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"Ya Gotta Kiss a Lot of Frogs Before Ya Find Good Fic"
What I Read Today: Djinanna's Fanfic Revue
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Bridesmaid - Sir John Evrt Millais *JP*
I know I've been talking about falling behind and catching up here at the Revue, but I just realized that this pattern is kinda necessary. Sometimes, I need a little distance after reading a story before I can comment on it, kinda like a mental palate-cleansing. And other times, I'm just not in the right frame of mind to write a Revue (and, yes, I *do* use that spelling deliberately). So, anyway, I'm thinking that this fall-behind, hurry-to-catch-up, fall-behind, hurry-to-catch-up pattern is gonna persist for the foreseeable future. I'll still continue to make one post per reading-day, but some days there'll be no new posts here and others there might be 3 or 4. Because it's working so far....

Smallville: Julian Luthor/Alex Kent (CLex with a twist)
Altville, Part Twenty-Eight *WIP*
by Livia Penn (liviapenn) @ box_of_serial
Previously installments rec'd at the Revue. AU serial. Still the same day, still at high school, Julian is learning (one hopes) that his actions have consequences. Sometimes *dangerous* consequences. With featured appearances by feisty!Lana and crazy!bugboy-Greg, and a cameo by a Surprise Rescuer. **highly recommended**

Everwood: Ephram/Bright
Through The Wire, Part 5 *WIP*
by misswindy
Previously installments rec'd at the Revue. This lovely futurefic story of Ephram and Bright living and loving together in Boston while Ephram attends University (does the Boston Conservatory of Music count as University? have I even got the school's name right?) continues with another wonderful installment. For me, this is probably the definitive Ephram/Bright story that all others are measured against. (Boy, no pressure there, huh? And, it's the *first* story I discovered in the fandom; I shall be spoiled forever!) The author continues with her present/flash-back/back to present style, keeping us in touch with Everwood (both through the boys' past there and through their present family ties) while also exploring their new lives in Boston. This is not an "everything's perfect in our perfect little love nest" story -- the personality conflicts, insecurities, and occasional mistakes in judgement that make the show so real are all present. But Bright and Ephram are, even with their problems, so adorable together and I'm rooting for them so hard to make it through and stay together! And the "coming out to the parents/family" thread that is still running through the installments is so painfully good. And -- highlight of the installment -- Bright calls Ephram on his drama-queen tendencies. I'm still giggling. ***highly recommended***

Smallville: CLex
Knowing (part 1)
What Forgiveness (part 2)

by Corinna (corinna_5)
Futurefic. I ... this was lovely. Superman is in deadly peril; Lex reacts. If I talk about it too much, I'll ruin the experience of reading the story for you, because it's a layered read where everything comes clear as you read. The sequel was added to resolve the cliffhanger ending of the first story. **recommended, yes, it is**

Smallville: CLex
A Deeper Season, Chapter 1 *WIP*
A Deeper Season, Chapter 2 *WIP*

by Nifra Idril (nifra_idril)
Found the link from celli (see, I listen when my friends list makes recs, and I'm always rewarded for it). This AU is based on the "what if Clark and Lex first meeting happened at a different place/time and in different circumstances" -- Lex wasn't sent to Smallville here, so he and Clark first meet when Clark, between his first and second years at MetU, gets a summer job interning at Lex's office. There's LexCorp and scandal and evil!Lionel and ... two woobies having a meeting of the minds. ***very recommended***

Smallville: CLex
Roomies, Part Five *WIP*
by bexless @ stalkingeric
Previously installments rec'd at the Revue. Another AU, this time Clark and Lex are the same age and end up as college roommates their freshman year at MetU. This installment, Pete comes for a visit -- yeouch! **yes, of course recommended**
______________________________

bad!fic parody alert! Warning: the following are only recommended if you're into this sort of thing, cause they *are* brilliantly done (which is kinda frightening in its own right), but ... reading *could* be construed as self-abuse in some circles. I, uh, don't every read at FF.net unless I go escorted by a solid rec -- this is the reason. And, just so you're clear about this, Green is a very talented writer, this story is a parody.

Buffy-verse: Spuffy
Green Writes Bad Fic, aka "The love that concered the first EVIL"
by Green (green_luv) writing as Princess Green Kittykatbladestar
The brilliance that is Green hurts my eyes. And my stomach. This is a rewriting of "Chosen", the way it should have been!?! ::crawls off into corner to curl into a fetal ball and whimper and gibber mindlessly whilst chewing on hair::

Buffy-verse: Spuffy
Bad Fic Sequel, aka "Love conckers ALL" (down in the comments)
by trelkez writing as Gothgrrl4britney
I-I-uh ::starts rocking, arms wrapped around stomach, whilst sobbing inconsolably::

--------------------------------

[ eta ... corrected listings to add several "*WIP*" notations that I'd forgotten ]
Bridesmaid - Sir John Evrt Millais *JP*
Just FYI, guys, I welcome comments, disagreements and discussion of my opinions here. And -- if you've got a story you'd like me to read, I'm always open to a few good recs...

Buffy-verse: Giles/Ethan
Masks, a Giles/Ethan story - chapters 4 & 5 *WIP*
by Wolfling (wolfling) & Magpie (piedmargaret)
Post-series end, Giles discovers that the US military still has Ethan Rayne held captive and being experimented on at a secret military base. As head of the newly reforming Watchers Council, Giles pulls some strings and exerts some influence to rescue his old love from his inhumane imprisonment. And all that happens before the story begins.... I am insanely in love with this story, the ultimate Ethan/Giles rapproachement-set-in-present-day story that I have dreamed of since ... probably since "Band Candy" first aired (yeah, I know, that was before Ethan's capture by the military; it's the reconciliation and discovery/discussion of their past relationship that I've been jonesing for since, along with Giles, I never expected the military to be able to hold him that long). It's not only got the plot of my dreams, it's brilliantly written -- the characters are captivating. the slowly revealed backstory is fabulous, the-- I'm gushing, I know. I'll stop that for now. If there's one thing I would like more of (that may or may not be planned for future installments), it's further explorations into the post-Chosen world ... more about Giles' new Watchers Council (of which we've had a few tiny but tantalizing hints already), more guest appearances by the BtVS cast members (we got Buffy via phone call, but I'd love to see Willow drop by for a visit, or -- and here's a big surprise -- maybe Xander, or howzabout Dawn for a vacation visit before school starts again...). If that never happens, though, it's okay -- I don't know what-all is planned for the story's full through-line and if it's just Giles and Ethan, I'll still be overjoyed and gushing. ***jumping up and down and shrieking that you should rush over and read this right now, dammit, recommended***

Everwood: Bright/Ephram
Coming Through the Rye (part 3 of 3)
by marleigh @ Midnight Radio
This is the third and, I think, final part to this series; previous parts mentioned and linked in this post here at the Revue. This third part takes a sudden unexpected swerve to the left, giving Bright both ambition and a talent not previously alluded to, one that I don't think has been mentioned in canon either. It was ... disconcerting to me, as though Bright suddenly became an entirely different character. While I'm happy to see him happy and with a purpose (because I went from first-episode-hatred to utter adoration of the blond woobie!jock as the season progressed), it's Bright's vulnerability and lack of purpose (and implied fear of an uncertain future) that makes his character so appealing to me. I hope he *will* someday find direction for his life, but there's something uncomfortably dues ex machina about the sudden revelation of talent. Sure, it puts him on equal footing with Ephram in the artistic talent area -- but my attraction to Bright/Ephram as my OTP revolves around their obvious unsuitability for one another and how, sometimes, love can bridge that gap -- and how. Anyway, the ending here was sweet, yet (per the above-noted reasons) a little disappointing overall. *recommended with caveats*

Crossover: Harry Potter xo Sandman
So Many Monsters (the language is leaving me in silence)
by Victoria P (musesfool)
Delirium! Desire! Despair! Oh *squee* -- I need more Endless fic in my life, I definitely do. (Recs, anyone?) And, yes, yet another short little Harry Potter story dragging me towards my eventual capitulation into that fandom. I'm warning you-all already, I'm probably gonna end up a Harry/Draco fan -- and it will be the fault of stories like this (which is *not* a Harry/Draco story) luring me in.... Oh yeah, about this story: an examination of Sirius and his time in prison, illuminated by cameos from the Endless. Bittersweet, achy-painful, sad ... ultimately (though I rather hate using this jargon-y word to describe such a lovely story, it fits in the good way) life-affirming. *recommended*
Bridesmaid - Sir John Evrt Millais *JP*
Still working hard to catch up with myself.

Andromeda: Harper/Dylan, Harper/Tyr
Away
By Viridian5 (viridian5) @ The Green Room v2
Spoilers all along. I haven't been keeping up with the show, so I was kinda lost by the half-way point. Still, I kept reading because I love Harper, I love V's Harper, and I love V's writing. But familiarity with the show through this season would definitely benefit you in the reading. *recommended w/caveats*

Buffy-verse: Spike/Xander, Xander/other, Willow/Oz, Buffy/Riley
Sidelines (story index) *WIP*
The Other Half Lives
House of Many Hearts

by Anna S (eliade) @ anna's stories
See previous post. The second and (new) third installments of the Sidelines series, these stories are an AU season five. No Dawn or Glory so far, and I suspect there won't be (though I'm not sure). The characters are dealing with entirely different complications to their lives. Spike and Xander have an on-again-off-again relationship; Willow tries to be supportive of what Xander wants, while Buffy is appalled at Spike having his undead claws into her dear friend. "The Other Half Lives" has a mind-blowingly fabulous sex scene (well, more than one, but that first one is just ... wow) and some damn good characterization too. I'm not all that wild about the through-line plot (vampire girl sues Buffy for slaying her boyfriend), but that's a minor quibble. "House of Many Hearts" gears up on the angst. Spike *is* a demon here, and it may be just me, but I could swear that he's showing signs of feeling more for Xander than just sexual desire -- but he can't seem to bring himself to *say* anything to Xander and it's causing serious problems in their relationship. And Buffy-the-matchmaker isn't helping -- well, she's probably argue that she is. By the end of the story, I was *shrieking* at the computer screen about Xander's actions/choices (you'll know about what -- keep in mind that I'm a OTP girl, and Spike/Xander is my all-time favorite Buffy-verse pairing). The demonic haunting through-line caught my interest better than the previous installment's through-line. Lots of Giles here, too. And construction-guy!Xander makes a much-*squee*-ed-over appearance. The ending is a relationship cliffhanger. Oh *please* let the author decide to work on the next installment soon.... **very recommended**

Everwood: Bright/Ephram, minor Colin/Amy
Full Circle
by insanegenius
Author summary: Ephram and Bright attempt to make it through the week. The author gives credit to a writer in X-Men fandom for inspiration and "format"; I'm not familiar with the citation though, so I can't comment. There are things going on in the story that aren't obvious until the final scene, when everything does a kaleidoscope shift and take on entirely different meanings than previously thought (I'm assuming this is what the author means by "format", but I don't know). Pretty darn cool, though, and I enjoyed it. *recommended*

Andromeda: Harper/Tyr
Builder's Bum
by Rivier
Short little story that takes a tour inside Tyr's mind as he contemplates Harper. Interesting. *recommended*

Due South: Fraser/RayK
Relax
by Dira Sudis
Story Notes: Set during and after "Seeing is Believing." Fraser gives into temptation during the whole hypnosis thingee, then deals with near-crippling guilt. Ray is much more understanding that Fraser ever expected. Lovely angsty story with interesting character insights. *highly recommended*
Bridesmaid - Sir John Evrt Millais *JP*
Yeah yeah yeah, I'm way late posting this. And I've got lots more to catching up to do, too.

Everwood *gen*
untitled, written for plumsnickety's Quotable Media Challenge
by Queen of a Lost Art (queenofalostart)
Futurefic featuring Andy, Ephram, and Delia. Short. Bittersweet. *recommended*

Smallville: Julian Luthor/Alex Kent (CLex with a twist)
Altville, Part Twenty-Seven *WIP*
by Livia Penn (liviapenn) @ box_of_serial
The saga of the switched-as-toddlers pair continues. Alex pondering Julian and the Luthors. Julian watching as more consequences to his actions hurt *other* people. **highly recommended**

Buffy-verse: Spike/Xander
Repossession, part 65 *WIP*
by LazuliKat @ Excess
Glorious excess.... The Spike/Xander relationship train narrowly avoided another crash-and-derailment in this installment. William made a surprise appearance. And the mystery of Xander's boss remains mysterious. The chip issue is coming to a head and something will have to give soon. I don't know how much longer the story will go, especially now that we've come to the third movement, The End, and it's increasing the tension of the story. ***very recommended***

Smallville: Clark/Lex
Roomies, up through part 4 *WIP*
by bexless @ stalkingeric
AU. College!Clark and College!Lex -- as roommates! I think it was celli who pimped it where I saw, but it might've been bexless herself.... This is a fabulous little "what if" examination of how the boys would relate if they were the same age and had met under different circumstances. Some sly in-jokes referring back to canon events enriches the story. ***rec-rec-recommended***

Highlander: Duncan/Methos
Friends in Low Places
By Suze @ The Slum
Funny and sexy and yowzer! The story opens with Duncan several hours into the hottest sexual encounter he's ever experienced. Then we flash back to Duncan and Methos are sitting around, BSing each other about their individual past sexual exploits. Duncan boasts about the most expensive whore he'd ever been with and how she was worth it, then asks Methos what the asking price of the most expensive whore he'd ever known had been. Methos tells him, adjusting for changes in currency and inflation, $20,000. Duncan laughs and responds that there's no way he believes Methos ever paid that much for a whore. Methos just smiles and responds with one of my favorite lines in Highlander fanfic -- and you're just gonna have to read the story to find out what he says, I've given away too much already. **very recommended**

Smallville: Clark/Lex
Time and Chance, part 20 *WIP*
by Dayspring @ Dayspring's Desires
Warning: MPREG. Yikes! After an extended run of "things are improving" installments as Lex enters his second trimester, this week's episode exploded like a booby trap and finished with a cliffhanger of major proportions. I will believe that everything is okay. I will believe that everything is okay. I will-- *arrrgh* This would be a bad week for Dayspring to miss her usual reliable Saturday update, that's all I've got to say. ***highly recommended***

Buffy-verse: Spike/Xander, Xander/other, Willow/Oz, Buffy/Riley
Sidelines (story index) *WIP*
Sidelines (the story)
by Anna S (eliade) @ anna's stories
New installment of Sidelines is out, "House of Many Hearts". I realized, though, that in order to fully appreciate the new installment, I was gonna have to go back and reread What Hath Gone Before. The author premises her story on "what if Xander rather than Willow came out of the closet in season four?" Being Xander, it happens accidentally and he has to figuratively run to catch up with the changes his life is taking. This story is woven around the events of season four, filling in the blanks and changing the subplots to match Xander's new story. Also, Oz and Willow stay together, and Tara ends up experiencing tons of unrequited love. Oh yeah -- and Spike gets a kitten. **highly recommended**
10th-Jun-2003 10:35 am - What I Read on Monday (6/9) - SV, BA,
Bridesmaid - Sir John Evrt Millais *JP*
Smallville: Julian Luthor/Alex Kent (CLex with a twist)
Altville, Part Twenty-Six *WIP*
by Livia Penn (liviapenn) @ box_of_serial
The saga of the switched-as-toddlers pair continues. More of Julian's school day with a lunch-time conversation with Pete wherein the boys speak at cross-purposes. And Alex starts researching Julian's past. (Hmmm... now *that* sounds familiar!) **highly recommended**

Buffy-verse: Spike/Wesley
Ophthalmology
by Glossolalia (glossing)
Spoilers for Buffy through the end of the series and for Angel through end of season 4. Wesley is the one to suffer the consequences of Angel's decision regarding Connor. And then Spike turns up. Implanted memories, meta-AU, arrogant and fatuous Angel, suffering!Wesley, clever!Spike. BDSM overtones. Not for the squeamish. An intriguing concept carried out with style and intelligence. **recommended**

Buffy-verse: Spike/Xander
Insight, part 1 *WIP*
Insight, part 2 *WIP*

by Magpie (piedmargaret)
Post-series futurefic, includes spoilers for "Chosen". The author cries mercy as she attempts a pairing she's vocally disliked in the past. Her Xander is wonderful, simultaneously confident and mature, and insecure and self-deprecating. Her Spike is confident and compassionate. The situation is ... straight out of the Buffy-verse, oh yeah. And, yeah *rueful laugh* ... another WIP. **recommended**
10th-Jun-2003 10:15 am - What I Read on Sunday (6-8) - BA, SV
Bridesmaid - Sir John Evrt Millais *JP*
Buffy-verse: Giles/Ethan
Masks: a Giles/Ethan story, chapters 2 & 3 *WIP*
by Wolfling (wolfling) and Magpie (piedmargaret)
Warning: Spoilers through the series' end of BtVS. Summary: After the series' ender of BtVS, Giles discovers that Ethan is still being held by the Initiative (or a reasonable facsimile).
Chapter 2 starts with a flashback. My initial reaction was disappointment, as I wanted to continue in the present timeline. However, the first meeting between Ethan and Rupert was so charming (in a dangerous, destructive, chaotic sort of way) that I was immediately pulled in. And, as irritating as Ethan often/always is, he's also totally adorable (in a badbad!boy kinda way, that is) -- he reminds me a *lot* of a cat. There was: Flirting! Bar brawls! Turkish coffee! Glam and glitter and implications of rough sex! Sudden-death-in-all-directions Ripper! And secrets and hidden agendas, too. Then it's back to present day -- though it should be noted that the wicked teasing authors brought us back to present day *just* as things had moved to the bedroom in flashback! (Wicked teasing authors!!!) And in the present, there's vulnerability and prickliness and nostalgia and snark. And loads of h/c, almost against either man's inclination. There's more present-day and more flashback in chapter 3. And -- Oh oh *owe*. Angst. Achy hurty angsty owies. Fragile vulnerable dangerous badbad glitter!boy. And *yum* more Ripper. Oh, this story is just a total delight. Hopefully we'll get another installment soon.... ***most definitely recommended***

Smallville: CLex
The Yard, parts 1-8 *WIP*
part 1 ... part 2 ... part 3 ... part 4 ... part 5 ... part 6 ... part 7 ... part 8 ... ???
by jenn (seperis)
An AU within an AU.... Near the end of season two, Clark and Lex find themselves in what is either a horrible shared nightmare -- or an alternate dimension. This suspenseful story has invading Kryptonians, a ragtag band of rebel survivors, extreme-angst!Clark (the jealous+guilt model, plus now with Clark!torture via kryptonite), and Lex stretching his limits to deal with all the insanity around him and still protect Clark. Another WIP, of course... **very recommended**
10th-Jun-2003 08:42 am - When will I learn?
Morning (Spring) - Maxfield Parrish
So I forgot to change journals yet again when updating djinanna_recs. ::headbang::

Instead of the usual "What I Read Today", this post is about a "Featured Site". And has a lot of rambling stuff about me and my kinks., so it might give you a better insight into my tastes and how they compare to yours.

The regularly scheduled "What I Read Today" stuff will return later today.

[ eta -- Ack! I did it *again*! ]
Bridesmaid - Sir John Evrt Millais *JP*
I'm interrupting our regularly scheduled "what I read today" sessions -- which will return shortly -- to bring you a "Featured Site" rec, an old favorite of mine from back in the days when I took my first fumbling steps into slashdom. (Inspired by dorrie6.) Note - any stories or sites or authors mentioned in this post are *****most highly recommended*****

Oh yeah -- I've mentioned often in my Revues that "the sex in this story is not my cuppa" -- come read these stories and see what *is* my cuppa! *grin*

Zen&nancy's Internet Homeless Shelter and Soup Kitchen*Featured Site* [oldies but goodies: Zen&nancy's Homeless Shelter & Soup Kitchen] (and also its parent site, Live, Grow Stronger, Slash Another Day, aka Zen&nancy's slash page).

The Homeless Shelter plays host to the multi-fandom fic of some of my favorite slash writers. It doesn't get updated all that often, but that's okay because most of what's here is in my "reread frequently" mental list. Some of the stories are no longer actively linked at the site, but they're worth tracking down elsewhere if possible -- maybe at the big archives for the individual fandoms (try my Slash Archive Roundup list for links).

When I took my first fumbling steps into slash, this was one of the first sites I stumbled across. I've told this progression several times, so I'll try to make it brief here. (Stop laughing!)

When I got my "new" laptop 2-1/2 years ago, I started reading Highlander fanfic on the web. Gen and het. None of that slash stuff. Not that I had any objection to pretty boys who dig each other instead of (or at least as well as) girls, they form a pretty substantial subgroup of the characters in my own Original Fiction universe, after all. But slash wasn't *canon*.

Except ... I'm a Methos girl. And eventually (it took me less than 6 months, actually), I'd read every gen or het Methos story at the big Highlander fanfic archive, 7th Dimension, but I wanted more. (If you've been following this journal at all, you've got an idea of what a voracious fanfic reader I am.) And Duncan and Methos were awful purty together. And there was a lot of subtext there, too. (Methos lounging on Duncan's bed, legs spread ... Duncan painting Methos's nose ... all the tension from the Horseman 2-parter ... mmmmm....)

And that's how I started reading slash. And suddenly my mindset turned into "what are these het and gen that you speak of?"

And when I'd exhausted the D/M slash at 7th Dimension, I discovered ... first, you have to understand that I am a raging OTP girl *most* of the time. But there are certain authors....

Ladonna King (aka Sleeps With Coyote; site: Blood, Love and Rhetoric) and torch (the flambeau factory), they were what did me in. I'll do a "featured site" thing for them another day, though I've given you the links.

And the stories that tempted me to venture past my OTP of Methos/Duncan? Briefly (for me)...

...from Ladonna: the Everything Dies series (X-Files -xo- Highlander) Alex Krycek is investigating the theft of some biotoxins and finds Melvin Koren, otherwise known as Kronos of the Horsemen. Sparks fly. When Methos joins them, things really get interesting. An AU of the Horsemen episodes that then moves beyond them on the timeline.

...from torch: China (X-Files -xo- Highlander) Methos has a breakdown -- uh, I mean, his car has a breakdown -- and he ends up in a possibly haunted house in a quaint little town in the heartland of America. And then Mulder and Scully show up investigating a casefile. And Methos thinks Mulder looks very tasty indeed.... Post-series for Highlander; mid-series for The X-Files; she fiddled with the timelines.

And, you know, that Alex Krycek guy seemed pretty darn interesting. And Mulder was pretty darn cute (um, as if the Methos obsession didn't give me away, I'm a nose girl *grin*), plus brains is always a turn-on.

Fiddling around on Ladonna's site, I found Blood, Love and Rhetoric which remains to this day my favorite Mulder/Krycek ... though the Krycek characterization is just a little off-center because the story was written for a particular challenge.

And thus was born my 2nd OTP. Mulder/Krycek, mmm-mmm, slashy goodness!

Which brings me to Zen&nancy. I have a rough sex kink, which is something one needs when one reads Zen&nancy. Their boys are seldom gentle with one another. When I'd finished devouring their Highlander and X-Files stories, I turned to what else was on their site: The Sentinel, Due South, Hard Core Logo, and some crossovers.

I decided to wait on HCL until I'd seen the movie (I'm still waiting *sigh*). Their TS are mostly snippets and PWP and only whetted my appetite for the characters. And I got a really weird first impression of the DS boys from them -- rough sex, remember? Not at all how I've come to see them since. (Though there was this HL/DS crossover on 7th Dimension, a looooong story featuring Methos (of course) and Ray Kowalski ... my love for RayK dates from reading that story. It's the first story (I haven't read the sequel yet) of the Cats of a Different Color series: "Making A Mark" by Phelas, aka AndromedaGirl -- who may be an amalgam of several writers from the story notes, though I don't know.... In the story, Methos is nursing a broken heart because Duncan is aggressively straight -- into his life comes new Immortal RayK, also nursing a broken heart because a certain Mountie is aggressively straight.)

So, I liked Zen&nancy's HL and XF stories, but wasn't too impressed by their TS and DS stuff. Then I stumbled onto their Homeless Shelter and Soup Kitchen, which is what they call the part of their site where they host other authors:

Aristide ... Bone ... CM Decarnin ... JaC ... Mairead Triste ...

... plus convenient links to former alumni of the site (some of whom were still there when I first started reading there) who have since gotten their own webpages:

Suze @ The Slum ... Luminosity @ The Slum ... Amy (link broken and I don't knwo where she is now) ... Resonant (resonant8) @ in media Res (link at Homeless Shelter is old; this is the correct link) ... Maxine Mayer @ Maxine's Magic (I won't go in-depth about these authors this time, but they're worth reading. Resonant especially is justifiably famous for her DS stories, and Luminosity's HL are short and clever with great banter.)

... and the world of slash kinda opened up and swallowed me. It was mostly on these pages that I first came to love The Sentinel's Jim/Blair and Due South's Fraser/RayK. There are other fandoms represented, but I have to admit I never ventured into Trek-slash, OZ, or Get Real ... and I only read one Sports Night story, and that only because it was rec'd by everybody (and deservedly so). Still, I tend to assume that these authors, writing in the fandoms I'm not familiar with, are as good as they are in the stuff I do read. And sometimes, they collaborate together....

Aristide writes long, sexy, character-rich stories. I can't pick just one or even two to single out for mention. Some are extended PWP, some are adventures, all are fabulous. HL, DS, TS

Bone ... also writes long, sexy, character-rich stories. Again, I can't pick just one or even two to single out for mention. Also again, some are extended PWP, some are adventures, all are fabulous. HL, DS, TS (plus SN, GR) and crossovers

JaC ... I only know this author's two crossover stories here. The second, "Strangers in Paris", is a Highlander/ER crossover featuring a sweet, brief affair between Methos and Carter. *melts* The link was broken for ages, but it's finally fixed. Yea!

Mairead Triste is Aristide's dark alter ego. "The Quality of Mercy", one of the most disturbing Mulder/Krycek stories I've ever read, is still listed on the page but without an active link. The other stuff is still dark, but maybe not quite as dark as QoM. It's all amazing -- but definitely not for the squeamish. There's a nightmarish quality to MT's writing that stands in direct contrast to the spritely, day-dreamy tone of Aristide. Oh, lest you get the wrong impression, it's not just rough sex that makes MT's work so disturbing, it's that her writing ventures into the dark psychological depths of her characters, where their inner demons dwell. And she does it very well, too. The collaborations with Bone or Aristide (which is kinda schizophrenic, and how I first discovered that she's both the same person) are not quite as rough. XF, HL, TS, OZ, DS

And finally ...

CM Decarnin ... see me melt into a puddle of formless goo. I haven't read the Trek story (because ... Kirk/Spock to me is like imagining your grandparents having sex, you know they do it, but you don't wanna know the details), but the X-Files stuff is -- ***guh*** Plus there are links to her Highlander stories over at The Highlander Quill Club There's also one little X-Files/Angel crossover that makes me scream for more.

Warning: CM Decarnin's stuff is ... brutal schmoop. Or maybe I should call it romantic BDSM? It's harsh and violent and hot and sexy and disturbing and ... *guh* ((pausing to reread bits, melting into puddle))

In "A Boy and His Rat", Alex Krycek is very literally rough trade. AB&HR is a meandering, loosely-connected 16-part XF rentboy!Alex story that ... doesn't always make a lot of sense. Rather like X-Files canon, actually. Most of the parts can be read as separate short stories because the through line isn't really strong. Alex is dangerous and vulnerable in painful ways, Mulder is a selfish bastard, and the stories are ... kinky, nasty, hot, and sometimes kinda goofy. And part 6 is my all-time favorite phone sex story. All-time. Favorite. I've read it so many times, the edges of the link are beginning to get dog-eared. And I just wanna say -- I won't judge what turns your crank if you don't judge what turns mine, 'kay? [whisper]Superfreak...[/whisper] *guh*

"And Hades Followed After Him" (linked to at HLQC) is kinda famous (or maybe infamous) in some circles. It's a bit self-indulgent, it's very kinky, it's ... well, it's a BDSM story and the author takes *full* advantage of Immortal healing. *ouch* Brutal, tender, angry, sad, loving, sweet ... it's all of these by turn and more. And the first time I read it? I stopped reading at the end of the first page, not realizing it was several web-pages long. Talk about a cliffhanger ending! (I thought) and when I reread it the next day and discovered the tiny little link at the very bottom of the page? Whoa! The whole Cassandra flashback in ... I think it's part 3?? ... is necessary to the story but doesn't thrill me. I've disliked Cassandra since *before* she disclosed her Methos hatred, even if she does have some great clothes on the show. But my Cassandra!hatred is a rant for another day. Methos in this story is ... an extreme characterization, but I found it still within acceptable parameters -- another one of those all-praise-the-power-of-the-backstory things. Duncan ... is also not quite himself, but that's Kronos' fault. I've read this story many times (and it's long) and once actually made my mother sit through a recitation of highlights from it -- on her birthday -- because I was so ... into it. I skipped the really dirty bits though, and she didn't kill me. (And people wonder why I call her LSO, short for Long-Suffering One, in my journal. *grin*)

Then there's the post-series 4-part Krycek/Mulder story. Yeah, I know Krycek got killed in season 6 (or was it 7?). Damn, it's a ghost story, okay? Wonderful anyway. What was that thing from that movie? "skelping"? Heh. We don' need no stinkin' skelping here, we got Krycek!

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

PS ... Whoa -- I'm feeling all hot'n'bothered now. Decision time -- reread some of these stories or take a cold shower ... hmmmm, whatever shall I chose? *smirk*

[ eta ... fixed dumb finicky little html and formatting thingees *facepalm* ]
Bridesmaid - Sir John Evrt Millais *JP*
I keep telling myself and telling myself -- no more WIP -- and I keep ignoring my own advice. I know I've lost track of several WIPs recently that I'd been following for a while. I'm gonna have to round 'em all up and check out what I've missed. But people just need to stop posting all these new great WIPs, goshdarnitall! C'mon, just create these big sprawling epics overnight instead. We'd all be happier, you know. *sigh* Yeah, yeah. I know. I'm just into that whole instant gratification thing. And I'm greedy.

Smallville: Julian Luthor/Alex Kent (CLex with a twist)
Altville, Part Twenty-Five *WIP*
by liviapenn @ box_of_serial
In the previous installment, we got smutty goodness (unfortunately, each of the boys was alone at the time *grin*). This installment moves forward the plot. At school with Lana, Pete, Greg-the-bug-boy, and, of course, Julian. Confrontations at the Torch office. Communing with nature. High school lunchtime. **highly recommended**

Smallville: CLex, I think
The Demon's Den, chapter 1 *WIP*
by Celli Lane (celli) - Fanfic 101
Author's summary: Chloe gets in over her head and drags Clark and Lex with her." Author's note: "Written for the Hardy Boys challenge."
Set post-season 2, so things are awkward between the boys. Great start for a mystery, wanting to read more now. Story, there's gonna be story!!! With "a side of smut" promised to come. ((happy wiggle)) **recommended**

The Sentinel: Jim/Blair
A Golden Opportunity
by Dolimar
AU. Takes the basic elements of the pilot and a few of the better known early episodes, mixes them up a bit, adds some extra drama and tension, and raises the stakes substantially. About as realistic as the series itself, so if you're expecting cutting edge reality, you're in the wrong place. However, if you can relax back and accept a few Sentinel-style absurdities and coincidences, you're in the right place. I quite enjoyed this story, though I did feel that the relationship elements were rushed -- Jim was *so* open to and accepting of Blair, not at all the "grumpy Gus" we're all familiar with from the series, for example, and the boys fell into bed together proclaiming "I love you" way too quickly. I could've done with either longer or a sequel in order to properly develop the love story. **recommended**


And now, to follow some links posted by (butterflykiki) in the horsechicks recs community. Whee! Recs!

Buffy-verse: Fred/Other, Lilah/Wes
Friends and Other Disasters
by Jennifer-Oksana (jennyo)
Author summary: Spike--maybe--returns from the dead to frustrate the increasingly distant Angel and Hart team. But is he just a red herring to distract the team from something far more important? No heavy smut, but implied het and f/f slash.
Nice long plotty post-season story. Special cameos by Giles and Xander. Definitely in need of a careful line-edit; there are typos and misspellings, plus some verb tense and parallel construction problems, throughout. I'm not sure why the entire relocated-to-W&H AI gang spent so much time Spike-bashing. It didn't seem like an attempt at solidarity with Angel's canonical petulance regarding Spike, which would have made sense, and as far as I can remember none of them had ever met Spike, so I don't get it. However, it's important to note that Spike's presence is a plot point; despite the author summary above, this is *not* a Spike story. (And I'm totally okay with that.) Anyway, moving right along. Fred was pretty adorable, but I would've liked to get into *her* head to see how she thought/ticked, rather than observing her from the outside via an OC. The OC, on the other hand, was quite interesting and also adorable, so I didn't mind being in her head. There's quite a bit of wonderful Lilah POV also, which I really enjoyed the hell out of, especially with the patented Lilah snark. Angel was kinda annoying, reminding me a lot of what he was like in season 3 and the early part of season 4, before the visit from Angelus, which was also the behavior/personality that he rather reverted to in the final episode of the season and during his guest stint on BtVS. Which was rather disappointing in canon, but in this story gave Lilah even more ammunition for her snark, so that was okay -- but also a little disappointing, as I was finally regaining my Angel-love until that final episode/BtVS appearance. I adored Lilah's digs about The Connor Decision. I would've liked to see more Gunn and Wesley; they seemed more like enigmatic icons than fully realized characters here. I guess I'm ready for some explorations into how the changes in the AI situation will impact the main cast internally; but this was not the story for that. (And, after a moment of realization and adjustment, I was okay with that, too.) So, the story went off in a lot of directions that I didn't expect. The plot was chaotic and didn't seem to have any focus or direction, much like real life. *grin* Eventually, though, all the seemingly unrelated events fell into position and came to make sense in retrospect. I was surprised (and a bit confused) by the events of the climactic confrontation scene; the confusion is most likely my own problem as sometimes I need an anvil in order to "get the Thing" and subtle kinda goes right over my head. The ending left me vaguely unsettled. It's arguably a happy ending, but not necessarily my kind of happy ending (which is a bit on the idealized side). But I think it was a good (ie well-chosen) ending, even darn satisfying from some perspectives. At 136K, this is a hefty story, but I think I would have liked it even longer, the implications fleshed out more, because so many of the speculations/interpretations weren't fully realized as the story sped along its through-line. And, for all my caveats, I really enjoyed reading this. There was lots of funny stuff, some interesting speculations/interpretations of what "Angel & Heart" is gonna be like (especially liked Gunn's new special powers, and the Big Secret Meeting Room sans ninjas *snicker*). Oh, and did I mention, humor? Have a quote, from the opening scene: Their working relationship had evolved impressively over the past four months--there hadn't been a choking in six weeks--but Angel retained his tendency to treat Lilah like an unfortunate disease rather than his preferred day-to-day organizer and liaison to the eviler parts of LA. Definitely an enjoyable read, despite my caveats. But -- not what I expected from reading the summary. **recommended**

[ eta ... word from jennyo - there will be sequels-plural. Yippee! ]

Crossover: The Sentinel, Stargate SG-1, The Invisible Man *gen*
Actualize This
by Helena Handbasket
Oh-my-gods *snicker-snort-whimper* I can't breathe!!! Most crossovers focus on the wonderful social bonding that happens when Our Boys from various fandoms meet up with one another. Sometimes there's also irritatingly gratuitous sex. Almost always, there's instant friendship and mutal admiration. This ... is *so* not one of those stories. Instead, it's about the mutual iritation produced when three pairs of quirky, asocial lunatics are compelled to spend time together by forces beyond our control or comprehension (aka the US government). Some of them actively dislike each other (with resulting snark and snide comments) for huge chunks of the story. What results is a breath-stealingly funny, laugh-out-loud comedy of errors. And the final scene -- priceless. ***very highly recommended***

Buffy-verse *gen*
Threnody of Wildflowers
by Yavi Asad
Post-series. Buffy 1st person. Simple -- perhaps deceptively simple -- prose style. Very short ... and sweet, in the best way possible. A wonderful post-series grace note. I cried like a squishy-hearted romantic -- which I am. ***very highly recommended***

And now we're leaving horsechicks country...

Buffy-verse: Spike/Xander
The Odd Couple, Hellmouth-Style, chapters 1 & 2 *WIP*
by Mr Monkeybottoms (mrmonkeybottoms)
*snicker* Another of those stories I've seen mentions of popping up more frequently on my friends list. Only two chapters in so far. And yes, yet another WIP. *sigh* The author takes off on a potentially AU tangent from the season 7 moment when Buffy forces Xander to accept Spike as his roommate -- again. Lots of humor, but also vulnerable souled-Spike. And Xander haunted by the demons of his bad choices from season 6. This is another of those stories that has some bumps along the storytelling because we're seeing it as a WIP -- things that a good beta would help to smooth out in a completed draft. Dealing with those rough spots is one of the downsides of reading WIPs. I felt there was a noticeable improvement in the writing between the first and second chapter, however, as the author became more confident of the material and started to get a grasp of where he/she (?) wanted to go with the story. Looking forward to seeing more. *recommended*

Buffy-verse: Giles/Ethan
Masks: a Giles/Ethan story, chapter 1 *WIP*
by Wolfling (wolfling) and Magpie (piedmargaret)
Warning: Spoilers through Buffy/"Chosen". After the series' ender of BtVS, Giles discovers that Ethan is still being held by the Initiative (or a reasonable facsimile). Chapter one is a basic rescue-and-reunion; more is written, but the authors (who are evil teasing wenches) have chosen to post One. Chapter. At. a Time. *arrrgh* Still, I cannot possibly fully convey my utter delight about discovering, as the sub-title calls it, "a Giles/Ethan story" that *isn't* about "the end of the relationship", or "what they once had but have no longer". Plus, it has angst and h/c and (potentially) kink. I think I'm beyond the simple delight expressed by a "squee" here. My toes are curling, I'm so thrilled by this! Wonderful wonderful, rave rave rave. Can't wait until the next chapter appears. *bouncebounce* ((impatience)) *bounce* Swore to myself that I was gonna hold off on getting involved in any more WIPs; obviously *sigh* I lied. Big thanks to wesleysgirl for posting the link in her journal. ***yes, yes, yes -- definitely recommended***
Bridesmaid - Sir John Evrt Millais *JP*
Didn't read a lot of stuff Friday. See, I forgot to go to bed Thursday night ... fell asleep with a long nap in the evening, woke up at 3:30am to feed the cats and do my meds, then stayed up till after breakfast, then crashed after The Sentinel. Slept on and off the rest of the day/evening. So, first I finished reading "Fifteen Years" by imajiru (see previous post), then I played on LiveJournal a bit (posting, commenting, making a poll, answering questions).

So, I really ended up reading only one other (long) fanfic story. So, a bit longer commentary about this one because ... well, because I got carried away. Oh, and pimping of original fiction by myself and a friend at the end. Because -- well, because it's my journal. *grin*


Buffy-verse: Spike/Xander
Who Wants to Live Forever, chapters 1-16 *WIP*
by metaforgirl
I've been seeing mentions of this story in different journals lately. I was just about to make one of those plaintive requests for a link when somebody (I don't remember who now) posted the link in their journal. So I bopped over there and started reading. Future fic, and goes AU sometime during/after season 6, I think.

I have to admit that my inner Xander picture is a bit more idealized than the fucked-up, all-to-human king of denial that Xander is in this story. And, I was disturbed by this Xander at first. But then, slowly, I began to see the sweet side of him underneath all the BS. It was probably through Spike's POV, thinking back to why he fell for Xander, that did it. Now, this Spike, on the other hand, is a bit too sweet. Yeah, souled version, understood. But he's such an emotional pushover, let's Xander use him as a doormat for so long. It -- hurt, watching Spike go through that, watching Xander *do* that. And then there's Xander's health. I have a hard time relaxing into smut and general activities of life when there's a health threat that huge going on. I want it *dealt with*, dammit. At least via conversation, telling one's nearest and dearest what's been going on. At least that's begun now. But the tension of waiting for it to happen really distracted me from losing myself fully into the story. (Note: This is a personal taste/quirk, not a flaw of the writing. I've had the same thing happen to me in other stories -- including when I read The Lord of the Rings trilogy once the gang split off in different directions. *arrrgh*)

I'm also not sure about the use of the rest of the cast. Willow in particular feels very one-dimensional and not much like an older version of the character I know from the series. Her appearances thus far have been fairly brief, though, so maybe this will improve if she gets a larger chunk of the action. Then there's the casual use of the fanon convention of "claiming, marking, mating", partly as a D/s kink, partly as a bit of half-legendary vampire lore, partly as a plot twist. I rather *like* this particular bit of fanon, but I've read many posts from people who don't (or, maybe, who don't want to *admit* they get into/off on it...). I'm also a bit irritated with the unreasonable, arbitrary, dictatorial, officious, lunatic-fringe, accidentally eVILE Watchers Council -- but I'm pretty sure I'm *supposed* to be irritated by them.

Story structure -- eh, it's hard to pace a story well when it's a WIP. Letting people read an in-progress story can be a bit like letting your party guests into the house before you've finished cleaning, cooking, and getting dressed. So I can't really fault the author for a few creaky and confusing structural moments, though I want to warn that they're there. Mostly, it's awkward transitions with flashbacks, of which there are quite a few. Or a few lengthy ones, or-- See, I got confused.

Still, for all the caveats I've listed (and likely a few more that I'm forgetting), I'm looking forward to the next section. Because the author *does* know how to create tension and suspense, drops cool little hints of coming complications and build them from hints into major plot points, and because, even though *her* vision of Spike and Xander is different from *my* vision of them, her portrayal of them is consistent and supported by her backstory. All hail the judicious use of good backstory! Long may it be spun into long and complex stories!

And I'm a sucker for a love story.

**very recommended, with caveats**

__________________________________________________

pimping:
Been reading some original fiction over at phoenix_tales. I have a hard time keeping up with most original fiction being written by my friends list (suspect there's an essay there about the why's of this). The difference with the Phoenix Tales stories is that Ben used to be my co-writer, so I know some of the characters and part of the story already. Plus, we're still the closest thing either of us has to a "writing buddy", which is different from a co-writer. It's somebody you bounce ideas off of (plot, characters, whatever), do reciprocal beta/editing stuff for/with, and generally poke with a pointed stick to improve productivity. It only works so far, since Ben and I are both masters of procrastination. But we're trying.

Anyway, right now Phoenix Tales is friends-locked. The story is in rough draft form, just beginning to take shape as he writes, and he's really looking for some constructive feedback, to improve his writing and the story, but also to encourage him to write more. A worthy goal and one I definitely understand. The story is an urban fantasy with some horror elements.

So, if you're interested, just drop Ben a note (at gayphoenixkc@aol.com) and he'll add you to the journal's friends list.

For that matter, if you've feeling especially generous, my own original fiction can be found over at carons_crossing (urban fantasy mixed with dark fantasy, horror, science fiction, and other stuff), and at djinanna_fic (classic fantasy -or- urban fantasy -or-science fiction). I'm trying to break past a writers block that predates my illness and which is hanging on most stubbornly. I'm not very productive and, like most writers I know, would benefit from some encouragement. Not that some people aren't already *trying* to encourage me, but a few more wouldn't hurt, eh?

Thanks for your indulgence.
/pimping
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