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I haven't read half the Yuletide fandoms half as completely as I would like (I've still got some queued up), but here are some more I did get to and loved. (Rec post 1, including my awesome gifts, is here.)

Recs in Oryx and Crake, Picture of Dorian Gray, Riddle-Master trilogy, Star Trek - Rihannsu, Tam Lin )
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So, a first crack at Yuletide recs! Mostly shorter ones, because I haven't had time to read longer pieces yet. Four from Madness, the rest from the main archive. I'm folding my (five!!) gifts in because I would absolutely rec all of them even if they weren't my gifts! (My gift-squee post is here.) Also, a little heavier on the poetry recs. (I promised elsewhere to read all the poetry-based fics in the archive, and really I thought all of them were good, so even if I don't specifically rec it here, I recommend it!)

Recs in Blue Castle - L. M. Montgomery, Church Going - Philip Larkin, A Few Figs from Thistles - Edna St. Vincent Millay, Gunnerkrigg Court, The Instrumentality of Mankind - Cordwainer Smith, The Listeners - Walter de la Mare, Norse Myth/Frozen, Preiddeu Annwn | The Spoils of Annwn, Sweeney Todd )
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Again, I have not read a lot of fics I want to, especially the longer ones, sorry mystery authors! I will probably have another rec post sometime. I hope.

I am also a bad person who totally neglected in my last post to talk about my lovely drabble! My lovely spot-on TILLERMAN drabble, thank you so much, and if you happen to read this, I apologize SO MUCH for the brain blip!

Conversation (100 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: The Tillerman Cycle - Cynthia Voigt
Rating: Not Rated
Warnings: Author Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Characters: James Tillerman, Sammy Tillerman, Maybeth Tillerman
Additional Tags: Drabble, yumadrin, Missing Scene

Sometimes you just have to talk about new friends.

I also absolutely adore this Hainish story:

Praise then Darkness (3724 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: The Left Hand of Darkness - Ursula K. Le Guin
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: Author Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Arek Harth rem ir Estraven/Therem Harth rem ir Estraven
Characters: Arek Harth rem ir Estraven, Therem Harth rem ir Estraven
Additional Tags: Yuletide, Gift Fic

"My advice, Therem, is only this: will you let the story shape you, brother? Or will you shape a new tale?"

Therem's luck turns, and turns again.

A lovely story of Therem, with stories inside of it.

And I think everyone is reccing this Cotillion story, but I will too, because it really is pitch-perfect and excellent. (And also has Lord Legerwood, who is my favorite!)

The Birds and the Bees (4280 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Cotillion - Georgette Heyer
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Kitty Charing/Freddy Standen
Characters: Kitty Charing, Freddy Standen, Lord Legerwood, Lady Legerwood
Additional Tags: Humor, Regency Romance

In which Lord Legerwood has a conversation with his son, with predictable results, and Kitty provides Freddy with enlightenment.

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I haven't had time to read that much in the archive, but the ones I have read have been lovely! Here is my present:

To everything there is a season... (11619 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: The People - Zenna Henderson
Rating: Not Rated
Warnings: Author Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings

This is a lovely story about the power of family/community for redemption, plus which we get to see what happened to Bethie-too, and as an extra bonus that one of the People who was present at the bombing of Hiroshima, which was something I would have asked for if I had had any hope of getting it, and there are so many wonderful details that are so Zenna Henderson. And it is full of life and light and joy and love, just as a People story ought to be. It is probably readable without knowing canon.

Recs in Arm Joe, Earthsea, Gunnerkrigg Court, and The Lady of Shalott )
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Muuuuuch beta credit to [personal profile] sprocket and [personal profile] elementals_ao3 and [personal profile] seekingferret, because they are awesome and wonderful and these fics would not be nearly so good if not for them. (And special awesomeness credit to sprocket, who probably wrote at least the number of words I did in her betas, and was very gracious when I said things like, “So I need this done tonight, is that okay?”)

My assignment was Norse Myth, Who Gathers All Things Mortal (1504 words), which drove me completely bonkers to write — despite it being the shortest of the three, I spent way, way more time in canon review and in writing/edit than probably both of the others combined -- but which I think turned out well, mostly because my betas showed me how to beat it into shape when I was despairing of how to fix it properly. The prompt was Hel and Angrboda. I really liked the prompt; I don’t think there’s enough on mothers and daughters in media in general.

My pinch hit was SGU - Camile Wray, Enhancing Organizational Productivity (2245 words). The thing about Camile is that, with the exception of maybe one or two episodes, she gets completely wasted on SGU. As [personal profile] sprocket kept reminding me, she has this HR background which ought to be really really useful on the Destiny for all kinds of things, but it never actually is. Probably partially as a result of this, I haven’t ever read any SGU fic where she gets a chance to win. And she’s awesome! So, yeah. Camile gets to use her skills to win, yay! (But not win everything, because this is SGU.)

And then there was The Family Business, the 5100-word near-future SF-VR-corporate Greek Myth AU that I gifted to [personal profile] ollipop, who asked for 1000-5000, mentioned catholic tastes in her letter, and also mentioned not liking dubious SF tropes in another venue. (Uh, I still want to have that conversation!) I allllllmost didn’t post it, but I sneakily asked her about AU’s, and she said it was okay for general things like myth, and then the big theme turned out to be Families and How They Mess with Your Mind, which coincidentally turned out to be the big theme of ollipop’s awesome fic (Lotus Durona! Jackson’s Whole!), so I risked it after all. She seems to have liked it! :)

It did lead to this hilarious beta exchange:

Me: So Beta B told me the theme was X, and it’s really not.
Beta A: Yeah, the theme is obviously Y.
Me: No, the theme is Z!

(All three of us were right, but Beta A was more right.)

Someday I will have recs (besides my awesome Aeneid presents I squee about here; you need not know the Aeneid to read it; all that you need to know about Dido is here and here), when I get around to reading the whole rarewomen archive, but there are lots of goodies in it! Go read!

ETA: links fixed, I think. If not, let me know.
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I got TWO stories for rarewomen, first time I've ever gotten more than one, both Dido-focused Aeneid stories, and they are completely different and I love them both so much and I am so, so glad I asked for Didofic because YAY. Go read and comment!

The Wanderer (1298 words) by Adlanth
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: The Aeneid - Virgil
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Author Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Characters: Dido of Carthage, Anna (Greek and Roman Mythology)
Additional Tags: Alternate Universe, IN SPACE!, Alternate Universe - Canon Divergence, And also not AU

Those alt-universe tags, incuding the "And also not AU" one? Yup. Gorgeous story, gorgeous prose, playing with time and alternate Didos and mythology.

Trouble Any Which Way (1033 words) by misura
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: The Aeneid - Virgil
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Dido of Carthage, Aeneas (Greek and Roman Mythology), Iris (Greek and Roman Mythology)
Additional Tags: Alternate Universe - Space

Dido in SPAAAACE! Dido gets to kick butt and just be awesome! YAY!

(I also wrote three stories, which I'll talk about in another post someday...)
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Hey, so, for those of you I hooked on Force Over Distance (and by the way, it's now posted on AO3 YAY), cleanwhiteroom now has a livejournal and a dreamwidth where she is posting all kinds of awesome meta about it. Or, at least, so far, she has one awesome meta post up about Faust as a central theme of FoD, which kind of changed a bunch of my thoughts about it, and is promising more.

Seriously, if you liked the fic (and in general if you just like writing meta, honestly) it's worth checking out.
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In your own space, ask for recs. Something as simple as "I like XYZ (where XYZ is a kink, a pairing, a trope, etc) - please rec me some."

I am going to wholesale steal< [personal profile] el_staplador's idea because I think it is so very awesome (uh, I hope you don't mind?):

What I really like, in book fandoms, is fics where the author has managed to pull off a pastiche - where the style is comparable to the original - where you remember a bit of the plot a few months later and wonder for a moment if that was actually canon... Any book fandoms: even if I don't know it, if it's a reasonable synthesised approximation to canon, I shall be able to use it as a guide to see whether I want to investigate said fandom.

(In the comments to el_staplador's post, I recced these book pastiche fics:
The End and the Way, LeGuin's Left Hand of Darkness
The Lord of Joiry, C.L. Moore's Jirel of Joiry
The Derelict, C.L. Moore's Northwest Smith stories
Queen of Berries, Tolkien's Smith of Wootton Major
Ears to Hear (Tillerman Saga - Voigt)
In the Dark Hours of the Morning - Code Name Verity, but if you haven't actually read CNV pleeeeeeease don't read this first BECAUSE SPOILERS

..and of course Vorkosigan fic has a lot of these; some of my favorites:
Aral Vorkosigan's Dog -- this is told from the POV of a different character so the voice isn't completely spot on, but it's pretty close... actually pretty much everything Philomytha writes is gold
Twenty-Year Man
Money Always Costs Too Much)

More, please? Any fandom?

(I will probably get to 10-12, someday, but because I've just got a little tiny bit of time and I'm thinking about this right now...)
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I know many of you have read and loved CleanWhiteRoom's super-epic Stargate:Universe fic, Force Over Distance (now being revamped and put on AO3! The finished original is on ff.net). I recommended it enthusiastically here. It's possible to read it with minimal knowledge of SGU, even.

[personal profile] elementals_ao3 has taken it to another level by using her amazing podficcing skills on it. Seriously, if you liked FoD, you have to hear her do Eli. And Volker-and-Brody comedy team. And Young-and-Rush-and-AI aaaaaaaaah.

Let me put it this way: I generally don't listen to podfics; I'm not much of an aural person, I can't deal with audiobooks most of the time, for instance. But this podfic is so awesome that I am totally hooked. elementals' reading and CWR's prose/dialogue work together so well.

It's a work in progress, but it's updating regularly (the AO3 says once a week, but it's way more frequently than that right now).

[Podfic] Force over Distance (681 words) by elementals
Chapters: 7/?
Fandom: SGU, Stargate Universe, Stargate - All Series
Rating: Mature
Warning: Graphic Depictions Of Violence
Relationships: Nicholas Rush/Everett Young, Eli Wallace/Ginn
Characters: Adam Brody (SGU), Nicholas Rush, Everett Young, Tamara Johansen, Eli Wallace, Chloe Armstrong, Ronald Greer, Camile Wray, Dale Volker, Rodney McKay
Summary: This is cleanwhiteroom's epic-length conclusion for the cancelled series Stargate: Universe....in which they fix what they can.
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Oh, what the heck, I have more time than I thought, so have some spam from me :) Snowflake challenge day 2: In your own space, post a rec for at least three fanworks that you did not create. Drop a link to your post in the comments. See if you can rec fanworks that are less likely to be praised: tiny fandoms, rare pairings, fanworks other than stories, lesser known kinks or tropes. Find fanworks that have few to no comments, or creators new to a particular fandom and maybe aren't well known or appreciated. Appreciate them.

RECS! I love recs! Do leave a comment with the creator if you liked any of these!

The first one has to be [personal profile] elementals_ao3's lovely, lovely podfics. Here I'm going to rec her Vorkosigan podfic of "Money Often Costs Too Much" which I love, love, love like anything. (The pronounciation of Vorkosigan isn't standard as of today, but she'll change that probably in the next day or two.) But they are all awesome!

The second is [personal profile] seekingferret's 18 Chalakim of Life, which is the story of Elisha (2 Kings) IF ELISHA HAD THE POWER OF NED FROM PUSHING DAISIES WHAT IS THIS. (You need not know anything about Pushing Daisies except the premise; I think it might help slightly to know the premise to make sense of the story.) I cannot describe my love for this crazy crossover, which happens to be bittersweet and poignant and, and.

And there's ifreet's wonderful Slings and Arrows fic starring Anna, ANNA, have I mentioned to you lately how much I adore Anna, and Darren. No, wait, don't run away! It's very sweet, and all very in character, and makes (as the summary says) Season 2 make more sense rather than less. (And if you haven't watched Slings and Arrows -- go watch it right now! Then read this fic.)

I'm also going to cheat by saying, here are my AO3 bookmarks. Mostly these are well-known ones, but there are a couple of lesser-known gems that snuck in there.
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Oh, I want to play [community profile] snowflake_challenge! Only starting a day late :)

The first challenge is this: In your own space, post a rec for at least three fanworks that you have created. It can be your favorite fanworks that you've created, or fanworks you feel no one ever saw, or fanworks you say would define you as a creator.

Neat, I have three that fill at least two out of three of the requirements!

For in the Wilderness Shall Waters Break Forth (3089 words, gen)
Fandom: Moses und Aron - Schoenberg, Tanakh, Christian Bible (Old Testament)

I just wrote this for Yuletide 2012, and I'm really very pleased with it, as I feel in some ways I've been studying to write this story for years. I'm sad that basically everything about it, from its form (experimental first chapter, more straightforward second chapter) to its fandom (Schoenberg opera), is set up so that no one will ever read it even though I think it's quite accessible to anyone who's somewhat familiar with the Biblical story.

I may have done this fic a disservice in terms of readers who were not its recipient by splitting it into two chapters, even though I felt I had to do it. If you don't like the first chapter, try the second, which is very different in style and form and is, I think, much more readable than the first. (The fic has this form because of intentionally inverting the opera structure, but this is, of course, not going to mean anything to anyone except my recipient [personal profile] seekingferret.)

The Queen of Air and Darkness (2309 words, T for themes)
Fandom: Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: The Next Generation (Movies), Star Trek: First Contact (1996)

Ok, not exactly no-one-ever-saw, as this has a lot of hits, comparatively (...I think it was mentioned on one of the anon memes? that's the only thing I can think of) -- but I just feel a little protective of this one, because I had a great time thinking about aliens and nonhuman experiences and love/desire in that context, and I would like it to have more love :)

Interactive Complexity as Indigenous to Human Systems (3045 words, gen, T for language only)
Fandom: Moses und Aron - Schoenberg, Tanakh, Christian Bible (Old Testament)

Moses is the Chief Scientist, Aaron is his sales guy, and the CEO is God. Don't need to know canon. ...This fic, in addition to being total crack, apparently says a number of deep and disturbing things about me and my life philosophy as regarding religion and science. Hmm.
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...and I still haven't gotten through everything I want to read, and probably won't be able to post again until reveal, so, um, I apologize to anyone whose totally awesome fic I haven't read yet?

This one's the "more popular" rec post -- all of these, I think, have been recced at least once somewhere or another (or are popular without my having seen a rec), but I loved them too, and hey, maybe not all of you follow all the rec posts obsessively, so.

Recs in Beauty and the Beast, Dune, Earthsea, GashleyCrumb Tinies - Edward Gorey, Lizzie Bennet Diaries, Prydain, Scarlet Pimpernel/Narnia )
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I think this year there has been some amazing stuff written for Yuletide.

First, my gift:

This blind and horrible persuasion (1286 words) by Anonymous
Fandom: Turandot - Puccini

This is just SO what I wanted when I asked for Turandot fic. Making actual sense of the opera plot by giving it a wholly believable, wonderful politics backstory, I didn't even think to ask for that and it is the most awesome thing ever! Turandot-Liu as deeply sympathetic and deeply flawed BFFs with their own agendas and personalities, not just there for and about the men and Romantic Love, oh, this was everything I asked for! I am going to think of this fic and do a happy dance every time I hear Tanto amore segreto -- this is my new headcanon. And Timur! The fic gave me Liu-Timur! It even has a reference to the three ministers' song! YAY! Thank you, mystery author!!

Other recs in Abraham's Daughter, Code Name Verity, Exeter Book, Henry V, Le Comte de Monte-Cristo, Magids Series (Diana Wynne Jones), Norse Mythology, Northwest Smith (C.L. Moore), Queen of Atlantis, Slings and Arrows, Smith of Wootton Major, Tattooed Potato and Other Clues, Till We Have Faces )
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So this post started because I'm informed there are SGA fics out there that are better than the actual show, but I'm casting around for things to read and am open to recommendations from any fandom I actually know (including but not limited to SGU, OUAT, Vorkosigan Saga, and ST:DS9) -- or even anything I can read without needing to know canon. I tend to gravitate towards fics that are about more than a particular pairing (I mean, don't get me wrong, it's fine if they're pairing-centric, but I tend to like at least some character backstory/analysis/development and/or rudimentary plot) but I will try anything :) Bechdel Test passing is always a plus :)
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I think I won not_primetime! Of my three prompts, all of three of which I was kind of desperately yearning for, I got the one (DS9 - Kira and Garak, awesomeness, thank you so much!) that was secretly the one I wanted most (I know, not supposed to have favorites, and I did want all three very much, I just wanted that one more), I wrote one (a lot of my own prompt/issues just dovetailed so nicely with the prompt I received that it would have been difficult not to), and Bujold wrote me the third one by writing Captain Vorpatril's Alliance (spoilers) (well, except for Ekaterin, but I'm so happy right now I'm not going to hold it against her too much ;) ).

Anyway, the one I wrote! This fic was harder to write than any fic I have ever written (okay, fine, this is less than a year I've been doing this, but still), even though there were so many things going for it -- I loved the prompt (soooo happy to get a prompt that acknowledged the inequality in Belle/Rumpel, and I love the Emma-Gold interactions in canon, and honesty-in-interactions is one of my Things) and had a good time thinking about it. For some reason the fic just fought me every step of the way and went through an insane number of drafts. I'm not displeased with how it turned out, although I still feel like there's something in it that has remained resistant to my trying to hammer it into shape. I think a large part of it is the tension between a) I love shipping Gold because Carlyle has chemistry with everything, including inanimate objects, and b) there really needed to be (at least) one more level of honesty in there that this fic doesn't... quite... address. Though I, uh, may be working on that. YES. IT IS INDEED AN ADDICTION. I ADMIT IT.

Title: As on a Darkling Plain
Fandom: Once Upon a Time (TV)
Rating: PG
Characters: Emma Swan, Mr. Gold
Relationship: Emma Swan/Mr. Gold
Summary: Honesty isn't the best color on Mr. Gold; Emma's talent is finding people. Emma and Gold make a deal.

Notes: AU from "Desperate Souls"; spoilers for the first season of OUAT. Thanks to my betas Beatrice_Otter and ensconcedinya, who saved this fic from utter disaster.

jedibuttercup, thank you for a great prompt! I enjoyed writing this.

AO3 link here.

Emma stalked into Mr. Gold's pawnshop, slamming the door behind her. )
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*SGU: So I recently discovered the whole SGU show/fandom (uh, obviously), and the huge freakily amazing thing going on in that fandom is CleanWhiteRoom's fics, especially Force Over Distance. This is a master of the long-form, here. (395k!) I must append here that I'm a bit of a comma stickler, and I'm of the camp that does not accept that "alright" is a word (though I am informed that The American Heritage Guide to Contemporary Usage and Style says it is fine ;) ), and even though CWR and I have agreed to disagree on "alright" I am still super-recommending this fic (and this gives you an idea of how amazing it must be, because usually that kind of thing makes me stop reading the fic, and what actually happened is that I dropped everything to read 395k). In fact, even if you don't know the SGU show, I'm informed that it's still possible to read this and enjoy it. It's got it all -- a tight plot, humor, worldbuilding, awesome characters. IT EVEN HAS A TIME LOOP CHAPTER. I am also so psyched by CWR's clear love of and knowledge of the hard sciences (D-branes! YANG-MILLS THEORY. "The universe doesn't have an edge that one can travel to. It's spatially infinite." YES). There are also two other AUs in the works (EDIT 7-31-12: THIS MEANS THEY ARE WIPs. Sorry!): Ad Noctum (which I love) and Mathematique (which is a huge crossover with SG-1 and SG-A, and which I like very much but will probably like more once I watch those).

*In Once Upon a Time, there are two major things going on in that fandom on AO3:

-Fyre is writing the heck out of it. My favorite is her Home Before Midnight, which has two sequels. This was the one that started it all, I believe. It focuses on and has a deep compassion for all the characters, like OUAT itself. She's currently writing a season 1 AU WIP that is rather interesting.

-THE Rumpel/Belle-AU fic, and I say this as someone who maxed out on Rumpel/Belle quite a long time ago, is a WIP, A Bed of Thorns. It is quite possibly the only explicit fic I will ever rec, because it is that rare beast: a fic where the sex is actually there as character development. (Okay, honestly, it's a bit more indulgent than that, and I've started skipping some of the sex parts, but it's way better about it than most of the explicit stuff I read.) It is also an extremely rare beast in that it doesn't gloss over Rumpel's evil side. As an AU, this is very possible to read even if you know nothing about canon.

*I recommended this a while back on my media-rant journal before I got this one, but since I'm talking about the long form, Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, alas, another WIP, but worth every chapter even if he never does finish it, is flipping fantastic. From my rec there:

What would happen if a) Harry were brought up in a loving super-rational super-academic household, and b) everyone and everything in the HP universe was, well... more-or-less reasonable? (Not necessarily sane, mind you -- just not holding the Idiot Ball.)... Harry starts out by explaining things like observer bias to various people at Hogwart, and decides to run experiments to figure out how magic works! He explains Punnett squares to Draco in the context of blood purity! The first several chapters are a little one-note like that, but I don't care because I love that note! I would have loved it had it all been riffs on that, but as it progresses it also acquires a really interesting plot, layers on layers of hints to be explained, I think maybe every character in the entire fic is now involved in at least one secret plot, and I find the relationship between Harry and Draco extremely moving (and no, not in that way; it's gen/het).
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Ha, the npt MONSTER is safely out to beta and I can relax a bit while waiting to hear back, so have some recs from rarewomen! (I know, only a month late...) I thought that there was some really nice stuff produced for rarewomen. Here are some of my favorites:

Recs from The Secret Garden, Greek Mythology, Inception, Vorkosigan Saga )
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Oh Yuletide! This is my first yuletide, and not coincidentally the first time I have wallowed in the awesomeness of yuletide reveal. I have recs, mostly for fics and/or fandoms that haven't gotten a huge number of hits (both because I tend to like the more obscure fandoms and because I think more people should read these fics!), but I must make an exception for my wonderful, wonderful present (which is deservedly popular):

Money often costs too much (Vorkosigan Saga - Lois McMaster Bujold)

I asked for Illyan being awesome, because Illyan is awesome and totally my favorite character. I asked for Vorkosigan loyalty and caring enough to make Vor real -- And, yeah. Yeah! I can't even talk about this coherently. It's like my yuletide writer went into sections of my brain I didn't even know were there to craft a fic just for me. And it's about expense reports, which coming off of just having to do some of these (which the writer could not possibly have known unless there is yuletide telepathy happening) totally makes me squee with joy. And so nicely written. Thank you, O writer, for making my first yuletide such a happy one! *flails some more*

Other (gen unless otherwise stated) recs in Earthsea (mild M/M), English and Scottish Popular Ballads (mild multi-pairing), Jirel of Joiry, Le Comte de Monte-Cristo (F/F), Left Hand of Darkness (mild multi-pairing), Scarlet Pimpernel - Orczy, Macbeth, Slings and Arrows, Tillerman, and Vorkosigan:

Hoag (Earthsea - Ursula K. Le Guin)

Jasper is made a three-dimensional character here, someone with both good and bad characteristics. The entire fic, and the penultimate paragraph in particular, is heartbreaking. And yay otak!

Far Too Many Questions, With Some Quite Dubious Answers (English and Scottish Popular Ballads)

Riddles and folklore and strange stories: haunting and weird and beautifully written. It reminds me a bit of Catherynne Valente's books in the lush language and the way it puts together stories that may (or may not) be loosely related, and the way the author uses riddles and folklore (the way Valente uses fairy-tale tropes).

The Lord of Joiry (Jirel of Joiry)

You don't need to know canon to read this, but if you do it will be that much better. This is a pitch-perfect (back)story of Jirel -- it's got the beautifully horrible world that Jirel often gets flung into; the tone of the story is just right; Jirel herself is exactly the brash, impetuous, courageous, non-analytic character she is in the stories. I would have sworn it was canon if I didn't know it was yuletide, and in my head it's going to be.

A Practical Method of Italian Singing (Le Comte de Monte-Cristo)

Eugenie and Louise are just about my favorite characters from Count of Monte Cristo, and this fic, I feel, really gives them a nice ending, which Dumas did not. Louise comes across as a much stronger character than in Dumas, shrugging off the humiliation Dumas tried to inflict on them, and Eugenie's plot is hilarious.

The End and the Way (Left Hand of Darkness - Ursula K. Le Guin)

You don't need to know canon to read this, but this might inspire you to pick up the original. This is an incredibly beautifully and intelligently written story about an original character in Le Guin's (mostly-)genderless world of Gethen, with all the thoughtfulness about gender and sex and life that is present in the original (possibly more, with the forty years that have passed since then). It is a wonderfully lovely, understated coming-of-age story that has that ring of truth to it that the best fiction has. This is possibly my favorite Yuletide story (discounting my marvelous gift, of course!), in that not only did the author write a fic I couldn't have imagined, but I would also never have thought to write the prompt.

Ten Years After (Scarlet Pimpernel - Baroness Orczy)

A lovely, quiet glimpse at Blakeney and Chauvelin many years afterwards. Their emnity, dimmed with time and subsequent historical events, has become something that is almost friendship. This is totally my new headcanon.

The Captain of the Caledonia (Macbeth - Shakespeare)

Okay, so, others have recced this, but really! Let me just repeat: Macbeth. In SPAAACE. What more could you want?

Don't Ask About Geoffrey Tennant (Slings and Arrows)

Anna is the heart and soul of this show, and she shines in this fic. All the characters are so in-character that I giggled my way through the entire thing. Mentions of Oliver's sheep and Richard trying to hire William Shatner for the win!

Neither Have I Wings To Fly (Tillerman Cycle - Cynthia Voigt)

I looooove the Tillerman cycle like whoa, and Voigt in general, because of its thoughtful multifaceting of characters who in any other book would be dismissed as one-dimensional stereotypes. This fic fleshes out Millie, who isn't nearly as smart as Ab but who is observant, and it is about a lifelong friendship between two women. I also requested Tillerman fic, so it was almost like another gift for me.

Burn the Topless Towers (Vorkosigan Saga - Lois McMaster Bujold)

My heart just about stopped, reading this. Dark, dark look at Aral's first wife; the fic makes her three-dimensional, sympathetic, and what's more, Vor, and adds backstory plot while it's at it. This is a perfect little black gem. One of my favorites in this Yuletide season.


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