::shards of light::
Contrary to popular myth, the world of fanfic is stuffed full of excellent fic, at least where I've been. Which makes it very difficult to make a page like this one, but personally I love coming across them. A lot of these fics are femslash, some are m/m slash, some are het, some are gen. A large proportion are angsty, and most of them are relatively short, because my fic attention span isn't very lengthy. But enough of that. ** = new recs.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Hope is for Losers by Prophecy Girl
This story will always come top of my rec list. It's set in an AU where Buffy never came back after 'Becoming', and Faith is sent to find her. Written from Buffy's POV, it's a gut-wrenching portrayal of a Buffy grown hard and unfeeling, much like Faith. Maybe not an uncommon theme, but done in a beautiful way. There is also a sequel: I'm Going Home
Change My World also by Prophecy Girl
I can't overstate how much I love this author, and this one is a story of the end of the world, of an innocent Buffy in denial and a Faith who tries to hide the truth from her. The ending is inevitable but still painful.
Higher by Kat
This is a Buffy/Faith first-timer set during Bad Girls; so far, so normal, you think, but this is anything but normal. It's written perfectly, and has a delicate, magical feel to it, which is all the more tinged with sadness when we know what happens afterwards.
Ask Me by Sway Slayer
Almost all of Sway's fic is very good (you can find it at Slayer Pride); this for me is an especially good one, dealing with the ever-interesting hate-love theme in a particularly moving way.
A Girl With Kaleidoscope Eyes by Kyra Culllinan
This fic doesn't really need any more reccing, as I've come across it on every Buffy rec page I've been to. But then again, when something is this good, how could I overlook it? I'm not really a Willow/Tara fan, but the grief in this is something else entirely.
The Fifth Dimension by Amy
A very good Faith-dancing-sex fic, dealing better than most with the reasons and the pain that she tries to sublimate. Not a very nice fic, not very nice sex. Well, it's all about the hurt, really, isn't it?
Little Miss Muffet by Kyra Cullinan
A weird, dreamlike little piece which explores some of the possibilities suggested by Buffy and Faith's psychic bonds. A real sense of fear pervading it, not to mention Faith/Glory sex.
**Rise (Flesh of my Flesh Remix) by s.a.
Remix of Little Miss Muffet, this is also a triumph: intense foreboding throughout, and suggestions of absolute horror lurking beneath.
Zig Zag Girls by Scynneh
A beautiful Faith/Willow piece; wonderful imagery and magic, darkness mixed with light.
Snapshots: Willow by Northlight
An exploration of Willow and her past, and the things that so often get forgotten; a life of rejection, years of love for Xander, and the intense feelings of inferiority she still has. Lovely writing, sometimes painful and sometimes quietly contented. Also **Snapshots: Giles, and just like in the previous, this is Giles' life, what it's like to be a Watcher and how lonely he can be, how far away from the others, and the overbearing pain of a destiny like his. Should be read right now.
**Flight by Pet
A lovely picture of Giles as he's leaving Sunnydale, interspersed with memories from his youth. His loneliness, responsibility and maturity contrasted with the dark danger and magic, all coming together at the end.
**Not by Nex
An intriguing, intricate, wonderfully woven piece, beautifully written and very interesting in its portrayal of Dawn. No, don't be put off.
**Five Things That Never Happened To Spike by Kita
OK, so it's been recced everywhere, but deservedly so. The unfailingly amazing Kita takes the challenge and gives us the best response anywhere, with shockingly good writing and images that won't ever leave your mind. Vivid, painful, true.
**Chiaroscuro by Luna
Another very common rec, another fic too good to overlook. Fascinating exploration of Anya's past, and beautiful, lyrical writing and imagery.
Itemized: Expendable by Elizabeth
Elizabeth may well be the best fic author I've ever read, and the hard thing really is to avoid reccing *everything* she's written. This is just one of her Lindsey fics, where he considers his lost hand, Angel, the value of his life, and many other things besides. I'm not excellent at describing this, but everyone really should read this and everything else at Ficorama.
Komodo by Kita
I'd normally run a mile from this kind of story, but this one's different. It's just incredible in its exploration of Angel's dark side, and the line he walks every day. You won't forget it in a hurry, and it'll leave a bad taste in your mouth... but no-one should miss reading this. It is very dark, so heed the warnings.
Bloodstains by Jessica Walker
More Angel-fic of the deepest, blackest kind, with blood and violence and unbreakable bonds, writing which gets inside you and fills you with horror and awe. "His through grief and rage and blood-ties."
The Rules of Attraction by Jennifer Oksana
Jenny O is the queen of Wes/Lilah, and one of the very few people who can write Lilah well - there isn't nearly enough good Lilah fic around. This is just one out of many, many excellent Wes/Lilah fics she's written.
Five Cities, Five Stories: Lilah by Jennifer Oksana
Another one - five people Lilah could have been, but wasn't. AUs where for once the characterisation is still intact, wonderful exploration of different possibilities.
Return by Roseveare
A future-fic where Faith and Wesley are the only ones left, and there's no-one to turn to but each other. Full of old scars and new pains, a fucked-up relationship and writing which will make you flinch.
Echoes by Kita
Faith/Angel, set after The Gift. They drown their sorrows in each other: the writing so painful that it's like ice running through your veins, glass smashed up in your heart.
Baby Demon by Kelly and Boadicea
This is simply one of the most beautiful fics I've ever read. Janeway and Seven, stranded in the 20th century, and it's told from the POV of a Seven who has forgotten Voyager, and knows only her life here with Janeway. It fills you with aching and despair.
all of this is window dressing by not jenny
Written in the second person future tense, which works perfectly throughout. A wonderful exploration of Janeway's feelings of loss after returning to the Alpha Quadrant, knowing that after being the Captain, nothing again will ever be the same. "You will be Kathryn again, and it will never be enough."
Timeless Passages by Gina Dartt
Often seen as the queen of J/7 for her Just Between series. Which I've never read... because it's too long. But I can tell you that her one-shots are excellent. This one fixes many of the numerous problems of Endgame, and pays a hell of a lot more attention to logic and consistency than the series did. Very realistic, and it certainly made me feel better about the end of Voyager.
Scars by Ellen Milholland
A wonderful J/7 series that is one of the best in the pairing. Beautifully vivid, emotional and sensuous.
**Superfluous by Awassa
A change from the usual polymorphously perverse sexual world of Trek fic (if, sadly, not the show, grr argh), this is a muted, restrained and sad fic which tells of another unfortunately plausible possibility. Lovely first and last lines, and some truly memorable writing.
**Courses by Kelly
Wonderful language and imagery, shot through with sunlight and alcohol. Paris, Janeway, trying to forget what you never can forget. Really gorgeous.
**Ninth Host by nostalgia
Ezri doesn't get much fanfic-love, and this is a lovely exploration of a fascinating aspect of her character. Excellent characterisation, with the slightly disjointed style reflecting her confusion about who she is.
They say you always remember your first love, and the X-Files brought me into fandom. But I never really read much fic until a month or two ago... and I haven't found where it all hides. Nevertheless, I'll do my best.
waiting.to.drown by Penelopody and August
Fragmented, painful, absolutely beautiful story of a Scully who has tried to escape Mulder and his world but realises she never can, when the world begins to end.
Human by Xanthe.
This is a much longer story than I usually read, but I was so gripped by it that I couldn't stop reading. Post-Existence, Krycek dies and is reborn on an alien ship, only to be killed and resurrected over and over. Skinner arrives (as you do), and they fall in love (not just like that, obviously), and Krycek has to make decisions. All the timeless themes of betrayal and death, passion and redemption and pain. And it's the only fic that's ever made me cry.
Left Standing by Maidenjedi
Post-colonisation, beautiful depiction of a landscape and despair. There can never be enough post-colonisation fics; this one's really, really good. Mulder, Reyes, and searching for a way to forget.
As It Seems by Jennifer Oksana
All of Jenny O's fic is so wonderful, it's very difficult to pick just a few. But this one stands out for me, as a picture of the absolute hell that Scully has been drawn in to, and the darkness of her nightmares.
The Watching Wall by Amerella
A beautiful piece set after Biogenesis-6th Extinction, with imagery and writing that is palpable and intense, that burrows into your skin.
**nightblindness by Shaye
This is stunningly beautiful, soft and cold, and full of resigned despair. A wonderful post-show fic.
**Only In Threes by ChristineCGB
Wonderfully hot and intense, with that dreamlike feeling and sensuality. '"I dream about the end of the world," she says and her face gives away nothing.'
A fascinating and disturbing portrayal of a very different Mulder/Scully relationship. Draws you right in, so you flinch and dread along with Scully. Dark and painful and original.
Think Before You Use *That* Title! by Jennifer Oksana and FirePhile
As a (probably welcome) departure from deep angst, this is a hilariously stupid piece where the entire X-Files gang go to therapy. It's one of the funniest things I've ever read.
OK, so Roswell had its fair share of flaws. More than its fair share, in fact. But it was fun... and for some reason spawned a lot of excellent fanfic, especially in femslash. So here are some of the best...
And So I Fell by Bennie
A story that makes Liz really interesting (this is pretty difficult), and explores the voids and how you can fill them, satisfactorily or not. Metal and blood and as a bonus, a major part played by one of the dupes, in this case Rath. Wonderful style.
Objects In Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear by Marianna
Tess contemplates; life, desire, and Maria.
Circling by Northlight
A wonderful look at endings and beginnings - Ava and Vilandra on Antar, and Tess and Isabel on Earth. A lovely idea, and written with a beautiful style; the Antar part stands out, with the love between them too huge, and pain and the end of everything.
The Story by Elizabeth
I'm a sucker for pre-Earth stories, and the story of Vilandra and her betrayal has always been one of the more interesting things on Roswell for me (there weren't all that many interesting things). It's good to see it explored here, and of course, it's doubly good to see it explored amazingly, with utterly believable characters and great style, the hurt of betrayal and reasons for revenge.
**Minutes Before The Fall by Elise
I just don't do Max/Liz, but this transcends pairings. An exploration of Liz, the End of the World, her memories, and, well, grief and everlasting love.
(i) forget by Elizabeth
More from the utterly fantastic Elizabeth... very disturbing but in the good way. The Lex she writes is so real; beautiful and painful. "Vanilla ice cream is bland and white and sweet but after a while the taste of it leaves a bitter film on the inside of your mouth."
The Very Secret Thoughts of Clark Kent by Viridian5
Clark decides to have an image change... and Lex approves. But Clark... as a Goth... just doesn't fit somehow. Very, very funny. "I had to remember that I couldn't smack Lex's dad. Because he's Lex's dad, and because I'd probably send him into the next county."
Rings and Sores by Pearl-O
A future-fic, before Clark and Lex become enemies, set in that time between when there's just beginning to be suspicion and resentment and disapproval, but they're still together, and the love is still holding them firm.
**Fallible Theory by Zahra
Yet another fandom that Zahra triumphs in, this is a story about Lex, and the repression of emotion, science and logic and pain. It's very, very good. And for a different style, try **Man Vs. Machine, a gloriously sexy tale of cars and innuendo. Oh, and **Comic Books Make You Gay And Other Subversive Thoughts, which is self-explanatory. And **Are You Experienced?, which is what you wish you'd seen in Zero and a beautiful look at Clubbing!Lex. In case you haven't got the message, read everything Zahra's ever written. Ever. I should probably point out at this point that I'm not married or in any other way related to Zahra, or indeed the author herself masquerading under another name (I only wish). In fact, I really don't know her. I'm just a squealing fangirl.
"Clark used to be like Lex's best intentions. Now he is more like Lex's darkest impulses." I'm amazed people haven't done this in great numbers before. But this is a story where Clark is dark, corrupted, and the writing and thoughts and just Clark are really creepy. Especially the end.
I resisted Harry Potter fic a long time, unwilling to taint the sacred canon. But then I gave in, and I'm certainly not sorry I did.
Just Like My Daddy by Liz Barr
A very different way of looking at the Potter family in 1977. Excellent portrayal and really interesting concept. It's very difficult to pick out just one of Liz's fics - in fact, so difficult, I can't do it. Desire, Reluctance, Temptation features Lily and Lucius. I have a big thing for Lucius, and he doesn't really get much fic - I'm wary of looking for any in case I come across creepy Draco/Lucius. This is a great piece, with Lily trying to escape a little from her perfect Head Girl image, and Lucius as slimy as ever. There Is No Such Place is a novel-length Snape/Lily, but it's split up into handy chapters, which all have their own very nice names and summaries. So you can read it step by step (this might not be a big deal to you, but I have a problem with long fics). Characterisation of Snape is certainly spot on, Lily's also a very interesting character, and the plot's engaging too. Read it.
Undone, Unpretty and Undercurrents by Jennifer Oksana
Draco/Hermione. There's really no point in reccing anything by Jennifer Oksana - everything she does is fantastic, and she can do all flavours - full-bodied angst, full-on parody, and... well, everything. I'm going to steal dafnap's description of this in Friday Feedback at Silverlake: "Draco/Hermione as it should be written, complete with power-plays, snarkiness and sexual tension the consistency of cottage cheese."
And Now For Something Completely Different by Zahra
This is just great fun. Zahra is one of the best authors for writing stories that are really, really fun to read, but have layers as well. And she writes other types too, but. In this fic, Harry has a crush on Malfoy. Yes, that's about all, but what's the problem with that? I love the way Harry's written, and the ending is just delicious. And - there are two sequels: Lemon Zingers and Strawberry Jam and Public Displays of Affection.
Filios by Keieru
A story of Draco as he sees himself, as he wants to be seen; reasons why he is why he is, but no apologia. The consequences of abuse and a wonderful insight into his character, with fine writing. Truly chilling; this is the kind of fic which makes you wonder why you bother writing at all, because it can't be done better than this.
Violaceous by Twinkledru J
It's Draco's seventeenth birthday party (sorry for all these Draco recs... I'm slightly obsessed) and Krum's there. Draco is portrayed every inch as an arrogant little shit - but what's wrong with that? Great.
Second of our Reign by Wax Jism
A story about the time after the war; not overdone, not melodramatic post-apocalyptic scenes (although there's nothing wrong with them...), just a tale of the survivors. Possibly the most realistic Draco I've ever read, and a completely believable relationship.
Clipped Wings by Theresa Ann Wymer
A future-fic with a premise that is all too believable, and people who are utterly broken. Harry/Snape, desperate pain and just the faintest bit of hope.
Pop Goes The Weasel Trilogy by durendal
Absolutely hilarious. For some reason there seems to be a lot more really, really funny HP fic out there than in most fandoms. Anyway, this is priceless. Ron is the star of the show... kind of... Lucius wants to be God, Draco is snide but somehow always ends up doing what his daddy wants him to. Harry's still annoyingly heroic: "They embraced, and Ron plastered a fake smile on his face. But when he got a good look at Harry it wavered. 'Harry,' he said, 'you're... rugged.'".
The Almost Legend of Draco Malfoy by Zahra
A very realistic, understated and refreshing Draco. One who isn't redeemed and beset by angst about his former evil, or rejoicing in the intricate tortures of some little girl, but just pragmatic and fairly apathetic. But a story which still manages to make this kind of sad. And how could you resist the description of HP as "That Git Who Wouldn't Die"?
Take It And Like It by Sara
The author herself describes this as "It's pretty much just porn interspersed with
thin excuses for porn plot". I can see how she'd think that, but it makes a great whole. Very funny. And such a good Draco voice, the kind where you can really imagine canon-Draco saying every word. Ron, Hermione and Harry are also spot on, and the resolution of Harry and Draco's problems is wonderful: "Wouldn’t you rather just shag for awhile and then answer the big important questions
only when we absolutely can’t avoid them anymore?"
**verbs and vertebrae by Olympia
Ouch. Ouch, ouch, ouch. A Draco fic that is incredibly painful, full of silver and white and glass and very, very cold.
**Like A Good Book by Kyra Cullinan
Achingly sad depiction of Hermione and disappointment.
**Silence by Plumeria
A Hermione/Ginny story of unrequited, untold and un-fought for love. The title really says it all; this isn't the portrayal of homosexuality in the wizarding world that I usually prefer, but it's very, very realistic; the constant need for silence is something that almost any person who's grown up gay will identify with.
**By This Grace Dissolved In Place by Bec
Before I read this, I'd really never considered Percy beyond the one-dimensional canon figure. But this is a beautiful look into his life, who he is, his little pains, his feelings of inadequacy which lead to the constant ambition.
**Deserting the Enemy (Before and After Remix) by Innle
One of the best post-apocalyptic scenarios I've read, one which draws you into it and makes you believe. An acute sense of loss and desolation is created with wonderful language.
**Strange Bedfellows: A Comedy of Assumptions by Mad Maudlin
Aaaaahhh! Pricelessly funny. Just hilarious. Watch all the characters totally ignore and misinterpret what's right in front of their eyes, screaming its obviousness...
**Eternal Luv by backfromspace
Hogwarts/Squid. Who could afford to miss that? Very, very funny. Read it now!
Not really a fic, but something you should read: The Tough Guide To Harry Potter
A very funny A-Z of Harry Potter fic, detailing all the well-known and well-recognisable cliches. Its one major downside is that it fails to properly mention any slash couple other than Sirius/Remus, which (a) means that a whole host of Harry/Draco cliches are missed out on, and (b) is annoying, because there's really no reason to exclude slash.
Not really a fic either, but something you should see: The Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone Puppet Show
This is just really, really funny. The site also hosts an equally funny puppet show for all seasons of the X-Files, and various films including Star Wars and LOTR.
It's odd that this, one of the best shows in the entire world, has so little fanfic. Maybe it's just that people feel they can't improve on the show. Anyway, what there is is excellent.
As I Lay Me Down by Maayan
Beautiful, beautiful fic, on the never-tired theme of sex as oblivion and substitute. The language is just entrancing, and great John portrayal. "On Ferri I don't know who, why, what, where."
A Whiter Shade by Shaye
Absolutely fantastic John fic, written backwards and in second person. Cold, loneliness and dreams which leave you with an ache. "You walk a tightrope of stars, and they are like crushed glass under your feet. And you keep sinking and sinking and sinking."
i give you more lives than you can count by penelopody
Post-season 3, written before season 4. Aeryn and her child, understatement and numbness and beautiful writing. "And she's outside. The stars are burning holes in her skin. The air is cool and she can taste interstellar distance. And there's nothing deep or dark or strange and warm."
Yes. 24. Which is a great show, but has almost no fic, and should have.
All Roads by Stellaluna
Lyrical, haunting story of Jack after the (first) day has passed, the accumulated pains making more pain than one man can bear.
Beholden to Yesterday by Trixie
I don't particularly like Liz... and I don't particularly like Buffy... but who could resist Buffy/Liz after reading this? Beautifully written, set after season 2 Buffy and wonderfully depicting the pain of Angel's loss. Everyone's characterised really well, and I greatly admire people who can write peripheral characters as well as the main ones. While you're there, read everything else Trixie's ever written. For me, this is undoubtedly the queen of all crossovers.
Afterworld by Elizabeth
Roswell/Angel. Not the two shows which you would think go together naturally or well. But you'd be wrong. This is a story about Lindsey after he leaves LA, with a guest spot from Kyle. As always, Elizabeth's writing is excellent, and great characterisation of Lindsey. There's no plot to speak of, but who needs a plot? (Oh, there's no sex either, just in case you misinterpreted the last sentence. Sorry.)
Witness by Hth
A beautiful, dark story of what happens when Slayers grow up. Dark Angel crossover, but knowledge or appreciation of the show isn't really needed; the post-apocalyptic setting is quite enough.