eruthros: Delenn building the crystal machine in season 1  of B5, captioned "foreshadowing" (B5 - Delenn incredible foreshadowing)
[personal profile] eruthros
Recently I've been rewatching Star Trek: Voyager, and reading a lot in the Vorkosigan-verse, and the combination of those two things means that I've seen a lot of recs for two particular stories. And it made me think about the stories that get widely recced or read outside of the fandoms for those sources - the stories that many, many people have read with minimal canon knowledge, or without having read any other stories in the fandom, or without caring about the characters, or whatever.

To explain what I mean more clearly, here are some of mine:

1) Vorkosigan-verse, A Deeper Season by [personal profile] lightgetsin and [personal profile] sahiya

When I first read A Deeper Season, I'd read the Vorkosigan books but had absolutely no fandom knowledge - I didn't know where communities or archives or stories were - but basically the instant I told people I'd been reading the books, I got this rec. And I'm pretty sure that many of the people reccing it had only read this one story in the fandom, too, because I would usually get people who said "I don't read in the fandom, but ..." and "I don't even know the canon, but ..."

It is, in fact, an awesome story, and I love it to pieces. But the point here is not really about the story per se, it's about that kind of shared fannish experience without even being in the fandom. I suspect that it's still (one of) the stories people read despite not being in the fandom, because I occasionally see people on my rlist who say "I just read some Vorkosigan, where's the fic?" and there, in the first couple of comments, is "I don't read in the fandom, but A Deeper Season!" (Unless the post is about Ivan, in which case the recs are from a different fandom than the one I usually read in.)

2) Star Trek: Voyager, Talking Stick/Circle series by Macedon and Peg.

I watched the early seasons of Voyager sort of casually, and without much interest in fic, so IIRC I hadn't read much of anything before this story. Like most of the other things on this list, it was recced by someone; in this case, when I was complaining about the way that the Maquis-Starfleet tensions rarely came up on the show, and the way some of the Chakotay episodes made me flinch, somebody ([personal profile] sineala?) said "you know, someone has fixed that," and recced this series. And then I read it, and it was indeed great, and influential, in the sense that I often forget that Macedon's Chakotay backstory is not canon Chakotay's backstory, and then I started doing the same thing: people would say "I've never read any Voyager fic" and I would rec this story and nothing else because I hadn't read much else.

Much later, I read a bunch of other Voyager stories (Janeway/Seven! strange crossovers! Harry/Tom!), but Talking Stick/Circle remained the only thing I'd read in Voyager for two years or so. And now that I'm rewatching Voyager, I still see a ton of recs for it.

3) Harry Potter, A Most Disquieting Tea series by telanu.

This is kind of funny, now, since I've read a ton of Harry Potter fanfiction since, and since HP fandoms are so giant and sprawling and whatever. But back before I knew anything about Harry Potter fandoms, I had just read the books and maybe a couple of Harry/Ron and Harry/Draco stories by authors I'd followed in other fandoms. And then at least two people on my flist recced "A Most Disquieting Tea," and I went and read it, and I went "oh, all right." I think when I was linked to it there were only three or maybe four stories in the series, and I haven't actually read all of the sequels since, but at the time I could talk about it with many, many people who had read no other Harry Potter fanfic. (A couple of years later I went through Walking the Plank with serious dedication, and "A Most Disquieting Tea" is far from the best Harry/Snape story I read then, but it was still a big deal in my circles of not-in-the-fandoms earlier.)

I suspect that for other people, Cassandra Claire's Draco Trilogy was That Story from (a different part of) HP fandom, but I never managed to read more than a couple chapters of it. It was widely recced around me, but I never really got it in the same way.

So the interesting thing about this is, it's basically impossible to think about it for fandoms I was in when I was reading the fic. Like, Stargate Atlantis - I read a million stories, and I followed a bunch of recs, and I watched all the vids, so I have no idea what story or stories were widely read outside of the fandom. Was it one of the early ones, like maybe [personal profile] astolat's A Beautiful Lifetime Event? Was it [personal profile] helenish's Take Clothes Off As Directed? Or maybe [personal profile] cesperanza's epic Written By the Victors? But on the other hand, maybe Written By the Victors requires too much canon knowledge, and Take Clothes Off As Directed is, after all, a bdsm au, which is perhaps not as likely to be widely recced, and who knows which of the season one or two stories would be most popular. Or maybe it's something I didn't even really notice at the time, or something different from the stuff that was widely recced on my rlists. I have no idea.

Anyway! I'd be interested to hear about any of your experiences with that one (or two or three) stories that were widely read and recced by people not in the fandom.

Date: 2011-03-09 06:24 pm (UTC)
nextian: A woman in male period dress, holding a book, with a speech bubble reading "&?" (&?)
From: [personal profile] nextian
For SGA, it's always seemed to me to be Freedom's Just Another Word For Nothing Left To Lose. That's what got me into the fandom and that's what I've seen recced all over even outside of fannish contexts.

That Spock Adopts A Tiny Adorable Vulcan Child fic seems to be it for nuTrek, though I've never read it myself.

Is Figure It Out the fic for White Collar? Or is my passionate and overwhelming love for it distracting me from facts?

Oh -- and the fic people keep telling me I should read whether or not I care about bandom is the negotiation-bdsm fic. With one capital letter. OH NO what is it called. "Tell me to stop." Which I have read! But did not get me into bandom, unlike Freedom's Just Another Word, which got me into SGA so fast there were skidmarks on my psyche.
Edited Date: 2011-03-09 06:25 pm (UTC)

Date: 2011-03-11 04:55 am (UTC)
thefourthvine: Kirk and Spock from the Reboot universe. (STR Kirk/Spock)
From: [personal profile] thefourthvine
I was coming in here to say Freedom's! Too late. (Too late on Chicago's Most Wanted, too.) But the Spock (and Kirk) Adopt a (Sort of Obnoxious, and Not Really Tiny) Vulcan Child is probably So Wise We Grow. It certainly was recommended everywhere.

Date: 2011-03-09 06:38 pm (UTC)
petra: Paul Gross in drag looking blank (Ms Fraser - Secretly Canadian)
From: [personal profile] petra
due South's story that everyone has read is Speranza's Chicago's Most Wanted for me, which I adored well before I could differentiate between Rays. Some time ago, [personal profile] brownbetty did a tongue-in-cheek poll regarding whether one could qualify as a media fan[girl] without having read it.

I suspect that DCU's is Astolat's Reconcilable Differences, a crossover/amalgam with Smallville. I have never read in its entirety due to irreconcilable differences between Smallville and the basic underlying tenets of DC Comics I loved at the time.

I'll vote for "Freedom's Just Another Word..." as the only SGA story I read for ages.

Regarding Telanu, I distinctly recall reading her version of Book Five right before the actual Book Five, and finding that it used basically the same plot device, except better. I was drifting through HP at the time, and in retrospect I have a great deal of trouble remembering which bits are actually canon. Apart from the baseline "Not the Harry/Snape parts," anyway.
Edited (in re: telanu) Date: 2011-03-09 06:41 pm (UTC)

Date: 2011-03-09 07:12 pm (UTC)
petra: Superman looking downward with a pensive expression (Clark - Beautiful night)
From: [personal profile] petra
Poor JK Rowling, one-upped by Telanu. Let us pray she never knew.

As for DCU fic, I have the simmering rage that comes with comics fandom, even now that I've broken up with the canon lo these many years ago. All that investment means I really *deeply* dislike crossovers between DCU and Smallville, even ones that I can say are well-written independent of their subjects and themes. Smallville Lex is too omniscient to allow things to continue in the DCU; he knows everyone's secret identity and he's not afraid to use them. Astolat did one where the Lex Luthors switched universes, and that worked somewhat better for me because it didn't break the rules.

There are many wonderful stories in DCU that have absolutely nothing to do with Smallville at all. I don't know what your narrative-or-otherwise kinks and dealbreakers are, but I'd be happy to find you some recommendations that don't make me say, "But that story is not about my fandom!"

As for the Farscape story, it's feldman's Scientist, Astronaut, and Nymphomaniac: The nine lives of John Crichton.

Date: 2011-03-09 06:42 pm (UTC)
petra: John & Aeryn from Farscape; Aeryn is incredulous & a question mark hangs between them (John & Aeryn - A cunning plan?)
From: [personal profile] petra
Farscape's One Story is the one set after Out Of Their Minds with the continued-from-canon bodyswap and the dildo, the name of which entirely escapes me.

Date: 2011-03-10 03:22 am (UTC)
toft: comic book text: 'get me my toga!' (misc_getmemytoga)
From: [personal profile] toft
I think it's this one? it's BLAZINGLY HOT, if that's the one I'm thinking of. OH MY GOD.

Date: 2011-03-09 06:47 pm (UTC)
glass_icarus: (avatar: aang momo grinny)
From: [personal profile] glass_icarus
+1 to Freedom's Just Another Word for SGA and Graduate Vulcan for Fun and Profit for Reboot! (I do have a habit of reading not-my-fandom stories if they're written by people I know, and I also have a list of reading-only fandoms of lurkerdom, though. *g*)

Date: 2011-03-09 07:45 pm (UTC)
glass_icarus: (avatar: sibling love)
From: [personal profile] glass_icarus
Heh, exactly!

... I should probably mention that though I am (obvs) in A:TLA fandom up to my eyeballs now, I totally read [personal profile] bossymarmalade's Ty Lee ficlet before I watched the series and it was DELICIOUS. :3

Date: 2011-03-09 06:59 pm (UTC)
thatyourefuse: Vanessa Ives from Penny Dreadful, walking along a bloodtrail in the snow. ([film] your beating heart)
From: [personal profile] thatyourefuse
I have seen literally one episode of Supernatural ever and I am so not in touch with the fandom, but I think it might be either Filthy Mind or Spider Bites On All Your Lovers. (The latter is pretty well the only SPN story I've ever admired to the point of wishing I'd written it, but I'm weird.)

Date: 2011-03-09 07:16 pm (UTC)
susan_voight: lantern against blue sky and tree branches (Default)
From: [personal profile] susan_voight
My one SPN story is "Dust in the Wind", which is technically a crossover with American Gods.

Nth-ing "Freedom's Just Another Word," which was totally responsible for my getting into SGA. Even if sometimes I wish it hadn't.

Date: 2011-03-09 07:38 pm (UTC)
susan_voight: lantern against blue sky and tree branches (Default)
From: [personal profile] susan_voight
I had to resort to Wikipedia at least twice during reading it, too, so it's not like "The Student Prince" (which was my Merlin recruiter story, well, podfic, actually) in that canon knowledge is not necessary. It just really grabbed me. And yeah, it's funny, because I read it without having seen the show, I read it as a bunch of OCs and now, though I can see its relationship to canon, it's still hard for me to put Rodney's literal voice into my re-readings.

(Hit enter too early on last comment)

Date: 2011-03-09 07:35 pm (UTC)
starlady: the AO3 cake is not a lie (cake is (not) a lie)
From: [personal profile] starlady
For SGA it was Written by the Victors for me, though I stumbled onto it on the AO3 closed beta rather than from any particular rec, iirc.

Date: 2011-03-09 08:14 pm (UTC)
lizbee: (Star Trek: Janeway)
From: [personal profile] lizbee
Voyager was the first fandom for which I posted fic, but for my first year or so as a fic reader, "Talking Stick/Circle" was for some reason unavailable or difficult to find. When I finally did find a copy, I was totally underwhelmed, in a, "This is it?" sort of way. So I always feel excluded from that shared fannish experience.

Date: 2011-03-09 08:35 pm (UTC)
lizbee: (Star Trek: Seven)
From: [personal profile] lizbee
I just worked out that I was watching the 6th season at the time I read TS/C, by which point the show had so totally moved on that going back to the old Starfleet/Maquis division seemed a bit silly.

Possibly I should give it another read after I've started my Voyager re-watch later this year.

Date: 2011-03-09 10:10 pm (UTC)
sineala: Franziska von Karma (from Ace Attorney) holding out her hand (Ace Attorney: Franziska's hand)
From: [personal profile] sineala
The Spock Adopts A Kid story is So Wise We Grow; I don't know if it was That Story for people, because, hey, I've been in the fandom myself way way too long at this point (It was possibly me telling you about Talking Stick/Circle.)

For me That Story in Pros fandom is The Cook and the Warehouseman which I read probably ten years before ever seeing any Pros and it was recced to me by mutiple people who as far as I know had not seen Pros either. As a Pros story it's a little... weird, but it is a massive SF AU that requires zilch in the way of canon knowledge, so that's probably why it worked. You know, you can read it as origfic, that kind of thing.

It's funny you should mention Take Clothes Off, because at this point I think of that story more as the originator of a giant fandom meme -- sort of like the post on fandom secrets the other day where someone wanted to know where the heck Five Things stories came from and many people thought it could have been from a kinkmeme. (*facepalm* Kids these days.) I have seen so many Directed!verse style stories even over in fandoms like Phoenix Wright (and the video game fandoms and Western media fandoms do not seem to overlap that much). There was even a post the other day on The Eagle kinkmeme asking for Directed!verse fic. (In a fandom with canonical legal slavery where the characters are, um, actually each other's slaves at various points.) It seemed weird to me. Fun, but weird.

Date: 2011-03-09 10:17 pm (UTC)
cesare: Stargate Atlantis: John Sheppard's bosses didn't like him so they shot him into space (sga - mystery science sheppard)
From: [personal profile] cesare
In my early days of SGA fandom before I'd seen much of the show, I responded to AU recs more, so maybe it's my own predisposition influencing my memory. But to me, some of the stories that seemed widely read by people who didn't know the fandom well were Strangers on a Six Train, Junk Cheap, 101 Ways to Get Lucky In Love, and the Farm in Iowa series.

Oh, and Hindsight and Ladies' Night At the Boom Boom Room and the Atlantis Stitch-n-Bitch Club stories by Rageprufrock.
Edited Date: 2011-03-09 10:21 pm (UTC)

Date: 2011-03-09 10:30 pm (UTC)
cesare: (sga - mst3shep - just relax)
From: [personal profile] cesare
Also, although I did see it widely recced and read it early in my encounters with SGA, I didn't have the same response as most people to Freedom's Just Another Word. I didn't think it was overrated or anything, I thought it was well done and it might even have choked me up a little, but I didn't respond to it in a "must have more!" way at all.

The story that probably tipped me from occasionally reading SGA fic to actively looking for more was Helenish's Your Inevitable Unhappy Ending. At that point I had still never seen the show and pictured Teyla as Zhaan from Farscape. Anyway. I think I need humor to really draw me into a fandom, so Freedom wasn't my gateway drug.

Date: 2011-03-10 06:18 am (UTC)
cesare: teyla drinks beer, from stargate atlantis (sga - teyla - beer!)
From: [personal profile] cesare
Strangers on a Six Train was part of a trend of pining!John/oblivious!Rodney everyday-life AUs. It may not be as widely read as I think, it could just be that I was paying attention at the time recs for it went around. I think you're very right that it's hard to tell sometimes what's an individual experience and what's more widespread.

Date: 2011-03-10 12:57 am (UTC)
stultiloquentia: Campbells condensed primordial soup (Default)
From: [personal profile] stultiloquentia
SGA: +1 for Freedom...

Farscape: +1 for Scientist, Astronaut...

SPN: I haven't got around to reading it, but I saw Red get recced in so many lists and discussions of fandom-transcending fic that I figured I'd better bookmark it for a rainy day.

HP: Lust Over Pendle's another one.

Iron Man: The Kids Aren't All Right and also that one where Tony was never rich, the name of which escapes me.

Date: 2011-03-10 06:19 am (UTC)
cesare: Aeryn Sun and John Crichton from Farscape (farscape - aeryn and john)
From: [personal profile] cesare
+1 Lust Over Pendle!

Date: 2011-03-10 03:16 am (UTC)
avendya: Mai from Avatar: the Last Airbender (AtLA - Mai)
From: [personal profile] avendya
SGA: +1 Written by the Victors, +1 Freedom's Just Another Word...

Date: 2011-03-10 03:23 am (UTC)
toft: graphic design for the moon europa (Default)
From: [personal profile] toft
I got into SGA after being recced MVP and a couple of [personal profile] cesperanza's early stories; I also got into Due South through Chicago's Most Wanted. The Tea Series also pings some happy bells for me, although I found that one for myself, not being connected to fandom rec points at that time, but it was definitely one of the, OH, I LIKE THIS early fanfic moments for me.

Date: 2011-03-10 03:47 am (UTC)
torachan: (Default)
From: [personal profile] torachan
Take Clothes Off was pretty huge. I think the controversy around it helped get it more buzz than it might otherwise have, because as you say, BDSM AU does have a more limited audience. I know for sure that was the story that got me, [personal profile] telesilla, and [personal profile] helens78 in the fandom.

I had never seen the show, but had read a couple fics before that, one of which I hated ([personal profile] astolat's something I can't remember the title of off hand...I found out afterwards that nothing of hers agrees with me) and one of which was okay, but not memorable. Take Clothes Off was the first one that made me want to watch the show and get into the fandom.

I still haven't read a lot of the big stories in SGA or in any of my fandoms. I always mean to, becuase I want to know what people are talking about, but they don't always appeal much and tend to be long, which means they go on my to-read list forever and never actually get read.

Date: 2011-03-10 04:58 am (UTC)
chagrined: A brain superimposed on a bunch of pills (brain on drugs)
From: [personal profile] chagrined
I feel like the stories I choose would be different depending on whether its:
-the most widely read story within the fandom
-the most widely read story both within/without the fandom
-the most widely recced story within the fandom to others in the fandom
-the most widely recced story recced to try to get new ppl into the fandom
-the most widely recced story recced as a "you don't have to know the fandom" thing
-the story ~I~ would choose to rec to ppl who don't know the fandom, if I want to get them into it
-the story I'd choose to rec to ppl who don't know the fandom, if I just wanted them to read that one story
-the story I'd choose as my favorite within the fandom for "it's the best story" or w/e
-the story I'd choose as my favorite for emotional attachment/etc. (though I may not think it's the "best")

It is also possible
I overanalyze things. XD

Date: 2011-03-10 05:40 am (UTC)
livrelibre: DW barcode (Default)
From: [personal profile] livrelibre
I have an awful memory for these things, though I read (or bookmark) a lot of widely recced stories in fandoms I'm not in. I remember liking Telanu's Devil Wears Prada stories a lot, which got me into looking for femslash more actively.

Date: 2011-03-10 06:28 am (UTC)
aris_tgd: Dureena from Crusade, text: "Thief" (Dureena-thief)
From: [personal profile] aris_tgd
I'd also +1 Freedom's Just Another Word for SGA, and in my personal experience Take Clothes Off As Directed, but my personal experience is being That Person Who Does That Thing in House fandom, so my worldview might be a little skewed. ;)

I wanted to add a shout-out for "Lunch and Other Obscenities" for Nu!Trek, though that might just be in the "I liked the movie, but MORE WOMEN" part of not-really-fandom.

Date: 2011-03-10 07:26 pm (UTC)
susan_voight: lantern against blue sky and tree branches (Default)
From: [personal profile] susan_voight
"Lunch" was the only story from that I'd read before the recent knitting one, having not seen the movie, the same way that "Too Many Dicks" is the only vid I've seen.

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eruthros: Delenn from Babylon 5 with a startled expression and the text "omg!" (Default)
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