wyntir_knight: (Wyntir Knight)
For day seven I'm highlighting a pair of stories that really should be read together.

Blank Pages and Dear Lies by Dracoqueen22 ([livejournal.com profile] dracoqueen22 on LJ and the same on Tumblr).

Blank Pages was the second fic written, though it is the prequel. Both Blank Pages and Dear Lies can be read as solo fics, but when taken together they take on an entirely different meaning. they are well written, well characterized, and some of the few fics I've seen written successfully in third person present tense.

Blank Pages is the sweet telling of the start of a relationship between Jazz and Ratchet. Sweet, adorable, fluffy ... it's all that when taken on it's own, but when taken with the second story, it takes on an almost sinister tone, depending on how you read it. Dear Lies is something else entirely. Ratchet and Jazz have been together for quite some time now, but the relationship has gone from sweet and fluffy to dark and abusive. This particular version of Jazz is psychologically controlling and abusive, dictating every one of Ratchet's actions; and Ratchet has been under this control for so long that it's clear he finds it easier to just go with it, than to put up a fuss. After all, who would believe him? Jazz is the perfect partner in every single way. The story just gets darker and darker as it goes along culminating in ... well, I'll let you read it.

As a warning, Dear Lies should probably have some abuse trigger warnings on it, because speaking as a person who has witnessed this kind of abuse first hand, this story is a little too on point some times, and I don't want to send someone in the direction of a fic just to trigger them. That'd be cruel.
wyntir_knight: (Wyntir Knight)
I love Prowl/Ratchet. I haven't written this pairing in a long time, but I do adore it. Completely and totally. So, let me bring you the recommendation of Privileges of Rank by Okamichan6942 (and also here as [livejournal.com profile] okamichan).

This is a wonderful little story dealing not only with the relationship between the characters but also why Ratchet has such a low rank when he's the Chief Medical Officer. If fact, I like the idea so much that I even used the same argument to explain why Smokey's rank is where it is. Okamichan keeps the characters in character beautifully and yet you can see why they're together and how they compliment each other beautifully without being similar in any way. Privileges also features a fantastic interfacing scene that makes the most of their robotic-ness, that manages to be both sexy and alien at the same time.
wyntir_knight: (Wyntir Knight)
Today I want to get away from Transformers and go over in the direction of Star Wars. This recommendation is for an old work (it was concluded in 2005), but it is just way too good to pass over.

The Darth Side: Memoirs of a Monster by Cheeseburger Brown. I'm not sure how fair it is to link a professional author here, but my reasoning is this: The Darth Side is a work of fan fiction and therefore it counts :) Plus, there are a lot of people I've spoken to who have never heard of this, and it is BRILLIANT!

This work is a case of "exactly what it says of the box". It's the diary of Darth Vader, starting when he was little Anakin Skywalker (through reminiscing) and ending as he prepares to bring Luke to the second Death Star. Through this work, we get to see a side of Darth Vader that is rarely explored - we get to see the boy trapped in the machine body of an adult and raging against a system he can't change, and yet who revels in all the darkness and evil inherent in that system. Cheeseburger Brown also brings up some interesting points as Vader contemplates himself, Palpatine, Luke, and the Force.

The Darth Side is dark, beautiful, and makes Vader very, very human without woobifying him in any way. It's a very refreshing change from what I'm used to seeing (not that my experience is vast when it comes to Star Wars). Oh, and he has a very, very interesting tale on the prophecy and specifically on the line about bringing balance to the Force. Oh, and I suggest that you read the journal chronologically rather than the original weblog and the newer version contains so much more.
wyntir_knight: (Wyntir Knight)
Day four and I have more Transformers fic to recommend! Today it's a fic by Dragonseeker789.

Never Underestimate a Medic was the first fic I'd read with the Megatron/Ratchet pairing and I adored it! I still do. See, I'm one of those folks who firmly believes that Megatron/Ratchet is canon in the Marvel comics. I mean, what was the Right of Oneness if not a bonding ceremony? They are totally married in the comics!

So, anyway, Never Underestimate a Medic is a wonderful fic wherein Ratchet distracts Megatron in order to keep his patient safe. It contains definite non-con, violence, and threats of rape, so it's dark as sin, but at the same time it's a great combat fic and Ratchet gives as good as he gets and in the end ... well, read the fic. Megatron learns the hard way that medics are full of tricks and are not to be underestimated. Ever.
wyntir_knight: (Wyntir Knight)
For day three I bring you the works of Exactlywhat! This person is another predominantly Transformers writer with a lot of G1 and Bay influences. From what I've read, Exactlywhat takes some very interesting interpretations of canon and runs with them, creating some very interesting stories.

Today I would specifically like to talk about Barricaded. This story starts with the standard premise of "What if Barricade was actually Prowl?" But instead of taking the usual path with this, Exactlywhat instead has Barricade be a reprogrammed Smokescreen. We follow the story both through Smokescreen and Barricade's optics as they try to deal with what and who they now are and where they belong. It's a great take on a story that's become pretty much accepted fanon at this point.

Unfortunately there's not a lot more that I can say here that won't give away key points in the plot, so all I'll say is, it's dark, it's gritty, it's refreshing, and funny, and beautifully characterized and you should totally go read it!
wyntir_knight: (Wyntir Knight)
Day two and I'd like to recommend Bibliotecaria_D. This writer's quite prolific with just over 100 titles to their name, most of them Transformers and all of them (so far from what I've read) using unusual characters and pairings. I mean, how much Prowl/Smokescreen do you see out there?

Which brings me to my recommendation: Playing the Long Odds, or the curious case of too many Prowls.

This story starts off as a goofy comedy wherein the Autobots decide to make the Decepticons question their sanity by convincing them that there are three Prowls. All three Datsuns take on the colours and mannerisms of Prowl, until even they cannot tell each other apart. The problem is, this leads to the revelation that Prowl is in love with Smokescreen and has been for quite a long time. The relationship between the two is explored slowly over seven chapters and ten years, and goes from colleagues, to friends, to potentially something more as the story progresses, and it is beautifully accomplished. The final chapter does contain sex of the sticky variety, but if that's not your bag, the story does not suffer in any way if you choose to not read Chapter 7.

Playing the Long Odds features a Prowl not often seen in fandom, one that is shy, reclusive, and terribly awkward. And one who mistakes stalking for proper courting behaviour. As a warning, there are some commenters on the fic who have mentioned that it is a little triggery (I imagine for those who have been stalked by people in the "friend zone"), so please be warned. If that isn't an issue, please go read this work! I don't think that you'll regret it!

Oh, and as an additional note, this story contains some of the best use of the alt-modes that I have ever seen! Bibliotecaris_D really explores the fact that these beings are both robot and vehicle and has many conversations take place while in alt-mode. There's also a lot of body language conveyed though their alt-modes. It is a really, really interesting take on the Cybertronians and their many physical facets.
wyntir_knight: (Wyntir Knight)
Today I'd like to speak about someone that I've only just discovered, mainly because they've only just recently started posting to AO3; though I get the idea that this person has been posting to Tumblr for quite some time.

Thatoneguyyoudidntknowfromtumblr. This person is an incredible writer. I haven't read everything yet, but what I have is insightful, well characterized, and really deals with some of the deeper aspects of the relationships between the various Autobots, and between the Autobots and the humans. I'm only going to link to one of this person's stories, The Debt, because so far, it is one of my absolute favourites.

"While Special Operations is too much work for one mech, how do you find people you can trust?"

The Debt is a multi-chapter story that deals with Jazz finding a mech on the street to help with the work of Special Operations. Unlike most stories where the new recruit is Mirage or Bumblebee, this story instead focuses on the relationship between Jazz and Smokescreen, and you know that I'm a complete sucker for anything involving Jazz and Smokescreen. This story has a nice slow build and yet manages in only 11 chapters and just shy of 10K to take us from the early days of the war all the way to post-Battle of Autobot City. And it features two endings - one for those into Jazz/Prowl and one for those who would prefer something other than that particular fan-favourite pairing. It's a nice addition and both endings work really, really well.

Seriously, I cannot stress enough just how good this story is. If you like special ops, if you like Jazz, you with like this story. Go and read Thatoneguyyoudidntknowfromtumblr's works. You won't regret it!
wyntir_knight: (Wyntir Knight)
So there's a thing going around Tumblr at the moment that I thought was really, really nice. Author Appreciation Week. This is the post from "biotictrash":

"After seeing how successful Love Your Artist week was, and all the love that went around there, I thought it might be nice to keep some of that going, and do something cool, specifically for fic authors.

Fan fiction authors give so much to fandoms, whether they post fics once a day or once every couple of months. It takes a lot of effort and guts to not only write pieces, but to share them with the internet, however, they do often go under appreciated.

Fic writers typically don’t ask for commissions like other artists do and put the same amount of effort into their work for completely free, their writing gets far less notes than a piece of fan art would, and they don’t get the same exposure or even personal feedback. Of course, artists of all types are extremely talented and fantastic, but there is definitely an imbalance.

For the week of Monday July 13th - Sunday July 19th, we should try to take part in a week that will give authors a chance to hear from their readers and fans!

And here’s a few ways to do that:

- Each day, pick a fic writer or two, and send them a message. Let them know what you love about their writing, what your favorite piece is etc. Something nice and personal that will let them know their stories have power.
- Reblog fics instead of liking them. More people will see them, more people will read them, and the author can get a wider range of feedback on their writing.
- Create Fic Recommendation posts, where you share your favorite fics and WHY you love them!

Let’s let the writers of fandoms know that their work is so, so appreciated and help them to improve their craft! A simple message could be a writer’s reason to keep working, and to remember why they love sharing their stories in the first place!"

So I thought that this was a great idea and should be brought over here. Later on today I'll be posting the first of my fic recs. I really think that it'd be a nice thing to let the fic writers in our fandoms know how much we appreciate them - especially the lesser known and lesser appreciated writers out there who might be struggling to try to find their place.

Spread the word and positivity!


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