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04 June 2004 @ 02:51 pm
Slashy Nominations 50: More Than Two Backs in a Bed  
An actual, real relationship is generally not PWP. It affects other people, for one thing - friends, family, former lovers. And this is a set of stories that acknowledges that fact - a set of threesomes that aren't what we usually mean by that word.

Best FF That Only Features Sex in Retrospect: Kowalski Is Bleeding, by cesperanza. Due South, Benton Fraser/Raymond Kowalski, Ray Vecchio/Stella Kowalski. This is one of my favorite due South stories ever, right here, but I've hesitated to recommend it. Yes, there's the aspect that probably everyone in the world has read it already. But there's also this: the characters are a little different here, and I'm not sure how a die-hard dS fan might take that. To me, this is the perfect version of them, though. Here we have a Fraser whose interior monologue is, shall we say, not quite as perfect as he forces his appearance to be, a RayK who is a little broken and a lot bitey, and a dislocated RayV. It's right that they should be like this, at least to me. And it's even more right that the story is told this way - there are two sexual relationships here, yes, but the focus is actually on a third relationship, the friendship of the real Vecchio and Fraser. Vecchio's not a bad guy, here; he's a real friend and a good cop and a decent human being. Don't see why this is a threesome story? Go read it.

Best FF That Shows Why Mothers Should Never Try to Interfere with Their Children's Romantic Pursuits: Sundress, by rhoddlet. Harry Potter, Ginny/Hermione. This is a short story and an excruciating one, at least for me. Rhoddlet seems to have a way with Ron, and that's what I come back to again and again in this story. It's a happy ending, at least in the short term, for two people, but I can't say "Yay!" because there's also Ron. Who is painfully in love - and look how she shows us that with just a few details - and who is not going to get what he wants. Ouch.

Best FF That Proves That the Marvel Universe Should Be Looking for a Few Good Psychiatrists: The Elevator Series - Going Down, Suspension, Second Story, and Underground Levels, by shalott, astolat. X-Men movies, Magneto/Mystique/Xavier. I've recommended "Going Down" before, but I was remiss in not giving you the whole story. This particular triad is, well, twisted; it's also the perfect example of triangulation. Xavier and Magneto can only express their feelings for each other through a third person, and what a perfect third person Magneto has found: Mystique. But it really is all about Erik and Charles; she's the medium and the message, nothing more. For me, the story doesn't end in "Underground Levels," partly because I don't want it to, but partly because I think Mystique is wrong. I think her estimation of Magneto is wrong - not entirely, but just enough that her scenario won't play out. So, for me, shalott's story Pilgrimage is actually the last in this series. That's just my opinion - she probably wouldn't agree - but this is how I see the twisted tale ending.

Best FF in Which Shirt Selection Is Both a Metaphor and a Transition: One Hundred Thousand Miles, by alestar. X-Men comics, Bobby Drake/Pete Wisdom. And, very present in this story though he doesn't make an actual appearance, Remy Le Beau. (For those of you not familiar with the comics: Bobby is Iceman, but a grown up one, unlike in the movie. Remy is Gambit, an X person and an energy manipulator. Pete Wisdom is, coincidentally enough, Pete Wisdom, a spy and also an energy manipulator. That's all you need to know to read this story.) Bobby's got some issues to work out, and a shirt to wear. I like this story 'cause it's real. We all do stupid things for reasons we don't quite understand. And sometimes those stupid things actually work. I also like this because the Bobby/Remy pairing never quite worked for me. When I read "One Hundred Thousand" I realized why. As usual, Alestar has got the X-folks in the palm of her hand and perfectly in character.
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tried to eat the safe bananathefourthvine on June 4th, 2004 11:26 pm (UTC)
It's a problem. I totally agree. Although I do rec some unusual stuff, I don't do enough. And I know some fandoms way better than others, and that sort of has an effect on the familiarity of what I rec. I sometimes wonder if there's any point to doing recs if I'm going to be doing so much stuff that's familiar.

Overall, I think there is.

I mean, I do rec a lot of familiar stuff - but sometimes that's good. I know I like it when people do that; I end up re-reading a story I read once, yonks ago, and haven't been back to. (The database/bookmark system is not even close to perfect - sometimes I forget to bookmark, or my browser crashes, or a story stays with me that I didn't expect to. And the way I read, there's no way to reconstruct my linking later, so those stories are just lost. I've been driving myself insane all week trying to remember the name of a specific dS story where F and K are in the arctic and Ray has terrible Seasonal Affective Disorder, the worst I've ever seen in a fic, and the sun is rising for the first time. I wish someone would rec that story, I tell you; it would save me from the insanity that is looming ever closer.)

Also, there's this: every recs site is different. There are some classics of various fandoms you'll never see here, 'cause, well, I don't like them as much as everyone else seems to. And there are some stories I rec that I never see anyone else rec, and I don't understand why. I do get comments thanking me for finding stories people haven't seen before, and sometimes they aren't the stories I expect. Everyone's search technique is different - you, for example, have the whole Zen of Google effect going for you, while I'm more of a random browser - and that really affects what you find. So those million bookmarks? Some are common - everyone recs speranza, not that that's a bad thing - but some aren't, and you won't know what people haven't seen 'til you post 'em. (And I am salivating thinking of that list, I really am. It's only with great physical effort that I am not getting in my car right now and driving up there and stealing your bookmarks. Well, that, and I don't know where you live.)

Finally, there's the whole newcomer aspect. It's tough to get into a new fandom; a multifandom recs site can help. It can especially help if you can find one run by someone who agrees with you in another fandom, since it gives you a better shot. So the more extensive the fandom coverage, the better for the newbie. And, let's face it, recs sites are more useful for newbies than for people who have been in a fandom since the pre-internet days. Those folks already know their favorite authors and are on every mailing list and have their flist packed so they can pounce on every new story.

To sum: chin up, fellow multifandom recommender! Go boldly into the largest fandoms, and never doubt your calling! We provide a valuable service! I know we do! Go, us! (Sorry. There's a reason I was never a cheerleader. Well, actually, several, and some of them involve inappropriate hair colors and attire. But I was referring to the fact that I never manage to sound sincere when I'm being encouraging. I even applaud sarcastically. But I do think we provide a useful service, I really do.)
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tried to eat the safe bananathefourthvine on June 5th, 2004 12:31 am (UTC)
Come July, you will be married. Trust me on this: it will not make you saner. Getting your Master's (am I allowed to ask in what?) - that will make you saner. Providing you do not then go on to get your Ph.D.

I live in the Great Evil to the South, otherwise known as L.A. (Or, really, a suburb thereof. There isn't any there here, as I'm sure you know.) But do not think your bookmarks are safe from me. There are good roads between here and there, you know. And I am stealthful and can travel by night. (On account of insomnia.)

I totally agree on recommending the recommenders. (I love your post on that, by the way, and not just because I'm there. Although it's weirdly nice to see my name there.) It's incredibly useful. We should, in the course of it, mention why we love them: five stories they rec'd that we would also rec, or multifandomness to an extreme degree, or nifty pictures, whatever. I adore recs sites. And recs livejournals, although I've noticed for some reason lots of those include less information than the sites. But they're updated more frequently, which definitely counts.

And, wait, wait now. Did you just imply that your bookmarks contain more rarelit than you've linked to? Because if so, woman, fear for your bookmarks. I need rarelit slash. It is not some mild craving, you understand, but a deepset need.
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tried to eat the safe banana: potcpornthefourthvine on June 6th, 2004 12:17 am (UTC)
You're right. Having the wedding over will definitely enhance your sanity. (But, hey, be glad you did this. I think the suffering is, like, a motivating social force. I've thought this ever since my sister's wedding, which was a total disaster, for many reasons, only one of which was my extended family's inability to be around each other for more than 30 minutes without threatening to sue. I realized, hey, we put all these ridiculous, impossible expectations on weddings, and practically design them for disaster, and it makes sense. It's so that when things get bad, the couple will look back at the wedding and think, "Shit. I can't go through that again. And I can't let that be for nothing." And they'll work harder to work things out. Well, OK, that's just my theory. Probably no one else would find it comforting. Sorry.)

And, hey. Remember I told you about that story that was driving me absolutely insane? Well, the true insanity set in last night. I couldn't sleep, again, although that was not the story's fault. But since I was awake, I started to obsess about it - I knew it was somewhere and I could almost see it on the screen and it was like when you're taking a test and you know the page number the answer's on, you can picture the page even, and you can't - quite - seeeeeee - it. I had to find the damn thing, even if it did mean sorting through my bookmarks one by one. And find it I did!

Wow. That sounded pretty pathetic. Um. This episode of "How I Made Insanity and Insomnia Work for Me" has been brought to you by the due South fandom, which clearly wants to induce insanity, with that whole lower case initial d thing.)

So, getting back to, you know, saner things. We MUST register. Because we're getting married! And we'll get something way better than pretty forks! (The norah/thefourthvine wedding motto is: Not Just Pretty Forks. Well, that's one of them. Probably another one is: Way More Porn Than Your Typical Wedding. Because, hey, we're Smut Queens. Which is like size queens, only, you know, pornier.)

So. Does Neiman Marcus have a smut registry?