I'm a highly selective reader, both of fanfiction and of professional fiction. Between my archive, my schoolwork, my job, and my feeble attempts at a non-net life (no, I haven't quite achived it yet, but I'm working on it! :) I don't have a lot of time, which means that I tend to be very free with my delete key, and very picky about what I write. But I do have some favorites, stories and writers that I go back to and read again and again, and I figured--what the heck. I'd pretend anyone cares and share them.
I'm dividing this up by fandom. My primary fandom is The Sentinel, so most of my recs will be there, but I also read and enjoy the occasional Highlander, Buffy-Angel, Sports Night, Stargate SG-1, Due South, Real Ghostbusters, and X-Files story. Newest recs are at the top of each catagory.
Aristide Legion Brighid Laura JV cmshaw Phoenix4 Resonant Russet McMillan Justine Francesca and Emily Brunson
Fruit Of The Vine
I discovered Aristide fairly late in the game, but I made up for it quickly--within 24 hours of reading Fruit Of The Vine, I'd read every other story she and her friend Mairead Triste (her alter-ego) had written (both TS and HL). And they're *all* good, but these two impacted me the most when I read them. Fruit Of The Vine is long, shimmering, liquid, and sweet--it's like necter, so exotic it's almost otherworldly, even though it's really very down-to-earth. The Dragon--well, let me put it to you this way, when a writer writes a 200KB story, and you read it all at one stretch late at night, and at the end you sit frozen in awe and terror for a half-hour, and you have to think very very hard about turning the lights off to go to sleep for the next *week*...it's probably a good story.
Match Made In Heaven
It's Not Safe To Play With Matches
Everyone knows Legion does deep, dark angst and long, complicated dramas. And yes, she does them fabulously. But did you know that Legion does comedy? This is my favorite series from her--hilarious, hot as hell, and enjoyable beyond what's healthy.
First I should say, I don't particularly enjoy most "holiday" stories. It's only the very rare stories of this particular "genre" that I enjoy--and Pesach is definitely a very rare story. Brighid writes *poetry* here, using the ancient paths of Judaism and shamanism to give Blair a birthright that is his, and his alone. I cried, I smiled, I go back and read portions out loud, whispered to myself in the dark. A beautiful, haunting, magical story.
Me And A Gun
A Sense Of Who You Are
Laura JV is another one of those writers I discovered very recently. It was agony to decide *which* of her stories I wanted to recommend, since every time I read a new story by her I discover a new masterpiece. I finally settled on the first one of her stories I ever read, and the latest one I read. Both are illustrative of her extraordinary perception of Blair--possibly the most unique viewpoint I've come across in 2 years of reading Sentinel fic. Jim is equally original, but both ring very true in terms of characterization--if you close your eyes, you can see these two acting things out. And that's very unusual.
Angel Of Death
Starting With A Bang And A Whimper Cmshaw is one of my favorite authors, who's finally beginning to post new stuff after a long absence from the public eye. Angel of Death is described as an anti-death story, but that doesn't begin to relate the poignant, powerful, evocative piece that this is. Bang And Whimper is a snazzy, snappy, sexy story (oooh, alliteration! two points! :) with some nifty characterization gems and new concepts and ideas. (For instance, Jim has never had homoerotic fantasies...about his *roommate* that is...)
In A Different Light
A writer who describes her writing pace as "glacial" (dammit!), Phoenix4 is one of my absolute favorite writers, and regrettably one of the least-mentioned. All four of her stories go in different directions and look at different aspect of The Sentinel; this is one of her more quiet, intensely lyrical and beautiful. Blair comes to life under her pen. I also recommend "Seeding The Fields" for slightly more raunchy reading pleasure.
Yet another new discovery, Resonant has a gift for language and description that captivates the imagination--and her stories tend to be unorthodox, charming, and captivating. Know-How is a nifty, original take on the classic PWP.
Russet is one of those rare creatures--she writes gen as well as she writes slash, and she writes both *very* *very* well. Trying to decide which story to recommend is an exercise in futility--if I had my way, all of them would be required reading. Absolute Power is one of my favorites, a superb look into Blair's head as he deals with his Sentinel--but the "Time Heals" series is exceptional and should not be missed, nor should her gen story "Missing Scene For Dead Certain."
Justine is one of those writers who does such gorgeous relationship development, you don't care about plot. Isn't it great that she can plot, too? Sacred Space is her self-proclaimed best story--not exactly, I can think of at least three more that vie for top billing, but it's highly representational, and the sex scene's very sweet.
Francesca. What can I say? Read it all. Nature is a miracle; In The Eye Of The Beholder is blisteringly hot, sexy, and original, Cycles is a kick and a half, and the stand-alones are each and every one of them amazing. Francesca just doesn't write bad stuff. Her stories *are* practically required in this fandom. Pretty Boy is one of my absolute favorites, in a sea of amazing fiction. That blow job makes me wish I was a guy. And don't even get me started on Emily Brunson, who is a fantastic, angsty, and complicated, subtle writer, and whom I worship as a goddess.
Francesca and Emily Brunson
Fuzzi is a marvel--she'll lurk for ages, typing steadily away while you wonder if she's dead or vanished, and then *WHAM* she'll come out of nowhere with these gorgeous novels! She's written two stories in Due South thus far, both of them Ray/Ray stories, and inextricably linked (hence the lack of specificity in the rec). She weaves together the warp of work and cases and crimes with the weft of unbelievably solid, interesting, and complex relationships, both Ray/Ray and Ray/Ray/Fraser.
Mr. Kowalski's Feelings For Snow
Jane has written two Due South stories that knocked my socks off. This was my favorite one--I swear, I heard Ray Kowalski's voice in my head as he spoke. I've never encountered a writer in any fandom who captures a character so perfectly. It's a beautiful read.
Highlander: The Series
Vengeance, Chapter One
Merry is a superb writer, and Vengeance is one of my favorites. It's a TS/HL crossover, actually, and guess who the Immortal is? The only thing I don't like about this story is that there isn't enough of it! Merry, write more!