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Fanfic recs: Torchwood, Doctor Who, Harry Potter - The Lyorn's Den

Sat Aug. 7th, 2010

01:58 am - Fanfic recs: Torchwood, Doctor Who, Harry Potter

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Note 1: I'm way behind on my reading. Everything I rec here has probably been rec'd all over the internet and back already. But I can live with not being avant-garde.
Note 2: If you want ratings, or warnings for spoilers or anything else, you'll find them on the fic.
Note 3: Spoilers for the stories should be masked out in pale grey. If you see this sentence, it did not work.. Highlight to read.

Some TW: CoE this time, as well as the New Who Alt!Verses (Turn Left, Pete's Universe), a little Old School Who, and a HP (LoPiverse)


***

Top of the heap

Title: Before the Children Green and Golden
Fandom: Torchwood
Author: cyus
Length: 10,000 words
What it's about? Children of the Earth AU: Ianto did not die in Thames house, but nothing else has changed. Choices need to be made, and Ianto chooses. This is elaborated and contrasted against Ianto's past as one of "those" 10%, and the choices Ianto made to get where he is -- between a rock and a hard place, with love on one side and tribal allegiances on the other, and nothing but necessity to go by.
Why read it? It's not the fanwank I am still holding out for, but it shows the urgency and despair that might have driven Jack and Ianto to go into Thames house to start with, and keeps it up. The flashbacks are done with sympathy but no sentimentality. The story has a raw and angry feeling, strong emotions completly lacking mush or fluff, full of bad alternatives, and for all it's emotional impact is cleanly and efficiently written and cuts to the bone.
Why not read it? Low life, pain, anger, lies, sacrifices, ruthless!Ianto, and this is not going to end well.
Kinks/Squicks: You have seen CoE, you'll know. Also, drug use, casual sex, abortion, dirty talk, and everything you'd want at an R rating.
Jossed by/ignores Children of the Earth Day 5

***

Recommended

Title: Life in Technicolor
Fandom: Doctor Who
Author: kaydee falls (also on Teaspoon)
Length: 11,000 words
What is it about? After "Doomsday", the Bad Wolf is not gone. Rose can still see possible futures, and she choses a path.
Why read it: Well written, good characterisation all over. Good handling of time and timelines. Has Pete's Universe's Jack in it.
Why not read it: Don't know, really.
Jossed by/ignores: DW Season 4.

Title: Shadowfall
Fandom: Doctor Who (Old School) / Dracula
Author: Duncan Johnson
Length: 20,000 words
What is it about? In 1990, Mina Harker returns to Whitby to lay ghosts to rest. Instead, she encounters the Eighth Doctor, and a bunch of new ghosts.
Why read it: Nice, entertaining, atmospheric, good voices.
Why not read it: Quite old school, not too high on the drama scale. No vampires.

Title: Reset
Fandom: Doctor Who
Author: Gillian Taylor (dark_aegis on LJ)
Length: 16,300 words
What is it about? On Mars in the 69th century, the Doctor, Jack and Rose stumble into a Groundhog Day trap. While the Doctor stays oblivious, Jack and Rose realise what's going on, and have to find a way out... or just a way to not go crazy.
Why read it: Good plot development, the growing despair and looming madness are convincing threats without the story drifting into angst. Good sense of place, skilled writing in general.
Why not read it: Darkish, and the resolution comes a little abruptly.

Title: Goodbye to Berlin
Fandom: Harry Potter (LoPiverse)
Author: A.J. Hall
Length: 3,800 words
What is it about? Berlin, 1934: Grindelwald is coming into power, Oskar Krum has to make a decision, and cabaret dancer Maritza Zsa-Zsa (Draco's LoPiverse full blood Veela great-grandmother) has to get out of Berlin quickly.
Why read it: Fun, good sense of time.
Why not read it: No idea. Even if you don't know the LoP, it's a nice historical piece with an actual plot.

Title: Though Soft You Tread
Fandom: Torchwood
Author: Aeshna (aeshna_uk on LJ)
Length: 5,100 words
What is it about? Exit wounds, two thousand years, sleeping warriors
Why read it: She weaves the myth of magical places and sleeping warriors into the Torchwood background effortlessly and with no amount of purple. The characters are fully realised, no matter how little screen time they have, and Jack, for all his lack of choice, is completely heroic and not in the least soppy.
Why not read it: No idea.
Other: "The End of a Circle" by K. Haldane is another good story on the very same topic, yet concerns itself more with the connection between Jack and the Rift. If you can find it, it's well worth reading.

Title: Secrets
Fandom: Torchwood
Author: sqyd
Length: 18,900 words
What is it about? Scenes from an AU 4th series. Jack re-builds Torchwood with new people. Ianto haunts Jack as a ghost, and only one of the new guys, who is both a little weird and Jack's new lover can see him, which leads to some fun scenes. The 456 turn up again, and need to be defeated for good, in the course of which, Ianto gets resurrected.
Why read it: Nice, solid, believable, good OCs, the phlebotinum is well-applied.
Why not read it: Generally sketchy, uneven plot developement and that particular fix-it for CoE (resurrection) might not be one's cup of tea.
Kinks/Squicks: OOC death.
Jossed by/ignores: We don't know yet, but it will.

***

Short and shiny

Title: Scarcely Bears Thinking About
Fandom: Doctor Who
Author: witchofthedesk (safcooper on LJ)
Length: 1,900 words
What is it about? "Turn Left" missing scene: After the Doctor's death, Sir Aleister, Sarah Jane and Jack agree that there's work to do.
Why read it: Because "Turn Left" opens a whole big AU that just yells to be filled. This is a good little piece for it.
Why not read it: It's only one scene.

Title: In An Interstellar Burst
Fandom: Doctor Who
Author: Amy (such_heights on LJ)
Length: 3,000 words
What is it about? After the Earth has been towed home, Donna takes matters into her own hands and invites Rose and Martha along for the ride. They have fun.
Why read it: Fun and energetic.
Why not read it: It's a little episodic, not really plotty.
Jossed by/ignores: AUs during "Journey's End"

Title: A Change is Gonna Come
Fandom: Torchwood
Author: Amy (such_heights on LJ)
Length: 2,400 words
What is it about? Jack, and the changing of social mores.
Why read it: It's a very hopeful story, celebrating diversity and progress.
Why not read it: This was triggered by Prop 8 in California, and might be painful to some and too much about current (or not so current anymore) events to others.
Kinks/Squicks: gaybashing

Title: Being the Doctor
Fandom: Doctor Who
Author: Gillian Taylor (dark_aegis on LJ)
Length: 830 words
What is it about? TurnLeft!verse, five companions doing the Doctor's job
Why read it: short, well written, thematically sound, good characterisation, and there is not enough fic for this ep.
Why not read it: (Nearly) everyone dies.
Kinks/Squicks: death

Title: The Best-Laid Plans
Fandom: Torchwood
Author: ceindreadh
Length: 800 words
What is it about? A straightforward, angry and sarcastic fix-it for CoE: When Jack suggests confronting the alien in Thames house, Ianto tells him that his plan sucks, and does it right instead.
Why read it: If you are as annoyed as I am about Ianto falling into a plot hole and dying, this is a furious and funny fix-it.
Why not read it: Don't want CoE fixed, and especially not in a sarcastic way.
Jossed by/ignores: Half of Day 4 of CoE and all of Day 5.

Title: The Night that Never Was
Fandom: Torchwood
Author: xtricks
Length: 4,000 words
What it's about? After "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang", Jack can finally spend some quality time with Ianto. Unexpectedly, no sex happens. (Kind of.)
Why read it? An uncommon exploration of Jack after the Year That Never Was. Sweet and intense.
Why not read it? J/I h/c PWP episode coda, with no actual smut -- this is highly specialized and could be not to your taste for any number of reasons.
Kinks/Squicks: h/c, less-than-perfect sex


***

From the backlog: More Tardis Big Bang 2

Title: Sing Morning Out Of Night
Fandom: Torchwood
Author: sam_storyteller
Length: 30,000 words
Genre: Gen, Drama, Action

This is a strange one. It is entirely beautiful and alive and captivating, and never loses focus and style, yet the end is not quite up to the setup.

Which might be caused by the setup being truly extraordinary. A dying TARDIS tumbles to Earth and gets captured by unfriendly UNIT, Torchwood rides to the rescue guided by Tarot Card Girl's mysterious set of cards. The Torchwood team is at their best, Sarah Jane is cool and resourceful, the alien is fierce and mysterious -- all the characters are shiny beyond belief, and the mystery develops well, gains a tinge of tragedy and sails smoothly towards completion.

And then it stumbles. Like dsudis in Get Loved, Make More, Try to Stay Alive, Sam does not want to go There. Which is fine, really, it does not make the characters any less shiny, the writing style any less skilled, and it suits the story to its title and gives a warm fuzzy feeling to boot -- but it breaks the story's promised perfect arc from foreshadowing into conlusion, and in retrospect invalidates a lot of the beginning's drama and mood and leaves the reader with whiplash instead of closure.

So: Four of five stars.

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