thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Last night, Best Beloved said to me, "Hey, remember when you used to rec fic?"

Of course, I immediately snapped, "I still do rec fic." And I was entirely correct. But it seems that some actual recommending of actual fan fiction might go a long way toward proving that.

And, possibly because it's been long enough that I have forgotten a hard-earned lesson, I've decided to start with everyone's favorite thing: an extra-long set of shorter gen stories!

Um. I don't hear any actual cheers. Or even any polite clapping.

That's - no, that's perfectly all right. I'll settle for a "Well, it's better than nothing." Can I get one of those, at any rate?

Fine. See if I care. I'm going to do it anyway. Let me just see if I can ... hmm. You, um, press some buttons, right? It's kind of been a while. But I'm sure it's like riding a bicycle. Although, of course, I can't actually do that.

Ah, well; unlike riding a bike - which, seriously, I have never understood how you're supposed to learn that, since you have to be able to do it just to sit on the damn thing - it's probably best to learn by doing. Shall we begin?

The One That Reminds Us That Batman Is Not Just a Mysteriously Sexy and Seriously Broken Crimefighter in Need of Several Successive Lifetimes of Therapy. He's Also a Skilled Nurturer of Those Qualities in Others! Squandered My Resistance, by Petra, aka [livejournal.com profile] petronelle. DCU.

Perspective is a major kink of mine, and this story hits my kink just about as well as anything ever has. (Okay. Except An Instance of the Fingerpost, which hit my kink for something like 500 densely printed pages and still left me wanting more.) The perspective, in this case, is Jim Gordon's, and if you know anything about the Batman canon (and I do mean anything - like, if you know who the Robins are, and how the first two retired, that's enough), you know more than he does here - only a bit more, though, because the man's no idiot. So it's not like we're learning any new plot in this one; the change in perspective is the story. And it's amazing what that change can do.

Jim Gordon is a good man. But he accepts the unacceptable, or what should be unacceptable, because, see - Robins, whatever else they are, are kids. (Dick Greyson was age 12 when he started as Robin, as you'll know if you're even vaguely familiar with All Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder (and if you have a sense of humor at all, click on that link, people - you don't need to know anything about comics to marvel at this truly stunning train wreck), also known as Who the Fuck Are These People in the Batman and Robin Costumes and How Did They Get out of Arkham Asylum?) Hands up everyone who thinks that it's a good idea to put kids in spandex and send them out to fight vicious criminals and psychotics, often in the company of someone only marginally saner than said opponents. All right. Frank Miller, seriously, put that hand down. And, oh my god, do not even tell me where you have your other hand. Okay. Anyone else have a hand up? No. And Jim Gordon's hand wouldn't be up, either. But he still accepts it - and not only that; he uses it, uses the Robins. And this story explains that. Which you will grant is amazing.

The other amazing thing about this story is that it's interstitial. All the action takes place off the page; it's like this is the text that happens in the space between the panels of a comic book. So, really, all we see is a series of conversations. But you don't need to know a thing about the canon to understand what's happening all around these conversations. This is the written equivalent of the kind of play where you hear the shots and the body fall, but you never see anything on stage but the characters' reactions. Except that in this story, we don't hear the shots. But it's impossible not to hear the body fall.

No, wait, I was wrong. There's a third thing that's amazing about this story, and that thing is Jim Gordon himself. Because on the Worst Jobs in Fiction list, Police Commissioner of Gotham has to rank in the top 50. And Commissioner Gordon is just a guy, a decent guy in an awful job he does because he can. That, to my mind, makes him as interesting as Batman, but it's rare that anyone, canon or fan fiction, actually shows that. Petra does. And that? Is totally amazing, and I love her for it.

The One That May Actually Make You Grateful for Adolescence. Who Knew That Was Even Possible? Slouching, Forever, by Torch, aka [livejournal.com profile] flambeau. Good Omens.

And now let us speak briefly of Torch, who has evidently recently ascended to the next level in her mystical pursuit of fictional perfection; in fact, I suspect she may be close to achieving union with the fictional godhead. If you cruise by her house, I bet you'll find her all swathed in robes and sitting in a lotus position, meditating. And then, once in a while, she'll leap up and go over to her computer and type stories like this. She calls them snippets, but oh my god. In almost all of them, she's turned the canon inside out, shaken out its pockets, and found a whole new universe inside, and I - I'm kind of scared of her, actually. What if she has other powers? What if she can change the universe or something?

I'm just saying, maybe we should wonder if there's a reason that Lance Bass came out recently.

Anyway. This story is maybe, maybe my favorite of all the "snippets" she's done recently, although it's kind of locked in a three-way tie with Over the Hills and Far Away and Suburban Consumption Rituals. (Which was written for meeeeee! And that just proves that Torch has mystical powers, because, as anyone who has ever gotten one will tell you, I give the shittiest fic prompts in all the universe. Only a very few, highly cherished writers have ever managed to make one of mine work. And yet - Torch took one of my prompts - and did - well, this.)

Of course, I've spent all this time talking about Torch because I can't really tell you anything about Slouching, Forever, except that you need to have read Good Omens to get the story. (But, well, you need to have read Good Omens, period, no exceptions, so I'm hoping all of you have.) If you have, get clicking. (The other two snippets, by the way, are SGA, and I can't tell you anything but that about either, except that they are just fucking amazing, so if by some chance you haven't read Good Omens yet, head for the other ones. And then get your butt to a library or bookstore and do some light reading about Armageddon.)

The One That Proves (Yet Again) That the Ancients Are Not Our Friends. In Fact, Just As a General Rule, I Think It's Best Not to Trust Those Who Think That Superior Power Makes Them Superior Beings. Uncanny Valley, by Sarah T., aka [livejournal.com profile] harriet_spy. Stargate: Atlantis.

I. Here's the thing. I secretly kind of believe this story. I've seen dozens of fictional explanations for Why John Is Weird (But We Love Him Anyway), and many of them made me want to do highly intimate things with the author. And most of them really worked. But this one works maybe the most of all of them, and - well, it doesn't make me want to do highly intimate things with Sarah T. It makes me want to take her hostage until she writes a fix-it sequel to this. Because the fix is hinted at, and I believe it's coming, but I want more. I want an ending with puppies and sparkles and love and very probably some pie. In general, I need stories with explicit happy endings way more than I need or even want stories with explicit sex, and for this one - well. I want "And they lived happily ever after" in writing. Signed by the author. And notarized. (Doesn't have to be in her own blood or anything, though. I'm no fanatic.)

You know, I'm kind of amused that I'm writing this whole "This gutted me but in a good way" writeup for a story in which no one dies and no one is, like, raped or tortured or drained by the Wraith or just anything like that. All that really happens is that two people eat breakfast. But, you know, in fiction, especially when it comes to making people honestly ache for a character, less is more. You really want to turn the knife? Don't give me star-crossed lovers killing themselves because they each think the other's dead. Don't give me all the death, loss, torment, and abuse you can pack into 57 chapters. Give me one loss, one loss of something essential, and then make the characters - and me - live with it.

(I'm also amused that I didn't rec the other SGA gen story that seemed to fit in this set because I was like, "Nah. Don't want people to think all gen is depressing." But, really. It's not! Even this story isn't, actually! It's just - it hurts. But there's a happy ending on the far horizon, and - okay, screw it, that's never going to work. How's this: the last story in this set is the perfect antidote. I'm offering the pain and the cure, people. What more can I do?)

The One That Proves That You Really Can Get Used to Anything. But You Might Not Want To. All His Funerals (Back in Black Remix 2006), by Punk, aka [livejournal.com profile] runpunkrun. X-Files.

This is such a small story in terms of word count. And it's in a fandom that I, despite all my efforts, still don't understand at all. But it doesn't matter - you can read this no matter what you know about the canon, as long as you know something about serial fiction. Because this is, yes, a gorgeous story about how one person gets used to a very particular kind of loss, but it's also a great meta commentary, because we've all been through this, I think, in one canon or another.

(I realized this at the end of X2, which I saw with my mother and Best Beloved. My mother knows nothing about comic books and had never heard of the X-Men before the first movie. And my mother is, by the way, the queen of being spoiler-free. As in, she saw The Phantom Menace and had no idea that Anakin was going to grow up to be - spoiler warning, people! - Darth Vader. And that Darth was Luke's father. Anyway, at the end of X2, she was all upset, and Best Beloved and I were stunned that anyone could be upset by that ending. Because knowing comics mean you develop the same attitude that Scully has in this story.

And, wait. Did I just spoil the story (or X2) or not? I can't tell. Um. If I did, someone let me know so I can cut-tag it; even if it is a spoiler, I don't think it'll have any effect on your enjoyment of either, but I aim to be polite. My mama - okay, she didn't give a shit about my manners, but my internet mama raised me right. Admittedly, my internet mama was Usenet, so she mostly did it via a constant stream of very clear examples of what not to do, but still.)

But here is the coolest part of this story - cooler even than the meta commentary. This is Punk remixing one of her own stories, and how insanely excellent is that? I would so love it if other folks who have been writing a while did this, because I've read the original of this story, and it is just. Um. Not the same. At all. Whereas the remix is brilliance. So the two stories together are the most perfect example in the world of how Punk has changed as a writer, and I would love to see that same demonstration for other people. So if any of y'all are, you know, bored or anything - well, just don't say I never give activity suggestions along with my recs.

The One That Gives a Whole New Meaning to the Phrase 'Body Dysmorphic Disorder.' The Kingdom of Heaven, by [livejournal.com profile] c_elisa. X-Men comicsverse.

This story contains spoilers for a certain development in at least one iteration of the X-Men, uh, "plotline," for lack of a better word. (Sorry, but I have no idea how many X-Men books/movies/universes/parallel dimensions/other assorted thingies have this development, and I lack the software equivalent of the TARDIS crossed with Hal, which is what it would take for me figure that out.) I'm not at all sure I can discuss the story without mentioning that same spoiler. So I'm cut tagging this. )

The One That Proves That, Looking at It from a Technical Perspective, the Wizard of Oz Should Have Been a Zombie Story. Big Damn Zombies, Sir, by [livejournal.com profile] shrift. Firefly.

This is another fandom I don't know from Adam, Eve, or in fact the entire garden of eden. I mean, Jayne - that's the guy with the hat, right? I see him in vids, acting dim or showing the ethics-free brand of cunning. He's generally comic relief in vids, except he also occasionally seems to do the thing that no one else could quite manage to, even though it really needed to be done. But, hey, I don't know him at all, so I could be totally wrong there.

My point is that obviously you don't need to know diddly-squat about Jayne or Firefly to enjoy this story. Because, see, what happens here is that Jayne turns into a zombie, and mirth ensues.

Now, wait. You need to understand just how weird it is that I am recommending a story about zombies as comic relief. Because, okay, I admit it - I'm afraid of zombies. I was not the happiest person in all of fandom when zombie stories got popular for a while there, because I'd be reading a story quite happily and then suddenly Daniel Jackson would be lurching around calling for brains. (But I never did see, say, zombie Aragorn, so I have much to be thankful for. Believe me, I'm quite aware of it.) And I would have to flee the story, or possibly the room, for a while.

But this story is funny even to a certified zombiephobe, because - I just, I can't explain it. It just is. I avoided it, for obvious title reasons, for quite a while, and I so should not have, because Shrift proves that zombies can, in fact, be entertaining to have around, providing they are made from the right sort of character. Or, more specifically, providing that the right sort of characters are standing around commenting on the zombie, because it is the dialog that makes this story. And that includes, but is not limited to, the dialog that goes, "Braaaaaaaains."

(I do feel the need to state, just for the record, that there is nothing amusing about zombies. They are a major imaginary scourge against which our planet has no defenses. Garlic does not work on zombies, people. Think about it. And in the next election, make yours a vote against the zombie menace. And don't forget to ask your politician of choice what he's doing to prevent the zombie takeover!)
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Every fandom has its big pairings. And if you read this journal, you'll know I'm no opponent of Danny/Casey or Jim/Blair or Sirius/Remus. But I also have an abiding love for stories with rare pairings, or pairings no mortal ever dared to pair before. And I think I can safely say you'll find at least one of each of those in this set.

Best FF Featuring a Powerful Anti-Drug Message; Namely, That If We Spend All Our Time Stoned We Might Fail to Notice Critical Things in Our Environment, Like That One of Our Friends Is Actually Green. Kissable Fanatic, Unhinged Minim Artists, by [livejournal.com profile] basingstoke. Marvel, Toad/OMC. There are very few pairings involving an original character that I'd put in a rare pairings entry, but I have never before seen Toad in any pairing anywhere ever. He could do nothing but jerk off in a story and I'd consider it a borderline rare pairing, and it's safe to say he goes well beyond that in this one. I actually put off reading this one for weeks because the thought of Toad doing, you know, that - well, it made me want to file taxes early, let's put it that way. But eventually I'd done all the accountancy and scrubbing I could do, and my curiosity got the better of me - and you know what? This is a damn fine story. It isn't squicky, the original character is an actual character, there's a plot - really, what more could anyone want? And if you said, "Someone who isn't green and sticky and whose tongue is less than three feet long would be first on that list," shame on you. Rank prejudice is what that is, and I tell you freely: you'll be the first up against the wall when Magneto takes over. But if you read this now, perhaps they'll be kind to you. So, really, I'm recommending this for your own safety as much as anything.

Best FF That Shows Us What Hides in Your Bedroom Closet After You Learn That All the Demons and Monsters Are Real and Right Outside: Paying Attention, by Lar, aka [livejournal.com profile] obsessedmuch. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Xander Harris/Larry (does Larry have a last name?). Xander/Larry is one of those pairings that should just happen a lot more often. I've actually seen the episode in which Larry outs himself to Xander, and there's definite slash potential in there. I mean, it happens in a locker room. And Xander and Larry have always hated each other, and they've engaged in the manly-yet-moronic art of fighting together, and, honestly, the whole situation is crying out to be slashed. And yet still this is a rare pairing. I guess it's more proof that there is no justice in bed*. Or in slash. But Lar is struggling to redress this tragic deficit. Read this in the name of Slash Equality, if nothing else. Plus, hey, it could well be the only pairing in this set that doesn't make your eyes roll back in your head from horror. That's got to be a plus.

Best FF That Is Totally Based on the Canon Author's Writing and Yet Would Cause Said Author to Burst into Flames Were He to Hear of It, and I Don't Mean the Gay Kind of Flames, Either: Peter in Love, by Tosca, aka [livejournal.com profile] toscas_kiss. The Chronicles of Narnia, Peter Pevensie/Aslan. Really. Yes, I'm aware that this sounds even worse than the whole "That stag was a liar" bit in The Silver Chair. Please, don't run screaming yet. I wanted to stab my eyes out and spend decades wandering in the wilderness after I saw the pairing, too. But here's the thing: this story is great, and somehow Tosca manages to evade every single potential squick here, which must have been like doing an slalom. While stoned. And blindfolded. On a frictionless surface. Still not convinced? It isn't explicit, and that should help. So, really, give it a try. (Note: if you don't know how the last book in the Narnia series starts, I'm not sure this will make much sense to you. But, hey, if you don't know how that book starts, you are blessed beyond all measure, so be grateful. And I've never actually read The Last Battle, because I'm still bearing a grudge against C.S. Lewis for writing it, so you can be sure that don't need more than the bare plot outline.)

Best FF That Shows Us That Prison Showers Can Be Dangerous in Novel and Entirely Unanticipated Ways, As Well As the Old Boring Ones: The Color of Straw, by David Hines, aka [livejournal.com profile] hradzka. D.C. Universe, Scarecrow/Harley Quinn. I know. As if I haven't disturbed you all enough as it is, now I'm recommending het. Again. It's like some horrible disease. But this - this is amazing het. It's got the best damn characterizations I've ever seen in DCU fic involving either of these two - admittedly, that sounds like damning with faint praise, but it's meant as an enthusiastic endorsement; it's just that I'm not so good at showing enthusiasm. And it's so, so right and probable and in canon. And it's even funny. It's also not very explicit, so if you just cannot bear the thought of male and female connectors interacting, so to speak, you can squint your eyes and think of England during that part. (Although you should probably try to avoid thinking about Peter Pevensie in England, especially if you're still feeling jittery about the whole Aslan thing.)

-Footnote-

* Anyone who said, "Well, not unless you're sleeping with a judge" is going to be punished. I mean that. Hell, if you so much as thought that, you should be making like Rev. Dimmesdale right now. Have you no shame?
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
(I apologize for the title, especially if you've now got the source of it stuck in your head. I'm not a big fan of the poem, either - actually, it sort of makes me gag - but it was all I could think of. If you've got an idea for a better title, I'd love to hear about it.)

Today I have for you stories from small fandoms. Tiny fandoms. You may not actually read all of these fandoms. You may not read any of these fandoms, or even believe there's fic in these fandoms. But you should read these stories anyway, because when someone writes a story for a small, small fandom, it's like divine madness overtakes her. There's inspiration, and then there's Inspiration, and it turns out you find the latter most often in stories from canons you've never even imagined fan fiction for.

Best FF That Features a Cookbook I'm Now Entirely Sure Is in Existence, Even If Pratchett Is Too Polite to Mention It: Concurrence, by [livejournal.com profile] debchan. Terry Pratchett's Discworld, Rincewind/Greebo. (Note: you will probably need to know the Discworld series in order to comprehend this story. But if you haven't read the early Discworld stuff, be ashamed. And then go buy them immediately. For this story, you'll want The Color of Magic, The Light Fantastic, and Wyrd Sisters, at minimum, but you should also get Guards, Guards. Because that one is the best one ever. And if someone reads Guards, Guards and decides to slash Carrot and the Patrician, I will be forever sickeningly grateful. Or maybe I mean sickened, but grateful. Whichever.) When I first saw the pairing on this story, I decided [livejournal.com profile] debchan was clinically insane. I'm not entirely convinced I was wrong. But it is a delightful insanity, one that could a) conclude that a wizard having sex with a cat even though the two never once appeared in the same novel was a good idea, and then b) make that concept work. We should all be lucky enough to be crazy in this way.

Best FF That Proves That Publishers Should Check the Internet Prior to Paying Authors to Destroy Noble Canons, and If You Don't Know What I Mean by This, You Are Very, Very Lucky: Ring Out, Wild Bells, To The Wild Sky, by [livejournal.com profile] keswindhover. Dorothy L. Sayers's Lord Peter Wimsey series, Harriet Vane/Lord Peter Wimsey. It's...het. It's canon het. It's non-explicit canon het. I feel so dirty, recommending this. But here's the thing. It's good, good, good. This story healed the injury that Jill Paton Walsh's horrible Sayers pastiche (I only read the one, although I understand there are others) left on my soul. Think I'm exaggerating? Clearly you've never read the book in question. In any case, this story is a masterpiece. I believe in this outcome for Harriet and Lord Peter and St. George; for me, forever, this will be what they did during WWII. I have to thank Genibee (who does not have a LJ, but should) for making me read this story. I couldn't have faced it without her firm recommendation. Because this is the kind of thing that can only be perfect or abominable. And, hey, guess what? It's perfect. Imagine my surprise.

Best FF Featuring the World's Sexiest Use of Mathematics: Written Proofs, by [livejournal.com profile] shrift. Ultimate Fantastic Four, Victor Van Damme/Reed Richards. Here is my proof that I can actually recommend stories from small fandoms that aren't small book fandoms. Yes, because this is...a small comic book fandom. Well, look, any English teacher on this planet will tell you that there is a world of difference between a novel and a graphic novel. In any case, there's oodles of tension between Reed and Victor in the canon, and we all know how that leads to excellent slash. Beyond that...look, it's superhero porn. There's nothing better than superhero porn, unless it is superhero porn that contains sexy science, and sexy science obsession. And nothing says "sexy science obsession" like Reed/Victor. I hope I have made a sufficient case for reading this story. I also hope I haven't, um, scared away the people who don't find chemistry humor hysterical. Come back, y'all! A science-free rec follows!

Best FF That Reads Exactly Like a Newly-Discovered Missing Chapter from the Canon: The Dancer from the Dance, by [livejournal.com profile] daegaer. The Persian Boy (by Mary Renault), Bagoas. Again, you'll need to know the book to read the story, but again - if you haven't read this book, why not? And you call yourself a slash fan! The Persian Boy is RPS in book format, and it's canon RPS, if I can call it that. You will definitely want to read TPB before Oliver Stone's atrocity Alexander comes out, and if you doubt that it will be an atrocity, just watch the trailer. It had me muttering and ranting for days. So, you know, getting back to this story, let me just say that it is perfect and I love it and it is so right for Bagoas. And I also think that Mary Renault would love it. And probably Alexander and Bagoas would, too. And so will you.

Best FF Featuring a White-Haired Entity of Unknown Origin Engaging in an Extremely Human Behavior. And That Behavior Is Not Smutty. Though I Wish It Was.: Peace.keep.er, by Mooncalf, aka [livejournal.com profile] tsukikoushi. Xenosaga: Der Wille Zur Macht, Chaos-oriented gen or possibly slash, in which case the slash would be Chaos/Tony. And those of you who have played the game will right now be wondering why I'm capitalizing Chaos. Well, I thought it would save confusion, especially for those who have not played the game, who might end up thinking that this is a story about the force of entropy and disarray. (And they would not be entirely wrong, would they?) This is a Special Bonus Nomination, included because it will be of interest only to people who have actually played the sprawling, delightful insanity that is the video game Xenosaga, and I'm guessing that's just me and my Best Beloved. This is about one of my favorite dang characters from said video game. Who I really hope will be better explained in the subsequent installments of this game, because there's a lot about him that's not entirely clear. Like his species, his origin, his purpose, his...well, everything. Mooncalf clearly understands him, though. Maybe she should write the next episode of Xenosaga.
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Well, the first time he kissed him and a heck of a lot else. (Sorry, Elizabeth, but if others can slash copyrighted works, I can certainly subvert your sweet little sonnet, mmm?1) In other words, it's a first times set. And, yes, first time stories are perhaps 85% of all slash currently in existence. And, yes, many people now consider such stories cliched and undesirable. I do not care. I'm a slash traditionalist, and I like a good first time story. And that's what you'll find below.

Best FF That Features Incidental Proof That Sometimes True Love Means Shooting Your Loved One: Someone Who's Turning, by Jane St. Clair, aka [livejournal.com profile] 3jane. X-Force, Rictor/Shatterstar, and I can't offer you bios because the site I usually use is down, dammit. There's just something so boylike about this first time, which starts with a hand job and ends with the first kiss. (All together now: awww. Or am I the only one who finds this sweet? Yeah, probably.) But what I really love about this story is that it's all about patterning - how we learn to love. And considering Shatterstar learned everything he knows about love from TV, and Rictor learned from sources that manage to be even less reliable, it's sort of impressive that they manage so well here. Hormones never lead you astray. Well, in slash, anyway. At least in certain fandoms.

Best FF That Uses Handguns (and Fear of Handguns) to Help Ease the Tension Inherent in Switching Teams: The Awakening, by Beth, aka [livejournal.com profile] beth666ann. Homicide, Tim Bayliss/Chris Rawls. Yes, I have succumbed to the Homicide lure. But it's OK! It's a really small fandom! I'll be done with it before you know it! Just like, um, all the other tiny fandoms I've abandoned. (There aren't any, actually, but there could always be a first one.) This is the second story I read in this fandom, and it's the best I've read so far. You totally don't need to know the canon to read this - it's basically just the most protracted first time I've ever read in slash, and I don't in any way mean to impugn the quality of this story with that summary. This is good slashing, here. Plus, it's an excellent introduction, to the extent that I am any judge, to the strange creature that is Tim Bayliss. Read it! (I need company in my multi-fandom purgatory.)

Best FF in Which We Learn the Importance of Bat-style Utility Belts to the Course of True Lust: Night Watch, by [livejournal.com profile] weirdnessmagnet. Teen Titans, Tim/Kon. Only Tim Drake would, upon awakening his lust object with exceedingly lustful behavior, immediately think of the knockout gas he has handy in a belt pouch. (Of course Tim keeps his utility belt fully stocked and armed while he's seducing someone! Suppose it turns out to be the Evil Kon-X from the Dimension of Deranged Sleepers? Tim would need his belt then!) Even in the DCverse, most people aren't twisted in such an anal retentive way. This first time is vintage Tim, from the creepy obsessive stalkery behavior to the careful analysis of Kon's genealogy and genetics even as he's seducing him. And that's what I love about the DCU: unabashed use of the DSM IV for character inspiration.

Best FF That Teaches Us That True Love Is All About Lies, Lies, Lies2: Believe You Me, by [livejournal.com profile] cesperanza. Due South, Benton Fraser/Ray Kowalski. I've succumbed, people. Rather than resist the lure of Speranza's stories, I'm just going to try to work one into every damned set until I run out. That'll solve the Speranza Problem, all right, and maybe then I'll be able to move on to recommend authors that everyone on the planet hasn't read. Seriously, my mother has probably read this one already. (Um, actually, I really, really hope and believe she has not. Because ew ew ew.) So, here we have lies and sex, and I've always loved this story because it perfectly captures the pathos of being Benton Fraser. I don't know why I didn't mention this one in the Due South Fandoms I Have Loved, because this is really the story you need to read to know why dS fans tend to be happy ending junkies. (These guys deserve the happy endings, that's why.)

-Footnotes-

1 It is not my fault I do not love Elizabeth Barrett Browning as I should. I blame my ninth-grade English teacher, who I swear was in love with the woman. (God help me - it's a plot bunny for RPS time-travel femslash. I think that's ample proof we should all be incredibly grateful I don't actually write FF.)

2 No, I do not have to mention weapons in every category title in this set. Though if I did, I would certainly point out that this story features a whole passel of law enforcement officers, all American and therefore all armed, and yet it's the only one that doesn't mention any weapons at all. We call this the due South mystique.
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
This set is not for those with decision-making disorders, because each entry asks you to make a choice. Think of it as a sort of Choose Your Own Adventure, only with less adventure and way more masturbation-intensive porn. Which, come to think of it, can only improve the CYOA genre.

Best FF That Provides Truly Useful and Interesting Etiquette Advice: The Isle Is Full of Noises, by The Great Communicator, aka [livejournal.com profile] communicator. Master & Commander movie, Aubrey/Maturin. I swear, that tent where Maturin recovered from the gunshot wound sees more action than most bedrooms. Hell, it sees more action than most bedrooms in brothels. Not that I am complaining or anything. Oh, and the etiquette advice answers a question I don't think Emily Post ever addressed: what do I do when I realize that my best friend knows that I'm watching him jerk off? You can decide for yourself whether you prefer Aubrey's answer or Maturin's.

Best FF That Demonstrates That Mutants Should Carefully Consider Possible Abbreviations Before They Choose Their Codenames, Because "Shatty" Is a Fairly Awful Thing to Be Called During Intimate Moments: What Is Already Known, by Janete, aka [livejournal.com profile] 3jane and [livejournal.com profile] thete1. X-Force, Shatterstar/Rictor. This story features seduction via masturbation, a technique that really should be far more widely used. In, you know, my strictly personal opinion. It also features a few "don't try this at home" moments, but after all, that's why we love fan fiction. Well, one of the reasons. And as for the codename - you can decide for yourself whether you'd rather be called Shatty or Star, if you were a male-alien-mutant-thing. Not an easy choice, and one that could've been totally avoided if the people who created Shatterstar had spared a single second to think about sex. I mean, of course, sex and Shatterstar together.

Best FF That Will Make You Glad You're a Muggle and Can Thus Read Your Porn Online. (Plus, Our Porn Is Evidently *Way* Better Than Theirs.): Four Letter Words, by Breed, aka [livejournal.com profile] weatherby. Harry Potter, Draco Malfoy/Harry Potter. Hearing Draco read a smutty novel out loud - doing all the voices and everything - would probably make me swear off sex for life. Not so Harry. There are some priceless details in this story, but my favorite line is this one: "'You'd think the wood would start to get warped or something if you did that all the time,' Ron whispers." No, I won't tell you the context; just go read it, and reflect on the differences between the wizard world and ours. In ours, for example, no one would ever ever ever sit on the floor in a public toilet, but apparently they have spells to keep them from being icky. On the other hand, as I said, we have easy access to excellent porn. I'll leave it to you to decide which you prefer. (Oh, and don't miss the comments on this one; there's a description of a real porn novel that left me choking with laughter.)

Best FF Featuring the Kind of Masturbation You Hope You'll Never Have to Do and the Kind of Names I Hope You'll Never, Ever Call Yourself: Pressure Is Rising, by [livejournal.com profile] clionaeilis. Due South, Ray Kowalski all alone. This is a masturbation story that features social and emotional commentary as well as, you know, the whole solo-sex thing; it's amazing how well the author captures that inner voice that repeats things we don't want to hear, over and over and over until we really just want to hit something, especially when it's hot out. And the last few lines are just killers. If you've ever felt like putting in a few minutes with Ray Kowalski, angst, and jerking off, this would be your story.

And if this isn't your kind of story, well - a Certain Person now requires that I offer a happy option with all Due South angst and sadness. Here's the alternate story - just as good, but totally angst-free.

Best FF That Explains Just How Erotic a Totally G-Rated Voice Mail Message Can Be If Benton Fraser Is the One Who Leaves It (and Ray Kowalski Is the One Who Gets It): Flying Solo, by [livejournal.com profile] estrella30. Due South, Ray Kowalski/Benton Fraser. Yes, folks, this is the second story that features masturbation in a public toilet, and this time the, um, performer doesn't even have the excuse of being a teenager in a magically germ-free world. But we'll all excuse him, because, hey, it's Ray, and he's in love with Ben, and all is right in the world, mmm? And this is the final decision I'll ask you to make today: you can decide for yourself whether you prefer your masturbating Ray to be angsty or angst-free. (We already know what a Certain Person will choose.)
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
I'm revisiting stories featuring triangles, menages a trois, and other groups of three.

Best FF Featuring Three Characters with Remarkable Senses of Balance but Very Little Common Sense: Words Spoken in Winter, by grit kitty. The Sentinel, Jim/Blair/OFC. And how do I know these characters have good balance and no sense? Well, this is a threesome done standing up in a public place. Folks, please don't try this at home (and especially don't try this where you work). I like this story because it pays homage to the time-honored tradition of what I think of as sexual triangulation, when two members of the same sex want to get it on but can't, until the presence of a convenient member of the opposite sex gives them the freedom they need.

Best FF That Proves Excessive Snow + Lack of Quality Television = Insanity + Group Sex, Which Suggests That Norway Must Be a Very Interesting Place to Live: Bundling, by Janete, aka [livejournal.com profile] 3jane and [livejournal.com profile] thete1. X-Force comics, Cannonball/Rictor/Shatterstar. (This is the version of this trio that has a relatively happy ending; you can see a slightly grimmer story about these fine folks in Caressing the Marble and the Stone, which I actually prefer. I guess maybe I just like tears better than cookies.) Now, what is it about comicbook universes that leads to so many threesome stories? Maybe it's the emphasis on teamwork. And if so, then I've got to wonder what my PE teacher was trying to do to us with all those team-building games. (Hmmm. Could explain some things, there. Perhaps I should sue.)

Best FF That Teaches Us That You Don't Need Phone Sex When You've Got the Right Mutant on Hand: Going Down, by shalott. X-Men movies, Xavier/Magneto/Mystique. The convoluted relationship between these three has inspired a lot of excellent fan fiction, and as usual, shalott is both ahead of the game and at the head of the class. And this one is especially interesting; it's possibly the only threesome in fan fiction successfully carried out when one of the participants is twenty miles away. Or I suppose I could say when one of the participants is divided in two. However you think of it, this is delightfully twisty. The curse of shalott - FF I just can't stop reading - strikes again.

Best FF Featuring Creative Uses for Various Parts of Two Mounties' Dress Uniforms, Including a Clear Example of Why Sometimes One Person Can Need Two Hats: Bonspiel, by Basingstoke. Due South, Turnbull/Fraser/Kowalski. This story completely destroyed my critical faculties; I honestly can't say whether it's good or not, because my brain seized up on me somewhere in the first couple paragraphs. Turns out there are certain things my neurons just refuse to contemplate, and this threesome is at least one of them. But several lines had me giggling uncontrollably, including most of Turnbull's dialog - especially what he says when he comes. And if anyone out there was pining for NC-17 PWP BDSM stories involving this particular trio, handcuffs, Stetsons, and spanking, well, pine no longer. But if your neurons are anything like mine, you might not want to read this on a day when your brain needs to be at peak functioning capacity.
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Today I present a very loosely-bound fiction set that has built-in appeal for the book-lovers among us.

Best FF That Has Forever Changed the Way I Think of Unicorns: Like a Good Book, by Kyra Cullinan. Harry Potter, Hermione/Ginny. Yes, folks, it's femslash. And not only that, it's bad sex femslash - gritty and grim and painfully realistic. But even though the sex ain't pretty, the story itself is excellent, so please don't rule this one out if you don't normally do f/f. The book connection, of course, comes from the title, which in turns comes from a Tori Amos song, so we're talking about tenuous links, here. But this nominations set is all about being tenuous. Total tenuousity, that is my motto today.

Best FF That Shows How the Dewey Decimal System Leads to Good Lovin': Reference, by Resonant. Due South, Fraser/Kowalski. If the last nominee left you a bit raw, here's a sweet little story to take the hurt away. This one just makes my library-loving heart melt. And it's lovely to see Fraser being given a bit of non-canon history that doesn't involve death, loss, guilt, or repression. Seriously, Fraser's collected backstory reads like a Shakespearean tragedy (five acts of misunderstandings and long sad speeches, and by the end everyone's dead), so I love Resonant all the more for giving Ray the traumatic memory in this one.

Best FF That Demonstrates That the Library of Congress* Is Even More Arousing Than the Dewey Decimal System: Library Porn: Say Bibliotheque Again, Baby, by Nestra and [livejournal.com profile] shrift (sorry I left you out, shrift). Angel, Wesley/Gunn. You say the sour story didn't do it for you and the sweet story made you gag? Perhaps mademoiselle would prefer something light from our PWP menu. Because it doesn't get any better than sex in a library. And no, I do not want any angry comments from librarians on this one; I get all I need at home. (But, for the record, you really shouldn't have sex in a library. Coitus Interruptus Librarianus can kill your libido for your natural life, not to mention playing hell with your book-borrowing privileges.) And you don't need the slightest familiarity with Angel to understand this one, either, because the language of this kind of book-loving is universal.

Best FF That Will Make You Really Thirsty: Liquid, by Jane St. Clair. X-Force comics, Rictor/Shatterstar. (Links go to character bios, because even the bios don't make much sense, never mind the comic books.) This one makes this nominations set solely because it features the best sex disclaimer ever: "Never ever have I ever done it with a friend as part of elaborate trade negotiations for a rare book I desired." (Neither have I, Jane, and now that it's been mentioned, I must say I feel the lack.) In this story, we learn about the importance of water to the human body and to love. You will probably want to have a nice frosty beverage on hand before you start reading.

* Yes, actually, I suspect the authors of this story did intend that to be a pun.
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Let's face it. Some of the characters we read and write about aren't exactly normal. They have optional extras and built-in features, and hey, isn't that why we love them? It is. And if you had shapechanging ability or super-speed or whatever, wouldn't you make use of it during sex? You would. And so would they. Which is why this list is longer than my usual nominations sets; there's just so much mutant sex to celebrate.

Best FF Use of a Really Challenging Version of Hide and Seek: Hide and Seek, by jamjar. Eight Days of Luke, Luke/David. What do you mean you haven't read Eight Days of Luke? Go read it at once. I'll wait here.

All done? Then go read this story, which beautifully conveys the, um, special challenges of a relationship with a god.

Best FF That Proves You Don't Need a Vibrator When You've Got Flash: Face of Total Need, by Weirdness Magnet. Justice League, Superman/Flash. I never wanted to read a Superman slash story, because ew. I certainly never wanted to read a Superman with a sex toy story, because ew ew ew. But Weirdness Magnet wrote one so good I had to read it and like it, and don't think I don't resent it. This story has the perfect use of Flash's powers in a sexual scenario, and it left me giggling helplessly. Hee.

Best FF Featuring Some Serious Violations of Professional Ethics: Iris, by Janete. Alpha Flight, Northstar/Sasquatch. (Note: You can read this one without reading the books - I did - but if you have an urgent need to know more about the characters, click on the links.) I don't know what it is about the unholy combination of Jane St. Clair and Te that produces such excellent mutant sex stories, but I sure am grateful for it. Sasquatch's beast transformation may not be what he wants during sex, but it does make things interesting.

Best FF That Shows Us That Angels, Like Primates, Enjoy Social Grooming: Cumulative Effort, by magpie. Good Omens, Crowley/Aziraphale. See, with angels, it's all about making the effort. And once you get into the habit (no Satanic nun jokes, thank you), well... This one made me snicker. Quite a lot, really, and that's one of the reasons I'm reluctantly growing to love Good Omens FF.

Best FF That Follows the Noble Comic Book Tradition of the Angst-Ridden, Agonized Superhero, Although I Don't Think Even That Would Make Stan Lee Approve of This Story, Thank God: Perseus, Still, by Janete, the Amalgamated Queen of Mutant Sex. X-Men comics, Skin/Chamber. (Because it takes a special, twisted mind to keep up with the X-Men comicverse, links are to character bios.) We got yer mutant angst right here, folks, because these authors know that if there's anything more tormented than a teenager, it's gotta be a mutant teenager. This story has the most use of mutant powers during sex of any of these stories, and though you'd think it'd be vaguely oogy, it's so not.

Best FF Use of Various Orange-Based Beverages, Including Orange Julius, Which I Didn't Think Even Existed Anymore: Palooka, by Pares. The Sentinel, Jim/Blair. Jim's senses are, obviously, something most FF writers take into consideration when they're writing sex scenes, and frankly I have rarely seen any special ability so uniquely suited to bedroom activities. It's like the series creators said to themselves, gee, what combination of characters and traits could get us the most slash fiction in the least amount of time? And the answer was The Sentinel. But even in a fandom filled with mutant-sex stories, "Palooka" stands out, winning the "Phenomenal Use of Jim's Senses" special Sentinel slash award. (Of course there are special awards. I'll be doing a whole nominations set on them, just as soon as I figure out what the rest of them are.)

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