marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (Default)
I really like the idea of everyone leaving fannish recs on Sandy's birthday. Of course, by the time I saw people's posts, it was already a day later (timezones are so handy that way) and now it's a day later still, but I'm sure Sandy woudn't have minded. I visited her recs pages so often, back in the day.

So have two recs for stories by the same author, both in Tolkien movie/book fandom.

First, an adorable Legolas/Gimli story where, as the author says, Gimli is a BAMF. This is an important part of his characterization for me, and I'm always happy to find fic that showcases him that way.

From One Age to Another (12118 words) by determamfidd
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: The Lord of the Rings - J. R. R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings - All Media Types, The Hobbit - All Media Types, The Hobbit (2012)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: Author Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Gimli/Legolas

Summary: Upon their return to Eryn Lasgalen and Erebor respectively, Legolas and Gimli each have a new adornment. Their fathers would like an explanation.

The second rec is for a much longer crossover-ish story where Thorin and crew are all kibitzing from the sidelines as the LOTR storyline progresses. What with being dead and all, there isn't much else left for them to do - or is there?

This one's a WiP, and we haven't gotten to the point yet where Legolas and Gimli are even friends, much less anything closer than that, but I cannot WAIT for that to happen, and to see the reactions from the other dwarves. And then there's the question of whether Bilbo will be allowed into the Halls of the Dead...

Sansûkh (94511 words) by determamfidd
Chapters: 14/?
Fandom: The Hobbit - All Media Types, The Lord of the Rings - All Media Types, The Hobbit - J. R. R. Tolkien, The Hobbit (Jackson movies), The Lord of the Rings (Movies)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply, Major Character Death
Relationships: Bilbo Baggins/Thorin Oakenshield, Gimli/Legolas Greenleaf

Summary: The battle was over, and Thorin Oakenshield awoke, naked and shivering, in the Halls of his Ancestors.

marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (Default)
So, I don't know the show Once Upon a Time at all, because I seriously suck at watching things with a plot these days.

But: it's about fairytale people who live in the modern world, in a town called Storybrooke. I know that much because of this fabulous vid that [personal profile] arduinna and [personal profile] therienne made.

And I am fascinated by the picspams [personal profile] arduinna is now putting up: They are not hugely spoilery, I think, because they deal with scenery and background things, not so much the plot.

And it turns out that the OUaT crew have been doing amazing things with scenery.

The kind of things that you don't even notice, until you are vidding the show, and pausing endlessly, and running clips at low speeds, and rewatching clips 100 times. Which...normal viewers probably don't do, and yet the showmakers put this coherent, subtle, beautiful motif of trees and flowers and forests in the background of the modern town, in ways that make particular sense for each character. It's stunning when you see it all together like this.

Another favorite fannish analysis of mine is Tom & Lorenzo's thoughts about the period wardrobe in Mad Men, and how it ties in to the character arcs, starting with season two. I haven't been reading that recently, as, guess what, I'm not caught up to Mad Men's current season at all, but I loved their posts on earlier seasons.

(Side note re not being caught up: I am still debating whether to ask for Burn Notice fic for Yuletide or not. I love the show just as much as I did last year. I just, um, haven't caught up at all, as far as I can remember, since last year, which means I'm somewhere in season...three? That might make things awkward for my writer, I fear.)

I wish more shows were this careful and thoughtful about their entire background, wardrobe and styling choices. It's like they are giving the viewer presents to reward them for investing time in the show.

It's a huge contrast to the more usual elements you pick up as a vidder -- shows reusing footage, for example (Granada Sherlock Holmes, as lovely as your street scenery shots are, I'm looking at you).

Or the stunt guys who are so very obviously not the hero, once you pause them.

Or that really very charming shot I found in ST:TOS, I can't remember the episode, but it was one with explosions in it -- and at one point you can see Kirk come in running, sort of come to a stop and then deliberately throw himself on the ground, with the explosion happening just a tad later.

Or shows that reuse scenery elements in ways that are incredibly distracting once you notice them. (Hercules: the Legendary Journeys, not having a huge budget, did this all the damn time, to the point where I started greeting a certain stretch of beach like an old friend. Probably worst of all was the decision to reuse the Sumerian tomb Iolaus was buried in as set dressing for the catwalk in a Widow Twanky episode. Well, worst or most audacious, I'm not sure.)
marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (Default)
Two vidding things that are splendid:

Francesca Coppa did a terrific video interview with vidders Sandy and Rache, which is now online at the OTW journal. Sandy & Rache are two of my favorite vidders -- their website is a roll call of fantastic vids like Stress, Crush Story, A Fannish Taxonomy of Hotness and the ever-fabulous Detachable Penis.

The only complaint I have about this is that it's too short; I would basically like a five day long interview where they talk about every vid they ever made and everything that ever happened in vidding fandom. Also, where Sandy laughs a lot, because she has the best laugh. But this is an excerpt from a longer interview, so there's more to come, yay!

The other splendid thing is that [personal profile] killabeez has made a shiny high-quality remaster of her gorgeous Xena vid Salome, which is one of the best vids that ever came out of Xena fandom, if you ask me. It's lush and sensual and melancholy, and it tells the story of Ares' doomed romance with Xena (with, as Killa says, a touch of Xena/Gabrielle). The vid has amazing use of color, red, black, and ice-blue; in a way, this is the dark doppelgänger of [personal profile] charmax's beautiful vid Boom Boom Ba.
marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (Default)
So, [personal profile] dorinda told me about this 1956 Hollywood movie I should see called "Trapeze", and I did, and loved it -- I am adding it to my Yuletide list, in fact, because this is a movie that simply cries out for fanfic. It almost, almost gets to the point where a slash fanfic ending would not even have been necessary, and then stops. Seriously, it's like the last reel has just gone missing somewhere.

"Trapeze" stars a young, gorgeous Tony Curtis as the up-and-coming talented acrobat who wants to learn the triple salto and a somewhat older, still gorgeous Burt Lancaster as the crippled, experienced ex-acrobat who winces every time he sees so much as a dangling rope, and the equally gorgeous Gina Lollobrigida as the Italian intrigante who aims to become the star of the circus and tries to break up their partnership.

The boys wear tights. And arm wraps. And...not really much else? I think some pants and shirts are involved when they're not in the circus, but they look very good in those, too. Gina wears breathtaking gold spangled outfits. Did I mention this movie is in Technicolor, and filmed in an actual circus?

The boys gaze at each other with (on Tony Curtis' part) industrial amounts of joyful flirtiness and wide-open longing and (on Burt Lancaster's part) dizzying amounts of inner pain and nobility and secret yearning, and then they hold discussions about the catcher/flyer relationships, and about their hearts beating in time, and they train and try for the triple salto mortale together, and then there is the actual flying, and the intense emotional entanglements that should revolve around Gina and yet always, always come back to just the two of them.

Screencaps and discussion and movie download links over at [personal profile] dorinda's place! Bring potluck!
marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (kirk spock)

I found out about the vid Forever by Zi thanks to [ profile] mrs_underhill, who posted about it on [ profile] kirkspock, and I just adore it.

It's a Russian Kirk/Spock vid, with the mythic, larger than life feeling that I also get from [ profile] killabeez' gorgeous TOS vids As and Dante's Prayer -- THEIRLOVEISSOFUCKINGEPIC pretty much sums it up, and it makes me so happy. This vid is classic in terms of editing style -- no heavy effects, fairly long shots, but a great sense of mood and building up to emotional impact.

Also, I think what Forever does with landscape is really cool, and something I can't recall having seen elsewhere; the closest related vid I can think of is [ profile] sisabet's due South vid Icebound Stream, where the polar bears in the snow are used as a metaphor for Fraser and Victoria. In the first minute of Forever (which is all instrumental), the imagery is intercut between Earth and Vulcan, then deserts and oceans, and then finally the two meet in a flyover shot of the beach, then up into the clouds, above the clouds into space...and to the Enterprise. It feels dreamlike and gorgeous and uplifting, and it sets the theme and the mood perfectly. I thought this was partly external footage, like the polar bears, but I am assured that it's not -- all the desert, ocean etc. shots are from Trek.

I love the Russian song, and it inevitably loses something in translation, but I did my best: I've made an English subtitle file for the vid, with the vidders' permission and based on [ profile] mrs_underhill's initial translation of the lyrics. I went a bit more literal in places, because all of a sudden I had my translation professor in my head telling me to cut out the poetry, so you may like her version better!

Vid: download and streaming links - I recommend the "worksafe" version, I think it's by far the best. On their website, click the download link below the streaming video. This will take you to a Russian download site, similar to mediafire or megaupload. Here's what to do next in handy screencaps: step 1 - step 2. It may take a while for the vid to download.

Subtitle file: (right-click and save)

The way this works: you save both the vid and the subtitle files to the same directory. Then you open the vid in VLC player (or another player, but I know it works with VLC *g*) and VLC will automagically pick up the subtitle file. If necessary, you can then turn on the subtitles by clicking Video > Subtitles Track > Track 1, and turn them off again with Video > Subtitles Track > Disable. You can also change the size/color/font of the subtitles in Tools > Preferences > Subtitles & OSD.

It's a lot easier to make an .srt file than I thought; you can even do it in Notepad, but I chose to use an editor. If anyone is interested I could do a how-to post on that later?
marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (sga labyrinth)
[ profile] yuletart is a multifandom fanart gift exchange, and they have just put up a masterlist of all the fanart people have made for each other, and revealed the names of the fanartists.

There's some lovely stuff there, in many fandoms, and I particularly liked:

Roasting birds, by [ profile] harbek (Fandom: Avatar: The Last Airbender, rated G, not spoilery) Zuko and Aang! I love the colors.

Laughing All the Way, by [ profile] craterchest (Fandom: Batman, rated PG) Creepy creeeeeepy Joker Xmas card.

Them Poking It, by [ profile] glockgal (Fandom: Good Omens, rated G) The Them, doing what they do best. Just fantastic.

Nobody Said There'd be Laundry, by [ profile] sae (Fandom: Heroes, rated PG) Claire talks to Mr. Muggles. Adorable.

whisper, by [ profile] _odella_ (Fandom: Sandman, rated G) Dream and Desire. This gives me goosebumps.

Elanor's Discovery, by [ profile] inknose (Fandom: Lord of the Rings, rated G) This is just ♥. Elanor reads about her dad and Frodo. If you like LOTR at all, don't miss this one.
marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (Default)
Back again from the holidays; great fun, lots of long walks, came home with a cold. Am consoling myself with tea, eggdrop soup and Yuletide stories, which is just the best comfort there is - it's like grazing off a buffet with more than 2000 different dishes, you can't go wrong. I'm trying to leave comments as I go, and I'm bookmarking my favorites for a longer recommendation post later on.

Right now I want to draw attention to my favorite story so far, which is The Case of the Broken-Hearted Liar, a Holmes/Watson story that just about knocked me off my feet with its intensity. Gorgeous language, excellent character voices, and very lush and sensual in a believably Victorian way.

"We are here to observe to-night, Watson. I doubt there will be any events of interest for your pen, but I am, as always, glad of your company."

The rush of warmth at Holmes' heartfelt comment left me momentarily quiet, tracking his motions in the near-dark, the angling shadows created by his chilly smile. Before I could find words Holmes waved them away, uninterested in emotional demonstrations unless, it seemed, he was the one to make them.
marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (woot!)
With a whole bunch of exceedingly nosy relatives grouped about me, I've still managed to manoeuver myself and my laptop so that none of them can see the screen or appear suddenly and heartstoppingly at my shoulder -- which means that I have managed to read all my Yuletide stories and am now trying out the posting-without-interference thing. Fingers crossed.

Yes, I did say all my Yuletide stories. I'm completely verklempt, here, and it was very hard to keep my composure and not go eeee! out loud a lot and startle said relatives. I got four stories, which. I. seriously. FOUR STORIES, in three different fandoms, and they're all wonderful. They seriously are, and they complement each other beautifully, and I loved reading all of them. O Yuletide fairy goddess type people, you rock, and I am so grateful and gleeful and thrilled, I can't tell you. I scatter rose petals at your feet, and thank you so very much!

It is so lovely to get presents you can share. Here are my presents, come read them!

First, my official story: The First Time is the Hardest, set in Martha Wells' Fall of Ile-Rien universe. (Ilias/Giliead, NC-17.) Gil and Ilias go hunt their first wizard, and have a very tough time of it, and I loved the adventure and suspense and the deep trust between them. The way this story makes connections with other events in the books and the worldbuilding feels exactly right. I read this lovely long & plotty story in three bites, with long walks in the dunes in between, and that was just perfect - I spent the whole walk worrying about Gil and Ilias and Gil's father Ranior succumbing to the evil wizard and scarybad things happening to them, ohnoes!* Thank you so much, my wonderful author, I adored it.

Then there was A Good Day, Real Ghostbusters (PG).
Peter Venkman deals with a difficult ghost, alone. Again, I adored this - short, vivid, crammed full of action, a fiercely determined Peter Venkman and some understated but warm hurt/comfort, which are things that go together like tea and chocolate, yum. The only complaint I have is that I wish to read more of this story, moremoremore! *is greedy*

Then, Festival Day, also set in Martha Wells' Fall of Ile-Rien books (PG-13 for swearing).
Fabulous first line: "In the months since Tremaine has arrived in Cineth, she hadn't wanted to kill herself once, but it was certainly looking like an attractive option today." and the rest is just as good. Syprian celebrations, with Tremaine in her new position as head of the household, and it's just warm and fun and delicious, with a perfectly written Tremaine. I love it.

And then there is I Friend You, You Friend Him, Hercules: the Legendary Journeys (PG).
Iolaus and Hercules deal with one of Salmoneus' most insidious inventions ever.This. I. *flails* This is sheer demented genius, much like Salmoneus himself. It made me laugh like a drain, and the scary thing is that I can totally see this happening on the show. Just fantastic, and you should really read this even if you don't know from Hercules, because I guarantee it will crack you up.

*hugs all of Yuletide*  Happy holidays!

*(They do not get eaten by the sharks at this time.)
marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (fisshh)
As DVDs are coming out for more and more shows, vidders have started remastering their older vids, made with VCR footage or sometimes third-generation copies. Remasters ares a wonderful thing, IMO, and a labor of love: remastering's a lot of work, and I think it's probably not creatively fulfilling in the way making a new vid is. Also, I fear there's probably less feedback for a remaster, no matter how pretty, than for a new vid, which is why I stress once again to please let the vidders know if you like the vids I'm talking about below, all of which have been remastered recently.

Title: Haunted
Artist: Poe
Fandom: Odyssey 5
Vidder(s): [ profile] flummery
Download at:
View Imeem version at:
Leave feedback at:

This vid oh-so-casually introduces you to a fandom you have probably never heard of in your life, to a whole group of characters and their relationships, to the mission they are on and the things that go wrong - and then suddenly there is a certain thing that happens (and you will know it when you see it, oh yes) and the vid has you BY THE THROAT AND DOES NOT LET GO and you are all sniffly and there's a whole science fiction story there that is starting to become clear and - wow. How did they do that?

I've been sitting in between both halves of [ profile] flummery as they finished work on the remaster and I still don't know how they do it. (It involves a lot of yelling "OMG here let ME do it," I think. And possibly glowsticks, though they hid those for my visit.) But if you haven't seen this vid before, you should watch it. And if you have, you should watch it again, because the remaster is incredibly crisp, and really amazed me when I first saw it. Haunted has always been a stellar vid, but I always thought that Odyssey 5 was filmed by the same people who make Australian soap operas; it had that orange-tinted, flat lighting that makes everyone look like they're made of plastic. Well, surprise - Odyssey 5 actually looks great, and has natural lighting, and all the weird tinting came with the VCR source that was the only thing available when the vid was made. Yay remasters!

Title: Roll To Me
Artist:Del Amitri
Fandom: due South
Vidder(s): Sandy and Nicole; remaster by Gwyneth
Download at:
Leave feedback at: see [ profile] sherrold's LJ profile for email, etc.

This vid played at Club Vivid, and I heard people going "Oh yay, they remastered that vid! I love that vid!" and realized that this must be a classic vid I had never seen. I get the reactions now: it's an adorable, warm, just-right Fraser/Vecchio vid, and makes me terribly nostalgic for early due South. Love the very clean POV shift from Vecchio to Fraser, and I just basically want to watch it three more times now and go AW.

Title: History Repeating
Artist: Shirley Bassey and the Propellerheads
Fandom: Highlander, HL: The Raven
Vidder(s): [ profile] killabeez
Download and leave feedback at:

Oh, Amanda. See, I have watched just enough Highlander to see Tessa die (snf) and I honestly don't remember seeing Amanda around at all, but Killa has done several vids for her, and now I feel like I know her very well; in fact, I adore her. She maybe weighs 40 kilos soaking wet and yet she kicks ass, she's clever, she's tricksy, she's got a good sense of humor and an even better sense of mischief, and she has great taste in men, women and loot. She's a sticky-fingered filcher with a taste for thievery - wait, now I'm quoting another vid, and more to the point of this vid, she's been around. If anyone has ever been around, it's Amanda. The vid tells such a strong story (look at Amanda dissing the Russian revolution by comparing it with the French! And you can see her think "yeah, because that ended well", and it all happens in what, four clips?), and it's such a riot of color and movement, and both come out beautifully in this shiny new remaster. Yay!

Title: 500 Miles
Artist:The Proclaimers
Fandom: Professionals
Vidder(s): Sandy and Alex; remaster by Justacat
Download at:
Leave feedback at: see [ profile] sherrold's LJ profile for email, etc.

I only know the Professionals fandom through vids, and I confess that I still don't know which one is Bodie and which one is Doyle. I can distinguish the boys themselves just fine! It's just something about the names - I think maybe Bodie looks more like a Doyle to me, or vice versa. Anyway, thank Zeus for the vidders' notes, where Sandy says: "Too many Pros stories show Bodie doing all the running; I wanted to do a visual rebuttal, showing Doyle doing the chasing." This is such a great song, and the vidders use it beautifully, and with this remaster the vid looks like it was made yesterday. I love all the determined, nobody-can-stop-me motion in the vid. Not to mention the right-on-the-beat strutting in very tight jeans. *admires*
marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (woot!) tells me that [ profile] flambeau has posted something wonderful.

Georgette Heyer fans should run (toward the story, not away). So should Star Wars fans. So should anyone who's ever read a Regency romance, because, oh man. I cannot tell you how insanely gleeful this story makes me.

[ profile] flambeau says "This is probably not what it would have been like if Georgette Heyer had written TPM fanfic."

She is of course completely wrong. This is exactly what it would have been like if Georgette Heyer had written TPM fanfic.

Here, a quote:
A few students, however, refused to adopt the languishing airs their fellows affected, and instead attempted to regard Qui-Gon Jinn with the same indifferent disdain he afforded them. In this latter group was a young man who watched the entrance of Master Jinn under long red-gold lashes, careful not to let the others perceive how intently he studied the man. It would not do to give the impression that he cared one whit for the presence, or absence, of the Jedi order's greatest champion, a man who, so rumor had it, only need smile faintly, or give a gracious nod, for more impressionable young students to scratch a tentative Q-G on the handle of their lightsaber; the bolder ones had even been known to tie love-knots in their hair, at the spot most commonly chosen for a padawan braid.
Go read Episode One: The Quiet Padawan, by [ profile] flambeau. Rated G or thereabouts. This is Heyer, after all. *g*
marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (momo woes)
The Cold From Hell has me wrapped up on the couch in my favorite striped fleece blanket, sniffling and coughing and drinking tea by the liter.

The story I wanted to post for [ profile] 14valentines today is still unfinished; instead, here are some recs for stories that are warm and comforting and good to read when you're under the weather.

An Earthly Knight, by [ profile] ltlj. SGA, NC-17. Everyone on my friendslist who even vaguely likes Stargate: Atlantis is already reading [ profile] ltlj, right? If not, get thee over to the Retrograde universe and dive in; you probably won't come out for days.

"An Earthly Knight" is her latest, it's a stand-alone story, and it's fantastic in all senses of the word. Makes me want to curl up in a tree with a bunch of feral, yet very friendly elves. Mmm.

The Buried Treasure Racket, by Dorinda. The Sting, NC-17, slash. Yes, I already recced this after [ profile] yuletide, but this is a pippin and a peach of a story. Perfect for rereading when you're sick and want something that's beautifully written, warm, and deliciously right. Actually, that description pretty much goes for all of Dorinda's stories.

Teal'c's five favorite board games, by Komos. SG-1, G. Who'd think board games could produce a story this rich, this funny, this acute? All that and a fantastic Teal'c portrait. I just adore this from start to finish.

Some Enchanted Evening and extra scene, by Randi DuMois. Hercules: the Legendary Journeys, NC-17, slash. Set during one of my very favorite episodes, Hero's Heart (canon amnesia! badass gang enforcer Iolaus! pining Hercules!), full of wonderful characterization, snark and hotness.

Going Home, by [ profile] daegaer. Good Omens, G. I have this bookmarked as "Aziraphale is recalled to Heaven. Crowley is strangely upset. Hijinks ensue! Lovely, warm, gen, note-perfect" and I'm not sure what I can add to that. [ profile] daegaer's narratorial voice is devastatingly accurate, and this story is just everything I would ever want from Good Omens fic.

Matters of the Heart, by Valentin. Hercules: the Legendary Journeys, PG. A fun, lighthearted story about Hercules, Iolaus, Iolaus' girlfriend and a devious plot by Ares, with a lovely wallowy scene that I always reread and sigh over.

14 Valentines: Reproductive Rights
marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (mo mo mo)
First set of Yuletide story recommendations is here, second set is here.

The Buried Treasure Racket (The Sting). PG-13. Slash.  Johnny and Henry find another mark to con, but there's more than money at stake. Pick a couple of empty hours, find yourself a good chair, and read this long, satisfying, utterly wonderful story. In the giant heap of amazing stories this year, this one stands out. WOW.

For me, it arrived at a perfect moment: I had just rewatched The Sting and I'd also just read The Big Con by David Maurer, which IIRC was the basis for the movie. This story takes up where the movie left off, but it's an entirely standalone story where Johnny and Henry pull off another brilliant 'long con'. The author did her research - on cons, on sleight-of-hand, on the right kind of slang - and folded it effortlessly into the story, and it's like the best kind of caper story AND the best kind of subtle, warm, delicious slash story all rolled into one, and seriously, what do I say to make you all read this RIGHT NOW?

The Mostly-Secret Diary of Rick (The Young Ones). PG. Adrian Mole's diary, as written by snotty Rick. Hee! I think the poetry was my favorite part. I love this aspect of Yuletide - I wouldn't go hunting for The Young Ones fanfic, because I was pretty much content with the show itself (ditto Blackadder, AbFab and other British comedies), but I came across this story on the archive and it's just hilarious.

Cleopatra's Needle (The Addams Family). PG. Morticia as a young woman, gardening in the suicides' graveyard and meeting Gomez for the first time. There was a bumper crop of excellent Addams Family fic this year, and this one is my favorite. I always loved Morticia and Gomez' relationship in the cartoons and the movie; this story could be from either, though it has some movie references, and it's beautifully written and just as twistedly romantic. I believe they met just like this.

Four Things Howl Never Told Sophie and One Thing He Did (Howl's Moving Castle). PG. Howl and Sophie are growing older. When [ profile] therienne recs a Howl story I know it'll be good, and this was just adorable. Tender but not schmoopy, and Howl and Sophie's voices both felt very right.

Pimp and Pomposity (Blackadder). R. Blackadder procures some company for the Prince of Wales. Wow. Perfect Blackadder voice, lots of witty dialogue, references to other episodes and running gags, and even a dig at Austen. HEE.

Area 51 (Queer as Folk UK) NC-17, slash. Stuart and Vince make a road trip to Area 51 and have an alien encounter. People have been recommending this already, right? I just haven't seen it? I hope so, because it's a funny, sexy Vince/Stuart story, and then there's the bit near the ending where I died with glee. It turns into a crossover, and one that I have been wanting to read for the longest time. (Okay, a hint: Vince's last name is Tyler.)

Back Row Hecklers (Muppets). PG. Why do Statler and Waldorf keep coming back? Aw. Bittersweet and adorable. Small flaily frog!

Yes, Sir, Jeeves (PG Wodehouse -- Jeeves and Wooster). NC-17, slash. Wooster takes on the role of Jeeves' manservant. This is just wonderful - language and voice perfectly Wodehousean, which is a triumph in itself, and completely in character for both. Plus such a lovely plot that I wondered at Plum for not using it himself. I may have maiden-aunted my way through the explicit bit at the end, but that was very well written too, and I completely adored the whole thing. Just, YAY! I'll be rereading this, definitely.
marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (yuletide iolaus)
My first set of Yuletide story recommendations is here.

Crumpled Pieces of Paper Found in the Wastebasket of Count Rugen. (Princess Bride). G. Short and hilarious, and a fantastic title, too. Hee.

An Unwilling Heart (Diane Duane -- Young Wizards series). PG-13. Tom and Carl's first meeting. Long, plotty, wonderfully rich in worldbuilding detail, I just adored this, and it manages to feel fresh and original and still very closely linked to the original books in style and theme.

The Taste of Honey (Sandman). G. Death and Delirium visit a city. This is gorgeous, very Gaimanesque, with a wealth of little, odd details. Not many stories written in second person present work for me, but this one does.

darkness and beauty of stars was on my mouth. (Sandman). PG. What does the New Corinthian dream of? Shivery and lush, and I love the ending.

reflection. (Sandman). G. Delight meets Delirium. Bittersweet and true-feeling, plus a perfect Delirium voice, wow. Love the socks and the tiny elephants.

A Maze of Twisty Passages, All Alike. (Lois McMaster Bujold -- Miles Vorkosigan series). PG. Ivan and Gregor are in trouble, and they'll do anything rather than wait for rescue, especially from Miles. Sheer delight from beginning (the title!) to end. I love Ivan and Gregor's competence in the face of danger - they're both so much more than they seem, and this story delivers that beautifully. The clever dialogue made me laugh out loud, and the resolution warms my heart. Oh, Ivan. Oh, Gregor.

The Long Con. (Lois McMaster Bujold -- Miles Vorkosigan series). R. Ivan and Byerly go out on the town. For spy reasons, obviously. Hee. This was just so much fun;  I adored Alys' and especially Miles' reaction, that was just perfect.
marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (mo mo mo)
I feel like Scrooge McDuck swimming in his gold coin warehouse when I'm browsing through the Yuletide archive. So many good stories - I haven't even read all the ones in my very favorite fandoms yet, but here are some of my favorites of what I've read so far.

Hercules ex Machina (Hercules: the Legendary Journeys). PG. A lovely, funny Hercules and Iolaus adventure, full of great lines and true to the show and their characters - and I'm going to be a little vague about this, but they meet a character from another mythology in a way that just works beautifully. This story just fills me with glee.

No Fish No Go (Hercules: the Legendary Journeys). G. A drabble: Hercules and Iolaus go fishing. You know that's not going to end well. Hee. I loved this, it's perfectly them.

In the Dark (Dead Boy Detectives). PG. Rowland and Paine talk in the dark. Quietly warm, adorable and in character; this hit just the right note for me, and I loved the conversation about the comics.

In The Tracks Of The Bear (Elfquest). R. After a bear hunt goes wrong, Strongbow and Bearclaw find that they're more alike than they thought. Not a pairing I'd ever thought about (though as the creators said, the elves have all visited each others' dens at one time or another), but the author makes it work, and I really liked the imagery at the end.

True North (Elfquest). PG. Skywise and Shenshen talk at Sorrow's End. Skywise was always my favorite. I love Shenshen's sensuality here, but also her seriousness, and the way Skywise is both tied to the world and detached.

Days Gone By (Elfquest). PG-13. Cutter and Skywise slash, not explicit; set during their stay with Nonna and Adar. (There should be more Cutter/Skywise, people, OMG. Or Cutter/Skywise/Leetah. Why is there not a gigantic archive somewhere? And if there is, why has nobody told me?)

Death in the Tuileries (Dorothy Sayers -- Lord Peter Wimsey). G. Lord Peter Wimsey and Bunter meet in Paris during the War and deal with their first case. Love the setting, and the first glimpse of their working relationship.

At First Sight (Diane Duane -- Young Wizards). G. Awww. Tom and Carl acquire a pet. This is just the story equivalent of a Cute Overload post.

Day of rest and gladness (Avatar: the Last Airbender). G. Speaking of cute, this story just melts me into a puddle. Warm and happy and just so right. Oh, Momo. Oh, Appa. Myfavouritethingmyfavouritething!

A Thousand Miles (Avatar: the Last Airbender). G. Avatar isn't just about the cute, though, and I really have to do a post about this amazing show sometime soon. This story broke my heart into little pieces and then glued them together again, with the help of a certain conniving and altogether admirable uncle. This is Zuko at his lowest ebb, right after the Agni Kai, and this is Iroh at his finest, and this is just how it happened. I treasure this story.

Home for the Holidays (Terry Pratchett -- Discworld) G. Worth it for Vimes' reading of 'Twas the night before Hogswatch' alone, and an excellent Pratchett voice. Lady Sybil negotiates, and Angua meets the in-laws.

Please, if you read these and like them, comment to let the authors know!
marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (rodney and ronon wildthings)
See, already this Imeem thing is paying off, as vids are showing up that I downloaded a while ago and then mislaid.

Code Monkey is an SGA vid starring Rodney, by [ profile] mousewrites, to a wonderful Jonathan Coulton song. It's slashy,and it would be a bit of a spoiler to give the pairing away, so I won't, but don't worry. It's an adorable and funny vid with some terrific choices and timing, and it's the vidder's first, so go watch and comment!

Go read!

Nov. 29th, 2006 11:31 pm
marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (woot!)
Very quickly, as I really really have to go sleep:

[ profile] muccamukk has a great post about one of my all-time favorite Hercules stories: Home Is Where the Heart Is by [ profile] ltlj and Kimberly Rector.

In my mind, this story supersedes most of the actual onscreen fifth season of Hercules: the Legendary Journeys, and I know I'm not the only one.


Nov. 23rd, 2006 04:58 pm
marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (rodney and ronon wildthings)
You know how sometimes you're reading a story and you just want to quote bits of it to everybody?

Thanks to [ profile] aka_arduinna's wonderful multifandom recs, I'm reading Taking Time by Janne, an SGA/Dr Who (Tenth Doctor) crossover, and here's the bit I love best so far:

“You don’t think “hi, my time-travelling phone box set us up” is an original pick-up?” John asked and turned back to the Doctor when Rodney just glared at him. “And I don’t know what it is you want from me, but I’m not gay.”

“And I’m not a man,” the Doctor said airily, “so that works out nicely all round. Besides, I don’t need you to have sex with me,” he went on and then paused and looked John up and down appreciatively enough to make John’s face heat, “Though I can’t say it wouldn’t be nice.”

Oh, and happy Turkey Day, those of you who have days off celebrate it! (Jammy bastards..) Me, I'm looking forward to Sinterklaas, the best excuse ever to eat chocolate letters, pepernoten, speculaas and marzipan. Yum.
marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (youg herc iolaus)
I feel crappy and snarly and grouchy today, and it helps to listen to a couple of mashups at unhealthily high volume. I found the first one through Luminosity's new Supernatural vid, and then I went looking for more.

Enter Aretha, by Rolf Schraa. This is just pure crazy genius - Aretha meets Metallica, and it works. Damn.
Lose Yourself To Bach Ke, by Hans van Setten. Not quite as good as the first, but that's still pretty good; it's Eminem's Lose Yourself mixed with a Panjabi MC song you might recognize from another vid. *g*

You can find both at the RabRadio archive as streaming media, and if someone knows a way to save the second mashup to mp3, I'd appreciate it.

These were both done as 'friday afternoon mixes'; click on the lowest dropdown screen and go to 08/09/2006 - Rolf Schraa for the first and 12/08/2005 - Hans Setten for the second. There's some radio gabble at the end, just ignore.

ETA: Or download the .mp3 of 'Enter Aretha' here. (Thanks, Rolf!)

Who are you carrying all those bricks for, anyway?
marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (woot!)
[ profile] mickeymvt posted a slashy coda to the Hercules episodes Armageddon I and II:

Gratitude, Hercules/Iolaus, rated NC-17.

It wasn't all that long ago that she was saying "But I don't write fanfic." Heh. Yay, go encourage her!

(Disclaimer: I beta'ed this. :-)
marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (woot!)
[ profile] marthawells has just started posting The Element of Fire on her LJ, people. This is her first book, it's excellent, long out of print, people have been fighting for second-hand copies, and you can read it online for free now. Woo!

I could never find this book myself, not even at the Worldcon in Glasgow (where a dealer said to me, "Element of Fire? Oh yeah, I have it. At home. First edition. Nyar." :stabbity:). But I did have a pirated ebook version, and I read it and loved it even though it was full of typoes from bad OCR - and now that same pirated ebook has been put to use helping [ profile] marthawells come up with a true, authorized ebook edition. I love that.

The Element of Fire is a fantasy, set in the world of Ile-Rien, like several of her other books (Death of the Necromancer and the Wizard Hunters trilogy), but it's a standalone novel.

It's got the atmosphere of an Elizabethan court, with intrigue, swordfights, sorcerers, and a war against the fay. The plot fairly bowls along, and I love the cast of characters - Thomas, the dashing, dryly witty Captain of the Guard and favorite of the Queen, Kade the dangerous, unpredictable bastard princess, her sulky brother Roland and his boyfriend Denzil, and the Queen herself, who is a very tough cookie indeed.

Here's a nicely creepy bit from the opening chapter, where Thomas and his men are breaking into a sorcerer's house:
He took an involuntary step backward.

"Captain, what is it?" Gideon's whisper was harsh.

Thomas didn't answer. He was looking around the room as the faces in the floral carving over the chimneypiece shifted their blank white eyes, their tiny mouths working silently. The bronze snake twined around the supporting pole of a candlestand stirred sluggishly. In the woolen carpet the interwoven pattern of vines writhed.

Keeping hold of the rope, Gideon chinned himself on the window ledge to see in. He cursed softly.

"Worse than I thought," Thomas agreed, not looking away from the hideously animate room.

Okay, HELP.

Sep. 6th, 2006 12:02 pm
marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (rodney and ronon wildthings)
Someone, somewhere has to have an mp3 of Journey's Separate Ways. Please? Anyone?

Otherwise I will be reduced to blaring "SOMEDAY LOVE WILL FIND YOU! BREAK THOSE CHAINS THAT BIND YOU!" around the house all by myself, and it's just not the same.

This is, of course, all [ profile] barkley and [ profile] thepouncer's fault, for they made a SGA/Airwolf LKBV vid to this song that made me stupid happy. And it's not even that I have nostalgia for Airwolf, because I'd never heard of this show, but it looks intriguing in a whacked sort of way (chameleon? eagle? cello WTF?) and this is my new favorite anthem of fannish joy and John/puddlejumper OTPness.

IF HE EVER HURTS YOU/TRUE LOVE WON'T DESERT YOU! (*cue decloaking puddlejumpers behind John's head*)

Seriously, send help. Or mp3s.
ETA: Thanks to [ profile] barkley I have an mp3, woo! ONE NIGHT WILL REMIND YOU/ HOW WE TOUCHED AND WENT OUR SEPARATE WAYS!
marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (Default)
I have the Vividcon DVDs, (WOoooOO!) so at some point this week there will be vid recs. Meanwhile, there is TOO MUCH LIGHT IN THIS BAR. Hee. Seriously, you should download this, especially if you are having a bad Monday. It's a Life on Mars vid, but you don't need to know even that much. Walks! No, wait...swaggers!

And there is a miniature Labyrinth vid in that same post, which you should also download and snicker at. And then kill [ profile] absolut3destiny for claiming he made the latter in 'a few hours', because OMG. I know how hard it is to make those bloody muppets lip-synch, okay?

Right, Five Things now:

For [ profile] roo2:

Five ways Iolaus didn't die )

For [ profile] spikeface:

Five reasons Ares only wears black leather )

For [ profile] cyloran:

Five (and a half) things Captain Jack can do better than the Doctor )
marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (Default)
For everyone who'd like to build a vidshow of their very own:

- [ profile] thefourthvine recs anime vids. I think I've only seen two of these, and those two are lovely (Mitternacht and A Godawful Small Affair). Will be downloading the rest.
- [ profile] makesmewannadie asked, "What is your favorite vid in your fandom?" and bravely posted all the answers, with vid links. Unknown-to-me vids on this list too, yay!
- [ profile] astolat has put up high-quality Xvid versions of all her older vids, and put some older vids online that were only available on DVD before, including Man of Constant Sorrow, one of my favorites that I will have to talk about at more length some time. (It's Indiana Jones, and one of the things I love about it is the perfect ending shot. Go watch.)

And soooon, the Vividcon vids will be coming online. Good times.
marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (woot!)
Okay, if it weren't so OMGWTFBBQ hot in here (so hot, in fact, that my computer conks out when I try to make it do my vidding, curse it), I'd get up and dance to this:

Mambo Italiano, (remastered) vid by [ profile] charmax.
Fandom: Alias.
Summary: Sydney Bristow and her many aliases.

No, I don't know from Alias. All I know is that it has fabulous vids, like Atom Bomb and This Girl Is Making Bets. (ETA: am a moron, gwyneth's Atom Bomb is actually La Femme Nikita, not Alias. Cool vid, anyway. *g*) And now this one. You absolutely don't need to know the fandom to watch this. It swings, it moves, it will make you grin and shimmy and possibly think about buying yourself a hot-looking wig.

Also Gina Torres is in it. I think that Gina Torres should be in every vid ever made ever. Just for a moment! I know it would work. It would certainly cheer me up. *g*
marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (rodney and ronon wildthings)
[ profile] flambeau is writing what she calls SGA snippets. I think of snippets as something incomplete, or incomplete-feeling, but these are finished stories, and they're gems. (Disclaimer: I beta'ed both of them, but it was more the sort of beta'ing where you tell the writer the bits you liked best. There were lots. *g*)

Over the hills and far away is disturbingly funny, and she has just posted another: Suburban consumption rituals, which is just hilarious. And, um. Horrific. And hilarious! Really, not many people could pull that off. It could also work as a straight SF story, with a little tinkering, since the worldbuilding is detailed and delicious. This just made me grin like a shark.
marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (iolaus travels)
This is something that just won't happen in a massive fandom like SGA: someone friends you, you go to look and discover with disbelief and glee that they are writing in your fandom, OMG! About your favorite characters! Eeeee! You fall upon them, starving!

I'm talking about [ profile] cyloran, who suddenly popped up on my fannish radar, and who is writing 100 Iolaus drabbles for [ profile] drabbles100. Good drabbles, too - I particularly like The Sky Is Falling, and Just Hanging Around (scroll down a bit), with a deliciously defiant Iolaus, and Journey's End, which is one of the best descriptions of That Scene I've read.

Turns out [ profile] cyloran is a HtLJ oldtimer - she has several challenge responses and two longer stories on the Iolausian Library. Brother's Keeper and The Peacock's Eye are classic Hercules & Iolaus stories, with that appealing mix of humor, banter and sword & sorcerous adventure that made the show so much fun.

The crowd cheered their delight. Equally pleased with himself, Iolaus offered his fans an elaborate bow and a wide grin that said, 'I meant to do that!'

"Eh-HEM," grumped a voice at his feet.

Iolaus looked down. Hercules, laying flat on his back on the ground, was covered from head to toe in flower petals.

"If you don't mind?"

(from Brother's Keeper)

"Have I ever mentioned you'd be a natural at horseshoes?" asked Iolaus as he critically observed the aftermath of his friend's throw.

"I tried it once," admitted Hercules as he dusted off his hands. "When I was six. It didn't go very well."

"What'd you do, throw the horseshoes too hard and break the pole?"

"Well, no. I sort of ... broke ... the horse."

(from Peacock's Eye)
I am hugely cheered that [ profile] cyloran is here, and still writing, and working on more longer stories. Go encourage her! *eg*


May. 4th, 2006 09:26 pm
marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (quoi?)
My SO just showed me this: Starlords, a mashup vid of Lord of the Rings and Star Wars, and it brightened my day considerably.
First it's more of a fake movie trailer, then, just when you think they've run out of parallels and jokes (Ewoks versus Orcs!), they turn it into a music vid. With dancing. Gandalf does a mean funk routine, and Gollum isn't too shabby either...go see, and giggle!
marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (woot!)
- I have tickets for MirrorMask tomorrow! It's opening the Amsterdam festival for fantastic (as in fantasy and horror) film. I'm really looking forward to it.

- Rache and Sandy's SGA vid "Stress". You've probably seen it already, but I managed to hold out until I got my hands on the Escapade DVD, so it was all new to me. It's a very funny, clever vid that encapsulates Rodney perfectly, and it just fills me with glee.

- [ profile] pentapus's story Planet Megalodon Wraith Defense Force. SGA, gen, adventure story with a focus on John, Rodney and Teyla in particular. I adore this story - it's got exploration of fascinating alien worlds, terrific character voices, hurt/comfort, snark, rescues and wild escapes aplenty, plus my all time favorite plot element of 'OMG he's dead?! No, wait'. All this by a new author! And she can draw, too. We should clone her.

“Yes, yes, fine, the handheld version is designed to be more easily navigable than the stationary versions,” Rodney said and poked helpfully at one bubble in the web diagram labeled “Cool! Puddlejumper controls!” in Ancient which was when Sheppard suddenly got interested and tried to poke a bubble of his own. He got an immediate response. Sort of.

“John?” Elizabeth sounded worried, leaping out of her seat to peer across the table. Rodney might admit, later, to an instant of coldness in the chest region, but he'd probably caught a cold bug somewhere.

“Oh my,” said Zelenka.

“Huh,” Rodney said, taking back the square. “That’s funny.”

Sheppard was blinking slowly up at him from the floor, his chair rolling sedately away from where he had fallen out of it. “The hell?” Sheppard said, grabbing the edge of the table. The effects, it seemed, were extremely fleeting.

“You fainted,” Rodney said and, as an afterthought, beamed. “Try again.”

- [ profile] ltlj's Retrograde series. SGA/SG-1 crossover. AU, gen. [ profile] ltlj is one of my favorite authors in any fandom, and she is on such a roll with her SGA fic. I want to jump up and down and cheer her on. Wheee!

These stories are incredibly satisfying, plotty and rich and fun, and I'm going to be rereading them a lot, snickering to myself at all the snarky bits and angsting over the plot twists. She manages to give all the various SG-1 and SGA characters their due in a way familiar to anyone who's read When Hellmouths Collide - I haven't watched SG-1 at all, but I particularly enjoyed seeing the SGA people from Jack's and Cameron's point of view. (I didn't have a clue who this Cameron guy was, but after reading these stories he acquired a distinct, likeable personality for me.)
"Hey." O'Neill popped into the doorway suddenly. The Athosians all flinched. "You got a pair of scissors?"

John stared. "General?"

O'Neill winced and waved a hand vaguely around his head. "I gave a little girl some gum, she put it in her hair...."

"Right." John looked at Elizabeth's ransacked desk. "I...have no idea."

"I will find the girl and take care of it," Teyla said hastily.

"Oh. Good. She's the one with the--" O'Neill made another vague gesture. "You'll be able to tell."

As he headed off down the gallery, Teyla stared after him. She said, "I begin to believe that he is not doing this to disarm us."
marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (goodday)
Today is [ profile] merryish's birthday. Woo! Clearly this is squid party hats and balloons time. (Why squid? I don't know either. But Merry seems like a squid party hat sort of person to me. Happy birthday! *waves rubbery tentacles*)

Two SGA stories have been posted today in her honor. Both are hilariously entertaining and possibly a little whacked. I leave the reader to draw her own conclusions.

Candygram, by [ profile] aka_arduinna.
Rating: G, preslash (McKay/Sheppard)
Summary: "Do you think it ate Colonel Sheppard?"

I don't care if you read it before. This is the new, extra-shiny illustrated version, with fantastic art by [ profile] cynicatlantis. It will brighten your day.

Oh, God! by [ profile] flambeau
Rating: PG. Characters: Dr. Chasez, Carter the marine, Sheppard, McKay, Teyla, Ronon.
Summary: Birds do it, bees do it, Rodney McKay doesn't do it, and JC Chasez, intrepid scientist, witnesses a divine intervention.

This made me snicker madly. I love the Poptarts universe, but you don't have to have read those stories at all to enjoy this one, and the focus is on Rodney. I can't say much more than that without spoiling. Just - heeeee.
marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (sillyhat)
[ profile] therienne and [ profile] aka_arduinna both pointed me to this SG-1 story. Short, hilarious and insane.
When Carter finished, Jack nodded firmly and said, "Great. Keep up the good work. When you do you think you'll be--" It was probably a little sad that he had a standardized vague hand gesture that meant "back to normal."

Carter talked some more. It was a speech full of eventualities and caveats and if-then statements. After a while, Jack turned to Daniel and said, "Maybe it’d be faster if you could, you know--" Sadly, he had a standardized hand gesture for this, too. "And then come straight back down. What? It’s worked before."
Yet Another SG-1 Adventure, by [ profile] minnow1212. SG-1, gen.
marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (herc hug)
I am dropping off to sleep as we speak, but I need to point you to [ profile] charmax, who has remastered her fantastic Xena vid Boom Boom Ba so it's bigger and prettier, and I'm seeing new clips too, so it's more like a whole new version of the vid. She even put up a DVD version.

Really, go watch, if you're a Xena fan or not, this is such a gorgeous vid and it needs a wider audience. Lush, sensual, with a fantastic eye for color and movement. Watching it feels like taking a long hot scented bath. Possibly with an Amazon or two.

I want to write more vid recs soon, I promised [ profile] ahary, and I'm still waiting for the Escapade DVD and holding on to my resolution not to download any more vids from that show, just so I can see them on DVD. Not easy...
marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (rodney and ronon wildthings)
Got the link from [ profile] therienne, read it, and laughed my head off.

The Exceedingly Sad And Very Touching Story of How Dr. Elizabeth Weir Died Saving Atlantis, by lavvyan. Slash, NC-17 (though I'd rate it R at most, myself). McKay/Sheppard.

Short, mean and very very funny.
marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (happybright)
For anyone who needs cheering up: go look at and listen to the JCB music video by Nizlopi.

Probably, if you haven't seen this already, you're going "The who by the what now?" But all you need to know is that it's an animated music video to a fantastic, happy, wistful, utterly heartfelt song about what it's like to be five and drive around with your dad in his big yellow shovel.

It's like an animated picturebook, and it's wonderful. Lyrics are here.
marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (goodday)
[ profile] flambeau has posted her answers to the story summary meme, where people ask you for summaries of stories you haven't actually written.

Her summaries are a joy, and also very cruel because I want to read the full stories now. And they don't exist! Woe! She makes an Eroica/Highlander crossover sound like an utterly logical match, and she has a Jeeves/Wooster story with Aunt Agatha's son Thos. in it (I die of love) and then, for SGA, she begins thus:
It took them quite a while to find the games on the Ancient database, and even longer to realize that they were games. Multi-user games, even. Rodney had written the whole subdirectory off as a manual for several different models of sailing ships that were obviously millennia out of date; it was Simpson who figured out how to set herself up as a pirate captain.
And there's more, and in various fandoms. Go read. :-)


Mar. 2nd, 2006 12:27 pm
marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (rodney and ronon wildthings)
Even though I only hang out in the suburbs of the fandom, I have now read SGA fic where John, Rodney or both transform into:
  • dolphins
  • penguins
  • dinosaurs
  • children
  • Wraith
  • beanie babies

and the terrifying thing is that they're mostly really good stories. On crack, yes, but it's the good crack. I don't know what it is about this fandom.

I've read Moonloon and Spaggel's Rodneysaur story a number of times (and looked at the illustrations!) and it never fails to crack me up and make me go aww.
"Oh God, no. Rodney! I'm pretty sure there were no java junkies in the Jurassic. Give me that." He managed to get the jug away from Rodney thanks to glass being slipperier than socks, but the sound of Rodney's little claws screeching across it put his teeth on edge.

"Rarr!" Rodney growled, obviously not happy at all.
marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (shiny moment)
If you haven't wandered over to the Great Vidding Truth Meme over at [ profile] sdwolfpup's yet, it's definitely worth seeing and participating.

This is one long thread where you can leave anonymous feedback on the vids of any vidder who signed up. Criticism, squeeing, "I liked your vid but I don't understand X" ing, it's all good. If you want to tell me something about my vids, but you'd rather do it anonymously, go for it! And please don't be afraid to criticize. I really want to know.

I love seeing this meme grow and grow, and I've found several vids that I had lost track of, by vidders that aren't so well known. Here's a quick rec for [ profile] gayalondiel's SG-1 vid to "Men In Black", which is a lot of fun and has some really excellent clip choices.
marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (john sheppard - ludicrous speed)
From [ profile] makesmewannadie: Look! John and Rodney! Mousies! A screencaps-with-captions story by [ profile] idlerat, very cute.

(And no, they don't actually turn into mousies. Or pigs. Or dolphins or dinosaurs or penguins. So unexpected!)
marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (thumbs up)
[ profile] marthawells is giving away ten signed copies of Wizard Hunters, the first book in her Ile-Rien trilogy. She says:
"Right now there are 51 entries, so the chances aren't bad.

To enter, send an email between now and February 15 to WebAdmin @ saying you want to be in the contest. (Only one entry per person, please, even if like me you have about ten different email addresses.) On the 16th of February, I'll put all the entries in a hat and pull out ten winners. The winners will need to email me their mailing address so I can ship them the books. And overseas entries are fine."
I love this trilogy, and the only reason I'm not entering the giveaway is that I have a hardback copy. Go enter!

That's all I was going to say, but now I find I have to talk about the book a bit, even though I usually worry too much about whether I'm doing a book justice to even attempt a review.

I find Wizard Hunters riveting, and yes, it's the first part of a fantasy trilogy but it's a strong book all on its own - this is not one of those trilogies where the main character slowly acquires a telepathic horse, a quest and an adorable sidekick and sets off for adventure on the last page of book one, leaving you to grind your teeth and hurl the book against the wall.

Tremaine Valiarde doesn't have a horse, a quest or an adorable anything; she gets by on a gun, her wits and a bar of chocolate. I fell for her immediately. She's sarcastic, pessimistic, clever and unconventional, her character shaped by her unusual upbringing, and she lives in a wartorn world whose technology level is close to our own - early '20s, say - and where scholars of magic perform their experiments to try and stop the war. One of those experiments sucks Tremaine and several of those sorcerer-scholars into another world, a seemingly primitive one where sorcerers are inherently evil and must be hunted and exterminated. The first people she meets, Ilias and Giliead, are the wizard hunters in the title, and the clash and mesh of cultures as they fight their common enemy is a strong thread in all three books.

Ilias and Giliead are great characters in their own right, foster-brothers who have spent their lives dealing with rogue sorcerers and their curses, with a painful, strong history together that is slowly revealed during the trilogy. I can't say how pleased I am that Giliead and Ilias are returning in several prequel stories in the magazine Black Gate; I was really disappointed that there isn't going to be a whole prequel novel.

I always want quotes in reviews, to see what the author's writing is like, and I'm going to quote the very opening of the book here, because it sucked me in immediately and I think it gives a good feel for the book as a whole.
It was nine o'clock at night and Tremaine was trying to find a way to kill herself that would bring in a verdict of natural causes in court, when someone banged on the door.

"Oh, damn." A couple of books on poisons slid out of her lap as she struggled out of the overstuffed armchair. She managed to hold on to the second volume of Medical Jurisprudence, closing it over her fingers to mark her place. The search for the elusive untraceable poison was not going well; there were too many ways sorcerer-physicians could uncover such things and she didn't want it to look as if she had been murdered. Intracranial hemorrhage seemed a good possibility, if a little difficult to arrange on one's own. But I'm a Valiarde, I should be able to figure this out, she thought sourly. Dragging the blanket around her, she picked her way through the piles of books to the door. The library at Coldcourt was ideal for this, being large, eclectic and packed with every book, treatise, and monograph on murder and mayhem available to the civilized world.

The entry hall was dark except for one single electric bulb burning in the converted gas fixture above the sweep of the stairs. The light fell on yellowed plaster walls and rich old wood and a blue and gold patterned carpet on polished stone tile. Coldcourt was aptly named and Tremaine's bare feet were half- frozen by the time she made it to the front door. She had let the housekeeper have the night off and now she regretted it, but she had had no idea it would take this long to arrange things. At this rate she wouldn't be dead until next week.
You can read the first five chapters of Wizard Hunters online, here.
marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (woot!)
This is a day to mark with a white stone, because [ profile] therienne has posted Love's Labors at last. I was a beta for this, and read many versions of it, and had many discussions about stuff I can't explain without giving away the plot (this is a seriously difficult story to rec without giving away the plot, which must not be done), and possibly there may have been some nagging on my part. *cough* And now it's here! Woo!

I love this story. It broke my heart in the best possible way, and it's a tour-de-force that takes my breath away, even reading it for the twentieth time.

It's Hercules/Iolaus, very mild slash (think PG at most), but really, even if you only ever read gen because you had your eyeballs seared by some horrible Aramis story, please. Read this. I don't think you'll regret it.

Love's Labors, by [ profile] therienne:

Part One
Part Two
marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (pwned - SGA)
In decision, by [ profile] flambeau. SGA, Sheppard/McKay, NC-17. This melted my brain.
No one was hurt. The city was quiet around him, at peace. John went on, not very far, and came to a halt. He stared at McKay's door until it trembled before him and slid open.

August 2015

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