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10 November 2004 @ 06:51 am
Slashy Nominations 96: My Sleep Is Made Hot by a Recurrent Dream  
This is officially the Recs Set That Kicked My Ass. I don't even know why. I love these stories. I want everyone else in the world to love them, too. Usually that's all it takes for me to get into auto-type mode. But this is the fifth incarnation of this set; I've had some variation of it - same theme, slightly different stories - in waiting on my list since June. Every time I've tried to write this damn set, I've stalled like a standard transmission in the hands of a 15-year-old with a brand-new learner's permit. I've started wincing every time I see a story built around dreams, and that's just not right, folks; I'm a fan fiction fangirl, and fangirls have to have the love. Have to. It is written in The Way of the Fangirl, that classic of loving obsession.

Obviously, the time has come for a plan. But I'm not so good with plans, so I had to come up with something else. My secret weapon against the evil that is clearly lurking somewhere in this set: total indifference. I've decided that I will just write this damn set and then post it and then it will be done and done. And there will be dancing in the streets. One street, anyway. If I decide to dance there.

So: the stories mentioned below are of incredible quality, yes - I've had tons of time to hone this set - but you might want to skip the descriptions today and head right for the fiction.

Best FF That Exposes the Hidden Evil Inherent in Neverland. Only, If You Ask Me, It Never Was All That Hidden, Because That Is One Terrifying Concept, Folks. A Hundred Years Ago, by trifles. Peter and Wendy, Peter Pan/James. I read this story just a few days ago, and it is the trigger that made me decide I would finish this set come hell, high water, or a total loss of any working knowledge of the English language, because everyone in the world needs to read this now now now. It's amazing. I'm probably slightly biased in its favor, because I always found J. M. Barrie's works seriously twisty, and I don't mean the fun kind of twisty, either. But I don't think you need to understand the horror concealed behind Peter Pan's careless grin to love this story. In "A Hundred Years Ago," Wendy is new to Neverland, and she's learning all Peter Pan's secrets via the canonical method of dream sorting. (No, really. Barrie thinks it's a good thing for mothers to sort through their children's brains and rearrange the contents. Tell me this man wasn't in need of massive doses of neuroleptic drugs, and I will scoff. Well, scoff and then flee, because just thinking about him makes me all wibbly.) And Peter Pan's history is, after all, the history of Neverland. I will say no more, except: read. Now.

Best FF That Makes Me Long to Be Lyrically Compared to the Elimination of Third World Debt. Favorably, I Guess, Though I'd Be Willing to Go Either Way. Story of My Life, That. Breathe, by Jess, aka fearlessfan. The Bourne Identity, Jason Bourne/Marie Kreutz. (Yes, it's het. No one get all shocky, now.) You need to know at least a little about the canon (books or movies) to read this one. This is set between the two movies, and for the full effect you really need to have seen both of them, but you'll still get a lot of it if you've only seen the first, or only read the first book. (And you won't get spoiled, either.) This is Jason and Marie and the time they have together, with Marie learning exactly who Jason Bourne is, maybe just a little faster than he himself learns the same thing. This story is amazing, and not just because it captures the two characters so perfectly, or makes them so real; the most stunning thing is that it's so very much better than the canon. Seriously. Ludlum dreams of writing like this. Or, no, he doesn't, because he's more fixated on big breasts and pointy sticks and things going boom, but if he knew about good writing he'd want to be as good as Jess is. And the movies were really quite surprisingly tolerable, but they weren't like this. This is just really damn good, and there's nothing more I can say about it. Well, nothing I could formulate coherently in this set, anyway.

Best FF That Should Come with a Warning Reading "Caution: After You've Read This, You'll Want to Make Lasagna, So Best Get the Stuff Now." Or Am I the Only One Who Needs That Warning? The Object of My Erections, by Francesca, aka cesperanza. The Sentinel, Jim Ellison/Blair Sandburg. Here's a good reason why y'all don't want me to hold fire on a recommendations set for five months: I tend to eliminate the funny and happy excellent stories from the set and replace them with excellent but vaguely (or not so vaguely) grim and creepy stories. I might've eliminated this, too, except that there's just no way I could. Because, first, this story is everything I love about the Sentinel fandom - the sense of inevitability, the one-liners, the numerous ludicrous sensory and mystical reasons for nearly everything the Jim/Blair entity (yes, they are indeed one entity - it's canonical, man!) does. Also, second, the dialog here just makes me giggle like a schoolgirl, because in this fandom you can choose your flavor, angst or snark, and they both work just the same. (I prefer the snark, myself. Did I really need to spell that out?) Finally, it has the world's silliest title, which is reason enough to feel the love, I think. So, here we have Jim having dreams about a wolf and a panther getting up to activities not typical of their species, which means that Sandburg and Ellison are in for a (really very minor) lifestyle change. And then there's lasagna.

Best FF That Reminds Us, Yet Again, That Batman Is a Swinging, Pointy-Eared Angst Vector, and If the DCU CDC Had Any Sense He'd Be Quarantined for Everyone Else's Good. Our Dreams Pursue Our Dead, by derryderrydown, who is back on my "beloved authors" list now that she's named this work of - um, startling brilliance and seriously disturbing content. D.C. Universe, Dick Grayson/Jason Todd. I am not kidding you. And while it's hard to imagine that pairing ever getting down with the sweetness and light, this is about as deep into darkness and gravity as its possible to go. Hence, this warning: this story is as disturbing as all fuck. In case you're not up for something short and creepy, I'll be offering a certified safe alternative story for this one. (I'm not going to get into the habit of that for the DCU, so don't think it. It's just - yeeee. This story is scary, and I want people who are reading this at night to have a choice.) So, you want a story summary? Go back and take another look at the pairing. Says it all, folks, and that way I don't have to make this longer than the whole story is. Now read this - if you dare - and then join me in hoping that this really is a story about dreaming. Because if it isn't - yikes.


Best FF Showing Us That Those Who Live in the D.C. Universe Are Not Like Others. For One Thing, They Don't Even Blink When They're Awakened in a Distinctly Creepy Fashion, Whereas the Rest of Us Would Be, at Best, Calling an Exorcist. Come down Breathless, by Te, aka thete1. DC Universe/Teen Titans, Tim Drake (as Robin III)/Kon-El (Superboy). I'm including their superhero names because they're definitely using their superhero personalities here, and also because it's getting even more difficult to figure out what part Tim's playing these days, what with the stories where he's Robin and the ones where he isn't and the ones where he is again, only angrier, and, well, all I can say is that the DCU needed only this Robin mess (I mean, really. Is he still Robin III? Is he now Robin V? Does anyone know?) to guarantee it the title "Most Confusing Fandom" for at least the next decade. Um. Not that this makes me all ranty or anything. Moving on to the actual story. Here we have an excellent candidate for a Mutant Sex Award, with Kon's powers playing silly buggers (Um. So to speak.), and Tim being, you know, Tim, because no other character would ever handle this situation quite this way. Well, except maybe Batman, although I suspect Batman would have an entirely different way of dealing with this. (It would likely involve a remotely controlled droid-bug-thing dispatched to Kon's room, a new monitor programmed to wake Kon up every subsequent time he began using his powers while sleeping, and one efficient and not especially funny joke for the sake of team camaraderie. 'Cause that's our beloved Batman, folks - eight times voted "most likely to be a villain in an alternate universe where the Joker is a good guy" and eleven times voted "superhero whose mental stability even other angst-ridden superheroes worry about.") Anyway. This story is a PWP that is totally worth reading for the characterizations and power play. Plus, you know, it's porn written by Te, so it's worth reading for other reasons.
Babies ate my dingo.: dc - dead gay robinderryderrydown on November 10th, 2004 07:04 am (UTC)
It has a title now! It's called Our Dreams Pursue Our Dead.
tried to eat the safe banana: Pessimism is sensiblethefourthvine on November 10th, 2004 07:54 am (UTC)
And the prize for "Title That Only Enhances the Scary Creepiness of an Already Amazingly Scary and Creepy Story" goes to: derryderrydown!

(I love the title, incidentally. And I totally want you to title everything I write from now on, because clearly you have serious title mojo - "Our Dreams Pursue Our Dead" and "Spanky Pants" are ample proof of that - whereas I have got title whammy, and I won't even offer you proof of that because it's just too depressing.)
(no subject) - derryderrydown on November 10th, 2004 08:16 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on November 10th, 2004 09:14 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - estrella30 on November 10th, 2004 11:01 am (UTC) (Expand)
Mari: moodytyphoid_mary on November 10th, 2004 07:17 am (UTC)
*holds out apple*
You seriously think Derry's is the worst DCU fandom has to offer? I present Exhibits A, B, and C. Heck, I find that the mere mention of Dr. Benway causes me to twitch and shut down the nearest monitor in the hope that I won't be drawn in to the nightmare -- I can't even promise that these were the worst, as they are already collectively Too Awful for me to take any more.

Still, misery loves company -- you should try them!
Marityphoid_mary on November 10th, 2004 07:40 am (UTC)
Re: *holds out apple*
Hell, I just made myself read another one. Will this torture never end?
Re: *holds out apple* - thefourthvine on November 10th, 2004 07:57 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: *holds out apple* - typhoid_mary on November 10th, 2004 08:07 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: *holds out apple* - thefourthvine on November 10th, 2004 09:17 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: *holds out apple* - typhoid_mary on November 10th, 2004 09:22 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: *holds out apple* - typhoid_mary on November 10th, 2004 08:37 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: *holds out apple* - thefourthvine on November 10th, 2004 09:23 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: *holds out apple* - typhoid_mary on November 10th, 2004 09:43 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: *holds out apple* - _redpanda_ on November 10th, 2004 12:59 pm (UTC) (Expand)
I have tactile telecuntnesis.: He has always been doomed.zeelee_penguin on November 10th, 2004 07:44 am (UTC)
That Peter Pan story is totally responsible for the sleep I lost over my Peter Pan paper for english class. I read that story, then stared at my blank screen for hours, thinking, "I have to write about setting? All this creepy, fucked up shit that goes on with the characters and I have to write about setting?"

And I agree, Barrie was totally twisted. I am very, very much looking forward to seeing how Johnny Depp plays him.

Great DC recs, too. Much love for including both fluff and disturbing creepiness. (and both stories had Robins! Yay, Robins.)
tried to eat the safe banana: Suspicious owlthefourthvine on November 10th, 2004 08:12 am (UTC)
I'm sorry, but assigning a paper on the setting of Peter Pan is definitive proof of a deranged mind, and your professor will likely be gibbering by nightfall. Because - who the fuck cares about setting? I mean, just the dream thing alone gave me nightmares - literally - when I first read the book as a wee un, and then there's the fascinating gender issues and the weird, weird, weird weirdness all over the place. Just the concept of Neverland alone is worth 18-20 papers, all focusing on the batshit craziness of one J. M. Barrie and his fictional creations.

And please let me know if you see Neverland. I want to see it, but I'm scared, because, well, Barrie.

Yay, Robins.

I would go so far as to say hip hip hooray for Robins. Back when I was an exclusively Marvel girl (look, I had a boyfriend who led me astray, OK?), I thought Robins were the stupidest heroes ever (and it isn't like there isn't compelling evidence for that, what with the Robin panties and the Robin poulaines and the whole hideous color scheme of which we will not even speak), but now I adore them. They're probably my favorite characters in all of DC. Excluding Jason Todd, though, because I still can't feel the love for him.
(no subject) - derryderrydown on November 10th, 2004 08:14 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on November 10th, 2004 09:28 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - zeelee_penguin on November 10th, 2004 10:57 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on November 12th, 2004 04:37 am (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
tried to eat the safe banana: Swoonthefourthvine on November 10th, 2004 09:33 am (UTC)
I have an excellent basic lasagna recipe, as well as many interesting variations, and I will happily share them with you. I'd share the actual lasagna, too (I figure there's at least 75% chance I'll be making that tonight), but you're really too far away for that to be practical.

Or are you a member of the anti-lasagna party? Because if you are, I have to inform you that I will brook no deviation from the One True Lasagna Path. Only through the consumption of excellent lasagna can you find true happiness. Put your faith in the lasagna. It will not let you down.

Lasagna is love, and love is lasagna.
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on November 10th, 2004 07:02 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on November 12th, 2004 04:46 am (UTC) (Expand)
Jessfearlessfan on November 10th, 2004 12:10 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for the kind story comments and linkage! It completely made my day.
tried to eat the safe banana: Kiss methefourthvine on November 10th, 2004 05:33 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad to hear it! I love your writing; you have such a deft hand with characterization, and you often write from an unusual (and gripping) perspective.

(P.S. May I update my previous recommendations of your work so that they have your new LJ name? Right now the links still go to the old one.)
(no subject) - fearlessfan on November 11th, 2004 06:45 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on November 12th, 2004 04:56 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - fearlessfan on November 17th, 2004 07:47 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on November 23rd, 2004 11:50 am (UTC) (Expand)
what happened to the '90s :(: I just love to see you smilei_smile on November 10th, 2004 03:39 pm (UTC)
Oh, man. The Bourne Identity. I didn't realise there was any fanfic for that. This is brilliant; thanks!

tried to eat the safe banana: Swoonthefourthvine on November 10th, 2004 05:36 pm (UTC)
I think this is the fan fiction for The Bourne Identity. As in, all of it or almost all of it. I was sort of stunned to see this, even.

(And I'm glad you liked it. I love hearing that I've linked people to stories they liked but hadn't previously read.)
mr duck's embarrassed: ww by lainynigeltde on November 11th, 2004 12:26 am (UTC)
Oh, thanks for the link to the Pan fic, it was AWESOME. That's the kind of fic I live for! (as well as the other kinds of fic I live for).
tried to eat the safe banana: Words.thefourthvine on November 12th, 2004 04:57 am (UTC)
It's amazing, isn't it. I was stunned, reading that; I was late for an appointment, but I could not move from the computer until I was done.

And it totally re-triggered my nearly-cured Peter Pan phobia. That boy-creature scares me.
Professor Liddle-Oldmanliddle_oldman on November 23rd, 2004 09:43 am (UTC)
Has it ever occured to you how much action Batman could get? Except that he'd have to be sane to take advantage of it, and if he was sane, he wouldn't be Batman.
tried to eat the safe banana: Gagthefourthvine on November 23rd, 2004 11:47 am (UTC)
Oh, I'm quite sure Batman gets just tons of action. It's just twisted, psychologically-damaging, totally emotionally unhealthy action.

Pretty much like all the rest of the DCU,really.

The Batfamily motto: we're looking for a few good psychiatrists. And a place that will let us order psychoactive medications in bulk lots. (And a really good five-point restraint system, but really only Batman's looking for that.)
(no subject) - liddle_oldman on November 23rd, 2004 11:49 am (UTC) (Expand)