graycardinal: Yuletide warning flag (Yuletide Crossing)
Whoof.  The Christmas tree has been hauled off to recycling, the holiday leftovers have all been eaten or otherwise dispatched, a key football game has been listened to (since both of the relevant family households source their TV over the air, and are therefore cut off from the higher-end bowl games nowadays), and the opening hour of Galavant has been watched.

Which means I can finally take a moment to post my Yuletide contribution for this year, which has generated a very satisfying round of comments:

And I Do Mean Yours [for serenityabrin]
Length: ~2000 words
Fandom: Gargoyles (TV)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Owen Burnett & David Xanatos
Characters: Puck | Owen Burnett, David Xanatos
Additional Tags: References to Shakespeare

"Use your best judgment – and I do mean yours, Mister Burnett,” Xanatos added pointedly. “If I’d wanted a clone as my right-hand man, I’d have commissioned one.”

This was an assignment that shifted ground on me several times in the course of the writing -- and in a somewhat different way than my Yuletide stories often do.  This one started out very compact, then looked as if it was going to expand dramatically, and then condensed again but in a different way than I'd expected.   (Most of the time, the shift stops at the "expand dramatically" phase.)  Surprises along the way notwithstanding, I am very pleased with the way it turned out, and chuckled to myself a good deal as I was researching and slipping in Easter eggs.  [Most of the Easter eggs have been tagged by various alert commenters, but there are one or two as yet unremarked.  Which is all right, because I did indulge in one bit of whimsy that possibly a dozen people in the world might possibly catch, and AFAIK at most one of them is even remotely likely to ever see the story.  Or possibly two.]

All in all, a very satisfying Yuletide indeed, in both the writing and the reading.

graycardinal: Anya from "Anastasia"; "What was that title again?" (rec)
It is the Yuletide of dreams, for I got two stories...and one of them is from The Lastborn of Elvinwood! Herewith my gifts and a short cluster of recs:

Written for me:

The Usual Arrangements by Anonymous
Length: ~1800 words
Fandom: The Lastborn of Elvinwood - Linda Haldeman
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Thomas Heaton, Merlin, Ian James

We're told that 'he told a tale well', but how would the Vicar spin Ian's first meeting with the little folk to his master?


I have been waiting for *years* for this story (and it was a pure and utter surprise when I found I'd gotten it). A clever and amusing spin on a key encounter between various principal characters.  Best. Yuletide.  Ever.  (Also, now that I think of it, actually, fairly comprehensible -- and possibly funny -- even if you haven't read the novel.)

 ####

No Law Against Looking by Anonymous
Length: 100 words
Fandom: Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century (Cartoon)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Beth Lestrade

The rules of relationship can get tangled after two hundred years.


Heh.  Yes, they do, and here Lestrade is looking at Holmes from a doubly unique perspective.  Very well done indeed, and a worthy gift.

 ####

And onward, to an assortment of recs.  One note in particular: I have been reading very erratically, such that I often have not read all the stories in any given fandom.  So a rec for one story in a given fandom is just that, and does not say anything one way or the other about other stories in that same fandom.

 ####

Heaven's Coins  by Anonymous
Length: ~1550 words
Fandom: A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Jacob Marley & Ebenezer Scrooge
Characters: Ebenezer Scrooge, Jacob Marley

Marley's haunting was all that saved Scrooge from eternal damnation. Years have passed and it is time to repay the favor.

A very interesting take on Scrooge's arrival in the hereafter.  On the one hand, this plays very straight with its Dickens; on another, though, there's a faint and fascinating resonance here between this piece and The Muppet Christmas Carol's choice to cast Statler and Waldorf as "Marley and Marley".

 ####

Anno Domini 1915 by Anonymous
Length: ~500 words
Fandom: Dark Is Rising Sequence - Susan Cooper
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Merriman Lyon, Miss Greythorne (Dark Is Rising)

...I've just passed The Learning chapters in my reread of TDIR and recalled how much I love Miss Greythorne, so have some pre-canon Old Ones. I also hope this isn't too grim for a gift!

Not too grim at all in my book, though it's not perhaps a tale for the squeamish -- a fascinating, unusual pre-canon snapshot of Merriman and Miss Greythorne (one of my favorite characters, too), and the consequences of the choices one makes as an Old One.

####

And Wings Made of Air by Anonymous
Length: ~1500 words
Fandom: Dobrenica Series - Sherwood Smith
Rating: Not Rated
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Marius Alexander Ysvorod and Aurelia Kim Murray
Characters: Marius Alexander Ysvorod, Aurelia Kim Murray

Marius Alexander Ysvorod, crown prince of Dobrenica, the day after his wedding...

Thoughtful and funny and sweet and wondrous (in the old-fashioned sense-of-wonder sense) in all the right places.  For me, the voice here catches precisely the echo I've noted in canon between this series and Elizabeth Peters' Vicky Bliss novels; the relationship between Alec and Kim has much the same texture as that between John and Vicky, though with something of a reversal of roles.

 ####

Reasons of the Heart by Anonymous
Length: ~5300 words
Fandom: Jonny Quest
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Jonny Quest & Hadji Singh, Benton Quest & Race Bannon
Characters: Jonathan "Jonny" Quest, Hadji Singh, Benton Quest, Race Bannon, Bandit (Jonny Quest)

“The heart has its reasons whereof reason knows nothing.” (Blaise Pascal)

A lovely, leisurely depiction of the evolution of a found family, perceptive and sensitive but not at all saccharine, invoking just the right touch of tension without devolving into angst.  Very canon-aware, and yet I think it holds up independent of canon; this is first-class writing whether or not you know the series.

 ####

To Grandmother's Secret Lab We Go by Anonymous
Length: ~7400 words (4 chapters)
Fandom: Narbonic, Skin Horse (Webcomic)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Helen B. "Beta" Narbon, Dave Davenport, Artie | RT-5478, Mell Kelly, Caliban (Narbonic), Rosalind Narbon, Project UNITY, Dr. Helen A. "Alpha" Narbon, Captain's Fancy Valentine Sweetheart, Nick Zerhakker

While playing host to the Narbons, Mell gets tracked down by a relative... of sorts. But hers isn't the only unexpected family reunion in store, and soon the whole crew is on a cross-country Narbon-vs.-Narbon chase. Blood may be thicker than water, but are nanites thicker than blood?

For some reason, I didn't move on to Skin Horse after encountering and falling in love with Narbonic two-thirds or so of the way in.  Now I may have to change that, because this is at once a totally spectacular post-canon Narbonic adventure and a dropped-in-at-the-deep-end Skin Horse caper, and while I haven't read the latter strip at all, the story is hyperactively madcap enough that it holds up regardless.  Also, if I didn't know better, I'd seriously think I'd written this myself, because its style and structure remind me of my own Kim Possible/Narbonic crossover from some years back.  (I emphasize that this is a reminds-me-in-a-good-way note, not a criticism or complaint.)  Mad science has never been more fun than these characters make it, whether in Shaenon Garrity's hands or those of the present fanwriter.

 ####

Mrs Pollifax Does Lunch by Anonymous
Length: ~2800 words
Fandom: Mrs. Pollifax - Dorothy Gilman
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: John Farrell & Emily Pollifax
Characters: Grace Hartshorne

A wintry day in New Brunswick, New Jersey is brightened considerably by an unexpected visitor.

Much of the tiny body of Pollifax fanfic takes place in New Jersey, between Mrs. Pollifax's espionage adventures.  This particular story raises the stakes, though, by setting up a face-to-face confrontation between veteran operative John Sebastian Farrell and Emily's notoriously inquisitive neighbor Miss Hartshorne.  Impressively, neither character blinks, and yet the resulting fireworks -- muted but undeniable -- arise from another angle entirely.  The result is a thoughtful treatment of all three characters that catches the authentic Gilman tone. 

 ####

From Here to Eternity by Anonymous
Length: 100 words
Fandom: Valdemar Series - Mercedes Lackey
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Vanyel Ashkevron/Bard Stefen

Guarding the border has its moments. And sometimes it doesn't.

A brief, amusing look at afterlife in the Forest of Sorrows.  And possibly an argument for either Vanyel or Stefan being a distant ancestor of Calvin's -- and, as the obvious corollary, Hobbes being a Firecat.  (This story is not that fusion, but it might well lay the groundwork for such....)

 ####

The Other Side by Anonymous
Length: ~1150 words
Fandom: Valdemar Series - Mercedes Lackey
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Sayvil, Kerowyn

Sayvil experiences Choosing from a new perspective.

Noteworthy both for the direct look at Companion life from backstage and for the neatly executed reverse spin on Kerowyn's moment of Choice from By the Sword.



graycardinal: Yuletide warning flag (Yuletide Crossing)
Greetings, O YuleScrivener, and welcome!  And also, thank you!  Where Yuletide is concerned, I am nothing if not a Requester Of The Seriously Obscure.  Thus I am always amazed when the technomancy of the matching process succeeds in finding a writer who shares my appreciation for said obscurity, and delighted on Christmas morning when a wonderful and wondrous story from that writer's (metaphorical) pen lands in my AO3 gift-folder.  We may just be setting out on this year's journey, but I know there's a happy ending to come, and I am grateful for it already.  Your work is (and will be) appreciated and valued, and I look forward to seeing its fruits.

This year's fandoms

These letters aren't getting any shorter, so while I've got detailed material farther down, I think it's only fair to give you the list of fandom requests up front.  So, those would be:

Jacqueline Kirby - Elizabeth Peters (Jacqueline Kirby)
Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century (Sherlock Holmes, Beth Lestrade)
The Lastborn of Elvinwood - Linda Haldeman (Ian James, Thomas Heaton)
Young Wizards - Diane Duane (Carmela Rodriguez, Dairine Callahan)

Likes, dislikes, notes, and specifics below.... )

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This is a fanfic journal. I'm interested in a wide variety of fandoms as well as in meta- and theoretical discussions; see my interests list for specific fandom categories. Comments, critiques, recs, reviews, and the like are always welcome.
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