sophinisba: Troy and Abed from Community sitting on a couch with a computer in front of them (troy abed by carly-icons)
I went and asked for a card for the new round of [community profile] podfic_bingo even though I had tried this once before in 2011, the height of my podfic fandom, and even then never crossed off a square. These days I am much less active as a podficcer but also perhaps a little more open-minded, having spent more time with people who are more experimental in their podfic making. So we'll see what happens. Here is my new card:

Unfamiliar Genre Splice Fics Together Write and record your own story Read While Laughing Yuletide
Disability Character Voices Collaborate with one or more writers Incorporate Physical Sound Angst
Read with Breaths Read Sleepily WILD CARD Fairy Tale Lower Pitch Effect
Different Source Medium Repod Cold Dirty Talk 2+ Hours Long Rough
No Dialogue First Time Record in Bed Read Quietly Use Protection/Filters


Several bingos look doable to me, like a diagonal from the lower left (no dialog) to upper right (Yuletide), or maybe the middle column, since I always find recording dirty talk to be embarrassing but also awesome, and in general I like spending time in bed.

After some discussion earlier this week, the mods at the Merlin Big Bang community [livejournal.com profile] aftercamlann just made the decision to accept podfics as illustrations of their new stories. And I decided I wouldn't be interested in making a podfic as an illustration, with the tight turnaround and limited choice of stories and all, but I would like to challenge myself to make a podfic with their minimum wordcount of 25K this year, and that would also let me cross off the 2+ Hours square here.

Heck, maybe I'll go for a blackout, even though I don't know what some of the squares mean. I guess it's open to interpretation. ANYTHING COULD HAPPEN.

Hello

Mar. 5th, 2018 06:48 pm
sophinisba: Hunith and Merlin at a campfire (hunith merlin by slightlytookish)
Whoa how did two months go by, I was doing such a good job of posting for a bit there.

Okay, Dreamwidth, I want to let you know that I did most of the Fandom Snowflake Challenge (13 out of 15 tasks/posts) in the first two weeks of January. I did them over on Tumblr and I thought that tagging them all would make it easy for me to link to them, but when I click on the tag it just takes me to all the posts with that tag on Tumblr.com and not on my Tumblr, so idek.

Also Dreamwidth, I want to let you know that I posted a ton of podfic last month. Specifically I made 15 podfics, each with a different author and a different femslash ship, adding up to a little over 3 hours. You can find them over on the AO3, where I made the series Femslash February 2018. It starts off with some Star Wars sequels, then there's a bunch of other stuff, then there's some Merlin. The last one is an hour and 23 minutes, so that knocks out two of my fannish goals for the year. Hooray! Maybe I will do another Dreamwidth post sometime where I actually list all of them.

Meanwhile my offline life has not gone especially well. Specifically I have had some stress and drama at work, but the last two weeks have been a little better and I'm feeling hopeful about the next two weeks.

I haven't seen Black Panther yet, but I'm planning to go see it tonight.

I did see the Chilean movie A Fantastic Woman yesterday and then was pleased when it won the Oscar for best foreign film last night. (I love the Oscars, as frustrating as they are. I watch every year.)
sophinisba: Lancelot with text: Chicks dig scars (lancelot scars by miakun)
I also made these three Inception podfics for #itpe!

Vines cover

Title: Vines (text, download, and streaming links at the AO3)
Author: [archiveofourown.org profile] sabinelagrande
Fandom: Inception
Rating: Explicit
Ship(s): Arthur/tentacles, Ariadne/Eames
Length: 3.6 MB, 6:09 minutes
Author's summary: "Ariadne really can create anything."
Contains: what looks like non-con though I don't really think it is though on the other hand there's not enough context to tell, I guess



Lullaby cover

Title: Lullaby (text, download, and streaming links at the AO3)
Author: [archiveofourown.org profile] snakeling
Fandom: Inception
Rating: Explicit
Ship(s): Arthur/Ariadne
Length: 3.5 MB, 6:05 minutes
Author's summary: "Ariadne is really bad at resisting temptation."
Contains: non-negotiated somnophilia



Song Without Words cover


Title: Song Without Words (text, download, and streaming links at the AO3)
Author: [archiveofourown.org profile] snakeling
Fandom: Inception
Rating: Explicit
Ship(s): Arthur/Ariadne
Length: 5.4 MB, 9:23 minutes
Author's summary: "There is this game that Ariadne and he are playing, though Ariadne doesn't know the rules yet."
Contains: rape roleplay

MCU podfics

Jan. 5th, 2018 05:55 pm
sophinisba: Gwen looking sexy from Merlin season 2 promo pics (Default)
I made two MCU podfics for the Informal Twitter Podfic Exchange:

Five Times cover

Title: Five Times Someone Asked about Natasha's Tattoo (text, download, and streaming links at the AO3)
Author: [archiveofourown.org profile] storiesfortravellers
Fandom: Avengers/MCU
Rating: Mature
Ship(s): Mostly gen with Natasha/Bruce and Natasha/Clint
Length: 6:37 minutes
Doesn't really need a summary because it has one of those good titles. :)



Thunder cover

Title: thunder is good, thunder is impressive, but it is lightning that does all the work (text, download, and streaming links at the AO3)
Author: [archiveofourown.org profile] artyartie
Fandom: Avengers/MCU
Rating: Mature
Ship(s): Thor/everyone
Length: 59:24 minutes
Author's summary (excerpted): "Basically, Thor does the Avengers. And the Helicarrier crew. And not-so random visitors."
sophinisba: Hunith and Merlin at a campfire (hunith merlin by slightlytookish)
I was more fannish in 2017 than in 2016, though it was the first year since I got into fandom in 2005 that I didn't write any fic. Three significant things I did this year were:
  • finishing archiving my old podfics

  • attending [community profile] podfication

  • getting interested in Star Wars

2017 in review )

So! Fannish resolutions for 2018:
  • make ten Dreamwidth or Tumblr posts, of which
    • five are not fanworks posts, and

    • five are not in January or December

  • make ten fanworks, of which
    • one is a fic, and

    • one is a podfic of more than an hour

plans for 2018 )
sophinisba: Gwen looking sexy from Merlin season 2 promo pics (gwen by infinitesunrise)
Here are two recent recordings of me reading things I wrote a long time ago!

People Gonna Talk coverTitle: People gonna talk (whether you doing bad or good) (text, download, and streaming links at the AO3)
Author: [personal profile] sophinisba
Fandom: Merlin
Rating: NC-17
Ship(s): Freya/Merlin
Size: 12 MB, 22:21 minutes
Summary: Freya and Merlin have sex on the stairway to Arthur's cellar at his NYE party.
Notes: Written for New Year's Eve 2010, recorded for New Year's Eve 2017!

I also participated in the Podfication 2017 Live Performances event in October! The recording is a little less than two hours and my part is probably about seven minutes, to be honest it was really hard for me to stand up in front of everybody and I can't make myself listen now. But it was still a really cool evening and there is the link. There are a bunch of other cool performances too! The story I read was "The L Word", Luna Lovegood gen that I wrote for [livejournal.com profile] lgbtfest in 2009.
sophinisba: Kaylee from Serenity looking tough. (kaylee tough by abrynne)
Funny, I did a catch-up post in October for two podficlets I'd done in February and another one from August, but I forgot that I'd also made this other slightly longer one in August:

Traveling Companions cover

Title: Traveling Companions (text, download, and streaming links at the AO3)
Author: [archiveofourown.org profile] saellys
Fandom: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Rating: NC-17
Ship(s): Bodhi/Cassian/Jyn
Size: 17 MB, 23:37 minutes
The author's summary for this one has too many paragraphs so I'm just gonna say it's a threesome on Hoth and it's awesome.
Notes: I really love the Rogue One characters you guys.

Then also I participated in the awesome new Podfic Broken Telephone, in which each person makes a podfic inspired by someone else's podfic and then we all get to observe the chains branching out in unexpected ways. [archiveofourown.org profile] Dark_Dreymer had made this great Kirk/Bones hatesex podfic so I decided I would also record some loveless smut from a space fandom... but with ladies! I loved making this! Also I decided to include music because DD had, and that was challenging but I was able to use things I'd learned at a panel about music in podfic at this year's Podfication, and that also made me happy.

put your finger on my trigger cover

Title: put your finger on my trigger (text, download, and streaming links at the AO3)
Author: [archiveofourown.org profile] leiascully
Fandom: Battlestar Galactica
Rating: R/NC-17
Ship(s): Kara/Kendra
Size: 12 MB, 17:10 minutes
Author's summary: "I'm not looking for absolution. Just a little oblivion."
sophinisba: Hunith and Merlin at a campfire (hunith merlin by slightlytookish)
A few days ago I finished posting my old podfics at the AO3! There are 171 of them! A few of those are compilations, but still, gosh!

This took a long time and was frustrating for a lot of reasons, including the AO3 really not being set up for podfic posting, despite many years of promises. Oh well! I am very grateful to [personal profile] paraka for hosting my files and to other podficcers for help and support.

Today I took the sticky/forward-dating off my podfic index, which mostly linked to old journal entries which in turn sometimes linked to broken links at Mediafire or elsewhere. Will still be nice to have that when I want to find the original posts and comments on things.

I do have three podfics from earlier this year that I hadn't gotten around to posting here:

Title: Forget the World (text, download, and streaming links at the AO3)
Author: [archiveofourown.org profile] lady_ragnell
Fandom: Merlin
Rating: PG-13
Ship(s): Hunith and Freya gen, background Freya/Merlin
Size: 7.8 MB, 8:30 minutes
Author's summary: "It takes Hunith a moment to recognize the girl on her doorstep."
Notes: Nell wrote this for me!!! I recorded it for the Awesome Ladies Podfic Anthology VII, February 2017.

Title: Red Sweat (text, download, and streaming links at the AO3)
Author: [archiveofourown.org profile] tristesses
Fandom: Star Trek AOs
Rating: R
Ship(s): Gaila/Uhura
Size: 7.7 MB, 8:30 minutes
Author's summary: "They won't go down without a fight."
Notes: Recorded for the Awesome Ladies Podfic Anthology VII, February 2017.

Title: Conspicuous (text, download, and streaming links at the AO3)
Author: [personal profile] thingswithwings
Fandom: Leverage
Rating: PG
Ship(s): Sophie/Parker
Size: 5.6 MB, 5:33 minutes
Summary: Sophie and Parker undercover at a lesbian bar.
Notes: My first podfic made with Audacity. From August 2017.

I was also one of (the least vocal of) ten people who recorded 5ish Times Holtzmann Kissed a Ghostbuster (or honorary Ghostbuster) +2, an improvised Ghostbusters/Merlin fusion, at [community profile] podfication, Oct. 2016.

And I recorded a couple things at [community profile] podfication 2017 last week, and will try to post about those more promptly once they go up. :)
sophinisba: Gwen's lips and Morgana's lips with gauzy fabric (gwen morgana lips by ravenclawbest)
ETA (March 7, 2018) I'm no longer updating this index. Please see my podfic on the AO3.

ETA (Oct 29, 2017) My podfic is now archived on the AO3, with file hosting generously provided by the wonderful [personal profile] paraka. This index links to the Dreamwidth posts where most of them were originally posted, but those download links may be broken.

Here are links to my podfics! If you're looking for a podfic that's not listed here, try the podfic tag. If you're looking for fic written by me, the best place is [archiveofourown.org profile] sophinisba, but I also have an out-of-date fic index that mostly links to journal entries.

intro )

podfic links, sorted by fandom )

#itpe

Sep. 29th, 2017 11:04 pm
sophinisba: Gwen's lips and Morgana's lips with gauzy fabric (gwen morgana lips by ravenclawbest)
Dear podficcer,

Thank you for making something for me! I am a person who used to be active in Merlin fandom and dabbled in a lot of others but has been quiet for a few years. I'm a little nervous to be trying out a challenge again but I love podfic and I've had great experiences with #itpe in the past. I love the mods and the podfic community.

Here is an excerpt from my 2012 #itpe letter which still applies:
I like feelings and people being good to each other. I often enjoy stories about queer people and trans people and kinky people, whether or not there is sex in them. Straight cis vanilla people are also lovely! I like established couples trying new things. In porn some of my favorite things are submission, name calling, and spanking. Please stay away from electricity play or situations resembling interrogation of prisoners.
I'm a multishipper and I like femslash, boyslash, het, gen, poly, and other kinds of stories. As I said in 2015, I'd just as soon skip white dude/white dude pairings, but that should be pretty easy given these fandoms. :D

fandoms )

Oh podficcer, I hope you have a great time!
sophinisba: Troy and Abed from Community sitting on a couch with a computer in front of them (troy abed by carly-icons)
I posted last week that I hadn't made any fanworks in 2016, completely forgetting how much I'd struggled to eke out a fic for [profile] camelot_remix:

Title: tell me the story you'd like to hear (the picture's worth a thousand words remix)
Author: [archiveofourown.org profile] sophinisba
Fandom: Merlin
Starring: Elena/Mithian, secondary Gwen/Morgana and Vivian
Rating: PG
Summary: Mithian's watched other couples come together through fandom.
Content notes: N/A
Author's notes: A remix of tell me the story you'd like to hear by the fabulous [archiveofourown.org profile] growlery. I loved this original when it was first posted and I feel that my remix had potential that it didn't live up to, and in some ways regret the negative attitudes about fannish experiences that it contains. On the other hand, omg I finished a fic in 2016!

hesitations and podfic talk )

So whatever, fannish resolutions 2017:
  • post on Dreamwidth every month

  • make a fanwork

  • archive and post my old podfics at the AO3, five works every week until it's done

Currently feeling very optimistic that if I make it a regular thing most of them won't take nearly as long as last night's. If I stick to five per week I should get them all finished by halfway through the year and I could well finish much sooner.
sophinisba: Gwen looking sexy from Merlin season 2 promo pics (Default)
Hello, LJ and Dreamwidth! This is me trying to get over not posting inertia by making a short post (using my phone, even!). After all I Tweet just about every day, so why go for almost a year without posting here?

Also I can go ahead and take care of something else that usually takes me a lot of words around this time of year: I have no year-in-fic or year-in-podfic meme to share because I didn't write any fic or make any podfic this year. I also barely read any fic or listened to any podfic this year.

The one big fannish thing I did do this year was to go to Minneapolis for [community profile] podfication in October. This was a late decision on my part but a super great one. The organizers did a fabulous job balancing programming with free conversation and opportunities for making things. I loved getting to see folks I'd met at previous Minnesota gatherings and meet some dear online friends like [personal profile] yue_ix and [personal profile] cantarina in person for the first time, and in general getting to hang out with so many kind, creative queer women and others. Even though I'm not a person who makes podfic these days I sure love the podfic community.

This year has had a lot of good stuff for me personally even though it's been mostly horrible for my country and planet. Maybe I will make some other posts about that soon.
sophinisba: Hunith and Merlin at a campfire (hunith merlin by slightlytookish)
I usually do a fic year in review meme around this time, but in 2015 I only wrote five ficlets and I already listed and reflected on them back in September. In order to have a graph to post I went ahead and added up the wordcounts for fics I'd posted in previous years and confirmed that, yes, this was the least I've written since I started in 2005.

fic by year, fandom, and wordcount

I was definitely surprised by the big numbers back in 2006 and 2007. And there was even more LotR and Faculty podfic I wrote and posted back then but that doesn't show up here because I never finished them or posted them to the AO3. I was also surprised by how multifannish I was from the beginning -- I'm used to thinking I fell for the hobbits in the beginning, then sort of lost interest and wandered in the wilds of multifannishness for a while until I fell for Merlin. But there was Faculty and Firefly mixed in all along. And back in 2007 I would like, watch a movie or an episode of Lost and then write a fic -- it didn't matter that I wasn't *in* the fandom. I was also a little surprised to see that I was never as prolific in Merlin fandom as I had been earlier.

So anyway, I didn't write much fic at all this year but I was happy to have [livejournal.com profile] summerpornathon and [livejournal.com profile] team_gluttony bring me back to fandom and its joys for a few weeks. Alas, the excitement did not continue and when I got within a few days of the [livejournal.com profile] merlin_holidays deadline in November I realized there was no way I could write the fic I'd promised (even though I had an excellent assignment). I hope I'll write some more Merlin fic again at some point though I'd be too embarrassed to sign up for that challenge again. :(

I made eight short podfics this year. The last five haven't been posted here before:
I can't do a graph comparing this to previous years because I haven't finished (or gotten anywhere close to finishing) archiving my old podfics at the AO3 so the numbers aren't handy. (I used to do a lot more but whatever.) I like that podfic lets me continue to be multifannish, that I stay in touch with other podficcers through Twitter, and that I can contribute to the community in small, sporadic ways like recording a five-minute thing for the the Awesome Ladies Podfic Anthology ("The Mechanic") or the Informal Twitter Podfic Exchange ("Wings" and "Learn to Fly"). I did have a horrible time with technical issues "Someone Special" but have since acquired a nicer microphone and gotten a little more practice with the latest version of GarageBand so I'd like to make more podfic in 2016, perhaps a few more substantial things for Femslash February.

I'm not going to make any fannish resolutions for this year because I don't want to feel bad about failing at them like I did last year.

book recs

Oct. 31st, 2015 07:39 pm
sophinisba: Kalinda in a black bra, orange neon sign says "HOT" (kalinda hot by winterfish)
Here is another weekend without a fanworks rec post from me, but also here are two books I've recently enjoyed:

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel is a novel that takes place mostly some years after a flu pandemic wipes out most of the human race and civilization. Most people in North American survive in tiny little towns built up in places where there used to be businesses, and there's a group of actors and musicians that travels from town to town. There are also parts that take place before and during the pandemic but the focus is mostly on human relationships rather than science or illness or worldbuilding. I loved this book a lot!

I heard about The Turner House by Angela Flournoy just recently when it was nominated for a National Book Award. It's about a large black family in Detroit and takes place mostly in 2008 when they find out they owe more on their old house than it's worth, but also some in the 1940s when the father first moved Up North from Arkansas, plus some memories in between. Again, it's not heavy on plot so much as what the people in this family mean to each other, and they all felt so real and human. It reminded me a little of the TV show Treme with its large cast of characters who are all flawed but basically decent people trying to get by. Also an interesting and sad look at changes in some of Detroit's neighborhoods over the decades that made me want to learn more. (I might try reading The Origins of the Urban Crisis: Race and Inequality in Postwar Detroit by Thomas Sugrue the next time I feel like reading a nonfiction book not for work.

In between Station Eleven and The Turner House I read another novel that I liked less, The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. I think I saw [personal profile] chaila say a while back that anything the publishers try to sell as "the next Gone Girl" will inevitably turn out to be disappointing and that's how this was for me, though it definitely kept me turning the pages. Nevertheless the next book I'm looking forward to reading is Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff, which is also being marketed that way (and also a finalist for a National Book Award).
sophinisba: Troy and Abed from Community sitting on a couch with a computer in front of them (troy abed by carly-icons)
Failing out of my pledge to make a fanworks recs post every weekend this month. I just haven't been consuming fanworks lately so I don't have recs on my mind. But in the interests of continuing to make journal posts here are some podcasts I like!

Auralphonic is a monthly podcast about podfic hosted by our own [personal profile] dodificus, [personal profile] jenepod, and [personal profile] paraka. I don't make or listen to a lot of podfic these days but it's still fun to hear people talk about it and one time Dodie recced one of mine and also I love the way she laughs all the time, it makes me happy.

Our National Conversation About Conversations About Race is a fairly new biweekly podcast with co-hosts Baratunde Thurston (black dude), Tanner Colby (white dude), and Raquel Cepeda (Latina) and sometimes other guests having honest conversations about race and racism, often involving recent news items and debates. It is one of my favorites.

Slate podcasts including
-Slate's Political Gabfest - weekly, a little repetitive but generally very good
-Slate's Culture Gabfest - weekly, would be great except one of the three regular hosts is insufferably pretentious
-Mom and Dad Are Fighting, - biweekly parenting podcast which I LOVE despite not being a parent myself
-DoubleX Gabfest - biweekly conversation about issues affecting women, has been kind of uneven in the past but I think it's improved and I like two of the three current co-hosts a lot

Slate makes a bunch of other podcasts too that are all good quality shows. In general the format is that they have two or three regular hosts having a conversation about two or three items in the news, and sometimes someone's on vacation so they invite on another Slate staffer or journalist buddy as a sub host, and as you listen to more of them you start to feel like you're getting to know this whole Slate family and it's fun to check in with them from week to week, whether you especially care about the thing they're currently discussing or not.

And now the people who make those also run this larger network called Panoply that includes Show About Race (above) and some others like Open Accounts (about money) and Happier with Gretchen Rubin (about how to be happy) that I like less because they have less real content and seem more trying to sell you something.

A newer and smaller podcasting company that I also like is Gimlet Media, which has
-Startup, two seasons so far, each about a couple people trying to start a business, way more interesting than that sounds, and
-Reply All, a Podcast about the Internet. This one is a little uneven since each episode is about a different story but it's offbeat and often super interesting and I like the hosts. A recent episode that I recommend is What It Looks Like, which discusses depression and suicide and (in the second segment) Gamer Gate.
-Gimlet has another podcast called Mystery Show that I'm not into but some other people really love. You might want to give it a try.

And then of course there's NPR! which makes about a million great shows but my favorites are
-Pop Culture Happy Hour, which sometimes talks about the same new movies and shows as Slates Culture Gabfest but gosh with so much more love and good humor, I really love this show and its hosts a lot, and
-This American Life, which is so well known I feel a little silly mentioning it, and which I sometimes think is the greatest radio show ever but then sometimes, especially when they decide to tell lighter stories, I don't really find it that interesting. A recent two-parter that I recommend liek whoa is The Problem We All Live With and The Problem We All Live With Part Two, both about current-day racial segregation in US public schools and attempts to combat it.
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: Merlin smiling with forest background (ep. 1.04) (merlin smiling by miakun)
Rectober: share the magic
banner by [personal profile] capitu


(Eh, I said I'd do a rec post every weekend in October and it may seem like I'm not sticking with that but I had this Monday and Tuesday off so it's still sort of the weekend for me, so yay! I will probably have more trouble next weekend but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.)

Today I want to rec two super-long new/in progress Merlin fics that will take you back to season 1 in very different ways. I loved our characters from all five seasons and at times I missed some of them but I'm tickled by the energy and creativity that these authors have put in to building their own worlds and sets of characters starting from that other, smaller canon that first delighted so many of us.

Exiles by [archiveofourown.org profile] story_monger, Arthur/Gwen/Merlin/Morgana, 51178 words, mature
I found this browsing through the After Camlann Big Bang listings for pairings other than Arthur/Merlin and was surprised to see so few comments on an OT4 fic, especially once I dug in and realized the writing was excellent. I did see that there was a warning for noncon but that turned out not to be very explicit (and it's an OC bad guy so you don't have to worry about any beloved characters turning evil). In fact most of the fic reads a lot like gen, but with that delightful level of shippiness that season 1 canon gave us so much of. As I saw someone say on Tumblr a while back, it was that time when Merlin cared about other characters besides Arthur. REMEMBER? The strongest relationships here are Arthur/Merlin and Gwen/Morgana, but there is all kinds of flirting and caring and possibilities and it is just lovely. In some ways it didn't feel like a fanfic so much as a fantasy novel, the author just seemed so in command of the setting and the plotting and everything. (Sorry that is sort of phrased as if I didn't love fanfic. Obvs I do love fanfic.)

I should say that it starts out with an OC POV and that may have turned a few people off, but that's really just a framing story and almost all the fic is spent with the main characters.

But, um, somehow when I started reading I saw the noncon warning but missed the major character death warning, and there is MAJOR CHARACTER DEATH. It happened and I was like, okay, these things happen in fanfic sometimes but there is magic etc and there is going to be a way to work this out and have a happy ending, but then I read and read and read and got to the end of the 51K words and it was to be continued. So, you have to be okay with living with some angst and uncertainty because I have no idea when the author plans on writing the next part (it would be a major undertaking -- maybe for next year's big bang challenge?) BUT I personally found it to be totally worth it, I'm super glad I read this and highly recommend it!

Falconry by [archiveofourown.org profile] versaphile, Arthur/Merlin with I guess eventual Gwen/Morgana, 492,451 words and counting, explicit

Okay, so then I'd enjoyed a couple of big bangs so much I was browsing through the Gwen/Morgana tag on the AO3 and came across a 260K WIP called A Bird of Paradise and thought hey why not. I started reading late at night and I was like hey Arthur/Merlin after a magic reveal it doesn't get any better than this! And I was so tired and distracted I didn't realize until the next day when I was several chapters in that this was actually the fourth huge story in an epic series. (Yes, this is the recs post of me not reading AO3 tags very carefully.) I was a little reluctant to go back because, you know, what's better than a magic reveal? Who wants to go read the hundreds of thousands of words leading up to the magic reveal? But it turns out I do! Sadly the first three parts don't have any Gwen/Morgana to speak of, and really this is a very different kind of season 1 vibe from Exiles, like something to get into if what you miss about season 1 is the Arthur/Merlin without other ships getting in the way.

But it's really good! I especially loved part 2 because there was SO MUCH SMUT and plus it's this old-fashioned OTP smut where Arthur's really toppy and Merlin's all yes I would give my life for you and I belong to you and so on. Super hot!! Right now I'm in the middle of part 3, which is plottier and involves a lot of fighting and some magic. To me it is a little weird to read about all these adventures with Arthur's knights who are not the knights we know and love but hey, that is what we did after season 1, and it was great! This series actually takes its turn after the first episode of season 2 and it's just hugely impressive how much the author has developed their own world. Also there are regular updates! I almost feel silly reccing it because I guess it's hugely well known but hey, I had to stumble into it so maybe you haven't read it either and maybe you will love it too.

#itpe

Oct. 9th, 2015 06:26 pm
sophinisba: Wee Gwen admires wee Merlin's magic! (gwen merlin by el_jamon)
I just signed up for the Informal Twitter Podfic Exchange for the first time since 2012 I guess! Thank you for making something in one of my fandoms, secret person! My requested fandoms are Merlin, How To Get Away with Murder, Orange Is the New Black, The Hour, and Hamilton! My general preference is not to have a white dude/white dude pairing (Hamilton/Burr would be a-okay though) and in the case of OITNB I'm not too interested in Piper, Alex, or Stella. Also here are two paragraphs I wrote three years ago:
I like feelings and people being good to each other. I often enjoy stories about queer people and trans people and kinky people, whether or not there is sex in them. Straight cis vanilla people are also lovely! I like established couples trying new things. In porn some of my favorite things are submission, name calling, and spanking. Please stay away from electricity play or situations resembling interrogation of prisoners.

I like very short podfics and longer ones. I like podfics with or without music and sound effects. I like all kinds of accents. I hope you have fun!
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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