spatz: cartoon bunnies on stilts with caption "dramatic character-driven stories... or stilts?" (Bunnies stories or stilts?)
I neglected to do this last month, but in the wake of Delicious's fail!reboot, it seemed time to do some old-fashioned recs.

I often feel like everyone has read everything before me,but as I pointed out to a friend the other day: *I* love reading what others have to say about good stories, even if I've already read them. So hopefully you'll enjoy these!

Best long: Freeport (Gundam Wing)
Confession: I have never seen Gundam Wing. I scanned one primer and googled some images before reading this epic, and I could have even skipped that step, because this story is practically original scifi. AWESOME original scifi. The premise: several years after an interplanetary civil war, two men reluctantly team up to [fight crime] track down a threat to the fragile peace. The setting: a battered former-prison space station full of criminals and outcasts. The characters: two former teenage terrorists who spent most of the war struggling to do the right thing, and being hated and feared by both sides. Wufei is a stiff-necked martial arts expert and former scholar whose entire clan blew themselves up rather than surrender during the war; he now works as a specialized law enforcer and believes in Justice, though he lives thoroughly in shades of grey. Duo is an ex-street rat/thief with survivor's guilt who is cheerful, anti-authority, cocky...and oh yeah, nicknamed the God of Death. They have Major Issues, and are extremely competent.

Loved the casefile, loved the complex worldbuilding, loved the action and the investigation writing; loved the romance and the slow build of character arcs and revealed history and shared ground. The story is very accessible to a newbie, since only 2 of the 5 canon leads appear in 95% of the story and the characters don't know a lot about each other's past, despite having a powerful connection from the war. As in a lot of good scifi, the anarchic society of Freeport is a touch implausible, but Maldoror grounds it in humanity and everyday details that make it work. This fucker is LONG, too, and was polished up from the original version several years later. Take a long Saturday afternoon, and enjoy the read.

Best short: The Sincerest Form of Flattery (multifandom)
Clever five-things fic that points out the influence of Sherlock Holmes on modern procedurals by pairing quotes from the books with scenes from Due South, Numb3rs, House, Psych, and Castle. Fabulously true character voices, investigative shenanigans, and an inspired cameo of pineapples in the Psych bit, all suffused with fondness for the original canon and the inimitable Watson & Holmes.

I almost had a fit of but-I-beta'd--this ethics and recced A Week in the Life (Avengers, Coulson fic), but no. This was my favorite.

Best re-read: Crown of the Summer Court (Merlin)
I think I reread this at least once a year, and I still love it endlessly. Elves in Camelot! With that hilarious-yet-epic tone that is my favorite thing about Merlin! Happy ending that warps canon in lovely ways! Scorchingly hot sex! This story really does have everything.

Best crossover: Captain America's Art Crawl Adventure (Captain America/Middleman)
*keels over laughing* Best. Wake-up call. Ever. Lindsey literally came in and woke me up to read this, and I didn't even mind! The image of Wendy Watson and Steve Rogers fighting a glue monster at Art Crawl is the most genius idea. For added hilarity, the Middleman is totes a Cap fanboy, and the tone/POV is perfect. Art Crawl! \o!

Best gen kink-meme fill: Floor 37 (Suits)
Mike's last three days of indentured servitude to Louis (and whoever Louis farms him out to) are spent in the service of an elderly lawyer named Jack. You'll probably guess Jack's identity in about 3 seconds, but he's a charming OC, and the story does a lovely job opening up the world of the show and looking at mentoring. I really wish this was an episode.

Best slash kink-meme fill: Boden's Mate (XMFC/Inception)
Epic XMFC/Inception AU of Epic Awesomeness! If you have not read this yet, for the love of god WHY? The story has intrigue and clever, intense dreamsharing action sequences and pining and awesome universe-shifting of the characters and a sequel! (Possibly more than one someday!) I had this thing stalker-pinned and *still* couldn't stop myself from clicking over to the thread at least once a day in hopes of an update.

Best TV: Fringe
THIS SHOW. I wish I had something coherent to say about catching up (13 eps in 3 days! \o/), but I'm stuck on OLIVIA OMG and YAY.

Most ridiculous: Resident Evil
Lindsey and I have decided to start having "let's get drunk and marathon shitty movies!" nights every once in awhile. The Fast & the Furious series went down more smooothly with a case of Corona; we were going to drink Bloody Marys for Alice, but did not have any vodka. Alas. For such a DEEPLY ridic franchise, there are shocking numbers of awesome ladies - at least two in each movie, passing the Bechdel test and kicking ass and generally being the best survivors. They are wearing skin tight outfits most of the time, but, uh, my principles were muted by the booze.

Most fail: Delicious
And the fannish diaspora continues, as everyone runs to find an alternate bookmarking site that won't betray them. *sigh* I have started adding bookmarks again out of sheer perversity, which of course is harder than it used to be to find/remember tags, and I feel very alone because no one else I keep track of is doing so, but it works. I'm curious about Pinboard (that Pinboard/Fandom fic made my week), but I don't really have the money/time to explore.

And of course, I posted Open Secret, Simon/Alys UST fluff written for [personal profile] philomytha's birthday. ♥
spatz: green bird perched on a hand (Default)
Since it's now officially summer, irony tells me that I've procrastinated enough to dump some spring cleaning here.

First off, anyone want an AO3 invite? I thought I'd sent all of mine out, but I have another. First come, first serve.

Secondly, I cleaned some monstrously dusty plot bunnies out of my WIP folder, so it's time for a little amnesty:

Evil Scientists convention (Grey's Anatomy/multiple) )

evil genius (Firefly) )

Wendy Watson vs Professor Moriarty (Middleman/Sherlock Holmes 2009) )

....and Castiel vs pancakes (SPN) )

....Heh. One of these things is not like the others.
spatz: Leito grinning smugly, arms spread to close doors (B13 Leito triumph)
Yesterday was my first day off since New Year's Day, for values of 'off' that involve not having either work or classes.

*happy sigh* It was awesome.

I slept late, watched Sports Night for about 6 hours, ate apples with Cool Whip and jalepeno chips, and finished a B13 fic I've been working on since (*checks watch*) August.

And the good spilled over into today, which despite being fucking freezing involved free pizza and excessive shopping for snazzy new work clothes and rereading the still-awesome but gone fuzzy with the dustbunnies of time Not Homophobic (Sports Night).

To be fair, I guess that technically, the awesome started the evening before my day off with [livejournal.com profile] inmyriadbits's Twitter fic challenge, where she wrote me four B13 snippets in quick succession, plus Jess from Primeval being awesome for [livejournal.com profile] ignipes, plus Mountie-related Sherlock shenanigans for [livejournal.com profile] serialkarma, AMONG OTHER AWESOMENESS.

I think I'm going to watch Due South now. Or maybe Castle.
spatz: Amy tackle-hugging Eleven in front of a beautiful vista of stars (DW Eleven Amy stars)
Merry Christmas, everyone! Or if you celebrate something else, happy that, or happy December 25th!

I participated in Yuletide this year for the first time - which feels a little embarrassing, since I've been in fandom for almost ten, though I guess Yuletide only started in 2003 - and I received Under, A Study in Emerald fic about Mary Morstan set in 1883. The author did an awesomely creative job with the details of the universe, the dark warping of the canon, and the secondary characters that Gaiman's story left out like Mary and Mycroft, which was exactly what I wanted! There are some great that is such a cool idea moments, and Mary will break your heart. *hugs author*

Hilariously, Lindsey got a Study in Emerald fic for her gift as well, Black Shuck, which is a deeply creepy retelling of Hound of the Baskervilles that had her saying "I really should not have read this at 4am." That's my sister. :D

I beta'd All Fall Down (Life), which is a quietly disturbing genish-ambiguous-Charlie/Rachel story that is not my normal cup of tea at all, but the author's characterization of Rachel is stunning. (and I don't consider this violating the Yuletide secrecy, because I have no previous online connection to the author other than this beta job, so there)

I haven't read much else, between the archive 502s and hosting Christmas at our house, but I highly recommend No Second Coming (The Dark is Rising), which is the post-series fix-it fic I have waiting for all my life. (Well, okay, just since I read the books, but that's still at least a decade.) And it's LONG for the fandom, at 16K. If you like Will/Bran, epic stories, intricate attention to detail, ensemble stories, creative-but-true reinterpretation of canon, Jane being an awesome human being, and/or gorgeous prophetic dreams, go read!

*****

In other news, I'm thinking about disabling the hit counter on my AO3 stories, because it is turning me in a twitchy neurotic mess as I wait for my recipient to comment (ETA: Ahahaha, nm, stalking revealed reason for delay, and it is an AWESOME reason). [personal profile] inmyriadbits can testify. She saved my ass while I was writing my story, as I was editing literally up to the minute the archive closed, with her expert assistance and moral support. I can't credit her on the story yet, obviously, but y'all should know she's a badass, and my story would have been several thousand words and several degrees of quality less without her.

Also: I would die of shock if anyone guesses what I wrote, but if someone does I will write them a story of their choosing. (From beyond the grave, obviously.)

Yuletide!

Nov. 22nd, 2010 10:46 pm
spatz: pink-clad cheerleader grinning and clapping her hands, caption "OMGSQUEE" (Heroes Claire squee)
Dear Yuletide Author!

I am super excited about participating in Yuletide for the first time, so please pardon the invitable excess of exclamation points in this post! Hopefully, I covered the essential things in my submitted request, but I thought of a few random things in case you wander this way.

Walk this way.... )

Anyway, I'm going to shut up now before I overload you. And feel free to ignore most or all of this if you have a great idea, because I also love surprises ;)
spatz: green bird perched on a hand (Life title sun)
I don't develop "personal canon" the way I've seen many writers do - all the little details like favorite color, first kiss, number of pets, etc., that are interesting and fun but never come to light. I usually start with core principles and canon details and go from there, reinventing the personal details to suit my purposes (for fic or meta or whatever).

But there's an exception: character sexuality.

When I develop an opinion about a character's sexuality, I will stick to it. I supposed a dramatic event in canon could theoretically change my mind, but it hasn't happened yet. It's weirdly opposite to my approach in real life, where I usually don't try to figure people out unless I'm deciding if I want to flirt with them. For many characters, I don't have a *conscious* idea of their orientation, but odds are I can give you an answer if you give me 30 seconds to consider it. For some, I've got very strong opinions.

Take Charlie Crews, for example. My fanon evaluation of him: straight. I used to read (and still enjoy) Charlie/Ted, but by the end of S1 I was convinced that Charlie just *loves* women, platonically and romantically. Any homosexual activity in his past was situational (i.e., prison) [and possibly not consensual], and while he's not going to have a freak out about it, he's not going to seek out male partners now that he's free.

On the other hand, Dean Winchester = bisexual, though he skews way more to the hetero end of the spectrum. I've considered him bi since well before Castiel ever showed his pretty face. If he wants to get laid, he'll usually pick up a woman, but sometimes he goes for guys - like the difference between craving a bacon cheeseburger and a double decker. Dean may be the type of guy who's very concerned with the trappings of masculinity, but I figure sex is sex is sex to him. (Falling in love, though -- that's a whole different barrel of monkeys, regardless of gender.)

Emily Prentiss: prefers women. I don't have much evidence for my opinion, and I don't think she's been in many relationships (if any) because repression thy name is Emily, but it's very clear in my mind. Hotch and Reid are both firmly heterosexual, though Reid doubtless knows reams of studies about sexuality and would be suprised-but-chill if he were ever attracted to a man.

Neal Caffrey: so very bisexual. He has strong tendencies towards clever people and committed-but-open relationships - the 'open' part being a necessary condition of his profession, where being able to seduce anyone is an advantage. If he met any aliens, he'd definitely pull a Jack Harkness and give it a try, and he's cool with polyamory.

Parker: bisexual. Obviously not shy about her sexuality, considering she hit on Nate's ex-wife in front of him, though she's as unlikely to talk about it as give away money.

Sherlock Holmes: nearly asexual, a state reinforced by his (self)conscious pursuit of logic, but he's got a weakness for people who admire him and who he considers an equal. However, in such rare events, he would only start a relationship with someone he trusts (*cough*Watson*cough*), and then only after overcoming his own self-imposed "love is a danger to logic" principles. After jumping all those hurdles, a metropolitan student of humanity like Holmes is not going to be concerned with something minor like gender.

Do any of y'all have this sort of personal canon? Want to test my opinions by throwing characters at me, or just argue with me about one of the above characters? Bring it!
spatz: green bird perched on a hand (Default)
First of all, I haven't been getting some of my comments and replies - has anyone else had this problem?

The first season of Avatar: The Last Airbender is streaming on Netflix, if any of ya'll haven't had the chance to watch it yet. I really can't stress how much I love this show - it's this wonderful, epic, delightful thing that spends three seasons telling exactly the story it set out to tell, and doing so many things right along the way - awesome characters that are both heroic and still children, kickass female characters, incredible world-building and continuity, beautiful animation.

Animator Vs Animation: An utterly hilarious and creative Flash animation, in which a stick figure and cursor do epic battle in Paintshop Pro. Laugh-out-loud funny, and make sure to turn the sound on.

I've been craving good Holmes/Watson/Mary fic since I saw Sherlock Holmes, and I finally found some I like. recessional on Dreamwidth has been writing prompt table responses and her Mary is most excellent, and the balance of the three in the relationship is pitch-perfect.

Is there HTML code to link to DW users from LJ? I feel like I've seen it somewhere, but I can't recall how to do it.

Speaking of Sherlock Holmes, I've been reading a book about Victorian London, which, hilariously, starts with a chapter called "Smells", describing the sewage situation in the mid-1800s. There's a map of the sewer system used to drain and upgrade the old lines, and I was tickled pink to see that if a boat was heading downstream from the Houses of Parliament, there is in fact a major sewer line crossing the river's edge just past the bridge, port side, approximately 100 yards. See?
spatz: green bird perched on a hand (lamppost)
Today, I wanted to wish Opportunity luck and happiness on its travels, but I can't decide if landing on Mars on January 25th six years ago makes it an anniversary or a birthday. Opinions?

In any case, the little dude has lasted 25 times longer than its original mission. Rock on, little robot.

(ahaha, no pun intended)

In other news, I have gainful (if somewhat boring) employment, my older sister is in Vietnam after taking her board exam (well-deserved!), and I spent the afternoon reading the rest of "A Study in Scarlet" aloud with [livejournal.com profile] inmyriadbits. I think Arthur Conan Doyle's style benefits greatly from such an approach, because I am always tempted to skim the long descriptive bits, but Watson has a rather nice turn of phrase that I would otherwise miss. The boy is just as sly as Holmes is sarcastic, and I am very fond, except when Doyle digresses (I believe [livejournal.com profile] ignipes called it 'LOL surprise!Mormons'). It seems I've almost entirely forgotten the stories from my original reading ten years or so ago, so rereading them with Linds (and a slash lens) is a fun prospect.

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