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09 June 2005 @ 08:20 pm
Slashy Nominations 121: For greenet  
In this post, greenet did an interaction meme (following the format "Comment and I'll tell you [insert item here] about you, thus saying something about both of us").* Normally, I can't do these when other people post them, although that doesn't stop me from trying; see, most of them require reciprocation ("post this in your journal"). I understand why; that's the meme-propagation step, and those of us who were paying attention in high school biology (which, OK, I wasn't, because all we ever did was watch documentaries, but I did read the textbook) will recall that the ability to reproduce is an essential component of life.

But meme reciprocation would violate many of this LJ's founding precepts. (Pretentious? Why, yes. Thank you for noticing. But, confession: I didn't articulate most of them until I'd been doing this a while, so really they're more like "summaries of what I've found works for me." It's just that using the other phrase makes me feel like my parents got value for my college education, so I'm staying with that.) So I was happy to see that greenet added "If you so wish" to the reciprocation step of this particular meme, which introduced a brand-new (well, novel, at any rate) concept in meme lifecycle: birth control. And I'm all for birth control.

It's generally a lot of fun for me to do memes of this kind; because I almost never can, they never get old. (Yet another argument in favor of meme birth control, let me note: fewer but better and more lovingly-reared memes.) Naturally, presented with one I could actually do, I wanted to do it well.

Unfortunately, I couldn't. Not really. One of the steps of the meme required the poster to tell me something she'd always wondered about me, and let's face it, if you've been reading this LJ for a while, you just don't have any burning questions left about me. I mean, you're all very, even painfully, aware that I love reading, babble incessantly, and grow reactionary and irrational when discussing English usage. What else is there to know?

Well, possibly, what I'm going to recommend next. Which is what greenet went with. Specifically, she said:

Your five newest favorite stories/fandoms/characters?**

I wanted to answer that. But, unfortunately, I just don't work like that, not exactly. The best I can do is offer her the five stories I most recently added to the Big Scary Master List (Unsorted). Some of them are actually fairly old. (And some of them I'd read long before I added them to the List; browser crashes and memory lapses play hell with my consistency on that one.) So today I'm posting a non-themed set. Or if there is a theme, it's that some of us still like memes, actually.

It's going behind a cut for two reasons.

First, this isn't going to be the greatest set ever. One of the reasons I take such a long time to recommend stories is that I need time to deal with them, to articulate what I think about them and why. (Seriously. Lots of time. Two nights ago, I finally figured out what was wrong with a science fiction short story I read years ago, before I'd read even one piece of FF. I've been thinking about that since I read it, considered the problem thousands of times before I solved it. "Slow but steady" is my motto. Sort of by default.)

Second, she did say five. That means this set is going to be longer than usual, and, let's face it, my entries are already way longer than the average post. Sheer mercy for your friends lists, then, argues for a cut tag.

Best FF That Proves That Infinite Loops May Make Computers Crash but They Only Make People Stronger. Well, and Crazier, but in the Stargate Universe, Everything Is Crazy-Making. A Million Days, by Tallulah Rasa. Stargate: SG-1, gen. Everything Tallulah writes is fantastic. (Seriously; even her story notes are fascinating. It's a universal injustice that she doesn't have a LJ.) This story is yet more proof of that. (And I knew that the first time I read it, months ago. Yet it's one of the latest entries on the List. I dream of method but mostly practice chaos.) For me, this can be summarized with three words: practice makes perfect. See, in this story (which is an AU of a specific episode), time is broken. That means entropy doesn't exist; you can't progress toward decay if you can't progress at all. That, in turn, means the characters are eternally refined without being ground to dust. (Which makes this the Platonic Ideal AU. All AUs are about the essences of the characters, but this one is only and absolutely about the essences of the characters.) That sounds way better than it is for the people actually in this story, because, you know, human beings don't do so well without time or causality. It's no surprise that Jack loses his mind, given the circumstances. But the thing is, it's temporary; he gets it back. Because this is the Platonic Ideal AU, so Jack reverts to his base state, his essence, after a while. And that state happens to be a sane one. (Seriously. If Jack had crazy at his core, he'd've been raving long before we ever met him.) Even better, in my opinion, is what this story shows us about Daniel, about his depths - he can still surprise the person who knows him best, even after years of cycles - and about his strengths. But best of all, at least for me, is the relationship between Jack and Daniel in this story. Because, again, we get the absolute essence of it. Wonder what that is? Read this. You'll know.

Best FF That Always Leaves Me Worrying About Math Emergencies. Is Any Country on the Planet Truly Prepared for a Riemann Hypothesis Crisis? Drift, by Merry, aka merryish. Numb3rs, gen. Now, this is the weird part about doing a set of the most recent entries on the Big Scary Master List (Unsorted). Normally, I wouldn't recommend this story right now, and not because it isn't good. It's great, actually. But I don't know the fandom - this is the first story I've read in it, in fact - and I don't think I'm likely to anytime soon, so I was a little blown away by how much I loved this story. See, I have a hard time warming up to fictional characters; this is one of the reasons why I love FF so much. (I suspect it's also why I'm so happy with hard SF, where the main character is often the author's cleverness rather than the cardboard creations cavorting on the page. Not, I hasten to say, that any good hard SF is like that, especially the recent stuff; if I ever did a set of non-FF recs, there'd be a ton of modern SF, and I think it would impress even those who don't find science babble inherently seductive.) But that means that the first stories I read in an unknown fandom generally leave me cold; if I get into the fandom, I go back to the first stories I read after I'm actually comfortable with the characters. This, though - wow. I felt like I knew these guys, and also like I could write stories about them based on nothing but this story. (I couldn't, of course. That feeling is a dangerous fallacy fueled by thefourthvine's Canon Knowledge Law, which states that those who don't know the canonical universe believe it to be equal to all the FF they've enjoyed in the fandom, plus or minus 5%.) I loved the snapshot of a family that is, yeah, probably fucked up, but still good, and who here can claim to have a completely un-fucked-up family? I just - really loved this. It felt like comfort fic to me. But normally I'd let that impression sit for six weeks or ~sixty stories in the fandom, because I feel weird recommending something in a fandom where I can only name two of the characters, and even then only their first names. So - hi! This is me, way out on an unfamiliar limb. I blame you, greenet.

Best FF That Is Really Going to Make Things a Lot Worse for Those of You Who Are Already Afraid of Mushrooms. The Taste of Apples, by auburnnothenna***. Stargate: Atlantis, gen. (Though I for one think that's somewhat open to debate.) Earlier today, I told Auburn that she seems to be finding different SGA bunnies than the rest of us; she's getting Leporidae Atlanticus intensicus, while the rest of are spending our time with A. lightica or A. briefiansus. (Except me. I keep getting ideas for series based on genre fiction. With luck, the crack psycho-medical team working on the problem will find a cure before I'm forced to write "Genre Atlantis: The Haunting of the Ancients' House.") The way she described an Atlanticus intensicus encounter, it sounded sort of like being taken hostage by a proselytizing Mack truck. So she may not be enjoying this, but I'm loving the results. "Taste" is actually the lighter of the two fantastic, long, plotty stories she's recently posted, both of which support a thesis I formed about four minutes into my relationship with SGA: you can write anything in this fandom. It's better even than due South from that perspective. Here, Auburn is dealing with some of the classic topics of speculative fiction - Gestalt entities, other v. self, first contact, telepathy - and doing an incredible job with it. This story sort of reminds me of the work of Theodore Sturgeon or Greg Bear, only this? Is much better. (And not just because there's characters in this. I can tolerate the character-free zone that is gold and silver age SF, but I still recognize that it's a problem.) And, OK, I wasn't going to warn for this at all, but I feel a certain responsibility here. So let me say this: I'm not promising you a happy ending, exactly. If it's any comfort, though, it's more than halfway to one. And I see a happy sequel hiding under the eaves of the last chapter, although of course I may be hallucinating. If I'm not, it would be a service to the nation if those who knew Auburn chained her to computer and prodded her with beef jerky sticks until she wrote it. Not that I am suggesting anything, mind you.

Best FF Featuring the Most Disturbing Use of Grape Jelly I Have Ever Heard Tell Of.**** Chopsticks, by liviapenn. Ocean's 11, Rusty Ryan/f, Rusty Ryan/Danny Ocean. What, you thought I could let takethehouse walk by without first sucking it dry? (Yeah, sorry, bad metaphor; that one would've worked better for the AU O11 challenge - Vampires Take the House, or Maybe Just a Couple Guys in It.) Of course not. I've been whining about the lack of Oceanverse FF since, well, since there was a whole lot less of it than there is now. So I've been slowly chewing (Look, this isn't my fault - it's Rusty's. His food fixation is infectious. But, fine, I'm sorry. I'll stop with the eating references.) my way through the challenge entries, and mmmm. Whoops. I mean "Yay." And this story is a total yay; we look in on Rusty and Danny back when they were just running jobs on half the politicians in the eastern U.S. and the FBI, simultaneously, with time off for fast food and sex games. In other words, before their lives got complicated. In other other words, before Tess, and prison, and Rusty fucking every member of his Hollywood poker group. ("Yeah, sure, the poker lessons cost," I hear him saying. "But they come with great side dishes, um, Shane.") Wait, wait, that last part didn't happen. And I guess, technically, this replay of Abscam, with added copsex and added twist in the tale, didn't, either. But it should have. It so totally should have. And did I mention I love it?

Best FF That Proves That in the Future, Everyone Will Need a Medical Ethics Refresher Course. Five Ways Jane Austen Never Died, by Samantha Henderson, who I suspect does not have a LJ. Real person fiction, gen. I can't get into real-person fiction, but that doesn't apply if the persons in question have been dead for quite a while. I suspect it's because it's hard for me to see historical people as anything but characters; someone whose world was so far removed from my own might just as well be fictional. And certainly the Jane Austen of this story is taken through a number of, well, let's just say "fictional" situations. Deaths, actually. But, despite the deaths, I would not describe this as sad; "clever," "engaging," and "impressive" are the adjectives I'd go for. I admit it's sort of amusing to me to see what is very much a fan fiction story appearing in an original, professional fiction context, but it's also very pleasing, because this is so well done. And make no mistake; this is fan fiction. It's lovingly based on knowledge of the canon - which, in this case, is Jane Austen's life, plus a couple of other things that I won't spoil for you - and it explores things that did not and could not have happened within the canon. So, yes, I love this story, but I also love that someone got paid for writing fan fiction. Plus, come on. Who doesn't love Jane Austen? (If you say, "I don't," well, there's nothing I can do but pity you.) Who doesn't secretly believe that Cassandra was just a little bit creepy? Who doesn't want to see the AU in which Jane Austen conquers the world? (And, so that you aren't disappointed - that last one isn't in this story, but I think after you read it you'll see how it could be.) This story is lots of fun for all kinds of reasons. And don't worry too much about the deaths. I don't think I'm spoiling anything when I tell you she really did die. But it wasn't like this, so you can smile your way through the story with a clear conscience.


* I believe the meme originated with nute, though I'd welcome a confirmation of this. And I've seen it - with "If you so wish" intact! - in several other LJs since, which proves that the meme species as a whole is only strengthened and improved by birth control. Now all we need is the LJ version of Margaret Sanger.

** I'm working on a response to the characters part of this, too. If I post it, it will probably go up at the Other Journal; it won't have recs in it, so I don't know that it's right for this LJ.

*** Oddly enough, auburnnothenna, this post was already under construction when you said you'd enjoy being recommended by me. I want you to know how much willpower it took for me not to reply, "And you arrrrrrrre! As I type this!" No one else has ever said that a rec is as good as feedback. This mild case of synchronicity has been entertaining me all day. Mostly proving, I guess, that I'm fairly easy to entertain, but still: wheeeee!

**** And I've encountered grape jelly in a sexual setting. More than once. (Note to impressionable young readers: for the love of god, don't try it. Grape jelly is disgusting anyway, but when you add in various bodily hairs and fluids, you've got a recipe for a lifetime of eating disorders. And we won't even talk about the sheets. Yick.)
peeps wanna see peeps boink: take the housemusesfool on June 9th, 2005 08:23 pm (UTC)
No one else has ever said that a rec is as good as feedback.

A rec from *you* is better than feedback. Better than most things in life, really. Just sayin'.

And I'm glad you're enjoying takethehouse - maybe next time you'll participate as a writer. *g*
tried to eat the safe banana: Sharethefourthvine on June 9th, 2005 09:12 pm (UTC)
A rec from *you* is better than feedback. Better than most things in life, really. Just sayin'.

Wow. Really? Wow. That's intensely flattering to hear. Just...wow.

*blushes, blinks, re-reads the comment several more times*


And I'm glad you're enjoying takethehouse - maybe next time you'll participate as a writer.

*snicker* Ha ha ha ha ha ha.

Or, more seriously (hee!) - um, no. You don't, as host or participant, want that. Because I? Am not likely to be able to write the kind of stories recipients want. I did Yuletide (and likely will again) because the fandoms I volunteer to write have no fic in them, so I figure anything is better than nothing. But otherwise I avoid recipient-writer match challenges because I can't write the kinds of things people are hoping for. I can't, for example, write smut. (Slash or het, sure, fine, but my attempts at anything explicit read like extracts from Our Bodies, Ourselves. And that's the best-case scenario.) I also can't write angst or tear-jerkers or...well, lots of things. Most things, actually.

So it's much better for all concerned that I avoid matching-type FF challenges. And I have to keep reminding myself of that, because ones like takethehouse are so tempting. (takethehouse in particular was tough to resist, because I love this fandom, and it's relatively small, so I kept thinking, "But if I sign up, that will be one more Oceanverse story! That's good even if my story sucks!")
peeps wanna see peeps boink: slashy!musesfool on June 9th, 2005 09:37 pm (UTC)

Really, and for true.

I know it made *my* day the time it happened.

Because I? Am not likely to be able to write the kind of stories recipients want.


As much as I adore smut (especially the Danny/Rusty variety), it's not always necessary in a story. In O11, good dialogue is probably the most important thing - a sense of how the characters speak and a lot of sharp, sly wit. Which you have in abundance. So really, when we do it again, you should sign up. And if you don't want to, well, the list of requests is up in the community, if you want to add more O11 fic to the world. *g*


(Deleted comment)
Iphiginia Saberhagenfanofall on June 9th, 2005 09:01 pm (UTC)
For some reason, I can't get a page to load for it, although that may be because I am downloading SOMEONE'S kind "gift" of due South eppies. Suggestions?
(Deleted comment)
Iphiginia Saberhagenfanofall on June 9th, 2005 10:30 pm (UTC)
WHEW! *wipes brow* It's not just me. I always worry that there's some sort of ... user error involved in those things. We'll just wait it out, yes?
(Deleted comment)
Iphiginia Saberhagenfanofall on June 9th, 2005 10:31 pm (UTC)
And I just posted a response and now it works. Perhaps you have to bitch first. :-D
tried to eat the safe banana: Politicsthefourthvine on June 9th, 2005 09:32 pm (UTC)
A rec had better be as good as FB, because I do the former far more than the latter.

See, I hardly ever give FB, because I've hurt people's feelings doing that, even though my intent was to praise. (It's the sarcasm , maybe. It sort of corrupts even things I want to be serious.) But I've always assumed that a) a rec was not equal to or an even halfway acceptable substitute for FB and b) I'm being really rude by not doing FB, too. (But my fandom manners suck just in general, so I'm in a familiar place with the rude thing. After the tentacle porn came out, I was so impressed with the way you handled FB; you replied to every comment, and it never sounded forced. I kept observing wistfully to BB, "She's so good at this." To which BB would say, paging through the comments, "She really is," in these deeply impressed tones.)

And you recced RPF! Wasn't that good? I loved it.

It totally was! (Did I get the rec from you? Because, if so, thanks. Wow. But whoops for forgetting; the way I browse, I never remember where I got anything.)

And it's doubly satisfying, because I just love it so much when writers get paid for FF. Someone needs to make a list of canons in the public domain and people dead long enough to be considered historical, with useful links and sources and so on. It could be called the "If You're Gonna Do It, You Might as Well Get Paid for It" site. Something like that.)
Qqe2 on June 9th, 2005 08:41 pm (UTC)
Seconding musesfool on the rec-from-you point.

Also: And we won't even talk about the sheets. Yick.

But you DID. *cries inconsolably*
tried to eat the safe banana: Smilethefourthvine on June 9th, 2005 09:44 pm (UTC)
Seconding musesfool on the rec-from-you point.

And again I'm just really, really thrilled to hear that. (Is it specifically recs from me? Wouldn't, like, crack_van be better, because that has so many readers? And usually recommenders there post more detailed summaries and quotes, even. Or one of the mono-fandom obsessives? I would expect recs on those sites or journals to have way more cachet to them.)

But you DID. *cries inconsolably*

You think you're inconsolable? I had to see those sheets. Not to mention live through the whole hideous scene. I'm surprised I didn't end up all insane and screaming and babbling incoherently, "The horror, oh the horror, oh for the love of god no." (Or, hmmm. Maybe I did. Could explain a lot.) I mean, people in Lovecraft stories do, and that was way worse than just some pathetic Cthulhu encounter.

(Deleted comment)
peeps wanna see peeps boink: bffmusesfool on June 10th, 2005 07:51 am (UTC)
Yeah, your recs are definitely ... personal and fantastic, and fun to read.

you are hereby granted permission to fb publicly or privately on any fic I post, and I *heart* the sarcasm, so bring it on. I promise I won't be traumatised, or if I am, I'll hide it from you

What she said goes for me, too.
Qqe2 on June 10th, 2005 10:00 am (UTC)
(Is it specifically recs from me?

Yep. Emphatically. And it makes me happy when MMWD recs me, too - and for much the same reasons.

Wouldn't, like, crack_van be better, because that has so many readers? And usually recommenders there post more detailed summaries and quotes, even. Or one of the mono-fandom obsessives? I would expect recs on those sites or journals to have way more cachet to them.)

And they might very well be more cachet-full. I dunno. Pretty much everything I know about any of the fandoms in which I'm even peripherally involved comes from something I've stumbled over in the course of blindly following some favorite writers around as they moved through Sithland (!) and Cascade en route to, say, Chicago/Tuktoyaktuk (and now to Atlantis). I've never gone searching for obsessively detailed sites (for various reasons having to do with not trusting fanatics, but that's another post); I've always gotten recs from friends. And the best friends from whom to get recs are the ones who write well themselves: who are funny, clear, incisive, thorough, occasionally scathing, and always on their game. In my mind, "person who writes well" (what I consider "well") = "person whose recs can be trusted". So appearing on one of your lists, or one of MMWDs, means a great deal to me: it feels like the return of a compliment I've thus far been too shy to pay.

*examines that stream-of-consciousness mess*

Erk. Does that scan at all?

I had to see those sheets. Not to mention live through the whole hideous scene.

Point. Very good point. And at least you didn't make the mistake of using, say, strawberry preserves. (One word: seeds.)

I mean, people in Lovecraft stories do, and that was way worse than just some pathetic Cthulhu encounter. Wimps.

*weighs horrors in either hand* Giant soul-sucking monster...grape jelly in places peanut butter's never even dreamt of. Monster...jelly. Monster...jelly.

Yeah, I think Lovecraft might've missed the boat there.
Merrymerryish on June 9th, 2005 08:49 pm (UTC)
1) Hee. I think we read a lot alike - it takes me years to get my head around my favorite stories, tons of re-reading, and finally? I have to tell the *world* why they are wonderful. In explicit, often mind-numbing detail. I'm glad you liked the story - thank you! watch the show! - and I totally get why it normally would have taken a while. I actually feel that way about writing shows, most of the time - can't quite make myself do it right away, because I feel like I don't know them well enough, even if I happen to already love them. Obviously, that didn't actually work that way with Numb3rs. I felt like I'd known those guys forever right away. So it wasn't me that got you; it was them! They're wily.

2) Thank you for the rec!

3) Your link doesn't actually go to the story. =) But this one does: http://www.anyroad.org/merry/drift.html

4) A Million Days is, in my opinion, better than mint chocolate chip ice cream every day for the rest of my natural life.

5) So is Chopsticks. And so is Taste of Apples.

6) Their last name is Eppes.

7) A rec is totally as good as feedback! Plus it makes our hearts grow three sizes. <3
Girlfriend Resplendent Valentineimkalena on June 9th, 2005 09:17 pm (UTC)
A rec is better than fb! Because it encourages others to take a chance on the story. With or without grape jelly.
Auburnauburnnothenna on June 9th, 2005 09:23 pm (UTC)
See? See the comments above? I'm not alone. I'm still weird, but I'm not the only one. Actually, that's sort of frightening.

Please, go ahead, poke me with beef jerky sticks, but don't bother with the chains, one way or the other I've been in front of monitor since six this morning and I'm getting really loopy. I can only hope my short term/long term memory transfer will fail, because grape jelly/body hair is going to traumatize me for years otherwise.
aliquid stat pro aliquomaygra on June 9th, 2005 09:42 pm (UTC)
::echo:: ::echo:: ::echo::
What's been said: A rec is as good as feedback but also, a rec from you is sometimes better than feedback except I don't want to any way encourage you not to send feed back because well, uhm, your feedback is pretty cool...

But it's like this: a rec is more like having someone throw you a ginormous surprise party and invite cool people and everybody gets to celebrate and enjoy and private feedback is like getting that unexpected and oh so perfect present from someone you either really like or don't know so well and yet you suddenly find this cool thing in common. And you can take feedback out and look at it and be made happy any time...and a rec is like being in a chain-letter kind of great celebratory loop...

eh hem. It's all good. And you, you are amazing and cool. And funny.

I'm going to make you a special vegetarian meal -- got a favorite veggie?
Vanilla  ... Spiked with Slivovitz: laptop (Donna Ikkanda) by justamermaidjenna_thorn on June 10th, 2005 05:59 am (UTC)
Re: ::echo:: ::echo:: ::echo::
rec and feedback comparison:

Okay, I wouldn't have come up with that comparison, but I completely agree with it.

Feedback is lovely, without question or hesitation, but a rec seems less personal and more inclusive. If feedback is a hug, then a rec is an invite to a group outing.

Nope, I like the party metaphor too much to let it go.
Admission to the Burning Ruins — 10¢: Wonderlaughingacademy on June 9th, 2005 10:17 pm (UTC)
This mild case of synchronicity has been entertaining me all day. Mostly proving, I guess, that I'm fairly easy to entertain, but still: wheeeee!

I guess we’re both easily entertained, then, because when I saw The Taste of Apples was listed in this set I literally sat up and shouted Ha! at my computer monitor (fortunately I live alone), because I no fooling read that story earlier today. Man, that’s a good one. So good, in fact, that I was able to read it despite my not inconsiderable spore-and-mold phobia.
squeeze me, stomp me,  make me winemoosesal on June 10th, 2005 07:04 am (UTC)
And I've encountered grape jelly in a sexual setting. More than once. (Note to impressionable young readers: for the love of god, don't try it. Grape jelly is disgusting anyway, but when you add in various bodily hairs and fluids, you've got a recipe for a lifetime of eating disorders. And we won't even talk about the sheets. Yick.)

I have to say that 'food as lube' drives me nuts in fic. Food involved in sex in other ways, I'm iffy on -- sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I don't think I could handle grape jelly and sex in any context. *shivers*
I made this beat with my panflute and my keyboardjanet_carter on June 10th, 2005 01:34 pm (UTC)
OK, now I really want to read the story about Rusty fucking his way through the Hollywood poker group. You sure you don't want to write it?

Am having an argument with myself about whether I can read the Jane Austen one now without violating my self-imposed ban on fic at work. A tip to anyone I may work under in the future? Making me the one person required to be in the office on Friday afternoons is not the best motivational approach.