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27 June 2004 @ 03:53 am
Slashy Nominations 59: The World Is Full of Paper. Write to Me.  
I have a near-lethal addiction to the documentary form, and I'm not talking about movies. My personal favorite is the epistolary, but I'll take diary entries, too, or, hell, tax forms. All documents are good. Stories written about documents, or with documents, or referring to documents - I love those, too. I'm the original cheap date when it comes to this form.

Unfortunately, there's not a lot of true epistolary FF out there. Doesn't matter. I'm such a document slut that I'll go with any story that promises to mention letters or diaries. Sad, but true. Well, providing said story is good. And these are.

Best FF Likely to Lead to a Master's Thesis on the Importance of Sig Files in Modern Communication, and the Significance of the Suppression Thereof: Eros Epistolary, by Brighid, aka mz_bstone. The Sentinel, Jim/Blair. The first challenge of an epistolary story is to come up with a good reason why the characters are writing to each other, rather than, say, chatting. This is especially difficult, I'm sure you can appreciate, if the two characters live together and in fact spend essentially every moment of their lives together, which, of course, is exactly what Jim and Blair do. Brighid manages to get the guys writing to each other just fine, though. And note her fabulous use of the many options available to the modern epistolary writer, from sticky notes to email to recycled paper. Epistolary stories aren't boring! Epistolary stories are grand! Epistolary stories in the morning! And epistolary stories in the hand! Um. Stopping now.

Best FF That Shows How Addictive Letters Can Be in Bad Circumstances, So Won't You Write to Some Depressed Individual Today?: Letters Home, by penknife. The Secret Garden, Dickon/Colin/Mary. This story is not told entirely in letters. But it's about letters, and it's got extracts from letters, and it's a fantastic story, so I'm not seeing a downside here. Except the sadness. See, the problem with The Secret Garden is that it has to stand alone. Given the times and the culture in which the story takes place, there can't be a happy ending for the three of them as adults. I've always known that, sadly, the likeliest outcome was Mary and Colin married, and Dickon working as their gardener.

Except, of course, that they are on a collision course with World War I. Colin and Dickon are destined for hell in the Somme, and the odds aren't good that they'll both survive - especially not if they end up calvary, as penknife hypothesizes here. This story is something I could never even imagine - a reasonable extrapolation of The Secret Garden, one that lets the trio grow up and places them squarely in the real world. This shouldn't work. Except that it does, it really does.

Best FF That Shows How Addictive Letters Can Be Even in Relatively Good Circumstances, So Won't You Write to an Irritatingly Happy Person Today?: Written by Hand, by setissma. Harry Potter, Remus Lupin/Sirius Black, Remus Lupin/Severus Snape, James Potter/Lily Evans. Perhaps it would be better if I just wrote "assorted non-explicit and implied pairings." In any case, what we have here is a story in which Remus suffers from a handwriting addiction, and Sirius helps him figure out a way to get his fix even in Romania. It's sweet without being cloying. Remus gets down with the magic theory, we get the niftiest form of eavesdropping ever, and love prevails. At least briefly, which is exactly how long love gets to prevail in J. K. Rowling's world.

Best FF Told Entirely in a Letter That Leaves Me Barely Resisting the Temptation to Write a Letter Back1: To Casey, on His Thirty-Fifth Birthday, by Mosca, and does anyone know if she has a LJ? Sports Night, Dan/Casey (ish). Let's just get this out of the way now. I succumbed, OK? I completely and totally succumbed to the lure of Sports Night fan fiction, and if you haven't, all I can say is: run. Or the cultists will get you, too, and soon you'll be reading fabulous fan fiction about two guys who are smart, neurotic, funny, and so clearly in love that I'm surprised it was never mentioned in a daily run down meeting2. I really have to apologize for making my first official nomination in this fandom (the other one didn't count, because I wasn't in the fandom then) so wistful and unsmutty and unresolved. Trust me, there's also joy aplenty in the SN fold. (And if you won't trust me, trust the minions of Bhagwan Sports Night. They are even now waiting on your doorstep to tell you about the pure and slashy love to be found when you embrace Sports Night, for Sports Night is love and love is Sports Night.)

Best FF That Proves That Fraser and Kowalski Can Make Even a Community College Creative Writing Class Sexy: The Course, by Bone, aka thisisbone, and Aristide (anyone have a link for her?). Due South, Ray Kowalski/Benton Fraser. I love document-related fiction way too much to limit myself to just four stories; it was actually a battle of will for me to limit myself to one story per fandom. So this is today's bonus story. It's one that many people will have read; this is what we call a classic of the genre, by which we mean that it is chock-full of smut. And humor. And then a lot more smut. And this cavalcade of smut is induced, my friends, by Ray's journal entries. Diaries and smut and undercover work and smut and sullen community college students and smut and Fraser in relaxed clothing and smut. And then some smut. So, really, you cannot go wrong with this one. And if you don't know from due South? Well, you'll be able to read this anyway; I barely knew the fandom when I found this story, but it turns out that high-quality smut is truly accessible fiction. (Just think of the improvement in our nation's literacy statistics if summer reading lists included this sort of story!)


1Said sequel would, naturally, be called "To Danny, Who Will Be Lucky If He Lives to See His Next Birthday If He Keeps Leaving Tragic Love Letters on Office Computers." And it would begin "Dear Danny - I see that therapy has really improved your communication skills, not to mention your passive-aggressive behavior and your self-image. And if you think I won't read every damn file on my computer rather than write a script, then have I been sharing an office with Pod Danny for the last two years?"

2Actually, I suspect this was covered in a rundown meeting. I make no promises about exact wording, but this is what I heard:

Dana: ...and does anyone know anything about what's happening in Los Angeles? Anyone?
Jeremy: You mean the celebration of the re-opening of the antiquities collection at the Getty?
Dana: I was thinking of something sports-related, Jeremy. Because this is a show about sports.
Dana: So, in conclusion: no one knows anything, we have no script, and Danny refuses to come out from under the table, which will impair his ability to report sports news with a smile. It's going to be a great show. Guys, at least try to keep the mushiness down a bit tonight, OK? You were ready for Lifetime last night.
[Dana stalks out.]
Casey: Mushiness?
Danny, from under the table: Lifetime?
Natalie, rolling her eyes: Please. You two are so in love it's obvious to viewers on Mars.
Jeremy, quietly, making a pathetic attempt to distract the conversation: Actually, I don't think we're big in that demographic, but -
Casey: We are not in love. We're friends. And may I say, I don't know what is wrong with this world if two men cannot be good friends without their colleagues concluding -
Natalie: - and 73% of the viewers, according to last month's poll -
Casey: - they're in love. What?
Natalie, offering Casey a sheet of paper: Poll.
Casey, reading: "I would describe Dan Rydell and Casey McCall's on-air relationship as distant (2%), warm (8%), friendly (17%), loving (22%), the clearest example of a successful and loving long-term relationship currently on television (51%)." Who wrote this poll?
Natalie: I'm surprised it was only a bare majority on that last one, really.
Jeremy: It was a direct quote from People, Casey.
Casey: What?
Jeremy: From the article they did about the show's increasing popularity.
Natalie: The one Dana wouldn't let you read.
Casey: A quote from People? We are not in a long-term relationship! What is wrong with the world when -
Natalie: You did that speech already, Casey.
Casey: What, you'd prefer the speech about how half the Western world thinks we're fucking?
Jeremy, standing: So, I've got to go check the, um, thing with, um -
Natalie, grabbing his tie: Leave and die.
Casey: Half the viewership thinks we're FUCKING?
Natalie: Marketing thinks it's a great new angle. Speaking of which, they wanted me to show you these new print ads.
Casey, looking at print ads: Oh, for - where are they running this, Playgirl?
Casey, looking at another sheet: Oh my god.
Casey, muttering under his breath: "Remarkably flexible?"
Casey, looking at a third sheet: We're not "tender and caring and sweetly sexy!"
Natalie: Well, actually...
[Lengthy pause.]
Casey: So if we're in love and we're sweetly sexy and Danny's already under the table, does that mean I can get a - Danny, OW!
Natalie, rising suddenly, still holding Jeremy by his tie: Now we leave.
[They flee. There is a moment of silence.]
Casey: Danny?
[Silent pause.]
[Casey stands up, hesitating, looking at the conference room door, then back at the table.]
[Casey crawls under the table.]
I Wanna Dress You Up In My Snarkadjectivegirl on June 27th, 2004 04:10 am (UTC)
Oh damn well, you'll love lady_jaida and dorkoriffic's new shoebox_project. It's retro-epistolary Remus/Sirius and funny as hell to boot.

::kicks rec over to you in gratitude for all your recs::
tried to eat the safe banana: thefourthvinethefourthvine on June 27th, 2004 04:29 am (UTC)
*faints with delight*

*rises from floor, rubbing head*

*makes mental note not to leave sharp-cornered books on the floor*

I am yelping with joy as we speak. Pain, too, from the book on the floor thing, but mostly joy. Because: retro-epistolary stories! YAY! Thank you for the rec!

(Side query: who is that in your icon? And, OK, maybe she can kill me with her brain, but she wouldn't want to, right?)
(no subject) - adjectivegirl on June 27th, 2004 04:46 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on June 27th, 2004 01:48 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - adjectivegirl on June 27th, 2004 08:11 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on June 28th, 2004 10:00 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - adjectivegirl on June 29th, 2004 09:16 am (UTC) (Expand)
Trogminitrog on June 27th, 2004 05:32 am (UTC)
by Mosca, and does anyone know if she has a LJ?

tried to eat the safe banana: thefourthvinethefourthvine on June 27th, 2004 07:18 am (UTC)
Thanks. Sorry. I should have thought of that.

Except that every time I do think of that, and try just typing in the name of an author to LJ, it doesn't work. Or there is somebody using that name, but it is not the person I hoped it would be.

This is especially peculiar when it turns out that the person is nonetheless a writer of fan fiction, just a completely different writer in a completely different fandom. I mean, surely there are LJs entirely unrelated to fannish activities, yes?

Or possibly not.

Again, thanks very much for the link.
(no subject) - minitrog on June 27th, 2004 09:23 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on June 27th, 2004 01:51 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Carla: dancing Betty (livia)beledibabe on June 27th, 2004 06:35 am (UTC)


LOL! Okay, okay, love the Sports Night rundown!! Heh. Heh.

Have you considered actually *writing* the rest of the story? :>
tried to eat the safe banana: thefourthvinethefourthvine on June 27th, 2004 07:17 am (UTC)
Well, no, I haven't. See, I have never actually seen the show, although fanofall is probably going to persuade me to do so. (I believe she is a Night Queen in the SN cult.) So that would pretty much rule out any FF writing right there.

Also, I cannot write fiction. I have no ear for dialog and no sense of timing and you do not want to know what happens when I try to write sex.

(Although I will tell you anyway: they argue. My characters argue. The last time I tried to write FF - this was back when I was a single fandom girl, so we're talking quite a while ago - I worked and worked to get my characters within arm's reach of each other, and the minute I finally got them there, after numerous interruptions and distractions, they started to argue and would not stop. And I thought to myself: I don't need more arguing in my life. No one does. Especially not these characters. And did I mention that even the non-arguing parts - although there weren't many - were bad? It was a disaster. Apparently I was put on this earth to rec fic, and sometimes to beta it, but not to write it.)

So, no, I won't be writing that as a fic. But I'm very, very glad you liked it. I thought it was rather brave - or one might even say extremely foolhardy - to write that, considering, you know, never seen the show, started reading the fic earlier this week, so not on real familiar ground here. Or even remotely familiar ground. So, many thanks for saying you liked it.
(no subject) - katallison on June 27th, 2004 09:36 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on June 27th, 2004 02:25 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - katallison on June 27th, 2004 05:51 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on June 28th, 2004 10:05 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - fanofall on June 29th, 2004 08:26 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - beledibabe on June 28th, 2004 02:05 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on June 28th, 2004 10:31 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - adjectivegirl on June 29th, 2004 09:20 am (UTC) (Expand)
Iphiginia Saberhagenfanofall on June 27th, 2004 09:31 am (UTC)
Okay, remember how like a million years ago I proposed that we become LJ wives? Yeah, I'm renewing that. I realize that norah sorta has first dibs, and all, but she'll share.

What's best about this is that I read your recap of the rundown meeting, and it's SO IN CHARACTER. It's wonderful. I appreciate that you don't want to write, so I will just praise your ear and say you GET THEM.

In the mail, even, if you send me your addy.

Also--see my icon? The one on the left is Danny, the center one is Isaac, and the one on the right's Casey.
tried to eat the safe banana: thefourthvinethefourthvine on June 27th, 2004 07:20 pm (UTC)
Actually, you proposed first, so I think you have dibs, and in any case I'm sure norah is not the jealous sort; my wife is your wife is her attitude, I would wager. Plus, you know, she got married yesterday in real life, so I don't see why I can't get married today on LJ, even if it would be polygamy.

If I do get them, it's all your doing, since you explained them to me and all. I actually figured this would inevitably be rather OOC for them, just 'cause, you know, never introduced and all that.

I'm really, really glad you liked the rundown recap. All due to you and your many helpful explanations! And merciless pimping! All hail fanofall, Night Queen of the SN cult and Procurator-General!

*thoughtful inspection of icon*

That's some nose that Danny's got there.

Hmmm. The guys look like they're celebrating. And Isaac looks like he's wondering what he did in a previous life to deserve this. Do I want to know what's going on?
(no subject) - fanofall on June 27th, 2004 09:51 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on June 28th, 2004 10:38 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - fanofall on June 28th, 2004 10:42 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Auburn: Auburn Leaf by she knows whoauburnnothenna on June 27th, 2004 10:08 am (UTC)
I used to catch Sports Night and your rundown really had the sound of them, so what're you saying, you can't write dialogue? Hah. I'm with Kat Allison on the being willing, hell, happy, to read more characters arguing instead of fucking, as long as they're in character. But, if you'd rather read and rec, we'll all sit back and appreciate that.

Since I know you read due South here's a heads up for something to feed that nagging epistolary addiction.

Belles Lettres by Journey and Denise Raymond. Not only are there letters, it ends with a report.
tried to eat the safe banana: thefourthvinethefourthvine on June 28th, 2004 10:40 pm (UTC)
Ooo. A dS multiple-document story! I am all kinds of excited.

And that is, yes, pathetic. But I am comfortable with being pathetic. I am secure in my level of pathos.

Thanks for the compliments, too, and thanks for reading my recs and, um, non-fic thingy. Whatever it is.
(Deleted comment)
tried to eat the safe banana: thefourthvinethefourthvine on June 28th, 2004 10:45 pm (UTC)
You love the Aubrey/Maturin, yes? Then you will be helpless to resist the Kowalski/Fraser or the Danny/Casey, and you might also be doomed to enjoy Will/Bran and Luke/David. If you accept this in your heart now, you'll be able to deal with your growing addiction much more easily. Also, you will have more time for reading fic. Trust me. Early acceptance is definitely the way to go.

Now, if I can lapse briefly into a slightly less-dignified posture: Yay! I got you to read dS! *happy dance*

(Side note: so, I assume from your icon that you read Heyer. I read all her mysteries several times when I was a wee lassie - and let me tell you, some of those are good, but some are really dreadful - and I read The Grand Sophy a few years ago. Any others of her books that you could recommend?)
resonant8 on June 27th, 2004 12:42 pm (UTC)
No, you don't need to write Sports Night slash. You just did write Sports Night slash. (And very lovely it is, too.)
Iphiginia Saberhagenfanofall on June 27th, 2004 04:06 pm (UTC)
What Res said. *nodnodnod*
(no subject) - thefourthvine on June 29th, 2004 02:21 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on June 29th, 2004 02:19 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - resonant8 on June 29th, 2004 12:22 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Ardent: Honeymoonardent_muses on June 27th, 2004 09:15 pm (UTC)
"The Course" is a favorite of mine, and well worth reccing. That's one of the hottest stories ever.

Aristide isn't in the DS neighborhood these days to my knowledge, although she wrote a HP story recently ... last fall (?). She still has a page up at http://hos.slashcity.com/arslash.htm

All of the DS stories there are amazing, including the one she wrote solo, "All in the Wrist". She's incredibly talented. Damn her. *G*

And my God, woman. If you haven't read "How Ray Got His Groove Back", do not delay. It's a favorite of many DS folk and generously packed with smut.

Hmm. It's almost been long enough that I can go back and re-read all of that stuff for the 48th time. Whee!
tried to eat the safe banana: thefourthvinethefourthvine on June 29th, 2004 02:31 am (UTC)
Well, damn. I really like Aristide's writing; she wrote me into The Sentinel, and the stuff she co-wrote with Bone helped get me settled in due South. If she's no longer writing in either fandom, I am downcast.

*is downcast*

*thinks about "How Ray Got His Groove Back" and is...upcast?*

*wonders what the opposite of downcast really is*

In other words, I have indeed read "How Ray Got His Groove Back," and it is waiting in my list for me to figure out a category to rec it in. Wait! I have just thought of a category! Now all I need is some friends for it in that category.

Huh. Apparently I should send messages to you more often. You inspire me to create new nominations set themes.
terrioterrio on June 28th, 2004 08:23 pm (UTC)
I have a near-lethal addiction to the documentary form, and I'm not talking about movies. My personal favorite is the epistolary, but I'll take diary entries, too, or, hell, tax forms. All documents are good. Stories written about documents, or with documents, or referring to documents - I love those, too. I'm the original cheap date when it comes to this form.

Hee! A friend of mine refers to these as Uberkinks, or Bullet-proof kinks -- the kind of thing where you'd probably enjoy reading them even if they were badly written, or in an unfamiliar fandom. Or both. :-)

Anyway, about a year ago, ds_flashfiction had a Documents challenge. The results are saved in Memories -- maybe you'll find something there you'll like.
tried to eat the safe banana: thefourthvinethefourthvine on June 29th, 2004 02:41 am (UTC)
Oh, god, that's totally it - uberkink. Bullet-proof kink. Either would describe my unfortunate fixation on documentary fiction, which has driven me to some, um, questionable choices of reading matter. I mean, I loved Sorcery and Cecelia, which I read when I was in middle school. But my obsession also led me to read P.S. Longer Letter Later, which is an absolutely dreadful YA book by Ann Martin and Paula Danziger, and which I read as an adult</a> merely because it was an epistolary novel. And we won't even talk about what my movie uberkink, time travel, has driven me to see, except to say that you'd expect Hollywood to produce a decent movie on the topic sooner or later, but you would be wrong.

Damn you, bullet-proof kinks! You have set my feet on dark, dark paths!

But now, at least, I have a name to use when cursing my kinks, and that makes said cursing a lot more satisfying. I thank you. And please thank your friend for me.
(no subject) - delurker on July 24th, 2004 04:44 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on July 24th, 2004 08:13 am (UTC) (Expand)
flyingtapesflyingtapes on June 30th, 2004 07:49 pm (UTC)
You've probably gotten this a million times already, but Mosca is mosca. Another friend o'mine. ::grin::