- fandom: call the midwife,
- fandom: final fantasy vii,
- fandom: final fantasy viii,
- fandom: inception,
- fandom: lilo & stitch,
- fandom: merlin,
- fandom: pacific rim,
- fandom: star trek,
- fandom: teen wolf,
- fandom: the sarah conner chronicles,
- fandom: the west wing,
- fandom: tinker tailor soldier spy,
- recommendations: fanwork,
- recommendations: fanwork: fanfic,
- recommendations: fanwork: fanvid
Fanwork is awesome and sharing fanwork is even more awesome. Join us as we keymash and squee over our favorite fanwork, from fic (both written and podfic) to art to vids and meta and back again.
Assume that for the next five or six iterations of this project that my section is going to go back in time to rec things from possibly as long ago as 1998. #nostalgia
[FIC] [Lilo & Stitch] Escape Velocity by miss_pryss (7265 words) (Lilo, Stitch, Nani)
I recently rewatched Lilo & Stitch. Although I watched it tons of times when it first came out, when I rewatched it late last year I found so many things I had never quite latched on to: Nani's success at surfing, which she had to give up; the reactions at the dance hall when Lilo talks about how Pudge the fish controls the weather; and David's conversation on the beach about midway through the film, in a scene where I always assumed he was speaking to Stitch.
This time through, I really saw more of the internal lives of the kids who were just beginning to become adults, the kids devastated by a personal tragedy, and once again got hit directly in my "family of choice" button. So this story came along at the perfect time: Lilo growing up, inhabiting adult spaces, and turning childhood dreams into a very tangible reality for herself is fantastically done. But it's also a perfect continuation of the film, both in comedy and emotional notes and how one doesn't preclude the other. Feelings and fart jokes. DEFINITELY READ IT.
[VID] [The West Wing] Handlebars (Hail to the Chief) by chaila (3:29) (Jed Bartlet)
I came to The West Wing after it had already ended, on a recommendation from owlmoose who told me it was wonderful. I didn't know what to expect from it, but I do know I immediately fell in love with Jed, who plays the President. Over the course of the series, he becomes such a gray character because of the power that he wields that I'm still torn over my feelings for him even now.
This vid does a great job of breaking down some of the aspects of Jed's character that I find it extremely difficult to articulate, and also does so in the style of the show itself; fast-paced, snappy, always moving. Like Jed, the vid asks, "What's next?" Even though the song choice itself is not subtle, it's still a perfect choice. With an awareness of the show itself, Jed's character, and the nuance in the some of the choices here, you'll get chills.
[FIC] [Star Trek: AOS] the fistbump is non-optional by mekosuchinae (1073 words) (Kirk, Spock, Bones)
When considering things to include in our first recommendation outing, I fooled myself into thinking I wouldn't rec this story. However, I should know better. This is the first story I rec to anyone who even hints they might like the 2009 Star Trek reboot (let's not speak of the sequel) and if a chance comes up to cold rec it, well, I'm always going to take that, too. Because AOS began its run as a film and not as a television show, sometimes I imagine what such a show would be like, and pretend this dynamic would feature heavily: missions gone terribly wrong every time these three step out of the Enterprise together, alcohol, fistbumps, and Spock and Bones communicating with their eyebrows.
[FIC] [Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children] How to Succeed in Sexual Blackmail Without Really Trying by thorne_scratch (7225 words) (Cloud/Reno)
I was never a hardcore Final Fantasy VII fan. I did like it, the chewy, psychological bits of it as well as the goofball antics like spending upwards of 30 hours breeding chocobos, but I never really got deep into the SHINRA fannishness bits. Part of enjoying the canon itself for me is to never take it too seriously even though it deals with really dark, psychological issues. FFVII is definitely a canon in which I really enjoy comedy, even if it happens to be dark humor. So this story is one I like to go back to sometimes and read because Cloud is so comically disconnected, and Reno so fucking arrogant, smug, and unlikeable that it never fails to amuse the hell out of me. Possibly Advent Children made Reno too much like comedy relief, but I really like how fans later folded that comedy into the characters we saw in FFVII to create some super fun fic. Also, I just like the idea of Reno punching dolphins and fucking Cloud.
[FIC] [Final Fantasy VIII] Bitterblue by regann (~4575 words) (Quistis)
There's a lot of tasty magic meta to chew on in FFVIII, especially in line with Guardian Forces and draw magic and memory, but I always wondered why there wasn't more fic exploring Blue Magic (besides the obvious reasons of gen fic, female character, small fandom). Quistis's innate magic saved my bacon constantly throughout the game, and so way back in the day when this story came along, I was excited and utterly charmed by this exploration of her past and her magic. There are social consequences to what she can do, and I've always wondered how much of it she might have internalized. This story touches on it just a little, but the best thing about this is Quistis herself: growing up, coming into her power, and finding her way.
[VID] [The Sarah Connor Chronicles] There is a War Going on For Your Mind Sarah Connor by beccatoria (4:41 minutes) (Full cast)
This vid feels so original to me because of the song choice and the editing mix. You can just see the amount of craft and effort that went into making everything fit together. The amount of planning this must have taken is extraordinary.
In the beginning of this vid, Sarah is the hero and forces assail her at every turn. The song links her to the regular viewer's daily embattled state — 'There is a war going on for your mind'. Ain't that the truth — suddenly we're all easily identifying with a woman being chased down by robots. Then halfway through the song is cut, interrupted as if its been hijacked by pirate radio, and the whole focus of the vid switches. The lyrics list hopeful and unexpected occurrences as footage plays of robot characters helping and displaying humanity. Everything may not be as simple as robots vs humans.
That's part of why I love this show because it brings in the standard SFF idea that science can be harmful and the road to hell is paved with technology and good intentions, but moves past that to a more complicated country. This vid reflects that wonderfully. So much ambiguous Cameron!
And the song is just so well matched to the themes of the show and the footage chosen. 'Resistance is victory' counteracts the famous 'Resistance is futile' line. 'If you are thinking, you are winning' and the shot where she turns the turtle over is just perfectly placed. *hearts in my eyes*
[VID] [Pacific Rim] Level Up by starlightandstatic (4:06 minutes) (Mako, Raleigh, Stacker)
Describing this vid as 'A love letter to Pacific Rim' is accurate. The shots chosen quickly make you feel like the creator was very fond of this film - the focus on the two major relationships of the film (Mako and Stacker, Mako/Raleigh) and the love between those characters mixes with the song choice to create this positive force of feeling. In fact, I think this vid frames the film as if its about personal love, but also manages to do so without neglecting the fact that it's about a Jaegar war (love how much tech was shown in this vid.
Love how much it dwells on shots of Mako. And the whole edited Stacker sequence towards the end brought up all the feels for me without even showing the nosebleed footage.
[VID] [Call the Midwife] Black Flowers by meddow (4:12 minutes) (Sister Bernadette/Patrick, Sister Julienne)
"Call the Midwife", unsurprisingly, often focuses on the young midwife's struggles and leaves the nun's stories as an important but the secondary element. I was so excited to see a vid that put the nun's sisterhood at its centre and managed to show that they're as close knit a group as the midwives.
A large part of the vid focuses on my favourite nun (now ex-nun) Sister Bernadette/Shelagh who struggles with her desire for romance and a life outside the order. One of my favourite elements of series three was seeing Shelagh negotiate a return to her sisters (especially her mentor and friend Sister Julienne) even though she's now left the order. A+ for getting all the feels in.
[VID] [Teen Wolf] Run This Town by xXWhisperOfDreamsXx (2:45) (Full cast)
This vid emphasises the darker element of "Teen Wolf" and injects the vid with a solid amount of slithering menace. It quickly becomes a big adrenaline pumped teenage number which I just think is so much fun. Sometimes you just want a pumping song and some menace. I also love how dangerous it makes Alison look whenever it show her, like she's one of the people who could end up running things.
[FIC] [Merlin] Your Crown Lights the Way by i_bleed_magenta (~31800 words) (Merlin/Arthur, Gwaine/Percy, Lancelot, Leon, Elyan, Mordred) (Warnings: Mentions of canon character death)
Disclosure: I beta'd this story for Brit detail. It's a teacher AU/re-birth fic where all the boys come back only to find that Mordred has gone Tory. It is unavoidably adorable, as the guys start doing things like playing football, drinking pints and oh yeah remembering their past lives (nnnnhhhh). And it ships Percy/Gwaine which is all I ask of my Merlin fic.
Thankfully, this fandom has fix it fic potential written into its canon (Merlin's just waiting for them to come back as prophesied *sob*) and hurray for creators who want to make use of that possibility.
[FIC] [Inception] I've Got Nothing to Do Today But Smile (The Only Living Boy in New York) by gyzym (19745 words) (Arthur/Eames [side Ariadne/Yusuf])
I read this classic "Inception" coffee shop AU around the time it was first published, when I was reading a lot of "Inception" fic. I love it so much I just couldn't leave it out of our first fan-work rec session. My favourite thing is the idea of Arthur as a dogged achiever who has kind of lost his way and Eames as the guy who supports him but also shows him a different way to achieve. Points for showing the total contrast between the corporate law world and the coffee shop (the coffee shop does not demand your soul), but making it clear that the coffee shop is still an intense environment on its day.
[FIC] [Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy] Changing Channels by HolmesianDeduction (1939 words) (Bill Haydon/Jim Prideaux)
A five things back story fic for Bill and Jim! Backstory fic is pretty essential for this pairing because canon only gives a couple of vague hints at their previous life together, so I eat it all up. However, I like this fic especially because of the way it uses snapshot episodes to create a linear narrative line. You just get five quick moments and yet these combine to tell a coherent, connected story about their relationship. Those episodes also pummel you with emotion.
I'm also a big fan of the details the author chose to include — map reading, hand washing, Bill's nervousness about his painting — all those little things fill out these characters and their relationship so you can see it more fully. And the final part is heartbreaking in the context of canon.