Archive for November, 2007
November 30th, 2007
Five Dead Women
Five Dead Women by Snegurochka
Summary: Five vignettes, seemingly unrelated and featuring diverse Potterverse women, explore the link between these women that will answer the question: why are five of them dead? 6,400 Words.
Why You Should Care: There’s something beautiful about a fic that draws subtle links that are canon, but never before apparent. Snegurochka’s style is haunting and tense, the fic is laden with symbolism and suspense. It’s been cleverly crafted, you can see the amount of premeditation and effort in the structure and the reader really appreciates the writer’s work.
Why You Might Not Care: It’s symbolic and beautiful. but tends to get carried away in itself – this fic could do with an edit and a good cut. But it’s worth it, trust me.Comment (2) »
November 29th, 2007
Prophetic by Furiosity
Summary: “Through exploding snarls of spell-light, she saw Dolohov and Remus, locked in combat.” 500 Words.
Why You Should Care: There’s just something about this one that appeals to me, though I’m not entirely sure what, exactly, it is. Here and there the largely straight-forward text is sprinkled with interesting visuals and phrasing. I like that it’s almost too short; Furiosity resists the urge to hang too long on any one moment or allow Tonks’ thoughts to get too maudlin. It’s actually a very physical piece for it’s short length, with smooth, uncluttered action that befits the final battle of Deathly Hallows, and the final moments of Remus and Tonks.
Why You Might Not Care: I’m not sure. I feel some people will think it unremarkable, and maybe it is at that, a little. Something about the author’s style appeals to me, I think; all simple narrative mixed with clever and original description.Comment (2) »
November 28th, 2007
Genesis by Andromeda311
Summary: The last eight days of Regulus Black’s life. Dark, psychological, vaguely religious. Somewhere in the back of his mind, he whispers that his brother would be proud of him. 1,765 Words.
Why You Should Care: There’s a novel called Lolita – I’m sure you’ve all read it – which is described as the author’s love letter to the English language. This fic is Andromeda311’s love letter to the English language. This fic is beautiful, animated, exquisite, with this fabulous phraseology like terror-red miasma and the swooping wings of Azrael. A lot of love wrote this fic, and a lot of thought. Read for the sheer pleasure of words.
Why You Might Not Care: There’s not a lot in this fic past the raw emotion and the incredible use of structuring and language, and if you feel like something plot-heavy and interesting then stay well away. But seriously. This fic is unbelievable.Comment (4) »
November 27th, 2007
Kiss and Tell
Kiss and Tell by Lady Bracknell
Summary: For all his supposed genius, Sirius Black had always had rather a blind spot for the patently obvious. 6,658 Words.
Why You Should Care: Mostly ’cause I haven’t rec’d Lady Bracknell in a while, though anyone who’s clever can see just about anything she writes is fantastic and won’t have waited for me to suggest it to devour everything she’s got. Once again, she brings us a great little story that both fits into her broader universe, but stands alone so well it’s practically a oneshot. She’s always on form with her favorite characters, and she’s better than most at the comic set up. Go, with my blessings.
Why You Might Not Care: Lady Bracknell has rated this R for Adult Themes, but there’s nothing here you haven’t seen on daytime TV. It’s perfectly work safe, so far as I’m concerned.Comment (2) »
November 26th, 2007
Being An Historical Record of Events Surrounding the Unfortunate Truth-Or-Dare Game of February the Twenty-Second, and Consequences Thereof
Summary: “He was aware not only of James’s grin, but that Peter was smiling and sitting forward, too — and oh, God, so was Sirius. All of them grinning, laughing a little, waiting to hear the outcome of another good — if slightly cheap — joke of James’s. For a brief, terrifying moment, Remus found that he hated every last one of them. They were bastards and they had no idea and he hated them.” Mostly Humour, 26,905 Words.
Why You Should Care: While I don’t particularly adore slash, every once in a while I come across one I thoroughly enjoy and — as per usual — it’s a Remus/Sirius fic. This one in particular is a nice read, with nice characterisations of each of the Marauders (we-ell… for the two-point-four seconds Peter’s in the story, he seems well characterised, anyway) and a nice build up into the steamy bits. It kept my attention throughout, made me laugh regularly, and it was interesting to follow Sirius on his journey through this one. MoonPants also gives us a reason for James and Co. being so damn comfortable with homosexuality, and while it’s a bit plot devicey it is still there, which is more than I can say for a lot of slash fic. Also? Props for the guts to give this fic the longest title I’ve ever seen.
Why You Might Not Care: Well, this is for the slash lovers here. It’s also NC-17 slash, just so no one’s surprised, with a couple of Not-Work-Safe sections. The author warns that a lot of the plot elements have been “stolen” from other stories — and there are a few cliches here, make no mistake — but she carries them off with good enough writing that you don’t really notice them so much.Comment (6) »
November 25th, 2007
Highway Code by Shewhoguards
Summary: Why Hermione really wasn’t certain Ron could pass a Muggle driving test. Oneshot, 1,639 Words.
Why You Should Care: Ron learns to drive a car, and it’s a positively delightful story of a pure blooded Wizard learning to do something that’s just about as Muggleish as you can get. Inspired by a throw-away line from the last chapter of Deathly Hallows, it’s got great characterisation of an older Ron and Hermione. It’s also very focused and tightly written; the author resists the distracting temptation to stray from the point into other shippy things, and what we get is a funny little piece about Ron doing his best in a world he doesn’t quite understand.
Why You Might Not Care: It’s light and humourous, and doesn’t really say anything about Ron we didn’t know before. It’s a funny little story that’s well written and well characterised about the efforts of being normal; it won’t change your world, but it’ll probably make you smile once or twice.Comments Off on Highway Code
November 24th, 2007
Night Comes Early
Night Comes Early by Laura Walker
Summary: Winter came, and with it came the dark. Oneshot, 1,782 Words.
Why You Should Care: I have unending respect for writers who can take lesser-known characters and make them real, and so fics like this just make me glow inside. Laura Walker takes the character of Moody, who saw it happen, lived through it, faced every demon — twice — and she tells us his story, using this wonderful metaphor of the turning seasons. It’s evocative, and ties in with everything we know about the character in canon; the delicacies of his psyche, sometimes even the sentimentalities, actually seem to fall into place with the exterior we know. Tightly, concisely written and very thoughtful.
Why You Might Not Care: Why do I have unending respect for writers of lesser-known characters? Because they tend to be few and far between. If you’re looking for something mainstream, or something fluffy, look further.Comment (2) »
November 23rd, 2007
Pause by MagentaBear
Summary: “This has been the strangest night of your life, a detached section of your mind realizes. You’ve never been so sick and frightened and confused and yet you’ve never hugged so many people.” The final battle, as experienced by Ginny Weasley. Oneshot, 5,106 Words.
Why You Should Care: There are three things most fanfic writers avoid like the plague: second person point-of-view, stream of consciousness, and action. In this fic, MagentaBear takes on all three at the same time, to great effect. Over all, it’s very, very good. In some places, it closely approaches excellence. MagentaBear also somehow manages to give us a solid characterisation of Ginny on top of it all, and in spots it’s as much a character study as it is anything else. There is a great momentum in this fic, except where MagentaBear calls a full stop and purposefully brakes to a standstill, starting and stopping deftly in a way that further punctuates Ginny’s experience.
Why You Might Not Care: There isn’t quite enough intensity behind the action, and occasionally Ginny appears to have more time to think than would have actually been afforded her. Having said that, also keep in mind that action sequences are far, far tougher to write than most people think; MagentaBear has tackled the biggest battle in Harry Potter canon, and come out with her head held high. This fic could also do with a little trimming and a little tightening here and there: it’s good, but cutting out five or six hundred words of excess would make it really good.Comment (2) »
November 22nd, 2007
Wallflower by DrArchie
Summary: It takes Ginny three weeks to speak to Harry again after the Battle of Hogwarts. Oneshot, 1,384 Words.
Why You Should Care: After the war, Ginny and Harry’s reunion can’t have been easy – emotions flying everywhere like house-elves on Butterbeer, and this fic really captures that. It’s gently humourous, but there’s a lot of truth in here about what it must have been like for Ginny after the second war, how she might’ve coped, and it’s wonderfully human – showing the ridiculousness of desperation. Although it’s light-hearted, this fic moved something within me.
Why You Might Not Care: It’s Harry/Ginny, it’s post-war and it’s both angsty and funny. If any of those put you off, maybe skip this one.Comment (1) »
November 22nd, 2007
Today’s rec will be a few hours late, due to my school computers being sheer evil and filtering all the fic websites. Apologies for all the inconvenience, have a nice day.Comment (2) »
November 21st, 2007
J’ai Demandé À Ma Mère
J’ai Demandé À Ma Mère by Elektra3
Summary: “It is not until you are older that you come to realize that they cannot, in fact, answer everything; and it is not until you are even older that you come to realize that you do not want to know the answer to every question you ask. But when you are eight, every curiosity has a simple solution…” Fleur Delacour speaks about the nature of being a veela. Oneshot, 1,473 Words.
Why You Should Care: A telling reflection of an increasingly self-aware Fleur Delacour, and a remarkably realistic look at the nature of a creature both beautiful and deadly in the Harry Potter Universe. Elektra reminds us that, though they appear human, the veela’s motivation is anything but; the cold and brutal truth of it is as much a slap to the face for the reader as it is for Fleur. This clever author leaves off while the marks of it still linger on our cheek so that we — like Fleur — must decide for ourselves what being a quarter-veela is really going to mean for her and the people around her. Brilliantly thought out, and even more brilliantly executed.
Why You Might Not Care: There are more interesting things about the character of Fleur Delacour than the average Harry Potter fan probably realizes. How will you ever find out what they are if you don’t read fic about her?
Thanks To: Anna Karenina for a fabulous rec, though she didn’t rec it to me personally. It was just so damn good I felt like giving a kudos.Comment (1) »
November 20th, 2007
Puzzle Pieces by Thirty2Flavors
Summary: An anthology of unrelated drabbles. Drabble Collection, 12,222 Words.
Why You Should Care: The most irritating thing a fic writer can label their fic as, according to me, is this ‘anthology of unrelated drabbles’. I have this unbending belief that drabble collections should be about common themes, linked by this shared lack of words. And yet I rate this collection so highly. We all know that Thirty2Flavors is a fantastic writer, and here are just a thousand snippets of her succinct, concise style — no excess, no purple prose. The best ones by far are when she delves into canon, shows a moment in a different light. Each drabble is perfect in its own right and each is incredibly thought-provoking. Wonderful.
Why You Might Not Care: Thirty2Flavors writes drabbles! Really well! Why aren’t you caring!?
Awards: 2008 Hourglass Award, Best Drabble/Drabble Collection — Third PlaceComments Off on Puzzle Pieces
November 19th, 2007
Summer Holidays by Penknife
Summary: After saving the world, it’s time to figure out what to do next. Oneshot, 4,971 Words.
Why You Should Care: Largely because, whenever Penknife takes the time to put pen to paper, it’s well worth the effort — most especially so when she tackles gen fic. This is an excellent little coda for Hermione; in places just awkward enough, and filled with brief and brilliant moments from other canon characters as well. Hermione floats through her own aftermath while at the same time bearing witness to the post-war experiences of others in her quiet Hermione way. It’s almost a story about moving on and almost a story about getting swept by. Either way, it’s quite good.
Why You Might Not Care: When it’s Penknife and it’s gen, there aren’t really any very good reasons not to have a read.Comment (2) »
November 18th, 2007
Bouquets by ShootingStar
Summary: She still has the dried rose bouquets he sent her, you know. Back when he pursued her eagerly, happily, when he fed her corny pickup lines and tickled her at every opportunity. She never did throw the flowers out. She doesn’t know why. Oneshot, 1,258 Words.
Why You Should Care: ShootingStar really strikes a nerve here. It wasn’t supposed to be like this, she says, and I found myself with unexpected tears in my eyes. It’s Lily/James as it probably did happen; it’s not cliched, it’s realistic. Cleverly structured, using moments and memories, this is Lily’s maturity as she realizes just what she missed. And by including a moment of sweetness at the end, the author avoids this being pure angst and gives a message of hope.
Why You Might Not Care: Because you’re heartless. This is adorable in a tear-jerking kind of way.Comment (1) »
November 17th, 2007
The Best Laid Plans
The Best Laid Plans by Alyra77
Summary: “And after a dinner of Yorkshire pudding, or sausages, or whatever they could force down their throats – hoping that somewhere, Ron and Hermione and Harry had at least a little something in their bellies – the twins would retreat to their cluttered old space and begin to plan.” Oneshot, 1,007 Words.
Why You Should Care: Because I’d like to think that — for all Fred and George’s preoccupation with the ridiculous — they are smart enough to have realized early on in the war that what did happen could happen. I can only hoped they would have talked about it when they still could, and that it helps them both find a measure of peace.
Why You Might Not Care: It’s more of a hopeful reflection than a story, really. I’m not entirely sure the Weasley twins would have had this conversation — I hope they did, but I’m not sure their characters as written by JKR allow for it. I would have made sure to have this discussion, but the nature of most people is to avoid what is hard to think about.Comment (2) »
November 16th, 2007
The Mary Sue Alphabet
The Mary Sue Alphabet by Irony-Chan
Summary: “A’s for Amanda/Our hero’s twin sister/Got lost as a baby and/Gosh, how he missed her…” Oneshot, 1,429 Words.
Why You Should Care: It’s spot on, this fic, absolutely spot on in its portrayel of the phenomenon that is the Mary Sue. It’s inspired, truly, and hats off to this girl for faultness rhythm and rhyme (something I cannot achieve at all). It’s not a parody or a commentary, it’s something a little bit different. ‘V’ is my favourite.
Why You Might Not Care: If you’ve been known to write the occasional Sue and don’t know how to laugh at yourself, steer well clear.
Notes: Apologies that this is late – my Internet was playing around, and then I had to go. Pesky school.Comment (5) »
November 15th, 2007
Three by ChristyCorr
Summary: “You ponder how you did this to yourself. There’s no one else to blame, but it’s just easier to take out your frustration on Death Eaters, garden gnomes and Alice Longbottom.” Oneshot, 4,568 Words.
Why You Should Care: I’ve got this secret little addiction to fanfic that fills in some of the particulars of the prophecy, and this is probably one of my favorites. Second person point-of-view is not the easiest way to write, but Christy pulls it off with aplomb. Combined with a thoughtful — and not altogether typical — character design of Lily and heavy internal dialogue, this fic is a wonderful study of normal people in crisis, and of the nine month transition a woman goes on to become a mother. Chock full of little revealing moments and clever asides.
Why You Might Not Care: Buggered if I know.
Awards: 2007 Hourglass Award, Best Drama — First Place.Comments Off on Three
November 14th, 2007
A Spirit of Brotherhood
A Spirit of Brotherhood by Torch
Summary: Tea, nightshirts, and blood. Cooperation isn’t all it’s cracked up to be for Sirius, Severus, and Remus. Oneshot, 19,878 Words.
Why You Should Care: Delightful characterisation and dialogue, that’s why. All three characters are exceedingly well written — if you are willing to suspend disbelief at the central conceit. These three characters have been thrown into a highly unusual and unlikely situation, and if you can allow for that, then you will enjoy the rest of this fic enormously. There is quite a lot happening under the surface, and it’s going in all directions. The character interaction is quite masterfully — and often quite subtly — done, and the dialogue is first-rate. Torch captures the individual and distinct voice and patterns of each Sirius, Remus and Snape, and the conversation only ever feels off when it goes the way of exposition.
Why You Might Not Care: There might be slash connotations here, though I seriously doubt it. Nothing about it other than a few of the situations seems very slashy, and — in my experience — slash writers do not tend toward subtlety. As mentioned, the plot is… a little contrived. It’s also decidedly un-canon, as of the release of OotP (it was most certainly written in that three year break between GoF and OotP), but for all that I strongly believe this would never have happened — that Snape would never have agreed to it — in the same moment I wholeheartedly believe that, if it did happen, this is likely how it might have gone.Comment (1) »
November 13th, 2007
Knights by Odyssea
Summary: “This isn’t just a game. The man who knows the chessboard could rule the world.” The impact of chess on Ron Weasley’s life. Drabble, 925 Words.
Why You Should Care: A very nice reflection on Ron, chess, and the role of the people who are not the heroes, but rather the people who defend the heroes. Each section has a very 100 words drabble-esque feel to it (though all of them are more than 100 words), and in most places the author uses brevity to her great advantage, avoiding too-colourful prose and thoughtfully cutting right to the heart of the matter.
Why You Might Not Care: This is a rare case where I wish it might have been just a little longer, and perhaps just a touch more disciplined. But only just.Comment (2) »
November 12th, 2007
Love By Numbers
Love By Numbers by Dulcinea
Summary: Sometimes, one plus zero equals two. Drabble, 537 Words.
Why You Should Care: Okay, a word of advice, ignore all the femmeslash in the fic. It’s Luna/Hermione. It’ll bemuse and befuddle you. But aside from that, this fic is a wonderful work of art. Dulcinea weaves words into tapestry patterns — her symbolism here of enigma, maths and numbers is spot on. Luna is an enigma, a complex pattern to absorb and learn and this is so how Hermione tries to rationalize her.
Why You Might Not Care: Heed my advice about the femmeslash and there’s no reason not to care. Beautiful characterisation, marvelous symbolism, and a clever wordsmith. All in a day’s work.Comment (1) »