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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 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 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 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 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 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 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 birdsofshore
or else you can just start making some recs posts!