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12 June 2004 @ 05:36 pm
Slashy Nominations 51: Confusion Now Hath Made His Masterpiece  
I associate crossovers very strongly with confusion; in the early days of my fan fiction reading, I didn't know about crossovers. (I was a sweet, innocent lass with a heart of gold, OK?) So I'd be cheerfully reading along, not paying close attention to the story summaries (mistake number one, right there), and suddenly the story would get...weird. And I would get...confused. I'd read through the rest of it wondering if I was supposed to recognize these strange characters from the FBI, or with fangs, or whatever, and wondering why the story had taken such an unusual turn. Basically, just wondering. It probably didn't help that this was when I was a single-fandom girl, so all these crossovers were in LotR, which is not a canon that takes well to incursions from, for example, television shows. ("Ah, Boromir." "Mmmm, Aragorn." "Hi! I'm Spike!" "That is...an unusual leather jerkin, stranger." "Not jerkin' just yet, pet. But I could be persuaded.")

That's probably why I disliked crossovers so much for so long. But I've learned that they, like everything else, can be totally brilliant in the right hands. And, naturally, examples of the right hands follow.

Best FF That Proves I Was Right All Those Years Ago When I Said That Metal Control Was a Fairly Lame Superpower: Curiosities, by penknife. Harry Potter x X-Men movies, Tom Riddle/Magneto, Magneto/Xavier (sort of). This, right here, was the first story I read that made me think crossovers could be more than just a gimmick. Because, well, I never in my whole life so much as wondered what might happen if Tom Riddle met Magneto, or how a battle of HP magicians v. XM mutants might shake down, but I was gripped by this story anyway. The story works, in large part, because Penknife keeps everyone soundly in character and blends a tiny portion of the two universes without breaking either one. Read it and behold the mighty power of the Penknife, which is definitely better than metal control. (And, for the record, if you're ever offered a choice between magnetism and telepathy? Pick telepathy. If you're even tempted to go the metallic route, read this story first.)

Best FF That Proves That Anything Can Happen in the Arctic Circle: Denser Still the Snow, by Jane St. Clair, 3jane. Due South x Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Ray Kowalski/Benton Fraser/Oz. Well, now, this is a perfect example of what I mean about anything working in the right hands. I looked at the fandoms and the pairing and knew it could not work. Right then, I was ready to write an essay, complete with quotes and possibly even illustrations supporting my thesis that this could not work. And I read it, and even though there was a lengthy period in the middle where I wasn't sure if I wanted to embrace Jane or send my second to her door at dawn, I was just in awe. It works, it works, see how it works.

Best FF That Proves That Zen Is Applicable to All Walks of Life but Not Helpful in All Situations: Zen, by basingstoke. Due South x Homicide (I think), Benton Fraser/Ray Kowalski. I read the first part of this story thinking I knew who the, um, mystery detective was. I was wrong. (I Googled his name to find out what fandom he comes from, so if I'm wrong, someone please tell me.) I'd never heard of the guy before reading this, so obviously I can't say that he's in character, or that the two universes are nicely mixed (though, really, cop shows seem to go together pretty well most of the time). But I can say that this guy blends almost eerily well into the due South world. And I can also say that I read "Zen" and suddenly wanted to know much more about this intriguing character. Which demonstrates a major bonus (or flaw, depending on your point of view) of the crossover: a good one can work you into a new fandom effortlessly. Painlessly. Unexpectedly. (I'm proud to report, though, that I've managed to resist the lure of "Homicide." So far.)

Best FF That Proves That It's a Bad Idea to Mess with History If You've Had Too Much to Drink. Well, Especially If You've Had Too Much to Drink.: The Most Beautiful Girl in the World, by daegaer. Good Omens x The Iliad, Paris/Helen, plus assorted hints of slash. I'm still bitter about Troy, and I haven't even seen the movie; all I had to do to get my hate on was read cleolinda's Troy in Fifteen Minutes. I got as far as Achilles in bed with two women and I could feel the rant welling up inside. Just as well I didn't see it, really. In any case, I offer this to those of you also nursing resentment; here is Paris as I always knew he was. And an explanation for the whole mess that's really the only believable one if you insist on discounting the gods. Yes, Wolfgang, I'm talking to you. (Can't wait to see what he's going to do to Ender's Game. Actually, no, I can wait. Forever, if necessary.)
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tried to eat the safe bananathefourthvine on June 12th, 2004 09:19 pm (UTC)
But I've been so proud of myself for resisting Another Cop TV Show! (How many cop TV shows are there, anyway?)


Well, have any good starting points?
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tried to eat the safe bananathefourthvine on June 13th, 2004 01:46 am (UTC)
If the IMDb doesn't lie - and I'll admit it does, but somehow I suspect it's got this one right - good ol' Wolfie has Ender's Game. Part of me is pleased - after Orson Scott Card's anti-gay marriage article (in which, among other incredibly pathetic arguments, he claims that marriage is indeed open to gays, provided they can find a member of the opposite sex willing to marry them), I think he deserves to see his best book massacred. But then I remember that he'll get the money whether it sucks or not. And I actually liked EG. And the Best Beloved likes it a lot. And then I join you, sobbing in the corner.

But let me try to make us both feel better. It isn't that bad. Hell, the man already ruined The Iliad, one of the greatest books of all time. After that, a mere science fiction novel will be small potatoes.

Somehow, this isn't helping.

Well, on with the weeping.
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tried to eat the safe bananathefourthvine on June 14th, 2004 09:28 am (UTC)
You, my dear, are a total angel. And I love my shiny new icons. (And I hope you are proud; as a direct result of you giving me so many cool icons, I have just asked Best Beloved to give me a paid LJ account. Paying for porn, in a manner of speaking. A last corruption, all due to you!)

And what perfect timing. I am recovering from the Flu of the Damned. I have returned to my LJ, where I am of course behind with posting and flist and comments and everything, with both joy and trepidation (because, yay LJ, but yikes, I am behind) after a lovely time of my most entertaining activity being moaning, and not the good kind of moaning, either.

And there's a present waiting for meeeeeee!

Makes it all worthwhile. You are wonderful.
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tried to eat the safe banana: thefourthvinethefourthvine on June 14th, 2004 03:56 pm (UTC)
I am indeed feeling better, much better, aside from my active research into the question of whether a human head can just spontaneously explode. (Answer: apparently not just from sinus symptoms, although the owner can certainly be made to wish it would.)

I sincerely hope you're also feeling better, or at least that you will feel better soon. As for the whole sneezing/sewing combo, well, I'm sure you're sneezing fetchingly. And as long as you're remembering to put down all sharp and pointy implements before noseblowing, you're way above par. Courge, mystery relative! This is a month to celebrate!

I have just one teeny question, though: why is everyone I know sick now? This is not cold and flu season. It is the absolute opposite of cold and flu season. We are supposed to frolicking outside and enjoying the fruits of our health-bringing regimens, not making a serious dent on the nation's Kleenex supplies.

*feels rant coming on*

*is petted*

*rant recedes, and all are grateful*
zira: dover beach/welcome to canadasilverakira on June 12th, 2004 07:56 pm (UTC)
I loved, loved, loved Zen so much. Have you read her entire Sestina series? It's one of my favorite crossovers, ever.
tried to eat the safe bananathefourthvine on June 13th, 2004 02:21 am (UTC)
I love "Zen," too - I especially love the character of Tim Bayliss, who I guess I don't have to avoid naming in the comments part of this - but I can't get through the second Sestina story. And I can't read the rest of them without knowing if a) I have to have read "Tidal Waves" and b) the other stories hit on the same weakness of mine that TW does.

But "Zen" is a great, great story. Of course, I think all of the ones mentioned above are.
zira: teh gaysilverakira on June 13th, 2004 10:42 am (UTC)
I can summarize the story for you if you'd like (it's basically about the two Rays making peace with each other and RayK coming to terms with RayV marrying Stella, but I can go more in depth).

It don't think it's absolutely necessary to read if you want to continue with the series, and it's the only one that has a major warning.
Auburnauburnnothenna on June 12th, 2004 10:51 pm (UTC)
Yes, Wolfgang, I'm talking to you. (Can't wait to see what he's going to do to Ender's Game. Actually, no, I can wait. Forever, if necessary.)

whimpers and moans

I basically cringe whenever I hear any of my favorite books is being made into a movie. I have this horrible suspicion that everything I loved about Ender's Game will be trashed. Of course, Scott's last couple books almost ruined it for me anyway ...

Never mind that. Go read Homicide fic or better yet, buy the DVDs. That was a good show.

tried to eat the safe bananathefourthvine on June 13th, 2004 02:29 am (UTC)
Yeah, Orson Scott Card does seem to have a gift for ruining his books, either with his endless, horrible sequels or his big mouth (see my comment to MMWD, above). But still and all - and despite the central absurdity, wickedly highlighted by Michael Swanwick in Under's Game - it's an excellent book. No matter what Orson Scott Card has earned, Ender's Game does not deserve Wolfgang Peterson.

Not that anyone will ask me. Sigh.

Feel free to join the Weeping-in-the-Corner Club (President and Founder: norah, Secretary: thefourthvine) at any time.
tried to eat the safe bananathefourthvine on June 13th, 2004 02:33 am (UTC)
And, because I am not yet used to the abbreviated comment form and thus managed to hit "Post Comment" too soon, let me add:

Never mind that. Go read Homicide fic or better yet, buy the DVDs. That was a good show.

I fell for that once, when I was young and innocent and knew not the ways of prolonged TV series. I believed, in my naivete, that I could handle Buffy the Vampire Slayer simply by avoiding the final seasons. And, for that matter, most of the episodes. I am sadder but wiser these days; the fourth season of BtVS is a morass, and I am stuck in it. And the Best Beloved is, too, which is even worse. I will no longer approach seven-season series with confidence and bravado, no.

Cannot be made to. *fingers in ears* Am not listening to the temptresses that abound on every side. Begone, succubi!

But I'm willing to consider the fic. God help me.
Auburn: Auburn Leaf by she knows whoauburnnothenna on June 13th, 2004 08:53 am (UTC)
Cannot be made to. *fingers in ears* Am not listening to the temptresses that abound on every side. Begone, succubi!

Whistles innocently.

Who me?

But, you know, if I were evil (if? hahaha) and trying to suck your poor innocent soul into another cop show fandom, why that would merely be cosmic justice for all the Sentinel recommendations that "lalalalalala, I can't hear you," you have waved enticingly before me. So far the garlic and crosses are holding up, but damn it, the holy water just boils away every time I touch it.
flyingtapes: chris the collegeboy-guhflyingtapes on June 13th, 2004 08:06 am (UTC)
Zen is great--have you seen the sequel to it? I didn't even know who the mystery detective was until years later when I started watching Homicide, and it just made the whole thing so much more--resonant.
Anne Lineanneline on June 14th, 2004 09:41 am (UTC)
I've always avoided crossovers but these were great recs. Thanks for pushing me deeper into the abyss. Also that Spike with the leather jerkin bit, hilarious.

P.S. Have you read 3jane's Road Thing? Its a Highlander/BTVS prequel to the Oz fic you rec-ed. (OK, I have read some crossovers, before.)
tried to eat the safe bananathefourthvine on June 14th, 2004 09:52 am (UTC)
Glad you enjoyed the crossovers. And I'm always happy to hear I've given someone a healthy push over the edge into the Bottomless (pun unintended, but inevitable) Abyss of Slash. Enjoy the fall!

And I'm also glad to hear that others fear the crossover fic. I think part of the problem there is that the author has to be twice as good if the story is going to incorporate two fandoms. Possibly more than twice. Experiments continue at the Slashy Test Laboratories; I hope to publish a definitive work later this year.

(No, I haven't read "Road Thing." I've always managed to avoid Highlander stuff, since I do not know from the canon - I mean, I've seen the movie, yes, but I suspect the TV show was quite different. But now that I know of a prequel to "Denser Still the Snow," I'm going to damn well have to read at least one Highlander-ish fic. So you've also managed to accelerate my falling speed in the aforementioned Abyss. I suppose one turn of, um, dubious nature deserves another.)