These are the stories I recommended in 2004. For current recs, click here
My own stories are here, if you're interested.
If you want to say something to me, click here (or here, if you have a livejournal too).
18 December 2004
I have to admit this recs page is primarily for my benefit: I want to have convenient links to stories I like. Daegaer has all her fanfiction neatly arranged in her livejournal's memories, so I wasn't bothering to rec her much, and then I realised that I didn't have any convenient link to a vitally important piece of commentary.
Daegaer writes lots of good stuff, especially Good Omens fanfic.
I'd like to recommend it all, because Daegaer writes angels (and fallen angels) better than anyone else I know, but for the purposes of this recs entry, I recommend The Sound of Omens, a revisioning of The Sound of Music only with characters from the novel Good Omens.
You do not have to have seen TSoM to appreciate it, though it may help, but everyone who's even remotely a Julie Andrews fan will have some idea what happens, right? Or maybe that's just me: my mum went to see TSoM about sixty times in the cinema, which proves that fannish obsessiveness is hereditary, though I like to think I express it in much more interesting ways.
About eight months after The Sound of Omens, Daegaer succumbed to a meme and published a DVD-style commentary on it, which link is actually the sole and selfish purpose of this recs page. So there.
But it really is a fantastically funny musical, the sort of thing to read on grey days when you can't believe anything could cheer you up. However, if you're at all familiar with Good Omens, you may find it helps to have read Some lurk it hot, Personal Demons, or Grey. Or all of the above. It's all good.
14 November 2004
Kalena's What You Ask For: Due South, RayV/Fraser, just what I would have asked for: I always preferred the relationship Ray Vecchio had with Fraser, in love at first sight with a Mountie he barely knew. I like this Fraser, too: not quite sane, not quite together, but desperately needing to make it all work.
Okay, after the token story not set in Korea, moving right along:
First of all, a long discussion thread on M*A*S*H in the TWOP forums.
Meredith Bronwen Mallory's A Still, Small Voice. This story clearly wasn't even proofread, which is a shame, because past the minor technical flaws, it's a terrific story. (I'd also recommend Make Room For Me which has the same problems - a good read, nice characterisation, Radar's somewhat spooky and illdefined telepathy well-handled - but small errors add up to annoyance. Poor use of epithets. The odd spelling mistake. When you can write well, it's worth doing well.)
Game 22 was recommended as "best characterisation of Frank Burns" on the M*A*S*H slash awards, and it's certainly good Frank Burns, but more than that (if Ferretface doesn't particularly interest you) it's excellent characterisation of Hawkeye and Trapper, seen without the usual blurring of romance. Hawkeye and Trapper are both shockingly cruel to Frank, who eventually has a mental breakdown.
If you look at M*A*S*H one way, it's effectively a morality play where people are redeemed through good work. Charles and Margaret are neither of them pleasant people, but they're both very good at what they do: their characters are redeemable. Henry Blake is a pleasant person who isn't especially good at what he does: and he's the only one who gets killed. Trapper and Hawkeye and BJ are likeable to us, but would all three of them of been hell to live with in the confines of the 4077th - BJ's liking for humiliating practical jokes must have been almost as excruciating as Hawkeye's verbal take-downs, if you didn't happen to be on the right side of the screen. What redeems them within the context of the series is the excellence of their work. Frank Burns is neither likable nor redeemable. But another way to look at Frank Burns is that the war dropped a mentally fragile man into an environment where you had to be mentally robust to survive. And he didn't. This story is the only one I've ever read that deals with that, and it's almost unbearable to read.
I was in part inspired by Game 22 when I wrote the Typewriter drabble. (All my MASH100th drabbles are archived on the community's website.)
10 October 2004
No particular theme. Just stories I read and liked in the past month.
You won't often see me recommend a Sentinel story, because I've still only ever seen one episode, but I did like this one: Paying the Rent, by elaine.
You may take it that I am seriously disturbed that I am rec'ing a wrongRay/Fraser story, but I did think it was good. The Better Angels by Bone & Aristide.
Sam Walker's The Legend of Daniel Jackson: how Jack and Daniel might have met. Admittedly it's considerably wrong about their respective ages, and the original characters who flit through it are cardboardy and unreal, but overall, not bad.
Absurdly Simple - Holmes/Watson slash. Well-written, thoroughly in character, and dealing very nicely with the problem that Watson, although a dutiful chronicler in most respects, absolutely must not be allowed to write sex scenes.
Kat Allison's Strata. Highlander. Duncan/Methos. I don't normally read stories like this for the scenery, but I was at the Grand Canyon for three days earlier this year, and I want to go back, and it doesn't seem like I ever will. It really is that impressive. But you probably don't need to know that to enjoy this story.
11 September 2004
Half a dozen mostly-slash stories from the anti-war war sitcom, M*A*S*H.
Am-Chau Yarkona's The Explaining Series Post-war, long story, with a nice narrative framing device: Erin asking her parents how the three of them got together.
Raven's Shattering Glass Nice angst. Hawkeye/BJ. And that's all I'm going to say.
Iolanthe's Playing the Game (and Part Two, and it reads like there should be more, but it's not labelled as a WiP). A Mulcahy story, with more than a hint of Mulcahy/Hawkeye, but not much more.
Epigone's In Truth No Beauty. Winchester/Klinger. This is one of those pairings that, I know, you just stare at, thinking "Come off it, not possible!" like Scully/Krycek. But really, it proves the point: Any pairing is convincing if written well. Any story written well is worth reading. I loved this. Also by Epigone, The Third Incurable Affliction, which is gen, but with hints of pre-slash (or possibly post-slash) for Hawkeye and Trapper, Hawkeye and BJ. Actually, I think I could just save myself time and trouble and recommend all of Epigone's M*A*S*H stories: so far the only one I haven't loved is an odd pre-slash Hawkeye/Mulcahy story.
Raven's Surreal. SG-1 go through the Stargate and end up in Korea in 1950. Well, what do you expect?
There is no point in linking directly to any story on the infamous fanfiction.net site, because the URLs suffer linkrot so fast you'd think this was a Trek episode with technobabble, but if you search on A. V. Meren, there are a few very nice angsty stories, mostly about Hawkeye.
15 August 2004
Theme: X-Files crossovers
Highlander: Torch's China. Methos meets Mulder. (And read the author's comments: here)
Star Trek: Anna's A Little Lost Fox. Skinner, Krycek, and Mulder in a more-or-less Trek universe.
West Wing: Torch again: Lies, damn lies, and agriculture. Josh Lyman meets a dark stranger.
11 August 2004
Theme: Highlander stories I can't forget.
Jane Mortimer's A Winter's Tale. Joe. Methos. In a bar. Methos seen through Joe's eyes.
Kat Allison's One For the Road. Methos leaving, because it's what he does best. After you've read that story, read this for the meta value.
Sylvia Volk's She, or The Slave Girl. Methos in China, in the last century: the "ugly foreigner" seen through the eyes of a girl who wants to be Mu-Lan.
laura j. valentine's Metempsychosis. Methos seen through Duncan's eyes. Think about the title very carefully.
Basingstoke's Frostbite. Methos at the end of the world, seen through Duncan's eyes.
Julad's The Freshest and the Best. I admit the first five were all angst, but this one isn't. Or not much. Read it to cheer yourself up, and then go cook some eel. Unless you're vegetarian.
9 August 2004
Batman. Robin. Canon. Really.
And in a different part of the forest, Basingstoke's Kissable Fanatic, Unhinged Minim Artists - half X-Men, half Hard Core Logo (well, kind of: it's not a HCL crossover, but that's the feel of it). After you've read the story, read the commentary. S'good.
6 August 2004
Theme: I ought to hate this story, but I love it.
Speranza's With Six You Get Eggroll. Post the last episode of Due South, this is Fraser with the wrong Ray, and six cute kids, in a shack, in Canada. What's not to hate?
Sandy's As Lucid As Hell. It's popslash! It's N'Sync popslash! But it's meta...
2 August 2004
The Big List of Fanfic Peeves: One to Ten and now A to J.
Back when I was a bitkah (1998-99), I contributed to this list. I'm especially proud of this scene from an unwritten Blake's 7 story:
The little thief fucked the burly rebel so hard that he screamed as he came, waking up the emotionless computer expert. The Auron telepath had been awake for some time, and she nudged the blonde pilot, who woke with a big jerk. The big jerk grumbled, "My limiter is killing me."
1 August 2004
Lust Over Pendle, by A. J. Hall. This is quite possibly the best Harry Potter novel you will ever read. I originally wrote "that isn't by J. K. Rowling" and then realised that's a foolish way of putting it. J. K. Rowling writes school stories with magic. A. J. Hall writes comedy of manners with detective overtones. Oh, and magic. And I do like comedy of manners much better than school stories, as a genre.
Yes, it's slash. Yes, it's Draco/Neville slash. Yes, there is a tiny amount of Harry-bashing. (No more than he deserves. No, really.) Please don't let any of that put you off.
Not only is Lust Over Pendle absolutely worth reading, and re-reading, there are several sequels and paraquels and other oddments in the same universe which are also very much worth reading.
The suggested reading order for the LoP universe is found at ajhall.shoesforindustry.net, but I'd suggest you go read Lust Over Pendle first, and then go back and work your way through the rest of the universe in the order suggested.
This is seriously good stuff. Do not avoid reading it because you are muttering to yourself "Draco/Neville? I'm not interested in Draco or Neville!" because really, that's not the point: the point is these are a serious, funny, seriously funny, out-take on the Harry Potter universe that just happens to focus on, and make real people of, two of the stockiest of stock characters in the Harry Potter series.
31 July 2004
Telanu's Harry Potter fanfic. Click Enter, click Fiction, follow instructions, click Harry Potter, follow instructions, and, if you've got through all that, click on "A Most Disquieting Tea" and go on from there. It is all excellent, though most excellent is the fifth in sequence, "A Wizard Song". Worth reading from the start. (Harry/Snape)
Shalott's Master and Commander fanfic. My two favourites of all of them (though they're all good) are The Undiscovered Ocean and Five: The World Turned Upside Down (it's a Five Things That Never Happened story, but you don't have to have read the first four). (Stephen/Jack)
Mistress Arion's Non Timetis Messor. Weird and creepy, yet somehow fascinating: set on Discworld. (Lord Vetinari/Leonard of Quirm)
Afrai's Pussyfooting Around and Cat's Paw. Crossovers between Terry Pratchett's The Amazing Maurice And His Educated Rodents and Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere. (Maurice/Marquis)
Daegaer's Little Dogs. Bible fanfic: the story of the Syro-Phoenician woman.