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20 May 2004 @ 09:33 pm
Slashy Nominations 43: Quickies  
Can't make the commitment to long-term fic? Not to worry; these stories will be in your life and then out again in the time it takes to brush your teeth. And while they'll leave something behind with you, it won't be a disease, a pregnancy, a bad taste in your mouth, or a new psychological scar to add to your burgeoning collection. Fast fic: the safe one-page stand.

Best FF That Leaves Me, at Any Rate, Longing for a Happier Ending for a Certain Fandom's Number One Doomed Couple: Conjugal Visit, by C. Elisa. X-Men movies, Magneto/Xavier. This is a hundred-word story that packs a thousand-word wallop; it's a snapshot of Magneto in prison and of Xavier doing the Right Thing (which, for once in his life, coincides with what he wants to do). C. Elisa is the queen of this kind of story-telling; you should read all her stuff immediately. But read this one first, because it gets right to the heart of why M/X is so compelling - there's still so much left in the relationship, even after all the years they've spent destroying it. That's got to count for something. (And I have to quit now, before I succumb to the temptation to quote Philip Larkin's No Road in toto, with lengthy commentary on how this poem so perfectly sums up M/X. Help me. I'm one step away from writing "theirloveissoliterary!" and really meaning it.)

Best FF Involving Harry Potter and Severus Snape Touching That Still Manages to Be, Well, Touching: Pale Shadow, by Sushi, wikdsushi. Harry Potter, Harry Potter/Severus Snape. This is an aged-up story (and how!); you will not be exposed to teacher/student or adult/teen naughtiness here. It's also a special prose form: four connected hundred-word stories, rated, in order, G/PG/R/NC-17. If that form doesn't make the writers in the audience want to get cracking, I don't know what will. And be sure to visit Sushi's website for the best implicit definition of slash I've ever seen. In the future, I will simply point slash doubters and nay-sayers to Sushi's site, and if they don't get it, I will point again. (I'm practicing the silent pointing so that I can come back as a Ghost of Christmas Future. My kind of afterlife, y'know?)

Best FF That Proves the Basic All-Round Usefulness of Yellow Goop, Especially in Teamwork, Bonding, and Character Perspective. Yellow Goop: Buy Some Today!: Small Unit Tactics, by Livia, liviapenn. Teen Titans, gen. This is one of those little stories I'll be recommending in the inevitable (but much dreaded) DC Universe Fandoms I Have Loved. It serves as an excellent introduction to the characters, which the average human desperately needs in DCU, and it's still good reading. We can't blame Livia for its G-rating; this story is already so densely packed that any more goodness, even of the slashy kind, would probably create an exceedingly literate and sexy black hole.

Best FF That Reveals the Evil That Lurks in the Heart of Men: Lights Out, by penknife. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, gen. Giles wants to kill Angel. Actually, he wants to hurt Angel. And he knows exactly how to do it. I love this story because it shows the side of Giles the canon implies but never (as far as I know, which isn't that far) truly explores. We know he's human and we know he has a dark side; it makes an amazing amount of sense that this is what he keeps there.

Best FF That May Be of Interest, or Even Comprehensible, Only to the Author, My Best Beloved, and Me: Your Pilgrimage Is Over, by Mooncalf. Final Fantasy X, gen. This is a special bonus story, included for the roughly 1.5 readers of this blog who a) have finished, or nearly finished, FFX (a must for this story, I'm afraid) and b) want to read gen fic about it. (I would, for the record, gladly recommend FFX slash, especially any combination of Auron/Braska/Jecht, except that it's damned hard to find. So gen is what we're left with, fellow player(s).) Note that I love Auron with an unhealthy passion, and this story puts him in a somewhat darkish light, but that's, well, perfect for good ol' Aurie. You want proof this is a fantastic story? It directly contradicts the canon; what happens here could not have really happened. And yet I believe this version of events; it just makes so much more sense.
penknife: xavier/magnetopenknife on May 21st, 2004 05:38 am (UTC)
(And I have to quit now, before I succumb to the temptation to quote Philip Larkin's No Road in toto

Ouch. I hadn't read it before. But. Yes. Ouch.
The Black Kitten: Nobility - Sacrifice - Chocolate: auronlaylah on May 21st, 2004 09:06 am (UTC)
Ooooh. Thanks for that last one. You're right, it is *so* in character, so perfect for the growly, pragmatic, ass-kicking ronin that he is.

Mmm. I love him so much.

(Also, if I might be so bold as to pimp one of my own works -- I wrote Jecht/Auron/Braska, In the Calm Lands, for the polyficathon a few weeks ago. Smut and angst, because, you know, theirloveissodoomed.)
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The Black Kitten: Nobility - Sacrifice - Chocolate: pervy dead guy fancierlaylah on May 21st, 2004 12:17 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
I got so teary when I got to Zanarkand and was watching all the flashbacks to their pilgrimage. So much love. So much angst.

(Also? *Thrilled* that you think I write a good blowjob. Yay!)

I find that I love Auron like crazy, and I rather like Rikku (though I don't want to see them together), but most of the main characters I can take or leave. More's the pity.
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tried to eat the safe bananathefourthvine on May 23rd, 2004 10:56 pm (UTC)
May I just say here and now that your ability to find rare slash - while amazing and brilliant and one of the reasons I love you - is just the teeniest bit scary? Seriously. Do you have access to the Ultimate Portal o' Slash or something?

Although, come to think of it, I have come up with one pairing you couldn't find, and it's even rarelitslash: Gregory Powell/Mike Donovan from I, Robot. But that's 'cause I'm apparently the only person on the planet who picked up a slashy vibe from that book. (And, actually, I get that vibe from a lot Asimov's writing. I'm seriously verging on writing a thesis-length paper on what, exactly, causes something to be slashy, with, you know, objective measures and paper-and-pencil tests with slash fans and so on. It's only by my strength of will I'm fighting this urge. God help me.)
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tried to eat the safe bananathefourthvine on May 23rd, 2004 11:52 pm (UTC)
Not to harp or anything, but further points of congruence exist.

Intense fear of the movie combined with almost pathological hatred for everyone involved in it (except Alex Proyas, in my case, who I absolve from blame, 'cause he didn't have final cut, and he gave the world the amazing Dark City): yes.

Seen the previews for said travesty: yes

Hated the previews: yes. To the point that I spent a good 25 minutes ranting at my BB, who is used to this, I'm afraid, about how someone must've said, hey, I know, let's anally rape Asimov's corpse. And then someone else said, no, I know what's worse: let's rape his best book! (And then they chortled. And then they summoned Satan.) And (this is the continuing rant, here) I loved that book; it totally geared me for SF, not to mention slash, even though I didn't figure out until later, and even if I know now that it isn't exactly a perfect book, I still have a passionate love for it, and seriously, is Hollywood damned and determined to do this to every book I love? Followed by inarticulate screaming.

And, actually, I am totally afraid someone will write slash for the movie I, Robot. But as the movie is not in any way based on the book - it just steals the title and the Three Laws and a horribly mutated Susan Calvin and combines them with some godawful unrelated filmscript - it won't be my guys they're slashing. Which is just as fucking well if you ask me.

I'm within an inch of writing my own damn I, Robot book FF. And that's one thing - writing FF - that I swore I'd never do.

Eeek. Apparently PMS + mention of impending terrible movie = really violent ranting. No wonder my warning label says I might explode.
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tried to eat the safe bananathefourthvine on May 24th, 2004 12:33 am (UTC)
I started in hard SF and slowly traveled along the spectrum, until, by now, I will read anything speculative whatsoever, including magical realism.

(Who am I kidding? I'll read anything. Period. My BB once spent a meal trying to imagine a book I wouldn't read, and gave up after I expressed sincere interest in The History of Flood Insurance, and was disappointed that no such book existed.)

I do not write FF. I do not. And I have reasons.

1. When I have tried, on dares, it has consisted mostly of said characters arguing. (This was way back in my LotR-only phase, so it was Aragorn and Boromir arguing, mostly.)

2. I cannot write sex to save my freaking life.

And do not malign your fic. I loved your Melquiades/Buendia story, I'll have you know.

(And, yes, we are obviously related.

For which I thank god, because my current relations are not, shall we say, unmitigated bliss. My line produces really scary women, for one thing - I mean, women who rule with an iron hand and make all cower and weep before them, that type of thing. And lawyers. It's really bad when the scary women are also lawyers.

Also, every damn family event - and we don't have many, for which I am devoutly grateful - ends up with people discussing their investment portfolios, because every other topic is either a) verboten because it touches on a current family feud so serious that the National Guard has been called in to restore order or b) verboten because it will start a family feud so serious that the National Guard, etc. And this despite the fact that we hardly ever see each other or talk to each other or think of each other. Of course, it helps that even death will not resolve a feud - seriously, we have feuds going back so far that every original participant is dead. But we still keep the feuds going, and I'd like to think that was a tribute to the memory of the deceased, but I really think it's 'cause we're a very touchy bunch.

So I'm pleased to hear that I might actually be related to your family instead. Are they better?)
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tried to eat the safe bananathefourthvine on May 24th, 2004 02:56 am (UTC)
You're absolutely right; we should write fic together. It appears to be Meant.

Congratulations on the impending wedding! (Weddings in my family are horrible and much-dreaded because of the family gathering aspect, but I assume yours will be fun and good.) And I would be delighted to meet my long-lost family, especially since they sound much better than mine. Eccentric, not rabid; strong, not psychotic. It's the happy medium my relatives could never find! (Even the extremes are not extreme enough is, apparently, our unspoken motto.)

And of course I read your fic. You're my long-lost, um, relative! Well, actually, I didn't know that when I read it; I started because I could not resist the lure of Melquiades/Buendia. It called to me. Because when I read that book - and mind you, this was in my slash-free days (and what sad and lonely days those were, let me add) - I immediately thought in those terms. It's one of my Ideal Pairings.

See, a good writer can sell me on almost any pairing, be it slash, femslash, or het - I've come to terms with this - but there are some slash pairings that I see immediately upon experiencing the canon. (Obviously, this only includes the ones that aren't canon.) M/B is one of those. Others include:
  • Magneto/Xavier (from the comics; I didn't get that from the movies, though I'm glad others did)
  • Rusty Ryan/Danny Ocean
  • Powell/Donovan
  • Ias/dy Lutez (actually, this one's canon, but come on - there should so be NC-17 slash for them)
  • Aral Vorkosigan/Simon Illyan
  • Iago/Othello
  • Pel/Aerich
  • Ralph/Jack (Lord of the Flies, since those names could be from anywhere)
  • Whitbread/Staley (or any pairing involving Renner, who I truly believe to be gay)
  • Ishmael/Queequeg (can't convince me they weren't lovers!)
  • Fortunato/Montresor
Plus assorted Musketeer, Gilbert and Sullivan, and (many) pairings from various mythologies. And I'm sorry to report the list goes on; this is just off the top of my head.

The pathetic part is that I put the ones that other people also see first. And as far as I can tell, there's only two of those. Three if I am allowed to count Melquiades/Buendia, and apparently there's only you and me that see that. Plus there's all the guys I knew had boyfriends, but the author wouldn't introduce us to them - Mercutio heads that list.

Good god. Apparently I was basically a slash-oriented reader from day one. I hadn't realized how much subtext I saw until I tried to write some of it down, and now I am deeply ashamed. I must go read something totally non-slashy and try to clear my head.
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tried to eat the safe bananathefourthvine on May 23rd, 2004 10:52 pm (UTC)
Hee. Many thanks for the rec. Loved it.