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facetofcathy ([personal profile] facetofcathy) wrote in [community profile] facetsoftext2011-02-08 10:47 am

Misc. fic from the last month or so

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Miscellaneous fic from the last month.

I've expanded my review for that Merlin meta fic and for Restraint. One because I didn't like it, and one because I really, really did.

Cartilage - Basingstoke - Sherlock (TV) [Archive of Our Own]
Sequel to Eggcrate. Easter comes to visit and John Watson is revealed to be more patient than I. Nearly everyone is though. Stunningly blunt and sharp portrayal of learned privilege and just general self-involvement. And then the story turns a corner into revealing some more of the rot at the core of the maniacal Holmes crowd. Less madcap than Eggcrate, but still an engrossing read.
Fandom:Sherlock(BBC) Gen

The one where Arthur and Merlin are in Camelot fandom, by anon.
Everybody loves this. They see Fandom on the page in this fic, and I'm feel like such a curmudgeon, but...

There are genuinely really funny moments in this. Mostly at the Con. Joseph Fiennes and the rest of the Camelot cast are great and there's some sly digs at celebrity self-aggrandizement there. This is the first time I've ever read a bit in a fic about a celebrity reading slash about themselves that didn't give me embarrassment by proxy shivers.

However, the characterization of Arthur and Merlin, and Gwen, is so far from canon, and I often don't mind that, but this is so far in to the they're actually avatars for original characters territory that I think it just should have been ofic. There's no transposition of canon relationships at all in this story and the power dynamics that make the Arthur/Merlin ship interesting and occasionally problematic really aren't repurposed at all.

And if it had been ofic, they would have been women. I don't get any sense that this story tells the experience of gay men in fandom, so they are also avatars for women without the story ever making any meta point about how the men in slash sometimes are (no I don't think always are is accurate) avatars for women.

This is not all of fandom put to the page, but merely an aspect of it unexamined and cleaned up for prime time. It's also an aspect that I think is louder than it is broad or deep.

Eyerolling at SJ fans who insist on being called Zie and slagging f.f.anon in the same story reads like the Jon Stewart fallacy of false equivalence given a fandom spin, and this fic carefully sails down the middle of all fandom divides never pulling into port.

It's still a fun story, don't get me wrong, but it's not a great meta statement, or even a particularly insightful depiction of fandom, so I think I'd have liked it more if the recs for it had been a little less gushing.
Fandom:Merlin Arthur/Merlin

sixth_seed: Fanfic: What is Plucked Will Grow Again [Part One]
This is one of my things. A crack premise from a comment fic meme, a Unicorn restores Sam's soul, taken seriously and made into a real boy, er, story.

This gets into ideas of purity and goodness vs. evil in a way the show does, and in a way that veers away from my reading of morality, but taken as its own thing, it's a wonderful story.

It mirror-flips canon in an interesting and spoilery way so I won't go into details, and manages to be a fusion with a novel and still not leave non-readers (like me) in the cold (really bad joke).

Good read.
Fandom:SPN Gen

How the West Was Won - keerawa - Supernatural [Archive of Our Own]
Excellent short fic where Sam grows up a Harvelle and when he meets Dean, they spark like they're meant to go (hunt) together. (Gift for me, written to my prompt.) Good read.
Fandom:SPN Gen

Restraint - Chapter 1 - DarkEmeralds - Supernatural RPF [Archive of Our Own]
Historical AU. Can be read as ofic, although the characterizations do owe quite a bit to fanon/canon. There are no real family members and a lot of good OCs.

The story leans pretty heavily towards realism, although there is melodrama occasionally. The plot goes where reality takes it, not down the usual fannish paths. I liked it for that particularly.

I loved this story a great deal, it is one of my favourite romance-themed novels ever. I found a lot of the scenes with John painting really interesting as meta about writing and fandom. At the same time I despise these people for some of the things they do, but the things they do arise out of the story and it works and it makes this story something far beyond the usual genre of a slash historical romance.

Couple of notes for those worried about issues in historical AUs: These are privileged white dudes and the author unflinchingly portrays that. This is not just dress-up porn. I think the story also shows how broken the society they prop up and that props them up is. They're likable despite their class, not because of it.


Jensen goes to Africa. He doesn't save anyone. He isn't soothed or remade by the mystical African soul. He's an adventurous tourist who wants to see lions and ends up with dysentery and not a lot of insight into his own problems. I found this part so unusually not exploitive that it's worthy of note.

Really wonderful story.
Fandom:SPN_RPF Jared/Jensen