skaredykat: (fikshun cat)
skaredykat ([personal profile] skaredykat) wrote2012-04-06 01:09 am

5 (yet) more No Canon Knowledge Required recs

A third mini-set of what it says on the tin, inspired by facetofcathy's "Hold Your Fire No Canon Required" AO3 collection.

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Miles Scortillusque (AO3) by Sineala

(~56,200 words, slash, Bodie/Doyle, rating Explicit)

What is it/why read it: This is a Roman slavefic AU (better yet, hookerfic slavefic) that works without knowing anything about The Professionals canon except that it has two guys. (I'm sure readers who know Pros canon will get more out of it -- there was an occasional bit in there where I thought, "This looks like it might have special meaning for a reader who knows the canon" -- but I've only seen one vid in the fandom (and after several times viewing it still can't keep straight which guy is which) yet even without canon knowledge I liked this fic a great deal.)

The Roman aspects of this fic come across as well researched/convincing as a realistic society (including soldiers who have PTSD), and it avoids some of the standard slavefic/hookerfic tropes for more unusual takes (for example, applying that one special someone's cock is not an instant magic cure-all). It's very much a Capital R type Romance, complete with a rapid falling into love and great difficulties on that path of true love, etc. But even though it's possible to see the plot twists coming a mile off, this is a very enjoyable romance that can definitely be read as m/m ofic.

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Cursed at First, But Mended (AO3) by Lake

(~18,800 words, slash, Marcus/Esca, rating Mature)

What is it/why read it: Next, from a canon that's set in Roman times, a not-quite-Recency AU. Not-quite instead of full-on Regency, because apparently men can marry in this world. Which Marcus and Esca do, for reasons of financial security. And the Roman empire may have lasted a bit longer in this world as place names are not the ones we see in Heyer and Thackeray. The relationship here feels a little rushed, but the concept is sweet and entertaining, and, as with some of Lake's other fics, it feels like emotionally there's quite a bit more going on underneath the surface than is spelled out. This looks like it's also Lake's first (namespace?) foray into Eagle of the Ninth/The Eagle fandom, and characters and other elements are not quite the fanon-standard versions they may be in other fics, but it's a fun fast read, with nice emotional payoff.

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Everything Is a Stall (AO3) by Demon_Rum

(~33,000 words, slash, Marcus/Esca, rating Mature)

What is it/why read it: This is also Eagle of the Ninth/The Eagle fic, but this time it's a modern AU of the doctor/nurse type. In this one the characters may be even less close to their canon/fanon counterparts than in Lake's fic (though there's an occasional tinge of Escaishness or Marcusness).

So read it as ofic, but what this one excels at is sympathetic characterization (and a fair amount of what feels like decently researched insight into the workings of a hospital ward) of two people thrown together who initially dislike each other but not only learn to like each other but also learn other things in the story. (I was especially fond of some of Marcus's choices towards the end.)

I'd say this fic could not only be reworked into publishable m/m ofic, but for a wider market into a het Harlequin romance -- except it's several cuts above the standard Harlequin doctor/nurse fare and has what might be too much emotional depth and near-realistic imperfections to the characters.

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Half Life (AO3, where comments will likely not get to the writer? and on LJ) by Oldblue

(~28,800 words, slash, House/Wilson, rating Mature)

What is it/why read it: And now a fic from a medical show canon about which you need to know very very little to enjoy the story -- basically just that this guy Greg House is a medical doctor, an extremely good diagnostician, an asshole with a very painful limp, and this other doctor, Wilson, is the devoted Watson to House's Holmes. What I liked about this one was that it's an unusual werewolf fic. And it's not only werewolf fic, but partly apocafic. It also felt more like a deep loving friendship that happens to get sex rather than a capital R romance, but YMMV. To me, the ending felt just right for the story, but it may leave some readers wishing there had been a sequel.

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Missing Persons (AO3) by Dira Sudis

(~250,000 words, slash (sibling incest), Don/Charlie, rating Explicit)

What is it/why read it: I'm sure this one's more enjoyable if you do know the canon.

However, if (like me) you've never seen an episode of Numb3rs, it still works well as a long, plotty fic with suspense (abduction, crime, and FBI procedural) elements, amnesia, fucked up relationships and self-image issues of many kinds, plus loyalty kink, h/c, and super-protective caretaker character goodness like whoa. Also adult sibling incest with consent concerns, which get what feels like a reasonable amount of angst for the story. Oh, and an eventual (circumstantially appropriate) happy ending.

I can see why this one's a classic of the fandom. The slow build and the recurring push-pull dynamic between the somewhat-but-not-too woobieish amnesiac genius character and the very determinedly committed more ordinary character are well done. And the blanket as symbol of (among others, h/c, soiled, targeted, rescued, and washed clean) love was blatant but awesome.

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End Note: Rec set originally posted at AO3.

Also, more slash, more juggernaut pairings, more longish fic, and several fics set in other times or AU circumstances from their canons -- because that's how I seem to be rolling.