tried to eat the safe banana (thefourthvine) wrote,
tried to eat the safe banana

175: What a Long Strange Trip It's Been

It's always a bad sign when you start fantasizing about killing orphans, isn't it? But I've had terrible songs stuck in my head this week, including two solid days of "The Sun Will Come out Tomorrow," and until you've had sweet but plucky cherubs advising you to bet your bottom dollar there'll be sun (which, thank you for that insight, orphans, but I live in Los Angeles, so it's not exactly news or anything - if you could predict traffic patterns, well, that would be impressive), you really don't know the depths to which you can sink. After a while, you would totally rush out and buy that movie if it featured scenes of singing orphans being dangled by their hair.

So, you know. I'm a bad person, obviously, but I was driven to it. By orphans. I want you to remember that.

Anyway. I thought I'd better recommend something before my brain was completely consumed by annoying songs. So: travel stories! (Yes, yes, fine - horrible segue. I blame the orphans. They are up to no good, I tell you.)

The One That Will Keep Popping into Your Head the Next Time You Visit a Highly Touristy Destination. This Is Not a Bad Thing. Strata, by katallison. Highlander, Duncan/Methos.

Highlander is a gen fandom for me. I'm just much more interested in the universe than in the sex, as it turns out. (I know - shocking! - but I'm trying not to let it shake my world view.) But Kat's Duncan/Methos stories are perfect encapsulations of one of the things I truly love about the Highlander universe: the characters. In particular, she writes Methos perfectly. (And for me, this is important, because - okay. I am the kind of HL fan that real HL fans probably hate and despise: I prefer Methos to Duncan. I'm sorry, I just do. Really, it's not my fault; he's just very interesting, so if anyone is to blame, it's Methos himself.)

So here we have this rare beast, an explicit Duncan/Methos story that I love to pieces. And why do I love it? Look, even if you don't know the fandom at all - which I didn't when I first read it, because I read everything Kat wrote early in my time in fandom, on account of I am not an idiot (although I had to take a break for a while after I read The End of the Road, because I tended to burst into tears whenever I saw her name) - it's impossible not to be fascinated by these people, by their actions, and most of all by the actual sense of age you get from them. (My number one desire in any story in HL: I want to believe the characters really are as old as they're supposed to be.) But once you - oh my god, why am I in the second person? I have creeping second personitis, and it will likely prove fatal, at least to this recs set - now that I do know something about the characters and the universe, this story is all the better. It answers two age-old questions: where does Methos go when he goes, and why? I mean, he's been everywhere, and he can't get bored that easily; in five thousand years, presumably you learn patience or you take up suicide as a hobby. And it features Duncan and Methos interacting in a way I totally believe. And it's wonderful. What more could you want?

The One That Proves That You Really Don't Want to Know What's Hiding in Some People's Closets, and That Goes Triple for Serially Immortal Alien Types. Nothing But Flowers, by Vali, aka violetisblue. Doctor Who, Doctor/Martha.

Recently, I have discovered a disturbing trend in myself. I actually discovered this while I was watching vids; I watched this Doctor Who vid that made the Doctor look, well, alien and kind of mad, bad, and crazy to know (and also likely to cause things to explode), and I thought: this is so awesome. In other words, I like my Doctor like I my coffee: completely foreign to me and really hard to take. (I, um, don't like coffee. I blame my maternal grandmother, who thought it would be deeply amusing to get a four-year-old to drink black coffee. "I love it!" she said. "It's very good. Try some." And so I did. I learned two things: first, coffee smells good but tastes like hot death. And, second, never trust old people when they're smiling.)

This story totally fulfills my need. (My alien Doctor need, that is.) The Doctor in this is far from perfect and certainly not entirely sane in human terms, but then, he isn't human. He has a TARDIS! He reincarnates! He collects unfortunate attire from all over the space-time continuum! He has no reason at all to meet our standards of reasonable mental functioning or make any sense to us at all, and I just love so much that in this story he doesn't.

But most of all, I love Martha in this story. I still haven't met Martha in the canon; I watched all of Nine (for me, this is a feat on par with climbing - oh, not quite K2, not a season of British television; more like Denali), fell into a black despair when I realized I would have to adjust to a whole new Doctor, and never returned to the show. So Martha is an unknown character to me. But in this story, I love her to death. She deals effectively with the Doctor's weirdness, and she's smart and human and funny. And she travels well, which is much more important than being well-traveled if you're going to hang out with the Doctor. And she shares my sincere belief in the importance of clean underwear. What's not to love?

The One That Features Every Man's Worst Nightmare: Having His Car Cheat on Him with His Girlfriend. Pieces of the Dead, by David Hines, aka hradzka. Transformers 2007, gen.

This is the most adorable death story ever.

No, wait. That came out wrong. Don't leave yet!

So, okay, first let me clear up the death issue. There's no character death here. It's more about how giant robot car alien things deal with death, and it is touching and sweet.

And while I'm on the topic of giant robot car alien things: you don't need to know anything about Transformers of any year whatsoever in order to read this story. Here's what I knew about Transformers prior to reading:
  1. They are robots, and also cars. (The alien thing was news to me, although I suppose I should not have been surprised. The concept behind this canon's creation appears to have been, "Hey! Let's take a lot of things that appeal to little boys in their individual parts, and then mix them up for a surefire runaway hit!")

  2. They had a cartoon and a movie and then, much later, another movie. Some people are still unhappy about the first movie, for reasons unknown to me. Some people are unhappy about the second. No one is unhappy about the cartoon that I know of, but I'm not exactly tapped into TransformerWorld or Transformista or whatever they call they their fansite, so maybe there are lots of seething fans who spend their days filled with active loathing for how everything went bad after the second season or whatever. Could totally be!
My point is: that's it. That's all I knew. I didn't know anything about the characters, for example.

Didn't matter. This story's world is complete and entire and perfect without any background knowledge, and frankly there's more depth and interest and realness in this story than I ever expected from, well, giant robot car alien things. Plus, there's a road trip in a sentient semi. It doesn't get much more awesome than that.

The One That Is Definitive Proof That Yes, Things Could Always Be Worse. I Mean, Really, Are Life-Sucking Aliens So Bad? All These Places We Have Met, by toft_froggy. Stargate: Atlantis, Rodney McKay/John Sheppard.

For an alternate universe junkie, this is the ultimate hit, and I am an alternate universe junkie, so I love this story to pieces. I don't even mind that the ending is a killer. (Not, you know, in an OTP-breaking way. But, yeah, this is a story with quite a sting in it.) This is just - it's fabulous, and I'm afraid of spoiling it, so I will just say: there are many worlds in this story, and if I had henchmen, I would totally send them to abduct toft_froggy and force her to write full stories for each one of these universes. The henchmen would require happy endings for each story. But we would be extremely kind to her, I swear.

(Actually, if I had the resources, I would totally start a fan fiction writer farm. Inscribed over the door of each set of private quarters (en suite, with full internet and cable access) would be our slogan: "Write write write write write write write, and there will be pudding on Wednesday."

It's probably a good thing I am not the evil overlord of the universe. Once, Best Beloved asked me what I would do if I ruled the world, and I outlined for her my extensive and detailed plans for salad mines, and after she stopped laughing, she said, "It's a little bit scary that you had that ready, like you'd been planning it for years." But doesn't everyone have her evil overlord plans all geared up and ready in case of sudden universe takeovers? Or is that just me? Warning: if you say it's just me, I will totally put your name down on the list of people who will be working in the salad mines when I am Empress.)

Anyway, this story is deeply amazing and good and, and, I cannot say anything more. Just read it, really.
Tags: [rec theme: travel and transportation], doctor who, highlander, stargate: atlantis, transformers
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