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Friendship and Finnish by Correspondence (Stand Still Stay Silent, Emil & Tuuri)

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I got this wonderful Emil & Tuuri epistolary fic! It's got great character voices and it's sweet and heartwarming, and you should all go read it.

But also! I got two treats in the Madness collection!

Respite and Refuge (Chanur Saga, Pyanfar/Khym)

Okay, I'm not going to lie, a big part of why I'm writing this rec post is so that someone other than me will read this fic and shower my writer with love, because as of this writing my feedback is the only feedback they've gotten, and yeah it's a tiny fandom and I'm sure they knew what they were getting into when they wrote it, but it's a damn shame because it's so excellent and deserves all the love. It's everything I adore about these two in one compact package: the way he quietly seeks her approval, the way she's coming to trust and rely on his competence, the tenderness and familiarity (and mild snark) between them.

Whimsy Above (SkyWorld)

I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I requested this fandom, but what I got was pretty amazing. A really interesting premise, an ominous yet inevitable conclusion, and graphics! And, at 100 words long, I can say with confidence that it's definitely worth your time.

And then there were stories that were not written for me!

The First Rule (Stand Still Stay Silent, the crew)

In my personal and unbiased opinion, all five of the SSSS stories in the yuletide collection are excellent and worth reading, but this was--after the one written for me--the one I liked best. It really captured both the humorous side and the perilous-adventures side of canon, with really enjoyable character interactions as well.

Judgment Call (Alliance-Union, Sandor (insert ambiguous but extremely significant symbol here) Allison)

This is such a Cherryh story, with all the solid details of ship-and-station life, and an understated, indirect, but no less powerful exploration of what these two mean two each other, and what they might yet mean to each other.

Worry Not (Sorcerer to the Crown, Damerell/Rollo)

So charming, so delightful, both the use of language and the characters. This pair of secondary characters has clearly got their shit together in re: human/fairy relations (as it were) far more than anyone else in the Sorcerer-to-the-Crown-verse.

Duel to Be Kind (Hark! A Vagrant, Nemesis ♠ Pirate (with bonus Nemesis' Sister ♠ Nemesis' Sister's Nemesis))

So, you may have noticed that I like things that are charming and delightful, with a playful use of language and a loosely Regency England setting. This is another one! With the bonus that you don't have to be familiar with the canon to appreciate it.

* shallow cluster * deep dive * Streaker find * (Uplift Saga, Creideiki)

You guys, somebody wrote trinary haiku. It's perfect, it's brilliant, it's worthy of Creideiki, why are you still reading this when you could be reading it.
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- I aten't ded, I just haven't been able to log on to tumblr for days. I miss it! I have been able to look at people's blogs, but it's not the same.

- I got the most wonderful Tuuri & Emil epistolary fic (with a few bonus letters between Emil and Lalli) for yuletide! It has friendship! Language acquisition! Background details about people's lives and jobs and preparations for the next expedition and such! You should definitely check it out if you're in the fandom and haven't yet.

- In the spirit of "Tuuri and Reynir are okay and they're going to be okay nothing's wrong what are you talking about", I did a shippy little watercolor, which you can see under the cut )
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(if you follow me on tumblr, you may have seen all this before, but I don't think there's a lot of overlap)

And everybody knows who wrote which Chocolate Box stories, or at least they could if they wanted to, because the authors have been revealed.

I got two lovely fics:

Like a Man of Mettle by Nary

Hey, look, it's Gabriel DeWit/Elijah Pinhoe (of the Chronicles of Chrestomanci) fic! The first one ever written, to the best of my knowledge, which is not surprising since they never met in canon, and also they only appear in canon as quite old men. Bask in the glory of grumpy, awkward young!Gabriel running away from his duties as Chrestomanci straight into a patch of stinging nettles, and young!Elijah helping him out with herb lore if you know what I mean.

Borrow Your Lust by PhoenixFalls

Fic about Ethan and Terrence (from the Vorkosigan Saga)! It's not quite as rare a pairing as Gabriel and Elijah, but seeing as how Ethan and Terrence are canonical life partners, I feel like there really should be more.

I love stories about people who for one reason or another don’t get how ordinary human relationships work trying to relationship, and this definitely hits those buttons. Also, it’s got an intriguing idea about one possible use of telepathy during sex, even if they end up not going there.

My assigned recipient was Miss_M, and I wrote her two Kencyrath fics:

An Economy of Blood and Bone was supposed to be about Trishien and Kirien’s relationship, and it is, but it’s more about Trishien’s backstory and the Women’s World and the Jaran and the intersection thereof. And economics.

Turn-Collar is the one where Brier and Tori discuss the fact that Brier broke her bond with Tori and got herself bound to Jame instead. It is so far the only work on AO3 tagged Loyalty Break-Up, which is a damn shame.

I also wrote a couple of treats for other people, both in the PJO/HOO fandom: Twice-Favored was for inelegantly; it’s a T-rated Annabeth/Nico/Percy interlude with capture the flag and a bit of kissing.

And finally, for dhampyresa, I wrote Delphi Falls, In which Rachel does some research with Ella and Skypes with Annabeth. And also Annabeth, Hazel, and Nico go on a quest to either prevent or start the zombie apocalypse, but that honestly happens offscreen. It’s also my 100th fic on AO3! Hooray!
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By which I mean that one of the benefits of having fandom friends is that sometimes they will write fic of your fic and it will be amazing.

By which I mean that books4belle/goodforharpies wrote a follow-up fic to Useful Crafts! It's set four years later--Leo has broken up with Calypso and feels like nothing he makes works anymore, Rachel has helped defeat the python and renegotiated the the terms of her service to Apollo and feels horny, maybe they can help each other out?

You can read it here: Good With Their Hands It's about 2000 words long and rated M.

*EXPIRES OF SQUEE*
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It's a Kencyrath fic about the beginning of Tori and Grimly's friendship, with cityporn and Tori falling asleep while Grimly recites poetry and platonic bed-sharing!

And for those of you who are familiar with the Chronicles of the Kencyrath--or those of you who just like cityporn so much you are willing to read fic from unfamiliar fandoms for it--you can read it here:

Two from the North

Also, I have not had a chance to read much other yuletide fic yet but so far I can unreservedly recommend In the Right Way which is a really great story about Angelica Petrocchi and tone-deafness and sufficiently-analyzed magic.
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Oh my God, you guys, did you know there was a female-and-genderqueer-centric podfic fest?

Well, neither did I, but now I do, because nickelmountain podficced two of my stories for it!

They're the ones I wrote for cordailcount for the rarewomen exchange, and deal with Ariane Emory I (of CJ Cherryh's Cyteen, for all you who are missing out haven't read it yet)'s childhood and early adolescence.

You can listen to Loose Every Knot (which is about 3 minutes long, and safe for work) or The Things That Make Me Weak and Strange (which is about 16 minutes long, and . . . not so much.  Read the warnings for that one before you listen, although I will say it's not any worse than canon.)

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I got post-apocalyptic fic again for jukebox! El Staplador wrote me The Last Child comes to the Green Valley for The Green Valley by Puscifer, a new-to-me song that is delightfully evocative and rife with story possibilities. The story describes the journey of a young man who's grown up in a world devastated by radiation and disease, to a place that he's heard spoken of as a refuge. It's very effective at portraying the whittling-away of the protagonist's choices, while at the same time showing how life finds its way through the cracks. The ending is nicely ambiguous and fits the mood of the song really well. And like most of the jukebox fics you don't have to know canon to appreciate it, although I do recommend you listen to the song because as previously mentioned, delightful.

And I wrote Magpie's Wings (based on Tom Waits' Kentucky Avenue) for Deepdarkwaters--whom I have to thank once again for nominating and requesting the song, which was also new to me, and brilliant so you should go listen. (I should also thank everyone else who participated in jukebox and did not offer the song, 'cause I only listened to it and offered it at the last minute when I was looking for requests that didn't have any offers.)

Anyway! The story is about two boys growing up in the 1960's in California, and their friendship, and a spell they cast which goes wrong and then eventually goes right. Once again, you don't need to know canon or enjoy the works of Tom Waits in order to read the story.

Rarewomen!

May. 12th, 2014 07:27 pm
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So, the Rarewomen collection is open!

fawatson wrote me The Purpose of Life, which is a Vorkosigan Saga story where Lilly Durona Junior and Maree of Bharaputra's clone-creche find a sort of closure that I didn't think to ask for in my letter, but really should have. Also there are Mercenaries! With a glad cry!

Go read it.

ALSO, since Rarewomen doesn't have an anon period, I can already tell you what I wrote:

Loose Every Knot and The Things That Make Me Weak and Strange for cordialcount, a pair of Cyteen stories about young Ari Emory I and the origins of psychogenesis.

(They are theoretically part of a longer series. Theoretically. Also, heed the warnings on the second one.)

I also wrote American Poetry 1900-1950: The Drinking Game for DWEmma, a Lizzie Bennet Diaries story featuring Lydia, Mary, and pretty much what it says on the tin.
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In between writing my Jukebox letter and doing a pinch hit for Rarewomen, I have not yet gotten around to telling you guys, I got a lovely story for Space Swap!

I'm not sure if I've got any CJ Cherryh fans who read this journal but have not yet read this story, but in case I do, go read it! It's a Cyteen fic, it's got Justin/Grant first times, and if you have ever wanted to wrap a warm blanket around Justin Warrick or are just delighted to know that The Princess Bride is evidently comfort-watching in the Warrick household, you will enjoy this fic.
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There’s this recurring motif in Diana Wynne Jones’ books where there is some sort of magic preventing the characters from thinking about a certain subject, or from talking about it, or preventing other people from believing them if they do talk about it. This is, on one hand, a convenient thing to have in one’s plotting toolkit--it addresses the “but why didn’t they just tell the adults and have them fix it” problem that crops up in children’s and YA books, and it lets you control the pacing of revelations and things like that.

More importantly, it’s often a metaphor for an abusive family situation: the feeling that some intangible malign force is preventing the characters from a) realizing something is wrong, b) talking about the thing that is wrong, and/or c) having other people understand about the thing if they do try to express it.

I mention that in order to mention this:

although you know the snow will follow by greenlily

(Yes, this is a yuletide rec. Maybe at some point I will do a proper recs post? Or maybe not. I’m not done reading yuletide yet, although I have definitely been slowing down.)

Anyway! In addition to being a very good sort of Magids fanfic, and painting a vivid if not necessarily dramatic picture of Roddy’s learning the work of the Lady of Governance and dealing with the emotional aftermath of some of the events in The Merlin Conspiracy, it uses the motif of the don’t-notice-don’t-talk-about-it magic.

Only here it’s not a metaphor for abuse--it’s a metaphor for the erasure of women’s roles in history.

And it works; it’s lovely; it fits in perfectly with the characters and world and themes of the book. And this sort of engagement with and reinterpretation of the source material is one of the things you can do with fanfic that you can’t do in any other genre.

And that’s why fic is so great.
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I am so lucky! I got not one, but two M-rated Fox in Socks stories. They both took my prompt and ran with it in separate kinky, funny, childhood-ruining, brain-bleach requiring directions. And the most delightful part is how they both followed the source text closely, so I always knew what was coming up but could never be sure how it would play out.

So You Want to be a Wizard

Someone tell Rob Ford, because this is the top-shelf crack. Mr. Fox is a fast-talking wizard, Knox is his somewhat reluctant and very confused apprentice. It is silly, charming, captures the dynamic between Fox and Knox very well, and is chock-full of references to other works and the lore of great wizards and their great socks.

Fox and Cocks

a) Rhymes

b) Scans

c) Is an actual tongue twister

and d) does all of the above things well while being the filthiest, most hilarious thing I have read in a long time. It is a thing of beauty.

Minutia says check them the fuck out.
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Here is what I got for fic corner:

A Sister's Love by flipflop_diva (Heroes of Olympus)

In which Nico really needs a hug and Bianca and Hazel give him one. My heart melted a little. Set during Mark of Athena, very slight allusions to sibling incest.

On a path, two travellers meet by Aeriel (Darkangel Trilogy)

Darkangel trilogy fic! Aeriel/Sabr! And also there is Roshka!

And here is what I wrote for fic corner:

The Village Witch's Ginger Hero for Jenn_Calaelen (Chronicles of Chrestomanci)

Featuring Marianne, Marianne's crush on Irene Yeldham, and the Folk.

The Wine Bowl for kristin (Chronicles of Prydain)

Mostly about Taran's love for pottery, but also could be described as the one where Eilonwy feeds the Argonauts laver bread.
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Okay, everyone needs to stop what they're doing right now and read betony's remix of my story Insufficient Evidence.

The original story is a Harry Potter fic with original characters and an awful pun; betony totally understood what I was trying to do with it and took it one step further and darker and more bitter.

Go read it, you can thank me later.
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As mentioned previously, I got not one but two stories for rarewomen this year, and they are both so excellent I don't know what to do with myself.

Betony wrote me from the private correspondence of miranda argent chant.

As you may have guessed from the title, this is Miranda epistolary fic. That alone would have me fistpumping the air with glee, but! This fic! It absolutely nails the scheming, self-absorbed Miranda of my heart, and it is funny as hell.

And also! Ollipop wrote me Kindred Instruments.

Yesssss, this is what I wanted in Lotus Durona fic--multifaceted and sparkling, cold-blooded and matter-of-fact, with currents of strong passions running beneath the surface. And I love the way Lotus and Vasa Luigi flirt: "How are your surgical skills?” “If you give me a knife, I’ll demonstrate.” INDEED.

Go read them; you won't regret it!
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One last purimgifts post and I'm out.

I'm only familiar with Despicable Me from osmosis, but this is a super-cute series about a super-cute pairing:

The Despicable-Incredible We by billtheradish.
The epic love story of Violet Parr and Margo Gru.

SUPER. CUTE.
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For those of you who don't know, [livejournal.com profile] purimgifts is an exchange of short fic (300-1000 words, although if you post installments of the same story over the three days of posting you can get up to 3000 words) and graphics. It's focused on female characters, Jewish characters, and characters persecuted by evil viziers; it's fast-paced, often silly, and slightly manic; and now it's over and reveals have happened. So I can tell you that [livejournal.com profile] opalmatrix made me the following gifts:

A Heart at My Command: Amy/Quentin from Cyteen. Solidly physical and atmospheric and lovely.

She's Not There: Flower-in-the-Night/Abdullah from Castle in the Air. Magic spells! Married love! Problem-solving-skills! Flowery dialogue! (Some people apparently find Abdullah's speech patterns annoying but I love them okay.)

To the Top: Anthea Tesdinic from Conrad's Fate. OMG she actually drew me Anthea's fashion designs (with accompanying fashion-reporter commentary); I requested that but never expected it! (I want the blue one.)

I will post about my stories and some other stuff I liked later.
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As I've mentioned already, and as some of you may have noticed, I haven't been around much lately. But I would be remiss not to mention--have been remiss in not mentioning--that I participated in [livejournal.com profile] rarepairfest, and metonymy wrote me a lovely Korra/Asami fic:

in case you shake apart and want a brand new start

Asami demonstrates her mad people skills and takes Korra clubbing! Korra wears a suit and dances like a doofus! It is super cute and fun; you should read it.
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The [livejournal.com profile] rarewomen stories have been revealed, and I got a follow-up to "The Hundredth Dream of Carol Oneir"!

You can read it here:

Dream On by Qem

It's got some really chewy ideas about how Carol's growth as an artist affected the events of the original story, as well as fun ideas about what happened to the Cast of Thousands afterwards. I'm really quite happy with it.
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From now on, all Vorkosigan fic will be written in sonnet form: so moved.

The Olivia/Dono romance in A Civil Campaign has always seemed somewhat rushed. Of course, neither of them are viewpoint characters, so we don't know what was going on with them behind the scenes. What if Olivia and Donna had been lovers before Donna ever went to Beta Colony?

I asked for Olivia/Donna for Winterfair, and gramina wrote me the following poem:

Changes

Go read it; it's lovely.
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So yesterday I wrote, as Aral Vorkosigan, a sonnet about the need for revolution on Barrayar. And [livejournal.com profile] bracketyjack responded, as Ezar Vorbarra:

Ezar's Reply to the Passionate Shepherd

Best. Comment. Ever.

Oh and while I'm at it!

iHeartNarlgles drew me Mordecai and Rosalie!

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