prodigy: Vesper Lynd smiling and sunlit. (all the roses in the garden)
the late, or rather, later Henrik Egerman ([personal profile] prodigy) wrote2011-12-27 12:32 am
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Yuletide Recs Pt. 1

Yulerecs! I rest from a frantic cleaning all-nighter to work on this! This wouldn’t have happened if I ever cleaned otherwise! Why do I do this to myself!

First, I have my two awesome gifts, one a full-length Yulegift and one a treat. My gift from my assigned writer was the amazing and atmospheric Ulula cum lupis, cum quibus esse cupis, a full-length Sleep No More story written so perfectly to my request that I can only assume that my writer read my letter/journal up and down -- it's a chronicle of a guest's surreal experience at the McKittrick Hotel, so thank you so much, writer, for getting everything right. I also received a neat little treat in the form of Breathe, an introspective drabble-length The Debt fic from the perspective of Rachel Singer: thank you, anonymous Santa #2!

There are a lot of other amazing fics in the archive, though, and some of my personal favorites were:

@MayorEmanuel

The F**cking Movie Never Motherf**cking Ends
Here's a theory: the time vortex was caused by an implosion of infinite Plouffes constantly time traveling from 1991 to send fucking FAXES.9/26/11 12:11:27 AM

This fic brought metaphorical tears to my hollow Chicago-nostalgic eyes! It took me only a few lines into the fic to be totally sold on it and ripping all the way through it: it’s hilarious from the get-go, blackly spot-on for Rahm Emanuel, hysterical sociopolitical commentary, and also kind of sad and heartwarming in a bittersweet “Fairytale of New York” sort of way. Read it read it read it, particularly if you’re from Chicagoland or have ever lived there.

American Horror Story

An Illustrated Book About Birds
“It’s okay,” Tate says, stroking her head. His fingers tangle into her hair, tugging slightly against a snarl. She wonders how much pressure it takes to pull a trigger. “It’s okay.”

I want to give props to any and all people who wrote AHS fics this year -- it had to be nervewracking and difficult to write for a fandom that was still completing as the deadline approached, much less one with so many plot and character twists and turns as AHS. “An Illustrated Book About Birds” is my favorite of the crop, a Violet fic set after the events of 1.06 “Piggy Piggy.” I’m not sure whether it was written/edited with the revelations of the last few episodes, but it stands perfectly with the series canon in general, and is a fantastic spot-on piece in content, mood, and writing all that captures the tragic, haunting nature of Violet’s relationship with Tate and all the things about him she knows, believes, doesn’t know, and doesn’t want to believe. The last line is particularly devastating.

Black Swan

swallow her whole star intact
Lily doesn't want to make waves, but she always snorts at a line like that. The only reason? Have they ever seen her dance? Just because Nina freaks out over every little thing is no reason to ignore her precision, her absolute control of every move she makes.

This is a well-done Lily/Nina piece from Lily’s POV that humanizes bad-girl Lily and presents Nina as mysterious and desirable, rather than the other way around. I believe this Lily.

Echo Bazaar

The Trysts of Farlight
The house of Chimes, throwing open its doors to all of London, for something called the Farlight festival? One of those new Old Traditions, you expect. What can you do? You put on your finest attire, and head out into the glimmering dusk, towards the House of Chimes.

!!! Oh my God, this story is awesome. “The Trysts of Farlight” is one of my favorite favorite Yuletide stories this year, and I only wish I could rec it to everyone whether or not they’ve played Echo Bazaar, but the fact is so much of how great it is comes of what a fantastic, well-written in-game event opportunity card pastiche it is. It made me wish the writer worked for Failbetter and that the event was real, and speculate on which track I would’ve taken (torn between the Bishop and Jack-of-Smiles, for the record). SO amazing, perfect Neathy style, gorgeous, eerie, entertaining, funny, and undeniably hot on top of it (and underneath) it all.

Game of Thrones

At Last, Brother
Robb is the only one who’s allowed to insult Jon’s mother. “She must’ve been a beer wench,” Robb says, grinning. “You’re swinging that sword like a tankard of ale.”

Warning for incest. As a (favorable) caveat, I wasn’t expecting to enjoy this fic as much as I did -- I was a little puzzled by Game of Thrones being an eligible fandom if ASoIaF was barred and the primary pairing isn’t my usual cup of tea. But don’t let that stop you from reading and enjoying this fic either! It’s really well-written and totally sold me on Jon/Robb in the context of the fic, as well as being sweet in an awkward sincere hopelessly-in-forbidden-teenage-love way along with the painful sad position of not knowing if someone loves you back. It’s closer to being GoT-verse than ASoIaF, when it comes to the mood and character dynamics, and it functions very well within it. (Also includes some pretty hot surprisingly kinky teen sex there.)

Gentleman Bastard Sequence

The Best Laid Plans
"I've nearly died for you seven or eight hundred times," he says, in the flat, authoritative tone he uses to tell Locke that they're running low on coin, or that it's Locke's turn to brave the markets on a supply run. "It doesn't win you much favour these days."

You know that bantery Locke-and-Jean-pretend-to-be-a-couple-and-confess-their-feelings-and-get-together fic you always wanted for Yuletide? No? Of course you do. This is that fic. It is like Scott Lynch wrote a happy ending using the BEST fanfic archetype ever and also included sex and bonus worldbuilding. The best Locke Lamora fics remind me why I love the fantasy-caper-movie-Holmes/Watsonness of Locke/Jean in general and how hard I OTP them. This is one of those.

Mulan/Twisted Princesses

The River Serpent
Even six months after the Mandate of Heaven fell upon another, the river runs foul all its length, no matter how they dredge it for corpses, or poison.

FFFFFFF. If you’ve ever watched Mulan, read this fic. Hell, if you have the slightest idea of what Mulan is remotely about, read this fic anyway. This is based off the (somewhat awkwardly sexist/racist in places, as a warning) fanart set Twisted Princesses by jeftoon01, which is creepy and clever on whole, and takes the creepy-clever prompt and runs with it to make something REALLY creepy, beautiful, sad, and mythic. This is another big highlight of Yuletide ‘11 for me -- completely gorgeous, satisfying without pulpy wish fulfillment, reads like a haunting cross between a wuxia ghost story and The Crow.

Nightrunner

A Virtuous Woman
"Already?" he asked teasingly. "You're going to cast all sorts of aspersions on Lady Katria's virtue."

Did you know after Nightrunner that you wanted to read happy in-relationship crossdressing!kink pornfic that turns the conventional slash-romance gender-role binary on its head? I didn’t, but now that I’ve read this I’ve incorporated it into my headcanon and I’m afraid it enriches the source material relationship considerably. The premise of this is that Alec fantasizes, semi-guiltily, about woman!Seregil and Seregil decides to indulge this fantasy a bit elaborately. It involves light power-play and fun!smut and will make you wish this actually happened at some point after Stalking Darkness.

These Old Shades

Blind Man’s Bluff
“Lud,” Rupert said. “You put a nasty bit of gloom into just about every thing, don’t you?”

I’ve always thought These Old Shades could have been vastly improved had Léon remained Léon, as he does in this witty, fast-paced, competently Heyer-pastiched fic featuring a transgender Léon’s alternate-universe relationship with Rupert Alastair, setting up a plausible timeline in which Léon bypasses his time with Justin altogether. It’s respectful of Léon’s character and gender and funny and in-character for an endearing, queer Rupert and generally provides exactly the kind of happy ending both characters deserve.

Tron

Red Shift
The data is corrupted. Memory compiles incorrectly. Error.

To excerpt this would be to spoil it in whole, so I will settle for saying that while I’ve fished around in reading Tron fic before, this was the first and best to evoke the technical, clinical, alien feeling of a mind set in an all-digitalized world. This requires the context of Tron: Legacy to understand and having seen Tron itself would help, but is easy to appreciate as a story written from the perspective of a very human computer program.
metonymy: Phillipa Soo as Eliza Hamilton, smiling. (Default)

[personal profile] metonymy 2011-12-28 07:40 pm (UTC)(link)
I LOVED that Black Swan fic, but my rec list was out of hand already so I didn't. But man, Lily. So great, still fitting in with the edgy feeling of the film. Good stuff.

[personal profile] bigbrasskey 2011-12-28 11:38 pm (UTC)(link)
Just so you know, your links are broken.