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 recommendations - december 2004
go forth and read

"Sometmes you need a story."
-Willow Rosenberg, Lie To Me

Harry Potter

Starting with a fic that is not a fic, Sublimation And The Snitch by Remus J. Lupin. This is a History of Magic essay, where the author has seriously considered the possibility that Quidditch is a means for the entire wizarding population to act out their repressed sexual desires. The frequently hilarious asides and footnotes are just perfect as he attempts to make his case. Unfortunately, Remus Lupin is not a real person and the essay is in fact by sam vimes.

Sticking with humour, Broomflight by Mad Martha. James likes Lily, but the feeling is not mutual. A sweet, funny het story with a delightful cameo from Sirius and Remus. You don't need anything else.

On to something completely different, No Longer Bound by switchknife. Set in an AU where Remus was incarcerated following the prank on Snape, it is beautifully written, bleak and sparse. Very good if ultimately heartbreaking.

And different again, Redemption of the Werewolf by Maura Mellon. A strange little story where Remus is forced to interrogate Draco Malfoy. Not without its technical faults, but it comes recommended because for some reason it's stuck in my mind. It's difficult to make Malfoy interesting, but she succeeds here, with nice characterisations for Sirius and Remus.

The Worst Journey In The World, by Ignipes. This is one prolonged monologue, in which Remus addresses a penguin. Read that sentence again. A penguin. And it's funny and sad and poignant and so original. It's a penguin. Go and read it.

The Wizard From Outer Space (Meta Remix) by AJ Hall. This is the most original HP fic I've ever seen, and saying much about it would spoil it. Suffice it to say it's mostly about a character who doesn't get much fandom time, and really should.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

It's on every recs page in the world, but I wanted to start with Alternative Lifestyle by AC Chapin. An AU story that intersects with the canon Buffyverse, and explores the possibility of a much more hard-edged Slayer and her Watcher, Ripper. Hard to describe, but wonderful.

I thought it would be impossible to write humour fic about Ethan and Ripper, but Davechicken manages it in Growing Pains. Short, but very funny.

More with the funny, Sufficient Champagne, by Cynthia Liskow: "I'm not going to have sex with you." In other words, Anya is brilliant and I may never stop laughing.

Next, The New Adventures of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, by nostalgia. Giles takes up writing fiction. Bleak, bleak, and bleak again.

Not For Her by Willa. A post-Gift fic about Spike watching Giles watching over Buffy. Terribly sad and desperate.

how good girls get laid, by Pares. Willow/Tara and it's all in the title. All together now - awwww.

Life In Shadow by minnow. Tara without Willow. This is brittle and understated, nails Tara's voice exactly, and oh, the pain.

Once In A Lullaby by Doyle. I love all of her fics, but this is my favourite. Set firmly in the Normal Again 'verse, it's the best take on it that I've seen. 

Ripper In Mourning by Sandra S is a little introspection of a fic. It takes something we already knew about Giles and tells it to us again in a way that is as brutal as it is effective. 

Common Ground by Sarah T. I always thought there should have been more between Giles and Dawn. More of the silly stuff, I mean, like the Great Cereal Experiment and the poorly-ventilated sweatshops. And this fic, based around that infamous "talk about boys" from I Was Made To Love You,  is just so canon. Heh.

Home by Kris Walberg.

"But Giles and I, if we aren't speaking, are completely silent people. You'll hear the whisper of pages turning, or the click of computer keys, but you won't hear us, so I have to look. " 

Willow after Becoming, just trying to look after everyone. I cried at this.

Legend by Marcus Rowland. An on-set interview with the shooting cast of Billie the Monster Slayer, based on the novels by Dawn Summers. It really doesn't get better than this.

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