I'm having a moment, and it's very weird, and I'm not sure I can explain it without sounding like I'm having a close and personal experience with some sort of hallucinogen. It's not fanon or tone or even style, except it's all of those things, and it's the underlying set of base assumptions that feel like I'm reading in a foreign language.
One hundred fifty something stories and it's--okay, five million years ago in SV, I was talking to this chick who had been writing since the beginning of time and there was this fic and a flamewar going on, which normally I'd go into but not relevant except for the fact I might not have ever gotten on the subject except flamewar, so we were talking about anything else, and I asked about this fic.
I have no idea how to explain how off-balance I am. But trying.
It was a Smallville fic, and it felt wrong to me, and by that I do not mean bad. I mean, I walked out of a perfectly good fic feeling like this: we were watching the same show. Exactly. And we were in the same fandom! Except in completely parallel universes that were exactly the same except her color blue was my azure, does that make sense? I could not connect with it at all, and that was the year 2002 where I met this fic so you see I remember very vividly that strange sense of disorientation, because at that point I had read everything that was posted to SSA so it's not like I didn't know my fandom. Yes, I even read the really bad stuff. I was a glutton for punishment. I'd read things that I still try too block from my memory, and for that matter, have, but I'd never read a fic in my fandom, in my pairing, that was good, that had nothing wrong with it, that I did not understand.
So far in Due South, proportionally speaking, I'm hitting ten percent where I'm not disoriented, and this is after I reduced my sampling size to authors I've read in at least two fandoms and at least once wanted to marry. It is not helping.
To return to my charming anecdote (the SV fic of strangeness, you don't have to scroll back up now), the person I spoke to gave me this long explanation that I don't even remember all that well (would that I did), but I came out of it with the vague idea it was Some Kind of Convention of Slash That I Did Not Know, Not Being a Slasher of the Old School You Poor First Slash Fandom Person or something, which is in retrospect kind of patronizing, but I could be misremembering that, since you know, 2002.
However, recent experience suggests she was kind of right, at least in the fact that the disassociated feeling is actually not a fluke and not the result of reading in a different fandom after SGA monogamy.
It's very, very disconcerting.
ETA: People, if I knew what this feeling was called, I would be explaining without analogies. I'd reduce it to a sentence.