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recs, recs, recs

Recs of the SPN/J2 variety

A few recent bigbang stories I loved

The Silver Ring by cormallen. (Jared/Jensen) This is an absolutely magical and charming fairy-tale-inspired J2 piece. Jared has been a storyteller all his life, but he didn't realize that some stories come true until his friend Sandy gave him a magic silver ring. My favorite bits of this are absolutely the wonderful stories Jared tells; I can't decide if I like the one about the mice or the cat better.

Dreams of War and Liars by concernedlily (Sam/Dean). A great story that goes AU from "Jump the Shark" onward. Dean wakes up in an alternate universe where Pamela is still alive and Sam has pretty much gone evil. He has to figure out how to get back to his own universe, as well as how to stop alternaSam from destroying the world. Not surprisingly, this involves sex. Warning: attempted rape, mentions of past rape (not Sam/Dean).

Painted Skies by sablier_bloque. (Jared/Jensen) Did I rec this already? I thought I had, but I guess not. A sweet AU that combines my two favorite J2 genres: college and ranching. Jared is a pre-vet student with a summer internship at Jensen's family ranch. Very enjoyable.

Know Your Damn Constituents by agt_bush (Jared/Jensen). A great political J2 piece, exploring why Jensen--a committed Republican--would go to work for a Democratic presidential candidate. Hint: it has to do with his political arch-nemesis, Jared Padalecki, and the complicated history they had before Jensen fled D.C. politics for the safety of a Texas corporate law firm. This was really a terrific read, and I have to say, making Chad the Rahm Emanuel character makes me laugh and laugh.


A few extremely well-written bigbang stories that I did not entirely love for personal, idiosyncratic reasons that probably wouldn't affect other readers

Thicker than Blood by happywriter06 (Gen).
This is an AU in which John leaves the boys with Missouri when he goes hunting. Excellent Missouri characterization and a great depiction of her POV on some pivotal canon events. I should love this story, but I am, apparently, impossible to satisfy when it comes to weechester AUs. Last summer, I complained about one of the most popular ones because it changed *too* much of the plot of seasons 1-2 without justifying it, and I felt like in some ways it wasn't tragic enough; this summer I'm annoyed that an AU where they grew up with Missouri doesn't end up changing enough of canon. (But, my inner whiner says, you would think having a foster parent who's psychic might prevent at least one of the tragedies of the Winchester family, goddamit!) Also, I wanted more actual growing-up anecdotes than we got. That doesn't change the fact that this is a very well-written story, however.


Dead Soldiers: An Oral History of the End Times by girl_wonder (Gen). This is a fantastic AU telling the story of the end times as it gets recorded by a scholar doing an oral history of the near apocalypse about 7 years after it happens. We get the POV of Bobby Singer, Ellen and Jo Harvelle, Ruby, as well as numerous well-drawn original characters. It's fast-paced and really sucks you in, especially because the apocalypse is, of course, quite different than the actual season 4 ending. The multiple POVs never seem tedious or confusing; they help build suspense very effectively. I was in love with this story until the last part--and that is not because I hated the ending; narratively it was perfectly satisfying. It was just that I realized at the end that I desperately wanted Sam and Dean's POV on at least the very end, for some emotional closure, but this story sticks with the outsider POV. But I don't honestly think that's a flaw in the story; it's just a flaw in this reader.

This Temporary Life (Jared/Jensen) by finn21. This is a J2 version of "How I Met Your Mother," and it does a great job telling a fun and complicated love story--it's just that I kept having this lingering sense that the story would be different for me had I ever seen the show, and that made it hard for me to like this story as much as I would have otherwise had I not known it was based on a show I'd never seen.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
slinkling
Jun. 23rd, 2009 01:53 pm (UTC)
So hey, I've been formulating a question based on the J2 fics I've read (which I'm guessing have all been rec'ed by you at some point or other), and it's not necessarily germane to THESE recs (though it might be, I haven't read these stories yet), but perhaps you can answer it. Every time Chad Michael Murray shows up in a J2 story, no matter what role he plays, it's consistent that he is a) Jared's friend, and b) a douchebag. Usually he's an amiable douchebag, but still. Now, I know nothing about CMM except for what I've gotten from these fics, and the way the girls at Go Fug Yourself make fun of him (stupid hair, can't act, etc., but they seem to rag on him with some affection).

So -- is there some real-life basis for the constant depiction of Chad as Jared's-amiable-douchebag-friend? Or is this just something that fandom has collectively decided at some point in the past, and now it's a standard trope? And if so, is there a sourcepoint for that trope, like a story in which he was so compellingly depicted as an amiable douchebag that everybody has followed suit? Or did it arise organically?

(Why yes, I WAS an English major.)
norwich36
Jun. 23rd, 2009 03:25 pm (UTC)
The friend part is easy--they both worked together on Gilmore Girls and House of Wax, so I think the friendship is actually true in RL (though I have no idea if they're really BFFs or not).

I think the loveable douchebag is just a fandom trope, but where it originated I do not know. I don't know where a lot of people get "canon" for RPS. I mean, now that I've been reading J2 for over a year I can see how con reports etc. filter certain "facts" into stories, so it's possible that some of the CMM stuff comes from that--I know it's true, for example, that he's been known to date extremely young actresses--but I honestly don't know where some of the other stuff comes from.
norwich36
Jun. 23rd, 2009 08:26 pm (UTC)
Wow, I got tons of interesting answers to this question here: http://norwich36.livejournal.com/180578.html
slinkling
Jun. 23rd, 2009 10:45 pm (UTC)
Heh. The internet knows all. Thank you; I'd been curious about this for a while.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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