Scrabble Fic by josselin. Heh. Brian and Justin play Scrabble. Cuteness. Very.
Because I can. I really have nothing better to do. Isn't that just sad? To be creative about it, one per fandom I've been monogamous with.
Queer As Folk
The Color Series by Triskyfic -- see, I did this one an injustice the first time I read it and again when I recced it. I still have problems with the way she themes throughout with color, but that's a personal quirk, and the more I read it, the less I notice it, because it's good. I'm especially attracted to the past/present/future mix she does--you'd think it would be confusing, and it *is*, but in the addictive, right way it's supposed to be. Teasy-like. It's extremely solid, and it's fun, and kano may be my new favorite word.
And Dark Our Celebration Was by Hth. See, this is where it's nice when one gets perspective after short periods of time hiding from one's home fandom. I really, really hated this story in every way that can be considered a positive--beautiful writing, dark in that hopeless, deathless way that's like you need to talk yourself off a ledge after, but subtly so. Kind of like an ice pick to just left of the heart, so to speak.
It's hard to explain.
"I don't call it sleeping with you. If this is what you consider a perfectly acceptable sexual encounter then I have to say, I don't think much of the quality of people you've been dating lately."
I just love that line.
*grins* I think I may re-read Immortality next. For those unfortunate few who remember my temper tantrums after *that* one was released, feel free to send scathing email about being discreet in public. God, I miss Grail muchly. *sighs*
One that isn't on my page, one that is. Vic gets short-shifted from me most of the time--I *know* her and therefore, the entire contempt of familiarity kicks in, but this is one of my favorite stories by her and in retrospect, one of my favorite re-reads in X-Men, it's so damn timeless. And reminds me I have thirty eight X-Men stories i've kept meaning to add to my page and never have. Crap.
A Harbor in the Tempest by musesfool -- there's a lot to like about this story that has nothing to do with its genealogy, and five pages in, you know it's Casablanca With Mutants, so just go with it. The movie is classic, the story is too. As a mutant-world safety zone, with Logan the cynic and Jeez, poor Jean, it starts off clean and keeps going. Vic does immaculate prose, so you really can just get yourself lost in the story. And you may think you know it, but trust me, you don't. Read it.
A Place by Sandra. I have this hope that I'll run into her again cross-fandom, which considering the rate LJ spreads, possibly isn't too far in the future, or so I can hope.
There's a place.
A place where an old man's voice isn't whispering tenderly when she quietly grieves. Where she can run and the voices aren't shouting after her, in her, telling her there are starved, scared wolves lurking in those dark, hushed forests.
Most writers can't pull off rhythmic, stylized stories brilliantly. Hell, a majority can't pull off readable grammar, but that's not the lecture for the evening. This story is the one, single, shining reason why I actually still believe that any subgenre of fiction can be done brilliantly, because this is one of the most beautiful single pieces of fiction I've read in my life.
I'd quote more, but frankly, there's no way to do it and make it nearly as perfect, as shattering, as it does when read straight through. And that would be *now*, because seriously, this is why X-Men was my addiction for over a year and why I can quote by memory from this one. It's *good*.
Star Trek: Voyager
Ah, I miss you sometimes.
Mirror Images by Dave Rogers. See, I still get chills from re-reading this one. It's simple in-canon fic--gap filler, if you will, reaching across from Vis a Vis through Demon, and for perfect capture character, there's nothing better in the fandom.
Wordlessly, she stood up and strode into the office, where the E.M.H.
sat quietly and discreetly. Tom's mirror image could not hear what
passed between them, but she was back in minutes.
"Listen, whoever - whatever you are." She spoke rapidly, in short,
clipped sentences. "She won't know about the Maquis. Break it to her
gently. Help her through it. She won't know about the Hirogen. She
doesn't need to. And she won't know about Steth. Don't you *ever* let
her find out."
"I don't understand." His face was frowning, but his eyes were bright
"The Doc's beamed a sample of my DNA to the surface. She'll be waiting
"B'Elanna, I...", he stammered, jumping to his feet. "Why? I thought
you hated me?"
"I do." She turned away. "But not that much."
Gets me every time.
What the heck. One more.
And think, I know *nothing* about the fandom or the canon, but whoo, this story...
This Is How by Siarade. Again, when style is done well, I'm pretty much an easy lay, kay? Non standard use of timeline, which I applaud muchly, lovely pov, and this beautiful, intnese examination of grief.
When you talk about the dead, about dead things, talk with someone who knows. People who don't know can't talk about the dead. They expect death to be a jump from alive and vital to cold and empty. Not even a jump; that implies movement, when they expect it to be a snap ì once one way, now the other, a momentary switch that has no levels or gradation.
And the eternal seconds of watching someone die.
Why This Sudden Backtrack
seemag asked what stories scarred you (in a good way), and mentioned Iolokus, which to go with it, HELL YES, but since I wasn't ever even within a breath of being intimately involved with that fandom, I think of it differnetly from a fandom I wrote and participated in. Just the depth of commitment.
Scarring though. That's a weird one. And also kind of funny, since jaymalea asked me last night what my favorite slash story was and I couldn't tell her.
I mean, alpha and omega slash to me is Te and Jane St. Clair. Kind of like having a really really strange religious experience. That's *it*. They were how I started reading it, how I learned to enjoy it, how I fell in love with it, and how I started writing it, so to me it's a no-brainer. Naming off their entire collective works would take about forty-five minutes, and I don't feel like typing that much, and really, if you haven't read them, there's nothing I can do for you here except worry.
But scarring stories are the ones that, for me, go places that didn't exist before. Before that writer decided that all the useable paths were boring and just damn well cut a new one to a place that wasn't there until they created it, and it looks so *obvious* in retrospect, because it fits so perfectly, but Jesus, getting through it--yeah. This second where you're wallowing happily in your known-fandomness and that moment where everything's *changed*.
That tends to be when I wake up as a writer too--I've never cut brand new paths like that in fandom, but hell if I don't get a serious writer's high off of everyone that does for a few weeks or months after. Past Grief kept me up at night writing for three solid months.
Okay, so it *does* sound like a religious experience. *sighs* I have no idea how I could be more pathetic. But give me time, I'll think of something.
Lalala Past Grief, Chrysalis, Immortality, Mercy, Immanence, (I) Forget, Ruat Caelum, Everything's Eventual, okay, tired of this refrain? I'm never tired of telling how incredible they were or how meaningful or like, do essays filled with lots of really shiny words, but okay, I can get beyond my Smallville fixation and to a few others.
Star Trek Voyager
Protestations of Innocence by Melanie. A mystery turned statement on the cliches of Paris/Torres-fandom. The list it was released on did a lovely explosion of discussion, which I cannot be happier to remember, since it was also my first experience with in-depth fannish discussion of a story. I'm still not sure if you needed to be a Paris/Torres writer to get what most of us were blinking at in this story, but the concept of abuse wrapped with sex was all over it. We all loved the concept of rough sex for the two, as canon tended to back us up, but none of us ever went this way, and Melanie was the only one who would have or could have thought of this and then pulled it off.
Concept fic. In which there was not even a space for something to be, and then there's something there that wasn't even dreamed of before. I get off on it.
Edge by Charon. Again, one of those stories where afterward, there's this feeling of being--adrift. Because everyone had done it and done it and done it and then Charon did it and showed us that right, we hadn't said a goddamn thing worth saying before her. Rogue and her head and who was there and more importantly, who really wasn't anymore. There's probably some metaphor that could be used about growing up and changing, but the thing is, the growing and changing weren't the problem.
Random by jengrrrl -- being as one of the first X-Men stories I read when I stealthily slipped into X-Men, doing my reconaissance of the fandom before putting a toe near anyone, I didn't appreciate it as other than "really really good", but then about a year later and burned out on X-Men, I re-read it while doing some archive work, and wondered what on earth I'd been thinking, because it kicked me then the way that it didn't first read. It's Rogue, and it's her mind, and it's the most depressing, vicious, unhappy, not-really-alone place in the history of really cluttered minds. That sounds just awkward as hell, but it feels awkward to be Rogue, and it feels bitter, and it feels hopeless, and you know? It just might be.
Concept fic--again, taking something that wasn't there and putting it there. Or, amend that, taking something you thought you knew and changing the shape completely so it's brand new. I make my own definitions. Literary criticism my ass. I just go with the feeling.
You might say, angst much? Well, yeah. I like angst. I like angst with a jenn-definition happy-ending best, but I like angst in all it's brilliantly-written forms. I'm a dramagirl, no apologies for that one. I don't apologize for my choice of pairings, either.
Trying to draw the line between fic that does that, that *crosses* that line, is impossible except in my immediate reaction to it, which means, it may not work for everyone else (though I argue Past Grief and Mercy changed SV fandom in a huge, massive way in what we were writing before and what we wrote afterward, not to mention how we chose to write it). Some of it has to do with how closely I can see the characters I feel in the story, and some of it has to do with how good the author is, but in this case, sometimes extremely high quality writing isn't one of the factors. There's something about being able to just *bludgeon* you with an idea, a characterization, a plot, that does things for me. Being subtle is just fine, but really, coming out of a story feeling like someone just hit you with a two by four?
Really, *really* get off on that.
I think it takes a kind of scary blindness to pull it off. Like, not only is the writer just going with their vision full throttle, to hell with what gets in the way, but they're actually also saying, fuck your vision, mine's the *right* one. And they can make you believe it, and you carry it with you for a damn long time afterward. And there's never even the *sense* that they're stumbling in there, that they ever draw back even for a second, that they aren't going to drag you right into it, comfortable with it, believe it, want it to happen, want to read it, or not. When it gets to that point, I stop caring about whatever the hell preconceptions I came in with, about comma placement and whether or not they did something funky with pov on page sixty-four. Because dammit, you can't *stop*.
And let's face it, who the hell walked away from X-Manson NOT feeling as if they had just witnessed a major apocalyptic event? And this is from me, who knows only rudimentary comic canon. Frankly, I'd have loved to find out from someone who knows it backward and forward what it did to them.
Exception to the Angst Rule
The Magic of Belief by Elizabeth. Who is like the third in teh slash trinity of Te, Jane St. Clair, but the one who I haven't read everything yet. It's not dark, depressing, or apocalyptic, and it's so good it hurts. It's *happy*. It's about hope, and finding your own way, sort of, and it's Logan and Rogue in this perfect moment of finding each other.
I swear, if anything ever was to explain how fast I fell for Justin and Brian, this story would probably do it. I have no idea why exactly, except the same knee-jerk *yes* that came out.
Now to do something else. Like, say, write. *snickers* Yeah, like that's going to happen.