thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
The One That Makes My Brain Turn in Circles, Trying to Figure out If You Can Fight Destiny or Not. For the Record, I'm Hoping That I Could and Spock and Kirk Can't. Fighting Gravity, by pantswarrior, aka [personal profile] pantswarrior. Star Trek Reboot, James T. Kirk/Spock.

Okay, I will admit it. I love it when there is a slash dragon or Spock Prime in a canon, saying, "This guy is your DESTINY." I like to imagine it with sparkletext and hearts, in all honesty.

But in college, I had to write a poem about what I would say to my five-years-ago self if I met her. And I was totally stumped, because I knew for a fact that my five-years-ago self would not listen to anything I said. Because there are two things that are very true about me:
  1. I don't take advice well. My father once said to me, "I feel comfortable giving you advice, because I know you won't take it unless you were going to do it anyway." I pointed out that I was more likely to take his advice than any other human being's on earth, and it was just that I didn't like being told what to do at all, and he just laughed. A really long time. I think I maybe made his point for him.
  2. I don't take orders well. In high school, my favorite teacher (the detention teacher, which, um, probably tells you what I was like), a retired Air Force officer, blanched when he heard I was taking the ASVAB, a sort of military prequalification test. "Don't go into the military," he said. "Please. And I'm not telling you. I'm begging you."
I have, in fact, gotten much better since then. So, so much better. I am hardly stubborn at all these days, and I frequently solicit and then take advice. I even sat through the Alien Encounter at Disney World even though a character says, "Thank you for your submission." But I am still not 100% aces at these things. So if someone from my future showed up and said, "I know the future, and I am telling you to hook up with this person. It is your DESTINY," I don't know that I could do it. I would try! I would! Or I might do everything in my power to avoid my DESTINY, because no one tells me what to do. Not even myself.

And in this story - yes, I'm back to the story now - that is exactly what Spock does. And it makes me insanely happy. I mean, admittedly, it doesn't go well for him, but trust me: if you make a practice out of doing exactly what you're not supposed to, things often don't go well for you, and you pretty much get by on the satisfaction of at least getting to tell fate and DESTINY and your parents and the crowd and so on to go fuck themselves. (This is why I don't do this anymore. For the record. There's only so much satisfaction you can get out of this, and I have had it all.) And I just - I love Spock, and I love this version of Spock, who is so grimly stubborn he'd fuck himself over rather than fall into line.

(People who are disturbed by the first few pages, please note: I was, too. It all works out, very quickly.)

And let me just say that I also love Kirk in this, who is sort of midway between TOS Kirk and Reboot Kirk. I love seeing him forced to deal with the one person in the universe more stubborn than he is. And I love Bones. And, you know, basically everyone.

But most of all, I love Stubborn Spock. I just want to pinch his widdle ears. (Although this is nothing new.)

The One That Will Keep Me Eyeing the Skies Warily, Waiting for a Great Metal Dragon with Worrying Taste in Entertainment to Fly By. The Student Prince, by FayJay, aka [personal profile] pandarus. Merlin, Arthur Pendragon/Merlin.

You've seen this recommended everywhere. By everyone. And now I am going to join in the chorus, because, people, this is some serious comfort fic, right here. It's just - it is a supremely satisfying romance story, and I don't have any other way of explaining it.

Or maybe I do. [personal profile] norah told me, long ago - I am sure I have mentioned this all to you many, many times - that once upon a time, she was sick and sad and traveling on a train in another country. And she cheered herself up by telling herself a well-loved epic story. (I, being me, immediately argued with her about her choice of well-loved epic story.) This is the kind of story that could make you feel better if you were sick on a train in a distant country, is what I'm saying. (And now I want to see everyone's top ten Sick on a Train stories. Hmmm.)

And I tell you what, having read this story, I am now deeply sorry that I didn't matriculate at a university founded in 1413. I mean, okay, that would have required me going to a different continent, and also it would have changed my entire life, which would seriously suck, but - but. My university only had, like, two hundred years to build up insane traditions, and it's just not the same. (No one tell me if St. Andrews doesn't really have all these traditions. I prefer to live in a world where they exist, not the least because I will now spend my life looking at famous UK people and wondering if the university they attended had a custom wherein you have to walk around in trousers with the ass cut out for your entire freshman year or whatever. If this story is anything to go by, there is such a school out there. And. Um. UK persons on my friends list, I am now also wondering this about you. Just FYI.)

So, yes, the setting is part of what makes this work for me. But there are so many other things. All of which, tragically, are spoilers. So, please, go read this, or if you've already read it (and, frankly, I have to think that at least 98.9% of you have, because this is a justly famous story), comment here, so I can squee with you about the many events in this story that made me bounce with joy. It is taking all my self-restraint not to do that here and now.

The One That Suggests to Me That If Vala Mal Doran and Captain Jack Sparrow Ever Teamed up, Nowhere in the Multiverse Would Be Rich. Sexier, Sure, but Not Rich. Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves. Stargate universe, John Sheppard/Rodney Meredith McKay (plus other pairings).

As it happens, one of the things I like in a story - canon, fan fiction, whatever - is dinged and dented characters. I like people who have that dull patina that trouble leaves behind when you survive it. And Auburn, in this story, has given me a whole dings-and-dents universe. Yeah, sure, most of the main characters go well beyond mere dings and dents, into the broken-and-put-back-together-with-Elmer's-glue-and-a-couple-pieces-from-the-train-set territory, but everyone is less shiny than in canon. And while I would probably not enjoy a story about how everyone got that way, I really love seeing them deal with it, and live with it, and move beyond it, and get better from it. And live happily ever after. (Happily ever after is not optional.)

Plus, there can be no bad when there are space pirates. I firmly believe that every fandom in the world needs a pirate AU (yes, even pirate fandoms), and when you combine pirates with spaceships, I am very likely to need to run around in circles barking joyfully until I have to go lie down for an hour.

It's also nice - I think nice is the word I'm looking for here - when a story confirms my strongly-felt suspicions about a fictional race. (Any story that disses the Ancients, for example, and I am there. Those people - well, let's just say they pioneered new and exciting advances in ethics-free science, medicine, and government, shall we?) I have always been sort of narrow-eyed and tight-lipped about the Tok'ra, even though I've read some incredible stories that have even made me like them. I just, when it comes down to it, do not trust mind-controlling parasites. It's a personal prejudice of mine! Even if they are supposedly choosing not to mind control right then, you have to ask yourself if it's one of those choices like keeping kosher, or if it's more one of those choices like promising yourself this will be the last chip you eat tonight. And there's no way to tell until it's much too late. I just - I cannot get behind that, no matter how many declarations of mutual non-loathing occur between the Tok'ra and the good guys.

So, you know, I feel good about this story, which in addition to punching my dings and dents button, and my space pirates button, and my plot is awesome button, also lets me rest smugly satisfied in the knowledge that I was right all along, and mind-controlling parasites are not to be trusted.

The One That Proves, Once and for All, That Fashion Is Truly High-Risk. I Know I Won't Be Wearing Scarves for a While. The Scourge of Trion, by [personal profile] ellen_fremedon. Doctor Who universe, Doctor/Vislor Turlough. (No, I had no idea who this was, either. IT DOESN'T MATTER. READ IT ANYWAY.)

I am used to reading outside my canonical knowledge zone, but Doctor Who takes this to a new level. It's just daunting. I mean, Doctor Who has so much canon that the BBC lost some of it. This doesn't happen with your average canon. (Of course, if the average canon is TV aired on Fox, it doesn't happen because there's only 12 episodes of it. Much easier to keep track of.) There's just - this whole fucking fandom is bigger on the inside, you know?

But. If I thought for a minute that there was existing canon that was even a little like this story, I would go out and purchase every damned episode, I tell you what. I would probably even watch some of them. This story is that good.

And, okay, if you are a Who Alumna, a graduate with honors of Who University, with a degree in Companion Studies and a special certificate in TARDIS Interior Design, then this story is totally for you. But if you've seen only some of the new Who, and you always lose at Pin the Companion on the Doctor, and you couldn't, off-hand, name three doctors who wore bowties - this story is still for you. It doesn't matter if you don't know who these people are when you go in; by the time you come out, you will know who they are. And you will want to know even more. (And, if you're me, will be nodding thoughtfully, wondering if certain people on your friends list imprinted on some of these people - Turlough, for example - way back when. It just strikes me that there are certain people I know who would love this guy.)

I mean, I came out of this wanting more Sarah Jane, and more Turlough, and more Martha Jones, and more Jack Harkness. I even wanted more Doctor, and, in all honesty, there's already quite a lot of Doctor in here. (He can double up, see.) Of course, then sanity prevailed - I only have a handful of decades left to me, and I have to assume that Who scholars have to start young and stay dedicated throughout their lives, eschewing all distractions and occasionally making use of limited temporal anomalies to stay on top of their chosen fandom. But my point is: I came out of this story with happiness in every cell of my body. And then I looked around for more, realized there wasn't any (because, okay, I could get more of the characters, but it cannot possibly be this good), and went back to the beginning and started again.

This is - this is everything you could ever want in a story. With whipped cream and a morally dubious schoolboy-businessman on top.
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Best Beloved recently pointed out to me that it had been approximately seventeen years since I had recommended anything, which had of course triggered the inevitable thing where I am reluctant to write up a recommendations post because it's been so long since I've done one. You all know how this goes. She suggested I ease myself into it with vids. Happy vids.

She was, as always, right. Here are some happy vids, and pretty soon I might even remember how recommending works! I think - I think there is cake involved?

I might be wrong about the cake, actually.

The One That I Always Remember as Being NC-17, and Then I Rewatch It and Realize That It Is Merely Suggestive. Very, Very Suggestive. Let's Misbehave, by [livejournal.com profile] greensilver. White Collar.

Okay. I have read stories in this fandom - not, you know, all of them or anything, but some. Many, even! And this vid is, like, 45% of them. This is a vid with plot, and the plot goes like this:

Neal: I am exceptionally pretty.
Peter: Yes, you are. I might wish you weren't, but it's a fact and I'm prepared to put it on any number of affadavits.
Neal: Also, cute.
Peter: Yeah, but I've got to point out that it's the kind of cute where sometimes I want to smack you.
Neal: That's all just part of my charm.
Peter: The hell of it is that that's true.
Neal: And did I mention that I'm talented?
Peter: I already knew that, actually.
Neal: Face it, you can't resist me.
Peter: Let me just remind you about my wife.
Neal: You're in luck! I'm good with other people's wives.

Neal: So. Hi. Peter loves you, you know.
Elizabeth: And I love him, so that's something you and I have in common.
Neal: Did I mention that I am exceptionally pretty?
Elizabeth: You didn't need to. I have eyes.
Neal: But I would never want to come between the two of you.
Elizabeth: Well that's a pity.
Neal: Oooo. I think you're about to make me an offer I won't refuse.
Elizabeth: No, I'm going to make that offer to Peter.
Neal: Great! But, uh, if you're caught, I will disavow all knowledge.
Elizabeth: Like hell you will.

[And then they all have sex.]

So compelling is the force of this vid that even I think Neal is pretty for the duration of it. (I'm sorry, but under normal, non-this-vid circumstances, Neal looks like a not-especially-attractive ferret to me. I mean, okay, fine, a kind of cute ferret, but definitely the sort of creature you want to a) pat on the head and b) keep in a cage. Yes, fine, the line to cut me dead starts over there.) And that makes me notice that Elizabeth (who is absolutely not only pretty but hot) and Neal look a lot alike. And they have some similar body language. Hmmmm. Perhaps Peter has a type? IT MIGHT BE. WE SHOULD LOOK INTO THIS. (Hint: start by watching this vid.)

The One That Answers the Age-Old Question: Where Do Good Past Incarnations Go? The Tenth Doctor Musical, by [livejournal.com profile] di_br. Doctor Who.

Okay, I am guessing by the fact that this thing has almost 500 comments on LJ and more than 50k hits on YouTube that everyone has already seen it. I do not care. There might be someone out there who hasn't. That alone is reason enough to rec this.

Because, oh my god, this is just - just - well. I don't want to spoil it or anything, but there was a point, right before Nine rolled his eyes (and I was right there with him, of course), that I had a laughter-induced hallucination. (And here it is, for the people who have seen the movie of Bridget Jones's Diary: I saw the tenth Doctor in his pajamas, using a hairbrush as a microphone, singing All By Myself until he broke down weeping helplessly on the TARDIS's control panel. And here's the thing: I am absolutely, completely convinced that he's done this. We just need to get the footage out of the TARDIS somehow. Anyone have an in with her?)

I love this vid. I love every single thing about it. I love the idea that there's a Home for Old Doctors where they can watch the latest incarnation's exploits ("I tell you what, I would never have done that. In my day we knew the value of a blooping tube of blue goop.") and brood all moodily and be harassed by babies and have a cup of tea. I love the bonus track at the end, which, seriously, I have no idea what's going on there, but it is fucking scary, even so. I love the bits with Jack and the Master. I love Martha's theme song, which is so obviously her theme song I don't know why I never realized it before.

I even love being rickrolled. Pretty much.

The One That Makes Me Say, Every Time, "They - Had a Wizard of Oz Episode? Or a Costume Party Episode? Seriously, What the Fuck?" High School Never Ends, by Gab, aka [livejournal.com profile] milena_d. Gateverse.

It took me a lot of rewatching to figure out just why this vid works so well for me - because it does, it so totally does, and yet usually this kind of concept doesn't. But I persisted in my viewings - it wasn't actually a hardship - until I realized that actually, this vid is a celebration of the somewhat doofy but always entertaining physical acting (if, um, that's the term I want) of the many people of the Gateverse. And that is - it's just wonderful. It's physical comedy! In vid form!

But it's so much more than that. It's also filled with sly meta commentary on the shows and their fandoms, and, even more than that, a lot of love for the Gateverse and everyone in it. One of the things that I love about vidding is that for me, it's the fanwork type that can most easily just be a giant explosion of love for the fandom. There are vids that are, totally obviously and clearly, OMG SQUEEEEEEEEEEEE <3 <3 <3 set to music. And how can you not love that? How can you not love it when someone not only draws metaphorical hearts with her name and the fandom's name in it, but does it while hitting the beat?

(I am guessing that if you're better with faces and people than I am, fanart probably accomplishes the same thing. But - okay, this is a totally honest example of the way my brain sometimes fails with fanart. There is a very famous series of drawings in an older fandom, and someone linked to them on my friends list a while back, so I looked at them. And then I went to get Best Beloved, because when I'm that kind of lost, usually the problem is that my brain is malfunctioning. And we had a conversation that went, in part:

Me, showing her one of the drawings: ...And I just don't get it, I guess. I mean. How is this fannish?
BB: What do you see?
Me: A tiger.
BB: Do you see the guys in front of the tiger?
Me, trying to fake it: Um. Maybe?
BB: Do you see the one guy's penis, and how the other guy is sort of going for it?
Me, stunned: There's a penis?
BB: HOW CAN YOU NOT SEE THE PENIS?
Me: It's a really confusing picture!
BB: There's two guys and a penis and a tiger! IT'S PRETTY BASIC.
Me, muttering: Not to me it isn't.
BB: I can't believe you brought me in here to look at a penis you didn't even know was there.)

The One That Makes the Best Use of Lens Flare I Have Yet Seen in a Vid. The Test, by [personal profile] heresluck.

Probably you have already heard about how awesome this vid is. Well, you heard right: it is in fact profoundly awesome. It so profoundly awesome, in fact, that I feel comfortable recommending it, even though right now I have to question my judgment in anything Trek-related. I am still in that unfortunate phase of fandom where I sort of lack - you know, taste. And rational thought. Basically, my flowchart for determining whether or not I love something has a new branch in it, very early on, which looks like this (except of course the actual flowchart is nifty and cool-looking, because my brain does not run in ASCII):

Trek? The kind that has a Spock? ---Yes ---> OKAY I ALREADY LOVE IT

I am - a little obsessed. Just a little. But trust me when I tell you that my obsession is not why I love this vid. There are, in fact, so many moments that I love in it that if I made a greatest bits collection of it, it would be about four minutes long. (If I was allowed commentary in addition to actual clips, it would probably be about three hours long. This is why I don't ever try to do a frame-by-frame analysis of a vid; two years in and I'd still be at 0:45 and I'd already have said, "But it's, you know, SO INCREDIBLE, because" seven million times.)

I will say this, though: I was absolutely, completely sold on this vid in the first 35 seconds. AND THEN IT GOT BETTER. And then it got better again! It was like a matryoshka doll set, except made entirely of joy; I kept thinking I'd found the pure brilliance at the center, but no! There was always more joy still to come.
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Things have been kind of rough for the House of TFV lately. But one major good thing has been that we have finally gotten my desk and computer all set up. Which means I can retreat to one of my fannish happy places: vids. And these vids are happy indeed.

The One That Made Me Wonder What Kind of Gum Uhura Likes. Apple Candy, by [livejournal.com profile] talitha78. Star Trek Reboot.

First off, I think I should just issue a blanket recommendation of every single thing [livejournal.com profile] talitha78 does, because, wow, she has made so very many vids that make me so very, very happy; I had this set all assembled and then realized, whoops - two of the vids were by her. So I had to pick just one of them, and I will have you know that it was not easy.

This one won, of course. It's like it was made for me. Although - okay. My associations with this song have been documented before, but - am I the only one who, having watched this vid, now also wants a Kirk/Uhura/Spock vid to Jessie's Girl? Come ON. "I've been funny, I've been cool with the lines" - that could, if you're willing to posit the existence of a time machine, have been written about Reboot Kirk! Don't tell me you aren't now seeing the vid in your head in all its glory. (If you aren't, there's a download at that link. I'm just saying.)

But. As glorious as the Jessie's Girl vid would be - and, oh, I think we can all agree it would be the kind of thing that makes the angels, if not sing, at least giggle - this vid is even better. I'm not going to tell you why - I went off on that whole tangent in part just to avoid telling you why - but I am going to say that I went into this vid expecting to love it (Apple Candy and Kirk/Uhura/Spock, by a vidder of known awesomeness: the download might as well have come with little sparkly hearts on it), got most of the way through, and realized I was going to love it even more than that. It is just that wonderful.

The One That Actually Made Me Tear up from Sheer Love the First Time I Saw It. One Night Fandoms, by [personal profile] thingswithwings and [livejournal.com profile] eruthros. Multifandom. Very nearly panfandom, in fact.

[livejournal.com profile] yuletide is coming 'round again, people! It is truly my favorite time of the year. (No, you are not allowed to remind me about this in two months, when I'm quietly weeping over my keyboard and occasionally moaning "why did I volunteer to write this?" in IM. Yes, there's some pain involved. Pain is part of the fun. Really.) And, in anticipation, I have started re-watching this vid, which made me so happy last year that I was afraid my ears might fall off.

This is Yuletide. If you've never done it: this is what it's like! It's all the things you love even though no one else does, things most people have never even heard of. Things you keep wistfully telling your friends that, no, really, they should try it, they'd love it, it's awesome, and you will TOTALLY loan it to them or even buy it, and you know they never will try it, and you don't know why, because, seriously, so wonderful. Things, in short, you definitely never expected to see in a real fanwork. And they're all in this vid. Just like they're all in Yuletide.

True fact: the first few times I watched this vid, I was just looking hopefully for my past Yuletide sources - the ones I've written, the ones I've requested. It took me several rotations to be able to set that aside and admire the beauty of the way this vid is put together - and it is beautiful, no doubt.

But most of all, it's Yuletide. Watch it. And then start planning out your signup sheet.

The One That Is a Tribute to the Thespian Skills of Momoa and Flanigan. Is She Really Going Out With Him?, by [personal profile] sherrold and [personal profile] wickedwords. Stargate: Atlantis.

I just. I can't even tell you how wonderful this is. It caused me to guffaw openly, because - okay. I haven't seen any SGA canon since the first season, and even then I didn't watch very much of it. I'm just not a visual media girl, is the thing, and frankly, if you're going to give me a choice between watching some people galumph around space and bonk into things or reading about those same people galumphing around space, bonking into things, and fucking, well. I am going to go with the latter. (And it's not the fucking that makes the difference, actually; it's the reading, although I'm not going to say the fucking doesn't help. I do love the subtext, but - what's the opposite of subtext? Domtext? Anyway. I love that, too.)

But my point is, I haven't seen any of the later SGA canon, and so my first reaction to this vid was to say, "They SHOWED that? Like, on the air? Did they forget about the part where the subtext is supposed to be sub?"

And then I realized this is probably all skillful editing, and the makers of Stargate didn't actually undergo some kind of bizarre brainswap. But, since I haven't seen the canon, I can pretend they did. This will always be canon to me.

(And it totally makes me want the accompanying fan fiction, where Ronon and John have to go on a mission by themselves, because Teyla's with Kanaan or however you spell his name, and Rodney's with Keller - because she's really going out with him, WTF? - and they're the two pathetic team members who never get laid and always have time to do extra work. They end up at a skuzzy bar getting totally wasted and weeping into their beverages - Ronon drinks a Pegrithian spirit called Skaar, and John starts with Skaar but gets sidetracked into this sweet liqueur that they mix with bright red berry juice and serve with chunks of fruit and a whipped topping and a little carving of a big-eyed animal that looks suspiciously like Hello Kitty. And the natives feel sorry for them, what with all the weeping and pathos, and they come back with an incredible trade agreement and terrible hangovers and a piece of paper with the name and Gate address of a guy who is supposed to be good at solving problems. They don't know if he's a therapist or an assassin. Or both. Neither of them goes to see him, but they do take out the paper and look at it from time to time.)

The One That Proves That Some Songs Compel Even the Planet Earth to Do a Little Dance. Mothership, by [livejournal.com profile] laurashapiro. Doctor Who.

If you don't chairdance while watching this vid, your butt has no rhythm and no soul. Sorry, that's just how it is. Because this is a shiny, happy, gleaming vid that just insists that you get your wiggle on.

But you should know that Best Beloved and I had a slight difference of opinion while watching it. We were getting down, grooving, enjoying the astonishing way the clips and the motion work with the music here - seriously, it's amazing - and just the general wonderfulness of it all. (The earthling was sitting in my lap, bouncing to the music. The boy knows when it's time to get down.) And then the vid ended, and we had this conversation:

BB: Aw, that was great. A tribute to all things -
Me, delightedly: TARDIS!
BB, giving me a Look: - Doctor.

And right there you have the essence of our difference of opinion about Doctor Who. Best Beloved seems to believe it's about this guy. Whereas I know in my heart it's about the tech. (Could you have all the things that happen in these clips without the TARDIS? No. No, you could not. The TARDIS is far more essential than the Doctor, obviously.) But, whatever you happen to believe - I understand there are even some people who believe this show is about the companions, which, whatever: I love you even if you're strange - you will adore this vid. If for no other reason than you can get your groove on. (With the TARDIS!)

(When you're done getting your groove on, marvel that this song is apparently a cappella. I don't even know what to do with that. I mean, I knew the human mouth was a marvel, but, wow.)
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
I'm going to Vividcon! And, in celebration, I have vid recs. But first, a VVC-related comment and poll:

VVC! )

The One That Will Have You Looking Suspiciously at Cherry Stems Forever. Handlebars, by [livejournal.com profile] flummery. Doctor Who.

This is - well. This is the Doctor. End of story. This is the Doctor in every respect and every detail. The first time I watched this, I was basically clapping in glee from the very first line, and then it got better. And better. And better. And eventually it achieved such amazing levels of betterness that I still haven't entirely recovered. This vid rendered me incoherent. Permanently.

I don't want to tell you how it gets better - if you've somehow missed this vid and this song, just go watch it. You will not be the sorrier. In fact, even if you have no idea who this Doctor person is (He travels through time. With friends. It's complicated.), still go watch it, because after you see this, you will most definitely know.

I once thought I preferred vids about companions (Or enemies, or Daleks. Why are there no Dalek vids? There are lots of good vids songs for them! One is the loneliest number! Make a Circuit with Me! The Macarena!) to vids about the Doctor. And that's still true. But what I think is - my brain knew that this vid was coming, and decided it might just as well wait for perfection.

The One That Demonstrates Why You Might Not Want to Make Pegasus Galaxy Your Vacation Destination. Well, Yes, Life-Sucking Monsters. But It Gets Much Worse Than That, Actually. Open Secrets of the Pegasus Galaxy, by [livejournal.com profile] yevgenie. Stargate: Atlantis.

Okay, first: this is her first vid, you guys. How is this her FIRST VID?

Second: this is the vid that says everything we all know about SGA and don't talk about. Basically, I'd sum that up as: no one gets out of Pegasus clean. (In fact, you mostly don't get out at all. This vid makes that point, too.) The Wraith are the enemy, but how are they different than Atlantis, given some of the decisions the home team makes? The Ancients are (supposed to be, and oh my god, so not, so skeevy) the good guys, but look how badly they fucked Pegasus over. The open secret of Pegasus seems to me to be that everyone fails, falls, dies, fucks up, and fucks over. No heroes.

And now I'd like to talk about the song. Because, see, I love Leonard Cohen. I occasionally fantasize about marrying one of his songs. But I have always considered him basically unviddable. Turns out, nope! I just didn't have the right vision, because oh my god how this song works - works for the vid, works for the theme, works works works. Even if this vid didn't say something I've always wanted someone to say about SGA, I would still love it to pieces, because it's a vid to Leonard Fucking Cohen. That sound you just heard was my heart growing three sizes.

(FIRST. VID. HOW? HOW?)

The One That Is Evidence for the Prosecution. Climbing up the Walls, by [livejournal.com profile] obsessive24. Supernatural, Firefly, and Heroes.

Sooooo. I'm trying to think how to put this. Okay, let's start with this: INCEST. This vid is about incest. And it pulls no punches. Actually, it - you know those video games where, if you hit like nine million buttons in exactly the right order while standing on one foot and whistling Dixie, your character will rear back, grow a robo-claw, and rip another character's head off and eat it? This is the kind of punch this vid has.

And it's just. Fucking. Brilliant. You will be glad your head has been ripped off and eaten by this vid.

What we have here is an incest narrative with all the fanon taken out. Yeah, sure, there are three sibling pairings, here, but it almost doesn't matter; the central story is the same for all of them: fucked-up families, needy and vulnerable younger sibling, obsessively protective older sibling, and then the robo-claw comes out. But the point is: this vid is awesome, and so incredibly rich (there's so much here I could write several lengthy essays about this, for reals), and brutally real. And the brutality should in no way scare you off. (You weren't using that head anyway. And, hey, who doesn't want to see a robo-claw?)

The One That Would Give Charles Darwin Nightmares. (No, Really. He Was a Very Sensitive Man.) Unnatural Selection, by [livejournal.com profile] charmax. Battlestar Galactica and Terminator.

My love for robots is well-documented. At this point, I don't think I need to tell you that sometimes I'm rooting for the robots. But, um. The robots in this vid don't need any humans in their cheering squad; they're doing just fine by themselves. (And, yes, my love for robots can totally survive this vid. I imprinted on robots early and well.)

I don't know either of the sources for this vid. It totally does not matter. (I didn't know any of the sources for [livejournal.com profile] obsessive24's vid, either. Cluelessness is my comfort zone!) The basic message is very clear to anyone who grew up on hard science fiction: we're going to build the next stage. And then it's going to destroy us. (Mine was, yes, a cheerful childhood, always anticipating the moment the machines/metahumans/genetically engineered blobs would rise up and take over. In my day, we didn't need violent video games to prepare us for the apocalypse.)

I love this vid so much, which is a strange thing to say about something that's equal parts dead humans, robotic overlords, and various apocalypses. (Like a Jonathan Coulton album! Except not funny. Really not.) But it's gorgeous and so brilliantly edited and it does in three minutes what it took science fiction a childhood to do for me. Watch. Learn. And fear the future.
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
My brain continues to spin violently under the influence of a truly massive fan fiction overdose - the fannish holidays should come with a warning label, seriously; I am still trying to catch up. Not that it's not fun! It's just like drinking from a really fun firehose, is all. So, while I wait for approximately four thousand awesome new stories to settle in my head, I'm going to rec some more non-story fanworks. This time, vids! Vids that make me happy! Vids that will make you happy! Possibly so happy you'll burst something with some of these. I am in no way responsible for joy-induced injuries, though; blame the vidders, not me.

The One That Shows Clark Being Absolutely Terrified of Boobs, Thus Proving That He Really Does Come from Comic Books. I Kissed a Girl, by [livejournal.com profile] bop_radar. Smallville.

This vid is brilliant for three reasons:
  1. It takes the rather irritating concept of exhibition lesbianism and transforms it into the entirely awesome concept of exhibition heterosexuality. Frankly, I am behind this with all my force and will and might.

  2. And if there's anyone whose heterosexuality is for display purposes only, that person would be: Clark. I have not seen a man so clearly frightened of women since, I don't know. Hercules? West Hollywood? Maybe Hercules in West Hollywood. (Note to everyone: this is not a made-for-TV movie we need to see. Oh my god no.) This vid so perfectly and joyfully collects all the shots of Clark looking like he would rather eat kryptonite than kiss a girl, and frankly, I can laugh at that all day long. (Clark, tiny hint: if kissing scares you that much, you're DOING IT WRONG. Just go back to the boys. You're happier there. And you are not fooling anyone, sugar.)

  3. It totally reclaims this song. Once, I hated it. No more. I will never, never hear it again without thinking of Clark's petrified OMG girlflesh RUN! face. (And, oh oh oh, Clark in that wet t-shirt when she's blithering on about how girls are all soft and shit. Clark will SHOW you magical skin, honey pie. He is very proud of his magical skin. He moisturizes.)
(And, as a total and complete bonus, this vid makes possibly the best use I have ever since of Lex's pissy face. Oh, god. Lex, jealousy is your look. Lavender and green green jealousy: Lex's colors this season. Every season since he hit Clark with his car, really.)

The One That Proves That Arthur Knows Only One Sword Maneuver, but He Works It. Keep Right on Working Your Sword, Arthur Honey. A Night at the Opera, by [livejournal.com profile] such_heights. Merlin.

This vid single-handedly drew me into this fandom. I watched it and said, basically, Okay, yup. I'm in. I was searching for fan fiction before the vid was entirely over. This vid brought me such joy - the ending, oh god, the perfect perfect ending! - that I cannot think of this fandom without smiling a little.

But that is not why I'm recommending it. No, I'm recommending it because [livejournal.com profile] norah recently disclosed to me that she has not seen it. This cannot continue. [livejournal.com profile] norah, this is a vid you MUST SEE. Not just because it's Merlin. Not just because it's awesome. Not just because it's funny. No. It's the song choice.

For everyone else, a little background: [livejournal.com profile] norah once attempted to watch Highlander (the movie). Now, I watched that movie a lot in the days when my sister and I rented videos together, and experimentation since that time has proven that while my sister was watching the actual movie, I was just making stuff up in my head. It was before I knew how to watch movies, and they didn't make much sense to me. (This was the era when I watched Blade Runner and came to the conclusion that it was a light romantic comedy type movie, to give you some idea.) So I had kind of...my own story of this movie, and I, in all innocence, encouraged [livejournal.com profile] norah to watch it. "It's pretty good!" I said. "From what I remember!"

Afterwards, she was shaken, not stirred. And the particular line that summed up her whole dislike of the movie was: "It's a kind of magic." I agree with her that this is not the ideal line for Highlander.

But I think you will agree with me that is a perfect line for Merlin. And it's here. [livejournal.com profile] norah, watch this vid. It won't just make you happy. It will reclaim Queen's entire oeuvre for you.

And even people who have no issues with Queen should watch this. Isn't being made happy - deliriously happy, particularly in the bit with the dragon, oh dear god, the bit with the dragon - enough for you?

The One about the True, Doomed Love of a Puddlejumper and a Cactus. It's Like Shakespeare. 2 Atoms in a Molecule, by [livejournal.com profile] zoetrope. Stargate: Atlantis.

I have one thing to say about this vid, and one thing only: John's manpain is SO ADORABLE.

I mean, I think we've all encountered this guy. If we haven't dated him, we've been friends with him. He's all, "Oh, love is so hard and I always get hurt and I suffer much and I have no choice but to go stand in the rain wearing all black and not even try. I'll lead people on, but I won't commit, because of my TREMENDOUS PAIN." In real life, my response to this is, "No, it's because you're a tremendous tool."

Somehow, this vid makes that cute. Not just cute, but funny. I find myself wanting to squeeze John's little woeful cheeks and say, "Oh my god, you are so adorable when you're all emo and pathetic. I'm going to buy you a beret!"

(John would look awesome in a beret, I tell you what. I bet he's worn one, too. I bet there was a five-week period when he was, like, sixteen, and he'd just had his heart broken for the first time. He thought he was going to go to Paris and starve in a garret on the West Bank and write really moving poetry (and sleep with lots of cute boys). And he wore a beret and tried hard to take up smoking and bought some turtlenecks. And then he realized that a) his father was really really rich and it'd be more Common People than the Lost Generation b) he'd need a really rich father to live in Paris, because it wasn't 1920 anymore and c) that he sucked at berets, smoking, and especially poetry. Still. I bet there's photographic evidence. I bet Ronon stole it when they went to John's father's funeral.)

My point is: this vid is John's emo woe made into effervescent joy. I can't think of anyone who doesn't need that.

The One That Shows Us That the Doctor's Travel Agency Is Maybe One You Don't Want to Sign up with, Unless You Just Like Hot Sexin' Adventures for Some Reason. OMG!, by [livejournal.com profile] obsessive24. Doctor Who.

Here is a true fact: this vid has possibly the best and funniest use of music in the whole history of ever. It sets a mark so high that I am not sure it can ever be equaled.

Here is another true fact: I would probably love if it even if it had used a different version of this song. (Although this version makes it, oh my god, seriously. "I'm just talking over this to prevent bootleggers": AWESOME.) The more I explore Doctor Who - which for me means Doctor Who fanworks, since I continue to ride on the success of having seen the whole first season of New Who (minus one episode) - the more I realize that for me, this is a show about the people around the Doctor. Oh, yes, I love the Doctor, but he's sort of ineffable and unknowable. I don't even want to know him; that would pretty much ruin it. He's a 900 year old superpowerful space alien with a big blue flying box: he's supposed to be distant and weird and kinda twitchy. You would be, too, if the last time you lost your cravat you inadvertently wiped out a galaxy.

But his companions (in which set I include the TARDIS, who is obviously his first and best and truest and shiniest companion) - those folks are. Well. More human, for starters. (Yes, even the TARDIS is more human than the Doctor; that's my opinion and I'm sticking to it. Look, if you want a rec that makes sense, write your own.) Makes it easier to relate to them, you know? Plus, with every new companion, you get to experience the wonder all over again: holy shit, time travel! Holy shit, infinite variety! Holy shit, this Doctor guy is fun, but kinda crazy!

So I love this vid, because: companions.

And then there's the shiny. And the music. And - well, [livejournal.com profile] obsessive24 has been impressing me with her vids since I first watched her Hikaru no Go ones, lo these many years ago, and she just continues to amaze me. This vid is no exception. There is brilliance here. And awesomeness. And talking over this to prevent bootleggers. <3!
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Not last time but the time before (although I am still totally on my deadline, so there), I signed up for Sweet Charity. The person who won me was [livejournal.com profile] adbaculum. Probably everyone who sells herself for charity has a moment of terror when she gets the request, but [livejournal.com profile] adbaculum's was actually pretty cool. Basically, she wanted me to rec some vids that might show her why vidding is cool, since she doesn't watch vids much.

I thought, I can so totally do that. Then, of course, I got eaten by the Meta Lizards. They come for you in the dead of night and make your posts three hundred pages long.

But! I persevered. I wrote the whole post, hacked pages and pages of meta back out of it (in addition to Meta Lizards, I am apparently tragically afflicted by a writing disorder that prevents me from ever shutting up), and I think - I hope - I now have something kind of close to what she wanted.

In any case, I'm going for it. [livejournal.com profile] adbaculum, thank you for buying me, for being such an awesome winner, and for having such an interesting request. Most of all, thank you for donating to charity. <3!

Why vids? )
Which vids? )
What's worth watching in vids? )
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
So. I have emerged from my traditional Yuletide-related November and December catatonia to the equally traditional late-December intimations of Yuletide doom. (I have written a terrible story that my recipient will surely hate! WOE.) (No, really, Yuletide is lots of fun, I love it every year and I advise everyone to do it. I just have the dooooooom right now.)

And many people are currently gearing up for either a joyous celebration of goodwill and family or a grim marathon of conspicuous consumption and shouting. (If the former, Merry Christmas! If the latter, courage - Christmas comes but once a year, and on Boxing Day I think you're allowed to hit something.) I do believe it's time for a few good vids.

The One That Proves That Bad Guys Really Do Have More Fun. Don't Stop Me Now, by [livejournal.com profile] charmax. Doctor Who.

I really do love the Doctor. (Most of all, I love the TARDIS, but the Doctor is a very close second.) I have even seen a whole season of Doctor Who, and I really liked it. So I find it kind of odd that when I truly love a DW vid, it often either a) is about a non-Doctor character or b) has a message I don't actually believe, like "Wow, the Doctor is a total tool." (Like, the other vid I considered recommending in this set was pretty much, "the Doctor ruins lives! If he comes near you, your only hope of future happiness is to punch him in the teeth and flee!")

This is a vid about the Master, who is definitely a non-Doctor character. I know almost nothing about the Master - he's a Time Lord, he's, um, yeah, that's pretty much where it ends - but I will say that, from this vid, it looks like he's the Doctor without brakes. He's also a tremendous amount of fun.

Too often, you see people who are cast down by the burdens of being bad, all crushed under the weight of taking over the world. Which, I mean - live a little, bad guys. No reason to be all angsty. Own your villainy! If you're going to put people in graves, at least have the courtesy to dance on them. And in this, the Master could serve as an inspiration to us all; he does not seem to suffer from Bad Guy Trauma, and he looks like he would dance on any grave you cared to fill. He might even have his own special song to sing while dancing on graves, and if he does, it would be a happy song. I respect that immensely.

And that is why you should totally watch this vid, even if you don't know the canon, even if you have no idea what a Time Lord is, even if you vaguely thought Doctor Who was some kind of medical show focusing on amnesia. This vid will, I promise you, bring a smile to your face even if you're expecting the Doctor to show up with a stethoscope and some memory cards. And if you couldn't pick the Master out of a crowd, not a problem. He's the really happy one. So come! Watch him take over the world with flair and style.

(If you do happen to know the canon, could you tell me what's up with the end bit of this vid, with the kid and the ring? It seems to be suggesting that the Master will rise again, but for all I know it could be a scene from an entirely different source.)

It's Like Slash Goggles for Normal People! Four Years, by Fabella, aka [livejournal.com profile] wistful_fever. Stargate: Atlantis.

OMG EEEEEEEEE <3!

Sorry. That really needed to be said. It's the summary of everything that follows, and, really, you can probably skip all my hysterical babbling and just go watch the vid if you'd rather. (This is the recommended course of action.)

But if you're curious about why I'm recommending this even though everyone else on earth has and also it only came out about five minutes ago - um. I can probably find something to say that isn't just dolphin noises. Let me just take a few breaths first.

Okay. Actual English-language commentary commences now. This is the classic, the perfect slash vid. If, in the future, anyone is looking to define the slash vid as a genre, I suggest just smacking this vid down and saying, "Watch." Fabella here shows what source looks like through slash-o-vision, and she does it a) mostly through body language (watch John!), which made me bounce up and down like a little girl, and b) with a narrative.

Because, okay, let's face it. Slash vids are fun when you're deeply into a pairing, but they can sometimes leave you a little bit, "Um. Yes, they're so totally doing it. And...?" Or, at least, they can if you're me, although I am well-known to be equipped with a heart made entirely of recycled tires and crustaceans. (The Grinch is my second cousin. Heart problems run in our family.) But this vid - there's a story in here, a classic slash narrative, and that just makes the vid, turns it from just another slash vid to the ultimate slash vid.

I mean, yes, fine. It's also perfectly (and interestingly) cut, with a great song choice and brilliant clip selection and all that. Yes. It is. But the heart of this vid, for me, is the slash, the pining, the story. (John is in love, and Rodney needs to be clonked on the head a few times.) And although you probably need to be into this pairing to love this vid, even if you're not, it's worth watching because - well, I don't think it can get any better than this.

(Also: OMG EEEEEEEEE <3!)

The Vid That Will Rise Again, and Keep Rising Until You Just Give in and Watch It, So Download It Already. You Will Not Be Sorry. All These Things That I've Done, by Lithium Doll, aka [livejournal.com profile] halcyon_shift. Angel the Series.

I dithered for a long time about recommending this one, because it was made for me. But I love it so much, and it makes me so happy, and I've waited almost a year to see if I love it less or want to recommend it less, and - well. Did I mention that I love it still, with all my (non-standard) heart? So, made for me be damned. I am still recommending it.

For me, this is Angel - Angel the series, Angel the person. This vid makes me think of a lot of things - well, I mean, five seasons, one vid, it's going to - but what I really think of is - okay. When I first heard this song, I thought it was just about Angel. When Lithium Doll asked me to explain how I thought it was about Angel, though, I kept talking about other people - Cordelia, Doyle, Wes, Gunn. And now, when I watch the vid, I think of Angel, yes, and I still love that big galoot, but mostly what I think of is something I saw in a Firefly vid: a hero is someone who gets other people killed. And it's interesting to me that a song that I thought was entirely about the hero's journey is actually, in vid form, a lot more about the people who support that journey, sometimes with their lives.

This vid also makes me happy because it's here, and for most of its pre-release existence, it could handily have won the Vid Least Likely to See Tomorrow award. I wasn't involved in the making of it at all, but I got regular updates, and they looked something like this:

LD: I have thirty seconds! Wanna see?
LD: I have a rough vid with blank spots!
LD: ...Now I don't have a computer.
LD: I have a new computer and a new draft!
LD: Um. Hard drives dead.
LD: Hard drives replaced. And now I have betas!
LD: The powers that be hate me and have taken my computer to prove it. Vid just about the only thing to survive. All betas lost. Also my will to live.
LD: I have resurrected the computer and the vid and am soldiering on, ever on. Shall we begin anew?
Me: For the love of god, post it before something ELSE dies.

What can we learn from this? Well, first, that Lithium Doll is a doughty fighter. And, second, that this is the vid that would not die - sort of an immortal, undead vid. But it sure got a lot of the files and hardware around it killed. In retrospect, I suppose we both should have been less surprised by this than we were.

But it hasn't gotten anything killed since its release (that I know about), so it's safe to download it and watch it now. And obviously you were meant to; a vid survives that many major computer disasters for a reason, people.

Sometimes a Cigar Is Just a Cigar. This Would Not Be One of Those Times. Detachable Penis, by the Media Cannibals: Sandy ([livejournal.com profile] sherrold), Alex ([livejournal.com profile] alexfandra), Gwyn ([livejournal.com profile] gwyn_r), Tina (who does not have a journal), and Rache ([livejournal.com profile] wickedwords); remastered by [livejournal.com profile] justacat. The Professionals.

Watching this for the first time earlier this year, I fully and clearly understood why [livejournal.com profile] justacat felt the need to digitally remaster this and thus preserve it for the fannish ages. Few vids have made me start laughing on the first clip, but this did. Actually, I was kind of giggling just from the opening screen, because people vidded this song! I would have bet, if you'd asked me, that this song was totally unviddable. I mean, it's a classic, yes - certainly a classic of penis minstrelsy - but it has spoken lyrics. And it's about a dude misplacing his detachable penis. These things do not say "vid song" to me. But that is why I am not a vidder, and also why the Media Cannibals are geniuses, because this is just about the best vid ever.

And, no, you don't need to know anything about the Professionals to watch this. (Trust me. At Vividcon, [livejournal.com profile] nestra did a pop quiz on me during a Pros vid. She said, "Which one is Doyle?" I had a fifty-fifty chance, and I got it wrong. My fannish shame is great, but my point is: I don't know from the Professionals.) Here's what you need to know: they're guys. With guns. And the Media Cannibals took those two salient facts and made - well. This vid.

It is wonderful and hysterical. It does a better job of cheering me up than all of YouTube. And it's about guns and penises. I don't see how anyone who calls herself a fangirl could not want to see this vid. And, thanks to [livejournal.com profile] justacat's dedicated remastering of the classics, you can. Go watch!
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
It's always a bad sign when you start fantasizing about killing orphans, isn't it? But I've had terrible songs stuck in my head this week, including two solid days of "The Sun Will Come out Tomorrow," and until you've had sweet but plucky cherubs advising you to bet your bottom dollar there'll be sun (which, thank you for that insight, orphans, but I live in Los Angeles, so it's not exactly news or anything - if you could predict traffic patterns, well, that would be impressive), you really don't know the depths to which you can sink. After a while, you would totally rush out and buy that movie if it featured scenes of singing orphans being dangled by their hair.

So, you know. I'm a bad person, obviously, but I was driven to it. By orphans. I want you to remember that.

Anyway. I thought I'd better recommend something before my brain was completely consumed by annoying songs. So: travel stories! (Yes, yes, fine - horrible segue. I blame the orphans. They are up to no good, I tell you.)

The One That Will Keep Popping into Your Head the Next Time You Visit a Highly Touristy Destination. This Is Not a Bad Thing. Strata, by [livejournal.com profile] katallison. Highlander, Duncan/Methos.

Highlander is a gen fandom for me. I'm just much more interested in the universe than in the sex, as it turns out. (I know - shocking! - but I'm trying not to let it shake my world view.) But Kat's Duncan/Methos stories are perfect encapsulations of one of the things I truly love about the Highlander universe: the characters. In particular, she writes Methos perfectly. (And for me, this is important, because - okay. I am the kind of HL fan that real HL fans probably hate and despise: I prefer Methos to Duncan. I'm sorry, I just do. Really, it's not my fault; he's just very interesting, so if anyone is to blame, it's Methos himself.)

So here we have this rare beast, an explicit Duncan/Methos story that I love to pieces. And why do I love it? Look, even if you don't know the fandom at all - which I didn't when I first read it, because I read everything Kat wrote early in my time in fandom, on account of I am not an idiot (although I had to take a break for a while after I read The End of the Road, because I tended to burst into tears whenever I saw her name) - it's impossible not to be fascinated by these people, by their actions, and most of all by the actual sense of age you get from them. (My number one desire in any story in HL: I want to believe the characters really are as old as they're supposed to be.) But once you - oh my god, why am I in the second person? I have creeping second personitis, and it will likely prove fatal, at least to this recs set - now that I do know something about the characters and the universe, this story is all the better. It answers two age-old questions: where does Methos go when he goes, and why? I mean, he's been everywhere, and he can't get bored that easily; in five thousand years, presumably you learn patience or you take up suicide as a hobby. And it features Duncan and Methos interacting in a way I totally believe. And it's wonderful. What more could you want?

The One That Proves That You Really Don't Want to Know What's Hiding in Some People's Closets, and That Goes Triple for Serially Immortal Alien Types. Nothing But Flowers, by Vali, aka [livejournal.com profile] violetisblue. Doctor Who, Doctor/Martha.

Recently, I have discovered a disturbing trend in myself. I actually discovered this while I was watching vids; I watched this Doctor Who vid that made the Doctor look, well, alien and kind of mad, bad, and crazy to know (and also likely to cause things to explode), and I thought: this is so awesome. In other words, I like my Doctor like I my coffee: completely foreign to me and really hard to take. (I, um, don't like coffee. I blame my maternal grandmother, who thought it would be deeply amusing to get a four-year-old to drink black coffee. "I love it!" she said. "It's very good. Try some." And so I did. I learned two things: first, coffee smells good but tastes like hot death. And, second, never trust old people when they're smiling.)

This story totally fulfills my need. (My alien Doctor need, that is.) The Doctor in this is far from perfect and certainly not entirely sane in human terms, but then, he isn't human. He has a TARDIS! He reincarnates! He collects unfortunate attire from all over the space-time continuum! He has no reason at all to meet our standards of reasonable mental functioning or make any sense to us at all, and I just love so much that in this story he doesn't.

But most of all, I love Martha in this story. I still haven't met Martha in the canon; I watched all of Nine (for me, this is a feat on par with climbing - oh, not quite K2, not a season of British television; more like Denali), fell into a black despair when I realized I would have to adjust to a whole new Doctor, and never returned to the show. So Martha is an unknown character to me. But in this story, I love her to death. She deals effectively with the Doctor's weirdness, and she's smart and human and funny. And she travels well, which is much more important than being well-traveled if you're going to hang out with the Doctor. And she shares my sincere belief in the importance of clean underwear. What's not to love?

The One That Features Every Man's Worst Nightmare: Having His Car Cheat on Him with His Girlfriend. Pieces of the Dead, by David Hines, aka [livejournal.com profile] hradzka. Transformers 2007, gen.

This is the most adorable death story ever.

No, wait. That came out wrong. Don't leave yet!

So, okay, first let me clear up the death issue. There's no character death here. It's more about how giant robot car alien things deal with death, and it is touching and sweet.

And while I'm on the topic of giant robot car alien things: you don't need to know anything about Transformers of any year whatsoever in order to read this story. Here's what I knew about Transformers prior to reading:
  1. They are robots, and also cars. (The alien thing was news to me, although I suppose I should not have been surprised. The concept behind this canon's creation appears to have been, "Hey! Let's take a lot of things that appeal to little boys in their individual parts, and then mix them up for a surefire runaway hit!")

  2. They had a cartoon and a movie and then, much later, another movie. Some people are still unhappy about the first movie, for reasons unknown to me. Some people are unhappy about the second. No one is unhappy about the cartoon that I know of, but I'm not exactly tapped into TransformerWorld or Transformista or whatever they call they their fansite, so maybe there are lots of seething fans who spend their days filled with active loathing for how everything went bad after the second season or whatever. Could totally be!
My point is: that's it. That's all I knew. I didn't know anything about the characters, for example.

Didn't matter. This story's world is complete and entire and perfect without any background knowledge, and frankly there's more depth and interest and realness in this story than I ever expected from, well, giant robot car alien things. Plus, there's a road trip in a sentient semi. It doesn't get much more awesome than that.

The One That Is Definitive Proof That Yes, Things Could Always Be Worse. I Mean, Really, Are Life-Sucking Aliens So Bad? All These Places We Have Met, by [livejournal.com profile] toft_froggy. Stargate: Atlantis, Rodney McKay/John Sheppard.

For an alternate universe junkie, this is the ultimate hit, and I am an alternate universe junkie, so I love this story to pieces. I don't even mind that the ending is a killer. (Not, you know, in an OTP-breaking way. But, yeah, this is a story with quite a sting in it.) This is just - it's fabulous, and I'm afraid of spoiling it, so I will just say: there are many worlds in this story, and if I had henchmen, I would totally send them to abduct [livejournal.com profile] toft_froggy and force her to write full stories for each one of these universes. The henchmen would require happy endings for each story. But we would be extremely kind to her, I swear.

(Actually, if I had the resources, I would totally start a fan fiction writer farm. Inscribed over the door of each set of private quarters (en suite, with full internet and cable access) would be our slogan: "Write write write write write write write, and there will be pudding on Wednesday."

It's probably a good thing I am not the evil overlord of the universe. Once, Best Beloved asked me what I would do if I ruled the world, and I outlined for her my extensive and detailed plans for salad mines, and after she stopped laughing, she said, "It's a little bit scary that you had that ready, like you'd been planning it for years." But doesn't everyone have her evil overlord plans all geared up and ready in case of sudden universe takeovers? Or is that just me? Warning: if you say it's just me, I will totally put your name down on the list of people who will be working in the salad mines when I am Empress.)

Anyway, this story is deeply amazing and good and, and, I cannot say anything more. Just read it, really.
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)
I've been writing a lot of mental letters lately. You know the kind - the ones that go:
Dear Mother Nature,

I'm dying and you just keep putting out the pollen. Some of us are suffering here, but do you care? No. Heartless bitch.

Deeply looking forward to the post-modern technological dystopia,
TFV
And:
Dear stomach,

Ow. Also, ow. Also, ew. I'm sorry you've got problems, but do you have to let them affect our relationship like this?

Remember the experience with the chalk-flavored radioactive substances? It can happen again, stomach. It can happen again.

Yours in hopes of a future partnership that's more Ray-and-Fraser than killer-and-knife-named-Betty-Lou,
TFV
And (of course):
Dear Kimberly-Clark,

Not. Stupid. Just. Menstruating.

Periodically yours,
TFV
Naturally, this got me to thinking about documents. And as I have a well-documented kink for the document-within-a-document, well, um, uh...damn. If I could've used 'document' one more time in this intro, I would've gotten an ice-cream cake.

This is how dreams die, people. Ah, well. On to the fan fiction.

The One That Teaches Us All the Importance of Occasionally Not Running for Our Lives or Getting Shot in the Ass. Leave the Light On, by [livejournal.com profile] cherryice. Doctor Who, gen. Disclaimer: I was one of the beta-readers of this story, but, seriously, I didn't do much; it was like this when I got there.

See, now, I do not know this fandom. Like, at all. There's a TARDIS, there's a Time Lord, there's a Companion, all this I know from watching my sister watch Doctor Who reruns on some random TV station back in the Dark Ages. (An advantage of Doctor Who fandom: it is, apparently, eternal. A fandom for the ages.) And my attempts to get to know the recent iteration of the fandom are uniformly doomed: downloads fail to download, or fail to extract, or fail to run, and discs disappear into the sandy mists of the postal service, and it's just...it's very doomed, is what it is - like, I suspect the Elder Gods of having an involvement here. So my knowledge is limited (by the forces of EVIL), but I do know that this new Doctor has a wrinkle. A wrinkle named Jack. And, whoa: turns out you don't have to know Jack at all to love his pansexual, uniformed, fifty-first century ass.

And this story is all about Jack, meaning I loved it pretty much from the get-go; in fact, and you'd need to check with [livejournal.com profile] cherryice to be sure, I suspect my beta emails were mostly incoherent, get-this-girl-a-drug-test-stat ramblings about the wonderful, wonderful, uh, you know, wonder of it all. My head is easily turned by a science fiction trope, and so I especially adore the colony world this story describes, the pathetic mundane probability of the scenario. I also love - and this is a lot rarer for me - the slow, horrifying build of this, the way realization sneaks up and whaps you on the head while you're distracted by this overwhelming wave of pure love for the Doctor, Jack, and Rose. And, because I am a total wuss, I also love (like, a lot), the way this story is structured: you get the hurt (all the more painful, at least to me, because it's so prosaic and possible) and the comfort (likewise simple and possible - I mean, except all the TARDIS-Time Lord-phone booth stuff). I just...I have love for this story, people. And also Jack. And the Doctor. And Rose. That is all.

The One That Teaches Us This Holy Lesson: Froot Loops Are Love. No, Really, They Are. Disgusting, Styrofoam-Flavored Love, but Who Am I to Judge? Fan Mail from a Flounder, by Punk, aka [livejournal.com profile] runpunkrun. Sports Night, Dan Rydell/Casey McCall.

Here, Danny discovers his one true love: email. Fortunately, that turns out to be a momentary blip, and he soon discovers his other one true love, but not until nearly everyone wants to punch him for talking about email so much. I think we can all sympathize. In fact, what's really miraculous is how charming Punk manages to make this behavior seem. Or, I don't know, maybe it's just me - I mean, am I the only one who has had to suffer through excruciating wedding receptions in which relatives tell me excitedly about how they've recently started using "the AOL"? (And I won't even try to describe the horror that was trying to explain email to my aunt, who believes in her heart that microwave ovens are destroying the American family. I will say, though, that the question, "But how does it get to the other computer? How does it know?" can still bring me to tears.)

This story is kind of a two-for-one, because there are two documents in it. One is an email that describes Dan as a "twenty-first century prince," which he probably is, and says that he understands the infield fly rule, which we know he doesn't because he's mostly sane and can still put his pants on without help. But the other is the one that reminds me exactly why I have loved, and will always love, this fandom. When a shopping list can make my heart swell with pure, sweet OTP love, well. That's a fandom that will never fade. Oh, Sports Night. My love is true.

The One That Makes Me Wonder What I'd Want My Epitaph to Be, If I Was Ever in Similar Circumstances.* Traces Through Time, by Icarus, aka [livejournal.com profile] icarusancalion. Stargate: Atlantis, Rodney McKay/John Sheppard.

Disclaimer: I love time travel stories. In non-fan fiction formats, I am the least critical consumer of them ever.** But, for reasons unknown to me, the exemption that all other forms of media get for giving me what I love (Time travel! Diaries! Gay!) does not extend to fan fiction; I'm an incredibly demanding reader when it comes to FF that hits my personal bulletproof kinks. When you can almost always get at least a little of exactly what you want, you're much less tolerant of near misses. That pretty much summarizes my entire fan fiction experience, right there.

Because, see, sometimes I do get exactly what I want. Like, take this story. I will just never leave fandom as long as there are stories in which Rodney is accidentally sent back in time and John reads his trapped-in-time diary and figures out how to help him and also gets to read a multi-page and very loving description of his cock. I just am incapable of even summoning up the words to describe my glee about this. It's like - it's like Marooned in Realtime***, but with an entirely happy ending. And the document. Oh, the document - I would totally kill to read an extended edition of this story with much longer passages from Rodney's Lost in Time diary. Or extracts from the symphony. Yes, he wrote John a symphony. (And that, my friends, is where my hard and shriveled little heart just melted into a puddle of extremely satisfied goo. Awwwwwww.)

The One in Which Batman Gives the World's Least Helpful Advice. "Assume Success" My Ass, Batty Boy. What Book Did You Find That Pedagogical Technique in, Breaking the Brains of the Next Generation? Able to Succeed, by [livejournal.com profile] brown_betty. D.C. Universe, gen.

I appear to be on quite the tear of "The Batuniverse Is Like Our Universe, Only Jam-Packed with Armed Nutballs in Armored Spandex" stories lately. (You know, I really didn't mean that to sound like a cross between a gay bar and a health food. It just came out that way. This is what happens when you try to write about the DCU, folks.) Here we have Tim (glorious Tim!) being inculcated into the Way of the Bat, by which I of course mean "winning through paranoia, obsessive-compulsive planning, and homoerotic overtones that are really much more overt than you'd think anyone could get away with."

There just aren't too many superheroes I can picture doing superhomework - I mean, sure, Charles Xavier runs a school complete with Danger Room (Danger! Room!) and suchlike, but does Rogue ever belly up to her desk and write a 20-page paper called "The Evolution of Team-Based Aerial Combat Techniques in a Post-Genosha Multiverse"? No. Wolverine? My god no. Cyclops? Okay, maybe. Probably. Almost certainly. But my point is, Batman's superhomework is just way cooler than that. Also way, way more insanity inducing, but that's just how they do it in Gotham; it is their native folkway, which we have all learned to admire greatly. (And oh my god, I just realized - someone needs to write a DCU story called "It's Hard out Here for a Bat." Please. Please. I'll...okay, I don't have anything to offer in trade, but I will love you forever I swear to god.)

-Footnotes-

* I'm joking. I already totally know what I want my epitaph to be, have for at least 15 years: "She lived in readiness for temporal anomaly." You may think you have a time travel kink, but trust me, it is nothing to my all-encompassing, seriously obsessive, downright disturbing time travel kink. I mean, I have a list of essential items I'd take back to any time period you care to name. I follow advances in particle physics solely for their relevance to potential means of time travel. I...whoa, I just totally outed myself as the geek of the century, didn't I?

** You know that version of The Time Machine that came out in 2002? (Before I looked it up, I was going to say "about a decade ago." Apparently my brain has elected to deal with the post-traumatic movie viewing stress by pretending it all happened a very long time ago. In another country. And the wench is dead.) I watched that with actual delight. (BB, immediately after we emerged into the harsh bright light of day: "Um. You, uh, you know that movie was bad, right?" Me, nearly skipping with joy: "Oh, yes. And I am so buying it the second it comes out!" BB: *nearly inaudible whimper*)

*** Don't even tell me you haven't read Marooned in Realtime by Vernor Vinge. Just. Don't. Even. Go quietly and shame-facedly to the library, your local bookstore, or Amazon, obtain a copy, and read until you break.

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