Title: Lassiter Learns How to Bend

Fandom: Psych
Pairing: Carlton Lassiter/Shawn Spencer
Categories: podfic, romance, humour, slash, first time
Length: media: podfic, 1hr 30mins // fic: long, 15,418 words
Warnings: none particularly.

Reader Website: dark_dreymer on Dreamwidth
Author Website: Teragram on AO3

Summary: Lassiter is alarmed at finding himself attracted to Spencer following the Drimmer incident. He visits a friend in San Francisco, looking for advice, but Spencer has tailed him. Lust overtakes them in the gayest city in the world, but can their relationship survive returning to Santa Barbara?

Review: Another media rec, this time hailing from the recent Amplificathon podfic spree on Dreamwidth. But kind of a fic rec as well!

I didn't and still haven't had chance to listen to much from Amplificathon, which produced new podfic at a truly scary rate, but I was drawn to this podfic by the bright cover and the promise of a Paul Simon soundtrack, even though it isn't a ship I normally go for.

This is such an exuberant reading I couldn't stop listening, and it absolutely brings the story to life. The recording quality is about as polished as I've heard podfic, and I love the usage of Paul Simon's Flowers Never Bend With The Rainfall for the soundtrack, and the echo to distinguish thoughts is nicely done, making it easy to follow in an audio format. The whole production seems to bounce along with the lighthearted spirit of the show and the ever-present slight inanity of the two main characters.

Lassiter Learns How to Bend - podfic
Lassiter Learns How to Bend as text on AO3
I've been sitting on this gem for a few months now because we at [livejournal.com profile] epic_recs have a policy of not reccing work by our fellow reccers (for obvious reasons). But since [livejournal.com profile] mothlights stepped down from the team awhile ago, I got permission from the mods to go ahead and post it. This collaboration is really too good not to share!

Title: Misfire
Fandom: Teen Wolf
Pairing: Derek/Stiles
Categories: Time travel, angst
Length: Long (28,804 words)
Warnings: None

Author on AO3:  unpossible
Podficcer on LJ:  [livejournal.com profile] mothlights
Podficcer on AO3:  mothlights

Summary: “The debt must be repaid,” she says, and it has the weight of a vow. The words resonate through him, ringing through his ribcage and the bones of his jaw, and Stiles loses his breath and maybe his grip on reality because she draws herself upright and where there had once stood a supermodel-level MILF now there is Galadriel’s much hotter older sister, a Presence of unmistakable power in their ordinary, smells-vaguely-of-Thai-takeout hallway.

“Oh shit,” Stiles says.

Review: "Misfire" begins several years after season two. Stiles is an adult now, in a committed relationship with Derek, who is still painfully scarred from the trauma of his past. When a powerful faerie grants Stiles a wish after he inadvertently does her a favor, he asks for the one thing that might make Derek truly happy. Armed with his knowledge of the present, Stiles travels back in time determined to prevent Kate Argent from murdering the Hale family -- even knowing that, if he succeeds, he will be writing a new future, where Derek will have little reason to know Stiles, let alone fall in love with him.

I'm a sucker for angst, pining and noble gestures, and this fic is packed with all three! In the brief glimpse we get of Stiles's pre-time travel future, Unpossible paints a vivid picture of his love for Derek and the impact of Derek's trauma on their relationship. This story makes it easy to accept that Stiles would choose Derek's happiness over his own, even though it tears him apart to rip away the relationship that has become the cornerstone of his life. I also loved seeing the Hale family through future!Stiles's eyes. Peter, especially, is a delight in this story, and I loved Talia as well. Their reactions to Stiles were perfect. However, I think my favorite character in this fic might be the new!Derek, unknowingly freed of his tragic past. The direction unpossible took him in was entirely believable to me, and I was really intrigued by his new relationship with his now-surviving family/pack. And I loved the dynamic between new!Derek and Stiles. This story's happy ending is well worth all of the angst.

This was a pod-together collaboration, and as such, I highly recommend listening to the podfic by [livejournal.com profile] mothlights, which is how I first took in this story. As a collaborative effort, "Misfire" was written to be read aloud, and it sounds fantastic. I'm always a fan of [livejournal.com profile] mothlights' readings. Her performance really highlighted the emotion in this story, without ever going overboard. The production in this podfic was also fantastic with subtle (and well-done) sound effects. And as an added bonus, it hits my sweet spot for podfic length at about 4.5 hours long -- meaty enough to really get into, but short enough to easily finish it in a day. It made an afternoon running errands much more tolerable, that's for sure!

Misfire

Sep. 9th, 2014

  • 9:43 PM
Title: Little Wooden Boy and the Belly of Love
Fandom: Merlin
Pairing: Merlin/Arthur
Categories: AU, found families
Length: Long (14,925 words)
Warnings: Mild drugs and alcohol use, pegging, mention of mental illness, transgender issues (one of the characters is pre-op ftm)

Author on LJ:  [livejournal.com profile] new_kate
Author on AO3:  new_kate
Podficcer on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] sophinisba
Podficcer on AO3: sophinisba

Summary: Modern AU. Arthur moves to a a different city to start a new life and become a new man. On a whim he decides to share a flat with an attractive stranger, and quickly gets drawn into Merlin's odd little world.

Review: I've already recced the podfic for Amplirecathon 2013 and Podfic Love, but I love this story so much that I couldn't resist giving it a shout out here as well. Every now and then, a podfic opens you up to a story you might not have clicked on otherwise, and this was definitely the case for "Little Wooden Boy and the Belly of Love." I'm often wary of fanfiction that deals with trans issues because I've come across too many stories that fetishize the trans character in a way that makes me feel really uncomfortable. But this story has a wonderfully realistic and three-dimensional portrayal of Arthur as an FTM. Arthur is more than his gender here, which is a refreshing change from so many stories with trans characters. I also love his relationship with Merlin and Merlin's group of friends. I'm a sucker for found families, and this story is all about finding your place with people who love you. I really encourage you to give the story a try, even if you're unfamiliar with the Merlin fandom. It really doesn't take a lot of background knowledge for you to fall in love with these characters.

And [livejournal.com profile] sophinisba's loving performance brings it to life in an absolutely delightful way. I get the sense that she really cares about these characters. Listening to this story feels intimate, like she's taking us right into Arthur's heart. As a reader, she manages to convey a wide range of emotion in the dialogue without ever being overwrought. This podfic, like the story itself, has a sense of healing to it, of creating a whole from many fractured parts. It's one of those comfort stories that I've listened to dozens of times. Also, [livejournal.com profile] yue_ix cover art is absolutely gorgeous. I always love seeing it in my iPod.

Little Wooden Boy and the Belly of Love
[Podfic] Little Wooden Boy and the Belly of Love
Title: little lamb, stained in red
Fandom: Kuroshitsuji | Black Butler
Pairing: Sebastian/Ciel
Categories: Angst, character study
Length: Long (about 19,500 words)
Warnings: Underage (13-year-old boy/ageless demon). References to previous sexual abuse. Occult and cult activity. References to opium use. Victorian-era hypocrisies and graphic/dark content.

Author on LJ:  [livejournal.com profile] obstinate_fate

Summary: The hands before, the hands now. The same stains. The same dirty smell, the same sick feeling in his gut. This was the shame of Ciel Phantomhive.

Review: If you're in the mood for something lighthearted and fluffy, you'll want to stay as far away from "little lamb, stained in red" as possible. But if you're in the mood for something dark and poetic, unsettling, yet strangely uplifting, do I have a story for you! Those who follow Kuroshitsuji know that Ciel Phantomhive is no ordinary 13-year-old. He's a keen businessman, a ruthless leader in the Victorian underworld, and the master of one hell of a butler. In "little lamb, stained in red," he also has a sexual relationship with said butler. Much of the story consists of Ciel comparing his relationship with Sebastian to his earlier abuse at the hands of the cultists who abducted him.

This story captures a lot of what unsettles me about the Sebastian/Ciel pairing. Yet paradoxically, it also highlights everything I love about their relationship. The lyrical, stream-of-consciousness prose positions the reader into Ciel's head, and that's never a comfortable place to be! Ciel skirts the edge of sanity in this story, as he does in canon. [livejournal.com profile] obstinate_fate also does not shy away from the problematic aspects of the age gap between Ciel and Sebastian. Though the sexual encounters are skimmed over with a few key details rather than a pornographic play-by-play, the constant references to Ciel's size remind us how young he is, and the story dwells on sexual abuse that occurred when he was even younger. And, as in canon, Sebastian himself is something of an enigma. Though we get the sense he cares for Ciel, we're never entirely sure of his feelings or his motivations. But this isn't Sebastian's story. It's Ciel's, and as such, it was entirely satisfying to me.

I first discovered this story through the podfic by [livejournal.com profile] rhea314, which does a beautiful job of conveying the stream-of-conscious prose. The podfic, like the story itself, demands the reader's attention. I was trying to do the dishes my first time listening to it, and I kept realizing I'd missed some key detail and needing to rewind. But if you can listen while giving it your full attention (it is a favorite of mine for driving), it really is a treat. Rhea's voice brings across Ciel's youth as well as his instability, and I loved that she sang the song lyrics that twine through his memories.

This story, like the best Sebastian/Ciel fics, does not fall into the common romantic tropes. There is no magical healing cock here. Yet there is healing, though perhaps of the sort that only Ciel would recognize. It reminds me of the Japanese art of repairing pottery with gold to illuminate the beauty of the cracks. As in canon, Ciel has managed to turn his pain into a victory of sorts, and if his story is a tragedy, it his his tragedy, and he's walking into it with his head held high.

little lamb, stained in red
[podfic] little lamb, stained in red

"Hide of a Life War" by Etharei (NC-17)

  • Apr. 22nd, 2014 at 5:26 PM
Theme week continues with another action/adventure favorite!

Title: Hide of a Life War
Fandom:  Teen Wolf
Pairing:  Derek/Stiles
Categories:  Action/Adventure
Length: Long (26,102 words) 
Warnings: Graphic depictions of violence, implied underage (past)

Author on LJ:  [livejournal.com profile] etharei
Author Website:  AO3

Summary:“We have received confirmation that there is a hostage situation in progress at a warehouse compound two hours out of Los Angeles, following a multiple-vehicle pileup on Highway 101 this morning...”

The one in which Stiles has lived to (legal) adulthood and, along the way, become a bit of a badass himself.

Review: The Teen Wolf fandom has a wealth of action/adventure stories to choose from, so it was hard to pick just one for Theme Week. Eventually, "Hide of a Life War" won my pick for two reasons: 1) The action scenes are engaging and nicely balanced with the emotional arcs of the characters 2) Etharei sold me on her version of BAMF!Stiles -- he feels believable to me in a way that I don't always see in that trope.

"Hide of a Life War" takes place in a future version of season two canon, where Stiles has managed to survive to his senior year without cluing in his dad about werewolves. Sick of his son's continuous lies, Sheriff Stilinski drags Stiles off on a father-son bonding expedition. When drug traffickers hijack the bus they are on and take all of the passengers hostage, Stiles and his dad find themselves working together to keep the other passengers safe. I love the relationship between Stiles and his father in this story. The fissures that Stiles's lies have left in their relationship are heartbreaking, as is the sheriff's determination not to lose Stiles. Etharei does a lovely job with Stiles's and Derek's poignant romance. The two of them broke up shortly before the story's beginning, and the flashbacks we see of their relationship are sweet and painful in turns. The emotional arcs serve as a solid counterpoint to the ongoing action of the hostage situation, and the resolution at the end is entirely satisfying.

I also definitely recommend the podfic by lovetheboys. It's an easy listen with crisp pronunciation and good timing.


Hide of a Life War
[Podfic] Hide of a Life War
It's Hurt/Comfort / Angst Theme Week!

Title: Let's Pretend the War is Over
Fandom: Harry Potter
Pairing: Harry/Draco
Categories: Post-war, angst, emotional hurt/comfort, mental illness, recovery
Length: Medium (7,914)
Warnings: Serious mental illness. Mention of secondary character death.

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] pir8fancier

Author Website: On AO3

Author's summary: The war is over and Draco is alone, fighting demons of a different nature. This is obviously an AU by now. Written after "The Half-Blood Prince" came out.

Review:
Here's a classic that somehow hasn't been recced at ER before. I'm glad I get to add it, because pir8fancier's story packs a lot of thought and emotion, tackling grief and serious mental illness while letting us see glimpses of humor in Draco's matter-of-fact point of view. For instance, there's the absurdity of Draco believing himself to be insane, so he ignores the very real Harry, who he thinks is a hallucination.
excerpt )

I enjoyed the way Draco contrasts the care and attention he receives from the Harry he thinks is a hallucination, with the abuse he's sure he'd receive from the "real" Harry he imagines. His fear of the outside world is stark and believable.

Draco takes small steps toward acknowledging a deeply concerned Harry, but he's got a long way to go, so the friendship, care and plan to get him some help are much needed. There's romantic interest on both sides as well, though nothing physical can come of it until Draco's mental health improves.

As [livejournal.com profile] capitu (who keeps an extensive, categorized list of HD recs at [livejournal.com profile] my_drarry_recs) says, "This story is beautiful. And you're going to fall in love with both Harry & Draco, and the author."

Let's Pretend the War is Over (AO3)
On FFn | On skyehawke | On LJ: part 1, part 2
Podfic read by [livejournal.com profile] leemarchais | Podfic read by [livejournal.com profile] raitala

"Will to Follow Through" by owlpostagain

  • Feb. 18th, 2014 at 7:56 PM
Title: Will to Follow Through
Fandom: Teen Wolf
Pairing: Derek/Stiles
Categories: First time, friendship
Length: Epic (42,411)
Warnings: None

Author on LJ:  N/A
Author Website:  AO3

Podficcer on LJ: N/A
Podficcer Website: AO3

Review: This story lingers lovingly over a stage that a lot of Derek/Stiles fics skip right over -- Stiles's transition from being in love with/ignored by Lydia and barely tolerating Derek, to being friends with Lydia and having feelings for Derek. Right after the end of season two, Stiles (still physically and emotionally bruised from his encounter with Gerard) realizes two important things. First, that since Jackson and Allison have both left town, Lydia could use a good friend . . . or more. And second, that maybe things would run more smoothly if Scott and Derek actually communicated with each other. Naturally, he sees himself as the solution to both of these problems. But as Scott increasingly begins to ignore him in favor of hanging out with Isaac, Stiles realizes that he is not so much stepping into the empty space left in Lydia's life, as she and Danny are filling the void in his.

Although I love the developing romance between Derek and Stiles (I'm a sucker for hurt/comfort and trust issues with these characters, and owlpostagain delivers those things in spades), it's actually the friendships that really draw me into this story. Stiles feels authentically 16 to me in this story, in a way that he rarely does in fanfiction. And the author captured how quickly friendships can change, especially in the teenage years. The developing friendship between Stiles, Lydia, and Danny is a refreshing counterpoint to the supernatural drama going on in the rest of the story, and it works well to highlight Stiles's developing attraction to Derek.

Make sure to also check out the podfic! I listened to it today while packing, and absolutely loved it. Beryllinthranox has crisp pronunciation and brings just the right amount of emotion to the performance.


Will to Follow Through
[podfic] Will to Follow Through
It's romantic comedy / harlequin theme week!

Title: all you're giving me is friction
Fandom: Teen Wolf
Pairing: Derek/Stiles
Categories: Humor, romance, jealousy, oblivious!Stiles, Alpha Pack
Length: Medium (4,707 words)
Warnings: None

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] drunktuesdays
Author Website: favicon drunktuesdays

Podficcer on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] anatsuno
Podficcer Website: favicon anatsuno

Summary: Stiles is a cock tease and has no idea.

The alpha pack was nothing like what Derek expected.

First of all, they had zero interest in fighting Derek for his territory. "I have an infinity pool," Brandon said loftily. "You basically haunt this busted up house and live in an abandoned train car."

"It's easily protected," Derek said defensively.

"From eighty-year-old men with cancer?" Jake said, stretching out on the porch steps. "Admit it, you're a mess."


Review:
This was written during the hiatus before season 3, and drunktuesdays' vision of an affluent and well adjusted alpha pack who breeze in and make things better just cracked me up. It's the antithesis of every bad thing that happens to Derek and in Beacon Hills. Add to that the pack's immediate response to Stiles, and it becomes a hysterical escalating conflict between a pack that all want to put the moves on Stiles, a jealous Derek, and Stiles, who doesn't even notice when he ratchets up the sexual tension by licking frosting off his wrist. Add a werewolf baby into the mix, and the wolves can't take it anymore without someone popping an artery. Which is good; it gives Derek a chance to accidentally confess his feelings.

The alpha pack have the best lines here. drunktuesdays shows us just how tightly wound they are around Stiles. And Anatsuno, who recorded a podfic of this story, does a terrific job with the dialogue as well. If you haven't listened to it, I highly recommend it!

all you're giving me is friction
(podfic of) all you're giving me is friction


Title: Until All The Songs Are Sung
Fandom: The Eagle
Pairing: Marcus/Esca
Categories: First-time, post-canon, romance
Length: Long (20,893 words)
Warnings: References to a previous sexual relationship between teenage Marcus and an older man, although both are adults in their culture.

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] carmarthen
Author Website: AO3

Summary:"Marcus blinks and rubs at his tired eyes, staring at the wax tablet, stylus hanging loosely in his hand. He has been recalculating the figures, pebbles clicking on the counting board, until the numbers swim before his sight, and he feels more and more worried every time they come out the same. The farm is not producing enough to feed him and Esca and pay the field-hands, and little remains of the money Marcus received from the senate for retrieving the Eagle of the Ninth Legion Hispana. This bad harvest is the last bad harvest they can afford, and it does not seem likely that Marcus will discover a gift for farming now."

In which Esca seeks out his kin in Hibernia and Marcus goes with him; naturally, sex, adventures, and miscommunications ensue. Originally a kinkmeme fill for body paint porn, this developed 19,175 words of plot (the second chapter is historical notes), and an amazing illustration by Motetus. There is also a podfic version available, thanks to inkjunket.

Review:"Until All The Songs Are Sung" takes place a few years after the movie's end. Since returning the Eagle to Rome, Marcus and Esca have settled down on their promised farm, as often happens in this fandom. But as the summary hints, this is no Happy Gay Farmers fic. The story begins with Marcus admitting to himself that they he and Esca can no longer afford to keep their farm. Nor can he return to his previous life as a soldier, thanks to his leg injury. Adrift and uncertain, Marcus has no idea what to do with his life. Fortunately, he's able to stall the decision for a few months when Esca suggests Marcus accompany him to Hibernia to find his mother's family.

This story does an amazing job of exploring identity. No longer a farmer or a soldier, Marcus begins the story unsure who he is. As he assumes a disguise to travel with Esca, even his identity as a Roman seems to falter. Esca, too, struggles with issues of identity as he returns to his mother's people after so many years of living amongst the Romans. Really, this is a story about carving out a space (and a family) for yourself in a world that doesn't quite fit.

[livejournal.com profile] carmarthen is an avid researcher (check out that second chapter of historical notes!) and it shows here in the best possible way. I loved reading the details of life in Hibernia, everything from boar hunting to cattle raids. Yet it's in the characterization that the research really shines through. Marcus and Esca don't feel like modern men transported back in time, as they sometimes do in Eagle fanfic. Instead, they ring true to me as genuine products of their time period and cultures. The dialogue, especially, sounds slightly archaic to modern English speakers, though never in a forced of stilted way. Instead, there is a timeless quality to it that really appeals to me. In fact, reading this entire story feels a bit like watching a skilled athlete -- there is a freedom and ease to the prose that entirely belies the work that must have gone into it.

I also love the podfic by [livejournal.com profile] inkjunket. Her voice is wonderfully soothing here and she does a great job evoking the mood of the story, which is melancholy and joyous in turns.


Until All the Songs Are Sung

Tiny Houses by ohmyjetsabel (NC-17)

  • Jan. 28th, 2014 at 6:39 AM
Title: Tiny Houses
Fandom: Teen Wolf
Pairing: Derek/Stiles
Categories: angst, mpreg, kids
Length: Epic (77,138)
Warnings:  rape/non-con, mpreg, graphic descriptions of violence, body horror, attempted abortion, adoption, suicidal thoughts, and permanent injury.

Author on LJ:  N/A
Author Website: AO3
Summary: "So this is what Stiles does. He lies in Scott’s bed and waits for Melissa to say she’s found someone to get it out of him, to cure him of the wrongness and the bad, and he dreams.

God, he dreams.

He dreams of fire and swollen bellies and that scene in Alien, of giving birth to jackals through his urethra, the whole horrific nine yards. His head is a terrible place to be, he can’t imagine his stomach is much better, why anyone would want to put a thing inside of it."


Review: Mind the tags because this story deals with some heavy topics. It starts off with a non-consensual (for both of them) sex scene between Derek and Stiles, and only gets darker as Stiles realizes that he's pregnant with a fetus he doesn't want and can't get rid of. Even if mpreg typically isn't your thing, I would encourage you to take a chance on this one. The body horror elements highlight how strange and wrong the pregnancy is for Stiles, and give the story a sense of realism, if realism can involve werewolves and dark magic. This story feels very emotionally honest to me. Between his depression and horror during pregnancy, his feelings of inadequacy, loneliness, and guilt as a parent, and his complicated relationships with Derek and the other pack members, Stiles goes through an intense emotional journey in this story, and we're right there with him. Yet despite all of those heavy emotions, I never think of this as a story of pain so much as a story of healing. Reading it feels a little bit like tearing yourself open and stitching yourself back together again. There is a hard-won happy ending after all of the angst, and it doesn't feel tacked on or out of place, but as necessary and inevitable as spring following winter. By the time I reached the end, I didn't want the story to be over. It gave me that feeling I used to get reading my favorite novels as a child, like I had fought with these characters, had bled with them, and healed with them, and I could happily have kept reading about them forever. For that reason, it's one of those stories I've returned to again and again.

I also highly recommend the podfic by Jinxy. It's 11 hours long, and I think I've listened to it three times now. She brings an incredible depth of emotion to the performance, and I loved her use of music and sound effects.

Tiny Houses
It's Alternate Universe Theme Week!

Title: they tell me their secrets (will you tell me yours too)
Fandom: Sherlock BBC
Pairing: Gen
Categories: AU, End of season one, Anthropomorphism, John has a secret ability
Length: Medium (2,297 words)
Warnings: Minor character death

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] etothepii
Author Websites: favicon etothepii (Stochastical)

Author's Summary: In Afghanistan, the supplies tell him when they're running low, and the cars always, always tell him when strangers have touched them, and John gets known as having a knack (paranoia, his men call it, but he's never missed a single car bomb) for keeping his men safe.

Review:
We get a glimpse of another reality here, just long enough to understand a different John's life, and to see how his unusual perception 1) completely changes the end of The Great Game, and 2) opens up a world of possibilities and a new level of trust with Sherlock.

I recced another etothepii AU fic here; etothepii not only writes what I like --- my last rec was for demon!Sherlock, and this one is full to the brim with anthropomorphism, another favorite theme --- but also takes the time to really think things through. Here the world of sentient and sometimes-talkative objects has its own set of well reasoned rules. For example, "It's one thing to ask an object to do something it hasn't been told not to do. It's an entirely different challenge to make it not do something it's supposed to do."

Despite the story's short length, the premise is well described and so matter-of-fact that I felt myself going easily along with the garbage disposal that doesn't like sitting around with dirty blades (who would?) and the many objects that are wary of strangers.

Of course I would've enjoyed continuing on, but I feel like I have a good idea of what the future will hold for John and Sherlock with a new understanding between them and the ways Sherlock will want to use John's ability in their work together.

they tell me their secrets (will you tell me yours too) (AO3)
On LJ

Podfic by [livejournal.com profile] littlewolfstar (lunatique), [livejournal.com profile] lunchy_munchy (lunchee), & [livejournal.com profile] yue_ix


The Way of the World by zionsstarfish (PG)

  • Sep. 6th, 2013 at 10:35 PM
Title: The Way of the World
Fandom: Harry Potter
Pairing: Draco/Harry
Categories: First time, pining, post-war, fluff, angst
Length: Medium (5,520)
Warnings: None

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] zionsstarfish
Author Website: Skyehawke

Summary:
It's been a while.

Review:
Draco is a delivery boy, barely making ends meet. One of the packages he must deliver for the day is addressed to one Harry Potter. Post-war, Draco is beaten, but not broken, though struggling against discrimination against Death Eaters and unreasonable treatment from his employer.

I came across this so many years ago, and every time I read it again, it gives me the same warm feeling that I felt when I read it for the first time. zionsstarfish writes sparingly, but with such emotion packed into each word. The whole fic is suffused with a light sense of humour that nicely balances out the angst. A perfect fic to read and re-read for Christmas.

The Way of the World
This also comes with a podfic, recorded by [livejournal.com profile] vaysh11

Marginal Notes by blamebrampton (G)

  • Sep. 2nd, 2013 at 7:55 AM
Title: Marginal Notes
Fandom: Harry Potter
Pairing: Draco/Harry
Categories: Eighth year, Draco-centric, humor, friendship, secret admirer
Length: Medium (9,397 words)
Warnings: None

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] blamebrampton
Author Website: favicon blamebrampton

Author's Summary: When you’re 18, and nothing is as it was meant to be, sometimes it can be hard to let the right people know what you are thinking.

Review:
Already much mellowed by the war, a still-very-Slytherin Draco has a few more insights in store in his eighth year. One of them is to wonder why he's been emulating his father, when it's his mother who's been much more successful in life. Flanked by the well written Greengrass sisters, who track his progress with handmade bingo cards, Draco begins to try charm instead of threats. The effects ripple out through the school.

What I love most is that Marginal Notes is incredibly funny in some places while remembering the losses of the war in others. The photo album of Colin Creevy for his brother, Dennis, is especially well done, and I liked the different ways Ron and Ginny have reacted to Fred's death, with Ginny far less willing to forgive.

Draco's steady stream of hate mail is another reminder of post war anger. But he also receives a handful of encouraging notes that, as he says, "seemed to want to convey the fact that I am not without charms in the looks department." Though he's sure the latter are pick-me-ups from Astoria and Daphne, the sisters insist Draco may in fact have a secret admirer.

This story wouldn't work if Harry, Hermione and Ron hadn't gained an even greater sense of perspective too. Their willingness to move forward makes it easier for everyone around them to do the same.

If you haven't already read this, I highly recommend it. The dialogue is flat out brilliant, and blamebrampton packs a lot of story in a few words.

Marginal Notes (AO3)
On LJ | On FFn
Podfic by sisi_rambles

Title: How I Survived My Summer Vacation, by Tamika Flynn, Age 12 3/4
Fandom: Welcome to Night Vale
Pairing: Tamika Flynn/Original Female Character
Categories: Action/Adventure, Romance, Horror, Friendship, Missing Scene
Length: Medium (5516 words)
Warnings: Violence, Off-screen deaths of minor OCs

Author on DW: thingswithwings
Author Website: thingswithwings

Author's Summary:

The first book on Tamika Flynn's Summer Reading Program Sticker Chart is Lord of the Flies.

She doesn't really like it.

Review:

Being a voracious reader and someone who works in education, I can honestly say that there are few things that are more tragic to witness than the decline of recreational reading. As such, How I Survived My Summer Vacation, by Tamika Flynn, Age 12 3/4 (henceforth referred to as How I Survived for my poor fingers' sake) is near and dear to my heart, the courageous tale of young Tamika Flynn, who, through literary analysis and cunning and a little straight-up murder, leads her fellow Summer Reading Program peers to triumph against the public library's monstrous librarians. (And finds a little love along the way.)

How I Survived is a celebration of literature and a very Night Valean bildungsroman, subtly comparing and contrasting the respective literary milestones of our world and the world of Welcome to Night Vale with the finesse of a particularly well-written expository article. It reminds us of our own experiences with the books we read during childhood, books like The Giver, Bridge to Terabithia, and even Harry Potter, and shows us those same books from the perspective of children who read them not out of enjoyment or obligation, but as a method of survival. Literature becomes a weapon in the hands of Tamika Flynn and her fellow Summer Readers in a way it no longer is for those of us in the 'real world', and when the children escape from their Program to rejoin their families, the reader is right there with them, celebrating the triumph of literacy and the miracle of literature.

How I Survived My Summer Vacation, by Tamika Flynn, Age 12 3/4

EDIT: Many thanks to [livejournal.com profile] mothlights for telling me about Rhea's podfic version of How I Survived. Check it out!

Reader's Recs!

We've come to the close of our Alternative Media week here at [livejournal.com profile] epic_recs
, and we'd love to hear about the Podfic/Vids/Fanart/etc. you love the most.

Things to keep in mind:

  • Recced media can be any length, any fandom, and any pairing, as long as they fit the theme.

  • You don't need to write a review (unless you want to). All that you need to include are title, author, and link to the story (all parts if there are more than one).

  • Media as a single file are preferred, if available.

  • If you'd like to use our reccing template, you can find it under the cut.

Totally Optional Rec Template )

Today's Topic: Alternative Media: Podfic/Vids/Fanart/etc.

Previous Readers' Recs topics can be found here.

Title: Podfic: Twisted Gifted
Fandom: Teen Wolf
Pairing: Derek/Stiles
Categories: romance, pining, humor
Length: Medium - 22 min. (2,953 words)
Warnings: None

Reader on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] anatsuno
Reader website: favicon anatsuno, favicon anatsuno

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] idyll
Author Website: favicon idyll, favicon idyll

Author's Summary:
Some gifts really need to be returned.
Written for a prompt by itwassoup: Stiles gets “blessed/gifted” by a witch to be like super attractive to everyone.

Review:
idyll's story is sweet, funny and smart, and clearly anatsuno gets it, because she brings it all across in the podfic. Stiles is suddenly irresistable to everyone he comes in contact with except, seemingly, Derek, and he has to find the fae who gave him this "gift" before it gets out of hand.

I should admit that in addition to lovely fic, I'd probably listen to anatsuno read assembly instructions, because she has a gorgeous, sensual voice that never ceases to amaze me. (If you want to hear how sensual it can get, there's her scorching hot reading of Teen Wolf's NC-17 Sit, Stay by LolaFeist). But what I love about this particular podfic is the way she makes me smile here at Lydia's terse advice, Derek's frustration and Stiles' obliviousness. It's just 22 minutes long, but you get Stiles' spot on point of view and Derek's pining, and it only gets better, because I especially love her voicing of the end and Derek's "Now you're getting it." It's a joy to have as a permanent resident on my ipod.

Podfic: Twisted Gifted (with streaming)
Text version

Title: Podfic: Practical Adventures and Auspicious Pursuits
Fandom: Merlin
Pairing: Arthur/Merlin
Categories: Canon era, magic reveal, humor, romance
Length: Medium - 35 min. (3,983 words)
Warnings: None

Reader on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] erica_schall
Reader Website: favicon erica_schall

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] stillane
Author Website: favicon stillane

Author's Summary: It might be good to be the king, but some days it sucks to be the prince.

Review:
I recced this story here at Epic Recs not too long ago, and the plot summary is there, but now I want to highlight the way erica_schall gives this a fabulous deadpan reading that makes the peasants and the goats, and everything really, that much funnier. It's magic, the way she voices the poor nervous villagers recounting their story for Arthur, and the way Arthur and Merlin behave toward one another. Her voice is low and clear, and she has great comic timing. It's the perfect podfic to listen to again and again when you want to laugh at a little sweetness and absurdity.

Podfic: Practical Adventures and Auspicious Pursuits (on LJ - streaming and downloads in both English and German)
On AO3 (English only, no streaming)
Text version


It's Alternative Media Theme Week!

Title: Podfic: Needs Must
Fandom: Suits
Pairing: Harvey/Mike
Categories: AU, romance, Dom/sub, prostitution, relationship negotiation, subspace
Length: Epic - 11 hours, 36 min (98,686 words)
Warnings: Dom/sub, barebacking, description of past trauma from a dom

Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] simarillion for permission to rec in her fandom.

Reader on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] dodificus
Reader website: favicon dodificus , favicon dodificus

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] thatotherperv
Author Website: favicon thatotherperv

Author's Summary:
When Grammy needs an upgrade in care, Mike knows that the usual one-off gig as a paid submissive won't be enough. He takes a job he's been refusing for a while - a long-term, full-time contract.
He expects his client to be a sadistic asshole. He expects not to like it. He's wrong on both counts.

Review:
While writing this up, I realized the story has never been recced here, and I have to say that thatotherperv builds a strong and complex relationship while not pulling back at all on kink. What I love about the podfic is that dodificus does a terrific job of voicing the highs and the lows, or as she says, "the anxiousness of certain chapters, the delights of others."

Mike takes a more serious and time intensive contract than he's ever taken before as a paid submissive. It amounts to basically living with Harvey, though he does have set times off for himself and to visit his grandmother. It's a bit of a pressure cooker situation, with both Mike and Harvey being influenced by unfortunate incidents in their past, but both of them being as understanding of one another as they're able. Things get more complicated when Mike takes on the dual role of Harvey's submissive some of the time and his paralegal at others.

dodificus gives us a beautiful and clear reading. Her pacing is spot on, and she brings out the emotional content especially well. You can feel her love for the story and her good sense of the progression of the relationship. If you have long commutes or a trip coming up, you're in luck, because it's 11+ hours (the thought of the editing alone floors me) of gorgeous reading to keep you company.

Podfic: Needs Must
Text version

Title: A Californian Werewolf in New York
Fandom: Teen Wolf (with a small crossover with Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
Pairing: Derek Hale/Stiles Stilinski
Categories: AU, Romance, Drama, FutureFic
Length: Long (16,314 words / 1:45:15)
Warnings: Underage Sex (Stiles is seventeen)

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] dancinbutterfly
Author Website: favicondancinbutterfly / Fic Master Post on LJ

Author's Summary:
When Derek finally realizes that there's nothing left for him in Beacon Hills, he goes back to New York, gets a life, falls in love and finds his home.

Review:
It's a sweet, if somewhat implausible/wish-fullfilling AU from canon post-season two. Basically, this story is how Derek Hale got his groove back. Realizing it'd be better for everyone if he move back to New York [the implausible part], he says his goodbyes to some of the pack and returns to the East Coast. Slowly pulling his life together, he closes up the apartment he had with Laura and gets a new one and reconnects with some old friends. He's able to mourn his losses and start living again. During all this, Stiles calls wondering what happened to him, and they start communicating over the phone and via text. When Stiles visits New York to check out colleges, their long-distance friendship blossoms into romance, though they still have some things to work out.

I really loved Derek's characterization and progression. As the show's king of angst, it's fun to read a story where Derek is given a chance to heal and be happy. His relationship with Stiles is sweet and very them, and I love that Stiles says Derek has become his new normal when the supernatural in Beacon Hills becomes too much. Stiles is also very in character, but make no mistake, this is a Derek character study story, and so Stiles has a shorter (though intense) role in it. There's a fun guest appearance by Oz of BtVS, in which he plays an old friend of Derek's from his New York days.

Written as a podfic/fanfic collaboration, there is also a podfic to check out!

Click here to read an excerpt. )

Californian Werewolf in New York
with podfic by faviconknight_tracer: mp3 | m4b

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