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Here Be Dragons by gemjam (R)

  • Sep. 11th, 2010 at 6:45 AM
Title: Here be Dragons by gemjam
Fandom: Red Dwarf
Pairing: Rimmer/Lister
Categories: AU, romance, humour, angst
Length: Long (22,000+ words)
Warning: Minor character death
Rating: Author rates as R

Author on LJ: It's a headless blunder operating under the illusion of a master plan
Website: Unknown

Summary: Rimmer goes on a voyage of self-discovery that takes him places he never imagined.

Review: In a fandom which on the whole tends to go in for short, funny stories, Here Be Dragons is a remarkable exception. It not only clocks in at a very respectable 22,000+ words, but it also takes the time and trouble to address most of the issues that would seem to work against the idea of Rimmer and Lister ever ending up in a romantic or sexual relationship together.

The premise here, to quote the author, is that 'Rimmer never went off to become Ace and, when the Nanobots rebuilt Red Dwarf, they didn't bring any of the crew back.' This leaves Rimmer, Lister, Kryten, the Cat, and Kristine Kochanski on the rebuilt ship - and Krissie is still pining for her lost partner, the alternate universe version of Lister. Rimmer, from whose POV the story is written, has to sit back and work through his own feelings as he watches Lister and Krissie becoming involved in a relationship - and then is left to pick up the pieces when Krissie is killed and Lister is left alone again.

Psychoanalysing Arnold Rimmer is a massive task, but one which [personal profile] gemjam tackles fearlessly. We are shown the slow stages by which he comes to accept that he actually does feel something for Lister and that by some miracle his tentative advances in the way of friendship are neither being rejected nor mocked. It is a long, tortuous process in which functional sex almost seems to get in the way of any kind of emotional connection between them, but gradually the two men learn to share intimacy and - eventually - even a form of tenderness.

What is most interesting here is the journey Rimmer takes. It's often difficult to feel any sympathy for one of the more unattractive characters of recent years, but his struggles with his own feelings are beautifully portrayed and any reader with even half a heart will undoubtedly end up rooting for his awkward but ultimately successful attempts to understand and reconcile himself to his developing connection with Lister.

Quality storytelling, wholeheartedly recommended.

Link: Here Be Dragons


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Length Guidelines

Short: under 2,000 words
Medium: 2,000-15,000 words
Long: 15,000-40,000 words
Epic: 40,000-100,000 words
Super Epic: 100,000+ words


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