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08 October 2004 @ 01:57 am
Slashy Nominations 87: So Wrong It's Right  
A long, long, long time ago I promised my beloved norah a post on FF I'd seen that violated a credo of the genre and yet somehow was still good. There really are such stories out there. We've all read them; stories where, for example, Benton Fraser grows tentacles and gets pregnant, even though he is technically male, by Ray Kowalski, who turns out to be a dragon. And Kowalski can talk to other reptiles, and he defeats Tom Riddle and saves Harry Potter, and Fraser can talk to horses and dogs and brings Sirius Black back from the dead.

OK. I don't have any fics that violate quite that many rules, for the very good reason that so far the Keep Fandom Sane Project has managed to take down people considering writing such fic, using special tracking implants, tranquilizer guns, and, where necessary, complicated memory-alteration devices. We should all be grateful for their efforts.

But there are fics that break a FF rule and yet are somehow really, really good. I've been patiently making a list of them since, um, May. And, at long last, here it is. Even though you've probably forgotten all about this, MMWD, this insanity is all your fault. But I've been saying that since the day I met you.

-The Personal Peeves-

The Best FF That Starts with the Phrase "Master Dick" and Yet Isn't at All Funny or Punnish. Which Is, You'll Grant, Seriously Strange for This Fandom. Not a Heart, Beating, by Brighid, aka mz_bstone. D. C. Universe, Batclan, Batman/Dick Grayson, and I chose to use those names after careful consideration, so don't yell at me about using one hero name and one birth name, OK? This story doesn't so much break a Fanfic Commandment ("Thou Shalt Not, Without a Really, Really Good Reason, Give Psychic Powers to the Canonically Non-Psychic," etc.) as a personal rule. I really, really hate it when people have healing sex. The ultimate case of this is, of course, the healing sex that follows rape, but I'm against other kinds of healing sex, too, because sex doesn't heal. It's fun and it's good and it feels like the best thing ever when you're doing it, but it can't fix you when you're broken. I've tried that, so I know that having sex when you're broken will only make you more broken. Except, of course, in the Batworld, where everyone is always broken, so you have to make certain allowances. This story is possibly the perfect example of why the Bats can have healing sex, and vicious sex, and just about every other kind of rule-breaking sex imaginable. To find out more, you'll just have to go there.

Best FF That Will Make You Want Cheesecake. Well, Actually, That May Not Be So Unusual; So Many Women Have Grown Accustomed to Sublimating Their Desires. So Let Me Instead Call This the Best FF That Will Make You Sure Cheesecake Is Just a Substitute for Sex. A Little Cheesecake, by kassrachel. The Sentinel, Jim Ellison/Blair Sandburg. I just totally hate the false no; I have a whole rant on it that is three pages long that I will, please god please, never make available in a public place. I'm going to try to avoid quoting from said essay in what follows, but I make no promises.

The false no goes like this. A and B are beginning a first-time type sex scene. They've been kissing, maybe, and A starts moving things along by groping a bit.

B moans appreciatively into A's mouth.
A, emboldened, takes things a step further; perhaps he unzips B's jeans, or maybe he takes off B's shirt, or maybe he sucks on B's fingers. Whatever.
B says, "No." Or, "Wait." Or, "On second thought..."
A recoils, wounded, his hopes and dreams dashed to the ground, angst welling up all around him.
B reveals that he just meant, "No, or I'll come." Or possibly, "Wait, we could go to the bedroom now." Something like that.

I just fucking hate when that happens in an otherwise normal sex scene, because people don't do that in first time situations. They're careful of their partner's feelings, and they remember the power that "no" carries. It's only later that people play around with safewords and sexy fake refusals. And, you know, I've pretty much summed up that essay here, so let me try to get back to the story.

Here, the false no works, because it's in the right place, and because Jim and Blair don't know each other very well yet, and because Kass is a genius. I hate the false no, really hate it - it's just a way to crank up the angst unnecessarily, a gimmick, a crutch - but I love it here. It just - works. And since I've already gone on and on and on about this, I'll let you go read the story now.

-The Broken Absolute Laws of Fan Fiction-

Best FF That Should Make All Those Fangirls Who Put Themselves - Only Smarter and Prettier and Better and with Flowing Ebony Hair and Violet Eyes - into Their Stories Deeply Ashamed, but Probably Won't, Because Let's Face It, Those Fangirls Are Likely Dead to Shame. Once and Almost Completely, by scrunchy. Sports Night, Danny/Scrunchy. Seriously. This is self-insertion het, right here, and yet - somehow it works. I can't say any more than that. scrunchy gets Danny and Casey. She, like, channels them or something. So even when she's writing about Danny falling in love with, well, her, it works. And there's an important lesson here, for Mary Sue-ists. No, wait, there's at least two. The first one is: the less we hear directly from you, the more we like you. Hearing about Scrunchy through Danny makes it good, somehow; hearing about the perfection of Scrunchy from the author would be intolerable. The second lesson is: less is more. Which I'm trying to put into practice in this rec.

Best FF That Almost Makes Me Wish That the Owie on My Back Wasn't a Burn, but Rather the Development of an Entirely New Body Part Not Generally Found in Mammals, Except Maybe Certain Bats, and I Am Not a Bat. I'm Not Nearly Fucked up Enough to Be a Bat. Unless That's Just DCU Overexposure Talking. Graceless, by dirty_diana. Due South, Ray Kowalski/Benton Fraser. What, you thought we'd get through this set without hearing from both of my trusty Happy Fandoms? More fool you, because when it comes to the scary world of law-breaking fic, I need to go to my happy places. Which is, of course, where I find most of the law-breaking fic, so maybe we shouldn't look too closely at that piece of reasoning. So. Go read this right now. Don't read any further until you've read this story; it's good and it's happy and you'll like it, you will. Honestly. I had my Best Beloved test-read it and everything. So it's safe, and you don't need to know more, so read it now.

All done? OK. Now that you've read it, you know what rule it violates. And, frankly, that's a rule that I don't understand; I mean, why do we even need a covenant stating Thou Shalt Not Write Wingfic? What's this weird attraction for putting wings in non-wing fandoms? It's like having a commandment telling us not to have sex with blue trees under two feet tall while orbiting Pluto. I mean, you want wings, there's fandoms for you - Good Omens, Dogma, X-Men (look, it isn't my fault Warren hasn't appeared in the movies; he's there in the comic books, and he's got palpable wings). Why put wings on Angel? He wouldn't use them, you know; he'd just mope about how someone more deserving than him should've got them. Why put wings on Legolas? You'd just eliminate the last difference between (book canon) elves and angels, and I feel sure Tolkien would've done that if he'd wanted to. Why put wings on Ray Kowalski? Well, as it turns out, so you can have this perfect, wonderful fic, featuring a Ray and a Fraser who are absolutely as I see them, wings or not.

Best FF That Made Me Doubt My Sanity and My Mental Health. Well, No, Because a Lot of FF Does That; It's the Best FF That Made Me Seriously Consider Seeking Therapy. Again. Untitled Sequel to "Aliens Make Ford and Arthur Have Sex", by Katy, aka imperfectcircle. Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Arthur Dent/Ford Prefect. (Note: You should really read the first one in this series before you read this. I've recommended it previously, so if you know it, feel free to charge ahead into truly uncharted waters.) This rec alarms me. Because this is the not even the first time I've recommended MPreg. Do I have some strange, deeply repressed part of me that wants to read MPreg? And if I do, how do I get rid of it?

Those two stories are just fucking fantastic, yes, but on the whole the genre mystifies me. I don't read fic for men doing girl things; I read fic for men doing boy things, generally to other men. (And, no, I don't define "sucking cock" as a strictly boy thing, although I think you'll admit that it helps to have at least one male present for that activity. But pregnancy? That is a girl thing, by god, and I don't want to read about it happening to men. I hope.) If I want a pregnancy fic, I'll look for femslash, dammit. And, um, that probably sounded biased, but it wasn't meant that way. I love you, straight people! I totally want you to breed, provided you don't let the resultant kids kick the back of my seat during showings of R-rated movies after 11:00 p.m.! It's just, well, I have a slash bias when I'm reading fic, and so - you know, this isn't going to come out right, no matter what I say. Stopping now, while only my foot is in mouth.
ineke on October 8th, 2004 01:47 am (UTC)
Innocent Bystanderfiresprite1105 on October 8th, 2004 02:36 am (UTC)
Oooh, brilliant theme!

*runs off to read*

Daegaer: seagulls of doom by toscas_kissdaegaer on October 8th, 2004 02:43 am (UTC)
You may have thought I'd forgotten about this, you may have hoped I'd forgotten about this, but in the spirit of fic that breaks the bounds of common sense and decency (although I make no claims as to its quality) I offer you:

Kowalski, Fraser and the Unusually Frisky Legions of the Undead

"Why is Canada so damn cold?" Ray said viciously.

"It's winter, Ray."

"Yeah, well it's very pretty, if we weren't going to freeze to death. I am never jumping out of a plane with you again."

Fraser opened his mouth, no doubt to let a pearl of Inuit wisdom on parachuteless sky-diving fall from his lips. Ray glared at him till he just shut his mouth again. Damn straight.

"We'll need to combine our body heat, Ray," Fraser said.

Ray sighed.

"I knew you were going to say that. I even knew you were going to have that innocent look on your face."

Fraser looked confused.

"I don't under–," he started.

"Body heat. Got it," Ray said in resignation, and snugged down.

He awoke to fingers ghosting over his face and neck. A light kiss tickled his ear. He shifted away from Fraser at the same time Fraser inched away from him.

"Fraser?" he said.

"Yes, Ray?"

Fraser's voice sounded strained. Ray decided he could never actually mention this aloud. The guy had probably been dreaming about caribou or Diefenbaker or something.

"Nothing. G'night."

The moon was high overhead when he woke again, fingers touching his face, and his chest and – oh, shit. He yelped, pretty much at the same time as Fraser made a remarkably girly sound.

"Fraser! I don't—"

"Ray, it's not that I'm not flattered, but –"

They stared at each other in the moonlight, and both turned over, quickly. After a few moments, Ray cleared his throat.

"Fraser? Could you get your hand off my thigh?"

Silence. Then,

"My hand isn't on your thigh, Ray." Fraser's voice sounded very odd. "I was just about to ask if you were sure about what you're doing."

"What I'm doing?" Ray asked, "I'm not doing anything." Fraser made an odd little quiet sound, and Ray sat bolt upright in horror as the hand on his thigh slipped higher. "I am not doing whatever made you make that noise!"

"Oh," Fraser said in a squeak.

Ray stared down at him, trying to ignore the light touch ghosting over the back of his neck, and the breath blowing delicately at his hair.

"You still only have two hands, right, Fraser?" he asked.

"Yes, Ray."

"And they're still attached to your arms, right?"

"Yes, Ray."

"Argh!" Ray screamed, leapt to his feet and fled across the moonlit snow.

"I concur," Fraser said, grabbing up their things. He tipped his hat to the empty glade. " . . . Good evening, er, ma'am. Or sir," he said, and ran at top speed after his vanished partner.
plus one skeletondelurker on October 8th, 2004 03:21 am (UTC)
I am embarressed to admit that I actually squeaked with happiness when I saw that you'd written this.
Deep, deep happiness.
Oh, and the ending? Perfect. Just perfect.
Re: Squee! - daegaer on October 8th, 2004 03:26 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Squee! - delurker on October 8th, 2004 03:33 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Squee! - daegaer on October 8th, 2004 04:30 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - petronelle on October 8th, 2004 05:46 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - daegaer on October 8th, 2004 05:51 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - louiselux on October 8th, 2004 06:25 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - daegaer on October 8th, 2004 06:32 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - derien on October 8th, 2004 06:29 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - daegaer on October 8th, 2004 06:31 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - derien on October 8th, 2004 07:29 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - janet_carter on October 8th, 2004 06:47 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - daegaer on October 8th, 2004 08:09 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - canthlian on October 8th, 2004 06:47 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - daegaer on October 8th, 2004 08:09 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - cmshaw on October 8th, 2004 07:37 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - daegaer on October 8th, 2004 08:10 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on October 8th, 2004 07:56 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - daegaer on October 8th, 2004 08:08 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - cicer on October 8th, 2004 03:55 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - daegaer on October 9th, 2004 06:59 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - dzurlady on October 8th, 2004 10:33 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - daegaer on October 9th, 2004 06:59 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - veronamay on October 10th, 2004 03:24 am (UTC) (Expand)
plus one skeletondelurker on October 8th, 2004 03:27 am (UTC)
I must confess that I have a wingfic kink - give me a man with wings and I'm a happy fangirl.
This means that I don't really see why it's so completely hated. If I read you right, is it because the wings are gratuitous? Because I can see that, I guess...

(but I still like gratuitously!winged!Ray.)
tried to eat the safe banana: glorious freakishness - MMWDthefourthvine on October 8th, 2004 08:10 am (UTC)
Re: Wingfic
See, I don't hate wingfic, and it doesn't squick me or anything. I just don't get it. When I read one, I'm always totally bewildered - why are there wings here? Why?

Or I'm usually totally bewildered. Because I actually had choice of two dS wingfics for this set, so maybe sometimes I do get it. I think it says something about this fandom that you can put anything - wings, frisky ghosts, aliens - into a fic and make it work.
Re: Wingfic - dzurlady on October 8th, 2004 10:29 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Wingfic - thefourthvine on October 9th, 2004 01:55 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Wingfic - dzurlady on October 9th, 2004 04:17 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Wingfic - fanofall on October 9th, 2004 09:13 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Wingfic - delurker on October 10th, 2004 05:50 am (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
tried to eat the safe banana: glorious freakishness - MMWDthefourthvine on October 8th, 2004 07:59 am (UTC)
Yup, I've already recommended that one, or it would have been in here. Because there's nothing quite like Shalott's own personal spin on love and marriage and the baby in the baby carriage.
(Deleted comment)
tried to eat the safe banana: wombat OTP - MMWDthefourthvine on October 9th, 2004 01:59 am (UTC)
Of course I remembered; I'm just, you know, slow.

But you should remember that this was your idea. So I didn't make you read self-insertion fic, you made yourself read it. I'm just the messenger! Or the tool! Except I don't want to use the word "tool" so close to "self-insertion." Because that word is, you're totally right, dirty enough on its own. It's practically a whole wankfic all by itself.

So. Got another request? If you give it to me now, I should be able to produce it in time for your birthday. With luck.
Empress of All I Surveygornishka on October 8th, 2004 01:33 pm (UTC)
Not in response to anything in particular, but, just overflowing with totally unhealthy fangirly love for you here. It frightens me, but I can't deny it. I enjoy reading your recs as much as I enjoy the recs themselves, sometimes more.

Query: have you ever come across any Touching Evil (US) fanfic out there? I remember reading some very good Branca/Creegan ('ship and gen) back when the show was on, but not any Rivers/Creegan, which would have been all kinds of yum.
tried to eat the safe banana: what big eyes I have - wanderlustloverthefourthvine on October 9th, 2004 02:03 am (UTC)
Wow. I'm blushing. You read my LJ for my story summaries? That's an amazing compliment.

And, damn. Because, yes, I've seen Touching Evil FF, but when I do I don't read it, because I haven't seen the movie. So I can't remember where I've seen it, or what the pairings were.

Um. I'll be keeping my eyes open for that now, though. Not that that's a whole lot of help.

Jeez. We need a rarefic requests community. God knows I'd use it; I have a painfully long wishlist of fic and vids I'd love to see.
(no subject) - fanofall on October 9th, 2004 09:16 pm (UTC) (Expand)
flyingtapes: stephen by lady_iphigniaflyingtapes on October 8th, 2004 02:46 pm (UTC)
Wingfic, from what I can tell, seems to have it's genesis in popslash--or at least, that's the fandom where it took off so well that it made an imprint on fandom at large. I remember the first time reading wingfic and thinking, "What is this?" or that it was just an AU, not an entire subgenre of fic. But when I went through and read all the wingfic popslash has, I was as caught by it as, well, I was caught by popslash anyway. There's something so beautiful about the descriptions of wings, of people gaining wings, that I think it must be a major secret desire in our culture. I never read it (usually) outside of popslash, though. There are a lot of things I'll let fly there that I won't in, say, Lotrips or FPS fandoms. Interesting to see you rec it, anyway.
tried to eat the safe banana: Love maths - runpunkrunthefourthvine on October 9th, 2004 02:14 am (UTC)
That is totally fascinating. Somehow, I never ever thought wingfic would occur in any of the RPS fandoms.

And, yes, I do think wings are a major subconscious desire for human beings. I mean, we gave angels wings (unless you believe that a higher power made angels that way, in which case I apologize); we were trying to come up with some way to indicate that they were special and holy and above us, and we went with wings. And that's true of other cultures and other religions, too. Wings occur throughout fiction and myth, too.

So I do agree that we, as a race, have a repressed desire for wings. I just don't get the association between that and fanfic.

Except that was such a stupid thing to say, because of course if there's a desire out there it will be reflected in FF; one of the fascinating elements of this thing we've got going on here is that it's inclusive and specialized at the same time. If one person wants it, it probably exists. If ten people want it, it does exist. If one hundred people want it, you've got a LJ community for it, and if one thousand want it, you've got a whole subgenre that spreads across fandoms.

So. I get, now, why wingfic exists. I still think it's a tough call in terms of writing, though; it isn't all that easy to explain wings or incorporate them into most fandoms without completely destroying the story. Due South seems especially flexible when it comes to stuff like this; I mean, I read some great alien abduction/MPreg dS fic yesterday. It worked, and it even blended with the canon, which is not something that would happen in every fandom out there.
(no subject) - flyingtapes on October 9th, 2004 12:35 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on October 9th, 2004 03:28 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thepouncer on October 9th, 2004 05:47 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - flyingtapes on October 11th, 2004 01:35 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Pimpmaster Zero: starsky defaultveronamay on October 10th, 2004 03:58 am (UTC)
/reads "Graceless" and dies

Okay, I confess. I love wingfic, even though I don't read a lot of it. I have no idea why I love it, I just do. I like wings. I like men. I like men who like men. It seems logical to me to gather all of these things in the one convenient location and rub them together till they explode.

However, I had no idea that there was DS wingfic out there. So now you've made my day, and I thank you.
Carmarthencarmarthen on October 26th, 2004 09:32 pm (UTC)
Found you randomly. Like your recs, or at least the ones for fandoms I am vaguely familiar with. But I am really commenting because

I love you, straight people! I totally want you to breed, provided you don't let the resultant kids kick the back of my seat during showings of R-rated movies after 11:00 p.m.!

Makes me giggle like mad. Wonderful turn of phrase!