thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Tonight, Best Beloved basically demanded that I stop reading meta and recommend some happymaking vids. So, as a tribute to her: pairing vids. That make me ridiculously happy.

The One That Makes Maybe the Best Use of the Throttling-on-the-Bridge Footage Yet. Must Be Dreaming, by YouTube vidder bluefairy1113, who apparently also has done a Reboot Chekov vid to Dancing Queen, proving she is either a genius or a maniac, and either way, we may need to confine her for everyone's good. Star Trek, James Tiberius Kirk/Spock.

(Note: This vid pretty much takes jerky, stuttery editing to an artform. I'm just saying. It can almost give me a headache, and usually visual stuff doesn't do that to me.)

Okay. So. I admit it, I am totally a sucker for - well. Let's just make a list of all the things I am sucker for?
  • SPOCK. OMG HIS POINTY EARS I LOVE THEM.
  • Also, Kirk.
  • Also, anything based on that Reboot trope where Old Spock gave Kirk more than just the voiceover exposition in that mindmeld.
So, obviously I am not rational on the first point (true fact: I have been entertaining myself for the past week by mentally vidding TOS Spock to Justin Timberlake's Sexyback; I think my claims of irrationality have now been amply proven), and the second point's an issue for me as well, and the third one. But. I know I love this vid because of the vid it is, and not just because it happens to hit three of my current buttons, because it had a lot working against it, too.

Like, I have never recommended a vid that was only on YouTube before. I like more permanent links, and my experience with streaming video sites has demonstrated that ephemeral is more the adjective they're going for with respect to vids. And, also, I have seen another vid to this song, and it is a famous vid, and justly so. It is a Big Name Vid. And I honestly did not think I could ever watch another vid to this song without thinking of that BNV and making comparisons.

But here, I can. I do. I love this vid, and I love the song choice, and it has possibly the best clip in the world for the line "don't stop," and, just. This is really awesome, okay? And I am not just saying that because I have some Trek issues right now.

The One with the Best Clip EVER for the Lyric, "You've Got the Only Thing I Want." Mmm-HMM. I Just Bet. I'm the Cat, by Nicole (does she have a link, anyone?), [livejournal.com profile] wickedwords, [livejournal.com profile] sherrold, and [livejournal.com profile] feochadn. Highlander, Methos/Duncan MacLeod. (Please tell me I am not the only person who, every single time she writes that name, has to go back and delete the "of the clan MacLeod" part.)

Okay, this vid was made more than a decade before the first one, which in vidding terms is roughly the same as the time between the Statherian period and the Triassic. And yet they are both such awesome vids and they both get totally to the heart of these pairings (for me, anyway; feel free to share with me your equally valid opinion on them, but do keep in mind that I keep a whole roll of tinfoil in my lower desk drawer). Because, okay, the first one is all:

Kirk: I totally have no interest in you.
Spock: Likewise, but more so.
Kirk: Except...
Spock: I have evaluated the data and am 87.6% certain there can be no exceptions.
Kirk: Well, except for the fact that I, uh, kind of want you so much it's making me crazy, I was going to say.
Spock: In that case, Captain, I believe the appropriate human phrase to use is, "My place or yours?" Keep in mind I have 117 lubricating preparations ready made.

Whereas this one is like:

Duncan: I am serious and important! I care! Things matter to me!
Methos: I know, and it's cracking me up.
Duncan: We have a destiny!
Methos: But do we have beer, that's my question.
Duncan: And that destiny in no way involves any sexual interaction between us.
Methos: I hate the prudish eras. I'm out of here. Give me a call when hedonism comes back in.
Duncan: I won't.
Methos: Fine.
Duncan: Good riddance. I don't miss him at all.
Methos: Hi, I'm back. I brought you a penis gourd. Miss me?
Duncan: YES. LET'S FUCK RIGHT NOW.
Methos: Yay, hedonism!

Ummmmmm. I now realize I may have just exposed my irrationality more than I really want to in any one recs post, which is a problem, because I still have two more recs to go. I'm going to have to be super dignified and sane during them. So let me just note that you should check out the awesome body language in the clips they use here - Methos actually looks like a cat in a lot of them. It's amazing.

Now. More recs. With dignity! Probably!

The One That Proves That Space Bars Are Where All the Best Action Takes Place. Why Is There No TV Series Set in a Space Bar? Hurricane, by [personal profile] laurashapiro. Battlestar Galactica x Farscape. Aeryn Sun/Starbuck, and if that pairing alone doesn't make you sit up and cheer, I just don't even know what to say to you.

Okay. So. I watched this vid completely without knowing anything about it. (True fact: Best Beloved and I watch vids together, so I just download everything into one big folder using whatever filename the vidder gave it, and then usually much later we try to guess, based on file name alone, what fandom the vid is for. There is a victory dance when someone gets it right. Although sometimes this strategy backfires, like when, recently, we watched a vid with a filename that we could not help but read as, "Me. I'M on fire!" Which we loved so much it made it really hard to watch the video - we just kept turning to each other and insisting, dramatically and with much handwaving, that we were totally the ones on fire.) And at first I thought it was one of those compare and contrast vids, which, hey, I love those. And Aeryn and Starbuck have a lot in common, so that makes -

And then I realized what Laura was actually doing, and I believe I squeaked. Maybe even squealed. Because oh my fucking god there is no hotter pairing in the world than these two, and this is a crossover pairing (which in vidding is one of those things you totally shouldn't do, except sometimes you totally should and this is one of those times) so perfectly done I'm never going to be able to convince myself it didn't happen in canon. Seriously. In my head, Aeryn and Starbuck had a night of hot, mind-blowing, blowing-off-steam sex, and it was awesome. The end.

I also want to point to what Laura does with the, um, sexytimes clips, here. I have no idea if these clips came from canon, or if so, what canon (I have seen some eps of Farscape, although I tragically missed the Aeryn Tops one, and no eps at all of BSG), but, wow. Usually when there are explicit sequences in vids based on less explicit canons, I have one of two conversations with Best Beloved:

Me: What's happening? I can't figure out what's going on.
BB, with practiced patience: This is porn. You can't scan the clips fast enough to see it. Again.
Me, bewildered: It's porn?
BB, dragging the pointer back and hitting pause: THAT is a penis.
Me, surprised: So it is.
BB: And see how it's going into that ass right there?
Me: I would never have noticed that!
BB: Why is that you read all the NC-17 fan fiction but I'm always the one who has to look at all the cocks?
Me: Luck!

Or:

Me: Oh god, that's totally not the same person.
BB: What?
Me: Look how different their bodies are! And how differently they move! And how their heights -
BB: But they have the same hair color. You're supposed to be paying attention to that.
Me: I can't. I - look, that one has a tattoo. I think it says "Mom." You can't tell me Faith has a tattoo that says "Mom" on it.
BB: You're supposed to be looking at their HAIR COLOR. And their BREASTS.
Me: There were breasts?

It's tragic, is what it is. But my point is, we had neither of these conversations. No matter how many times we went back to check, we still just saw Starbuck and Aeryn having sex. (I - I did not mind putting in the extra viewings. For the record. Sometimes due diligence is pure pleasure, people.)

This is something everyone should see. I don't care if you don't watch Farscape. I don't care if you can't remember if Starbuck is the girl or the guy pilot on BSG (girl, for the record). This the story of two pilots who fuck each other, and it is hot like burning, and you should watch it right now.

The One Where I Swear Ianto Says "Fuck" Really Obviously on Camera. Are They Actually Allowed to Talk Like Grownups on British TV? A Curious Thing, by [livejournal.com profile] tavven. Torchwood, Jack Harkness/Ianto Jones.

Okay, in some things, I am easy. And here is where I am easy in vids: if you make me laugh, I am yours. And this vid makes me laugh my ass off. I mean, we were watching it, all - ooo, serious Torchwood vid. And then there was a skipping noise, and suddenly we had changed tracks to Cheesefest Love Vid. It was wonderful.

Because - okay. How did I not realize that Jack Harkness needed an '80s soundtrack? This vid makes it so obvious that I basically have to hit myself on the forehead when I think of all the time I wasted not imagining Jack to these songs. Where is the Torchwood vid to Like a Virgin? Mickey, by Toni Basil? Love Shack, by the B-52s? Relax, by Frankie Goes to Hollywood? I just - I cannot get over how perfect this is. Jack looks right against the background of 1980s cheese, and this vid works that perfectly.

This vid is, basically, a fairytale. Once upon a time, there was a young prince named Ianto. He went on a heroic quest to save the woman he loved. He entered the dragon's lair under false pretenses and lured the dragon into being friends.

And then it turned out the dragon was really pretty hot, and kind of lovable, and he ended up in love with the dragon and fucking it on its hoard pretty much every night, which was okay, because the dragon had learned a thing or two in all that time he'd been alive, plus he was in love with the prince, and they decided to live happily ever after. The end.

And that, my friends, is the power of love.

(Let me just warn you, though, that proximity to Jack Harkness can warp the meaning of lyrics out of true; I now hear "Don't need no credit card to ride this train" as a totally cheesy pickup line. Come on. You can't tell me he didn't use it a time or two back in 1985.)
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Best Beloved said no more recs until Friday! And now it's Friday. So: crossovers.

The One in Which We Learn That Jack Harkness Has Apparently Been Spending Some Time in Chat. Think about That for a Bit. Bluebird, by [livejournal.com profile] basingstoke. Torchwood x Addams Family, Ianto Jones/Jack Harkness.

Okay. I have seen the Addams Family movies - um, two of them, anyway. Are there more? But my point is - that was the Addams Family played for camp. And you might think, when you see the fandoms for this story, that that's how it would go here, because, let's face it, camp always seems like such a good fit for Torchwood (or Jack Harkness, anyway).

This story is not camp. If there is a country called Camponia, or Campite, or something like that - this story is located on a different planet than that country. This is the Addams Family taken seriously. And holy fuck it is creepy. If they'd made a movie out of this, people would still be watching it, and then they'd be sleeping with all the lights on. But t isn't horror as we typically think of it - there's no undead serial killer with a need to shove his chainsaw into token minorities and teenaged girls who have had sex. (Yes, I am entirely aware that I am stereotyping the entire genre unfairly, and there's a reason: when I was in high school, I sometimes got dragged to horror movies, and if you don't understand movies as storytelling and are entirely unused to discounting visual scenes of violence, horror movies are hell. I learned that it was better to spend the entire time staring at my own hands. So my experience with the genre is limited and it's never going to get better while I have any say in it. ) It's not even scary. It's just - it's just creepy. I can't put it another way.

And I love it. I love how well this works, how completely and bizarrely this makes sense, and how utterly I believe the last line. This is one of those crossovers that should never have worked, and yet it works so well that I find myself wondering why things are never this awesome in canon.

If that hasn't convinced you, I offer you a major bonus: after you read this story, you will think of your family, no matter how weird it is, as almost shockingly mundane. And you will always be able to tell yourself it could be worse when they come to visit.

The One That Teaches Us That Really Good Lipstick Has Many Uses. Seriously, I Almost Want to Buy Some, Just in Case. I Lie, I Cheat, I Steal (and I Just Don't Get Any Respect), by [livejournal.com profile] fiercelydreamed. White Collar x Leverage. Genish.

There are, in general, two kinds of crossovers for me: the kind that make me wrinkle up my nose in confusion and blink at my screen blankly (sometimes going so far as to say, "Really? Really?"), and the kind that make me do a wiggle dance of glee because SO OBVIOUSLY YES. I have learned, in my time in fandom, that the category a crossover is in does not signify; you get awesomeness in both categories, and both categories bring equal amounts of joy. (The only difference is how you feel if it doesn't work; with the first kind, you feel stupid ("What was I thinking, clicking on that DCU x LotR crossover with the Batman/Legolas pairing? My Bitter Old Fandom Queen raised me better than that!"), but with the second, you feel betrayed ("But it was a SURE THING!").)

This story fits into the SO OBVIOUSLY YES category. (Disappointment doesn't even enter into it, of course.) Because, I mean, totally: Leverage and White Collar. They were BORN to cross tracks. When I saw this story's header, I did the customary wiggle dance, all squeaky and happy. But I didn't anticipate the awesomeness that ensued, although, in all fairness, I'm not sure anyone could.

I mean, this story has so many great parts. I enjoy seeing Neal Caffrey being the Unflappable Hostage as much as the next girl, and of course I love the role-playing the Leverage folks get up to, and naturally I like seeing Elizabeth Burke reveal her fabulousness (in fabulous shoes, to boot). But this story is so much more than the sum of its parts. There is extra wonderfulness hidden in the kerning, I swear.

And then there's Hardison's narration. Dear Fandom: Please write many more stories with Hardison as the viewpoint character. Like, even in totally other fandoms. Because never has there been a character who so totally spoke the fannish, geeky language; you could write a story in which he communicates entirely in quotes from Star Wars to celebrate Star Wars day, and it would be, if anything, only surprising he didn't reprogram all freeway signs to speak in Star Wars quotes, too. And when he's not getting his geek on, he's checking out people's asses. He's one of us, is my point.

And you know you want to read that.

The One Featuring the Most Terrifying Sandwich Ever Made in the United States. China, by [personal profile] torch. Highlander x X-Files, Methos/Fox Mulder.

Okay, there are two ways to do this kind of crossover - there's the way where everyone has secrets (in this case, especially Methos) and the crossover characters don't necessarily know or ever figure out all of each other's secrets, and then there's the way where the author gives all the characters a sealed enveloped containing ep summaries, Wikipedia entries, and headshots. I prefer the first way.

And that is the route Torch goes here. I love stories like this, where you see two characters you know well (or, in my case, only sort of know well, since I read this back when I still thought the X-Files characters were named "Mully" and "Sculder," and since then have progressed all the way to the point where I can even tell you the first name of - okay, one of them, which I had to look up just now, BUT STILL) meeting and trying to figure each other out. And I especially love it when the characters can't figure each other out entirely.

But this is not just some snippet of awesomeness (although I tell you what: Torch's snippets are so reliably awesome that many fans have ascended to a higher plane just reading them). This is a whole story, with, you know, Mulder being Mulder, Scully being Scully, and Methos being whoever he feels like being this decade. There's a small town! There's accusations of witchcraft! No one gets burned at the stake! I just - I really love that it's not just about Methos and Mulder; there's all these other things going on.

And there's Methos, and Methos is never a hardship; I would read Methos is every fandom ever devised - I mean, Methos in Gundam Wing? Sure. Methos/Johnny Weir? Why the hell not? Methos on Sesame Street? I have no idea how it would work, but I'd read it.

Plus, you know, there's the sex. That doesn't hurt. I'm just saying.

The One That Teaches Us That a Giant Alien Robot Best Friend Is Hard on Family Values. Bumblee ex Machina, by [livejournal.com profile] hackthis. Generation Kill x Transformers. Brad Colbert/Nate Fick.

I think I first suspected [livejournal.com profile] hackthis had superpowers when she picked a song for me. If you ever get the chance to do this, take it; she has uncanny gifts. She found a song that was so perfectly me in every particular that I was astonished, and it is still one of my favorites. One of the main reasons that I haunt her LJ is the hope she'll do another song meme.

But, okay, fine, so she has a song-related superpower - that doesn't mean she has powers, plural, right? Except she does. It's so unfair. I'm not even sure what her other superpower is called - TFV Catnip seems awfully specific. Maybe it's just called You Know You Wanna. Whatever the case, I have come to accept that if she plunges into a fandom, I have no choice but to follow her. I resisted her on Entourage for the longest time, and what was the result? I ended up in Entourage anyway, and she laughed at me for waiting. Seriously. I'm done resisting this woman.

I did think, though, that she might have pushed her superpowers too far by crossing Generation Kill with Transformers (although, you know, from what I understand about Michael Bey's profound love for the American military, maybe it does make sense). On the one hand, we have a canon about a bunch of sweaty, mouthy guys in Humvees. On the other hand, we have a canon in which those Humvees would transform into giant alien robots. It doesn't seem like a natural fit, right?

It fits. That's all I'm going to say. It works. And I have a strange soft spot for high school AU Brad and Nate (um, probably that can be blamed on [livejournal.com profile] hackthis, too, but then so many things can be), so this story is like extra joy for me.

Really, I'm not surprised. This woman could cross Justified with Jack and the Beanstalk, and I'd probably end up loving it. And you would, too, so stop resisting and start reading.
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
My apologies to people who saw an unfinished version of this on their friends list. Um, it's been a while since I did this; I've lost the knack.

And it really has been a while. But, in my defense, I had a baby. And babies are not so conducive to prolonged sessions of typing, I find. But the earthling is older, and I'm hoping to get back to a more regular recommendations posting schedule. (At this point, once every blue moon, as opposed to every other, would qualify as more regular. But with dedication, I believe I can achieve once every full moon, maybe!)

The One That Made Me Want a Crossover Between Hikaru no Go and SG1. Teal'c v. Touya Meijin! Fine, Fine. I Accept That I Am the Only Person on the Planet Who Wants That. But I Want It Enough for Everyone. Teal'c's Five Favorite Board Games, by [livejournal.com profile] paian. Stargate SG-1.

I love the corners of people's personal canon - love it when someone, for example, reveals in a story that she firmly believes that Rodney McKay knows how to knit. (He learned during one long summer month spent in his own personal hell, a cottage by the sea with only a few books and a TV that didn't even get cable; his parents told him to they were all there to relax, but in fact they spent the entire month fighting, and Rodney couldn't sleep with the sea noise and the constant whirring of his understimulated brain, until he finally picked up one of the books - a crafting book from the 1970s with a terrifying picture on the cover - and taught himself to knit. They don't have yarn and needles in Atlantis, and he's always too busy, until the day he gets an eye injury on a mission and is forbidden to read or look at a computer for two weeks. But that's another story.) I love it, basically, when fan fiction writers fill in the details that make people people - the little idiosyncrasies that make them real.

And that's exactly what this story is. The thing is, I never thought of Teal'c in connection with board games until I read this story. And now these five games are a part of my personal Teal'c canon, because they make so much sense and they're so very real and right. And, let's face it, Teal'c isn't necessarily overexplored by the canon writers of SG1, so this really works. I find the Snakes and Ladders one particularly moving, for some reason, but they are all so very perfect.

And there are pictures. Oh my god, do not miss the pictures.

The One That Made Me Want to Send a Letter of Complaint to the Author: "Please Write Less Well. I Need to Sleep. Love and Kisses!" The Kids Aren't All Right, by [livejournal.com profile] samdonne. Iron Man.

First and foremost: I love this story for getting the title right. I don't care what The Who thinks, "all right" is two words and ever shall be, and do not speak to me of popular usage. In this case, if everyone is doing it, then everyone is just wrong. (You may be thinking that this is where TFV gets unreasonable, and all I have to say to that is: wait until you hear me talk about the use of "presently.")

Except that's not actually what I love most about this story. (Those of you who don't know me very well are now saying to yourselves, "Oh good, she's sane." Those of you who do know me are staring at the screen in absolute disbelief and saying, "That isn't what she loves best? I...is this the same TFV? Is she feeling okay? Maybe I should call her." You totally should call me, for the record, but I am fine. The story is just so good that it transcends mere considerations of good grammar and correct spelling. And, wow, I feel like a stranger to myself, writing that.) What I love most about it is - well, everything. This is so good that I actually stayed up late to finish it the day it was posted, which seems like faint praise indeed until you consider that I had a two-week-old baby at that point and was so sleep deprived I couldn't consistently remember his name. (This is actually an ongoing problem. For reasons that don't need exploring at this juncture, we have taken to calling him Squishy, although that is in no way his name. If you ever want to do a comprehensive study of peculiar looks, try calling your new baby Squishy in public.) And yet. I had to finish this.

Why? Well, okay, it's a brilliant example of what might actually happen after the events of the movie, and I'm kind of a sucker for that sort of coming out story, where people don't get to piddle around with secret identities and pretending to be normal and convenient phone booths; I like it when exceptional people have to face the consequences of being exceptional. I am almost faint with love for this story, because it acknowledges that there is likely to be some fallout from, you know, giant mecha duking it out over Los Angeles. (Bad traffic jams, for one. And if you don't think that's a serious consequence meriting a Congressional investigation, you don't live here, that's all.) But this story is also brilliant meta, brilliant commentary on the movie and on our current political climate. And it's done in authentic Vanity Fair style, a classic example of document fan fiction.

I could not love this story more. And I know nearly everyone in fandom has read it, but I'm speaking to the two lone holdouts: read this. Even if you haven't seen the movie. Read it.

The One That Makes Written Sword Fights Compelling. This Is Akin to Making Tax Law Compelling, and Suggests That the Author Can Achieve the Impossible. Gogmagog, Part One, Part Two, Part Three, and Part Four, by Sylvia Volk, aka [livejournal.com profile] sylviavolk2000. Highlander.

Okay, I need to say something right up front: if you know anything about archeology (and certainly if you spent a semester painstakingly digging up eensy teeny fragments of shells from a trashheap, and when I say "painstakingly," I mean that you can still feel it in your lower back when the wind blows from the southwest), you will scream during the first part of this story. Be strong. Power through it. The rest of the story is worth it. (And some day I am doing a poll about this, about the things we know that make it harder for us to read stories or watch shows or whatever. Like, Best Beloved will shriek and flail and pause a lot during any scene involving bad management - you could seriously run an entire management class just by having the students gather round her while she watched season one of SGA. Although they would have to be froth-resistant students. And people who know me flinch any time a psychiatrist shows up on screen, because - well. You'd think, with all the time they apparently spend in therapy, that writers could write an ethical therapist occasionally. (Yes, I do have a mental list of Good Therapists in Fiction. It is short but detailed.) And I just think it's fascinating, the lenses through which we consume our entertainment, and the knowledge we can't suspend even during happy fun playtime.)

So. That was a tangent. My point is: this story is like settling down with a novel. It's long, it's involving, and you don't need to know the characters or the world in advance, or at least not beyond what you'd get from the back of a book. And, in fact, this story is one of the ones that inspired me to watch Highlander, and also kind of ruined me for it; I was like, "But I want the long, plotty, multilayered, well-researched stories! Oh...right. You can't do that on television." So, if you've got, you know, a vacation or anything coming up, I totally recommend taking this, printing it out, and bringing it along. You could put it between the covers of Ethan Fromme if you don't want anyone to know you're reading fan fiction; no one has ever voluntarily opened that novel. (Except Best Beloved, but she's learned the error of her ways.)

And even if you don't have a vacation coming up, read this. It's fun.

The One That Makes Me Want to Find the "What Is the Shape of Your Left Foot?" Quiz. And Take It. Truly, This Story Is a Dangerous Weapon of Mass Distraction. I Friend You, You Friend Him, by [livejournal.com profile] roga. Hercules.

So true it hurts, that's all I have to say about this story.

I sincerely hope you're laughing at that sentence, because of course I have several thousand more words of analysis. (I will attempt to spare you most of them, but it's always a close-run thing.) But the essential message here is that this is in fact so true it hurts, and the specific pain it inflicts is in your abdominal and face muscles, because you have to laugh and laugh and laugh.

And you may be saying to yourself, "But I don't know anything about this fandom!" Fine, whatever. I don't care. You know who Hercules is, yes? (Demigod. All burly and shiny and stuff. Rights wrongs. Fights injustice. Cleans stables.) Well, he has a friend named Iolaus, and together they fight crime, where "crime" usually means gods acting up and monsters getting out of line. There. You have a full education in everything you need to know to read this story.

Or, okay, you need to know one other thing to read this, but, well. If you're reading this, you already know about social networking, and that's what this story is really about. Anyone with a LiveJournal (or Facebook, or MySpace, or, hell, an account on a knitting-based social networking site) needs to read this. It's an important cautionary tale! That will make you laugh until you are flailing weakly in front of the computer and seriously considering calling for emergency rescue. ("9-1-1, what is your emergency?" "Dead. From. Funny.") And if you happen to be relatively new to the social networking scene, this can teach you valuable lessons. Probably the most important one is "stay away from social networking unless you want to destroy your village," but, well, it's too late for most of us on that one. (And if it isn't too late for you, may I interest you in a LiveJournal account? You'll have lots of fun while you're village is falling apart, I promise!")

Bonus: The Art That Will Show You Who the Real Heroes of Pegasus Are. SGA-1? Pfffft. Final Images, by [livejournal.com profile] astridv. Stargate: Atlantis.

Poor, poor MALPs. They lead a hard life. And, going by this art, I suspect they also lead rather short lives. John Sheppard? Ronon Dex? Hah. Their so-called "heroism" is built on the backs of the oppressed, and by "the oppressed", I mean MALPs. MALPs are the ones who actually boldly go where no one has gone before! And do they ever get thanked? No. They don't even get any screen time. But [livejournal.com profile] astridv has managed to correct that. People, please go inspect these heart-rending final images sent back by five brave, doomed MALPs. And then won't you join the Campaign for MALP Rights? Together, we can fight the injustice inflicted on our MALPy friends across two galaxies.
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)
So. Hi. Earlier, I, um, made myself sick by eating an entire jar of pickles. It wasn't a small jar, either. I have no idea what I was thinking, and in fact I'm fairly well convinced I wasn't thinking. Just - there was a jar of pickles. About an hour later, the jar was there, but it contained only a small amount of brine and some random floating spices. I spent a few moments theorizing about alien pickle abductions - were they stem-end probing my Vlassics in geosynchronous orbit ? - and then I realized that a) I was going to be sick and b) this was probably not unrelated to the missing pickle mystery.

Let my experience be a lesson to you: pickles only in moderation. Also, for god's sake use a plate. (No, as a matter of fact, I was not raised in a barn, but sometimes I think my parents wished I could be.)

So, in memory of my poor lost pickles - which, oh god, ew - I give you: food-related stories.

The One That Should Be Called 'Management Techniques of the Fifty-First Century.' Although If This Is Actually How They'll Manage Then, Well, Peter Drucker Will Be Horrified. Vitamin A, by [livejournal.com profile] basingstoke. Torchwood, gen.

When I bookmarked this, I noted that Torchwood is just about the only fandom I can imagine where a story can have a spanking scene between two grown men and still be gen. Jack Harkness is like some weird sexual anomaly field: nothing sex-related is impossible if he's nearby. And that includes even a totally non-sexual spanking scene.

But what I actually love about this story is - okay, there's two things. First, it's funny. And it will be especially funny to those of you who have ever managed a difficult employee. (Note: this story should not be taken as management advice. Some things can't be done by anyone but Jack Harkness; if you try this, you'll get your ass sued off. But feel free to imagine doing it in your next unpleasant work encounter.)

Second, it's a look at the way Jack Harkness's mind works. Apparently the fifty-first century has highly unusual methods of problem-solving. And they've managed to get thinking outside the box down to an art form. Or maybe that's just something peculiar to Harkness, too. (Does anyone know if there's any fan fiction that depicts life in Jack's fifty-first century aside from [livejournal.com profile] cherryice's awesome Leave the Light On? I would love some good stories that explain how he got this way. And I don't mean the, you know, eternity issue, because he was what we might term a highly creative thinker long before that.)

So, what's the food connection? Coffee. Owen apparently can't make it. Or, rather, he can, but you need to be immortal (and brave) to drink it. So I guess he's kind of the Starbucks of the damned.

The One Where You Learn That a Less Known Side Effect of Membership in the Clan MacLeod Is Flexibility in the Kitchen. No, Not That Kind of Flexibility. Although That Probably Comes with the Tartan, Too. The Freshest and the Best, by [livejournal.com profile] julad. Highlander, Duncan MacLeod/Methos.

This is part of Julad's shopping series (which is, by the way, thoroughly awesome); Duncan and Methos go grocery shopping. No, really, that's all that happens here, and it's wonderful. I love seeing Methos push Duncan around, even if I think the purchase and eating of eel is - well, not one of the best ideas Methos has had. Way more disgusting than a lot of pickles. (But if you are an eel eater, know that I honor and cherish your differences. And, um, I've been a vegetarian since I was 10, so I wouldn't really know, but isn't that stuff kind of rubbery? It looks like it would be rubbery.)

And I really love this version of the Duncan/Methos relationship - Methos is keeping Duncan young and flexible, which is both ironic (or, you know, the title of a book from the self-help section of the Watcher's Library - Chicken Soup for the Immortal's Soul: Tips on Staying Young from the World's Oldest Man) and totally appropriate, because someone needs to do that. (Look. I love Duncan as much as the next girl, but sometimes he acts like he has a katana up his ass.) In this story, Methos makes the decisions about the really important things - food, sex, saffron - and leaves the unimportant stuff - the Game, beheading, vengeance - for MacLeod to do at some point when it doesn't inconvenience Methos. In short, this is Highlander one of the ways I love it: light, funny, with characters I can honestly believe have lived a long, long time.

Additional bonus: you get TWO recipes for eel! Sort of! I mean, this isn't going to do me much good, but if you've got a lot of eel sitting around (deceased eel, obviously - if you've got a live eel, that's a whole different story) and you can't think what to do with it (which seems to be the likely outcome of having a lot of dead eel), here are some ideas.

The One That, I'm Warning You Right Now, Will Make You Think Impure Thoughts about Desserts. A Little Cheesecake, by [livejournal.com profile] kassrachel. The Sentinel, Jim Ellison/Blair Sandburg.

We've all fallen in love with a cheesecake - oh, don't even tell me you haven't; I saw you with that luscious slice of New York style, stroking her creamy sides and licking her off your fork, and don't think I didn't hear you moan - but most of us don't, um, take it quite as far as Jim does in this story. (And, no, seriously, stop thinking about American Pie. Stop it right now. He doesn't take it that far. At least not in this story, and I think it's safe to say I will never rec the story where he does. Although no one should consider that a challenge, please.)

This is a great look at Jim at the beginning of the series: so repressed he cannot be in the same state, or even plane, as an emotion. And it's a great look at how Blair is the perfect fit for that. See, there's a conversation in this that - okay. The first time I read this story, I had to click away in the middle of it because my embarrassment squick warning went off. If you've got an embarrassment squick, you're probably familiar with this. It's like the aura before a migraine; it's this little internal monitor that says, "Warning: this could get embarrassing, and then you will die. Just FYI!" So, you know, I paused in my reading to fortify myself. And then I clicked back.

And the thing is, Blair just manages this conversation like he was talking about chopsticks or something. He is the perfect counterbalance to early canon Jim: he's like a mediator, forcing Jim to get in touch with his emotions. Only Blair's mediation sessions come with blow jobs. (Note for licensed mediators: do not try this in your place of work.)

The One That Should Come with a Warning Reading, "Will Put a Song in Your Head That You Hoped You'd Forgotten." No, Not Celine Dion. Even Worse. But It's Worth It, I Promise. Four Boots, Five Thousand Two Hundred and Eighty Feet, by [livejournal.com profile] kormantic. Stargate: Atlantis, Rodney McKay/John Sheppard.

Bodyswap, people. Bodyswap. Is there anything better? No, there isn't. And this is an awesome bodyswap, filled with humor and fruit and comparative analysis of asses, so you want to read this RIGHT NOW.

And now every single one of you who hasn't already read this has clicked and is no longer reading this sentence; I can safely assume I'm addressing just those of you who have read it. (Okay, fine. And everybody who doesn't read SGA, and everybody who doesn't read fan fiction at all.) So I can tell you that in this story, Rodney and John learn a lesson that got totally skipped in kindergarten, at least for me, which is: if you start sharing there's just no end to it, and eventually you end up unable to call even your body parts truly your own.

(That would make an awesome lesson, don't you think? My kindergarten was clearly deficient. Although I'm not sure how you prepare small children for the future rigors of bodyswapping. Is there a felt board or a fingerplay for that? Maybe a song with mnemonic hand gestures?)

So, basically, on the Everything I Need to Know I Learned from Fan Fiction chart, this would be: share, but only with people you wouldn't mind having sex with, because we all know where sharing leads. (But another thing I've learned from fan fiction is that everyone wants to have sex with everyone, even tentacles, so, really, I guess this wouldn't change much.)

The food in this one, by the way, sounds genuinely tasty. But remember, kids: keep your alien fruit to yourself unless you want to get laid.

The One You Should Not Read Around Mealtime Unless You Are a Really Adventurous Eater. A Hell of a Dinner, by [livejournal.com profile] daegaer. Good Omens, gen.

And here's a story that I had to include because it a) is wonderful and b) features the most revolting dinner you could pay 115 pounds for (um, because I'm too lazy to look it up, does anyone know how to make the pound sign on an American keyboard?), complete with a link to the restaurant where you can go to get your very own expensive and hideous dinner. (BACON. In ICE CREAM. There are absolutely no words for this horror. And I cannot believe our governments are worried about things like drugs and terrorism in a world where people openly and wantonly make sardine sorbet. Priorities, people! Biggest problems first! Solve them with guns if necessary!) This is precisely the sort of food Crowley would fancy. In fact, he probably sat through the entire meal feeling vaguely bitter that he didn't think of it first.

(I also have my suspicions about who did think of it. Has anyone seen Famine since the world didn't end?)

In any case, this story is perhaps the ultimate thing to read when you want to feel better about making yourself sick with pickles. (...Yeah, okay, that's an audience that is limited to just me. Me and my SHAME. But it's also worth reading even if you've never had a pickle in your life.) Because you can read it and think, "Well, at least I didn't pay 115 pounds for those pickles." And also you will be very very grateful that it was just pickles you ate, and not pickle flavored ice cream. (Probably it be a sorbet, actually. Zesty dill pickle sorbet. Okay. Ew. Oh my god, ew. Actually, I - I think I need to go lie down right now.)
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Yesterday afternoon, I had a nurse demonstrate for me how to take something up the ass. Okay, no. What she was actually demonstrating was how to get your partner to give you a shot in the butt ("Go for the meatiest part!" she said cheerfully. I badly wanted to say, "Have you seen my ass? There's no meat shortage there!"), but she bent over in a position that is, shall we say, extremely familiar to me (and to every slash writer or reader on this earth) from other contexts, grabbed the desk firmly with both hands, and said, "Okay. So you say, 'One, two, three, BAM!' And right then he sticks it in you. On 'BAM!'"

I tried to be mature about it. I really did. But I disgraced myself badly, to the point where I had to put my head down on her desk because I was laughing so hard I was light-headed. It was whole minutes before I could breathe well enough to tell her the name of my pharmacy. And for the entire time, she stood there, smiling like someone who totally does not get the joke. It's a shot, she seemed to be thinking. Why is this woman laughing so hard? Shots aren't funny.

I don't think they like me very much at that medical office, and frankly, I really understand why. We're just not compatible. After I recovered - to the extent you can recover from something like that - she said, "You know, you're lucky. Some people, they have to do it for themselves. It's a lot harder to get the angle right if you don't have a partner." Now, I totally take her point - I am lucky that I have someone else to stick things in me and get the angle right. It's what life partners are for! But, but, okay. I can't be the only person ever to hear that and not be thinking about medicine, can I?

Except I'm afraid I actually am, at least at that office. Like I said, we're not compatible. Mostly because I'm apparently 12, whereas they seem to be set up to treat actual grown-ups, not incurably low-minded people who are just faking this adulthood thing.

Anyway. Obviously my reaction to this incident is going to be to post some recs. (My other reaction, sadly, is going around the house saying, "One, two, three, BAM!" to Best Beloved. Over and over. I cannot help myself. In my defense, Best Beloved is saying it right back to me. Maturity is thin on the ground at Chez TFV.) What choice do I have? None. But, in an attempt to ascend to greater grown-up-ness, I am not going to make the theme of this set "bending over a desk and taking it up the ass." No. Really. Not.

Instead, I am going with travel. See how grown up I am?

Yeah, I know. I'm fooling no one. On with the set.

The One That Made Me Sniffly About a College Football Play Made by People Who Appear to Be Wearing Gold Lame Headgear. I'm Usually a Bit More Stable Than That.* Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead, by Speranza, aka [livejournal.com profile] cesperanza. Stargate: Atlantis, Rodney McKay/John Sheppard.

How can I not have recommended this story already? Oh, right, because I just naturally assumed that everyone with any kind of sense and even a vaguely reliable internet connection had read it already. But it has come to my attention that there is a person out there who has not read it, and I cannot in good conscience rest until I have done my part to rectify that. It would be against the Recommender's Code. (Yes, there is a Recommender's Code of Ethics. The first item is "Don't let recommending make you crazy," but the second is, "If someone, somewhere, has missed out on a good story, it is ALL YOUR FAULT." Recommenders are deeply conflicted people with angst and emo and suchlike coming out our (meaty and suitable for poking with a sharp stick) butts, and never let anyone tell you otherwise.)

So. Vacationing on earth - fun for the whole extra-terrestrial family! Except for how it is totally not fun for anyone currently living in Atlantis, because let's face it, they all left the planet for a reason, and that reason wasn't, "To get some really good stories to tell the kiddos at night as we roast marshmallows over the campfire." And it's not like a year in Atlantis makes you more suitable for life on earth. So this story takes that old theme - the stranger in a once-familiar land - and gives it a lovely, Pegasus Galaxy twist. And adds gay sex. But most of all, it adds a jersey so meaningful that the first time I read this, I seriously started searching the internets for such a shirt. If I'd managed to find one, I'd have bought it, people, and I still want one, and it's only through steadfastly reciting "I have no need for a football shirt" that I have managed to resist the temptation thus far.

Basically, I love this story so much it made me want a souvenir t-shirt. I don't usually want souvenirs from stories. (I don't even usually want souvenirs from trips, although I do have a strange desire to buy unfortunate hats while away from home. I resist this. Hats that seem like a good idea on vacation will be too humiliating even to give to Goodwill when sanity returns.)

And if that doesn't tempt you to read it - Souvenir! T-shirt! - well, I just don't know what to do for you. (But I'll still try to think of something. The third entry in the RCoE is "Never give up, never surrender," and I want to be an ethical recommender. I really do.)

The One That Uses Talking Heads Song Lyrics. Really. And Is Also Brilliant. I Bet You Didn't Think That Was Even Possible. One for the Road, by [livejournal.com profile] katallison. Highlander, Duncan MacLeod/Methos. (Um, Highlander fans, if you're out there - does Methos actually have a given name, or a family name, or whichever name Methos isn't? Or was he born before that new-fangled multiple names malarkey?) Warning: Animal harm. If you need to avoid it - well, I never read the segment that mentions a "Deer Crossing" sign, and you don't have to, either.

So. Te recommended this story to me, and she said it strongly influenced her characterization of Methos. I can, um, see why. It basically created mine; I had no conception of Methos as a character before I read this. And now I really, really do. (By the way, if you haven't seen Highlander, no problem. Here's what you need to know to get this story: Methos is immortal! He's really old! MacLeod is also immortal! But not as old! There, now you're set. Everything else you need, Kat will give you. Oh, wait - there's also some funny business with swords. Okay, now you're totally set.) As soon as I read this, I knew this was always going to be the Methos in my head, and not just because Kat is worryingly good at getting into the head of an immortal who has been around since, you know, the dawn of time. (Has anyone checked Kat to make sure she's aging? I'm just saying. I have suspicions, people.) Not even because Kat is so good at writing. (And, now I think of it, isn't that also kind of suspicious? I mean, if she's had several centuries to hone her craft, that would make so much sense.)

No, it's because - okay. We've all read Borges, right? (If you haven't, oh my god, don't tell me. Just go and purchase all his short fiction immediately. If you haven't read Borges, how do you even know for sure that you're alive?) This story makes me think of "Funes el memorioso"/"Funes the Memorious," where Borges writes, "We live by leaving behind." In that story, someone who can't forget essentially can't live, because he can't move on. And I'm not going to sink into literary analysis - really really not, for the Recommenders Code of Ethics part eight states, "Don't get all literary if you can help it, but don't, like, use the word 'rediculous,' either" - but. Well. I'm just saying. The Methos of this story - the Methos in my head, in other words - would totally get Funes, and furthermore he'd probably think Funes had the worst curse man has ever known.

So, what is this story about? Methos on a road trip. And it's got a lot of things I don't generally like in a story: first person, an entirely mental narrative, the thing I warned for up there, certain, um, themes. (And I adore Kat and her writing, but oh how she hits those themes. There's a line in this story about love being a trap, the kind of trap that kills you unless you get out, and the first time I read this, I said, "Oh, Kat." Because she just encapsulated, perfectly, the thing she's said in so many stories, you know?) But it doesn't matter, none of that matters, because this is one of the most right character pieces I've ever read. Just - read it, okay?

The One That Will Give You an Inexplicable Nostalgia for Your Days Running Train Cons and Working on a Chain Gang, Which Is Strange, Given That You Never Actually Did Either. (And Aren't You Glad?) The Buried Treasure Racket, by Dorinda. The Sting, Henry Gondorff/Johnny Hooker.

I expect you've all The Sting. If not, my god, why? What is wrong with you? It's got a caper, con men, and the slashiest on-screen pairing since - well, basically, since ever and ever amen. There's sparkling dialog! There's period clothing! There's con men in love! What else do you need? Okay, Ms. Hard-to-Please, try this: Paul Newman and Robert Redford are in a class by themselves when it comes to not-entirely-subtextual sexual chemistry. And, yes, I'm going to repeat the story, since it is my favorite - Newman's wife once said that if he ever left her, it'd be for Redford. (RPSers, why aren't you already on this? It would do my heart good to know Newman/Redford was out there. In volume. There's [livejournal.com profile] newford - thanks, [livejournal.com profile] giglet, for pointing that one out - but there should be lots of this stuff, people.)

So. Here is your program for your immediate future:
  • If you have already seen The Sting, proceed directly to this story. Read it. Revel in it. (If you decide to print it out so you can roll around in it, know that I understand and am entirely supportive of your lifestyle choice, but I will not sympathize with any paper cuts you might incur; those are just the risks you take when you enjoy great fiction.)

  • If you haven't seen the movie, rent it, borrow it, buy it, steal it from your best friend, whatever. I don't care what you have to do. Watch it. Be slightly stunned at the slash coming off the screen in waves. Then read this story, and make happy squeaking noises as you do. (Entry # 6 in the RCoE: "If you can communicate with dolphins using just the power of your squee, you're doing it right.")
Whichever course you take, I think you'll find that this is the only acceptable sequel that movie could ever have. I mean, I do think there was some kind of actual, filmed sequel to this, yes. I would wager it sucked, because it wasn't this, and this - this is what actually happened after the movie ended. I truly believe that.

[livejournal.com profile] elynross got this for Yuletide 2006 - and I think we can all agree she richly deserved it - and my heart just about exploded when I read it. This is one of the stories I've been dreaming of since the day I found out about slash fandom. I can say no more.

The One That Features Maybe the Best Non-Conversation About Incriminating Underwear That I Personally Have Ever Read. And, Wow - I Think Only Sorkin Characters Could Even Have a Non-Conversation About Incriminating Underwear. Scenes from a Route, by Epigone, aka [livejournal.com profile] likethesun2. Sports Night, and I consider this gen, but it's labeled as having Casey/Dan undertones, so, really, anything you like.

I am having a Sports Night renaissance. It's official. Admittedly, this is more because suddenly there are, thanks to [livejournal.com profile] sn_playbook and [livejournal.com profile] csc_memoand the efforts of many crazed Muskrat Jamboreers, Sports Night stories available for me to read and link to than because I've suddenly fallen back in love with Sports Night. Because the thing is, my love for the fandom (and the show) never left. But now I actually have stuff to love, as opposed to just sending Dan and Casey random "Hey, I love you! And I miss you! But you'll always be in my heart! *sniffle*" postcards. (Not that they don't appreciate the postcards. I'm sure they do; in fact, they probably read them out loud to each other and argue over which one of them their mysterious correspondent is stalking. It's just, it's not the most productive fannish outlet, is all.)

And I really love this story. It's delicious, it's gorgeous, and I was completely paralyzed when I attempted to leave feedback for it, because really, "gorgeous" is about as coherent as I can possibly get about this. I just - oh, Dan. Oh, Casey. This story reminds me of how helplessly I love them both.

This story is Dan and Casey before the show - the route they took to get to the show, with all the detours and sideshows and unfortunate incidents with bad map reading and people pulling over to the side of the road to be sick, and, okay, I'm working the trip metaphor too hard. Going to stop now.

Instead, I'll just say that this story is not exactly how I pictured Dan and Casey in the pre-show days. And that doesn't matter at all, because I read this and loved every word of it and believed every sentence. And when someone writes a story that contradicts your personal, irrational, deeply-held-to-the-point-of-insanity convictions about a character's pre-canon history, and you love it even so, then that is a fabulous story. Which is what this is.

You go read it. I'm going to sit here and be incoherent and thrilled and totally in love with Sports Night, okay? You can join me after you're done.

-Football Footnote-

* You can see this play here. You can also see the deeply unfortunate helmets. I suggest you click through for two reasons (or three, if you like to see people with shiny things on their heads):
  1. The announcers totally lose it and start shrieking. It's hysterical. Sports reporting apparently does not have "dignity" as a prerequisite.

  2. If you're me, you'll start wondering if all college football is, um, quite that hands-on. You take the handsy-ness, you add the emotion - it all starts to seem kind of - well, slashy. But that could just be me.

    I'm betting it's not, though.
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
The sad part is, I'm still not done. But this is part three of the Insane Vid Recs Project (no, I did not pick January for this just because of all the Insane January Vidding Projects going around; it's just a happy, crazy coincidence). Feel free to truck on back to parts two and one. You will particularly want to read the explanation of why you should not be taking my vid advice, which is back in the first one. (Short answer: I have no idea what I'm talking about. But I'm enthusiastic. Which unfortunately doesn't really make up for my total lack of any kind of, you know, actual vidding knowledge.)

Before we begin, though, another community rec. You (and, yes, I do mean you specifically) should check out [livejournal.com profile] vidder_weekly, a new all-fandoms vidding newsletter that seems to be working like a combination of the standard fandom newsletter - all the vids your bandwidth can handle! - and [livejournal.com profile] metafandom, but with just vidding meta. (Yes, there is vidding meta, and the skilled LJer with pretty much infinite time and a mouse finger made of steel and coiled springs can find it on her own. For the rest of us, though, it's nice to have the summary.)

Lord of the Rings


The Vid I Love Even Though the First Time I Watched It I Managed to Screw up So Badly That the Audio and Video Tracks Weren't Synched. I Could Still Tell It Was Good - Seriously, That's How Good It Is. But I Really Loved It After I Fixed My Little Configuration Issue, Let Me Tell You. Desperation Song, by Wolfling, aka [livejournal.com profile] wolfling, and Magpie, aka [livejournal.com profile] mogigraphia.

Availability: All the time; scroll down until you see it. Also, that thing about emailing Wolfling for the better-quality version of the vid? Do that. The bigger one is gorgeous and wonderful and just so, so much better. Definitely worth the time to drop Wolfling a line. (There's no qualifying test or anything, either; she just emails you the link. I feared some kind of, I don't know, trivia question, or maybe a close examination on the condition of my soul. But, no, turns out not. Which, given my soul, is just as well.)

Sometimes I watch vids and think, "Oh, that song would work in any fandom." Sometimes I think, "Um, vidder? Why did you pick this song for this fandom?" (This is actually a fairly frequent occurrence in LotR vids; I tend to think of this as the Fandom of Inappropriate Song Choices.) But sometimes my thoughts are more along the lines of, "Oh my god so perfect." This is one of those cases; this vid inextricably welded Desperation Song to Lord of the Rings in my mind. (To the point where I have to make a serious mental adjustment when someone uses it in another fandom. I always spend the first thirty seconds going, "But, but, but! Where's Gandalf?") It's just - well, not to belabor a word or anything, but - perfect. If you're not familiar with the song, just consider the title alone. Desperation is pretty much the key note of the entire trilogy - well, that and friendship. (I know. I know. But we're just ignoring the slash for the moment. I realize this is a revolutionary concept coming from me, so feel free to take a moment to wrap your mind around it.) The strength of the trilogy really is the relationships between the characters, and that's what this is about. Plus, you know, havoc, destruction, swords, and rings. Which is also a big part of the trilogy. Look, this is pathetic; I'm on the verge of saying "general-interest vid," which is the lamest term ever, because I can't think of another way to say "like the movies, only shorter." Just - go. Watch. And I'll stay here and contemplate my inadequate vocabulary.

The Vid That Gives Me Extremely Unfortunate AU Ideas. I Mean, Ideas Even Worse Than the One Where Sheppard Is Aragorn and McKay Is Gandalf and Ford Is Frodo and There Is No Sex of Any Kind. I Alone, by Jenn Miller, aka [livejournal.com profile] zeromuchjenn.

Availability: All the time.

I have a confession. I love the One Ring. I mean, yes, I know it has, like, a seriously evil, soul-sucking, menacing menace of Menaceville thing going on, but that is why I love it. So small! So pretty! So round and helpless! Except for the way it is totally, totally not. It rises above its handicaps to achieve serious fucking scariness. You have to admire that. Or I do. (My unfortunate AU idea involves re-writing LotR as a tragedy: the plucky little ring overcoming long odds as it desperately works its way back to its one true love, only to have defeat snatched from the jaws of victory by various people who are either much too dirty or much too pretty to be at all trustworthy.) So I have a special folder of vids that pay tribute to the almighty One Ring (we will not at this time discuss the other folder, the one with Ring pairing vids, because really my Ring fixation is already shameful enough), and this is, I think, my favorite. I mean, seriously: who could hear the words "I alone love you, I alone tempt you, fear is not the end of this" and not think One Ring? Okay, possibly the songwriter had something else in mind. But I can't see what. It is the Ring! To the life! And its unhealthy relationships with a wide variety of people! Go watch. And admire the One Ring That Could.

The Vid That Starts with Elvish Titles. It Is the Coolest Thing Ever, and, Um. Did I Just Make My Total Pathetic Geekhood Irrevocably Obvious There? Disappearing Man, by Melina, aka [livejournal.com profile] melina123, and Jo, aka [livejournal.com profile] feochadn. (Sorry, Jo!)

Availability: All the time - scroll down to the LotR section. And if you're going to download all the vids in this post, which I obviously recommend, then keep this page open.

Melina makes gorgeous Lord of the Rings vids. I don't want to devolve into third-rate movie reviewer language here, but, seriously, lyrical is one of the few words I can think of that really describes them. She has a wonderful way of matching movement to music, and of making seamless clips and edits - I can't describe it (well, obviously), and I sure don't know what she's doing, but her vids give me a palpable sensation of being moved through a story the same way I am when read: I don't notice my eyes moving, I don't notice the physical progression, but the movement is there, and the story just flows along with it. For someone as non-visual as I am, that is a rare and wonderful thing. And although I adore every one of her vids and fully intend to rec them all (if you're going to be downloading them now, let me warn you that I cannot even stand to watch "When I Go" right now, because it is somehow even sadder than the Boromir portions of the actual movies), I think this one may be my favorite of hers. I love the way it focuses on just one piece of the trilogy; it's the story of Aragorn, Arwen, Eowyn, and Faramir, and somehow it's a much more moving, coherent tale when it's presented on its own like this. The vid acts as, like, a magnifying glass, turning these three romance arcs into one complete, full story. And in that, Melina does one better than either Tolkien or Peter Jackson, and I love her for it.

(Side note: does anyone have a copy of this song? It's Disappearing Man, by Dave Carter and Tracey Grammer. Please?) Got it, thanks!

Highlander


The Vid That Probably Makes Best Beloved Somewhat Nervous These Days. Don't Mind Me, by Killa, aka [livejournal.com profile] killabeez.

Availability: All the time. Scroll down to the Highlander section. And don't close the page yet. We're not finished.

Killa has a gift, and she uses it for evil. Specifically, she uses it for bending people to her every whim. I just - seriously. Watch her vids and you will develop an interest in her fandoms totally against your will. All her Highlander vids are excellent, but this one is a special favorite of mine, because it is the archetypal slash vid. This - this is how vidders force us to switch our stance on a given pairing from "really, really not interested" to "OTP of great and lasting permanentness, and death to she who violates it in any way." Although, in all honesty, I should warn you that I am perhaps not 100% normal on these things, because, okay, see. I was discussing with Best Beloved which HL vid I'd be recommending, and we had the following conversation:

Me: Oh, Don't Mind Me! That's such a fabulous vid! And it has the best clipping and song lyric choice ever for my favorite Methos/Duncan slashy moment. [Note: Going, um. Solely on vids, of course. There may be better slash moments in the actual canon.]
BB: Oh, the thing where Methos looks like he's going to come from having Duncan's [hee!] sword at his throat?
Me: That's a great moment, but no.
BB: The nose-painting thing? Is that in there?
Me: Partly, and no. Although, again, fine and excellent bit.
BB, making a face of thoughtfulness: One of the [nine million] times Methos obviously checks Duncan out? [Best Beloved is not kidding, here. There are many, many shots in which Methos might just as well be saying, "Oh, to hell with this whole swordfighting thing. Let's spend the rest of eternity fucking. Starting right now, you big lug, you." Often there is a pause in the middle while he inspects something roughly at the level of Duncan's waist. His sword, probably.]
Me, in a tone of voice that may have been, in retrospect, perhaps just the teeniest bit too sincere: No! It's the scene where Methos shoots Duncan.
BB: *surprised face*
Me: It's just very...see, and then he shoots him, and it's just...okay. I think it's a sign of true love.
BB: *look of transfixed horror combined with a kind of "How did I get myself hooked up with this person?" expression*
Me, muttering defiantly: I don't care. It is a wonderful and slashy scene. It is.
BB: *departs, presumably to search the house for guns*

So, you know, obviously I'm not right in the head. But I love the way Killa uses that bit in this one. I also love her other editorial choices, here. Truly, this should be required viewing for all aspiring slash vidders. And Highlander deniers. And also everyone else. (And don't miss the shooting scene, people! It's very romantic! Really!)

(Side note: I also would be delighted if anyone had a copy of this one. Don't Mind Me, by Lucy Kaplansky.) Thanks!

Star Trek


The Vid That Is So Wrong It's Right. Seriously. If You Came up with This Vid, You'd Sedate Yourself, and You Would Be Right to Do So. But Somehow It Works As Few Things Have Ever Worked. It Is One of the Great Mysteries of Vidkind. Closer, by Killa, aka [livejournal.com profile] killabeez, and T. Jonesy. Does anyone know if she has a LiveJournal or something?

Availability: All the time. As you might expect, you can find this one in the Star Trek section. And that's it for that page, so you can close it now. Although there are many other excellent vids there. For the record.

I'm hoping every single person out there has already seen this. If you have not, do not read further. Go download and watch this right now. Go. The link is up there, and you will not regret it, and do not give me any crap about how you don't like Star Trek, or you don't know Star Trek, or you can't tell a Klingon from a...whatever the other thing is. (No, really. Don't even try. I had to look up how to spell Klingon and I love this vid.) Spock's the taller, slightly slumpy one who wears too much eyeshadow, and Kirk is the shorter, yellower one, and that's all you need to know. Go on. You will enjoy this even more if you are unspoiled; I was, and I can still taste the shock and joy.

Okay. So now everyone has seen this, yes? So I am spoiling nothing when I say that this is an example of two of my favorite vid genres. First, we have the "There's no rational way that could work in this fandom, and yet somehow..." genre, which applies to everything in this vid, from song choice to concept to the sepia tone. Sepia! In science fiction! No. Except, oh my god yes. And then we have the "changing the meaning and tone of the canon completely" thing, which, again, yes. I just - I really like that, okay? I love that someone can take source that is (Am I allowed to say this? Will it instigate a riot?) a wee bit cheesy (And, look. If you are going for the pitchforks and torches right now, keep in mind that I've just seen the one episode, and it was from early in the first season, so maybe later on they got a production budget. Also, I'm entirely willing to grant that that woman's hair probably looked cooler in the 1960s. And, you know, the writing - which was basically fan fiction, minus the actual sex-orgy-angst - made it well worth the overexposure to aluminum foil.) and turn it into - well, this. I mean, Jesus Christ. Spock does things to Kirk that I am quite certain he never did in the canon, and yet I could almost swear they show it in the vid. (I know they didn't. But I still think of this vid as the one with the non-con buttsex, which shows how suggestive really effective cutting and song choice can be.)

Ocean's 11


The Vid That Makes It Very Clear That Rusty Needs Only One Thing, by Which I Mean Only One Person, and No, That Is Not Just My Personal Bias Speaking. Or It Might Be, but If It Is, Don't Tell Me. Let Me Stay in My Happy Place, Okay? Tumbling Dice, by Gwyneth, aka [livejournal.com profile] gwyn_r.

Availability: All the time. You will need to email Gwyn for a password. It's worth it, I promise. And she has many excellent vids, including one I hope to be recommending very soon, so, really, you might as well get the password now.

The thing about Ocean's 11 that is very hard to address in fan fiction is the, um, feel of the movie. I don't really know how else to describe it. (Actually, this is something that's true in lots of fandoms; the vids convey the feel of the canon better than the FF can. It's one of the many reasons why I strongly advocate vid watching for those of us who may never see the canon even though we read a lot of the FF.) And for me, Ocean's 11 feels - retro. Not, like, old-fashioned, but deliberately, intensely retro. (It could just be Rusty's shirts, which are an education in the shinier periods in the history of men's fashion, but I don't think so. It's the lighting. And, um, stuff.) And I really like it when vids acknowledge that or play with it, which is exactly what this one does, from the font of the credits through the nifty sliding-screen thingy (um, I don't know the term for it, but when the screen slides to change clips, that's what I'm talking about) to the music. (And oh my god. I just watched this vid for the nth time to find out what the music was, and it's the Rolling Stones. Thank god I checked that before I used the phrase "vaguely country, vaguely funky music," as I am pretty sure that's not an appropriate way to describe, you know, these guys. Who I have nearly forgiven for being my mother's favorite band. I'm working on it, anyway.) And this vid focuses on my own personal favorite aspect of Ocean's 11, which, um - did I need to tell anyone that that was the pairing? No. Okay. I love the way Gwyn captures just about every eyefuck and do-me-do-me-now look between Danny and Rusty and then backs them up with the music in such a way that, to me, Rusty seems to be asking Danny to roll him. And I could give you other reasons for watching this vid, but after that, do you need them? I mean, loads of retro + scads of sexual tension = Ocean's 11 to the life + very compelling reason to watch this vid. An equation of sheer sexy joy!

The Vid That Will Remind You of That One Time (Surely It Was Just the One Time, Right?) When You Took Some Moderately Illicit Chemicals. Do Not Adjust Your Monitor. It's the Vidder Who Is on Speed, Not You. Would You?, by Shalott, aka [livejournal.com profile] astolat.

Availability: All the time. Scroll on down.

Okay, let's get the disclaimer portion of this out of the first, shall we? See, I have, um, beliefs about Ocean's 11. The movie, I mean. Like, to me the whole caper seems basically like Danny's sorry-gift to Rusty. Sort of like flowers, except instead it's the vault of three casinos. And because of the way this vid starts out and the song it uses, I tend to see it as supporting my point of view. Extensively. But I am not, you know, totally biased; I can also see the vid Shalott actually did make in here. It's a general interest vid! (Yes, my vocabulary is still inadequate. Someone want to give me a Vidding Word a Day desk calendar?) And shiny! And it uses a song that is just perfectly suited to the source, what with the retro and sort of, um, brassy sound. (Seriously. I need that calendar.) And also there's the whacked-out thing with speed (not the drug, the, um, passage of time thing) that Shalott did. I mean, who makes a vid where most of the shots are speeded way, way up? Well, Shalott, apparently. And it works; this is another one that feels just like the movie. The pacing matches, somehow. That's pretty much what Ocean's 11 was - a lot of shiny stuff going by really really fast so that no one would, um, think about it too closely, and then everything slowing way, way down when two people looked at each other. (Like, for example, Danny and Rusty. Not that it was only them! No! I understand that it was everyone, that the glory of a movie like this isn't the plot but the people and how they work and play together. All the people. Not just, you know, two guys who happened to have enough sexual chemistry that they required their own OSHA regulations.) So this is one of those vidding concepts that would never work on paper but that works wonderfully in practice. You want this vid. Almost as much as Danny and Rusty want each other.

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