Here be gen, one of my favourite genres.
Gorgeous post-Journey's End fic: lets Donna still live and be herself, without going AU at all. The characterizations are all flawless, and the style is light and thoughtful at the same time, slipping through time and making a life anew (with a little help along the way). It's heartwarming without being the least bit sappy and it's very, very good.
Unbelievably gorgeous Turn Left fic: this fills in the little missing bits perfectly. It's Rose and her armour and her hope and her life; hopping universes, finding Donna, and some heart-breaking, absolutely wonderfully written realizations. It's got a touch of humour, and is full of devotion and dedication. Both women come off so beautifully here: this is a small revelation of a story.
This is just the most darling and wonderful piece of work; each character is drawn so perfectly it blew me away, and their interactions are absolutely adorable. From Seven's cheating to Hex passing on secrets, tied up with Ace making a choice that makes the already fabulous story even better, this is packed full of aliens, adventures, friendship, and just that right hint that we're being told a bigger story, and that the characters are, as the story says, finding their own directions.
Adorable, clever, and lovingly in character for everyone involved. There are fluffy aliens and food fights, and for something so light and fresh, it really comes together beautifully at the end. I actually giggled out loud as I read it, and I guarantee it'll leave a smile on your face at the end. A perfect slice of Three-era goodness.
The Boy Who Killed Time (The Last Love Song Remix) by rosa_acicularis. (Tenth Doctor, Martha, Jamie, Susan, Leela, Eighth Doctor, Rose, Romana, other cameos, PG, 8,840 words)
Written for this year's Remix fest (Remix Redux 6), this story takes the excellent original, The Boy Who Killed Time by netgirl_y2k and pulls out the original idea and, by changing the point of view character, creates a brand new piece of art. There are consequences to playing with time, the Doctor learns, and as reality fades, the ghosts come out of the woodwork. This story alternates deftly between lightness and a deep chilling fear, and uses the whole DW canon to create a piece of poetry; the writing is intensely good, the characterization superb, and the emotional impact is gut-wrenching but entirely truthful. The scene with Leela and the Eighth Doctor on Gallifrey is my particular favourite, with its bang-on observations, but this is really a story to be enjoyed as a whole, as it slots together with grim determinism, a love song indeed – to the entire concept of the show. An astonishingly good piece of work.
This is impossibly adorable. Harry takes Sarah out for a fancy seafood dinner, and orders...the clams, of course! The whole feel of the story is light and fresh, with crackling dialogue and some absolutely perfect lines, such as "All right, you little devils," he addressed the butter-drenched gastropods, "take a good look at me." Sarah and Harry's relationship is pitched just right as well, very sharp and yet sweet and teasing, and it's just such a joy to see them out together, and Harry earn his victory as best he knows how.
This is just lovely; it's Jackie, eight months after Rose has gone missing, out one rainy night posting flyers across the city, like she does every two weeks. This particular night, she meets someone who's willing to lend a hand and an ear – someone who also misses Rose. This story gives us a Jackie who's very real; she's hurt, she's lonely, she misses her daughter but without ever idealizing Rose, or forgetting their sometimes complicated relationship – and without ever sliding into unnecessary emotionalism. It's lovely to see Jackie treated so well in fic, not dropping any consonants yet with the truest Jackie-voice I've read, and her relationship with Jack is mature and gives them both a few moments of true comfort. This is very good work.
We've Seen It in the Movies (Now Let's See If It's True) by Doyle. (Sarah Jane Adventures-verse, Clyde Langer, Luke Smith, PG, ~1,700 words).
I adore these characters, and Doyle, as always, makes them come to life effortlessly and perfectly true to what we see on the screen. Clyde and Luke are seventeen, and on a road trip to Wales to investigate aliens, eight weeks before they head off to university – their last summer – while Maria and Sarah Jane do their own investigating in France. Through Luke trying to figure out advertising, Clyde's project to figure out Luke's sexuality (there's a touch of pre-slash to the story), the history of twentieth-century music, Clyde's one-and-a-half girls he's had sex with, faked valentines, and even the Torchwood jeep, this story is both touching and absolutely hysterical, and just sparkles off the screen. It's an absolute gem.
Absolutely adorable audio!fic; this is set just after Live 34, but it stands alone very well, in case you haven't heard it. Ace and Hex are both perfectly in character, with wonderfully crackling dialogue. Hex nurses Ace, and for better or worse she lets him; the story has just a hint of shippiness lurking underneath, but really is about friendship and love, in all its forms. With some great lines, such as Ace snarking about Hex's propensity to take pulses with "Are you sure it's not just because you always had a secret desire to prop young women up with pillows and feel up their wrists?", discussions about responsibility, getting to see Hex perform and be utterly excellent at his job, and Ace's repeated desire to throw an alarm clock at Hex's head, the characters are lovingly rendered and this is just a complete joy to read.
A stunning little piece that does an excellent job of giving Susan a voice, something that's so rarely seen in fic. In very few words it manages to beautifully deal with the canon surrounding Susan's departure, and also give us an interesting examination of regeneration and the nature of memory and time. Ian and Barbara get some extremely well characterized mentions, and even David comes across very true to form. This is a lovely story.
A hilarious and perfectly plotted piece, wherein Rose and Ace find themselves teaming up to rescue their respective Doctors with only some nitro-9, gymnastics skills, and their own cleverness to help them (oh, and some enormous false moustaches). This story manages to pack in a fascinating original world, politics, feminism, wobbly time bits, a very neat plot, and a fabulous friendship (with a little more, at the end). Rose and Ace make a fantastic team, and this story is non-stop fascinating and hilarious, from start to finish.
Right before the end of the Year That Never Was, Martha finds unexpected hope and kindess in a visit from the Second Doctor, who doesn't know her, but is willing to learn. The writing is beautiful, drawing out all sorts of observations on Martha's journey and experiences, and the plot structure is tremendous, twisting in on itself and coming out the other side making perfect, and very clever, sense. The Doctor and Martha are very well characterized, with a hint of something more, underneath, if you choose to read it that way. This is a phenomenal piece, affecting, thought-provoking, and also just terribly sweet and lovely.
A stunning piece, this truly gets at the heart of the alienness of Doctor Who. It's Martha and her adventures, with world-building and hope and fear and loss, and the Doctor, quietly, surely, going mad, and everyone hanging on to the pieces. The quality of this, the light and the dark and the madness seeping through, and Martha's humanity, curiosity, her dreams and her realities are perfectly expressed. This is an amazing character study for both of them, and with interestingly-structured prose, careful and vivid writing, and insightful commentary on the life of a time traveller, this story really stands out.
Rose is in the Time Vortex, and Romana greets her on the other side; this story does a beautiful job with both women, treating them well and gently poking fun at idiosyncrasies at the same time, and managing to be utterly twisty and complicated while still finishing up just right at the end, tying back on itself. The writing is clever and funny and precise, there's a slight bit of a gentle, effective relationship between the two Dalek-fighters, and it leaves you feeling like so much happened in such a very small span of words.
For last year's Rose gen ficathon, I prompted Ref for a story with other universes bleeding over into the altverse Rose ends up living in; the result was this dazzling little piece, full of metahumans and storytelling and the actual Man of Steel himself. It manages to twist reality and still give Rose a good, happy ending in the altverse, with hope and friends and a sense of truly living her life, wherever it takes her. Some deep thinking on the nature of history and the ways the universe doesn't always get it right is the icing on the cake; this is just lovely, and very satisfying.
Bambera fic! One of my favourite minor characters – the fact she’s a Brigadier in UNIT and very kickass probably helps – she gets a great ‘five things’ treatment here. Each of the possibilities presented – from scarily 1950s-style domestic motherhood, to space captain, to investigative journalist partner to Sarah Jane, to TARDIS traveller – all have a grain of truth, and while some, such as the first one, are not a fate I would wish on Bambera in a million years, it’s still very well done, and you can see how if she were in that role, she would conform to it as thoroughly and positively as she could. On the whole, this is a clever and thoughtful fic.
Illumination by Sarah. (Tenth Doctor, Mickey, PG, ~2800 words)
Sometime in the future, after Martha leaves him, Ten returns to the altverse where he meets Mickey again, now old, and alone. The voices in this story are all beautifully done, and it’s tied together wonderfully. The Doctor reflects and learns about time, and getting to say goodbye, and the meaning of endings - Everything will be alright in the end, if it's not alright, it's not the end, the Doctor says – and while there’s no happy ending, the truth the story presents is absolutely right for this verse, and perfectly written. This is smart and careful and touching, and lovely.
One of the first DW fics I read, and still one of my favourites, Kate gets at what could have happened between the Doctor’s two offers to Rose in fabulous fashion. Bringing in all sorts of canon elements – the Face of Boe, Rose’s red bicycle, the banana groves of Villengard – and other possibilities as well, this story has an excellent tone and voice, and is amusing and moving in equal measures. This is a joy to read.
This story hits every single happy fannish button I have. We get a clever, thoughtful, and oh-so-him Mickey, a Ten who has the best of intentions and a predilection for DIY, fabulous banter, and just perfect references to the Doctor's past ("Barbara Chesterton" are words I always love to hear). Spending some time together after Christmas, we get insight into Mickey's situation (for instance: what if he'd just made up the Doctor while Rose was missing?), hilarious dialogue ("No, useless, I spend all day at work sitting behind the steering wheel making 'vroom, vroom' noises"), and a Doctor that does what he can, in essence, to live a life that's not linear; and a Mickey who realizes there's so much more to it than that, but extends his friendship anyway, proving his worth a million times over.
A very funny little story, light and full of witty banter. Jack meets Leela and is almost introduced to his kidneys, Nine and Rose argue in circles about wandering off and Dangermouse, and the Fourth Doctor eats a lot of jelly babies. Everyone's a rather amped-up version of their canon self, but in fun and realistic ways, and the end result is the sort of story that leaves you smiling for a long time afterwards.
Fabulous beyond words, this is an extremely well written and clever take on Shakespeare with a DW twist. The style is exactly that of Shakespeare, perfectly emulating his writing, but with additions such as cues like Enter TARDIS and Ten telling Hamlet that his uncle had for some time past / been having it off with your mum. Very sharp, very funny, a little bit raunchy and freewheeling, and full of azure cabinets: this is a delight.
The premise of this alone is fantastic – Romana is the last Time Lord, and she's travelling around in the Doctor's TARDIS with Mickey and K-9 as her companions – but the writing and execution also more than live up to this terrific idea. The tone is generally melancholy, quiet, Romana struggling through what she's done, and how to face forward to the future, but there are also flashes of more, of life and adventure, like a hand-holding, hasty retreat from natives with spears, and while there is pain here, it's never cheap, easy angst.
A gorgeous little story that explores what our favourite UNIT characters might have been doing during The Christmas Invasion. Each is perfectly true to character: Liz is drafted to help, briskly professional as always; Jo clings to her unwavering belief in the Doctor; the Brigadier is serious and dedicated; Harry is stoic and sensible as always; and the last bit with Benton and Yates, Benton standing on a rooftop in Bristol, the horror of the situation made real, that bit just about made me cry. Lovely work.
And another take on new skool via old skool UNIT characters; this one follows the Brigadier, dear old Brigadier who never gives up, never stops wanting to help (and be a part of things, something he finds shameful but is so terribly human), and the major events of World War Three, The Christmas Invasion, and Army of Ghosts/Doomsday. It's plotty and slips perfectly into the canon (I'd like to believe this happened!) and has great cameos from Doris and in particular Benton, who is written exactly right ("I've heard you say it yourself often enough, and, if I may say so, it would be a crushing disillusionment if I had to start doubting your word now" he says about the Brig, which is so perfect). A sensational story, and the last line is a killer.
This is a sweet, soft, and happy little take on post-Doomsday life for Rose. There's a lovely quality of easy companionship between her and Mickey and Jake, with a fun, bantering relationship played out in games and giving directions to tourist aliens and just becoming part of each other's lives, and enjoying life. It's so positive without ever trying too hard – it retains a slightly bittersweet realist edge, as life does, generally – and overall is a great read.
It's hard not to just gush about how cute this one is, but despite being cuter than anything, there's a lot more to it as well. Two, Jamie, and Zoe visit the beach, and each is drawn absolutely perfectly, with a knowing, tongue-in-cheek meta side that adds to the hilarity. The relationship is so wonderful – they're my nonsexual OT3 – the dialogue is spot-on, and throughout the Doctor frets about the Time Lords, the end of his adventure in that body coming soon, and there's a bittersweet tinge to the whole affair; the last line about broke my heart but I still had a huge smile on my face. This is a gem.
A beautiful little story set during Castrovalva, where Tegan and Nyssa bond over shared horrors perpetuated by the Master, their stories woven together with fairytales and histories. The use of language is fanciful and playful, there's interesting use of repetition of theme throughout, and both girls come off very true to character. It's light and dark in alternating moments, and altogether a unique and clever character study for two women who deserve this sort of fic treatment.
A wee ficlet that nonetheless is packed with ideas and layers, and gets at Rose in a way you rarely see in fic. Beautifully structured – I adore writing that takes chances, assumes the reader can make connections and figure out meanings – it even makes the second person POV work. This shows us a Rose who is changing, who has experienced and learned and lived and lost, and how it affects her relationship with the Doctor and her own understanding of herself. There's something else about you now, the story reflects, and that sums things up perfectly.
The Christmas Invasion ended on Christmas, but New Earth took place in the spring. This story bridges the gap, and does so absolutely perfectly, with the voice and feel of the DW universe down cold. The Doctor is insistently himself, staring down graffiti and making excuses and drinking tea with Jackie and trying to let Rose see that it's still him, and that it's so much more than that. The supporting cast are also very well written, and there's such a wealth of details, time shifts and reflection and that slightly off-kilter sense the Doctor cultivates; the end result is enormously satisfying.
A fascinating examination of the Third Doctor's life, looking past the James Bond surface to probe the effect of his traumatic exile, framed around a recurring theme of his clothes. This Doctor's mind and ship are broken, and he doesn't know who he is; he surrounds himself with people (including a brief section of Doctor/Brigadier slash) and objects that he can claim as a personality, in lieu of anything else. Really gets at this era in a way that I haven't seen before, and does so with style and grace.
This might be contradicted by current canon but remains a terrific read, and very unique. Faced with a situation not properly covered by his Time Agent manual, Jack takes any means necessary to get himself off the Game Station, and most importantly, back to the Doctor and Rose. The story has a clever and entirely original premise, with Jack using the world's cowed resistance and desire for spoon-fed entertainment rather than independent thought to build himself into something that no one could miss. We get a fabulous, dark, and entirely plausible Jack, an ending with an ambiguous edge, and something very different and very good.
A perfect little gem of a story. The Doctor has never been the typical Gallifreyan, and this gets at that exactly, and then applies those lessons to the rest of his life. He falls down, he bumbles, he takes chances; he takes on responsibility and he sees futures that he can't change. There's so much wrapped up in the few words, and it's funny and dark and sad all at the same time.
A gorgeous fic that gives a voice and a story to Jabe, a fabulous minor character from The End of the World, and also deftly interprets the legend of the Time Lords. Jabe longs for home, a word she only knows in the abstract; in meeting the Doctor she makes sense of her own history, and of the myths and beliefs that surround her life. The writing is beautifully lush and yet economical, without a wasted word, and it's perfectly woven together.
A spot-on Jack fic, giving him a backstory and motivations that are both interestingly unique and fit seamlessly into our knowledge of the character so far. This also plays out as an excellent Nine, Rose, and Jack fic, exploring their friendships and lives onboard the TARDIS with a truthfulness and subtlety that is sometimes lacking in such stories. The writing is excellent, with vivid, lush descriptions of people and places that make the story come alive; it's also sad, and hard, and not at all shy about being real. A true gem.
An absolutely lovely story about Rose post-Doomsday, and the new universe she's living in. With a great structure around ecosystems - or habitats - we get a Rose who is studying for an A-level, has made friends with the alt!Sarah Jane, investigates alien toasters that might be weapons with Mickey and Jake, and generally is living her life, the way the Doctor would want her to. There's some very funny bits, some very thoughtful and touching bits, some melancholy (because this Rose is real, with all the human emotions that go with that), and a strong, hopeful ending. I just love Rose in this, and it's the Rose I was longing to see, after the end of Season Two.
A long, plotty genfic with the Ninth Doctor, this reads like an episode of the series in all the right ways. Rose and the Doctor arrive in San Francisco in May 1960, at the height of the Cold War, and get tangled up with the House Un-American Activities Committee, atom bomb threats, conspiracies, and good old-fashioned human drama - families, friends, the good and the bad mixed up perfectly. The historical details are well-researched, the OCs are all well-drawn and feel like the regular sorts of new characters you meet in an episode, and the Doctor and Rose both get to play strong roles and have lots of plot. Really satisfying.
There's not nearly enough UNIT fic to satisfy me, but this lovely piece does a great job of filling in some of the gaps. Learning to live without the Doctor is something particularly relevant given how the new series has portrayed departures, and here we get at that carefully and gently, through an investigation of a haunted house and an examination of what it's like to be the ones left behind, doing the paperwork, picking up the pieces, and waiting and wondering. All the voices are dead-on, especially the Brigadier's, and it's subtle and touching and funny, without ever being sentimental or cloying.
Zoe is one of my favourite characters, and while there's quite a bit of post-War Games Jamie fic, Zoe's life upon being memory-wiped by the Time Lords is rarely examined. This makes up the gap gorgeously, being extremely sharp and feeling just right in terms of canon compliance and characterization for everyone involved. It's beautiful and hard and rough and sad, and not just for Zoe, but for the Tenth Doctor, who shows up but can't save the day, because it doesn't work that way, anymore. This fic was a punch in the gut, and at the same time works to remind me why I love fanfic so much, sometimes.
Yes, Doctor Who zombie fic. And it's both brilliantly cracktastic and has a plausible set-up! An AU after Parting of the Ways, imagine that the Doctor didn't die...literally. We end up with a Doctor who tries to commit suicide, develops an unnatural craving for brains, and has a zombie twist at the end that had me falling over with glee. Really smartly written and characterized as well, this fic is a perfect little gem of cleverness, crack, and zombies in the DW universe. I don't think you can ask for anything more.