Recent Entries 
30th-Jul-2006 10:09 pm All The Wonder by Astolat (15)
Fandom: MASTER AND COMMANDER
Pairing: Aubrey/Maturin
Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] astolat
Author Website: Shalott's fanfic
Why this must be read:

I've already recommended Shalott, and I am usually picky about making sure not to replicate authors in these things, but this is so good that I absolutely had to make an exception. Every single one of her AU 'Five Things That Never Happened To Aubrey and Maturin' series is worth reading, her riff of potential outcomes of the Jack/Stephen duel in Post Captain made me cry, but this... this is something else.

It's Jack and Stephen in space. And it works.

Really well, too. Seriously. In space, and yet it is beautiful and feels very much like canon. (It even manages to keep the naval geekiness, in a way I really like.) I'll just give you a moment to get over that, because wow, I needed to sit down after reading it just at pure shock that somebody had pulled this off. I also possibly flailed a lot. I'll admit to a predeliction for stories that manage to make me believe in something I would have considered crazy - my appreciation of the skill involved makes me like the story even more - and this one is right at the top of that list for me. It's spectacular. I want a whole series set in this world, dangit. There aren't many fics I'll read more than once, but this is one of them. It is the happy place.

All The Wonder

And with that I leave you. I'm on Good Omens recs next month, but there's no more Master and Commander from me here. I hope you enjoyed them, and that at least one of you feels inspired to write the world some more M&C fanfic. I'm not above begging, people. :D
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29th-Jul-2006 04:23 am A Question of Instrument by pentimento (PG)
Fandom: MASTER AND COMMANDER
Pairing: Pullings/Philippe Devigny
Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] pentimento
Author Website: ZoSo land
Why this must be read:

This is my favourite Master and Commander fic that isn't Jack/Stephen. Here we have a lovely follow-up of the film: what exactly did Pullings and the "doctor" from the Acheron get up to on the long trip home? I love this answer to that question very much; it's lyrical and lovely and made me totally adore Pullings even more than I did before. Which is quite a lot, actually. Heh. I always like to see secondary characters given the kudos they deserve, and this fic really gets to why Pullings is wonderful. I wish we had more of him in canon, but fics like this help to make up for it.

The other thing that this fic does particularly well, I think, is illustrate the totally beautiful way music as a metaphor works its way through both the books and the film. Music is one of those metaphors that works on me basically every time, so I will admit to being kind of biased, but I really do like the way it's dealt with here. Anything that says "this was written by somebody who loves music as much as I do" is good with me.

A Question of Instrument
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26th-Jul-2006 02:10 am Antipodes, by Skud (G)
Fandom: MASTER AND COMMANDER
Pairing: Aubrey/Maturin
Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] damned_colonial
Author Website: the Scriptorium
Why this must be read:

It may be fairly obvious at this point that I have total love for Stephen Maturin. This is one of my favourite fanfic versions of Stephen: the voice is lovely, and I'm always happy to see fics with him writing in his journal. The one aspect of this fic which made me decide I should rec it, however, is its mention of a wombat. Stephen's habit of making friends with random wild animals is fun in the books (the phrase "Jack, you have debauched my sloth." still has the power to make me sporfle), and perfect small details like that are one of the things I look for in my favourite fanfiction.

This fic is also notable, I think, for an interesting view of Stephen that I'm not entirely sure I agree with, but even that doesn't beat the wombat. :)

Antipodes
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25th-Jul-2006 09:02 pm The One Who Holds The Seven Stars by Marginalia (PG)
Fandom: MASTER AND COMMANDER
Pairing: Aubrey/Maturin, because there's a kiss, but really, it's nothing that would be out of place in the canon.
Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] marginalia
Author Website: marginalia
Why this must be read:

This is apocalypse fic, but despite being quite properly serious and not funny at all, it somehow manages to be the most uplifting and inspiring apocalypse fic I've ever read. (And I've read way too much apocalypse fic.) It's nicely written, but the thing that really stands out for me is Jack and Stephen's responses to said apocalypse. Seriously, I just melted. It's so them, and such a great illustration of everything I love about their relationship: they have bad things, sometimes really bad things, but they still love each other.

Plus, did I mention the dialogue? I am complete and total sucker for good dialogue. I find being able to hear the characters speak is the biggest hurdle to believable fanfic, and this clears it easily. I would kind of flail a bit longer, but really, this is worth reading, so get to it already.

The One Who Holds The Seven Stars
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22nd-Jul-2006 06:10 pm Castaway by Alibi Factory (pg-15)
Fandom: MASTER AND COMMANDER
Pairing: Aubrey/Maturin
Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] alibi_factory
Author Website: no
Why this must be read:

One of my previous recs mentioned the problem many Master and Commander fics have of being either too close to O'Brian's authorial voice or too far. This one has its own answer to that; one I've never seen before, but which I really like. It manages to be both really, incredibly like O'Brian in the way it sounds, and nothing like him at all like him in the way it's put together. It really interested me, and the more I thought about it the more I liked it: it fits, to me, that this story that never quite gets told in the canon has its own voice like this.

This is also unusual in being what you might call angsty. Jack and Stephen are typically written as very cute and fluffy and OTP-in-love, which is admittedly justifiable in a canon where they really do call each other "joy", but the canon has a couple of fleets worth of angst, too, and this fic reflects that. It's maybe a little further on the angst side than I'd like - I'm a sap, really, and want them to be happy - but given Stephen's impressive level of fucked-up, it's not out of the realms of possibility. And, well, I'm the kind of nerd who finds the intertwining of the structure and the narrative voice and Stephen's many issues really interesting. This fic is one of the few I've seen that've tried replicating what I think of as the poetry in the canon, and I find it weirdly beautiful.

(Oh, and, it might look like this is part 3 of a longer fic: it's not. It's part three indeed, but the other two are also both completed fics, and not in M&C fandom. :) )

Castaway
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20th-Jul-2006 01:26 am Untitled, by scieppan (PG)
Fandom: MASTER AND COMMANDER
Pairing: none
Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] scieppan
Author Website: none that I know of
Why this must be read:

I only just read this, and although it's not much, it's so weirdly perfect that I felt like I just had to rec it. For all that a lot of the Master and Commander world is taken up with sea-battles, all smoke and noise and blood, there are a surprising amount of tiny, peaceful moments too. O'Brian is very good at making those moments count, giving them a weight and a richness that you wouldn't expect, and this is the best illustration of that I've ever seen.

And most of those moments are Stephen's. His introspective streak turns occasions quiet anyway, but he also needs that quiet more than, say, Jack does. Stephen is the one who wants to stay and watch and be silent where Jack wants to run around and make things blow up. In one book, he lets Jack think he's going off to have sex with some woman, when in fact all he does is sit and watch birds, the whole night through, perfectly content. This fic reminded me of that, and a thousand other tiny reasons I love Stephen: "the great seaman of the world" indeed. It also reminded me of a pool, just cool and still and perfect; the perfect relaxing thing for a heat wave like we've been having lately.

Untitled
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19th-Jul-2006 07:29 pm Devil's Deal by Lenore (NC-17)
Fandom: MASTER AND COMMANDER
Pairing: Aubrey/Maturin
Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] scribblinlenore
Author Website: Lenore's stories
Why this must be read:

So, it was about time to get to the porn, right? :D

Actually, porn is quite difficult in Master and Commander fandom. It's certainly not impossible, but O'Brian's style isn't really conduitive to anything most people might consider the hot smut. An even bigger problem is the actual situation of the people involved. Given that pretty much anybody who might be having sex is going to be, at most, maybe five feet away from other people who can hear and then quite possibly get you hanged for having said sex, it poses certain issues. This'd be why the shack on the beach from the movie gets so much action: it's one of the few places where some actual solitude is possible.

This story, though, managed to get round both of those issues by making a plot about it. This is, needless to state, a solution I'm really very pleased about, and wish more people would do it. By taking Jack and Stephen out of their normal world for a while, the smut somehow doesn't seem out of place at all. Even more impressively, it manages to avoid the incredibly depressing ending I thought was inevitable. It's really very... heartwarming, actually. I also love that the plot involves Jack being really incredibly unsubtle, because there is very little more canonical than that. Hee.

Devil's Deal
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15th-Jul-2006 09:01 pm The Best Men, by Gritkitty (R)
Fandom: MASTER AND COMMANDER
Pairing: Aubrey/Maturin
Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] gritkitty
Author Website: Hosted at bifictionanbedlam
Why this must be read:

For all that the books really are as cute and sweet and funny as a lot of the fanfic would suggest - and in some cases more - the world of Master and Commander is often actually pretty kind of harsh. Life is often nasty, brutish and short; there's a lot of casual violence, and it's so ingrained that it's often surprising to realise how violent it actually is, because the characters mostly expect it to be that way. This fic does that justice in a way I haven't seen much of elsewhere, and I love it. It's an interesting view of Jack and Stephen, a perspective on their world that makes me, at least, want to disect it into little bits to see how it all works and all the implications and stuff. (Hey, I never said I wasn't weird.) In a lot of ways this then feels more canonical to me than the aww-omg-otp stuff: they still totally are OTP, both in the books and this fic, but this is much more what the rest of their lives is like.

I have to admit something, though: I'm really reccing this for the Bonden. Honest to god. I love Bonden to itty bitty pieces, I think he's wonderful, and this story has possibly my very favourite appearance by him in fic. He's just so capable and unflappable and seriously, I'm just hoping this fic makes everybody else love him as much as I do. Heh.

The Best Men
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12th-Jul-2006 07:53 pm Butcher's Bill by Tiffany Rawlins (PG-13)
Fandom: MASTER AND COMMANDER
Pairing: Aubrey/Maturin
Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] wearemany
Author Website: The Collected Fiction of Tiffany Rawlins and SN Kastle
Why this must be read:

This is one of my very favourite Master and Commander stories. One of the great things about the books is that events have consequences; good and bad, the effects of the things Jack and Stephen experience linger. They act like people who still remember past events, even where they've recovered from them. This fic is a really gorgeous illustration of that. This is a Jack and a Stephen who've seen the world, but still aren't immune to its effects. They have coping mechanisms, know that they will get through this bad thing just as they have before... but that doesn't stop them feeling it. And that sense lends them a kind of emotional realism as characters that I really like. The books do well at showing the ongoing impact of the lives they live, but given the nature of the books, it's mostly through small glimpses as the years go by. Fics like this get to show us some of the times we miss.

I also like that this doesn't fall into the two traps of Master and Commander fanfic, trying too hard to be O'Brian and not trying hard enough. It's definitely a difficult fandom to write for, with such a very distinctive canon voice and a lot of history to get to grips with, but this manages to keep close to O'Brian's style while remaining both immensely readable and different, a piece in its own right.

Butcher's Bill
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12th-Jul-2006 01:56 pm Nesting Place, by Destina (PG)
Fandom: MASTER AND COMMANDER
Pairing: Aubrey/Maturin
Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] destina
Author Website: lyricalmagic.com
Why this must be read:

I'm a sucker for canon, and this is just delightful. It's like finding a shell from the beach, so long after the holiday you'd forgotten you ever picked it up; small, but a pointer to greater joys nonetheless. I especially like the domestic element here. One of the things that I love about Jack and Stephen is that they are both, in their way, difficult people to live with, and yet with each other, they manage it for years. Under difficult circumstances, too; as this fic shows, they have to deal with each other being grouchy and bitchy and caffiene-deprived, but deal with it they do. It's really very cute, if not quite perfect in style.

Nesting Place
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6th-Jul-2006 01:00 pm The Glass Portrait, by Keiko (PG)
Fandom: MASTER AND COMMANDER
Pairing: Aubrey/Maturin
Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] keiko_kirin
Author Website: Keiko's fic
Why this must be read:

It might seem strange to rec a post-series fic when trying to introduce people to a series, but this one is just so good that I had to. Despite being Jack/Stephen, it really might as well be a continuation of canon: nothing here seems out of place or even surprising. I'm a sucker for later-in-life-they're-still-together stories, and this is the best one I've ever read in any fandom, full stop. Jack and Stephen, still being themselves when they're old. (The characterisation here is amazing, and the style and the references are both gorgeous.) We'll never get any more books by O'Brian, but for me, this is the way the series goes.

My other favourite thing here is the way it shows the complexity of the relationship - the fact that whether they're sleeping together or not isn't the important thing about their relationship. It's about more than that; much more relevant is the sheer amount of things they've been through together, the decades they've spent with each other as a constant. This fic really shows how both their lives are more complicated than that, with wives and children and each other, and in doing so manages to do justice to the complex emotional world that O'Brian created. Which is, I think, pretty damn impressive.

The Glass Portrait
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6th-Jul-2006 01:32 am Played In Tune, by Astolat (G)
Fandom: MASTER AND COMMANDER
Pairing: none
Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] astolat
Author Website: Shalott's fanfic
Why this must be read:

I'm reccing this first because it makes a great introduction. This fic is just the essence of why I love Master and Commander, condensed down into a short, beautiful fic that takes my breath away every time. You hardly need to have seen the movie, even, to get this fic, although I promise that you'll appreciate it more if you have.

Shalott, as those of you who've read her work before will know, is an extremely talented author. The woman has talent, and what she does here is take something from the movie and write about it as though it's book-verse. This might sound confusing, but don't worry, it isn't. Instead, what you've got is a marvellous introduction to both worlds: the characters and the style are spot-on perfect for both versions of Patrick O'Brian's world, blurring them together so well that it shows it really doesn't matter: details be damned, the love is just the same. I'm in awe, honestly: I've hardly ever seen O"Brian's words imitated so well, or to such mindbogglingly adorable affect.

And that's the best thing about this fic, really. It's very sweet, and all about the love, and every bit of it is entirely plausible as a piece of missing canon. Gorgeous.

Played In Tune
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1st-Jul-2006 10:09 pm Master and Commander: an overview
Master and Commander is the name given to the books in the 'Aubrey/Maturin series' by Patrick O'Brian and the film based on those books called Master and Commander: Far Side of the World*. They're about naval Captain Jack Aubrey and his best friend, the naturalist and secret agent Stephen Maturin, going around having exciting adventures on the high seas during the early 19th century. I promise that they're actually exciting, and a lot funnier than would usually be expected: there is plenty of good snark to be had, plus a narrative voice that is occasionally awesomely bitchy. Think Horatio Hornblower with extra Jane Austen, or (and I realise that this will make me look weird, but bear with me a second) a much more realist version of Jeeves and Wooster, gone back in time a century to fight Napoleon. It's awesome.**

Master and Commander overview right here )


So, there we go. I hope you found it at least slightly interesting: I love these people and think their world is a fascinating one. Do feel free to ask questions or offer suggestions or whatever. It can be a bit daunting on first look, I know, but it's totally worth it. Also, if you see any typos or mistakes or anything, just say the word and I'll, y'know, edit or something, because obviously they were nothing to do with me. *cough*
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15th-Aug-2005 01:13 am Horatio Hornblower/Master and Commander/Pirates of the Caribbean/Sharpe (PG)
Title: Five Things That Never Happened to Anyone in the Age of Sail: A Curtainfic Medley by Skud
Pairing: Jack/Stephen, Horatio/Archie, Sparrow/Norrington, Edrington/Sharpe
Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] damned_colonial
Author Website: The Scriptorium
Why this must be read:

The suggestion was made that curtainfic is impossible in Age of Sail fandoms. [livejournal.com profile] damned_colonial promptly took this as a challenge. Not a crossover in the traditional sense, this is a set of 5 ficlets with a common theme: curtains. They are by turns humorous and sweet and each one is a perfectly believable snapshot of the time and the characters. This is the kind of curtainfic I could happily read more of.

Five Things That Never Happened to Anyone in the Age of Sail: A Curtainfic Medly
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15th-Jul-2004 11:10 am Shore Leave by Q_Skud, Commodorified, and Lady Bretagne (NC-17)
Fandom: HORNBLOWER/SHARPE/POTC/POB
Pairing: Forget it. I'd need to make a Venn diagram here.
Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] q_skud_, [livejournal.com profile] commodorified, [livejournal.com profile] ladybretagne
Why this must be read: Sixteen thousand words of pure crossover mansmut. Put the period's loveliest boys in one room and get them fucking, no one with their accepted OTP partner. Shake well, and enjoy.

I can't possibly pick an excerpt out of this. Richard Sharpe, Horatio and Archie, William Bush, Norrington, Edrington, Jack Sparrow, Jack Aubrey, Tom Pullings, and Stephen Maturin? Try picking an excerpt out of that. Just try. I will however tell you that Sharpe winds up with Edrington, and if you know anything about Richard Sharpe's attitude about the aristocracy and their attitude toward him, you can guess that the feathers will fly.

Shore Leave
Shore Leave Actor's Commentary -- Just read it, you'll get the idea.
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