ladybird97: (snow)
[personal profile] ladybird97
It's Yuletide! I have been doing a lot of reading, so here are a bunch of stories that I liked. I'm sure I've missed some, so if you've got recs, please send them my way!

(Disclaimer: a few of these I betaed, but will refrain from saying which ones for the sake of Yuletide anonymity.)

First, the gift I received! In Which the Memoirist, Memoirs of Lady Trent/Night Circus. It's a beautiful blending of these two alternate Victorian worlds: Lady Trent's scientific skepticism coming up against the Night Circus's magic when Poppet and Widget try their hand at training sparklings. Isabella's voice is perfectly rendered, and there's just a little bit left unspoken, as there always is.

Anne of Green Gables: Christmas at Ingleside. Christmas 1920, with all of its joys and sorrows. Susan's voice is perfect.

The Bone Key: Anna Hart's Letters. Kyle Murchison Booth is caught up in love letters from long ago. Lovely casefic that captures the tone of the original.

Craft Sequence: Creation Stories. A follow-up to Full Fathom Five, in which Izza and Elayne talk about new gods. Fabulous payoff at the end of the story.

Lots of great Imperial Radch series this year! Here are some of the best:
- A Life In Service. Kalr Five's life before and during her time in service, beautifully drawn and insightful. Tagged 'gratuitous descriptions of dishes'.

- Always The Next Morning And The Next. Mercy of Kalr POV: a ship's feelings, and a ship's awareness of the feelings of those who serve on it.

- The Flower of Tisarwat. Tisarwat struggles with her past and future by writing poetry. The writing is just gorgeous - a very good reflection of Leckie's spare style.

Lumberjanes: The Winter Wonderland Invasion. The Lumberjanes crew gets accidentally swapped with their Marvelverse counterparts; hilarity and hijinks ensue. Friendship to the max!

October Daye: Hot Ice and Wondrous Strange Snow. Quentin/Raj, whom I have always massively shipped. They do the rom-com fake-relationship-into-true thing, and it's adorable and hilarious.

Movies and TV
Brave: Not Yet Legends. Elinor and Fergus slowly learn to appreciate each other, and Elinor's skill with words helps her grow into a queen.

Bunheads: New Adventures. It perfectly captures the show's quickfire dialogue, off-kilter humor, and character depth.

Grantchester: Books to Help You With Your Life. Leonard's correspondence leads into a relationship. Super-sweet - I totally want to pinch Leonard's cheeks. As always.

The Librarians: Gifts,. Cassandra's mission goes wrong and right at the same time, and she has to save Ezekiel. Love the Cassandra-Jenkins interactions, and the Buffy references.

Several Mad Max Fury Road:
- Regrowth. The women reclaim the Citadel, and figure out how to move forward while dealing with their past.

- Guardian. Furiosa and Angharad pre-canon; a glimpse of the politics and power that women can make for themselves in their broken world.

- Don't Want To Look Like Someone Else. Hair as a symbol for change; very true to the movie's theme of bodies and autonomy.

Mad Men: We have Always Lived in the Castle. Beautiful and unsettling: the dysfunctions of each of the Draper children's lives through the 70s.

Lots of good Sleepy Hollow!
- Haunted Houses. A wonderful Abbie-Ichabod friendship moment in S1, with some creepy flashbacks to Abbie's childhood

- A Vast Vacuity. Ichabod vs Modernity, subject: skydiving. Ichabod wins. It's funny, but also unexpectedly moving

- Thicker than Water. Fabulous casefic with everything I want in a Sleepy Hollow story: Ichabod vs Modernity, Jenny and Abbie bonding, mythology used well, and with a bonus of Jenny being extra-awesome.

Love and Marriage, Guys and Dolls. Happily ever after isn't always easy for Sarah and Sky. I love the beginning of this story the most - the style is perfect.

So many Hamilton fics! Here are my favorites:
- Interlude (Rise Up). Sexual tension everywhere, with everyone! Written as song lyrics that are full of wordplay in the spirit of the original.

- Birds of Prey. In which the Schuyler sisters are SUPERHEROES, and Hamilton is a fast-talking lawyer whose loyalties they're trying to figure out.

- The One You Call Sister. Letters between Angelica and Eliza over the years, with some beautiful childhood reminiscences

- Fan This Spark Into a Flame. Another epistolary, with daring cannon-theft and steamy moments between the letters.

Multimedia Crossovers
This American Life Episode 141, A Whole New World. This American Life interviews Steve Rogers, Hermione Granger, and Susan Pevensie (and a bit of Will Oakley, too) about their experiences in crossing from one world to another, and about their ideas of justice. THIS IS AMAZING.

To Drive the Cold, Northern Exposure/Welcome to Nightvale. Strexcorp comes to Cicely, so Chris's community radio update is a bit different now. Plus, there's a lot of chocolate. Chris's voice is PERFECT.

The Spirit of Yuletide: the truly weird and wonderful
Thursday Next and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Fic. Thursday Next goes to FicWorld, which is not the same as BookWorld. It is exceedingly meta, but that's the point, and it's also very very funny.

Stories about Incompetent Time-Traveling Saxophone Haters

Accio Insurance: Flo gets her invitation to a magical Insurance School. (h/t [ profile] retsuko for the rec.)

The Ballad of Cope and Marsh, an epic poem about 19th-century paleontologists and their beards.

Pyramid Schemes, Expert Judgment on Markers to Deter Inadvertent Human Intrusion. Things that are eternal: cats, science, and love.

Date: 2015-12-28 06:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you for the Mad Max recs! I've got to read those.

A slightly off topic question for you, since you're an October Daye fan: have you read Rose-Red Chain yet? What did you think of it?

Date: 2015-12-28 06:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I am, I have, and I loved it! Walther just jumped way up in my favorite-character list, and the social commentary embedded in the court politics and class dynamics was really well done. (Cryptic comments are cryptic so as not to spoil those who haven't read it :)
Edited Date: 2015-12-28 06:41 pm (UTC)


Date: 2015-12-28 07:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I loved learning more about Walther's back story; that was the best part.

I just felt that ending was tremendously rushed. The torture scene at the end was bad enough, but then the ending just happened, and all that worldbuilding and pacing just ... got left there. I know that this may be my own bias (I want some comfort to go with the hurt, dammit), so I'm curious if you had the same experience as well. I'm wondering if some person (agent or publicist or publishing rep) pressured her to send it along when it wasn't finished.
Edited Date: 2015-12-28 07:19 pm (UTC)


Date: 2015-12-28 07:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ah, OK, I understand. I wanted more denouement as well, but I always want the story to keep going as long as possible :)

I know the author's got a ton of balls in the air at the moment, so maybe some of the writing got rushed in order to devote time to other projects?

But, Walther! WALTHER! <3

Date: 2015-12-28 08:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The "This American Life" one was excellent, thanks so much for the recommendation!

Date: 2015-12-28 08:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Isn't it? Every time I re-read it I see more depth and hear the voices more clearly.

Glad you liked the recs! Happy reading :)

Date: 2015-12-29 12:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I find myself hesitating to read the This American Life one because I expect so many feels. I have no idea why I'm that way, but that's where i am! funny, huh?

Date: 2015-12-29 03:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Hey, the feels come where and when they do. If/when you're up for it, it's great, and if not, you will not lack for other good Yuletide reading :)

Date: 2015-12-29 05:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh, lovely recs, thank you for sharing! :)

Date: 2015-12-30 03:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You're welcome! Glad you liked them :)


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