epershand: Bicycle and the text "we have nothing to lose but our chains" (Bike communism)
Even if they hadn't been posted on the same day in my timezone, I would almost certainly be reccing both [personal profile] sassbandit's and [personal profile] littlemousling's bandom big bang stories. But they are a delightful and fascinating pair of stories to read together, an experience I recommend even more than I recommend reading them individually.

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First, [personal profile] sassbandit's Forget About the Dirty Looks (18k words). It's a bandom story set in the world of Helenish's Take Clothes Off As Directed, where D/s roles are as wide-sweeping and normative as gender roles. Helenish's story is about role-essentialism and prejudice in the military; [personal profile] sassbandit's is about how the same dynamics work out in the context of the music industry.

The worldbuilding is brilliant (the newspaper excerpts throughout the story were, without fail, EXACTLY what the publications in question would be writing in that universe). And OH the characterizations. Gerard Way's quixotic quest to help lonely kids find themselves is one of the first things I fell in love with in Bandom, and to see him ranting about how collars are outdated expressions of role essentialism and telling kids to be what they are no matter what role they're assigned? Grew my heart a couple of sizes. The story's take on transrole and rolequeer identities was also great, and I just want to read five million words of it forever and ever.

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Second, [personal profile] littlemousling's Follow My Lead (30k words). This AU, set in something much closer to this universe, where Spencer is a pro dom and Brendon is the dancing instructor who teaches him to follow as well as to lead, is basically going to be a classic of the genre. (Both of these stories are going to be classics. I can't believe that the quirks of BBB meant that they got posted on the same day).

It's a great take on role essentialism within the D/s community, and watching Spencer's earnest struggle between his identity and what he actually wants in bed was heart-rending and beautiful. I don't think I've ever read as realistic a story about how much *work* a satisfying sex life can be. Through failed sex scene after failed sex scene, the two characters are so obviously in love, which makes it all the more satisfying to see them work things out in the end. My *heart*!

(And watching Spencer's identity struggle in this story when your brain is still framing things in the DirectedVerse? FASCINATING.)

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A third rec: I've been listening to the Abhorsen Trilogy audiobooks, as read by Tim Curry. This series has been one of my favorites since I was a teenager, and TIM CURRY.

TIM CURRY PLAYING MOGGAT. Just picture that, will you? I... think? I've always had a minor crush on Moggat, but Tim Curry turns everything about him into walking, purring, growling sex.

Anyway, I'm now about halfway through Abhorsen, and yesterday's combo of fic-reading and audiobook listening has just done some... uh, things, to the way I think about Moggat's collar. (If you have not read the series: Moggat is an elemental creature bound by a magical collar into the form of a cat. With the collar, he's the world's most sarcastic animal sidekick; without it he's almost single-mindedly bent on the death of the Abhorsens, to whom he's normally bound.)

It got me thinking about the degree to which everything in the Abhorsen trilogy is basically about exerting power over the universe, whether it be the weather, the Dead, elemental creatures, etc. And yet about the power that, in turn, the universe exerts over human beings ("does the walker choose the path or the path the walker?") (Side note: some day I want to write a massive essay about how the Destiny stuff in Lirael makes me cry. In a good way.) And it's also, more particularly, about female characters exerting power over male ones--Sabriel over Touchstone and Moggat (and Kerrigor) and Lirael over Sameth, Nicolas, and Moggat, and never over the Disreputable Dog.

(Edited to add: on reflection, I'm not 100% sure that Sabriel alone passes the Bechdel test, since all of the scenes with more than just Sabriel, Touchstone, and Moggat in them involve Sabriel instructing other women on how to fight Kerrigor. Lirael, though, is from a world where you don't even have to remember that the Bechdel test exists, because women talking to women about things other than men is as normal as it is in the real world.)

Um and now I want bell porn the end. >_<
epershand: Quark, looking suspicious. (Quark is not impressed)
All the travel worked out in an orderly fashion and was easy, which naturally meant that something else had to go wrong--namely, I got my period mid-flight in a drastically bad way, and the resulting tension from nausea + altitude change + turbulence turned into a set of all-over cramps that left me curled up into a ball on the airport floor for a solid hour before I got my legs to stop trembling enough that I was able to leave the airport. On the way out, I stopped at one of those ridiculous airport spa places that always offers massages for some reason, and I GOT A MASSAGE, and literally that is the reason I was able to make it to [personal profile] oliviacirce's place.

UM SO I'M MOSTLY BETTER NOW. And it's generally only one day out of each period that is this bad, so I'm crossing my fingers that tomorrow will be substantially better because PANIC(!)! NEON TREES! BLACK CARDS! ETC.

So... if you expected to hear from me today (for instance, if we were trying to make plans for this weekend) and you have not... that is why. I am currently using a laptop for the first time today.

But while I was in the air I finally finished reading every story in the eyai verse, and that was *well* worth the entire day, really. If you haven't read the eyai verse, it's a shared origfic universe done by a group of brilliant fannish writers, breathtakingly beautiful, all gorgeous Victoriana and clockwork and nanotechnology and artificial intelligence. [personal profile] nextian's got a primer here, and [livejournal.com profile] girl_wonder's got a masterlist here.

On reflection, I think my two favorite individual stories are billet-doux and torque & other nouns, but in large part it's because the worldbuilding is so fabulous and they each provide an intimate side-view of it from characters who are not centrally involved in the main arc of the revolution and counter-revolution. And, who am I kidding, also because they're the two stories that hit the gender and sexuality angles of the eyai and I am nothing if not predictable.

Also! sasha_feather asked me about five of my icons. note: one of the icons behind this cut is animated. )
epershand: T-Rex from Dinosaur comics says "Utahraptor when I stand like this it means HUGS PLEASE" (T-rex needs hugs)
In the meantime, today I keep reading/watching fanworks that bring me to the edge of tears.

First there was [insanejournal.com profile] stele3's Timshel, this gorgeous piece of worldbuilding and heart-tugging, all wrapped up in a fairie tale package. She always does the most amazing things with PatD fandom, and this was no different.

And then there was [personal profile] lalejandra's heart-wrenching post-divorce GSF fic "The past is gone but something might be found to take its place."

And finally, [livejournal.com profile] silver_sandals's vid This is Everything is one of the most gorgeous things I've seen recently. Didn't realize how much *I* needed that catharsis for "all the queer Star Trek romances that never were." (Thanks for the rec, [personal profile] kuwdora)

... Maybe if I go to bed early tonight I'll be less emotionally fragile tomorrow?

ETA: ALSO, [personal profile] fifteendozentimes wrote this very excellent post about policing Spencer fucking Smith's gender presentation by calling him a lesbian and every word of it is truth.

*dragging self away from work email before I close every thread with "arguments without data bore me" or "clearly this can't be decided right now, but I'll take the action item of contacting the appropriate person to escalate it to" or "for future reference, can you please follow an actual procedure when you have this sort of question?"*
epershand: An ampersand (Default)
Anatomy of a Fall, guys. It had been recced to me and recced to me and recced to me and I just kept not reading it. And then it took over the last 48 hours of my life.

This story. It is, hands down, the best YA novel I've read in the last few years. I wish teenage!epershand had had this novel to read when she was desperate to escape high school. I wish this thing was professionally published with swapped names so queer teens today could have it to cling to. It gets the hopelessness and desperation and day-to-day putting-up-with-it-allness of being a bullied teen like nothing else I've read ever has.

And queer teens deserve love stories like this one, sweetly endearing romances that reach beyond the grave without turning into Truly Madly Deeply or something like that.

It's just so smart, this story. It's smart about pop culture, it's smart about dealing with death, it's smart about romance and sadness and all the things that suck about high school. Also about the fact that the band room is totally where it's at when you want to escape from bullies, even if you're not in band.

I want to press a copy of this book into the hands of everyone I know and make them read it. I have been raving about it at length to multiple people who don't read fic in the hopes that they will read it and fall in love too.

(My Chemical Romance RPF, Supernatural High School AU, Gerard/Frank. NC-17, but as the author says, NO NECROPHILIA)

Festivids recs

Saturday, 22 January 2011 15:20
epershand: An ampersand (Default)
I am recovering from my week of doom. I still haven't gone back to the comments on the post of doom. But you know what?

Today is Festivids day!

Here, have some recs, in alphabetical order by fandom!

Space Oddity, Community.
Troy! And Abed! In space! (Abed, Abed, Abed...) This is a really fun and awesome vid about Troy going to space and Abed waiting behind at home. It's a really fun constructed reality, and I love it.

Jumpin' Jester, The Court Jester.
This is a really awesomely choreographed vid. I love the way it ties all the movement in the source together with the music to turn the whole story into one dance performance. I can't help but feel like Danny Kaye would approve whole-heartedly.

Friends, How I Met Your Mother.
The thing I always loved about HIMYM was the ridiculous dynamics of all the friendships on the show. Every single pair of people on the show just has so much chemistry. (Except for, frustratingly, the pairs that involved Ted.) This vid makes such good really use of that. Pairing them with Flight of the Conchords is just SO GOOD. But it's not quite the best song choice in Festivids, because that honor goes to...

They Want More, Jurassic Park.
THE ONE WHERE ALL THE DINOSAURS ARE LIKE CLAUDIA FROM THE VAMPIRE CHRONICLES. I am so excited that this ridiculous song from this ridiculous musical has now had its time in the sun. Run, don't walk, and watch this. Especially you, [livejournal.com profile] militantgeek.

Resistance, Star Trek: First Contact (listed as Star Trek: TNG).
The hilarious Picard/Q vid is getting most of the Star Trek play today, but this vid to "The Song of Silence" is really gorgeous. Picard, and Data, and the Borg, and the challenges of choosing individuality and humanity over the dull mechanical uniformity of the modern age.

Jaded, Velvet Goldmine.
This vid. I just.... this vid. It's about Mandy, and Curt, and Arthur, and the way that Brian changed their lives, but it's totally and completely about THEM and not him. I suspect that I've been forever ruined for other Velvet Goldmine vids.

High School Never Ends, The West Wing.
Another hilarious vid. Because really, the West Wing characters are emotionally in high school, aren't they?
epershand: Weyoun. (Weyoun)
Last night I promised [personal profile] joandarck Garak/Bashir recs. I spent a lot of time putting them together, so I'm sharing them more broadly. It becomes rapidly clear that my preference is for dark fic, but there's some lighter stuff mixed in here too, if you squint.

OMG recs )
epershand: A dory thinking about a bike. (fish need bicycles)
Possibly I veer towards the unusual. But that's what yuletide's all about, right? Anyway, as usual, this year's Yuletide has reaffirmed my faith in my own version of rule 34: If you think of an idea, someone has written Yuletide fic about it.

Yuletide recs )

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