Fanfic Recommendations

Looking for something memorable to read? Aren't we all....

Guy Pearce, who has a few minute-long memory as Leonard in _Memento_, puts his to-do list right under his skin.

Most of this is slash but some is gen and some is even *gasp* hetsmut.
I belong to the "shiny object" school of reading. <g>

 

4/2004

Ardent's "First" is a Fraser/Ray K story which starts with sex and both of them thinking they know what's happening and ends with them being pleasantly surprised to be wrong. The fic has a great light tone, and it's very due South for these two to have their first time while covered in peppermint and listening to a documentary on giraffes.



"A Journey in Ten Lies" by Switchknife shows the stages of grief. Or maybe it might be more accurate to refer to this one as the cycle of grief.... Harry Potter's Remus Lupin doesn't want to get over Sirius' death, but life keeps happening anyway. This fic doesn't take the usual route on this theme, especially in the ending.



Basingstoke's "Big Rock Candy Mountain" depicts several things that never happened to Buffy the Vampire Slayer's Andrew, but they're several things as one large, tragic and often funny plot. It's an AU with a lot of heart and detail, and it does good things with the everyday, ordinary lives of some no-longer-ordinary people.



"Feel the Devil in Me" by Juliette Torres shows Crowley thinking on, participating in, and being annoyed by demon/angel sex, Good Omens-style. Aziraphale prefers snuggling, it's almost impossible to get him to come because he tricks Crowley into doing it first (though I think Crowley just isn't recognizing it when it happens), Crowley has to stop himself from thinking of Aziraphale as an angel to prevent his "rend and destroy the enemy" reflex.... Ah, I do love sneaky angels. Then there's the inappropriate bed talk....



>> In those confused days the animals were wild and the humans were wild and the youkai were wild-- as wild as wild could be-- and they walked in the Wet Wild Woods of Tougenkyou by their wild lones. But the wildest of them all was the Sanzou. He walked by himself through the Wild Woods, swishing his robes and cursing through his teeth and snarling at all that he met: 'I am the Sanzou who walks by himself, and all idiots are alike to me. Die!' And then he shot them. <<

mjj's "The Sanzou Who Walked By Himself" is a funny, Kipling-esque tale of how the Saiyuki group met and why the others have to torment Sanzou eternally. Besides, any fic that refers to "underpinnings" gets a thumbs-up. In the more serious "Gojou," Gojou reflects on how he used to know what men were for and women were for until he met up with the others, who have been blurring the boundaries on him ever since. Very revealing.



Yu-Gi-Oh!: Cody Nelson's "The Other Duel" shows how Kaiba's wounded pride can trip him up, as Malik comes to him before his Battle City finals duel with Yugi. With all the things he refuses to acknowledge, he can be an easy victim to mind games....



In "A Failure of Desire" by 'chelle, Obi-Wan has gone to a Jedi therapist because he doesn't lust after his master, Qui-Gon. The therapist is, of course, shocked and proceeds to lay out every Star Wars: The Phantom Menace Q/O slash cliché to find out what method of fixing this they should try. Very funny, especially the solution.



>> Her hand reaches out again, broad as a big person's, cleaner than an orc's. This time she tugs his hair. The pull is careful, though. It's disturbing how much her touch is that of a child stroking a doll. Some little half-wild Brandybuck, grown up in the trees and too long between baths, reaching toward the china-dolly of a better-raised cousin. <<

Jane St. Clair's "if you go chasing rabbits" is a crossover that shouldn't work. It's X-Men/Lord of the Rings! But it so does. While on his way to destroy the Ring, Frodo meets up with Marrow, and the fascination goes both ways.



2/2004

>> Sometimes Xander was grateful that Spike was the poster child for immortal ADD. He'd toss off a handful of insults, and then, ooh, shiny! Problem being, of course, that he'd always come back like a stray tomcat looking for somebody to maul. <<

Shrift's "Loserville" takes place way back in Buffy the Vampire Slayer's timeline, when the girls were in college and Spike was chipped and lived with Xander in the Harris family basement. When Buffy and Willow's college lives leave Xander feeling like the odd man out, he starts hanging with Spike out of desperation and starts to like it. A lot. All the characters are spot-on.



"Happily Ever After" by Halrloprillalar features an unusual Stargate-SG1 pairing. Unfortunately, Jack's secret admirer is making his life a little too safe.... My favorite parts had to be Jack's names for the planets they end up visiting.



Pirates of the Caribbean's Jack Sparrow has a very particular way of talking and thinking, and it's great fun when an author captures him. Eddy's "Worse Has Happened" shows Will Turner catching up with Jack wanting things Jack's not particularly keen to give him. Jack deals with it in his own way:

>> Jack, for his part, has Will scrubbing the deck daily.

"I've scrubbed the deck," says Will.

"Good!" says Jack.

"For the fifth time," says Will.

"It's very clean," Jack compliments.

Will is still a bit of a brat and throws the rag he'd been holding in his hand down on the deck. "Yes, Jack. Yes, it is."

"Good job," says Jack, with a nod, and he thinks this is perhaps a hint for Will to go off and mind his own business -- maybe scrubbing the deck, it looks like it might need some scrubbing. <<



"Debauchery" by Ladybee moves the characters to modern day Boston and contemporary lives while keeping them in character. There's something sad about a Jack who has no ship, though.



Elizabeth is such a fangirl that it makes some sense that she might write slash, and Gloria Mundi's "'The Swordsmith and the Pirate: A Romance of the Spanish Main', by Elizabeth Turner" shows us some of the results. "Happy Endings" by Brancher is an authorized sequel in which Jack gets to see some of it....



Neville is shown coming into his own in "If You're Breathing" by Sandy Justine. He's brave in a more practical way and smart, and Harry Potter is noticing.

>> Neville almost didn't rejoin the Defense Association sixth year. The DA was more official now, with Professor Dumbledore checking in on meetings and Blaise Zabini from Slytherin hovering in the corners. He didn't like the way it made him feel about the rest of school -- as though school were just the way they passed the time while preparing for war. <<



Remus/Sirius may be Victoria P's OTP, but she's open to exploring the darker edges of the characters and their relationship. "Enough" and "Let Nothing You Dismay" focus on Sirius' tendency to see Harry as an extension of James Potter and sometimes as James Potter and takes it to a dark and, here, inevitable end. Using obliviate makes the situation both easier and harder.



Crime and Punishment slash! Yes, Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment. Somebody else saw Raskolnikov/Razumikhin! Yes! And they're in character.... Dorinda's "Punishment and Grace" made my day. No sex, though. *g*



Basingstoke subtitles "The Ancient and Honorable Art of Football" a "story from a happier time," and it really is. Come back to a time in Andromeda when Harper could be smart and snarky at once and Harper and Tyr had a fun chemistry going, before Tyr was smeared into the mud. Welcome to Harperball....



>> Methos scowled. Aziraphale frowned. The silence itched uncomfortably like a woolen jumper.

"Well," Aziraphale said brightly. "How long has it been? Two millennia?" <<

A former incarnation of Death finds Aziraphale's book shop and several of his old diaries in "Bibliophily" by Shrift, a fun Highlander/Good Omens crossover.



Canonically, nobody can screw with due South's Fraser's head and life as well as Victoria Metcalf can, and "beguiled" by Rhi Marzano shows an entirely new way she can do it. By dumping the son Fraser never knew he had on him. Ray's more understanding than Fraser expected. Usually I would run from this kind of story, but it's not goopy, there's a great Ray voice, and the kid sounds like an actual kid.



In Witchbaby's "Intimations," Ray and Fraser are watching a movie. Actually, Ray's watching the movie and Fraser's watching Ray. Wonderfully descriptive and very hot.

>> His motorcycle boots, battered and scuffed, have not yet been nudged off his feet. I like the dichotomy of the ancient boots, the tattered jeans, paired with the expensive black sweater that looks so comfortable on his body. His clothes fit him as a person, as who he is. Not all one thing, nor all another. Instead, a fusion, put together to create something that is purely him. I envy that. <<



"Take It Outside" by Witchbaby is wicked hot Ray/Ray as arguing leads to an alley and something else. I don't normally go for this pairing, but damn.



It's Saiyuki canon that Gojyo took a nearly fatally injured Hakkai (then Gonou) into his home without having any idea who he was or what had happened to him. It makes you wonder what he was thinking, especially in that first week when Gonou was comatose and needed nursing. "Maybe" by KarotsaMused takes a look inside Gojyo's mind during that week. I kind of fear for Gonou. *g*



>> Hakkai: Gojyo, stop making fun of Sanzou's insanity.

[Hakkai pulls out a series of well-drawn plans and places them on the table.]

Hakkai: Here's what we're going to do... Gojyo, you go through the air vent here. Turn left, right, right, left, right, right, right, and then enter through this vent. From there you will turn off the hot water. Re-enter through the vent, then turn left, right, right, right, left, left, and you'll come to Sanzou's room. There, you will release the gas. Gokuu, meanwhile, you will seduce Sanzou and steal his gun and any other weapons he might have. Once he is asleep from ecstatic bliss, you will flash this laser three times. Gojyo and I will enter, take the monkey, and put it in a blender, and it will be back in hell, where it belongs. Any questions? <<

It's such a shame that Durendal and The Beef Chick lost interest in writing anime, because their "The Monkey" is hilarious even unfinished. It all starts with Gojyo giving Sanzou a plush monkey as a joke. It turns out that either the monkey is evil or Sanzou's sanity is even more fragile than anyone guessed.



In Rackham Rose's "Learning the Ropes," Yami no Matseui's Hisoka finds that his afterlife and vengeance aren't going the way he expected. And it's Tsuzuki's fault, of course.



>> Tsuzuki doesn't change so much as he changes those around him, and for a happy life, it is necessary to accept that. <<

"Tea With Tatsumi" by tritorella shows Tatsumi doing routine maintenance of an employee, in this case Tsuzuki. It doesn't turn out as he expected. This seems to be a theme, huh?



>> The way he kills, Tzusuki.... It's enough to make you cry tears of thanks when a man comes at you with an axe. <<

After a demon-possessed Tsuzuki kills him, Hisoka has some time to think about love and murder as his body slowly knits itself back together in Hth's "Clean Kill." Yeah, it's as twisted as it sounds.



11/2003

>> KYAN: It's like he's the One Straight Man foretold by prophecy.

ANGEL (grimaces): Please, no prophecies. <<

In the very funny "Queer Eye for the Fandom Guy" by Yahtzee, some of our fandom favorites get the metrosexual work-up. Some of them need it more than others. Targets include Fox Mulder, Blair Sandburg, Jack Sparrow, Lex Luthor....



Nomad's "Learning Curve" is an explanation for Snape's behavior toward Harry Potter based off a certain scene in Order of the Phoenix, not an apology, and it makes perfect sense to me.



Yes! Saiyuki stories that don't have Sanzo utterly out of character! "Beneath the Skin" by Timmonsgray has the group feeling more open to actually talking about things instead of the more usual bullshitting--though they still snap and spark--but they get confessional for reasons that work. Sanzo, Hakkai, and Gojou compare scars and the stories behind them. Significantly, Sanzo counts the chakra mark on his forehead as a scar. "Leveling Las Vegas" is a fun AU in which the Sanzo party roams the continental United States looking for trouble. Everybody is still who they should be, and everyone keeps messing up Sanzo's noir narration.



Now for somethings really different....

>> Day 12: Have decided that being dead sucks.

Day 30000: I am so incredibly bored.

Day 75000: Bored bored bored bored bored.

Day 105021: Have been resurrected by cousin and his wisecracking Eastern catamite(?). Yay! <<

I was a huge fan of Steven Brust's Vlad books, so "Very Secret Diary of Aliera e'Kieron" by Stacey is a treat. The depiction of Morrolan especially kills me.



>> You wanted to get as close as you could. You wanted those seconds to be crucial.

And now they are. <<

"Mirror Phase" by cgb is a Pretender gen that looks into Jarod's head while he's in the midst of one of his operatic, eye-for-an-eye "justice" confrontations and doesn't flinch from what it finds there, even when things go too far. Second person narration doesn't often work for me, but here it does, because it's done well and connects into Jarod's identity issues.



9/2003

Khaleesian's "Jonah" is one of those due South stories that could be considered gen but has all the charge of slash. When Ray brings a copy of Moby Dick on a stakeout, all kinds of intriguing conversations ensue. It's not just Ray's book that has metaphors running through it. It's a kick to see Fraser knowingly deploy an Inuit story as an attempt to defuse an argument by boring everyone into a stupor, and the author has Ray's rhythm and style of talk down.



In Speranza's "Believe You Me," the 27th's folks and Fraser go out to fraternize at a bar. Their sarcasm about the joys of their jobs inspires an unexpected and vocal reaction in Fraser.... Fortunately, Ray is there for him.



>> Besides, Andrew has always known that the only person who usually takes an interest in who he wants to have sex with is, well, him. <<

"Living Dangerously" by Andraste has a perfect Andrew voice as he bakes muffins, deals with the Buffy household, and has an epiphany about his sexual orientation and place in the world.



>> He tittered shyly as Methos slid his arm around him, alternately wanting to pull away and wanting to be flung to the floor and ravenously fucked within an inch of his inexperienced, tentative, virginal, 400 year old life.... <<

"Lessons in Futility" by elynross and Luminosity is a comic "compilation" of the most frightening possible Highlander slash fic bits ever, and it's a lot of fun.

>> He had never been attracted to a man before, but Methos.... Methos was different. Methos. The mention of his name was enough to stiffen Duncan out like a board. His alabaster skin. His vulnerable neck. His vulnerable, luminescent neck. Of ivory. His vulnerable, luminescent ivory neck. His vulnerable, luminescent, swan-like, ivory neck. Without the feathers. He wondered what it would be like to make love to Methos. He and his weeping cock were lost, lost in the fantasy. And in traffic. God, he was bored. <<



Pairing The X-Men's Wolverine up with one of the Highlander Immortals is pretty much its own genre, but Wax Jism's "Whatever (Firing Pin)" gets points for slashing him with the seductive and somewhat insane Tyler King, who was played by Callum Keith Rennie. Just watch them fight and spark. This story is hot, and deeper than it looks.



A certain Highlander actor had a role in X2: X-Men United, which apparently led Te to wondering if the character really was Methos undercover. With Methos and Yuriko in a tough spot, "Unbound" shows the less fun side of being an Immortal, as he dies and dies and dies trying to get himself free.



>> ARAGORN: There, that's all better, huh? (nuzzling SAM's hair) Mmm...you smell like Frodo.

SAM: Probably because I'm hot-glued to him most of the time.

ARAGORN: Hey, what do you say we make it three? Frodo! Come on over here. Group hug.

FRODO: You're all a bit weird. I just want that on record. <<

Molly J. Ringwraith did a light rewrite of the screenplay of The Fellowship of the Ring to give us "The Fellowship of the Ring, All-Slash-All-the-Time version." You'll die laughing. At times she does an authorial aside to mention how amazed she is that she didn't have to do anything to some parts. And Legolas is The Lay of Mirkwood...

>> PIPPIN: Sounds like someone's blowing the Horn of Gondor.

MERRY: I am bravely resisting comment. <<



I love stories where something's going on that the narrative is showing even while it's saying something else. This month, I have two Weiß Kreuz fics for that.

"To Bury the Hurt of Memory" by Alyssa Tay Tanoko stayed with me, mostly for its ending. Have tissues ready. Yoji has been in some kind of accident, and he doesn't remember the last few years of his life, his life as a part of Weiß. It's interesting watching him try to figure out what's going on, put the pieces together, and find that the Yoji he'd become doesn't fit with who he used to be and temporarily is now. And it's fun seeing him decide that the Yoji he'd become had been an over-secretive jerk at times. Then there's the question of why Aya only shows up when Yoji's alone at night.... I read this months ago, but the ending stayed with me, so when I saw it again I decide to mention it here.

In Utopian Trunks' dark, dark, dark "Say Something," Aya has been missing for days, so Yoji's understandably relieved when his lover calls him, but something is really not right here, as Yoji and the reader are soon aware. Of course, Yoji becomes so distracted that he starts to lose awareness of that, but it only becomes more obvious as the story goes on. The answer to it isn't quite what I expected, and the ending haunted me. "Say Something" takes place in the universe of a previous story, but the author quickly and efficiently explains what little you need to know in a tiny foreword.



Continuing in the vein of the readers knowing things the characters wish they did is "Cherry Kisses" by Rina Garet. It's an "Aya gets drunk and starts talking" story in which the author gives a convincing reason for why it happens and Aya's talk reveals very little to the person he's confessing to, even as the reader, who actually knows his history, aches for him. It makes much more sense than the drunken torrent giving the listener all the keys to Aya's psyche, which is the usual ficcish deal.

And there's Nekojita's "Fever," in which a badly injured and feverish Aya is "rescued" and faces an industrial-strength seduction and mindfuck. The fun comes in watching him alternately fight and waver and seeing which person is used against him next. Plus, there's a little twist at the end, and you know how I love those.



Yoippari's gen "Seven Bullets" is sick fun, as Crawford plays a little game with a trapped Yoji.



Saiyuki didn't give much detail on how Gonou's trial in front of the Divinities went, so MJJ steps in with "Gonou" to explain the name thing and Jeep. We're with Gonou as his motives are ripped apart and he sees a different possible reason for what the love of his life, Kanan, did to herself.... The wonderfully descriptive "Grey Days," also by MJJ, explores what Gonou's time recovering from his wounds in Gojyo's apartment might have been like. It's a bit like living in limbo for him, but it's not that bad....



This summer there was a thing on LiveJournal about creating your own League of Extraordinary Gentlemen out of characters from whatever fandom you want based on how they'd work together, what they'd be able to contribute to a team, and sometimes how much fun they'd be to watch while interacting with one another. Maya Tawi went one step further by writing a short fic about her dysfunctional but intriguing and funny multi-fandom team in "A Day in the Life." The story starts with the team having to deal with Genjo Sanzo constantly ambushing and shooting fellow team member Methos dead, and escalates from there. Besides, I love seeing Andromeda's Harper, Angel's Doyle, and Witchblade's Gabriel in a room together interacting, no matter how briefly they do it.



Saiyuki's Gojyo, sheared for mourning

7/2003

Te's We Read Crap So You Don't Have To is a good resource for finding fic. Many of the selections below came through checking out and combing through the pages listed there. I'm a proud member of We Read Crap's "human filtration system" of recommendations sites myself.



What was due South's Ray Kowalski like during his brief time in college? Kat Allison's background in higher education gives the gen "Advisee Record, Academic year 1979-80" an excellent tang of realism as we catch glimpses of him through his academic advisor's reports. The small details are so suggestive.



Ray's dead cell phone has an unusual use in "Preternatural Guidance" by Beth H. You really feel for Fraser.



In "Connect" by Pollitt, another cell phone fic, Ray makes an error on his new phone while saying goodbye that changes everything.

>> And just as he usually did, Ray whispered, "I love you, Fraser" into the silence after he'd disconnected. Only this time, instead of reading 'call ended', Ray was informed in flashing LED numerals that it was 12:34 a.m. in Tokyo, and from the slight hitch of breath and the slight crackle from the earpiece, Ray knew Fraser'd heard him.

After three minutes and counting, it was now 12:37 in the land of Godzilla and a ball of tension the size of that radioactive lizard was currently doing an angry tango in Ray's stomach, because Fraser had yet to say a word. <<



"Twice Descending" by Destina Fortunato is a story of risk and realization, as Fraser getting injured while nearly taking a bullet busts several longstanding but unacknowledged things wide open and out in the open. The story builds to its climax in a very satisfying way.



>> CROWLEY (sings): So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, fuck you. <<

What happens when you cross Good Omens with The Sound of Music? You might get the total insanity that is "The Sound of Omens" by Daegaer. Aziraphale is the musical governess/tutor nun, while Crowley is the Von Trapp patriarch with the brood of demons and the Antichrist that need a woman's-- uh, angel's? touch. Nothing escapes this fic unskewered.

>> CROWLEY: You still think of the abbey as home even though we're married? I'm disturbed. And strangely aroused. Let me see you in a wimple. <<



>> Being innocent, he never meant to fall. He didn't realise the trouble asking questions could bring. Step by step he wandered to his doom until the moment he looked round and his friends had a nasty gleam in their eyes and weapons in their hands. <<

In a far more serious vein, Daegaer's "Falling" is three quiet yet devastating drabbles dealing with the pain of falling from grace.



After the final battle with Voldemort, Harry Potter is angry and maladjusted, but being accidentally turned into a frog seems to do him some good in Resonant's "Familiar." Then Snape is assigned to take care of him.... Things develop gradually and quietly in this fic, so the ending feels earned.



Now for the anime part of my recs update....

I can't seem to write comical Weiß Kreuz myself, but I enjoy reading it. Tao's "Seduction by the Stars" has Yoji deciding to try out some pickup lines and moves he saw in a book of horoscopes. His first victim is Ken, who's subjected to lines that range from laughable to creepy. After Yoji finally scares Ken so badly that Ken flees, he figures that Aya would be the perfect person to try the "battlefield" pickup on....



>> Uncle Yohji's has been forced to pay attention to stuff. Like, you know, the rest of the world. And let me tell you, the world is a scary ass place. Something strange happened the other day, and Uncle Yohji *realized* it was strange. That's just *wrong*. <<

"Uncle Yohji's Book of Love" and "Schruldig's Book of 'Love'" by Durendal with The Beef Chick were still cracking me up days after I read them. During a particularly dull moment at work, I'd think "aluminum" and still have a good laugh. In "Uncle Yohji..." Weiß takes Yohji to a therapist because they just can't deal with him anymore. Since he's a chain-smoking sex addict who speaks of himself in the third person as "Uncle Yohji" and talks non-stop about the "loving" he's had or needs soon, skeeving everyone, you see their point. Then again, everybody here is an extreme version of themselves, with Ken as dumb as a post, Omi a hyper-chipper horny teen, and Aya darker and weirder than usual. "Schruldig" is the follow-up, in which we hear from everyone about how things are going three days later and get a Rashomon-style recalling of some recent events. Aside from a few things we know happened because they show up in everyone's stories, the rest is up for grabs from how everyone is so delusional. The thought of Aya and Ken cackling and using a stopwatch as they watch chainsmoker Yohji take 20 minutes to cross a street and the image of Schwarz shaking Crawford like a Magic 8 Ball will stay with me for a long time. "Schruldig's Book of 'Love'" is a work in progress that probably won't ever be completed, but its parts are so self-contained that you wouldn't realize its unfinished nature if the summary didn't tell you about it. There are far worse things than ending with Brad Crawford, who's comedy gold here.

>> [The door to the car rips open. Nagi and Omi walk up to the car.]

Nagi: You're taking my whore home too.

Omi: <waves> <<



"Date With Claustrophobia or, The Flashlight" by Acid Rain isn't outrageous comical so much as light-hearted. It takes the familiar slash chestnut of two characters getting it on after being stuck in a small, cramped space and makes it work without straining credulity too much. Considering that the characters are Aya and Schuldig and there are no mind tricks involved, that's really good. The mental image of them being stuck in that tiny elevator with Weiß trying to bring it up and Schwarz trying to bring it down makes me smirk.



Sleeps With Coyotes is writing Yami no Matsuei fic! Yes! Her Hisoka/Tsuzuki skirts that "Hisoka's only 16" issue by taking place a few years on so he's legal... just legal in the 16-year-old body he'll have for the rest of his afterlife, poor guy. "And Thou" shows them getting a few things out in the open amidst the cherry blossoms and shows what Tsuzuki thinks is better than pie, heretical thought. It has a great sense of mood to it, as quiet as blossoms falling but with bolts of tense moments. "Ado" is an insane comedy of errors that starts in a closet with several people hearing the right things but making the wrong assumptions about what they mean. It's Tatsumi/Watari and Tsuzuki/Hisoka, but half of each pairing doesn't realize it. Tatsumi tries to do the right thing but makes it all worse, while Hisoka can be evil when he's hurt



Yu-Gi-Oh!'s Seto Kaiba firmly fits in the maladjusted genius mode. The man can invent marvels, but dealing with people is not a skill he's mastered or even seems to want to master. Plus, he has such issues. In Cody Nelson's "Blue Eyes," a dueling defeat badly shakes his faith in himself, while his recent feelings toward the little brother he's always adored and protected fiercely, the only family he has left, scare the hell out of him. His first impulse is to invent a new game to help him work out his problems, but it seems to be making things worse.... The characterizations are dead-on, the sex is hot and disturbing, and little brother Mokuba manages to be as young and wise as he's supposed to be. Yugi helps, but he doesn't solve everything, which makes me happy. "Joey Loves Yugi" is a nicely done short piece from Joey's point of view, as he talks about how he loves Yugi, but not in That Way. Really.



Johnny Depp

5/2003

A Hack Writer shows how God created Smallville in "Genesis," and it was very good. It also seems to involve a lot of drinking....



Smallville/Spider-Man: Jenn's "Standing in the Common Spaces" has a lot on its agenda: love, loss, and the way that framing something for a photograph inevitably changes the way you see it. Lex Luthor hires Peter Parker to take footage of Superman. It turns out that Lex and Peter had a far more personal connection in the past.

>> A curl of fingers against his skin, a second that's split decision or maybe hesitation, and there's a moment where Peter thinks Lex will draw away. Then--movement, slide to his shoulder, wrapping around, and Peter--doesn't think. Lets this take over, here with someone as different as he is, even if he can't figure out why. Just two people in the middle of New York, and right, they're dancing, and maybe it's another score for superpowers that he doesn't have that adolescent awkwardness anymore unless he tries for it, works at it, and for Lex--

--for Lex, he doesn't want to be awkward. <<

The details here really make the story, particularly during the Lex/Peter segments, and the Peter here is very credible as a photographer.



In the overheated environs of Weiß Kreuz (the anime), there are few quiet moments that aren't directly related to a mission in progress or to come. "Gewönliche Welt" ("Ordinary World") by llamajoy gives us some as Weiß watches the rain and each other, thinking about things they rarely have time for. For a little lighthearted insanity, try "The Florists Who Don't Do Anything" by llamajoy & Tenshi, as the Weiß boys sing about the things they never ever do. Just a bunch of innocent florists here. Aya gets particularly defensive when Omi mentions kissing one's sister. Which neither of them have ever done, of course.



Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Sheila's "Kryptonite" gradually moves Xander and Oz closer together, respecting them both. Xander sounds very much like Xander.



"My Wesley" by The Brat Queen builds, sentence by sentence, to a picture of who and what Angel's Wesley thinks he is. Excellent. Juliette Torres does a similarly excellent job for Andromeda's Rhade and Tyr here.



In the fun "Builder's Bum" by Rivier, Harper is very distracting and isn't subtle.

>> He squeezed past Tyr, muttering "Well hey, don't thank me all at once..." and Tyr was hit by the blast of fresh sweat and static sparks still caught in blond hair that seemed purposely styled to flip off the entire Universe. <<

Eventually, Tyr just can't take it anymore....



I may not be entirely objective, since I did the read-through for this fic (ages before I had a recs page, and I recently remembered it), "See No Evil" by Melissa so captures Pete and Berg's speech patterns that it could be a Two Guys and a Girl episode. But with m/m sex. Thrown into an awkward situation, Pete makes it even more awkward.



The best Good Omens fic tends to give Aziraphale and Crowley great dialogue and shows how they affect each other without realizing it, as Aziraphale tends to be good but less rigid than he realizes while Crowley's gleeful mischief hides a better heart than he wants to admit to (which isn't to say that his mischief can't be lethal). Self-delusion takes them far.

>> But Aziraphale trusted.

And it was a jolly good thing he did, too.

Because Crowley had hidden behind his metaphorical back a metaphorical twelve gauge guilty pleasure gun, which he lowered to Aziraphale's metaphorical head, and fired. <<

"Twofish" by a demon of his word shows Aziraphale and Crowley connecting more than usual and getting roaring drunk as they toast Aziraphale's dead fish. Crowley's been buying fish for him but "testing" them against his Japanese fighting fish. Unsurprisingly, none of them made it to see Aziraphale, but then this one lucky fish arrives.... The angel/demon version of sex is incredible and has to be read.

In Afrai's heartbreaking "Living Arrangements," Aziraphale is punished for his actions in opposing the ineffable will of God. Little do they know that it's Crowley's punishment as well.



>> "I don't know if you know this, Fraser, but saying you're fine while refusing to make eye contact and then shutting yourself in the bathroom and not even bothering to run the shower is, like, the International Chick Signal for 'go buy me something thoughtful and then don't stop asking me what's wrong until I tell you'." <<

In the due South episode "Seeing Is Believing," Fraser did a Bad Thing while Ray was under hypnosis. "Relax" by Dira Sudis goes into the aftermath, as Fraser finds himself hungering for the more relaxed Ray he met then. A meditation on love and obsession, the story also shows how guilt can change and color everything.



>> Ray kinda hopes Fraser gets verbose. <<

Te's "Just Like This" has Ray and Fraser engaging in their own kind of foreplay. It involves a lot of recreational arguing.... It makes so much sense.



kaRIN of Collide

3/2003

Smallville: "Marble" by Julad maps out a possible future working relationship for Lex and Clark. It's like a chess match but one played with information and teases. And the one-upmanship is so sexy.



>> "Sometimes they buy me pie," Clark confessed.

Lex just looked at him. "Please tell me that's a ridiculous euphemism for some deviant sexual behavior I've mysteriously not heard of yet." <<

In Livia's AU "Just Pie," Lex meets up with a Clark who's a college student, a short-order cook, a waiter, and a not-quite-pimp. It's funny, slightly surreal, and somewhat insane. If it doesn't put a smile on your face, nothing can.



Angel: I didn't always accept the depiction of Angel in Dira Sudis' "Counting the Days," but the ideas in here were so interesting that I didn't mind much. It shows vampires as being deeply different than living humans and looks at how being so old would change the way they look at life and relationships. After Buffy's death in "The Gift," Dawn and Spike head to LA to get away from it all and both find something they needed. I can believe that Spike would like to be owned on occasion by the Angel here.



Andromeda: Jane St. Clair's "Not the Same" is a Five Things That Never Happened to Harper collection of AU vignettes. My favorite has to be the one that has an appearance by a Tolkein character, with the one that features a familiar guitarist coming in a close second, but they're all intriguing.



Harper tries to drown his sorrows over his larvae infestation problem with alcohol in "City in the Clouds" by Basingstoke, but those suckers knows how to swim. At least Tyr is attempting to help. This has the kind of necessary discussion that the show stopped doing as much of during second season. Basingstoke gets how Harper always has a prickly side and how that can come out even when it might not be the best idea for him.



I'm proud to have helped corrupted-- uhm, introduced Maya to Weiß Kreuz, because look how it's paid off. "Wired" is a not nice at all Aya/Yoji story in which the reader watches two fucked-up individuals who need something, desperately, drag one another down. Even better, they know what they're doing to one another and themselves but can't stop. It's not nice, but it's riveting and very possible. Meanwhile, "Red" makes more sense if you've seen the episode, "Mission 17: Kritiker -- Pride With No Name," but I think you can still get it if you understand that Aya, who has already been screwed up by his life, meets up with a guy he unwillingly likes and then watches that guy meet a horrific fate right in front of his eyes while trying to protect him after he'd spent the day being a sullen ass to the guy. Let's just add to the trauma, folks. "Red" shows how it might prey on his mind....



In PWPland, "A Ride on the Subway" by Talya Firedancer shows Yoji riding and being ridden on the subway. Very, very hot.



Nora's "Termination Sequence" is based on Galerians: Ash, a video game I've never played, but this story really resonated for me with its artificial intelligence and anything-but-artificial love. What is it to be alive?



Buffy the Vampire Slayer: And now for something really different, I have the gen "Chiaroscuro" by Luna. As it goes through the centuries and Anya's sittings for various artists, it's about how important routine can be if you live nearly forever. Anya is very much Anya, matter of fact and not quite clued in to what people around her are thinking and feeling. I loved the mood of this story.



Joseph Michael Linsner's Dawn

1/2003

Te's Angel/Buffy crossover "Tell the End" shows a worst case scenario for Xander when he's elected to go to LA to see how things are going there, since the events of "Apocalypse Nowish" have left Angel in a dangerous state of mind. Dark, dark story, and Xander is still Xander even in the face of the horrific. Just like Xander is still Xander even if Jesse had turned him into a vampire before he met Buffy, and then they both turned Willow, as happens in the alternate universe story "Arise, Little Girl." Evil, vampire Willow is such a kick, much more fun and far smarter than the Master.... And this story is a year old, but it's still hilarious: "Just as Foxy as Can Be." To beat Glory, Buffy must gain the power of the funk. She will never be the same.



Thia's "A Children's Guide to Lord of the Rings" skewers Tolkien and Lord of the Rings slash in direct, simple children's book language. So funny, so evil....

>> But Sam doesn't settle down with Frodo afterwards.
Instead, Sam gets married.
Sam is bisexual.
Either that or Tolkien is a sadist. <<



The release of The Two Towers led to Cassandra Claire doing some new Very Secret Diaries, one for Theoden and an updated one for Aragorn. It's Lord of the Rings... but faaaabulous and on crack!



Weiß Kreuz: I am actually reccing a "Aya falls in love with his rapist(s)" fic this month, but my reading of it is that the relationship is subtly being presented as not as positive as the narrative suggests. Or I could be on crack. Anyway, since it's about 33 parts long, the author walks you through how things develop better than usual. It took me five hours to read. In my usual style, I started it at midnight. Good thing it was a Friday night. I mean, it's Aoe! I should know better! Anyway, "Embracing the Shadows" is good in a "bad for you," sexy, intense, screwed-up way, though I feel that her Schwarz sometimes reads as too fluffy and her Schuldig as too "poor, abused woobie." Watching Schwarz play the Star Wars edition of Trivial Pursuits can't be missed. (Some of the "next chapter" links at the bottom of the sections don't work, but in that case you can easily go right back to the index page to pick up the next link.)



In the gen "Farfie's Day Out" by Laurelgand, Farfarello gets a snow cone. Readers cringe. In a good way, I assure you. Short and creepy.



And more gen, this time for Good Omens/Murder Mysteries.

>> The lone angel had plucked a mother-of-pearl feather from his wings, and was for some reason sucking it.

"Aziraphale?" Raguel ventured tentatively. <<

"City of Angels" by afrai shows a charged but almost quiet moment before the storm of the civil war amongst angels. In a nice touch, Aziraphale tells how ducks are the opposite of change.



And now we have het. Bwaahahahahahaa! But very cool het, since it's Firefly's Wash and Zoe, and they're written so well. The funny and insightful "Marital/Martial" by Elizabeth Ann Lewis features an argument that leads Zoe to a personal breakthrough.



11/2002

due South: Stella had this one restaurant she always took Ray to when she wanted to break bad news to him, with the last time being her announcement that she wanted a divorce, and now Fraser has asked Ray to have dinner with him there, and Ray is assuming the worst. "Until Midnight" by Speranza does an excellent job of having the narrator say one thing while the story suggests something different. Ray's set on auto-torment, but the reader can see that Fraser has different intentions and no idea.



Blue Champagne's Talking to the Dog series breaks me up laughing. One day Ray realizes that he can understand what Dief's saying, and Dief takes advantage of that to try to finally get Ray and Fraser together as a couple. Part of their problem is self-doubt but the rest seems to be that they're enjoying the goofy, flirty pre-relationship games so much. How Dief "speaks" depends on the person hearing him, so while Fraser hears something parallel to his own education and vocabulary, Ray, who's our POV man, gets a half-wolf who sounds a lot like him but with far less shame. Some things he just doesn't want to know.... The dialogue is great, the romance sweet and funny, and even Turnbull and Thatcher get their moments to shine. The series so far consists of "Talking to the Dog," "Talking to the Dog II: Life's a Beach," "Talking to the Dog III: Patience is a Virtue Which Must be Cultivated," and my current favorite, "Talking to the Dog IV: Lending Aid and Comfort."



Now for something really different, a gen Ultimate X-Men story. "Zero Plus One" by Azurine concentrates on the friendship that develops between Bobby Drake and Logan. Given the differences in their ages, experiences, and attitudes, it should be impossible, but it works. The author does a good job of nailing the mix of childishness and developing maturity Bobby would have, while Logan is gruff but good-hearted. It's not every day a story leaves me feeling warm like this.



Noden from Carol Lay's 'Noden'

10/2002

My new job hasn't left me much time and energy to read--catching up with my 32 lists and LiveJournal is rough enough--so this is a small update.

 

In Smallville's second season premiere, Lex had only a few seconds of reaction time after killing Nixon, and so far it hasn't been mentioned again. Basingstoke gives him more room. "Psyche's Candle" shows Lex dealing with it and the Kents trying to help. The image of Lex wearing some of Clark's clothes the next day gives me a little glow.



Andromeda: Harper's backstory has launched a number of fics showing his first meeting with Beka--some written before "Be All My Sins Remembered" gave an official version and some after--but the best is Maya's "Boy from the County Hell." Started before BAMSR and finished afterward, this story actually seems more plausible than the canon. And it gives an answer to how Harper got his data port that makes sense. (Canon hasn't tackled that one yet.) Many fics written about Harper's past are too operatic in their depiction of the extreme poverty and oppression he lived under, becoming something like suffering porn. Harper's existence here is awful but matter-of-fact as it's narrated in a great Harper voice. He's cynical and sarcastic and optimistic and young and sarcastic.



9/2002

 

>> Lex is as dangerous as ever, though not for the reasons that always worried Clark's father. Lex isn't dangerous because he'll find out Clark's secrets, but because Clark wants him to. <<

In a future not so many years from now, Clark's working at the Daily Planet and hasn't seen Lex much in three years, not since one suspicious rescue, lie, and manufactured look of innocent confusion too many inspired Lex to leave Smallville. But now something unexpected is happening to Clark, and Lex is back in his life again.... I know that some readers were annoyed that "Interstitial" by Punk Maneuverability doesn't provide a resolution on and explanation of the something unexpected, but the something unexpected isn't what the story is about, so I didn't mind at all. It would have been gravy getting those, but I didn't need them. Besides, it's very real that they don't get a definite answer on what's happening, because life is like that. The small flourishes of characterization make this story great, and it's enjoyable to watch Lex and Clark flirt, spark, and reestablish their bonds.



>> Clark was smiling again, laughing at him. It made Clark seem suddenly less complicated, made Lex feel good and a little bored at the same time. Clark's laughter didn't pose the same kind of challenge his irritation did. It was odd to know that, and to like hearing it anyway. <<

Sweet, melancholy, and funny, Meredith Lynne's "The Middle of Nowhere" features a quiet but illuminating scene between Lex and Clark as they dance and snark around the issues. The moments of insight really make it shine.



The contributors to DS Reporter, a LiveJournal site, keep track of all the latest goings-on in due South fandom so you don't have to. DS Reporter provides URL links for the release of new gen and slash fanfiction, with no Ray bias, as well as interviews with the show's castmembers about their current projects. It's very handy.



Fox's "Quick Study" has Ray watching Fraser play pool for the first time. And what a sight it is....



A common plot point involves the drama over how Ray's parents will react to finding out that he'd involved with Fraser. Will they be happy for him that he's in love or upset that he's gay? "Parental Guidance" by Alanna, Starfish, and Kass is a bit different. Ray's parents are thrilled that he's seeing Fraser. Ray's problem is that he actually isn't involved with Fraser, and he's never even given any thought to sex with men at all. He doesn't deal very well with the idea at first either....



>> When I went into Welsh's office, he glanced at his calendar. "Let me guess," he said. "Time to rescue the Constable again?" <<

In Resonant's very funny "Housekeeping," Ray and Fraser separated after their quest for the Hand of Franklin, and Fraser is living in Canada, putting the finishing touches on his cabin home. Then all hell breaks loose as criminals he put away come back for vengeance, with Ray showing up from the US in the nick of time to help him out. And again. And....
>> Heading into town, Mickey glanced in the mirror at Fraser and Dief in the back seat. "Detective," he said, "there anybody else you know of who wants Benton dead?'

"He was in Chicago four years. Seventy-four convictions in the states, sixteen extradited and convicted up here." I'd been impressed as hell when I looked that up. "About a dozen already tried to kill him, either here or there, so --"

"You're forgetting my record before going south," Fraser put in. "And my father's."

Dief made a whuffing noise. "Yes," Fraser said thoughtfully, "but one advantage of canines with grudges is that they don't have access to motor vehicles." <<

Plus, they still want each other, and all the adrenaline isn't helping. Given enough time, they finally figure out what they have to do.



If you're in the mood for good, long, meaty gen story, you should give this one a try. "Wait Until Dim" by Shay Sheridan could be an episode of due South. A more disturbing, violent one.... It has its moments of humor too, though. Like I said, it's a lot like an episode. A criminal from Ray's past is out for revenge on the people who put him away, and Ray won't stay clear of the investigation no matter how many times he's commanded to. Ray's hot-tempered, intelligent, and tenacious, as he should be. In a lighter moment, Fraser has an unusual reaction to getting to drive the GTO.



>> He doesn't know. He can't know, because if he did, he wouldn't have pushed her to this. <<

"Property" by shalott offers a different, creepy look at the Slayer/Watcher bond. Buffy understands what it means now....



7/2002

>> There was a tinkle of breaking glass from his bedroom. Wesley placed a bookmark in his spot, then quietly fetched the shotgun from its place by the front door. He cocked it.

He paused in front of the bedroom and listened. Nothing. He considered calling out a warning, just for a second, then kicked the door in and threw the butt of the rifle to his shoulder, a finger already on the trigger.

And froze at the solemn stare under a ragged fringe of bangs that met him.

"You didn't answer the door," the boy said.

"I wasn't expecting you," Wesley answered. <<

Angel: Connor/Steven's presence has been giving plenty of authors opportunities to send the show's characters off in new directions. I've been wondering how Connor would relate to Wesley, who attempted to save him from the father he's been taught to despise. debchan's "Deliverance" shows how it might go, as Connor finds Wesley and Wesley finds some approval and a new self to be. I'd love to see something like this story happen on the show, but I know that I don't have a chance in hell.

>> Connor went out the next night. Hunting, he said. He came back with a neatly skinned and cleaned pet shaped carcass. "Meat," he said proudly.

Wesley looked at it, dutifully jointed it, then cooked it. With enough garlic, it wasn't too bad. Even so, he told Connor not to touch the meat wearing tags.

"Are they talismans?"

"Of a sort, yes." <<



>> Instantly, she regretted objectifying this girl: first as comfy furniture, then as an armful of hot Wicca chickflesh. <<

Buffy: Pares does a great Willow voice in "How Good Girls Get Laid," which shows Willow becoming aware of Tara That Way for the first time. Flirty and fun. A nice rack, indeed....



Buffy/Smallville: In "Mercury" by Kitty Fisher, a slightly drunk and world-weary Giles meets an injured and world-weary Lex Luthor. This story is excellent at conjuring a sense of place and atmosphere. Part of the fun here lies in how we know things about each character that they don't know about one another.



Smallville: Even in gen, or at least this gen, you can feel the love Lex has for Clark. Jenn's "Naming of Names" has Lex bringing Clark to a deserted gymnasium to give him an unusual gift. The reader waits for Clark to acknowledge what that gift is, since we and Clark already know....



The funny and somewhat insane "I Sing the Body Electric!" by Drusilla Rain and Juliette Mercutio Torres has Clark introducing Lex to Andromeda, and expressing it in ways that sound fairly familiar to me. Lex giving flashes of his geekdom is a plus.

>> "That's Rhade. He sucks. He betrayed Dylan. Of course, Dylan sucks too but he's a good guy with good intentions and he owns Tyr so..."

"So you're jealous of Dylan?"

"Shaddup," Clark mumbled.

"I'm curious. Do they suck each other or just in general?" <<



Andromeda: Sienna Edwards' "Clutch" has Dylan and an injured Harper left all alone on a damaged Maru waiting for help to arrive. Dylan knows that it's a cliché for an attraction to grow and be expressed in such dramatic circumstances, but sometimes things are clichés because they work. <g> There are many appealing images in this story, and watching them working their way toward one another is satisfying. Nothing's rushed. By contrast, the enjoyment of "Ambush" rests in how short and very hot it is, as Charlemagne Bolivar makes a move on Harper. Charlemagne wants many things from Harper, but at least this way he's guaranteed to get sex.



Queer as Folk (UK): A story in picture postcards, "Hazel's Mailbox" by Cesare is very funny and very Stuart, as Stuart sends Hazel mail that tracks their travels. My favorite has to be Stuart's illustration of his and Vince's reactions to getting a bed with a mirrored ceiling over it. It takes a bit of time to load, but it's worth it.



classic X-Files: I know I've recced torch's site in totality in the past--Do I really need to tell you to read "Ghosts"? If you haven't yet, go set aside a few hours and do it already--but I had to mention "In Heavenly Peace" in particular. Because it always makes me cry.



Jane Mortimer's "The Same Everywhere" features aliens, a kind of case file, alien possession, the Lone Gunmen, and Mulder and Alex Krycek's sarcastic wit. And sex. The wit is dead-on, the sex is hot, the affection is palpable, Langly has a great scene with Alex, and Mortimer totally gets that Mulder's greatest strength and weakness is his curiosity.



6/2002

This is a nice idea: Gearbox put together a page of happy recs for several fandoms, though the majority is from due South. If you need fanfiction that puts a smile on your face, go here.



>> I bolted into the station and up the stairs toward the men's room, the journey requiring me to tell no fewer than three separate people to fuck off and die. <<
If it kicks off with a masturbating parakeet and grenade-juggling, it has to be Fraser and Ray.... "Juggling Act" by Speranza starts funny, gets funnier, gets serious, gets funnier.... Ray and Fraser in costume! Ray having problems with the steakhouse, er, stakehouse, oh.... Come one, come all!
>> It was like Witness, only with midgets. <<



There's a warning for "No Less Radiant" by Laura Kaye, but it would ruin things if I told you what it is. Just keep that in mind. It's about the kind of love that transcends everything.



Smallville: Sometimes everything can go to hell in one day. "Undone" by Hope is about gaining what you want and having it turn on you. It's about what you're willing to do when you love someone. And it is dark, dark, dark. It'll twist your heart out, in a satisfying way. And there are some very hot, very evocative scenes between Clark and Lex.



What was Clark like as a kid, and how does it relate to who he becomes? Pete gives us an idea in "Boys! Raise Giant Mushrooms in Your Cellar!" by Julad, written for Livia's Bradbury Title Challenge. The kids come off as kids here, and the word image of pre-English-speaking Clark munching flowers has to be seen. You'd think it can't work or that it'll be too saccharine, but it's completely not.



>> That was the funny thing about action movies. They always showed the big, climactic crash scene, but never the part after. The part where the heroes walked home in the dark and cold with grass-stained knees, wondering if there were any more giant mutant chickens roosting in the woods. <<

Shrift's "Karma Demands" starts with the aftermath of Lex's Porsche being ravished by a giant mutant chicken, but the real action happens during the walk to Lex's home and their arrival.... Great banter too.



Angel: Sometimes change happens so gradually, in such a seemingly natural way, that you never see it coming. In the gen "Sister" by Roz Kaveney, Connor/Stephen takes Justine on as a new hunting partner and is never the same. The story is quietly creepy and quite possible.



Andromeda: In "Nothing New Under the Sun," Tosca shows us the thoughts--the wonderings, suspicions, and evaluations of one another--of the newly formed present-day crew of the Andromeda Ascendant. I found Andromeda's thoughts, including her security classification decisions of her new crewmembers, most interesting of all. In "Angel's Sword" Tyr reacts to the mass slaughter of Nietzscheans and Harper's role in it in "Angel Dark, Demon Bright" in a way you wouldn't at first expect, though he has his reasons. Harper, of course, has no idea what the hell they are, but he knows that the sex is very hot, if confusing to him. ("Chaser" is this story's prequel, but I can't quite recommend it and it's not necessary to understanding this story. "Angel's Sword" is better.)



R.I.P. Glenn Quinn

5/2002

>> Constable Fraser seemed to make a good faith effort to relax--not that anyone would have noticed the difference, Berger thought. Man, if this was Benton Fraser relaxed, this was gonna take a hell of a lot more than eight sessions.

This could take years. <<

due South: In "Eight Sessions" by Speranza, Ray and Fraser undergo counseling after a shooting, and it's sometimes a tossup as to whether our guys or the therapists are suffering the most from the sessions. They really aren't the easiest patients.... Watch Fraser utterly dumbfound his therapist, while Ray has a battle of the wits with his. What actually happened during the incident comes out slowly, though it's obviously eating at Ray in particular, with the story working up to it. Once again Speranza deftly balances humor and drama, with Fraser's self-ignited breakthrough coming off as hilarious and scary all at once. Plus, you have the banter. I'm a sucker for banter.

>> "Geez. I could give him a feeling word or two," and Fraser was actually struggling not to smile now. Good. Good. "I got plenty of feeling words--go on and borrow a couple," Ray suggested. "Tell him you're freaked out. Tell him you're pissed off. Tell him you're mad as hell and you're not going to take it anymore."

Fraser's eyes widened slightly like he was having a revelation--and really, Fraser was the best straight man in the business. "Why, that's true, Ray. I am feeling rather freakish, now that you mention it."

Ray bit the inside of his cheek and nodded slowly, trying to seem thoughtful. "Plus you're mad as hell, aren't you."

"Yes. Completely pissed off." Damn, Fraser was going for it, playing to win--and now he was leaning in for the kill. "Thank you, Ray." Fraser's voice was thrumming with sincerity. "You've expanded my emotional world." <<



Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Drusilla sings in Jane St Clair's "Like Nobody's Watching." Yes, really. You know that Spike and Dru perform in their own way.... You don't want to miss this slice of her mental life, which puts you right into her head.



Andromeda: Harper deals with life -- post-Magog infestation, pre-cure --as best he can. His slowly evolving relationship with Tyr is a help and a burden all at once. "Breaking Out" by Moonloon has a refreshing penchant for throwing in the kind of details that makes a story feel more grounded and realistic, such as Harper's withdrawal symptoms once he's off the serum. In the absence of the show itself giving his condition much thought, this kind of possibility is something an author has to think up alone, and the work is much appreciated. Even better, Harper's tough here, even at this vulnerable time. Loved the trick he pulled with the Progenitor's remains. And Tyr is Tyr, for better and worse.



Dawn, by Joseph Michael Linsner

4/2002

>> Mrs Johannis handed him a cup of tea. "Has the detective done many ghost removals before?" she asked him.

"Er... no, he's very new to this line of work," said Fraser.

"I thought so. Tricky creatures, ghosts. Just when you think you're rid of them, they sneak up behind you again."

Fraser looked across at his father, who looked back with an injured expression. <<


"Serendipity Style 1" by Jonah in the Whale could have been an actual episode of due South, and a good one at that. The gang's all here and in character, and the plot proceeds with an appealing whimsy. An act of kindness even reaps great rewards. Ray is prickly and sweet, just as he should be, and you have to see him performing as a ghostbuster/television repair guy. And, like in the show, subtext lightly shimmers over some of the proceedings. In "Serendipity Style 2," the subtext gives way to text, as Ray and Fraser have dinner together, almost bare their hearts but not really, and bed down for the night. You can just about taste Fraser's longing.
>> In less than a minute, Ray had finished his burger. Looking down at his plate, he drew squiggles in the sauce with the tip of his finger. "You know," he said to the plate, "if you saw ghosts, I'd believe you saw ghosts. I don't mean I'd believe in them, but I wouldn't think you were delusional."

There didn't seem to be anything he could say to that, except to point out it didn't quite make logical sense--which, he knew immediately, would be a terrible mistake. Truth could be remarkably resistant to logic and, whether he would admit it or not, Ray's words were spoken from the heart. Since such matters were not Fraser's forte, he elected to remain silent, consuming the last mouthfuls of his burger. <<



In MR's "Holidazed," Ray and Fraser discuss the Christmas pageants they appeared in during their youths, and it's funny and very charming. Hear about Fraser's very brief childhood career as the Virgin Mary.



The major shadow dogging the relationship Clark and Lex have in Smallville is the certainty that one day they will be mortal enemies. But Smallville is already rewriting the past, so who knows? In Livia's "Demarcation," we see Clark's future dual life in Metropolis as mild-mannered reporter and alien superhero. The lives he leads are tense and lonely, filled with secrecy, and he's tiring of juggling it all. Livia also depicts them in excellent detail. Then something he's working on crosses his path with Lex Luthor after years of mutual silence. But is Lex involved in the crimes? And it's not like Clark really trusts the whole truth to anyone anymore....



Sorority Boys, the movie, is far from the deepest experience you'll ever have, yet the fic inspired by it explores identity issues, genderfuck, and gender confusion in penetrating ways. It was inevitable that slash fen would see a movie featuring men forced by circumstance to dress and try to act as women fertile ground, especially since it features Smallville's Michael Rosenbaum. [This review contains spoilers for the movie, so if it matters to you, don't read any further.] Both of these stories concern the scenes in the movie in which Adam, done up as Adina, is slipped a roofie cocktail by a frat brother and date raped. "Inside Her" by The Spike is in Adam/Adina's head as it's going on. Doped up, he's not sure who he is or who he's with and sometimes even thinks that Adina is a different person, a girl he's with, disassociating himself from what's happening to him. As a user of roofie persuasion in the past himself, he can't even fault his attacker and thus makes excuses for it, that Adina's a slut who wants it, and she had to know what happens to girls who go to these frat parties. This is a deeply uncomfortable story, and I mean that in the best way possible. It lingers with you. Livia's "Repress, Deny" shows Adam after the events of the movie, and somehow he just can't seem to let it all go and willfully forget the way he wants to. For his own peace of mind he has to find the right balance of Adam and Adina and figure out how to deal with the rape. Mentally, he's in a messed up state, and Livia takes you inside.



Felicia Hardy, the Black Cat, partially disguised without her platinum blonde hair

3/2002

"Pas de Deux" by Sihaya Black presents an alternate due South universe in which Ray Kowalski is a dance instructor and former dance champion, while Fraser and Ray Vecchio follow pretty much the same course they follow in our universe. Pretty much. The plot hinges on the differences. Ray K's alternate history is vividly imagined and detailed, giving you the feeling that it really did happen somewhere. Set aside some time to enjoy the plot and Ray and Fraser's dance of attraction and denial.



I can see Lana ending up as she does in the eerie and creepy "Breathing Amber" by Sarah T. Isn't she fortunate that a jilted Lex Luthor is willing to help her keep her dream of the perfect Smallville of her youth alive?



We've all seen the cliché of two characters getting caught out in the middle of nowhere in lethal weather having to share warmth to survive, with that sharing leading to their first time and so much more. Debchan's "Let It Snow" takes this idea for Lex and Clark and invests it with charm and humor and sweetness.



>> Plan A--necklace, failed. Plan B--Radiohead tickets, failed. Plan C-- birthday party escort, failed. Plan D-- Lex talk to Lana, failed. This was just--surreal. Utterly and completely and Plan E was still waiting on a call from General Sherman for the restoration of the draft so Whitney could enjoy some quality time in boot camp. Somehow, he didn't think *that* would be forthcoming anytime soon, and Plan F--my God, had he ever needed so much of the alphabet to get something accomplished?

He must be losing his touch. Or Clark was the single most incompetent stalker on the planet, which was also a distinct possibility. <<


Jenn's witty, comic Advanced Masochism series continues, with Clark seeming to be no closer to getting a clue despite Lex's formidable efforts. You can just about taste Lex's frustration in "Advanced Masochism 101: How to Be Oblivious to the Obvious." Well, that and the cookies.



You can't be a slasher and watch The Lost Boys without commenting. I mean, the film is full of sparkly boys with wet, luscious lips who far prefer their own company. Star is obviously David's bait to catch boys who think they're straight. Sammy is the gayest younger brother ever and doesn't seem to mind snuggling up--while wearing only a robe--to his nuts brother. In the funny and hot "Subtext" by Te, Lex and Clark go see The Lost Boys and end up in pretty much the same mental space. Events progress from there as you'd expect them to.



Robert Smith of the Cure, circa 1979

2/2002

Once upon a time there was a movie called The Faculty, and it wasn't by any means a great movie but it had its moments, especially with Elijah Wood as Casey. I kept getting slash signals between Casey and Zeke, but the plot of course has the wrap-up showing Casey ending up with Delilah and all the misfits suddenly fitting in, everything so much better than they'd ever been for everyone now after the aliens have been defeated. (Or they were all replaced by aliens after all. I'm not sure.) Wax Jism apparently saw some of the things in the movie that I did, because she's doing an ongoing series called Void in which she jettisoned the alien plot and happily ever after ending to give readers a dark, raw slice of how things might have gone for the characters. This is not a healthy relationship to begin with, and then Delilah mixes in.... The often luscious prose deals with obsession, facades, the allure of violence, the way routine can be seductive, the strange beauty a bruise can have, and how high school can be hell. Some parts of this series make me squirm, but it's a good squirm.



"Primates" by grit kitty shows us the horror of being a Sentinel with out of control senses, every small thing around you magnified and pressing down on you at once. How much worse it is when you don't know you're a Sentinel and doctors can't figure out what's going wrong? grit kitty obviously gave a lot of thought to the things that could set him off--Jim's horror at all the dimensions a puff of shaving cream in his hand could have leaps to mind--and it pays off in this AU, putting you in his tormented head. Actually, in a way this story is all about the small things around you that creep on you without you knowing it, as Blair slowly insinuates himself into Jim's life without Jim realizing it or noticing how his senses are more bearable afterward. Jim and the original cop characters here also have a nice, believable chemistry, with the originals set up in small, deft flashes of characterization.



Martin Gore of Depeche Mode

1/2002

Check out Cassandra Claire's hilarious, slashy Very Secret Diaries of the Lord of the Rings characters, which she's been putting together in her LiveJournal. Hearing them discuss the true goings on from the movie Bridget Jones style is a lot of fun, like when you find out that Frodo left the Fellowship because he was tired of having everyone hit on him all the time. My favorite diaries are Frodo's, Saruman the White's, Merry's, and Ringwraith No 5's, but they're all highly entertaining as well as interconnected. For example, "Sam will kill him if he tries anything" shows up in every one. <g> Diaries are also available for Sam, Legolas, Aragorn, Boromir, Gimli, Pippin, and Gollum. Don't you want to be a "pervy hobbit-fancier" too?



Basingstoke wrote a Pike and Benny story! "Want," which takes place after the Buffy movie, shows how things have changed and remained the same. Pike's tired and has doubts about what he's doing. Benny's undead, exuberant as ever, and knows exactly what he wants. It really made me ache for Pike.



101 Ways To End Up In A Canadian Shack: A series of short-short stories, a multi-fandom e-zine, has the work of the 30 authors (like torch, Te, Aristide, Speranza....) in 62 fandoms. To paraphrase Te, if there isn't at least one story here representing a fandom or character you follow, what kind of obscure stuff are you into? Don't skip the Story of the Story or the authors' notes either. It's all good. And I'm there too!



>> Dawn: Besides, we still have 150 lines of play to cover (thumbs through script) Let's see... we're supposed to engage in innuendo-laden banter about fortune...

Twilight: (loudly) Hey, Lady Luck! Shake it over here, baby! <<
-- "Harperlet"

Does having the Andromeda crew act out classic literature sound like a bizarre idea to you? It did to me too, but Robert John Burke mines the concept for comedy gold while keeping them completely in character. He even finds roles for that Than pilot I liked, Refractions of Dawn, who died in the first episode. Watch them bring their anarchic energy to their loosely fitting roles, talking back to the author and snarking all the way while subverting the text, especially in "Harperlet." Of course, Harper is wondering who decided to cast Rommie as his mother. Tyr is, of course, the fratricidal uncle Prince Harper is supposed to kill. "Revthello, the Magog of Tarn-Vedra" is also very, very funny, with Tyr as Iago working so hard to get Rev to murder his wife Trance and getting nowhere and Harper wondering why he has to play a character who's stupid. My favorite of these is "Tyr's Very Special Christmas Carol."

>> Tyr: (Aside, to the Author) My compliments on the first scene. I got to growl at people and be Nietzschean, and I didn't have to put up with Trance even once. (thinks about that) You're setting me up for a fall, aren't you?<<
It starts with Harper as Bob Cratchit giving an almost noir sounding explanation of the state of things and gets crazier from there. The Scrooge/Marley conversation as done by Tyr and Gaheris Rhade, two Nietzscheans, is a scream. An incompletely built Rommie is Tiny Tim. "A Midsummer's Night Slipstream" had some very funny moments but was too inconsistent for me to truly rec it. It's all gen, though "Harperlet" and "Revthello" mention slash.

 

pre-2002 Fanfic Recommendations