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 recommendations - august 2005
go forth and read

"They did say I have a terribly sophisticated prose style."
-the Fourth Doctor, The Keeper of Traken

Doctor Who

Spring Cleaning, by infiniteviking.
"The Doctor hated his ears." And with that sort of beginning, how can you go wrong? This is a short, introspective gem of a story, which shows us the Doctor's grief and loneliness and quite a bit of his egotism while also being a clever look at what this latest regeneration must have been like.

And I Feel Fine, by Doyle  
Without a doubt, the best of the chip-fics. It's funny and measured and rings absolutely true to me. This is what it would have been like.

Five Planets Rose Tyler Never Visited by Mireille  
A sweet, sweet story, does exactly what it says on the tin. I actually have a quibble with what it says on the tin, as there doesn't seem to be an element of why the Doctor never took Rose to these planets; they are all perfectly possible destinations and make up a simple, lovely story.

A Little Bit of Home by LJC  
Every time LJC writes a Ninth Doctor story I want to have her babies, but this one's my favourite of the current selection. There've been so many Dalek post-eps, and rightly so - the way the Doctor is at the end of that episode, you just know some sort of collapse is imminent, and this short story deals with it in a way that is just right. She doesn't ignore Adam, but the focus is on Rose trying her best to get to grips with a grieving Doctor, and it's lovely, structured and beautiful.

Ivory And Horn by LJC
Another one by her; this one starts with every indication of being a hesitant Doctor/Rose first time, then takes a sharp left at the junction of the carnivorous plants. There's plot, and angst and romance and homicidal flora. What more do you need?

Untitled Adam snippet by jediowl  
Like so many, I don't like Adam. But this story makes him real to me, with the help of sharp dialogue and beautiful imagery, and at less than 500 words, it's just the right length.

Entangled by Doyle  
"Adam Mitchell, this is your life." Another story that makes me want to like Adam, shame on me. And someone unexpected is in it who makes me very, very happy.

Lost by Ruthy  
It's difficult to slash the Doctor because there's no-one to slash him with (well, there wasn't pre-Empty Child); this story takes the unthinkable route and does it with Mickey. And the result is a strangely thought-provoking, stylish story that makes you feel sorry for Mickey and hate the Doctor just a tiny bit.

So Are You by Sarah  
Wow. Whacked-out and scary and creepy and just, wow.

She Loves You by niav  
Because, ohmygod, the Beatles are in it. It's a sweet, funny, generally lovely fic, but it has the Beatles in it and is so elevated to greatness.

People Change by gwynnega  
"As sometimes happens, several of him wound up in the same place." Which is very true, and there haven't been enough fics dealing with this. Rose's reaction to all these exceedingly strange people who also call themselves the Doctor is beautifully observed.

Of More Value Than Many Sparrows by icebluenothing  
One of the many fic-benefits of Doctor Who fandom is that you can have the Doctor go, literally, anywhere; whether you should or not is a different matter. This story has the potential to be eyewateringly bad simply because of its still-raw setting, but it somehow sidesteps that and becomes a stroke of evocative brilliance. One of my favourites.

Ninth Doctor ficathon recs:

A Phantom of Clouds, by Doyle  
The story that was written for me. I wanted banter and Doctor angst and someone calling the Doctor Theta because I'm the only person in the UNIVERSE who likes it, and Doyle delivers in a way I couldn't have ever thought of. It's a gorgeous, gorgeous story, funny and sort of sexy (there's a show-stopping kiss between the Doctor and Jack) and then at the end the Doctor-angst starts up and I was reduced to a heap of sad little girl trying not to cry. So good.

The War To End All Wars by snowballjane  
This is not a M*A*S*H crossover. Really, it's not. But there are hints and suggestions all the way through - I particularly like the passing reference to a man "in a red dressing gown" - and it's just the tone of it, the black humour and the angst, that reminds me so much of the good M*A*S*H fic out there. One for non-Doctor Who fans as well, methinks.

 Not A Busman's Holiday by LJC  
And, interestingly enough, this fic has the Doctor carping at Rose for not knowing what M*A*S*H was about. And nothing more exciting than that happens all the way through, but it's a nice, atmospheric and lovely character study. And there's ice-cream.

Courting Gloriana by Hathor  
One of the five stories I betaed, and easily one of my favourites. It's so funny, awash with historical detail and good characterisation, there's a City of Death reference that makes me want to giggle far too much, and in case I hadn't mentioned it before, it features Jack trying not to marry Elizabeth I. Sheer brilliance.

Past Imperfect by Ancalime
Another one I betaed. It's short, with a very simple, predictable plot, which makes it hard to summarise: it's the original structure and richly lush style and lexis that lift it upwards and make it much more than the sum of its parts. Extremely memorable.

The Tenth Muse by Carmilla
Yes, I betaed this one too. Shush. And even aside from that, I'm a little biased where this fic is concerned, because she borrowed my litgeek!Doctor for the duration and oh, he's such a geek. And he uses naughty Latin and teases Rose and it's just a lovely fic. And, and and and, for those who know what I'm talking about, Clemens and Metella (yes, them!) are in it. Pity no Caecilius, but as I observed at the time, he's very very dead by this point.

What Isn't Said by LindaMarie  
Oooh. It's all in the title, this one - it's almost romantic, almost shippy, almost, almost - but it's never said out loud, and we learn so much about the relationship between the Doctor and Rose by reading between the lines and listening beneath the silence. It's a beautifully written story.

The Colour Pink by excentryke
Hair-dye, silliness and a database channelling the Hitch Hiker's Guide. Read it. Just read it.

18 Seconds by katemonkey
It's becoming a fandom rite of passage, writing about what could have happened on the Doctor's side before he came back in Rose (I did it myself in Flowers For The Doctor) but this is probably going to be the yardstick against which they're all measured. It's full of note-perfect, riotously funny details, each of which could probably be a fic in itself, and it brings us round full circle to a perfectly satisfying conclusion.


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