Story: Two Houses
Fandom: Little Mermaid (Disney)
Genre: Divergence, angst
Summary: A fish tale about the one that got away.
Squeeing: The Little Mermaid
is one of my childhood fandoms, and I love it with my whole heart. I wouldn't change a thing about the movie - but this is the tale my adult self wants. This gives Ariel and Eric more dimension than the "fall in all consuming love." Beautiful and poignant, the fic leaves me feeling that strange mix of happy melancholy that good writing can provide.
Excerpt: But she wasn't a child anymore. Or not as much of one. Magic and contracts and spells had their prices, and she'd seen what being selfish had nearly cost her, cost her father... cost her people and the entire ocean.
Story: Re: Inter Office Gossip
Author: Handful of Silence
Genre: Humor, romance, epistolary
Summary: Lestrade and Donovan make a bet regarding Sherlock and John. It doesn't take long for the majority of the Yard to get involved.
Squeeing: I found this off a rec from someone else a couple of weeks ago, but I can't remember who. ^^;; Anyway, this is such a fabulous fic I'm passing the rec on.
It's hard to find epistolary fic done right, but this one hits the nails it. The voices for the characters in their emails back and forth are perfect - I can "hear" Donovan's dislike of Sherlock, how Lestrade is holding the center, and everyone else. This is just very well executed and made me laugh.
Excerpt: From: S Donovan
To: G Lestrade
Subject: Freak's New Pet
Well, what do you think?
From: G Lestrade
To: S Donovan
Subject: Re: Freak's New Pet
What did I say about calling Sherlock names?
Story: Feelings Are Boring
Fandom: Star Trek
Genre: Action/adventure, romance
Summary: This is not exactly what Jim thought the 'exploring strange new worlds and exotic civilizations' was about. Also, Vulcans are kind of crazy. Jim and Spock go through a alien ritual, which, yes, changes everything -- he's hoping for the better. Spock just wants to get through this with his sanity, if not his dignity, mostly intact.
Squeeing: I love the Star Trek BigBang. There's always gems in it. This is one of my favorites so far - Lazulisong is another of those writers who I will read anything by, because her narration has such life and personality in it. There's a drollness in everything she writes that keeps me smiling throughout the fic even as I'm engaged in the story.
One other note of squee: I'm not a terribly visual person and could take or leave the art associated with BB fics in 98 percent of the cases, but the artist in this case nails
the tone of the fic and it's pretty in a manga-kind of way. Just the cherry on top of an already very excellent cake.
Excerpt: Starfleet knows this because the Klingon empire once tried to annex Lyra V. The Lyrans sent part of the invading army back, tanned into leather and painted with a scene detailing the invaders' fate, and then sent some charming little leathery bags and their compliments to the Federation, requesting membership. As Pike says, they could waste time being shocked and appalled, or they could get themselves a badass new ally; Starfleet’s going for the new ally.
Story: To Be One of the Guys
Genre: Character Study
Pairing/Character: Beiste, Kurt/Blaine
Summary: To find your place and protect yourself, well... These are hard tasks, and sometimes you have to choose just the one.
Squeeing: I'm with the majority of fandom when I say I love Shannon Beiste. I'm also with the majority of fans who thinks her reactions to Kurt's tryouts for West Side Story was out of character. I find the parallels between their situations obvious - Kurt as effeminate, Beiste as masculine - and I would have liked to believe Beiste would have gotten
where Kurt is coming from better than any other staff member.
This fic provides a plausible backstory for what things fall out the way they do - it gets into Beiste's head well using second POV, and I can hear all of her pain. Kurt's strength is resounding in the end, and once again what hasn't killed him has made him stronger.
This fic isn't the explanation for that fiasco I want
to believe, but it's a good one nonetheless. Reading the story reminds me of rotating a prism and show a different light on reality.
Excerpt: Some guys make fun of you too, but it’s easier with the guys, overall. None of them want to fix you. They sure don’t want to fuck you, and that makes it safe. Safe for you from their trying to make you normal, like that could ever happen, through shame or through condescending “help” on how to “be a girl.” And safe for them from having a woman around who might object to the Guy Talk, the camaraderie built around what women lack. Because you know what all those other women lack, what’s embarrassing about them. What you don’t want to be and at the same time intensely want to be because it would make things just
Genre: Romance, Drama, Smut
Summary: Kurt and Blaine never got together. They remained best friends through high school and college, then parted ways. Now they meet again in difficult circumstances. A story about friendship, lost dreams and broken hearts, with a happy Klaine ending.
Squeeing: A divergence that contains good storytelling, interesting characterization, hot smut and a fluffy ending. What's not to like? There were two things that stuck out about this fic: one, how Kurt and Blaine's relationship is based on their friendship first and always; and two, the portrayal of Kurt's past abusive relationship is nuanced and believable.
Excerpt: It was August after our junior year when Kurt met Marcus. The damn charmer went up to him one day in our favorite café and started a conversation. Once they were on the subject of fashion, he had Kurt where he wanted him. Marcus told him who he was, showed him a couple of things he was working on that he just happened to have on him, dropped in a compliment or two and my boy was hooked. I’ve always thought it was suspicious that he coincidently found Kurt just as he had a chance to bloom with a serious competition. It was too convenient.
Story: Clarkus Maximus
Author: Deadly Chakram
Fandom: Xena/Lois & Clark
Pairing/Character: Lois/Clark, Gabrielle, Xena
Summary: Tempus is at it again! This time, he’s abducted Lois and Clark and left them in ancient Greece. With H.G. Wells nowhere in sight, they must turn to Xena: Warrior Princess for help. But what happens when Clark is captured by gladiator traders?
Squeeing: I wonder if there's ever going to be a movement within fandom for "retro fic." This fic has a relatively recent archive date, but feels like it was written in the nineties. I don't know how to explain it, but the tropes all belong to that time period in fandom. Cue my nostalgia phase. This rec isn't just for the story, but rather for the way it reads like a throwback to fandom days of yore.
Excerpt: “You’re not from around here,” she said as she looked over their strange clothing.
“No, we’re not,” Clark agreed. “We’re just…lost. Very, very lost.”
Story: Where You Belong
Genre: Romance, Divergence
Summary: Prom an event Kurt has been planning for since as long as he can remember, second in importance only to his wedding. It's going to be perfect. He's got the perfect outfit and the perfect man and absolutely nothing could ruin his big night... right?
Squeeing: There is something about this fic I keep coming back to - it diverges from the second season, and is set in the mythical land where Kurt never leaves Dalton and Klaine hasn't started yet. I'm trying to put my finger on it, but the best explanation is that this feels like a teen movie - the misunderstandings, the characters, their reactions. Something about this fic is incredibly sweet, and Kurt and Blaine feel like teenagers in this. While I love Klaine as a pairing, it's hard to find fic where they act their ages - not children, but not adults, either.
Excerpt: Kurt had never received flowers before. He didn't quite know what the proper way to react was, but currently he felt like doing something extremely out of character and screaming like a ten year old girl who'd gotten exactly what she wanted for Christmas. But then Kurt rationalized that if he did that he would probably have about ten boys trying to break down his door thinking he was being murdered, and that would certainly ruin this moment. So with wide eyes Kurt instead stepped forward and shakily plucked the small white card out from the mass of flowers and opened it – not daring to allow himself to hope who they could be from.
Story: Alone in the Light
Fandom: Star Trek
Pairing/Character: Kirk/Spock, implied Scotty/Uhura, OC/OC, ensemble, Many OCs
Summary: When Ensign Bestine commits suicide during a long haul between starbases, Jim thinks it's a bad omen. When they find a crewman with his head bashed it seems he's right.
Squeeing: A solid whodunit that manages to capture the essence of NuTrek. I love this author's Kirk voice, the interaction with Spock, and the little details that make this feel like it's really on the Enterprise. It's 40K, and it kept me up late reading because once the ball gets rolling, it's impossible to look away. There's some really nicely done noncannon cast members, and enough geek winks to make a solid sci-fi fan laugh at the in-joke.
Excerpt: When they had set off a year ago Jim had known intellectually that a starship Captain was responsible for the lives and deaths of everyone under their command. Now he understood what that meant. Tonight it meant reviewing the scanty mission report they had put together on the disastrous away mission to Kumba 6-4. 'Dead men tell no tales,' he thought morosely before starting in.
Story: Making and Unmaking, Wandering No More
Fandom: Twelve Houses (Sharon Shinn)
Genre: Drama, Post series
Pairing/Character: Cast (Canon pairings)
Summary: Five years after war tore apart the land of Gillengaria a new chapter is ready to be written for more than just the young ser and serra preparing to be installed as marlady and marlord of their Houses.
Squeeing: I am desperate for good fanfic based off Sharon Shinn's work that captures the worlds she builds. This fic is a very satisfying "five years later" that works through the entire cast of the Twelve Houses series as it comes to a scene which is set up in the books. It's not flawless, but it does make me think the author gets
the worlds I loved reading about, and it's a balanced approach to the storytelling.
Excerpt: By the time she launched the pillow at him, he was reaching for the last of his gear and going out the door. Still she was smiling for all his teasing. It was true that the young Queen owned her husband’s truest and deepest loyalty, but no other person in this world or the next had carved into it even the tiniest niche for themselves. Not even Senneth.
Tayse had carved it for her.
Fandom: Glee/Survivor/The Amazing Race fusion
Genre: Action/adventure, interactive (but static now), humor
Pairing/Character: Entire Cast
Summary: Glee does Survivor. It goes so well that there's an Amazing Race sequel.
Squeeing: I'm reccing this since it's something that wouldn't typically get recced - it'sthe results of a series of polls (I would guess over fifty) that cast the characters as Survivor characters, which the author then wrote out. It's very much like reading a "Choose Your Own Adventure" novel that has the course laid out (which is fun
.) The writer is one of the best in Glee fandom at capturing the peccadilloes of the characters and somehow selling it - it's an outlandish scenario, but Glee has an edge of that in the original canon. After the first couple of posts, the author goes into more descriptions of the scenarios/results that make for very entertaining reading.
Excerpt: Next, Brittany covers her eyes with her hands and attempts to follow Sue's orders. Sue tells her to turn left. She stands still. Sue tells her to turn right. She stands still. Finally, Sue asks Brittany what she's doing. Brittany replies that she felt like she was playing hide-and-go-seek and she wasn't supposed to move until she finished counting down from a hundred.
Story: Whispers in the Corner
Genre: Crossover, Drama, Mystery, Romance
Pairing/Character: Harry/Mycroft, Sherlock/Watson
Summary: Everything started with a stumble - his new life in a new world as well as his surprisingly successful career as a medium.
Squeeing: I think everyone has writers they will cheerfully follow from fandom to fandom like a puppy on a leash. Esama is one of those writers for me. What I especially like about this fic is how the old trope of "Harry falls into a different world" is given a gritty, but not suicidal edge. The idea for what Harry ends up doing with the Resurrection Stone is great, and as always, Esama is a consummate storyteller. This whole universe is very vivid for me.
Excerpt: But it is hundred times better than some of the alternatives and even while his magic would make him exceptionally good and successful thief or a burglar, it is simply not within Harry to go down that road. Being a medium is rather ridiculous – and he is cheating every step of the way. Anyone could've done it with the Ring after all. But still. It's something.
Story: Carry That Weight
Author: hedgerose, polarbearutopia
Fandom: Glee/American Idol
Genre: Fusion, Drama, AU
Pairing/Character: Klaine (Kurt/Blaine)
Summary: When Blaine's friend Susan drags him to an American Idol audition, he's not even trying to get past the first round-- much less into the top ten. And after getting through Disco Week, avoiding the media, and dealing with his very absent parents, Blaine's not sure he even wants to win-- although falling in love might make up for a lot of that. And maybe, just maybe, he can win this thing.
Squeeing: I do not read RPF. It's one of the few lines I have left... and then something like this comes across, and my lines blur. It's not true RPF, since the focus is the Glee cast using the Idol universe as a setting. It sounds ridiculous on the surface, but the writers manage to pull together an amazing universe that walks the line perfectly. The amount of detail in building this world is astounding - so much thought is put into it that the world breathes
. There's also some amazing work done on social media, so it's a very current look at fandom and the interaction with reality tv while using the characters from my (current) favorite fictional show. The piece is a sensitive work that explores the complexity of our society as it is right now, and Blaine and Kurt's relationship manages to develop in a fascinating way. Just a stunning achievement that made me decide I needed to start reccing again after a year and a half of being AWOL.
Excerpt: Blaine hadn't expected to make to Hollywood Week, much less through it, so now that he's made it to the semi-finals he's completely flummoxed. There are plenty of songs he can sing-- song choice isn't a problem, not with three years in the Warblers, two of them leading-- but he hadn't really thought about the prospect of being one of thirty-six people singing live on television to millions of viewers. Now that he actually could get somewhere-- now that he might get a record contract-- he's not really sure what to do.
Story: The Escapist
Author: Crimson Siyrean
Genre: Humor, RarePare
Summary: Travailing back to Konoha to face interrogation, Karin can't help but wonder about her strange captors, especially about one in particulars reading habits. Why does he always have his noes in a book?
Squeeing: Karin going back to Konoha with Kakashi, Sakura and Naruto. There's so much possibility here, and I like the way she interacts with the cast - especially Kakashi.
Excerpt: "What are you reading?" she finally snapped at him. He tilted the cover so she could see. Some how the green cover with hearts and a thinking man didn't seem all that impressive. Karin gave him an incredulous look. "It any good?"
Genre: Romance, RarePare
Summary: Being the tale of one Matsumoto Rangiku and her love affair with silence.
Squeeing: Okay, I'll be honest - the idea of these two together is hot.
I like the spin this takes on Rangiku's motivations... instead of seeking some Great Romance, it's more of an accident that they come together.
Excerpt: Of all the shinigami currently twiddling their thumbs in the Seireitei waiting for Aizen to drop some sort of cosmic safe (or possibly a piano, one never knew with that man), Zaraki Kenpachi was the man best at shutting the hell up.
Story: Lotus Blooming in the Ruins
Summary: Every ninja in Konoha has their own story as to what happened to them when the Kyuubi attacked that October evening. Might Guy had a good deal of endurance to stubbornly march through as he did. It was here that he learned the true power of youth.
Squeeing: This is a different spin on the arrival of the Ninetails which could very well be canon. It's interesting to see how Gai, a less-popular character than some of the others, goes through... lots of tragedy mixed in with some really great imagery and character moments.
Excerpt: The horizon glowed like the sunset despite it being to the east. Fire-red tails swung amongst each other as the tendril rays of a flaring star in the distance.
He felt another quake up from the bottom of his feet, and the buildings around him creaked and moaned lightly while they shed a rain of dust and small pebbles with the quiver. Guy’s heart beat hard and heavy, punching him inside his own chest, and he took a deep breath.
And then he heard the roar.
Story: Be Yourself and Five Other Clichés
Genre: Humor, Romance
Summary: In which Kurt can be butch and Puck can be classy and Mike's terrible at keeping secrets and everybody's in the celibacy club (which Kurt eventually destroys), and why the hell hasn't Matt said anything yet?
Squeeing: The Mike/Kurt pairing is one I could really get behind, since Mike's pretty much a blank slate and can be interpreted however the author wants. Plus, Puck makes an excellent friend for Kurt... the whole fic is full of snappy dialog and amusing asides. Just... love.
Excerpt: Kurt sits down in the chair next to his. "You know what I mean, Puck. Was it too gay?"
"You want my nice answer or my honest answer?"
"I'm a big boy. I can handle it."
Puck nods. "You make Clay Aiken look butch."
"Translation: I'm awesome."
Story: Mortuary Mixup
Genre: Humor, Crack
Pairing/Character: Hidan, Ino
Summary: All in all, Ino was bound for a stiff and miserable occasion until he nearly destroyed the wall of the funeral home.
Squeeing: Sometimes we need crackfic. Hidan and Ino just play off each other so damn well
in this fic.
Excerpt: It was almost enough to make her dismiss the fact that she was stuck in a stuffy funeral parlor with fifty other family members, half of whom she couldn't even name.
Story: Old Soldiers
Fandom: Doctor Who
Summary: Wilf's stopped believing in ordinary days.
Squeeing: Spoilers for End of Time. I think this is one of the best backstory fics I've seen for Wilf - it catches him brilliantly and is constructed perfectly. One of those fics which is
my canon now.
Excerpt: Wilfred Mott feels older than anyone's got a right to be.
Story: War and Peace In Mind
Author: Jeune Chat
Fandom: Sky High
Genre: Drama, Epic, Expansion, Continutation
Summary: Warren Peace had a hard road to get where he was, and dealing with the future is bound to be no easier. With friends at his side, can he learn of his shaded past and find a heroic future?
Squeeing: I blame ickaimp
for getting me obsessed with Sky High again. This fic is epic
, and starts with the rehash of the movie from Warren's POV, before going off on its own. Very well written while expanding the Sky High universe with some really interesting politics, powers, and characters. Highly recommended.
Excerpt: “I say,” I said, not even looking at him, “if you ever cross me again, I’ll roast you alive.” Will’s hand stayed out for a long moment, a look of blank astonishment over his face, before sliding his hand back to his desk. I had regretted the words the minute they were out of my mouth. Baron Battle had roasted his four victims alive, but I wanted to do was to say something, anything, to keep him from every talking to me again.
Story: Six Pomegranate Seeds
Fandom: Card Captor Sakura
Genre: Romance, Character
Summary: Yue has a wish for his future; Touya is a little startled and a lot enlightened.
Squeeing: This is one of the classic Touya/Yue/Yukito dilemma - Yue's immortality vs. Touya's mortality. Branch is an excellent storyteller, and I enjoyed this answer. It's like CCS comfortfic.
Excerpt: But the fear wouldn’t leave him, not even with Touya’s promise. If Yue had to admit what he wanted, finally, he wanted to be with Touya, not just his ghost! If only Touya weren’t mortal. If only Yue weren’t immortal. If only he could cling to Touya’s warmth wherever it went, even out of this world. If only Yue had Clow’s power to change what he was. He closed immaterial eyes and sighed, retreating a little further from the sweetness of Touya’s hands against Yukito’s skin.