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Oh, I can’t resist!

I thought I had very few of these, but then I actually looked at the relevant folders. Oops! Mostly from long-abandoned fandoms, though. These are among the resuscitate-able, perhaps.


1.

A bear lay in a clearing. It was quite a large bear, but ragged, even flea-bitten. It lay there for a long while, too exhausted to flick away the fly that landed on its nose.

Time passed. From the pines surrounding the clearing, a wolf emerged.

The bear held its breath. It reflected that if anyone could tell the difference between a real bear and a false bear, it would be a wolf. The bear felt woefully ill-equipped: no sword, no pistols, even its hands were sadly bound up in bear skin. It decided it would go out gallantly regardless, though it hated to think of Stephen finding its mangled corpse.


2.

Abdul often reflected that Thomas Nightingale was exactly what one would expect from someone who had come of age at an English public school in the previous century; an expert and athletic lover, but emotionally restrained to the point of constipation the rest of the time. Abdul didn’t mind; he wasn’t much for overt displays of affection himself. On rare occasions, however, Thomas would give way to what Abdul’s father, with perfect proletarian contempt, would have called the sticky sentimentality of the upper classes. Abdul was probably the only person who ever saw these episodes, and, of course, he could never muster his father’s disapproval; they always went straight to his heart. Thomas appeared to be experiencing one of them now.


3.

“Let’s go dancing,” Freddie said one evening as they sat dissecting the day in the BBC canteen.

“You dance?” Bel raised her eyebrows.

“Course I do.”

And he did. The local girls had seen to that before he'd even smoked his first cigarette, laughing and crashing around crowded front rooms, radio blasting. He’d been half a head shorter than the smallest of them, so he’d always been facing cleavage when he grasped them 'round the waist. Not that he minded.



What I’m Reading

The Angel of Losses, by Stephanie Feldman. Jewish-themed magical realism, I think. I’ve only read a bit of it so far, but it’s something I’m in the mood for.

What I’ve Just Finished

Savage Harvest: A Tale of Cannibals, Colonialism and Michael Rockefeller’s Tragic Quest for Primitive Art, by Carl Hoffman. [from my Goodreads review] Extremely interesting and enjoyable. Kind of like what Serial would be if it were about cannibal tribes in New Guinea--which is to say, very interested in how hard it is to recover the truth about the past, especially across intercultural taboos against sharing secrets. It's the story of the investigator as much as the investigation, which usually drives me crazy, but I bought into it here and was very engaged by Hoffman's own story. Hoffman also raises some interesting questions about the export of primitive art as a form of extraction of resources.

The Paying Guests, by Sarah Waters (audiobook). I got to the end of my binge-listening of Hardcore History’s WW1 podcasts, “Blueprint for Armageddon,” and so had no choice but to finish listening to this. [from my Goodreads review]: I wanted to like this so much more than I did. It's beautifully written (and gorgeously read by Juliet Stevenson in the audiobook), but I often felt more irked than entranced by it. I loved the historical details of the setting, and the way the characters were dealing with the aftermath of the war (and especially how those issues came back at the very end), but I think narratives about obsessive love just aren't my cup of tea. I loved The Little Stranger, and so was anxious to read this one; I should have remembered that The Little Stranger is the only Waters book I've ever managed more than a few pages of. I think part of Waters’ talent is for revising genre pieces. The Little Stranger is kind of a revision of The Turn of the Screw; The Paying Guests seems (in part) a revision of something like Dorothy Sayer’s Unnatural Death, but where the lesbians aren’t homicidal ice queens. A good idea, but still, the former worked better for me than the latter.

What I’m Reading Next

Oh goodness knows! I’m going to stop even including this question!


There are so many good movies around, but all I’ve managed to see is Paddington, which at least was totally adorable. Ben Whishaw’s vocal performance as the bear himself is ridiculously sweet, and the movie’s vision of London is a treat.

How ‘bout y’all?
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Dear Purimgifts Author:

First of all, thank you so much for writing a story for me! Any fic in these fandoms would make me happy, so please just write what seems fun and interesting to you!

If it’s helpful, here are some things I like:

optional prompts )

Most importantly, though, have fun, and know that I really appreciate the time and energy you’re taking to do this!
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I didn’t think I’d be able to do a Yuletide rec list this year, but before I knew it I had a bunch of fabulous fics I wanted to spread the word about, especially because a few of them are from fandoms that I don’t think have been mentioned in the com's rec posts yet.

I’ve already flailed over my own gift, No Rules for Fools from the Hour fandom here.

Here are six more, arranged alphabetically by fandom.

Grimm
Wolves in Waiting
Author’s summary: Nick has a key, and a lock. (Nick/Monroe, E, ~5.7K)

I go back and forth on whether I really want this to be a sexual pairing, but this fic has definitely done a lot to help me make up my mind. Amazingly hot, but also filled with perfect character notes.

Jane Austen Fight Club
Jane Eyre Has a Posse
Author’s summary: After an initial success, Jane Austen's Fight Club has become tedious and routine. If fight club is to thrive, the ladies will need a serious intervention, Brontë-style. Featuring exciting crossover action! (All the Austen and Bronte heroines—all of them!, G, ~3.8K)

This story is hysterical, edifying, and pretty much makes all the literary criticism on why Austen was not on Charlotte Bronte’s list of favorite writers beside the point.

Regeneration
Where Unknown, There Place Monsters
Author’s summary: “He had the rest of the day to get through before he could talk to Rivers, but he was glad of that. It was right that the first confusion and pain should be borne alone."
This is what happens at the end of that day. (Prior/Rivers, M, ~5.2K)

It wasn’t written for me, but this story exactly fills one of my prompts. Even if that wasn’t the case, though, I would still adore it. I guess it has a somewhat limited audience, since it takes place at a very specific point towards the end of the second novel in the trilogy. But the language is pitch-perfect and the current of feeling is amazingly strong and intense. If you’re at all interested in the relationship Barker suggests between these two men, this story is a must-read—I don’t have the words to recommend it strongly enough.

Sherlock RPF
The Scene is Now
Author’s summary: They told him: "It will change you, if you let it." (Benedict, Martin, Amanda, M, 5K+ words)

Pitch-perfect fic featuring a confused and poignant Benedict—all UST, which is how I like this pairing. A flistie steered me to this fic, and I’m so glad she did.

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
Felicitations
Author’s summary: If this were a mission he would assume it was compromised
(Haydon/Prideaux, M, ~2.5K, book ‘verse, but I think expect it works for the movie)

Killer fic for a killer pairing. Great Jim POV and voice—and the ending packs an emotional punch.

Wicked Gentlemen

Bliss is an Abyss
Author’s summary: There are things worse than pain. A peaceful life in the country, for one, and an honest man. (Explicit, Harper/Sykes, ~1.4K)

Lovely snippet of post-novel Harper/Bellimai.

Happy New Year, all!
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So, needless to say, I thoroughly enjoyed The Hour (linking you to imdb so you can see the cast list), the six-part BBC series on this summer about producing a news hour during the Suez Crisis in 1956. No surprise: set something in England with any date between 1945 and 1960 in front of it, and I’m there. Plus, it had a fabulous cast, gorgeous clothes, lovely production design, and a reasonably engaging plot.

more, plus pictures and video )
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So, I owe at least three or four people fic, but I haven't written anything for weeks, and have been in a major state of I can't, I can't, I can't. And apparently the only way around that was to write fic about completely new characters in a fandom that barely exists. Apologies, and hoping this jumpstarts those other projects.

Also sorry about the cop-out ending here--I might come back to it at some point.

nb: I'll post something more review-y about the show itself tomorrow.

Title: looking for vines and olive trees
Rating: pg-13
Characters, pairings: established Bel/Hector, Freddie (pre-Hector/Bel/Freddie, if you’re in the right frame of mind).
Spoilers: none really, but it works best if you imagine it taking place around 1x05
Word count: ~2.8K
Disclaimer: not mine, no profit.

a/n: title adapted from the first two lines of Auden’s The Shield of Achilles, published the same year as the Suez Crisis. There’s an unmarked allusion to the poem at the end of the fic as well.
a/n: for the “cuddling” square on my [livejournal.com profile] hc_bingo card, though this is one of those h/c fills that looks like it wandered in from my kink_bingo card. There’s always one, eh?

Summary:

“Christ,” Freddie said, trying to calculate what immense quantity of drink it had taken to reduce a great slab of military-trained manhood like Hector Madden to such a sorry state.

“Quite,” said Bel.


looking for vines and olive trees )

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