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What I Have Rec'd, part 1

           A nasty last few days.  A word of advice - avoid hospitals if possible.  They are depressing places where you divide your time between fear and boredom and the food makes you weep.  Glad to be home and no longer on IV antibiotics, and as such (and since I don't intend to bore anyone else out of their skulls with this crap), will now write the post I intended for Sunday.
          Know-It-Alls was the first place I went looking for fan-fiction after I realized that I wasn't the only one in the world writing the stuff.  My things were not exactly horribly written, but my plotting and characterization skills are non-existent, and so they went promptly into the virtual bin.  The only thing which survives is a short poem that a friend convinced me to put up on Occlumency (as Gaelwitch) and many abortions.   But I *knew* there had to be someone with talent writing fiction in this universe worth reading, and not only was I right, but I discovered a group of writers so talented, I'm not sure why they aren't all writing original fiction to the acclaim they deserve.  They made this world I adore, and these characters I love so much, deeper, more real and - dare i say it? - magical, than the original books, and for that they have my undying love and gratitude.  
          And harmony_bites  and clare009  have my undying gratitude for starting and maintaining the place where I found so many of what have become my favorite stories.  I wanted to give back, and I think I am pretty discerning, so I wrote up an application to be on the site's recommendation board.  To my surprise and delight, they gave me the opportunity to contribute.  I was thrilled to be able to introduce people to stories I loved that deserved to be better known and bring (I hoped) a wider audience to authors whose insight, inventiveness and sheer talent I so admired.   ::envies benevolently::
          So I thought I'd put my recs here, too, both to demonstrate the sorts of things I find worthy of being considered among the best, and (hopefully) to encourage folks to visit Know-It-Alls .  So I won't repeat the rec I put on-site for these fics, just a short commentary.  The links to the fics themselves and a somewhat more detailed rec for each can be found at KIAs.  There are enough that I thought I'd put them up in three parts:  The first part, my original recs; the second part, what I swept up with crack_broom, and the third part, the fics I wish I'd rec'd.  So, without further ado,

The Original Nine

1) Fair Weather Friend by rexluscus 
          When I made my application to join the board, one of the questions asked was "Which fics in your OTP not on KIAs would you rec and why?".  Well, I don't have an OTP, just an OTC (one true character - Severus Snape), and so I was (am) pretty open to any pairing involving him.  Admittedly, I was new to slash as well as to fan fiction, and though I kind of surprised myself with how much I enjoyed it, there were certain pairings I found distasteful or downright implausible.  Karkarov fell into the latter group.  But I suppose anything can be made to work in the hands of sufficient talent, and Rex has it to spare.  She fairly bowled me over with this story, and I loved it so much, it was the first rec I put up on the site.

2) My Name is Cameron Sage by thesewarmstars 
          Remember what I said about distasteful and implausible pairings?  A lot of Snarry falls into that category for me.  The history and power disparity between the two of them, especially if the story takes place while Harry is still a student, makes this very problematic for me.  The author neatly sidesteps these issues here by setting the story in a time travel, post-DH (but not HE (Horrid Epilogue) compliant) world, where Severus and Harry are about the same age when they meet.  It's very well written and manages to grow their relationship in a believable way without losing the essence of either character.  It gave me the warm-fuzzies for a pairing which I often have trouble swallowing - no mean feat.  Long, but reads fast.

3) The Innocence of Snow by Moira of the Mountain
          This lovely, lyrical and bittersweet Severus gen ficlet made my heart clench.  It packs a lot of emotional punch into a few second person POV paragraphs.

4) The Winning Move by chiralove 
          Here are five possible scenarios for what might have happened to Severus had he survived to be 50.  Short, spare and very poignant.

5) For The Price of My Familiar  by librasmile 
           This is the backstory of Severus's relationship with Albus Dumbledore, the disintegration of his friendship with Lily Evans, and the far-reaching consequences of betrayal and the lies, half-truths and justifications we give ourselves for what we do.  This story isn't perfect, but it stayed with me long after I'd read it.

6) Blood (But Also Roses)  by Mia Ugly
          Alas, all of my favorite writers seem to do their best work writing Snarry.   ::resigned sigh::   The lyrical, elegant writing style of Mia Ugly makes everything she writes worth reading, but her fic Rapture (which I missed out on the honor of rec-ing because I joined the KIA board in January and painless_j  put it up in December  ::is torn between kissing her and hexing her::  ) is one of the most amazing, painfully beautiful stories I've ever read, period.  Blood (But Also Roses) is its short sequel, and just as heart-wringingly lovely.  Read. These.

7) Hemlock, or The Beast Within  by dingochow 
          A favorite Snupin, I really enjoyed the creative plot and lovely detail, as well as the warmth and bemused humor woven throughout this fic.  The relationships are quite well done, with a terrific minor OFC and a satisfying ending.  This is a hopeful story, and a world in which I wish I could have stayed longer.  This rec is why Harmony_Bites asked me to help her sweep the crack_broom recs for worthy Snupins, and I'll put the recs for those into my next post.

8) Birds of a Feather  by WolfWillow
          This one has more than a few giggles, but it's serious, too, with the first part written from a truly unique POV.  If only JKR had written this instead of the HE!  This ought to be the *real* end of the story.

9) Of All Sad Words of Tongue or Pen  by rowen_r 
          This could probably be considered pre-slash Snupin, except that it is DH compliant (including that damned hateful epilogue . . . have I mentioned just how *much* I despise JKR for that epilogue?).  rowen_r has written something viciously funny, with several breath-stealing turns of phrase and an afterlife scene with Dumbledore which JKR should be forced to acknowledge publicly, in every possible venue, is *true*.    


          Well.  There you have it.  If you survived this, and are still interested, I'll put up my Snupin recs next.          

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Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
perverse_idyll
Apr. 29th, 2010 08:27 am (UTC)
Ugh, I'm so sorry you had to go back in hospital. Was it because of the Hickman-line infection? That sounds painful and dreary, and I imagine you're still in a fairly delicate state post-treatment. I'm with you on the overwhelming awfulness of hospital stays, so I hope there's no need to go back anytime soon.

Fair Weather Friend is amazing. I have zero interest in Karkaroff, really, except as his fate intersects with Snape's. Rex is such a phenomenal writer, unsentimental and capable of writing really nasty sex and sharp, startling characterization, and the fic utterly clobbered me.

Oh, The Winning Move. So lovely, so haunting. It's the sort of fic I involuntarily want to head off, to reach out and stop before it gets to the end, because it breaks my heart. But the ending is exactly right, with that ineffable sense of relief to it. It conveys the lingering farewell of "Good night, sweet Prince."

Hmm, I'll have to check out The Innocence of Snow and possibly Of All Sad Words of Tongue or Pen.

True confession: very little Snupin can hold my interest long enough for a fic to sink its hooks into me. Remus and Draco, for whatever reason, provoke mostly indifference in me. I couldn't tell you why; I've read some excellent fics involving them, but each time I'm faced with reading another in which they figure I have to overcome massive reluctance.

I'm not entirely incorrigible: when I signed up as a Snape-centric horn-tooter on crack_van last year, I did end up reccing two Snupins. snegurochka_lee is just one of those must-read writers, capable of breaking through walls, defenses, biases, and preconceptions to ravish the unwary reader.

(Also, excuse my presumption, but why not try writing fic again? I wibbled and waffled for more than two years before jumping in, convinced I would make a fool of myself. But, despite the fact that I tend to beat my head against the monitor quite a lot during the writing process, I don't regret one minute of my immersion in the Life and Times of Severus Snape world of make-believe. Perhaps you are too hard on yourself.)
albalark
Jun. 17th, 2010 04:46 pm (UTC)
Sorry I took so long to respond to this . . . I've been battling a hyperactive immune system and trying to resume my regularly scheduled life, but it's been requiring more effort than I ever believed possible. I've just about got things back under control (hope I haven't damned myself for saying that!), and I'm hoping that things will even out enough that I can pay more attention to the things I love to do, not just the things I have to do!

RE your indifference to Snupin: not to worry! Everyone loves different things and I guess I like Snupin because I imprinted on it - it was the first slash I'd ever read, and the story was so good, I've liked it ever since. There are astoundingly good writers in virtually every Snape pairing, and as long as the story is well written, I'm generally pretty open minded. Thanks to you, Joan Wilder, DementorDelta, Chazpure and a few others, my Snarry aversion is considerably reduced from what it was when I began. I still much prefer mentor!Snape when it comes to those two (my favorite story from the lastest Snarry-a-thon was On His Terms, it's on my rec list from that fest). I would hope you'd check out a few of my Snupin recs, though . . . snegurochka figures promenently, as do a few others of equal storytelling talent :-). I'm hoping I'll manage the time for a full post of those by the end of the month.

As for your presumption Ms. Idyll - detention, my office at 7:30 this evening. Do NOT be late. ::said in best imperious Snape manner, wearing best scowl:: Seriously, I don't mind playing Salieri to all the brilliant Mozarts out there. I can write short fics, but sustaining plot and characterizations for more than that is just beyond me. If you aren't afraid of having your time utterly wasted, I'll send you one or two of my messes to read, but don't say I didn't warn you!

librasmile
Jun. 14th, 2010 04:01 am (UTC)
Thanks from Librasmile
Hi,

How are you? I hope you were able to leave the hospital and are doing better.

I just wanted to say thank you for rec'ing my story "For the Price of My Familiar." I read your original review from back in January where you called it "haunting" and "atmospheric" and I absolutely loved it. You also say the story stayed with you long after you read it. Thank you. That's what I was aiming for. It's how I feel about many of my favorite fan and non-fan fic that I've read. So it's nice to know someone things I'm putting in a good effort.
albalark
Jun. 17th, 2010 05:16 pm (UTC)
Re: Thanks from Librasmile
Hello! I am better, thank you for asking, and hoping I'll be out of the hospital for a long time to come!

You're welcome :-) ! It's *always* a pleasure to rec a fic worth reading, and yours certainly was! In fact, it's one of a select few that I have returned to read so often that I finally broke down and printed it out and stuck it in the notebook I keep that's an anthology of sorts of my favorite Snape stories. So keep writing - I'm definitely looking forward to reading!

P.S. I love your icon!
librasmile
Jun. 19th, 2010 06:09 am (UTC)
Re: Thanks from Librasmile
First, I"m very glad you're feeling better. Being ill or injured is a misery and can bring you down, so the sooner mended the brighter your outlook.

Second, oh THANK YOU! This has got to be the nicest reviews I've EVER gotten. Because I do the same thing. The fan fics I have to read over and over again, I have to print out, at least in part, just to have them always at my fingerprints. I'm REALLY really glad I was able to do that for somebody else. It's what I'm aiming for as a writer.

Thank you VERY much for reading and reviewing so thoughtfully :^)
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