As always

Jul. 3rd, 2010 11:57 am
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The lovely [ profile] lady_branwyn does it again. Eating For Two, a drabble response to the Eating For Two challenge in the LotR fandom, is awesome beyond belief. Seriously. Rated G. Just click.
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One of my favorite artists is [ profile] sigune. I met her ages ago at a con, and immediately knew she was awesome. Her artwork is reminiscent of Aubrey Beardsley, but she's got her own style as well, and it's marvelous.

She's been working on a draft of a set of graphic novels about King Arthur, Gawain, and some of Arthur's backstory. It's absolutely amazing. Even though this isn't the final artwork, it's beautiful and masterfully drawn. She pencils, inks, and scans in three pages per week, and I've been following it avidly. She's just finished the second set of pages, and I thought this would be a perfect time to recommend this.

The Gawain Project (takes you to all tagged entries for tGP; if you'd like to see all entries, you can click here, which is the final entry for the Prologue, and it has all links for the other pages of tGP)

The Darkest Hour chronicles Uther and Ygraine

I highly recommend both series. These are insightful, beautifully drawn works. They move slowly at first, but then they draw you in, and the storytelling unfolds like a mystical flower. I really love both series so much and I can't wait for more work. Sigune has a great ear for dialogue and a talented eye, and the story is engrossing and well-told. There is heartbreak, there is magic, both dark and light, there is love and war and the land beyond the mists. Sigune's drawings are spare and yet convey so much. Her beautiful lines captivate the eye.

If you're looking for something interesting during the short dark days of winter, then definitely stop over at her journal and check out her interpretation of the Arthurian legends. Not to be missed!
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So, an X-files fic was recced on [ profile] epic_recs by [ profile] jane_elliot, and I ended up devouring it between last night and today. I thought that maybe [ profile] iibnf might not have seen it (well, she probably has), so on the off chance that she or maybe [ profile] gmonkey42 would be interested, I'm going to rec it here, too.

The fic is called the Gift of an Enemy by Sylvia, and it's a bit on the long side. It's slash, Krycek/Mulder, NC-17, not really gory, few flashes of violence.

What I absolutely loved about this fic was the casefile that Mulder is sent to investigate. It's completely engrossing, and I thoroughly enjoyed that portion of the fic. It's so well-developed. In the beginning of the fic Krycek is thrown together with Mulder in an unusual (and lovely for its flash of h/c) way, and they both end up being sent to investigate witches in a town in Pennsylvania called Weimar. What's fabulous is that I was actually completely intrigued by what would happen with Krycek added to the mix, and what he would do in the town, and how he would handle things. I love badass!Krycek.

Now keep in mind that I am quite ignorant about most of X-files canon. I only watched some of s1, and most of s2 and 3, if that. But I knew enough to get pulled right in, and I enjoyed the ride tremendously. It is quite talky, and the narrative is very full, and there's plenty of angst and misunderstood emotions and some very hot relations between the two characters. But on top of it all, there's that mystery, that beautiful, slow-paced mystery, and it's just absorbing as hell. And so logically laid out. Just excellent.

If you've got some time to kill, and you're up for an angsty, plotty K/M, and you like a touch of h/c and a terrific casefile, you can't go wrong with this one.
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The ever-lovely [ profile] tinx_r has written a spooky vampire Riptide fic for me called Portrait of the Vampire. Rated NC-17, full of yummy Nick and Cody, and as tasty as all of Tinx's writing is. I enjoyed it very much--it's like watching a new episode. Er, an NC-17 episode, that is.

Summary: With Murray in the hands of the vampire, Nick and Cody must work fast to find him in time...

Portrait of the Vampire: Part one, Part two.
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Space pirate epic. Yes, you've read that correctly. [ profile] tinx_r and [ profile] oddmonster collaborated on this story, which was based on my prompt of "space pirates," and it's just so much yum. Hot guys in space, the Riptide/Mimi/Ebb Tide all reconfigured for intergalactic travel, a surprisingly effective Roboz, and h/c.

This is what I read fanfic for--escape, pure and simple. Escape with two hot guys, no less. So totally fun and I love how they adapt the Riptide concept to another genre.

Rated R. Slash, people, slash.

Summary: The Riptide takes on a freighter carrying highly sought-after cargo and find they have taken on more than they bargained for.

Neuros Are For Never: Part One
Neuros Are For Never: Part Two
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So y'all know that I have a major weak spot for hurt/comfort fics. (I would even say that I have always had this jones--but that's for another essay.)

Anyway, for me there are certain characters who work in that role, and others who just don't. Even though there are many Remus h/c fics out there, I've never been very interested in them, for example; it was only Snape who really intrigued me in that role.

Even though I think of myself as primarily a HP fan, I do wander off into other fandoms occasionally. Especially older fandoms whose heroes I remember liking.

Recently I discovered the Riptide fandom on LJ. I found it because of [ profile] 10_hurt_comfort, which I usually skip over because it contains anime pairings I don't recognize or fandoms I'm not interested in. I have a very specific taste for h/c, lol.

More about small fandoms like classic BSG, Riptide, Emergency!, etc., and some links. )
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[ profile] bronze_ribbons has just written the most lovely and funny Snupin ficlet for me! It's called Outskirting the Dark and it features h/c and Lupin in a fairy skirt. It's sweet and yummy and even has a few unusual cameos (hee!). Have I mentioned that Ribbons is one of my favorite authors evah and that this is making me swoon in delight?! It might be a touch funnier, too, if you've read my Terminus writeups.

Go read it if you're interested. Especially if your name is [ profile] marginaliana or [ profile] gmonkey42.


ETA: I'm so relieved that she didn't think to pay me back for her Mistress of the Angst Ray characterization in the Squid Wars fics I did a couple years ago...hee!

ETAETA: squee! [ profile] melusinahp sent me a LJ gift!!! Aw, you're so sweet. Thank you so much!!
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As always, [ profile] lady_branwyn manages to pack more insight and characterization into a short story than many authors can in a novel. Her latest set of short stories, A Handful of Valentines, is wonderful and fascinating, covering characters as diverse as Bill the Pony and Barliman.

If you have a few minutes, and you're a LotR fan, you should not miss these. She's a masterful writer, and each sip is worth its weight in gold.

If you're only going to read one, then make it Outlander, a short story of Boromir and Éowyn.
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I've just finished reading a short (5k) HP/Endless crossover by [ profile] gehayi. It's terrific. You can find it here. It's G-rated.

It's a retelling of the Peverell brothers story from canon, only fleshed out and made real. I love the spin on the characters, and I love how it's been written into the Endlessverse so seamlessly. Being a huge Gaiman Endless series fan, I was enthralled with the story. Definitely check this one out.

Prompt/Summary: Hermione was wrong: the Peverell brothers were not just dealing with a metaphor. (Discworld, Sandman, or any other fandom with an anthropomorphic personification of Death)

Excerpt )
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Right now I've been quite entranced with Dangerous People, a Snupin WIP by [ profile] evecat (evegenia on IJ). It's post-DH, contains DH spoilers, and so far is pre-slash, though I have a feeling that it will not remain so for long. The author's warnings are: language, violence alluded to, character death alluded to, but I would add that the violence alluded to can get a bit gory. Just a bit.

There's no real summary, so I'll just say that Snape and Lupin are on the run from a Wizarding World gone mad, and end up in the Chicago, trying to blend in with the wizards and witches there. That sounds hokey, but it is entirely not. The political situation in both countries is explored, and Snape and Lupin do their best to keep up with their cover stories.

More )

The plot is so unexpected, moving here and there, and I love not being able to guess, even though some of the issues faced are quite logical. People complicate things, and this is where the story shines--in all of its complications, in its lovely, stubbornly fixed pace, and its well-realized characters.

This is one of the reasons I love fandom, finding stories like this.

Other thoughts, and an excerpt )

Here is the link to Chapter one on LJ. Keep in mind that the author has now switched to IJ, and anything beyond chapter 7 is available there instead. Also, some of the chapters have links and some do not; some of her links lead only to her journal. I've compiled a set of links for the chapters--it's under the cut.

Chapter 1: Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs

Links to the rest of the chapters )


Dec. 31st, 2007 02:33 pm
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I know we're all up to our gills in fest fic--but here is a fantastic story outside of the fests. [ profile] girl_tarte has written a dark, taut Snupin that is bursting at the seams with pain, regret,'s amazing. I recc'ed a story of hers before, and I am just enthralled with this one.

nothing here resets the clocks is fantastic. Definitely NC-17, dark, perhaps even grim, but this story is incandescent with desire and rage, it lights the hidden corners of the mind that both Severus and Remus would rather not reveal. It clicks into place with canon, filling in the cracks, slinking around the corners to illuminate the adult world behind Harry.

I could read this twenty times and find something new to shiver over every single time.

An excerpt:

Inevitably Black corners me in the hallway of Grimmauld Place, where I am, as usual, the first to arrive for the Order meeting. He looks like he wants to take my head off.

“Harry says you’ve stopped teaching him occlumency.”

“That’s a rather generous assessment. I would rather say that I have stopped demonstrating legilimency.”
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Holy cow. I've been reading most of the Snupin Santa entries, and as always, there's a grab bag of "good," "lots of fun," and "not my cup of tea."

And then there's "HOLY SMOKES THIS IS AWESOME." You know--the kind of story that defeats you as a writer, because you wish you had written it, and that you haven't makes you unutterably sad.

Modern Love, written for [ profile] vibishan, is one such story. 11,000 words, PG-13, post-DH but with some DH events not occurring. The summary is: Set several years after DH, Remus and Severus are in a relationship and raising Teddy together. On the surface things seem wonderful, until you take in insecurity and miscommunication.

It's one of those fics where you are literally immersed in their world, where everything is written so realistically and meaningfully that each paragraph just rolls off the page and into your mind. The characterizations are terrific. I generally avoid any fics with children in them because most I've read have featured some sort of pod-child who bears little or no resemblence to real children--but Teddy, in this fic, is so incredibly well-written that he actually elevates the story instead of hindering it.

Writing a characterization of Severus as father sounds like a challenge--but this story proves that it can be done, and with style. The incredible touches in this story are the things I always long for in wizarding stories--not only does Teddy spout off about potions and magical creatures, but the adults even talk about magical affairs.

There is no graphic content at all. The PG-13 rating says it all--this is a nuanced, lovely piece of work, a story that makes one feel right at home in the wizarding world. I felt like I had slipped into the family and was sitting on the hearth, surrounded by magic and yet still human, full of emotion, feeling, and especially the regret--or sometimes pride--we feel from the choices we make.

Teeny rec

Sep. 25th, 2007 06:21 pm
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I must mention Five Small Victories for Professor Remus J. Lupin by[ profile]'s Snupin, rated G (very G, in fact), and it's sly, wonderful, and heartwarming. Just the thing for a warm Fall evening.
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...and that I rarely find any HP-themed poetry.

Well, thanks to a rec from [ profile] crack_broom today, I've found a terrific, thought-provoking series of poems. It's very spare, humorous, bleak, and full of tiny electric particals that will buzz within you long after you finish it. Even better, it is very accessible, whether you enjoy poetry or not--it's so tightly and fluidly written that it's sure to affect nearly everyone.

It's called Silence and Esoterica, by [ profile] cedarlibrarian. It follows Severus through his many decisions and thoughts. It's pre-DH, so Severus's core rests on a different weight than what we know now, but don't skip it because of that--it's still relevant, and it's full of dark, creeping thoughts. It was written for [ profile] kinda_lush with the prompt "Honor."

It's a progression of poems. A taste of the first few lines:

Just Before My First Year

I knew
from the beginning
that popularity and security
and a predictable future
for anyone but me.

If you have any taste for poetry, you should run, not walk, to this work. It's haunting.
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As usual, [ profile] trickofthedark has created an amazing art/fic. It's called Platform 9.99999999999999999999 (MASSIVE SPOILERS for DH) and it's absolutely fantastic.

Don't let the apparent simplicity of her artwork fool you. This is a harrowing read, though lighthearted, which is very much her style; what I've read by her is usually somehow...pragmatically haunting. Realistic and yet fantastic. She writes and draws the most interesting mix of these opposites I've ever seen.

The story isn't easy. It's very complex and sophisticated, and yet...simple and to the point.

First lines of the story, cut because of spoilers )

It's short, and says so many things about the ending of DH. It pulls together many themes. ) I adore this story.
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If you want to read a great, funny short story (and also this fits in with my recent musings on jeans and being a big girl), run over to BBW (Big Beautiful Witch). It's by [ profile] anguis_1 and it's on [ profile] porkish_pixies. It's Bulstrode/Crabbe, but don't let that hinder you...this is pure gold. Rating is PG-13.

Summary: Vince has never claimed to be the brightest light in the chandelier, but once he gets an idea in his mind, he hangs onto it like a hippogriff with a nice, juicy ferret. Unfortunately, he’s always had difficulty expressing himself.

It's fun, sweet, and hilarious!
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Backwards Down is an amazing story by [ profile] pyreneeees (hell yes, I had to use cut and paste). It's a Severus/Regulus fic, short, told in Regulus's POV, and it progresses backwards, and it'

One of the most wonderful things the author explores is companionship. Belonging to, and not belonging to. It's so well-written, and the camaraderie of Slytherins is so perfectly depicted...both harsh, and warm. I love Regulus, pinwheeling between people, trying to find someone to hold onto. This is a fantastic story, and the slash is so tiny that it's barely visible (just a quick kiss), though it is haunting and their brief interaction will stay with me for a very long time.

Rating: PG-13 (no sexual content except for a kiss, but some violence)
Summary: Everybody knows what happened to Regulus Black.
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The incredible [ profile] sigune has finally finished her astonishing graphic novel of the Prank. It really is amazing. Her dark lines, her wonderful dialogue, the great characterizations...this is not to be missed! It's an incredibly inventive and very canon-based look at the Prank itself. It's G, about eighteen pages long (they go by very, very quickly, though), I think, and NOT TO BE MISSED if you are a fan of the Marauders, or especially, Snape.

It's fantastic.

She doesn't seem to have a tag devoted to this series, so this link will take you to the last page, and there are links to all of the other pages in the beginning. It's well worth it. The finished pages are at the end of each entry, though the preceding commentary in each entry is not only a fascinating glimpse into the mind of an artist, but also a wonderful way to learn about the methods of composing panels and narrative flow in artwork.
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Have just read a dark!fic Snupin tale that is quite amazing. It's called Forty Drops, by [ profile] rufus, and wow. It's R, for violence, but there is no sexual content, I promise, though you should definitely read the warnings (but don't worry, it isn't that frightening), and it's just a terrific tale of Severus during the war. I won't tell you any more...I don't want to spoil it at all, but it's terrific Snape stream-of-consciousness POV is not to be missed. I love the use of language, of Severus trying to deal with what's going on, and it features one of my favorite things...the reader having to piece together what's happening. It's great.

I'm loving the dark!fic challenge so far, but this is really one of the standout pieces from the challenge.


Mar. 13th, 2007 10:18 pm
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I just received an update alert from fanfiction net that Potions and Prejudice by slipper balloon has been updated.

You all know that I am not into HG/SS. But for some reason, this fic really caught my eye. HG/SS shippers might think it clichéd, but (mainly due to my recent Pride & Prejudice obsession), I'm intrigued by it.

What fascinates me is that it's been ages since it was updated. Seriously. At least a year, if not a year and a half. I remember it from one of my earlier bursts of energy, when I was going through recs pages and trying to look at everything, so it has to have been awhile.

It interests me that she mentions how many people urged her to continue, privately, by email. I mean, I have one or two who occasionally mention it, but after last year (when I only updated three times or so), I lost a lot of people...people who seemed to disappear into the fandom nexus. Anyway, it's so sweet that enough people cheered her on, and she updated. Makes me think that fandom isn't quite the black hole it appears to be sometimes.


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