schneefink: Babylon 5 (Bab5)
Vorkosigan Saga is a fandom that gets good Yuletide fic every year (though it probably won't be eligible for much longer, I was surprised to see it this year.) Last year I didn't get around to it, so here are recs from the last two years.

Yuletide 2015:
Vorkosigan's Viper by [personal profile] lannamichaels
1.5k, Aral Vorkosigan/Ges Vorrutyer, a/b/o AU
Summary: Five ways Ges shows his love.
Why I love it: I was highly dubious about the premise, but when I actually read it I loved it. The story is almost just incidentally an a/b/o AU, most of it is about the political ramifications of the marriage between Ges Vorrutyer and Aral Vorkosigan. Ges is ambitious, and Aral isn't but Ges doesn't let that stop him, and he uses power differently than Aral but he uses it well.

The Iron Gates by [archiveofourown.org profile] sunsmasher
10.1k, background Miles/Ekaterin, Diplomatic Immunity missing scene
Summary: Miles is dying, nobody is listening, and Ekaterin is doing her damndest.
Why I love it: BAMF!Ekaterin, fuck yeah. The book just glossed over this part but this fic does an amazing job showing what was at stake and what Ekaterin had to do and how she did it, and it's great.

Yuletide 2016:
Intelligent Disobedience by [archiveofourown.org profile] Philomytha
1.3k, gen, Shards of Honour missing scene
Summary: A well-trained dog obeys his master, but the very best dogs know when to refuse to obey.
Why I love it: I love loyalty as a theme, especially when it's put to the test, and this short missing scene between Illyan and Aral hits that button beautifully.

peace and quiet by [archiveofourown.org profile] alessandriana
5.8k, gen
Summary: Light and genteel laughter spilled out of the foyer. A large group of Barrayar's high society had just arrived, clustering in small groups as they waited to be greeted by the Emperor. Ivan hesitated on the edge of the group, mind racing in circles as he scanned the crowd. He resisted the urge to rub at the spreading patches of red on his hands. I don't want anything to do with this.
Why I love it: Wonderful h/c, with great Ivan & Gregor.

Troublesome to Others, but a Torment to Themselves by [archiveofourown.org profile] ozymandias314
9.8k, Mark/Kareen
Summary: Miles Vorkosigan is the world's biggest cockblock.
Why I love it: This is a lot of fun, with the exact right amount of angst that comes from Mark being Mark. Plenty of Mark&Miles sibling feelings too.

Never Getting Back Together (Like, Ever). by [archiveofourown.org profile] lannamichaels
1.4k, Aral Vorkosigan/Ges Vorrutyer, epistolary, crack
Summary: My dear Captain, I need some scripts for dealing with my Darth Vader ex, who happens to be the brother of my ex-wife.
Why I love it: This is a hilarious crack crossover with Captain Awkward, and I spent most of it figuratively with my head in my hands laughing and moaning about Aral Vorkosigan. If anyone could use some advice on how to cope with his emotions more healthily, surely it's Aral.
schneefink: Babylon 5 (Bab5)
Sometimes I find a song I like and listen to it twenty times on repeat. Today: an a capella version of "Defying Gravity", found on Tumblr. I'd sing along, but I tend not to pay attention to how loud I get and LB doesn't like it, so I'm just moving my head to the rhythm and occasionally humming.

A new Vorkosigan book is coming out next year! "Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen." Great side-effect, [personal profile] dira is writing more The World That You Need fic. But overall I was less enthusiastic about the announcement than I would have been a few months ago. Part of the reason is that I didn't enjoy the last two books that much, and I really hope the new book doesn't continue that trend.

But another reason is that last December I read From the Old to the New by [personal profile] avanti_90. It's a 9k gen AU epistolary fic about the Komarran independence movement, and it's fantastic: One man can alter the course of history. A random encounter leads Duv Galeni to change his mind and return to Komarr.

As I wrote in my comment: "I never fully realized how imperialistic Barrayar was towards Komarr, somehow I didn't pay attention to that, and now I feel like I'm looking at canon in a different way. This is a great future! It's a better future than I can see in canon, and as much as I love Aral and Gregor and Miles and everyone else, now I wish this had happened instead." Afterwards I browsed DW, read a few more posts mentioning the ways in which Barrayaran society is fucked up (and some less good parts of the books) - most of it things that I was vaguely aware of, but never really paid attention to. As I saw someone say somewhere, I enjoyed deliberately believing in the books' fictions: Barrayarans are generally the good guys, Gregor is the rightful ruler and Emperor, things like that. And that's become much harder since reading about an independent Komarr. I can still usually do it, and it's not that hard for fic that doesn't mention politics - but politics was one of the things I really enjoyed about the Vorkosigan series :/

Another big reason why I'm less invested in the Vorkosigan saga by now is of course also that I found other things, like Bab5, that are fantastic and fascinating and that I love a lot right now. And I'm still in the middle of it! Season 3 was amazing; I'm not convinced by the beginning of season 4 yet, but I'm optimistic. I watch the political developments on Bab5 closely, and some of them I'm worried about... I've been too busy in March, but I hope we'll find time for more episodes soon.
schneefink: (Feldgatter)
After closely canon-related fic recs, this is part II. I'm not feeling very chatty today, so they might be a bit short, but I wanted to get this done because my "to rec" list is growing and growing...

10 Vorkosigan Saga recs )
schneefink: (FF Kaylee excited)
Hi! Thank you very much for writing a story for me!

Some things I like:
* I love friendship/team fic. Characters who grow to like each other, trust each other, and eventually would do many things for each other, yes please. Especially when in the beginning they're in slightly different positions/places/etc. and their friendship is rather unexpected.
* Related to that, navigating relationships. Could be platonic or romantic partners: how do they deal with daily life, how do they solve conflicts, how do they support and comfort each other at the end of the day?
* Worldbuilding! How do things work? Both on a large scale and the mundane details. I love to learn about a world's politics, economics, cultural details, even administration and bureaucracy.
* Plot is great. Stories where they stay at home and play boardgames are also great. 5-things/times-fic is fun. I like stories that span an hour and stories that span years.

Things I don't like for Yuletide:
* Stories with an unhappy ending. Some unhappy elements are fine if the general outlook is optimistic, but nothing extremely dark, please (torture, rape, abuse…)
* Stories focused on explicit sex
* Complete AUs, i.e. coffeeshop AU etc. I love the canon worlds of all these fandoms so I'd prefer to read fic taking place there. Canon-divergent AUs are fine, or canon-with-small-details-changed.

Have fun! The prompts below are just guidelines, I hope they help you think of ideas.

1) The Young Protectors (webcomic)
Read more... )

2) Galaxy Quest (1999)
Read more... )


3) Vorkosigan Saga – Lois McMaster Bujold
Read more... )
schneefink: (Feldgatter)
When I started looking for Vorkosigan fic I went to the AO3, sorted by kudos/bookmarks, and started from there. It worked very well, I found many great stories that way & I can recommend that method.
But just in case you want more specific recs, I also have a list! Part 1, here are some stories I enjoyed that deal directly with events of a novel.

10 Vorkosigan Saga fic recs )
schneefink: (Kaylee with umbrella shiny)
About two weeks ago [personal profile] frith_in_thorns recommended I read the Vorkosigan Saga books, and then I did little else for a week or so and enjoyed myself immensely.

What I love about them:
- I love the worldbuilding so much. The wormholes, the Time of Isolation, the roles of the different planets; how it all has a history and everything has reasons and develops and there's so much politics and economics and pure chance involved, tech develops and society develops and different planets have different cultures but they all influence each other, but in different ways - it's extremely well done.
--Spaceships! Space pirates mercenaries, -battles, -politics!
- All of the books have great plots, things develop from point A to point B and C in ways you can follow but not predict, there are always multiple things going on and you always know as much as you need to; some of the books reminded me of the best kind of detective stories the way it all fit together.
- Politics are important and messy and influence everything, when you have a fleet you need to think about accounting and political ramifications, it's always there in the back- or foreground and it's beautifully done.
- Everything that happens has consequences, good or bad, there's no reset button but it doesn't just stay there, things develop further.
- The duty and loyalty themes, yum, I love it.
- Character development, character relationship development and building, characters growing up and into and out of roles, drifting together or apart, being changed by what happens and changing what happens, characters generally being alive.
- The Crowning Moments of Awesome are often great.

I started with Miles' books and have now read all of them except Dreamweavers's Dilemma, the framing story of Borders of Infinity, and I still haven't finished Barrayar because I know how many unpleasant things are going to happen and I'm not in the mood.

Some of my favorite books: Vor Game, Memory, ... )

Favorite characters:Gregor, Mark, Miles, Cordelia, Ivan, Alys... )

Of course the first thing I did after reading the books was look for fic. Good news: there are a lot of very good stories! (And it's still Yuletide-eligible this year. This year I'll finally sign up for Yuletide, I swear.) Not a lot of complete AUs (unsurprisingly), not a lot of porn (also doesn't surprise me very much), very good tie-in and background fic. I have a list of stories I want to rec, but not today otherwise I'll never finish this.
(Originally I thought I'd wait to post this until I finished Barrayar, but I don't know when that'll be and I'm procrastinating on finances.)

In conclusion: great series, will definitely recommend it :)
schneefink: Teyla and Sora with drinks, laughing (SGA Teyla and Sora cheerful)
A rec post (I've been meaning to make more for ages) because the alternative is to think/write about all the terrifying things happening around the world right now and I don't want to.

Nightfall (144189 words) by Leletha
Fandom: How to Train Your Dragon (Movies)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Summary: Canon-divergent: 20 years after Chief Stoick’s wife and son were lost in a dragon raid, the Vikings of Berk shoot down a Night Fury…and its rider, a feral youth who believes he is a dragon.
Why I loved it: I loved how it portrayed dragon society, how it dealt with Hiccup's identity, I loved the strong strong friendship between Hiccup and Toothless. I loved Astrid here, growing up in a village without Hiccup and learning how to be a leader. There's also plot, Stoick having to face his fears, and Terrible Terrors. I followed this story as a WIP, eagerly awaiting every update and was never disappointed.

Aral Vorkosigan's Dog (76355 words) by Philomytha
Fandom: Vorkosigan Saga - Lois McMaster Bujold
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Graphic Depictions Of Violence, Rape/Non-Con
Summary: Illyan is assigned to watch Aral Vorkosigan during the Escobaran war. Soon he has to choose between his duty and his conscience, and the consequences rapidly get beyond him.
Why I loved it: This is a minor character PoV from a canon adventure; since I didn't know canon all cliffhangers actually worked for me, but other commenters said that it also works if one has read the book. The fic was recced on f_fa when someone requested loyalty kink and it definitely delivered, yum.

Happy, "Cosmos" vid by [livejournal.com profile] bradcpu
Science! Space! That feeling of wonder and joy at discovery.

In other news, I think I've given up on completing my marvel_bang story on time. I appear to be writing a Tommy Shepherd primer instead (no idea what I'm doing, I've never written a primer before.)

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