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14 February 2006 @ 03:33 pm
Slashy Nominations 137: Romance Is, Inexplicably, Not in the Air  
As you all know, this is a date of Serious Romantical Significance. So I thought I'd rec some gen.

Yeah, I don't exactly get the connection, either. But far be it from me to argue with inspiration. (I mean, seriously, far be it from me. Inspiration fights mean.)

Best FF That Involves a Major Character Turning Into a Cricket as a Side Note. Seriously. It's Not Even Remotely Central to the Plot. I Just Cannot Tell You How Much I Love That. So Long, Farewell, See You Around, by Tallulah Rasa. Stargate: SG-1. Actually, this is seven related but unconnected stories, seven alternate versions of Jack leaving SG-1. (That's the whole summary, people. Feel free to go read it now and skip the rest of this, which is just me getting in touch with my feelings.) Okay. So. First thing first: these are not sad stories. (In fact, one of them made me sincerely, joyfully happy. That was the one featuring, um, major character death. But it's happy major character death, people! And, really, the fact that I even typed that sentence, never mind the fact that I sincerely mean it, should be sufficient to convince you to read this.) Really, not sad.

But I still teared up reading them. I have two theories about this (three if you count, you know, Wildcat Hormone Attack). First theory: this story forced me out of my denial about SG-1 ending. Because, really, it did; now we have a whole new show, featuring new people and new crack. (No one even try to explain those photos of the Merlin guy to me, okay? I prefer a world in which I can pretend they were just a wacky welcome-to-the-show prank played on Ben Browder.) And, okay, technically I have never actually seen the show, but I am still very attached to it. As it was. With, you know, Jack. And Sam. And Old Glow-Eyes. And I really don't accept change very well. Second theory: this story reads like the writer's farewell to the series. Now, I'm sure it isn't. I'm sure Tallulah has many excellent stories about SG-1 still to come. (She'd better. I don't want to have to read West Wing, but that's the only other fandom she writes in.) But it reads that way. And I got to thinking - I know some people are sad when they leave fandoms behind, but I'm only really sad when authors I love do that. Because - okay, odds are good I'll follow them into whatever new fandoms they find. But still. Their versions of those characters are gone for good. So my second theory is that, while reading this, I had to contemplate a world without Tallulah's Jack and Daniel and Sam and Teal'c. And that? That would really be worth tears.

Best FF That Makes Me Want to Roll up All My Love for the Writer and Use It to Make Stars That Spell Her Name. And in This Fandom, That's Pretty Much Canon, People. Why Tycho Quit Drinking, by Punk, aka runpunkrun. Katamari Damacy. Yes. You heard me. This is fan fiction for that highly addictive video game in which you roll a sticky ball around and pick up coins and erasers and flowers and cars and cows and stuff. (And this is going a little outside my mission statement, here, but if you haven't played this game, play it. Play it for the King, play it for the soundtrack, play it for the mutant satisfaction of making a giant ball of every last thing in level 8. Play it so you can read this story. It's worth not just the cost of the game, but the cost of the Playstation, too.) Anyone who has played Katamari Damacy knows that one of its many pleasures is the King of All Cosmos. He's just - well, I cannot even begin to describe him. Only the real thing can even come close. Which is why it's so amazing (and highly suspect) that Punk has his, um, characteristic and unique voice down this well. I believe she may have a secret identity. I believe it may involve tights and a flowing cape and a big ruffled neck thing. (He's like - he's like Clark in a Superman costume, after Lex's interior designer mistakes him for decor. And that's just his looks, people. Really, you have to meet the King to believe him.) I mean, she could be the King of All Cosmos. (For one thing, it would be just like him to have a secret identity that writes gay porn, let me tell you.) That would explain how she got the details of the night the King went out drinking and accidentally destroyed all the stars, details that were previously known only to Vice Duke of Underpants and the Queen, neither of whom would ever tell. But Punk, Punk has revealed all. At last, the truth is out there.

Best FF That Teaches Us Important Lessons About True Love, and Self-Defense, and That Glorious Area Where They Intersect for Everyone's Good. The Wind Will Not Subside, by shrift. Samurai Champloo. This is a perfect - and perfectly believable - look at Fuu, Jin, and Mugen, and how they fare after the series. And, yes, okay, Mugen technically does not appear in the story. He's still very much present, and that's the whole point, really: these are three people who got stuck together by fate (in the form of a teashop, a gang of louts, and one very corrupt politician; sometimes fate chooses strange emissaries) and who cannot get unstuck no matter how much they try to fly apart. You kind of have to love that. At least, I do. Plus, I mean: Jin! Mugen! Fuu! Random gratuitous squirrel character whose narrative function I still have not entirely grasped! This is a recipe for happiness, people, and so you should see the canon. You should also read this story. It makes my heart go pitter-pat with sheer love for all of them, and that's before I come to the last four lines, which happen to be basically the most perfect last four lines ever found anywhere, and also the clearest, most wonderful expression of love and friendship that I have ever read. (Keep in mind who you're talking to, though: I'm the person who got into Highlander, and specifically Duncan/Methos, solely because Methos shoots Duncan in a sincerely loving and romantic way. This is the same kind of thing. Except no guns, no immortals, and no romance, so...not really even all that similar. But the last four lines of this story punch the same one of my buttons that Methos shooting Duncan did. And if I had to guess, I would say that that button is probably labeled something like, "Schmoopy bodily harm." No, really, I don't even want to know why. My depths disturb me.)

Best FF That Suggests That an Ancient Gene Is the Pegasus Galaxy's Version of a 'Kick Me' Sign Glued to Your Ass. The Pegasus Galaxy Presents: George Romero's Alice in Wonderland, by Domenika Marzione, aka miss_porcupine. Stargate: Atlantis. There are many reasons I love Domenika. For example, her LJ name, which always makes me think of a particularly excellent poem by Dorothy Parker (Parable for a Certain Virgin - um, no offense intended toward our Porcupine). And her titles - this is, after all, the person who wrote The Jenny Code, which left me pondering in some confusion for half the story, and then smiling blissfully for the last half, and I think you'll all agree that this title is also, um, let's go with 'gorgeously evocative.' But most of all, I love her for the authenticity she gives to the Stargate universe.

See, okay, our people? In the canon? Do not always act so much like, for example, military officers, or stern-willed diplomats (or actual medical doctors with actual medical ethics, but that, my friends, is a rant for a different day). Domenika takes those same characters, and without changing their personalities or their actions, makes them act like what we've been told they are. It is an amazing transformation, and, seriously, I'd read her stories for that alone. But she also throws in action and humor and actual plot, which means I'm pretty much riveted to my monitor. (And, uh. That phrase paints a somewhat disturbing picture, so how about we say I'm riveted to my chair instead? And, hey - new computer chair! Comfy! Sleek! Entirely unlikely to dump me on my ass on the floor at random intervals! And it is all thanks to you, f-list. I love you so.) And in this one, she gives some very believable Sheppard backstory - with nary a Ferris wheel in sight, no less! - and Sheppard doing paperwork, which just makes my heart burst with (only mildly malicious) joy.

Best FF That Teaches Us the Importance of Kindness to Others. Specifically, Extremely Weird Others of Indeterminant Gender and Alarmingly Good Intentions. Fellow Traveler, by ltlj. Stargate: Atlantis. I'm going to be recommending two SGA stories in most sets for - well, basically for as long as I feel compelled to. Which I do. This is not my fault, people! SGA appears to be courting some weird fandom version of singularity; the good fan fiction is doubling at an ever faster pace, and at some point soon I expect it to transcend the boundaries of the internet. After that, if Vinge and Kurzweil know what they're talking about, fandom should alter in ways we cannot possibly imagine, let alone anticipate. (Not to worry. This is fandom, so it has an inherent self-correcting mechanism - fannish attention span - and an external correction mechanism - in SGA's case, the stupidity of television executives.) My point is, I can't keep up. I mean, I can never keep up with the good FF in any fandom, or at least any fandom that doesn't qualify for Yuletide, but SGA is taking my recommendation gap to new and frightening levels. Two stories per set seems like the least I can do in return.

So, anyway, um. Getting back to the story (to save you the trouble of scrolling up: I'm talking about Fellow Traveler, here, or at least I'm supposed to be). See, this story has plot and action and all kinds of good things. (Like banter, and humor, and a hive-ship hoedown, and just - look, it's got good stuff in good quantities, okay?) But I kind of expect that from ltlj. What constantly surprises me about her writing is her original characters, which are just - well. Like take the original character in this one. He's a strangely lovable crossdressing alien misfit with memory problems, and really, I haven't even started with the adjectives I could use for him. You have to adore a writer who can make a character of that description work. And adore her I do. (And if it also makes me want to try creating a character from six random descriptives pulled out of a hat, well, that's my issue, and I'm working on it, okay? I have a sincere desire to change, anyway, and they tell me that's half the battle.)

And, finally, a poll. Influence the future! A very small part of it! Right here!

I thought the use of paragraphs - actual carriage returns! - within these story summaries was:

A wonderful, glorious innovation that brought me back to the arms of my dear friend White Space.
60(37.5%)
Long, long overdue. Seriously. Do you have some kind of phobia about the Enter key?
14(8.8%)
Frankly annoying. It's just one more line I have to scroll through, you know.
0(0.0%)
Completely irrelevant. Believe me, I don't come here for the format, sweetie.
28(17.5%)
Inconsistently applied. Inconsistency bothers me. It makes me...twitchy. Yes, twitchy. *twitches*
1(0.6%)
Something else, and yes, I will use the box you so lovingly provide to explain what that something else is.
3(1.9%)

If you picked something else, here's your box. Feel free to include the DSM-IV diagnosis that explains your obsession with paragraphs. (I'll you show you mine in return!)

 
 
 
Martha: hand puppetssaffronhouse on February 14th, 2006 04:16 pm (UTC)
As you all know, this is a date of Serious Romantical Significance. So I thought I'd rec some gen.

I really love the way you think. ( Just sayin', before running off to read. )
tried to eat the safe banana: Black umbrellathefourthvine on February 14th, 2006 05:32 pm (UTC)
Oh my god your icon. It - it is genius. Evil genius, yes, but with the emphasis on genius. Your evil hand has its very own pictorial representation now!

I really love the way you think.

You love bloody-minded, instinctive contrariness?

*embraces*

I knew someone out there would appreciate it!
(no subject) - saffronhouse on February 14th, 2006 05:46 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on February 14th, 2006 10:57 pm (UTC) (Expand)
shayheyred: SamIrresistableshayheyred on February 14th, 2006 04:21 pm (UTC)
Oh, yes, isn't Shrift's story fabulous? I love how Mugen occupies the center of the story without actually being there. Sheer brilliance.
tried to eat the safe banana: Little Citythefourthvine on February 14th, 2006 05:37 pm (UTC)
I love how Mugen occupies the center of the story without actually being there.

Precisely! I was actually trying to save this story for a gen threesomes post, because it's a topic on which I have Thoughts of Thinkiness, but I couldn't wait. I'm not at all sorry, either. Jin-(Mugen)-Fuu is clearly a thing of great and lasting wonderment.

Plus, I figured I should start my Watch Samurai Champloo or You're Dead to Me campaign now. Although I still need to think of a catchier title for said campaign. Maybe Watch Samurai Champloo or No More Porn for You?

Hmmm. Needs work.
(no subject) - shayheyred on February 14th, 2006 06:51 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bibliokat on February 14th, 2006 07:26 pm (UTC) (Expand)
in a sexy Wayalpheratz on February 14th, 2006 05:07 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I wasn't ever going to say anything about it, but since you asked - I have much love for the Enter key, so your recs *and* the Enter key together would be heaven or something.
tried to eat the safe banana: Harriet Vane at typewriterthefourthvine on February 14th, 2006 05:40 pm (UTC)
Yeah, see, the lack of white space was driving even me bonkers. I mean, more bonkers than changing the format I established back when my summaries were three lines long would make me. (See, I'm not Enter key phobic. I'm change phobic. It just kind of ended up looking the same.)

Perhaps next I will be able to persuade myself to ident - possibly even hanging indent? - the recs, and then the world will be mine!

The portion of it that can be won over with HTML tags, anyway.
(Deleted comment)
tried to eat the safe banana: SGA infinitythefourthvine on February 14th, 2006 05:52 pm (UTC)
Compliments are totally yay. Possibly the very definition of yay, even. (Unless they come from the skeevy guy who works at the pet food store, but if you, by some weird chance, are him, then I totally forgive him and will welcome his remarks with a sunny smile in the future.)

Also, I totally support the two-SGA story rule. No complaints from this corner.

SGA has given us so many things - lesbian talking ponies, John as a bug, Lysistrata - it seems only right, somehow.

Of course, people who loathe SGA are probably right now pointing a shaking finger at the previous sentence and crying, "God, I knew it! I knew this fandom was crazybadevilwrong!" It's probably given them a lasting trauma, and it's not like they don't have enough trouble, poor souls.
(Deleted comment)
Domenika Marzionemiss_porcupine on February 14th, 2006 05:26 pm (UTC)
In the past few days there has been two feet of snow dumped upon my city, the complete and utter mutiny of choice internal organs, and one two-hour meeting dedicated to material that could have been covered in a two-hundred word email. Recognition like this? Makes at least the meeting go away. Thank you and I'm so glad you liked the stories (especially because 'Alice' got its name mostly by accident and entirely through frustration). Would that I were more like Dorothy Parker instead of the noble critter she describes. (We'll leave discussion of my virtue to another set of recs.)

I've read other stories from ltlj but not this one, so I have it opened in a tab waiting. There's always an inspired bit of whimsy in her stuff -- you know, the kind that SG-1 and SGA aim for and instead wind up with holographic Merlins and Julian Sands cameos and bizarre space treatments of Shakespeare by the community theater doing 1776 on their off days.
tried to eat the safe banana: Far and away I wish do knok and enter...thefourthvine on February 14th, 2006 10:17 pm (UTC)
In the past few days there has been two feet of snow dumped upon my city

Um. Yeah, I'd seen the pictures. They're very...pretty?

*hides*

the complete and utter mutiny of choice internal organs

Have you tried guilt trips? When my internal organs rebel, I usually give them long lectures about all the things I do for them, and this how they repay me. Stuff like that. Sometimes I mention their past crimes. It doesn't have much of an effect, but it makes me feel righteously justified in hating them for being mean to me.

and one two-hour meeting dedicated to material that could have been covered in a two-hundred word email.

*embraces sadly*

I'm so sorry. We've all been there, and it just doesn't get any easier, does it?

I'm glad a rec could make up for the meeting, though. (See, I'm not as nice as you. I'd need, at minimum, footage of the person who scheduled the meeting trudging through the snow in inadequate footgear.)

I've read other stories from ltlj but not this one, so I have it opened in a tab waiting.

Ooo, yay! I figured I was recommending another one of those everyone-has-read-it stories with that, but turns out it's new to at least one person. And also, yay for you getting to read it for the first time. Pretty much everything she writes is great. (My favorite story of hers is probably actually "Hydrosphere," which is very atypical of her work. It's just - something about that image has infiltrated my brain.)

There's always an inspired bit of whimsy in her stuff -- you know, the kind that SG-1 and SGA aim for and instead wind up with holographic Merlins and Julian Sands cameos and bizarre space treatments of Shakespeare by the community theater doing 1776 on their off days.

...Julian Sands cameos. I mean, the thing is, I can picture the bizarre space treatments of Shakespeare much easier than this.

Oh, Stargates, some days it's hard to tell if I've been ingesting the illicit chemicals or you have.
(no subject) - miss_porcupine on February 15th, 2006 08:19 am (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on February 14th, 2006 10:23 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Bagheera: Nightcrawlerbagheera_san on February 14th, 2006 05:51 pm (UTC)
I realised just now that I really love your recs. Sometimes they're better than the stories (although I've never been disappointed by any story you recced.) I would read them even if you were advertising toilet paper.
tried to eat the safe banana: Smilethefourthvine on February 14th, 2006 10:32 pm (UTC)
Wow. Thank you!

(You know, the tragic part is that you got me thinking about what I'd rec if I recommended toilet paper. And then, when I concluded that I could not, in good conscience, rec any toilet paper - I can't help my persistent feeling that there should be a better way to do that than just, you know, handfuls of paper - I expanded it to include all personal hygiene products.

And then, thank god, my mind checked in long enough to talk me down off that ledge. But it was a near thing for a moment. Apparently I really am that suggestible.)
(Deleted comment)
best_beloved on February 14th, 2006 06:25 pm (UTC)
A post and a poll...you must *really* be procrastinating.

Also dinosaurs.
tried to eat the safe banana: Dinosaurs and sodomythefourthvine on February 14th, 2006 10:33 pm (UTC)
Not just dinosaurs: dinosaurs and sodomy.
ltlj on February 14th, 2006 07:22 pm (UTC)
Hey, thanks for the great rec!
tried to eat the safe banana: SGA smart/prettythefourthvine on February 14th, 2006 10:34 pm (UTC)
You're welcome!
cetparcetpar on February 14th, 2006 08:13 pm (UTC)
Gen recs on V-Day! It's perfect. Especially for the singles out there. ;)
And I have to ditto the above. I love your recs. Because I know I won't be disappointed. And the recs themselves are very entertaining to read.

Domenika takes those same characters, and without changing their personalities or their actions, makes them act like what we've been told they are.

That is exactly why I enjoy miss_porcupine's stories so much. And I absolutely adore her Sheppard. And her Lorne for that matter. Whenever I get particularly annoyed by the SGA writers' inconsistency in characterization, I go back and read her stories for therapy.

And I hadn't seen the SG-1 story, so thanks for the recs!
tried to eat the safe banana: Valentine!thefourthvine on February 14th, 2006 10:43 pm (UTC)
Thank you!

Gen recs on V-Day! It's perfect. Especially for the singles out there.

And for all of us. I mean, I am all for love and the celebration thereof - obviously, given my purpose on LJ - but...well, after a while, I start to get confused: it is Valentine's Day, or am I stuck in the feminine hygiene aisle of my local drugstore?

And I absolutely adore her Sheppard. And her Lorne for that matter.

Oh, yes. And she writes a Weir who a) is consistent with the canon and b) I actually like, which I had believed was impossible until I saw it done.

I suppose it would be too much to ask that the canon writers hire her.

And I hadn't seen the SG-1 story, so thanks for the recs!

You are most welcome. And, um, while you're looking at that story? I highly recommend you read everything else Tallulah has written, if you haven't already. She's...wow. Just contemplating her stories reduces me to inarticulate joy.
all right, so you're nonchalant: katamari damacyrunpunkrun on February 15th, 2006 12:05 am (UTC)
We The King of All Cosmos totally writes gay porn...and now I'm thinking about just exactly how odd that would be. His use of adjectives alone! The mind quails!

Thanks so much for the rec.
tried to eat the safe banana: Dinosaurs and sodomythefourthvine on February 15th, 2006 04:18 am (UTC)
Here's the thing: I am quite sure that the King would write gay porn, but the only subject I can think of that he'd find worthy of his attention is himself. So when I say "gay porn," in this case what I mean is, "Several pages of meandering discussions of the King's fabulousness, including what the King might or might not choose to do with the King if there were two of him, which there couldn't be, as even one is nearly too fabulous for this cosmos. Plus a page entirely covered with hearts." (Query: would this be a Mary Sue? A King Sue? Just generally what you'd expect from someone as super fantastic as the King?)

Really, the mind does quail.
(no subject) - runpunkrun on February 15th, 2006 07:06 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Solosolo on February 15th, 2006 02:55 am (UTC)
I would say that that button is probably labeled something like, "Schmoopy bodily harm."

OMG thank you for putting this in words. It's a button I've had for the longest of times, and never quite knew what to call it!
tried to eat the safe banana: Bat-sentinelsthefourthvine on February 15th, 2006 04:20 am (UTC)
You are most welcome.

It's quite the button, isn't it?

*dreamy sigh*