Wanted: well written fan fiction
July 6, 2012 5:28 PM   Subscribe

Prompted by this thread on the blue, I'm calling upon the hivemind to recommend some GOOD fan fiction or slash fiction or both. As long as it's entertaining and doesn't involve an inner goddess, I'm down.
posted by peppermind to Media & Arts (56 answers total) 119 users marked this as a favorite
Do you have a particular fandom/genre?
posted by Lt. Bunny Wigglesworth at 5:30 PM on July 6, 2012

If you liked The Avengers, this was fantastic. (Not much sex, lots of relationship tension, absolutely dead-on dialog through most of it - I kind of want her to write the sequel.) Note that this is basically novel-length. The author has a number of freestanding shorter stories in the same universe as well that are also great.
posted by restless_nomad at 5:36 PM on July 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

Yeah, are we talking Supernatural hurt/comfort, Shakespeare fix-it fic, J-pop, or that amazing Vanity Fair Iron Man piece?
posted by PussKillian at 5:38 PM on July 6, 2012

Response by poster: Not really, no. I've never actually read any fan fic, aside from a couple of paragraphs of 50 Shades of Grey, so I don't know what's out there. I just know that every time that book gets mentioned people here insist that good fanfic exists and I'm intrigued.
posted by peppermind at 5:44 PM on July 6, 2012

Best answer: I like Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality (full disclosure: I host that site but do not write or in any other way contribute to the project). It has no sex whatsoever, although Harry and Hermione do go on a date at one point, because it's not that kind of fanfic.
posted by hades at 5:58 PM on July 6, 2012 [8 favorites]

Lunch and Other Obscenities - Gaila and Uhura from the Star Trek reboot movie become friends and learn to navigate each other's cultures. Lovely.
posted by shamash at 6:00 PM on July 6, 2012 [2 favorites]

Seconding Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality. It's the best fanfic ever.

Luminosity Is a twilight fanfic that's infinitely better than the source material. I read and enjoyed it without ever having read or seen twilight, though now I've seen the movie. Good action, fun times with precognition, and characters that are actually smart!
posted by drethelin at 6:03 PM on July 6, 2012 [2 favorites]

I love The Very Secret Diary, which is a bone-chilling take on events in Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets that are mostly skimmed over in the book.
posted by bewilderbeast at 6:03 PM on July 6, 2012

The thing about fanfiction is, in some ways, it's like Weird Al Yankovic songs. If you're not familiar with the medium it's operating in, and you don't particularly like fanfiction (or parody songs), then you're probably not going to like some random fanfiction story, no matter how good it is. IME, most fans enter fanfiction because there's a show they like and they think, "I want more stories. I want to know what happens next."

So the question is, what non-fanfiction media do you like (especially more nerdy media)? Star Trek? Harry Potter? Stargate? The Avengers? Sherlock? British shows that I don't watch/don't know about? Anime? Regency novels?

Heck, I could link you to a perfect piece of L. M. Montgomery fanfiction, but if you don't know the source material it's not going to make sense.
posted by muddgirl at 6:04 PM on July 6, 2012 [4 favorites]

Response by poster: As long as the L.M. Montgomery fan fic doesn't involve Matthew and Marilla hooking up, yes please! (Incest seems a lot creepier to me when set in rural P.E.I. than it would in Westeros)

I don't really watch regular TV, but I've been watching Archer, The Wire, Mad Men, Breaking Bad and Sports Night lately. I read Harry Potter and A Song of Ice and Fire last summer. As for movies, I see damn near everything that plays in the theatres in my midsized Canuck city and track down a few things that don't. I love Jane Austen, but I've been underwhelmed by by books that riff on her characters, I guess the bar gets raised a little when the original work is so great. Does that help?
posted by peppermind at 6:23 PM on July 6, 2012

It depends what you like. I pretty much only read Harry Potter fic these days (used to read a lot of Blake's 7, but boy is that old-school in the world of fanfic--it was in paper 'zines, man). For explicit fic, Ravenna C Tan is one of my faves. (When non-pseudonymous, she's also a professional writer of porn and other topics.)

Within Harry Potter fanfic there are subgenres--many based on romantic pairings, some not. One of the latter is Snape-adopts-Harry--which pretty much arose from one offhand line in Goblet of Fire about how unlikely something was... as unlikely as Snape adopting Harry. Fans being fans, that's all it took. Then someone who goes by Severitus online issued a very specific challenge for these kinds of stories (have Harry find out on his 16th birthday that he's actually Snape's biological son, include this snippet of dialogue...) and there's a sub-subgenre of Severitus stories.

Having read two excellent examples of this premise, I got rather hooked on them. There's an entire website pretty much devoted to Snape being in a parental or mentoring relationship with Harry. But I read these two fics elsewhere. Blood Magic by GatewayGirl is the whole Severitus deal. It's really well-written, with what I feel is a plausible kind of softening of Snape's personality (lots of these stories don't manage that AT ALL). AspenInTheSunlight read Blood Magic and was inspired to write her own story, A Year Like None Other, which I also like (it's not a Severitus, but is an adoption). Warning, AYLNO is hella long--760,000 words, and it has two sequels, the second still in progress.

"If You Are Prepared," a 3-story series by Cybele, is infamous among Snarry (yes) readers, but it's so goddamn heart-wrenching I won't be responsible for sending you directly to it. Google if you dare. It's excellently written but depressing. Oh, extra warning, it also includes underage/adult sex.

Two other stories I hesitate to recommend (but must!) have, I feel, real literary merit, but they're both unfinished and haven't been updated in years. *Anguish*. But they're so good--if you can deal with incomplete, please read them. The Knight Errant Chronicles by Guernica (the second link has many more chapters, but requires registration because of the explicit content) stars an original character, which usually I detest but here is done marvellously; The Shadow of His Wings credits Rowling's universe with far more subtlety than the real books ever displayed--Harry and Draco dance around each other sexually, and Lucius may be trying to become the new Dark Lord. Includes Machiavelli being taught to Slytherins.

On refreshing: totally second the recommendation of Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality for those familiar with the scientific method, skepticism, science fiction classics, or Ender's Game. *This* Harry was raised by an Aunt Petunia who married a scientist....
posted by clauclauclaudia at 6:33 PM on July 6, 2012 [4 favorites]

Lol, though, because asking for a fanfic recommendation without saying what media you enjoyed in the past is like asking TELL ME WHAT FOOD IS GOOD.

Here are my delicious bookmarkses. I like a lot of crackfic, which means general ridiculousness. There is Supernatural, Avengers, Generation Kill, Inception, PoTC, Merlin, and True Blood. Have at it.

oh my god you MONSTER you linked to SOHW and made me think it was finally completed, sob sob woe tragedy.
posted by elizardbits at 6:49 PM on July 6, 2012 [4 favorites]

I find the annual small fandom fic challenge Yuletide to produce a lot of great stories. Most fandoms run fic challenges and holiday ficathons and things like that, so those are good places to look as well.

The Kids Aren't All Right which is a mock Vanity Fair article written by Christine Everhart, the reporter in Iron Man.

We Are Six, Calvin (and Hobbes) meet Eloise.

The Account Book, an I Capture The Castle story. Wartime brings new challenges to the Castle, particularly when Simon returns.

Anamenesis, a Barrayar Simon/Alys story. Simon used to be afraid of getting lost. A collection of missing scenes from the events of Memory.

Your Fixed Point, a dark and explicit and heavy genderswapped Iron Man. Identity and gender and Obadiah Stane and Pepper Potts and Jim Rhodes and Tony Stark. Just to clarify: there are two women in the Funvee.

Journey to Make, Horizon to Chase, a Tam Lin (Pamela Dean)/Narnia crossover. Susan Pevensie goes to Blackstock College.

The Sceptre at the Feast Sayers. From boy to man, Peter Wimsey follows the progress of his nephew through the years.
posted by PussKillian at 6:57 PM on July 6, 2012 [6 favorites]

Oh god, you HAVE to read the Mina De Malfois stories. They aren't fan fiction, they're a bunch of stories about people who write fan fiction and the various subgenres therein. They start out as stand-alone stories making fun of a specific aspect of fandom and then turn into some rather charming comic novellas. They're funniest if you're already a fan, but they introduced me to some hitherto unknown aspects of fan culture and I enjoyed them anyway. Sadly, the author finishes them off in a hurry at the end of volume three and doesn't wrap up most of the plot threads. But they are still a joy to read - real cheer-up stuff.

I second Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, at least the first few chapters. The author does not seem entirely wise to himself, so the stories are a little bit funnier and occasionally more touching than I think he actually intended them to be.
posted by Frowner at 6:59 PM on July 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

I just know that every time that book gets mentioned people here insist that good fanfic exists

Oh god, yes. I read a few paragraphs of 50 Shades. I've been reading fanfic for about ten years and in every fandom there is fanfic written in the same exact style. It ranks right above the fanfic that doesn't even use real words. Barely. And then there's a whooole mess that's way above that. With some writers I wonder why they are even bothering with fanfic, they're so good.
posted by Lt. Bunny Wigglesworth at 7:10 PM on July 6, 2012

Harry Potter & The Time of Good Intentions (the other two volumes are OK, but that one is REALLY good.)

Pretty much everything written by Leyla Harrison (X-Files fic)

Most of the stuff on WitchFics (avoid anything marked as being part of the Snape "Fuh-Q-Fest" fest as the whole idea was to be as absurd as possible; focus on Anna's Roman Holiday/Jewel of the Nile/Last Tango in Paris series even though it'll be eternally unfinished)

And just for your well-roundedness as a fic-reader, and so you will finally know the origins of the Draco in Leather Pants trope, I recommend you take the time to hunt down Cassandra Claire's Draco Trilogy. I remember back when she was mostly known for being a scandalous plagiarist instead of a fanficcer made good. Ah, the good old days.

It is not sufficient to read about the Draco Trilogy; I must insist that you actually read the whole entire thing.
posted by SMPA at 7:20 PM on July 6, 2012

One of my very favorite fanfic authors is After the Rain (writes Harry Potter and Shakespeare fic, mostly depressing or funny or both) and her best stories are maybe (more on the angsty side) Running Close to the Ground, which is about Wormtail scraping by in the last days of a collapsing Death Eater organization and (more on the funny side) Correspondence Course, which is about Sirius and Remus getting summer jobs and also involved in Marxist propaganda theater.

There is *so* much fic out there, especially in genres like Harry Potter, that it helps to know what you're looking for. You could probably say "I'd really like to find a well written story that has Luna Lovegood in a romantic relationship with Minerva McGonagall" and someone would hand you, like, two dozen recommendations.
posted by phoenixy at 7:41 PM on July 6, 2012

Concession. Iron Man fan fiction, set just after the first movie, and with a significant twist on the story as a journalist tries to understand the abusive relationship between a billionaire genius and his personal assistant.
posted by mhoye at 7:42 PM on July 6, 2012 [2 favorites]

OMG ALSO one of my favourite HP fics is absolutely Creevy At Large, in which Colin Creevy's little brother Dennis time travels to save the universe.
posted by elizardbits at 7:45 PM on July 6, 2012

Dumbledore's Army and the Year of Darkness is about what happens at Hogwarts while Harry, Ron and Hermione are on the run. Well written and a compulsive read.
posted by zadcat at 7:54 PM on July 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

Man, Iron Man has spawned some really dark, really excellent fic. There are a solid group of writers doing some stuff that just resonates. Meanwhile I write mildly angsty stuff that tends to involve cuddling, bathtubs, and falling asleep together. After a while you start to notice the outline of your id, you know?
posted by PussKillian at 7:58 PM on July 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

also also here are three writers who have yet to write a single thing that is not a glorious pearl of delight



posted by elizardbits at 8:02 PM on July 6, 2012 [3 favorites]

The thing about fanfiction, like genre fiction, is that it is judged by the worst examples. I think the most excellent example of what it can be elevated to is rm and kalichan's epic Torchwood fic I Had No Idea I Had Been Traveling. It requires a fairly deep familiarity with Torchwood and to some extent New Who, but it is an ambitiously complex, sprawly (in the best way) examination of a relationship that was treated (imo) in a fairly cursory manner in the show.

If you're looking for something slightly less epic (at 28K words), Almost No One Makes It Out is an Iron Man AU where Tony did not grow up wealthy. It is gritty and beautiful and I love it a lot.

More generally, two authors I can recommend are Sam Starbuck (Harry Potter, Doctor Who/Torchwood, White Collar, others) and Mary Borsellino. Both have deep abiding love of their fandoms and write stories that both illuminate and settle into their canons perfectly.
posted by calistasm at 8:20 PM on July 6, 2012

It's been a terribly long time since I read them, but the Talking Stick/Circle stories by Macedon and Peg Robinson really impressed me. They're Star Trek: Voyager fan fiction.
posted by anthy at 8:42 PM on July 6, 2012

All of my recs are of the slash variety, because that is just how I roll. shrift and astolat are well-sung authors from many fandoms who have been around for ages. And astolat is the author of a very successful book series, but we are all very wink-nudge about what it actually is.

I swore I'd never get into RPS, and then I read fic by wearemany and fell into a bandom hole for like over a year. NO REGRETS.

And a second for jibrailis, who is also a very lovely person who also writes amazing original fiction for the dirty gay webzine I co-run.
posted by whitneyarner at 8:45 PM on July 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

Some fans of Supernatural are currently doing a virtual season of the show called Redemption Road and it's very good, imo. And actually, while you might have to glance at the wikipedia page for last season's plot to know what's going on, I think it'd be pretty accessible to a non fan. And yeah it's m/m slash and there are sex scenes. Still, I don't know how much enjoyment one could get out of fiction for a fandom they've never experienced so ymmv.
posted by katyggls at 8:55 PM on July 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

Anything by resonant or helenish. They both write mostly slash, but the sex is not the only point of the story.

Also seconding the Yuletide challenge stories--there's something for everyone there!
posted by exceptinsects at 9:27 PM on July 6, 2012

I hardly ever read fanfic, but there's two Harry Potter fanfics I not only read but liked very much: the aforementioned Dumbledore's Army and the Year of Darkness; and Hogwarts Houses Divided, sort of a next-generation fic.

For more recommendations in general, you could do worse than the TVTropes Fanfic Recommendations page.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:38 PM on July 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

My favorite ever is Blue, a Baby-sitter's Club slashfic featuring two minor characters, of all things.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:44 PM on July 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

I'm a total fanfic newbie--previously held the ignorant 'mashing together Barbie dolls' viewpoint on it, I'm ashamed to admit--but I stumbled across a Hunger Games story that I thought was quite well-written. It holds a special place in my heart as sort of my first time.
posted by Ruby Lennox at 9:45 PM on July 6, 2012

oh god i love everyone in this thread

Also do read the Student Prince and Drastically Refining Protocol, two modern-day Merlin AUs.
posted by elizardbits at 9:50 PM on July 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

Oh, dear, I'm so sorry for the missing link.
posted by Ruby Lennox at 9:50 PM on July 6, 2012

Yeah, I'll nth everybody else that what you get out of fanfiction really depends on whether you enjoy the source, and how you engage with it. Also, I think a fair amount of fanfiction is really best appreciated if you're in the fandom, because there's some narrative short-hand and community norms involved that may be opaque to a newbie. That said, here's my Pinboard, with links to fic I've liked in many fandoms (mostly Avengers right now).

I usually like to rec Yuletide fics (gift stories written for the yearly holiday small/rare fandom challenge) to people new to fandom, since they're generally more likely to require less fandom-specific knowledge, and are pretty high quality. The old Yuletide archive is here, and the new archives are here and here and here. Do like any number of fans do circa Yuletide season: browse by fandom, and read stories for whatever catches your eye. If you've ever wondered, "I wonder what happened with..." or "I need more stories about..." there's probably some manner of Yuletide fic that will scratch your itch. A few of my favorite Yuletide fics, from somewhat well-known sources:

Bakcheios (Euripides' The Bacchae): Tense, disturbing, but beautifully wrought story of The Bacchae from Pentheus's point of view. Warning for disturbing sexual content of the non-consensual/dubious consent variety. Generally speaking, most of the mythology fic written for Yuletide is great, this just happens to be my favorite from recent Yuletides.

Fire, Measured by What Doesn't Burn (Twelve Dancing Princesses fairy tale): One of the best examples of second person point of view I've read, and a gorgeous update of the story. Like with mythology, there are usually a lot of great fairy tale fics written for Yuletide. This remains my favorite.

Carnivale (Twelfth Night): Seriously sexy Orsino/Viola.

Waste Our Lights In Vain (Romeo and Juliet): Beautifully written Mercutio point of view. This has one of my favorite first lines of any short story I've ever read: "There is a door inside Mercutio, in the shape of Romeo. It blows with the wind; open and shut, open and shut."

Yule Morning, or Malvolio's Revenge (Twelfth Night): An epilogue/coda of sorts to Twelfth Night, written in actual iambic pentameter. I sometimes actually forget that this was not part of Twelfth Night.

My favorite Harry Potter fic is Sam Starbuck's Cartographer's Craft. Don't let the Harry/Sirius pairing put you off! It's time-travelling 17 year-old Sirius, not Harry's-actual-godfather Sirius. Basically, everything Sam writes is great, and you really can't go wrong reading through all his fic.

Oh, and since I saw other people reccing Iron Man fic, one of my favorites: The Priming Game, Rhodey's point of view on Tony immediately after his rescue from captivity.
posted by yasaman at 10:08 PM on July 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

One of my all-time favorites is Shoebox Project, a story about the wizard generation before Harry Potter's.
This is a story about Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes and Jason from Foxtrot going to college. It is totally G-rated, fear not.

Crack van makes recommendations by fandom, and they're typically pretty good. What you might want to do is pick one universe that really caught your interest and dig in. Fandom has its own odd language and conventions, and it might be nice to have something as a constant at first. Besides, that's the way most people get into fandom.
posted by a hat out of hell at 10:16 PM on July 6, 2012

Given how many fandoms there are and how many different genres of fic, finding a recommendation that you'll like is kind of like finding a needle in a haystack. There is SO MUCH FIC out there. I recommend that you pick a fandom that looks interesting on this giant list of fandoms on AO3 and then sort by hit count. True, the most read fics are not always the best, but they usually are good enough that they're recommended around fandom and attract more readers. Once you find an author that you like, you can click on their name to read all of their work. This is how I find fanfiction when I fall into a new fandom.

Note that longer fic is usually "better" because there is opportunity for plot development. Shorter fic can be great, but I don't think that's what you're looking for right now.

I lean towards slash fiction. Authors that I recommend (or second the recommendation of) off the top of my head include: jibralis, astolat, gyzym, sam the storyteller/copperbadge, etothepii, sheafrotherden, elandrialore, synechodochic, foxxclub... and probably so many more that I'm forgetting.

It's hard to recommend specific fics because I don't know what you'll like, but some of my personal favorites include:

Performance in a Leading Role - BBC!Verse Sherlock and John as actors, eventually becomes Sherlock/John.

Seems So Easy For Everyone Else - Seriously, read everything by etothepii, but this is my favorite. FTM!Sherlock. No shippy romance, this is more about Sherlock growing up and his experience with transitioning.

I Used to Live Alone Before I Knew You - Another etothepii fic. BBC!Sherlock and Good Omens fusion.

Sacrifices Series - Harry Potter rewrite where Harry has a twin brother. This is really a "world building" fic and explores lots of deeper themes like prejudice, racism (species-ism?), class, bravery, and family. I can't remember if this has a romantic pairing.

Escribamens - Harry Potter fic where Draco discovers a spell that tells him the secrets of other wizards. (That really isn't a good description, a LOT happens in this story). This is another world-building one that explores pure-bloods and magical rituals in more depth. Eventual Harry/Draco.

Our Fallibility - X-Men First Class. Seriously, Charles can CONTROL PEOPLE WITH HIS MIND. What could that have looked like when he was a child?

Freefall - X-Men Movies. How X2 could have gone if Scott were a little quicker on the uptake.

Blindfolded Innocence - Criminal Minds fic. A case hits close to home for Spencer.

Written By The Victors - Stargate Atlantis. What if the crew on Atlantis had cut off contact with Earth and had to make their own way in a foreign galaxy?

The Music Makers - Inception. Backstory for Arthur and Eames.

The Enemy Gate is Not the Point - Avengers movie and Ender's Game fusion. Clint Barton goes to battle school.

Making the Best of It - Avengers, Clint Barton back story.

Sorry for the essay! I have so much fic saved in bookmarks, so feel free to memail me if you want more recs along these lines. I lean towards sci-fi/adventure media fandom, with occasional forays into pop music and RPS fandoms.
posted by Nickel at 10:19 PM on July 6, 2012

Oops, correct link for The Music Makers (Inception)

But really, I think you will have the best luck yourself by looking on AO3 (all fandoms), Crack Van (all fandoms), Crack Broom (Harry Potter), Painless_J's Recs (Harry Potter), TV Tropes or Fanlore Recs (Many fandoms), Pinboard's Popular Page (Recent hits), pinboard and delicious bookmarks (Many/Recent fandoms), Sunday Rec Day (BBC!Sherlock), and even by searching "*fandom* fanfic recs."

posted by Nickel at 10:38 PM on July 6, 2012

Also, seriously do try a bunch of different stories. What people have recommended here are a wide variety--some may be just what you like and some may freak you the hell out. No way to know which is which till you try!
I can't overstate that fanfic is just as big of a range of things as published literature; in fact more so since almost anyone can do it, no need for an agent.
posted by exceptinsects at 12:02 AM on July 7, 2012

If you like Firefly, you will probably like Forward, by Peptuck. It's written as though it were a second (post-Serenity, with modifications) season.
posted by specialagentwebb at 5:44 AM on July 7, 2012

Personally, I hated HP&TMOR. Everyone in it was a jerk. But this erotic Harry Potter fanfic was hilarious.
posted by rikschell at 8:26 AM on July 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

Y'know, I don't know what you'll like. But here's what I like, so maybe you'll find something in there for you too.

And the beauty of pinboard and delicious is that if you like a certain thing (Harry Potter, female/female slash fanfiction, horror stories, etc.) you can just pick the appropriate tag and check out all the stories linked across the entire site, rather than just one person's account.

To explain some general tags that might be used in various places:

AU = Alternate Universe (Can be as little as "Person X didn't die" to ones where "they're all in high school!" or "zombie apocalypse!")

Mpreg = Male Pregnancy. It's an acquired taste.

Rule 63/girl!X/Always-a-girl/genderswap = Where a character is a different gender. Sometimes it's been that way since birth, sometimes it's a magical gender laser, sometimes it's just for filthy sex, sometimes it's for deep and meaningful gender explorations

RPF = Real Person Fic / RPS = Real Person Slash - both involving people who exist/have existed

Crack = Crazy and silly stories that aren't meant to have deep significance. Or are just a crazy-ass idea that surprisingly works. ("They're all fish!" "The blanket's come alive!")
posted by Katemonkey at 8:27 AM on July 7, 2012 [2 favorites]

I'm gonna make a proper list later but for now: No Reservations: Narnia.
posted by Sokka shot first at 11:15 AM on July 7, 2012 [3 favorites]

Having come of age in fandom I've probably read thousands of fics over the years, and if I had to choose one single one to recommend to anyone, it's The Sith Who Brought Life Day, a Star Wars fic by ophelia_interrupted which is half dystopian satire, half warm-and-fuzzy holiday story about an Imperial officer who loses a bet and has to get a Christmas-analogue present for Darth Vader. On a pure craftsmanship level, I've read a great deal of professional fiction which doesn't juggle mood or play with unreliable narration half as well as this short story does, and if you have any fondness for Star Wars at all it's gutbustingly hilarious to boot.

Luckily I'm not restricted to one rec, so here are a few others!

- Carpetbaggers, a Narnia fic by cofax exploring how the Pevensie children figured out how to be royalty. rthstewart's The Stone Gryphon, meanwhile, plays with the idea that the Pevensies returned to England and used their Narnia-learned skills to contribute to the war effort. This one's a real monster, and it's not finished yet.

- tartanshell's duology Office Hours/The Wisdom to Know the Difference is a crossover between the pre-Avengersverse Marvel films, mostly Spider-Man and X-Men with a bit of Daredevil thrown in. Peter Parker signs up for a class taught by Professor Hank McCoy, and bonding ensues.

- Just a Face on A Train by katheryne. If you've seen the train scene from Spider-Man 2, you're golden for this one.

- horns of a deer, feet of a tiger, an alternate take on Iron Man in which Tony is Vietnamese-American. (Disclaimer: I am friends with the author, but have no involvement with the story otherwise.

- Anytime you need a palate cleanser, try Upholding the Laws of Time, a 200-word fic by AstroGirl. Doctor Who/Calvin and Hobbes, but it's more important to be familiar with the latter than the former.

Nthing: Lunch and Other Obscenities, The Kids Aren't All Right, I Had No Idea I Had Been Travelling, and Drastically Redefining Protocol, which I would have recced if they hadn't been already.
posted by bettafish at 1:17 PM on July 7, 2012

I have read all the Pride and Prejudice fanfic, and you are right, there is a lot of dreck out there. But there are also some gems. Some of my favorites are from professional authors:
Colleen McCullough wrote The Independence of Miss Mary Bennett, PD James wrote Death Comes to Pemberley. My other favorite series is by Elizabeth Aston - The Exploits and Adventures of Miss Alethia Darcy.
posted by CathyG at 2:27 PM on July 7, 2012

Response by poster: My question was too broad to mark anything as best answer, but I'm loving all the recommendations! Thanks so much for providing a foothold into this!
posted by peppermind at 3:40 PM on July 7, 2012

If you want long and plotty, the following are classics, off the top of my head:

Chicago's Most Wanted, by Speranza, due South.

Transfigurations, by Resonant, Harry Potter.

In the Company of Ghosts, by KodiakkeMax, Farscape.

My pinboard has plenty of fun stuff. Anything from Yuletide is probably worth a read.
posted by nonasuch at 3:55 PM on July 7, 2012

Ooh, also have my AO3 bookmarks! I hope you don't mind that it's a bit Avengers-intensive right now.
posted by nonasuch at 3:57 PM on July 7, 2012

I have to second Cartographer's Craft by Sam Starbuck. I love all of his fics, though. He writes in a lot of different fandoms as well, but really made his name in Harry Potter and Doctor Who. Here is a full masterlist of his fanfiction - I really enjoy his portrayal of Remus/Sirius slash.

I also really enjoyed Minisinoo's X-Men, Harry Potter and Twilight work. She took down her site that she hosted all her fanfic on a few years ago, but still has links to where you can find most of her stories on her LiveJournal. I highly, highly recommend Special, Grail, and An Accidental Interception of Fate (all X-Men) that you can find here, and this is her LiveJournal post where you can find the rest of her fic.
posted by sarahgrace at 5:40 PM on July 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

Okay okay, just a couple more:

Estimated Time of Arrival by Yahtzee, Star Wars. "How Han Solo decided to hang around the Rebel Alliance, just for a while."

So Wise We Grow by Deastar, Star Trek 2009. "'Commander Spock, we have located your son,' the Vulcan lady on the screen says, which would be great, except Jim can tell by the look on Spock's face that he's never heard of this kid before in his life."

Graduate Studies in Vulcan for Fun and Profit by lazulisong, same. "It really does take a village to raise a Jim."

[Note: though neither of these stories are dark -- quite the opposite, actually -- they do deal to some extent with the aftermath of child sexual abuse in the first case, and surviving genocide as a child in the second. In my opinion it's all dealt with non-exploitatively and compassionately without being the focus of either story, but just so you're aware.]
posted by bettafish at 7:09 PM on July 7, 2012

Most fandoms have rec lists and if you google "[fandom] rec list" you will find many, often sorted by theme, genre, rating etc. They are often a reliable entry point.

(I have only one current fandom, which is BBC Merlin, and so my tastes are specific; but for what it's worth my (slash) favourites are Favorite, Despoiled, and anything by LolaFeist. Although they do change.)

I am enjoying this thread. I work with one of the writers mentioned upthread. She will be well chuffed she was recced on MeFi :)
posted by andraste at 5:30 AM on July 8, 2012

Oh, jeez, how could I forget The Shoebox Project?
posted by whitneyarner at 11:31 AM on July 8, 2012

"The Thing With Feathers" (Colbert Report).

"Theories About Nuclear Winter" (Calvin & Hobbes) - click through to Part II at the end.

"Amends, or, Truth and Reconciliation" (Harry Potter).

My recs on Archive Of Our Own. Especially "Lunch and Other Obscenities" as recommended above, and "Sisters of Bilhah" (Handmaid's Tale).
posted by brainwane at 7:58 PM on July 9, 2012 [2 favorites]

I've been reading fic for BBC's Sherlock lately, and these are the ones that really stand out to me:

Control Alt Delete
by Mirith Griffin

Anything by verityburns, especially The Heart in the Whole and The Road Less Traveled

sheffiesharpe's At Least There's the Football series, which took a character pairing I think is usually ridiculous (Mycroft/Lestrade) and made it completely plausible and lovely.

The Paradox Series by wordstrings

I would pay actual money to read things by any of these four authors if they ever get a book contract.
posted by MsMolly at 3:03 PM on July 20, 2012 [3 favorites]

Forgot one more. From the video game Dragon Age 2, if the characters worked in a coffee shop near Seattle. Charming and no real knowledge of the game needed:

Coffee, Black
posted by MsMolly at 4:32 PM on July 20, 2012

ashwinder.sycophanthex.com tend to have well written stuff (that is if you're into hp and ship ss/hg). there's also petulantpoetess.
posted by thespiritroom at 8:27 PM on December 7, 2012

You could also do group/community searches on livejournal to see what's available (eg for a show or particular ship). Most ff writers tend to have their own lj pages as well, which is invariably linked to those of other writers within a community, etc.
posted by thespiritroom at 8:35 PM on December 7, 2012

Oh and there are also things like soccer (slash, duh), tetris (seriously.. I stumbled across a um, *cest fic recently purely by chance. It was bizzare.) and celebrity fanfictions (eg Sciddles - Scarlet Johannsen and Tom hiddleston lolll or the run of the mill k/jpop ones)
posted by thespiritroom at 8:47 PM on December 7, 2012

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