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

Tue Oct. 6th, 2009

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. Nothing rec'd for TW here considers Series 3 yet.
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.

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Top of the heap

This was hard to decide this time, because I had not clear favourite. I went with the story that has the most meat.


Title: Jack Harkness, Super Temp
Fandom: Torchwood
Author: madder_rose
Length: 37,000 words
What is it about? This starts like an especially inane AU: One shy and mousy Jack Harkness works as a personal assistant for the boss of a temp agency, and returns home every evening to his assholish boyfriend. Then he notices a pretty blue-eyed co-worker observing him a little too closely, and before he knows, everything he thought he knew turns out to be illusion. (Set post-"Journey's End".)
Why read it: This is a complex, plot-heavy mystery, a real page turner. The villains are nasty without being OTT, the good guys are clever, dedicated and competent. Also, it has its moments as an office drone revenge fantasy.
Why not read it: Jack's characterisation might be borderline OOC, even under the extraordinary circumstances that make the plot. It's a good, logical and realistic characterisation... but not of Jack. There are two sequels on Teaspoon (one smutty, one plotty one) which suffer from the problem even worse, because they have less excuses.

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Recommended


Title: The Amazing Team TARDIS
Fandom: Doctor Who
Author: neadods
Length: 13,000 words
What is it about? Jack, Rose and the Doctor find themselves contestants in a Game Show (not that one), and have to display trust, teamwork and ingenuity to succeed.
Why read it: It's a nice, friendly story on a well-imagined world that gives all the character a chance to shine.
Why not read it: Apart from the (somewhat misleading) first scenes it's rather harmless, and might go a little OTT in loving those three together.

Title: Man-Whores and Wealthy Women
Fandom: Doctor Who
Author: honorh
Length: 5,300 words
What is it about? Jack and the Doctor manage to displease a clan matriarch on Trioditis, and are now to be sold as pleasure-slaves. Rose needs all her acting skills to get them out.
Why read it: Comedy Gold.
Why not read it: This is not actually explicit, but if you have an embarrassment squick it might make you squirm.

Title: Far Off, Like A Dull Rumour Of Some Other War
Fandom: Torchwood
Author: paperclipbitch
Length: 10,600 words
What is it about? In 1918, Harriet Derbyshire tries to come to terms with the war on the continent, and the hidden war Torchwood is fighting.
Why read it: Well-written, good sense of time and place. Harriet's characterisation and background details feel real.
Why not read it: No clear plotline, does not so much end as just stop.

Title: Whatever Pays The Wages
Fandom: Doctor Who/Torchwood
Author: paperclipbitch
Length: 7,000
What is it about? Jack getting what he wants from people. Eight scenes in non-chronological order, ranging from Jack leaving home to go to war, to him being back at Torchwood after the Year That Never Was.
Why read it: Clever, manipulative, tough Jack. There's a feeling of bleak determination in that whole fic, well summarised in the teaser quote, "Tell me who I have to bribe, fuck, or kill to get out of here.". Some filling-in-the-blanks on how Jack got off the Game Station and how he ended up with Torchwood.
Why not read it: Except for the first scene, this is more character vignettes than story. The last scene is not especially friendly to Ianto, and the portrayal of Jack might not be everyone's cup of tea.
Jossed by/ignores: "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang", "Fragments".

Title: The Persistence of Memory
Fandom: Torchwood/Heroes
Author: prochytes
Length: 11,200 words
What is it about? When Sylar gets hold of Jack, the world will end. Peter and Hiro need to get to Torchwood before that happens, and Bilis Manger is strangely helpful...
Why read it: Strong plot, good dialogue, fun with time lines.
Why not read it: Crossover, might not be fully accessible if you don't have at least some idea about both canons.

Title: Daemonology
Fandom: Doctor Who (old school)
Author: Airie
Length: 6,000 words
What is it about? In 1982 LA, the fifth Doctor and Nyssa stumble into a demonic cult in a fast-food joint and now have to marry to banish the demon...
Why read it: Slightly cracky fun, delivered with a straight face.
Why not read it: Maybe not so good for strong embarrassment squicks.

Title: The Rotfang Conspiracy Files
Fandom: Harry Potter
Author: Cranberry Crash
Length: 2,000 words
What is it about? After the war, Hermione retreats from the magical world -- until Luna asks her to investigate the Rotfang conspiracy. While the conspiracy doesn't take too much damage, Hermione gets her groove back.
Why read it: Slightly whacky, fun and optimistic, balances the serious and the weird well.
Why not read it: It's far less serious than it promises to be. The conspiracy is pretty much a MacGuffin and goes out in a "puff". Stylistically, the story is extremely condensed.

Title: I Heard a Whisper (The Way I Might Have Been)
Fandom: Torchwood
Author: such_heights
Length: 9,600 words
What is it about? Torchwood and the Doctor defend the Earth against some aliens. The aliens are really bad losers and re-arrange the time stream, and Ianto suddenly finds himself with a normal life and knows no other. Until this good-looking madman starts bampfing in and out of it with his crazy stories about time-travel, saving the Earth, and being Ianto's boyfriend in another dimension.
Why read it: Fun premise, well played. We get an outsider's view of Jack and of pre-Exit Wounds AU Torchwood through Ianto's eyes, and a glimpse of Jack and the Doctor are working like hell, somewhere in the background, to patch up the time line.
Why not read it: No idea.

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Short and shiny

More spicy than sweet this time...


Title: Identity Politics
Fandom: Doctor Who
Author: lizbee
Length: 2,300 words
What is it about? 10.5 and Donna. As in, Donna being a part of 10.5, not happy with being male and the expectations towards her, and not going to take it quietly.
Why read it: Its fun. And necessary.
Why not read it: Discussion of body parts. Lack of everything coming up roses. Donna being Donna.
Kinks/Squicks: Genderbender?

Title: Days That Were
Fandom: Doctor Who
Author: xtricks
Length: 2,800 words
What is it about? After The Year that Never Was, Jack and Tish re-affirm that they are alive.
Why read it: It's hot, beautiful, and makes sense.
Why not read it: PWPish, het. Also, fattening.
Kinks/Squicks: Food.

Title: The Phoenix' Nest
Fandom: Torchwood
Author: enemyfrigate
Length: 800 words
What is it about? "The first time Ianto kills him, Jack chalks it up to accident..."
Why read it: It's a straight-faced exploration of how Ianto might deal with Jack's immortality, in the realm where believability and crack overlap.
Why not read it: Morbid and making light of it. Which is kind of disturbing.
Kinks/Squicks: Murder?

Title: Being True (To Yourself)
Fandom: Harry Potter
Author: sabethea
Length: 1,200 words
What is it about? Luna, new to Hogwarts, and being strange.
Why read it: Good and fresh portrayal of Luna, with something to say about outsiders and identity in general.
Why not read it: Just a character vignette.

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From the backlog


Title: The Blue Flower
Fandom: Harry Potter
Author: tree_and_leaf
Length: 4,700 words
What is it about? In 19th century Germany, Phineas Nigellus investigates strange events near the Lorelei.
Why read it: It's a Harry Potter historical, and there aren't many. Even fewer which actually integrate a past time and place with its people and beliefs with the Potterverse. This one does, and has a snarky Phineas Nigellus on top of it all.
Why not read it: Too original? Don't know, really.

Current Mood: sicksick