skywaterblue: (death)
DS9

All is Cracked and Confusion by agapi42

This is a time-travel story that you have to read twice to fully understand. During the Bajoran Occupation, the Cardassians steal the Orb of Time. Kira went on two missions: one aborted, one where they failed, to stop it from happening. A great story that could have happened on the show, and the author knows just the right amount of sly Garak to provide.

Immortal by tornyourdress

Jadzia, before Dax. This has a lovely look at how much pressure individuals in Trill society are under to be found worthy of joining.

In The Files by tree_and_leaf

A minor Bajoran technician on the station left a surprise for the Dominion. Now she's dead and the station is back in the hands of the Federation. I particularly like this one for the spitfire mother OC.

Slings and Arrows

People Who Don't Understand Brecht Don't Understand Life by Sage.

I don't really get the pairing on this one, but it was highly rec'ed so I gave it a shot... and it works for me! Not the pairing, but what the relationship establishes about the story. A young Darren and Geoffrey join New Burbage and get cast by Oliver in Marlowe's Edward II - the author has a really insightful psychological grasp on how Darren and Geoffrey are developing as young actors, and on Oliver in his middle years. I love the backstabbing, the secret cattiness of the casting, and the OCs who raise Darren do so much to flesh out the world and make him a sympathetic character. Highly recommended by me as well!

Thereby Hangs a Tale... by Satchelfoot.

After the series, Geoffrey eventually returns to acting. A really enjoyable, true to the series tone ficlet. After all, all the world's a stage...

Sandman

Every year, there are Sandman crossovers. Sandman is a little black dress - it goes with everything. I think the harder challenge is to write stories that take place entirely within the series, and there was one really good choices this year.

Except in Dreams by elynross

A day in the life of Lucien, Head Librarian in the Library of Dreams. This story makes fantastic use of the Dreaming's supporting cast and is hung on the delightful idea that Lucien and Nuala are organizing concerts of the great unfinished (except in dreams!) works of classical composers.

Yuletide:

Jan. 1st, 2012 11:03 pm
skywaterblue: (Default)
I have about a thousand DS9 fics still open in this window. I didn't get all my recs done before reveals. D'oh. Well, I'll keep plugging away at it.

I also have to remember that this last LJ-refugee surge means I have to start reading my reading list every day, instead of every couple of days. It used to be I would only get to about skip 40, and I just got to skip 80 and gave up. No idea how I used to do skip 120 every morning. (It was pre-Twitter.)

I think I may sign up to get a Yuletide fic next year. Here are some fandoms I'd like to see: Pit Dragons, Firebringer Trilogy, Quintaglio Ascension Series. I'm sure I can think of more? There must be some TV and film fandoms I would like as well...
skywaterblue: (Default)
The Secret of Kells
Inghinidhe na hÉireann
Suddenly Aisling’s sitting on his branch, out further towards the end, watching him. Pangur mews, surprised to find herself staring at thin air.

“Draw my mother.”

“Your mother?”


THE SECRET OF KELLS. Oh man, sometimes Yuletide really delivers for you. A magical fic that truly captures the feel of this underrated gem of animation.

Young Wizards
Taking In
Honestly, Ronan is probably my least favorite character in this series. So a fic that can take him, show his Ordeal in such beauty and make it work for me? That's a gem.

Spirited Away
By The World Forgot
Kamaji the Boiler Man's backstory. The author manages to weave this story with all the little details that make you gasp, 'of course' with that hint of bittersweet that Miyazaki does so well.

Deep Space Nine
As Was Intended
Jadzia interrogates Garak on Bashir. This could have been painfully trite, but as written makes you wonder why Jadzia, with her past as Curzon, didn't have more to say to Garak in canon.

Past Lives and Propaganda
Kira helps Jadzia clean out Curzon's storage locker, after the zhian'tara - a lovely concept, with a gentle swipe at Trek canon as the punchline.
skywaterblue: (Default)
Magic School Bus
As I Always Say
How to take the oft-joked upon premise of "Mrs. Frizzle is a Time Lord" and mix it with the bittersweet nature of the Doctor's relationship with his companions, all while sneaking in a third crossover.

Young Wizards/Sandman/Illuminatus! Trilogy
Die Morgensheutegesternwelt
The band names alone are killer. Tom and Carl slip into another universe, on an acid trip, and Carl re-names an Endless in the Speech - a daringly beautiful premise that fits entirely into both universes.

Dragonriders of Pern
Dragonsearch
Mirrim is tired of being the only woman on a fighting dragon - and decides to ask the Weyrleaders if she can go on Search. A lovely novella-length work with three OCs that fit so perfectly into the Pern universe I forgot they were OCs. (Yay for Lanner.)

Clouds the Color of Fire
The perfect version of "how Lessa discovered she was pregnant" - a great prompt for a missing scene. I love the way the dragons are done in this one.

Triage
In the First Interval, a mother and daughter doctor discuss the choices that have to be made as Pern slides away from technology. I have a funny suspicion I know who wrote this - it's a great slice between Dragonsdawn and Dragonseye, and also shows that Pern can be compelling without Thread and dragons.

Octopus Steals My Video Camera and Swims Off With It While It Is Still Recording
Experiments With Intelligence
The secret winner of Yuletide. Three Quick Flickers And All Arms Waving will also steal your heart.

Millennium Trilogy
The Desk Clerks Dressed In Black
I am kind of going through a Lisbeth Salander thing right now after promising myself I never would do that. (Promises are made to be broken!) So of course, Cesperenza requested Mikael/Lisbeth and it is AWESOMELY them while simultaneously resolving one of the big blocks between the two of them getting together. (It is awesome to have a ship where, spoilers, the main characters have canonical sex long before the issues keeping them apart are resolved.)
skywaterblue: (art school perverts)
I almost had a technical KO with the last post - all the links had gotten shifted around. I think it was my bad, and not the Archives, but how it happened exactly I bloody don't know. So. Let's do this again, shall we?

ETA: I started this one days prior to the reveal. Don't feel like going back to add names, so assume authors get credit when you make with the clicky.

Indiana Jones/Casablanca:
Indiana Jones and the Standard of Dishonour
What a brilliant idea for a crossover. Everyone's voices are great and this manages to make me not completely loathe the background information in Crystal Skull.

Ray Bradbury:
The Sun Shone on Venus
Oh, you clever clogs. Everyone read the Bradbury short story about the girl on Venus, the one where it only has sunshine every seven years and her evil classmates lock her in a closet, correct? This is the story of what happens to the girl as an adult - with the most Of Course She Did crossover with another Bradbury short story at the end.

Batman/Feminist Hulk/Old Spice Guy:
Feminism First Thing In the Morning
Batman, Feminist Hulk, and the Old Spice Guy have a Twitter conversation. LOVE IT.

How to Train Your Dragon
How To Hatch Your Dragon
Hiccup's father has trouble adjusting to the village's new life. Short and has ikkle dragons. I love it.

Stay Close To Me
Even after the events of the film, Hiccup's relationship with his father isn't great. Astrid helps him understand.

Ponyo:
I Have Been One With the Sea
How does a research oceanographer fall in love with the Goddess of the Sea anyway? This perfectly captures the world of Miyazaki's film - the appreciation for science with the breathtaking moments of beauty under water. And there's a lovely smutty interlude.

Spirited Away:
Tales of the Bathhouse
Three short stories of people spirited away to work Yubaba's bathhouse, framed by Lin. All three have the lovely feeling of fairy tales, and I like the backstory the author gives Lin.

Calvin and Hobbes:
This kid I once knew.
From the POV of an adult Suzie, this fic had me from the opening paragraph with her friends discussing daemons from His Dark Materials. I particularly like the bittersweetness of this one, and that ending seems real and not quite right - which is of course, why it is so right.

Young Wizards:
But There Is This
Tom and Carl share stories of their own misbegotten wizard youths. I love the adventure. Bear wizards!

Of Whales and Florists
S'ree the young whale wizard is one of my favorite minor characters. I love the way that she and Nita's father find common ground in this one - it's so very right for this universe.
skywaterblue: (Lyra Belacqua)
Highlander:
The Dying Gaul
Methos, so sharp and pricky and vivid in this single Highlander story. I love the free way it mixes art, and history, and Immortality.

His Dark Materials:
All of the His Dark Materials stories were really good this year.

Acadaemia
This fandom is a challenging one, with its free mix of theology, fantasy, and steampunk Victoriana. The author on this piece does a convincing job with the world of Lyra's Oxford, in the tale of the first meeting of Marisa Coulter and Lord Asriel. The characters are themselves, younger and growing into their deviousness. And the twists are quite interesting.

Three Heresies
Three meetings between Serafina and Xaphania - lovely and poetic, this one.

A Brief History of the Witches and their Culture
The lives of Serafina and Ruti Skadi, Queens of the Witches. A very dense look at their lives, intersecting and different. Another one that gets the culture of their world correct.

The Incredibles:
Of Capes and Kindred Spirits
Edna Mode designs Buddy's new suit, and has regrets.

James Bond Reboot:
The Care and Feeding of Your M
From the perspective of Miss Moneypenny: A female M changes everything, or does it?

Jurassic Park:
A Year of Women
Stop everything. You must read this one, even if you only casually like the fandom. This is about twelve women in Alan Grant's life, but the author has really just blown up the book fandom, the movies and put them back together in an elegy about life, and the role of women (and gender) in science.

Lilo and Stitch:
Mountains, Molehills
The entire ohana is concerned about when David and Nani will get married. Short, but so in tone with the film.

The Little Mermaid:
So many good fics for this fandom this year!

Mysterious Fathoms Below
Little vignettes of Ariel's life interspersed with a Victoriana lecture about the merpeople. I love the not-so-cryptic Disney crossover, and the way this uses material from the recent sequel.

Triton's Cove
The temptation with the Disney fics is always to make them darker and more sinister - because the Disney Princess films are full of flawed messages (and none so much as The Little Mermaid). I like this one for its effort to stay away from that, to take canon for what it is and find the happy medium between the characters and the story.

The Skin Beneath the Skin
Of course, the original story was a bitter and melancholic affair much driven by Anderson's closeted homosexuality. Ariel's ever-after. I like the stories hinted in a couple of lines - I wish this one was longer, actually.

Lion in Winter
Mnemosyne
Should have a warning for rape. A really interesting take on how the memory lies.

Olympia:
Galatea
Oh Gosh, how I thought about signing up for Yuletide just to write the story for this person. My favorite painting of all time, Manet's Olympia. The author took an interesting tack on this one, narrating the story from the perspective of the painting and not any of the interesting historical people surrounding its creation.

Neverwhere:
The Never-Green Tree
I know one of these days Gaiman might get around to writing the sequel to this, and Joss all these Yuletides to bit. None the less, I love them every year. On the quest to find Door's missing sister, Ingress, Richard Mayhew decides to go on a quest of his own: to discover what happens to Anesthesia, the rat-girl. The author of this one takes clear delight in remixing London Above's history with the world of London Below.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
Let It Be
The author of this one is patently obvious, and as if she knew it, hasn't bothered to wipe all her smudgy fingerprints off of it. Missing scenes from the death of Jadzia and the arrival of Ezri Dax - I love the way she's brought in Worf's backstory from TNG to DS9, and made the eventual relationship between Ezri and Julian make a lot more sense. They do have much in common after all.

Runaways:
buckle up, we're wayward bound.
Gert and Chase, so alive. This fic made me feel the rush of shipper love, which is something I didn't really know I could feel about comics.

Lady Lazarus
Title rather gives it away, but it perfectly captures the spirit of the comic - and manages to include the new team members around the edges. Plus: they fight evil hipsters in a Starbucks. That's perfection.

Mad Men:
Some truly brilliant fics for this fandom this year. It feels like Yuletide (and fandom) may have finally figured out what they want to say about this show.

Two Omissions, One Acknowledgment
A year in the (sex) life of Peggy Olson. It just gets her right.

The Hot 100 Number 1 Singles of 1965 & 1966
Another long, STOP you must read this fic, the kind that Yuletide is famous for, and that I was almost afraid wouldn't appear. This fic does the seemingly impossible task of making a Peggy and Joan friendship believable - there's an appearance of a ridiculous fic trope towards the end and I could not BELIEVE that I not only bought it, but loved it. Everyone's voice is perfect. I love the scenes with Joan and Lane, and the Joan/Roger scene is worth the price of admission. I hope season five is as satisfying as this fic, but I know it'll be more frustrating: this fic is the perfect expression of Mad Men wish fulfillment.
skywaterblue: (Default)
Beauty and the Beast (Disney)

Bittersweet - this one goes out to all the people who think the movie would have had a better ending if the Beast had stayed a monster and not become a man. It's tragic.

The American President

I liked Of Old and New Beginnings for the way it focused on the secondary characters of Shepard's staffers, and told their stories with an eye towards the story it would become on 'The West Wing' - not just in terms of the characters themselves becoming CJ and Josh, but the actual nods to Bartlet.

Love, Actually

Speaking of politics, Impropriety is a terrifically cute story from 'Love, Actually', about Natalie's adjustment to being the Prime Minister's girlfriend. It's laugh out loud funny, and told with a lot of verve and spirit. And a lot of curse words. If you liked this segment of the film, I think you'll really enjoy this.

Body Worlds Exhibition

What a WEIRD fandom to be suggested. You gotta read it for the this-could-only-be-Yuletide factor. I enjoyed both stories, but In the bleak midwinter has one of the strangest, most memorable and heartwarming Nativities ever made to bend electrons.

Breakfast at Tiffany's

The fic in this fandom this year is focused on making Mr. Yunioshi an actual character of color, and not just horrible yellowface. This story, Mr. Yunioshi's Photographs, gives him a Japanese background appropriate for the time period, and is sticky enough that I'll think of it the next time I see the film, and feel a little more at ease. (The book is better, though.)

My Little Ponies

Every year there's one of these brain bendingly serious takes at a children's fandom. I loved Another Rainbow in Another Sky for the serious attempt at making the humans in the my Little Pony fanchise interesting and for the completely unexpected fandom crossover at the end. Oh, and the cursing.

Breakfast Club

Most Likely To features a dot-com washup Brian forced to move back home, where he runs into Bender. The story is of excellent length and build-up, really good work as a gen piece until it brings out some achingly sweet slash towards the end. I enjoyed it a lot.

Firebringer Trilogy

asdfgh someone requested Firebringer fic and then someone wrote it omfg.

Silver Feathers and Golden Hair is a perfect Firebringer story. It opens with Jah-lila's narration and a fairly flawless imitation of Meredith Ann Pierce's writing style, with the opulent descriptions of the world that characterize her stories. This is the story of Lell and Illishar, possibly the biggest hanging edge left over from the original trilogy. I think anyone who loves these books will enjoy this one.

Casablanca

Casablanca is a perennial Yuletide favorite, and always seems to turn out really interesting novella-length stories. This year was Sam's turn to shine.

Sentimental Reasons is the story of Sam meeting Rick in 1930s Harlem, told in rich detail. I especially liked the development of Rick's employment, his disillusion, and the two of them leaving off to explore the world together. The crush that Sam has for Rick is built up slowly, so slowly I almost missed it at first. This also has an unexpectedly happy ending, which I appreciated.

Sam in Casablanca, on the other hand, starts immediately after the close of the movie and details what happens to Sam after Rick's left his life. I think I like this one a little more for its disillusionment and focus on the re-definition of self, for the way it uses the secondary characters who worked for Rick (oh Karl), and for its look at Ilsa and Laslo after the war, which I found convincing.
skywaterblue: (Default)
Handmaid's Tale

Sisters of Bilhah is a brilliant look at Gilead from the other side of the pond. In post-WW3 Britain, a young social worker takes a job at a center for former-American refugees. There are definite shades of Children of Men in this, but even if you've never read the book, or seen the film, I think you would appreciate it on its own. It's a stunning example of when fanfiction can do it right.

Sandman

A Lesson in Manners has my favorite hard-ass witch Thessaly perturbed at Dream, post-series. She decides to teach him a brutal, and effective lesson. One which his own sister might have advised.

Recoil and Grace features the sort of ending I'm normally loathe to enjoy, but for this character I'll make an exception. Post-series, Delirium has another mission for Lucifer, one which draws him out of his nightclub and into the taverns at World's End. There he must exchange some stories of him and the Dream King... pretty slashy though safe for work.

Historical RPF

Il'uomo d'oro, or Five people thought they knew Cesare Borgia. The veil of history has drawn itself over the Borgias, so that only entrenched history majors care about the excess of the Italian Renaissance. Despite that, this fic features the perspective of two notables that you HAVE heard of: DiVinci and Maccavelli. And it's very brilliant, bringing to life someone you may have forgotten in all his diabolical glory.

Addams Family

Charming Women Grandmama Addams makes dinner, in a normal day for the Addams household. Which is to say that there's several disturbing stories imparted to the other Addams women along the way. (I especially like the part where she ate Santa.)

The Way to a Woman's Heart One of the few canonical couples who enjoy BDSM and powergames, Morticia reminisces on toys that she has known and used, and training her daughter in the dark arts.

Disney Princesses

Mortal Kombat: Disney Princesses is a fic of the purest crack known to mankind. Disney Princesses enter the ring, and only one will come out! I feel bad for the others, actually, as the fic's protagonist is Fa Mulan, but the ending is hilarious with a dollop of slash.
skywaterblue: (neil gaiman would unhappen so much)
So that I can close tabs and also mark which ones to leave feedback on, as the comment tab hasn't been working at all for me.

Pern

This year brought a bumper crop of Pern fics, interestingly a lot of femmeslash between Mirrim and Menolly. And Stinging As a Well-Aimed Dart is one of those, from Mirrim's perspective. There's a lovely bit on Pernese girls playing Mirrim-fights-Thread games and of course, a firelizard flight to provide the Pern universe's version of Pon Farr. The author does a lovely job balancing the fanon tendency to make the dragons sassier, while still making Path sound as Pernese dragons should do.

I also really enjoyed The Ballad of Mirrim and Menolly's Ride, which is not femmeslash but rather an adventure fic in which the two girls fight an unexpected Threadfall, and Path keeps accidentally betweening them to worse and worse alternate universes in an attempt to warn Pern. The idea that you can between to an alternate universe is one I haven't seen done before and the author chose some really interesting ones to explore.

Perspective is a short fic which peers into Pern's very far future. I enjoyed this one because the author obviously has the same problem with the dragons as I do.

Fifty Years After the Fair is a story of Benden Weyr in the First Pass - a time period with interesting characters established by Anne McCaffery but sort of forgotten and/or ruined by her son's continual attempts to inherit the franchise. This one I feel is a very Pern story, compressed for Yuletide: it's generational, following the children and granchildren of one of the background goldriders. And it also features some unusual plot twists - family resentments over who Impresses and what color, abrupt deaths due to Thread and other maladies, basically things which should occur more often in the series but do not.

His Dark Materials

like gold to ayery thinnesse beate I enjoyed very much and I was surprised by that - I very rarely enjoy Will/Lyra reunion fics because most of them are silly tosh. But this one is quite clever in that it features adult Will and Lyra, both of whom have had interesting careers. And I quite like the indomitable spunk in which an adult Lyra, having suddenly arrived on our Earth, set about to finding Will again. The author revels in the little details which make up the massive change between going from a mid-Edwardian universe, to ours with google and airports and national ID cards. There are two sequels for your instant gratification as well.

By far my favorite though, and possibly going to be my favorite of the year, was Dinosaurs in the Architecture. The main character is a young woman with a paleontologist father, whose daemon has inadvertently settled as a dinosaur. In a world where the Church has forced Darwin into exile, this spells problems for our heroine. I adore this, as I adore all long looks at Lyra's world and the concept of having your soul on the outside. If I didn't know better I would think I knew the author for this. Dinosaurs! Angels! Quasi-Victorian Steampunk Adventure!

Young Wizards

But Rather Darkness Visible, the one that Aria got, is a crossover between Doctor Who and Young Wizards... which is actually canon for that universe! (No, really. These two characters have in canon met.) In this one, Dairine is tasked with having a friendly chat with Ten post-Waters on Mars. It's quite lovely and smooshes the two canons together effortlessly. What I wouldn't give to see the Tenth Doctor greet a wizard-on-errantry with "Dai stiho" onna telly.

I also liked and the city stood in its brightness for the lovely vignettes, and the errand Dairine is sent to run is the Wizardry series at its best: cutting edge science fiction.

Finally, I really really enjoyed A Matter of Choice in which Dairine notices something off with her Twilight-obsessed schoolmate and enlists Ronan's help in a brief battle for her soul. But not in the way that you would think! Twilight is surprisingly not bashed in this story as silly, but rather something bittersweet. It broke my heart, a little.

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