abluestocking: (blue bow eyes)
[personal profile] abluestocking
So, I've been having a perfectly lovely Yuletide! My assigned fic rather mushroomed into the Longest Fic Ever, because it decided to have a mind of its own, and then once it was finished I had a rather delicious time running about writing treats in a hodgepodge of disparate fandoms. It's been a wonderful second year participating. :)

Now that I'm done writing, I've been doing All the Reading. So many beautiful fics to devour! Finally, I'm ready to present to you my first rec list. (I say first, because if last year is anything to go by I'll probably end up with another eventually. But this one has grown enough to begin to be unwieldy, so up it goes.)

Without further ado, here are twelve recs in twelve fandoms, plus my three gifts in two fandoms.

Madness recs: Abraham’s Daughter – Arcade Fire (Song), Calvin & Hobbes, Brave (2012), West Wing/Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012), The Giver – Lois Lowry, Only Connect RPF

Main collection recs: Tennis RPF, Damar Series – Robin McKinley, Le città invisibili | Invisible Cities - Italo Calvino, Despicable Me (2010), Princess Bride – William Goldman, Enchanted Forest Chronicles - Patricia Wrede

Gifts: Howl Series - Diana Wynne Jones (2 fics), The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom - Christopher Healy

Welcome to my first recs list! I have spent a rather ridiculous amount of time compiling this, so I hope you enjoy. <3

First, have a cheeseboard of tasty little morsels to whet your appetite.


For She Desires Questioning More than Sacrifices (875 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Abraham's Daughter - Arcade Fire (Song), Abrahamic Religions, Christian Bible, 16th Century CE RPF
Rating: General Audiences
Warning: Author Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Characters: William Tyndale, Abraham's Daughter
Summary: The effects of Abraham's daughter's actions, down the ages.
  • This is a really lovely fic, with an intriguing concept and an execution that does it justice. I am nerding out over the way it recasts Tyndale and Foxe, let me tell you, let alone the Bible! It does an amazing amount in just a few hundred words.

a brief history of western philosophy (702 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Calvin & Hobbes, Hobbes and Bacon
Rating: General Audiences
Warning: Author Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Calvin/Susie Derkins
Characters: Calvin (Calvin and Hobbes), Mr. Bun, Susie Derkins, Calvin's Mother (Calvin and Hobbes), Bacon - Character
Summary: It's Susie's idea to name their daughter Bacon.
  • This is an exceptionally cute fic that had me beaming all over the place. First, Calvin and Susie. Second, baby. Third, Susie names the baby Bacon. Fourth, Mr. Bun. Just, Mr. Bun. And fifth, I always had a sneaking soft spot for Calvin’s mother, so I do love her here. <3 A perfectly calibrated fic that I really enjoyed.

Arktos (215 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Brave (2012)
Rating: General Audiences
Warning: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: The Witch
Summary: She's a good witch.
  • This is a tiny little fic that had chills running down my spine. Beautifully done.

I think you have to see this as an opportunity (499 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: West Wing, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012)
Rating: General Audiences
Warning: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Toby Ziegler, Jed Bartlet
Summary: A scene from 17 People, reimagined.
  • I haven’t seen Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, but the mashup between it and West Wing makes for thoroughly awesome reading. It’s in script form and is a really quick read, and if you’ve seen West Wing you should certainly check it out. “17 People” is my favourite episode, anyway, so this is perfect.

a mother too (320 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: The Giver - Lois Lowry
Rating: Not Rated
Warning: No Archive Warnings Apply
Summary: The Birthmothers are only a story the Community tells.
  • Now for something darker. A chilling, eerie little snippet of worldbuilding that makes so much sense.

A Comeback Story (1787 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 6/6
Fandom: Only Connect RPF, British Comedian RPF
Rating: General Audiences
Warning: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Victoria Coren, Lee Mack, Miranda Hart, Alan Davies, Sandi Toksvig, Sue Perkins, David Mitchell
Summary It's a bit like one of those heartwarming sports films Victoria detests: three comedians who've styled themselves the Underdogs are going up against Sandi Toksvig, Sue Perkins, and David Mitchell, who've come up with no better connection after which to name themselves than the Cambridge Grads.
  • This one has a lot of Yuletide in-jokes, but those aren’t my favourite parts. My favourite parts are these: how Only Connect-ish this is (it’s a delightful and faithful little tribute to a show I love), how awesome Miranda turns out to be at this game, David swearing under his breath, and the mistake the Cambridge Grads make on their connecting wall. Oh, and also Alan’s excitement at getting to use a particular scrap of knowledge. :D


Cheeseboard’s empty for the moment! Time to break into the port anyway. Have some rich, deep, and lovely main collection fics. <3

Main Collection

The You and Me Song (19167 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Tennis RPF
Rating: Explicit
Warning: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Novak Djokovic/Andy Murray
Characters: Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal
Summary: '“I’ll sleep there tonight,” Andy suggested, pointing at the floor. “You take the bed.”

“You’ll kill your neck,” Novak said, without really thinking, except that Andy’s shoulders had always been more sensitive even than his own.

Andy winced. “Well I can’t let you stay there now, can I? Look, it’s really OK, you can...” he drifted off into a mumble but Novak was pretty sure he caught the word ‘share’.

Andy didn’t exactly look like terribly convinced it was OK, but the floor was hard and cold and the bed wasn’t so very small, and Novak couldn’t resist taking him at his word.'

On the day they're meant to be contesting the US Final, Novak and Andy wake up in a universe where they're married and living in London. At least that means they're allowed to eat bacon sandwiches, but the rest of it is a little more complicated...

  • This is fic is freaking incredible. First of all, it’s 19K, which is glorious riches, and second, Novak’s voice is slightly idiosyncratic, perfectly believable, and entirely lovely. His narration is a joy to read. And Andy is hilariously and utterly Andy, and the minor background characters are uniformly wonderful. I lost my heart approximately three times reading this. It’s a really nice take on the “woke up married” trope, and plus there are bacon sandwiches and tennis and slow-burning attraction that eventually blossoms. Read it. <3

Second Daughter (1598 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Damar Series - Robin McKinley
Rating: General Audiences
Warning: Author Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Characters: Rilly
Summary: Rilly was born second daughter. Sometimes, she learns, that's a blessing in disguise.
  • This is a lovely piece about a minor character that both fleshes her out beautifully and does some lush worldbuilding. Damar’s really hard to write, but when done well it’s one of my favourite things, and this is just marvellous. Its layers are also very rewarding: the othering of the Outlanders (who are nearly if not quite the British Empire) and Rilly’s quietly opinionated views on their society – particularly Outlander women and their place in their world – is carefully and deftly done.

Infinite Cities (1853 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Le città invisibili | Invisible Cities - Italo Calvino
Rating: General Audiences
Warning: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Marco Polo, Kublai Khan
Summary: The Great Khan rises and paces to his window, looking out across the gardens of his palace as though he can see - or perhaps hear - the cities Marco Polo describes if only he gazes long enough into the distance.

"No city such as the ones you have described to me can possibly exist," he says.

  • I have absolutely no knowledge of this canon, but I want to now. This fic is about imaginary or invisible cities, or about stories people tell each other, or about the breadth of imagination, or all of these together and something more. It’s spare and lush at the same time, and I think I’ll want to read it several more times, to savour and roll the words over in my head and to roll about in its rich imagination. It’s less than 2,000 words, and yet it does so much. Every word is in place, and every word resonates. Definitely a work of beauty.

Little Soldier (3660 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Despicable Me (2010)
Rating: General Audiences
Warning: Author Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Characters: Margo (Despicable Me), Agnes (Despicable Me), Gru's Mother, Original Female Character, Original Male Character
Summary: Fake Santa has kidnapped Edith and Margo goes to Gran for help.
  • I haven’t watched Despicable Me in a long time, but I remember loving it, and this fic reminded me why I did. Margo is magnificent, and I could read about her forever. Gran is very nearly as wonderful. Margo’s weak spots are both heartwarming and eminently believable, and her strength was amazing. I want so much more fic in this universe, but this one is the perfect place to start. <3

Tough act to follow (1006 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Princess Bride - William Goldman
Rating: Not Rated
Warning: Author Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Buttercup/Westley
Characters: Westley (Princess Bride), Buttercup (Princess Bride), William Goldman (Princess Bride)
Summary: "Bill, I don't know how to break this to you but no one wants to read about the adventures of Tweedledee, Tweedledum and their fifty cows, no matter how attractive Tweedledum is."
  • This one is clever and fun, a short palate cleanser that nonetheless is memorable. The tone is carefully balanced, and I for one would love to see more of this putative sequel. I particularly like Buttercup in it. And Hiram. Excellent first-person narrator as well.

The Balance of Affection (6060 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Enchanted Forest Chronicles - Patricia Wrede
Rating: General Audiences
Warning: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Cimorene/Mendanbar
Characters: Cimorene (Enchanted Forest), Mendanbar (Enchanted Forest), Willin (Enchanted Forest), Daystar (Enchanted Forest)
Summary: The King and Queen of the Enchanted Forest haven't shared a bed in more than a decade. Not that it's any of your business, really.
  • Another fic that’s inspired me to reread the canon! I remember loving these books when I first found them a few years ago (and promptly gave them to my twelve-year-old sister, because I knew I’d have loved them as a girl), and this is obviously a work of love to everything they are. Daystar is prickly and perfectly sixteen, Mendanbar is appropriately lost and a bit tentative, and Cimorene is classically, beautifully, wonderfully Cimorene. Her wild profane gesturing at Mendanbar when he attempts to mount an unwelcome rescue of her person from would-be kidnappers is priceless and eminently memorable. Also there is Wilf. And a cat. <33


And finally, that lovely ending to the evening, an assortment of puddings otherwise known as my gift fics. <333 No recs list is complete without a grateful nod to one’s gracious writers and the endlessly fascinating fruits of their hard work.

Gift Fics

In Which a Hunting Trip Becomes More (8944 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 2/2
Fandom: Howl Series - Diana Wynne Jones, Emberverse - S. M. Stirling, Tangled (2010)
Rating: Mature
Warning: Graphic Depictions Of Violence
Characters: Morgan Pendragon, Original Male Character, Eugene, Rapunzel (Tangled)
Summary: While on an otherwise routine hunting trip, Morgan encounters more than he'd expected.
  • I love Howl’s Moving Castle - it’s a delightful fandom, and I was so excited when I saw not one but two fics for it in my gifts! This first one is an intriguing mesh between Howl’s Moving Castle, Tangled, and a series called Emberverse. It’s an unexpected and different take on the character of Morgan. If you like hunting and post-apocalyptic scenarios, I think you’d really enjoy this fic! Do note the archive warnings, though, as no fic can be right for everyone. :)

Which Tells of a Quest for Biscuits (2836 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Howl Series - Diana Wynne Jones
Rating: General Audiences
Warning: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Morgan Pendragon, Megan Jenkins, Howl Pendragon, Sophie Hatter
Summary: So Aunt Megan thinks she can withhold a biscuit from Morgan? Well, we'll just see about that!
  • My second Howl’s Moving Castle gift fic also looks at Morgan, whom I adore, but as a mischievous and slightly frustrated small child. It’s light and funny and does a really good job as splitting the fic between Morgan and Megan’s point of view. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about one of Morgan’s terrible adventures, and the nuanced interaction between Megan and Sophie was a delightful extra treat. <33

Prince Charming Gets Married (4262 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom - Christopher Healy
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warning: Author Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Ella/Liam, Frederic/Gustav
Characters: Ella (The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom), Prince Frederic (The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom), Prince Gustav (The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom), Princess Lila (The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom)
  • This is the very first fic ever written for this brand-new book, at least on AO3, and it is thoroughly lovely in every way. I asked for Ella and Lila and Frederic/Gustav, and my writer wrote me the fic of my heart. <3 I was laughing from the very first line all the way through the end. It has the banter and idiosyncratic POVs and unique logic and all the cracky humour that made me fall in love with the canon in the first place. And Frederic and Gustav! <33



I may be back with more recs later, but I imagine these are plenty for now. Enjoy, and have the loveliest of holiday seasons and the merriest of New Years!

Date: 2013-01-10 04:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] earcmacfithil.livejournal.com
Given the...er...stir surrounding "In Which a Hunting Trip Becomes More," I'm a little surprised you rec'd it. Having been duly chastised (and metaphorically bonked over the head), and after a bit reflection on the matter, I decided to write you another one, the one that, were I do it over, would have been your gift (the questionable one just being put up aside from Yuletide). I don't know if you've seen it yet...or haven't gotten around to it...or are experiencing a certain amount of understandable trepidation...or just want me to go away and shut the (bleep) up. I think you'll find its tone to be much closer to that of "Which Tells of a Quest for Biscuits" and hope you consider it to be an improvement. I apologize if I'm "poking the bear" (as a co-worker of mine would put it).

Date: 2013-02-17 06:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] abluestocking.livejournal.com
I'm sorry I haven't responded before now - I've been really busy with work and haven't been around much at all. It wasn't directed at you.

I'm also sorry there was that whole stir during Yuletide. A stir is not something I wanted at all! I hope you're okay.

And thank you so much for the new story! That's not something you needed to do at all, but I appreciate it. It's lovely. :) I enjoyed it a lot (more details in my comment on the story itself). Thanks so much for all your hard work and for your thoughtfulness. <3

I hope you're having a lovely February!

Date: 2013-02-18 02:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] earcmacfithil.livejournal.com
No worries. I figure people will read what they're going to read--journal entries included--and in their own time and I make an effort not to hover over their shoulders, as it were. I understand you've been quite civil and it speaks very well of you.

I wasn't trying to cause a stir, either. Some people take a certain amount of delight in that...I'm not one of them. Although I guess maybe it depends on what KIND of stir it is.

You're quite welcome. I actually had a lot more fun writing that one than I did the Emberverse crossover. I had so much fun, in fact, that I've started a sequel that picks up the morning after the chaos in the Pendragon living room and follows Morgan and Gwenliani through their wedding, honeymoon, and settling down in their own place. Like so many stories most others write, I hadn't originally meant for it to be more than its own short story...but it took on a life force of its own anyway and now I have another timeline totally apart from the other one (In that one, Ingary is another planet, it's destroyed by a supernova, and the some three hundred fifty thousand survivors, out of an original population of three billion, take refuge on Earth.). In this one, Morgan accidentally ticks off the US Air Force and Howl's Welsh family takes refuge in Ingary.

Oh, and my February's going reasonably well, thanks for asking. It's been unseasonably warm here in Oregon, which allowed me to actually throw some pottery outdoors, and my nieces did well in a swim meet today. How about yours?
Edited Date: 2013-02-18 02:20 am (UTC)

Date: 2013-01-18 09:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] angiebird.livejournal.com
Hey. I found your review. Very interesting. I want to read a lot, but I'm not registered on archiveofourown.org
Help me, please send an invitation saf-1980@bk.ru

Date: 2013-02-17 06:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] abluestocking.livejournal.com
On the off chance you're not a Russian spam bot - I do read Russian, but I'm too tired right now to translate your entries, lol - the link to sign up for AO3 invitations is here (http://archiveofourown.org/invite_requests). Enjoy.


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