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Why I Worship at the Feet of Nindulgence and You Should Too

[ profile] nindulgence has a true gift for prose, her every sentence is diamond-sharp, her every word carefully chosen. She doesn't write many long stories. She doesn't need to. With never a word wasted she can convey as much in 500 words as another author might in 5000. There's a wonderful variety to Nin's stories. But from the lightest humor to the darkest angst everything she writes reads as real and honest and true. And that, I think, is the highest praise I can offer any writer.

I have the great fortune to share my two biggest fandoms with Nin. She's written a remarkable range of Horatio Hornblower fic, all of which I recommend heartily, and recently she has begun to write Stargate: Atlantis fic, filling my life with great, great glee.

All of Nin's fic can be found in her memories here organized by fandom and type. Go, explore, read. NinFic really does make the world a better place. And if you want a place to start, here are some of my absolute favorites:

Horatio Hornblower

From the Notebook of Myrtle Beddington: - The shared universe of Fictional Scholarship is one of the cornerstones of Hornblower fandom. Here, Nin weighs in with one of the "lost erotic poems" of Archie Kennedy, and accompanying scholarly commentary. Taken together, they are a perfect example of Nin's two greatest strengths: her stunning turns of phrase and her sparkling wit.

The Mer-King - Another piece of poetry, the laudanum-induced scribblings of the unfortunate Midshipman Wellard. Not only is it a gorgeous poem, it's a gorgeously in-character poem, a perfect-mix of hallucinatory imagery and fumbling adolescent angst.

An Unexceptionable Acquaintance - In a trebble written for the [ profile] hh100 Pastiche challenge, Nin channels Georgette Heyer and introduces the most formidable personage of Edrington's mama. And she is perfect. Scrupulously correct in manner and tone, she's the very picture of the upstanding regency matron and she could have walked off the page of one of Ms Heyer's finest.

His - I don't normally rec drabbles, because there's just not enough to say. But for Nin I make an exception. This is just so right. And so painful. It's Archie and Simpson in a nutshell. So perfect that I swear this happened just off screen on the Justinian in The Even Chance/The Duel.

Red Tide - Matthews and Styles perspective of the dark days aboard the Renown. An uncannily effective use of biblical symbolism.

Dribble - Edrington. Butter. And the best opening line ever. A true drabble.

Taken Aback - A small act of kindness aboard the Justinian. Nin illuminates both the desperate atmosphere of fear that pervades the ship and the way that fear magnifies the significance of even the simplest, most human gestures.

Afraid To Call It Love - Three sailors, a beach and... that would be telling *g*. Seriously, this story is a best if you know as little as possible about it going in. A short, sweet, post-Kingston LKU full of witty banter, keen character insights and the cleverly nuanced writing Nin does so well. An absolute must-read.

Ellipsis - Horatio finds Archie's diary. There is just so much between the lines in this story. The little hints of Archie's past. All the things the diary doesn't say that come through loud and clear anyway. And woven through it all, a thread of mutual longing and regret that just breaks my heart.

At Dawn - An early morning duel and a wonderful bit of insight into Edrington. The last line absolutely makes this story.

Misgiving - And here Nin breaks my heart into itty bitty pieces. And then stomps on it. And, god love her, I just want to go back for more. This is Archie's death, and his last scrawled letter to Horatio, as seen and read by William. And it will break your heart. And yet you will love her for it.

Anniversary - A different kind of post-Kennedy fic, It's seemingly a normal day on the Hotspur, except somehow it's not. The Captain's twitchy and foul-tempered, the First Lieutenant's keeping his distance, the crew members who've known the Captain longest are exchanging knowing looks and Midshipman Orrock wants desperately to know why. It's a clever perspective that makes a simple story something much more.

Hellespont - Here, she turns her eye on Archie Kennedy and the Earl of Edrington. A perfect snapshot in time, Hellespont offers a glimpse into Archie and Edrington's relationship; everything they have and a few things that never will be. A gorgeous story that will simply take your breath away.

Baser Impulses - Nin neatly turns fanon convention on its head and turns it into this perfect little gem of a story. Archie Kennedy is only human. And when he gives in to his baser impulses he finds that the seemingly-perfect Horatio Hornblower is only human as well. Nin does some clever playing with roles here contrasting Archie's casually impetuousness with Horatio's rarer -- and much more dangerous -- risktaking.

Honing - A terrific bit of backstory for the unusally charged relationship between Captains Pellew and Foster in The Fire Ships. I really believe in these younger versions of the characters.

Namesake - Edrington is a fascinating character, and the dearth of canon information about him gives fic writers a wonderful freedom to extrapolate his past and his future . Here, Nin gives us the young not-yet-Earl of Edrington and a friend, waking up of a Sunday morning. Light and happy, like a single brilliant ray of sunlight, this story just glows. A delightfully subtle crossover with Pirates of the Caribbean that does credit to both fandoms.

Stargate: Atlantis

Wormhole X-Treme! II - An absolutely hysterical piece of multimedia fic created for the [ profile] sga_flashfic Documentation challenge. Introducing "Wormhole X-treme II: Space Vampires from Beyond the Galaxy!". From the hilariously perfect casting to the caustic user comments to the absolutely priceless trivia, Nin's spoof IMDB page is a true work of art.

Hands-On Science - This wonderful gem of a story was written for the [ profile] sga_flashfic school challenge. Years before Atlantis, John and Rodney meet up during concurrent field trips to the Ontario Science Centre. The Rodney McKay tour of the museum is a treat -- for John and for Nin's readers -- and the glimpse of John and Rodney's high school selves, is fascinating and revelatory. Nin's prose just sparkles, it's tight and witty and deliciously in-character. I can really believe that these two grew up into the John and Rodney we know and love.

This Isn't Happening, You Say? - Wraith poetry. No, really. Creepy and effective.

Stargate SG1

Ritual - A humorous send-up of the classic "Aliens Made Them Do It" story, as told from the perspective of one of the aliens in question. The scenario is cracktastically fabulous, but what makes the story truly great is the wonderful outsider perspective of the SG1 team (handily identified by our pov character as Grumpy, Curious, Calm and Thoughtful) and their unique form of interpersonal communication.

Harry Potter

Run to Earth - A sonnet. Nin manages to capture everything I love about Remus and Sirius in 14 short lines. Shivery and intense and just gorgeous.
recsforalloccasions: Black and white cat making Paul Gross Arms \o/ (Default)
I think it's pretty clear that I've fallen rather hard for SGA fandom lately. One of the things I love about the fandom is the sheer breadth of stories to be told. The more cracked out the concept, the more it seems to be perfect for an SGA fic. Nowhere is this more obvious then in the profusion of fabulous AUs and Crossovers the fandom has generated.

So, I decided to do a recs set of all SGA AUs and Crossovers

Clarke's Law by [profile] isiscolo - Stargate Atlantis/Harry Potter - Yes, you read that right, an SGA/HP crossover. And it's gen too, and you know what? It's Perfect. Isis takes Clarke's Law (Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic) and takes it to it's most logical extreme, and creates a near-seamless melding of the two universes. The characters from both universes are strongly drawn and the plot is complex and fast-moving and frighteningly plausible.

Arizona by [ profile] seperis - Stargate Atlantis is a fabulous fandom for AUs, often the more outlandish the concept, the better. Dr. Rodney McKay, genius astrophysicist on the run from the US government after rather forcefully cutting his ties with them, wakes up in his seedy hotel room to find an assassin standing at the foot of his bed. A rather rumpled looking assassin, with a lazy grin and a marked disinclination to shoot him. And that's when things get interesting. Seperis does a nice job of gradually revealing John and Rodney's backstory as well as of dropping in brief appearances and references to other familiar characters for a great mix of fast-paced action and steamy smut. The sequel, Puerto Vallarta is also fabulous. There is also now a third installment, Mexico City that, unlike the previous two stories which stand well alone, ends on a spectacular cliffhanger. It's just as excellent as its predecessors though and will have you, like me, desperately waiting for the next installment.

Where Did All the Physics Go? by [ profile] amireal - Stargate Atlantis/Star Trek - A good author can make even the most unlikely crossover work, the trick is in taking both canons seriously while also recognizing the inherent unlikelyhood of the scenario. [ profile] amireal does so fabulously in this spectacular crossover of SGA Star Trek TOS So, John and Rodney wind up someplace they really never expected to be... and once they've stopped falling over laughing in hysterical shock, they discover that they have more in common with their childhood heroes then they ever expected. The interactions here really make the story, especially the conversation McKay has about the downside of being friends with heroes. Amireal combines a character-based crossover that's true to both series, with a lovely and believable first time McKay/Sheppard story, weaving the separate strands of the story together into a charming and delightful whole.

Animal Husbandry by [ profile] casspeach - This story won me over in the first paragraph with the horse named Puddle Jumper and it only got better. Written for the [ profile] sga_flashfic Harlequin challenge, but anything but short, John is a ranch hand/rodeo rider and Rodney is the new vet in town, taking over half of Zelenka's practice. The result is the best kind of love story, full of very real characters, who are very good at getting in the way of their own happy ending. Casspeach provides a fabulous supporting cast, particularly Lorne and Cadman as John's best friends and Elizabeth as his boss.

Temporary Engagement by [ profile] kylielee1000 - Probably my favorite of all the stories to come out of the Harlequin challenge. Elizabeth Weir, the CEO of Atlantis Industries, needs a fiance, to facilitate a business deal. Enter, her mousy secretary, Radek Zelenka. But Radek, like all mousy secretaries, is more than he seems and has been nursing a hopeless crush on his boss for years. It's a classic romance plot, gleefully gender-bent and skillfully told, utilizing a wide ranging cast of Atlantis regulars and guests. I never get tired of reading this fic.

Prince Charming by [ profile] coreopsis - In which John buys Rodney at a bachelor auction. Really, do I need to say more?? By turns sweet, funny, and scorchingly hot, this is just a lovely little romantic what if. One of those stories that never fails to make me happy.

No Refunds or Exchanges by [ profile] astolat - In an Atlantis like but completely unlike the one we know, busy physicist Rodney McKay sends away for a mail-order bride so he'll have someone to clean his house and cook his meals and generally do all the stuff he has no time for. What he gets is John Sheppard. Soon Rodney finds that the last thing he thought he wanted is the very thing he needs the most. Shalott embraces the tropes of the romance genre and gleefully twists them into a tender, sexy and true-to-character romance.

Counterpoint by [ profile] nestra - Pianist/composer Rodney McKay needs an assistant while he works on his latest Concerto. Ex-con John Sheppard is looking for a fresh start in life when he answers Rodney's ad. Everything about this story makes me happy, John's doubts, Rodney's abrasive confidence, the way music is woven through their relationship and the story. Just a sweet, lovely story.

a blue true dream of sky by [ profile] isilya - John, Rodney and cattle droving in a vaguely Australian backcountry. The cattle are John's, being driven to market by he and his hands. Rodney is an agrictultural scientist, trying to discover the cause of the deadly wraith fungus, that is devestating the land. This story is almost indescribable. In a series of scenes, not all laid out in order, Isilya creates a vibrant and very real world and a complex web of relationships that are both different from and true to the relationships on the show. This is another of those stories I just keep coming back to.


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