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12 June 2006 @ 06:22 pm
Slashy Awards 145: Man Hands on Misery to Man  
Family has been on my mind a lot lately. Guess what that means? Family fan fiction, yup.

The One That Proves Conclusively That the DCU Is Where There's a Daddy Issue Under Every Rock, and Where Family Therapists Can Never, Ever Get Life Insurance. Reconcilable Differences, by Shalott, aka astolat. Fused and bastardized Smallville and DCU, Clark Kent/Lex Luthor. See, now, one of the things I love about Smallville is the family stories - Clark and Lex and their assorted parents just give rise to so many glorious disasters, you know? But that raises the question: what would happen if they were parents? Well, in the DCU canon, they are. Of the same kid, one Kon-El, aka Connor Kent, who got a raw fucking deal from DCU, but we're not going to talk about that now. Because this, this is the story that makes it all better. (Okay, 70% better. I'm never going to forgive DC entirely. I am just not that big a person.) See, even before the Recent Events of Unforgivable Unfairness Kon kind of - I mean, he's got an evil genius for one parent, and a tights-wearing superdork for the other, and also he starts out in life 13, which is so unfair there aren't even words. And Clark always treated him like a kind of...well. Inconvenience.

In this story, Lex gets a chance to have his say, and a chance to show that just because someone is an evil genius doesn't necessarily mean he's a bad person. (I know, I know. Lex brings these little brain twisters into our lives, and, really, I'm grateful.) Tim (Drake, aka Robin 3 and 5, and, seriously, if you don't know about him: OMG TIIIIIIIM! Sorry, I get incoherent when I'm talking about the Timbat.) also gets a chance to be, well, the Tim he was always meant to be. (He pulls off a feat in this story that should go down in the record books. Actually, I suspect it is going down in at least two record books; it's just that Batman and Lex Luthor aren't likely to look on it as a positive accomplishment, which it so obviously is.) I loved this story basically from the third paragraph, but I managed to contain the noises of undignified glee until I got to the scene with the underage drinking. Best underage drinking scene ever. And no one even has sex! (In that specific scene, I mean.)

The One That, Considered in Comparison with the Previous Rec, Indicates That John Sheppard's Parents Were Worse Than Lex Luthor. I Hope They Feel Terrible. Lost in Waiting, by laceymcbain. Stargate: Atlantis, John Sheppard/Rodney McKay. See, now, I would have said that a story featuring a virgin John Sheppard would need to be a massive, massive AU - like trinityofone's Priest John AU, say. So what alarms me about this story is how AU it isn't. I mean, I won't say that this is canon John, exactly - but he's. Okay. Am I the only one who looks at the way John acts and compares it to what the writers seem to believe about him and thinks, those are not the same people? (If I am, then, well, prepare for me to sound like an idiot.) This story is about, not the John they write about, but the John I see on the screen.

And, whoa, what a fucked up John he is, too. (And, hello, no, I am not saying virginity makes you a fucked up person. You can be a virgin at 38 and be an absolutely level, balanced, sane, and stable person - and, even if you're not exactly balanced, well. I am hardly one to suggest that the people having loads of random sex with assorted other people whose names they don't know - or want to - are the truly healthy ones. Been there, done that, had the subsequent decade of therapy, people.) This is a guy who, on his Pegasus Galaxy Embarkation Form, presumably wrote "Personal Item: One DVD of an old football game, and three million massive, hairy issues, including two so large they will also be part-time staff members." And, you know, you have to wonder. The Ancients: a bunch of irresponsible, skeevy people with dominance issues. John Sheppard: Issues Boy. Jack O'Neill: Repression of Issues Boy. Maybe the ATA gene has side effects, is my point here. It'd explain a lot about the Ancients and their massively unfortunate science experiments.

The One That Shows That Even If You, Yourself, Are More or Less Free of Family Issues, They Can Still by God Reach out and Grab You. (Yes, They Are in Fact Like Monsters in the Closet. Only with More Fangs.) Family Portrait, by dsudis. Dead Zone, Walt Bannerman/Sarah Bannerman/Johnny Smith. (Although not so intently that gen fans could not read this. No, the people who should avoid this one are those who are liable to be upset by - well, can I just say disturbing content and let it go at that?) In the life sweepstakes, Johnny Smith has completely and totally lost. You know how, at the end of Season 2, the Buffy writers tried to take away her entire life? They didn't get nearly as cruel as the assorted Dead Zone writers and creators did. I guess that just proves the old axiom: when Stephen King sets out to destroy your life, boy howdy are you screwed. And if that's not an old axiom, it should be.

This story proves that nothing is normal, simple, or easy if you're Johnny Smith. And, okay, I know those of you with children would probably laugh at the idea of school supply shopping being easy. (In fact, I'd like to take a moment right here and now to apologize to my father for the year I would only accept folders not manufactured on the planet earth. Or that might as well have been my criterion, given how many I refused.) But at least you've never had a vision while school supply shopping. (And if you have, I trust and hope that you, at any rate, were simply standing too close to the permanent markers.) Because, really, a vision can ruin your whole day, as we learn here. Of course, we also learn that it can lead to a future of glorious threesomes. One of the many things I love about FF is that in it, Johnny's life doesn't always totally suck.

The One That Can Serve As Inspiration to Non-Traditional Families Everywhere. Well. Non-Traditional Families That Do a Heck of a Lot of Demon Slaying, Anyway. Family Comes First, by ethrosdemon. Supernatural, gen. (Or, if you prefer, non-explicit Sam Winchester/OFC.) I'd like to pause here to squeeze ethrosdemon until she damn near pops for writing a Supernatural story I can actually read. Oh, SPN: you have so many fabulous writers, and I want to read you so much, and yet you are denied to me (although, major points to maygra, who came up with a way that I could read at least some SPN - give that girl a prize, is my thinking on that one). I mean, apart from any personal problems of my own, so much SPN FF keeps me up at nights, insisting that the dogs patrol the house every five minutes and flinching away from shadows, noises, and my own hands. (Look. I am not good with horror. Seriously. You don't want to know about the night I read Misery after mandatory lights out in a psychiatric hospital, but suffice to say that it proved that I really, really, really am not destined to be cuddlebunnies with the horror genre. There's this scene in that book where - well, I won't go into it, but I still see spots and get dizzy when I think about it.)

I love this story because it shows that love isn't the only thing that makes a family. You also need, in nearly all cases, at least a few tablespoons of fucked-up-ness. Of course, given the background of the Winchester gang, that's more like "8 cups of fucked-up-ness, whipped to a light and pleasing froth and folded in," but this is not necessarily a bad thing. It just gives me all the more joy when they manage to make it work. For definitions of "work" that include "a non-traditional, multi-parent family that goes back to demon-slaying after the kid goes into first grade," but tradition is important, people. If your father was a demon-slayer, by god, you should be, too. Or, okay. You can try to avoid it, but the demons will probably come for you in the end anyway. (And, wow. That gives me an entirely new perspective on "They fuck you up, your mum and dad/They may not mean to, but they do." In the Winchester edition of Larkin's poems, I'm betting the next two lines are, "They curse you with the fiends they had/Then add some extra, just for you.")
 
 
 
JoAnnjoannindiw on June 13th, 2006 01:21 am (UTC)
I love your recs. Even with (primarly m/m reader here) having already read the first two recs (oh, my, god. I wish I could write like that), reading your take on it is just so much *fun*.
tried to eat the safe banana: Smilethefourthvine on June 13th, 2006 01:38 am (UTC)
*beams*

Thank you!

oh, my, god. I wish I could write like that

I hear you there. A-yup.

*nods in heartfelt agreement*

I've found more people I wished I could write like in fandom than in all my years of compulsively reading original fiction.
John Stamos Took It Too Far: stalker ray! - heuradysbrooklinegirl on June 13th, 2006 01:22 am (UTC)
(psst, dira is dsudis, not dirasudis)

(YAY RECS)
tried to eat the safe banana: Writhesthefourthvine on June 13th, 2006 01:40 am (UTC)
*smacks forehead*

Thank you! I've fixed it.

Good Time Kimberley:  Discount Stripper: badass Johnresearchgrrrl on June 13th, 2006 01:48 am (UTC)
oops...reposted with proper tag!
You know, our mutual friends seperis and svmadelyn sent me around to friend you a few months back. I've been delighted to have done just that.

FWIW, I'd like to offer you this SPN story Night Moves as it's thus far been warmly received by folks who were just in the mood for something a litle different in SPN fic. (Mainly? Humor and het in one place.) Read or not as you have the time/interest; I've just come to appreciate the recs you make enough that I thought I'd pass along a little something for a change.

Lovely to make your virtual acquaintance. Cheers!
(Reply to this)
Good Time Kimberley:  Discount Stripper: huh?researchgrrrl on June 13th, 2006 01:51 am (UTC)
Re: oops...reposted with proper tag!
And of course? That time, I left out the link. AWESOME.

It's been that kind of day. Jesus.

*staggers away before I do anything additionally spastic here by way of introduction*
Re: oops...reposted with proper tag! - thefourthvine on June 13th, 2006 03:39 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: oops...reposted with proper tag! - researchgrrrl on June 13th, 2006 01:18 pm (UTC) (Expand)
aweszomerth: comic - saving the daysinsense on June 13th, 2006 01:54 am (UTC)
I seriously just love your recs. I know I've probably said it before -- I want to comment and say it every time you post, to be honest -- but it needs saying. These posts rule, and on bad days they are the highlight of my day. Thanks for them.
tried to eat the safe banana: Batman in the spotlightthefourthvine on June 13th, 2006 03:45 am (UTC)
*beams*

Thank you! And, seriously, feel free to say that each and every time. I will not complain at all. Nope nope nope.

These posts rule, and on bad days they are the highlight of my day.

This is why I post! Well, that, and also I suffer from this tragic disease where I feel a deep inner need to get everyone in the whole world to read the things I love. Seriously. You are talking to a dyed-in-the-wool reading proselytizer, here. So it's partly that. But also partly because people say it makes them happy.

And, um, speaking of bad days, you might want to go read about researchgrrrl's bad day, if you haven't already. She just linked me to it, and - wow. That is the kind of thing I might do, and I will think of it and feel better about myself the next time I go out with my shoes on the wrong feet.
cranberryink: sga: grin johncranberryink on June 13th, 2006 02:28 am (UTC)
Am I the only one who looks at the way John acts and compares it to what the writers seem to believe about him and thinks, those are not the same people?

Dude. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
tried to eat the safe banana: SGA smart/prettythefourthvine on June 13th, 2006 03:50 am (UTC)
THANK GOD.

*clings to oasis of sanity in a world of dichotomous John*

...And now I feel I should write a story called Dichotomy. About John. And his - I don't know, bisexuality? Transgenderism? PIVOTAL IMPORTANCE IN THE STRUGGLE BETWEEN GOOD AND EVIL?

Ooo! It could be a Dark Is Rising crossover!

Hmmm. On the whole, probably better not.

But I'm very glad to know that you share my belief in the basic and fundamental weirdness of John.
(no subject) - kbk on June 13th, 2006 05:12 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Dira Sudis: JJ's Two Daddies by sori1773dsudis on June 13th, 2006 02:39 am (UTC)
*twirls*

Thank you so much for the rec! I had a tremendously difficult time writing that story because I was dead certain no one would like it due to [disturbing content], so it means a lot.
tried to eat the safe banana: Little Citythefourthvine on June 13th, 2006 03:56 am (UTC)
It's an amazing story, and I'm glad you persevered. I mean, okay, [disturbing content] is indeed disturbing, but that's kind of the point: Johnny can't be normal, because the most normal thing in the world - shopping with his kid for school supplies, for Christ's sake - turns into, well, intensely disturbing content.

(I especially liked, by the way, the way you handled the visions; it's one of the more true-to-canon presentations I've seen in FF, and it's impressive.)

Overall: fabulous story. Wow.
I made this beat with my panflute and my keyboardjanet_carter on June 13th, 2006 03:03 am (UTC)
The smoke detectors in my apartment went off at 3:40 am Sunday morning - just to entertain themselves, no fire - and then I couldn't get back to sleep. By sunrise, I gave up on trying and turned on the computer, and had a genuine moment of wondering if I'd fallen asleep without noticing it. I mean, I don't usually get confused with dreaming and waking, but there was 40,000 words of shalott there, with Kon! and Tim! and Lex! and Clark! And it made everything better.

OK, self-centered digression over; yay for a lovely recs post and a couple of new stories to read! And:

You don't want to know about the night I read Misery after mandatory lights out in a psychiatric hospital...

Oh, dear.
tried to eat the safe banana: Bookthefourthvine on June 13th, 2006 04:03 am (UTC)
The smoke detectors in my apartment went off at 3:40 am Sunday morning - just to entertain themselves, no fire - and then I couldn't get back to sleep. By sunrise, I gave up on trying and turned on the computer, and had a genuine moment of wondering if I'd fallen asleep without noticing it. I mean, I don't usually get confused with dreaming and waking, but there was 40,000 words of shalott there, with Kon! and Tim! and Lex! and Clark! And it made everything better.

Yes! Precisely! I was awake - couldn't sleep - when she posted it, and I saw that it was about TIM AND KON as well as Lex and Clark, and I nearly exploded with joy. Okay, I also got minimal sleep, what with the story and then the Whining Dog (He whined! All day! For no reason!), but it was so worth it.

Oh, dear.

Yup.

A friend and I used to talk about reading addiction. As in, okay. You're stuck for an indeterminate amount of time in a room that is covered in bookshelves. Except that the bookshelves are filled with [four kinds of reading material we knew the other person would rather eat paste than read]. You can read any of the above, or you can just not read. And we'd always choose to read one of the four. It was like a literary version of Death Is Not an Option.

But I already knew I'd read anything at all if it was a choice between that and not reading; I proved it with Misery. Oh my god. STILL SCARRED. STILL SCARED.

*shudders*
(no subject) - marici on June 13th, 2006 04:38 am (UTC) (Expand)
most amazing damaged cupcake ever: Tim/Kon: like brokeback in a wayficbyzee on June 13th, 2006 03:38 am (UTC)
I'm never going to forgive DC entirely. I am just not that big a person.

SING IT, SISTER. I--have to stop talking about that now, otherwise I'm just going to spew vitriol and bitterness all over your journal. *bites lip*
tried to eat the safe banana: Batvinethefourthvine on June 13th, 2006 05:26 am (UTC)
Spew that vitriol and bitterness! Seriously, I'd welcome it. I've just been fulminating in hostile silence over here, but I see now that vitriol is the better way.

Seriously. My LJ is your stomping grounds, if you're stomping on DC for Certain Recent Poor Editorial Decisions.

*very, very bitter*
(no subject) - ficbyzee on June 13th, 2006 05:35 am (UTC) (Expand)
Lacey McBainlaceymcbain on June 13th, 2006 04:31 am (UTC)
rec thanks
Thanks so much for the awesome rec! *G* And I totally agree with you about John - there are things about his character I can't quite pin down, but this was a way of seeing if I could, and by working in bits of canon I hoped I could pull off the believability factor (or at least not totally have people rolling their eyes and running.)

Thanks again.

tried to eat the safe banana: SGA smart/prettythefourthvine on June 13th, 2006 05:34 am (UTC)
Re: rec thanks
And thank you for the awesome story!

And I totally agree with you about John - there are things about his character I can't quite pin down

*nods*

Yes, indeed. You and cranberryink and me can form a club called The Association of Fangirls for Getting to the Bottom of John.

Hmmm. Name needs work.

by working in bits of canon I hoped I could pull off the believability factor (or at least not totally have people rolling their eyes and running.)

Oh, it totally worked for me. But, in all honesty, I haven't got a lot of trouble buying virgin John. (He's just - not very sexual, is the thing. At all.) It's virgin Rodney that usually leaves me stunned. (Although often I read it anyway. I'm a blatant ficslut.)
Katheryn: babs_dicktallulah71 on June 13th, 2006 04:41 am (UTC)
I have a question that I've been meaning to ask since slashy awards 142, but I keep catching the updates after the comments have reached 359 pages or so. :)

I was wondering if you ever read/rec femslash? I really enjoy your posts and would love to see you turn your POWERS OF REC'ING(/deep announcer voice) to the girls, even if it's only a one time thing. I'm not above bribery.
tried to eat the safe banana: UF indigo girlsthefourthvine on June 13th, 2006 05:38 am (UTC)
Indeed. I most definitely do read femslash, and I have recommended it on occasion. (Unfortunately, I don't tag things for het/slash/femslash, so I can't point you to it. But it's happened.)

Or are you saying an all-femslash set? Hmmm. That could be...interesting. Of course, I'd have to start collecting them now, since up till now I haven't been categorizing that way, so it would take a while. But, hey, I'm game.

I'm not above bribery.

*suddenly alert*

Ooo! I am all for bribery.
(no subject) - tallulah71 on June 13th, 2006 02:36 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Raven: two generations of heroesraveninthewind on June 13th, 2006 04:59 am (UTC)
::glomps you::
Oh Em Gee. That SV/DCU story? Brilliant! It was fan-fucking-tastic, exactly waht I needed to read to put me in the mood for CON.TXT, and I am going to run over to Shalott's journal to tell her so.

I've read the SGA and the DZ before and loved them. I am not ready to read SPN yet (haven't seen enough canon; I want to watch all of season 1 before I dive in), but I'll be starting with your recs, of course.

tried to eat the safe banana: Batvinethefourthvine on June 13th, 2006 06:05 am (UTC)
Re: ::glomps you::
Oh Em Gee. That SV/DCU story? Brilliant! It was fan-fucking-tastic, exactly waht I needed to read to put me in the mood for CON.TXT, and I am going to run over to Shalott's journal to tell her so.

Fabulous beyond WORDS. I just - TIM! KON! OMG!

That's been the sum total of my coherence since I read the thing last night. It made my week.

I am not ready to read SPN yet (haven't seen enough canon; I want to watch all of season 1 before I dive in), but I'll be starting with your recs, of course.

In all honesty, it'd probably be better to start with someone else's recs, because I'm a very poor SPN fan. (I can't handle incest except in very certain circumstances - and I have seriously, seriously tried, god damn it - and I'm squicked by RPF (unless the characters have been dead since at least 1950 or so). Plus, I have the above mentioned horror issues. Seriously, SPN, much as I desperately want to read it, is basically my anti-fandom. *very sad*)
Re: SPN recs - raveninthewind on June 13th, 2006 07:29 am (UTC) (Expand)
flyingtapesflyingtapes on June 13th, 2006 06:18 am (UTC)
man, I'd read three of these before. good choices. I freaking love family fic. there's something about the creation of a family that gets me.
tried to eat the safe banana: Batman in the spotlightthefourthvine on June 14th, 2006 07:21 am (UTC)
there's something about the creation of a family that gets me.

Family is one of the themes I think the DCU does better than almost anywhere else. You have these huge, dysfunctional families, and. Well. Like, one of the things I loved about Tim: he's this exceptional kid who chooses to become a Bat, in full knowledge (all those years of stalking!) of that means, what that is. He's the first Robin who walked in with his eyes open. Or he was.

And this is what gets me with good teamfic, too - not so much in SGA, where I don't see the intense connection between the team members as much, but in SG1: my god, that's the family they chose, over all the other families they've had or could have. What does that say about them?

Just in general, I notice my family stories - I could rec a lot more of them if they didn't cluster into fandoms. The distribution is far from even, and I'm not sure if that's because I seek the family stories out in some fandoms (dS, DCU, SG1) or it's because writers are more fascinated by the family themes in those same fandoms.

Uh. Obviously, yes, this is a topic of interest to me. But, um, shutting up now. Babble mode cancel!
(no subject) - flyingtapes on June 15th, 2006 02:36 am (UTC) (Expand)
Martha: John in bondagesaffronhouse on June 13th, 2006 12:10 pm (UTC)
It broadens like an ocean shelf
Man, yes, Lacey's story was all about that happy-go-lucky flyboy-NOT. All the cues just a little bit off, something behind every smile -- except, say, when he's just shoved Rodney off a balcony.

Your recommendations are one of those things that remind me how cool fandom really can be. Thanks.
tried to eat the safe banana: Black umbrellathefourthvine on June 14th, 2006 07:28 am (UTC)
Get out as quickly as you can
All the cues just a little bit off, something behind every smile -- except, say, when he's just shoved Rodney off a balcony.

OMG YES THAT'S IT. That's one of the reasons this pairing fascinates me so. Almost the only time all of John seems to be in the frame - um, if that makes any sense - I mean, the only time it seems like John isn't off in any way or responding just slightly wrong: when he's with Rodney.

And that's not always true; I mean, he can be with Rodney and still be off-John. But sometimes it's like he and Rodney form a world of two, instead of it just being John "Actually, I Am an Island, Thank You" Sheppard responding to every cue just a little too late, like he had to think, to figure out the proper response.

*beams*

Thank you for giving me Sudden Understanding! It's like a smack upside the head, except fun.

Your recommendations are one of those things that remind me how cool fandom really can be.

*beams even more happily*

And thanks for the compliment, too!
Pet: ASN Driving loveapetslife on June 13th, 2006 12:46 pm (UTC)
I had somehow missed "Reconcilable Differences" and I cannot IMAGINE how that happened. But your rec fixed it! And that is fabulous! Thank you very much, because I enjoyed that story HUGELY.

And I'm so glad you're reading Supernatural, even if it's lightly, because man, this fandom is fun. *beams*
tried to eat the safe banana: Housethefourthvine on June 14th, 2006 07:32 am (UTC)
I had somehow missed "Reconcilable Differences" and I cannot IMAGINE how that happened.

Then I am exceedingly glad I rec'd it. Because, sure, you'd have found it sooner or later - probably sooner, thinking about it - but one day without that story is one day too many.

*nods*

And I'm so glad you're reading Supernatural, even if it's lightly, because man, this fandom is fun.

*eyes you*

I am indeed reading it. Lightly. And, OMG, you SPN people - do you not have adrenal glands? How do you ever sleep at night after some of these stories?

*shudders and glances hastily over her shoulder*

*has pants that are easily scared right off*
(no subject) - apetslife on June 14th, 2006 11:58 am (UTC) (Expand)
stellahobbit on June 13th, 2006 01:01 pm (UTC)
The Ancients: a bunch of irresponsible, skeevy people with dominance issues. John Sheppard: Issues Boy. Jack O'Neill: Repression of Issues Boy.

Best character analysis EVAH!
tried to eat the safe banana: SGA smart/prettythefourthvine on June 14th, 2006 07:39 am (UTC)
Best character analysis EVAH!

Thank you! I was rather proud of it myself.

*beams*

Now I just need someone to write the story in which it is explained that, yes, the ATA gene proteins do fuck you up. Quite a bit, in fact. ("So basically we've isolated the chemical basis of...well." Carson wouldn't look at John directly. "Certain, er, mental, ah, I don't wish to say problems, precisely, more of just a bit of, well, variance - you know, perhaps I'd better run these tests again before I give a report."

Rodney leaned forward, looking interested. "Wait, are you saying it's his genes that make him like that? I always figured it was a tragic past or something!"

"Make me like what, Rodney?" John said in a light tone. Always best, he'd found, to keep the light tone when they were talking about his genetic makeup.

But then everyone around the table turned to look at him. And study him. And then study him a bit more. "Uh, guys? Like what?")

*looks hopefully for volunteers*
(no subject) - stellahobbit on June 14th, 2006 11:20 am (UTC) (Expand)