Etrix (etrix) wrote,

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A selection of recs from my 2012 bigbang reading lists

I haven’t even gotten halfway through my ‘to read’ list from this year’s big bangs, and I’m sure that once I review the master posts at the comms, I’ll find even more that I have to check out (and that’s not including the stories that are continuations of previous big bangs, or even being accidentally sucked into checking out the master posts for previous years’ challenges on any and all of the big and/or reverse bang comms).

However, I am only mortal, and I can only read as fast as I read (dang it!). Here is a short list of the 2012 bang stories I’ve liked the most, so far. I hope you enjoy them, too.


Films About Ghosts by bellatemple
Written for spn_j2_bigbang
Word Count: ≈22,000

A Winchester mind can be an incredibly dangerous place. Dean has always known that, of course, but he didn't know how bad it could be until he was neck deep in a subconscious wilderness, surrounded on all sides by ghosts of enemies and friends alike, each with their own agenda. All Dean wants to do is find Sam -- the real Sam -- and get out.

I was a bit leary about reading this one because it’s first person Dean, but there’s no other way this story would have worked—Dean had to tell us his story. Don’t let the POV put you off: the important thing is that this was written so fluidly and irresistibly that I’d reached the end before I’d had a chance to figure out what story was being told. Then I just sat back and tried to absorb it.
[Proactive disclosure: another reason I checked this story out was because my pinchhit artist did the art. She did an equally wonderful job on this big bang.]

Die Hard the Hunter by ghostyouknow
Written for spn_j2_bigbang
Word Count: ≈59,000

The Shadows appeared a year ago. They're dark, silent, blurry masses that don't seem to do much, and most people have gotten used to them. Dean's just an alcoholic, washed-up crook whose own brother wants him dead, but he doesn't trust them–especially now that he's got one hot on his trail, and it won't quit talking in Sam's voice.

This is another instance of my AU-love coming through, or maybe it’s a crossover… Whatever the genre, the Shadows are eerie then scary then sad. The ending didn’t leave me wondering how we got to the end (as many bangs stories do as they’re written to a deadline) but was well thought out and absolutely plausible. Also, I loved alt!Bobby in this.

True, We’ve Demolished a Thing or Two by clex_monkie89
Written for spn_j2_bigbang
Word count: ≈39,000

When Sam went to Stanford, it was to save people in a different way than he was raised to. He never thought for a second that he might fall for a Hunter. Dean never thought it would be so hard to save people, but they all keep saving themselves. Jess never dreamed she'd find the perfect guy who would understand her job as a Hunter, but here she is bonding with two of them. Now if they can just keep from killing each other, it might just be true love.

Polyamory done right (with side servings of snark, case!fic, and canon). This isn’t a case of “everyone is hot; let them have sex!” but a thoughtful, realistic progression that doesn’t hide from the fact that there would be incest involved (which no one is supposed to approve of). Both Dean and Jess are totally kick-ass in this (even if they do fall prey to a sex-pollen type-thingy when they should’ve known better), but Sam’s the one who balances them, and brings them together.

The Bell Backward by hold_onhope
Written for spn_j2_bigbang
Word count: ≈33,000

The Winchester Gospel is a way of life, a religion, a hunter's guide and a history; the story of Sam and Dean Winchester is known even by nonbelievers. Everyone knows how the apocalypse began, but nobody knows how or why Lucifer was defeated. Micah's family, along with most of Lawrence, are believers -- but when Sam Winchester starts visiting him in his dreams, Micah knows he can't tell a soul.

I love the world that this takes place in. It’s Supernatural, but decades later, when the Winchester Gospels are recognized as Truth (except by the Catholics, heh). This is a really soft, flowing story that unfurls as you read. It’s a curtain!fic of a sort, but given a twist.

The Iron Tongue of Midnight by zara_zee
Written for spn_j2_bigbang
Word count: ≈76,000

Eighteen-year-old Sam Remington used to be a street hustler. Now, thanks to his high IQ and his determination to earn himself a safe, normal life, he’s a scholarship student at Stanford University. Dean Winchester is a hunter of the supernatural; the son of one of the best hunters in the business. When Dean is forced to make a deal with the Faerie King, and fate pushes Sam into his path, the destinies of the two young men are changed forever.

Is it still rape when Dean is tricked into agreeing to have sex with someone he doesn't want? Why, yes. It is. That said… This story is about preparing mentally and physically for it to happen, and not so much about the actual event. Dean hires Sam to help him get ready, and the relationship that builds between them is sweet and sexy and real.


Superheroes Suck, or the Unfortunately Extraordinary of Jensen Ackles by cleflink
Written for spn_j2_bigbang
Word count: ≈33,000

Jensen hates superheroes. Having grown up with not one, but two, of them in the family, he's more than aware of just how much having a spandex-clad alter ego can cock up the rest of your life. Luckily, his own powers tend towards the more passive, hippie florist side of things which - while embarrassing - means that all that superhero crap is someone else's problem.

Jensen ultra-snarky voice in this is brilliant. Unsurprisingly, he isn’t happy at always being the Damsel-In-Distress, until he starts getting almost rescued by Jared.

The Not-So Secret Life of the Scientific Moose by tsuki_no_bara
Written for spn_j2_bigbang
Word count: ≈27,000

Jared's a scientist in training and the artist for his and Chad's web comic, and he feels as if he spends most of his life on one or the other. The only things keeping him sane are his friends, his dogs, and the friendly, amused voice of an overnight DJ named Jensen Ross.

Reading this, I felt like I’d walked into Jared’s life. There wasn’t anything ‘super’ about the characters, but they were real and honest, and by the end of it, I felt like I knew this Jared in RL.

Thermodynamics and the Modern Male by snickfic, part of the I Thought You’d Be Taller verse
Written for spn_j2_bigbang
Word count: ≈23,000

When Jared goes into heat for the first time, his comfortable high school slacker existence comes to an abrupt halt. Now he’s an omega, which means alphas smell like heaven (exhibit A: Matt Cohen), terrifying senior Katie Cassidy is saving his damsel ass, and the beta girl he’s been crushing on for months suddenly looks more like a sister. Meanwhile Jensen, beta and best friend extraordinaire, is maybe not dealing well with never having been told that Jared was omega

I’ve given the link to the whole verse, because the 3 pre-stories are relatively short (only 5000 words more), they’re good, and they help explain the world the author has created. This isn’t the standard alpha/beta/omega as an excuse for pr0n, but a well-thought out and interesting exploration of what our world would be like if there were 2 genders and 3 sexes. A quick warning: the characters think about sex, talk about sex, but there’s no (or very little) actual intercourse.

Crossovers or Mergers

Heart and Soul by rattyjol
Written for the sncross_bigbang
SPN blended with: Sherlock (BBC)
Word count: ≈26,000

Someone is going on a mass murder spree in Central London, and Sherlock Holmes wants in on the case. But when a jug of mysterious oil is dropped on his doorstep he forgets all about it, leaving John -- who is a perfectly normal bloke, no really he is -- to call in his sister and her partner, who, ah, specialize in this sort of thing. But it turns out it's not just demons who are loose in London; there are angels here too, and they're Heaven bent on restarting the Apocalypse.

I love the BBC’s version of Sherlock Holmes, so anything that combines my two favourite shows is almost always going to be a favourite. This one, however, goes beyond my automatic kneejerk response.For the most part, the SPN characters don’t show up in this story, but the mythos and the world is transfused into that of Sherlock. Since the angels & demons didn’t manage to finish the Apocalypse in the US, they’re going to try again in the old country.

The Truth Lies Beneath by mangacat
Written for the sncross_bigbang
SPN blended with: Lie To Me
Word count: ≈15,000

Dean Winchester is one of the most notorious criminals that ever graced the FBI’s most wanted list. Now he’s back from the dead (again) and in custody, facing trial for his pretty exceptional list of crimes. It’s up to the experts of the prestigious Lightman Group to unravel the mystery and find out whether Dean is criminally insane or a stone-cold psychopath. Or something else entirely…

Mangacat’s Dean-voice is excellent. Her Cal Lightman is dead-on. The mental contortions the Lightman Group go through to try and slot Dean into a category are believable. Final confrontation is tense and satisfying. This takes place during the time Sam is in the Pit, and as always Dean’s weakness is Sam.

Gone with the Wendigo by bellatemple
Written for the sncross_bigbang
SPN blended with: My Little Ponies: Friendship is Magic
Word count: ≈26,000

Sam and Dean go into the New Hampshire wilderness to investigate a new case: whole groups of hikers are getting trapped in freak blizzards and then encased in solid ice. When a blizzard hits them on the trail, they take shelter in a nearby cave for the night, only to awake to find themselves transformed into brightly colored ponies and trapped in a whole new world where zebras speak in rhyme, ponies run apple orchards, good times and positive thinking are encouraged, and friendship? Friendship is magic.

This story could’ve been nothing but a mocking crack!fic, but funnily enough, it’s a really good case!fic instead. That’s not to say the author doesn’t take full advantage of turning Sam and Dean into magic ponies with pretty, pretty colours, but there’s definitely more plot and emotional depth than I remember the old My Little Ponies ever having.

From Himself Can Fly by sagetan
Written for spn_j2_bigbang
SPN blended with: My Dark Materials
Word count: ≈21,000

Dean is twenty, ready to take on the world and make Dad proud. It's just him and the road and the hunt these days, and his grumpy late bloomer of a daemon. Okay, so Sam is still a wolfhound one minute and a corn snake the next, so what. They can worry about Sam finally settling into a permanent form after they've dealt with Dean's freaky new mind-reading powers.

Sam is Dean’s daemon. If that’s not enough, canon from both worlds are woven and twisted in a new and completely enjoyable way. I’ve read His Dark Materials, and I can’t say it’s one of my favourites, but this makes me want to go back and give it another try.

Tags: recs:fanfic, recs:spn, spn, spn:fanfic
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