Given Yuletide 2017 is upon us, I should post recs from last year's collection
, as I somehow never got around to it. Hmm -- I wonder why. 'Tis a shame, as there's lots of good stuff -- and that's with barely scratching the vertices.
The best poetry fic of the season is Second Chance
, an Ancient History RPF that slashes Scipio Africanus/Hannibal Barca in rhyming quatrains. Yes, really. Takes place long after Zama, thankfully (during battle would … not be my thing). The competition: Fragments from a Lost Manuscript
, giving Greek lyric snippets of a retelling of the Iliad (which I liked for obvious, entirely personal
reasons). Yeah, only two this year. Time to step things up here.
My favorite ancient history RPF, though, is Say to Them
, based on a 1750 BCE letter to Ea-Nasir, a copper merchant of Ur, sometimes described as the first complaint letter. The Dead Authors Fanfic: Christopher Marlowe and Walt Whitman
is a silly fic for a silly conceit, in which H.G. Wells uses his time machine to interview other authors. Excellent use of Whitman at his slashiest.
Working over to traditional materials, The Tale of Rasul and Rawiya
is an original story in the manner of the 1001 Nights, based on an illustration in the manner of same. Tight fairytale writing.Merrily in Springtime
convincingly explains why the Sheriff never sees through any of Robin Hood's disguises: prosopagnosia. Good character writing all around.
Moving on to modern fandoms, there were a couple excellent post-canon Earthsea fics: The Empty Sky
is Ged and Tenar post-canon observing Sunreturn, which is absolutely lovely, while The Ending From the Beginning
is Penthe as a grandmother learning of the death of Tenar a.k.a. Ahra-that-was, which brings up interesting Earthsea theology.
My favorite Lord Peter Wimsey fic is the missing story of how Miss Murchison got married and left the Cattery: Prelude and Fugue on the name of B.A.C.H. (spurious?)
. And yes, Bach organ music is involved. Honorable mentions, though, for A Brief History of the Patronage of Beatie Wilson
, about the oldest daughter of the villain of Gaudy Night
, and Like As the Hart
, a slice of Harriet the week after the end of GN
My favorite fic on Megan Whalen Turner's Queen's Thief is On Political Murder
, giving us young Heiro's start at running Attolia's domestic espionage department. It does get a run for the money from The Dolphin's Promise
(ETA: link fixed), about Helen of Eddis' experiences with pirates in the islands of the Middle Sea.
My fave Tamora Pierce fic is A True and Honest Thought
, a retelling of the first two-thirds of Sandry's Book
from the POV of Niko, focused tightly on his relationship with Tris. Well-told and well-characterized.
My fave Imperial Radch fic is Make Some Tea, Lieutenant Seivarden
, a post-canon study of Mercy of Kalr, who is still getting used to using she
My fave Vorkosigan fic was The Huntsman's Reel
, in which Lady Alys Vorpatril helps Simon Illyan thwart Cetagandan assassins at an Imperial reception, while dancing together.
I actually liked one of the His Dark Materials fics (I often don't): Selected Moments in Introductory Symbology
-- which is basically Lyra, After, organized around the symbols of the alethiometer.
In the Kipling side of things, I liked the story
of The Bisara of the Hills
, which is a tale of Strickland (from some of the Plain Tales from the Hills
) with crossover appearances by Lisbeth, Stalky, and Kimball O'Hara. The telling
, though, didn't manage to nail Kipling's voice/manner, alas.
(And speaking of Kipling, an older Yuletide rec from 2014 that I somehow never got around to posting: The Impressionists - Part Two
is a Kim
+ Stalky & Co.
crossover, narrated in good Kiplingesque fashion by entirely different characters with agendas different from those they describe. It did better than the above at catching the Kipling voice as well as structure. Canon knowledge strongly recommended, given the slantways framing.)
And the prize for most excellent weird thing goes to Linguistic Assignations
, for the fandom Languages (Anthropomorphic). You know that quip about English lurking in dark alleys to rob other languages for spare vocabulary? This is the backstory, going all the way back to Proto-Indo-European.
And that clears out my bookmarks. At least for now.
---L. Subject quote from "The Battle of Waterloo," William McGonagall. I should nominate a McGonagall work for YT someday -- maybe the Tey Bridge trilology?