cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (Default)
It's easy to move through a big multi-pairing fandom like hockey from pairing to pairing, and I often accidentally end up with most of my reading being entirely pairing-based. Recently I sorted all the hockey fic over 10k to remove the pairings I've already read to death in order to see what else people have been doing that I've missed, and I ended up with enough bookmarks - and enough to say about them - to be worth sharing.

Thanks to the tags, AO3 headers are somewhat NSFW. Herein lie 7 10k+ stories, 2 of which are a series, by 5 different authors in 6 different rare pairings, with my sometimes-longwinded comments. )
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (batman)
I'm supposed to present a 3-minute emotionally affecting video today to the Finnish Art History class. Obviously I would use a vid.

But going through my recs & favorites, it was surprising how many could be confusing without at least a fandom-osmosis level of background knowledge.

My two first choices - that instantly leapt to mind, I mean - were Absolute Destiny's "Too Much Light in this Bar" (Life on Mars) and Luminosity & Sisabet's "My West Hollywood Lifestyle (Whatever)" (Angel), but when I watched them I realized they both demand pretty good oral English comprehension, not to mention some skills at a) regional accents and b) the gay scene (respectively). Not TOO worried, for the most part, about the Finnish classmates, but my Russian-speaking classmates are a problem there. (Russian diaspora people seem to be under a unusually strong cultural disincentive to practice foreign languages that makes them choose Russian anytime it's even possible, e.g. anytime another Russian-understander is in the room, and this shows in heavy accents and copious errors, even for most of the more competent speakers in my class). (Although Russia isn't as into dubbing vs subbing as France, haha.)

So reluctantly discarding the spoken-word songs, I went through recs, our media harddrive, and our collective memories, and even rewatched the Smashing Pumpkins and Muse theatrical trailers to Watchmen and the Seven Devils trailer to s2 Game of Thrones, which stood out in my mind as pro vids. But most of them suffered from the fandom osmosis problem: they don't require you to be in the fandom, but the references seem potentially lost if you aren't aware of the canon and what it basically is.

My finalists were both by [ profile] obsessive24, Bachelorette (Buffy) and Candyman (Willy Wonka).

I found Bachelorette packed a huge punch when I first saw it and I immediately rewatched it about 6 times in a row, but as hard as it is to imagine not having heard of Buffy, I made the attempt, because there are like 18-year-old Finnish hipsters in my class, who could be either totally pop culturally savvy or just way too young and I have no way of knowing. I've only watched Buffy through season 6, and that one time, so I don't actually remember most of the detail ("Who's the evil priest? Wait, what are those army dudes? Who's that girl with the baseball bat?"), but I've got more than enough to follow the vid.

I'm hoping "Candyman" (which carries a warning for disturbing themes, is summarized 'smells like children' and uses footage from Requiem for a Dream) is blatantly disturbing enough - as are both Wonka films for that matter - to come across even if by some miracle someone hadn't seen either film. It seems unlikely that anyone could have not HEARD of them.

But the process has made me curious... what vids would you rec for outsiders? Can anybody think of any candidates immediately that shouldn't depend on background knowledge?

*I'll add links to this post when I come home, but I'm in a bit of a rush to get out the door now.


27 Aug 2013 08:47 pm
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (batman)
UH [ profile] sinningia made a fancomic of one of my old Batman fics almost a YEAR AGO, and I know she told me about it, and I even remember going to look at it at the time... but somehow I didn't see all of it and I forgot about it!

And just now I found her message in my read folder and went to look at it again and was blown away. She's done an incredibly detailed rendition of the first half of the post-TDK Batman/Gordon UST fic Liquid Comfort with a full 42 pages! :O

Obviously it's pretty exciting having a comic made out of something I wrote, but it's also eye-opening in a way. Reading the fan comic is quite different from rereading what I wrote, or from looking at fanart of something I wrote. It somehow puts the story at a far enough remove, and through the artist's eyes, so that it's like new again, kind of. And it's amazing how the visual pacing of a comic format can alter the mood and pacing of the reading. And awesome.
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (baroque)
For Yuletide I wrote The Social Network.

Doing It Right for zephyrprince. Eduardo Saverin/Mark Zuckerberg, explicit, ≈4k. An est-rel missing scene from early in the movie.
It's actually a subject of some curiosity for Mark whether Wardo really likes that many people that much, or if somewhere under the dense shell of affability and social conditioning there's a tiny core of judgmental superiority. Not because Wardo's ever given any sign of it, and Mark's done some judicious digging when Wardo was at his most inebriated - it's just that, well, he also likes Mark.

Really, he obviously does. It's not like Wardo gets anything else in particular out of their friendship, not anything he couldn't get from anyone else. He's better at algorithms than Mark is, and he's not even studying programming. Wardo is wealthier, taller, more fashionable, more social, and more conventionally attractive. Mark is marginally stronger and also better at fencing, but Wardo shows no signs of being a fencing fetishist, and it's not like he needs Mark to carry his books for him. It's usually Wardo who ends up carrying Mark's things that he forgets to take with him.

I added The Social Network to my Yuletide offers almost as an afterthought, as I was trying to offer everything I was confident I could write, and had been following the output of this small fandom since I saw the movie. I didn't give much thought to actually getting the assignment in advance and mistakenly thought that it would be easy, because I had a million half-realized fixit fics floating in the back of my head. Little did I know that my recipient would want a missing scene from early in the movie's timeline with romance and sex, a possibility I never gave any serious thought to. I spent most of the time just trying to decide how to write it to my satisfaction. Watching the movie, my initial interpretation was that the root of the conflict is that they're mutually in love and both in denial, and the breakup wouldn't've ever happened if they'd just started dating. But what I tried to do was posit a situation where they aren't in denial, but it's insecurity that leads to the divorce instead. Since Eduardo's insecurity re Mark's feelings is effortlessly imaginable, I went with Mark's POV and tried to construct a foundation for Mark's insecurity re Eduardo's (but couched in a cosy scene of banter, college sex, and snuggling). I'm not 100% satisfied with it, but I did have a lot of fun writing it.

Which brings me to my next set of yuletide recs - the Social Network ones.

Throw Your Back Into It, by jibrailis. Mark/Eduardo, E, ≈4.5k, post-canon. Humor, crack, amazing ♥. Sex is not the enemy. Except when it is. The one where Mark is a slut, Eduardo has performance anxiety, and there are cross-country booty calls.
But meeting Mark's needy demands in bed also hurts Eduardo's back.

And his thighs. And his cock.

Mark hurts Eduardo's cock.

This...really should not be as surprising as it is.

Delays in Communicating, by BlackEyed Girl. Mark/Eduardo, T, ≈3k, post-canon. Eduardo and Mark are both great at communicating. Just, lately, not with each other. They start sending messages without ever getting around to talking. Chris and Dustin watch and wait.
“What happened? Look, turn on your computer and tell me if the quote’s accurate.”

Chris fires up his laptop and finds the first report, on the gossipy end of the tech blog. “Why are you asking? You don’t think it sounds like Eduardo?”

“No, I think it sounds exactly like the kind of defensive shit Eduardo always came out with when someone tried to call Mark out.”

The Ghost at the Back of Your Closet, by Sandrine Shaw. Mark/Eduardo, T, ≈4k, post-canon. Watching the movie leads Mark to question the nature of his and Eduardo's relationship after the fact.
Worse yet, the movie makes it all – the ups and downs of Mark's friendship with Eduardo – sound like a tragic love story with an unhappy ending, which it wasn't.

It wasn't a love story.

Was it?
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (red queen)
The last ones before the reveal!

Brandon Flowers - Crossfire (music video)/RPF. Four Ways Brandon Flowers Never Met Charlize Theron (With Ninjas). Brandon Flowers, a bit of Charlize Theron, crack, and a fair helping of ninjas! No knowledge of the video is necessary, but you probably should know a wee bit about Brandon Flowers. So there he is, that Monday, minding his own business, when all of a sudden: ninjas!

Love Actually. Feel It In Your Fingers (Five Questions on the Nature of Love). Various gen, het & slash, G. What’s the big deal with love? It’s like wishing for indigestion. Or really bad gas. For yourself instead of your principal.

Temeraire - Novik/P&P - Austen. Lieutenant Bennet's Visit. Gen. While he and Jane monopolized one another, Mr. Darcy and Papa continued their conversation on the war and its progress, and what might be Napoleon might do next. Elizabeth sat with her mother and clenched her teeth, for she knew far more about it than either of them, but could not risk exposing her knowledge, for that might lead to discovering its source.

Tennis RPF. The Match of the Century. Roger Federer/Rafael Nadal, M, novella. A fairly epic movie star AU that became nail-bitingly tense and almost made me cry! Classic, classic angsty romance. Good times.

Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Alive and Well and Living in Paris. Rosencrantz/Guildenstern. From the title and lead-in I expected some cracky fixit, which is the exact opposite of what this story is. Actually it's an unflinching pastiche that ties the crack fixit premise back into the complex themes and meta of canon, an extension, if you will, of RAGAD's meditation on characters and canon out into the realm of fanfiction, and what canon means for it. It was a little shocking to expect something light and get that, though.
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (yes)
Calvin & Hobbes. This Kid I Once Knew. Susie, gen. Daniel sends their whole improv group an e-mail saying "check this out its fun1!1" and a link to a web comic called The Adventures of Spaceman Spiff.

Live Free or Die Hard. The Day is Saved. Lucy, gen. “Hey, sweetie, wanna learn how to do something cool?”Lucy wouldn’t learn to hate her father until thirteen or fourteen. At ten, she was blissfully convinced that Daddy was the best, funniest, strongest, bravest man in the world, and that he loved her best of everyone. So she put her copy of The BFG down and said, “Okay, Daddy!” And that’s how Lucy learned to field strip and reassemble a Glock 19 service weapon while blindfolded.

Discworld. Perforations. Vetinari & Drumknott, Going Postal missing scene, gen. Drumknott thinks the world chiefly needs fileboxes which are not so flimsy. Vetinari thinks about this and tries out some new ideas.

Sleeping Beauty. And Smite the Sleeping World Awake. Aurora/Maleficent. “I’m a hundred years older than you,” she says, and pats him on the hand as it fidgets with his hilt. “I expect you should find someone your own age.”

Anthropomorfic. if [ $FLAMEWAR ]; then make love; fi. Linux/Windows. Windows hated Linux with a passion.

Old Spice Guy/Beowulf. Gamol-Léac. Gen. After Beowulf's death, the men of Geatland meet a strange and powerful warrior. IN EPIC POEM FORM SERIOUSLY YOU GUYS YOU GUYS SERIOUSLY
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (<3)
This Town We're Painting. St Trinians (/BBC Sherlock crossover), Annabelle/Kelly, T, ≈7k. Kelly's the second assistant to the man who secretly is the British government; Annabelle is her girlfriend. Other cast members make awesome cameos, as does Anthea.

Marriage Vows. Jane Austen - Mansfield Park, canon pairings, Julia Bertram, G, ≈10k. The events leading up to Maria and Julia's elopements, as seen from Julia's point of view. Engaging and sympathetic!

The One Where Matt Farrell Is Most Certainly Not Sleeping With John McClane (not even a little). Live Free or Die Hard, Matt Farrell/John McClane, M, ≈3k. Post-movie FBI-fic, bonus Kevin Smith, adventure! “Life is not a wet dream, Frederick. It’s not even a B movie. Guys like McClane don’t fuck guys like me. Ever.”

The Knight of the Cross. Gawain and the Green Knight, Arthurian, F/M, G, ≈ 19.5k. A long, textured, engrossing prose novella of the tale.
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (reading)
Finished reading Yuletide and mildly bummed in a what-will-I-read-now sorta way. ;_; Here are some recs.

Vorkosigan Saga, Gregor/Miles

1. My Yuletide gift ♥! This is probably the fandom I was hoping for most on my signup, but expecting least. I didn't know what to expect, but the story surprised me utterly in the most charming of ways! Est-rel, earlyish in canon and non-AU, Gregor all dry and restrained and Gregor-ish which is what I love, exchanges of witty dialogue, and diplomacy! Evading Ambassadors: An Emperor's Guide. T. 1299 words.

“Miles. When I sat down to breakfast two days ago, we weren’t at war with anyone. Please tell me that’s still true.” He wasn’t sure how much of that statement was in jest.

Miles looked mildly offended, but a slight grin was playing around his lips. “Give me some credit, Gregor ...” I always do. “... if I was going to start a war I’d at least make sure someone else looked like they’d started it.”

2. Another fic in the same pairing for somebody else! Frabjous day! This one's a late-canon slight AU (ie no spouses), first-time, adventure, also the requisite funny dialogue, lots of fun. light from a lonely window. T. 6614 words.

"Why isn't he saying anything?"

"Give him time," another voice says; and this voice he recognizes, too. He looks where his mother is looking, and finds Raven Durona standing over him, hands on his hips, his mouth crumpled into an unbecoming frown. "Let him figure out where he is."

"When he was decanted," the Countess his mother says, "he looked around, clapped his hands together, and asked where his breakfast was. Why does he need time now?"

Old Spice Guy

1. Texts From Your Shower. Old Spice Guy-Texts From Last Night, 686 words, T.

Hello, Ladies.
Good night (1 bajillion) Bad night (0)

2.Smell Like a Yeti (or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Old Spice). 1502 words, G.

“Please give the orphan children my apologies that I was unable to perform my ab xylophone recital for them. And if I'm not back by tonight, let the local wolf pack know that they'll need to accept my rain check to go hunting with them. Swan dive!” And with that, he executed a perfect dive out the nearest window into the cockpit of his personal supersonic jet. He put on his helmet and buckled up, first, of course. Being awesome is no excuse for ignoring safety regulations.

3.Meta Yuletide Fic (The Fic You Wish Your Fic Smelled Like). 2367 words, G.

And yes, Yuletiders, this is one of the best fics. After all, I wrote it with a quill made from a rare bird with feathers made of gold which I plucked while writing a treat for you.

(Surprise Care Bear BDSM Orgy!)

Disney Princess Superheroes

1. you're gonna leave them all behind. 1788 words, G.

Time Magazine 12/20/10
WOMEN OF THE YEAR, by Alice Liddell.

I arranged to meet the women of the Alliance for lunch at noon on Wednesday, but at ten the kraken was loose outside Seattle and at eleven-thirty there was the typhoon off Malaysia...

2. Just Another Day in the Secret Base. 2798 words, G.

"There, you see? It's complicated, Water Sprite, and what I'm saying is, you have absolutely no idea what it's like to be a superhero of colour."

"But I'm green." The Water Sprite looked down at the back of her own hand.

"You're not human, you're part of an aquatic species where green skin is a mark of high status, so it doesn't count!" said The Belle in exasperation.

"Racist," said the Water Sprite with another offended column of bubbles.

"Item one for the next council meeting: diversity training for everyone on staff and especially the Water Sprite," said Cinder Woman. "Make a note of that, will you, Belle?"

3. A League of Their Own. 3092 words, G.

“Whether or not the Grand Duchess of Marshovia has any abilities, skills, or other changes resulting from today’s attack is a question better saved for her. You may ask her when she is fully recovered,” Jasmine said.

“I don’t know whether the Grand Duchess plans to petition the Princess Superheroines for membership,” Belle said. “If she makes such a request, we will of course take it under advisement and evaluate her potential with our organization. It’s too early to speculate at this time.”

“No, this was not a standard sleeping enchantment,” Jasmine said. “We did not call on the Grand Duke to break it with true love’s first kiss because they had their first kiss many years ago—as is proved by their three children.”
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (Default)
Yahoo seems to be feeling poorly and has confirmed the demise of delicious (h/t [personal profile] effex), and we don't own the servers! Fandom's not on delicious to the extent it was on Livejournal at the time of, say, Strikethrough, but remember how scary that was, before Dreamwidth was in beta, and how it kicked us in our collective fandom ass and AO3 was eventually born? Well.

This isn't a maybe, this is definitely shutting down. And it's definitely not the same as losing Livejournal, but if Livejournal is fandom's house, then Delicious was perhaps its car, or one of its several cars. Maybe its bicycle. The point is, a huge, huge repository of our community's collective information, representing not hours but years of painstaking fanpower-hours of sorting, categorizing, and lovingly labelling fanfiction and art and resources on the part of hundreds or thousands of individuals - it's all marked to go!

What are we going to do?

For starters, spread the word and back up your shit.

11 Ways to Backup your bookmarks may be of interest.

Delicious will export for you through Settings>Bookmarks as an HTML file with tags intact, and I gather there are other sites on the net that can read/import this information, so that might be a good place to start. I also saved an XML version of mine following those directions.

There's no Dreamwidth-equivalent on the horizon, here. AO3 already has some bookmark functionality, including a bookmarklet for external works; I'm not sure this is the ideal solution, though, even if fandom does own the servers, because for one thing, there's still a waiting list for accounts, but for another, delicious's browsing functionality isn't there (yet?), and that's what we as a community need the most. I have 30+ popular and recent pairing and fandom tag feeds in my sidebar bookmarks! How am I going to replace *that*?


  1. I see many people at [personal profile] bookshop, [personal profile] copperbadge, and [personal profile] effex talking about Pinboard, but a cursory examination reveals that while it may be great for backing up your personal shit, it's not a delicious replacement for fandom at large because it's designed for personal, not social use, and the filtering functionality is correspondingly lower.

    From its Twitter:

    "@PinboardIN I'd say you should rethink your featureset to include social at some level."
    ↵ @luxuryluke that goes against the fundamental concept of
    the app
    about 2 hours ago via TweetDeck in reply to luxuryluke

    to our faithful longtime users: please don't worry, we're not
    going to be adding "social"
    about 2 hours ago via TweetDeck

    "@PinboardIN while i'm new, and i love your service, you should at least provide a way for us to find eachother again"
    ↵@luxuryluke yes I absolutely agree - we're working on public profiles so people at least have the choice
    about 2 hours ago via TweetDeck in reply to luxuryluke

    So on the plus side, they are working on public profiles. But on the minus side, their focus is explicitly away from the social side of bookmarking.

  2. The problem is, as someone put it on my Twitter feed, I don't need delicious for my bookmarks, I need it because it's where other people have tagged the [fanfiction] internet. I don't spend 3-10 hours a day refreshing my own bookmarks, I spend them browsing other people's bookmarks, tags, and more complex tag+tag filter searches. Delicious is where I go when I come home from a movie and I know that somebody must have already written some slash for it. And that functionality can't survive unless most of us go to the same place, so that's what I'm anxious about: The New Delicious, if you will, one that fannish consensus can settle on. To that end, I'm slightly hopeful about the future of AO3 after this tweet from @OTW_news: "Fannish bookmarkers: the AO3 has a bookmark feature that might suit your needs! More news soon!"

  3. When you open delicious's exported html file in the browser, the tags will not be visible, but they are there. You can see them if you open the file in a plaintext editor. The exported file isn't a great way to save your information for personal use because of this, but it does make it easier to import your bookmarks elsewhere to some later service.
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (cute)
  • Tea This is the second box of Twinings "Passionfruit Mango & Orange" (lack of commas original to the product packaging) Tea I've bought that turned out to actually consist of lemon-flavored tea in P M & O-printed teabags. I'm bemused rather than upset by this, though. I've devoted a fair number of minutes to pondering exactly what happened in their factory to get this result.

  • Soul-crushing/ shiny devices [personal profile] waxjism has been being forced to learn how to make the N8, our Messiah (since it's the phone that's meant to Save Nokia. Nokia made a huge loss last year, and this year is in the black and has been keeping up but not, as it were, making up for lost ground. And of course, Nokia is the single biggest piece of our GNP. Also the best publicized). She's not enjoying it. She wishes it were dead, I think. And on top of all that, it's another fucking Symbian phone.

  • Teaching our elders about Internet memes and traditions When my parents were here, we made them watch Llamas With Hats and read Clean ALL the Things so that they would know what we were talking about (those are our Most Quoted Texts nowadays). We showed This Party Took a Turn for the Douche and The Man Your Man Could Smell Like to my bbsister, but failed to show them to my parents. You'd think everyone knew The Man Your Man Could Smell Like, but when interrogated, my dad revealed he didn't.

  • Career thoughts Last spring I made that very irritated post about dippy hugbertism because I'd been stewing over the excess of same in my classroom assistant courses for a while. By the end of the semester, I was starting to entertain serious fears that I would die of dippyness poisoning before the end of the course. Read more... )
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (Default)
Throughout my parents' and sister's visit the last month, I've been reading the Millenium trilogy by Stieg Larsson (Män som hatar kvinnor, Flickan som lekte med elden, & Luftslottet som sprängdes, aka The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, & The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest) in the background.

Millenium has a couple of my mystery plot pet peeves: first, the preponderance of what my dad calls Bestseller Style (for books) and what I call Victim/Villain/Random Bystander Cam (in tv/movies): that is, a sprinkling of individual scenes from the point of view of non-protagonists who are antagonists, victims, or peripheral characters; and second, plot points, particularly dramatic irony, contingent entirely on the POV characters making difficult-to-justify foolish decisions while the audience is privy, through Villain Cam, to the exact reasons why said decisions suck. Both of these features are storytelling tricks designed solely to increase suspense, which is why I consider them gimmicks.

But these are easily outweighed by two things:

  1. It's so extraordinarily well-written for a crime/mystery story, combining a smooth and impressive narrative voice with Un-Put-Downableness,
  2. and

  3. it contains a diverse array of strong, awesome, kick-ass, utterly unique, well-rounded women characters. These pass the Bechdel test on a number of occasions and in different ways, and meanwhile, their lives are independent and mostly not focused on men even when they're not interacting with each other. This in spite of the whole Well-Meaning Womanizer element in the main male protagonist which sees him go through ~affairs with at least five of them over the course of the trilogy.

Unsurprisingly, I'm a little depressed about having run out of them.

Of course, Stieg Larsson is dead, and somewhat ironically, if you've read the books, his father and brother have recently finished shutting his life partner out of any control over or profit from his posthumous megabestsellers after she refused the settlements they first offered. (Sweden doesn't give her the kinds of common law protections she'd have had if they'd been married.) It's too late for us since we already paid money for the books, but I hope anyone else intending to read/watch them will make sure to borrow them or buy them secondhand or (cough) whatever to avoid giving them money.
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (OIC)
Even though we have still spent a majority of time here at home for the length of my sister's visit, I have managed to spend less time at the computer.

[This is partly because I have finished watching Morse and then watched Inspector Lewis from the beginning. Part of finishing up a show is looking around for things to read about it. In the case of Morse that was entirely badfic, as you may remember, but in the case of Lewis, since it is still going, the fourth series having aired a few months ago and the scripts having been handed out for the fifth, turned up various news articles about the show and also about Laurence Fox and Billie Piper's marriage, and the fact that he teases Kevin Whately about acting mostly with his eyebrows (his eyebrow acting is the best. Someday I will make a gigantic collage of nothing but the top half of his facial expressions. How can any one forehead have that many wrinkles?) More surprisingly (I shocked [personal profile] perhael into lolcat speech with this yesterday), there is also some good Lewis fic about, and some of it is gen! Although I lost the first gen piece I read without bookmarking and haven't been able to find it again yet, so it's only slash represented there.]

So now my parents are getting here tonight. We have been pretty tranquil and business-as-usual with my sister here, because she, like us, prefers to spend a majority of time in front of the computer, only because she is 18 it's 100% Failbook-based, instead of Twitter and DW/LJ. I've definitely done a lot more shopping since her arrival, and we even went swimming at Caribia Spa Hotel, but we haven't done any tourist activities. We were trying for the mediæval castle, which isn't wheelchair-accessible, but the days we meant to go there coincided with Finland's worst heat wave in 75 years, when it was around 30°C (low 90s F, but most of Finland, including buses and according to the newspaper some older hospitals, doesn't have AC), and we kept hoping it would cool off to make the bus ride more pleasant and then we ran out of time.

The parental units will be here two weeks, which should drastically cut into our free time for several reasons:

  1. My dad is in a wheelchair, so even though Finland is pretty accessible, getting places and doing things is a bit more complex.

  2. My parents are pathologically disorganized and my mother reacts badly to stress, which vacation always provides her.

  3. Apparently they've made a goddamned list in advance of places they want to go. I am filled with foreboding because the list thing never ends well, and setting up expectations in advance is never a good idea with my mom, who is still apparently convinced that Dad is going to force her to boycott the Turku handicapped taxi association and walk everywhere, pushing his wheelchair barefoot and uphill both directions entirely by herself (Brother Metal: "Are you talking about my mom???").

Well, fingers crossed...

Shoes and plebefic headers will probably reappear for the first time in August.
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (Default)
Yesterday I was looking at this picture from Interview magazine, which is funny because it juxtaposes a typically ~sexy~ position with casual faces (maybe it was taken candid, right before or right after shots where they were acting?):

This led to a bit of discussion about how kids on the internet are referring to the lovely Mr. Skarsgård, and then Wax goes, "Well, he goes by Alex. My workplace!BFF Markus went to school with him in central Stockholm." (They're exactly the same age! I mean, Wax, and her work!BFF, and the lovely Mr. Skarsgård. For some reason, he looks older than Wax, to me.)

This led to me pondering how within the last few weeks I've read two epic-ish Generation Kill AUs featuring [the likeness of] him, that one where he's Nate's boss at a company that develops inventions and that one where he's a petty criminal whom Nate recruits and turns into a supersoldier. (I recommend both of those, although for more detailed notes you should see delicious.)

Anyway, it's strange to think that a workplace!BFF-in-law went to school with a Beloved Slash Object about whom I have read extensively: I think this is the fewest degrees-of-acquaintance I have ever been to one, actually. I know that a flister went to school with Pete Wentz, but I don't know her as well as I know Markus. And it's a bit strange to try to fit a BSO into the mental context of an ordinary IRL acquaintance: slightly realer somehow than the abstract reality that such people usually have.

Are other people, I wonder, also bemused by fannish objects within two or three degrees?
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (ouch)
Doing them out of order meant that I lost track of them! I haven't included any recs for Kris Allen/Adam Lambert, Hot Fuzz, or NCIS:LA, all of which were also present and all of which I read, because they were present in somewhat larger quantities, and aren't really as rare and literary as the typical Yuletide-feeling fandoms to me. So I've filled in this set with just a few recs from H/D Holidays and HP Yule Balls.

  1. There's No I in Team by [personal profile] thefourthvine. Sports Night, Casey/Dan. A deeply hilarious story with a brilliant antagonist who comes bearing motivational slogans.

  2. Temperate Self-Governance, by speakmefair. A Knight's Tale, post-canon, Chaucer/Wat established relationship, adventure. This is Wat's POV and fun, touching, funny, and very well-written sort of adventure story, that actually has a plot. A GREAT plot. Chaucer gets called into service as a spy for John of Gaunt, and Wat, advised by a well-meaning Will, gives in to his duty to help out, whether Chaucer wants him to or not. Which necessitates a bit of a quest in the company of Adhemar, ahahhaha. And in spite of the est.rel., this story has a new-relationship uncertainty to it that makes for a definite sub-plot of romance.

  3. A Hogmanay Carol. HP, Minerva McGonagall/Rolanda Hooch. This is a lovely intimate portrait of McGonagall and her grumpy temper, holiday traditions, favorite literature, and her suppressed sexual attraction to Madame Hooch. Brilliantly-characterized and perfectly executed.

  4. The Invisible Wall. George Weasley/Lee Jordan, accidental voyeurism, Harry, Ron, Seamus, Dean. A prank gone awry traps these four, forced to witness a completely unexpected sex scene between George and Lee. The humorous and traumatized commentary is funny, and at the same time the George/Lee, porny as it is, is really touching and very romantic; in fact, it made me say OF COURSE, and start shipping it, and go looking for more, but I didn't find anything else I liked quite as much as this one.

  5. Secretary Tuesdays, or: Things Unspoken. Harry/Draco, Portrait Snape, future (Auror) fic, EWE. Unlike typical Aurorfic, this one is a light-hearted comedy of manners/adventure. The post of Harry's secretary is cursed and he's been getting a new one every week... until Draco Malfoy takes the post. Lots of great little moments, not least due to the presence of Portrait Snape over the secretary's desk making caustic comments.
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (windswept)
Well, for Yuletide I wrote Clean Linen for RosieR. This is 22,000 words of sequel to Georgette Heyer's The Unknown Ajax with a crossover cameo from April Lady's Felix Hethersett (Claud/Felix).

The Unknown Ajax is one of my favorite Heyer novels and I passionately ship Richmond/Vincent, but since I love everything about it I signed up for "any". My recipient had requested Claud slash without specifying whom she wanted him slashed with. I kind of thought she was just trying to be nice, and asked (through proper Yuletide channels) for a clarification of her preference, but it turned out that she really honestly didn't have one, except not slashing him with Richmond (I'm not sure why she felt that way, but it accorded with my shipper's soul, since I only want Richmond to be paired with Vincent); and she gave the okay to OMCs, which was how I decided to borrow a sidekick from another Heyer book. (Well, actually, I combed through about 20 different Heyers from my shelf before I settled on Felix, but the story there is lengthy.)

Besides the scandal, shenanigans, and madcap coincidence plot which I thought was necessary to make a good Heyer story (fervent thanks go to [personal profile] fairestcat for helping me to hammer that out!), the main thing I wanted to do was put homosexuality into Claud's life. Claud is one of Heyer's many secondary characters who read as coded-homosexual to me, and I wanted to add the homosexual lifestyle - subculture, that is - to the story. In the clueless stage I asked my spouse, and she provided the Period Equivalent of a Gay Club prompt. Also invaluable to me in writing this was this book I got for my birthday:

Strangers: Homosexual Love in the Nineteenth Century by Graham Robb. The author is an award-winning biographer who carried out a great deal of research around Europe using primary sources, and the book has lots of fascinating information on how people lived, hooked up, found each other, and talked about what they were doing throughout the 19th century. There's also a section devoted to homosexual representation that addresses Evil or Dead Queers (not by that name), including EM Forster's comment that Maurice wouldn't be big because his protagonists survived it without punishment. (Ouch.) Also, did you know that Tchaikovsky and Hans Christian Andersen were gay? That Walt Whitman lived with a little laborer dude happily, but once denied the homosexual implications in Leaves of Grass in writing? That throughout the history of Christianity many have read the Bible as Jesus/John the Baptist (est rel), and that one of the books removed from the Bible in the middle ages by the Church intimated as much very much more directly? That Arthur Conan Doyle's life was changed when he met Oscar Wilde at a dinner party, that he still talked about it years later, and that he declared his intention of making a study of homosexuality, which he considered not a hanging offence but a medical matter? (Robb theorizes that Holmes is based on Wilde. That whole section is awesome and, ahem, pretty wild.) In short: BUY THIS BOOK.

To return to "Clean Linen" for the moment, nobody commented that I was too obvious with the Richmond/Vincent in the background, so perhaps my decision to remove the part where Richmond tells Vincent that he's not in the petticoat-line was effective after all. I still worried that I was being a bit too obvious with my actual shipping preferences, so feel free to tell me if you thought so. I'm currently weighing whether to write a Richmond/Vincent sequel to it, actually, for my own satisfaction if nothing else. I originally envisioned all of that being entirely off-screen, but nonetheless resolved in the course of the story; but when I reached the end I realized that I don't think they are ready to hook up yet, after all.
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (^_^)
Hey, last batch of Yuletide recs! These are genuinely miscellaneous in nature.

  1. If Headaches Persist, Shoot Your Agent. James Bond movies, M, Bond/M UST. M wasn't yet sure what had prompted this latest trick of arriving precisely late enough for it to be obvious he was doing it deliberately, but not so much that he couldn't claim any number of innocent reasons, such as an overcrowded lift, or heavy traffic, but she could have set her watch by the man. If she'd wanted a perpetually late watch, that is. Awesome!

  2. The General in His Labyrinth. Temeraire - Naomi Novik. Wellington, Roland/Wellington, UST. The first time Wellington heard Jane Roland laugh, his mouth went dry with yearning. Bittersweet and very well-written.

  3. Spice Up Your Life With George and Brad. Actor RPF, gen. Entertainment Monthly sits down with George Clooney and Brad Pitt to talk about pranks on set, making serious movies, and polygamous compounds. (No, really!) AHHAHAHAHHAHAHAH.

  4. A Matter of Convenience. Merlin RPF, Bradley James/Colin Morgan. Getting a flat together was one thing. Getting a puppy was quite another. Pretty adorable.

  5. Where We're Going, and How To Get Back. American Idol RPF, Simon Cowell/Ryan Seacrest, Ryan POV. Ellen matchmaking, which I can see is probably about to become a new trope in Ryan/Simon, and Ryan being rather clueless and Simon both a realistic asshole and kind of sweet. This is really a very good story.
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (reading)

    First, a new pairing. I'm a big fan of Discworld, and I've even read and recommended a couple of pieces of fanfiction for it in the past, but I not only didn't know of the existence of this pairing, it had never really occurred to me. Drumknott/Vetinari! It does make sense, though, and both the pieces from this Yuletide (although both are UST, and one leaned all the way over into potentially innocent friendship) were impressive and just really wonderful. I went looking for more at once, but there's very little of it out there (in fact, the only person I could find who'd written it was [ profile] kindkit, and she was also the recipient of both these pieces. My heart goes out to her: it's such a drag to have a fandom of one. Hopefully many other people will have their attention caught by the pairing this Yuletide like I did, and more fic will eventually result.)

  1. Like Clockwork. Discworld, Vetinari, Vetinari/Drumknott, gen/UST. This is an exquisitely crafted, wistful little story. Using Vetinari's POV works incredibly well for it, too. It's so disciplined and restrained, even in the length of the story; everything is said with very few words and large portions of what it says it doesn't actually say at all, but leaves to be inferred.

  2. A Place Like Home. Discworld, Drumknott, Drumknott & Vetinari, friendship/UST. Another extraordinarily well-done little piece, but this one is all Drumknott. A Sunday off work with his sister's family, a gift for his geeky nephew, an awkward conversation with his sister, and his character really shines through it all. Drumknott's confidence and his ... unexpected closeness to the Patrician is just so sweet, calm, and understated. The whole piece is a cosy, heart-warming delight.

  3. Since there is only one other piece of Drumknott/Vetinari that I was able to find, it seems appropriate to rec it here as well.

    Midwinter by Kindkit. Discworld, Drumknott, Drumknott/Vetinari, mature, 16000+ words. Set during and after The Truth. A long, delicious, leisurely, exquisitely-executed slow piece. Drumknott's POV is fantastic, and there are lots of hilarious little details that make the narration sound like canon. Especially at the climax(es), the writing is just perfect, tense and dramatic and really touching. The really astonishing thing about this story is that it moves out of UST like the two Yuletide pieces into, well, sex, and actually carries it off for a pairing where such a thing is necessarily tricky. What it does with the rest of the relationship is even more fascinating, though.

    Another pairing that honestly hadn't occurred to me, but which I really enjoyed, was Bod/Silas from Neil Gaiman's Graveyard Book.

  4. Home is the Hunter. Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman. Bod, Bod/Silas. A grown-up Bod, working as an architect, eventually moves back to his hometown to be near the graveyard.

  5. I'm quite a fan of Richard/Marquis de Carabas fic from Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere. I've seen it before of course, but it's a rare pairing partly, I think, because the Marquis is so tough to get a handle on, in such a way that it's much easier to write gen about him.

  6. A Very Big Favor. Neverwhere - Neil Gaiman. Richard Mayhew, Marquis de Carabas, gen or debatably UST. This piece is funny, adventure-filled, and perfectly captures that slightly confusing madcap-quest aura of canon, while still allowing Richard to be more confident, and less clueless, than he was in the book. It's also got some really wonderful dialogue and characterization, to say nothing of the really delightful bits of London Below, and the details it added about the Marquis were instantly added to my personal canon. A really awesome story.

  7. Lastly, another piece of Laurence/Tharkay from Naomi Novik's Temeraire universe. I have quite a soft spot for this pairing.

  8. A Voyage of Discovery. Temeraire - Naomi Novik. Laurence, Laurence/Tharkay. Three times William Laurence was oblivious on the journey to Australia. The slight sense of humor and the narrative voice in this piece were especially great, and Laurence's POV both believable and sympathetic. All three of the scenes are lovely.
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (umbrella)
  1. An Original Work (Authenticity and Provenance Debateable). St Trinian's, Annabelle/Kelly. Hustle crossover. A con job requires Annabelle to pretend to be Kelly's girlfriend.

  2. The Beginning of Wisdom. Poirot, Poirot & Hastings, friendship. Hastings comes home to England; Poirot has a Christmas plan all ready for him. Casefic... kind of.

  3. Just Rewards. Poirot, Poirot & Hastings friendship and/or smarm. Hastings gets ticked off on Poirot's behalf; Poirot counsels patience.

  4. The Mechanical Heart. Sherlock Holmes, Holmes/Watson UST. This is clearly a pairing story in addition to casefic, but as nothing is explicit aside from Holmes's passionate concern for Watson's safety, and occasional whimsical concern for his happiness, it could actually fit quite well in canon - probably without shocking a Victorian readership.

  5. Of Events Past and Future. The Masqueraders - Georgette Heyer. Canon pairings, gen. Prudence and Robin, their father and their spouses beguile an afternoon around the fire with a tale of their past escapades (by which we mean 'cons') told by Pru. Which is bloody fantastic - hilarious, wonderful, exactly in the style of the original. Made me wish for a whole novel or four of sequels (well, prequels?), like a Georgian version of Hustle.
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (we're all mad here)
This year saw a larger-than-usual batch of Will/Bran and Will-Bran stories from Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising. It's by no means unwelcome, but a little funny, to me, that this series has such a constant level of Yuletide participation. It is from the 70s! But then again, given that the gayness of Will/Bran is kind of like, idk, Aubrey/Maturin meets Kirk/Spock but without any wives whatsoever - or actually it's rather more like Akira/Hikaru, if you speak Manga, and really, SC was almost prescient in terms of shounen homo-romanticism - anyway, it's obvious why fandom is into it still, and after all, it does have some seriously kick-ass magic, even if some of that magic is in the totally ridiculous form of Cosmic Quiz-Bowl inside a magical mountain.

Someday maybe I'll get my wife to finish the novel she started writing in 2004 where Bran is a glam rocker. Yes, your thanks in advance are accepted.

  • Reservoirs. Will & Bran smarm/friendship or UST, 30-years-in-the-future-fic. Friendships, like reservoirs, are often shaped by what lies well below the surface. But even after thirty years of friendship, Will Stanton is not entirely prepared to find some unexpected depths. This one has Bran being a brilliant Welsh Plaid Cymru politician and government minister, which is perhaps the rightest future!Bran I've ever encountered (and I think I've read probably at least 90% of Will-/Bran out there). It's also dramatic, exquisitely tense, and very well executed. Plus, the politics are a very nice touch - gives the story a bit more scope and weight.

  • Auld Lang Syne. The popular theme of Bran meeting Will's family when they're a bit older, this one set at age 15, given a happy, slashy twist. They're more happy to see each other than they expected, which leads Will's family to assume they're dating, and in the meanwhile, Will struggles with whether to tell Bran the truth.

  • thou fond deceiver. College-aged Bran begins to remember the past over Christmas with Will's family. Friendship. Contains a New Year's party and Will's sister staring because Bran is pretty, plus a touristy visit to Windsor castle.

Okay, so, here's two more recs that combine shipping and magical children's literature.

  • Sweets for the Sweet. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), Charlie/Wonka futurefic. THIS was my other Yuletide fic. Actually I probably should have listed it first, except I wanted to start with TDiR since I had three of it. This was just the sort of thing I wanted in my Charlie/Wonka futurefic - Charlie having grown into adulthood, and learned candy magic in his own right, and being Wonka's partner now, and not just his protegé. Plus there is candy, and magic, and oodles of sweetness in a Christmas vignette involving, of course, the glass elevator! The little details - the off-the-wall dialogue, hints of visual description, the references to taste - are all exactly right! ♥

  • The Wisdom to Know the Difference. Coraline (movie), Coraline/Wybie UST or pre-relationship. Two years after the movie, Wybie wishes for more adventures. Coraline, meanwhile, has learned that just because you can do something doesn't mean you should. Awesome use of Coraline-esque magic, here. I really liked this piece.


cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (Default)


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