selenak: (Call the Midwife by Meganbmoore)
The things you learn: seems Samantha Bee of tv comedy fame is a Call The Midwife fan. A woman of taste, which is not new.:) As the unspeakable creature in the White House brings us closer to WWWIII by the tweet and finds condemming Nazis as Nazis too much of an effort, I can see why watching CdM is a good way to maintain sanity.

(Sidenote: I usually avoid calling present day people Nazis because the term is flung around far too often and sometimes in bizarre contexts - see: "grammar nazi" - but if they scream about blood and soil, give the fascist salute and throw the occasional Sieg Heil in, there's absolutely no reason to call them anything else. No more of this "Alt-Right" nonsense.)

But to return to "Call the Midwife", here's a lovely new story, a terrific portrait of Shelagh/Sister Bernadette that follows her through her life to that most crucial of years to her, 1958: life, and breath, and all things.

And here's a Black Sails rec:

The Fields of Elysium: the story of Thomas Hamilton after the 2.05 flashbacks until and including something spoilery )
selenak: (Black Sails by Violateraindrop)
Black Sails:


Echoes: it's that rarity, a post-Treasure Island fanfic not in denial of same which has Silver reflecting on his past, specifically the relationship with Madi. Also Flint, but here the focus is on Madi. And it takes what happens in the s4 finale fully into account.

Book of Days: Miranda (and James) after London and in the years before the show starts. Beautiful and painful.

Class:

....a question for everyone who has watched this little gem of a spin-off and the most recent season of Doctor Who: at which point of the Doctor's timeline do you think he met Charlie & Quill and brought them to Earth? We know that there were only three months between that and the Class pilot, and that Clara (as well as Danny) are listed as the most recent names on the Coal Hill board in the pilot, so it must most likely have been post-Clara for the Doctor, and I'm guessing pre-Bill, but was it before or after the events of Extremis flashback that reveals his s10 arrangement with a certain someone in the vault? At the time Class was broadcast, [personal profile] londonkds speculated he might have been projecting his best enemy on to Miss Quill (though they're actually quite different, other than love of sarcasm, if you look at motivation and goals), and it occurs to me the s10 revelation makes that even more likely, but it could have worked both ways - he could have had his Rhodian & Quill encounter before the flashback events, in which case it would have been part of the build up to the decision he makes there, or after, in which case the decision could have been part of the projecting and ignoring that the Quill and Charlie situation really isn't alike.

Okay, on to the fanfiction:

wear me like a locket 'round your throat: Charlie and Quill before, during and after the season finale.

Two stories using the fact that Clara Oswald taught at Coal Hill:

To to learn to be brave: in this one, she's April's favourite teacher and inspiration, but April also observes her downward spiral.

Per Aspera Ad Astra: in which Clara makes a nostalgic incognito visit to Coal Hill post DW season 9 and promptly runs into the not at all nostalgically minded Quill.
selenak: (Branagh by Dear_Prudence)
...and I don't mean the latest attempt to repeal the ACA, because that particular sparing came through hard work by people who made phonecalls, Senators Murkowski and Collins putting people before party and McCain proving he has a sense for cliffhangers and drama.

No, I just discovered that back in ye early 90s when the first three Bernie Gunther novels were published, successful and thus considered for movie versions, the two actors in consideration for the leading role were Klaus Maria Brandauer (wrong accent and wrong size, but could see him having pulled it off, acting-wise)... and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Thank the universe for small favours the world was spared that one. Nowadays, HBO has aquired the rights to the novels and Tom Hanks wants to executive produce (though again, thank you, universe, for favours, he's too old to play Bernie Gunther now except for the late 50s settings. Also, he's wrong for the part. Nothing against Tom Hanks in principle, but not in this role, at any age.

Since I believe in constructive criticism: I can see Max Riemelt (Wolfgang on Sense8) as Bernie Gunther, and since after the wrap-up movie (yay!), there will be no more Sense8, he's available. Advantages: actually German, actually from Berlin, actually the right age for Bernie Gunther in the 1930s when the series starts (and it's easier to age someone up than to age him down, especially if that actor has to play action scenes), and fluent in English which I assume (since HBO is producing) the series will be shot in. Also, he can do sardonic and increasingly self loathing.

(if it has to be an international movie star, Michael Fassbender would also do.)

(Going to actors who don't speak German and aren't at least half-German: Kenneth Branagh would be good for older Bernie, but just would not be believable anymore for a man in his 30s.)

Meanwhile, have two fanfic links in two different fandoms:

Spider-man: Homecoming:

Just a kid: Both a prequel and a fleshing out to and of canon - covers Peter from Ben's death to the movie. Great voices for all the other suspects, too.


Babylon 5:

The Book of the Dead: in which the Centauri afterlife turns out to be far different than what Londo had expected. Also features a great G'Kar, Timov and Vir!
selenak: (Goethe/Schiller - Shezan)
So John Le Carré has a life long interest/(barbed)affection for all things German, which I knew, but I still found myself touched and surprised by this love declaration to the German language. Also to education in general, and the way learning languages changes our minds, which is direly needed here and now. Writes he: The decision to learn a foreign language is to me an act of friendship. It is indeed a holding out of the hand. It’s not just a route to negotiation. It’s also to get to know you better, to draw closer to you and your culture, your social manners and your way of thinking. And the decision to teach a foreign language is an act of commitment, generosity and mediation.

(I've never tried to verbalize how I feel about English, come to think of that.)

Meanwhile, two Doctor Who fanfiction recs, hidden under a spoiler cut because they're hard to describe without giving away plot points of the last season )
selenak: (rootbeer)
Confessions of a Trekker: I really don't like ST VI - The Undiscovered Country. Which is, I've discovered, something of a minority opinion, for at least the vocal part of fandom holds this last cinematic outing of the TOS crew in a fond light. However, now and then the dissent becomes vocal, too, as in this rewatch post about the movie in question .


In more fun Trek news, check out this vid about everyone's favourite Cardassian tailor-plus-spy:

Dedicated Follower of Fashion

(Every now and then I wish the movies instead of going for the nth version of Wrath of Khan (with or without a villain called Khan) would tackle the Cardassians instead. And then I conclude the movies would probably mishandle the Cardassians as badly as they did the Romulans, and am glad the Cardassians so far have been reserved for tv.)

And lastly, a BSG fanfic rec:

Rippling Light: tender and heartbreaking take on the friendship of Felix Gaeta and Anastasia Dualla, two characters for whom the phrase "they deserved better" might have been invented.
selenak: (Flint by Violateraindrop)
For it appears there was a ficathon. (No, I didn't participate, I'm just a reader this time.)



Same bottle, same gun: two shots The understanding between Eleanor and Flint was one of the first aspects of the show I liked back in s1. Here's a great take on how that relationship between two prickly people more prone to distrust than trust might have begun.

Let me remind you of who you are: more Eleanor and Flint in ye early days.

Apprehension: Intense, angsty take on Miranda.

Line of Sight Flint teaches Madi to fence, would be one summary; great take on the Flint-Silver-Madi relationship in s4 another.

The Prize Master: more backstory about how relationships were formed, this time for Jack Rackham, Anne Bonny and Charles Vane.
selenak: (Max by Misbegotten)
Both have spoilers for all four seasons.

A place of our own: Anne heals and adjusts to the new world, post show. Great Anne Bonny exploration, and her relationships with both Max and Jack are well presented.



Letters of Marque: brief messages written between Thomas, Miranda and James at different points of their lives. Short and heartbreaking.
selenak: (Jimmy and Kim)
...well, you know the rest. There are some teasers for the third season of Better Call Saul out there, which inspired me to check whethere there's new fanfiction, and not long pieces, either, as I'm rl busy, and lo, there was:


To Die A Little: one possible answer to the question "what was Kim up to during Breaking Bad, and was she still in contact with Jimmy/Saul? Aside from the story being very well written, I appreciate most that it's truly a Better Call Saul story, not a Breaking Bad story in disguise. I love both shows, but it's endlessly frustrating to look for BCS fanfic and end up with BB stories that name drop one or two things about BCS. Whereas this story is truly about Kim, and her relationship with Jimmy. BB events are nodded to, but you can read this story without knowing what exactly Saul Goodman is involved in - Kim doesn't, she just has a general idea. Great, great voices for Kim and Jimmy-turned-Saul.


Two Suits: Chuck and Jimmy, growing up. McGill brothers dysfunctionality starts early, in a classic siblings way.
selenak: (Romans by Kathyh)
As promised, a Yuletide (and not celebrity death) exception to the no more until February rule; I want to get these recs out there before the reveal. Incidentally, state of my own Yuletide tales: the two treats got lovely comments from their respective recipients, the official assignment recipient apparantly has had a busy week, but has now commented as well (and graciously).

On to other people's stories read during the last week in various fandoms:

Greek Myth:

The Faces of Helen: Helen of Troy from various povs. Interesting Helens are still a rarity; loved that and the interactions with her brothers, the Dioskuri, and Cassandra especially. Also a welcome rarity: sympathetic Paris!


A rift never destined to mend: More Iliad fragments, sharp and perfect. Oh, Andromache.


She whose beauty rivals the goddesses: Iphigenia and Elektra, before. Extra kudos for laying the basis for Elektra's feelings for her parents despite what will happen to her sister in a way that makes sense.


Jessica Jones:

On the road (to recovery): Jessica, Luke and Malcolm at some future point. Great take on all three of them, and I loved their interactions.


Luke Cage:

We are the ones we have been waiting for: CLAIRE. All the Claire centric stories this year are great, and this one also offers wonderful looks at her interactions with several other Marvel tv and cinema inhabitants.

My Beautiful Laundrette:

Maintenance & Repairs: Omar and Johnny, several years on, more mature in some ways, in others not at all, and still so very them.

New Tricks:

Lost Souls: Case fic! Team fic! Oh, I love it. It feels exactly like a good episode.

Rome:

Not one but two stories I've enjoyed equally, offering different beginnings for the Mark Antony/Caesar dynamic. Excellent voices for both characters.

The Start of the End of the World

Conquest

Shakespeare:

And play the dog: In which Margaret, early on, negotiates with the Duke of York and meets his son Richard for the first time. Excellent take on the Shakespearean versions of these characters.


Stranger Things:

Sugar Kisses: a lovely "Five Things" for Joyce and Hopper, who had one of those dynamics on the show where I didn't want them to become lovers now (because both of them certainly had more than enough on their plate emotionally and otherwise), but was hoping for something in the farer future, and this story delivers very well.

Yentl:

Mechaye Hametim: Haddass, Avigdor and Yentl working their way back together through the years after the show. Haddass pov, and I appreciated the author gave Haddass time to sort out how she was feeling about Anshel/Yentl, instead of letting her be instantly okay with everything.


And now, off to combat DRL once again! Oh, and I was going to make the annual "guess my stories" dare, but have gotten three correct guesses already without doing so, so, I figure it's way too obvious this year with all three of them. :) (However, I'm pathetic enough to hope for a few more readers before the reveal, especially for the Super Ambitious Wanted To Write The Definite Tale For This Fandom one.)
selenak: (Cat and Books by Misbegotten)
Yesterday, I had time only intermittently to read my and other stories (and to check my comment box in a playing-it-cool-yet-fretting-away fashion  ). Still I come bearing recs; this is a great Yuletide so far.

The Americans:

My gift was in this fandom, a Martha exploration set in the last season’s climactic episode, so spoilers for this and Martha’s entire arc:

Among Strangers

This Yuletide finally produced more than one Americans story, which I love, and all five are good, but this exploration of a young Elizabeth/Nadya and her life in Smolensk is particularly awesome:

One Day in the Life

Benjamin January Mysteries

And still of a Winter’s Night

Wonderful case fic, in which Shaw asks Ben not just for his but also Dominique’s help, and all the usual suspects are drawn into solving a mystery that fits perfectly with Barbara Hambly’s novels.

Black Sails

Has a staggering twelve stories to offer, all of which I haven’t even read yet, but so far, this is my favourite:

A Certain Poetry

How Anne and Jack started – and they’re both perfectly drawn as younger versions of themselves who are in the process of discovering who they’ll be to each other.

Deutschland 83

Never rains but it pours

The Rauch sisters, Lenora and Ingrid. I loved this portrait of two different, complicated women who were arguably the most interesting characters of the show to me.

Fairy Tales

De Morte Prologus

“Gevatter Tod” – “Godfather Death” – is one of lesser (relatively speaking) known Grimm fairy tales (and btw one where Wilhelm Grimm kept changing the ending for from edition to edition); I adore what this writer has done with the Death-as-a-Godfather situation.
selenak: (QuarkDax)
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:

Stain: the backstory for Natima Lang and Quark that the s2 episode Profit and Loss (aka Casablanca In Space) indicated. Does a great job in fleshing Natima out and providing Quark with an ic voice.

Black Sails:


and the bible didn't mention us
: There are nights when John Silver can’t sleep and there are nights when Captain Flint doesn’t sleep and there are a lot of things that neither of them say. Or, the one where Silver helps give Flint a haircut. Set between seasons 2 and 3, and captures the two at that point of transition very well.

Class

And if the night comes, and the night will come, well at least the war is over: Charlie deals, or doesn't, with the s1 finale events. I love the conversation with Quill in particular.
selenak: (Black Sails by Violateraindrop)
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.
selenak: (Peggy Carter by Misbegotten)
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).
selenak: (Katniss by Monanotlisa)
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)
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.
selenak: (John Silver by Violateraindrop)
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)
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)
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!
selenak: (Malcolm Murray)
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)
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.

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