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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation


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smallville angst recs - yes, because we all want that feeling of incipient despair
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
This is fairly random, but I sent two of these off to someone today who was watching SV and then re-read, because I like being creeped the hell out. Then I thought, I should list all the ones that still scare me.

Three types, choose your poison.


Self-Gutting With a Dull Knife: An Introduction

(I) Forget by Elizabeth - the stuff of nightmares. First season, dark, dark, dark, and weirdly dispassionate voice that makes it more horrifying than anything more dramatic could have managed. Warning for Lex/Lionel. Trust me, it's not even the incest that I'm warning for in this one.

And Dark Our Celebration Was by hth_the_first - this one I rarely re-read, like, ever. It's stylish, but what gets to me is the dull despair beneath it. As in, this is not fixed, not fixable, will never be fixed, and it can only get worse. I appreciate it much more now that I'm no longer in the fandom, but it's still depressing. And very, very beautiful.

Chrysalis by destina - it still breaks my heart. It's Destina, which means stylish and utterly entrancing rhythm and flow, but it's also so--it's that idea, that this could have changed, could have gone a different way, right here. And it doesn't. And it hurts.

Immortality by Grail - how to gut a fandom in under twenty thousand words. I--really cannot talk about this one. It still hurts. And I remember the night I read it (there was a storm, we lost electricity, I was alone in the dark going I MUST HAVE READ THAT WRONG). I still can't really re-read it. Not without wanting to cry.

Ordinary Day by Elizabeth - futurefic. Still creeps me out so much in all the asides. Very, very--sharp feeling while reading, like licking a razor (yes, I know, eww) and feeling the blood before you realize you're cut. It's--wow.

The Russett Taint by Kirsten Sea - hard rentboy AU, utterly uncompromisingly bleak from a hardened Clark and painful Lana. It's beautiful and haunting and utterly painful. And it's a Clark I can see easily.

The Same River by isagel - PonFarr Clark, in a way that's bitter and hopeless and angry and needy. I always--I always re-read it thinking, maybe it wont' go that way this time, and it always does, and it's beautiful and painful at the same time.

Sunburn by penelope_z - futurefic. It's--hard to describe, and half the battle is figuring it out. When you do, that's when you start having nightmares. Beautiful style, subtle and creeping darkness beneath, and it hits like a mace when it hits.

Thirsty Earth by Maude M - this one is just--I really don't know. It's a slippery-slope, a feeling of inevitability, how a secret between two people can break them apart more thoroughly than anything else. I never read this without hurting for them both, and *understanding* them both, and knowing there was no other way this could go.

Waiting for Yes by astolat - I love this story unashamedly and completely. I love the style, the language--Jesus, I can get lost in the wording, the slow build of horror and destiny and despair. It's--I really don't have words. It's just amazing and slams hard for something so short.



Gutting With a Rusty Spoon: So It Takes Longer

Mercy by Koi - I need to do a long rec on this one someday. It's part of a family of fic that seemed to come out the spring/summer/fall of 2002. We were in the dark, apocalyptic, pain portion of our fannish development, and Koi's fic took canon, fanon, and perception and totally took them to the blender.

Past Grief by thete1 - again, long rec here. I don't think any fic in SV other than the next one listed as elicted as much commentary and critique as Past Grief. I could be wrong.

Ruat Caelum by rivkat - I have a long rec for it here. This is one of my favorites for re-reading. It's just that damn good.



Non-Clexian Gutting

Breathing Amber by harriet_spy - Smallville of the far future. There's a lot about this one that I could say, but this is what I'll start with: I love the subtle wrongness. I love the itching feeling of creepiness that builds even though there doesn't seem to be a reason. I love the fact I can remind myself with this one by saying "Cornfield", and if you get the Twilight Zone reference, well, yes. Not quite like that. But something close. It's haunting, and it's very, very right.

Everything's Eventual by Lint - long rec is here. This one continues to regularly show up in my thoughts. It's a good story and a great concept and more than that, it's beautiful Chloe.

Many Waters by liviapenn - Lex post-Desiree. What I like about this is the beatiful description of Lex's grief and betrayal after it all. IT may have been her power, but to Lex, it was also very, very real, and the story pulls no punches on that. Also, random note, set me off to write Standing in the Common Spaces in a very indirct way.

A Good Year for the Corn by girlinthetrilby - Jonathan fic, so *practical* and simple and dark and gah. It's wonderfully bare in what Jonathan can and will do to protect his family.

Into the Woods by rivkat - a haunting fairy tale of Lana and the men in her life. I really don't have words. I just flinch.


And that was a trip down memory lane. I'm going to go cry now for a bit.


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God. 'Immortality'. I still can't even think about that fic, I kind of have to edge around it in my mind because it still hurts *years* later. One of the best SV stories I've ever read but I will never read it again. Because even though I'm sometimes in the mood for some angst and tears there's just something about 'Immortality' that hits me a little deeper.

God yes. I still have an instinctive flinch when I scroll down my rec page and see it. It's so utterly brutal, and in such a personal way. Seriously, I had Clark hate for *months* after this story.

If memory serves (and hell, memory doesn't have to serve, the binder is right over there. hang on a minute) the only two stories from Smallville that I still have printouts for are Somewhere I Have never Travelled and The Same River.

I remember when some of the stories you mentioned were first posted. I was miserably still in Rabbinical School and alone in LA and if I was miserable, everyone should be miserable. I think I had parts of Immortality and Mercy memorised.

Gah!

Oh man. Yes. They were the *definitive* misery fics. Mercy had that ending that helped a little, but Immortality was gut, gut, gut, rusty spoon, *rusty bowl*...God. So. Much. Twitching in memory.

You know, I never really thought of myself as in that fandom, and yet reading through all the recs of older fic, lately, I surprise myself by remembering a lot of them.

Uh, and that was me. *facepalm* Forgot to change out of my fic journal account.

Oh god I just finished Immortality. It hurt so much. I read a lot of SV 'back in the day' but tended to avoid the hurty stuff. Definitely going to work through this list now. Thank you.

Oh yes. That. *twitch* So. Much. Pain.

Do you know of any angsty/good Lois stories? It kills me that there doesn't seem to be any in this fandom.

Hmm. Off the top of my head, no. I'm not sure where to look either, except the smallville fanfic archive.

"Immortality" ... I wasn't really in the fandom as far as meta and discussion and such, just watching the show and reading fic, so when I stumbled upon this story I had no idea. And I was having a really bad week in RL (that was back when I was still very sick) and I remember being in the bathroom and crying and sobbing and crying some more, until I thought I was going to be sick. And I (vaguely) remember mumbling stuff about posting warnings and not posting warnings and not posting adequate warnings and how I needed my fic-reading to be part of my Happy Place and it wasn't because I was unrealistic about the world (though I may have been a bit defensive about my desire for "happy endings only" fic) but because I had so much *bleep* being dumped on my head I needed some escape from it and this wasn't it, wasn't what I needed, and...

Yeah. Gutted. Good word. Few fics have hit me this hard. Off-hand, I can only remember one, from X-Files, and I've deliberately never read anything else by that writer. And still have no sympathy about writers who don't warn because "it will ruin the effect I'm going for" and ... stuff.

Don't mind me, I'm just flailing a bit - I think maybe even the mention of "Immortality" is, as the big kids say, triggery for me. *sigh* *grin* *sigh*

There *was* no warning for that one. Even if there *was*, how *horrifying* the situation became just--Gah. GAH.

Still remember.

This really isn't very pertinent to this post, except that I was skimming to see if I'd read any of these, and contemplating how ironic it is that I'd discover my hitherto unknown hardcore non-con kink right in the middle of fanning on what HAS to be the most unrelentingly cheerful slash fandom on the Internet. Seriously ... I have never met a fandom prior to SGA and McShep fandom that produced such cheerful, fluffy, romantic slash, and while 95% of the time I don't mind at all, there are times when I really want something extra-extra-dark. It's a little weird to say "But I can't find anything to read!" in a fandom as huge as SGA, but it doesn't seem that my particular warped-ness is seen in this fandom very much.

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Immortality: yes, yes and HELL yes. Oh my God. I've never known any fic anywhere that gutted a fandom so much.

Edited at 2008-04-27 10:08 am (UTC)

immortality is the perfect fic when you consider harakiri!!!
it just makes you more determined ;D
no way back!!! and the gutting is sooooooooooooooo slow and you are dead before you knew!!!

IT TOTALLY IS. Just. Gah.

I know I read most of these, but I think I've blocked them out - I am so NOT an angst puppy. If there isn't a happy fluffy ending, I won't read it - and I know I won't write it.

*sigh*

Mercy and Past Grief are the exceptions - although I liked Mercy better. Mercy made me READ and read closely. This is the one with two versions, I think, and I believe I fell in love with the first one... Mmmmmm that was a good fic. Cathartic.


And of course The Same River - which i would re-read a million times becasue for me it isn't an angst fic primarily - it's an alien!Clark fic. That means I have something else to concentrate on as my guts are spilling over the rusty spoon.

:-)

Re: selective amnesia

Oh those rusty spoons.

you make me afraid to read any of them, because just the facts of the show itself are painful enough for me that i quit watching at S3...and just HEARING people talk about what's happened since guts me for days. I just can't stand more pain to be heaped on my Lex, who's really owed some damn happiness and love in his life... And Clark, before he turned into an idiot, deserved it too... And yet there is this small masochistic part of me that wants to be gutted.

That scares me.

....what would you consider "unhappy ending"?

I don't think any story has ever made me cry as much as Immortality did. Heck, I'm tearing up just thinking about it.

Thanks for the recs (I think!). There's a fair few here I've not read. :)

Take tissue and some sort of high-proof liquor. And something with a retrograde amnesia option.

Thank you for the recs! No fic has ever made me cry as much as Immortality :/

God. I still flinch just thinking abotu it. Hehe. And had my first self-righteous totally embarrassing in retrospect public meltdown in my diary about it.


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