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17 May 2005 @ 12:26 am
Slashy Nominations 118: Animals Know That the Principal Business of Life Is to Enjoy It  
I love animals. Not in, you know, the way that means you need therapy; I just care about them and admire them. And, I'll be honest with you, I like them a whole lot more than people. There are lots of canons with animals, but not a lot of FF featuring them, and a lot of what there is doesn't meet my standards for goodness to animals. These do. Of course, given my preference for animals over people, the animals triumph in some of these. But what I say is, I don't want to be in a fandom if the characters can't be thoroughly trounced by, say, a single angry deer during mating season. Takes all the fun out of it.

Best FF That Proves That Drilling for Emergencies Is Pointless Unless You Include the Penguin-Related Ones. Mating Rituals, by Karen McFadyyon, and is she on LJ? And does anyone know if I'm capitalizing her name correctly? Stargate: Atlantis, John Sheppard/Rodney McKay. And some penguins. You know how you'll be reading along, and some sentence hits you just right and suddenly you're laughing and laughing and oh god you're never going to be able to breathe again and you really wish you could say something reassuring to the loved one now looking at you with concern but it's just so fucking funny that you can't? This happens to me sometimes. A disproportionate number of times have something to do with animals. While reading Connie Willis's Bellwether, for example, I broke up over a vomiting sheep, to a degree that Best Beloved was threatening to call an ambulance by the midpoint of the laughing fit. And in this one, it was a biting penguin that got me. (OK. Technically, the penguin got Ford, but I was the one who got to laugh when Ford complained about it.) I almost dropped my laptop from joy. And here's the thing - after an experience like that, I don't look for more from FF. The author could've finished this story with a 3,000 word discussion of the avian cloaca and I'd still want to recommend it. But in this case? Not a worry, because fifteen minutes after the Penguins 2, Whole Rest of SGA 0 scene, when I could finally focus again, I discovered that this story brings the funny and the touching in really excellent amounts. Frankly, I'm sort of stunned anyone could sell a story with this one's premise, but Karen McFadyyon does so with style. And then there's the excellent use of points of view, and the rocks, and...just the whole thing. 'S wonderful.

Best FF That Proves That the Essays You Wrote When You Were a Teenager Can Come Back to Haunt You. Probably Be Better for Everyone Not to Write Any, Really. Unaccommodated Man, by kindkit. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Rupert Giles/Daniel "Oz" Osborne, and I've had to be corrected on Oz's name every time I've used it, so go ahead and correct me here, too. I'm resigned. I'm even looking forward to it. This story took me by surprise in an entirely different way than "Mating Rituals." I didn't know the author at all, and this is one of those pairings I normally only read when written by people I trust, because when it's done right it's so very right, but when it's wrong it is oh, god, kill me now awful. But I looked at the title, thought, "Lear? Is that you?" and four seconds later I was hooked. This is an AU from the episode "Phases," which I personally have never seen on account of my tragic allergy to the hair + teeth + cheese formula TV makeup artists use to make werewolves. But all you need to know is that Oz almost bit Giles in that one. So what if he had? Well, Giles would be a werewolf, too. What then? Turns out what comes next is wolf-on-wolf action witnessed by Wesley in his original ultraprat incarnation, and that should so be scarring, and it is so not. (Mostly because you never actually see it.) And then the inevitable non-wolfy aftermath. I'm not the biggest fan of long, painful morning-after conversations, but this is perfect and perfectly in character and filled with wonderful bits and just...yeah. Wow. Again. And, hey, "lycanthropy made us do it" is a brand-new excuse applicable to a number of fandoms; authors take note!

Best FF That Demonstrates the Life-Saving Powers of Kink. Acquire a New Kink Today; the Life You Save Could Be Your Own! Elvis Has Left the Building*, by Salieri, aka troyswann. Stargate: SG-1, Jack O'Neill/Daniel Jackson. So, it's a fair night, and SG-1 are in the great outdoors, gathered around a campfire, to listen to Shakespearean sonnets and Jaffa love poetry, and then retire - Daniel to his slumbers, Teal'c to his appointed rounds, Sam to her quiet solitary giggling, and Jack to his astronomy and boot porn. So very lovely and romantic, no? And then a moose shows up and it all goes to hell. We learn that the Atlantis team may routinely to lose to penguins, yes, but it takes a big moose (though that's probably redundant; in one whole college class, the only useful thing I found to put in my notes was "Moose - big motherfuckers") to defeat SG-1 and the whole SGC. Bonus features include Daniel's mysterious aversion to Swedish, a moose's equally mysterious love for Swedish, and Jack's not at all mysterious love for the moose. Not to mention Hammond's attempts to be dignified even though he's in charge of a top-secret installation that has been brought to its knees (and the edge of its sanity) by a one-moose army. You have to admire that.

Best FF That Proves That All of Life's Most Important Events Really Do Happen at Table. Even if the "Table" Is Actually a Tundra. The Company of Wolves, by viridian5. Due South, Benton Fraser/Ray Kowalski. Sort of. I'm normally uninterested in AUs of this kind - you know, the kind where the two characters meet in past lives - because they tend to veer so far from the actual canon and they're often out of character or improbable. This, though, is seriously in character, and even in canon, in a strange way; I mean, you can't be totally in line with the canon when you turn the two main characters into, you know, wolves. But still. Strangely right. This is, really, a perfect translation (into wolf) of the way Fraser and Kowalski met each other. (But it's condensed, of course, because wolves get things done more quickly. No, really. When was the last time you saw a wolf tooling around in a flaming Buick Riviera?) And also why the two of them need each other. Plus, wolves. This story is strangely comforting to me, one of those ones I read when I'm down. (Or when I've just watched a really grim dS vid. There are happy moments in the canon, people! I've actually seen them. But not, for the most part, in the vids, which tend to fabulous but somewhat grim.) But I do need to warn those of you who are sensitive to animal unhappiness that this is, if not 100% realistic, at least honest about the lives of wolves. I can handle it because that's how they are, and also because I know things will be all better soon, but I thought I'd best warn you just the same.

-Footnote-

* Salieri, if you're reading this - the version of this story on your website has a sizable chunk of text missing, starting just after "Major Carter didn't laugh right out loud." That's why I linked to the LJ post.
 
 
 
(Deleted comment)
erjika: Gimlichuerjika on May 17th, 2005 12:51 am (UTC)
WOMBATS!

*quietly slinks away*
tried to eat the safe banana: Wombatsthefourthvine on May 17th, 2005 10:42 am (UTC)
Wombats indeed. I might even go so far as to say "Wombats, YAY!"

(And where, may I ask, is all the wombat FF? damned_colonial can't be expected to carry the full weight of fandom's wombat needs.)
Iphiginia Saberhagen: Wombats Rule swiped from MMWDfanofall on May 17th, 2005 03:51 pm (UTC)
I just want to point out that I was not the first person to "wombat" your journal. At some point, someone (and I really don't remember who) pointed out that I wombat everyone's journals when they mention wombats, and I didn't do it this time. Even though I thought about it.

BUT YAY RECS!

Have fun this weekend! Do me a favor, and you and norah kick the Ficus of Doom for me, 'kay? 'Kay.
tried to eat the safe banana: Batvinethefourthvine on May 17th, 2005 06:05 pm (UTC)
Have fun this weekend! Do me a favor, and you and norah kick the Ficus of Doom for me, 'kay? 'Kay.

So what I'm hearing is that you want us both dead. Because you remember that tree in the third HP movie? The Whomping Willow? Trust me when I tell you that the Ficus just laughs at the Whomping Willow. "Amateur," it scoffs. "You left them alive. And you call yourself a lethal tree? Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha." [Rubs two branches together in evil manner and casually stretches out a root to trip a passing child on a bicycle.]

There isn't enough insurance in the world to make it safe for me to go mano-a-branch with the Ficus.

*shudders*
Iphiginia Saberhagenfanofall on May 17th, 2005 10:21 pm (UTC)
Um.

No.

Not dead.

At all.

So, I guess, don't kick it. Think mean thoughts in the general direction of environmental services, or whoever-it-is that's supposed to get rid of the thing.

Unless they've been eaten too... DUN DUN DUUUUUUHHHHHHHH!!!
tried to eat the safe banana: Yaythefourthvine on May 17th, 2005 10:41 am (UTC)
YES! Ooooo! (And thanks for the link; will update now.)

*does the gleeful, shimmy-filled dance of OTP coming to visit soon*

*dogs openly point and laugh*

*ceases dancing and is just quietly happy*
erjika: Tomasson/Edman Polar Bear OTPerjika on May 17th, 2005 12:52 am (UTC)
Strangely, though I could have sworn I'd read all of Viridian5's stuff, I'd not read that one. Thank you so much for reccing it. :D *feels the old due South love again*
tried to eat the safe banana: Suspicious owlthefourthvine on May 17th, 2005 10:53 am (UTC)
Oh, the dS love never dies. It's the fandom where, when you have to go there, they have to feed you good fic.

(And I'm glad to hear you liked Company of Wolves. I have such a weird fondness for animals that I wondered, writing up the summary, if maybe I was the only person who would love such a whacked-out bodyswitch AU. But I came to my senses rapidly, because it's just so...good. I mean, how can you not love Exile Wolf Fraser? Or Lone Wolf Ray?)
lm = panavatar: pedipalpal lovelm on May 17th, 2005 01:01 am (UTC)
I don't know if you've ever been to Loaded (Giles/Oz fic) but pretty much everything I've read there has been really good. Mind you, I haven't read the whole site or anything, but...yeah. My archive rec stands.
tried to eat the safe banana: OH MY GOD!thefourthvine on May 17th, 2005 11:02 am (UTC)
Your icon is...twisted. I can't figure out whether it's hot or scary. Maybe both. Maybe it's like jolielaide: hotscary. Hmmm.

Thank you for the archive rec. I've visited it several times, but I've never had the guts to click on names I didn't already know, because of the aforementioned horror that is bad Giles/Oz. Knowing that you have not been burned is a great help.

And now I will go trepidatiously click and - eee! - read.

*wanders off, humming the theme from High Noon*
This Space Intentionally Left Blank: Mooshee-salieribarkley on May 17th, 2005 04:41 am (UTC)
Salieri, if you're reading this - the version of this story on your website has a sizable chunk of text missing, starting just after "Major Carter didn't laugh right out loud." That's why I linked to the LJ post.

She might not be, but I am, and I control all! Mwhahahahaha. But thanks for the heads up! I just went to check it, and I can't find text missing. I'll look closer tonight when I get home.
tried to eat the safe banana: Words.thefourthvine on May 17th, 2005 11:07 am (UTC)
Arg. Yesterday, when I was writing this, I checked the page twice, and even had a look at the source, and I swear the text was missing. This morning, though, it's not. So perhaps it's not something wrong with the page so much as it is something wrong with my brain.

So, um. Sorry 'bout that.

*waves hands vaguely, makes inarticulate noises, and leaves, tearing at hair*

(P.S. That's quite a rack on that icon of yours. Wowee.)
This Space Intentionally Left Blank: Mooshee-salieribarkley on May 17th, 2005 08:58 pm (UTC)
Good to know! I thought perhaps I was going crazy this morning (and/or when I uploaded the page.) I was comparing the LJ, the website, and my backup-folder on my hard drive and they all looked the same. *g*

And, this rack, was done by none other than the moose singer herself.
kageygirl: mckay good handskageygirl on May 17th, 2005 04:47 am (UTC)
Just to give credit where it's due, Karen's fic is based on Tarsiidae (Or, a Simian Vacation) and its sequel, Pygoscelis (Or, a Gift of Pebbles) by Leah (maching_monkey), which were written for the pegasus_b AU. Karen rewrote "Pygoscelis" as "Mating Rituals" for the non-AU-verse. (If you like animal stories, you really have to read Leah's, even if you're not into the PegB thing.)
tried to eat the safe banana: Dogthefourthvine on May 17th, 2005 11:15 am (UTC)
Whoops. I didn't know that, because I have not yet braved Pegasus B. (I find it's better to avoid the all-encompassing type of AU until I have some grasp of the canon, and I'm still back-engineering SGA.) But I'm looking forward to being able to open that particular toybox, believe me, because it sounds fantastic.

But I will have to read the animal stories before that, because animals + SGA + parts of SG1 seems to me to be a recipe for fannish joy. (Although I don't love primates as much as I love the rest of the animal world. They strike me as suspiciously close to humans. And, wow, that sounds wildly misanthropist. Which I guess means I'm in my accustomed mental state, really.)

But, tarsiers or no tarsiers - yay! Animals! I'm off to Pegasus B; don't keep dinner for me.
The Mortal Zip Disc of Perthstokley02 on May 17th, 2005 08:44 am (UTC)
Just had to quickly tell you that the Penguin rec is gold total comedy gold. I will email author later, but now brain go splodey and revert to no transmission mode.



Gold rec though mate, absolute gold


ey
tried to eat the safe banana: Yaythefourthvine on May 17th, 2005 11:17 am (UTC)
Is it not hysterical? Seriously, I woke BB, who could win sound sleeping contests, with my laughter over that one. "I'm sorry, but he was biting me!" I just...really love that.

Clearly, what this universe needs is more penguins.
when regiment is gone: Giles/Oz b&w by Katekindkit on May 17th, 2005 01:26 pm (UTC)
Wow. Thank you so much for the rec, and even more so for the lovely feedback within the rec. (I can totally understand your fear of reading Giles/Oz by unknown writers, by the way--it's a pairing that is so easy to do absolutely wrong. So I'm glad that my perhaps-a-tad-pretentious use of Lear in the title lured you in!)

You probably know of her work, but just in case you don't . . . glossing writes the most amazing Giles/Oz ever. Her Book of Daniel converted me to the pairing, and her other Giles/Oz stories are all just as great.
Bettybrown_betty on May 17th, 2005 08:28 pm (UTC)
Apparently MMWD hasn't read Bellwether. That's just wrong.
Ilexa: Atlantis opinions -- mmmchelleilexa on May 18th, 2005 12:13 am (UTC)
I love that penguin story!! But I love penguins, so somehow it all just seems right.

I've been reading your recs for a good long while -- so long in fact that I should have said a hearty "OMGILOVEYOUTHAAAANKYOU!" before now, so no time like the present!

OMG I LOVE YOU THAAANK YOU!!
(Deleted comment)
tried to eat the safe banana: DCU penguinthefourthvine on August 24th, 2005 03:01 pm (UTC)
Karen's website is still up; it's just changed URLs. You can find it here, and I've also corrected the site link. Unfortunately, though, Mating Rituals doesn't appear to be there anymore. I've emailed her to ask about it, though, and I'll let you know if I hear back.

Thanks for telling me about this. It's nice to know that people use the old recs. And that means they're also checking the links, which I never, ever have time to do. Everybody wins!
Wyoming Knott: sgawyomingnot on December 24th, 2005 06:59 am (UTC)
Karen's website is still up

Alas, not anymore. :(

I *need* to read this story now. Your comments. Comments of others. A must read, and it's not available.

*sigh*

Punishment for coming late to the party, I suppose.
julii_wolfe: Xkcd boom de yadajulii_wolfe on February 18th, 2011 06:58 am (UTC)
Ahh, it doesn't look like "The Company of Wolves" is up any more either. I haven't tried google foo on it yet, mainly because I need sleep.

It sounded really good. :)
tried to eat the safe banana: Fraserthefourthvine on February 18th, 2011 07:02 am (UTC)