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13 January 2007 @ 11:52 pm
159: God Does Not Play Dice with the Universe. But We Do.  
Thanks for all the hard drive advice, folks - operation Save the Vids is underway. And good thing, too, because I am starting to twitch without them.

So. I had a whole introduction here linking 2007 and AUs and stuff, but I managed to delete it in a way that could not be undone. (The technological disaster front is weakening, but still present. Exorcism of our premises may be required if this keeps up much longer.) Instead, I will just say this:

Hey. Here are some AUs I think you should read.

The One That Proves That the World May Change, but Macaroni Sculptures Stay the Same. A Chip off the Old Blog, by Salieri, aka troyswann. due South, gen.

Okay, two things: I'm not going to spoil this (not not not, no matter how much I want to, and oh god I so do) and I am going to warn for something. There is a suggestion of animal harm. The harmed animal is not Dief. The animal harm does not appear onscreen, as it were. And yet, it bothered the hell out of me, and I know there are a few people out there who might also be bothered. Hence, warning.

But here's the thing: I love this story anyway. And those of you who know me will know how stunning that is. Normally, if there's animal harm of any kind, that's it - my brain wipes and the rest of the story becomes meaningless. In extreme cases, this ends with me sobbing helplessly against a fence in Disney World (Curse that animation demo, with the clips from Certain Animated Classics We Won't Mention, Because Just the Names Sometimes Make Me Cry!) to the degree that Disney employees grow worried and offer to "help," for which read, "Take you somewhere where you won't disturb the people who are having fun in the happiest place on the earth, unlike you, you - um. Are you all right? God, can you even breathe?" (Yes, that really happened. It wasn't a shining moment for my dignity. Also, please keep in mind that I was twenty-four at the time. And I couldn't talk, so Best Beloved had to reassure people that no, really, I was perfectly fine - not easy against a background of choking sobs - and then tow me out and keep me from bonking into random tourists, because I also couldn't see very well because of all the crying. Disney animators: destroying hearts, minds, and lives since the 1930s!)

Anyway. My point is: I love this story so much that I just deal with the whole animal unhappiness. Because this story is incredible. I have an unhealthy love for science fiction anyway, and this is like a tribute to certain SF classics (which I am not saying, because remember how I am not spoiling this?) and the most perfect dS AU ever. The casting is - oh, it is so perfect that I get light-headed from glee just thinking about it. (You can tell because of all the italics. I get crazy with the emphasis when I'm gleeful.) I - I kind of want a dS v 2.0 TV show, based on this premise, because I tell you and I tell you true: the only thing better than a sexual-tension laden buddy cop show filled with magical realism and Diefenbaker is that same show in a classic SF setting.

Oh, I can't even begin to communicate the perfection of this story. Or, okay, I could, but I'd end up spoiling it. Which I am not going to do. Just - just read it, okay? Please. Otherwise I'll be forced to keep babbling, and since I can't talk about the story (which is oh my god so perfect), I'd end up talking about other cruel things Disney animators have done to me and mine. You don't want to hear about how my father (yes, it's genetic) and I both cried all the way through dinner on my 16th birthday, alarming waitstaff and fellow diners and forcing my mother and sister to come up with topics of conversation that didn't revolve around the two freaks weeping into their linguine across the table. (The restaurant manager refused to charge us for our meals, even though my father tried to explain that it wasn't the food that was the problem.) Neither do you want to hear about my first and only childhood moving-going experience. Really you don't. So just read this story, okay?

ETA: The day I after I posted this recommendation, Salieri posted an extended version of this: Real Boys (A Chip off the Old Blog), due South, Benton Fraser/Ray Kowalski. It is all of the awesomeness described above times about fifteen.

The One That Will Heal the Wounds Left on Your Soul by Long, Stilted Sentences. And Classic Fiction. Seriously, This Is the Anodyne for 90% of English Class Related Scarring. Jane Narf, by Parhelion, aka parhelion_aloft.** Pinky and the Brain, and the pairing is - Pinky/Brain, maybe? Assuming Jane Narf is Pinky? I don't know. I'm a little shaky on this, as I have never seen or even heard of the canon. (I'm just assuming this is an AU, actually; I don't know for sure. If the canon is really like this, oh my god someone please tell me, because I will immediately procure it even if I have to commit illegal acts to do so.)

So. I don't know Pinky and the Brain. But I do know Jane Eyre, and let me tell you, reading it was an unfortunate experience. I was 8 or 9, and as far as I was concerned, the book started well. Orphans! Injustice! Picturesque diseases! All it needed was a magic amulet or something, and it would have been on the road to greatness. And then it deteriorated into this long story about exceedingly boring old people who, in my 8-or-9-year-old opinion, were pathetic: they spent long periods of time whining and then deliberately making life worse for themselves, apparently so they could have more to whine about. I just could not believe how stupid they were. I kept reading only because of my sincere conviction that sooner or later the magic would turn up. I finished with a feeling of great betrayal: where was the magic? Stupidity was not okay without magic!

Well, as it turns out, the magic is here, in this story. Clearly, Pinky and the Brain is the secret ingredient that makes Jane Eyre magical and right, at long long last. Well, okay, the actual equation would probably look more like this: Parhelion(Jane Eyre + Pinky and the Brain) = awesomeness of a previously undiscovered caliber. Because, obviously, it took a mind of great genius to produce this work. It is - god. The voice, the tone, the sheer joy this brought me. I cannot begin to describe it.

I will say, though, that this story healed me. I've been carrying around resentment about Jane Eyre since, well, I was 8 or 9. No longer. Now it is and forever will be a wonderful story - a classic work about a young lab rat and her forbidden romance with the mysterious Mr. Brainchester. And it will remain forever on my list of Things That Bring Me Great Joy.

Narf.

The One in Which We Learn That We Must Throw off the Shackles of Superstition, for It Can Stand in the Way of Orgasms. String Theory, a Concerto for Violin in D Minor, by toft_froggy. Stargate: Atlantis, Rodney McKay/John Sheppard.

I have a great fondness for the alternate occupation AU. If there's a story where Beecher is a bartender and Chris Keller is the bar's bouncer, I will read it with pleasure, even though there are well-documented problems with taking Beecher and Keller out of a prison setting. Same with, for example, a story about Ray Kowalski and Benton Fraser, zoo employees - I will read that one and likely chortle with delight as I'm doing so. And if you make Batman a ship's captain running down the Dread Pirate Joker, I will not only read it but likely die of unbounded fannish glee in the process.

SGA gives me an unusually high dose (even dangerously high, but that's fine: my tolerance is astonishing) of this kind of happiness, because the characters fit anywhere. Seriously. I'm not sure why, but it's tough to think of alternate occupations you couldn't give the SGA crew. (It's just like - I have this game I play with Best Beloved: name a movie, and I'll recast it with SGA characters. Classic romance is especially good for this, but almost anything works. The Matrix! Master and Commander! The Godfather! Pride and Prejudice! No, wait, I think someone already wrote that last one.)

So, here we have Rodney McKay the brilliant composer and conductor and John Sheppard the fuckup violinist. And I just - I have such love for this, because it works. These are recognizably our Friends of Pegasus even as they slot perfectly into the orchestra AU roles. (And Ronon is a percussionist. I was a percussionist once, so I practically collapsed at my keyboard when I read that. Seriously, Ronon was born to play percussion.)

And it's just - it works. It's wonderful, and it's fun, and it makes my heart turn cartwheels from happiness. What more can I say?

The One That Made Me Like a Creepy Talking Monkey. And I Loathe Monkeys, People; As Far As I'm Concerned, Hell Is Talking Monkeys.* Home Is Where the Heart Is, by Martha Wilson, aka ltlj, and Kimberley Rector, aka researchgrrrl. Hercules: the Legendary Journeys, gen. Ish. (It's hard to say with Hercules, unless someone's cock is in someone else's mouth, because if you're writing in line with the canon, it feels slashy even when it's totally gen.)

Okay. So. You don't know Hercules? I don't care. You can read this as original fiction - it's that good, and that original, and that much fun. Here's what you need to know: there's this guy named Hercules, who you may already have heard of in other contexts. He's a demigod, in case you didn't know. His friend and long-time companion Iolaus died, and he tried to find another one, but it didn't work out. There. Now you're ready to read this.

And read it you should, because - oh my god, this is so good. The Egyptian elements made my heart leap with joy. (People with heart conditions that preclude leaping should consult their doctors before reading this story.) I can't even talk about how wonderful this is, and partly that's because I don't want to spoil it, but also because I get incoherent and babble-ish, and this soon after my re-reading of Jane Narf, that could be dangerous.

And if you do know Hercules? Well, you may remember a spot of unpleasantness that those in the know call "the fifth season." This fixes that. It's an AU that doesn't just erase the whole whatever-it-was that ended up with Iolaus dead and replaced by WTF-that's-not-Iolaus (because, seriously, I don't know for sure what happened there - Best Beloved stopped watching Hercules after season four, thanks to some advice I got from marycrawford, who is my Hercules consultant). It takes those events, accepts them, and then somehow makes them all better, in a way that is both brilliant and perfectly in line with the canon. And is also full of Egyptian mythology. Did I mention that?

(By the way, if you read this story and think, "I want more Egyptian mythology influenced fantasy. But, by god, this time I want it with time travel and Lord Byron," let me know. I'll have an original fiction recommendation for you.)

-Footnote-

* Yes. Ironic, isn't it?

** Thanks, mutecornett!
 
 
 
peeps wanna see peeps boink: as you wishmusesfool on January 14th, 2007 07:52 am (UTC)
Um, yeah, I'd say Jane Narf is a pretty good approximation of what canon Pinky and the Brain is like. It's totally worth picking up. And yes, that story made Jane Eyre palatable to me for the first time ever.
tried to eat the safe banana: Huh - Mutant Blue Thingthefourthvine on January 14th, 2007 10:34 am (UTC)
I've just spent some quality time with Google and Wikipedia, those most trusted of sources, and - it's an animated television series about lab rats in a cage. I. Um. Cannot quite wrap my head around it.

*blinks many times very quickly*

And yes, that story made Jane Eyre palatable to me for the first time ever.

God, yes. (In general, Yuletide is remarkably healing in this way. I predict that within three more Yuletides, there will be excellent fan fiction for every single piece of fiction I've ever loathed. And then I will, presumably, find true peace.)
(no subject) - musesfool on January 14th, 2007 06:08 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on January 15th, 2007 04:17 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - musesfool on January 17th, 2007 04:47 pm (UTC) (Expand)
intellectual peppery: sir yes sireleveninches on January 14th, 2007 08:10 am (UTC)
I would definitely be interested in the time travel Egyptian story, please.
fuck you, internet porn will save the world: [e7] happilyimpactbomb on January 14th, 2007 08:21 am (UTC)
Go to Borders and look up The Anubis Gate by Tim Powers.

You'll not be disappointed!
(no subject) - eleveninches on January 14th, 2007 06:40 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - impactbomb on January 14th, 2007 06:46 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on January 14th, 2007 10:37 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - eleveninches on January 14th, 2007 06:40 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - threerings on January 15th, 2007 02:03 am (UTC) (Expand)
Good Time Kimberley:  Discount Stripperresearchgrrrl on January 14th, 2007 08:12 am (UTC)
Thanks for the rec, yo. I'm willing to come forward as Kimberley Rector since, like, that's my real name. *g* I'm glad you enjoyed HIWtHI as much as you did. I had a great time with the research and as a contributing author. :)
tried to eat the safe banana: HtLJ Porkulesthefourthvine on January 14th, 2007 10:48 am (UTC)
I'm willing to come forward as Kimberley Rector since, like, that's my real name.

Well, see, that's why I didn't want to link to your LJ without your approval. (I had a moment when I was writing this up - I typed your name, and I was going to put in my usual, "Um, does anyone know if she's on LJ?" And then I realized that I knew where you were on LJ. I mean, what are the odds there's two Kimberley Rectors in fandom? And now I'm picturing a Kimberley-on-Kimberley showdown: "The internet's not big enough for the two of us, sweetheart. Cage death match. Two walk in, one walks out." There would be kick-ass boots involved. Um, can you tell I'm really short on sleep?)

I'm glad you enjoyed HIWtHI as much as you did.

Thank you for co-writing it. It's such a great story, and of course the Egyptian mythology stuff is just - well, it made me deeply, deeply happy. (I'm not ashamed to own up to my bulletproof kinks, and oh is that one of them.)
London Clockwork: sga -- usually. sometimes. kind of.polaris_starz on January 14th, 2007 08:13 am (UTC)
right, let's try it with correct html this time.
I have also noticed the SGA universe's huge adaptability for basically any and all AU settings. My del.icio.us page is testimony to it. It's kind of amazing. And since I also love AUs with an unholy passion, it's no wonder this fandom is my baby. (Have you recommended Daemonology? Or is that a crossover? Are fusions crossovers, AUs, or both?)

On the matter of AUs in other fandoms, have you ever recommended astolat's All The Wonder? I can't remember and your tags intimidate me too much to go looking just now.

Also, there need to be more due South/SGA crossovers. I can't even find the one that I read before, now, which is tragic.
tried to eat the safe banana: SGA infinitythefourthvine on January 14th, 2007 11:02 am (UTC)
Re: right, let's try it with correct html this time.
Have you recommended Daemonology? Or is that a crossover? Are fusions crossovers, AUs, or both?

Yup! I love that story with an unholy glee, and I would explicate at length, except for I think I got about as coherent as I can about that story in the rec. (Hence the link.) And my own reasoning is - well, I count it as a crossover, but I classify crossovers as a type of AU, so for me, if it's a crossover, it is by definition an AU. All crossovers are AUs, although not all AUs are crossovers.

Oh, god, I'm not making any sense at all. I need sleep *whimpers*

On the matter of AUs in other fandoms, have you ever recommended astolat's All The Wonder?

Yup! (And, OMG, it's recommendations post number 23. Wow, that was a long time ago, in fannish terms - thank you for inspiring me to look back through my tags.)

Speaking of incredible Master & Commander AUs written by Shalott (how was that for a lead in?), you've read Duende, right? I didn't think I could love another M&C AU as much as I love All the Wonder, but Duende is definitely competing fiercely for the honor. I would gladly see a twenty-novel series for either AU. Or, ideally, both.

Also, there need to be more due South/SGA crossovers. I can't even find the one that I read before, now, which is tragic.

I completely agree. I've read a few, but the one that springs immediately to mind is, unusually for me, actually art. The drawing with Fraser's personal item never fails to cheer me up. I look at it often.
fuck you, internet porn will save the world: [fma] kick the baby!impactbomb on January 14th, 2007 08:20 am (UTC)
(By the way, if you read this story and think, "I want more Egyptian mythology influenced fantasy. But, by god, this time I want it with time travel and Lord Byron," let me know. I'll have an original fiction recommendation for you.)

Tim Powers reference! ♥

I am breaking my friends' brains with Jane Narf as we speak.
tried to eat the safe banana: Bookthefourthvine on January 14th, 2007 11:05 am (UTC)
Tim Powers reference!

I love you so much right now I cannot even speak.

I am breaking my friends' brains with Jane Narf as we speak.

This is right and good and obviously what the author wanted you to do. Also, it's a great thing to do for any friend that has read Jane Eyre. You win at books and friendship today!
(no subject) - impactbomb on January 14th, 2007 06:52 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - impactbomb on January 14th, 2007 07:00 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Jeddyjeddy83 on January 14th, 2007 08:25 am (UTC)
So I was sitting here thinking, "OMG why is my friendslist not entertaining me tonight," and then you posted.
tried to eat the safe banana: Daisythefourthvine on January 14th, 2007 11:08 am (UTC)
*beams*

I am here to entertain and distract. And, ideally, to facilitate procrastination. It is my purpose. (Hmmm. I should totally write up a mission statement and put that in there. *makes note*)
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tried to eat the safe banana: Dinosaurs and sodomythefourthvine on January 14th, 2007 11:13 am (UTC)
I'm pretty much a total AU whore. Change eras! Change occupations! Change a single event from the canon! Basically, change something and I will be there with bells on. But, yeah, occupational AUs hold a special place in my heart for some reason.

(And String Theory is indeed awesome. Plus, it snarks on Elgar, which is just awesome-flavored icing on the awesome cake.)
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(no subject) - thefourthvine on January 15th, 2007 07:07 am (UTC) (Expand)
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(no subject) - thefourthvine on January 15th, 2007 02:23 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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(no subject) - thefourthvine on January 15th, 2007 04:54 pm (UTC) (Expand)
cranberryinkcranberryink on January 14th, 2007 08:34 am (UTC)
I second the recommendation for Pinky and the Brain canon! It's zanily delightful.
tried to eat the safe banana: Daisythefourthvine on January 14th, 2007 11:15 am (UTC)
How can I resist when you use phrases like "zanily delightful"?

*succumbs to your wiles*

*heads off to add it to Netflix queue*
obsessive-compulsive squirrel: desert poweracari on January 14th, 2007 08:49 am (UTC)
OMG, there is Pinky and the Brain fic! OMG! Run, do not walk, and get your hands on the canon. You will have tears running down your face from laughing so hard.

And, oh, String Theory is lovely.

tried to eat the safe banana: Daisythefourthvine on January 14th, 2007 11:22 am (UTC)
OMG, there is Pinky and the Brain fic! OMG! Run, do not walk, and get your hands on the canon. You will have tears running down your face from laughing so hard.

It's like a Pinky and the Brain cult has suddenly materialized in the comments - yours is the third recommendation of the canon. I've added it to my Netflix queue, because I cannot possibly resist recommendations like these (you tell me something will make me laugh and I am there), but I'm starting to worry that it will take over my brain. Will I need to line up a Pinky and the Brain deprogrammer?

And, oh, String Theory is lovely.

It is indeed. *happy sigh*
(no subject) - toft_froggy on January 14th, 2007 11:32 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on January 15th, 2007 07:08 am (UTC) (Expand)
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(no subject) - thefourthvine on January 15th, 2007 07:10 am (UTC) (Expand)
Mute Cornettmutecornett on January 14th, 2007 09:18 am (UTC)
She's on LJ as parhelion_aloft, I think. Her original slash is *amazing* stuff.
tried to eat the safe banana: Black umbrellathefourthvine on January 14th, 2007 11:25 am (UTC)
Ooo. Thank you. parhelion_aloft has the same website as the Yuletide Parhelion, so you've definitely found her. I'm off to edit the entry.

And I must read her original stuff, too; Jane Narf is definitive proof of her writing genius, after all. *makes mental note*
(no subject) - delurker on January 14th, 2007 12:44 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - vassilissa on January 14th, 2007 02:58 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - raucousraven on January 14th, 2007 10:34 pm (UTC) (Expand)
meelie: batman - the killing jokemeelie on January 14th, 2007 09:58 am (UTC)
And if you make Batman a ship's captain running down the Dread Pirate Joker, I will not only read it but likely die of unbounded fannish glee in the process.

::cough:: Canon. (well, canon-ish). A summary of the storyhere.
tried to eat the safe banana: Age of Sailthefourthvine on January 14th, 2007 11:26 am (UTC)
...There just isn't any crack that isn't canon in DCU, is there? I always forget that.

OMG. Leatherwing. That is too wonderful for words.

*dead from glee*
DCU serves up the crack - scrollgirl on January 14th, 2007 09:59 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: DCU serves up the crack - thefourthvine on January 15th, 2007 02:20 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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(no subject) - thefourthvine on January 15th, 2007 12:26 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on January 15th, 2007 12:22 am (UTC) (Expand)
tofttoft_froggy on January 14th, 2007 11:31 am (UTC)
Firstly - EEEEEEEEE *points* thatsmethatsme!

Secondly - OMG Jane Narf. I cannot wait to read that, it sounds fantastic. God bless the internet. (But, I have to ask - have you tried Jane Eyre again since that unfortunate first reading? Because it really is wonderful, even without lovelab rats.

Thirdly - Even if one of your posts doesn't rec a single story I'd ever read (which isn't often) on first sight - like, if they're all for anime or something - I always read them all the way through anyway, because they always, always make me laugh.
tried to eat the safe banana: All the bees are ded.thefourthvine on January 15th, 2007 12:38 am (UTC)
But, I have to ask - have you tried Jane Eyre again since that unfortunate first reading? Because it really is wonderful, even without lab rats.

Well, no. I was bitter, and I can hold a mean literary grudge. (Seriously. You don't want to know about some of the literary grudges I'm holding.) I'm hoping that now that I've been healed by Jane Narf I'll be able to try again. (My parents' policy of allowing me to read anything I damn well pleased was mostly a good one, but Jane Eyre was definitely one of the casualties of this. Also Kafka. Bug-phobic ten-year-olds should not attempt to read The Metamorphosis.)

I always read them all the way through anyway, because they always, always make me laugh.

*beams*

Thank you!
(no subject) - toft_froggy on January 15th, 2007 10:52 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on January 15th, 2007 02:16 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - toft_froggy on January 15th, 2007 08:39 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on January 16th, 2007 11:43 am (UTC) (Expand)
Isobelmissizzy on January 14th, 2007 11:41 am (UTC)
Actually, after you've seen Pinky and the Brain, make sure to see some general Animaniacs too.
Pun: dot - pissypun on January 14th, 2007 02:17 pm (UTC)
That was going to be my comment as well. All of Animaniacs canon really is like that. TFV, you've got to see their rendition of Hamlet!!

And I also hated Jane Eyre as a little girl. It was so stupid and mushy and DULL!! And things that really didn't seem like such a big deal were deep! dark! secrets! Bleh!
(no subject) - thefourthvine on January 15th, 2007 12:53 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on January 15th, 2007 12:51 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - wyomingnot on January 27th, 2007 01:56 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - wyomingnot on January 27th, 2007 02:01 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Ride me like your Taiwanese bikes.: interesting Musicdrlense on January 14th, 2007 12:10 pm (UTC)
Great reccomendations!

I hope this is okay, but I'm pretty sure ltlj doesn't like to have her real name associated with her livejournal...
Ride me like your Taiwanese bikes.: vincantreaddrlense on January 14th, 2007 12:16 pm (UTC)
Never mind- clearly I should have followed the link first. Duh. Ignore me!!
(no subject) - thefourthvine on January 15th, 2007 02:37 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - (Anonymous) on January 15th, 2007 11:38 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - drlense on January 15th, 2007 12:53 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on January 15th, 2007 05:00 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - drlense on January 15th, 2007 05:05 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on January 15th, 2007 05:13 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - drlense on January 15th, 2007 05:24 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on January 16th, 2007 11:19 am (UTC) (Expand)