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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Plus, there is a sequence that makes it very clear that the whole thing with the cars is not so much repressed homoeroticism as it is a chance to do some explicit man-on-man action without the MPAA getting all het up.
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Today, I offer you weirdness. In pairs. Think of this sort of like a - fandom poker hand, I guess. (Assuming you can ever play four-card poker, because I don't actually know, and I won't unless some fandom comes along about these guys who, like, go to a lot of different places, and play poker, and have adventures, and they're really funny and so obviously doing it.) Anyway: two pair, people. And what a pair they are.

(You should be ashamed of yourself for laughing at that sentence.)

Best FF That Shows That What You Really Need, in Certain Circumstances, Is Money, Supportive Family, and a Really Big Engine. No, Make That All Circumstances. There in Nine Flat: Part One, Part Two, Part Three, and Part Four, by [livejournal.com profile] khaleesian. The Fast and the Furious, Dominic Toretto/Brian O'Conner. When you've read this story, assuming you survive reading this story, you'll understand why it was amusing to me that I initially mistyped the fandom as "The Fat and the Furious." In the meantime, let me offer you something that is both a threat and a promise: while reading this story, I spoke out loud to the author via the famed communication medium of computer monitor, which I hardly ever do. (I am afraid the dogs will grow up traumatized. Or, you know, have me committed.) I said, "I hate you. I hate you for doing this to me. I hate you for doing this to me and making me like it." So my threat and promise is - you'll probably feel the same way about this at some point, because [livejournal.com profile] khaleesian does here something I truly never thought I'd see. Something I never wanted to see, and might in fact have paid actual American dollars not to see. And yet she did it so damn well that I read the whole thing, mouth open, totally enthralled. Totally enthralled with - this. And I'm afraid to tell you what it is for fear you won't read it, but - well, I figured it out pretty fast, and I kept reading, so - it's MPreg. It's realistic MPreg, to the extent that that statement can even be made without the sheer internal contradictions of it destroying the universe. And it is so in character and so well written and so fabulous and, OK, it's also MPreg, and nothing's going to change that. But give it a try, just for a couple of pages, OK? And, hey, if you like it, you can curse [livejournal.com profile] khaleesian and me.

Best FF That Demonstrates That Superheroes Should Come with a Warning Label Reading 'Does Not Handle Boredom Particularly Well. Unless You Like That Sort of Thing.' Mpreurgh, by Derry, aka [livejournal.com profile] derryderrydown and Propaganda, aka [livejournal.com profile] notpoetry. D. C. Universe, Batclan, Tim Drake/Bart Allen. And this has, like, the best cover ever, so you should go look at that immediately. The cover actually sums the story up way better than I ever could, although I'm still going to mention specific aspects. Like, for example, that this is, as the title suggests, crack-brained D.C. MPreg (albeit MPreg with a very special difference). And that Batman is the worst enraged father ever, and someone less impulsive (hee!) than Bart would've thought about that before having sex with Tim, and then done whatever was necessary to resist the temptation, up to and including moving to an alternate universe permanently. (And someone less brave than Bart would move to the alternate universe immediately after the sex, because again - Batman is an enraged father with explosives, surveillance equipment, and a seriously imbalanced outlook on life. So, basically, unless Tim goes independent a la Nightwing, he's going to need to pick partners pretty much from the super-powered or terminally brave segments of society. Of course, I'm pretty sure he's already figured that out.) Also, Alfred is the sweetest grandmother-to-be ever, although you don't want to think about that concept too closely, because it'll keep you up nights. Other things you'll probably want to avoid thinking about in any kind of depth: Tim in the throes of hormone-induced hysteria, the booties, and Batman keeping Bart on a leash. But read it anyway. It's wonderful, and it'll do you - well, if not good, then not a whole lot of harm.

Best FF That Shows Us the Real Problem with Hanging out with People Who Don't Care What Other People Think - Namely, That They Will Handle Public Sex Way Better Than You. Proof by Contradiction, by Shalott, aka [livejournal.com profile] astolat. Stargate: Atlantis, John Sheppard/Rodney McKay. I think everyone should take a moment to be grateful to me here and now, because I realized while I was picking out this story that I have enough MPreg pieces to fill an entire set. And yet I chose to stop at two, and give you a pair of something else instead. This is restraint, and restraint should be rewarded, yes? So instead we have here that FF cliche that I so very much adore: aliens (or in this case, alien technology) make them do it. This particular plot device has been much on my mind lately. I've been searching out new ones and re-reading old ones and I've pretty much come to the conclusion that this is a golden cliche, a lovely cliche, a cliche that every author should write. A number of times, if at all possible. And I have enough aliens-make-them stories to fill at least two recs sets, and more if you count the ones in the comments for [livejournal.com profile] resonant8's recent post on the topic, which everyone should read immediately. So why did I pick this story for one of the aliens entries in this post? Because it starts after the aliens are finished with the main characters. You begin right off with the reaction, and it's just really fucking funny. Plus, you know how Shalott has this tragic habit of writing stories that suck people into new fandoms so fast there's a loud popping noise from the displaced mass? This is just such a story for SGA; no fandom knowledge required, and it's a perfect way to get to know these guys. And did I mention it's fantastic?

Best FF Featuring Daniel Making Yet Another Unfortunate Translation Error. Unfortunate for Him, Anyway. I Myself Am Strangely Comfortable with It. The Road Between the Walls, by [livejournal.com profile] keiko_kirin. Stargate: SG-1, Jack O'Neill/Daniel Jackson. So, here we have the other aliens-make-them-do-it story, and where one Stargate is, should not the other be? (Because, hey. If McKay and Sheppard are going to have embarrassing public sex, it's only justice that Jack and Daniel join them. And, um. No one should cry "plot bunny" right now, OK? No. Seriously. Stop that right now.) Here we have a story with all the trimmings, including a pitched battle, an incomprehensible alien culture, and a new and novel use for a stargate. (No. Not as a sex aid. Don't even think it; frankly, I'm sort of sorry I thought it. Also, immediately stop pondering the various bad puns one could make out of "wormhole.") Plus, of course, imperious and perverted aliens. Strange how many of those the universe has produced, but I suppose that's what infinity is all about. And I, for one, am not complaining. No, not even a smidgen, because it leads to brilliant stories like these. See, Keiko has many gifts, and one of them is her ability to turn fandom cliches inside out, shake them vigorously, and build them into something substantial and wondrous to behold, and if my metaphor sort of derailed there, I refuse to care, because it's true. That's just what she does. Here, she gives that treatment to several of them; in addition to the aliens-make-them thing, note her skillful and persuasive handling of the "I'm secretly gay" concept. But most importantly, she gets these characters. And then she gives them to us, on a platter. And an ox-cart. And aliens. And sex. I don't see how any fan could ask for more.
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
I am afraid of series. I'm willing to admit it because a) I don't think a person should be ashamed of her fears and b) I have someone to blame this on. Namely, C.S. Lewis, who apparently wrote The Last Battle solely to ensure that his readers would never read the last part of anything ever again. Or the Book of Revelations (upon which Battle is loosely based).

But there are really and truly some excellent series out there in the FF world, and the great part about FF is that I can always pretend the author is even now working on another chapter or epilogue or same-universe story ("PWP 221f: Return to the Last Rimjob, Part 8"), so the phobia doesn't come into play as often as it does in the world of Real Literature. (I could pretend the same about those books, yes, but at least half the authors I read are dead. And hoping for published different-author sequels is like hoping for experimental genital surgery performed by monkeys, given the quality of much of the FF the publishing world has seen fit to put between covers.)

So I read FF series. But I don't recommend them very often; I'm much more likely to pick my favorite story and let people know it's part of a series. There are reasons for that, too. For one thing, well, it's tough to maintain consistent quality. In most series, there's one story that is just legions better than the rest, or there's a couple stories that are just legions worse. And I have to be pretty much ready to propose to a story to write up a recs entry for it, so I'm not going to include those less-than-the-series-best stories, even if they have good elements or I enjoyed reading them. Also, I figure it's asking a huge commitment from the readers to embark on a series based entirely on a paragraph of mostly irrelevant babbling; better to get y'all addicted to the AU or the characterizations or the sex, then tell you it's part of a series slightly longer (and way better) than the collected works of Harry Stephen Keeler.

Occasionally, though, I find a series that has to be recommended in toto. And now my list of said series is too long to ignore. So that's what I'm recommending today. (Not the whole list, though. I considered that, but decided I prefered to finish this entry sometime this decade.)

(Note to series authors: I love you guys. I seriously do. I love reading FF series, even if I don't rec them in their entirety that often. And, please, if you love (or even like) your recommenders (or just being recommended), include jump pages. It's a lot harder to rec when we have to choose between linking to a general index or bunches of individual stories that are all part of one series.)

Best Series Featuring the Only Appearance of the Highlander Characters That I've Been Able to Handle Thus Far. Although Isn't There Supposed to Be a Methos in There Somewhere? Imperfections: Imperfections, II: Believing in Fairy Tales, III: Visiting, IV: Necessary Parts, V: Passing Through the Underworld, and VI: What Comes Around by Dasha, who doesn't have a LJ. The Sentinel x Monk (all) x due South (II) x X-Files (II) x Highlander (V) (and if anyone picks up any others, please let me know), AU, gen.

Warnings: This is likely a work in progress; there's a few plot arcs that aren't entirely resolved, and she's still posting new chapters regularly. (Yay!) Also, in all honesty I have to tell due South fans that they'll be irritated by a few things here - but it's mostly minor stuff, like problems with names, or it can be explained away by the AU-ness, like Diefenbaker on a leash.

So. I promise you sex-based addiction, then begin by recommending gen. But I'm not sorry. I've only relatively recently discovered TS gen; I mean, I knew it existed, but I didn't understand it. Slash makes the TS universe much more believable. Otherwise, well, you've pretty much got all your available disbelief tied up in accepting that a) these guys are, all appearances to the contrary, not actually fucking and b) they work around a bunch of good detectives who don't know about the senses and still don't think there's anything, oh, vaguely gay about them. That's a more improbable AU right there than, say, the one with the horse-robot sex slaves. So, what with my difficulty buying a slash-free TS universe, I did not so much do the gen thing for a while. Stories like these, though, they make me glad I did. This series has to be gen, at least as it currently stands. It can't work otherwise. But it turns out that there are other ways to make the Jim and Blair relationship make sense. Dasha goes here for the world-where-sentinels-are-known thing, and manages to create one that works, that makes sense, that is the modern world with just that one change. (Usually common-sentinel AUs are not nearly so close to reality.) And she also includes loads of plot. Cases! Real cases! That they legitimately work as detective-and-guide! The series is, at the start, highly engaging. And then it gets better.

Favorite stories: It's tough to pick a favorite from this series; they're all fantastic for different reasons. Maybe, um, II, V, and VI?

Best Series That Owes a Great Debt to Cows. Celebrate Our Bovine Friends! Steak: 1: The Box, 2: Steak Dinner, 3: More Steak (Steak in the Rain), 4: Steak in the Dark, 5: Steak In-Between, 6: Steak-In-Waiting, 7: Steak and Cows, 8: Steak and Territory, 9: Steak and Separation, 10: Steak and Motility, 11: Steak and Lizards, and The Rememberers, by [livejournal.com profile] keiko_kirin. Stargate SG-1, Jack O'Neill/Daniel Jackson (with mention of Jack/f, Daniel/f, and Teal'c/f in 10).

This is a famous series in the fandom; it was, in retrospect, wrong of me to avoid it so long simply because of the predominance of the word "steak" in, above, and about it. By the time I started reading SG, I knew Keiko Kirin's work in other fandoms, so I knew she was good. But I kept looking at this and saying, "Yeah. A twelve-part series about steak. Just what I've been hoping for." Well, that was wrong, and now I know it. For one thing, it isn't about steak, not really - the steak is a metaphor, a device, a bunch of those things you gladly forgot after you passed your last English test. For another thing, this is justly famous and in fact not as famous as it deserves to be. (I understand some people in lowland New Guinea haven't heard of it.) The Steak series is one of the best switching-teams stories I've read, yes, and it's funny and dramatic and sweet and everything else under the sun, yes, but that's only a part of it. Because there's plots here, people; almost every one of these stories could be an episode (well, apart from the sex, but that's obviously a failing of the show, not the series). I'd wager that these are also better than most of the existing episodes. The basic theme here is exploring new worlds - abroad, in bed, and with steak. And you get a heaping helping of all three, in twelve stories that make me want to fall to my knees and give thanks to the gods of FF.

Favorite stories: The last two, entirely for plot reasons. Part eleven takes me home to my SF roots, only with added sex, and "The Rememberers" (which she doesn't number like the others, so I didn't, either) is about some of my favorite things: memory, long-term relationships, and how people become who they are.

Best Series That Helps a Certain Teenage Mutant Find His Inner Drama Queen. And a Cigarette Lighter. And Ice Cream. And, in the Fullness of Time, Sex with His Roommate. It's Just Like He Went to College! Thermal: Freeze Out, Applying Heat, Defrost, Liquefy, Flux, and Mercury Rising, by Zahra, aka [livejournal.com profile] hackthis. X-Men movieverse, Pyro/Iceman.

Warnings: Those who hate the use of "St. John" in the movieverse will fume over this series; so will people who insist on the name. It's an equal-opportunity offender!

There's no better summary of this than the author's own, so I'll begin by quoting that: "It's those damn teenage hormones, again." In short, this is mostly smut - smut with build-up and context and background. And I admit I'm mostly recommending it for those last two. (I know. I hardly recognize myself these days.) See, the X-Men movies have a lot of strengths, including some major improvements over the comic books. (No universe reloads. No White Queen parading around like a bleached blow-up dominatrix, pretending to be Jean Gray. No Summers family history complex enough to destroy life as we know it should anyone ever actually manage to comprehend the totality of it. No 18 million Wolverine crossovers with every other comic book, including Asterix and Tin Tin. And so on.) But there's some things the movies just cannot supply to an old comic book fangirl (which, yes, I am, but I consider myself a recovering one, although Te constantly tempts me to backslide, the evildoer). Like depictions of ordinary days in the lives of our mutants; in the movies, there's always something heavily tentacled attacking or some moderately slashy world-ending scheme to prevent. So I enjoy the look at mundane daily life for a teenage mutant, which looks pretty familiar to any non-mutant that has lived through those years. With, you know, a few minor exceptions, like getting caught masturbating because you froze the room. Again. Also, I like that we get a look at the students - not just Pyro and Iceman, but Kitty and even Jubilee (who I fucking detested in the comic books, so it's impressive that I like her here, and frankly astonishing that I'm willing to admit it) - as people, rather than background. The movie focuses on the core team (lightning, claws, lasers) and the bad guys, which is as it should be. But I'm grateful to FF like this for fleshing things out. And for letting boys be boys.

Favorite stories: I view this more as a continuum than many series; it's hard to have part IV without part III, in other words. But probably the last two are my favorites. I like the Bobby-taunting.

Best Series That Contains Everything. Including the Kitchen Sink. Very Much Including the Kitchen Sink. Unfinished Business: Unfinished Business, A Little Less Conversation, Coda I: Conversation, Coda II: Bella Morte, The Debt You Owe, The Price You Pay, and Sway, by [livejournal.com profile] maygra and sometimes Bone, aka [livejournal.com profile] thisisbone. The Fast and the Furious, Brian O'Conner/Dominic Toretto.

Warning: This is a work in progress, although all the stories linked above are complete. And some of those pages contain pictures that are definitely not work-safe. Finally, some of the stories are rougher, in terms of grammar and spelling, than others.

First things first. You do not need to have seen the movie to read this. You hardly need to know who the characters are. So don't make that your excuse for missing out on this - this - well, I can't really call it a series. It's a universe, a whole bunch of branching possibilities. It even has its own AUs. Of course, if you haven't seen the movie, you won't appreciate just how well this series fixes the mess the movie left behind - and builds on that. And then builds some more. And then adds two outbuildings, a cupola, and a gazebo. Truly; if you track down all the various parts and fragments and works-in-progress that are either contained in or spawned by this series, you will have several days of solid (and lovely) reading ahead of you. What I linked above is a couple novels' worth, but it isn't all of it by any means. So, obviously, I cannot possibly summarize this. It would take a finer blurb-writer than me; it would take genius. Instead, I'll tempt you with a list of randomly-selected items you will find somewhere in the series. (Think of it like a print version of Where's Waldo. With porn.) Border-crossing motorcycle hijinks! Lasagna! Handcuffs used for their intended purpose! Handcuffs used for an off-label and exceedingly not-manufacturer-recommended purpose! Assorted beatings! Sex in a multitude of locations! And a shopping trip to what I have always believed was Century City Mall, although in fact it's probably Beverly Center! (Why not email the authors and ask them? Well, aside from the fact that it would distract them from adding a guest house and a semi-finished basement to the universe. And, yes, I know I've fractured the hell out of some metaphors there. Don't care at all.) Seriously, you need to read this. It's worth picking up a new fandom just to discover the heights (and breadths and depths) that FF can reach.

Favorite stories: Well, "Sway" was dedicated to me, so that has to come first. And then "The Price That You Pay" and "Unfinished Business" itself. And "Damage," which I didn't even link above, because it isn't finished yet. Hell, just read all of them.
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
(Note: I know full well that I have evilly, evilly misquoted a deceased Great American strongly associated with the Jazz Age. You know what? I suffered agonies with certain of his works in middle school, so if he wants to come back from the dead to whine about my misuse of his noble words, well, he'll have to work pretty damn hard to get a word in edgewise, is all I'm saying. Never trust a man who uses his first initial and his middle name, that's my motto, even if he did write some excellent short stories.)

You know, it is wonderful to have internet access again. You can't imagine how much I missed y'all. Hello, fan fiction! Hello, LiveJournal! Hello, diverse and distributed community of like-minded perverts! And, yes, you'd better actually be a pervert if you read anything in this set, because I have here some fine, full-bodied kinkfic. (If you weren't here for the first kink set, you should know that I call it kink if the author does, because one person's perversion is another person's mandatory, basic part of any act more intimate than holding hands.)

Best FF in Which a Character Takes a Pop Quiz and Does Really, Really Well. But We'd Expect Nothing Else of Brian O'Conner, King of Fast Thinking on the Fly (and Yes, the Pun Was Entirely Intentional). Generally Psychotic Behavior, by [livejournal.com profile] khaleesian. The Fast and the Furious, Brian O'Conner/Dom Toretto. Any fandom with a character named 'Dom' gets extra kink-points right off the bat, but trust me, TFATF didn't even need those to break the curve on the perv-o-meter. Really. Those of us who love this fandom (And we are a small but select and tasteful bunch. Given certain definitions of 'tasteful.') love it in part for its kink-friendliness - nay, kink-required-ness. For some reason, these guys really want to be in stories about, oh, oxygen deprivation. Just as an example, and a highly cogent one, given that that is in fact what this story is all about. It's a cheery little PWP, and while it will help to have seen the movie - or, at any rate, one scene in the movie, one that involves motor oil, lube hose, eavesdropping, and men clad in leather (perhaps you're beginning to see why this movie cries out for kinky slash?) - but, really, the only absolute prerequisite for this one is a certain mental flexibility. Read. Enjoy. And if you really enjoy it, well, there's a movie I think you might wanna watch.

Best FF Featuring an Author Warning That Makes You Want to Pass a Law Against Puns. Or Maybe Embrace the Author Heartily. Me, I Go Both Ways on That, but Then, Don't I Always? On the QT, by The Spike, aka [livejournal.com profile] spike21. L.A. Confidential, Bud White/Ed Exley, sort of. Fan fiction: pushing boundaries. Including, inevitably, some that probably shouldn't be pushed. But you know what? I totally don't think this story falls under that heading. See, kink works best in FF when it's used to say something about the characters or the world they live in. (And, yes, for the record, I do know it doesn't work this way in real life; we don't all have poetically apt kinks. But this is one of those times when fiction doesn't mimic reality, folks, and we should all be happy about that, because if that was reality just imagine what kinks we'd have.) In this story, watersports* work perfectly as a metaphor - and, no, I'm not going to get all English-major-y, I swear - for the way Exley and White are at the beginning of the movie. In fact, I suspect that you could read this story without having seen said movie and get a very solid picture of both guys and their early relationship, such as it is. That's the reason I consider this the best w/s FF I've read to date. (Of course I've read others. This is fan fiction, people.)

Best FF to Use the Highly Disturbing Phrase "Kinky SoloFlex Commercials." And, No, That Isn't the Kink Here; Do You Think I'm Some Kind of Sicko? The Other Half, by Anna S., aka [livejournal.com profile] eliade. Stargate SG-1, Jack O'Neill/Daniel Jackson. Ah, slave kink. Traditional, tried-and-true - a kink classic, if you will. Take some submission, throw in a soupçon of dominance - or, hell, a whole handful - and accessorize. But, as always, Anna S. does way, way more than that; this is a fantastic story. I know a lot of people hate first-person narrative, but when it's well done, as it is here, I love it. Notice how many little one-liners we get, how much sarcasm she packs into this text. (It helps that she's using Jack's voice, of course. I imagine General Hammond's wouldn't be quite the same.) And first-person is the best way to get a single character's take on the events, provided the narrator is reliable, and I think the Jack we have here is, aside from the whole Daniel-as-U.S.-President-with-Added-Sodomy mental image thing. (No, really, and I'm pretty sure you won't mind that as much as you're currently imagining. Of course, I think most governmental processes could be improved with added sodomy, so maybe I'm not the best person to ask.) This story is so good that it can take a concept I normally can't handle - slavery, my friends, is not my own personal kink, not at all - and make me love it. Well, I'm used to Anna doing that to me. Hell, I wish she'd do more of it.

Best FF That Reminds Us That We Should All Be Grateful for Sundays, and Make Full and Excellent Use of Them. Of Course, That Use Doesn't Have to Involve a Mountie; the Choice Is Yours. Sharp-Dressed Man, by Zahra, aka [livejournal.com profile] hackthis. Due South, Benton Fraser/Ray Kowalski. I have a lot of dS kink in my database, because I have a lot of dS everything in my database. (Because it is a wonderful fandom, wonderful, and also - oh joy! - a wonderful canon. Thanks again, [livejournal.com profile] nigeltde.) But after long consideration (And, in fact, a debate with Best Beloved that lasted for most of a meal; remember this the next time someone tells you the dinner conversation isn't scintillating at casa [livejournal.com profile] thefourthvine.), I went with this, because Mountie suit kink is, like, the core kink of this fandom. Or one of them; it's a big fandom, after all. You could fill a medium-sized convention center just with people who have kinks about various parts of Callum Keith Rennie's anatomy, and I'm talking here strictly about the bits of his anatomy that you can see on TV. But there's something essential about the Mountie suit fixation in dS, and there's sure as shit something essential about it in dS FF; you don't want to know what size convention center you could fill with people who know way more than they probably should about getting Mounties out of their full-dress uniforms in record time. (I imagine Mounties live in fear of encountering dS fans. "She's taking an extreme close-up picture of your lanyard, Dougie." "Yeah, but it's not that that worries me. It's that she's salivating.") So, dragging myself back to the story: Ray has a Mountie suit kink. Fraser is, as always, understanding, courteous, and helpful. I'm telling you, this story works as a metaphor for the dS fandom as a whole. Provided, that is, that you've been way overexposed to Mountie Red #6, or whatever they call that dye.

-Footnote-

* I think this is probably an unnecessary footnote. If you don't know what watersports are, I'm guessing you've only been reading FF, period, for about two weeks max, because after a few months, FF readers become more familiar with kinks than sex advice columnists. (After a few years, we're more familiar with most aspects of sex than the authors of The Joy of Gay Sex - way more, in fact, because we'd never consider including a chapter on bestiality in a book of that title. Consider yourself warned. Unless it's already too late for you.) So if you're new here, maybe you'll want to wait a bit on some of these stories. But if you're determined to read them now, today, know that watersports, aka golden showers, urophilia, and urolagnia, mix urine and sex to the pleasure of all participants. The reader's pleasure mileage will, of course, vary.
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
This entry is dedicated to my Best Beloved, who is in a world of hurt thanks to a certain molar that I will not name, now broken, and who routinely reminds me that the best relationship in the world is one that's been around a while.

(And, yes, the established relationship stories bring out the schmoop in me. I can't help it. You should see what I'm like when I recommending kidfic. If you're emotionally diabetic or otherwise have a low sugar tolerance, you might want to skip the summaries and go straight to the FF, which is really not all that excessively sweet. I swear.)

Best FF That Really Turns an Certain Shopping-Related Gender Stereotype on Its Head. And, You Know, Describes Some Head in the Process. (Yes, I'm Sorry About the Pun.) The Price That You Pay, by [livejournal.com profile] maygra and Bone, aka [livejournal.com profile] thisisbone. The Fast and the Furious, Brian O'Conner/Dominic Toretto. OK. Have you read the Unfinished Business series? Because if you haven't, go read it right now. I don't care if you haven't seen the movie, because all you need to know about it is that it's about two guys who like cars and are so obviously fucking between every shot that sometimes you can still see the lube, at least Christ you hope that's lube, left in the picture, and that it has an ending that is simultaneously "wow, cool" and "wait, that's it? That is so not it. So not it that I am going to write post-movie FF right now, damn you all to hell." So. You've read UB, so you know how Maygra (who if she doesn't totally hate me by now should email me, 'cause I'm afraid to email her, on account of, you know, she should hate me) manages to make it all better. With beatings and kidnappings and a lot of things we don't usually associate with the phrase "all better," but it works. Now read what happens after UB, when Brian goes undercover again. With Dom on his side, this time. Note that more of Maygra's favorite things occur in this story, and also that it has a plot. No, a Plot, capital and everything. You start this one, sweetheart, you are finishing it. Before you sleep tonight. Probably before you can tear yourself away from the computer.

Best FF That Provided the Strongest Temptation I've Yet Encountered to Make Cutesy Puns out of Hackneyed Phrases About How Only the Blind Can Truly See, Blah Blah Tiresias Blah. No Need to Thank Me for Resisting; the Sanity I Saved Was My Own. You'd Forgotten Love Could Mean This, by Delilah, and does anyone have a LJ or link for her? Please? Stargate SG-1, Jack O'Neill/Daniel Jackson. OK, y'all, let's get the warnings out of the way first: this is disability fic. Also, it's told in alternating first and second person, which is a tough device, so we should all be impressed with how well it works, but I'm warning you that you may also be a bit tired of it before the story is done. So, feeling like moving on to another story, perhaps a whole other universe? First let me tell you why you should read this. Because, see, you can learn everything you need to know about the way to tell a story from this one. Here, Jack is blind, permanently and irremediably blind. If Delilah had started with the mission on which he was blinded, written about them nearly losing him, written about him dealing with the first days of blindness, all of that and all of it in chronological order, this story would be impossibly painful. But instead she starts a year after, and so, you know, it really isn't that hard to take. It's mostly about the things that make Jack Jack, and how it turns out sight isn't on that list. And it's about Daniel, too, and...well, I can't really explain this without spoiling the whole thing, but trust me when I tell you that you will finish this story feeling vaguely sorry for several people, but blind Jack O'Neill isn't one of them.

Best FF That Could Be Used as a Teaching Material for Toddlers. Only, Wait, No, It Totally Couldn't. A Is for Apple, by [livejournal.com profile] pearl_o. Due South, Ray Kowalski/Benton Fraser. (This actually starts at the first time and goes right through into the established relationship, but to me it's about the, well, establishing of the relationship, and thus it belongs in this category.) Those of us who have spent perhaps too much time evaluating alphabet concept books for preschoolers will understand why the most profoundly impressive thing about this to me - more impressive than the coherent story told through teeny snippets, more impressive than the way each snippet is both part of the story and a story itself - is the word she came up with for X. Because it's a) an actual word b) appropriate and suitable and c) not the easy way out. I mean, she could've gone for x-ray, given the way these guys attract trouble, or x-rated, given, you know, that this isn't exactly a primer and so there'd be nothing wrong with the guys sitting down with a bit of porn, but she didn't take the obvious roads. And that, my friends, is amazing. Note: there's a point in the story that will get a bit scary for those who carry the Ray K and Fraser Forever banner - and I think we all know who you are - but do not fear; this story was written by Cheerful Pearl-o – happy story, happy ending. (In my head, Pearl-o's Evil Twin is the one who puts out all those incredible, compelling stories that draw you in and then rip your heart out and dance on the fragments.) Of course, there's a downside to this story. Namely, that I could do with at least 3,000 words on most of these snippets. But notice how I am not whining at Cheerful Pearl-o to write them; admire my restraint.

Best FF That Proves That All You Need to Make a Story Is One Really Good Metaphor. Percentage Points, by [livejournal.com profile] gritkitty. The Sentinel, Jim Ellison/Blair Sandburg. Of course, it helps if this metaphor is funny, and this one is. And it also helps that Blair is who he is; I mean, there's maybe three characters I can imagine thinking like this, because there just aren't all that many people in the world who would equate groping with investing in war bonds, but Blair totally would. And, see, I'd describe more of this story, but a) you should just go read it, 'cause it's good and almost elementally jimblairy and b) I have this whole flight of fancy when I read this story that totally destroys my ability to talk about it sanely and calmly. Don't believe me? Well, see, I can't read this story without picturing the battle sequences in Lord of the Rings. Specifically, the one where Isildur took the One Ring. Which means I'm viewing Blair's sex drive as, say, a contingent of human swordsmen, his hunger as a bunch of orcish pikemen, and Blair's brain as, well, Mordor, I guess. Um. Yeah, that's probably mostly attributable to the massive doses of codeine I was on when I first read this, because upon reflection I don't think Grit Kitty intended for the reader to equate Jim with Isildur. Although this does suggest something very interesting about Blair's nipple ring that I am not, not, not thinking about ever ever again, because it is the living definition of crossover crackfic. And I'm finishing this recs set before I put any more of my insanity on parade.
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Fan fiction is, at its core, things that never happened. That may be why [livejournal.com profile] basingstoke's fantastic story concept caught on the way it did.

But, really, do we even need an explanation for the popularity of this trope? (Note use of litgeek vocabulary! I can be taught!) No. No, we do not. When something spurs stories this wonderful, we do not analyze or complain or indeed retain higher brain functions of any kind, although those of you who know me will recognize that complaining is pretty much a brain-stem reflex in my case. We simply feel the love. And show the love. For the authors, I mean. And also for the concept, because I just purely love Things That Never Happened stories.

So should you.

Warning: Before you read further, know that Things That Never Happened stories can explore some, um, challenging territory, and by challenging I mean "really fucking depressing or disturbing or just 'oh my god please give me sedative-hypnotics, and give some to the author while you're at it.'" For example, character death is often one of those things that didn't happen, and while the character's continued existence is usually inarguable, imagining it is still fairly grim. When this occurs, I advise going with the coping mechanism suggested by the story title and chanting, "Never happened never happened never happened" while moving briskly to the next entry, but if that isn't going to work for you, or if you are having an especially bad couple of days, maybe you'll be wanting to give most of these a miss for now.

Warning the second: Things That Never Happened stories usually make a lot more sense if you're familiar with the canon. It sort of helps to know what did happen, in other words, before you read about what didn't.

Best FF Whose Cool Life-Event-Related Chapter Headings It Took Me Forever to Notice, for Reasons Best Not Explored in Detail. Five Pictures That Were Never Taken, by Annie-Lee (or just Annie, and Annie, if you read this, feel free to tell me which one you prefer), aka [livejournal.com profile] out_there. Sports Night, assorted pairings and gen. I love this story. I love it because it's the perfect adaptation of the "never happened" concept for this fandom. I love it because it encompasses all the emotional extremes you find in the canon and encapsulates a lot of what I find most appealing about the show. And I love it 'cause of all the stories that are behind these pictures, the stories you know without even needing to be told them, the points you get even though they're never explicitly made. Seriously, this story proves that you don't need to be able to see the picture for it to be worth a thousand words, and I bet you hoped I'd get all the way through this summary without mentioning that aphorism, but you must've known you were doomed from the start. Added bonus: there are several fantastic Sports Night TTNH stories out there, but this is the only one I've found to date that doesn't leave me wanting to ingest massive quantities of psychoactive chemicals. Or maybe radioactive ones. Know of another? I'd love to hear about it.

Best FF That Makes Me Want Snow. No, Need Snow. Which Sucks, Because I Live in Southern California, but Don't Let My Pain Interfere with Your Enjoyment of the Story or Anything. Four Things That Didn't Happen on Christmas Eve, by [livejournal.com profile] penknife. X-Men movieverse, assorted pairings and gen. This is all about turnings not taken. For some reason, I find the last segment the most fascinating - and I mean seriously fascinating; the day I read this, I couldn't stop fantasizing about an AU in which Magneto v. Charles Xavier would be totally overshadowed by Caged World Death Match: Telepath v. Telepath. Seriously. I sketched out changes to major canon events and a timeline and everything. Because, see, there's a reason Jean Gray had to become Phoenix, and die an irritating number of times, and, like, get new powers and keep the old, or lose the old, or whatever the fuck happened to her. It's because the good guys don't need two telepaths, and the bad guys can't have even one without unbalancing everything. What difference does it make if people can control storms or fire if there's someone able and willing to control the people themselves? And, see, if Jean went evil, then Xavier would have to say goodbye to all of humanity or start breaking his own code of telepathic ethics, and, see - OK. I'm obsessed, and I admit. But all four segments are good, and I defy anyone with a heart to read the third one without feeling wistful, and it's about to be December. Read, read, read.

Best FF That Made Me Use the Phrase "Pocket Universe" Five Times in the Original Story Summary. But I've Deleted Three of Those, and I Think You'll Be Glad I Did. Family Business: Five Things That Never Happened to Dick Grayson, by Lucy, aka [livejournal.com profile] cereta. D. C. Universe, gen. It never ceases to amaze me that people can write TTNH stories for the main comic book universes, because the comic books themselves do a pretty damn fine job of exploring every possible option and most impossible ones and at least 50% of the ones that leave you shrieking obscenities at the writers. But here we have five Dick Graysons that truly never were, at least to my knowledge, and if this story does not make you want to move to a pocket universe ruled by the author, then you have no sense. (Or possibly way too much. Too much to be reading this LJ, anyway.) And though I said you need to know the canon to be able to read TTNH stories, I don't want people to steer away from this one on that account. For some of these, you only need to know who Batman, Robin, and Catwoman are; for one, you'll need more Smallville than DCU canon. And every segment is worth reading on its own account, I swear it. Plus, you know, if you do get sucked into that pocket universe, you'll want to be able to fangirl the supreme ruler effectively.

Best FF That Teaches Us That, If Someone Offers You a Car, You Should Always Offer Him a Ride. Five Things That Never Happened to Brian O'Conner, by [livejournal.com profile] kelly_girl. The Fast and the Furious, slash and gen. And please note, folks, that this may be a temporary link; I think [livejournal.com profile] dirty_diana is hosting this, but I don't know for how long. Here, Kelly Girl rewrites five scenes from the movie to change Brian's life. The weird thing about reading this right after I saw the movie is that so many of these TTNH make more sense than the way the canon chose to go. No, really. I totally understand how the first one couldn't happen in the movie - and I'm glad it didn't. And I get that the second one wasn't going to happen, even if I'm convinced it was an unfilmed scene. But the third and fifth ones? Those make so much more sense than the way things turned out in the movie that I found myself briefly wondering if maybe what got filmed was some weird AU FF for the real script. Then I got better. But I still loved the story. And if you've seen this movie (or just read a detailed and highly biased description of it), so will you.
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
I thought that since so many of us here in the States will be over-indulging on Thursday, now might be a good time to remind everyone about the dangers of excess consumption. To wit, that it can lead to gay sex.

And now we see why I will never get a job writing public service announcements.

But, no, really - the drunkfic is a classic of slash literature (I think calling it "slash literature" adds a certain je ne sais quois, don't you?), and this is a time of year for the classics. Turkey, for example. Apple pie. And, of course, alcohol-fueled gay, gay sex. Thank god for tradition, I say.

Best FF That Shows Us That Random Strangers in Parking Lots Have Many Lessons to Teach Us, Not That I Would Advise You to Let Them. Fifth Wheel, by Emily Brunson, aka [livejournal.com profile] janissa11. Sports Night, Dan Rydell/Casey McCall. There's nothing more traditional than the Uncomfortable Drunken Conversation. We've all had them. We've all wished we could forget them. But that's because most of them don't end quite as well as this one does. (I hereby wish to apologize to the guy whose name begins with M that I laughed at after he took his pants off in Tracy's bedroom lo these many years ago, and to say that I wish I'd handled the subsequent Uncomfortable Drunken Coversation a bit better. Let me pass on to you an important thing I learned that night: alcohol lowers inhibitions. That doesn't just mean you'll have sex when you'd otherwise think twice. It means you'll laugh at really inappropriate times, too, so it's better not to get yourself in situations where you'll find a near-stranger's underwear amusing, and then be totally unable to come up with a convincing lie to cover for that.) I love this story because it gives us solid first season characterizations: Casey is the fucked up one, Danny is the almost stable and very protective one. Plus, you know, it's written by Em, so it's great. And for those of you who know Em's work well, let me just repeat one thing: it ends well.

Best FF That Shows Us That Bugs Bunny Has Many Lessons to Teach Us, Including Self-Confidence, Comfort with All Aspects of Ourselves, and, of Course, the Importance of Knowing Your Way Around Albuquerque. Samurai Jack'ed, by [livejournal.com profile] khaleesian. The Fast and the Furious, Dom Toretto/Brian O'Conner. A tradition even more embarrassing than the Uncomfortable Drunken Conversation is the Uncomfortable Morning After When Your Memory Is a Complete Blank and You Can't Find Your Clothes. And, really, Dom gets the full, deluxe, all-options version of this, from the friend who can remember what you did and teases you mercilessly to the discovery that you may have made an embarrassing confession last night to the sudden flashes of memory that you'd give a very large sum of money to go away forever. Fortunately, this ends well, too. Provided you consider a sudden discovery of not-so-latent mutual homosexuality "ending well." I love this story 'cause it's so very, very Dom and Brian - Dom controlled beyond all reason, Brian almost as calm as he wants to be, and both of them totally unable to resist fucking each other's brains out. Plus, we finally see what I think of as the "excessive bruising slash cliche" - because, really, sometimes I think all slash characters have platelet disorders or something - put to good use.

Best FF That Shows Us Our Friends Have Many Lessons to Teach Us, Including When and When Not to Make Sarcastic Comments About Masturbation. Reveille, Shalott, aka [livejournal.com profile] astolat. Stargate-1, Jack O'Neill/Daniel Jackson. If you thought waking up with no memory of the night before and a friend who has a sudden, unexpected knowledge of your tattoo count was bad, imagine waking up with no memory and a friend who has a sudden, unexpected knowledge of the inside of your brain. (Not to mention the inside of your thighs, although you'd think Jack and Daniel would expect that, considering the many times this has happened to them in FF.) What important lesson can we take home from this? Beware of aliens offering beverages. In fact, just in general, it's a good idea to stick to bottled water you brought with you when you're exploring strange lands. Waking up with a naked friend and another presence in your mind is one of the better things that can happen to you if you don't. And, in addition to all the other things I love about this story, I love that it does the impossible: it describes an episode of involuntary, uncontrollable telepathy that doesn't squick me. Those of you who know that telepathy is one of my greatest fears are the only ones who will be suitably impressed by this, so the rest of you just trust me: it's damn impressive. Go read this at once.

Best FF That Shows Us That Captain Jack Sparrow Has Many Lessons to Teach Us, and Every Last One of Them Is Illegal in at Least Nine States. But, Hey, Don't Let That Stand in Your Way. First Warning, by Rave, aka [livejournal.com profile] dorkorific* Pirates of the Caribbean, Jack Sparrow/Will Turner. So, if the last story taught us to be careful what we drink in the company of aliens, this story teaches us to be careful what we drink in the company of Captain Jack Sparrow. Though, really, if you needed to be taught that, you should probably have another look at the movie. Here, Jack proves to be, surprisingly, a gentleman. Of course, he's a gentleman who isn't above copping a cheap feel, but then most of them aren't. And Will proves to be, not at all surprisingly, adept at convenient unconsciousness. I bet that got him out of any number of uncomfortable situations growing up. And in addition to the lovely trope of drunken Will and entertained Jack, this story offers us bonus sea shanties! Sort of. Sea shanties sung the way I sing them, actually, which means with only 10% of the words accurate and in the right place. (I'm still convinced there's a song about "Camptown ladies five miles long" and "Camptown rangers" and "something something bay.")

*Thanks, [livejournal.com profile] goat003
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
You can love a fandom without knowing the canon. I've proved this many times, with The Sentinel first and due South probably the best. The Fast and the Furious proved to me that I could love a fandom while finding the canon laughable. At best.

Slash can do terrible things to a girl. For example, it made me rent The Fast and the Furious. I am not in any way interested in car porn, no matter how sleek and shiny and speedy said vehicles are. I am not in any way interested in Vin Diesel, and I cringe when I watch him try to act because I'm afraid a vein is going to blow in his forehead. And they'd still put it in the final edit. (I'll be completely honest and admit that I have another problem with him. The first movie I saw him in was xXx, where he looked like he was trying to send a subtle message with his wardrobe. Whether that message was "Even this outfit cannot make me crack a smile" or "I want the wardrobe supervisor and will wear anything to get near that hot, hot body" or "I am being held hostage on a New Zealand sheep farm by a renegade producer who is forcing me make bad movies! Send help!" was not something I could figure out before I fell asleep.) So I did not catch TFATF in the theater. But then, like, thousands of great writers started writing in this fandom, and I had to succumb.

It's a miracle engine powered by homoerotic sexual tension and bad dialog! Dom, get Brian immediately! )

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