Monday, 26 December 2016

Yuletide Recs

Yuletide Recs

Yuletide is the biggest multi-fandom exchange of the year. Participants write a story of at least 1,000 words to another user's specifications, and then receive the same in return. It has been an annual event since 2003 and grows bigger every year - back in the beginning there were around 300 participants, this year there were over 2,000. For more information on Yuletide past and present, take a look at the Fanlore page.

I didn't sign up this year, but I have had fun reading lots of awesome fics in the fandoms I know well enough. Here are ten of my favourites:

My first rec is for The Yellow Wallpaper (the spinning jennie remix) by lunabee34. I love the short story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman and this fic uses an outsider POV - John's sister - to shed more light on what is actually happening. The last line is just as chilling as that in the original story, which if you've read it you will recognise as high praise indeed!

Christmas is all about family, and so is my second rec for an Addams Family fic, The Widow Maker by Arithanas. When Wednesday learns that 'The Widow Maker' fairground ride is not as literal as its name suggests, it's up to Gomez and Morticia to comfort her. This is such a sweet little tale, with just the right helping of black comedy.

Anthony got me into Veep - it was basically created as a US version of The Thick of It, and the humour is just as close to the bone. In Third Party Negotiations by trick-please, Amy is horrified to walk in to find Dan and Jonah getting all kind of inappropriate on the Vice President's desk. Jonah, of course, only gets self-righteous: "And screw you, Amy," he spits, "I was going to invite you to a threesome, but now I don’t even want to anymore." xD

More family feels up next with The Secret Santa Exchange, a Hotel Transylvania fic by tannne. Jonathan introduces Christmas to the regular guests, and even manages to pick a gift which charms his future father-in-law. It's so cute! Everything Changes (Except the Cool Cape) by misura is really fun too - when Mavis and Jonathan fizzle out it takes Drac a long time to work out why the kid is still hanging around... Eventually Mavis spells it out for him, because eternity is a very long time to be all alone.

Vampires have nothing on the dysfunction of the next family... The Angel in the House by afewreelthoughts is a Jane Eyre fic exploring how things might have progressed differently had Jane met Mrs Rochester earlier. "So you live in fear of her madness, and she in fear of being locked away?" Jane asks at one point, setting the scene for another interpretation of what is going on up in that locked room.

Jeeves and Wooster

I'm reccing two Jeeves and Wooster fics because, well, it would be rude not to. The first is OMO Wooster and the Standing Stones at Midnight by Culumacilinte featuring spy!Jeeves and top secret shenanigans. The second is Jeeves and the Christmas Socks by Wotwotleigh, a brilliant Wodehausian pastiche with sartorial-nightmare-suffering Jeeves and way too many wonderful lines for me to start quoting.

Mary Poppins is an absolute must at Christmas time, and Winds of Change by sphinxvictorian is a gem of a story. It recounts Mary's very first position as nanny, and has all the magic, whimsy and charm of the original. Another Disney film I'm reccing for is Mulan. It's been my favourite animated Disney film ever since it came out, so I simply have to rec Unmasked by isabeau. Shang struggles to come to terms with the responsibility on his shoulders and his feelings for Ping - and how to reconcile them with what he could feel for Mulan. The story is really moving, and the ending is just perfect.

There were some amazing longer stories this year too, like the Grantchester fic A Glorious Thing by Lilliburlero. Geordie angsts over his thoughts about Grantchester's vicar, with lots and lots of lovely period detail. Finally, I don't know the fandom at all - it's a book, I think? - but I really enjoyed A Rabbit Hole of Edwardian Pornography by linndechir for Rivers of London. It's very much an adult story, but an excellent read. But if turn of the century guys in nothing but their socks is a bit too racy, I also loved this little drabble about hipster tea from the Yuletide Madness collection: Strong Tea by storiesfortravellers.

For more Yuletide fun, check out the 2016 fiction collection over on Archive of our Own.

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