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[identity profile] fish-echo.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] fish_recs
For my policy on things such as spoilers, warning, and ratings, please see [my policy post].

You may have noticed that this isn't Psych fic. That's because I'm, well, flaky and also still recovering from the pre-holiday-time rush. I'm still hoping to have it finished before I start my next Psych fic (that'd be by mid-Jan), but we'll see. But in celebration of the fact that my brain is currently half-functional I decided to give you a rec list composed of things that I don't normally rec. Whee? This is perhaps a bit more scattered than one of my normal sets, but then again, my recs are normally fairly scattered, so maybe it's just average :)

Not Fanfic Things

What: [Baen Free Library]
Short description: Works (mostly full-length novels) which the Baen publishing house (sci-fi/fantasy) has made available for free electronic download
My thoughts: I like that they offer stories as freely available, freely downloadable, no DRM and in a wide variety of formats (HTML, RTF, and various readers). There are over a hundred currently up. They even say, 'sure, you can keep your copies if we take it down from the web'. Baen is a US publishing house, they do mostly sci-fi and fantasy. Most of the works up are modern but there are several which are republishings of older, serialised stories. I like many of their books and I think I've read 90% of what's up. If you'd like a rec or two, (a) read down, I've got one written up, or (b) ask and I'll see if I can match you with something :)

Title: [Redliners]
Author: [David Drake]
Genre, etc.: Military fiction. Professional fiction (is one of the Baen books), novel-length according to current standards. Mainly gen with several side (het) pairings.
Contains: PTSD, violence, fighting, character death (including of major characters). Possibly more which I do not recall (I did not reread it before reccing).
Official Short Tagline: A story of soldiers and civilians, of hope and, possibly, redemption.
My thoughts: I'm reccing this because I figure I might as well rec one of the Baen stories and this is one I like and also think will appeal to a number of people on my flist**. Those of you who like apocalyptic stories for the 'people put in dire situations who have to survive' aspect I think will like this story. (FWIW, that's one of the things I like about apocalyptic stories. But I require happy endings in my apocafic and this qualifies, to me.) The writing is crisp, the characters are well-realised and sympathetic in the main. The aliens are minor (the story isn't really about them), but there's some interesting biology. There's a fairly high death toll here, but I still find it a hopeful story. This is one I tend to reread when I am down-- it reminds me, somehow, that I can do whatever silly thing is on my plate and comforts me. (Yes, I'm using imaginary characters in an abysmal situation as a pepper-up). I am not a member of Strike Force, I am not a colonist, I am certainly not slogging through a forest which is trying to eat me but this story nonetheless resonants with me.

**I don't know so much about the preferences of those of you who only follow my recs comm, because I don't know you as well. But you can help change this if you tell me about your thoughts on things which I rec, or stuff you like in general. Or you can still lurk about too, that's fine too!

What: [LibriVox]
Short description: "LibriVox provides free audiobooks from the public domain. LibriVox volunteers record chapters of books in the public domain and release the audio files back onto the net. Our goal is to make all public domain books available as free audio books. "
My thoughts: Yay for audio readings of old nice books. There are readings of several canons in here (including Sherlock Holmes and Jeeves & Wooster) which might be fun for the podficcishly inclined fan who wants to review source material or for those who wishes to branch out. There's generally several different formats (including mp3 and ogg) and several different bit rates. Do note for those of you who don't like incidental music, they prohibit incidental music in their recordings. Readers might change from chapter to chapter and as with any volunteer project, the readers are of widely ranging quality.

What: [Project Gutenberg]
Short description: Putting books which are in the public domain in the States into freely downloadable e-books.
My thoughts: I assume most everyone knows of Project Gutenberg by now, but I figure I may as well throw it in. Did you know they have a sheet music section?


Canon things

Episode: Amok Time
Series: Star Trek: The Original Series
Easy Availability: Your nearest Trekkie or [the CBS website]
Short description: Possibly the single slashiest episode of ST:TOS ever
My thoughts: Look, I could tell you about my thoughts, or I could link you to [livejournal.com profile] thefourthvine's thoughts, which are, frankly, far funnier than anything I could write. So I'll just give you [thefourthvine's thoughts on Amok Time on LJ] and [thefourthvine's thoughts on Amok Time on DW].

Episode: The Case of the Baker Street Nursemaids
Series: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1954)
Easy Availability: at [Hulu]
Short description: Long story short, this particular episode is fannishly awesome. I say it ranks with 'Amok Time' in terms of delivering fannishly (and I'd even go so far as to say that it's highly enjoyable even by those who don't ship Holmes and Watson). (There's a baby! Watson and Holmes are really adorable when dealing with this baby. I want ten thousand SH fics based off of this episode alone.)
My thoughts: [My thoughts on this SH episode (and this series) can be found at LJ] or [My thoughts on this SH episode (and this series) can be found at DW].


Question! What other episodes of shows do you think are made of 150% fannish awesome? What episode did you watch and say to yourself, 'I never thought that they'd do that, but oh my goodness was it awesome!'


Meta
This is one new thing and two old things which I have previously recced on my journal but haven't put here (as I haven't decided what my policy is on reccing meta here, especially stuff that properly speaking isn't fannish meta so much as cultural meta, which all of these are).


What: [Thinky] and links contained therein and therein and such
By Whom: [livejournal.com profile] ladycat777 (18 Dec 1009) and others (various dates)
Short description: thoughts on Judaism especially in the context of it being a minority religion in the States and to a lesser extent in the context of the Christmas holidays.
My thoughts: This is full of thinking thoughts and I found it a great read. (I managed to read these links in about a two-day period when I thought I was too mentally drained to even read the simplest fic.) I'll leave you with the quote from LadyCat which made me decide to read them immediately rather than mem'ing them as 'to be read': "This does not bother me because it's asked primarily out of ignorance and how can I have a problem with that? But it does get frustrating, at times, particularly when people don't get it. It's not a malicious thing - at all. But sometimes there are things that are so ingrained to their point of view, that being told those pov's are wrong for me and my religion is disconcerting. It takes a while to process the new information."

What: [To Whom It May Concern] (4 November 2009)
Author: [personal profile] avendya
Short description: a blog post regarding disability and public perception and identity and such.
My thoughts: It's a short read but a powerful one.

What: [On safe spaces] (4 March 2009)
Author: [personal profile] eruthros
Short description: As it says on the tin, it is about safe spaces, especially about what makes it 'safe' and how just saying 'this is a safe space' and 'I want to help!' do not, themselves, actually make it so.
My thoughts: I found it very well written and well thought out. (One of the things I like about it is that is points out that the same space can be safe (emotionally) for one person and not for another.)


Fannish things

What: [podbang]
Short description: Podfics of stories >30K words long (which means podfics of several to many hours long!!!)
My thoughts: The podbang2009 fest was run as part of [livejournal.com profile] amplificathon this year. I've been looking forward to these ever since the fest was announced (not that I've had time to listen to any yet *sad Fish*). If you like long podfics (or if you might!), give a look over here and see what's been uploaded! Also, various of the podbangers have written up thoughts of their experience, which are interesting in and of themselves.

What: [The "Kripke Started It" Changing Channels Free For All Meme] (run by [livejournal.com profile] clex_monkie89)
Short description: comment-meme of crossovers or fusions with random other shows, some of which are fannish, some of which are not.
My thoughts: Most (all?) of you in SPN have already seen this meme but if you're not in SPN, you might have missed it, which would be a pity, because the ficlets are generally hysterical and the fandoms range from Sesame Street to Leverage to Oprah with stops at everything in between. You might want to give it a look-see for your favourite fandoms.

What: A Shawn'n'Gus fic fest (Psych fandom)
My Thoughts: I reckoned that as long as this rec list wasn't a Shawn/Gus set I might as well point you out to a fest to make more Shawn'n'Gus fic :)
The Pertinent Comm: [community profile] you_know_thats_right
What (the quick version): a prompt-based exchange fest. Sign-ups are up until the last of the month. Word minimum is 500 words, there's over a month between when the prompts get sent out and when the stories are due (which is excellent for a slow writer like myself!). [More details on the Shawn'n'Gus fest can be found here.]



Completely unrelatedly, I have a [DreamWidth] invite. Would anyone like it?

ETA (29 Dec 2009): Two things to add:


Episode: The Trouble With Tribbles
Series: Star Trek: The Original Series
Easy Availability: Your nearest Trekkie
Short description: Tribbles!
My thoughts: Great episode, quite silly. And luckily for you [livejournal.com profile] thefourthvine has decided to spare you my version of the episode by writing up her own version. Here's [thefourthvine's thoughts on Tribbles on LJ] and [thefourthvine's thoughts on Tribbles on DW].

What: [The difference between Sam and Dean in a nutshell...]
Author: [livejournal.com profile] elizah_jane
Summary: Quick and insightful examination of Sam and Dean (SPN) and how they react to threats to the other. Illustrated with clever little stories.
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