[identity profile] jjpor.livejournal.com
Well, here I am, your reccer for...well, the next two weeks, owing to the slight change in the rules here on the comm. Exciting stuff. Once again I will make the by now traditional observation that it doesn't seem like that long since I was last reccing here, but in fact it turns out it was ages. Anyway, hopefully this will be as fun for all of you as it is going to be for me. :)

Story: Agony
Author: Jesht
Rating: Teen
Word Count: 462
Author's Summary: Every time he wakes, he remembers.
Characters/Pairings: I think that would be telling.
Warnings: Some quite gruesome and unpleasant violence is referred to explicitly, if not described graphically, so exercise caution.

Recced because: Well, I can't promise you that this fic is going to be a happy, fluffy light-hearted reading experience (well, probably not - I suppose that sort of depends on how you roll on an individual basis). It's called "Agony" and, well, like they say, it does what it says on the tin. Of course, that doesn't mean that you won't admire the author's skill and come away with a worthwhile reading experience. This is a story about pain, and the different kinds of pain it is possible to feel, and how somebody's character can respond to it and be shaped by it. I think one of the things good fanfic can do, along with the best of the various officially licenced spinoff media, is really show new sides to characters who would probably never get the chance to show them on the television screen.

I've been a bit coy in not naming the fic's p.o.v. (and indeed only) character in the summary above, because I really do think that this story will work even better for you if you just click the link above and plunge in and read it "cold". I think when you get to the end and realise whose inner monologue you have been reading (although you will probably work it out before you get to the end), not only will it all make a lot of sense, but it will also get you thinking about the sidelight cast on this character and their thought processes and persona by the author here, and maybe understand a little bit more about this character we might think, as fans, that we know so well already. And maybe we'll go away feeling a little sorry for a character that we would ordinarily find it difficult to have any sympathy for, while simultaneously being even more appalled by them than we are already. This is the sort of thing that I always admire greatly when a fanfic manages to pull it off, and it's a big part of my reason for reccing this fic here.

Jesht is an author who has written too few fics, I think, and it seems that I have only discovered her/his work a good few years after s/he stopped archiving stories on the Teaspoon. Which is a shame, really. So I would urge all of you to get over there, read this story and leave suitable words for the author hopefully to read, because you never know, sometimes a bit of encouragement is all it takes.

A Sample )
[identity profile] jjpor.livejournal.com
And for today's rec we have an author who doesn't seem to have been recced on Calufrax before (and sadly, seems not to be actively writing any more, but who knows what effect a bit of attention and encouragement might have?)

Story: Running
Author: Jesht
Rating: All Ages
Word Count: 1,001
Author's Summary: "The ones that ran away? I never stopped."
Characters/Pairings: The Doctor (Academy era), the Master (Academy era)
Warnings: None

Recced because: I find that I really like Gallifrey-set, Doctor-origin-story sort of stuff, up to and including Academy fic. I mean, enough to write it myself and enough to jump into it with both feet if I find it on the Teaspoon or anywhere else. This is another story that I only ran across very recently, although it's a few years old, and it hooked me in instantly.

I know this sort of fic isn't to everybody's taste. I respect the argument that there are some mysteries about the Doctor's past that ought to remain just that - mysteries. That's an important part of what he is as a character and of the whole feel of the show, going right back to that junkyard in 1963. I personally would probably be horrified if the actual show ever decided to tell the definitive version of the Doctor's origins or to reveal anything more than the odd hint or throwaway reminiscence. And not just because it would ruin the air of mystery but because whatever they did, they'd do it "wrong"!

And this is why I think this is a good area for fanfic to explore. Every fic writer is free to explore and play with the material and put their own spin on it, and the rest of us can either take it or leave it depending on our inclinations without anybody expecting us to accept it as "canon". And in the case of Gallifrey and its Academy and the Doctor's early years, we simultaneously know so much and so little. There's so much lore, built up over years of television stories, but so much of it contradicts earlier stories and so many of the key questions remain unanswered that it's ripe for this sort of fictional interpretation and exploration. And this fic is a fine example of the genre. Every fic author worth their salt puts their own unique spin on this material and builds on what we know of Gallifrey in different ways and Jesht is no exception in that regard. We have mention of the Doctor's and Master's families, of the Untempered Schism - of Looms! - and also some intriguing invented Gallifreyan history and politics and all according to the author's own individual vision of how all this should fit together.

And it also addresses something that I think most fan fictioneers who have thought about this stuff have considered, if not actually written; with their long, complex and ever-developing relationship over what we imagine must be centuries, just how did the Doctor and Master first meet? I like the version presented here, for its understatement and for the ring of schoolyard truth it has about it. And the ending of the fic then plays back into the theme of the Doctor-Master relationship as we learn that the Doctor, as we perhaps have suspected for a while now, had the potential to end up more like his "friend" in the end than he would probably like to think in later life. There but for the grace of...etc.

And a question to consider, as you're reading this fic: which Doctor do you hear narrating this story as he looks back on his youth? After a couple of read-throughs, I think I hear Ten now (which would be appropriate considering the bit of onscreen lore the fic is drawing from); what about you? Anyway, go and read it and leave a few words of appreciation; maybe the author will read them and be inspired to take up the quill again.

A Preview... )


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April 2018

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