selenak: (Catherine Weaver by Miss Mandy)
selenak ([personal profile] selenak) wrote2010-12-25 19:21

Yuletide I

Yuuuuuuuuletide! And what an abundance of treasure it brings.

The story I got was my Wuthering Heights prompt (an examination of the relationship between Heathcliff and Hareton): Fathers and Sons. It's a Heathcliff pov, and the author pulls it off well, which I've always imagined to be extremely tricky.

On to a measly selection of the abundance of great stories in other fandoms:


Rome:

Kohl: which is the Antony/Vorenus story I always hoped someone would write, set in Egypt, fantastic take on both characters, with terrific dialogue. Extra bonus for letting Antony use the Caesar-in-Bithynia anecdote.

Gens Julia in aeternum: Wonderful portrait of Atia in her complexity and strength, and also of her relationship with Antony.

History

This Yuletide is definitely the time of the Borgias. Five stories featuring the most famous - or infamous Spanish expats to make it big time in the Italian Renaissance. Two that especially impressed me:

Mine Eyes Dazzle: Lucrezia-centric, secondary emphasis on Cesare, doing justice to the convoluted relationships within and without the family. A gem of a historical novella.

De casibus vivorum illustrium: this one focuses on Machiavelli and Cesare. And the fickleness of fortune. Good stuff.


Doctor Who Audio /History

Whatever You Want To Call It: Not for nothing does The Kingmaker regularly end up on the "best Doctor Who audios of all time" list. Among its many virtues: it's absolutely hysterical if you're even vaguely familiar with all the Richard III related historians' debates. This story, a sequel to the audio (I'm trying to keep the summary as unspoilery as possible), does a similar great job with the Shakespeare authorship debates. Clearly the answer to "who wrote Shakespeare's works" questions. :) :) :)

Arthurian Mythology

Camelot to Camlann: shared povs between Gawain and Guinevere in a compelling, vivid take on the story of Guinevere, Arthur and Mordred.

Euripides - Bacchae

Bakcheios: this one so far is hands down the masterpiece of all the stories I've read so far. I really hope the author will publish it. Using not only Euripides' drama (which tells the story of Pentheus and his clash with Dionysos/Bacchos) but also the myths of Semele and Acteon, this is a poetic, incredibly disturbing (in just the right way) tale doing justice the cruelty and power of the myths. If you read no other Yuletide story this year, read this one.

Sarah Connor Chronicles:

My Father's House Has Many Rooms: James Ellison, Sarah, Savannah and John Henry. Ellison pov's are still rare; rarer still are stories that deal with what I thought were among the most fascinating scenes of season 2, his relationship with John Henry, complete with the struggle about the theological implications of John Henry's existence. Nor does this story forget the s2 finale leaves Ellison with the responsibility for Savannah, and lets Ellison respond to this. Loved it.

Benjamin January Mysteries - Barbara Hambly:

Rescue: in which January's younger sister Dominique (aka Minou) is kidnapped, and it's January and Abisag Shaw to the rescue. Barbara Hambly's novels, which are set in a pre-Civil War New Orleans among the gens du coleur libre, as the non-enslaved black population was referred to, manage to create memorable characters and compelling relationships that feel true to the period, and come with a keen awareness of how everyone's status would inform every second of their lives. Same for this fanfic - January is the freed son of two slaves who was able to practice as a physician in Paris but not at home in New Orleans, while Minou is the daughter of their mother by one of her white lovers and basically trained to be a (rich) white man's mistress from birth, while Shaw is poor, but white and free in a very different sense than that of having to carry your papers all the time to prove you're no one's property. While the adventure plot unfolds, all those differences - and the affection that is there between the characters nonetheless - are done full justice.

Ladyhawke:

A woman's whole heart: set after the film. How do you adjust after having been a hawk, after having been a wolf? Treading a delicate balance between fantasy and history, this take on Isabeau (and Navarre) manages to be both romantic and challenging, and, incidentally, a proof that "established relationship" (and a woman in same) does not equal lack of tension or the end of personal goals. Beautiful to read, just the kind of sweeping, satisfying tale to end your day with.

Unconnected thoughts about fandoms I haven't read yet: yay, five DS9 stories, mmmm, lots of of Fringe stories, err, isn't "Social Network RPF" kind of a doubling of terms?