thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Here are some things I felt like recommending! Seriously, that's the whole theme, here.

(Side note: If you wonder, as I sometimes do, why our entertainment products appear to be made by straight white men for straight white men, you might want to read this or, if you can, donate a little something to a woman filmmaker.)

The One That Makes Me Wonder Why No One Ever Covered Safe Mind-Melding in My Middle School and High School Sex Ed Classes. Did They Not Care About My Health and Safety? You'll Get There in the End (It Just Takes a While), by [livejournal.com profile] seperis. Star Trek Reboot, Jim Kirk/Spock. (Does Spock have a first name? A last name? And why is it Spock, when all other Vulcans seem to be named things like T'Pippi and T'Eppic and T'Pain and T'Eyla?)

So. These days, I do most of my fan fiction reading on my Kindle, which means a delay of anything up to five years (not really) between finding the story and getting it read. (People who write long stories and put them all on one page with no tables: I love you forever. Many times my will has just broken faced with twelve or fourteen separate posts to consolidate.) While this story was waiting to be converted to Kindle format, I went to an OTW committee meeting in which it was described as, "Everything you'd ever want from a pon farr story." (This is why OTW is more fun than any other non-profit in the world. You get recs along with your work. Also, we tend to end most meetings talking about tentacle porn; if we ever get committee mascots, ours will be a tentacle waving proudly, possibly clutched around a big shiny coin.)

Obviously, that booted the priority waaaaaay up. I mean, I don't even have any wants from a pon farr story, or I didn't - I only actually know what pon farr is because of a) Killa and T. Jonesy's vid and b) because people talk about, like, vid farr and fic farr and so I had to get a précis from Best Beloved a while back. But it doesn't matter, because that is so totally right: this is everything I never even knew I wanted from a pon farr story. And, having read it, I want several million more. I totally understand how this whole slash thing got started, now.

(Also, I don't know if this is canon or Reboot or just fanon, but I love how Spock is, in this story, all, I am totally the least emotional person on the planet la la la logic is my only guiding force, and he's actually totally faking it. Because you cannot tell me he's not making emotional decisions here. He's just, you know, putting a logical face on it. As far as I can tell, Vulcans aren't emotionless, they're just bringing new depth to the concept of repression. No wonder fandom loves them so much.)

The One That Makes Me Think We Should Institute a Program of Mandatory Homosexuality for Los Angeles Police Officers. Apparently It Makes Them Eaiser to Deal with, and God Knows That Would Be a Very Welcome Change. Son Is on a Midnight Run Like DeNiro, by [livejournal.com profile] hackthis. Southland, John Cooper/Ben Sherman.

(First, an important note. When I rule the universe, there will be a 25 year moratorium on naming fictional characters John or Jack, and anyone who tries to use either name will have his character named by me, instead, and I can tell you right now that the first one is going to be Gervase. I have had it with this. There are baby name books for a reason, television writers! How hard is it to find a name that doesn't already belong to a major character in every other time slot? Not hard at all. Just pick something that isn't John or Jack. Seriously: Evil Overlord TFV forbids fictional Johns and Jacks. Unless your main character is a girl, and then you can name her John J. Jackson III if you want to.)

Okay. I really needed to say that. But, aside from the John Issue (NO MORE JOHNS EVER I MEAN IT OR IT'S THE SALAD MINES FOR YOU), I kind of love this canon. I mean, I have no idea what it is - the lovely [livejournal.com profile] qe2 told me that it's about a canonically gay cop in LA, but that's where my knowledge ends. He could be a canonically gay robot cop in a post-apocalyptic LA populated mostly by centaurs and monkeys, for all I know.

Although in that case, this would be an AU. Because one of the many things I love about this story is - okay. I live in Los Angeles. And this is Los Angeles. I can picture these places! I have driven down that street! I would kill Ben Sherman and eat his corpse to own his house! (No, not really, but I can find you a thousand people who would.) I have no idea if [livejournal.com profile] hackthis lives here or if she does really awesome research (I suspect the latter, mostly because I have long suspected that she lives in a secret space habitat orbiting the earth, where she creates superplants and bends them to her will), but either way: oh my god, this is SO Los Angeles. And I love it.

And I love these characters even more. (Yes, even though one of them is named John. I am prepared to forgive even that. This time. Next time, though, it is Gervase for sure.) This is a classic slash epic, involving a main character who is broken (but getting better) and grouchy (but well-meaning) and hot totally despite himself, and I love that.

And I also love, let me add, that the younger, inexperienced partner here is totally the sexual aggressor, and does none of that virginal squeaking that we sometimes see. He's all: yes, I want to do this, now let's get some cocks in play, sir. I deeply, deeply love that. I can't tell you how much.

The One That Will, for the Next Ten Years or So, Make You Snicker Helplessly Anytime Anyone Suggests Purchasing a Shag Rug. And Then Argue That Sex Toys Should Not Come out of the House Maintenance Budget. Hi, I'm Captain Jack Harkness, by [livejournal.com profile] frostfire_17. Star Wars x Torchwood, Chewbacca/Jack Harkness.

I am going to sit back for a bit and let that pairing sink in. Now, after it has sunk in but before you run away screaming, I'm going to share with you my own thought process when I saw this:

Me: I, um. Wookiee [and why does my spellchecker know Chewbacca but not Wookiee?]/human sex? Um. I really don't think...
Me: But it's Frostfire, though. She can make me like any pairing. I mean, okay, she's never challenged my limits this much, but...
Me: And if anyone was going to do it, it'd be Captain Jack Harkness.
Me: Oh, who am I kidding? I'm going to read this.

And I did. And I was very, very glad I did. I mean, it would be worth reading just for the introduction, with its slightly frantic explanation of how she came to write this (and, even though she posted it for Kink Bingo, Kink Bingo is not to blame; she just sat down one day and decided to write this of her own free will, and I really had not believed I could love her more, but that did it), but it gets even better than that. It's Jack! And Chewbacca! And Jack so totally would do Chewbacca, and I can't even blame him (although the thought of all that hair touching me makes me want to claw my own skin off, but Jack does not have my issues, or, at this point in his canon, any actual issues that I can tell). And I totally have to congratulate Jack for having the good sense to pick out the best sentient being in the room.

But most of all, I love this story because it made me realize that Jack Harkness isn't kinky. Kinky, to me, requires that you have an unusual focus on one - or several - areas of sexual interest. (Fur! Bondage! Opera glasses and bouffant hairdos! Whatever.) Jack has no special focus whatsoever - he's equally interested in all fields of sexual endeavor. His preference is, basically, any way you want it. Which means that to me Jack Harkness is the definition of vanilla. Obviously I need to work on my terms a bit.

The One That Teaches Us That If You're Going to Do a Spurious Magical Ritual, You Should Do It Outside. Preferably While Armed with Electric Cattleprods, Just in Case. Accidents Will Happen, by [personal profile] holli. Supernatural, gen.

Oh, adolescence. A time of rebellion! A time of unfortunate fashion choices! A time when you accidentally bring the dead back to life in your parents' basement!

Okay, maybe that didn't happen to you. It didn't happen to me, either. But I did once spend four extremely boring hours listening to the angst of a guy who was absolutely convinced he was possessed by a ghost. I had mono, and I was in no mood, and I ended up faking an exorcism just to get him to shut up and let me sleep. (Seriously: I took my middle school Latin - yes, I did say "amo, amas, amat" at one point, so thank you for that, Mrs. Scher - and some candles and some assorted cooking herbs and spices and unpossessed him. And the lesson here is: don't get between a sick person and her bed.) If I'd been living in the world of Supernatural, probably I would have ended up desouling him or something.

I just love this story, and I love these characters - I think I used to know them, in fact - and most of all I love the perspective this provides on the Supernatural universe. Because, sure, there are badass demon hunters with magical guns and magical cocks (I may be wrong about the magical guns, but I can cite several million stories on the magical cocks thing), but there must also be lots of suburban girls with random superpowers. (Also, I bet fire insurance is a bitch to get in the SPN world. And every year good actuaries probably go mad, tearing at their hair and shrieking, "But my predictions should have been correct!")

And let me finish this with a helpful hint for any teenagers reading this: if you accidentally summon a big unconscious naked guy, for the love of god lock him up and call someone. Do not talk to him. Do not get him a blanket. Do not look directly at him unless you're absolutely sure he's out cold. That kind of situation is the definition of something you want to be someone else's problem.
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Recently, [livejournal.com profile] svmadelyn linked to some free Harlequin books, and she mentioned a NASCAR romance novel as being one of the ones available.

I had to look. I had no choice. NASCAR romance novels, people! (I have, um, a weird obsession with NASCAR marketing. I could not care less about the drivers, but I dream of being able to meet the geniuses at NASCAR HQ. True fact, and don’t ask me why, as I have at least five thousand words of answer that I’m just dying to share.)

Anyway. I totally recommend the Harlequin site. It features a sort of Mad Libs (does anyone else remember those?), romance novel style, which they suggest you can use to insert yourself into a story, but I am here to tell you that you can put in Rodney McKay and John Sheppard or Merlin and Arthur Pendragon, change up some of the pronouns, and get the most awesome FF summaries ever. I especially recommend doing the Mars one with the SGA characters or the tycoon one with Smallville.

And then I was looking through the sincerely awful, and I do mean awful (if you were offering free samples, wouldn’t you try to pick good ones, or at least ones that aren’t openly gag-inducing?), summaries of the books available for download, and I found this one:

When a blizzard strands Fiona MacPherson and her students in Oregon's Cascade Mountains, their only hope of survival is to seek shelter at Thunder Mountain Lodge. Their host is John Fallon, a handsome, enigmatic war veteran haunted by secrets and scars that may never heal.

John Fallon never imagined he'd be playing host to this captivating teacher and her eight teenage charges. But when his solitude is shattered by their arrival, his world shifts on its axis. He needs Fiona—but does she need him? There's only one way to find out. The ex-soldier must find the courage to reach out to the remarkable woman who has transformed his life…


I read this to Best Beloved and said, "Oh my god, it's a Sentinel AU!" And it is! Look at it! Professor Blair Sandburg takes a group of second-year students on a field trip and they get stranded in Oregon's Cascade Mountains. Fortunately, they just happen to be near Thunder Mountain Lodge, owned by Jim Ellison, a handsome, enigmatic veteran haunted by secrets and tormented by senses out of his control.

(Jim, in this AU, obviously couldn't control the senses very well after his return from Peru, and couldn't take living in the city. He had no choice but to buy this remote lodge. And Blair couldn't find a sentinel for his dissertation, so he had no choice but to choose a different topic, and now he's an actual professor. Blair can help Jim! Jim needs him! But can he learn to love again? Hint: Yes. Yes, he can.)

If you try to tell me that is not perfect, I will openly laugh at you.

Obviously, this got me thinking about AUs. (It also got me wistfully wishing for more Harlequin challenges. These summaries are fan fiction gold, people. There's an obvious Highlander one, and several that would work for Smallville, and, just, really: Harlequin AUs. In quantity, and in every fandom in the land. Is that so much to ask?)

Hence, an AU recs set.

The One That Teaches Us That Surviving the End of the World Ought to Be Featured Way at the Top of the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale. With, Like, a Point Value of Nine Million. The Hard Prayer, by [livejournal.com profile] rheanna27. Stargate: Atlantis, Rodney McKay/John Sheppard.

And we start with one that could not be more unlike a Harlequin AU. However, it also could not be more awesome, so that's okay.

This is an apocalypse AU. Usually the end of the world makes me geechy - can’t imagine why! - and, in all honesty, this story did freak me out somewhat, and there were a couple spots I had to skim on account of my own personal issues. But. Wow. Seriously. So very, very worth it. I can’t even tell you how much.

What I love about this story is what Rheanna does with the characters we know and adore. They've been changed, seriously changed, by what's happened - as indeed one would be. Live through the apocalypse, anyone's going to get a little twitchy, you know? And John and Rodney are indeed very, very twitchy. I found myself nodding along as I read this, thinking that this was totally how they'd snap, if they were going to snap. (And if I have a personal motto, it’s: once the world is over, you might as well snap. What, like it can get worse?)

It's particularly interesting to me - and, upon reflection, totally right - that John is the one who can't handle the situation as well. John, in some ways, is a border collie: he needs a pack. Rodney just needs a goal. (And, of course, they neeeeeeeed each other! Look, sorry, I'm an OTPer by nature; I had to add that. It's in my OTP Fan Contract, right under "Sulk a little bit when your friends start writing other pairings.")

(And, for the benefit of any readers who might be Best Beloved and thus even more allergic to apocalypse stories than I am: yes, it has a happy ending. Read this, damn it.)

The One That Shows That the Punishment for Adultery Is Hot Sex with Stephen Maturin. Are You Feeling Deterred at All? Duende, by [livejournal.com profile] astolat. Master and Commander, Jack Aubrey/Stephen Maturin.

Is there any AU more marvelous than a Master and Commander AU by [livejournal.com profile] astolat? No. No, there is not. And this is just a classic: swords! Magic! Swordfights! Life bonds! Duels! If you've ever thought to yourself that what O'Brian's series was really lacking was at least 400% more swordfighting Maturin, this is the story for you.

Even if you've never thought that - and I admit it, I hadn't, possibly because I am just of very limited imagination - this is still the story for you. (Even if you, like me, are kind of geeched by the idea of life bonds. And, look, I know they are a classic trope of slash fiction, not to mention vampire fiction for the YA set. I've read many excellent stories featuring said trope (from slash fiction only; I've pretty much wimped out on the YA vampire life bonds, I admit). But I tell you this, and tell you true: waking up eternally bound to someone, your lives physically linked together, unable to stand separation, and possibly with telepathy: oh my god, that is my nightmare. If there's a hell, that's what it looks like.)

It's amazing to me how well the Master and Commander universe adapts to anything: space! Magic! Life bonds! Dragons! I'm pretty sure a Master and Commander with vampires, or lightsabers, or even fairies and the Seelie Court and maybe Thomas the Rhymer would work awesomely well.

Or maybe it's just the magic of [livejournal.com profile] astolat - she has the secret, special power of putting O'Brian's characters in any situation and making the resultant story something you would happily read fifteen volumes of. In which case, I'm really hoping whoever she gets assigned next Yuletide has requested the Seelie Court AU.

The One That Proves That Maybe a Real Marriage of True Minds Isn't Something Most of Us Should Be Hoping For. Walked Right out of the Machinery, by [livejournal.com profile] rydra_wong. Stargate: SG-1, gen.

Oh my god. This is - this is just - I just have so much love for this story. It's brilliant. I love Jack O'Neill so damn much, and this is kind of the ultimate story for Jack-lovers: this is pure, perfectly-written Jack; Jack as he would have been in the canon if someone as talented and imaginative as [livejournal.com profile] rydra_wong had been writing him.

And that's kind of odd, given that this is a rather changed Jack. I don't want to spoil it - the slow reveal (and, seriously, all you impatient types: let that reveal happen, because it is SO WORTH IT, and if my reassurance isn't enough for you, know that there is an awesome shipboard battle waiting for you near the end) is part of the pleasure, here. But this is Jack not exactly as we know him. It's just, somehow that makes him almost a distillation of Jack. Eighty proof Jack, if I can be pardoned for making a really awful joke.

No? Unpardonable? Okay. I stand by my low sense of humor.

Now, I tell you honestly: I realize this is AU from a specific point in the canon, but I, of course, don't know the canon, and I can't figure out what that point is. (Possibly some kind soul will tell us all in the comments. Kind souls? Are you out there?) You don't need to know that to read this, though. In fact, as long as you know the basic tenets of the SG1 universe (Egyptian gods, American military, snakes-why'd-it'd-have-to-be-snakes, Ascension, and there you go), you could read this without any canon knowledge at all.

All of you who are right now wondering where you will get your science fiction, now that half the genre has been tarnished with the brush of a whiter shade of fail - here's part of your answer. This is one of the three best SF novels I read in 2008 - any format, anywhere. It is incredible.

The One That Features a Padawan of Convenience. How Wonderful Is That? Episode One: The Quiet Padawan, by [livejournal.com profile] flambeau. The Phantom Menace x Georgette Heyer. I am really not kidding about that, and you would think it could not possibly work, but you would be wrong. Qui-Gon Jinn/Obi-Wan Kenobi, sort of.

So. I put off reading this for almost two years, largely because George Lucas has scarred my psyche so badly that even the words "Star Wars," can, in certain cases, make me weep giant tears of true pain. I'm so Star Wars phobic that I didn't even see Episode Three: Let's Cut Some Limbs Off, or whatever it was called, largely because I believe in that old saying: fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me three times, and we'll have to enter couples counseling. There's shame on both sides, Mr. Lucas, but I have no intention of entering couples counseling with you, mostly because lives would probably be lost.

(Long before we'd read any fan fiction, and just before TPM came out, Best Beloved and I sketched out exactly how we'd do episodes one through three. I still dream that those movies were made, some nights. Those are happy nights. Basically, our fantasy movies remain my own personal canon, and I just pretend the real movies were something I found on fanfiction.net.)

Anyway. Enough about my Star Wars trauma. Let's talk about this story. Because, oh, I am so sorry I put off reading it. It is brilliant. It is perfect. It is a work of stunning genius. If you've never read Heyer (her romances, I mean; I think I'm alone, and I mean alone in the universe, in having loved most of her mystery novels), it doesn't matter. Think mannered regency romance. With Jedis. He's a master who has loved before, and badly! And he's a young, rustic student with a stain on his reputation and a need for a master! And Yoda is a meddling busybody who always knows best! And Mace Windu has a hangover and a very snarky tongue!

My love for this cannot be rendered in any medium whatsoever. This story has done more to reconcile me to the Star Wars brand than a written personal apology from Lucas could. Hell, it's done more to reconcile me than someone punching Lucas in the nose could. If you are - as I once was, and not too long ago - in the tragic situation of somehow having failed to read this, remedy that at once. Your life will be sunshine and puppies thereafter.
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
It's the new year! And I don't know about you, but at this time every year I find myself kind of - not overloaded on fan fiction, no. I could never be that. But dithering helplessly, picking up first this amazingly awesome SGA story and then that incredible Oz story and then, oh my god, thousands of stories, many in fandoms so small that they weren't technically fandoms until December 25th. I mean, right now I have more than two hundred tabs open in my LJ window. (And that does not include Yuletide stories.) Any more and my computer is going to find a way to shock me every time I off-click on something.

At times like this, I find myself looking lovingly at my fanart tag. Things that do not require hours of earthling-free time to appreciate! Things that are shiny and pretty and mostly textless when my brain is approaching critical mass of text!

And then, a few days ago, Best Beloved pointed out that perhaps I'm not the only one feeling this way. Perhaps we'd all like to have a balanced breakfast of pictures and words. I, of course, was stunned by this idea, because change always confuses me.

Me: A whole set of art? I'm pretty sure that's against the rules.
Best Beloved: ...You make the rules.
Me: But they're for everyone's sanity!
Best Beloved: I don't think being linked to four pieces of art is going to break anyone's brain.
Me: Well. I guess not anyone who wouldn't have broken anyway.
Best Beloved: So you'll do an art recs set?
Me, taking a deep, brave breath: Yes! I will! For I embrace new things!
Best Beloved, humoring me: Of course you do.
Best Beloved, under her breath: Just like a killer whale embraces a cactus.

The One That I Am Considering Printing out to Read to the Earthling. Surely Something This Wonderful Would Be a Good Influence on My Child. Don't Let Kowalski Interview the Perp!, by [livejournal.com profile] catwalksalone. Due South.

Those of you who have not spent a lot of quality time with a small child and the pigeon books might perhaps not appreciate the awesomeness of this. Except, no, I tell a lie: you SO will. (Although you should read the pigeon books anyway. How often do you get to shriek "NO!" at a children's book?)

This is one of those ideas that would never in a million years occur to me, but that cause me to stare at my computer screen, stunned stupid by the sheer glimmering brilliance and perfection, when someone else thinks them up. I mean, it's so right. Kowalski is maybe the only character in any of my fandoms who could stand in for the pigeon. (I mean, sure, Jack O'Neill plays Don't Let Daniel Die in Whatever Crazy-Ass Way He Wants to Today at least once a week, but Daniel just doesn't vibrate with feeling the way Kowalski and the pigeon do. And I'm pretty sure the bus driver and company got left behind in the Milky Way, because no one ever manages to keep Team Shep from doing stupid stuff. Actually, a lot of my fandoms could use a bus driver, come to think of it.) He and the pigeon would bond on many topics if they met - and, oh my god, I just imagined the companion book, wherein the pigeon investigates a crime. I may never be the same now. Also, my brain is filled with unfortunate crossovers. (One Fish, Two Fish, Red Mountie, Blue Chicago Cop. Dick and Jane Go to Pegasus. How Do Nazgul Say Goodnight? Okay, I'm stopping now.)

I tell you one thing, though: the due South version of The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog could only go in one of two ways. One of them would star Diefenbaker. The other would be much too NC-17 for me to read to the earthling.

...And now I kind of want both of them. This could get to be a problem.

Anyway. My point is: it does not get better than this. Go! Read! Admire Kowalski in Fraser drag and Vecchio almost but not quite failing at network standards! Most of all, don't let Kowalski interview the perp!

The One That Has Given Me the Sad but Clear Knowledge That Darth Vader Was Not Nearly As Scary As He Could Have Been. (Actually, I Already Knew That. Just Imagine a Clown Sith Lord. Bet You're Scared Now, Huh?) Steampunk Star Wars, by Eric Poulton. Star Wars.

I really don't see what else I need to say. Steampunk Star Wars: if you have any sense at all, you've already clicked.

I especially commend you to the deeply disturbing Lord Vader. For some reason, when I look at him, I remember that my pediatrician when I was extremely wee had a giant, near-life-size poster of Darth Vader on the door of one of his examining rooms. I found it vaguely weird then, since I knew nothing of Star Wars and thought that he just...you know, wanted a picture of a big black robot thing for reasons best known to himself. Better not to ask why, was my thinking. But now I wonder: what message was he trying to send to his young, vulnerable, and impressionable patients? You're a weird one, Dr. Smith!

Also do not miss the gorgeously amazing Deathstar, which makes it very clear why Lucas did not choose this style for the actual deathstar (aside from, you know, lacking the awesomeness so to do): if it had looked like this, no one could have blown it up. The climactic scene would go like this:

Han: You're all clear, kid. Now let's blow this thing and go home.
Luke, whining: ...But it's so pretty.
Han: But it's going to destroy the rebel base!
Luke, sounding vaguely hypnotized and yet still whining: ...Shiiiiiny.
Han, thoughtfully: It sure is.
Chewbacca: ARRRRAARRR.
Han: Chewie says anyone who can build something that gorgeous deserves to rule the universe with an iron fist. And I agree with him.
Luke: Me, too. Disengaging.

And then, you know, the deaths of millions, planets go boom, Vader and the Emperor hand in hand into a future of steel and knives, the whole deal. So it couldn't look like that. But, oh, it's so, so beautiful that I almost wish it had.

The One That Spawns a Million Story Ideas Every Time I Look at It. Possibly You All Should Be Really Grateful That I No Longer Have Time to Write Self-Indulgent Epics. Alters #6: Supernatural, by [livejournal.com profile] vito_excalibur. Supernatural.

Sometimes, a picture is worth way more than a thousand words. This picture is a fucking epic. An epic I yearn to read, but in its absence, I will totally be happy to just stare at this picture for a week or two.

Because the thing is - there is one thing different in this picture, and it changes everything. Imagine these guys driving through small southern towns in their big black car with all manner of guns. Imagine these guys running credit card scams, and trying to talk their way into strangers' houses, and, you know, the other stuff that Dean and Sam do. (Sorry, we have reached the limit of my osmotic fannish knowledge.) It would be a whole different narrative, I'll tell you that for free.

You know what I love most about this picture? Okay. We have lots of stories about bodyswaps of all kinds: his brain, her body! Two brains with but a single body! The brain from an alternate universe! And then we have all the transformation stories: puppyfic! This is closer than I really wanted to get to my feminine (or masculine) side! Wait, I didn't used to have wings! - just all kinds. But I've never seen a bodyswap or transformation involving race. Maybe I haven't been looking in the right places, but this drawing makes me imagine, oh, Cordelia Chase (queen of white privilege!) in Charles Gunn's body (Gender, race, and body swap: the transformation trifecta! Also, she'd probably end up with Wesley macking on her - don't tell me Gunn and Wesley didn't get up to stuff - and then they'd all need years of therapy. More years of therapy, I mean.). It makes me want the universe where John Sheppard is a girl (John Sheppard is always a girl; science has proven this) and Rodney McKay is mixed race. (And maybe Teyla is a robot! Um, no, wait, that's my other fixation creeping in. Sorry, sorry. Bodyswap AUs should not cross with robot AUs. Unless someone is bodyswapping with a robot, in which case we know what happens: TFV dies of happiness.)

Or, of course, we could have the universe where Sam and Dean Winchester are brown. That'd be really damn awesome, don't you think?

The One That Proves, Beyond a Shadow of a Doubt, That Everything Is Cooler If You Add a Dirigible. Dirigibles Can Even Make Accordions Cool. Um. Maybe. Steampunk AU, by [livejournal.com profile] leyna55. Stargate: Atlantis.

You may consider, from this recs set, that I have a certain fondness for steampunk. And I do. But the thing is, I didn't pick this one. Picking just a single piece of art to rec in SGA is so hard that it's part of the reason I don't usually recommend art: I think, so much awesome to choose from in SGA, and then my head explodes and I die and it's very sad. To avoid that this time, I had Best Beloved pick from the short list (it...wasn't that short, actually). Even she had trouble, and keep in mind that it's part of her job to make difficult decisions quickly and then make sure everyone sincerely believes her decision is right, right, right.

It's just. All the choices were right in this case, including - and I consider this unfair - several works by [livejournal.com profile] leyna55. Way to make my life harder, [livejournal.com profile] leyna55! But, fine, whatever. I guess if you have to make great art, you just have to. I accept that.

Anyway. We (and by "we," I mean "Best Beloved") made a choice. And that choice is: steampunk AU.

And, seriously, just look at this! There's a whole story in this thing! (Of which [livejournal.com profile] rheanna27 has written a chapter, and I tell you what: I cry myself to sleep every night because there aren't more chapters still to read.) Look at Rodney's life signs detector, oh my god! Look at Teyla's stick! LOOK AT THE DIRIGIBLE! They have a DIRIGIBLE! Why is there not a canon that features a dirigible? With adventures? And suits and scarves and awesome hats? (And maybe a clockwork deathstar?) I would walk a country mile on my currently broken toe for that canon.

Instead, I will just admire this picture a lot more. And think deep thoughts, such as: I would pay cash money to see Teyla in that outfit for real. And clearly John has been missing his really neat silk scarf for five seasons now.

Steampunk Stargate. I mean, I kind of like the Vaguely Frank Lloyd Wright, Vaguely the Whim of the Producer's Nephew look they currently have going on, but this - well. Go! Look! Marvel!
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
I have a fan fiction set nearly ready to go, but I'm hoping I'll, um, develop the ability to be coherent before I actually post it. (Sleep would help. A lot.) So I asked myself what I could do in my current state of incoherence (hints: nothing involving heavy machinery, sharp implements, explosives, or complete sentences), and it came to me in a flash: I could practice what I preached.

See, two weeks ago, I was whining at all y'all to recommend some vids. To my incredible delight, a lot of you did. (And if you did and I haven't remarked upon it yet, I probably missed it; see, the thing is, I do my comments before I read my friends list, so I spent the entire week of that post insanely behind on the ol' list. I missed a lot. So I would be eternally grateful if you would drop me a link and let me know where I can behold you in your glorious recommending plumage.)

Anyway. You recommended vids. Seems like I should do the same. So, without further ado, I present to you: Vids That Make Me Smile (or, in Some Cases, Shriek with Laughter).

Boy in the Bubble, by [livejournal.com profile] jmtorres. Star Wars (original trilogy).

This vid made me stupidly happy. I just need to say that right up front, so that you know that I am biased.

And, you know, I didn't think it would. When I recognized the source and the song (I download in a way that makes it difficult for me to associate filenames with content; I love spoilers for anything, except, for some reason, vids, which I want to come to with as few preconceptions as possible.), I started making the Face of Vid-Watching Uncertainty. You know what I mean. It's the same face people make the first time they taste goat cheese. Because, see, in the first few seconds of the vid, the song seemed all wrong and I had no idea where the vid was going. And, you know, I'm already regretting the goat cheese analogy, but I just have to say - like goat cheese, this vid turned out to be an unanticipated comfort food. (Wow. Now I'm really regretting the goat cheese analogy. Memo to me: in the future, avoid dairy-based metaphors in vid recommendations posts. Further memo to me: explore the use of dairy-based metaphors in other settings, but with caution. Don't go charging headlong into, for example, an explanation of the Dewey decimal system via butter making.)

So. There I was, being suspicious and wary. And then I got to one specific line, and my heart clenched, and I was just swamped with this wave of nostalgia, this incredibly intense memory of the uncomplicated love I once had for Star Wars. (The love lasted all the way up until the first half-hour of The Phantom Menace, which was not one of the happier movie-going experiences of my life, let me tell you. And not just, or even mostly, because I was attending with someone who had taken a lot of codeine and could thus be happily entertained by pretty lights, or by dust motes, or even by romantic dialog written by George Lucas.)

This vid brought that old love back to me, let me re-experience it for three minutes, and is a gift beyond price. I can't comment on the technical side of this, or the beauty of the cuts, or anything else at all, because I watched this not as a vidfan but as just a plain old fan.

This is highly recommended for people who loved the original trilogy. And for people who buy DVD sets of TV shows they watched in their youth. And for anyone whose life has been, of late, maybe a little lacking in miracle and wonder.

After Rain, by [livejournal.com profile] gwyn_r. Band of Brothers. Pairing? Um, maybe; you could read this as slash (which is, yes, totally my choice; I take pride in my predictability) or as gen. In either case, I have no idea who these guys are. (ETA: [livejournal.com profile] deepsix tells me they are Nixon and Winters. In which case, Nixon/Winters is totally my new OTP.)

So. Realistic war fandom with which I am completely unfamiliar. (For the very good reason that realistic war sequences - if I can even understand them - generally make me want to retire to my room. Or resign my membership in the human race. In either case - well, let's put it this way: I watched Saving Private Ryan, yes, but I'm not sure I actually managed to see anything at all after those first however many eternal minutes they were.) And a pairing (or maybe a friendship) that I'm totally not invested in, to the degree that I've never even heard of it. This is a sure-fire recipe for a truly happy-making vid, yes?

No, actually. (I know, you're shocked.) Except it so totally is. This vid makes me happy because - okay. If I ever did a list of Things Fandom Taught Me About Myself, the first thing on that list would have to be the extremely unexpected and totally unwelcome news that I am a closet optimist.

See, for years I thought I was a pessimist, because I made contingency plans and anticipated worst-case scenarios and just generally planned for the universe to fuck my shit up. But it turns out that under that carefully cultivated layer of caution and low expectations, I - I believe in happy endings.

I'm sorry. I know this makes me the most naive person on the planet. I can't help it. My brain understands that it doesn't work that way, but my subconscious is just not having any of the brain's pseudo-intellectual bullshit; it believes that things will end happily.

I first saw "After Rain" at a bad, hard time in my life - two months almost to the day after my father died. I missed him horribly and just couldn't believe that the world could work that way; I was still waiting for the happy ending and starting to be afraid that it wouldn't come. But this vid - it basically was the happy ending. Because it says what I had already hoped was true but really, really needed to hear right then: that things will be good again, that no matter how bad things are, all you have to do is survive and eventually happiness will take care of itself.

The thing is, I've watched this enough to see a lot of what Gwyn did with this vid - the contrast in tones and colors, the gorgeous use of each part of the song, the subtle effects that carry even a totally clueless viewer through distinct switches in time and place. And I appreciate it, just as I appreciate all the slashy adorableness and lovely uniforms. But this will always be, for me, the vid that said that the bad doesn't eliminate the potential for good, and that good times come to all of us in the end.

Goody Two Shoes, by [livejournal.com profile] pipsqueaky and [livejournal.com profile] laurashapiro. Due South. Fraser and his Rays.

I made a lot of truly undignified noises when I first watched this, including several outright shrieks of laughter. Because, seriously, has there ever been a better song choice for Fraser than "Goody Two Shoes"? Has there ever been less subtle innuendo?

(Answers, in order: No and no. I can think of some equally unsubtle innuendo, like the clip I saw on YouTube a few weeks ago of the one reporter guy eating a banana, but to get any less subtle, there would have to be explicit sexual acts. That would of course be fine with me- Totally fine! Amazingly fine! Redefining fine by reaching entirely new levels of fineness! - but would kind of take it out of the category of "innuendo." Also, this song is so clearly perfect that I actually squealed with joy when the first shot showed what were, unmistakably, Fraser's boots. Now do you see why I like to watch vids unspoiled? It's so that I can think, "Hmmm. 'Goody Two Shoes.' If I'm lucky, it's about Angel; if I'm unlucky, it's about Lana Lang. Ooo, nice title sequence! And - OMG FRASER'S BOOTS EEEEE YES!")

The unwritten subtitle of this vid is, "Come on down to due South and play with our Mountie, who is pure fun in boots." Or, okay, that's not actually the subtitle, but in my head it is, because this vid is three minutes of Fraser demonstrating his fixation on heights, licking, and Rays.

And, okay. Every fandom has its frequently used clips, and I tend to keep a list of those in my head, along with vids that I have awarded various totally imaginary prizes to for the most effective use of those clips. This vid wins two such prizes. (Which is impressive, considering it mostly does not use the really popular clips.) First, for the best use ever of buddy breathing, in that I can actually, for once in my life, see what's going on. Usually it just looks like a fishtank. With bubbles. In the dark. And, second, for the final shot, which - okay. Maybe it's just me, but in this context it suddenly became very, very obvious to me that what Fraser is thinking in that shot is: "Yay! Threesome!"

Atlantis!, by [livejournal.com profile] sherrold and [livejournal.com profile] wickedwords. Stargate: Atlantis.

(Note: this vid was made for the Vividcon remix challenge, and was inspired by [livejournal.com profile] astolat and [livejournal.com profile] cesperanza's Rumble, which - well. If you haven't seen it, I don't know how you find the strength to carry on.)

When I was making up this set, says I to myself, says I, "Everyone has seen Atlantis!, surely. There is no point in recommending Atlantis!" And then I remembered that I myself was arguing against that sort of reasoning just two weeks ago. So I did my best to think of the fangirls. Specifically, I thought of a (hypothetical) fangirl who has not seen this vid. And, you know, I can pretty clearly picture her in my head. She's probably feeling a strong urge to lie down with a cold cloth, a Victorian hair ring, and the complete works of Thomas Hardy. (Or, if she's really tragic, Ethan Frome. But I have to hope no one would let it get that far.) She probably weeps, but knows not why she is so emo.

It's because this vid is missing from her life.

And I can relate, because this vid is an example of something that has been missing from my life for rather a long time. See, I am a frequent visitor to anime music video land. (To get there, just take a left at the sign of the one half pandaman, turn another 40 degrees when you see the giant robot, and head straight on toward the totally androgynous boys who hold each others' hands a lot for reasons never entirely made clear. Or, you know, you could just click this link.) And over there, they have a lot of humor vids that consist of many short song snippets. I love these; each snippet is a single joke and lasts precisely as long as it takes to get the joke. Then, before you're done laughing, BAM! and you cut to another joke. Some of the snippets maybe wouldn't even be funny on their own (and, anyway, watching a, like, 17-second vid is weird), but when they are put together and watched as a whole, it gets funnier and funnier until eventually, in the fullness of time, you reach the Linkin Park joke, at which point you are laughing so hard you are weeping into your keyboard. (And if you don't understand why Linkin Park jokes are funny, obviously you have not yet spent much time in anime music video land.)

So, when I saw this, I realized that, yes, this was a live-action snippet vid. And the fact that the snippets were all related just makes it even better. And - and - look. If I talk about this for one second more, I'm going to spoil you (assuming you live on the planet Jupiter and have thus not already been spoiled for it), so just go download, okay? It will take those naughty emo blues away, I promise you.
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
So. Yesterday evening as I was making dinner, Best Beloved said to me, in very firm tones: "No more whining about having a real life. Just post, you fucker."

Best Beloved does not normally talk like that. (In our house, I'm the one who uses profanity like salt.) So I got the message. (Which was, for the record: Post. You fucker.)

And, okay, fine. I have been informed that, in interests of accuracy, I should also share with you the conversation we were having immediately prior to that. See, I was being surprised because I found someone on my friends list complimenting me. In the past tense. (As in, "Yeah, TFV used to post great recs.") Compliments are always nice, of course, but I was whining that I was not dead and gone, and BB was making the point that for all most of you know, I could be.

I'm sure this insight into Life with TFV and Best Beloved has been fascinating and inspirational to you all. Never say I do not provide gripping content. Or, I mean, you can if you want, because, um. It's pretty much true.

And to illustrate that, let's move on to topic B of tonight. See, [livejournal.com profile] lcsbanana has this interesting post in which she invites authors to volunteer to be subjected to audience commentary. I found this an incredibly nifty concept, and I was even more enthralled after I realized how many authors I read and love are on that list. So I thought I would, you know, pony up with some commentary.

Unfortunately, I recently learned, in the course of attempting to do a DVD track type thing with [livejournal.com profile] makesmewannadie on our jointly-written tentacle porn, that I have no idea how to do commentary. Apparently I should've been taking notes or something when other people did theirs, because, wow. I always have something to say, true, but I suspect that for this kind of thing what I'm saying needs to be, you know. Coherent. Relevant. Basically, things that I am not. And if I have no idea how to do author commentary, I am doubly in the dark on the audience commentary thing.

So I thought I'd retreat to what I know, which is recommendations. But this is a set with a difference, in that it is unthemed and assembled entirely from stories (that I already had decided to rec) written by people from [livejournal.com profile] lcsbanana's list. Also, I will be taking a wild stab at actual thoughtful commentary here. This will not, of course, be a line-by-line thing, with quotes from the story and all. I could no more do that than I could soar with the eagles, people.

And if you haven't ticked [livejournal.com profile] lcsbanana's box (um...yeah, that didn't sound good, but I'm sure she'll take it well) and you'd enjoy seeing audience commentary on your work, really, don't let me discourage you. It's a wonderful concept, and I have to think that everyone else who participates in it (...and everyone else on the planet) will be better at it than me.

In fact, it might be best to tick now, before you get a look at what I did.

Yes. That would be for the best.

Also, I promise that I won't be doing story summaries this long again. It got all out of control on me.

(Secret message to all who sent me birthday gifts and wishes: LJ and I had some issues there for a while, mostly involving me not getting informed of comments. But now both LJ and I have our acts more or less together at nearly the same time, which is indeed rare, and you should be getting individual thanks from me shortly. In the meantime, know that you all - including all three of you lurkers - have made me a very happy woman. Thank you.)

Best FF That Will Make You Picture Tim Drake in a Padawan Braid. After Which You Will Never Be the Same, I'm Warning You Here and Now. Flamebird, by [livejournal.com profile] monkeycrackmary. Star Wars x DCU, gen. When I was 16, my then-boyfriend introduced me to comics. He was a Marvel guy, but he still had some affection for Batman, and he gave me a quick summary of the DCU. (I know. Quick summary = useless summary in any comics canon. I said he was a Marvel guy, right? He gave me so much detail about the X-Men that I'm still in therapy.) He explained about the Robins - or, as he called them, Real Robin and Not Robin. His description of Jason Todd, aka Not Robin, was, in toto: "A placeholder, and kind of a brat." That's pretty much the image I carried of Jason until I found FF, which changed me. (Yes, I know. It changes us all. But this was a change that was entirely g-rated, and that has to have some kind of rarity value.) Why do I tell you this? Because this story makes Jason so very real. It makes me hurt for Jason. Here, that's exactly what he (okay, Jay) is: a placeholder. This is a story, yes, and a great one, but for me it's also as a weird meta thing on how Jason was treated in the Batman series; as far as I can tell, to the extent I can look back past all the crises and reloads and everything, that was pretty much like Jay is treated here.

The other Robins are also here, being very much themselves; I doubt I need to express my joy at the perfection of Tim in this story, but I should mention (because I have no dignity left to lose) that I squeaked when I first read the words "Master Greyson." (I'm sorry. It's the DCU. It does that to me.) And there's someone else who isn't here, but is still everywhere in this story: Anakin Skywalker. (Secret message to George Lucas: This is how Anakin's story should have gone, and I don't forgive you just because you had to make the end of 3 match up to the start of 4 (which, also - you didn't). We manage to work around your screwy canon, so I have no sympathy for you at all if you can't.) I love the way I can see an actual character for Anakin around the edges of this, way more than I did in episodes one and two (I just wimped out on three; I couldn't face it at all). So. Anakin's here in spirit, with his story going right for a change. Jason's here in fact, no matter what his name is, with his story going on for a change. Plus there's Tim, which is just - I mean, Tim. And it's like Star Wars Episodes 1-3 never happened. Is this not the very model of a fan's paradise? It is, and you should read it.

Best FF That Could Quite Possibly Make You Enjoy Eating from a Mini-Bar. It Might Even Make You Enjoy Paying $5 for a Package of Peanuts. It Has That Kind of Power. Cherchez la Femme, by Victoria P., aka [livejournal.com profile] musesfool. Ocean's 11, Danny Ocean/Rusty Ryan. A really good writer can make me agree with almost anything, and Victoria is just such a writer. This is a fascinating take on the Danny-Rusty dynamic; it is not my take, but this story totally makes me go there anyway. Hell, it makes me want to set up house there. And that's one of the reasons I love this. I also love the assorted original female characters in here - I mean, when I read this story, I always get distracted by Bachelorette #3 because I want to hear more about her. I want to know how she did what she did, and why, and also if she could maybe saunter into the lives of other favorite slash pairings of mine, because that would be so very excellent I might die. And then, by the end of her section, I'm totally invested in the Danny/Rusty story again, and I forget all about her. (Look. It is not my fault. I have, you know, focus issues. Also, she's way cool, but they are sleek and shiny and totally in love with each other. So it's no contest, really.)

The other thing I love about this story, the thing that made me pick it for the blather fest this post is turning out to be, is. Okay. I'm going to try my hand at actual analysis here, albeit at a very low level, and you all have to be very supportive and try not to laugh, because this is not my metier. See, when I look at the women Danny dates in this story, what I notice is how they all are complete characters, and yet they each represent just one facet of Rusty's personality, from the freewheeling indie to the con artist extraordinaire. Danny's dating women who remind him in some way of the guy he's already with. So Victoria, in other words, seems to me to be saying, "Check out Danny. He is such an idiot that he does not get that he's actually looking for Rusty." Except, of course, he's not an idiot. He figures it out in the end. Some people just need to be smacked in the face a few times before they can process this sort of thing, and I for one don't hold it against them.

Best FF That Always Makes Me Wonder How the Hell You'd Carve a Turnip. But Then, I've Never Carved a Pumpkin, Either, So Maybe I'm Just Not Picturing This Right. Wheel, by Brighid, aka [livejournal.com profile] brighidestone. Stargate: SG-1, Jack O'Neill/Sam Carter/Daniel Jackson. Warning: I can't warn you, but I can say it's all on the upswing after the first part. If you make it through that, you're good. But thost first few sections hurt, people. My basic summary of this story is: wow. I've been wanting to rec this for a long time, partly because it makes me happy, but mostly because it's brave. It is just such a fucking courageous story; in it, Brighid does two specific things (no, I am not going to tell you what they are, because you'll know if you read it, and also they're spoilers of a large and looming nature) that are unusual (especially when paired like this) in SG1 stories of this genre. (The genre is The World Ended or Maybe We Just Lost It. In this case, for the record, they just lost it; earth is doing fine, but it and SG1 are maintaining separate residences.) And she does them (Brighid does the things, I mean; I refuse to apologize for my dependence on parentheses. They are pretty and fun. So there.) so well, and neither one is a particularly popular choice.

Okay. Look, we can't go on this way. If I'm going to talk about this story, I have to talk about those two things. So, please, just go read it, and I'll stay here and spoil in privacy. This way for the not interesting and not entertaining babble. Or you could just, you know, move on to the next rec. I'm not giving any orders, mind you, but I know what I'd choose. )

Best FF That Makes IQ Tests Not Just Fun but Sexy. Take That, Wechsler! The Pegasus Society, by Sabine, aka [livejournal.com profile] iamsab. Stargate: Atlantis, John Sheppard/Rodney McKay/Atlantis. And. Okay. I was saving this for last, because I actually had something substantive to say about the other stories. (I am, yes, well aware that I didn't actually manage to communicate that something. This is an imperfect medium, people, and there's bound to be some content loss between writer and reader, and also I zing from topic to topic like I'm in Brownian motion.) About this I have nothing to say but oh my god. (For the full effect, you'll need to read that part in italics out loud. Make it high and breathless, like a 14-year-old girl who has just touched a boy band...um, boy, I guess. What do you call the individual members of a boy band?) See, this story - it just hits all my shameful SGA kinks. There's super smart John pretending to be dumb, and Atlantis all over the place (seriously - Atlantis point of view, and it's a benevolent Atlantis, which is just - see, in my head, Atlantis is benevolent, but when I try to write it she ends up eeeeevil, so this is like a super-extra bonus for me), and Rodney bringing new meaning to the concept of multi-tasking. There's even intelligence tests in here. It starts with the whole sum of the squares thing, which for most of us is like encountering an old friend; I can only think of a handful of opening lines that have brought me into a story faster than this one, because I was right with Rodney when he yelled out the answer. I mean, I felt a bond! With Rodney! It's just...and also...and then...

And now you see what I mean about this story. I've got no content for this rec at all, just a lot of pathetic squeeing. You know how some people get about their canon? Like, how most people get about their canon? I really only get that way about fan fiction, and this story - this story made me react the way Smallville fans would if they found their way into an alternate universe where the series was written by someone who had a crush on Lex instead of Lana. And was an actual good writer. (No offense intended, Smallville people! You know I have love for you! It's just, the recent spate of SV-SGA comparisons has left me gape-mouthed with shock and horror. That, that is some very interesting canon you've been swimming against for five years. No wonder you're all so durable and steadfast.) So. This story brings me joy. Tragically, it also connects my i/o ports directly to my squee center, bypassing my brain completely, so this "commentary" (All together now: "There hasn't actually BEEN any commentary, TFV!") pretty much consists of the basic concept expressed by the word yay. Only, um. Spread over two paragraphs.

Next time: a return to your regular story summaries, which are just as contentless, but much, much shorter. It's something for us all to look forward to, yes?
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
Do you trust me?

Well, OK. No, really, I don't blame you, and I'm not at all hurt. But do you trust me a little? Even a tiny bit? At least when it comes to fan fiction? Because I am about to ask you to take a link of faith, so to speak. The following stories have only one thing in common: they will be spoiled if you know the usual information (fandom, pairing, plot) before you read them. But they are really worth reading, and the surprise just makes it all the more delightful. So if you're willing to read blind, I think I can promise you some fun. And if you're not, well, your loss, toots. Nyah nyah nyah. (Yes, my parents did get an excellent return on all the years of alternative dispute resolution and assertive self-expression courses they paid for me to attend. Let this be a lesson to those of you with children: skip the therapy and just buy the sproutlings expensive entertainment gear. Escapism beats self-knowledge any day.)

Best FF That Goes a Long Way Toward Healing the Pain Caused by the Travesties Otherwise Known as Star Wars Episodes One and Two, AKA Star Wars: It Takes a Lot to Kill the Love, but By God, It Can Be Done, and I, George Lucas, Will Prove It: Just Names for Sides, by [livejournal.com profile] daegaer. I think I can safely tell you that you'll need to have seen Star Wars to understand this one. I can also tell you it's a crossover. And it's completely changed the way I see one scene of the aforementioned movie, but that's fine, because it does the heart good to snicker at Luke Skywalker, Ultrawhiner Edition (Now with Extra Whine!). At least, it does my heart good. Which in no way changes the fact that Daegaer is an evil, evil writer; it just makes me love her for it. And I think that's it for the "fore-warned" aspect of things with this one.

Best FF That Makes the Owies Left by the Scary, Scary Badfic All Better: Something's Wrong, by Saya Senyum, I think her name is, aka [livejournal.com profile] i_smile (I'm sure about that). And I feel I can tell you that it's Harry Potter, Ron Weasley/Harry Potter, because the author does, but don't let that lull you into feeling secure. This story is a subgenre I really wish we saw more often. It isn't a canon fix-it, it's a fan fiction fix-it; the story actually patches the holes in another, presumably much worse, story. Considering all the horrible FF out there, we could do with a lot more of this. Turns out there's no FF mistake that can't be reconciled by tilting one's head, squinting, and inverting the monitor. Well, provided one is the current receptacle of divine madness, as Saya Senyum (if that is her name) clearly was while writing this.

Best FF That Reveals What We Always Suspected of All Those Inuit Stories - i.e., That Fraser Is Making a Lot of Them Up: No Less Radiant, by [livejournal.com profile] laurakaye. Due South. I can't tell you anything about this story, except that A Certain Person should not read it (although she probably will anyway, and I don't think she'll be sorry, exactly), and neither should Ardent (but she already knows that, I'm guessing). It isn't exactly of a piece with the rest of the nominations here, but I had to include it, because I want those of you unfamiliar with this story (assuming there are people unfamiliar with this story) to come to it the way I did: with no knowledge about it at all. Really, it works best this way. If you don't agree, feel free to leave a bitter comment. I will reply, even, because that will give me a chance to show off my icons.

Best FF That Proves That Sometimes Plagiarism Is Neither Theft Nor Homage, but Rather the Sign of a Brilliantly Deranged Mind: The Other Guide, by Francesca, aka [livejournal.com profile] cesperanza. The Sentinel. Sort of. We began this set with a mutant crossover from a mind clearly warped out of true by over-exposure to fan fiction, and we end it the same way. This story comes from someone I used to regard as a sane, sober, and sensible individual. And then I found this story. Now I view her as extremely likely to go off into gales of slightly cracked giggles, much in the manner of a person who will soon don a mask and a tight, brightly-colored outfit and go head-to-head with Batman. (She'd be called Fangirl, of course. Her weapons would be TV trivia and the sonic squee, and her outfit would have a large heart with a LJ icon of her favorite pairing - I'm thinking Kowalski/Fraser - in the center. She'd taunt Batman by writing stories about his sexual exploits with nearly everyone in Gotham and posting it all on the internet, and she'd enhance her evil by emailing update notices to his secret email account and to all the Gotham newspapers. And in the last issue, she'd eventually be cornered by the ultimate weapon: Batlawyers.) So, yeah, I've pretty much gotten off the whole story topic, but that's OK, because I can't tell you anything about it anyway. Just read it.

-Afterword-

If any of these stories remains a mystery after you've read it, feel free to leave a plaintive query in the comments section. I will do what I can to clear things up. And, of course, I will show off my new icons, for which I thank [livejournal.com profile] makesmewannadie, my own true wombat and long lost mystery relative, and [livejournal.com profile] wanderlustlover, who makes gorgeous icons in such quantity that I suspect her (or maybe him) of being paid by LJ to force us all to buy the extra user picture slots.
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
(Note on the title of this entry: am I the only person continually surprised by the massive slashiness and sexiness of the Psalms and the Songs of Solomon? See, I didn't really have any exposure to The Bible in my youth - I mean, until fairly recently, I thought Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John were brothers - so it's coming as something of a surprise to me just how profoundly sexual certain parts of this book are. And that title? Direct biblical quote. Someone explain to me again that this is a religious document, because I think I'm missing the point.)

So. I was going to do an exceptionally gloomy entry on gen. I got it written and everything, and then I looked at it and realized it was depressing the hell out of me, and I was just writing the story summaries. I decided I couldn't, in good conscience, post something that grim. The gen entry is tabled until I can un-gloomy it a bit, and in the meantime, well...

When in danger, dark, or doubt, turn to that perennial source of buoyant joy: the drunkfic. Slash has made me a serious fan of drunkenness, albeit only on the part of fictional characters; now let it make a believer out of you.

Best FF That Dragged Me into a New Fandom, Slammed the Door Behind Me, Locked It, and Then Did Something Shockingly NC-17 with the Key: Djibouti, by Caroline Baker, aka [livejournal.com profile] linabean, and Fox, aka [livejournal.com profile] darthfox*. Sports Night, Danny Rydell/Casey McCall. This, folks, is a great story. And here's how I know it's a great story: I read this thing giggling like a maniac. And then it got to the sex part, and I was irritated. Me! The pervert! The big ol' fan of smut! Irritated because Danny and Casey were having sex, because I was afraid they'd stop with the hysterical banter. Turns out, though, that when these guys are in the talented hands of Caroline Baker and Fox sex is no barrier to wittiness, and given the sex act most discussed in this story, that's damned impressive. Anyway, after I finished this story (and finished laughing), I realized that I couldn't even pretend any longer that I was not in the Sports Night fandom. Because I would go a long, long way, at least in the electronic sense, for FF with dialog this damn good.

Best FF Featuring Creative Use of Semaphore Interpretation Skills: Once Again, in French, by Cara Chapel, who I suspect is also [livejournal.com profile] cara_chapel, though I would really appreciate some confirmation on that. Due South, Ray Vecchio/Renfield Turnbull. Yes, you read that pairing right. I spent several minutes frozen in front of my computer after I saw that, worrying that perhaps I was having an oddly lifelike hallucination, or that I had lost my mind. After a bit, I opened my eyes, inspected the pairing again, and realized it was Cara Chapel who'd lost her mind, not me, so that's good news. But here's the thing: I like Turnbull. (Some may argue that this is proof of insanity right there. They would be big ol' party-poopers.) Admittedly, this fondness is based only on his inconsistent portrayal in FF, but still. I like him. I'm always happy when he gets some, be it sex, respect, or fun, because he seems sorely in need of all three. Well, here he gets a kiss, at any rate, and at least some fun, and it's cute and sweet and a little giggly - just like Turnbull would be drunk, really - and, honestly, I'd read a whole series involving this pairing.

Best FF That Demonstrates, Yet Again, That a Drunken Jack Aubrey Is a Force of Nature, If Not Actually an Act of God: The Best Men, by [livejournal.com profile] gritkitty. Master & Commander books, Stephen Maturin/Jack Aubrey. Yes, this could just as easily be read by those who have only seen the movie, but I specify M&C books for several reasons. The best one is this: if you like this story, you might as well buy the entire series, because you'll also like the canon. Subtract half of the fondling and all of the sex from this fic and you've got a scene that could be pasted into a half-dozen of the novels. And, frankly, that just makes me swoon. I love it when FF writers capture some essential element of M&C, be it voice, character, pacing, whatever. And I love that M&C is already so slashy that, really, it's hard to believe there wasn't something like this in one of the books.

Best FF Featuring Mention of a Dust Vent and Comparisons to the Cleaning Thereof: Theory and Practice, by Halrloprillalar, aka [livejournal.com profile] prillalar. Star Wars, Luke Skywalker/Biggs Darklighter, because turns out he does have a second name, at least according to [livejournal.com profile] penknife, and I think we can all agree that said second name is awful. This is a gentle little kissing fic that I love because I believe in my heart that Luke Skywalker would suck at kissing, and when you read this story you'll understand that I chose the word 'suck' very carefully. I can hear whiny Episode IV Luke in this story, and it makes me sort of nostalgic for the days when I watched Star Wars whenever I was sick. (I now watch Fellowship of the Rings.) When you're getting all dreamy-eyed and sighing over whining, you know that either you've seen the canon too many damn times, or the canon has disintegrated to such an extent that an all-whining, all-pouting movie would now be cause for the deepest gratitude. And in this case it turns out that both are true. So go read "Theory and Practice," and remember that there were days, now gone beyond recall, when George Lucas did not suck at making movies even more than Luke sucks at kissing.

* Thanks for the info, [livejournal.com profile] darthrami!

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