MaggieFic: The Recs 2000
November 26, 2000
Good writing is one of the things I am most thankful for. Another thing that must be included in any tally of my blessings is the fact that there are authors who can make a story live so vividly for me that I can enjoy it even if I don't watch the show it's about and have only the vaguest ideas of who the characters are, going in. So to celebrate these fine people, this edition of The Recs is entirely made up of stories I loved about shows that I don't watch.
November 17, 2000
The Phantom Menace
November 9, 2000
To start with we have an untitled series by Barb G. "Return Home," "Staying Home," and "Taking the Bullet" are delightful. The third one is my favorite, but you get the flavor best if you read the series in order. The plots make sense, the characterization rings true, and the whole series has an element of gentle playfulness mingled with angst. Slash.
If I had to pick a single "Fraser and Ray in the future" story, it would be C.L. Finn's lovely "The Easiest Choice." It's gentle and tender and warm and happy. It's the fic equivalent of hot chocolate and a smooshy quilt on a cold, rainy night. Comfort reading of the nicest sort. Slash.
"Somewhere Else To Be" is a wonderful AU novella where Ray isn't a cop, and Fraser isn't a Mountie, but somehow they still find each other. Kellie Matthews does a great job of making me believe in this universe, although I'm not crazy about her Evil!RayV. And hey, what do you know? It's slash.
Previous Recs September 24, 2000
Brighid's "Wine, Women, and Schlong" is a sweet and tender Sentinel slash story with a rather misleading title. Blair wonders why he can't get dates anymore- until he discovers that the women in his department have banded together to protect his (non-existent) secret love affair with Jim. He is determined to find out how everyone could have reached such an erroneous conclusion, and is surprised to find that "somewhere along the way, I stopped being just Blair and became part of Jim and Blair, and instead of scaring the absolute crap out me I'm thinking it's the best thing ever." By the end of the story, you will too.
Helen's summary for her Phantom Menace slash story "Lost in Translation" reads, "Obi-Wan gets a diplomatic word in edgewise and receives a gift meant for Qui-Gon. Allow me to warn you of a painfully contrived plot." Well... it is. (In short: Qui-Gon is mind-wiped and now believes himself to be Obi-Wan's pleasure slave, and they can't fix him until they return to Coruscant.) But be that as it may, this story is howlingly funny. Its appeal is best summed up in the following excerpt:
I always used to say that I didn't like post-colonization stories. But then I read so many really good ones that I had to change my mind. So here we have the Post-Cols that Won Me Over, in no particular order:
September 14, 2000
I'm an absolute sucker for long books. I've read Les Miserables four times and War and Peace once. If a book can draw me in, I want it to go on and on, like the suffering caused by Britney Spears' singing. The same goes for long series of stories. Riding the Wheel of If is a Phantom Menace series written by Terri Hamill and several other authors. This series, containing thirty chapters and three or four "extras," also caters to my love of AU stories. A tribute to a novel by L. Sprague DeCamp, this series follows Obi-Wan Kenobi as he travels between alternate realities, trying to find one where he, and not his master, died on Naboo so that he and Qui-Gon can be together. (Think The Phantom Menace meets Quantum Leap or Sliders.) Plots like this are easy to write badly, but the overall quality of the series is quite good, with each episode standing alone well and the overall story arc adding an extra dimension to the whole thing. Some of the individual chapters are better than others, but on the whole it's a long, fun read. Slash. (Note: there is one "extra" that is on the Master & Apprentice archive but is not on the WOI site. It doesn't have the "Riding the Wheel of If" label in the title, but it tells what happened to the characters in one AU after Obi-Wan left. I can't find it. If you do, could you please drop me a line and tell me the title? It's the one from the alternate reality where the Jedi are characters on a TV show.)
If seeing song lyrics in a fanfic makes you scream and flinch as though the Spice Girls had crashed your wedding reception, you will love "A Tale of a Tape" by the Divine Adoratrice. Blair makes Jim a tape to tell him how he feels about him... now, if only he had remembered to label it. Slash.
One of the most gripping XF stories I've read this year is Kipler's "Strangers and the Strange Dead." I'm a fan of third-party narrators, and this one hits just the right tone. I won't say more, for fear of spoiling it, but one word of advice: pay attention.
September 10, 2000
JiM recently posted an Skinner/Krycek story. My first reaction was, "EW!" But then I started thinking about all the other lovely things that have come from JiM's pen in the past and decided to take a chance on "Descent." Boy, was that a good call. A powerful, moving, dark, and utterly compelling story. While you're at JiM's site, check out two other great series- the "Pencils" series and the "Gone" series. Both are gentle and lovely and beautifully written. Slash.
After you finish "Descent" you will probably feel in need of a laugh. Head on over to The Sith Academy. This hilarious series, a parody of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, features laugh-out-loud tales of Darth Maul, Sith Apprentice, taking driver's ed, working at Burger King, and playing Jedi Roadkill IV on his PlayStation. Watch as Maul struggles to train his cat, My Apprentice, in the ways of the Dark Side. Gloat as he struggles to overcome the terminal perkiness of Obi-Wan Kenobi, his next-door neighbor. See him lust hopelessly for Darth Mary Sue. Gasp in horror as Obi-Wan's hamster Fluffi-Wan turns to the Dark Side. Will Maul find himself drunk, wearing a ruffled shirt, and singing karaoke with Obi-Wan at the Gray Side of the Force? Tune in next week! Some slash content.
I very much doubt that anyone who has read much XF fic is unaware of the greatness of "Tempest." But if you've somehow missed this adventure/romance classic, take steps to rectify the situation ASAP. Written several years ago, "Tempest" is nonetheless still a great read, with a good blend of angst, danger, romance, humor, and smut. Missy Pennington is one of the revered classic XF shippers- read "Tempest" and find out why. Also check out her charming post-"Unnatural" story, "The Old Yawn and Stretch."
August 28, 2000
First off, we have two X-Files stories by the lovely Alicia K (who still hasn't written us a sequel to "Gap Man".) "Guitar Hero" is quite likely the funniest post-Requiem fic that is possible, in this or any other universe, world without end, amen. Do not read it while ingesting snarfable substances. "Hooky" is cute and warm and sweet, and makes you want to run barefoot in the grass, broken crack pipes notwithstanding.
Next we have a Star Wars: The Phantom Menace story by Susan Smithson, "Apprentice to Journeyman." It's long. It's long, and good throughout, and really, what more can one ask? This fic isn't afraid to take things slowly. So often, stories are in a hurry to get to the good bits, and end up feeling rushed; this one shows a relationship as it grows and matures, until the conclusion feels natural and right. Getting there is half the fun, and Susan Smithson proves it. Slash.
I tried very hard to pick just one of Francesca's Sentinel stories to rec, but just couldn't do it. There isn't a thing on her page that I didn't like. The "Nature" series caters to just about every one of my secret loves, from psychic links to fated pairings, and still manages to avoid being cheesy and trite. The "Eye of the Beholder" series is well-written, creative, and hot. "Obfuscator" is hilarious. "The Sentinel By Jim Ellison" is twisted and brilliant. I could go on and on. Slash.