February 19, 2005
I haven't had time to do recs in over a year. I don't really have time to do them now, but since DCU fandom is steadily growing, I thought it might be helpful to offer pointers to some of the stories (gen, het, and slash) in the fandom that I find particularly noteworthy or striking. These recs are Bat-heavy, but, then, so is the fandom.
Basingstoke, Now we are twenty-four (OUTSIDERS): Although this story does reflect Bas's tendency to underwrite just a little, it's still an affecting look at one of the more enduring partnerships/rivalries of the DCU, Dick Grayson and Roy Harper. It breaks my heart for Dick and effectively evokes Roy's frustration and determination in trying to reach a friend who's drifting away.
Corinna, Dress Blues (BIRDS OF PREY): There's just not enough Babs/Dick fic out there, which is surprising, given the fannish love for the pairing. This story takes an unusual angle on the romance, looking at Dick Grayson as a policeman, and Babs's tangled relationship with that side of his character, and therefore with Jim Gordon, too. A pleasantly restrained portrait of regret after a breakup.
David Hines, Jason and Me (BATMAN): Of course, later events have made this Spoiler story even more poignant, but it stands well on its own. Not just an interesting study of Jason, it uses the stories people tell of him as a way to explore their characters as well. I was particularly impressed by David's insight into Alfred.
The Color of Straw (BATMAN): This is supposed to be just a fun bit of nonsense from a crack-challenge, but it's so insane and so funny and features such an underused character that it made me scream. It'll do the same for you.
Derryderrydown, Our dreams pursue our dead (NIGHTWING): Derry packs an enormous amount of creepiness into a short and simple tale. A terrifyingly plausible depiction of the ultimate Nightwing anxiety dream. I think this story might actually have worked fine without the "pairing," though.
Livia, Life of Riley (NIGHTWING): Silly, sexy fun, with just enough wistful undertones to give it a little weight. Margot and Aliki are tailor-made for this kind of story, and there should be more of them!
Sister Wolf, Until the end of the world (TEEN TITANS): Future-Tim and Kon from the "Titans of Tomorrow" storyline remember, and forget, and are forgotten. It's a little heavy on the schmoop, but given that the characters' timeline is about to be obliterated, I can make allowances. (Also, it's possible to read into it certain frightening implications that would make it a sterner, sadder story, though I'm not completely sure the author meant it to be taken that way.)
Te, So pure, so rare (BATMAN): Bruce and Jason, skidding towards catastrophe. This story goes for all the wild, fucked-up glory that a story about an abusive pairing can have. Te has said that she doesn't see this story as pointing specifically towards Jason's canon fate, but that reading works so well for me that I'm sticking to it. Plus, coat-room sex!
And feel its total dark sublime (BATMAN): What do you do when your love is insane, even for an insane person? A vivid, impressionistic tale of Ivy's love against all reason for Harley. Bolstered by hot plant-assisted sex.