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Dec. 25th, 2007 @ 06:37 pm Yuletide Recs, Pt. 1

The Fearless Moral Inventory of Milhouse Van Houten (The Simpsons): This is one of those fics where the premise sounds ridiculous -- Milhouse as a recovering alcoholic war correspondent? -- but it absolutely, positively works. The universe of this story is more realistic and subdued than the show's, and the characters are all older and a little wearier, but the original tone shines through. Very, very nice work.

Radiant Fire, to Things Ephemeral and The Long Afterglow (Fifth Element): I'm listing these together because they were written for the same recipient from the same rather general Leeloo prompt, and they're both fantastic. "Radiant Fire" is a poetic look at Leeloo's mindset during the plot of the film, and "Afterglow" is a post-movie fic where she prepares for the future; both present two facets of the same fascinating character. If you like Fifth Element, both are must-reads. If you think Fifth Element is ludicrous skiffy fluff, these may not persuade you otherwise, but they might move you towards a new appreciation of the material.

Prodigy (Earthbound aka Mother 2): I'm sad that this is the only EB fic in Yuletide this year, but I'm happy because this is a great little story. It's a brief stocking stuffer, so discussing the plot at length would probably ruin it, but it's like EB at its best: sweet and sentimental, just a little silly, but with the razor's-edge note of horror to keep it sharp.

Fear the La Vega of Loathing (Kingdom of Loathing): Yay, KoL fiction! This is a nice story, too, with the nice silly-sardonic tone of KoL and a pleasant authorial voice. The fourth-wall breaks are lovely. Fair warning: this story, and particularly its very best bits, won't make sense unless you play the game. If you do, though, you need to read this.

INSECURITY COMICS (Dinosaur Comics): I suspect this is going to get recced a lot, but I really don't care. It's a perfect little Dinosaur Comics pastiche, at just the right length to have heft without overstaying its welcome. I'm not sure a serious Dinosaur Comics fic, or a fic in any other format, would have worked nearly so nicely. (Note: I would love to see myself proved wrong.)

Even The Roses (Mervyn Peake - Gormenghast series): Fuchsia and Steerpike. Steerpike and Fuchsia. I haven't read Peake in a long time, and yet this fic brings back the flavor of the novels for me -- the old stone and rotting places, the futility and ceremony, Fuchsia's yearning and Steerpike's cold ambition. Highly recommended even if you haven't read the books.
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freaky like me, kuroi ame