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[identity profile] fish-echo.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] fish_recs
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My policy on how I do my recs (including for things like warnings and spoilers) can be found at [my policy post about my recs], for those interested.

I won the services of two podficcers, [livejournal.com profile] lunchy_munchy and [personal profile] via_ostiense, during the first round of the [livejournal.com profile] help_japan auction. And once the podfics started arriving in my inbox, I though, 'Oh, hey, wouldn't it be cool if I wrote up recs for these as they came in and as I listened to them?' The answer to that is, 'Obviously, yes!' But that raises the question: 'Did I do that?', to which the answer is obviously 'hahhahahaa, you must be new here if you think there was a snowball's chance of me following through on that.' But I'm going to count it as a partial victory, because there are still stories to be podficced, so I'm at least a little bit on top of things. Ish. Sorta? Eh, close enough!

As I starting thinking on this rec set, I noticed that there were other fanworks which just kept creeping in round the edges. And in fine Fishly fashion, I decided to roll with that. So what we have here is each podfic recorded for me paired with another fanwork(s) in some manner which I swear makes sense to me! :D I've used horizontal rules to separate each set visually because I like imposing order.

Story: Dear Kunsel
Reader: Lunchee [livejournal.com profile] lunchy_munchy (fanworks comm: [livejournal.com profile] munchinglunch)
Author: [livejournal.com profile] sinnatious // [Sinnatious (ff.net)]
Fandom, etc.: Final Fantasy VII, gen, PG
More etc.: 1:00:38; 27.2 MB (mp3), 32.1 MB (m4b); 8040 words
Contains: [skip] possible character death (End of hidden text.)
Author's Summary: FFVII one-shot. After Avalanche tries to blow up the Sector 5 Reactor, Cloud starts getting messages from a mysteriously well-informed stranger on his PHS.
Pull quote: Author's Note (excerpt): Because Kunsel needs more fic. Originally just a fun exploration of how having Kunsel around in FFVII would be a lot like playing with an FAQ guide, but then morphed into something suspiciously like plot.
Podfic: [Dear Kunsel (mp3)] and [Dear Kunsel (m4b)]
My Notes (podfic): The entire reason I requested Lunchee read this story is due to the work which I rec next ('The Fifth Act' as read by Lunchee and written by Sinnatious). But I'll save my squee for that podfic for it's own rec and instead I shall talk about this podfic now! Lunchee has done a marvelous job reading this fic, and has integrated the occasional sound effect quite well! And I say this as someone who generally very much prefers podfic to be solely the reader's voice reading it. It's great that there's little snippets of game music included here :) One thing I noticed when listening to this whilst cooking is that the phone conversations are slightly fainter than everything else, which was a slight problem given where I'd placed the computer and the ambient noise, but one I could easily solve after washing my hands and shifting a pile of accumulated 'why is this stuff all here'. But depending on how coarse the volume gradations are on your mp3 player, you might have difficulty having the phone messages and regular narration both at a comfortable volume. Or maybe I should really stop trying to listen to things in loud environments.... But back to the podfic! Lunchee ends the pod with several minutes of 'free talk'-- time when she unrehearsedily talks about the fic, the podfic, the recording process, etc. I think free talk is a neato idea because I'm the sort of person who loves context and such. Yay, free talk! On podfic, it seems like a very natural outgrowth of the recording process, very analogous to the written-down author's notes on a written-down story.
Why it fits: It fits because it fits the definition of this rec set? Hmmm, I think I shall omit this line from the podfics which I requested.
Fic: [Dear Kunsel (lj)] // [Dear Kunsel (ff.net)]
My Notes (fic): After I finished the next fanwork, I very much had a desire for more more mooooore! And yet never having played any of the Final Fantasy games (yes, appalling, I know. But I really don't like sitting down that long to play computer games. Because if I somehow do manage to sit still that long, I become obsessed with it for a while. And thus, I rarely play computer games. But board games are fine! Because I can knit whilst playing!) and never previously having been in the fandom at all, I thought, well, let's go see what Sinnatious has to say? And ta-da, this fic! Which is really a marvelously amusing idea, and has a beautifully well-done plot that came along with.
Cover art: Lunchee made [cover art for 'Dear Kunsel'] for both the mp3 and the podbook which very nicely encapsulates the story :D (This link goes to her comm page announcing the podfic, where the cover art is displayed.)
Translations: [MikoAucarod (ff.net)] has translated this story into Spanish: [Querido Kunsel]

Story: The Fifth Act
Reader: Lunchee [livejournal.com profile] lunchy_munchy (fanworks comm: [livejournal.com profile] munchinglunch)
Author: [livejournal.com profile] sinnatious // [Sinnatious (ff.net)]
Fandom, etc.: Final Fantasy VII, gen, Teen
More etc.: 18:19:15; 1041 MB (mp3), 524 MB (m4b); 178 K words
WTF etc.: Take a moment and go back and look at the stats on the preceding line. Pretty damn impressive, yeah?
Contains: [skip] Character death, character terminal illness/mutation, torture, hunting/killing of animals, other characters contemplating another character's possible suicidal tendencies (and same character contemplating same. No suicide, though.) (End of hidden text.)
Author's Summary: FFVII Time-travel. Gen. Cloud has an accident with a Time Materia.
Podfic: [The Fifth Act (mp3)] and [The Fifth Act (m4b)]
My Notes (podfic): This is an amazingly awesome wonderful podfic! I love it soooooo much! I listened to it twice in the first three weeks after I'd downloaded it. And it was really helpful when I had to write some really annoying/boring stuff for work; I'd had trouble actually sitting down and writing it (turns out I had a bunch of other stuff--including filing!-- which I'd rather have done than that report), but when I put this on in the background, suddenly there was enough motivation to actually sit down and write up the report. (Yeah, I don't know how I managed to write whilst listening to an entirely different story, but I did and so I'm not trying to think too hard about it, lest I jinks it.) Lunchee does marvelously at integrating sounds and music into the story (the reading is always clear). Do note that there's a several-minutes-long musical selection after the end of the story and before the reading of the epilogue (which is short). The first time I listened to the story I skipped the epilogue because I thought that the music continued to the end-- but to be fair, I was rushing to get out of the door to go to work, so I wouldn't have had time to listen to the end regardless!
Why it fits: I really ought rec the fanworks which caused me to request the above podfic, I think! :)
Fic: [The Fifth Act (lj tag)] // [The Fifth Act (ff.net)] // [The Fifth Act, links to all parts (lj)]
My Notes (fic): I'm given to understand that this is a fix-it? Well, I rather like this version, so I think I'll stick with it! The story is long enough to slowly and believably develop the character arcs and to build trust between people. It's clear enough without any canon background. And have I mentioned the really great character development and characterisation? I love long, detailed stories and this satisfies!
Other work in this universe: [The Fifth Act, Yuffie Redux] is a sweet little ficlet taking place after the end of the story. [Lunchee talking about the trials and tribulations of making 'The Fifth Act' podfic.]
Translations: [MikoAucarod (ff.net)] is translating this story into Spanish, currently 24 chapters have been translated: [El Quinto Acto]

Rec/meta: Phela's rec of Lunchee's 'The Fifth Act' (DW)
yes, that's right, I'm reccing a rec! Booyah! okay fine, it's also kind of meta... *handwaves*
Author: [personal profile] aphelant // [livejournal.com profile] aphelant
Stats: 400 word count, posted on 31 Jan 2011
Work discussed: Lunchee's reading of Sinnatious's 'The Fifth Act'
My notes & Why it fits: This post was why I downloaded Lunchee's reading as quick as lightening :) If my above ramble was too rambling, maybe she'll be more persuasive. :)
Alternate links: [Phela's rec of Lunchee's 'The Fifth Act' (LJ)]

Story: For Fallen Comrades
Author: [livejournal.com profile] sinnatious // [Sinnatious (ff.net)]
Fandom, etc.: Final Fantasy VII, gen, Teen, 480 words
Contains: [skip] character death (End of hidden text.)
Author's Note: Firedraygon97 asked 'what if Cloud had been sent juuuuuuust a bit further back in time?' and this is what I wrote. I'm also fairly sure this wasn't what she had in mind. One-shot.
My Notes: Amazing what a little bit of difference in time makes, yeah? (This is an AU of 'The Fifth Act'.)
Why it fits: A nice sharp look at a different what-if.

Story: Flatmate Wanted
Reader: [personal profile] via_ostiense // [livejournal.com profile] jaebi_lit
Author: [livejournal.com profile] netgirl_y2k // [personal profile] netgirl_y2k // AOOONetgirl_y2k
Fandom, etc.: Merlin (BBC), Gwen/Morgana, Teen
More etc.: 7:23; 6.7 MB (mp3); 1044 words
Author's Summary: In which Morgana might be a surprisingly scatterbrained evil genius and Gwen just wants a normal flatmate.
First line: After Lancelot leaves the second time, Arthur suggests Gwen get a flatmate to keep her company and Merlin suggests she gets a cat. Gwen gets a Morgana, who is a human flatmate and not a cat, not that it's always easy to tell from all the time she spends sleeping on the couch and the amount of hair she sheds in the bathroom.
Podfic: [Flatmate Wanted (mp3)]
My Notes (podfic): This is a marvelously sweet reading of a sweet story that makes me smile sillily. Somehow, via-ostiense's reading style is ever so well suited to this story (yet another example of the reader choosing a story which matches well with her abilities). But even better than the first time I listened to this reading myself was the time I made one of my friends listen to it-- she knows Arthurian legends but hasn't watched Merlin (BBC) and so knows just enough to be worried that maybe Morgana is evil but she seems nice here, what will happen? And so watching her listen, especially watching her root for Gwen&Morgana, and then seeing her expression when Morgana *isn't* evil and when we do get a happy Gwen/Morgana ending, that was marvelous! Yay!
Fic: [Flatmate Wanted (AOOO)] // [Flatmate Wanted (DW)]
My Notes (fic): A sweet story that just makes me smiiiiiile. Sweeeet!

Story: How to Win a Merthur: a case study in 9 parts
Author: [livejournal.com profile] anamuan (shared writing comm: [livejournal.com profile] hizashikage)
Fandom, etc.: Merlin BBC, Gwen/Morgana (background Arthur/Merlin), PG-13, 3,144 words
First line: "You know, I didn't think you were serious about the sandwich thing." Morgana hadn't been, truly, but that doesn't stop her from helping to make the cookies. She consults the recipe again, and then dumps in the last of the dry goods. // "The Arthur has two different kinds of pickles on it," Gwen says. She takes over the cookie dough so Morgana can go dig out the rolling pin and the cookie cutters she bought Gwen special for the endeavour. [no author summary given.]
Pull quote: "We do make cookies," Gwen says, and leans over to drop a kiss on Morgana's lips, so Morgana maybe starts humming as she takes the bowl of half-mixed dough back from her girlfriend instead of arguing. "Baby duck shaped ones! And there was the time with the little fishes." [no author summary given.]
Why it fits: Adorably cute, happy-fuzzy Gwen/Morgana modern AU story.
Fic: [How to Win a Merthur (fic)]
My Notes (fic): This is a side-story/spin-off/thingy to the next fic. And it is a fuzzy blanket of sweet cute marvelously wonderfulness.

Story: Coffeeshop Muffins
Author: [livejournal.com profile] skellerbvvt // [personal profile] skellerbvvt // AOOOskellerbvvt
Fandom, etc.: Merlin BBC, rated R, 16K words
Pairings: Arthur/Merlin, Arthur/Sophia, Morgana/Gwen, Hypothetical Goldfish!Merlin/Hypothetical Goldfish!Arthur. (no infidelity.)
Contains: The author would like to let you know that this story is best characterised as being Fluff, Romance, Fluff, Romance, Fluff, Bromance, and Fluff and as containing a truly horrific amount of fluff and pickles, but thankfully no fluffy pickles.
Author's Summary: Wherein Arthur And Merlin Are Dating, Save For the Part Where They Aren't. Also There Needs To Be A Girl Version Of "Bromance" But That's a Discussion For Another Time.
Why it fits: Associated with the above fic. (Plus is rather cute in and of itself.)
Fic: [Coffeeshop Muffins (fic)]
My Notes (fic): One of those stories where Arthur and Merlin are effectively dating and haven't quite realised it (also! a choose-your-own-adventure ending! if you want them to stay with the bromance rather than going into the romance, then just don't read the second LJ post!). Is happy sweet story with all the sorts of little marvelous bits which you expect in a story by skellerbvvt (including a reasoning for why in a modern AU Merlin is still named Merlin *g*).
Related Works: According to the author's note at the completion of the fic, there is art and ficlets scattered about the comments. I have not been good about actually finding them (however, I've been excellent at intending to find them and then getting distracted and coming back and closing the tab absentmindedly. That's not terribly useful, I know.).

Story: Oil Paintings
Reader: [personal profile] such_heights // [livejournal.com profile] such_heights
Author: [livejournal.com profile] skellerbvvt // [personal profile] skellerbvvt // AOOOskellerbvvt
Fandom, etc.: Merlin BBC, Gwen/Morgana, PG-13
More etc.: 21:28; 19.7 MB (mp3); 4k words
Author's Summary: Gwen goes to anonymous cuddle parties because she is often chilled. She makes friends, art metaphors, and a special friend.
Podfic: [Oil Paintings (mp3)]
My Notes (podfic): This is one of those times where I listened to the podfic because I was the one archiving it and I'm really glad I did. It's a great reading, where the words curve around me and cuddle me warm as the story seeps into my ears.
Why it fits: A comforting Gwen/Morgana story in a modern AU
Fic: [Oil Paintings (fic)]
My Notes (fic): One of the things which always sticks out for me is Gwen's descriptions-- they suit her so well and are nicely evocative. (Also, cuddle parties are awesome!)

Story: The Care and Feeding of Tiny Humans (and slightly larger Time Lords)
Reader: [personal profile] via_ostiense // [livejournal.com profile] jaebi_lit
Author: [livejournal.com profile] netgirl_y2k // [personal profile] netgirl_y2k // AOOONetgirl_y2k
Fandom, etc.: Doctor Who, gen, G
More etc.: 8:16; 7.8 MB (mp3); 1100 words
Author's Summary: The one where the Doctor comes back for little Amelia Pond.
Podfic: [The Care and Feeding of Tiny Humans (and slightly larger Time Lords) (mp3)]
My Notes (podfic): Amelia's matter-of-fact approach is well suited to via-ostiense's reading. The scene in the ice cream parlour is far more amusing when I listen to this reading than when I read the text myself :) . (The podfic begins slightly stiltedly but the reader quickly loosens up into the story.)
Fic: [The Care and Feeding of Tiny Humans (and slightly larger Time Lords) (AOOO)] // [The Care and Feeding of Tiny Humans (and slightly larger Time Lords) (DW)]
My Notes (fic): A delightful, hysterical, perfect fic.

Story: The 'Amelia Pond Has Two Immortal Daddies' series
Reader: [personal profile] via_ostiense // [livejournal.com profile] jaebi_lit
Author: [livejournal.com profile] sahiya // AOOOsahiya
Awesomest Character Ever: Wee Amelia Pond!
Fandom, etc.: Doctor Who; G; (Eleventh) Doctor/Jack Harkness and some Amy/Rory
Word Counts: 3600 + 4900 + 2700 words
More etc.: 26:10 + 34:55 + 18:29; 24 + 31.9 + 17 MB (mp3)
Author's Summary: Of second chances, TARDIS repairs, and cupboards full of never-ending art supplies. || If you picture time like a river, then like a river, there are places where it branches off. Tributaries, they're called. And those tributaries have tributaries as well. Places where things changed. || Sometimes growing up ain't all it's cracked up to be.
Podfic: [The Rest of the Story (mp3)] || [Eddies and Streams (mp3)] || [Growing Pains (mp3)]
My Notes (podfic): The first of these which was recorded was 'Eddies and Streams' and it cemented my desire to have via-ostiense read me all of the wee Amelia Pond fics in the world. (And, yes, some of these stories feature a not-so-wee Amelia Pond, but that's irrelevant to my point.) The care and deliberation she takes in her readings fits so well in my head with Amelia exploring (and just interacting with) the world. Fah, blah, listen, 'tis lovely!
Why it fits: WEE AMELIA POND! Via-ostiense reading me wee Amelia Pond! :D Yay!
Fic: [the 'Amelia Pond Has Two Immortal Daddies' series (AOOO)]
My Notes (fic): Yay! I don't know, I guess I don't really have notes for this series? Fah, will have to give it a stab anyways: Sahiya does great at capturing moments in time and character arc evolution via snapshots. And she plays well with the timey-wimey nature of Who.
Alternate links (podfic): [the 'Amelia Pond Has Two Immortal Daddies' series at the Audiofic Archive] (Sadly, as the archive gremlins are currently being very finicky, only one podfic has this tag. The others will be added just as soon as the archive lets us.)
Alternate links (fic): At LJ: [The Rest of the Story (fic, LJ)], [Eddies and Streams (fic, LJ)], [Growing Pains (fic, LJ)]. At AOOO: [The Rest of the Story (fic, AOOO)], [Eddies and Streams (fic, AOOO)], [Growing Pains (fic, AOOO)].

Story: World Domination Is Harder Than It Looks
Reader: Lunchee [livejournal.com profile] lunchy_munchy (fanworks comm: [livejournal.com profile] munchinglunch)
Author: [livejournal.com profile] kellifer_fic
Fandom, etc.: Supernatural RPF and Invader Zim fusion, Jensen/Jared, PG
More etc.: 12:22; 6 MB (mp3), 6.7 MB (m4b); 1500 words
Author's Summary: Jensen Ackles is an alien and Jared is hell-bent on cuddling exposing him for what he is.
Podfic: [World Domination Is Harder Than It Looks (mp3)] and [World Domination Is Harder Than It Looks (m4b)]
My Notes (podfic): I love Lunchee for reading humorous stories and she reads this with her usual flair. I like to sit back and let my head animate this story in Zim style whilst listening to Lunchee's reading. Side notes: There's very slight sound effects, and a short music snippet at the beginning of the story and a longer one at the end; but the effects are always distinct from the reading. Plus, there's free talk at the end :)
Fic: [World Domination Is Harder Than It Looks (fic)]
My Notes (fic): This is an amusing fusion with the SPN RPF characters cast in the Invader Zim world. [livejournal.com profile] kellifer_fic does excellently at capturing the Invader Zim-ness and gives us an amusing, silly, froth of a story. No knowledge of SPN RPF is needed; I don't think any Zim knowledge is required (and if you haven't seen it yet, you definitely should. Go pick some episodes randomly to watch and be amused! Except not the head pigeons one, that one kind of weirds me out :/ ).
Cover art: Lunchee made [cover art for 'World Domination...'] for both the mp3 and the podbook which amuses me :D (This link goes to her comm page announcing the podfic, where the cover art is displayed.)

Vids: The Doctor is Hyper! and The Doctor is Hyper Again!
Vidder: the Hellish Gnome and templremus1990 || the Hellish Gnome
Fandoms: Doctor Who (Nine and Ten) and Invader Zim (images from Who, audio from Zim)
Stats: gen, same rating as the shows
Upload dates: 10 April 2008 || 6 July 2008
Time: 2:18 || 2:15
Format: on Youtube, no captioning and no transcript
Contains: canon-typical material for both shows
Vidder's Summary: A sequel to my "The Master is Crazy" video, but even longer and madder than before. This is the second joint video by the Hellish Gnome and templremus1990. We had so much fun making it, we hope you like it too. In case you don't recognize the sound clips they're from the character of Gir in the cult cartoon classic, "Invader Zim." || ZOMFG it's finally here! Double the madness, double the fun, double the tacos. The Gir/Doctor hybrid returns in his last ever video. Audio clips from Invader Zim. Video by the Hellish Gnome.
My Notes: Two mashups with visuals from nu Who and audio from Zim, isn't that enough to make you want to clicky clicky? Sometimes the aspect ratio is wrong (why, why why?!?!!! And why whenever that happens, do I spend time trying to force it back to 1:1 with my mind!? I do not have the 'fix the aspect ratio with my mind' superpower and then I kind of miss what's actually happening on the screen! *humpfs* But that would be such an awesome superpower, wouldn't it! *sighs in longing*). And sometimes the emotions between the visual and the audio are different, which is really confusing to me (also really annoying to me, although not occurring in either of these and thus a complete digression, is when the audio and visual are out of sync. Grah, I hate that sooo much. Dubbing I don't have much of a problem with, but out of sync dialogue and lip motions *shakes head*.) Which combines to mean I had to watch these a few times through in order to get what story there is, but that's okay because it's really amusing.
Why they fits: Irreverent Invader Zim crossovery thingies!
Other work in this universe: [The Master is Crazy] is nominally a prequel of sorts to these, but these can stand completely independently.

I'm grouping these next two auction podfics together, because they really are of a theme. Both are Gaila (of Star Trek Reboot) centric, both are recorded for me by [personal profile] via_ostiense, and both stories were previously recced on [my Gaila Character Manifesto Rec set]. Listening to these two podfics, I think I'm gaining a bit of insight into some of the aspects/themes which I was going for in those Gaila stories and specifically which bits identify with, but those thoughts are still lurking around the back of my brain, being all blurry and not-quite-distinct. Which is why I went sort of tangential when I gave related works (although, yes, obviously, the rest of the Gaila rec set is also related! But as I've already recced those, I thought I'd give some new recs as well.) And more details on that when it's time.

Story: Redemption Song
Reader: [personal profile] via_ostiense // [livejournal.com profile] jaebi_lit
Author: [livejournal.com profile] igrockspock
Fandom, etc.: Star Trek Reboot, Gaila-centric gen, teen
More etc.: 10:13; 9.4 MB (mp3); 1.5K words
Contains: [skip] rape (End of hidden text.)
Author's Summary: No one is going to rescue Gaila. Except maybe herself.
Podfic: [Redemption Song (mp3), at amplificathon at DW] or [direct link to zipped file (Redemption Song) at the audiofic archive; right click and save as]
My Notes (podfic): This podfic is great. The first time I listened to it, I was making lunch. That lasted for roughly the first two minutes of the story, and then I had to abandon my lunch prep in order to just listen to this story. By the last line (okay, not quite the last line, but the last line before the epilogue bit), I was teary-eyed. My lunch lay abandoned for another fifteen-ish minutes as I decided to go sort the laundry and regain my emotional equilibrium. (And then I had lunch and it was good, but that's not really the point of this story.) So, yeah, excellent reading. And I think I'm getting closer to being able to verbalise the bits of these Gaila-stories which resonate with me (I think it has something to do with the 'controlling/deciding one's own destiny' and maybe 'determination'? But that's a work in progress and again, something that's not really relevant to this bit.)
Why it fits: For both of these readers, I handed them a link to [livejournal.com profile] fish_recs and a list of other stories bookmarked 'to be recced' which were in their primary fandoms and said 'Pick something for me! For, lo, I am indecisive! (And also because this way the podfics are more likely to be better matched to their readers!)'. And [personal profile] via_ostiense turned around and said, 'oooh! this one! I want to do this one! :)' And inside my head I was a bit uncertain, because I didn't know exactly how well this story would translate read aloud, but then I shrugged and thought 'eh, why not? it is a story I've recced and I do like having the ability to carry stories around in my ears with me, and the entire point of giving the readers a set of things to choose from is that they're more likely to gravitate something that they're well-suited for.' And so I told her, 'Please do!' And that is possibly the very best time that I decided to go with the '*shrug* eh, why not' response because this reading is wondrously awesome marvelously brilliant and it very nearly made me cry. The moral of this story is clearly 'Fish is not a good arbiter of which stories make good read-aloud-stories.' I'm so very glad I didn't listen to that first thought of mine! :D
Fic: [Redemption Song (fic)]
My Notes (fic): I have previously recced this fic on my Gaila centric rec set. Here is what I wrote at that time: Possible Gaila backstory. Pull quote: Five years later, she is at Starfleet Academy, making good on all her promises. Every night she studies (or goes out drinking), every class she attends (or skips), every cadet she lies under (or on top of), her litany is the same: I choose. I choose.
My rec of the story: [I previously rec'ed 'Redemption Song' as part of a Gaila-centric Rec Set]

Story: You're Gonna Make it After All
Reader: [personal profile] via_ostiense // [livejournal.com profile] jaebi_lit
Author: [livejournal.com profile] igrockspock
Fandom, etc.: Star Trek Reboot, teen
Pairing: Gaila-centric gen, with appearances by Uhura, Kirk, and Spock (and lots of sex happening between lots of people, but that's totally not the point of the story, except for how it sort of is)
More etc.: 44:22; 40.6 MB (mp3); one LJ post long
Author's Summary: Two indecent exposure citations, one best friend, one amazing sex partner, one unexpected mentor, and a Starfleet-funded study of intercultural sexual norms. Sounds like a normal academic year for Gaila.
Podfic: [You're Gonna Make it After All (mp3)]
My Notes (podfic): This is a great fic to have follow 'Redemption Song' because it eases the transition between the emotional wringer that was 'Redemption Song' and the banality that is making lunch (or whatever it is that I'm doing in my regular life). Watching (listening?) to Gaila make a place for herself in the Academy is great. One interesting thing for me was that during my first listening, I found I had to only half-listen to the very first bit of the story-- which puzzled me until I realised that I was worried that the bit with Gaila being not used to Federation sexual mores would hit my embarrassment squick. Which is odd, because I'd already known what happens in the story, but I guess I wasn't sure if it would feel different when listening to it versus reading it myself. Which turned out to be unnecessary caution on my part as my embarrassment squick wasn't reached. Anyway, let's pretend that there's a legitimate segue in here. Gaila's internal voice is great-- sarcastic and caring and determined by turns. There's subtle variation in how Via-ostiense speaks the different characters, remaining true to the characters of the movie whilst making their dialogue natural to her reading.
Fic: [You're Gonna Make it After All (fic)]
My Notes (fic): I have previously recced this fic on my Gaila centric rec set. Here is what I wrote at that time: If the author's summary doesn't make you curious, I'm not sure what else I can say. This story is beautifully done. The author has great control over the different character voices and shows how four so different people can come together (not always without miscommunications and disagreements). Spock has a mentoring role to the group, which I just love. (Because you know he spent a lot of time very logically trying to figure out how to interact within a human-dominated situation.) I could quite happily have this as canon.
My rec of the story: [I previously rec'ed 'You're Gonna Make it After All' as part of my Gaila-centric Rec Set]

As I mentioned in the introduction to this section, I'm going slightly diagonally with these next associated recs. I'm picking up on the themes of Gaila making her own place and choosing her own identity and reflecting them back with this pair of stories about Ronon doing similarly on Atlantis.

Story: Three Hundred and Sixty-Four
Reader: [livejournal.com profile] constance_b
Author: [Sardonic Smiley (personal site)]
Fandom, etc.: SGA, Ronon/Rodney (with some background Teyla/Lorne), R
More etc.: 2:27:20; 134 MB (mp3), 71.6 MB (m4b); 25,580 words
Contains: I think there's nothing to mention but I might be wrong as I haven't reread the story whilst specifically checking.
Author's Summary: This is not the solution that Ronon would have chosen for dealing with the IOA.
Podfic: [Three Hundred and Sixty-Four (mp3)] and [Three Hundred and Sixty-Four (m4b)]
My Notes (podfic): I think ConstanceB's approach to this story is great-- her Ronon is calm and contemplative and willing to roll with it, which is all in the text but I think is accentuated by her reading. The reading is clear and there is nearly no background noise. The podfic is somewhat on the soft side, but with my volume most of the way up I can hear it fine.
Why it fits: In this story, Ronon marries Rodney because the IOA is being a bunch of dicks and it's the easiest way to keep Ronon on Atlantis. The story opens with that and throughout the rest of the story, Ronon has to figure out what that means to him. There are stories where it's John instead of Rodney in this situation, and contrasting the two I find that this Ronon does so much more of the actual thinking and processing and deciding and acting upon those decisions than John ever would. It's rather refreshing, actually, seeing a character able to slowly work through from 'arranged marriage with a respected friend' to 'hey I'm kind of happily in love with this respected friend of mine to whom I'm already married' without much in the way of internal angst. And I'm not trying to imply that Ronon is in love with Rodney when the story starts, but that it develops as the story unfolds. Which is a trope I love, that of find love after there's a nominal relationship already in place, but that's neither here nor there for the fitting of this story in this rec set. I feel like I'm talking around my thesis point without having actually stated it (I, unlike this Ronon, am not good at figuring out my feeeeeeelings!), but I'll give it one more last try. This is an introspective story of Ronon figuring out who he is (inasmuch as it's modified by the situation) and what he wants in the context of being married to Rodney. And not just 'figuring out' but 'choosing to be'.
Fic: [Three Hundred and Sixty-Four (fic)]
My Notes (fic): I have a bit of a weakness for pairing up Ronon and Rodney; it's certainly a minor pairing in the fandom but I find that the two of them can fit quite well together and I think SardonicSmiley has done well at showing how that might work. This story is long enough that the story unfolds naturally and smoothly. Listening to this story, I can never decide if Rodney liiiiked Ronon prior to the whole arranged marriage or if his feelings developed along the way, as Ronon's did (but either way makes for a good story so it's not like I mind my internal debate).

Story: My Home and Native Land
Reader: [livejournal.com profile] julii_wolfe
Author: [personal profile] sam_storyteller // [livejournal.com profile] sam_storyteller
Author's other journals: Personal journal: [personal profile] copperbadge // [livejournal.com profile] copperbadge. Original fic journal: [livejournal.com profile] theoriginalsam
Fandom, etc.: SGA; Ronon-centric gen; teen
Podfic specific etc.: 1:38:47; 90.4 MB (mp3), 41.9 MB (m4b)
Text length: four chapters of story and one of story notes (story notes are included in the podfic, yay!)
Contains: I think there's nothing to mention but I might be wrong as I haven't reread the story whilst specifically checking.
Author's Summary: Ronon's friendship with Chuck, the head Gate Tech of the Atlantis mission, leads him to discover the strange and alien ways of Canadians and helps him lay his past to rest.
Podfic: [My Home and Native Land (mp3)] and [My Home and Native Land (m4b)]
My Notes (podfic): One of those stories I've listened to so many times I don't actually have anything to say about it :/ But here's me trying anyways: Julii-wolfe's Ronon voice here is slightly different from ConstanceB's voice in the above fic, which is interesting, because both of them are very well suited to their own stories. Props to Julii-wolfe for properly enunciating the line 'stand on guard' (the difficulty comes when people don't say the 'r' in 'guard' and then you end up with an entirely different visual). Minor occasional background noise, but the reading is very clear.
Why it fits: Ronon settling into Atlantis and adopting Canadian citizenship. (Finding one's place and choosing one's identity).
Fic: [My Home and Native Land, Ch 1 (fic)] // ['My Home and Native Land' tag]
My Notes (fic): Because Chuck the gate tech always needs more love. And poutine is always funny (as is chocolate cake). And all of the bits with the blasters. OH!!!! And the time when Lorne says, 'They want to speak with McKay'!!!!!!

Poem: The Cremation of Sam McGee
Author: Robert Service [Robert Service (wikipedia)]
Fandom: the Yukon
Contains: 15 verses, character death, being really really cold, gen, rated for children (when recited when sitting around a fire), and that one trixsy verse. First published in 1907, the poem has continued to be awesome ever since.
First verse:
There are strange things done in the midnight sun
by the men who moil for gold;
The Arctic trails have their secret tales
that would make your blood run cold;
The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,
but the queerest they ever did see
Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
I cremated Sam McGee.
Why it fits: It's mentioned in the above fic, and if you don't know it, that needs to be remedied. :)
My Notes: I have long loved this poem, it's one of those things which I learnt at probably too young of an age whilst walking/hiking/camping with my parents. My father taught me bits and pieces of it around campfires but I wasn't spot-on until grade 7 (ish?) when I memorized it for a poetry recitation module (or something) in school. Which meant that for the next few years I was better than my father and able to recite nearly the whole thing without pause but then after that we were back to the usual system of 'recite part of it and then debate what comes next.' I love the rhythm of the language that comes so naturally when reciting this poem and the imagery is fabulous. (I love the rhythm of English and this poem does a great job at showing that.)
Text: [Text of 'The Cremation of Sam McGee' (poem of the week)] // [The Cremation of Sam McGee (wikipedia)]

As usual, if I've got inaccuracies, broken links, or missing info (especially podfics, DVD commentaries, and sequels/prequels), please let me know.
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