MaggieFic: The Recs 2002
September 19, 2002
I don't think I should even TRY to justify how long it's been since I updated this page... long story short: moving, new job, new car. Also new friends, new stories, and a couple of new fandoms.
And now I give you a set of new recs. Each of these stories has something about it that's new- an original idea, an unusual pairing, a risky AU that pays off, you get the picture. We've got three Potterverse, one Buffy, one Due South, a Smallville and a Star Trek: DS9. And off we go...
That Popular Series of Novels Whose Name I am Afraid To List, For Fear of Lawsuits
You may have noticed that I tend to think that any love triangle can be resolved by a threesome. Ahem. My dear friend Schuyler listened to me bitch about how nobody was writing good Harry/Ron/Hermione (HRH, as it amuses me far too much to call it) and some time later produced "Swimming," a threesome story with no smut- because it doesn't need any. When I finished reading this, I felt... tired and tender and achy and hopeful and quiet. Very simply? Love. In three parts.
I've always been- perhaps somewhat snobbishly- pretty much terrified of fanfiction.net. But somehow, it became a central location for HP fic, and there are some stories there well worth reading.
First, we have something of an abberation on these rec pages- a WIP. I usually try not to rec stories until they're complete, but to tell the truth I'm enjoying this one too much to wait until it's done. It's called The Mirror of Maybe and is written by an author named Midnight Blue who has, as far as I've been able to tell, written only this story and an apparently abandoned Jossverse AU that I wish she'd finish. Mirror is the best HP AU I've ever read. Briefly put (and trying to avoid too many spoilers), Harry is drawn into the eponymous mirror; while inside it, he lives the next twelve years of his life- years in which the war with Voldemort is fought- bitterly- and won- at great cost. When he is returned to himself, he still has the body of a teenager, but he has retained the mind of a 27-year-old warrior. With the knowlege he has of the way the war with Voldemort went the first time he lived through it, he hopes to be able to prevent the worst... but who would listen to a fifth-year student's advice on war strategy? This story has some minor style issues, but the quality of the world-building and the originality of the plot have kept me fascinated. It's also slash (though non-explicit this far), but the main focus is on Harry's efforts against Voldemort. It is a WIP, but seems to be updated regularly, and the author promises that it will, in fact, be completed.
The last in this update's trio of HP recs is a gen story by Cairnsey called "Where Do the Children Play?" I love stories that focus on minor characters, and this one looks at the way that the first war with Voldemort may have affected three who were children at the time - Percy Weasley, Oliver Wood, and Marcus Flint. This story - mainly because of the last chapter - is one of the most chilling HP stories I've read. The writing itself could be better - it would benefit from a more subtle touch - but the concepts are both original and thought-provoking. You'll never be able to see Percy's devotion to rules, Oliver's obsession with Quidditch, or Marcus' attitude in quite the same way after you read it.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Yahtzee's Destination Unknown is a Buffy/Giles story that works. No, shut up! Really! I'm serious! Many people find B/G squicky, but I've always thought that the potential was there... and while the age difference is rather substantial, if you look at it in terms of life expectancy, Giles probably has more time left than Buffy does. Plus he's so sexy. But anyhow, you should read this. Yahtzee makes it work, showing how the near-paternal relationship Giles had with a younger Buffy could evolve into a different sort of love altogether. Bonus points are awarded for the way Buffy has struggled through the horrific suckitude of season six into a gracious adulthood.
I love AUs, and there are lots of good ones in this fandom, but my most recent favorite of the genre is Sihaya Black's Pas de Deux, where Ray K is not Fraser's partner but his dance instructor. Sounds strange, I know, but it's actually delightful. I love the way Sihaya has taken all the familiar elements of DS and turned them around into something new and shiny and fun. Bonus points for excellent use of a Lexus and a solid Ray Vecchio.
I couldn't pick just one, so I'm reccing the entirety of Lanning Cook's Identical Series. This is my favorite long Smallville story- I love the way she manages to... well, that would spoil it. Just read it. Trust me.
Much the same way that The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe was the first Narnia book written but not the first chronologically, "Identical" is technically the last story in the series, but I personally think that it has more impact if you read it first and then go back to see how things got that way. After "Identical," in order: "Divergence," "Lord of the Flies," and "Common Ground." And I hope she writes more installments soon. Hear that, Lanning? Soon!
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
I've seen one whole episode of DS9 and parts of maybe three others. I've never really gotten into the fandom, hence, and most of my exposure to the characters has been through fic for other Treks that crossed over.
However, I do have a major Thing for Vulcans. Spock holds pride of place, naturally, but I love the others, too- Sarek! Saavik! Vorik! Tuvok! T'Pau! I love them all. So I'm always hopeful when I see a story with a lot of Vulcan original characters, because many of them are really good.
Many of them suck beyond the telling, too, but let's not go into that.
Anyway, Jacquez recced a novel that slashed Jake Sisko with an original Vulcan character... and I fell in love. Amazing world-building. Fantastic characterization. All the angst and joy that comes from falling in love; the difficulties of Vulcan and human culture clashes; emotion that is honest and real; actions that have consequences... Macedon's Jeu-Parti amazed me. This is an unusually mature-feeling work that doesn't rush into anything, but lets the story develop at its own speed. And also, there are more cool Vulcan OCs than you can shake a stick at- though I can't imagine why you'd want to do such an illogical thing. In three parts, Orfeo, Eye of the Storm, and Anslem.