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The Duke's Daughters (or: Overture, King Lear)
Princess Tutu
Once upon a time there was a king who had three daughters. Which of the daughters really deserved his kingdom?

An excellent and atmospheric echo of the show, both its aesthetic and its themes. As ever, Duck's sweet nature and good heart save the day, inspiring a puppet to pull against her strings.

three drops of blood
Fairy Tales & Related Fandoms
slash of blood against snow and who would wish for a child
"red as blood"—pretty words,
but the daughter suffers.
--Lightsey Darst, "[Snow White]"

The Queen has her tale. The Court has another.

Bittersweet, strange and fascinating. Another feminist take on Snow White with an intriguing twist on the Evil Stepmother.

Keep Your Head Down
Michael Bublé Being Stalked By A Velociraptor (Tumblr)
Scenes from Michael Bublé's Crazy Love tour.

I don't know if anyone needs more reason to read this than the fandom existing at all. But Terry Gross kinds of steals the show.

For I Have Put Away Childish Things
Prometheus (2012)
"That's the real bitch of being alive."/ "You get to choose what you do with it."

While I have insisted in this very journal that Prometheus was both Spectacular and Spectacularly bad, Fassbender was amazing and this is an exceptional meditation on what it means to be human, and the people who make us who we are, both literally and figuratively.

Best Marks Go to Cheaters and Memorizers
Mad Men
Peggy, Ken, and how they got that pact they have in season 5.

Yuletide is made of these singular, glorious, small moments. This story does exactly what fanfic should: it uses the characters to turn a light on in a dark corner, and lets us catch the glimpse of them we missed.
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The Distant Hum of Engines
Lord Peter Wimsey - Dorothy L. Sayers
Saint-George discovers that there's more war work for him than just fighting; and that sometimes, you do get a second chance.

Saint-George is home from the war. Very in the spirit and tone of the books, and even though I had no real idea who Hilary Thorpe was (from The Nine Tailors apparently?) I liked her.

PURPLE LUMPTIONS MAJESTY UNDERCOVER SPECIAL REPORT
Adventure Time
We bring you only the choicest of DRAMABOMBS

LSP, girl reporter. This adorable goofiness was a treat especially for me!

Priceless
10 Things I Hate About You (1999), Bring It On (2000)
Kat's looking forward to a calm second year at Sarah Lawrence. Her new roommate makes that less than easy.

Kat is sort of out and defs proud and Missy is fucking epic. One of those stories that you'd never have come up with on your own, but once you see it, you know to the marrow of your bones that it makes every kind of sense. Kat is kind of hilariously earnest about politics and intensely focused on school. Missy comes along to shake things up. This also contains a heaping helping of sweltering hotness, so there's that to ice the excellent cake.

Thirteen Views of a Labyrinth
Greek and Roman Mythology
They are not so very different, Ariadne and Pasiphaë, Icarus and Daedalus, Ariadne and Icarus.

Gorgeous and sharp as feathered quills in the heart. A triumphant retelling of the Minotaur myth, Ariadne a princess with agency making her choices, and Icarus - no reckless boy is he.
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starting out on a journey
Last Unicorn - Peter S. Beagle
Shmendrick the Magician makes amends.

As delicate and practical and joyous as the book could be. A story as incandescent, perfect and rare as a unicorn. I worry that this will be overlooked because the author somehow placed her notes in the summary section and the title's not much to go on, but sincerely, this is a classic.

Legacy
Slings & Arrows
Geoffrey and Jack's friendship over the years.

A story with enveloping charm, as rich as the show itself, and as kind. I can't say I ever had any thoughts about Jack and Geoffrey remaining in contact in any way, but this sort of "kid brother makes good and calls his big bro for advice" is pitch perfect, with thoughtful details right down to the removable thrust. Just fucking DAZZLING stuff, long and immersive with glorious voices. Read it this very moment!
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remember this when you are queen
Snow White and the Huntsman (2012)
Snow White took the throne. But there are many ways of being a woman with power, and it takes more time to be recognized as a true ruler.

This fixed every single problem I had with the movie - and actually doesn't need the movie at all to work as a brilliantly realized feminist take on what it is to be a queen (and a role model!) and to use the tools available to you in every way you can. It gave me fucking ::chills!::

Time in a Klein Bottle Back to the Future (Movies)
Just as Marty was ready to head out the door, he stopped, thinking about that day five years ago. They had tripped through the future and the past, and he couldn't help but remember everything that could have-- no, everything that really did go wrong. He tore off a page of printer paper and scribbled a note to Jennifer. He left it on his desk, but with any luck, he'd be back before anyone knew he was gone. Unless something went wrong, of course, and then he wouldn't be back at all.

A rather charming little gen piece about sciency bro-times in 1945. For the record, when I read this it had 88 hits. (g)

A Perfect Sonnet
My So-Called Life
Five inopportune moments, plus one that's worth waiting for.

Thoughtful, hopeful, bittersweet and kind-hearted, just like the show.

A Touch of Frost
Black Books
In which Black Books gets festive, everyone gets drunk, and Manny gets Snowman's Nipple.

A perfect Black Books Christmas for anyone who was hoping for a karate sabre-wielding octopus
this year.

I'll Break My Staff, I'll Drown My Book
The Changeover - Margaret Mahy
Twelve years later it's Jacko's turn. Laura and Sorensen have carved out a nice little life for themselves, and baby brother Jacko's having nightmares that are true dreams. But Jacko wants no part of what Laura became.

Mahy died this year, but Yuletide holds a breath of her still in this very fine story.
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Shipmates
Hark! A Vagrant
"A pair of immoveable combatants, locked in an eternal struggle.” He puffed his pipe. “That’s what one o’ them newspapers called us,” he added, complacently.

Delightful Nemesis backstory for Kate Beaton's Pirates at Hark a Vagrant. It's got glorious lines, eminently credible swash and buckle, and a very sweet romance at the heart of it.

Maybe It Means Nothing (But I'm Afraid to Move)
Margaret vs. Pauline (song)
It's just fate, Margaret tells herself. Just the way it'll always be.

A haunting little story about two girls:
One left her sweater sittin' on the train/
The other lost three fingers at the cannery

Up and Over We Go (5308 words)
Parks and Recreation
The first time he sees Leslie's house, Ben suddenly understands that they're going to have to make a regular choice about where to spend their time: the frat house from hell where his roommates have a bizarre set of rules and no sense of appropriate behavior, or the hoarder house from hell where he's genuinely afraid of being crushed by a falling stack of Tiger Beat and Economist back issues.

A rather adorable Ben-lives-with-April-and-Andy story.

talk to your friends, talk to my friends
Parks and Recreation
Ben needs some good, solid advice from a rational human being. Too bad he's in Pawnee.

An even MORE adorable Ben pre-Halloween Surprise story.

A Black Christmas Carol
Black Books
In which not a single ghost appears.

Bernard refuses all manner of Christmas Spirit(s). Ridiculous and fun.

smoke alarm went off at 9
Hark! A Vagrant
“Ladies, Gentlemen, and other attendees of this year's Annual Be All That You Can Be Summit, we deeply regret to inform you that apparently a bomb has been found on the premise."

Kate Beaton's be-shoulder padded 1980s Business Woman attends a very odd business conference with characteristic efficiency.

Bigger Than You Think
xkcd 1110 (Click and Drag), Le città invisibili | Invisible Cities - Italo Calvino
An interactive story of exploration.

A clever tale of adventure told in a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure text style, and a worthy homage to a truly brilliant comic with wondrous and bewildering scope.

If We Sleep Together Would You Be My Friend Forever
Mindy Project
“What about me?” Mindy asks, annoyed. “Do you know how often in a person's life the whole sharing a room thing comes up? And I'm about to throw away this prime hook-up scenario with you? How is that even fair?”

Fantastic sharing-a-room story with killer Mindy lines: "Are you Twilighting me?"

If We Don't Make It We'll Fake It
Mindy Project
They can pretend to be friends. It can't possibly be that hard. Right?

Some surprisingly sweet/hot makeout action and fun bantery "fake relationship"!

I Wear You Like a Leaf Crown
Downton Abbey
She sees him in every soldier under their roof, and day after day she fights her own war, silently and alone.

Another page from the war, with Mary on the emotional front, with her smooth face and her inner turmoil - very nicely done.

The Ugly Sister, or, How Edith Learned Not to Believe in Fairy Tales
Downton Abbey
When they were little their mother used to read them fairy tales. As she grew older, though, Edith began to notice a pattern. The eldest children inherited the best of everything, while it was always the youngest child who was the bravest and most beautiful. Never the middle child. The middle child was always only the ugly sister.

Oh, how I love Yuletide - so many stories about women! A fine Edith here, with a crisply satisfying last line.
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let's collect our memories like diamonds in the dark
Dublin Murder Squad Series - Tana French, In the Woods - Tana French
It was inevitable, really, that they were going to meet again.

Pages from the book, I know it. What a scouring but strangely satisfying interlude - because there can never really be an ending for these two. Gorgeously done.

Three Kisses Bunter received - and one he gave right willingly
Lord Peter Wimsey - Dorothy L. Sayers
Bunter is a popular gentleman.

Lovely Bunter backstory with exquisite style and perfect tone.

The Affair of the Blanched Bibliomane
Lord Peter Wimsey - Dorothy L. Sayers
The auction room was crowded with the royalty of the book world, but no-one present claimed any knowledge of Mr. D. Bredon. His sale had appeared out of nowhere, a lightning strike to the bibliophilic heart of London. Most attendees there were eager to buy, all were ready to gossip, and a few were there because they found the timing nothing short of suspicious.

Elegant book mystery with top notch style! I feel as though this story will also establish a Miss da Costa Green fandom? Because she sounds like quite the firecracker.

You Make Me Feel Like Bobby Brown in the Early 90's
Parks and Recreation
Even though it’s snowing, Jean-Ralphio’s got on a ridiculous v-neck beneath a blazer and as she watches, a flurry of snow lights on a curly q of chest hair, melts and disappears into his skin.

It takes almost that long for Donna to realize she’s staring.

Donna/Jean-Ralphio? Donna/Jean-Ralphio! And it WORKS. A yuletide story from 2011.

new business idea: sushi shaped like mustaches
Parks and Recreation
Tom takes waking up in Ron's body much better than Ron takes waking up in Tom's (woman-smelling silk sheet encased) body.

Also from last year, but BODYSWAP and fun as heck.

The Last Magic
Dark Is Rising Sequence - Susan Cooper
Jane grows up.

Superb Jane story, evocative and fragile as memory.

In the Dark Hours of the Morning
Code Name Verity - Elizabeth Wein
What might have happened at the Moon Squadron Aerodrome, and what certainly happened after.
A missing passage from Verity's account. Spoilers for all of Code Name Verity.

Heart-twisting and lovely.

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The Mindy Project:

"Taylor Swift Is My Kryptonite" and Other Revelations About Danny Castellano

"Better moccasins than cupcakes," she says, grunting. "I should have listened to that New York Magazine article about how cupcakes are over. It was bad karma from the start. I am so switching to doughnuts."

"Actually, I think it's all about churros now."

"Those are just long, skinny, ethnic doughnuts. They're like the Gisele of doughnuts."
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