Miscellaneous fiction rec thread

Discussion in 'Fan Town' started by 4ppl3m1nt, Mar 3, 2015.

  1. 4ppl3m1nt

    4ppl3m1nt here to bring #content

    Welcome! The purpose of this thread is to share recs and infodump on various fiction, which can include, but doesn't have to be limited to: books, short stories, light novels and even fanfiction - yes, you can rec your favourite fanfiction here! - independently from our lovely Book Club. This thread aims to provide an alternative for the structured, organized activity of the Book Club, but all members are invited to contribute, regardless if they belong to the Book Club or not. There is no schedule, no assignments and no obligation to read everything, or even most of the recommended stuff - you're welcome to look around at your own pace and see if there's anything you like, as simple as that. If there is, wonderful! If not, keep checking, something might just turn up! If you'd like to contribute, to keep things tidy for browsing, I'd like to impose a simple, flexible form to fill in, which would be as follows:

    Title:

    Author:

    Genre:
    if it's hard to define, feel free to approximate

    Fandom: in case of fanfiction

    Rating: contrary to the popular belief, not everyone likes porn

    *Warnings, if applicable: those can include trigger warnings as well as general warnings: for the example, for bad, hopeless endings as those, while sometimes spoilery, might save someone a lot of grief

    Lenght: you can use parts, tomes, volumes, chapters, word count or the number of pages, whatever best applies to the piece of fiction you are describing. again, feel free to approximate. this is so people with limited spoons and time supply for reading can pick whatever lenght best suits them

    Main body of your rec/your infodump on the subject: You don't have to worry about how much space this will take up, go nuts - but also don't force yourself to write a lot if you're not feeling like it. Your rec can be a page or a paragraph long, whatever you feel like sharing. We're not in school, you don't have to meet a word quota. I'd like to ask that you at least write a few sentences, just to let others know why the thing is worth reading.

    Links, if applicable: net accessibility is awesome, so if you have a link to whatever you are recommending, post it! this goes without saying for fanfiction, but would also be welcome for books. I am going to ask our Benevolent Dictator for their stance on links to illegal ebooks, so wait for updates on whether we are or aren't posting those.

    Any additional comments?: whatever you feel like saying! is the thing so engrossing you stayed all night reading? does it have really neat meta in author notes? this isn't compulsory, but if there's something you want to include, feel free to.

    Bacially, your run of the mill rec form. If you're confused whether or not some of the fields are applicable, or don't know what to write, skip it! In the future, when we get things doing, I'd like propose a "pass it forward" system: if someone doesn't feel up to the task of writing the main body of the rec, but someone other than the original reccomender will read the piece of fiction in question, and would like to write up on it, they will be welcome to. You can also second recs, and if there's something you'd like to add to the original rec, say it. I find an odd pleasure in sorting data (one of my favourite stims is editing music metadata, but that's neither here nor there) so I will do my best to keep track on it. There are plans for a spreadsheet and a masterlist. So many irons in the fire. So many.

    Feel free to start posting, and have fun!
     
    • Like x 4
  2. Acey

    Acey that's my fun and i like fun

    Ooh, an opportunity to rec what may be my favorite fanfic ever!

    Title: Untimely Ripped

    Author: Elizabeth Culmer (edenfalling)

    Genre: Urban fantasy, drama I guess

    Fandom: Homestuck

    Rating: T

    Warnings, if applicable: Suicide (as a main theme), very frank discussion of depression and grief, some blood

    Lenght: 10773 words

    Main body of your rec/your infodump on the subject: Humanstuck. Aradia is a teenage girl who's still grieving the death of her older sister Damara, who committed suicide six months prior to the story. She finds some solace from her own resulting depression in books, and eventually encounters a spellbook, which she reads despite her firm belief that "most spellbooks are bullshit." The book is very simple, mostly simple day-to-day stuff...with the exception of one spell that makes her heart leap.

    A resurrection spell.

    Aradia puts her skepticism aside and decides to try it out, thinking that if Damara comes back to life, everything will be okay again. Amazingly, it works, and Damara is brought back to life. There's just one problem.

    That problem, of course, is that she really, really doesn't want to be back.

    It's a really beautiful story--very sad in places, but ultimately triumphant and hopeful (if ever so slightly bittersweet). Everyone is in-character, and the blend of an almost mundane tragedy of a young woman's suicide and its resulting effect on her family and a fantastic form of witchcraft works unbelievably well. Aradia's sibling relationship with Damara is wonderfully portrayed, and for all it's a fantasy story, it feels very, very realistic. Highly recommended, and since it's an AU, I'd actually say it's worth reading even if you've never read a single page of Homestuck itself.

    Links, if applicable: Untimely Ripped on Archive Of Our Own

    Any additional comments?: I'm actually directly involved in the genesis of this fic--it's a fill for a prompt I posted on the kink meme. (It's a SFW fic, don't worry.) The author expanded on my prompt in ways I honestly hadn't thought of--the potential ramifications of bringing someone back from the dead, the effect on their mother, the effect on Aradia herself, Aradia's friendship with the Lalonde family, and so on--and it all works so beautifully. I hadn't expected something this wonderful to result from my prompt, but it did. Plus it focuses on the Megidos, who are some of the most underappreciated characters in the fandom (there's very little fic focusing on them on their own, or at all for that matter, and most of what there is is OOC and mediocre in general), so that's a major plus.
     
    • Like x 1
  3. TwoBrokenMirrors

    TwoBrokenMirrors Succulent Vex Belly

    I am going to rec a couple of things which are the ones that leap to mind... might rec more later? Idk.

    Title: The series title as a whole is Memory, Sorrow and Thorn, the title of the first book is The Dragonbone Chair.

    Author:
    Tad Williams

    Genre:
    Fantasy, fairly standard.

    Fandom: N/A

    Rating: Uhhh... no explicit sex that I remember, mentions of sex though, some violence.

    *Warnings, if applicable: Can't think of any particularly, I apologise if anyone is upset by anything in them. I'm bad at this sort of thing, because I'm sorta hard to squick when it comes to prose. Uh- at least one or two people die, iirc (I haven't actually read them in a little while) but all the people I really cared about survived so I was happy.

    Length: Long. They are classic fantasy doorstoppers, all of them. The third book was in fact split in two when it came out in paperback because it was too long. So... long.

    Main body of your rec/your infodump on the subject: I love these books. They are long as balls but they never seem long, which is a great marker because it means that unlike some authors I could name coughtolkeincough they don't get bogged down in too much unnecessary detail (or at least I don't think they do. This is, of course, all highly subjective). They are pretty standard fantasy at their core- Young Male Protagonist Goes On Quest to Find Magical Artefacts To Save Kingdom, Find Himself- but the characters are super engaging, and much like Eddings it's standard fantasy done right which means it can still be interesting. The main religion of the fantasy kingdom is a fairly obvious expy of Christianity, which I personally find more funny than anything; it's not disrespectful or anything. There's a lot of great worldbuilding and snippets of history and stuff that really caught my interest. It can get sort of dark, and a few people die and the ending is sort of bittersweet, but much more on the sweet side than the bitter so even I, who am allergic to sad endings, find it a good and fitting and enjoyable ending. There are elves! And a race of small people based on Inuits! And dragons! Sorta. If I go on much more I will start spoilering things, I think. xP

    Links, if applicable: Uh... I can link you to the UK version of Amazon. And because I'm nice, here's the US version as well. Hey, that's the cover my version has!

    Any additional comments?: I have run out of things to say, sadly.


    Title: The series is mostly just called the Cadfael novels; the first one is entitled A Morbid Taste For Bones.

    Author:
    Ellis Peters

    Genre:
    Historical murder mysteries

    Rating: No sex, a lil bit of violence but not excessive I don't think.

    *Warnings, if applicable: It's a murder mystery series so folks get murdered, sometimes in quite sad circumstances.

    Length: The novels themselves tend to be pretty slim. There are like twenty of them, but since they're relatively short in themselves that matters less I think.

    Main body of your rec/your infodump on the subject: Cadfael is one of my absolute comfort series. They are just such lovely books. They're set in the twelfth century in a monastery at Shrewsbury (town near the Welsh border) and the main character and mystery-solver is a Benedictine monk named Brother Cadfael. He was previously a soldier in the Crusades and learned a lot about herbs and such while in the Middle East, and now he acts as one of the monastery doctors and grows healing herbs and makes medicines- and whenever people get murdered, as happens frequently because it's a murder mystery series with twenty-one books in it, he solves their murders. Pretty simple at the core. But the great thing is, despite Cadfael being a monk and religion featuring largely as a result (also because, well, twelfth century, people tended to the quite religious back then), he is the sort of monk that I think Seebs would approve of. He is extremely pragmatic, has seen a lot of shit because he didn't get round to being a monk until middle age and had a lot of experiences beforehand, believes completely in a genuinely loving God who forgives everyone, and has a very forgiving view himself of human nature. He does things like essentially conspire to let a young monk who isn't really suited to the life but has already taken his vows so he can't leave escape to be with the girl he's fallen in love with, because he'd rather that the kid was fucking a girl and happy than trapped in a monastery and unhappy. He's mega bros with the local proper law enforcement officer, Hugh Berengar, but they have the kind of friendship where they're quite happy to tell each other they're wrong (Hugh occasionally wants to take the easy route and arrest the 'obvious' criminal and Cadfael isn't convinced so they argue, but they're still friends all the time) and it's so fucking cute.
    Plus the mysteries are cleverly written and engaging in themselves, even if you see patterns and repeated themes after a while, which is kind of inevitable I think with a long-running series like this. I just find them infinitely comforting. I know that Cadfael would totally have my back if I needed him to.

    Links, if applicable: Only Amazon again: US and UK version (UK version is a link to an omnibus edition of the first three books)

    Any additional comments?: There is a TV adaptation featuring Derek Jacobi that I can confidently say is A Good Adaptation since I've also watched all of it. I think at least some of it is on YouTube.
     
    • Like x 1
  4. strictly quadrilateral

    strictly quadrilateral alive, alive, alive!

    Because I've been trying to get everyone to read this for like a year now:

    Title:
    Worm

    Author:
    Wildbow

    Genre:
    superpowers

    Rating: I think there's sex at one point but if I'm remembering right it was a fade to black type thing. I could be wrong though. There's a bunch of death and gore but I had a fairly low tolerance for that kind of stuff when I read it and I was fine, so.

    *Warnings, if applicable: There's literally a warning on the first page saying not to read it if you're squeamish.

    Lenght: That's the one thing: It's long. Most people I recommend it to laugh at me and say they'll never read it. It's comparable in length to Homestuck. I forget which is longer. In any case, Worm is about the length of 26 average sized novels. If you're bored and want something long to read, this is it.

    Main body of your rec/your infodump on the subject: Do you get frustrated because superheroes/villains don't exploit their powers enough? Well, if you read this, you won't be. I'm not going to summarize it, because I suck at summaries. But the plot twists made me grin or shout loudly at the computer so that should count for something. And I'm going to re-read it as soon as I have the time to do so.

    Links, if applicable: https://parahumans.wordpress.com/table-of-contents/

    Any additional comments?: It's going to take you a while. Enjoy it.
     
  5. Allenna

    Allenna I am not a Dragon. Or a Robot. Really.

    Title: Enchanted Forest Chronicles ( Dealing With Dragons, Searching For Dragons, Calling on Dragons, Talking to Dragons)

    Author: Patrica C Wrede

    Genre: Used to be shelved in fantasy, now shelved in YA

    Rating:
    PG (and only if you catch the references)

    *Warnings, if applicable:
    Does start with the 'forced marriage' trope but no marriage is had. Third book has a bit of a downer ending but it is made happy in the fourth. Cimorene started the first book with a little bit of a 'I'm not like OTHER girls' but grows out of it.

    Length: Four books, each one has roughly 230-300 pages.

    Main body of your rec/your infodump on the subject: One of the original deconstruction of fairy tales, but unlike some takes its very light and snarky in a good natured way. One of the biggest selling points of these books is the strong women throughout them. There is Cimorene, Morwen (a kick ass witch that wants none of the nonsense), Kazul, Alianora, Shiara, Ballimore the Giantess, and lots of others. There is no pitting women against each other in these books.

    The second (or maybe for you will be first biggest) selling point of these books are the dragons. They have their own culture, their own laws, their own way of doing things that are not just directly take offs on how 'humans' do things. Dragons do not pick a gender until they are an adult. Job titles for Dragons are just that job titles, no gender is implied. The Queen could be male, the King female. Because Queen and King are just what the job is called.

    But, while I adore these books to bits, do not go into them expecting the Lioness Quartet or the Valamdar series. These books are fun and a great read, but they are not heavy. I tend to take Dealing and Search with me on vacations and re-read them in the bath. If you decide you like Wrede's style and want more from her that is maybe a bit heavier? Try A Matter of Magic (which is even up on kindle).

    Links, if applicable: You can very easily find the Enchanted Forest Chronicles in used book stores or you can hit up the amazon link.

    Any additional comments?: If you are buying the books used watch out with Talking to Dragons! That book originally was the first book written so there are older editions floating around out there that will not mesh as well with the other books. Make sure you get the updated edition.
     
    • Like x 2
  6. Morven

    Morven In darkness be the sound and light

    Title: The Kencyrath series, currently consisting of:

    God Stalk
    Dark of the Moon
    Seeker's Mask
    To Ride a Rathorn
    Bound in Blood
    Honor's Paradox
    The Sea of Time
    (and several more to go before the end)

    The first two books are available as an omnibus called "The God Stalker Chronicles", while the second pair are available as "Seeker's Bane".

    There's also a short story collection "Blood and Ivory: A Tapestry" that contains a few stories set in the same world, some of which are canonical, others of which are early explorations which are no longer canonical.

    Author: P.C. Hodgell

    Genre: Epic fantasy, with some horrific elements. I think there's a good chance this would have been marketed as YA had the series been recent.

    Rating: No shown sex, no genitals; lots of violence, some sexual violence.

    Warnings: Consensual sibling incest. Child abuse. Rape. Suicide. Death of quite a few non-lead characters, some nasty. Lots of depressing shit. Awful covers.

    Length: Seven novels, series still ongoing

    Androgynous, magically-amnesiac teenage heroine Jame tries to find her people and her place in society, and discovers that she's special and powerful but all that really seems to get her is people wanting to either kill her or control her.

    This could be the worst story ever.

    Except that Hodgell makes it work. I do warn, though, that if you're allergic to any trace of Mary Sue-dom that these aren't for you. Super-powered heroine with in-universe reality-warping nature? Check. Author's admitted "dark alter ego"? Check. Mind-linked animal companions? Check. Lots of people either want to kill her, fuck her or be her? Check.

    To me, though, this book proves that the supposed "symptoms" of the Mary Sue disease aren't actually proof, because the real measure is that Jame has to struggle and faces real difficulty and obstacles that she can't just brush aside. Her enemies are either equivalently powered or have other abilities that hinder her.

    Plus, I just love Hodgell's imagination; ideas pop off the page everywhere, the rules of her reality are wonderfully magical, and she
    manages the delicious combination of serious stuff yet silly humor without either of them being forced or fake. Plus, the imagery is very vivid; Hodgell was a comic-book nut as a youngster, and the series has a very comic-book feel to it in some ways, and Jame and others are quite understandable as undeclared superheroes but in a quite different type of world.

    As I mentioned, Jame is very androgynous and is mistaken for male so often it's a running theme; she's been declared as legally male for various reasons at least three or four times in the series, but she appears to self-identify as female or possibly neutral. A few minor characters are gay or lesbian and portrayed sympathetically.

    Jame is a member of a culture whose ruling caste has frequently practiced incest to try and breed more powerful magic, in ways similar to how the ancient Egyptians tended to mate close relatives. If sibling incest is a major trigger to you, you might want to avoid these.

    Links, if applicable: Hodgell is published by Baen and all of them are available as no-DRM ebooks in pretty much every format you wish at their website. They are also available on Amazon as physical books or Kindle books, and all are in stock.

    Any additional comments?: I always feel a little hesitant recommending these because some people bounce off them really hard, because of the wish-fulfilment-character stuff and some of the total fantasy stereotypes it has, but it's too much a favorite not to. It's the kind of story that TV Tropes loves, because it pulls in stuff from everywhere, and it uses or abuses so many tropes and ideas. At the same time, though, people who don't mind that absolutely love them. Another thing to note is that the tone of the series changes a few times, and the writing style evolves as well, both probably because of the length of time this series has taken. Hodgell says there are 2-3 books left to finish the story, though I'll believe that when she's done, because things have tended to grow in the telling. There are also some little continuity errors in the series, partly because she hates to reread her earlier works (due to it bringing on crippling self-criticism); these days, she deals with that by asking the fans continuity questions on her blog rather than looking them up herself.
     
  7. Wiwaxia

    Wiwaxia problematic taxon

    @Acey Damn, that's a good fic. Thanks for the rec!
     
    • Like x 1
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