At least it is to me. When not working and/or raging, I've spent the last few days trying to distract myself by reading other people's yuletide requests, and checking out my fandoms for new stories. Or rereading old favourites. Fiction makes so much more sense than reality now...

Results:

Black Sails:

The Sea Cook: hilarious fusion with the Harry Potter verse, set during the Treasure Island era the show will presumably not reach (or only in an epilogue). Remember that Silver in Treasure Island has a parrot he's nicknamed "Captain Flint"? Well, as it turns out Flint is an animagus...

Two Masks: whereas this one is an angsty, intense look at Miranda and James early on in their exile on Nassau.

Watership Down:

The Story of Marli-Hrair and the Black Rabbit of Inlé: I probably recced this already in the past, but it's so worth rereading - or reading the first time! A fantatic addition to rabbit mythology, just beautiful.
A neat thing about Halloween: it compels people to write fanfiction in some of my fandoms. :)

Agent Carter:

All Hallows: lovely, charming tale about Peggy and friends at a Halloween party. Just ideal when you need something ic to cheer yourself up.

Black Sails:


Unfinished Business: actual ghost story featuring, well, I don't want to spoil any watchers who haven't yet seen season 3, so: description under the cut )

Meanwhile, state of the Yuletide: wrote a treat, though not the one I'd been expecting to write. What can I say? Inspiration struck. And then I wrote a first draft of my actual assignment and sent it off to my beta, which means I'm now in the "omg, are the characters oc? Did I indulge my pet interpretations too much? Will the recipient hate it?" stage. And while worn out by the official assignment draft, I'm wondering whether or not I will manage the treat-I-planned-on-writing, despite rl crowding in on me in November and December (which is why I wrote the other ones so early).
Not only are Yuletide nominations now a go, but here is the Yuletide Confirmation Post, where you can see what everyone else (who comments) has nominated - handy, to avoid doubling, etc. (As I expected, for example, in Black Sails Flint, Silver, Billy and Vane were nominated immediately, and for The Americans Elizabeth and Philip - this is why I knew I wouldn't have to bother and could nominate someone else.)

Meanwhile, fanfic recs:

The Hunger Games:

From such great heights: Caesar Flickerman, the Tributes and Snow. Just how Caesar related to the people whose deaths (and occasional survival) he helped to sell, and where he came from is up for speculation, and this is a great reply.

MCU:

Snuff: Peggy finds a certain surveillance video. As someone who wrote a story in which Peggy also almost finds out the truth about the Starks' deaths, I'm always intrigued of how others do it if they don't go the AU route and keep it within canon. This version of the conclusions Peggy draws feels plausible.
selenak: (Servalan by Snowgrouse)
( Aug. 26th, 2016 05:03 pm)
Discworld:

The BBC is currently broadcasting a radio version of Night Watch, available on iplayer for us non-British folks, and I'm listening, enthralled, to the first episode.

Blake's 7:

If you're a B7 fan, chances are you've already read this, but if you have not: a great new essay, on B7, Blake, Gareth Thomas and Chris Boucher. It's passionate and highly enjoyable to read. (Minus a few unneccessary swipes at non-B7 topics such as John Crichton, Clara Oswald and David Tennant's performance as Richard II. But it would be a boring internet life if we agreed on everything with the people we agree on some things. :)

Stephen King:

Handy and amusing flowchart showing how all the novels and characters are connected.

MCU

The Lingering Reminders: hands down one of the best, most even handed post-Civil War stories, in which Tony Stark runs across one of Peggy Carter's old mates. No, not that one. The author's take on old Jack Thompson feels extremely plausible, and there's a hilarious inside gag if you're familiar with the Spider-man mythology. (If you're not, you'll still be amused.) Great mixture of humor and angst all around.

Shakespeare:

Sons of York: Great take on Shakespeare's version of the York family, specifically the two Richards, father and son.
Here we stand: missing scene between Silver and Max post s2 and pre s3, while Captains Flint, Vane and Rackham are busy negotiating. It shows how they've both changed since the pilot and what remains the same with them, and has their voices down perfectly.

They that sow the wind: plotty prequel AU in which James McGraw doesn't come back from that first trip to Nassau, and Miranda and Thomas have to rescue him. Fun take on my favourite Black Sails trio, and it uses the ensemble well to boot.
selenak: (John Silver by Violateraindrop)
( Aug. 14th, 2016 03:46 pm)
Like I suspected, it's a loooong, long, year, waiting for the fourth (and final, alas) season. So it's fortunate that there's fanfiction to share.

Quid Pro Quo: a fantastic Madi pov which for once is about her, about growing into her leader role while interacting with her for-now allies; and the characterisation of our regular cast is also superb (special shout out for Anne Bonny's advice of how to deal with pirates).

Betsy in the Doldrums: in which the mystery of where Betsy the cat disappeared to after season 1 is cleared up; also, the Silver and Flint interaction is hilarous.

The Barlow Woman: A Lady, A Pirate-Maker, A Faithful Soul: in which Charles Vanes at a certain point in s3 tries to make awkward conversation with Flint about, of all the subjects, Miranda Barlow. Touching and amusing in turns.
selenak: (Borgias by Andrivete)
( Jul. 22nd, 2016 09:10 am)
The History Exchange 2016 has gone live!

I received an intense, vivid poem on Artemsia Gentileschi, portrayed, as is only fit, through her paintings. I think it's accessible even if you're not familiar with Artemsia's work and history: In the days of Jael

This is a small exchange - 15 works all in all, so I hastily started to devour it. Here are two stories I found outstanding so far:


What dreams may come: Akhenaten, the Heretic Pharao, grows into himself. Poetic and terse at the same time, drawing a great portrait in short space.

i have cut a ribbon of skin from another man's body: Olympias encounters Zeus four times throughout her life. Olympias in historical fiction tends to be invariably described through her son's or her son's companions' eyes, and with the son in question being Alexander the Great, that's not so surprising. But it makes it all the more welcome to see a take on her from her own pov, in the centre of her own story, and one that uses the myth of Zeus as Alexander's father in a really creative way.

As for my own story, I think, as always, it's a bit obvious, but have a guess anyway!
Penny Dreadful:

Who the hell can see forever: I spent the majority of s3 being furious with Victor Frankenstein, but that doesn't mean lack of interest. In this story, he confronts, in the aftermath of Big Show End Event, both what he's done and what he's almost done. Moreover, this while being a Victor pov is also an ensemble story, so we see the other characters through his eyes respond to Big Show End Event and try to continue their lives after this. Superb character voices all around. If there had been a season 4 after Spoilery Event, which of course there couldn't have been, this is pretty much how I could see it go.


Immortality: the Creatures meet again. Lily and John Clare/Caliban encounter each other post show and realise they share more than resurrection by Victor. It's exactly the type of non-romantic, but very human exchange I wanted to read.


Star Wars:


By the Lies that I Have Loved (and actions I have hated): Obi-Wan in the months post RotS in the desert, trying (without much success) to come to terms with Recent Events. Intense and messed up, and the way Obi-Wan's Anakin memories (of him as a child, as a teenager, as an adult) are now irrevocably mixed up with the Anakin-as-Vader present, and his vain attempts to divide the two, are drawn expertly.
selenak: (Black Sails by Violateraindrop)
( Jul. 5th, 2016 09:04 pm)
Black Sails:

The Prince in the High Tower: charming fairy tale AU. I can so see everyone mentioned in these roles.

MCU:

Who only stand and wait: Edwin Jarvis, as summarized by Vision. There are a very few stories who make use of the Jarvis - JARVIS - Vision connection, and this one does so in a unique way.

Deep Space 9:

War Songs: lovely DS9 ensemble story; aw, DS9.
One more day to sign up for the History Exchange! Come on, fellow history loving readers, you know you want to. 500 words is really low pressure and can be easily done.

Babylon 5:

Every now and then you need a story that's a break from the angst and is just hilarious. Like this one.

Perception: in which it turns out that Refa had an, err, somewhat mistaken impression about what the Londo and Morden relationship was all about. This has lasting consequences. :)

Avengers

If running's a plan: Natasha-centric story that takes her, and the team, from the end of Avengers to the end of Age of Ultron, showing the growth and change of the Natasha/Bruce relationship and the team coming together. As opposed to majority of the fandom, I actually liked Natasha/Bruce in AoU, but still, fleshing out how they got there really good to read about, as was the Avengers going from almost strangers (except for Natasha and Clint, of course) allied by necessity to a team working together. While Natasha/Bruce is the main relationship of the story, I really appreciate it also gives storytime to Natasha's other relationships (Clint, Nick Fury, Tony, Steve) - so often fanfiction focuses only on one and lets the characters live in isolation.
selenak: (Peggy and Jarvis by Asthenie_VD)
( Jun. 11th, 2016 10:11 am)
...and I've now inhaled the 35 great results of the [community profile] ssrconfidential ficathon. Here is a preliminary list of recs (beyond the story I got as a gift, which is fabulous, I repeat, and which I linked several entries earlier):

Staring off with a vid:

Bad Romance: Dottie/Peggy being best enemies with UST to a song made for them. The way they mirror each other was never clearer, or more musical fun.

Stories:

Out of the Cave follow-up on Whitney Frost that doesn't ignore what happened to her and takes it into account but also provides her with a new beginning as Dottie, for reasons of A Cunning Plan, teams up with her. I'd watch that episode - or spin-off!

Not your fairytale princess: Dottie and Peggy (do we sense a theme here?) being their frenemy selves. All the writers manage to get Dottie so well because they don't downplay how dangerous she is, obsession with Peggy not withstanding.

Redacted: Four kisses from Dottie that never made it in Peggy's reports. This one spans decades, and the last one is heartbreaking in the best way.

Four times Peggy tried to run away (and the one time it finally worked): Peggy and her brother Michael. I have a soft spot for sibling dynamics, and this is a beautiful take on them.

Teamwork Peggy and Jarvis fighting crime together was by far my favourite aspect of Agent Carter, and the story captures their dynamic exactly. Love it!

Like a house on fire: more of the original Jarvis, this time exploring his take on Howard. (With plenty of Peggy as well.) Funny and touching in turns.

Rose in the Spring Rose Roberts between seasons 1 and 2. The bigger role Rose had in s2 was such a delightful surprise, and this story additionally fleshes her out.

My own story is, I think, a bit less obvious than usual, but still guessable.
Just because I've currently two mega fandoms (MCU and Star Wars) on the brain, and am trying to stop myself from writing what would basically be a bad issues fic (consisting of Rhodey venting at Steve; self: character A giving character B a "The reasons you suck" speech is just the type of fanfiction you don't like as a reader! Don't do it!), doesn't mean I love my tiny fandoms less.

Black Sails:


Time covers everything: This is the Miranda story I wanted to have for Yuletide, and which someone just happened to write completely unrelatedly, describing her entire adult life. I loved reading it.

The Windmill Knight and the Meditating Emperor: in which tiny Abigail Ashe comes across Lt. James McGraw when he and the Hamiltons visit her father. Funny and touching at the same time, with great glimpses at James, Thomas and Miranda in ye olde days.

Penny Dreadful.

Inevitable Spoilers for season 2 and 3.02. in the story description )
selenak: (Tony Stark by Gettingdrastic)
( May. 8th, 2016 09:47 pm)
Spent the weekend at home to be with the APs for Mother's Day, was otherwise very RL busy as well, so, just a few Iron Man fanfiction links. Both featuring Pepper because she's still on my mind, so I was looking for her in fanfic. (Neither of them has to do with the subject of my recent post, though, I hasten to add.):

Still under a spoiler for Civil War cut to be safe )
selenak: (Tony Stark by Gettingdrastic)
( May. 3rd, 2016 03:04 pm)
Some post Civil War tales have been written already, to my fannish relief, for I crave them. Mind you, most of what's written is not compatible with my interests in the MCU, to wit: Reader/Anyone - not interested. Steve/Bucky - not interested. Loki/Anyone (this is still going on?) - not interested. Actually, Bucky/Anyone - not interested. (Bucky centric gen I might be more open for now, but still, not what I'm primarily looking for.)

Meanwhile, post Civil War or Civil War inspired tales I am interested in include:

Spoilery Stuff )
selenak: (Missy by Yamiinsane123)
( Mar. 3rd, 2016 10:31 am)
Ian McShane has been cast as Mr. Wednesday in Bryan Fuller's tv version of American Gods. This is a gift from the casting heavens, and I'm now at the "I WANT IT NOW WHY ISN'T IT 2017 ALREADY" stage about this show.

However, it occurs to me that I should employ spoiler cuts when raving about how this is perfect, because not everyone has read Neil Gaiman's novel. Spoilers for American Gods, the book, ensue. )

Something else the casting reminded me off: someone really needs to write that crossover where Jimmy McGill meets Mr. Wednesday, for all the obvious reasons.

And now for a couple of fanfiction recs:

Doctor Who:

once upon a time in nazi-occupied france:

"He's sitting in a cafe in Vichy France (he was aiming for 2042) and waiting for his lunch when Missy plops down in the chair opposite him." This is a conversation they've had before, it's just the first time they've both been able to consider it.


In which the Twelfth Doctor, post Clara, meets Missy again. This is one of those stories which manages to do justice to the long history between the Doctor and the Master, and to write them specifically in these particular regenerations, not interchangable with earlier ones. It's perfect. (BTW, my favourite details is that Twelve got himself the flame throwing guitar from Mad Max, because he so would.)

Black Sails

Both recs are spoilery for 3.06, so with due deference to those friends on my list whom I've managed to convert into watching the show but who haven't arrived there yet, I shall hide them beneath a cut. )
selenak: (Clone Wars by Jade Blue Eyes)
( Feb. 20th, 2016 03:38 pm)
Politics is so depressing right now, crazy nationalists on the rise everywhere, and this morning I learned about Umberto Eco's death, which somehow hit me harder than Harper Lee's. Not just because her bad state of health had been widely commented on last year apropos Go Set A Watchman; The Name of the Rose back in the 80s had meaning for me, and only gained more as the years passed. (Teenage me recognized William of Baskerville as a Holmes avatar, but hadn't read Jorge Luis Borges yet.) Also: the essays! The not giving into the quagmire of Berlusconidom!

Anyway, I needed some comforting fiction, and thus can share a few links. These aren't new stories, so you might already know them, but if you don't:

Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit:

Or would they go on aching still:

Tauriel comes to Gondor in the days of the king. Arwen wants to help her carry the grief she shoulders, but in the end, they help each other. Tauriel as Arwen's companion in the world where soon, all the other elves have gone is a lovely idea, and the meshing of book and movie canon works beautifully.


Star Wars: The Clone Wars:

Old Shadows: Ahsoka asks Anakin about his past after the events on Kadavo and Zygerria. The short Zygerria arc is the most overt way in which The Clone Wars adresses the long term impact Anakin's childhood as a slave had on him, and the story is also a great example of the Ahsoka-Anakin comraderie that makes the show.

Don't Unlace Your Madcap Abandon: in which Anakin takes Ahsoka and Rex to some illegal racing in the Coruscant underground (it's for a mission, honestly!); the story starts out deceptively light hearted but takes some inevitably darker, angsty corners, and again, is a great showcase for the Ahsoka and Anakin relationship (this time complete with both their friendship with Rex).
selenak: (Peggy and Jarvis by Asthenie_VD)
( Jan. 10th, 2016 09:57 am)
The second season will start soon (yay!), and fanfiction is a great way to get in the mood for more canon:

The Sound of Silence: well plotted and -researched backstory for Anna and Edwin Jarvis. (Co-starring Howard Stark.) I'm looking forward to meeting Anna on screen in season 2, especially since she's going to be played by Lotte Verbeek aka Giulia Farnese in The Borgias, but until then, this is firmly my headcanon on who she is and what happened in Budapest. Also: fanfiction that really manages to give a sense of place and era is rare, but this is a point in case.

Pack up your troubles: Peggy doesn't need Howard to cheer her up. Not at all. No, really. Great little vignette of Peggy and Howard friendship, post war.

A married man: in canon, I never ever want Peggy/Jarvis to happen, because I adore their crime fighting bffness. In fanfiction, I'm not looking for it, either. However, occasionally when on the lookout for Peggy and Jarvis stories I come across a gem like this one, which slips under my radar. It's all unspoken, because Jarvis wouldn't cheat; however, IF he developed non-platonic feelings for Peggy, this is something I could see happening in his head and heart.

Au revoir: Highlander crossover in which Amanda meets Peggy Carter and Howard Stark in the 1940s, and then again and again through the decades. Naturally, they hit it off. (Seriously, as soon as I saw the summary I thought, OF COURSE.)
selenak: (Omar by Monanotlisa)
( Dec. 27th, 2015 02:40 pm)
Gone Girl: Pick in the Ice: vicious and elegant. A possible future for Amy; Rhonda pov.

The Last Unicorn: Iron Bars: there are several great takes on the Harpy this year, and I like them all, but this one is my favourite, not least because of the mind games Mammy Fortuna and the Harpy play with each other.

Lawrence of Arabia: The Lusitania Variation: what is it with me and historical AUs this year? In this one, Churchill's letter re: drawing the US into WWI becomes public, with the result that British funding for the revolt in the desert suddenly is gone. And what then? Ali pov, great voices for him and Lawrence (their movie versions, that is), and best of all: co-starring Gertrude Bell!


Mabinogion Myth: All that's best and bright: Arianrhod in her own words.

Watership Down: The story of the doe who hid her kittens Beautiful and heartbreaking Efrafa tale (in both senses of the word), with Hyzanthlay as the teller.

Far Far Away: fantastic take on Silverweed.

The Wire: Upside down Kingdom: of all the various gangster & cop combinations the show did, Bodie and Carver scenes were perhaps my favourites. This story is a great example of why.
selenak: (Young Elizabeth by Misbegotten)
( Dec. 26th, 2015 06:56 pm)
State of my own stories: assignment: recipient hasn't commented yet, but nearly everyone else vocal in the tiny online fandom has, so I'm pleased as punch. Treat: recipient loves it, but not many other people seem to have read it so far. We'll see. Consider the invitation to guess and get a drabble on the subject of your choice if guessing correctly my cunning plan to get more readers. :)

On to stories I loved as a reader:

Fairy Tales/History: The Last Dancing Queen of England: in which the story of the twelve dancing princesses is applied to the wives of Henry VIII, and somehow fits marvellously.

Being Human: return back to your grave: fantastic take on the tense relationship between Nina and Mitchell, and a great character exploration of both.

Better Call Saul: if you ever ever learn you never show it: Jimmy and Chuck, growing up. Superb take on a layered sibling relationship.

Crusade: Stone Walls Do Not A Prison Make: Dureena and Max, trapped together. Will they manage to figure out how to rescue themselves before irritating each other to death? No, seriously, this story is so much fun and depicts one of my favourite Crusade relationships.

Dragonlance: Our Journey Winds On, Still: talk about messed up siblingn relationships. Raistlin and Caramon Majore in their co-dependent glory, in a "what if?" that explores what would have happened if Caramon had followed Raistlin into darkness.

Elementary: The Case of the Anonymous Benefector: in which Kitty Winter solves a case familiar to ACD readers, and ensemble goodness is had to boot. I miss the season 3 set up of Elementary, and this story is a great bandage on that open wound.

Matthew Shardlake Novels Agnus Dei: Guy, Tamasin, Matthew and Jack strive to deal with the events from the end of Lamentation. Brief, elegant and to the point, and breaking my heart in the process (in a good way).

Rivers of London: Not a tame tiger: sparring, verbal (and otherwise?) between Varvara and Nightingale. Bring on the war generation magical interaction, I say!

Troubling the Water: whereas this is adorable silliness between Lesley and Peter, and I love it, too.


Penny Dreadful: Behind the Wallpaper: dozens of AUs and yet not. All that could have happened/did happen/who knows? when Evelyn Poole opened a door in the s2 finale.

A Place of Greater Safety: Tick Tock: in which the mysterious author actually pulls off an alternate way the French Revolution could have gone, based on my favourite Hilary Mantel novel's interpretation of its chief figures. I'll say no more - find out how yourself!


Many more to come, but this is my first installment
....I checked out the state of the fanfiction, and lo and behold, found various ones suited to my tasts.

give me a bullet; i'll show you a gun (4643 words) by redonthefly
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Captain America (Movies), Agent Carter (TV), Marvel Cinematic Universe
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Peggy Carter/Steve Rogers, Peggy Carter & Howard Stark, James "Bucky" Barnes & Steve Rogers
Characters: Peggy Carter, Howard Stark, Steve Rogers, James "Bucky" Barnes
Additional Tags: World War II, Captain America: The First Avenger, Agent Carter References, Angst and Humor, peggy and howard are bros, Canon-Typical Violence
Summary:

Margaret Carter, who was called Peggy Carter by most everyone except her mother, and who was Pegs to a few close friends, did indeed find something interesting to do, because she was cleverer than most and sharp witted and also exceeding stubborn.

This is Peggy Carter's war story.



What the summary says. Peggy during WWII. My not so secretly favourite passages are those dealing with the Peggy 'n Howard friendship, which brings me to:


Breathless (2276 words) by atrata
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Agent Carter (TV), Marvel Cinematic Universe
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Peggy Carter/Howard Stark
Characters: Peggy Carter, Howard Stark
Summary:

Peggy needs Howard's help to get into a ball and stop a nefarious scheme. Meanwhile, Harold Spark finds himself indebted to Betty Carver.



Tagged Peggy/Howard, but really Peggy & Howard, and hilarious, not least because of the Captain America Radio Programm passages which Howard just bought the rights to, with, err, interesting results.

Much as I enjoy Peggy & Howard, the m & f friendship even closer to my heart is Peggy & Jarvis, which is why the next two stories are featuring him in central focus:


The Spy and the Butler (3348 words) by fayedartmouth
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Agent Carter (TV)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Peggy Carter & Edwin Jarvis
Characters: Peggy Carter, Edwin Jarvis
Additional Tags: Friendship, Hurt/Comfort, Angst, Bonding
Summary:

She’ll prove Howard Stark is innocent, and she’ll prove her worth in the meantime. And if she needs a butler from time to time, then that’s a necessary means to an end.



Aka Peggy's opinion of Jarvis changes through season 1 as their partnership developes.

Columbia (1667 words) by CourtneyCourtney
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Agent Carter (TV), Marvel Cinematic Universe
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Mentioned Anna Jarvis/Edwin Jarvis, Past Peggy Carter/Steve Rogers - Relationship, Peggy Carter & Edwin Jarvis, Edwin Jarvis & Howard Stark
Characters: Edwin Jarvis, Peggy Carter, Howard Stark
Additional Tags: Past Character Death, Character Study
Summary:

Edwin Jarvis learns to navigate in the wake of Steve Rogers.


(Slight spoilers for episodes 1.06 and 1.07)




Poor Jarvis has to deal with everyone's emotional baggage re: the late Steve Rogers, but luckily, he's up for it.
.

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