thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
March 12 was Best Beloved's birthday, and what she wanted was a recs set. (We know how to give the big, important, expensive gifts in this family.) Specifically, she wanted clichefic, which she is apparently very fond of.

So, okay, this is a little bit late. But it is heartfelt. Best Beloved, happy birthday. You can has cliches!

The One That Shows Us That If You Can't Get Laid in Chicago, You Can at Least Get Great Pizza. Number Eight, by [livejournal.com profile] cesperanza. due South, Benton Fraser/Ray Kowalski.

This cliche is a classic. Undercover in a gay bar - I would be surprised if there were not whole challenges and zines dedicated to this one. (I would also be wildly disappointed, for the record.) I would, in fact, be surprised if Kirk and Spock didn't have to go undercover in a gay bar at least once in their extensive non-canonical career. (Oh, my god, I just - I just pictured this. My poor brain. It will never be the same again. Trust me and don't imagine this, okay?) Really, undercover in a gay bar is one of our great media fandom traditions. Probably we should have a holiday to celebrate it. (It could be called Fake It Until You Make Out Day! We could exchange little gifts of glitter and stories! Maybe there could be a ritual of decorating our favorite characters in eyeliner and shiny clothes!)

And the thing is, this story shows, totally and completely, why this cliche works, why it has stayed with us throughout the years, why I'm kind of sad we have fewer law enforcement fandoms these days and thus have fewer opportunities to put our characters in tight pants and make them dance to loud music. See, there's plot and porn, right in the same cliche. You say "undercover in a gay bar" to someone, and right away that person knows that a) there will be gay sex and b) it will be in the interests of justice. It doesn't get much better than that, people. And this story is the perfect example of it. I mean, do I need to summarize? Ray. Fraser. Gay bar. Go.

The One That Proves That You Can Make a Bat Cuddle, with Sufficient Coercion, but You Can't Ever Make Him Good at It. Cold, by [livejournal.com profile] brown_betty. D. C. Universe, gen.

Huddling for warmth. Another classic cliche. There's cold! There's a sincere and honest need to get naked under covers, for genuine life-preserving purposes! What could be better? Of course, when Betty gets her hands on this cliche, things do not go precisely according to tradition. (Like, here's an example: the first people involved in the warmth-huddling in this story are Tim and Alfred.)

But that is why I love this story: it takes a classic and much-loved cliche, shakes it up, turns it inside out, and makes it into something new and shiny. In this case, it's a character study. Actually, it's a study of a class of characters. (Sometimes I think you could summarize 90% of Betty's work as A Short Guide to Batfamily Dysfunctions. It would make an excellent title for an anthology of her work.) Because, you know, this is a perfect example of huddling for warmth and the warmth never...quite...getting there. I love this story because it's so right for each of the characters. And, of course, for the Batfamily as a whole.

I'd say they'll make a therapist rich some day, but in fact all they'll do is drive a whole team of skilled professionals into nervous breakdowns. (Come to think of it, this is probably why we never see shrinks in the Batverse. Bruce broke them all many years ago, back when Albert thought he could be helped, and now they live in a well-funded home for the clinically twitchy.)

The One That Proves That Coping with Extremely Unexpected Transformations Is a Key Pirate Skill. On the Lesser-Known Hazards of Piracy, by [livejournal.com profile] penknife. Pirates of the Caribbean. Pairings are, um, complicated. If you need to know, drop a comment and I'll try to sort it all out.

This is bodyswap, otherwise known as one of my favorite cliches in the whole history of ever. It is also, apparently, one of the hazards of piracy they don't teach you in history books. In fact, I think [livejournal.com profile] penknife is the first person ever to identify this as a specifically piracy-linked danger. (Everyone who is now imagining thousands of BitTorrent users suddenly switching bodies, don't fear. I think digital type piracy is still safe, although I will check with [livejournal.com profile] penknife and get back to you.)

Bodyswap is just basically always a wonderful cliche, and again, you can kind of see why: there are certain, uh, built-in opportunities when you've got character A in character B's body. I mean, you have an obligation to take care of whatever body you're inhabiting, right? Even if it's, um, not technically yours, right? And then there's porn!

In this particular story, both of the swapped characters take full and excellent advantage of all those built-in opportunities. And, really, when you're swapped in to Jack Sparrow's body, you've got a lot of potential, there, although it would be reasonable to take some time to worry about what he's doing with yours. And, since I've already mentioned that Jack Sparrow is involved, I assume I don't need to elaborate on the "and then there's porn" part.

The One Where Elizabeth Proves She Totally Did Not Pay Attention in the SGC-Mandated "Being Sensitive to Major Body Alterations in Your Staff" Training. And, Yes, I Am Quite Sure the SGC Does Have Such a Training. Frankly, They Would Be Fools Not To. always should be someone you really love, by [livejournal.com profile] thingswithwings. Stargate: Atlantis, John Sheppard/Rodney McKay.

And, from the title alone, the eight people alive who have not already read this story know what this last cliche is: genderswitch. And, oh, I love genderswitch. There was a time when I didn't - a time when I wouldn't even read it - but fortunately due South broke me of that. (It wasn't an inhibition I really needed, after all.) I'm not even sure why I love genderswap so much, unless it's the conversion effect, where you're much much more passionate about something if you disliked it for a while before you started loving it. In any case, the passion is definitely here.

In any case, I love genderswitch. I particularly love when writers play with it a bit - not just the classic scenario of "Hey, you have new parts! They are more compatible with MY parts! What say we get it on?" (Not that there is anything wrong with that.) And I love what [livejournal.com profile] thingswithwings does here; she turns both the guys female, and what happens then says a lot about, you know, deep things: sexual preference, identity, desire versus love. So there is thinkiness and girl-on-girl action. (If only more written works managed to incorporate both of these things. In particular, I can think of some textbooks that would be vastly improved by sex. Although, in all honesty, some of those textbooks could be improved by adjectives, so it's not like the bar is set particularly high, here. Still. I think we can agree that sex improves most things.) In short: this is one of my favorite genderswitch stories, and genderswitch is one of my favorite cliches, so - really, this is a very favorite thing of mine. Read!
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Yes, welcome back to Vids You Really Should Watch (In the Opinion of One Who Probably Doesn't Know). But, hey, before we get to the downloading portion of the post, let me rec a community to you: [livejournal.com profile] the_reel, which is kind of like [livejournal.com profile] crack_van, except it's for vids, and also there's con-crit on vids upon request. Go sign up to rec something, people. Or just watch the community, because this is a very cool idea. I'm not saying it will save me from this totally out of control vid-reccage spree, because it won't (oh my god Ocean's 11 and X-Files tipped the 150 mark since the last post and I will never ever be done with this), but it will make me a happier human.

And. On to the vids. If you haven't read the disclaimer that explains why I don't know anything about vids, you should head back a post. Short version, though: if I was stuck in an SGA-style exceedingly improbable life-or-death situation, where my knowledge of visual media was all that stood between John and Rodney and a very shiny death in each other's arms, they would be fucked.

Harry Potter


The Vid That Always Makes Me Want Some Chocolate. I Can't Say Why, Exactly. It's Just This Thing. Remus? A Little Help Here? Year Three: Under Ice, by [livejournal.com profile] ashinae.

Availability: That link will take you to Ashinae's main vids page; this one can be found in the Harry Potter category. (Hands up everyone who is surprised by that. And, if you have your hand up right now? Um. You need a nap.) Ashinae has been having some server problems, but everything should be dandy and sleek and trouble-free by now. If it isn't, please let me - or her - know.

Okay, see, Harry Potter is one of those fandoms where the vids just really don't work for me. In this case, it's not because I don't know the canon - it's because I do. It's that I consider the books the canon. The movies are pretty and kind of fun, but the characters just aren't the ones I hold in my head, and the character interactions never feel exactly right, and, well. The movies are not my canon, okay? Mock me if you must. So I'm already starting from a huge handicap when I look at HP vids. (And, side note - this is exponentially true when I'm watching HP shipper vids. My brain seizes up in this whole fit of, "OMG NOOOO! He's, like, twelve! And disturbingly wee!" I tell you, I do my best to revel in perversion, but sometimes I run into these weird...ethics-things. It's sad.) Ashinae totally conquered my little HP-movie-canon problem in this vid. I like all her "Year" series vids (hint: the other two are "Year One" and "Year Two"), but this is definitely my favorite. I love the way she uses visual metaphor in this, with the dementors as the water and their effects as ice and snow; it's easier to feel the grim, soul-leeching chill of the dementors while watching this vid than it is when you're watching the whole movie - or reading the book, for that matter. I love the focus and cut of this movie, too; I'm not sure precisely what Ashinae did - and anyone who can tell me will be adored, and I mean that - but this song should be very hard to vid compellingly. Part of that is obviously that she's taking her musical punctuation from instruments other than just drums, but there's something else going on here, too. I don't know what. It is exceedingly nifty all the same.

Pirates of the Caribbean


The Vid That's All About Making a Pairing out of Nothing at All. Well, No Shared Screen Time, Anyway. Tango, by [livejournal.com profile] mimesere.

Availability: pretty much all the time. Link newly updated! All should be working!

Norrington and Sparrow shared maybe, um, two minutes of screen time? I forget how much, exactly. Plus, Norrington was only in this movie for like twenty-five minutes total. (And, really, he deserved at least twice that. More, even.) And yet the tension between them is, for me, one of the most interesting aspects of the whole movie. (Sorry, Will. It's not that I don't love you and your adorable little dorky quest. It's just...okay. I tend to forget you when you're not on the screen. And also sometimes when you are. Also, you may think it's clever to hide your little alien mossy friend in plain sight on your upper lip, but trust me: we've all noticed that that isn't a mustache.) But, hey - we're slashers. We don't need a lot of canon declarations of loviness. We thrive in the absence of them, in fact. But it's a bit more difficult to thrive in the near total absence of on-screen interaction when you're dealing with slash vids. Which is why this vid amazes me, because it totally sells the pairing. Well, that and the fact that it is very suggestive. Because, okay, when I remember this? I remember it featuring Norrington and Sparrow doing the Dance of Extremely Sexy Mutual Loathing, also known as "I hate you! Now fuck me!" (A very popular number in any fandom, let me say.) I remember it (the vid, people) featuring the two of them swordfighting, in fact. But it doesn't, for a very good reason: as far as I know, they never actually did that in the movie. Mimesere somehow uses the music (Is there anything sexier than the tango? No. I thought not.) and the fast-paced, lovely editing to suggest the sexy hating and fighting in this vid. The result is, um. Surprisingly compelling.

The Vid That Reminds Me, Yet Again, That Disney Is at Right Angles to Real Life. Maid on the Shore, by Marna, aka [livejournal.com profile] commodorified.

Availability: pretty much all the time. Scroll down a bit to find the right vid.

Okay. You know, I am not a critical consumer of popular culture. (I'm hardly a sentient consumer of popular culture, actually, but that's this whole other story.) So I watched Pirates, and I enjoyed it very much (I am never happier than when cuddled up with some major anachronisms and really good special effects), and I thought about it very little, beyond a few yearning wishes that Sparrow and Norrington had way more screen time, and that someone had thought to confiscate Will's not-mustache. I was, yes, a little skeeved out by the whole gorgeous-young-maiden-abducted-by-bloodthirsty-pirates thing, but I was willing to suspend my disbelief. And then I saw this vid, and my disbelief came crashing down. (Which isn't to say that I don't still enjoy the movie just as much. See "popular culture, non-sentient consumer of," above.) In this vid, Marna recuts Elizabeth on the Black Pearl to reveal the fact that, well. That sequence? Is fucking creepy, and also not funny, and also did I mention the creepy? So if you're looking for the happy little pirate movie we saw in the theaters, this isn't the vid for you. But if you're interested in maybe the ultimate example of how a vid can, by changing context and tone, completely change the meaning of the canon, this is definitely a vid for you. (Actually, it isn't optional: this is a vid for you no matter what. Go! Download!) And, see, here's what's amazing about this one. You won't see anything in this vid that you didn't see in the theater. And yet you'll come away from it feeling like you did. (You may also come away wondering precisely what universe Disney films. A very alternate one, is my feeling on the matter.) Do not miss this one.

The Sentinel


The Vid That Celebrates the Pure, Pure Cheese of the Source. Black Cat, by Seah and Margie, aka [livejournal.com profile] flummery (two vidders, one LJ, double the fun - plus, without a doubt, the coolest layout ever oh my god so cool).

Availability note: pretty much all the time. Scroll on down.

In this household, we think of this as the "Gee, Jim sure is a dork" vid, but in fact you also get to see him get hit quite a bit, so it's like a wonderful double feature. I mean, it's just - could there be a better vidding concept than The Big Dork Smackdown? Especially in a canon that is, let's face it, not precisely cheese-free? I mean, we love it because it's cheese. Well, and because Jim and Blair are apparently unable to peel themselves off each other long enough to fight crime, and that's another thing you can see, in fact cannot miss, in this vid. (Actually, you can see that in almost every Sentinel vid; it's hard to watch one and not say - generally right out loud to your spouse - "They are so doing it, oh my god. Look! Right there! Doing it!" There's just one vid I can think of where that isn't true; it's Jim/Simon, and it is so incredibly carefully cut in order to keep Blair out of the Jim frames that it pretty much proves the whole "so doing it" point.) So. Cheese. Dork Smackdown. Jim and Blair fighting over who gets to be the girliest. Do I need to go into further detail about why you want to see it? (Because if I do: it will also make you look forward to the rather cheesy panther sequences. You thought that was impossible, didn't you?) And, hey. If someone out there has actually seen this canon - there's a shot in this vid of a guy in a sort of jacket-vest thing, wearing a white baseball cap and a tragic mustache. Best Beloved swears this is Jim in a cunning crime-fighting disguise, or maybe on his way to sub in for a member of the Village People. I say it isn't, mostly because there's no way Richard Burgi was getting paid enough to look like that much of a dork. Who's right?

The Vid That Makes a Very Apt Comparison Between Blair Sandburg and Liberace. I Am Quite Serious. Mr. Sandman, by Sally Seymour.

Availability note: all the time. Scroll all the way down.

Um. Apparently, I have a lingering fondness for Sentinel vids that showcase the canon's - well, I don't think I need to say the word again (cheese!). But let me say: there is a time and a place for wiggly-screen fades, and that place is so obviously The Sentinel that I would be surprised if they didn't occasionally use it in the canon. I love this vid because - okay. Normally I am not a fan of long, loving shots of just the head and shoulders of the main characters. I would rather the characters be doing something. Like falling down. Or fondling each other. (Both popular Sentinel choices; this is the only canon I know of where it's really hard to tell if you're looking at a bloopers-reel clip of Burgi and - Margaret? Moggie? Magrat? What is his last name? - being oh-so-gay, or if it's Jim and Blair being, you know. Oh-so-gay. God how I love this show.) But the "ain't he pretty" shots are so very right in this vid, so much so that I want to cry out, "Yes! They have dreams exactly like this! And they are Sentinel dreams and clearly prognosticatory, what is more!" Also, normally I am not the biggest fan of Linda Ronstadt and Dolly Parton, even when singing with Emmylou Harris, but - you know, I bet Jim actually has this song. It's a Jim song. Which is, yes, slightly at odds with the whole Army Ranger, Big Tough Cop shtick, but, I mean - have you seen the way he walks? And the not-entirely-manly way he jogs through the jungle like it's Venice Beach? He so sings along with Mr. Sandman in a heartfelt manner, is what I'm saying here. Plus, this vid deserves huge bonus points for using one of my least favorite shots in the entire canon (Wolf + Panther = OMGWTFBLUE?) in such a way that I cannot fail to giggle, and love it quite a lot, and then get all googly-eyed and wistful. (I'm sorry. It's just - Jim. And Blair. They earn the wistful sighs, people.) And I really wasn't kidding about the Liberace thing, either. You need to see this.

Smallville


The Vid That Cannot Be Described in Your Puny Earth Language. Drop Dead Gorgeous, by Shalott, aka [livejournal.com profile] astolat.

Availability: pretty much all the time. Scroll down until you see it.

The only honest rec for this vid would involve a lot of inarticulate handwaving while lying flat on the floor and laughing hard enough to cause brain damage. There's really no other way to put it. But once more into the breach, that's my motto, so I'll try. See, now, there's something about the Smallville canon that vidders seem to find very...freeing. It's like they're telling themselves, hey, the creators don't appear to be slavishly devoted to truth, justice to characters, or even sanity, so why shouldn't I make a vid implying strongly that Lex has bought Clark at auction for nefarious sexual purposes? (Answer: no reason at all. Frankly, I'm not averse to vids implying this in any canon whatsoever, but then I've always been No Morals Worth Speaking Of Girl.) Shalott has taken this particular freedom to a logical place, and when I say "logical place," I mean "a place that makes the best possible use of my 'assorted pairings' vid category." And may I just mention, in a possibly unrelated side note, that Bad Clark (aka Red Kryptonite Clark, but Bad Clark is just so much more evocative, don't you think?) is such a boon to us all - the vidders, the writers, the readers, the BDSM fanciers - that we should really send a note of thanks to the Smallville creators. We must be very very grateful for something as, um, exploitable as that plot line. And now you should go download this vid and revel in Shalott's use and abuse of Bad Clark. And other kinds of Clark. And also Chloe, Lana, and Lex. "Drop Dead Gorgeous": come for the gorgeous clipping and editing and the song choice that could not be more perfect, stay for the Naughtiest Space Alien and his random assorted cuddling.
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Today I saw an Iams truck hit a fire hydrant, take it clean off, and stroll down the street with it. And then I saw what happens after you completely remove a fire hydrant from the pipe that spawned it: a lot of water comes out. Enough water to create a lake in seconds. Enough water to make the sidewalk explode. I mean, I've seen some floods in my time - my family appears to be genetically unlucky with regards to plumbing, after all - but never have I seen one like that. It was fabulous. And all the suddenly tiny-looking cars inching over into my lane to try to get away from the water just made it better.

I'm trying not to want to see it again.

When we can't have what we want, we sublimate, yes? Thus: a set about water. And the thing is, what I saw today was just seriously excellently cool, but these stories? They are better.

Best FF That Demonstrates the Importance of Embracing Your Ethnic Roots. Or Embracing Mutants. Whichever. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (Give or Take), by Merry, aka [livejournal.com profile] merryish. Stargate: Atlantis, Rodney McKay/John Sheppard. Have I mentioned how totally I love this new fandom? Because I do. I love it enough to marry it. I mean, the funny, and the snark, and also the occasional appearance of actual science and math - any two is enough to make this girl's heart go pitter-patter, but all three is just. Wonderful. Really. In fact, now that I've braved the due South canon (reminder: it actually is as wonderful as the FF would make you think, or at least season three is, and you should watch it immediately), SGA will likely be replacing it as The Fandom I Love So Much I'm Afraid to See the Canon. This is a highly coveted position, folks. Or at any rate, it is in my personal universe. But I have to put SGA there, because - well, look at this story. The humor - and I'm talking about humor that made me giggle like a loon even after the first time I read this. The near-death experiences, with accompanying panic attacks (excellent!) and hostile, defensive sarcasm (even better!). The believably intelligent characters. Who are also believable people. And did I mention the plot here, and the setting, and the wonderful extension of canon? And also the humor? Oh, I feel the love, folks. And if you have any sense, you'll start feeling it, too, because I'm not alone; some of the best writers on this planet are also clearly loving this fandom to the point of bringing it home to - well, bringing it home, at any rate. You want this fandom, my friends, you so totally do. Don't even try to deny it.

Best FF That Always Makes Me Say, in Tones of Muted Horror, "There Isn't Really a Streisand-Gibb Duet. Is There? Really?" Abeyance, by [livejournal.com profile] witling. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, gen. Y'all know I enjoy giving you fictional whiplash, right? (No. That is not what we Americans develop after any impact more bracing than a kiss if a major corporation is at fault. It is, you know, whiplash. Given to you by fiction.) Well, you should. And so we go from a near-death experience in water that is funny and sweet and light to water as a safe haven is a story that is not funny or sweet or light but is just really damn good. I have a major, ongoing anger at the way Xander-the-character was handled after, oh, season three - I mean, I don't know whether it was that he was a bone of contention between the writers or if the actor was pissing everyone off or if they just thought, "Wow, we really need a one-dimensional running joke in bad shirts! That will make this show great! And I know, let's use a major character for it, too!" Whichever, though, Xander was never the same. Here we get to see him as he always should've been, and I can't even describe how it is, so just go look. Plus, swimming. Which [livejournal.com profile] witling must know, because she describes it here perfectly, enough to make me hearken back to my own (yes, shameful but true) swim-team days. I just have an unholy love for this story, and if it always makes me a little sad, it's only because it's so good. And because I wish someone on the writing team had understood Xander this well.

Best FF That Makes Me Reflect Thoughtfully and Just a Trifle Unhappily on the Phrase "Blood Is Thicker Than Water." Bloodline, by Sarah T., aka [livejournal.com profile] harriet_spy. D. C. Universe, Batclan, gen. And now we go back to water as a near-death experience; its appearance is briefer than in the previous two stories, but when I think of this, I always think of water. And blood. And one other thing, which I won't tell you now. This story is just - amazing. Seriously amazing. So amazingly wonderful that when I read it I insisted my Best Beloved read it immediately and confirm for me its wonderfulness. Because, OK. It isn't just the vaguely AU-ish storyline, here; it's also - this is the way Dick really was as Robin. This is how things really were between Batman and Robin I. Or at least, that's how I remember them, from the canon - the neediness, the sense that all parties would benefit from years of intensive psychotherapy, the strangely upbeat Robin voice that somehow made the whole thing seem worse. (Yes, Batwriters: an orphaned teenager in frighteningly brief spandex issuing bad "wise"cracks at terrible villains will certainly lighten the tone of the books and make them more suitable for children. How did you know?) But don't think this story is - OK, well, it is dark. But not how we usually mean it in fandom. And if there's angst, it's only what the canon brought there. And it is just so goddamn good. And Best Beloved will back me up on that.

Best FF That Once Again Proves That What a Pirate Really Needs Is a Ship. But He'll Still Take Anything Else That's Going - or Coming - His Way. Out of His Depth, by Gloria Mundi, aka [livejournal.com profile] viva_gloria. Pirates of the Caribbean, Jack Sparrow/Will Turner. And now water becomes a metaphor - and, of course, an actual substance, something boats float on, something you swim in, something unwary boys might sink in. Well, I mean, we had to have one sailing-fandom story, didn't we? Water. Sails. They go together. And this is a story I have loved since it was written (for the first Yuletide), even though the pairing, not to mention the point of view - well, let's just say Will Turner was not the most compelling character in the movie to me. Even if you subtracted all the other characters that had more than five lines from the competition. But that's why I love and adore this story, because he was so totally out of his depth, from the beginning to the end, and maybe what he needed was to, you know, sink. In all senses of the word, including the one at the end of the story. And the thing is, this Will is three-dimensional in a way the on-screen character simply was not, and yet I can buy this Will, can totally buy him. You know those programs where you put in a line drawing and it makes it all perspective-y and three-dimension-y? Well, this story does that to Will. And a writer who can do that, well - in my opinion, she can do anything. And should.
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
I thought that since so many of us here in the States will be over-indulging on Thursday, now might be a good time to remind everyone about the dangers of excess consumption. To wit, that it can lead to gay sex.

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

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

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

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

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

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

*Thanks, [livejournal.com profile] goat003
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Some noms sets just do not want to come together, and I've spent the last two days casually poking at one that is more snarly and resistant than a whole passel of teenagers. Werewolf teenagers.

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

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

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

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

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

-Footnote-

*Thanks, [livejournal.com profile] untrue_accounts!
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Nobody is a bigger fan of the explicitly smutty story than I am. But smut cannot stand alone, my friends; it has to fit in the story, be part of the story's framework, or it's just another boring cookie-cutter sex scene that readers skim through to get back to the plot. So I am also a big fan of those authors that only put smut where it belongs.

I hear you saying "But smut belongs everywhere!" I feel that way myself sometimes. The truth is, however, that some stories just aren't ready to go all the way, and authors who honestly love and care for those stories don't force them. So today I'm taking the time to praise those authors who respect their stories' boundaries even if it means going below the NC-17 horizon.

Best FF Featuring a Totally Anachronistic and Yet Totally Appropriate Song: Barter, by Gloria Mundi, aka [livejournal.com profile] viva_gloria. Pirates of the Caribbean, Jack/OMC. The easiest way to describe this story is to quote the author's summary: "'Last time the rum runners who used this island as a cache came by, and I was able to barter a passage off.' Barter? Barter what?" I read that and thought, hey, yeah! What did he barter? Glori asked the question and she answered it. This story is sharper and more serious than I usually like in this fandom; after all, the canon doesn't exactly bring the word "gravitas" to mind, so why should the fan fiction? But "Barter" works for me, possibly because if Jack's ever going to be angsty, it's going to be about the Pearl. Hell, the Pearl has to be involved just for Jack to be serious.

Best FF That Teaches Us How Dangerous It Can Be at the Forefront of the Fight for Equality of the Sexes: Gynecology1, by Charlemagne, aka [livejournal.com profile] synchronik. Sports Night, Danny Rydell/Casey McCall. Danny is made Woman for a Night, and learns some important feminine facts, which include:

1. There's nothing more dangerous than a group of intoxicated women.
2. Sweet, fruit-flavored alcohol is lethal.
3. Two can keep a secret. Unless they work together. Or the secret makes for really good gossip. God help you if both are true.
4. If you don't know what you're going to say, don't open your mouth.

This story, in my opinion, is a perfect example what sports Night FF writers do so well - humor, fantastically snappy dialog, and a touch of drama simmering under the surface, where you can see it or not, just as you prefer.

Best FF That Reminds Us Why Teenagers Are Dangerous Things to Have Around the House. Or Around the Planet, for That Matter.: Seeing Through the Spaces, by [livejournal.com profile] pearl_o. X-Men movies, Magneto/Mystique, Pyro. There's been a lot of FF on Pyro turning to the dark side, and much of it is excellent. This story stands out for me, though, because not only do we see St. John as a sullen, somewhat thoughtless teenager, but we also get to see how vulnerable that makes him to Magneto's manipulation. And he's not vulnerable because he's somehow worse or more susceptible than other people his age; he's not. He's just an ordinary teenaged boy, making life-changing decisions without really knowing or even wondering why. Frankly, I think we should all be very grateful that in our world teenagers can't control elemental forces of destruction. Well, except for cars. And certain kinds of music.

Best FF That Manages to Make Contagious Disease and Its Affiliated By-Products Romantic: Wine, Women and Schlong, by Brighid, aka [livejournal.com profile] brighidestone. The Sentinel, Jim Ellison/Blair Sandburg. This story could use a little proofreading, but it is so worth reading. It's light and fun and funny, and, as I mentioned in the category title, it actually manages to make mucous romantic, which is clear proof that Brighid is a slash genius. Also, I love Sentinel stories that point out what the writers of the canon apparently missed - namely, that no one on this planet could possibly have believed Jim and Blair weren't lovers. I mean, they live together, work together, get jealously possessive of each other, protect each other, and cuddle after life-threatening situations. They probably do each other's laundry, too. Newborn babies must have looked at them and thought "Gay. Totally gay," never mind the people who actually worked with them. It's nice that FF writers could step in and pick up the slack, here. Of course, that's what FF does for every aspect of the canon. This is why a portion of my personal mantra is, "Thank god for slashers, who return a modicum of sanity to the world of The Sentinel."

-Footnote-

1 In all honesty I should note that the author himself considered this an NC-17 story. I've read it several times, and I just don't think it deserves such a high rating. R, maybe, but not NC-17. I'd be glad to hear other people's opinions on this point, though.
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
We all dress up every once in a while - maybe to fit in, maybe to stand out, maybe to get that certain someone to look at us. So, hey, why can't the men we slash dress up, too?

Sometimes seeing someone you know well wear something out of the ordinary is a real learning experience - and that's true in FF, too. Who doesn't want to see Xander Harris dressed like James Dean or Nightwing wearing Batman's gloves? (You, I hope, since you won't see either of those in any of the stories below.) It's just so revealing to see people change their look.

Best FF in Which Fraser Gets Thwarted and Ray Gets Bent: Refraction, by [livejournal.com profile] shrift. Due South, Ray Kowalski/Benton Fraser. It's the word choices that get me in this one. When my Best Beloved comes home wearing glitter, I say, "You've got glitter on you." When Fraser sees his Best Beloved in glitter, he says, "You're refracting." That's just - so Fraser. Not to mention that Fraser's the only person I can imagine using "thwarted" in an "I feel" statement. I once spent years listening to teen-agers tell me why they hated their parents, coaching them on "I feel" statements all the while. They came up with just about every synonym for "interfere with what I want to do" that Roget could have thought of, but not one of 'em ever actually said "thwart." Because, obviously, none of 'em was Fraser. Darn it.

Best FF That Proves That No Behavior Change Seems Strange If You Start out Unusual Enough: Soap and Silk, by [livejournal.com profile] lil_neko. Pirates of the Caribbean, gen or Will Turner/Jack Sparrow, depending on you interpret things. (I, myself, choose to believe this is gen.) See, I usually totally do not go for Johnny-in-a-dress stories. Except, as it turns out, when that Johnny is Johnny Depp. I can believe that he'd wear a dress. Or maybe it's Jack Sparrow I can believe that of, although in his case it's more like an abiding conviction that the only reason we didn't ever see him in a dress in the movie is that he'd cross-dressed so often that he was bored with it. In any case, what I love about this story is that there's no explanation at all for anything that happens. Turns out you don't need any. Well, any explanation beyond: "I'm Captain Jack Sparrow, luv."

Best FF That Suggests a Different Reason Why Aragorn Took Boromir's Gauntlets: Leather, by [livejournal.com profile] keelywolfe. Lord of the Rings movies, Aragorn/Boromir. Why is it so easy to see these two getting kinky with each other? Is it just Sean Bean once again exhibiting his ability to make his characters exude sexual flexibility of every kind? Is it that Aragorn apparently doesn't take a bath until the middle of Return of the King, thus bringing the word "dirty" ineluctably to mind whenever we see him? Or am I the only one that thinks A/B has to be LotR's entry in the kinkiest pairing contest? Anyway, in this one, we learn about one of Aragorn's milder kinks, and do I really need to tell you what it is? (Read the title again, hon.) This is part of Keelywolfe's LotR kink series. All of it is A/B. Of course.

Best FF That Raises a Burning Question in Its First Paragraph and Then Leaves It Totally Unanswered: What You See, by [livejournal.com profile] kassrachel. The Sentinel, Jim/Blair. Blair genderfucks, Jim develops gender issues. (Actually, from what I can tell, that's not all that bad a summary of the whole TV series, at least from a certain perspective.) Wondering what the unanswered question is? Go read the first paragraph. Now riddle me this: Jim's thinking that he forgot how stifling chaps were. So when else has he worn them, hmmm? I'm going to email [livejournal.com profile] kassrachel immediately and demand she explain that comment. Preferably in FF. (Because she's writing TS FF again. Yay!)
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
No law says I have to do my fandoms in chronological order, folks. And when I realized I had a set of drunkfics waiting to be nominated and I had a PotC FIHL post ready to go - well, who am I to ignore what is clearly the mandate of fate?

This is my longest FIHL yet, so it should be no surprise to anyone that this is the fandom I know the least about. I probably don't know enough about it to consider myself a real fan, even. And there's two reasons for that: Disneyland and Orlando Bloom. Let's take them in order, shall we?

You must be at least this tall to pillage, plunder, rifle, or loot these characters. )
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Today I return to the charming, silly, and extremely redolent world of the drunkfic, in which confessions are made, men are fucked, and there's no regrets until morning. My reasons for using this theme today will become clear with the next Fandoms I Have Loved post; in the meantime, engage in drunken revels with the guys below.

Best FF That Leaves You Wanting to Give a Certain Character a Short but Pertinent Lecture on the Virtues of Knowing One's Ability to Tolerate Alcohol and Not Exceeding One's Limits: First Warning, by Rave, aka [livejournal.com profile] dorkorific. Pirates of the Caribbean, Jack/Will. Yet another entry in the long series of stories in which Jack gets Will drunk and we're all very grateful. This one has excellent characterization - I think she's got both voices down very well - and is a bit of a tease. Just the thing to begin with, no?

Best FF Featuring an Excellent Use of the Word "Twee," Not to Mention Some Lovely Archaic British Slang: And When He Falls, by torch, aka [livejournal.com profile] flambeau. Good Omens, Crowley/Aziraphale. I would like the record to show that I am still absolutely appalled by the existence of Crowley/Aziraphale. Yes, I am. But I can't help loving stories that contain as many perfect lines as this one. My love affair began when Aziraphale says "billy-o." By the time I read "Aziraphale tasted like all things good and wholesome, and also like claret," I was prepared to marry this fic. Which I suppose would count as a drunken proposal.

Best FF Involving Meditation as a Cure for Hangover: Bacchus Blessings, by Kass. The Sentinel, Jim/Blair. There are definitely downsides to getting drunk. Because waking up with a hangover is bad, yes, but waking up with a hangover and not being sure whether or not you had sex with a friend - that's hell. And it's a hell we've all visited a few times, so why not make a return trip with Blair in the hot seat?

Best FF Featuring the Customer of Every Used Car Salesman's Nightmares: Fall, by Mia. Due South, Benton Fraser/Ray Kowalski. Do we want to see Benton Fraser deep in the throes of repression? We do not, for it is scary and involves learning Arabic and running through chicken coops with the chickens' best interests at heart. Do we want to see Benton Fraser drunk? We absolutely do, even though it is scary, because immediately after the girl named Michelle comes the boy named Ray, and a happy ending - and orgasm - is had by all. Yay!
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Yet another foray into the land of innocence. OK, not so much innocence as, um, slightly less decadence and moral decay than is average for my nominations. But that doesn't sound nearly as good as innocence.

Best FF Featuring Jack Sparrow Stopping at Just a Kiss: Tactics, by Halrloprillalar. Pirates of the Caribbean, Jack/Gilette. Who would've thought that any fan fiction involving Jack Sparrow would ever, could ever be less than NC-17? I mean, usually, if you've got Jack, you've got sex with, essentially, every other character mentioned in the story. And, really, I'm all for that. When pansexuality is so very much IC, we might as well take full advantage of it. But I am still just nine kinds of impressed with she-of-the-unpronounceable-name (and I couldn't pronounce it in Ringworld either, in case you were wondering) for making Jack stop before everyone is naked, gasping for breath, and (in many cases) blind drunk, and making it believable.

Best FF Featuring a Massage That Doesn't Lead Us Deep into NC-17 Territory: Kept Awake, by Jenn, aka [livejournal.com profile] seperis*. X-Men movies, St. John/Bobby. This is the first story in the amazing On Love and Lust at Mutant High series. The movieverse version of Pyro is another one of those characters that has the "any time, anywhere, anyhow" aura. Or at least so I assume, given what he gets up to in FF. So it's rather sweet to see St. John following Bobby around like a faithful hound and yet remaining in character. And it's fascinating to see him stop before the main event when he finally gets Bobby into bed.

Best FF That Manages to Be Touchingly Sweet Despite the Inclusion of Werewolf Attacks, Insults Galore, and Death Threats to Neighborhood Strays: Quiet, by Te, aka [livejournal.com profile] thete1. Harry Potter, Remus Lupin/Severus Snape. Snape is many things to many people, including sex god, snarky bastard, exceptionally unethical teacher, weepy soul just waiting for someone to break through his walls, and vicious torturing monster. So I tend to approach stories involving Snape with a wariness more commonly seen in deer; at the first sign of Weird Snape or Weepy Snape or, god help me, Evil Snape Who Knows Many Alternative Uses for His Wand, I flee back to stories like "Quiet," where Te gets into Lupin's skin and, just to show us there's nothing she can't do, also gives us a look at Snape as a person. As in, canon-appropriate, in-character Snape acting like a human being. Will wonders never cease? Well, no. At least not in the HP fandom.

Best FF Featuring a Daisy Chain That Involves, You Know, Actual Flowers: Protection, by [livejournal.com profile] sheldrake. Dark Is Rising series, Will/Bran. Yes, I am going to nominate stories in this fandom until every single person breaks down and reads this series. I actually think, though, that it might be possible to read this story without having read the canon, which is in no way intended to discourage you from reading it. This story is sweet without being sugary; a neat trick that other FF writers could stand to learn. And it will give you a greater appreciation for daisies, too - FF's version of multitasking. Consider it the dessert of this nominations set: no snark, no insults, no chase scenes, no tormented souls. Just two guys on a hillside covered in flowers. (And, yes, I'm well aware that that makes it sound disgustingly glurgy. Look, read it, OK? If you still think it's glurgy, I'll be happy to apologize.)

* Thanks, Te.
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Triangles. Threesomes. Need I say more?

Best FF Containing Both a Threesome and a Triangle, Thus Winning the Author an "Overachiever Times Three" Award:The Sword Series, by [livejournal.com profile] guede_mazaka. Pirates of the Caribbean, Jack/James/Will. (Story link will take you to a page with links for all six segments.) This series is not for fans of Elizabeth, since she dies in the prologue. But if there are Elizabeth fans out there, I can't think why they're reading this blog. In any case, Guede removes the pivot of the One True Foursome and takes the remaining three on a hell of a ride.

Best FF That Demonstrates Certain Entirely Off-Label Functions of Wolverine's Claws: All of the Animals, by Jane St. Clair. X-Men movies, Jean/Scott/Logan. I believe I may have already mentioned my sincere love for Jane St. Clair. This is the story that cemented that; she actually found a solution for the damned Jean/Scott/Logan triangle that works. Until I read this, I thought the only reasonable way out would involve four bullets: one for each of the characters and one for whoever thought of the triangle in the first place. And this story does something else amazing, too - it makes Scott, the world's most anal-retentive superhero, into a sympathetic character. The canon writers never managed to do that.

Best X-Men FF Containing a Harry Potter Reference: Sweep the Ashes, by [livejournal.com profile] penknife. X-Men movies, Magneto/Mystique/Pyro. I'm not sure what it is about the X movieverse that leads to so many multiple pairings, but I'm not complaining. Just the Magneto/Mystique/Whoever Mystique Wants to Be Today FFs could fill a book, and it'd be a good book, too. This one stands out not just because it's a real threesome - Pyro's there in person, as opposed to in Mystique - but also because Erik is so classically Erik; who else would say the last line of this story in just that way?

Best FF That Teaches an Important Life Lesson Via Sex: What Is Me and What Is Mine, by [livejournal.com profile] weirdnessmagnet. Teen Titans (don't worry if you haven't read or seen or whatever it is you do to this canon, because I read the story without having heard of the fandom before), Kon/Tim/Dick. If you ever meet an adult who doesn't understand the importance of sharing, direct him or her to this FF. It's smut with a moral! (My god, if this keeps up we're going to have educational slash pretty soon. Hmmm. Anyone feels like writing one, I wouldn't at all mind learning about, say, automobile repair via fan fiction.)

Best Undershirtkink FF (and I'm Sorry to Report That I Actually Can Think of Other Undershirtkink Stories): Restitution, by [livejournal.com profile] helenish. The Sentinel, Jim/Blair/OFC. One of the more involved true triangles out there. This one also gets extra points for having Blair do exactly what every man does when he finds out a girlfriend has slept with a friend of his: ask for a point-by-point comparison. And it wins extra extra points for the whole "Blair is vanilla" line. Didn't you always know Jim would be the kinky one?
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Ah, the drunkfic - usually short on plot, often long on humor, nearly always featuring the classic drunken confession or drunken flirtation or drunken tryst. Why, reading a drunkfic is almost like being in high school again, only without the algebra, the awful lunches, or the irritating classmates, teachers, and other quasi-humans. So, not really very much like high school. And, fortunately, way more fun.

Best FF Featuring the Coolest Drinking Game Ever: The Literal Game, by Sam Vimes, also known as [livejournal.com profile] copperbadge. Harry Potter, Remus Lupin/James Potter. The first time I read this, I was so distracted by the game (for it is all manner of nifty, and I long to play it, though probably not with the results Remus got) that I totally missed the spot-on characterization (lots of people seem to miss the mark when writing teen-aged MWPP) and excellent dialog. Noticed the second time through, though, along with the best use of a quote from Kipling I've seen in FF to date.

FF Featuring the Best Four-Word Summary of the Bad Kind of Morning After: In Vodka Veritas, by Gloria Lancaster (don't have a link for her, sorry). The Sentinel, Jim/Blair. This is schmoopy, non-explicit drunkfic with some problems a good beta could've cleared up. But I still enjoy it; for some reason, it makes me laugh, perhaps because it brings back unfortunate college memories. And I love the four-word summary, which comes to us courtesy of Blair Sandburg: "I envy the dead." Also, this story, unlike many drunkfics, features realistic side effects and sequelae to excessive alcohol consumption.

Best FF Featuring Shakespeare Quoted for Lascivious Purposes: Hurricane Jack, by shrift. Pirates of the Caribbean, Jack/Will. Fine. OK? Fine. People out there just seem determined to write funny, good stories with this pairing, and how can I help reading those? And I have to admit this pairing was pretty much made for drunken sex. I mean, if there was ever a character crying out for some nice relaxing intoxication, Will is definitely one such. And Jack, of course, is sort of like a walking drunkfic, and in fact he probably comes with his own built-in wet bar*.

Best FF Featuring a Number of Novel Seduction Techniques, Including with Pie, with Pie and Ice Cream, with Accents, and with Weathergirl: Some Strange Prophecy, by Speranza. Due South, Benton Fraser/Ray Kowalski. Well, it had to happen - this is a drunkfic with an actual plot; in fact, there may be too much other stuff in here for this to count as a true drunkfic, but hey, there's definitely drinking. I'm counting it. I don't know how people who loved the television show will take this - it's possible the Fraser here is out of character. He's certainly not being very, um, Canadian, though he's got an excellent excuse. But for those who have longed to read about drunken Mounties in rented Oldsmobiles touring the Southern U.S., this story will meet a number of needs. It should also make happy those who yearn for laidback Chicago cops acting lovestruck, worried, and jealous. The rest of you should give it a try, too.

* You have a dirty, dirty mind. Of course I didn't mean it like that.
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Let me rephrase that. Fan fiction laws were made so that the common or garden variety writer wouldn't get flamed. But, as I have noted before, the best authors can apparently play fast and loose with any damn rules they please, leaving the rest of us gazing bitterly at their stories and thinking, "You know, I never used to like original characters. What's happened to me?" Today, I salute authors whose law-breaking tendencies have induced in me crises of identity and reading preference.

Best FF That Proves That the Canon Authors Need to Be Banished to an Alternate Universe Immediately, and They Can Take Every Version of Phoenix with Them, Too: Nameless, by C. Elisa. X-Men movies. This is original character fiction, here, folks. And before you gag - this is an original character who is perfectly balanced, perfectly in line with canon, and really and truly original. Not to mention necessary to the storyline. I read this wondering why comic book fans have had to suffer through the One Superhero, Nine Names, Fifteen Costumes problem when there are obviously so many really interesting powers and people still possible in the X-Men universe. I finished this and immediately began forming a radical action group designed to do whatever it takes to get this series out of the hands of the canon authors and into the hands of - well, C. Elisa, for one.

Best FF That the Canon Author Brought on Herself, Frankly: Alive, I and Alive, II, by copperbadge. Harry Potter, Remus Lupin/Sirius Black. Immediately after finishing Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, nine million people took deep, angry breaths and became fan fiction writers for the first time. And Rowling has no one but herself to blame. This is a fix-it fic for OotP, and that is wrong wrong wrong. You can't fix canon character death. Except, apparently, when you can. And if that's not enough law-breaking for your felonious little heart, try this: it's also a songfic.

Best "What Happens Afterward?" FF, Sentinel Edition: I Still Believe, by Dasha. The Sentinel, Jim/Blair. There's a reason the characters are in the setting they're in, right? We don't want to see Harry Potter in the Soviet Union in the 1970s. We don't want to see Boromir alive and well and living in Paris, c. 1890. (No, we really don't.) And since they went to all the trouble of inventing a whole city for Jim and Blair (Cascade: Seattle, only with more psychos), presumably that city is where they belong, yeah? Only not. "I Still Believe" is how things turn out for Jim and Blair, and I, for one, am totally ready to believe it.

Best FF That Has Every English Teacher on the Planet Calling the Hunt and Baying for Blood: Breathless, by Gloria Mundi. Pirates of the Caribbean, Jack Sparrow/James Norrington. I recommended Breathless, Too back in the early days of this blog (as in, like, weeks ago), but somehow failed to mention the other half of the story. And it needs to be in this set, because - come on. Gloria's not breaking just any laws here, she's breaking the laws of writing and grammar, and I defend those with a ferocity even Wolverine would find over-the-top. This is good even so. Be sure to say soothing things to the English language on your way out of this story, because it's probably got some form of PTSD from the cruelty Gloria's inflicted on it in these two stories.
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
I have never been the kind of person who believes in One True Pairings. If you're prepared to write a story about, say, Maturin/Dillon or Merry/Gandalf, I'm prepared to read it. But some pairings just seem irreparably incorrect to me, like slashing a shower curtain and a non-Euclidean polygon. So I am all the more impressed with these stories, ones that managed to sell me despite the voice in my head screaming "Wrong wrong WRONG."

Best FF That Provides a Total Life Philosophy in Seven Words: Leverage, by Gloria Mundi. Pirates of the Caribbean, Captain Jack Sparrow/Will Turner. I suppose it would save us all a lot of time if I just nominated Gloria Mundi for some kind of author of the year award, but I prefer to drag these things out. In "Leverage," Gloria shows us a Will Turner who is both in character and in bed. Until the day, I would not have thought it possible. By the way, the life philosophy contained herein is "Who needs leverage when you've got rum?" Words to live by, people.

Best FF Containing an Actual Elf: The Question, by Belinda, Doom's Eyebrow. (Best author name ever, by the way.) Lord of the Rings, Aragorn/Legolas. OK, I admit it. Many of my OFPs contain a character played by Orlando Bloom, possibly because the man has all the sexual magnetism of a My Little Pony playset. It's just impossible for me to picture any of his characters being interested in sex enough to get, you know, dirty and sweaty; to me, they'll always be the types that are far more interested in holding hands and reciting poetry while posing prettily in some exceptionally clean setting. But "The Question" persuaded me, mostly by making Legolas an elf instead of a teen-aged girl, and if I was being mean, I'd point out that that was more than Bloom and Jackson managed to do with any kind of consistency. And I guess I am being mean, but that's OK, because my horoscope says it's a good day for petty-mindedness and squalor.

FF with the Best Damn Magic Ever: Clay, by Kass. Harry Potter, Harry Potter/Severus Snape. This story didn't trigger my OFP queasiness because I was so fascinated by the actual story. The kabbalah-based magic used in "Clay" is far more interesting than the actual magic of the HP books. By the time the sex showed up, I wasn't icked out because this was Snape in bed with Harry; I was pissed because all the thrusting was taking space that could've been used for more plot.

Best FF Featuring a Character Named Bobby Having (Ew!) Sex: Overture, by Wax Jism. X-Men movieverse, St. John/Bobby. Before I read this, I didn't want to see more of the annoying movie versions of St. John and Bobby. I didn't even like them in the comic books, to tell the truth. And, just in general, I believe that the name Bobby should be restricted to boys young enough to find trucks and cake frosting more interesting than their own, or anyone else's, genitals. But damn if Wax Jism didn't render me deeply interested in these two. I suspect Wax is actually a superhero herself, with mutant control over smut, fiction, and lumber. I fear she may be using her powers for evil, but I refuse even to try to stop her.
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Best FF That Violates All Known Laws of Good Fan Fiction (and Grammar): Breathless, Too, by Gloria Mundi. Pirates of the Caribbean, Sparrow/Norrington (implied). This is a one-sentence, 1200-word fiction, folks. It's completely plotless. It abuses the English language until said language is on the floor, begging weakly for a mercy killing. And it's still too good to be posted on fanfiction.net. Gloria Mundi has proven that if you're good enough, you don't have to follow the rules.

Best Use of Sex to Show Character (As Opposed to Sex to Show Sex. Not That That's Not Good, Too.): Silence, by Cinzia. Lord of the Rings, Aragorn/Boromir. Yes, there's angst, but it turns out angst works on Boromir.

Best Imitation of the Canon Author's Voice: Influence, by shalott. Master & Commander, Aubrey/Maturin (of course). The author just nails Patrick O'Brian's voice, although I can't imagine him ever putting it to this use. And Maturin and Aubrey could not be more in character without, you know, not having sex at all.

Best WIP Fic (While Fully Acknowledging That WsIP Are Evil): Jjail, by Firesignwriter. Pirates of the Caribbean, Sparrow/Norrington. The reason I read PotC (despite my revulsion for what most people consider the OTP of the fandom) is that the fics are fun. Less angst, more humor; less moody, sullen, repressed cavemen, more swishy, pansexual pirates; less use of the word "despair," more use of the word "savvy." This fiction, despite being a possibly-abandoned WIP, and despite containing several things I don't generally like to see in FF, is an excellent example of the genre.

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