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04 February 2007 @ 09:43 pm
160: The Day That You Remember, the Day That I Forget  
First, a question. My vid drive has been returned to its former glory - in fact, it is glory-enhanced now, what with its sleek new case - and I've been wallowing in vids as a result. (I missed them!) And - okay. I know someone out there will know this, and I don't. In Jossverse vids, I often see a sequence in which Wesley is visiting Faith in prison. He talks to her on the phone, and then she jumps through the window separating them and then out the window of the visiting room. Does anyone know off-hand what episode of which series that's in? I have secret special reasons for needing to know.

Okay. So. I could force some kind of connection between the question above and the theme below - maybe, I don't know, by playing with the whole hard drive thing (It's memory, in there! See? It connects!) - but we all have more dignity than that. Instead, let me just say that today's theme is that old favorite of mine (and of soap opera writers, and also of yours, I hope): amnesia. Nothing shakes things up like a good healthy fugue state, that's what I've always said. And, frankly, most of my favorite characters could use a vacation from their brains.

(Oh, god help me, I should never have said that. Now I have this mental picture of an Ancient/magical/mystical/supernatural device that provides 24-hour "holidays" in which you temporarily forget everything that is stressing you out. Which would be fine for, you know, me - I can think of days, and particularly nights, when I would have used that with pleasure, and in fact paid handsomely for the privilege - but for most characters, that device would end up erasing, at minimum, a whole decade or something. "It specifically said it was a vacation device! There was no harm in using it!" "Okay, then why does he think he's twelve now?" I...I don't want to write this. And yet I feel this horrible compulsion. Please tell me someone else has already written it, and provide a link. Please. I will be a happy, happy TFV, and you will have my love forever.)

The One That Conclusively Proves the Equation "Amnesia + Guns = NO." You Can't Take That Away From Me, by joandarck. Due South, Benton Fraser/Ray Kowalski.

I suppose one problem with the whole vacation-from-your-stress concept is that it might make you, for example, forget why it's a bad idea to shoot at your partner. Or hit on him. Or go down on him.

Of course, that's precisely what happens to Ray Kowalski in this story, and while it kind of sucks for Ray - there's nothing quite like being imprisoned in a hospital (no, really, doesn't that just sound like the sort of thing nightmares are made of?) when you don't know who you are - it's great for readers. There's amnesia! There's jokes about the extremely comical pants that Mounties wear! There's sharpshooting! There's humor! There's inappropriate touching! Basically, it's everything I love about due South, with added sex.

Really, this could be an episode, in a world where TV shows featured just slightly more gay sex. Although it's probably a good thing it wasn't, since Fraser stripping in a hospital hallway might, if filmed, caused certain fangirls I know to die. Of glee, yes, but I'd miss them. (Although just imagine the fascinating picspams the survivors would post. We'd have to invent a whole new cut-tag text warning just for them - something along the lines of, "Not dial-up or panty friendly.")

My point is: read this. It's fun for the whole family, provided your family consists entirely of people with a good sense of humor and a strong interest in underdressed Mounties.

The One That Left Me Googling Images of Xander Harris and Then Scrutinizing His Upper Lip. That's Not Exactly Normal Behavior for Me. Your Horoscope for Today, by Anna S., aka eliade. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Xander Harris/Spike.

I have several things I love about this story. Or, okay, I love the story as a whole, but I am especially entranced by the beginning. Because the Spike at the beginning is totally the Spike I know and, um, have mixed feelings about: making Xander buy him a whole bunch of drinks and then trading Xander in on a poker debt. How awesome is that? (Um. Not that this is recommended behavior for, you know, actual people. Impressionable folks reading this, should there by some mischance be any: don't sell people to pay off your debts! And especially don't do it after they've bought you drinks. That's just tacky. Miss Manners would totally slap you down if she heard about it, and she's not someone you want to piss off.)

I am also entranced by the end. I don't want to spoil it for you, but - it is a fabulous ending that never fails to make me happy. Because, okay, this is the other side of Spike I believe in, at least when really good authors are writing it, and - oh, hell. There's just no way to explain why I love this so much without spoiling it. And I refuse to spoil this for you. I know better than that!

So instead I will just tell you that I also love the middle parts of this story, how eliade gets us from point A to point Z, and the fun we get to have along the way. I giggle every time I read about people's reaction to Xander's Big News. And most especially at Giles's, because - you know, I've known some people in my life who were experts at telling the truth in such a way that no one believed them, but you would think people who lived in Sunnydale would consider every statement to be at least possibly true. (No, really. Consider this hypothetical telephone call. Willow: "So how are you?" Xander: "Up to my knees in rats, but otherwise just peachy." Willow: "...Are these biting rats or metaphorical rats? Because if they're not metaphorical, I'm coming over there. Maybe Amy would like to make some friends." See? No matter what people say to you, if you live in Sunnydale, it's important to take it literally.)

The One That Proves That Heineken Is Indeed the Language of Love. Yeah, I'm Right There with You in the Horrified Shock. Time Is an Arrow, Time Is a River, by princessofg. Stargate: SG-1, Daniel Jackson/Jack O'Neill.

Oh, Stargates. It's like you speak the language of fannish cliches. And the proof is that you gave us canonical amnesia. It's like they're begging us to write lots of "Hello, I love you, won't you tell me my name" stories. And oh, fandom, how I love that you totally respond to that begging with tons of really excellent FF.

Excuse me. I need to pause for a moment; I'm overcome with emotion, including a really atypical and frankly scary love for all mankind.

Okay. Better now.

So, what we have here is a particularly interesting kind of amnesia story, because it isn't about what Daniel forgets - it's about what he remembers. Maybe remembers. And - okay, first I just have to confess that I have such love for stories where Daniel is basically lost in his own life. (And, seriously, who wouldn't be lost under those circumstances? Can you imagine coming back to the news that you were Daniel Jackson, he of the many languages, many deaths, and many layers? You'd be like, "...Great. I'm going to spend the rest of my life - which, from what you people have told me, won't be all that long - trying to decipher my own field shorthand. Christ, is this - is this Tocharian A? Intermixed with something that looks like Latin but totally isn't? Oh, I am so fucked.")

But, even amongst all the Daniel-returns stories out there, I have special love for this one. And I'm trying to think of a way to explain why without sounding, you know, fancy. Or incoherent. Or both. I guess it's because - well, for me, this story is all about spaces: the spaces of Daniel's life, the spaces in Daniel's head, the space between Jack and Daniel and how they each define it. If that makes sense. And if it doesn't - well, read it. Probably you'll see what I mean. (And then you can tell me what I should have said, and everyone will win!)

The One That - Oh, God. I Feel Pretty Much Obliged to Make a "Be Careful What You Wish For" Joke Here, but I'd Lose All Respect for Myself. Please Just Take It As Made. Fair, by minnow1212. Stargate: Atlantis, Rodney McKay/John Sheppard.

This story is astonishing and wonderful in its own right, yes, but it's even more astonishing and wonderful when you consider the prompt that spawned it. Very few people on this planet could take that prompt and make it such a fabulous SGA story, but Minnow surely did.

And since the prompt is at the beginning of the post, and basically covers all this, I don't think I'm spoiling the story to say that in this, John is a fairy. No - wait - okay, fine. We'll take a minute so you can stop giggling and saying, "TFV, I've been reading in SGA for longer than ten minutes, so I pretty much already knew that. He's the fayest fairy ever to flap his tiny invisible rainbow-glitter wings!" Because I mean, like, a real fairy.

And now I feel like I've veered into an sgastoryfinders post: "So I'm looking for this one where John is a fairy, and Rodney's a little kid, and they're friends, and then they both forget everything, and magic happens. Or something. Also, I think there was sex." But, no, really, this is a brilliant story, and I love it to bits, and just thinking of it makes me happy. It's just that summaries - at least ones written by me - really do not do it justice.

In fact, this story is at least half responsible for how long it took me to write this post. See, every time I think about it, I have to re-read it - in general, Minnow's stories tend to have that effect on me. And then, after I've re-read it, I face this impossible conundrum: how do I describe this so that it sounds as awesome as it is and not as pathetic as the Harlequin prompt upon which it was based? Basically, after much desperate cogitation, I've decided to go the "pathetic descriptions + many, many superlatives + promises that it's really good" route, and hope you trust me. You do trust me, don't you?

I warn you: if you don't, I'm going to cry.

Because this is - well. It totally deserves every superlative I can think of, and more besides. And that is really all I can say about it.

But I have to ask - has anyone ever read the book the prompt came from? I am curious about it. But it's the same kind of curiosity I have about black holes; yes, the black hole is a fascinating mystery that needs to be understood, but I don't want hands-on experience with it. Same with this book. But if you have read it, I so want to know what it's like. (And if you recommend it strongly enough, I will even read it. Probably.)
 
 
 
par avion: Good Slayer Bad Slayerpar_avion on February 5th, 2007 05:46 am (UTC)
Oh, I love that scene so much. It's the opening of Faith's arc on Angel S4: I think the ep is called Salvage.
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV bluethefourthvine on February 5th, 2007 07:48 am (UTC)
Ooo, thank you! And, having seen it, I can truly say that a) it's a great scene and b) Faith really knows how to prioritize. Armageddon itself isn't worth getting worked up over, but Armageddon + Angelus = time to act.
(Deleted comment)
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV brownthefourthvine on February 5th, 2007 07:48 am (UTC)
Thank you! (And I have now seen the scene. Eeee!)
Ravenraveninthewind on February 5th, 2007 05:53 am (UTC)
Hmm. About the "memory loss as holiday"--that's the beginning premise of Leann Potter's SS/HP "Death Eater Takes a Holiday"--for that reason, Dumbledore gives the Hogwarts teachers a vacation free of adult cares by de-aging them, and a teenage Snape and Harry hook up.
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV glowythefourthvine on February 5th, 2007 07:49 am (UTC)
Ooo, thank you. I must read that. *makes note to start googling*
London Clockwork: sga -- at least it's not dennispolaris_starz on February 5th, 2007 05:55 am (UTC)
Hooray, new fic to read when the homework stops killing me! *falls over* Although I've already read the last one, and it it love. I love that it doesn't stop with John remembering what he is! It has politics! And SG1 tie-ins!

The book looks terrifying, though, but I pretty much lost all desire to read bad fiction on purpose after I read this.

I...I don't want to write this. And yet I feel this horrible compulsion. Please tell me someone else has already written it, and provide a link.

I want to see this too. It would be awesome.
tried to eat the safe banana: SGA smart/prettythefourthvine on February 5th, 2007 07:58 am (UTC)
Hooray, new fic to read when the homework stops killing me!

Well, everyone needs to take a break sometime. And, um, good luck with the homework, which sounds evil and vampiric. Have you tried staking it?

Although I've already read the last one, and it it love. I love that it doesn't stop with John remembering what he is! It has politics! And SG1 tie-ins!

Truly, it is a thing of wonder and beauty forever.

I want to see this too. It would be awesome.

It would be so cool. And of course I'm mentally casting it with SGA in my head. It would be made of fun! Elizabeth would be on massive doses of valium within an hour.
(no subject) - polaris_starz on February 5th, 2007 08:09 am (UTC) (Expand)
frostfirefrostfire_17 on February 5th, 2007 06:22 am (UTC)
You mentioned Tocharian A.

It brought tears to my eyes. Literally. Thank you, for reminding me that there are other people who actually know and care about the things I learn about in school.

And, as a bonus (because, you know, the Tocharian A was totally the main point, here) amnesia stories. I was just thinking about amnesia stories. Like, five minutes ago. I'm not joking. And now--stories! some of which I have not read! This is the best post ever.

Also, you managed to sum up exactly how I feel about black holes.
tried to eat the safe banana: Writingthefourthvine on February 5th, 2007 08:08 am (UTC)
Thank you, for reminding me that there are other people who actually know and care about the things I learn about in school.

Tocharian A is totally worthy of our love!

Now I'm trying to think who I could whine into making me a Tocharian A icon. (And, you know, I didn't think this was worth mentioning in the post, but perhaps you can share my bitterness: the LJ spellchecker doesn't recognize "Tocharian." That is just wrong.)

This is the best post ever.

We have uncovered the recipe for greatness, and it is: ancient languages + amnesia. Who knew? *makes note*

Also, you managed to sum up exactly how I feel about black holes.

*nods*

Fascinating, totally worth studying, but only from outside the event horizon. Sometimes hands-on experience is not the way to go.
(no subject) - neery on February 5th, 2007 08:35 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - frostfire_17 on February 6th, 2007 03:51 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on February 8th, 2007 12:41 am (UTC) (Expand)
Neeryneery on February 5th, 2007 06:41 am (UTC)
Whee! Amnesia! Amnesia fic I didn't know!

I just spent an agonizing ten seconds debating whether I would spend the two hours I have for reading this morning on astolat's latest Supernatural story, or all the nice new amnesia fic (because, you know, second-best cliche ever.). And then I finally looked at the first paragraph of astolat's latest story, and, um, laughed a lot.
apatheia_jane on February 5th, 2007 07:43 am (UTC)
hehe, that's hilarious. I read that fic, thought hmm, I could really use some more amnesia fic now, then saw this & clapped my hands in glee. Once again, TFV provides! Fandom is ruled by divine coincidence!
(no subject) - thefourthvine on February 5th, 2007 08:11 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - neery on February 5th, 2007 08:37 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on February 5th, 2007 08:10 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - neery on February 5th, 2007 08:18 am (UTC) (Expand)
sooo many copper pots: ZOMG YAYthecomfychair on February 5th, 2007 07:32 am (UTC)
I have no idea how I ever missed the "John is a fairy" story, but I'm so glad you recced it, because that was fantastic. And I'm still trying to figure out how the author managed to pull it off, because normally the words "John is a fairy" would have me running for the hills.
London Clockwork: sga -- lt colonel flyboypolaris_starz on February 5th, 2007 08:11 am (UTC)
Minnow is queen of everything. "Face Value" is still one of my favourite SGA stories ever, full stop.
(no subject) - cetpar on February 6th, 2007 12:51 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on February 5th, 2007 08:14 am (UTC) (Expand)
torchflambeau on February 5th, 2007 09:21 am (UTC)
Yay, amnesia stories! I love amnesia stories. Actually, today I kind of feel like I'm trapped in one, since the day I remember having so far is not at all the day that's carefully planned out on my to-do list. Odd, that.
tried to eat the safe banana: Adult nowthefourthvine on February 5th, 2007 09:08 pm (UTC)
I love amnesia stories.

Me, too. And yet I've only done the theme once before. How is that even possible? I have been Greatly Deficient, I tell you.

Actually, today I kind of feel like I'm trapped in one, since the day I remember having so far is not at all the day that's carefully planned out on my to-do list. Odd, that.

There should be a name for that, the phenomenom where having a to-do list only dooms you to know exactly what you're not getting done. Someone needs to get to work on that.

Not me, though.

*looks at you hopefully*
(Deleted comment)
tried to eat the safe banana: Smilethefourthvine on February 5th, 2007 09:11 pm (UTC)
*snickers*

Well, it would totally tempt me, too. Not the least because almost all story summaries on storyfinders sound awful - I mean, I've posted a request there, and I know mine could best be described as "boiling the story down to one line, and not the line that everyone else remembers, either." But you have to admit, it really is an awful summary.

I'm just easily lured by the promise of crack. And by storyfinders, too, come to think of it. (This has resulted in some lovely discoveries, some giggling, and some EXTREME PAIN. I figure the pain is worth it, on the whole.)
marycrawford on February 5th, 2007 12:33 pm (UTC)
Oh man. I swear I read your post twice before realizing that the first two links were stories, not vids, even though you used the word 'story' repeatedly in your comments and everything. Because I was all, Hey, Your Horoscope For Today, didn't Lum do a great Buffy vid for that too? And hey, neat, I always wanted someone to vid You Can't Take That Away From Me, wonder which singer they went with?

*headdesk*

Not that there is anything wrong with stories with song titles. Just with my brain.
tried to eat the safe banana: Musicthefourthvine on February 5th, 2007 09:12 pm (UTC)
Anna's story title was inspired by the vid, so there is, um, a vid connection. And, yeah, I noticed I'd inadvertently done a mini-theme of "song titles as story titles" when I was posting this.

*pats your brain soothingly*

Next time, I will post vids. Maybe they will also have song title titles. And then your brain will be happier!
Paceuspaceus on February 5th, 2007 03:50 pm (UTC)
Lovely SG recs! And I caved and read Due South, and it was well-written and funny. Thank you for pointing them out! Your recs are lovely to read, too -- often I read your rec, then the story, and then the rec again now that I know what you're talking about. :)
tried to eat the safe banana: Fraserthefourthvine on February 5th, 2007 09:14 pm (UTC)
*beams*

dS is a wonderful fandom, and I'm glad you read the story. (The show is kind of like that, too - crazed and awesome.)

Your recs are lovely to read, too

Thank you!

and then the rec again now that I know what you're talking about

If you figure it out, let me know, okay? Because mostly I don't have a clue what I mean.
violaswamp on February 5th, 2007 05:43 pm (UTC)
Oh, that AtS scene is the best ever. "Step away from the glass." Wonderful.

(Btw--I friended you, don't remember if I commented before to let you know).
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV bluethefourthvine on February 5th, 2007 09:15 pm (UTC)
It's a great scene. I love Faith thinking it over for a second, then taking action.

Actually, I could re-write that sentence as, "I love Faith," and end it there, and it would be totally accurate.

*dreamy sigh*

Also: hi! Welcome, friend! Nice to meet you.
(Deleted comment)
tried to eat the safe banana: SG1thefourthvine on February 5th, 2007 09:22 pm (UTC)
*grins*

Glad to hear it!

there us a ton of great amnesia fic in this fandom and you are so exactly spot on in describing how truly wacked it must have been for daniel to resume his own life.

And then there are the "Fine, thank you, my heart is BROKEN now" stories where he doesn't remember, can't resume, stays permanently out of whack. There are great ones, but they never fail to make me snuffly. Oh, Daniel.

I should scrape up a thematic list of sg-1 amnesia fic just for that reason.

You so totally should, and then you should send me the link, because that would be way cool. You can never have too much amnesia. *hopeful*

(And now I'm wondering if there are many amnesia stories involving the other team members. Jack with, say, 15 years of his life missing from his head would be terrifying, Teal'c would be worse than terrifying, and Sam - hmmm. I'm not quite sure. But I know for sure I would love to read it.)

it is okay if i save your rec in my own lj, just for cheering up purposes?

Of course!

The best ever story like that is another one by Anna -- "The Other Half," a Jack/Daniel story. You see where MY head is at these days.

That is truly an incredible story. It's the one that first made me read and like slavefic - seriously, wouldn't even read it before that, because I have power imbalance issues, but The Other Half started me on that road, and Resonant's Advantage finished the job - and one of the first SG1 stories I read. (I started in SG1 with Reveille and The Other Half. I really think you couldn't find a better start anywhere.)
(Deleted comment)
tried to eat the safe banana: SGA infinitythefourthvine on February 5th, 2007 09:31 pm (UTC)
I know. You can't summarize it, and you can't say what it's about much without spoiling it, and it's just the Story That Won't Be Recommended. In the future, I plan to go with, "It is awesome in a way that totally defies summary!" as a recommendation for Fair. Plus perhaps judicious use of threats. Threats are okay, right, if your purpose is to make people read things you know they'd love?

Hmmm. Must check the Fan Fiction Recommender's Code of Ethics on that one. *makes mental note*
platoeatssouls on February 6th, 2007 11:05 am (UTC)
You'd be like, "...Great. I'm going to spend the rest of my life - which, from what you people have told me, won't be all that long - trying to decipher my own field shorthand. Christ, is this - is this Tocharian A? Intermixed with something that looks like Latin but totally isn't? Oh, I am so fucked."

Sometimes when I have to give my students speaking tests, and I don't want them reading what I'm writing upside-down (which is obviously what I would be doing if I were in their position) I write my notes in a weird combination of Chinese, Hebrew, Vietnamese, and sometimes Greek. And, yeah, good luck figuring that out later, without any sort of amnesia-inducing head injury.

I'm totally going to go read this story now, too. =]
tried to eat the safe banana: Greek to methefourthvine on February 8th, 2007 12:50 am (UTC)
Sometimes when I have to give my students speaking tests, and I don't want them reading what I'm writing upside-down (which is obviously what I would be doing if I were in their position) I write my notes in a weird combination of Chinese, Hebrew, Vietnamese, and sometimes Greek.

In college, I had a professor who wrote his lecture notes in a random combination of the 12 languages he knew. And some of the ones he spoke didn't have a written form, so his notes would be this mutant blend of various scripts and IPA. When students who'd missed class asked if they could see the notes for said class, he would just wordlessly hand them over. They'd stare blankly for a minute or so, then just as wordlessly hand them back.

I still miss that man.

I'm totally going to go read this story now, too.

It is wonderful even though it doesn't feature Tocharian A. (Although, you know, given the fandom, there should be some story out there that does. Why haven't I found it yet?)