[identity profile] carolyn-claire.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] the_comfy_chair
In my comment to [livejournal.com profile] summerfling in response to her comm post on popularity vs. quality, I mentioned that I might open up a thread for recommendations of potentially overlooked stories as a way to further the cause of wider readership for stories by newer writers, since some felt that that was an issue. Normally, we focus on discussion, here, rather than recs (there are plenty of good recs journals, already), but in this case, I'll make an exception.

Do you feel there are hidden gems to be mined, possibly by newer or lesser-known writers, that deserve to be read and enjoyed more widely? You're welcome to rec those stories here, in this thread. Be aware, though, (here's the tricky part) that a writer who's new to you may be someone else's long-time favorite, and a story you haven't seen recced anywhere may be much loved and talked about in other circles. Let's think of these author and story recs as 'new to me' or 'unknown to me'--and please don't be offended if you or your story are referred to as new or unsung, here. It really is hard to know who's seen what, anymore, SGA fandom having become so large, and if someone wants to be sure your story is seen by as many people as possible, that's a nice, thing, yes?

Please provide a link to any story you rec that will take readers to a page that lists story info, warnings, spoilers, etc., or provide that sort of info in your rec blurb. And tell us why you think this story deserves a spot in the 'top tier'--these are gems we're looking for, stories that you think rival those you've seen most recced and discussed in terms of, well, whatever it is about a story that makes you consider it one of the best. And do feel free to drop a rec into this thread at any time, indefinitely. There can never be too many good recs, only too little time.

ETA: If you have or know of a recs page that you feel covers more ground than the average, do feel free to mention that, too. And a shout-out to [livejournal.com profile] ship_recs for pointing out things I otherwise wouldn't have seen/tried and providing helpful teaser-tastes of stories. Also, [livejournal.com profile] sga_newsletter--no recs, but links to all the new stuff I might otherwise never hear about.

Date: 2006-03-23 11:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cupidsbow.livejournal.com
I'm so glad you made the caveat about this being a thread of authors new to *me*, because I'd hate to give accidental offence.

Wow, it was really hard to just pick a handful, as I have 312 recs in this fandom so far (Good grief! And there are more that aren't written up yet. SGA really is the fandom that keeps on giving.):

Title: Time After Time (http://www.livejournal.com/users/randomeliza/84493.html)
Author: [livejournal.com profile] randomeliza
Fandom: Stargate: Atlantis
Pairing: McKay/Sheppard
Rating: PG-13
Why you should read this: Song fics are notorius for being dreadful. But this? This is the antithesis of dreadful, and yet it is indeed a songfic.

Title: Math Camp (http://www.livejournal.com/community/sga_flashfic/169751.html)
Author: [livejournal.com profile] pollymel
Fandom: Stargate: Atlantis
Pairing: McKay/Sheppard
Rating: PG
Why you should read this: Awwwww! This is so freaking adorable.

Title: Sistinas (http://www.livejournal.com/users/surrealphantast/149412.html)
Author: Jennghis Kahn ([livejournal.com profile] surrealphantast)
Fandom: Stargate: Atlantis
Pairing: None (implied McKay/Sheppard)
Rating: M
Why you should read this: This a creepy little zombie fic that I really liked a hell of a lot.

Title: Sometime Soon Would Be Nice (http://www.livejournal.com/community/sga_flashfic/109518.html)
Author: [livejournal.com profile] maisierita
Fandom: Stargate: Atlantis
Pairing: McKay/Sheppard
Rating: R
Why you should read this: This is a story I read way, way back in the first flush of my romance with SGA fanfic. It's stuck with me, because I just adore the premise. John is so hot when he's in peril.

Title: Babble (http://www.livejournal.com/users/ladyflowdi/321339.html)
Author: Dianann ([livejournal.com profile] ladyflowdi)
Fandom: Stargate: Atlantis
Pairing: McKay/Sheppard
Rating: NC-17
Why you should read this: God, how much do I love this author? She writes PWPs that I find enthralling, mainly because she has a knack for turning what should be bad!fic premises into the exact opposite of bad!fic. I'm in awe! *happy sigh*

I pulled these from my rec jounal. All my Stargate recs (for both SG-1 and SG:A) on [livejournal.com profile] rec_room can be found here (http://www.livejournal.com/tools/memories.bml?user=rec_room&keyword=Stargate&filter=all).

Date: 2006-03-31 09:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] randomeliza.livejournal.com
Actually, I'm pretty damn sure that I'm obscure, and no offence taken at all. *g* I'd been wondering why people were suddenly commenting on "Time After Time" - glad someone pointed me here. Thanks for reccing, and I'm loving these other recs - I'd read Math Camp before, which I agree is adorable in ways that redefine adorable, but I hadn't read any of the others. And I'm always looking for new, good reading material.

Date: 2006-03-24 06:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] brandinsbabe.livejournal.com
these were really really awsome!!! thanks for the recs! :D

Date: 2006-03-24 07:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cupidsbow.livejournal.com
You're so welcome! It was my pleasure to spread the joy.

Date: 2006-03-24 01:18 am (UTC)
ext_841: (numbers (by monanotlisa))
From: [identity profile] cathexys.livejournal.com
OK, I'll give it a try. Like cupidsbow, I'll disclaim that these are "unknown" writers. Moreover, I'll also disclaim the top tier thing. All I can say that the stories worked for me on various levels including the aesthetic one (unlike other stories that work to me on kink levels and I'd have to qualify as guilty pleasures). These stories actually are recced (I found them somehow, I guess :-), but they're not part of every rec list out there as far as I can tell. [And since I'm excited about cupidsbow's recs, I thought maybe someone might not have seen one or the other of these...]

* Dasha's Untalented And Completely Unprepared, But Giving It His Best Shot Anyway (http://www.area52hkh.net/asd/dasha/untalent.php). I like hurt/comfort a lot, and this is doing it well without moving into the over the top territory. I like the interaction between all the characters, and while I love me my McShep, the frienship and general concern and caring for one's teammates is almost the better part of the story for me. Her other SGA fic, Charting the Motion of Planets (http://www.area52hkh.net/asd/dasha/charting.php) is more H/C and a bit less believable to me in terms of characterization but well written and definitely a treat for H/C fans. (and I like that the suffering party's not the same...H/C authors sometimes hone in on one of the two and it's always that one who gets raped/beaten/shot/... :-)

* cgb's Phantom Limb (http://www.mandysbitch.com/fic/phantom.htm) I have no idea how I found this story, but I remember how visceral my response was when I read it. i like the circling the traumatic memory trope, and I love the way language and memory are treated here, how the story itself mirrors the characters' inability to tell their story.

* kel's Merging (http://obsessivetendencies.net/fiction/symbiotic.html) Actually not an unknown to me author but I think someone whose two stories deserve to be recced more widely. I was trying to decide whether to rec this one or her longer they're advertizing in the sky for people like us (http://obsessivetendencies.net/fiction/alpha.html), and while I like the latter more, it also has one of my almost bullet proof kinks, and i think the shorter merging is the more technically interesting story.

Notable not mentions: Lacey McBain's Care in the Holding (http://www.stickymanpress.mediawood.net/careintheholding.html), the story I immediately flashed to during Freedom's shooting scene and Summerfling's Less With Longing than Wonder (http://community.livejournal.com/mckay_sheppard/407144.html), a less flashy story than her longer Consider the Great Wall of China (http://www.ashotofmontego.com/sga/china.htm), but very carefully and gorgeously structured and executed and it stayed with me for quite a while. Reason neither one seems to fall in the hidden gem category is that I'm pretty sure I have seen them on rec pages, but in case they're not, i think they ought to be (and are on mine :-)

And now I wish that more people would check their hard drives and rec pages and look for what they haven't seen mentioned that often...but trying to write this I realize how incredibly fraught with difficulty this entire enterprise is. So, maybeI should pre-emptively apologize against potential offense??? :-)

argh!

Date: 2006-03-24 01:20 am (UTC)
ext_841: (argh)
From: [identity profile] cathexys.livejournal.com
eh...i guess i forgot to follow the rules. Then again, I have warning issues. So, all of them McShep, no deaths!

Re: argh!

Date: 2006-03-24 05:39 am (UTC)
ext_841: (Default)
From: [identity profile] cathexys.livejournal.com
well, they can, which is when they end up on our rec pages...but there are stories that hit all your kinks and that you'll read even though you *know* they're not good (at least, it is that way for me)...and i know i'm not the only one with her cache of guilty pleasures that she only admits to in whispers...

i wonder when fandom became all about quality and looking good and not about revelling in the deepest parts of our desires.... [and i don't mean sex but the excessive emotional over the top navel gazing that i remember from old style fandoms yet wouldn't dare to rec these days...]

Re: argh!

Date: 2006-03-24 07:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cupidsbow.livejournal.com
Actually, that's a great idea. I'm going to put together a rec set of my guilty pleasures over the next few weeks and rec it as a special feature on [livejournal.com profile] rec_room. Although I do actually rec my guilty pleasures if they are especially good examples, along with everything else.

Re: argh!

Date: 2006-03-25 09:07 am (UTC)

Re: argh!

Date: 2006-03-24 12:48 pm (UTC)
ext_841: (Default)
From: [identity profile] cathexys.livejournal.com
Yes, but they'll certainly stay behind flock :D Actually, my rec page (or rathat, linking stories for myself so i can find them again) is topical so that my plot kinks are already on there if the story passes minimum criteria. But yes, there are definitely stories that I have saved and reread that I don't put out there [and the main reason is that I'd have to rec with caveats and I know that many people are uncomfortable with that]

The other: seriously, I think this is an important topic but way too fraught with wank potential...I'll pass on that one!

Re: argh!

Date: 2006-03-24 02:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rivier.livejournal.com
I love the idea of the guilty pleasures thing - I'd love to ask people to post anon recs for their guilty pleasures on my blog! Shall I do that, or would you prefer to?

Re: argh!

Date: 2006-03-25 05:37 am (UTC)
ext_841: (Default)
From: [identity profile] cathexys.livejournal.com
duh...anon, of course that solves the problem of worrying about hurting feelings and embarrassing yourself and....great ideea!!! (can't wait to see how many of us might just have the same ones on our lists :-)

Date: 2006-03-24 07:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cupidsbow.livejournal.com
I nearly recced "Phantom Limb" too! It's one of my favourites, and I was just re-reading it the other day. In the end, I didn't list it here, because I have seen it occasionally on rec pages. But not nearly as often as I think it deserves!

*off to read "Merging," which I've somehow managed to miss*

Date: 2006-03-24 12:41 pm (UTC)
ext_841: (Default)
From: [identity profile] cathexys.livejournal.com
See, I'm still trying to figure out your rec habits :-)

Because I'd read all the above stories except for the last one and responded to that last one quite differently and none of the others stayed in my mind...well, I'm glad about Math Camp, because I have a young! category where it needed to go, but especially with shorter stories it seems really hard to distinguish one well written from another... Except for the ones that take my breath away, it is difficult for me to separate and distinguish.

I think there are probably much fewer great overlooked writers on longer stories than there are on very short ones.

Date: 2006-03-25 09:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cupidsbow.livejournal.com
I, of course, have a theory about that. :)

This is a generalisation, but as a rule, longer stories have their own character development and a self-contained plot, so they are innately more memorable than short pieces, which tend to rely more on canon for their broader context.

The exceptions, like Babble, just blow my mind. But I rec the other well-written shorts too, and even drabbles, if I like them enough. Because sometimes a short is just what I feel like, so it's nice to be able to find the good ones again easily. There's an art to a good short, and they can be so pleasing, even if they are more ephemeral. In fact, I think it's the emphemeral nature of them that I respond to.

To get personal for a moment, I find it interesting to watch the pattern of my own stories when they get recced. Basically, I can't pick it all. Some that I think are quite good haven't been recced much at all, and ones I think are kind of ordinary pop up in all sorts of unexpected places. But that's the zeitgeist for you, I guess.

Date: 2006-03-25 03:07 pm (UTC)
ext_841: (Default)
From: [identity profile] cathexys.livejournal.com
Yes!!! I have this entire theory (are you surprised? :-) about long stories and entering fandom (esp. when you're not that familiar with the source text yet) and it relies exactly on that same idea. Longer stories are self-contained in a way that shorter ones can never be, not just in plot but characterization as well, yes!

I'd never rec even the best short to someone to get them interested in a new fandom.

And personally,I have this bizarre AU fetish, b/c to me the central appeal of the characters comes out best when I read a bunch of good AUs...short stuff takes so much canon detail knowledge b/c it tends to rely more heavily on intertextuality to be comprehensive, not just too add yet another layer...

Date: 2006-03-25 11:13 pm (UTC)
ext_150: (Default)
From: [identity profile] kyuuketsukirui.livejournal.com
Longer stories are self-contained in a way that shorter ones can never be, not just in plot but characterization as well, yes!

I wouldn't say never. I've read some wonderful short original fic (hell, Brokeback Mountain is only a few pages; as a fanfic, it wouldn't be considered anywhere near long, and Ian McEwan has some really good short stories that are just a few pages, too), so why should short fanfic be unable to function on that level as well? In fact, I've read (and written) plenty of RPS AUs that are under 2000, even under 1000 words, yet don't require any canon knowledge to be enjoyed fully. Of course there are a lot that are completely useless without canon knowledge, too (I just wrote an I ♥ Huckabees fic that's a total fill in the cracks thing and thus makes no sense if you haven't seen the film), but that's by no means the case with all short fic.

Date: 2006-03-25 09:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cupidsbow.livejournal.com
Ooops, it just occurred to me that the way I worded that it sounded like I hadn't recced "Phantom Limb" at all. And I have, I just didn't put it in this "unknown' rec set.

Date: 2006-03-25 01:42 pm (UTC)
ext_1771: Joe Flanigan looking A-Dorable. (Default)
From: [identity profile] monanotlisa.livejournal.com
God, I ADORE PHANTOM LIMB -- one of my favourite SGA stories precisely because it doesn't give us the happy ending.

And oh! Lacey McBain's Care in the Holding, also awesome. Summerfling is a favourite of mine, anyway.

Very good choices.

Date: 2006-03-25 03:02 pm (UTC)
ext_841: (Default)
From: [identity profile] cathexys.livejournal.com
well, it appears none of these were hidden jewels after all:-)

which would either support summerfling's point that there are stories that are good by many people's standards yet don't show up on rec lists or mine (supposing that they do show up...i know phantom limb is on seperis's, mine and cupidsbow said hers, so it might be more widely recced than i initially thought?), that the good stuff ends up getting recced and read no matter what.

Date: 2006-03-24 04:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cetpar.livejournal.com
Okay, I'll take a stab at this, too.

Title: Kept By Ourselves in Silence and Apart (http://spike21.livejournal.com/274341.html)
Author: [livejournal.com profile] spike21
Pairing: Rodney/Ronon
Rating: "D for dark. V for very." (NC-17)
Warnings: "Torture, Angst, Sex, Other Stuff"
Summary: "Rodney McKay and Ronon Dex, in extremis"

Maybe I've just missed it, but I have not seen this story mentioned on any rec pages. Maybe this is because [livejournal.com profile] spike21 is relatively new to writing in the SGA fandom, although she is not new to writing fan fiction. Maybe it is because the pairing is not McKay/Sheppard. Regardless, this is one story that I keep going back to reread.

The story is dark, and I found parts difficult to read, but nothing is gratuitious. It's about endurance, survival, healing, and forging a relationship between two very different people under trying circumstances. I think the Ronon POV is excellent, and I like the Rodney characterization, too. And even though I am a McKay/Sheppard girl at heart, it's the story that sold me on a Rodney/Ronon pairing. Even if I can't explain it well, something about it makes me want to read it over and over again. And it has the best use of (and explanation for) Ronon's tattoo I have seen in any story.

Date: 2006-03-24 02:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thepouncer.livejournal.com
One I read last night and really liked: Voices by arionchan (http://www.wraithbait.com/viewstory.php?sid=5741). McKay/Sheppard, PG-13. It's about Sheppard and McKay and Atlantis, the ways they connect. She wrote it for the Urban Legend challenge and I have to say that there are some real gems hidden in those stories.

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