ratcreature: Woe! RatCreature feels emo. (woe!)
I just saw the announcement that HASA will close at the end of the year, because they don't have the time and resources to keep it current and secure enough to deal with attacks on it.

HASA has been my favorite Tolkien fanfic archive even though its interface is not the most user friendly. I hope authors will migrate their stuff, but inevitably some fanfic will be lost. :(

If you are/were in the fandom, maybe help spread the word?

Well, I guess I'll go through the archive and save my favorites which is kind of tedious, because HASA doesn't have a whole work display, and so you need to save chapters.
ratcreature: RatCreature as Aragorn (aragorn)
The Dûnhebaid Cycle, by Adaneth.
I seem to expand my tastes in my recent LOTR reading binge, because this one is all original characters and set about a century before The Hobbit. There is some action-adventure, but no epic quest, instead it paints an awesome tapestry of everyday Middle Earth life with regular Men, dwarves and elves, and friction and suspicion as well as friendships and alliances against common foes between the different peoples, and also factions within each group. It is mostly about Dúnedain and dwarves, but elves also feature, and I ended up invested in most of the characters, who have all their own strengths and faults, different interests, cultures and priorities. The first four novel-length stories in this series are finished, the fifth is still in progress.
ratcreature: TMI! RatCreature is embarrassed while holding up a dildo. (tmi)
I was reading a LOTR AU (No Man's Child by Anoriath, it's unfortunately an unfinished WIP, and sadly seems abandoned since 2007), and I had a hard time figuring out why I liked it so much, when at first glance it has a lot I don't care for: First, it is Aragorn/OFC and I'm pretty much set on Aragorn/Arwen as my OTP by inclination. And I like AUs much less in LOTR than in most other fandoms. Also, it is from the OFC's POV and Aragorn as well as other canon characters appear only occasionally.

Eventually I realized that the whole thing, all 180k words of it, basically caters to my service kink. The premise of the story is that a few years before the ring war in wake of suffering a serious injury Aragorn bows to pressure from the Dunedain to take a wife and produce an heir to secure Isildur's line, but it does not change that Aragorn loves Arwen. We don't get to see his thoughts on this as the POV is exclusively the OFC's, and she doesn't even know Aragorn personally before meeting him for the wedding, as he sent Halbarad to ask for her. So there is no love story at all, though eventually they become fond of each other in a way. She somewhat more of him than he of her, but the distance and ritual courtesy never vanishes.

The story then mostly follows how the OFC dutifully reorganizes his household, and tries to manage politics and feudal obligations among the remnants of the Dunedain with a good amount of vivid detail, because besides wanting an heir, Aragorn asked her help keep his remaining people safe while Sauron's threat grows, yet he is mostly away doing the things he does in canon at this time, i.e. hunting for Gollum, which the reader knows, but the OFC doesn't in any detail. Eventually they are also successful with the reproductive duties, which I found nicely handled, because Aragorn does not really want to have sex with her more than absolutely necessary (he doesn't confide to her about Arwen, but the OFC realizes fairly soon that he is love with someone he couldn't marry), while she is okay with the sex but uncomfortable to press him too boldly, but also feels the pressure that conception needs to happen for his dynasty as well as for her household position, which is all complicated by him being frequently absent.

All of which is fairly bleak from a romance angle, but from a certain kind of service kink perspective it is a delightful wallow, because the OFC acts the whole time in the service to her lord, and while companionship grows between them over time the status difference is never forgotten, and meanwhile Aragorn is seen to act in service to his people even against his own desires, because it is his duty to secure his family line. So that satisfies twice over.

So I'm happy I gave this a try even though from its bare headers it seemed not to fit with my preferences at all. Anyway, if you share that particular kink (and don't mind the unfinished status) you should check this out. Also if you like stories of ordinary folk's everyday life against the backdrop of the build up to the ring war.
ratcreature: Like a spork between the eyes. (spork)
So, since I'm currently reccing Tolkien art at [community profile] fanart_recs (yes, I do find a way to promote the comm in every other post *g*), I've been in the mood to read some LOTR fic. Specifically I was looking for 4th age Aragorn & Faramir friendship stories. I don't read that much LOTR, so I browsed around and checked out one that I seen positively linked in a couple of places, hoping to avoid the worst, but alas! It wasn't to be. It's like a train wreck, the way this series butchers poor Faramir's characterization. What is it with stories turning him into some kind of weepy, quivering wimp (and not even due to extreme torture or anything)?

Incidentally, links to decent stories would be welcome. (I don't read Aragorn/Faramir though.)
ratcreature: navel-gazing RatCreature (navel-gazing)
When I posted my first Tolkien fanart rec, I realized that I do not have a single Tolkien icon. I ought to fix this, but I'm not sure how to make it recognizable. My favorite character is Aragorn, so ideally I'd like my avatar dressed up as him, but what are the iconic attributes that would make it clear my creature is supposed to be him?
ratcreature: reading RatCreature (reading)
Smallville:
The Yard, by Jenn.
So far I really enjoy this WIP, though in some places I found it just a bit confusing. Still, I'm very curious how this will turn out. The new parts are posted to Jenn's LJ.

The Scientific Method, by Lenore.
It's really funny, I mean how could I not like a story that has lines like: "That's just great. It's like something out of a really bad comic book. The sphincter of steel. Able to maim sexual partners with a single orgasm. Now there's a super power to prize."

Intervention, by Hope.
It's a post Exodus story, and I liked Pete's POV, and the interaction between him and Clark.

LOTR:
Webs, by Roz Kaveney.
I've also recced this on my AU rec page recently, it gives us a look inside Shelob's head, set in a universe where events turn out really well--for her.

X-Men:
Since these stories have been recced all over the place you probably have read them already (well, if you're interested in X-Men fanfic at least), still, I enjoyed them. I didn't read X-Men fic after the first movie (and don't know the comics), and while my interest now isn't great, it was enough to check out X-Men rec pages during all the recent long holiday weekends (Ascension, Pentecost etc), with predictable results.

The Best-Laid Plans by Victoria P. and its remix The Best-Laid Plans (Art of War Remix) by Ransom. Both Logan/Rogue.

Climb the Wind by Minisinoo. It's sort of a character exploration through action-adventure focused on Logan and Scott. I could have done without some of the detailed medical descriptions of injuries, but I guess they just had their intended effect. Also check out Minisinoo's recent novel in progress An Accidental Interception of Fate, a Scott/Jean romance, but much more than that. I really enjoyed the parts with Scott in college.

Jus Ad Bellum, by Jenn. This one was chilling to read. And brilliant. Rogue from the familiar movieverse timeline (just a couple of years in the future) is thrust into an alternate timeline, where the original Rogue died on the Statue of Liberty. And things turned out really different. This story deals with morality, with terrorism, war and torture, and the choices everybody has to make each day. And it is chilling to experience alongside with Rogue how, confronted with the realities of that universe, her perception and reasoning start to shift, and how easy it is to slide into justifications, to adapt and accept.

Totally unrelated to any fanfic recs, I'd like to say that I thought one of the t-shirts I saw today was really crass: I showed George W. Bush's head with the word "Enemy" above and a bloody bullet hole in the center of his forehead. And I'm down with the anti-Bush sentiment, but with the bullet hole? Not so much, not even if it's meant symbolically.
ratcreature: RatCreature's toon avatar (Default)
I updated my AU recs page with two Smallville and one LOTR fanfic recs.
ratcreature: reading RatCreature (reading)
Thanks to Bright Shiny Objects I found this beautiful short Legolas/Gimli story: Not Willingly Unlock by Isos Arei.
ratcreature: reading RatCreature (reading)
[livejournal.com profile] lanning posted a new installment of the Identical series, Groundwork (Smallville).

Thanks to a rec on Prospect-L I found this crossover: Actualize This by Helena Handbasket (Sentinel/ Invisible Man/ Stargate). Usually I dislike the "characters of different series meet at a seminar" crossover device, but this one is really funny, and well worth reading.

I'm not sure whether I already recced this, but in case I haven't a while ago I read the Legolas/Gimli AU Back to the Beginning (LOTR) and quite enjoyed it.
ratcreature: RatCreature watches tv. (tv)
I bought the extended DVD edition of FOTR, and while I haven't gotten around to watching the commentary and extras yet, I watched the expanded version of the movie itself recently. I didn't like all extra scenes equally, but I loved the additional parts with the fellowship in Lórien, and enjoyed also the scene with Aragorn at Gilraen's grave, especially because it showed more of Elrond's relationship with Aragorn beyond their differences over Arwen. The scene in which Aragorn and the hobbits trudge miserably through the Migdgewater Marshes had a certain appeal too, but I can see why it didn't make the cut. There were other expansions too, but the ones above I liked best.

Totally unrelated to the above, my seasonal comment of the day is that I really dislike the firework explosions that have been starting the last days. I mean, on New Year's Eve itself there are so many outside that the constant explosion sounds just become background noise at one point, but right now there are still long quiet intervals which are then suddenly interrupted, and if the explosion is loud enough, I will even flinch sometimes. I have been always timid with fireworks. When I was a kid and went outside with my parents and my older siblings, I never liked to do the bigger firecrackers, actually not even most of the smaller ones, even though all assured me that it was harmless and that I shouldn't be so hesitant. Nowadays I don't do any firecrackers or fireworks myself, and actually I avoid being outside at the height of their popularity, that is the hours around midnight. There are enough people out then who are too drunk, silly, or careless to really watch where they are throwing this stuff, and sometimes you'll get people throwing firecrackers from their balconies and windows above for good measure, which makes getting from one point to another something for which you have to be really alert (like for fast dodging). I noticed that a few times when I was with friends just a couple of blocks away from me, and then walked home late. I guess you could argue that I was just too sober, because drunk I probably wouldn't have cared that much about people throwing explosives, and still gotten home fine (like most other people walking outside then).

Anyway, that's one of the reasons why I don't go watch the professional fireworks (which I like to watch) at places where many people are either, I really don't feel comfortable inside a crowd of a couple of thousand (partly drunk) people, some of whom will throw their own firecrackers and have their own rockets while being there. Also inevitably you have to be really alert while using public transport that night, and taxis are quite impossible to come by. The one time I was using the metro at New Year's Eve late was close to horrible and I was even with friends then. Crowded masses of drunk people inside the car with more people trying to get in, causing the drunk ones inside to sing variations "one more will fit inside yet," is a frightening experience when you yourself are actually sober. At least for me it is. Also you have to watch out not to be barfed on.

To finish on a brighter note, I just watched the newest Farscape episode, 4x12 Kansas.
Spoilers... )
ratcreature: RatCreature's toon avatar (Default)
I just watched The Two Towers and enjoyed the movie a lot. Some movie spoilers ahead... )
ratcreature: reading RatCreature (reading)
I don't read much Tolkien-based fanfic, but I'm glad I tried Dwimordene's fic. You can find it on her ff.net author's page and most also on Henneth Annun. I like her Aragorn centric stories. She recently finished Roots, a story about Aragorn's first meeting with Legolas. Another story no Aragorn fan should miss is Where the Stars are Strange, about Aragorn's travels to Harad, and Brothers At Heart, about his relationship to Elladan and Elrohir. BTW, all her stories are based on book canon, and the three I just mentioned are gen.

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