.icio.us. So this meant looking at the 3000 imported bookmarks I have at del.icio.us; I imported them when I had a fever, and when sanity returned I dedicated a small portion of my mind to pretending I had never done any such thing, because oh my god the chaos. But Katie is cool enough to be worth facing the horror of (some) of said chaos.

My actual intention was to wait until I had sorted through all my SG1 bookmarks. Last night, Best Beloved very kindly pointed out to me that that was an idea that reached new all-time best heights of stupid and crazy.

BB: Just post.
Me: But -
BB: How many stories do you have?
Me, angling the screen so that the list is not as readily visible: Um. It's not as many as it looks like, because [livejournal.com profile] paian -
BB: Oh my god. Just post.

So I'm just posting. Katie, I hope you enjoy it. Everyone else - SG-1 = fun. Read some today, won't you?

The Gateverse Pimp Vid to End All Pimp Vids. Cartoon Heroes, by [livejournal.com profile] mamoru22. Stargate: SG-1, Stargate: Atlantis.

Am I cheating by including this? Yup, totally - it's SG1 and SGA both. But, in all honesty, there's going to be another crossover in here, and it's weirder than this one by 18 orders of magnitude. So best to work into this slowly, I think.

And, okay. This vid hits one of my few vid squicks, and in fact until I saw this I thought it was a bulletproof squick. (And, by the way, I've never managed to enjoy a vid that hit it since, so I still think it's bulletproof. This is just, like, the vid equivalent of armor-piercing rounds.) It shows actors and characters at the same time. Worse, it shows actors in costume but palpably not their characters. Generally, this makes me want to die. In this case, it made me want to fill the entire screen with giant pink hearts and sparkles. (I refrained. I want to hear some thanks, y'all. It's just like with dogs - if you don't praise them for being good, eventually your floor is covered with giant pink hearts. Or something.)

It's just - it's the most joyous celebration of the Stargate universe ever, and I wanted to start with it for that reason.

Plus, watching it now I - I teared up. I admit it. At a certain line. I'm not going to tell you which line, on the grounds that you will openly mock me and I will deserve it. But, but, but - oh, Stargates. You make my heart sing.

The One That Proves That Sometimes, on SG1, You Can Fuck Them All. And Be Royally Fucked-up, Too. Still Life with Cliche, by Komos, aka [livejournal.com profile] paian. Stargate: SG-1, Daniel Jackson/Sam Carter, Daniel Jackson/Jack O'Neill.

It's true. The SG universe really does make my heart sing. Just, sometimes it also makes me want to cry, and this story - this story so does that. It's gorgeous and perfect and it turns this cliche inside out. And also pretty much does the same thing to my heart. Aliens make them do it. Sort of. And the world is really never the same again.

This is a good story to start with, I think, because you can read this one if you don't know SG1 canon at all. It will probably work just as well for you; it's long enough and good enough that you can get everything you need from context. Except - if you do know SG1 canon, the last line of this story is a kick in the gut. From a Clydesdale. With razor-sharp shoes. And the first time I read this, I was bopping along, expecting the happy ending, expecting it all to work out, and then it connects up with canon and - boom. The glass shatters. I believe my original comment on this was something intelligent like, "OMG OW OW OW," and I stand by that assessment.

But did I mention gorgeous? Did I mention perfect? I think I did. Did I mention that it isn't all pain - I mean, if it was, I wouldn't have been able to read it, never mind rec it - and it's very definitely worth it? I did not, so I'm telling you now: read this. You won't be sorry. I'm addicted to happy endings, but I love SG1 fandom in part because it produces stories just like this.

And, by the way, you cannot go wrong with [livejournal.com profile] paian; it was absolute agony choosing just one of her stories for this set. (In the end, I copped out, and Best Beloved chose. For the record.)

The One That Cruelly Libels Pasta. Yet Another SG-1 Adventure, by [livejournal.com profile] minnow1212. Stargate: SG-1, gen.

I also love SG1 fandom because it can give me emotional whiplash like no other fandom out there. (Okay. It's more accurate to say that I can take the emotional whiplash better in this fandom. Any fandom I love can gut me or make me laugh until I'm dizzy. But only SG1 can make me love either one just as much.) So, from the sublime to the, well, ridiculous.

This is late canon; Cameron Mitchell is on the team, and Jack's watching from the other side. And, really, I think Jack is very grateful to have missed out on direct, hands-on experience of this one. Am I going to tell you what he's grateful to have missed? No. Not at all. But this story starts with General Landry saying, "So we haven’t seen anything like this before," and this late in the canon, that line guarantees that whatever follows has to be really spectacular.

(Seriously. This late in the canon, the canon writers themselves must be getting pretty desperate for novelty. I kind of imagine them sitting around a table, all:

Writer 1, reading from a brainstormed list: How about we make one of them a god?
Writer 2: Think we did that.
W1: Okay. No problem. Suggestion two: we make one of them a kid.
Writer 3: We definitely did that. Oh, come on, am I the only person who remembers season - um, whatever it was?

[There is a long, strained pause around the table.]

W1: Moving on. Suggestion three: we make one of their underlings a god.
W3: First season!
W1, getting snappish: Fine. How about we make one of them a child god of underlings?
W2: Why is there no alcohol in this room?
W3: Do I need to remind you what happened when there was?

[There is a collective shudder.]

W1: Those - those were bad times. God, I still have nightmares about the pointy hat.
W3: Exactly. So - what are we writing about? People?
W2: Maybe they could have a secret mission to, um, save the earth from, from, poisoned - spinach.
W1: Poisoned spinach?
W2: E. coli. You know. It's topical and suchlike.
W1, holding head in hands: Oh, god.
W3, suddenly inspired: That's it! We could have a god!
W1: We've been through the whole Deities and Demigods already. We're done. I'm not writing about SG-1 taking on the Yak Goddess of the Mukluk tribe, and she's what we've got left.

[There is a pause.]

W2: Well, what about if the Yak Goddess wore a studded leather bikini?
W1: Vala.
W2: Damn.

[There is a more hopeless pause.]

W3: You know, I think there's a random SG1 plot generator on the internet.
W1: *Googles*
W1: *clicks*
W1: *reads* "On a mission, SG-1 is involved in a brawl because of a lecherous sentient animal. A team member is imprisoned. Sam and/or Daniel race against time to solve the mystery of an evil painting of an outlaw prostitute bent on revenge. Teal'c and/or Cameron and/or Jack and/or Vala fight a wicked monk attempting to resurrect a goddess via a game in the conservatory. Back home, they must create an element from a fairy tale or fable because of a long-lost relative who has turned evil."
W2, in delighted tones: By god! That's our mid-season two-parter!)

But, just to bring this back to the story - no random SG1 plot generator story could be as delightful as Minnow's is. Read it. I can't promise it will make your heart sing, but it will make you laugh.

And possibly also make you want to limit your carbohydrate and protein intake for a bit.

The One That Will Make You Say, "Fanboys? The Stargate Writers? You're Joking." The Stargate Cantina, by [livejournal.com profile] brihana25. Stargate: SG-1. And, um, warning: spoilers. For Star Wars.

So. This is not a crossover, and it is therefore not cheating. It's an entirely SG1 vid designed to prove that SG1 is nothing like Star Wars, despite Certain People's allegations to the contrary. I think you will all agree that it does a fine job, although I have to warn you that the song it is set to is an earworm to end all earworms. So I'm not responsible if you chew your own ears off, okay?

And a note for people who, like me, downloaded their copy a while ago: this is a link to a remaster, and it is different - not just upgraded source, although there's that, too. Some clips are different, the intro is - um, different, and I think I need a new word for that now - and it's an .avi. So, you know, worth a download even if you've seen the .wmv version before.

Sadly, there's nothing more I can say about this; everything else will spoil it. Just - everyone who has ever seen SG1 or Star Wars needs to download this, and if you've seen both but you haven't seen this, I think you may be officially relegated to second-class fan status. Also be warned that viewing this with friends and loved ones can cause some strife; I first watched it with Best Beloved, and we spent the next twenty minutes debating casting choices, even though we have never seen the canon. Best viewed in private.

Also, learn from my sad experience and keep your mouth completely free of liquids at all times.

If Snow White Made You Suspicious of Trees, This One Will Make You Move to a Desert. Leaving Time, by [livejournal.com profile] janedavitt. SG-1, Daniel Jackson/Jack O'Neill. (Yes, I have pairing preferences. Also, this set is for [livejournal.com profile] katie_m, so it seemed wrong to include any of her stories in it, but she's written many of my favorite gen pieces. Blame her.)

I also love SG-1 fandom's tendency to write about really fascinating aliens, and alien cultures, and the team's interactions with said cultures. Of course, first contact can always be a bit dicey - sometimes it's all wacky beverages and naked hula dancing, and sometimes it's...not. This would be one of those "not" times, for the record. There is nakedness, yes, but it is not really the focus, per se. The focus is on a mission gone very wrong. It's also on Jack, and Daniel, and how sometimes they can be in total disagreement and (at least in my opinion) both be wrong. (As Amazon.com would say: "Jack and Daniel - Better Together." Or, as I would say: "Jack and Daniel: When they're at odds, god help the universe.")

This story also hits my "Ancients: skeevy? Or really skeevy?" buttons. I am convinced that those glowy fuckers are unworthy to be called squids, and I sort of want to punch them most of the time. This story makes me feel good about that. In short, I blame the Ancients for all of this. Well, that and the apparent motto of the SG universe. ("Oops.")

The One for Everyone Who Doesn't See the Daniel/Jack. And Everyone Who Does. Be Like Water, by [livejournal.com profile] butterfly. Stargate: SG-1, Daniel Jackson/Jack O'Neill.

For me, this is the vid equivalent of a Daniel/Jack pairing manifesto - by which I mean, well, that it explains why the pairing is so wonderful, and tempting, and right. And it also shows how they keep missing each other.

But even though this is a pairing manifesto, it's not about a pairing, not for me. For me, it's about Jack, about him trying to follow the rules, about him doing the right thing and losing the right thing in the process.

I have a lot of other stuff to say about this vid - about the clip choices, about the way the effects contribute to the mood, about the way the colors in this seem more beautiful to me than the colors in most other SG1 vids. But I think this vid best stands alone, without commentary. And even I know when to shut up sometimes.

The One That Makes Me Stamp My Foot Like a Four-Year-Old and Say, "I Want It That Way and So It Is That Way." Please, No One Convince Me Otherwise. No More Sad Songs, by [livejournal.com profile] destina. (The link takes you to the Triptych Vids front page. If you don't have a password, hit "New Visitor" for instructions on how to get one; an auto-responder will send it back. Login, click on Stargate, and scroll down.) Stargate: SG-1, Jack O'Neill. And Daniel Jackson/Jack O'Neill.

I recommended this vid alongside Be Like Water deliberately. Or, actually, more like out of necessity, because this is the other side of that coin. This is Jack - in my mind, Jack during his retirement (I can pretend. Boy, can I ever.) or, more canonically, Jack during the post-SG-1 era. He's not doing the right thing anymore; he's having the right thing. And I tend to watch this back-to-back with Be Like Water because, hey, did I mention my need for happy endings? For me, this is Jack's happy ending.

But then, I don't see - okay. I'm going to be blasphemous for a minute here. But, for me, SG-1 needed Jack more than Jack needed SG-1. He can still be who he is without being on the front lines, without being at the head of the team; there are things he needs, but in my head, that's not one of them. (Guess what is one of them? Yeah, yeah, and no points for getting it right. I am nothing if not Little Miss Predictable.) I don't see his transfer or retirement as a sad thing - or, okay, sad for us, most definitely, but not sad for him. I want this to be Jack's ending.

And so, in these parts, it is. Because, hey, this is my head, and I can do what I want.

The One That Makes Me Feel Sorry for Death. No, Really. Untitled, by [livejournal.com profile] daegaer. Stargate: SG-1 x Discworld. Gen.

Yes, this is the one I warned you about earlier. It's the crossover that could not work, am I right? Except, oh my god how it does. You do need to know Discworld, I think, and you need to know - well, basically, if you've made it this far in the post, you already know enough about SG1 to read this. (If by some tragic turn of events you don't know Discworld, go read Terry Pratchett's books - okay, some of them, and I recommend Guards, Guards and Pyramids - immediately. You can thank me later.)

This rec is a difficult situation for me, because the story is a short, short piece, and I don't want to get into that deal where I write more words about the story than are in the story. I know this will surprise you, but I do that sometimes. I can be wordy. You might not think it, but it's true.

But I do want to say that part of the reason this works so damn well for me is - well, the characterization. [livejournal.com profile] daegaer may actually be the secret lovechild of Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman; that's how well she writes their characters and their voices. (No, I cannot adequately explain why their lovechild would be Irish. Possibly they wanted their child to be closely acquainted with Peig Sayers. It would be like them, in my opinion.) But, also, this story says some things that truly need to be said to a certain someone.

And it gives that someone a nickname that I will treasure forever.

Okay. I'm over the story's word count. Shutting up now.

The One in Which Someone Else Out-Talks Daniel for Once in His Life, and He Learns What Happens to People Who Don't Always Get the Last Word. Five Conversations Daniel Never Had, by [livejournal.com profile] teand. Stargate: SG-1, gen.

It wouldn't be an SG1 recs set without a couple references to the current incarnation of SG-1, including a certain, um, interesting character introduced in the last few seasons. (Let me put it this way. That outlaw prostitute bent on revenge I mentioned earlier? I think they already have her in the canon.) And while for some reason vids featuring Vala generally don't make me happy, stories featuring her really, really do.

Here, Vala says to Daniel what no one else would. (Most likely because any sane person familiar with Daniel's history would shudder, say, "There are some things no one was meant to know. Or say," and go out for a stiff drink instead. I mean, calling Daniel cheerful is just - perverse.) And word gets around at the speed of wormhole travel, because we all secretly suspect that the SGC is just one big high school where most of the students are heavily armed and they get transformed, mutated, killed, or comically dressed about every second week. (Oh, wait - Joss Whedon already wrote that one. But, well, SGC as Sunnydale High? That works for me.) And we are right.

And, of course, Daniel's co-workers (present and former) are there to stand by him during his hour of, um, probably wanting to strangle Vala, and they're always ready to lend a helping hand. (To support him. But also probably to help strangle Vala, in some cases.)

The One in Which Daniel Says, "Maybe I Want It to Be Difficult." And I Say, "Oh, Daniel, Truer Words." Encoded, by Tallulah Rasa. Stargate: SG-1, gen (basically).

And I finish with this AU future for SG-1, where things went off the rails around season 7. Tallulah is one of my favorite writers in SG1 - it is quite honestly worth getting into the fandom just to read her stuff - and I say that despite her history of breaking my heart about every third story.

This isn't one of the stories where she does that. She takes care of the heartbreak in the prologue, and then picks up about five years after that - never say that Tallulah doesn't know where to start - and puts it all back together again. A little bit different, sure, but different, as SG-1 has taught us over the years, can be good.

So, really, there's no heartbreak in this story. (There are some broken hands, sure, but with this team, that's a remarkably low butcher's bill.) What there is instead is - well, this, more than any other story, proves to me that SG-1 (version 1.0) is meant to be together. Doesn't matter if they burn out, fade away, or mutate; Daniel, Jack, Sam, and Teal'c are stuck together in ways that - okay, sure, they can come apart. But I truly believe that they end up together again.

And after you read this one, I think you will, too.

So. Thus endeth the SG1 set. It got out of hand, it got long, and it still doesn't cover even the teeniest fraction of what this fandom has to offer. Plus, hey, if you ever run out of fan fiction, I hear there's ten years of a TV show, too, and that might keep you entertained for a bit. So if you haven't tried SG1, maybe it's time to start.

And to SG1, the fandom, the canon, and the characters, I say: thanks. It's been a wild ride. And I'm not done with you yet.
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
I am having a total I-suck day. And apparently I'm not alone. Did anyone not have a job disaster today?

Anyway.

I am going to cheer myself up, or at least get past the I-want-to-die point, with totally self-indulgent recommendations. From the general look of the old friends list today, I am not the only one who needs this, so I refuse to feel guilty.

The One in Which a Bowl of Soup Changes Everything. Marry into the Family, by [livejournal.com profile] julad. Smallville, Clark Kent/Lex Luthor.

This story never fails to make me smile. Possibly it's the line "Say ten 'Hail Luthors' and perform an act of Callous Economic Rationalism." Possibly it's just - come on. Maybe your day was bad, yes. Maybe mine was. But I think it's safe to say that none of us came out to both Lionel Luthor and Jonathan Kent today, and don't you feel better already?

Story summary? Well, please just imagine an announcer doing a voice-over that says, "In a world where real love is sometimes real hard, Lex Luthor is about to learn that a bowl of soup can make all the difference." But it's not the plot that gives me the hit of pure joy when I read it; the joy is in the details, people. First of all, there's the way Lex totally throws Lionel for a loop, thus proving that soup and the love of a good man really can make your strength as the strength of ten. And then there's the scene with Clark showing that he learns entirely too well from example. (Oh, Clark. You're the archetypal impressionable youth.) And then there's the way that the ending of the story is actually the beginning of it, so by the time you find out that Lex and Clark are in a certain amount of trouble, you know it ends happily. I just - is there a better definition of comfort FF than this story? I would say no. (And if you'd say yes, please please give me a link.)

The One in Which J.D. Doesn't Quite Get a Unicorn Called Sparkles and Feed Her Gum Drops and Candy Canes. My Space Adventure, by [livejournal.com profile] skoosiepants. Stargate: Atlantis x Scrubs. And in my opinion, this is gen, because, well, everything that happens here could happen in Scrubs. Including the unicorn.

You know, until I read this, I had never once thought to myself, "J.D. is a perfect fit with Atlantis. I don't know why he isn't already there." But now I see clearly; only in Pegasus can J.D. achieve a true match between his life and his fantasy world. Actually, it'd be kind of a cage grudge match: J.D.'s twisted imagination v. Pegasus Galaxy. They'd go 40 rounds for sure.

This is another joy-is-in-the-details story. Like, of course Ted would have an iPod filled with motivational podcasts. (And a few prime time theme songs, I'd wager. You know, I hadn't heard of Charles in Charge prior to that particular episode of Scrubs, and - well, am I the only one who thinks that the show pretty much had to be about the wacky BDSM dungeon hijinks of a Master and his crew of misfit slaves? Oh, don't look at me like that. You're totally wondering what channel that's on.) Anyway. My point is - J.D. is a natural for Pegasus, and so is everyone else in the cast. Dr. McKay and Dr. Cox were clearly meant to have a tense, hostile, sarcasm-filled relationship until they night they get drunk together on Athosian krrrrup and spend three hours arguing about whether J.D. or John Sheppard is the greater burden on a sane man who wants to keep all his limbs attached. And Elliot would obviously be sent to Atlantis because no one could think of a place that was even further away. It's just - it's fabulous. You need to read this story.

The One in Which We Learn That There Are Two Types of Kids in This World: Those Who Take Applied Science Way Further Than It Should Ever Go, and Those Who Always Know Where a Fire Extinguisher Is. Aviation, by [livejournal.com profile] penknife. X-Men movieverse, gen.

(Yes, I'm trying to figure out which kind of kid I was, too. And - wow, I can hear Best Beloved laughing from all the way across town. But! Seriously! I could very well have been a fire extinguisher kid! I was just very accident prone. And, okay, slightly too interested in things that burn, but...) This story makes me happy in that quiet, joyful way where I just want to hug my monitor. Because - Scott! Being grown-up and worried! And Hank! Being HANK! It just does not get any better than this, people.

And, on another level - the very small number of levels that aren't totally occupied saying OMG HANK I LOVE YOU SO MUCH, which is, believe me, a very few of them when I'm reading any story in which the Real Hank appears - there's also substantial Xavier love in here for me. Which is something I don't feel that often, mostly because I do not like telepathy. Or telepaths. They just - seriously, I have a major telepathy phobia. (I have actually told Best Beloved, on more than one occasion, "If you develop mind reading powers, it's over." And I meant it, too. See why Best Beloved is a three-state smiling and nodding champion?) But I love Xavier most when he's displaying the wisdom telepathy has given him, and here he so does that, and I just want to kiss his shiny, shiny head.

The One That Manages to Make MREs Romantic. I Am Totally Not Kidding. You Will Never Look at Military-Produced Eggs and Cheese the Same Way Again. (Actually, I'm Hoping You'll Never Have to Look at Them at All.) Downtime, by [livejournal.com profile] merryish. Stargate: SG-1, Jack O'Neill/Daniel Jackson.

What with [livejournal.com profile] destina_fic and the Jack/Daniel ficathon, SG-1 has been my total happy place lately. And I do believe that this story made me the happiest of all the ones I've read (thus far - that's a wondrously massive backlog of brilliant FF, folks, so it'll be some time before I've managed to process it all). It's like all the things that drew me to this pairing - the crazed missions, Jack's determination and quirky sense of humor, Daniel's intelligence and astonishingly deep kindness, missions gone awry, inexplicable aliens, involuntary camping trips, convoluted excuses for Jack and Daniel to get some alone time together off-world - packed into one glorious story.

This story made me so happy that I was genuinely depressed when it was over. And then I remember that there's a surefire cure for that, and I scrolled right back to the top and started reading again. And, you know, it made me just as happy the second time. This really is almost everything I love about these guys, and if there's a sadness there - I mean, as far as I know, the canon has closed the door on this pairing - it's the kind of wonderful ache that comes from thinking, "I was really, truly happy there" about a place you know you can go back to. And, oh my god, I need to stop before Hallmark offers me a job. (Of course I'd take it. But I'd probably end up making cards with pretty pictures on the front and verses like, "You were tortured/By a cruel snob/Let me heal you/With this blowjob.")

The One That Proves That Anime Vidders Don't Always Have Their Minds Fixed on Higher Things. Unless the "Higher" Applies to the Vidder Himself, As in "He's Been Higher Than Me Ever Since He Got the Really Good Crack." Waka Laka (for Osaka), by Scintilla. Azumanga Daioh.

Okay, anime vid recommending day was - um, back whenever I did it. But. I dug out a bunch more links for [livejournal.com profile] elishavah (And she's in a place of great weakness right now, people, so if you've got any shiny pretty anime or anime vids to show her, seize this moment.), and in the process I rewatched this one. And then I did it again. And I learned a great truth: this is the vid equivalent of cotton candy. Substance? Not so much. But it's sweet and wonderful and as soon as it's gone you want a lot more. Obviously, I watched it a few more times today.

And then I learned a second truth. A horrible, hideous truth, at that. Namely: this song is just - wow. It burrows into your skull and sets up home in your cochlear nuclei. And, as we all know, there are only two cures for persistent earworms. First, you can try to pass it on to someone else. I'm giving that my best shot here. (And, truly! Do not let the song dissuade you! This is all things shiny and pretty and you don't need to know a thing about the canon. It's cotton candy crack, basically.) Second, you can listen to the song a whole bunch of times and pray that you'll build immunity through repeated exposure. So, um...does anyone have this song? It's Waka Laka (E=MC2 Remix) by Jenny Rom vs. Zippers, apparently.

Bonus: Speaking of songs - the title of this post comes from Code Monkey, by Jonathan Coulton. (As far as I know, this is a totally legal download - he encourages people to share his music. I, in turn, encourage you to visit his website and maybe buy stuff from him.) If you haven't heard this, you so need this song. Especially all of you who have been having work problems lately. It's just - well, it's yet another thing that's making me happy today.

Courage in adversity, people.

Also, if tomorrow isn't better, I'm going to bite someone.
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
First, an administrative note: About half of my LJ comment notifications are showing up with nothing in them. At all. Except for the name of the person who left it. Which means that unless the comment is in my journal, or I can guess where the comment was left (like, it's from someone whose journal I left a comment in earlier), I have no way of reading them. If you really need to say something to me, in other words, email is the way to go; thefourthvine at gmail dot com. (Which I originally mistyped as "thefourthvine at gmail dot come." Bodes ill for the set, I'm thinking.)

So. If you were wondering about the State of the TFV, that state is: moody. (Or, in terror alert levels, "Run for the hills. We can live off the land until this is over.") I've been moody all week - not any actual mood, mind you. No, I've been fairly okay there, but my coefficient of moody friction is way, way lower than usual, so I know that the slightest push can convert my potential moodiness to kinetic moodiness, and then they will have to call out the National Guard. That's the way I've been this week.

I'm sure you can imagine the trepidation with which I have approached the internet. I mean, I love this habitation of links and string, but it's not a good place if you're right on the edge of qualifying for Superfund money to clean up your toxic emotions, you know?

And now I'm listening to my neighbors, or rather their teenagers, who are having a party. I'm not sure what the party is for, but if I had to pick a single word to describe its theme, I would go with: bass. Like, the kind where it isn't music so much as it is a seismic tremor capable of triggering alerts as far off as Texas. And I find myself wondering - see, I know it would be a bad idea to force people to live in communities based entirely around musical preferences. It would be, right? I mean, aside from the fact that I would inevitably end up living in the "No Detectable Taste of Any Kind" community, you'd have - you'd have, like, the people who force themselves to listen to Eminem so they don't have to live with the Classical Snots Who Still Believe That Elvis Is a Flash in the Pan, and you'd have the hideous shame of discovering that your recent illicit drunken download of the complete oeuvres of Britney Spears and Celine Dion meant no one wanted to live next to you anymore. That kind of thing.

But, still. I watch my windows vibrate - and these aren't even next door neighbors, mind you; this is the house behind the house next door to us - and I think, Hmmm. Maybe. And, let's see, who'd have to move? Us or them?

So, what with everything, it seemed like a great time to recommend a Random Mishmash of Stuff That Makes Me Cheerful. Go mishmash!

Best Not Exactly FF (But More Than Close Enough) to Feature a Pirate Queen-in-Residence, Which, I Now Realize, Is Exactly What I Want to Be If I Grow Up. Ever so slightly longer but not quite as thick: Toward a quantitative literary sexology of Harry Potter fanfiction, by [livejournal.com profile] blythely and [livejournal.com profile] circe_tigana. Harry Potter fandom. Well. I have to assume most of you read the title, giggled, said, "Oh, that's fabulous," and clicked. So I'm addressing this strictly to people so strange and unearthly that they don't want to propose marriage to both authors immediately after reading the title. And my first message to you sad few is: seriously, you can take a Spock imitation too far. Fake pointy ears are acceptable in many communities, but failing to find mock academic papers amusing is most definitely not.

And please don't tell me that you're excused because you don't read Harry Potter. You aren't. You'll recognize the concept under study here immediately, possibly with little cries of horror. (Or, if you don't, please tell me about your fandom.) If you've ever read any slash, or any academic papers of any kind, or you've even written a paper or a research report, this is a link for you. And, honestly, if you haven't done at least one of those things, I have to wonder what you're doing here, so how about leaving a comment and telling me? Those are your choices: explain how you've spent your life on Mars, breathing shallowly and avoiding porn and peer-reviewed journals, or go read this. (Hint: pick the latter one.) You'll thank me later. And don't miss the endnotes, which cheer me up more than any SSRI ever could; I don't know precisely how I lived before I read, "The authors wish to thank ... Flowery Twat and Sparcck for peer review." Flowery Twat should be given an award for the excellence of her name, which all by itself is enough to make me downright buoyant.

[Ah. Much better. The toxic emotional sludge is retreating.]

Best FF Featuring What Is, I Believe, the Least Romantic Proposition Ever in All of FF. Given the Characters, I Would Expect Nothing Less. My Sleepy Blue Ocean, by Sandy, aka [livejournal.com profile] circusgirl. Scrubs, John Dorian/Perry Cox. It's hard not to be made happy by someone whose life is both weirder and gayer than your own. (That would be J.D., for those not following along at home.) And that's true even when the topic is a wee bit sensitive, because death is just another source of weird gayness for J.D.; if Death actually showed up in Scrubs, he'd do something serious and dramatic, yeah, but he'd be carrying a trick scythe. (For those who are worried about reading a death story: it's a death of a character I'd not previously heard of, who I am pretty sure died in the canon, and also this story didn't seem very sad to me, if a personal testimonial is any good to you.)

In this story, the fine folks of Sacred Heart help J.D. through the five (or six) stages of grieving: Turk forswears mashed potatoes, Janitor reveals his inner, self-published depths (which are just as sticky and disturbing as you'd expect), Carla bonds with J.D. and ruins his shirt, and Dr. Cox goes above and beyond (and wants to hate himself for it, but can't quite manage it). There's a special appearance by Sister Utherina, also known as Yet Another Reason to Fear Nuns. And in the end, J.D.'s problems are solved with spicy pork rinds (no one tell me what those are; seriously, I am not kidding) and sexual healing. Scrubs fan fiction: you have to love it. (And you also have to write it, people. I consider the absence of a large body of Scrubs FF in this universe to be the definitive refutation of Pangloss.)

[Toxic sludge is way off in the distance, emitting little cries of pain.]

Best FF That Demonstrates the Importance of Thinking Outside the Box, Especially If You Are Currently Destined to Die Inside It. The Definition of Stupid, by Tangerine, aka [livejournal.com profile] tangeriner. Dead Zone, Johnny Smith/Walt Bannerman. I think this story had me when Johnny describes himself and Walt as frat boys trying to be superheroes, because that's a lot of the charm of the show; these guys weren't meant to be superheroes. Johnny, okay, he's got some of the Chosen One vibe going down, what with all the Only You Can Avert the Apocalypse stuff, and, well, just the visions themselves, but even so, he'd really rather be a teacher. Or, hey, married to Walt's wife. And Walt is totally not meant to be a superhero; he's a cop who doesn't have supersenses or anything. But, you know, there's these visions, so Walt has to try. They both try. And they mostly succeed. Um, sort of.

So. Right. The story. See, I love this story. There are always a few stories that define Yuletide morning for me, and last year, this was one of them; the obituaries, in particular, made for perfect holiday reading ("died suddenly in a sardine can"). (This does leave me with one tiny question: am I the only person on earth who doesn't have a list of stuff to do if I know it's my last night alive? Because I don't. Thinking about it, off the cuff, I'd probably tell Best Beloved and the dogs that I love them, try to call my friends, maybe post some kind of So Long and Thanks for All the Porn message here. Then I'd have sex and go to sleep, because if there's a single word that defines how I want to go, that word is "obliviously." But, you know, I only made that list just now. Am I leaving stuff off? Do the rest of you have detailed ones, all, Tell Muffy I never loved her and Hear Lumina play the piano one last time? I can't be the only one who never really thought about it, right? Right?) And I love - yes, I'm back to the story again - love love the ending. Any Dead Zone story has to be about Johnny, and any story about Johnny has to be about Sarah and Walt, and I love so much that Tangerine gave us that. Plus, hey - sex in a sardine can is always fun.

[Status Report: TFV - cheerful. Sludge - very very sorry for its sins.]

Best FF That Has Given Me a New Motto: "Life Hates Me, but I Hate Life More." Existence As Interesting As Possible, by [livejournal.com profile] waxjism. Stargate: Atlantis, Rodney McKay/John Sheppard. Of course, SGA almost always makes me cheerful; I rejoice in the existence of a fandom so inundated with crack that no one blinks at mere telepathy or MPreg anymore, and it's not serious crack if only one person changes species. (I am quite seriously and patiently waiting for someone to write the story where Rodney finds this gun-shaped Ancient thing, and John is all excited and tries it out, but it doesn't do anything until he accidentally points it at Rodney, at which point they discover it's the Ancient version of Calvin's transmogrifier gun. "Colonel, I expect you to get me back. I liked that body, and don't you dare roll your eyes at that. At least you still have eyes! And - wait. Are you thinking about a turkey sandwich?" "Well, yeah. I'm hungry, Rodney." "Don't shoot! Don't shoot!")

But this story (which is totally not crack, even though in a different fandom unicorns would pretty much guarantee a crack rating of +++) also makes me insanely happy, because: dragon. The SG universe is sadly lacking in canon dragons (and don't tell me it's only in fanon that they encounter that kind of shit; promo pictures suggest that poor John Crichton ran into Merlin the second the SG folks got ahold of him). Thank god we have FF to make up the lack. And, seriously, if dragons won't get you to this story, consider John and Rodney stuck on a planet for the better part of two months, with nothing but unicorns and serious seismic instability for company. See? This story is most definitely a source of happiness in my life, and if you haven't read it, know that it can cheer you up, too.

[So. I feel better. And I imagine the Sludge feels better, too, in its new life as a bath tile cleanser. Fan fiction heals, my friends.]
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
So. Yesterday evening as I was making dinner, Best Beloved said to me, in very firm tones: "No more whining about having a real life. Just post, you fucker."

Best Beloved does not normally talk like that. (In our house, I'm the one who uses profanity like salt.) So I got the message. (Which was, for the record: Post. You fucker.)

And, okay, fine. I have been informed that, in interests of accuracy, I should also share with you the conversation we were having immediately prior to that. See, I was being surprised because I found someone on my friends list complimenting me. In the past tense. (As in, "Yeah, TFV used to post great recs.") Compliments are always nice, of course, but I was whining that I was not dead and gone, and BB was making the point that for all most of you know, I could be.

I'm sure this insight into Life with TFV and Best Beloved has been fascinating and inspirational to you all. Never say I do not provide gripping content. Or, I mean, you can if you want, because, um. It's pretty much true.

And to illustrate that, let's move on to topic B of tonight. See, [livejournal.com profile] lcsbanana has this interesting post in which she invites authors to volunteer to be subjected to audience commentary. I found this an incredibly nifty concept, and I was even more enthralled after I realized how many authors I read and love are on that list. So I thought I would, you know, pony up with some commentary.

Unfortunately, I recently learned, in the course of attempting to do a DVD track type thing with [livejournal.com profile] makesmewannadie on our jointly-written tentacle porn, that I have no idea how to do commentary. Apparently I should've been taking notes or something when other people did theirs, because, wow. I always have something to say, true, but I suspect that for this kind of thing what I'm saying needs to be, you know. Coherent. Relevant. Basically, things that I am not. And if I have no idea how to do author commentary, I am doubly in the dark on the audience commentary thing.

So I thought I'd retreat to what I know, which is recommendations. But this is a set with a difference, in that it is unthemed and assembled entirely from stories (that I already had decided to rec) written by people from [livejournal.com profile] lcsbanana's list. Also, I will be taking a wild stab at actual thoughtful commentary here. This will not, of course, be a line-by-line thing, with quotes from the story and all. I could no more do that than I could soar with the eagles, people.

And if you haven't ticked [livejournal.com profile] lcsbanana's box (um...yeah, that didn't sound good, but I'm sure she'll take it well) and you'd enjoy seeing audience commentary on your work, really, don't let me discourage you. It's a wonderful concept, and I have to think that everyone else who participates in it (...and everyone else on the planet) will be better at it than me.

In fact, it might be best to tick now, before you get a look at what I did.

Yes. That would be for the best.

Also, I promise that I won't be doing story summaries this long again. It got all out of control on me.

(Secret message to all who sent me birthday gifts and wishes: LJ and I had some issues there for a while, mostly involving me not getting informed of comments. But now both LJ and I have our acts more or less together at nearly the same time, which is indeed rare, and you should be getting individual thanks from me shortly. In the meantime, know that you all - including all three of you lurkers - have made me a very happy woman. Thank you.)

Best FF That Will Make You Picture Tim Drake in a Padawan Braid. After Which You Will Never Be the Same, I'm Warning You Here and Now. Flamebird, by [livejournal.com profile] monkeycrackmary. Star Wars x DCU, gen. When I was 16, my then-boyfriend introduced me to comics. He was a Marvel guy, but he still had some affection for Batman, and he gave me a quick summary of the DCU. (I know. Quick summary = useless summary in any comics canon. I said he was a Marvel guy, right? He gave me so much detail about the X-Men that I'm still in therapy.) He explained about the Robins - or, as he called them, Real Robin and Not Robin. His description of Jason Todd, aka Not Robin, was, in toto: "A placeholder, and kind of a brat." That's pretty much the image I carried of Jason until I found FF, which changed me. (Yes, I know. It changes us all. But this was a change that was entirely g-rated, and that has to have some kind of rarity value.) Why do I tell you this? Because this story makes Jason so very real. It makes me hurt for Jason. Here, that's exactly what he (okay, Jay) is: a placeholder. This is a story, yes, and a great one, but for me it's also as a weird meta thing on how Jason was treated in the Batman series; as far as I can tell, to the extent I can look back past all the crises and reloads and everything, that was pretty much like Jay is treated here.

The other Robins are also here, being very much themselves; I doubt I need to express my joy at the perfection of Tim in this story, but I should mention (because I have no dignity left to lose) that I squeaked when I first read the words "Master Greyson." (I'm sorry. It's the DCU. It does that to me.) And there's someone else who isn't here, but is still everywhere in this story: Anakin Skywalker. (Secret message to George Lucas: This is how Anakin's story should have gone, and I don't forgive you just because you had to make the end of 3 match up to the start of 4 (which, also - you didn't). We manage to work around your screwy canon, so I have no sympathy for you at all if you can't.) I love the way I can see an actual character for Anakin around the edges of this, way more than I did in episodes one and two (I just wimped out on three; I couldn't face it at all). So. Anakin's here in spirit, with his story going right for a change. Jason's here in fact, no matter what his name is, with his story going on for a change. Plus there's Tim, which is just - I mean, Tim. And it's like Star Wars Episodes 1-3 never happened. Is this not the very model of a fan's paradise? It is, and you should read it.

Best FF That Could Quite Possibly Make You Enjoy Eating from a Mini-Bar. It Might Even Make You Enjoy Paying $5 for a Package of Peanuts. It Has That Kind of Power. Cherchez la Femme, by Victoria P., aka [livejournal.com profile] musesfool. Ocean's 11, Danny Ocean/Rusty Ryan. A really good writer can make me agree with almost anything, and Victoria is just such a writer. This is a fascinating take on the Danny-Rusty dynamic; it is not my take, but this story totally makes me go there anyway. Hell, it makes me want to set up house there. And that's one of the reasons I love this. I also love the assorted original female characters in here - I mean, when I read this story, I always get distracted by Bachelorette #3 because I want to hear more about her. I want to know how she did what she did, and why, and also if she could maybe saunter into the lives of other favorite slash pairings of mine, because that would be so very excellent I might die. And then, by the end of her section, I'm totally invested in the Danny/Rusty story again, and I forget all about her. (Look. It is not my fault. I have, you know, focus issues. Also, she's way cool, but they are sleek and shiny and totally in love with each other. So it's no contest, really.)

The other thing I love about this story, the thing that made me pick it for the blather fest this post is turning out to be, is. Okay. I'm going to try my hand at actual analysis here, albeit at a very low level, and you all have to be very supportive and try not to laugh, because this is not my metier. See, when I look at the women Danny dates in this story, what I notice is how they all are complete characters, and yet they each represent just one facet of Rusty's personality, from the freewheeling indie to the con artist extraordinaire. Danny's dating women who remind him in some way of the guy he's already with. So Victoria, in other words, seems to me to be saying, "Check out Danny. He is such an idiot that he does not get that he's actually looking for Rusty." Except, of course, he's not an idiot. He figures it out in the end. Some people just need to be smacked in the face a few times before they can process this sort of thing, and I for one don't hold it against them.

Best FF That Always Makes Me Wonder How the Hell You'd Carve a Turnip. But Then, I've Never Carved a Pumpkin, Either, So Maybe I'm Just Not Picturing This Right. Wheel, by Brighid, aka [livejournal.com profile] brighidestone. Stargate: SG-1, Jack O'Neill/Sam Carter/Daniel Jackson. Warning: I can't warn you, but I can say it's all on the upswing after the first part. If you make it through that, you're good. But thost first few sections hurt, people. My basic summary of this story is: wow. I've been wanting to rec this for a long time, partly because it makes me happy, but mostly because it's brave. It is just such a fucking courageous story; in it, Brighid does two specific things (no, I am not going to tell you what they are, because you'll know if you read it, and also they're spoilers of a large and looming nature) that are unusual (especially when paired like this) in SG1 stories of this genre. (The genre is The World Ended or Maybe We Just Lost It. In this case, for the record, they just lost it; earth is doing fine, but it and SG1 are maintaining separate residences.) And she does them (Brighid does the things, I mean; I refuse to apologize for my dependence on parentheses. They are pretty and fun. So there.) so well, and neither one is a particularly popular choice.

Okay. Look, we can't go on this way. If I'm going to talk about this story, I have to talk about those two things. So, please, just go read it, and I'll stay here and spoil in privacy. This way for the not interesting and not entertaining babble. Or you could just, you know, move on to the next rec. I'm not giving any orders, mind you, but I know what I'd choose. )

Best FF That Makes IQ Tests Not Just Fun but Sexy. Take That, Wechsler! The Pegasus Society, by Sabine, aka [livejournal.com profile] iamsab. Stargate: Atlantis, John Sheppard/Rodney McKay/Atlantis. And. Okay. I was saving this for last, because I actually had something substantive to say about the other stories. (I am, yes, well aware that I didn't actually manage to communicate that something. This is an imperfect medium, people, and there's bound to be some content loss between writer and reader, and also I zing from topic to topic like I'm in Brownian motion.) About this I have nothing to say but oh my god. (For the full effect, you'll need to read that part in italics out loud. Make it high and breathless, like a 14-year-old girl who has just touched a boy band...um, boy, I guess. What do you call the individual members of a boy band?) See, this story - it just hits all my shameful SGA kinks. There's super smart John pretending to be dumb, and Atlantis all over the place (seriously - Atlantis point of view, and it's a benevolent Atlantis, which is just - see, in my head, Atlantis is benevolent, but when I try to write it she ends up eeeeevil, so this is like a super-extra bonus for me), and Rodney bringing new meaning to the concept of multi-tasking. There's even intelligence tests in here. It starts with the whole sum of the squares thing, which for most of us is like encountering an old friend; I can only think of a handful of opening lines that have brought me into a story faster than this one, because I was right with Rodney when he yelled out the answer. I mean, I felt a bond! With Rodney! It's just...and also...and then...

And now you see what I mean about this story. I've got no content for this rec at all, just a lot of pathetic squeeing. You know how some people get about their canon? Like, how most people get about their canon? I really only get that way about fan fiction, and this story - this story made me react the way Smallville fans would if they found their way into an alternate universe where the series was written by someone who had a crush on Lex instead of Lana. And was an actual good writer. (No offense intended, Smallville people! You know I have love for you! It's just, the recent spate of SV-SGA comparisons has left me gape-mouthed with shock and horror. That, that is some very interesting canon you've been swimming against for five years. No wonder you're all so durable and steadfast.) So. This story brings me joy. Tragically, it also connects my i/o ports directly to my squee center, bypassing my brain completely, so this "commentary" (All together now: "There hasn't actually BEEN any commentary, TFV!") pretty much consists of the basic concept expressed by the word yay. Only, um. Spread over two paragraphs.

Next time: a return to your regular story summaries, which are just as contentless, but much, much shorter. It's something for us all to look forward to, yes?
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
In this post, [livejournal.com profile] greenet did an interaction meme (following the format "Comment and I'll tell you [insert item here] about you, thus saying something about both of us").* Normally, I can't do these when other people post them, although that doesn't stop me from trying; see, most of them require reciprocation ("post this in your journal"). I understand why; that's the meme-propagation step, and those of us who were paying attention in high school biology (which, OK, I wasn't, because all we ever did was watch documentaries, but I did read the textbook) will recall that the ability to reproduce is an essential component of life.

But meme reciprocation would violate many of this LJ's founding precepts. (Pretentious? Why, yes. Thank you for noticing. But, confession: I didn't articulate most of them until I'd been doing this a while, so really they're more like "summaries of what I've found works for me." It's just that using the other phrase makes me feel like my parents got value for my college education, so I'm staying with that.) So I was happy to see that [livejournal.com profile] greenet added "If you so wish" to the reciprocation step of this particular meme, which introduced a brand-new (well, novel, at any rate) concept in meme lifecycle: birth control. And I'm all for birth control.

It's generally a lot of fun for me to do memes of this kind; because I almost never can, they never get old. (Yet another argument in favor of meme birth control, let me note: fewer but better and more lovingly-reared memes.) Naturally, presented with one I could actually do, I wanted to do it well.

Unfortunately, I couldn't. Not really. One of the steps of the meme required the poster to tell me something she'd always wondered about me, and let's face it, if you've been reading this LJ for a while, you just don't have any burning questions left about me. I mean, you're all very, even painfully, aware that I love reading, babble incessantly, and grow reactionary and irrational when discussing English usage. What else is there to know?

Well, possibly, what I'm going to recommend next. Which is what [livejournal.com profile] greenet went with. Specifically, she said:

Your five newest favorite stories/fandoms/characters?**

I wanted to answer that. But, unfortunately, I just don't work like that, not exactly. The best I can do is offer her the five stories I most recently added to the Big Scary Master List (Unsorted). Some of them are actually fairly old. (And some of them I'd read long before I added them to the List; browser crashes and memory lapses play hell with my consistency on that one.) So today I'm posting a non-themed set. Or if there is a theme, it's that some of us still like memes, actually.

It's going behind a cut for two reasons.

First, this isn't going to be the greatest set ever. One of the reasons I take such a long time to recommend stories is that I need time to deal with them, to articulate what I think about them and why. (Seriously. Lots of time. Two nights ago, I finally figured out what was wrong with a science fiction short story I read years ago, before I'd read even one piece of FF. I've been thinking about that since I read it, considered the problem thousands of times before I solved it. "Slow but steady" is my motto. Sort of by default.)

Second, she did say five. That means this set is going to be longer than usual, and, let's face it, my entries are already way longer than the average post. Sheer mercy for your friends lists, then, argues for a cut tag.

And here is that very cut tag! Speak of the devil. )
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Best FF That Violates All Known Laws of Good Fan Fiction (and Grammar): Breathless, Too, by Gloria Mundi. Pirates of the Caribbean, Sparrow/Norrington (implied). This is a one-sentence, 1200-word fiction, folks. It's completely plotless. It abuses the English language until said language is on the floor, begging weakly for a mercy killing. And it's still too good to be posted on fanfiction.net. Gloria Mundi has proven that if you're good enough, you don't have to follow the rules.

Best Use of Sex to Show Character (As Opposed to Sex to Show Sex. Not That That's Not Good, Too.): Silence, by Cinzia. Lord of the Rings, Aragorn/Boromir. Yes, there's angst, but it turns out angst works on Boromir.

Best Imitation of the Canon Author's Voice: Influence, by shalott. Master & Commander, Aubrey/Maturin (of course). The author just nails Patrick O'Brian's voice, although I can't imagine him ever putting it to this use. And Maturin and Aubrey could not be more in character without, you know, not having sex at all.

Best WIP Fic (While Fully Acknowledging That WsIP Are Evil): Jjail, by Firesignwriter. Pirates of the Caribbean, Sparrow/Norrington. The reason I read PotC (despite my revulsion for what most people consider the OTP of the fandom) is that the fics are fun. Less angst, more humor; less moody, sullen, repressed cavemen, more swishy, pansexual pirates; less use of the word "despair," more use of the word "savvy." This fiction, despite being a possibly-abandoned WIP, and despite containing several things I don't generally like to see in FF, is an excellent example of the genre.

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