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Kate kate_nepveu
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Yuletide 2011 recs, part 1

Yes, it's time for my almost one-year-late recommendations from Yuletide, the rare fandom fanfic exchange. Unfortunately this time I only have partial recs—I know, 11+ months and I'm still not done, ridiculous, right? But I do have a bunch of stories I downloaded for possible recommendations back in the day that I haven't had time yet to re-read, and the way work's shaping up I can't guarantee I will before this year's stories are revealed. So I thought I should just put together the recs I had so far and get those at least out there. I am pretty sure that these are at least complete as to their individual fandom, that is, I got through all the Vorkosigan stories and all the Pern stories and so forth. And there are thirty-eight of them in twenty-eight fandoms, if I'm counting right, so it's a substantial set regardless.

I think the standout story of this batch is the post-Chalion Umegat story A clear glass window, at a sea dawn by faviconlionpyh (mature, no archive warnings).

Anime and TV: Community, Princess Tutu, Twin Peaks

22 Short Fics About Abed Nadir (4079 words) by faviconMargo_Kim
Fandom: Community, The Sandman, Inspector Spacetime
Rating: General Audiences
Warning: Author Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Summary: Inspired by "32 Short Films About Glenn Gould" and the portraits of Despair in Sandman: Endless Nights. Twenty two views of Abed's life from childhood memories to his current course load. Written for Yuletide 2011.

I have only seen the first two episodes of Community, though I've picked up a reasonable amount through fannish osmosis, and this makes me want to suffer through more humiliation comedy with Pierce to get more Abed, because, Abed. <3

Frame Story (9718 words) by faviconjibrailis
Fandom: Princess Tutu
Rating: General Audiences
Warning: No Archive Warnings Apply
Summary: Becoming a girl was easy. Staying a girl, ah! Now that was the hard part.

I don't think I've seen this angle on post-canon before, but in any case, this does a great job of interweaving domestic details with fairy tale variants, and the lovely characterizations have me wanting to rewatch canon.

Face of the Moon (2584 words) by faviconAmatara
Fandom: Twin Peaks
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warning: No Archive Warnings Apply
Summary: Diane doesn't work in the spotlights. If Dale is the bright face of the moon, then let her be the other face, the one people don't see. That doesn't mean she's not part of the story.

Diane-POV post-series fic, one of those things I didn't know I wanted until I saw it.

Red Room (194 words) by faviconFlourish
Fandom: Twin Peaks
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warning: Author Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Summary: Eight ways Twin Peaks could be continued. (A link to a dynamic story using the Undum framework.)

So. Cool.

(Note that while there are eight storylines, by my count there are five unique endings. Not a criticism—that's already four more than one normally expects!—just a note for completists.)

Books: Steven Brust, Lois McMaster Bujold (Chalion, Vorkosigan)

The Sword and the Dagger (6244 words) by faviconEdonohana
Fandom: Dragaera - Steven Brust
Rating: General Audiences
Warning: No Archive Warnings Apply
Summary: The story of the Sword and Dagger of the Jhereg, and also of the Princess and the Teckla. Not spoilery for anything past "Yendi" (book two.)

It's a first-person POV story that: has a framing device; interlaces backstory with a fairy tale; has seventeen chapters, in Cycle order; and includes banter, fights, loving food descriptions, and Devera and the silver tiassa. I'm not sure it could be any more Brustian if it tried.

A clear glass window, at a sea dawn (9999 words) by faviconlionpyh
Fandom: Chalion Saga - Lois McMaster Bujold
Rating: Mature
Warning: No Archive Warnings Apply
Summary: Second sight is redundant to reason anyway.

A stunning Umegat-POV post-canon story, excellent on all levels from its prose up through its worldbuilding. (I particularly like "He missed the whole night's sleep: it was a separate entity which had waited for him, given up, and gone on without him.")

Burn the Topless Towers (2179 words) by faviconmiss_lanyon
Fandom: Vorkosigan Saga - Lois McMaster Bujold
Rating: Mature
Warning: Major Character Death
Summary: "She'd had the most beautiful imaginable face..."

A very dark but brilliantly plausible look at Aral's unnamed, dead first wife; my new head-canon.

Approval (1806 words) by faviconSanj
Fandom: Vorkosigan Saga - Lois McMaster Bujold
Rating: General Audiences
Warning: No Archive Warnings Apply
Summary: "Why are you with me?" Mark asked.

Okay, after that first one, let's have some lovely comfort and appreciation for Mark!

Offerings to History (3808 words) by faviconsister_coyote
Fandom: Vorkosigan Saga - Lois McMaster Bujold
Rating: General Audiences
Warning: No Archive Warnings Apply
Summary: He pinned down his history, and waited for the pain to bleed away.

A thoughtful Duv backstory/character study; includes the scene where he lectures Miles in the attic about preservation.

Keeping the Peace (2691 words) by faviconPhilomytha
Fandom: Vorkosigan Saga - Lois McMaster Bujold
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warning: Author Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Summary: On a Komarr divided between the Barrayarans and the Cetagandans, Rebecca Galen leads a mere puppet government. But even a puppet can sometimes win a round, even against Ezar Vorbarra. AU of Shards of Honor.

Another story about Barrayar and Komarr, this time as a fascinating Cold War-style AU.

Barrayar Expects That Every Fan Will Do Their Duty: Excerpts From A Fandom (18746 words) by faviconLanna Michaels
Fandom: Vorkosigan Saga - Lois McMaster Bujold
Rating: General Audiences
Warning: No Archive Warnings Apply
Summary: The one where they're all in fandom.

That is, the Vorkosigan characters are in a present-day Internet fandom for a TV show that has been created wholesale just for this fic. Characters-in-fandom fics are usually tough sells for me, and this one starts a little slow, but I was really charmed and impressed by the characterization and imagination shown here.

(Also: I would laugh forever if the fandom created for this fic itself became a Yuletide fandom. And then read the heck out of the resulting stories. Maybe 2013.)

Books: Michael Chabon, C.S. Friedman, Neil Gaiman, Randall Garrett

On the Ancient Debacle at Tergeste (1672 words) by faviconnextian
Fandom: Gentlemen of the Road - Michael Chabon
Rating: General Audiences
Warning: No Archive Warnings Apply
Summary: Zelikman had arrived at Tergeste in a blue mood, and it had slipped rapidly downwards to a black one.

Amram and Zelikman being their delightful con-artist selves early in their partnership.

we are the masks we choose to wear (1094 words) by faviconambyr
Fandom: This Alien Shore - C. S. Friedman
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warning: No Archive Warnings Apply
Summary: They're all still learning what it means to be at peace.

It's been a long time since I read this book, but I was happy after this short look at how Jamisia, Raven, Derik, Verina, Zusu, Katlyn, and Kio Masada are doing.

The Man in the Gaberdine Suit (2776 words) by faviconMerlin Missy
Fandom: American Gods - Neil Gaiman
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warning: No Archive Warnings Apply
Summary: Shadow comes home.

All the good road-trip/slice-of-life bits the book plus an actual ending for Shadow.

His Master's Voice (7616 words) by faviconCastiron
Fandom: Lord Darcy Series - Randall Garrett
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warning: No Archive Warnings Apply
Summary: Lord Darcy is called in to investigate a mysterious apparition that has appeared since the death of Charles de Beaufort, Baron Dartmoor, and that may signal a threat to the new baron.

It's Lord Darcy and The Hound of the Baskervilles, and I could slot this into my omnibus collection pretty much seamlessly.

Books: Diana Wynne Jones, E.L. Konigsburg, Mercedes Lackey

The Tough Guide to Fantasy Cities (2803 words) by faviconMary Crawford
Fandom: Tough Guide to Fantasyland - Diana Wynne Jones
Rating: General Audiences
Warning: No Archive Warnings Apply
Summary: You will not encounter any rustic taverns, bards, or bowls of stew on these tours! Instead, expect nightclubs, rock singers, and lots of gourmet coffee.

A much-needed and pitch-perfect supplement to the original.

"Demon Hunters. When you visit an Undead City, sooner or later you will meet one or more demon hunters. They do not work for the Police, and generally have an uneasy relationship with the law.

"Female demon hunters always operate alone, while male demon hunters travel in pairs. Often the male demon hunters are brothers, with a tragic family history that they will eagerly relate to you. They will be too busy exorcising each other to actually hunt down any demons."

A Special Limited-Time Offer (1059 words) by faviconrussian_blue
Fandom: Tough Guide to Fantasyland - Diana Wynne Jones
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warning: Author Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Summary: It's the adventure you've been waiting for!

The Management branches out into grimdark epic fantasy. Not in the Toughpick(TM) style but very appropriate to the source all the same.

Dear Sirs or Mesdames (473 words) by faviconMadameHardy
Fandom: Tough Guide to Fantasyland - Diana Wynne Jones
Rating: General Audiences
Warning: Author Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Summary: A letter to the Management.

"I had expected, as per our contract, to be kidnapped, sold into SLAVERY, RAVISHEDOMT, SEDUCED, and so forth. Instead, shortly after arrival, I found myself PREGNANT, and, although VIRGIN, married to a SHEIKH."

A Divine Taste For Travel and Witticisms (1062 words) by faviconIdhren
Fandom: Badass Women in History RPF, A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver
Rating: General Audiences
Warning: No Archive Warnings Apply
Summary: Eleanor of Aquitaine is tired of waiting for her husband Henry to come Up and join her in Heaven. She'd much rather pass the time going on a Grand Tour of the divine realms with a few good friends...

Eleanor visits several badass women in history in a story that sketches all their personalities deftly and charmingly.

Disclosure: I beta read this.

The Cinder-Fellow (11171 words) by faviconIsis
Fandom: Five Hundred Kingdoms series - Mercedes Lackey, Fairy Tales & Related Fandoms, Cinderella - All Media Types
Rating: General Audiences
Warning: No Archive Warnings Apply
Summary: A Cinder-Fellow, a reluctant Prince, and a feminist Princess -- and Godmother Elena's got to sort it all out.

All you need to know about the Lackey books is that they're set in a fantasy world with the Tradition, which is a kind of mindless magical force that tries to fit people into fairy-tale narratives whether they're suited for them or not, and which can be worked with/around by the knowledgable, including Godmothers.

Anyway. This is a charming fairy tale about sensible solutions to not wanting to take the paths other people expect of you, featuring a Cinderella who's a guy.

Disclosure: I beta-read this.

Books: Anne McCaffrey, L. M. Montgomery, Tamora Pierce

Dragonsearch (8465 words) by faviconEdonohana
Fandom: Dragonriders of Pern - Anne McCaffrey
Rating: General Audiences
Warning: No Archive Warnings Apply
Summary: Mirrim and Path encounter unexpected dangers while on Search for girls to Impress green dragons.

Plotty, great worldbuilding and characterization, and good fun.

Regrouping (300 words) by faviconcalenlily
Fandom: Dragonriders of Pern - Anne McCaffrey
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warning: No Archive Warnings Apply
Summary: Kylara adjusts to her new life at Benden Weyr.

A tiny, sharp, sympathetic yet in-character look at Kylara.

Rilla of Toronto (1215 words) by faviconverity
Fandom: Anne of Green Gables - L. M. Montgomery
Rating: General Audiences
Warning: No Archive Warnings Apply
Summary: rilla1986: there's always eharmony if I get really desperate
rilla1986: faith and jem are just, you know, sickening
rilla1986: like I'm happy for them but I get that feeling
rilla1986: like when you open a west elm catalogue and know you're going to be stuck with shitty coffee tables from ikea forever
unadostres: You are so not over Ken Ford.

Just the right snapshot of Rilla's life and relationships in a modern AU.

and remember who I am (4790 words) by faviconlabellementeuse
Fandom: Emelan - Tamora Pierce
Rating: General Audiences
Warning: No Archive Warnings Apply
Summary: Can Tris fit in, and does she really want to?

This is exactly what I want in a Tris-at- Lightsbridge story, academic details and new friendships, all mindful of the friends and family she already has.

Misc. (part-) print fandoms: Fairy tales, Sandman, Saiyuki Gaiden, Wimsey/Vane - Doctor Who crossover

Bellflower and Hellebore (2078 words) by faviconGileonnen
Fandom: Fairy Tales & Related Fandoms, Rotkäppchen | Little Red Riding Hood (Fairy Tale), Rapunzel (Fairy Tale), Three Little Pigs (Fairy Tale)
Rating: Mature
Warning: Graphic Depictions Of Violence
Summary: The year is 1829, and the world has little room in it for wolves.

An interesting and unusual take on fairy tales changing in response to the approach of industrialization, precise and disquieting in its details.

Gates of Horn and Ivory (302 words) by faviconGehayi
Fandom: The Sandman
Rating: General Audiences
Warning: Author Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Summary: From things known, done, thought, loved and feared, Dream of the Endless shapes dreams.

It's a sestina, and insofar as I am any judge, a good one.

Sort, Shine and Other Stuff (1000 words) by faviconLady_Ganesh
Fandom: Saiyuki Gaiden
Rating: General Audiences
Warning: No Archive Warnings Apply
Summary: Heaven institutes some improvements. Kenren is uncertain they'll survive Tenpou.

A light-hearted bit about Heaven's bureaucracy.

Go and Catch a Falling Star (7085 words) by faviconhollimichele
Fandom: Lord Peter Wimsey - Dorothy L. Sayers, Doctor Who
Rating: General Audiences
Warning: No Archive Warnings Apply
Summary: "No," Harriet Vane said, having given it some thought. "I don't suppose I do believe in spontaneous human combustion."

A casefic from Harriet's POV (and thus requiring no Who knowledge); lots of good character moments and wholly satisfying.

Movies: Avengers, Chicken Run, The Matrix

Compelling Distraction (2684 words) by faviconeli
Fandom: The Avengers (2012), Thor (2011)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warning: No Archive Warnings Apply
Summary: "Oh my god, SHIELD sent us Robin Hood."

Yes, it's kind of hilarious now that Avengers was ever a rare fandom; it wouldn't surprise me if it just squeaked in under the wire even in 2011's eligibility period.

Anyway. This is a cute Clint/Darcy story, which was a pretty popular pairing pre-movie.

Cold Making Warmth (2436 words) by faviconsheafrotherdon
Fandom: The Avengers (2012)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warning: No Archive Warnings Apply
Summary: Steve settles upon the few things he knows for sure: that the days are short, and it's cold, and he doesn't mind looking dumb for making the effort. So screw the protocol, whether it exists or not – he's giving gifts.

And this is a very sweet Steve-POV story that is basically the text equivalent of the warm soft blanket that appears in it.

Four People Who Never Fed Steve Rogers a Sandwich (and Two Who Did) (1472 words) by faviconmisura
Fandom: Captain America (2011), The Avengers (2012)
Rating: General Audiences
Warning: No Archive Warnings Apply
Summary: The number of people willing to feed Captain America is a bit disappointing, really.

Steve is my favorite, you all know this. Quick sketches of Steve's life and relationships oriented around food.

Pigeonville, USA. (3181 words) by faviconsheafrotherdon
Fandom: The Avengers (2012)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warning: No Archive Warnings Apply
Summary: Day 214 on the campaign trail of Steve Rogers for President. Twenty-sixteen's turning out to be a hell of a year.

Finally, I love this slice of life for its shamelessness in being a political wish-fulfillment story.

(Yes, I saw the the Rogers-Stark 2012 T-shirts. Tony's not running for VP in this story, which is a good thing because, seriously.)

Chicken Supreme (5012 words) by faviconelstaplador
Fandom: Chicken Run (2000)
Rating: General Audiences
Summary: In which Ginger has a plan and meets a stranger, Mac does some lateral thinking, Babs knows some useful rodents and Bunty is offended.

Fun ensemble fic of a prior escape attempt, feels very much like the movie.

I See With My Eyes (1065 words) by faviconSuaine
Fandom: The Matrix (1999 2003 2003)
Rating: Not Rated
Warning: Author Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Summary: A young woman wakes up from a dream and finds herself in a nightmare.

An excellent look at what it would be like to be trans in that universe, sharp and spare and intelligent.

Misc. non-print fandoms: '1952 Vincent Black Lightning', Echo Bazaar, Octopus Steals My Video Camera and Swims off with It While It's Recording (Youtube), 'Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)'

Friday Morning At Nine O'Clock She Is Far Away (1316 words) by favicongreenlily
Fandom: 1952 Vincent Black Lightning (Song)
Rating: General Audiences
Warning: Author Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings, No Archive Warnings Apply
Summary: Angels carried James home. Molly had to stay behind.

A very fitting sequel. Also a stealth Bordertown crossover, about which all you need to know is that the Border in question is that of Faerie.

Recurring Dreams: Whispers of Immortality (1073 words) by faviconGileonnen
Fandom: Echo Bazaar
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warning: Graphic Depictions Of Violence
Summary: You dream you're sitting on the edge of a long wooden table. Although a bright light shines from directly above you, the room is dimly lit. All around you, tiers rise up in a half-ellipse, their rails polished smooth by the press of many hands. They vanish into the darkness beyond your circle of light – you can't make out the ceiling or the walls.

A complete dream sequence!

Experiments In Intelligence (1017 words) by faviconciaan
Fandom: Octopus Steals My Video Camera and Swims off with It While It's Recording (Youtube)
Rating: General Audiences
Warning: No Archive Warnings Apply
Summary: Three Quick Flickers And All Arms Waving is young, but she is not reckless, nor is she a coward, either. She is an observer of humans. She experiments with them because she wants to solve the ancient, controversial question of whether the humans are intelligent.

Terrific role-reversal POV, very science fictional.

(There is also a crack take on this video, Texts From Cephalopods, which was very popular; it's perfectly enjoyable but I note it more for completeness than anything else.)

Three Sisters (1441 words) by faviconMorbane
Fandom: Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up) (Song)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warning: Major Character Death
Summary: A small fable of love and sacrifice and what comes after.

A satisfying original fairy tale that takes the song as its source but isn't dependent on it.

Looking at the stories I haven't re-read yet, I see some ones I enjoyed a lot, so I will try to put up another set, but my track record isn't great this year, so as always feel free to add your own recs in comments.

(Please leave feedback if you liked a story! All you have to do is click the "kudos" button, if you can't think of/don't want to leave a comment.)

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