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06 August 2006 @ 09:18 pm
Slashy Awards 149: The Bigness Which You See  
You all will be pleased to hear that nascent plans for the third consecutive Things That Never Happened set were scotched by a wedding, followed by a right bastard of a cold picked up at the wedding, like it was a very novel favor or something. I’ve now reached the stage where I’m no longer actively wanting to die just to spite the damned rhinovirus convention happening in my upper respiratory system (“Hah. Try making me miserable when I’m dead, you snotwads.”), and I can’t remember what stories the set was supposed to have had. TTNH haters, you are saved! Although it was through my suffering, so I hope you feel soul-crushingly guilty.

Instead of TTNH, today’s subject is - okay, I call this category “long,” but really the stories are somewhere between short stories and novellas in length. Basically, if it would take more than one LJ post to get the whole thing up, then it’s long. (If it would take more than five LJ posts, then it has moved into the territory of “very long.” I am so rigorous in my classification schemes that someday I will rule the world through quantitative analysis. Although there’s a major kink in this system - and notice, SGA fans, that I did not capitalize “major,” and thus I am not referring to first-season Sheppard’s well known fetish for long fiction - in that a lot of long stories don’t get posted to LJ. Researchers continue to study this problem round the clock at the famed TFV Fan Fiction Laboratory, so please view this as a merely interim story classification method.)

My point is, sometimes you need longer fiction. Today, I need longer fiction, and, well, as long as I was looking the stuff up anyway . . .

The One in Which We Learn Why Touya Akira Needed Shindou Hikaru: Because Every Almost Immoveable Object Needs an Irresistible Force. Inertia, by rageprufrock. Hikaru no Go, Akira/Other, Hikaru/Other, Akira/Hikaru.

Okay. Here’s the thing. I didn’t actually want to rec this until I’d uploaded all the manga, because this is a story set well after the canon and so it spoils almost all of it. Then it occurred to me that I could rec this and upload all the canon, because - well, here’s a long story by rageprufrock; what’s more tempting than that? So, first, here’s links for the complete scanned and translated manga: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Let me know if any of these time out or are broken or what have you.

So now my only problem is - what can I say about this story? Because, well. Okay. See, I’ve been reading Go websites. (It has nothing to do with my sudden interest in Hikaru no Go; I’m just, um . . . fine. I admit it. I’m obsessed. And, to be honest, I find it much scarier, as far as tragic proof of the kind of addiction that my loved ones should be scheduling an intervention for, that I’ve been reading stories blind at fanfiction.net.) And here’s the thing. Sometimes I get embarrassed for fandom, all, oh my god, people, please stop being on my side. Because we do have our moments of shame. So it makes me feel much better to note that Go fans are just like us: they too can get wank out of a stone. (Or, rather, out of 361 of them. Oh, I slay myself sometimes.) And Go wank is - um, special. (Like, there’s this one relatively recent wank that was instigated in large part by the Chinese press. Say what you will about our wank, at least it isn’t often started by New York Times headlines reading “For 41st Year in a Row, Fan Fiction Feedback Inadequate, Officials Say. Also, Real Person Slash ‘Totally Gross. Boyband Members Aren’t Gay!’”)

So I was going to write up this story talking about the yin/yang themes running all through this, and that’s totally appropriate to Go, of course, because . . . and then I thought I’d better make sure that I was right about the white and black stones having something to do with yin and yang. A short visit to Sensei’s Library later, I had learned that a) white was totally yin b) white was totally yang c) black was definitely female by default d) black was definitely male by default and, finally, e) Go players also obey the law of conservation of understanding. (“A debate continues until an equal distribution of understanding is achieved. Thus, given the general population of the internet, an open internet debate proceeds until no one understands anything.” And I just made that up, so I can’t source it for you, but you can’t deny that it’s true. Nor can you deny the corollary: “The introduction of one new person who believes he or she knows the right answer will begin the entire debate again, so that it can once again find understanding equilibrium (i.e., complete lack of understanding). This process can continue indefinitely. And almost certainly will. Thus, bringing up Nazis is really an act of mercy.”)

So I will avoid the whole attempt at literary analysis. It was bound to end badly anyway. Instead, I will say that this story is excellent, and it shows Akira being acted upon and Hikaru acting upon him, and it is totally how I am now convinced they end up after the canon. Also, there is sex. You want to read this right now. And you also want to read Hikaru no Go; trust me on this. Seriously. Just by downloading and reading one of those files (for clarity’s sake, it should be the first one), you can make me happier than I’ve been in months.

Don’t make me bring out the Doe Eyes of Pining, people. Read the manga. And then read the story. And then everyone wins.

The One in Which Lex Shows Us the True Meaning of Multiculturalism, and Clark Shows Us the True Purpose of Harem Pants. Moving On, by astolat. Smallville fused with DCU to make a delightfully frothy confection. Clark Kent/Lex Luthor.

It’s an excellent idea to get Lex Luthor off the planet, am I right? I mean, why should earth have all the fun? This is the reasoning that a number of people apply in this story, only to realize much too late that they are a) stupid and, also, b) really really stupid. (Except Batman, who stands in the background, being grimly and mercilessly right. The only reason his fellow Justice League members haven’t killed him by now out of sheer irritation is that they know in their hearts that Batman would stop them and then shake his head, say, “I knew it,” and walk off exuding an aura of I’m Too Sexy to Be This Right All the Time, but by God I’ll Have to Until Someone Else with a Brain Shows Up. No, Tim, I Don’t Mean You.) Lex, meanwhile, gets to take the party to the whole universe. Given that this is Lex, the party involves a lot of deep strategy, a number of hostile mergers, and gay, gay outfits. (If Lex ruled earth, Wall Street would be just the same, except that traders would be required to wear fabulous purple outfits, and also they would routinely assassinate each other right there on the trading floor. I would so buy season tickets.)

Clark, of course, tries to save the universe from Lex. And now pause with me and say, “Oh, Clark. When will you just accept who you are and stop with all these superfights? Blowjobs are so much less damaging to the country’s [galaxy’s, universe’s] infrastructure.” Eventually, there is a happy ending. Plus, of course, more excellently weird costumes. Do not miss, by the way, the unspeakably wonderful Lex Paper Doll Set, by mutecornett. I mean, if Lex gets to wear fabulous outfits, shouldn’t you be able to take them off him?

The One in Which We Discover That It Does, in Fact, Take the Threat of Death to Get a Certain Cop to Clear His Paperwork. And We Totally Fail to Be Surprised. That Good Night, by Dira Sudis, aka dsudis. Due South, Benton Fraser/Ray Kowalski.

One of my major problems with recommending dS these days is that I’m not, um, always the most careful person in the world about marking what I’ve already recommended in my database, which is in any case a total mess thanks to del.icio.us (and also to my prize-winning laziness). So a lot of the stories I’ve loved forever I look at and say, “I’ve rec’d this, right? I mean, I’d be a fool not to have rec’d it. But, well, let’s just say foolishness isn’t totally out of character for me, so . . .” But I’ve decided not to get all obsessive about this crap, so I’m damn well recommending this one anyway. My promise to you: anyone who can point to the slashy set where I’ve already recommended a story gets - um. My thanks? I don’t really have a lot else to offer. But I will offer you another story recommendation. You can even pick the fandom, within the limits of what I’ve got to hand.

See, sometimes there are these little signs that, um, maybe we need to sit down and reassess our goals, our purposes, our lives. For example, if we spend a lot of nights getting drunk. Or if we cannot remember the last time we touched another human being. Or if we stay up late into the night solving tsumgeo (Go problems) solely because we know in our hearts that a fictional, two-dimensional ghost would approve. Or if a creepy old guy wearing a weird hat and carrying flowers keeps turning up and making eerie pronouncements about how we’re on the way out. Of the world.

In this story, Ray experiences more than one of the above. (Three guesses which, but here’s a hint: I am quite sure that Ray Kowalski has never in his life solved tsumego. Although Fraser probably has. He’d probably feel a real bond of sympathy with Hikaru, actually, all, “Yes, ghosts can indeed be a bit of a trial, but - no, Dad, I didn’t say anything. Yes, I’d be delighted to hear about the 81 uses for frozen beavers. Again. Even though I am already quite conversant with all - yes, Dad.”) And do you know what Ray learns? The solution to those little life crises involves lots of sex with Benton Fraser. (And a sun lamp.) Now that is what I call excellence in alternative medicine.

The One in Which We Learn That Rodney McKay, in Addition to His Many Other Fine Features, Is Also a Grammar Snob. And Thus My Happiness Is Made Complete. Cleave, by amireal. Stargate: Atlantis, John Sheppard/Rodney McKay.

The first time I read this, I got partway into the first page and said, “Oh my god, so much yes.” Because one thing that John Sheppard and Rodney McKay definitely share is demand resistance; if you tell them they absolutely cannot do something - well, John smiles insincerely, swears he won’t, and then does it, whereas Rodney just basically does it. So, really, if you wanted the two of them to have sex - and I am not for a moment suggesting you might want any such thing, of course, but if you did - the fastest way to get them there would be to tell them they weren’t allowed to, and then put a lot of obstacles in their way. Make the obstacles totally, provably insurmountable and you’d probably have full-scale buttfucking before you entirely finished explaining the terms. (“And furthermore, if you defeat that barrier, a crack team of trained ninjas will emerge from the secret - damn. Miss Zygen, please send in a bucket of cold water and a crowbar; Dr. McKay and Colonel Sheppard are at it again. Hmmm. Maybe we should add some bioengineered cobras to level 7.”)

So, yeah, that appeals to me, and I don’t mean the sex. (Well. I don’t just mean the sex.) See, some people would tell you that I have, on occasion, been ever so slightly demand resistant myself, and I actually, um, admire it in other people. (We are the few. The proud. The very contrary.)

The other thing that appeals to me is allergies, and this is a total schadenfreude kind of thing. There’s a moment in this story where they think maybe John is allergic to water, and I just - when you have a bad cold, and also allergies on top of that, and you can’t get the shot that’s supposed to fix your allergies because your doctor has elected to go on vacation (Vacation! When there are people suffering here! With very unpleasant sniffles!), there’s nothing that cheers you up quite like imagining someone else being allergic to water. Really, this story gets me on all kinds of levels.

And did I mention the sex? Because the sex is excellent.
 
 
 
(Deleted comment)
tried to eat the safe banana: Gothefourthvine on August 7th, 2006 08:44 am (UTC)
Interesting. I had a related problem; because I've only read the books in translation, I've had problems nailing down the characters' voices. For me, that's fairly important for evaluation fan fiction and really important if I'm going to write FF myself. I've sort of managed to work around this, but it's been weird.

Also - not that my recs would be useful to you with this, but I understand there's a lot of Japanese FF and particularly doujinshi for Hikaru no Go. So if you are interested in reading fanworks based on HnG, you probably could do it more easily in Japanese than English. (It's a pretty small fandom in English.)

And the love? Totally and for sure. It's rare for me to start with canon and then go on to fan fiction, but in this case I had to; I was done with the manga and anime and I wanted much, much more.
(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)
cranberryink: sga: orange dorkscranberryink on August 7th, 2006 04:39 am (UTC)
(We are the few. The proud. The very contrary.)

hahahahah, we are the proud and the contrary, but I somehow doubt that we are few.
tried to eat the safe banana: Wicked unclethefourthvine on August 7th, 2006 08:48 am (UTC)
*thoughtful*

I honestly have no idea how common demand resistance is. I mean, everyone probably has some amount of it, but things like mass hysteria rely on the opposite - you could think of it sort of like demand compliance, and it works scarily well and often affects most people.

Maybe it's a percentile deal, and you aren't truly contrary until you're more in at least the 51st percentile and thus more demand resistant than the majority.

Or possibly I am investing way too much thought in this. Could very well be so.
Amireal: glare!amireal on August 7th, 2006 04:49 am (UTC)
*wibbles*

*cherishes*

So. Shiney.

Thank you!
tried to eat the safe banana: Smilethefourthvine on August 7th, 2006 08:49 am (UTC)
*beams*

You are entirely welcome!
torn between not okay and maybe kind of cute: leap of faithkalpurna on August 7th, 2006 04:51 am (UTC)
Oh my GOD. *looks afraid* Someone is watching my laptop! OK, I swear this is ABSOLUTELY TRUE: Today at about 11:00 PM, I was clearing out my inbox, and I found your reply to some comment I made a while back, in which you said, basically, "since you trusted me about SGA and DS, and I was TOTALLY RIGHT, you better trust me about Hikaru No Go!" This led me to two thoughts. First, I thought, "huh! I miss TFV's rec sets. She hasn't done one in a while." Then I thought, "I should really go read those manga volumes I downloaded after her last couple posts. They've been sitting untouched on my desktop forever."

So, I did.

I get through the entire first volume, and I'm starting into the second, when I notice that it's 12:45 AM and decide to go check my flist. And hello! You've updated. With an HnG rec.

I think Sai WANTS me to get hooked on this fandom.
tried to eat the safe banana: Gothefourthvine on August 7th, 2006 08:55 am (UTC)
*nods*

Clearly, it is Destiny or Fate or some other nebulous but irresistable force deserving of a capital letter. It's very unwise to argue with the Capital Letter Crew; just look at Greek mythology. Hubris is obviously extreme defiance of the Capital Letter Crew.

Plus, your laptop is obviously already on board with the scheme and is acting as a mole for the CLC (HnG Division). And, seriously, do you want to go against your laptop? Could get very ugly.

But - you're reading it! Yay! What do you think so far?
(no subject) - kalpurna on August 9th, 2006 01:46 am (UTC) (Expand)
Destina: stargate teal'c groovydestina on August 7th, 2006 05:28 am (UTC)
You know...reading your recs just makes me happy. It's not even the stories you rec, actually. Sometimes I don't even click the links; I'm not into some of these fandoms. But it's the way you talk about the stories, and the love you feel for them, which comes across clearly. :)

*happy*
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV glowythefourthvine on August 7th, 2006 09:12 am (UTC)
Wow. Thank you. I adore the stories I rec, and I'm glad that shows. (Well, hence the recommending - I want everyone in the world to read the stories I love because they are just so wonderful OMG. I'm a fan fiction fangirl, basically.)

*very happy now*
Proactively Untwist Octagonal Hippopotamus Pants: boyfriendsdramaturgca on August 7th, 2006 05:38 am (UTC)
Pretty sure you've never recced the DS before, otherwise I would have read it...
tried to eat the safe banana: Dogthefourthvine on August 7th, 2006 09:16 am (UTC)
Good to know. Although it sort of leaves me wondering what I was thinking, but that's the great thing about dS - there are so many wonderful stories that's it's possible to forget to rec a classic. Or a bunch of classics, actually.

Glad I rectified that with this one, at least.

And now I'm thinking about just how many unrec'd dS stories I have and wincing; at the rate of one per set, I could rec basically forever and not run out, because dS writers are just that wonderful.

dS: the fandom that will ruin you for all other fandoms. (And give you an intense and lasting love of Canada, but that's just natural.)
plus one skeletondelurker on August 7th, 2006 06:08 am (UTC)
(“A debate continues until an equal distribution of understanding is achieved. Thus, given the general population of the internet, an open internet debate proceeds until no one understands anything.” And I just made that up, so I can’t source it for you, but you can’t deny that it’s true. Nor can you deny the corollary: “The introduction of one new person who believes he or she knows the right answer will begin the entire debate again, so that it can once again find understanding equilibrium (i.e., complete lack of understanding). This process can continue indefinitely. And almost certainly will. Thus, bringing up Nazis is really an act of mercy.”)

This made me laugh. But it's so true!
tried to eat the safe banana: I sleep with computers.thefourthvine on August 7th, 2006 09:22 am (UTC)
*nods*

For many communities, it would be more expedient to have a list of Frequently Repeated Debates than Frequently Asked Questions. ("Man really did land on the moon. No, we don't want to discuss it. End of chat." or "One more debate on the use of crates for puppy training and I will turn this listserv around." I'm afraid even to type fandom's list of FReDs, though; it's a speak of the devil situation. *looks around nervously*)
(no subject) - delurker on August 7th, 2006 11:22 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on August 7th, 2006 11:53 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - delurker on August 7th, 2006 12:07 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - joandarck on August 7th, 2006 03:57 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - delurker on August 7th, 2006 11:02 pm (UTC) (Expand)
London Clockwork: sga -- fortunate sonpolaris_starz on August 7th, 2006 06:20 am (UTC)
I kind of love this set. A lot. Especially the Lex-conquers-the-galaxy one, because dude. Lex makes an awesome dad.

Also, re: demand resistant Sheppard/McKay, have you read Teamwork? It's an SGA au where Rodney is a Mountie, John is a mathematician with leadership issues, and they're on one of the offworld teams with Beckett and Cadman. It's kind of awesome.
tried to eat the safe banana: SGA smart/prettythefourthvine on August 7th, 2006 09:26 am (UTC)
Lex makes an awesome dad.

And an equally awesome Intergalactic Overlord. Lex just goes well with anything, basically.

Also, re: demand resistant Sheppard/McKay, have you read Teamwork?

Oh, hey! I thought that one was gone - as I recall, I started reading it on LJ and went off to do some actual work, and then the next day I couldn't get into it anymore. But apparently it was just that my brain was malfunctioning. Thank you!

*off to read*
perched precariously on the edge of normality: only felt the thorns [so it goes]vampirespider on August 7th, 2006 08:31 am (UTC)
Yay! Your recs are amazing and amusing. Thank you for sharing ♥
tried to eat the safe banana: Smilethefourthvine on August 7th, 2006 09:28 am (UTC)
*beams*

Thank you!
Mari: let it tie you in comfort.marici on August 7th, 2006 08:36 am (UTC)
I was looking everywhere for that DS story, but you'd be suprised at just how much nothing google gives you when you combine DS keywords with "sun lamp". Thanks!
tried to eat the safe banana: Fraserthefourthvine on August 7th, 2006 09:34 am (UTC)
I had a similar experience with it. Twice. The first time, I remembered the Canada coda as a separate story, so I was looking for stories about Ray and severe seasonal affective disorder. And, yes. I too have known the heartbreak of googling "due south" and "sun lamp." *bonds*

But then I did it again, with the line about the looser pants.

There are very few stories I've lost twice. (And then there are stories I've lost half a dozen times or more; only, like, three, but it's frustrating enough that I have a special tag for them now.) Thank god I re-read this one on a regular basis, or I'd still be looking for both the sun lamp story and the pants story. *shudders*
(no subject) - ken_more on August 7th, 2006 03:13 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Sister Nail Gun of Sweet Reasonrike_tikki_tavi on August 7th, 2006 09:00 am (UTC)
I thought, I should finally tell you how much I enjoy your rec sets. Even the ones for fandoms I don't know anything about. Or the ones for stories, that I already know, because while there might be no new shiny story for me to try out, I know what you are talking about and that makes the rec even better. So, thanks for the great recs.
tried to eat the safe banana: Writhesthefourthvine on August 7th, 2006 09:36 am (UTC)
*bursting with happiness*

Thank you so much!

Also, you have the cutest icon in the whole world. I have been staring at it for the past ten minutes, and it just never ever gets less adorable. It should be available by prescription for depressed people.

*admires some more*
(no subject) - rike_tikki_tavi on August 7th, 2006 11:51 am (UTC) (Expand)
phineas vaughn jones: you think about it don't you?phineasjones on August 7th, 2006 02:12 pm (UTC)
this is what i get for skimming. man. i'm so obsessed right now that when i saw your post just before heading off to bed, i scanned for "due south," saw it, printed it and carried it off to bed with me.

and, right, the theme is long. meaning i did not finish reading before i had to sleep. meaning i was left in the UTTER DESPAIR of that story. i mean, it's really amazing. so it was effective in producing said sense of despair. i literally woke up this morning thinking about ray putting a gun in his mouth.

all this is to say that i swear to pay full attention to your posts before taking any rash action in the future.

:)
tried to eat the safe banana: Fraserthefourthvine on August 7th, 2006 08:48 pm (UTC)
*nods*

The sleep you save may be your own.

Although, interesting; I don't think of this story as having an utter despair point, and I think it's because I've read it so many times. (After I've seen things get better a few dozen times, the bad parts are less hurty.) I'm trying to remember what my initial reaction was to it, and, well, I can't. Too long ago. But I think it was a lot more disturbed; I do remember clicking away from it for a couple days at one point, which isn't common for me with Dira's stories but is my standard defense against distressing or overwhelming fic.

*thoughtful*

I wish I did a better job of recording my initial reactions to stories.

*sighs*

And while I'm at it, I'd like a pony.
(no subject) - phineasjones on August 8th, 2006 03:23 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Iseultiseult_variante on August 7th, 2006 04:49 pm (UTC)
Heeeeeee. So much hee. Your recs are always hilarious! :)
tried to eat the safe banana: Smilethefourthvine on August 7th, 2006 08:50 pm (UTC)
Thank you!

*happy*
(Deleted comment)
tried to eat the safe banana: Fraserthefourthvine on August 7th, 2006 08:52 pm (UTC)
Oh, good. I'm glad you liked it, and I'm even more glad there are people who found the rec useful; I tend to worry that the stories I rec are ones that everyone in the whole world has already read.
anenko: [wallflower] don't want to changeanenko on August 7th, 2006 07:07 pm (UTC)
And you also want to read Hikaru no Go; trust me on this.

OMG, *yes.* I'm only on volume seven (as I must purchase my manga, being unable to concentrate enough to even *understand* manga online), but I'm *hooked.* You wouldn't think a series about a board game could be so compelling, and yet, *wow.*

And total agreement as to the story rec, as well. At first, I was: "no way! no sex for Hikaru and Akira! They're sweet little boys--look at their pudgy faces!" But their mutual obession,--and a few excellent pieces of fanfic--won me over, and now I can't even bring myself to feel guilty about 'shipping them.
tried to eat the safe banana: HnG Akira Hikaruthefourthvine on August 7th, 2006 08:57 pm (UTC)
When I first started reading, I was all, "But they're so little! And adorable! They're too cute to slash!" But one of the things I really truly love about the series (and Obata's art) is that they visibly grow up. Makes shipping them even easier, 'cause they're still just as obsessed with each other when they look almost like grownups.

Also, I hear that somewhere out there there's official artwork of them post-canon. I wish I could find it - I've been looking to no avail - but I hear they get even more slashable, which is a giant yay in my opinion.