thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Recently, I was moderately flabbergasted to come upon a Highlander x Yami no Matsuei crossover. I had one of those moments of staring blankly at the computer screen, trying to figure out if I had experienced a sudden linguistic disconnect, and maybe in this language "Highlander x Yami no Matsuei crossover" actually meant "now we all get cake" or something, because surely such a thing, defined as I understood it, was totally impossible.

And then I read it, and realized that, no, it isn't impossible, and I was forced once again to reflect on the fact that Highlander seems to be a fandom that is just very open to crossovers. I know that's partly because, hey, you've got 5,000 years of mostly unfilled Methos backstory, and who is to say he didn't pick up a young Christopher Keller in a gay bar? He could have! He could also have spent fifteen years traveling around with Doctor Who. I mean, it's not like he'd necessarily bring either of those things up in conversation. But also, just, the Highlander universe seems to be unusually smooshy - it is totally willing to cozy up to, maybe even move in with, other canons, as I'm reminded every time the HL newsletter comes out and most of the new stories are crossovers.

Naturally, I got to wondering: what other fandoms are particularly crossover-friendly? And that led, inevitably, to thoughts of those fandoms that are much, much harder to work into crossovers. Which led to thoughts of AUs, which in turn took me to a terrifying meta place, and Best Beloved had to come talk me down. "How about a poll?" she said. "Polls are fun! And, also, you can probably finish one before you fall asleep." (Whereas with actual meta - at the rate I'm currently finishing stuff, I'd have it ready for posting in, um, 2012 or thereabouts, assuming no delays for rain.)

So perhaps you would like to write my meta for me? I offer ticky boxes as incentive!

[Poll #1177790]
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Recently, our household acquired a package of Pepperidge Farms Milano Cookies. Best Beloved read the package while I was eating the cookies (we have a fabulous division of labor in our household), and then sat bolt upright, totally riveted, and read me the following line of package text:

The perfect balance of two exquisite cookies embracing a layer of luxuriously rich, dark chocolate.

Given the general nature of the readership of this LJ, I think I can comfortably assume your mind went to the same place ours did. (Actually, I have a hard time imagining what kind of person wouldn't go to that place. A deceased person, perhaps?) The cookies - longing for each other, staring at each other, thinking, god, so beautiful, so smooth and oval and golden. And they want to touch, but they can't. They can't. They're only cookies; how can they ever meet, when a cruel manufacturer has placed them in separate storage locations? And then First Cookie meets Chocolate, and Chocolate rubs up against First Cookie, slides on top of her, and she's so hot, so silky, and she feels so damn good, and First Cookie is overwhelmed. And then - god, yes. Second Cookie is suddenly pressed against Chocolate's back, and First Cookie can feel Second Cookie, feel every move she makes through Chocolate's welcoming, supple, seductive body. First Cookie rubs helplessly against Chocolate, pressing close, closer, closest, and she feels Second Cookie pressing back, and Chocolate is moaning now, and First Cookie gasps, and...

I need not tell you that this ends with the three of them as a single family unit, together forever, wedded into a single, blissful confection, all the better and all the happier for being three in number and two in kind. (Until I eat them. Um. Yes, okay, I'm now feeling some guilt.)

In short: Milano cookies make a person's mind turn to threesomes.

(After Best Beloved found this gem, I conducted further packaging research. In another place, the package text says: "Embrace decadent cravings. Open... Taste... Delight." And "gratification guaranteed." Just so you know that this is not an isolated incident. Pepperidge Farm is apparently really in love with the "Our cookies are like sex! Only better!" angle. Porn writers, you may wish to apply for a job there. I know, like, 3,000 of you who could write brilliant cookie sex for them.)

The One That Proves That Sometimes, Panties Are Optional and Sunglasses Aren't. Angle of Vision, by Zoe Rayne, aka [livejournal.com profile] z_rayne, and [livejournal.com profile] libitina. Thoughtcrimes x Scanners II, Brendan Dean/David Kellum/Freya McAllister.

One of the many joys of being in a fandom with older actors is that they sometimes have a deeply fascinating back catalog of work. (Not that I, myself, ever watch this back catalog of work. I am not that strong. But it's joyous fun to read other people's reactions to fine masterworks such as Boa vs. Python and Family Album, even if - no, who am I kidding? Especially because - those reactions consist of capslocked flailings about giant plastic snakes and the tragedy of growing up gay in a Danielle Steel movie.) But, even though I love the back catalog effect (especially with Canadian actors, who apparently have to appear in a movie or TV show every 15 days or else the Canadian government will shoot their moms, and sometimes, when you have to act to save your mom, you make artistic compromises), I've never gotten all that far into the six degrees fandoms. See, my first real exposure to the six degrees fandom thing was via Hard Core Logo, which scarred me, because Joe Dick is, for all intents and purposes, a clone of a guy I dated in my unfortunate youth. And I had already read HCL porn when I found that out. Scarring, I tell you.

But. But. (And, yes, we're getting to the story now. Shhhh.) This story is awesome even though it is a six degrees crossover, and I have never seen any of the canons involved. (Here's what I know about the canons via fannish osmosis: Thoughtcrimes is about this guy who loves cough syrup straight from the bottle, and this girl who has visions, and together they fight crime. And Scanners II is about a guy named David, who is hot, and probably has psychic powers or something. He might fight crime. He might BE crime. Fandom is not, on this point, particularly revealing.) Why is it awesome? Well, there's a threesome involving two bodies, which is always a neat trick. But mostly, actually, I love it for the sense of character it gives me. It doesn't usually work to wander into a story, especially a shorter one, featuring three unfamiliar characters from two unfamiliar fandoms; my mind is just not that flexible. But this works, and I found myself quite liking the people involved, and actually seeing them as people, even if I had to double-check their names so as not to call the pairing Mind Powers Girl/Cough Syrup Guy/A Mysteriously Skilled Guy Named David.

The One That Demonstrates the Many Positive Ways in Which Porn Can Change Your Life. It's Our Anthem, People! The Unholy Trinity, by [livejournal.com profile] shrift. Samurai Champloo, Fuu/Jin/Mugen.

(Note: this is a timestamp meme story, so it's technically a sequel to The Wind Will Not Subside. However, you could read this story without reading that one. I'm just not sure why you'd want to; The Wind Will Not Subside is wonderful - and, oh, dear god, I initially mistyped that as "winderful," which is the kind of pun I'm pretty sure you do hard time in hell for.)

Okay, see, this story actually had me from the title. As in, I saw the title before I saw the pairing or the fandom, and I thought, grumpily, "If that's not a Samurai Champloo story, I'm not sure I even want to read it." And then, inexplicably, it was a Samurai Champloo story, and I squeaked and made undignified noises and settled down to read with a song in my heart. And the title of that song was "Fuu and Mugen and Jin Are So Going to Have Sex, Sex, Sex Now." (Yes, in the official version of the song, there is an unfortunate dance step that accompanies the "sex, sex, sex" part. Those of you who have done the Time Warp would probably recognize it.)

And indeed they do have sex, sex, sex [pelvic thrust] in this story. But, in fact, I think I like best the image of Fuu stealing Mugen's porn. And being inspired by it. Because if the motto of Samurai Champloo is "just because we're technically set in ancient Japan, that doesn't mean we can't have hip-hop if we want to," the motto of Samurai Champloo fan fiction should totally be, "This time, the porn's not just for Mugen."

Actually, that pretty much is my motto, and not just for Samurai Champloo, either. But, hey, that's a different story.

The One That Will Cause Me to Reveal a Dark Secret of My Past. No, Not That I Was a Vampire. Worse, Actually - I Played One. Saving Roll, by Kate Bolin, aka [livejournal.com profile] katemonkey. (Thanks, [livejournal.com profile] pearl_o!) Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Xander Harris/Anya Jenkins/Spike.

I. Okay. I have to make a confession here, and it's a little embarrassing, so just - you know. Be nice.

I was an AD&D geek. (You can tell, because I didn't write "D&D," I wrote "AD&D." That extra letter, when referring to the game, can be translated as, "Hello, I still have two giant bags of dice with side numbers ranging from 4 all the way up to 30" - yes, seriously, I have a thirty-sided die, which makes me a geek even by other role-playing gamer geeks' standards.) I played a lot of AD&D in college. I played a lot of role-playing games, just generally. I can create characters in twelve different systems. I can speak from the heart about my preference for certain skills systems over other certain skills systems. I can tell you humorous stories about various adventures that require a profound understanding of the alternate-rules third-edition system - wait, let me rephrase that, because I can sense your eyes glazing over from here: I can tell you humorous stories that will have you weeping with boredom.

(And you know the really funny thing? While I was obsessively creating player characters and collecting comic books and eating pizza for dinner all the time and spending 22 hours each day in various chat programs and just generally living the good life as defined by a 14-year-old boy who has not seen the sun in two years, I was comforting myself with, "Well. At least I'm not reading fan fiction." And now I think that, really, fan fiction is amazingly cool, but I'm kind of embarrassed that I need a whole closet just to hold my old RPG rules books. I - yeah. I am a study in contradictions, people! Admire my depths! Or laugh at me!)

Anyway. I had to tell you all that, not just because it's time to get it out in the open - defriend at will, and I'll understand; it's always hard when a person you thought you knew starts using terms like "percentile dice" and really meaning it - but because it explains my reaction to the framing device of this story. Which was basically a heart-clenching wave of love so intense that I very nearly started rooting around for my old DM screens. I mean, yes, I love alternate endings within a single story (and always have - I was a fan fiction lover born, not made, even if it took me a while to get here), and yes, the concept of Anya, Xander, and Spike having sex will always appeal to me more than it maybe should, but if you really want to get me dizzy with love, put in a d20.

Seriously. I am so in love that I have to go lie down for a bit.

The One That Shows That Cherry Blossoms Lead to Sex, Which Explains an Awful Lot About Both Yaoi Anime and the United States Federal Government, Two Concepts That Previously Had Not Been All That Connected in My Mind. Yoshino, by [livejournal.com profile] eretria and [livejournal.com profile] auburnnothenna. Stargate: Atlantis x Stargate: SG-1, Sam Carter/Rodney McKay/John Sheppard.

This story asks an important question that I think many of our characters could stand to put some thought into. Namely, if you save the world, don't you deserve a night of really hot sex? I realize that it would be impossible for some characters to have as many nights of hot sex as they've earned. They only have so much time and energy, after all. (Note: The foregoing does not apply to Captain Jack Harkness.) But one night after all the world-saving does not seem like too much to ask.

This is why this story makes me happy for John and Rodney, yes, but it really makes me happy for Sam. Sam, as we've learned from Brad Wright (via, at least in my case, [livejournal.com profile] katie_m, because I don't listen to commentaries on account of a tragic allergy), has a lot on her plate, what with saving the world and having breasts, and it means she just doesn't have time for hot sex all that often. Thank god fan fiction is there to pick up the slack.

And [livejournal.com profile] eretria and [livejournal.com profile] auburnnothenna didn't just pick up the slack; they created an entirely new rope with this one. (Okay, fine, I overworked the metaphor. I don't care. What good is a metaphor if you can't take it to a ludicrous conclusion?) It's a tough sell, at least for me, writing this particular threesome from Sam's perspective, and I love what Eretria and Auburn did and how they did it: Sam making the decision, Rodney going along with so much enthusiasm that you expect him to form a "Yay! Threesome!" fan club, and John requiring an intergalactic trip, two rounds of hot sex, and some light bondage to get a clue. (I love him. I really do. But I totally buy that it would take two brilliant minds working in tandem to get him to figure out something he doesn't want to know.)
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
I've been trying del.icio.us for a while, and I've come to the conclusion - well, it's nice to have all my bookmarks resident on the web. And it's nice to be able to put everything up there. But - well, okay. It makes me not want to do actual recommendations sets, and that's kind of why I have this journal, and it's the thing I love most. So that doesn't seem like such a great idea, basically.

And then I got to thinking - maybe there's a different bookmark system, probably not a social one, that's web-resident. Maybe someone out there knows about it! So, hey, if you do - tell me, okay? Actually, there's a few other things I'd like you to recommend to me.

Find me a find, catch me a catch. )

Anyway. My point is, for those of you who have just read through the cut tag and have thus forgotten what the hell this post is about, even, is: del.icio.us is sapping my will to rec. So I says to myself, says I, "Return to the classics. Crossovers will bring meaning back to your journal!" And then, just to throw in even greater incentive, I lifted my usual stricture on crossovers. I mean, normally I get all on my high horse and say, "There shall be no repeats in any of the crossed over fandoms in a given crossover set." But life is too short, people.

The One That Is a Delightful Blend of Two Tasty Flavors of John. Plus Added Hotness in the Form of Claudia Black, Which Is Just Never a Bad Thing. Flying Low at Night, by [livejournal.com profile] cofax7. Farscape x Stargate: Atlantis, John Sheppard/Aeryn Sun. Have you ever found yourself standing in a TV on DVD aisle saying, "Sci Fi channel series about guys named John with special Ancient mojo who are stranded in distant universes. I wonder what the difference is?" Well, okay, first: if you have, don't admit it. You will bring shame on all of fandom. Just read this story and you'll be able to tell real, real well. A quick cheat sheet, though: Farscape has the John whose life kind of defines "out of the frying pan, into the fire." (And almost no one writes stories about his hair.) Whereas Stargate has the John whose life kind of defines "the road to hell is paved with good intentions." (And his hair has about the same number of fans as he does.)

So what I love about this story is that it - no, okay. I need to be honest. I love a lot about this story. I mean, I adore that it starts after the crossover - way after, in fact. We don't worry about how John (Hair-John, as I will be calling him for the rest of this summary, so as to avoid confusion) got to the Farscape end of the universe. He's there, and it's pretty consistent with the way his life has gone thus far, so that's fine. We pick up with him after years in Farscape, in fact, and we get to see what it's done to him. (Basically, it's turned him back into the guy in Antarctica. With about four hundred years' worth of added world weariness.) And then we get to see him cope with the other John's (Can I just call him Crichton? I'm getting kind of lost amongst all the Johns, here.) situation. It's just...wow. But what I was going to say (just re-read the beginning of this paragraph; if I go into it again we'll never get out of here) is that most of all I love the ending. It's hopeful and it's - it's just - god. I want a million more stories telling what happens after this, because I think that part of the universe is in for some very interesting times.

The One in Which Charles Gunn Is Confused about Why Everyone in Pegasus Speaks English. Right There with You, Gunn. Outward Bound, by Hth, aka [livejournal.com profile] hth_the_first. Stargate: Atlantis x Angel the Series, Charles Gunn/Wesley Wyndham-Pryce, Charles Gunn/Ronon Dex. Before, we had a character from SGA sucked into another universe. Now we have a character from another universe sucked into SGA. And this...okay. First, let me just admit that I couldn't face watching any of Angel after season one - frankly, I think it was very brave of me to keep watching after Doyle did his Flying Wallenda - and so I never really got to know Gunn that well. I didn't ever meet Fred, or follow the whole Arc of Incredibly Complex Complexity that characterized Wesley's, um, last few seasons. But I love this story anyway.

Hth makes an excellent point, here - the Angel crew and the SGA crew aren't that different. They're both operating without much of a plan, and sometimes they both fuck up royally. And all the characters in both have kind of grown accustomed to living in greater danger - a higher state of alert, if you will - than most humans even know is possible, from creatures that aren't supposed to exist. So, you know, I wasn't too sure about this concept at first, but then I realized it is perfect. Plus, Gunn and Ronon get it on. Pretty much your ideal universe, right there. Well. If you discount the very high probability of death, and I totally couldn't, but I think Gunn and Ronon have both reached the point where "constant threat of death" equals "situation normal" in their minds.

The One That Explores Humanity's Basic Inability to Follow the Rules. And Isn't That What Makes People Great? The Sound of One Hand Clapping, by Gale, aka [livejournal.com profile] iphignia939. Firefly x Stargate: SG-1, gen. (Ha! I bet you totally thought this would be another SGA crossover. But once again, the hand was quicker than the eye!) Um. I am unfamiliar with Firefly, but I think this story is about a Major Spoiler. Yes. And I'm not sure if it's the kind of thing that everyone in all of fandom knows, or if it's more of a new thing. So I'm going to slip this summary behind a cut, just in case, and can someone please tell me if it's necessary or not? It's also about a Major Spoiler from SG1, but I think everyone knows that one by now. )

The One That Gives a Lot of Depth to a Certain Hair-Bedecked Guy Named John. And, Hey - This Totally Explains That, Too, Come to Think of It. Just As Required, Without Excess, by [livejournal.com profile] liviapenn. Stargate: Atlantis x DCU, gen. (Yep, it's the all Stargate crossover set. If you wish this trend not to continue, check under the first cut tag.) Okay. This story made me swoon with joy. When I tried to write up a description in del.icio.us, I ended up with a lot of exclamation points and random squealing. (Of course you can squeal in print. I'm not saying it's pretty, but it can be done.) I'm not sure if it'll be quite the same orgasmic experience if you don't know the DCU, but if you don't recognize the crossover character, Livia provides a helpful link at the end. And I'm pretty sure it will still work. Just - it's worth learning a bit about the DCU just so you can wave your hands about incoherently right along with me, okay?

You know, we all read (and sometimes write) a lot of stories trying to explain John's weirdness. (No, I can't describe it better than that. If I could, I'd write my own damn story, 'kay?) And this one did it so well. I don't really want to spoil it, and I really don't want to add another damn cut tag to this entry, but - look. This story provides a back story for John that I can absolutely and totally buy into. After you read it, I invite you to reflect upon what it says about the character (and the actor and the writers, maybe) that this had me nodding and saying, "Yeah! Oh my god YES! That so totally works! And also, RODNEY IS TIM AND TEYLA IS BATGIRL." (Lately I've discovered that all my fandoms can be translated into the Batverse. Like, Fraser is Tim and Ray K. is Nightwing and Stella is Oracle and Frannie is Steph and Ray Vecchio is Jason Todd. Um. Not that I've put a lot of thought into this or anything. Really. And I haven't even considered writing a paper about how Batman is the only character that doesn't usually have an analog, possibly because he's too fucked up for there to be more than one of him in the multiverse.)
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
(For the record, Wordsworth is to blame for the title punctuation. I am innocent. Innocent, I tell you.)

Alternate universes. And I've said this before, but alternate universes come in many flavors, from body-snatch ("Wouldn't it be cool if Xander Harris looked like Justin Timberlake?") to eigenstate ("What if Two-Face's coin had come up heads?") to brand new suit ("What if Casey had stayed in gymnastics? And been really good at it?") to mutant hybrid ("So, if Beecher is Cathy and Keller is Heathcliff..."). I'm not a big fan of the body-snatch AU, but otherwise I'll read whatever is going. What's going today? Mutant hybrid, brand new clothes, and major eigenstate (only one thing happened differently, but it turned out to have a major local effect). In other words, just another ordinary day in fan fiction. FF, how I love thee!

Best FF That Will Give You a New Appreciation for Current European Monarchs. I Mean, You Think Prince Charles Has Funny Ears? Study in Emerald, by Neil Gaiman. Sherlock Holmes x H. P. Lovecraft, and I imagine the author would say it was gen. (It is, actually. But Gaiman does such a good job of recreating - or, well, re-doing - the Holmes canon that slash lurks in every corner and between every line, just waiting for someone to say its name and make it manifest. And then write a sex scene or two.) You need to know at least a smidgen about both fandoms to enjoy this. But if you do? Oh how you will enjoy it. I just can't give you specific reasons, because I can't say much about the story without spoiling it. So instead of persuading you with logic and incisive critique*, I'll have to go the whining, begging, pleading route: Read this! Even though it is not your fandom! (Unless of course SH x HPL is your fandom, in which case I have an anthology you'd like to read.) Even if it is gen! (Or, if you are a gen reader, even if it does have slashy overtones!) Because it is, well, really good! So good that I would even throw a second exclamation point into that last sentence, except that the shame would break me; I'd end up like Dimmesdale. (I.e., in a closet with a scourge. And Hester Prynne.). Or maybe like a Lovecraftian hero after he discovers - too late, too late - that research is the real most dangerous game. (I.e., gibbering in moderately purple prose.) My point is, you need to read this story right now, unless you don't know the canons, in which case you'll want to do some other reading first. (I suggest A Study in Scarlet and The Call of Cthulhu.) I may not be Lovecraft's biggest fan, but, seriously, this story is worth the effort.

Best FF That Will Make You Want to Eat Cake. A Decorated Cake. Or, OK, One Specific Decorated Cake. Or Maybe It's Just Me Who Wants That. Deke, by Rhi Marzano, aka [livejournal.com profile] rhiko. Due South, Ray Kowalski/Benton Fraser. Two authors I love share a dS site (this one, in fact), and of the nine stories there, four are AUs. And these are good AUs, AUs I have long admired. So picking just one was, you know, challenging; I finally went with this because it's got hockey. And we all need more hockey AUs. I mean, OK, yes, dS has more hockey than your average fandom (Although why other fandoms don't have much is an unsolved mystery. Who doesn't want to see Ron Weasley play goalie? Or Bobby Drake as center-forward in what has to be his natural habitat? Or Beecher and Keller suddenly playing for the same team? (Hockey team.) I hear all of you chorusing, "We don't want to see that," but you are wrong. Every fandom needs hockey. Even ones that are, technically, set prior to the invention of the sport.) Also, I'm beginning to think that NHL hockey may survive only in fan fiction AUs, so I'm doing my part to encourage fangirls everywhere to get to know hockey. (And then come explain it to me, because I've never met a team sport I understood.) You say hockey is not enough to convince you? Give up now, kiddo, because I've got lots more reasons you should read this. Like, for example - Fraser is still the canonical Fraser. Blending an AU-type character and a canon(ish) character is not easy, but Rhi does it with great panache. And you like panache, don't you? Plus, I find myself actually liking Smithbauer in this one, which is like a miracle on the ice. Also, there's cake.

Best FF That Proves That Dysfunctional Romance Is the Basic Black Dress of Interpersonal Relationships. Force Draw, by [livejournal.com profile] actizera. Oz, Tobias Beecher/Christopher Keller. A good Oz AU is hard to find, man. I don't mean eigenstate AUs; I'm talking about ones that change the setting. Oz is maybe the most setting-dependent canon in existence, and taking the guys out of the cage changes way too much for it to work. I mean, you could write, say, a law firm AU (sadistic senior partner Schillinger, newly-minted sacrificial lawyer Beecher, hotshot trial guy O'Reily, Keller bribing juries and sucking cock to get - well, pretty much anything), but it'd be tough to preserve the characters, let alone the relationships between them. Oz is all about having no choice, all about being penned up with wild animals (and everyone is a wild animal in there; the only choice is predator or prey), and even though many of us would liken attorneys - the ones we don't love, obviously - to wild animals, it's just not the same without the walls and guards and locks. Beecher/Keller is a particularly tough pairing to sell in a changed-setting AU; it's just really hard to buy their relationship outside of prison. Which is, as you may have guessed, why I love this story. These guys are canon Beecher and Keller, and they have the same relationship; they just play pool instead of cards, and they screw in a truck rather than after lights out, but otherwise it's all the same, and it's believable, which is a miracle. You don't even need to know how the characters got to this point; this is a vignette, not an epic, so there's not a lot of background, but that totally works. For one thing, you pretty much know the background after you read this scene. All hail Actizera, who wrote the impossible AU. And who apparently gets Beecher and Keller on a scarily deep level.

Best FF That Supports Gerund Rights. Specifically, Gerund Rights to Appear in Titles. All We Are Saying Is Give Gerunds a Chance. Coming up for Air Series, by Delilah. The Sentinel, gen. First, the caveats: this series is a work in progress, and although each story stands alone fairly well, the last one ends on a cliffhanger. Also, some of the stories need to be beta-read - there's a lot of typo-type errors. But it is definitely worth reading. It's a fascinating extrapolation of the canon; the potential for all of this is present in the series but never explored (or, I suspect, even considered). The minor characters are extrapolated, too; Jim's family is very present, and as much more than just plot devices. Stephen, in particular, is an interesting and complete character here, and Sally gets a lot more time. Bonus: the mystical stuff makes sense. Normally I can only take so much supernatural-shaman-spirit guide blah before I'm ready to move on to something slightly more probable, like why Ron Weasley is really Dumbledore. In fact, I sometimes OD on the whole caboodle in the time it takes to read the words "black jaguar." In this series, though, it makes much more sense and works a lot better than in most stories. And this AU concept just feels right; it's believable in a way the canon sometimes isn't. And for the record, I don't find these stories sad. Oh, didn't I mention that in the warnings? Because, yeah. Everyone I've ever seen mention this series (which is, admittedly, not that many, even though it's a rather famous series) has described it as sad. Disturbing, even. But for once I don't agree, and given that I can tear up over video games and the death of characters who are, technically, cars, that's saying something. (Although I can't tell you whether it's something about the series or about me.) No one dies in this. Nothing that happens is worse or more upsetting than the canon. Jim is different, yes - his senses came fully and permanently on-line when he was six, and that changed him and the course of his life - but I don't see him as even remotely a tragic figure; he is damaged, both by the senses and by some aspects of his family, but that's true of canon Jim, too. To me, this Jim is, if anything, more comfortable and more secure than the one in the canon. But, well, others don't agree with me, so you are hereby warned: this might make you sad. (If it does, please say so in the comments. I'd like to know, and it will serve as a warning to others.)

-Footnote-

* I know. Like I ever do, right?
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
I'm going to be out of town for a few days, and I'm experiencing my usual pre-trip discombobulation as a result. (Actually, I'm mostly wondering why the hell I did this and what I was thinking and how I can avoid ever doing it again. I don't like traveling. Hell, in my ideal universe I wouldn't even have to leave my house.) I'm also doing the so-much-to-do-that-I-can't-do-any-of-it panic. What happens when you combine procrastination and panic and impending separation from the internet? Well, at least in these parts, recommendations sets. In this case, a crossover set, because I have a huge list of fantastic FF in this category that I've shamefully neglected lately. And also because slightly surreal stories are excellent preparation for this trip.

Best FF That Proves That There Are Things You Always Want to Remember, and Things You'd Love to Forget. And You Don't Know What Screwed Means Until You Have a Memory That Falls into Both Categories. The Complication of Memory, by Jennifer-Oksana, aka [livejournal.com profile] jennyo*. Angel x Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (and you'll need to be at least somewhat familiar with both canons for this to work), Wesley Wyndham-Pryce/Lilah Morgan. Yes, het. Canon het. I'm not the least bit sorry. And neither will you be when you read this. That goes even for die-hard slashers, because the sex is so not the point here. The real draw of this story is - well, put it this way: this just may be the archetypal crossover vignette. It blends two universes that you'd think had nothing to say to each other, and does that without changing a thing about either of them. And it makes a point about both canons in the process. I suppose I should mention that this story is an overtaken-by-events AU; I think (I'm not sure, mind you, but wouldn't you be surprised if I was?) the events of the last episode of Angel rendered this story an impossibility. But, hey, who cares? Anyway, this road is probably the better way to go. Although maybe not for Wes.

Best FF That Will Burn into Your Brain a Number of Mental Images You'd Pay Good Money to Get Burned out Again. For Example, Rip Torn and Tommy Lee Jones Perving on Will Smith's Ass. See? Now You Want a Neuralyzer, Don't You? Well, You Won't Get One; I'm Not Going Through This Alone. Decoy, by Julian Lee, aka [livejournal.com profile] julianlee*. Men in Black x Smallville, J/K, Clark Kent/Lex Luthor. This crossover makes perfect sense, provided you've been keeping to a regular regime of Disbelief Suspension Mental Yoga, which is pretty much a mandatory practice for reading any crossover. Why does it make sense? Well, consider the facts. Clark Kent: alien! The Men in Black: cope with aliens! Lex Luthor: wears well-tailored suits! The Men in Black: also wear suits, although generally not purple ones! Smallville: regularly ravaged by mutant aggressive weirdos! The Men in Black: suspiciously fond of the oeuvre of Elvis Presley! So what could be more natural than a combination of the two? I mean, besides everything. Because - well, look back up at the pairing list. Yes, you're reading that right - this story involves J and K getting, well, together. And maybe I just failed my slash detection roll - highly unusual for me - but I've never, not even once, thought "they are so doing it" while watching Men in Black. And, frankly, the mere thought of K engaging in acts of...I'm sorry. I can't even write it. Nor can I bring myself to write about Zed, who can arrange an extraterrestrial anal probe at the drop of a hat, taking an unhealthy interest in J's...um. Fortunately for me, though, the sex isn't all that explicit, and in any case the story is amusing enough that it's well worth the occasional unavoidable thought of - you know. Those. Those things we won't discuss anymore, because I want to retain full use of my limited mental faculties, and I'm pretty sure my brain will opt out of further communication with me if I keep subjecting it to these sorts of thoughts.

Best FF That Proves Two Things: First, That Even in Gen No Intelligent Human Can Avoid Wondering About the Relationship Between Jim and Blair, and, Second, That There Actually Are a Few Bad Things That Haven't Yet Happened to Daniel Jackson. In the Canon, I Mean. Lovely, by Martha, aka [livejournal.com profile] soulcake. The Sentinel x Stargate SG-1, gen. There's a lot to love about this story. Lots and lots, and not just the plot and the characterization; this is definitely a case of god being in the details. I knew I was going to like this piece as soon as I saw how Martha handled the meeting of Daniel Jackson and Blair Sandburg. And I knew I was going to love it when the aliens showed up. (No, I don't need to tell you which aliens; you'll definitely know them when you meet them.) And then there's the whole crossover thing - this is another story in which both universes retain all their characteristics without sacrificing realism. And this is, for once, a Stargate crossover that really works. For some reason, that fandom is highly resistant to incursion from other canons; most crossovers involving SG-1 just feel forced. Or maybe unbalanced. But that's not true here, which proves that a) Martha is a great writer and b) Jim and Blair are very flexible and can easily slide in anywhere. (I know, bad pun, but it's true. Half the stories on my crossover list involve The Sentinel.)

Best FF That Proves That Guy Talk Is the Conversational Equivalent of Hilton Hotels: the Same Wherever You Go, and Not Especially Interesting or Fun Unless You Mix in a Lot of Sex. Ego Collision, by [livejournal.com profile] lynnmonster. Due South x Hard Core Logo, Billy Talent/Ray Kowalski/Joe Dick. [livejournal.com profile] lynnmonster has a scary superpower: she can write the unwriteable story. This woman has written great tentacle porn and mpreg wingfic and even feathercock, which last hideous mutant subgenre I had never even known existed until she wrote in it. In short, she is a menace to the sanity of the human race and we should all treasure her. But if you're also scared by her - in which case you're a lot smarter than I am, or a lot closer to the beginning of your Inevitable FF-Related Morals Decline - don't worry. This one isn't quite as improbable or disturbing as the ones I mentioned above; it's just, well, OK. A little weird, maybe. Because we're talking about sex between two characters played by the same actor (plus a third character played by an entirely different actor), for one thing, and then there's what I think of as the Unbearable Weirdness of Hard Core Logo, a film that features animal sacrifice and suicide and rape and yet is still a comedy. But despite all this strangeness, this story is not even slightly crackfic. I totally buy this aged-down version of Ray Kowalski, and the rest of the story is so realistic and right and in-character that...well, I'm not going into any more detail; I'll just say that if you've done your time in the scuzzier kind of club you'll feel right at home with this story, and if you've got knowledge of both canons, you'll feel right at home with the characters.

And that's it for this time. See you all on Wednesday. 'Til then, read a little extra FF for me, OK?

* Thanks, [livejournal.com profile] auster and [livejournal.com profile] flambeau!
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
(Note: I try not to do two entries in one day, because I figure my entries are long enough in people's friends lists without risking having two of them on the same page. What can I say? I'm bored. And I have this strange accession of energy brought on by sleeping for more than an hour at a time ; suddenly I'm not writing four nonsensical sentences, then heading into the kitchen in search of the caffeinated beverages I threw away when I thought they were causing the insomnia. It clears up all this time for - well, for what? That's the question. This, I guess. But my apologies to those who feel I'm oversharing.)

I love rare pairings. I love stories that stun me with their pairings - what? who'd ever think of writing this? - and then totally sell me on them. It's not an easy thing; I mean, there's a reason Ray/Fraser is more common than Welsh/Dewey (note to the easily alarmed: I've never actually seen a story with that pairing, so stop worrying) (note to the highly suggestible: I'm not sure I want to see a story with that pairing, either, so stop cackling in that scarily evil way) - subtext. It's a lot easier to slash people who have some chemistry. Hell, it's a lot easier to slash people who occupy the same part of the space-time continuum. But when an author finds some hidden gem of subtext or rationale for a pairing no one else would write, well, I want to embrace that author. And then tie her to keyboard and force her to write me stories every day. But I usually refrain from both those things, and I imagine the authors are grateful.

Best FF That Pairs the Two Least Scrutable People in a Whole Universe, Leading to a Relationship That Must Be Like Reading Runes in the Dark. But With Way More Sex. The Undiscovered Country series: Plans, by [livejournal.com profile] debchan, Sun, by Te, aka [livejournal.com profile] thete1, and Moon, by The Spike, aka [livejournal.com profile] spike21. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Daniel "Oz" Osbourne/Ethan Rayne. This is one of the very few series I've found with every entry by a different author; it's all the rarer because all the stories are good. (My personal favorite is "Moon," for the world's best look at the unimaginable power and impulsiveness of Ethan Rayne.) And Oz/Ethan isn't a pairing that seems like it would work, especially in a long-term sense - I mean, come on. Ethan Rayne? Committing to something? Committing to someone, and I don't just mean in the show-up-and-torment-him-every-few-years way, but in the here today, here tomorrow way that most of us mean by commitment? Except - if he was ever going to do that, it'd be with someone as deep and unfathomable (and, yes, those are horrible adjectives, but I'm sorry; they just are Oz, and there's nothing I can do about it) as Oz. Oz is never going to get boring, that's for sure, and yet he's reliable and constant. (That makes him sound like Oz Osbourne, the original strange attractor, but let it go.) Um, sorry, the Oz-love is getting a little overwhelming, isn't it? So let me just say this: read these stories, and you'll be able to buy into Oz/Ethan, too.

Best FF That Makes Me Pity a Character I Normally Dislike. And Makes Me Absolutely Despise Her at the Same Time. Which I Think You'll Admit Is Quite a Trick. Covet, by Speranza, ak [livejournal.com profile] cesperanza.* Due South, Stella Kowalski/Benton Fraser. Yes. I am not kidding. Speranza has clearly taken the Fan Fiction Writer's Commandments to heart (#8 states that there is no practical difference between love and hate when it comes to writing sex scenes). And this isn't just some random thing where someone thinks of the world's least likely pairing - Dan Rydell/Sally Sasser, say - and writes it, canon be damned. No, this is a totally believable Stella/Fraser pairing, which is one of the stranger sentences I've written today. But slashers, do not fear; this will not hurt you. RayK/Fraser shippers, including the one who shares my bed each night, do not recoil; this will not violate your deeply-held beliefs. And everyone who is looking from the pairing to the fandom and back again and saying, "What the fuck?" loud enough for the person in the next cubicle to look over in surprise, trust me. No, wait, don't bother trusting me; trust Speranza. You won't be sorry.

Best FF That Makes Me Forget All About the Stupidity of Rubber Suits, and Makes the Distant Sound of Squishing Frenchmen Positively Romantic. Springtime in Paris, by [livejournal.com profile] dijeron. I'm not sure what the fandom is - monster movies, maybe. Godzilla/King Kong. I am quite serious. And so is the author; this isn't played for laughs. When I started reading this, my mind was full of men in bad rubber monster suits tromping on tiny model cities, and I was prepared to giggle; when I was done, I understood for the first time why Peter Jackson wants to remake King Kong. I honestly can't think of any other way to describe this or to explain why you should read it. So instead I'll whine. See, the title makes me think of "Springtime for Hitler" - and, really, I'm not sure why, since there's only the one word in common - and every time I see it I find myself singing that under my breath. Which, OK, but there's a limit to the amount of time I want to spend with my own hideous live version of the soundtrack for "The Producers." Although that does suggest a rare fandom that I need to enter at [livejournal.com profile] yuletide...no, no. The sickness must stop.

Best FF That Accuses Dana Whitaker of Previously Unsuspected Evil - Namely, Love for K. C. and the Sunshine Band, Which I Think Is Punishable by Law in Some Boroughs of New York City. Girls' Night In, by Annie, aka [livejournal.com profile] out_there. Sports Night, Dana Whitaker/Lisa McCall. (I guess that's Lisa's last name, at least at this point in the canon history.) This story answers an interesting question: how did Casey get Dana in the divorce? I mean, yes, crush, yes, friends, yes, working together - but Dana was Lisa's friend first and longest, and that makes a difference. I would've expected, at the least, a year or two of strained friendship with both sides. But as early as the pilot episode, Dana has made her choice. Or did someone else make it for her? I'm amazed by this story, and the moreso because I have a hard time seeing femslashiness in Dana; she tries so hard to be simultaneously one of the boys and one for the boys that it's tough to imagine her focus switching to girls, even for a night. This story, though, describes a Dana who didn't used to be like that. It's astonishingly well-done and believable. All hail Annie, who saw the femslash potential in a show practically struck blind by the boy love. (Note: so far I have not been required to post a Certified Safe Alternate for SN stories. I suspect, however, that's only because I've never recommended a story that wasn't Danny/Casey and happy-ending-ful. We shall see if death threats and bouts of vicious pouting result from this rec.)

* Many thanks to [livejournal.com profile] estrella30, for solving the Mystery of the Missing Link (the missing link being me, of course, not the story; the story was there all along, but my brain was MIA) in a timely and soothing fashion.
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Some noms sets just do not want to come together, and I've spent the last two days casually poking at one that is more snarly and resistant than a whole passel of teenagers. Werewolf teenagers.

Well, when in doubt (or severely bitten), run away. And what could be further removed from my usual orbits than the delightful weirdness of crossovers? With luck, a few seasons of this sort of strangeness should enable me to get the Grouchy Teenaged Lycanthrope Recs Set under control - consistency plus love plus a bullwhip is the key, I'm thinking - and if not, well, we'll always have crossovers.

Best FF That Shows That Love of Sharp, Pointy Objects Brings People Together, or at Any Rate Helps People Reconcile the Seemingly Disparate: The Gargantuan Garden, by [livejournal.com profile] yahtzee63*; can anyone tell me what name she uses? The Series of Unfortunate Events x Edward Scissorhands, gen. Yes, The Series of Unfortunate Events x Edward Scissorhands. I am not kidding. Neither is Yahtzee, no matter how much she takes the piss out of everything from LJ to Lemony Snicket to the distressed clothing fad. And, really, this almost makes a certain twisted sense. I mean, if you think about it, the Baudelaire siblings and Edward Scissorhands have a lot in common. They're orphans, they're surrounded by hostile people, their lives are filled with the strange and terrible devices of insane men (Daniel Handler and Tim Burton, respectively). And if there's one positive thing that can be said of The Series of Unfortunate Events, it's that it shows you that, really, there are lots of things worse than moving in with a strange stranger who has an apparent fixation on sharp, sharp blades (which should make anyone due to head off to college feel a lot better about the whole dorm situation). You'll need to have read at least one of Lemony Snicket's books to get the tone of this story, I'm thinking, but no big deal; we're talking about a few hours of your time. More than worth it to appreciate this story, people. And you don't need to have seen Edward Scissorhands; at least, I haven't. Although I spent so much of my adolescence with goths that I could probably test out of the movie at this point.

Best FF That Shows Us How Alligators Can Be Skilled Matchmakers Even Long After They've Ceased, Technically, to Be Alligators: Nice Boots, by Gloria Mundi, aka [livejournal.com profile] viva_gloria, who is probably even now working on a book called Better Writing Through Clinical Insanity. And the thing is, when she finishes it, I'll head out and buy it, and be grateful for the opportunity to do so. Peter Pan x Pirates of the Caribbean (because there's nothing Gloria can't cross with PotC), Captain Hook/Captain Jack Sparrow. Again, we've got characters who have a previously unsuspected amount in common: piracy, madness, travels with British runaway girls, persecution by annoyingly twee and pretty boys. The thing about this story is, by the time I finished it, I was sort of surprised Disney hadn't thought of it, which just shows that you can catch madness from writing if the author is talented enough. (You'll be relieved to hear that eventually I did recover a portion of my senses. However, I'm still searching for my disbelief, which has gone AWOL again.)

Best FF That Shows Us Just How Fortunate We Are That Joss Whedon's Universe Isn't Contagious: Satan Is No Gentleman, by [livejournal.com profile] afrai. Good Omens x Buffy the Vampire Slayer, either gen or Adam/Pepper; I'll entertain arguments either way. I think you'd need to have read Good Omens to appreciate this, but you only need to know the basic premise of Buffy. So. Pepper's a Slayer, and that right there tells you everything you need to know about this story. Except how good it is, and how amazingly right this look at the teenaged Them is, and how perfectly Afrai has got the tone of Good Omens down. And you'll learn those things when you read the story, which you might as well do now. It's only 500 words long (it's a response to Jae Gecko's Secrets Challenge). Yes, Afrai not only did a perfect GO x BtVs, she did it in less words than it would take me to say everything I want to say about her story. Which is why I'm shutting up now; I may not know much, but I know when to yield to my superiors. (My Best Beloved is ordered to stop snickering immediately. I didn't say I did yield, just that I know when I should.)

Best FF That Offers Hope to All Those Living in Tragic, Paralyzing Fear of Takeout Rice Containers: The Watchman, by [livejournal.com profile] madmadharri. The Dark Is Rising x Harry Potter, Will Stanton/Harry Potter, other pairings suggested. This, now, this is one of those crossovers that actually makes a lick of intuitive sense. Which isn't to say I could write one like this, or even imagine one; it's just that I didn't spend thirty seconds staring blankly at the screen when I read the fandom list. So. The war is over. And Harry has a severe case of what we might call magical shellshock. Fortunately, Will Stanton is on the case. Grown up, Will is exactly the kind of man we knew he'd become, if only because he was pretty much already like that at 11. I love, in particular, the way the author builds on Will's canon ability to sidle into difficult situations and take care of them without taking over or taking anything away from anyone. And, yes, I expect the prize for "Most Uses of 'Take' in a Really Unfortunate Sentence" will be on my doorstep tomorrow morning. So I think we can all see that crossovers render me more than usually incoherent, and, really, it's probably better if I move on while I still have some limited control of my verbs and nouns.

-Footnote-

*Thanks, [livejournal.com profile] untrue_accounts!
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Do you trust me?

Well, OK. No, really, I don't blame you, and I'm not at all hurt. But do you trust me a little? Even a tiny bit? At least when it comes to fan fiction? Because I am about to ask you to take a link of faith, so to speak. The following stories have only one thing in common: they will be spoiled if you know the usual information (fandom, pairing, plot) before you read them. But they are really worth reading, and the surprise just makes it all the more delightful. So if you're willing to read blind, I think I can promise you some fun. And if you're not, well, your loss, toots. Nyah nyah nyah. (Yes, my parents did get an excellent return on all the years of alternative dispute resolution and assertive self-expression courses they paid for me to attend. Let this be a lesson to those of you with children: skip the therapy and just buy the sproutlings expensive entertainment gear. Escapism beats self-knowledge any day.)

Best FF That Goes a Long Way Toward Healing the Pain Caused by the Travesties Otherwise Known as Star Wars Episodes One and Two, AKA Star Wars: It Takes a Lot to Kill the Love, but By God, It Can Be Done, and I, George Lucas, Will Prove It: Just Names for Sides, by [livejournal.com profile] daegaer. I think I can safely tell you that you'll need to have seen Star Wars to understand this one. I can also tell you it's a crossover. And it's completely changed the way I see one scene of the aforementioned movie, but that's fine, because it does the heart good to snicker at Luke Skywalker, Ultrawhiner Edition (Now with Extra Whine!). At least, it does my heart good. Which in no way changes the fact that Daegaer is an evil, evil writer; it just makes me love her for it. And I think that's it for the "fore-warned" aspect of things with this one.

Best FF That Makes the Owies Left by the Scary, Scary Badfic All Better: Something's Wrong, by Saya Senyum, I think her name is, aka [livejournal.com profile] i_smile (I'm sure about that). And I feel I can tell you that it's Harry Potter, Ron Weasley/Harry Potter, because the author does, but don't let that lull you into feeling secure. This story is a subgenre I really wish we saw more often. It isn't a canon fix-it, it's a fan fiction fix-it; the story actually patches the holes in another, presumably much worse, story. Considering all the horrible FF out there, we could do with a lot more of this. Turns out there's no FF mistake that can't be reconciled by tilting one's head, squinting, and inverting the monitor. Well, provided one is the current receptacle of divine madness, as Saya Senyum (if that is her name) clearly was while writing this.

Best FF That Reveals What We Always Suspected of All Those Inuit Stories - i.e., That Fraser Is Making a Lot of Them Up: No Less Radiant, by [livejournal.com profile] laurakaye. Due South. I can't tell you anything about this story, except that A Certain Person should not read it (although she probably will anyway, and I don't think she'll be sorry, exactly), and neither should Ardent (but she already knows that, I'm guessing). It isn't exactly of a piece with the rest of the nominations here, but I had to include it, because I want those of you unfamiliar with this story (assuming there are people unfamiliar with this story) to come to it the way I did: with no knowledge about it at all. Really, it works best this way. If you don't agree, feel free to leave a bitter comment. I will reply, even, because that will give me a chance to show off my icons.

Best FF That Proves That Sometimes Plagiarism Is Neither Theft Nor Homage, but Rather the Sign of a Brilliantly Deranged Mind: The Other Guide, by Francesca, aka [livejournal.com profile] cesperanza. The Sentinel. Sort of. We began this set with a mutant crossover from a mind clearly warped out of true by over-exposure to fan fiction, and we end it the same way. This story comes from someone I used to regard as a sane, sober, and sensible individual. And then I found this story. Now I view her as extremely likely to go off into gales of slightly cracked giggles, much in the manner of a person who will soon don a mask and a tight, brightly-colored outfit and go head-to-head with Batman. (She'd be called Fangirl, of course. Her weapons would be TV trivia and the sonic squee, and her outfit would have a large heart with a LJ icon of her favorite pairing - I'm thinking Kowalski/Fraser - in the center. She'd taunt Batman by writing stories about his sexual exploits with nearly everyone in Gotham and posting it all on the internet, and she'd enhance her evil by emailing update notices to his secret email account and to all the Gotham newspapers. And in the last issue, she'd eventually be cornered by the ultimate weapon: Batlawyers.) So, yeah, I've pretty much gotten off the whole story topic, but that's OK, because I can't tell you anything about it anyway. Just read it.

-Afterword-

If any of these stories remains a mystery after you've read it, feel free to leave a plaintive query in the comments section. I will do what I can to clear things up. And, of course, I will show off my new icons, for which I thank [livejournal.com profile] makesmewannadie, my own true wombat and long lost mystery relative, and [livejournal.com profile] wanderlustlover, who makes gorgeous icons in such quantity that I suspect her (or maybe him) of being paid by LJ to force us all to buy the extra user picture slots.

Profile

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

January 2017

S M T W T F S
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031    

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Jul. 24th, 2017 08:43 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios