My last recommendation of the week comes a bit late, but partly that is because I was debating which one of several to choose. I'm an unashamed fan of the Tenth Doctor, but seeing as so many stories about him are recced, I turned my attention to earlier eras in search of great tales. In fact, I looked in categories that don't get as much traffic, hoping to bring to light some real gems that the average reader might have passed by. After careful consideration I end my week here on Calufrax right where I began: with another story by the very talented Shinyford.
Title: The War of Jenkins’ Ear (and Other Stories)
Rating: All Ages
Word Count: 7147
Author’s Summary: An old enemy encounters the Doctor, and regales him with stories of his life. With liquorice.
Characters: The Kandyman, The Seventh Doctor, Mel
Recommended Because the author manages to turn one of the most ridiculous foes of the Classic Era not only into a real villain, but a real character that you will both love and hate. And he does so with delicious ease.
As with Anagram of the Kaleds, Jenkins’ Ear is a tasty treat from beginning to end, beautifully crafted, technically a joy, and darkly funny. That would be dark chocolate, to be precise. To quote a review I saw of this story on another forum, Jenkins' Ear is "a love letter to the unloved." The author mixes his ingredients with the confidence of a great chef, spices it full of imagery and metaphor without the story—or the antagonist—ever becoming too saccharine. Not only do we get to see the Kandyman the way he should have been, we get to be properly scared of Vervoids. Honestly, for a fan of the Classic Era, what could be better? Shinyford takes a Classic enemy and a Classic Doctor and proceeds to tell a rich story (really a series of stories) that will leave you wanting more. The narrator is wickedly funny, the Doctor is devilishly well-characterized, and the word play you’d expect is all there. Old School Who fans will love this story. New Era fans who haven't quite connected to the original series may find this to be their ticket in. Go ahead. You know you want it.
They really don’t get much sweeter than this.