I'm finally going to try to do it--maintain a rec page. We'll see how long I actually manage to keep it going. What's difficult about this for me is I have a hard time finding much I'm interested in reading these days. Most of what I'm into is so obscure, it's hard to find any fic in these fandoms, let alone really knocks-your-socks-off good fic. But I'll try to pass along some links to the stuff I think is best. Maybe I'll be able to turn someone on to one of my favorite oddball fandoms while I'm at it. If you write something or find something you think I'd be interested in reading, do let me know...
I've been on an A-Team reading binge over at fanfiction.net. I was very out of this fandom for a long time but it seems to be coming back now--that is, decent writers are coming back to it. There's still a lot of less-than-stellar stuff, but there's some surprisingly good fiction, too. Blue Moon of Kentucky by Lark is one of the best damn pieces of Murdock angst I've ever seen. Taking off from an odd but seemingly throw-away scene in, of all episodes, "Cowboy George", the author gives us a wholly original background for Murdock, and it works. Painful as hell, but it works. Oh yeah, and it's Murdock/Face slash to boot.
If you need to read something much lighter after that one, try wendybyrd's Magic Fingers. It's a positively delightful comedy-mystery, where Face and Murdock come to realize their feelings for each other so sweetly and naturally that it's a joy to read. Not overly mushy or sappy, not even particularly smutty, just damn good fun.
Reckless is another fine A-Team author. I've only had the time to read a few stories by this author, but I was very taken by The Gift of Angels, a B.A.-centric gen story that really worked, and Survivor's Guilt, another gen fic, this one very dark but moving as it gives a bit of an "outsider's" view on the Team. Oh, and no A-Team fanfiction reader should miss Through the Valley of Cliches, which is so dead-on in taking apart the worst cliches of A-Team fic it's frightening.
April 16I've just found, I think, a near perfect crossover. Net Girl's Buffy/Brimstone crossover, Back in the Bottle, simply blew me away. It's gen, it involves Ash paying Sunnydale a visit, and I am in awe of this author's work. She manages to capture the characters from both universes exceptionally well, use them all effectively, and come up with a plotline that blends the universes better than I thought they could be mixed. There's already one sequel posted, If I Should Die Before I Wake..., which is also quite good even if it didn't buzz me quite as much (I guess she's got me spoiled already.) I'm really looking forward to the third story in the series which will cross Brimstone with Angel. Don't miss 'em!
I went trolling around for Lone Gunmen slash the other night, and enjoyed MJ's Talk Dirty To Me. Just a little bit of silliness but it made me LOL at the end, and that gives it a place on my rec list.
Hot damn! I found a new Brimstone story. Sometimes it's really worth spending a few hours trolling the net for new links. Heat by Dargelos is just...wow. Blew me away. A great devil's POV piece with lots of dead-on dialog between the devil and Zeke. Not schmoopy, just hot and totally in character. Jeez, I'd like to write something that good someday.
Let me dig back in my memory and, for those who might be interested in some Xena/Hercules related fic, try to remember some of my favorites from when I was heavily into the fandom.
I always admire authors who can really make me laugh. G. Bonobo is one of them. The Little Pita Bread That Rolled Away is one of those stories that made me laugh so hard I nearly hurt myself, the first time I read it. The story still brings a smile to my face now. It's just a silly little fable featuring Joxer, Meg, Auto, and a rather randy statue of Ares. Some of her other Joxer stories, What Joxer Saw and An Episode in Which Joxer Revisits His Past, are also very cute.
When people think of Joxer slash these days, they automatically think of Joxer/Ares. It is the most popular pairing, even though I find it is also the most problematic. As the popularity of the pairing took off, fanon seemed to replace canon as the basis for the characterizations and I really lost interest in most of what was being written. Nevertheless, if you want to read what turned on a good number of people to this fandom back at the start, do go check out Miriam's Counterpoint sfz series. The first three stories in particular still really wow me with the strong characterization, the atmosphere, and the wonderful erotic scenes. "The God's Tears" is my favorite installment in the series; it packs a real emotional wallop. The four stories which follow don't quite give me the same buzz, but they're still way better than most of what you'll find in the fandom. R.E.M.'s "Tribute" series, which you can find at joxerotica, is another good series to read (even though it feels unfinished at the end of the fourth installment, Sacrifice.) Reading this series, you can really see R.E.M.'s skill as a writer evolving--it's a little rough at first, but by the third story, Consort, it really all comes together. She manages to introduce an original character that works wonderfully in the story, and she handles the canon characters very well. This is a dark and strong version of Ares, not all cuddly and sweet as he is made in some writers' stories.
Nebula's Inner Joxer by wynterhawk is one of the hottest pieces of hetsmut I've read in the fandom. It's an unusual pairing that works deliciously well thanks to the author's fine work. "Eat it with a spoon" indeed. Callisto's Love Puppy is a wonderful collaboration between two great authors of kinky smut, Ellie D and Julia Donnelly. Twenty chapters of outrageous sexplay, mostly Joxer/Callisto but also featuring some interplay with Ares and Aprhodite. BDSM isn't normally much of a turn on for me, but when these two authors write it, I'll always read it. Don't go looking for a lot of plot--just settle in for a delicious and fun ride. These authors clearly enjoy what they're doing and it comes across in the story.
OK, enough Joxer. Back to Brimstone. SciFi's showing the series again and thankfully that means there are some new people writing it. I just found a new story at Fanfiction.Net by Roguish_sprite, called Demand for Compassion. It's pretty good, even if it's just a PWP, 'cause I love this kind of confrontational stuff between Zeke and the devil. A couple other good Brimstone stories at Fanfiction.net are Fox Hunt and The End by v_voltaire. They're a fitting tribute to every series that's been killed by network executives way before their time. Bittersweet with some wonderful dialog.
March 19Shanghai Noon was the slashiest film I saw last year, and certainly a movie crying out for some good fic about the characters. It's a pity that it didn't seem to appeal to a lot of other writers out there. Maybe that will change if and when the sequel is released and if it's as slashy as the first one. In the meantime, there has been some very good fiction written to date. The top of my rec list for the fandom is anything by Armida. She's got the characters down cold and is three stories into a wonderfully angsty series called "Following". You can find them all at The Shanghai Slash Archive. Please read them, and then please write her to encourage her to keep going!
While you're at the archive, stick around and read RavenD's "Good Night Moon". Just a little smutlet, but damn if it isn't satisfying. The fandom needs more hot stuff like this.
Changing gears, I'm going to head over to my other still strong obsession, Brimstone, and make sure you've read elfin's two stories, Breathless and Lancing. In a fandom that relies heavily on non-con and violent smut (not that there's anything wrong with that), these stories stand out for their vastly different take on Zeke and the devil's relationship. They also stand out for having intriguing, well-developed plots in a fandom mostly of PWPs, plus some good devil angst (yum!), and some great erotic stuff without really having much out and out smut...at least not of the ordinary human kind. 'Tis only a terrible shame the promised sequel "Snakes Crossing" has never surfaced, and I don't know if it ever will. Sigh! (OK, who am I to complain, after all the fandoms I've abandoned over the years, but still...)
Another great Brimstone series is by Polly Hammer, Breaking the Trap and Stone Solitaire. It starts with a dinner date with the devil for Zeke, and it all goes wonky from there. Good characterization and a great quirky sense of humor that captures the feeling of the series quite well. Again, I don't know if Polly is ever going to write any more Brimstone fic, but she damn well ought to!
Finally for today, to prove I'm an equal opportunity reader I wanted to include a rec for some gen fic by Rhonda Eudaly. You want a good Brimstone story in the mode of the series' episodes? Then read her story All The World's A Stage. It's got the devil in a pink tutu if that's a little extra incentive for ya. And if the idea of John Crichton in a tutu is more up your alley, check out her Farscape story In the Company of Women. Just read any of her stuff. She's got an uncanny knack for capturing characters' voices and weaving a fun story together. She also avoids the cliches and Mary Sues that keep me from reading a lot of gen fic in general.
that's it for now...see you next time I feel up to writing some more recs!