sophinisba: Wee Gwen admires wee Merlin's magic! (gwen merlin by el_jamon)
Whelp, time to do another recs post but I haven't read anything but that one Merlin fic in weeks! However also I was realizing that when I recced the fic Exiles a few posts ago I forgot to mention the great Art for Exiles by [archiveofourown.org profile] DYlogger/[livejournal.com profile] dylogger. This art has the same things I loved about the fic -- the complicated mix of relationships among the OT4 and the feeling that it's its own fantasy world and slightly less connected to Merlin the TV show than most fanfic and fanart I consume. My favorite of the pieces is the one of ARTHUR AND GWEN DANCING because the COLORS and the sweep of her skirt. <3 <3 <3 Also if you scroll down through this art you will get an idea of what the character death warning on the fic is about.

So since I wanted to mention that I figure I should also tell you about some other fanart I have recently <3ed. This is pretty much all stuff I've seen on Tumblr (which I've been using semi-regularly for the past couple months even though I still don't get Tumblr at all) so if you're following me there you've probably seen these already and if you're not into Tumblr you might not know what to do with these links. Also one of the things I don't get about Tumblr is whether any of these arts have titles and it's possible that I'm not understanding who actually drew some of them so if you notice that please correct me. /o\ Anyway:

SOME OTHER MERLIN ARTS:
-My new friend [livejournal.com profile] pktsknd made ot3 on a lazy afternoon for my birthday last month!
-She also made ot3 for Mirror, Mirror, one of my favorite art pieces from this year's [livejournal.com profile] summerpornathon
-knight Morgana and queen Gwen by [tumblr.com profile] kosmonauttihai
-GWEN/MORGANA MERMAIDS which as far as I can tell is by [tumblr.com profile] niunae but like I said Tumblr confuses me.

HARRY POTTER:
MANY YEARS AGO like maybe in 2007 or something there were a lot of discussions about racism in fandom that I lurked in kind of obsessively and I think that was where I came across the idea that from the descriptions that JK Rowling gives of Hermione it's totally plausible that she's black. It hadn't occurred to me at all before (I saw the first movies before I started reading the books and anyway I'm like most white people in that I tend to assume book characters are while, though I'm working on that.) So I've sort of had that in my head ever since and I think I wrote one or two fics where she was a minor character and in my head she was black but I didn't actually write that out or talk about it, and I only ever saw one or two pieces of fanart following that idea UNTIL RECENTLY and now they're all over and it's awesome! You can see a bunch of fanarts as well as some meta and cosplay and other great stuff by searching for the tag black-hermione. For example:
-"smol-squad" by [tumblr.com profile] dellbelle39
-Ron meets Hermione by [tumblr.com profile] refrigerator-art
-Hermione spelling her hair by [tumblr.com profile] drea-arts2

BROOKLYN NINE-NINE
-Amy Santiago and Rosa Diaz star in their own 60s teen detective series by [tumblr.com profile] celestedoodles
sophinisba: Gwen looking sexy from Merlin season 2 promo pics (gwen by infinitesunrise)
Rectober: share the magic
banner by [livejournal.com profile] capitu


Okay, so I guess a bunch of people are doing recs this month. Yay recs! I said I would do a recs post every weekend and here we are at the end of the weekend so here goes!

A couple months ago I wrote a little ficlet of a modern AU where magic is regulated by the government and drug companies, and I was reflecting that I love these kinds of AUs with a passion and wish they would get written more. Most Merlin fics are either canon-era with magic banned or modern AUs without magic, and of course there are many other variations but DAMN, MODERN AUS WITH MAGIC ARE THE BEST.*

  • My all-time favorite, as many of you could probably guess, is the 2010 classic 125K fic Arcane Asylum by [archiveofourown.org profile] new_kate. It starts with Arthur, who's been framed for a magical crime, going into a prison for magic users that's mostly been taken over by the inmates and especially by the most powerful wizard among them, Merlin. There is some threatened non-con early on and then there is an epic Arthur/Merlin love affair and adventure. This fic, as they say, gives me all the feelings. To be honest my favorite parts are not the main plot of the story but the flashbacks to Merlin's childhood and the way his mother tried to protect him, then to his youth on the run before he got caught. It seems to me that these parts of a very strong "magic as metaphor for gayness" feel and that has always been one of my favorite things about this fandom and I love it. Then also much later in the fic there's the amazing Arthur/Sophia noncon flashback. The podfic I made of it in 2012 is by far the longest podfic I've ever made -- it sort of took me six months -- and I imagine you can sort of hear my voice flagging in the second half and then picking up again when Sophia shows up. Anyway, the whole thing is glorious really and if you came in later or just somehow never got around to this I recommend it most highly. As an anon once commented on my podfic, "this is such a satisfying fic! it is the thanksgiving meal of fanfiction."

  • Here is another old favorite: Seasons by [profile] wangler who used to go by another name though I'm not sure we're supposed to connect them. This is another long (40K) Arthur/Merlin fic with some other pairings mixed in. It is really good for crying though at times it will cut away when you are wanting to see more. Besides loving this fic in a way that makes me feel like a mess all over the floor I really admire it for the way the author shows us little pieces of the universe through tiny details, like Nimueh telling the paramedics that Merlin is Class Four even though his driver's license says two. That is just fabulous. For a while I thought I would make a multi-voice podfic of this and I even recorded the Merlin parts years ago so if you want to do Arthur let me know and I'll see if I can salvage those files. *sigh*

  • Okay so then later this summer a few weeks after I wrote that ficlet we were leaving prompts for each other on Team Gluttony and [livejournal.com profile] lady_ragnell wrote me this gorgeous little piece of Hunith and Freya gen with background Freya/Merlin, Forget the World. And I thought wow, Hunith and Freya and modern AU with illegal magic my life cannot get any better, and then...

  • A few days later I got the notification that my new friend [livejournal.com profile] polomonkey had posted a new fic called In Spite of Everything, the Stars and oh it was just 82249 words of Arthur/Merlin tagged Kidnapping and Hurt/Comfort and Alternate Universe - Modern With Magic. On top of the fantastic story this has really gorgeous artwork by [archiveofourown.org profile] mushroomtale and I just got to sink into a really long fic and read all weekend in a way that I have not done with a Merlin fic probably in years. Part of what was so fun was squeeing about it on Twitter and realizing that other people who barely read Merlin fic anymore were just as excited and it was so satisfying and good.

  • (*omg if you are my [livejournal.com profile] merlin_holidays writer or artist and you are freaking out because you already started making something for one of my other requests please don't worry, when I say "the best" here I really just mean "awesome" but I also feel that magic reveals are the best and gen is the best and kink exploration is the best and so on.)

    Anyway yay recs! If you would like to feel responsible for doing a certain number of recs posts this month you can go tell [livejournal.com profile] birdsofshore or else you can just start making some recs posts!

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