ali_wildgoose: (scar)
I’ve dedicated a great deal of my free time since Christmas Eve to working through the 2015 Yuletide archive — here are some of my favorites so far!

(Note that some of the notes and summaries may contain spoilers!)

Carry On - Rainbow Rowell

You’ll Be Mine & I’ll Be Yours
But the time that I feel belonging – the time when I feel safe, and grounded, and all that other stuff my psychologist likes me to find – that’s pretty much whenever I look into Baz’s eyes and see how he looks at me. I know. My life, which was supposed to be the greatest heroic epic saga ever penned, is now a pop ballad as told by Taylor Swift. But maybe that’s OK?
This fic just charmed the hell out of me from start to finish. It really captured the tone of Simon's voice, and was populated with so many clever funny details about Simon's life and his world and Magic and Penny and everything else. It let me spend a little more time with these great people and that's exactly what I'd hoped for when I wrote my request. It also respected Simon's traumas and difficulties — his strange catch-as-catch-can childhood and what happened in the White Chapel, as well as the aftermath of both that he's currently muddling his way through. I love that this is a story about Figuring Shit Out at his own pace, in his own way.
Note: this was written for me! How very lucky I am!

Old Dog, New Tricks
Agatha, San Diego, one year later.
A very sweet, deftly written glimpse into the new life which Agatha is building for herself. Featuring an OC for which I have genuine affection and a load of grin-inducing little details. I love that this is about Agatha setting boundaries, and making careful compromises with her own knee-jerk reactions, and just generally figuring out how to be the kind of person she wants to be, interacting with the Normal and Magic worlds on terms that work for her.

Ex Machina

Chrysalis
She watches, silently. She waits, silently. When they meet again, she is not silent.
YES YES YES to robot ladies having each others' backs. I loved this exploration of Kyoko's inner life, her grim understanding of her own circumstance and her perspective on what transpired. I guess I’m just a sucker for short stories of staccato scenelettes!

Gargoyles

Heritage
Twenty years after Oberon's first Gathering, Alexander decides to bring the fight to the Lord of Avalon -- with some help from his friends, family, and adopted Clan. And Puck. With the mind of a Xanatos, the magic of Puck, and the courage of the Gargoyles, what could go wrong?
Someone wrote a 25,000 word Gargoyles fic for Yuletide this year and it is ACTUALLY QUITE GOOD????? This reads like one of the show’s better multipart series, hewing quite closely to the show’s tone and spirit as well as featuring the sort of mystery and twists and cleverness which makes the best episodes of Gargoyles so much fun. Like really, at the heart of things, that’s what I liked so much about this story: it’s FUN, and about kindness and created families, and absolutely dripping with sincere affection for every one of these characters. (FYI: if the wordcount is intimidating you a little, note that the main body of the story is actually only 16000 words long. The rest is made of up a series of related vignettes, many of which are charming but all of which are optional.)

The Goblin Emperor

(NOTE: I have so far only read a handful of the many GE stories written for YT this year.)

Heart’s Ease
Csethiro presents a gift to her granddaughter; master chef Ebremis recruits Csevet into an unconventional birthday scheme.
This is both a story AND a cookbook, so obviously I was 100% on board for this from the start. One of the things I love most about TGE is that, in many ways, it's a narrative of small kindnesses -- people trying to be decent to one another as they make the best of difficult situations. This story does an excellent job of preserving and expanding upon that feeling.

Further Extracts from A Handbook for Travelers in the Elflands
Published by the Press of the Crooked Stair for the Royal Merchants Guild of Porcharn
Remember that handy appendix at the back of the book, with all the in-universe explanations for naming conventions and forms of address and pronunciation? This fic expands upon it with sections on Cuisine, Clothing and Fashion, Art and Craft, Music and Theater, Literature, Religion, Courting, Sport, and Places of Interest. A seamless blend of canon and invention, and lots of fun.

Imperial Radch Series - Ann Leckie

A Life in Service
Of the three tenets of Radchaai civilization, Ettan had always clung most dearly to propriety, and she would do what was asked of her. It had not escaped her notice that this obedient streak might have something to do with her assignment.
The author describes this as “Scenes from the life of Kalr Five, pre-canon through the beginning of Ancillary Mercy,” but while accurate that doesn’t quite do this story justice. Like most of my favorite YT stories, this is a flawless expansion of one small corner of canon, and just…seriously, a DELIGHT to read. (In case you’re as bad with names as I am: Kalr Five is the member of Breq’s decade who’s moderately obsessed with tea sets.)

Reconnaissance
There was a plan: to locate the AI cores before the Usurper could, to return to Ship and form a plan to retrieve them. I was to succeed, or I was to die. Bodies are precious, now, but not so precious Ship could not afford to lose one segment, in pursuit of something this important.
A really excellent character study of Sphene, told in small bites. This story clocks in at exactly 1000 words but DAMN does it pack a lot of punch for its length.

Dark Watch
Something broke in her a thousand years ago, or maybe it broke when she came out of stasis. Maybe it was always broken and she just didn't know.
Another small character study. I’ve always found Seivarden a little impenetrable, and this helped me tease out a better understanding of where she’s coming from. Most of this story is a conversation between her and Mercy of Kalr, and I came out of it feeling flush with affection for them both.

Monument Valley

Ida, Walking
Do you remember the stars that we saw from the ground and we knew, if we looked at them from a different angle, we could draw a line to a fixed star?
A quiet prose poem of a story, which fits the canon quite well.
ali_wildgoose: (Default)
The Yuletide reveal has passed, so now I can talk about what I got up to this time around! Perhaps a couple of you will be interested? I've had so little time for writing this year, it was a treat just to have an excuse to sit down and bang out a couple stories. Which were:

Helping you is what I do. -- Moon

Eighteen years on the far side of the moon.

My recipient requested a fic from GERTY's perspective, and after reading a gigantic pile of essays about AIs (friendly or otherwise) and taking obsessive notes on the film, this is what I came up with. One part for each Sam, which means that some of them are pretty sad.

A Surfeit of Noms, in Need of Deliverance -- Glitch

The Giant, Pot, preferred to keep logistical concerns well clear of his merrymaking, and in this matter Rue was indispensable.

I was hilariously ill on Christmas, but I was DETERMINED to write at least one fic for Yuletide Madness. This absurdly silly story is what resulted.


AS FOR RECS...!!!

I'm still not entirely finished poking through the Yuletide Archive, but rather than put this off indefinitely I'm just gonna go ahead and talk a little about what I've most enjoyed so far!


Adventure Time

So we all are growing young by CherryIce

Marceline may be a thousand years old, but Princess Bubblegum has been eighteen for a very long time.

This was just a super-interesting read, particularly in how it pokes at the edges of Ooo and its history, through the lens of Bubblegum's curiosity and through what Marceline does and doesn't want to share.


Ferris Bueller's Day Off

One Thousand, Three Hundred and Fifty-Three Feet by Kyra

The question isn't "what are we going to do," the question is "what aren't we going to do?"

A Ferris/Sloane/Cameron fic about college and longing and New York City and Chinese takeout. (And kissing.)


Glitch

A Glitch in Time by fourthage

There's a new creature in the world, and the giants aren't quite sure what to make of it.

The Constellations of Tii by redsnake05

Tii finds beauty in order and meaning, in knowing the details that lie under appearances. It seems that some of the other giants can't look past zir appearance.

These are both insanely adorable, and neither will make any sense at all to those of you who haven't wasted giant amounts of time playing Glitch.


Hey, Arnold!

Stay and See (What Becomes of Us) by TrisB

Fire compels, fire consumes / you are a cheater, you are fireproof / I am a smoky plume / I am up a ladder to your bedroom

I'm only passingly familiar with Hey Arnold so I'm sure I missed some of the finer details of this, but it's about Helga and Arnold and their complicated teenaged relationship, and THAT much I can certainly appreciate.


The Left Hand of Darkness

The End and the Way by Luzula

On Posthe Tuwa of the Year One in the reign of Argaven XII, Harny Sord of Gernahan gave birth to a pervert.

A fully realized short story set in the LHoD world, this was hands-down the most impressive Yuletide entry I read this year. I haven't read the original novel since I was in college, and now it's been bumped to the top of my re-read list -- in large part so I can better appreciate what the author of this fic managed!


Lilo and Stitch

All My Dreams Fulfilled by escritoireazul

Nani Pelekai falls in love.

Stuck On You by Katherine

Cobra obediently checked in his appointment book for the mentioned day (clear) before Lilo told him why.

"That's my birthday," Lilo said. "I'm having a party, and everyone is giving me bricks. That's the theme."


Someone asked for Cobra/David/Nani as a domestic OT3, and it must have hit the pinch list because several authors rose to the challenge. Leaving me in the very strange position of shipping this kind of a lot out of absolutely nowhere? BUT I AM NOT EVEN A LITTLE SORRY.


Love Actually

Alone Together by Miggy

The movie didn't give everyone a happy ending. Some of them have to wait just a bit longer.

Takes two of my least-favorite storylines and heals the narrative wounds a little.


Mass Effect

All for One by Peripeteia

The virtues of belonging stopped mattering to her a long time ago.

Basically, I really want [personal profile] hoshizora to start his Mass Effect replay so that I can go back and read this again.


The Matrix

I See With My Eyes by Suaine

A young woman wakes up from a dream and finds herself in a nightmare.

An interesting take on a trans character which feels, in retrospect, like an obvious thing to explore with this canon.


Portal

Covalent Bonds by pinstripesuit

In 1968, the United States Senate holds an investigative hearing on Aperture Science’s culpability in the alleged missing astronauts at their Enrichment Center facility. Cave Johnson and his assistant Caroline are in attendance.

Hilarious enough in places that I read large chunks of it aloud to explain why I was laughing so hard.

Test Subject Starter Kit by Vintar

The Aperture Science Bring Your Daughter to Work Day is the perfect time to have her tested.

Featuring tiny!Chel, this fic very nearly killed me. I only wish it was longer!


Terra Nova

We Are Not Heroes And This Is No Triumph by pts

In her bones, Maddy Shannon knows that the Terra Novan colonists must become a different sort of human than the species that preceded them.

I can say, with complete confidence, that this fic is the one completely good thing I have experienced wrt Terra Nova. It is charming as hell and funny to boot.


True Grit

A Living Fire by th_esaurus

Mattie had been bitten young by the spirit of adventure, and it had near killed her.

This was my Yuletide gift, and it is completely fantastic! I asked for an exploration of Mattie Ross as an adult -- how she came to be the woman that we see at the end of the film -- and I couldn't be happier with the result.
ali_wildgoose: (scar)
I am trying desperately to finish my technically-overdue submission for an ATLA mini-bang, which has taken the form of a Katara-centric Avatar/Harry Potter crossover.* I would have finished it earlier, but I forced myself to plow through a lot of comic-drawing and freelance work first. This explains why I'm up at 2AM! This also explains why I am super-behind on my email, in particular some email that I desperately owe to a certain lady in Yorkshire!

However, this also means I'm awake to witness the appearance of an Avatar Fanfic Author Love Meme on my flist!

Guys. Love Memes are the best.

THE BEST.

I'm a little tired to do much with it tonight, myself. But I'll have to think of SOME KIND OF NONSENSE to post on it tomorrow!

*WHO AM I AND WHAT AM I DOING?!?!?!
ali_wildgoose: (Default)
I usually refrain from discussing certain ACTIVITIES here, mostly because the scope of my dorkitude is epic and kind of embarrassing, but in this case said Activities are innocuous enough that I'll make an exception.

I spent the last few days banging around Baltimore with [livejournal.com profile] rawles, and in addition to watching ALL of the first season of Dexter in one day (Yes. ONE. DAY.) we spent an inordinate amount of time laughing about how Zuko and Sokka should be BFFs forever...and how such a thing would drive Katara UP THE WALL.

And then we wrote a fic.

Title: Male Bonding
Author: [livejournal.com profile] rawles and [livejournal.com profile] ali_wildgoose
Pairing: Mentions of Sokka/Suki and Mai/Zuko
Rating: PG-13
Summary: As much as she intensely dislikes it, Katara understands why Zuko had to join them. What she doesn't understand is why he and Sokka have to spend every waking moment in each other's company.
Notes: Spoilers for "Day of Black Sun" that you'll probably only notice if you've seen the episode already.

Click here to read, if you are so inclined.

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ali_wildgoose: (Default)
Go make some new disaster.

December 2015

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