thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
So, uh. Mistakes were made. See, there was this neat meme going around on Twitter – one like equals one ship – and I was really enjoying seeing what everyone had stored deep in the depths of their pairing wardrobe. Except most people were tweeting pictures, and the last thing I want to do is google a whole bunch of names and spend time squinting at the screen going, "But is that the actual Jim and Blair from the Sentinel? ...What did they look like, even?" So instead I thought I'd do fic recs. I could easily come up with a dozen or so pairings and a dozen or so recs, and I didn't expect to get more likes than that.

Instead, I ended up with 66 likes.

So, over the next, uh, probably months, possibly years, I will be doing a very deep dive into my pairing wardrobe. (Yes, I do have 66 pairings. I counted. The sad truth is that even this will not empty my pockets of all pairings. I'm a ship magpie, apparently.) No particular order, because honestly this project is already ridiculous enough. I'll try not to use stories I've recommended before, but in some cases I'll do it anyway, because some pairings have to be mentioned, even if I've already recommended every story about them.

Are you ready for this? I am definitely not ready for this. There should be a special name for a meme that gets way out of hand. Memelanche? Whatever. Here comes my memelanche of pairings, one fic rec at a time.

Let's start with a classic.

The One That Made Me Realize the Horror of Having a Soulmate with a Really Long Name in a Wristname AU. (Like, Jarome Arthur-Leigh Adekunle Tig Junior Elvis Iginla's Soulmate Presumably Has a Full Sleeve Wristname, So I Hope They Like Tattoos.) Gentle Antidote, by x_los. Harriet Vane/Peter Wimsey, Lord Peter Wimsey series.

Okay, so, if I'm doing an All the Ships I've Loved Before meme, let's start off with one of the ones that formatted my brain. I read the Peter Wimsey novels as an impressionable 12 year old, and I tell you what: that's the wrong damn time to read them. Developing brains and Dorothy Sayers are a potent, terrible mix; I will never stop expecting fictional het romances to require five years, five hundred pages of persiflage, and at minimum two dead bodies before any sort of consummation can be achieved. This is why I am terrible at reading published het romances. The characters meet and kiss and fall in love and bang in the space of like a week, and my hindbrain goes, "Nope. This is not how straight romance goes. I know this from my learnings. Where are the corpses? Where is the part where she refuses him fifty times and walks across England to avoid dealing with her feelings? Where's the banter and telegrams and Latin proposals?" My brain knows what it is due and just won't accept less. Sayers has a lot to answer for, basically.

But it turns out I do not require the years/persiflage/bodies in every single case, and, oddly, this pairing is one of the cases where I don't. At least in the hands of a writer as skilled as this, in a story as good as "Gentle Antidote." This is honestly everything I've ever wanted from a Harriet/Peter story – them, being so completely them, which will always be enough for me – and also everything I've ever wanted from a wristname AU – good worldbuilding, sensible reactions, total buy-in to the concept, wristnames that don't solve every problem and actually create a few, a happy ending.

This story makes me as happy as any two of the books it took Sayers to accomplish the feat of getting these extremely difficult people together. Partly that happiness comes from the sheer perfection of every word, and partly it's from my knowledge of everything the characters are going to avoid and accomplish, thanks to wristnames. (Hail, wristnames! I welcome our tropey overlord.) And while I think the former joy will be available to anyone who knows what a wristname is, the second pleasure is probably only for those who have read Sayers's Harriet Vane stories. (Which, I mean, is not time wasted or anything.)

But whether you've read Sayers or not, I recommend this story; it's the perfect story for the ur-ship. (Or one of them. But, well, we're going to get there. One pairing down, 65 to go.)
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
(I apologize for the title, especially if you've now got the source of it stuck in your head. I'm not a big fan of the poem, either - actually, it sort of makes me gag - but it was all I could think of. If you've got an idea for a better title, I'd love to hear about it.)

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

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

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

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

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

Best FF Featuring a White-Haired Entity of Unknown Origin Engaging in an Extremely Human Behavior. And That Behavior Is Not Smutty. Though I Wish It Was.: Peace.keep.er, by Mooncalf, aka [livejournal.com profile] tsukikoushi. Xenosaga: Der Wille Zur Macht, Chaos-oriented gen or possibly slash, in which case the slash would be Chaos/Tony. And those of you who have played the game will right now be wondering why I'm capitalizing Chaos. Well, I thought it would save confusion, especially for those who have not played the game, who might end up thinking that this is a story about the force of entropy and disarray. (And they would not be entirely wrong, would they?) This is a Special Bonus Nomination, included because it will be of interest only to people who have actually played the sprawling, delightful insanity that is the video game Xenosaga, and I'm guessing that's just me and my Best Beloved. This is about one of my favorite dang characters from said video game. Who I really hope will be better explained in the subsequent installments of this game, because there's a lot about him that's not entirely clear. Like his species, his origin, his purpose, his...well, everything. Mooncalf clearly understands him, though. Maybe she should write the next episode of Xenosaga.

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