vulgarweed: (dont-stop-trying-by-kcscribbler)
[personal profile] vulgarweed
Title: The Bee Grove (locked to AO3 members)
Author: Random_Nexus
Pairing: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson
Length: 14,128
Rating: Teen
Warnings: Discussion of suicide (not H or W)
Verse: ACD books
Author's summary: Watson travels to Kent to attend the funeral of an estranged friend from his past who committed suicide. Certain things transpire to make Watson wonder if his inappropriate love for Holmes could possibly be requited. After drinking a bit too much on the train home, he drafts a letter to Holmes revealing all, but isn't sure he will ever have the courage to potentially ruin everything by giving it to Holmes. Of course, things go terribly awry, and it will take a timely intervention by Mycroft Holmes to set things back on track.

Reccer's comments: This is a beautifully constructed, bittersweet story about lost opportunities, and found ones. Watson takes a short trip to attend the funeral of an old army buddy, and the emotional journey is a much longer, more grueling, and rewarding one as his friend posthumously persuades him to not waste chances. Watson reads his old friend’s heartbreaking suicide note, and is inspired to write a dangerously honest secret letter of his own - that seems to go missing.

Although the reader knows nothing terrible has happened or will happen, the tension and suspense is nonetheless real. In addition, Mycroft plays a delightful role and the relationship between the brothers is so effectively drawn in just a few paragraphs. This story has a beautiful, patient, leisurely style that encourages full immersion in the nuances of emotions, and the satisfying payoff is especially effective in its well-chosen setting. If it’s romance feels you want, this will give you a good buzz (sorry sorry).

Excerpt:

Time passed with terrible slowness and Watson didn’t want to go to his club or any of the places he might have gone on an average day, certain he would miss Holmes’ return should he be gone even a handful of minutes—that’s how these circumstances went, in real life as well as farcical plays and lurid yellow-backed novels, wasn’t it? The protagonist waits and waits until he can wait no more, steps out for but a moment and, lo! The person he was waiting for only then deigns to appear.

“Not on my watch, by heaven,” Watson grumbled under his breath as he stared down onto Baker Street through the sitting room window, the sunset a painter’s dream of colour beyond the rooftops to which Watson could not give due appreciation.
dogandmonkeyshow: (Default)
[personal profile] dogandmonkeyshow
Title: London Incarnate
Author: silverpard
Length: 3368 words
Rating: G
Author's summary: There is London the City, and there is London Incarnate. Sherlock Holmes is important to both.

Reccer's comments below the cut )
dogandmonkeyshow: (Default)
[personal profile] dogandmonkeyshow
Title: Nostoi
Author: sanguinity
Length: 20,973 words
Rating: T and up
Author's summary: Holmes wants to see the last European pterodactyl safely home. Watson wants to see Holmes happy again.
Universe: New Russian Holmes (2013) / The Lost World (Doyle)

Reccer's comments below the cut )
vulgarweed: (OK by london_fan)
[personal profile] vulgarweed
Title: The Reality of Waking
Author:: Chancy_Lurking
Pairing: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson/Mary Watson
Length: 12,459
Rating: Mature
Warnings: drug use (non-consensual), hallucinations, dissociation
Verse:Sherlock BBC
Author's summary: "Sherlock means to stand, but he feels like he’s outside himself, like he exists just slightly above his own body. He looks down and the floor is mud, then cobble stone, then it’s the roof he jumped from, then it’s the carpet in the Watson’s apartment."

(Sherlock gets trapped in a drug-induced fantasy that is scarily close to his real life.)

Reccer's comments: I’m having a hard time describing this lovely and haunting re-imagining of S4, because it’s so exquisitely constructed with its twisty reveals and lyrical prose style, that too much plot summary feels like a blunt instrument.

But in short: Sherlock is abducted and drugged, kept in a dream world for a month - and then John and Mary help him sort out what is real and what is not, and what real-world action he has to take. Sherlock is still stoned, dissociating, and vulnerable; Eurus is still manipulative and terrifying - and yet so many other things are so beautifully altered, finally fitting into place as a story about family, both biological and chosen. For all of her monstrously selfish motives, Eurus is ultimately a figure of pity here in her loneliness, and Sherlock breaks through all that in a more believable, ringing-true way than he did on the show, IMO. The author isn’t too worried about spoilers in tagging it Happy Ending, for which I’m glad. It’s a polyamorous Johnlockary happy ending, with Sherlock feeling content and fulfilled at last in the embrace of his found family, and that does my heart so very good.
unovis: (Unovis tile)
[personal profile] unovis
Hot, wet summer days, at least here in the tropics. Happy August, everyone!

Welcome to [personal profile] dogandmonkeyshow and [personal profile] vulgarweed  (waving hello!) our reccers for the month!

Our thanks to [personal profile] ancientreader  for a sterling job as reccer for July. Thank you for helping to keep this comm alive.


We're still accepting reccers for August and for any later month. You can sign up here and General Information is here. Experienced and new reccers or members are all welcome. You only need to make four recs a month, for works created for any version of Sherlock Holmes, as fic, art, vids, podfic, or meta.

Please spread the word about the new comm location!
ancientreader: black and white pet rat (Default)
[personal profile] ancientreader
Title: The Sun Is but a Morning Star
Author: krabapple
Pairing: John/Sherlock; a moment of incidental John/Irene
Length: 10K words
Rating: PG-13, I'd say.
Warnings: mentions of offstage sexual assault
Author's summary:
“You’re trying to tell me Sherlock is alive.” The way John says it, it’s an accusation.
                                 “No, I am telling you Sherlock is alive,” Irene says.

Reccer's Remarks: This hiatus/reunion fic has fewer than 9000 hits, which sounds like a lot now but for a terrific story posted in the fandom's heyday is shockingly low. A brisk, clear, exact narrative voice; the characterization spot on -- bear in mind when "Morning Star" was written, of course; an Irene who's sexy and competent and who, if not exactly moral, has a sense of obligation; and a beautifully sharp-edged, believable reunion and declaration scene.

I reread this, making sure it was as good as I remembered it being (yes, and then some), and ... well, chalk up one for the it-might-have-beens of S3. Damn, but this would have been a great first episode.

Excerpt:

John comes home to find Irene Adler sitting on the sofa reading The Guardian.
“Jesus fuck.” He drops the Tesco bag, and the milk hits the floor with a vague thump.
Irene looks up, “Honey, you’re home!”


Read on the AO3.

(Mod: What would you think of a bamf!Irene tag? Her badassery is a prominent feature of the fic; but maybe that's too rare to qualify as a trope.)

ETA: I have no idea what gives with the formatting here. It looks fine when I open the entry to edit, and also in preview. Sorry for ugly post!)

ancientreader: black and white pet rat (Default)
[personal profile] ancientreader
Title: A Symphony of Chemical Reactions (link to fic)
Author: what_alchemy
Reader: cellar_door
Podfic: http://www.audiofic.jinjurly.com/symphony-of-chemical-reactions
Pairing: John/Sherlock
Length and File Size: 22:28, 21.6MB, mp3

Reccer's Remarks: So, I am not in general a fan of audiobooks, and therefore not of podfics, either, but cellar_door does full justice to the voice of this fic and adds some lovely touches of their own. (The music!) I promise you have never laughed so hard at hearing someone say "fire extinguisher."

AO3 link here.
Direct download here.


Fic rec:

Jul. 27th, 2017 04:08 pm
ancientreader: black and white pet rat (Default)
[personal profile] ancientreader
Title: A Symphony of Chemical Reactions
Author: what_alchemy
Length: 2351 words
'Verse: BBC
Pairing: John/Sherlock
Rating: G
Author's summary: Cooking’s just chemistry and time management.

Reccer's remarks: Oh hey! Another one from the "How on earth has this never been recced before?" department. And it was a Holmestice present for our very own [personal profile] unovis . Sherlock prepares supper for John, with attendant research and predictable results. Empty bladder before reading. Do not attempt to consume anything, whether solid or liquid. Note this was posted in 2012, so considerable water has passed under the bridge, but I submit that anyone incapable of being delighted by this story is incapable of being delighted, full stop.

Excerpt:
In the cupboards: half a loaf of brown bread gone stale, tins of beans and sponge and soup, taxidermy owl, millet flour, melted sweets, mousetraps, desiccated clementines.

Fridge contents: snout of wild boar, aloe plant, blackcurrant preserves, empty milk carton, thin-sliced roast beef (by smell, too old for consumption; not too old to repurpose into mould cultures), apple juice, HP sauce, leftover beans, squirrel scalp ...

ancientreader: black and white pet rat (Default)
[personal profile] ancientreader
Title: Now advance they to the crime scene
Author:  merripestin
Length: 755 words
'Verse: BBC
Pairing: John/Sherlock
Rating: R
Author's summary: Hwaet! I sing of those immortal heroes: The Tall Detective and The Shorter Man.

Now tall Sherlock, called the genius,       sees the parsley in the butter,
cries Oh! and soon declares the answer.       He knows the killer, has deduced it;
and John Watson, called the doctor,       whose gun is sure, whose hands are steady,
cries to him in admiration,       hails him Brilliant and Fantastic.


Reccer's remarks: Merripestin has been recced here before, and with good reason, what with the splendid writing and the general versatility. "Now advance they" absolutely slays me, and it may slay you too if you meet either of the following conditions: (1) you have ever studied Old English and/or Old Norse poetry; (2) you have backbuttoned out of one too many fanfics in which Sherlock is referred to as "the taller man"/"the dark-haired detective"/"the tall slender baby deer" and John is "the shorter man"/"the sandy-haired man"/"the clumsy typist." During a sex scene.

Condition 1, if you do not already meet it, may sound like a chore, but take a quick look at this lovely riddle-poem. Yes, this rec reflects an attempt to lure you into not only merripestin's delightful fic/poem/thing but also to one of my favorite literary genres.


Read on the AO3.



ancientreader: black and white pet rat (Default)
[personal profile] ancientreader
Title: Scattered, Smothered, and Covered
Author: okapi
Length: 3867 words
'Verse: BBC
Pairing: John/Sherlock
Rating: R
Author's summary: Tourists Mike Stamford and John Watson literally blow into a Southern town where the only place not ravaged by tornadoes is a diner; behind the counter is a cook who deduces how customers like their hash browns before they order.

Reccer's remarks: People, this is the Waffle House AU you didn't know you needed. There are indeed tornadoes, John is a terrible driver, Sally the waitress calls the cook a freak, Molly the other waitress takes off her hairnet to no avail, and Mike Stamford needs to go to Georgia, but not the way you think. TW for atrocious puns and general lunacy.

Excerpt:

John stared, mouth open. “That was amazing!”

“Do you think so?” asked the man.

“Of course, it was. It was extraordinary. Quite extraordinary.”

“That’s not what people normally say.”

“What do they normally say?”

The man’s voice fell to an angry drawl, “Fuck you, Pretty Boy!”

John’s eyebrows rose. “Bit rude. But you are sort of, well, um, that is to say,” he looked at Stamford and then looked down at the menu, “never mind. ..."

Read on the AO3.



ancientreader: black and white pet rat (Default)
[personal profile] ancientreader
Title: Song of a Good Man
Author: goseaward
Length: 2168 words
'Verse: BBC
Pairing: not really; could be read as pre-slash, and my goggles are firmly attached
Rating: G (author says T, but nah)
Author's summary: After a few months of living with Sherlock, John gets used to the idea that Sherlock can do magic but chooses not to. But every now and then Mycroft will stop by and John will feel the teakettle lean towards him, or Anderson will get so annoyed that little flashes spark between his fingers and his tech, and John will wonder again why he never sees Sherlock display anything but the purest disinterest. [Your reccer, who edits for a living, itches to change that "disinterest" to "indifference."]

Reccer's remarks: You might expect (John Watson might expect) that if someone with Sherlock Holmes's intelligence, passion for knowledge, and demonstrated devotion to his own brilliance had magical powers, he would use them constantly, until everyone around him was sick of the showing-off. Right? But no; Sherlock won't so much as sing a mug out of a cupboard he can't reach. 

This lovely brief story explains why, and in doing so delivers some clever and efficient world-building as well as an affecting look into how much John matters to Sherlock. Take a moment to let the title sink in after you're done reading.

"Song of a Good Man" is set in an S1/post-S1 space and alludes to the first three episodes, but you need not fear any tedious recaps.

Excerpt: Odd, to walk through the streets of London and not catch the pale blue flashes of walls going up and down as soldiers and enemies move; odd to see people walking quickly without adding an extra jolt to their speed with magic-driven boosters or jumping into fusion magic/gasoline vehicles. Odd to look at a hastily-constructed force wall surrounding a classroom in a deserted college and know, deep in one's bones, that it's not good enough to stop a bullet.

Read on the AO3.


ancientreader: black and white pet rat (Default)
[personal profile] ancientreader
Title: On the Shelf
Author: SCFrankles
Length: ~446 words (sic)
'Verse: . . . the author's own. ACD, if one must choose.
Pairing: none
Rating: C, for crackety-crack-crack-crack (G)
Author's summary: Getting shot out of the canon...

Reccer's remarks: Look, it takes more time to describe this delicious little item than to read it. ACD's works compare stats, get taken out, sit on the shelf. No, it's nothing like hoping you're going to get asked to the prom, FFS, why would you think that?

Absolutely do not omit to read the exchanges in the comments, which are hilarious. Your reccer left kudos and welcomes any and all suggestions for coming up to the commenting standard set by other readers.

Excerpt:

“What about you, Vall? When were you last taken out?”
The Valley of Fear shrugged. “Don’t know. Can’t remember.”

On the AO3.
ancientreader: black and white pet rat (Default)
[personal profile] ancientreader
Title: The Giant Rat of Sumatra, for Which the World Is Not Yet Prepared
Author:  tibididim
Length: ~2300 words
'Verse: BBC
Pairing: John/Sherlock
Rating: R (the author says T, but I say the brief sex scene is a bit more explicit than that)
Author's summary: "I don't think you should write about this one," said Sherlock.

Reccer's remarks: Oh, gosh. Remember the dear dead days when you could write comedy BBC John Watson/Sherlock Holmes without ignoring canon? *sighs wistfully*

This gem dates from the 2010 (inaugural!) Holmestice exchange, and I present it as an amuse-bouche for the beginning of this month's reccing stint. How shall I describe it? Once upon a time there was a coypu, that is to say an animal of the species otherwise known as a nutria. Never you mind how it got to Sumatra, or exactly by what means it then traveled to London; but, naturally, having arrived in London, it went on to a rendezvous with Sherlock and John. As fans of Arthur Conan Doyle will already suspect, the story is TOO HORRIBLE TO TELL, except to a certain select audience. Spoiler: the coypu has gone to join the choir invisible.
 

Excerpt:

"People like this sort of thing,” John said, studiously tapping out three more words. “Slight urban legend element, bit of disgustingness, happy ending - a man facing down a coypu -”

“They’re also known as nutria,” Sherlock said.

“Armed with nothing but a vastly superior intellect, man versus beast,” John continued.

“You’re starting to convince me, John,” said Sherlock, thoughtfully, “It seems much more dramatic now.”

Hello, July

Jul. 1st, 2017 11:51 am
unovis: (Unovis tile)
[personal profile] unovis
Welcome to [personal profile] ancientreader , our reccer for July! Bring on the heat, bring on the fireworks.

Our delighted thanks to our June reccers:[personal profile] discordantwords , [personal profile] swissmarg , and [personal profile] tripleransom . Thank you for volunteering and keeping our community alive.


We're still accepting reccers for July and reccers for August. You can sign up here and General Information is here. Experienced and new reccers or members are all welcome. You only need to make four recs a month, for works created for any version of Sherlock Holmes, as fic, art, vids, podfic, or meta.

Please spread the word about the new comm location!
swissmarg: Mrs Hudson (Default)
[personal profile] swissmarg
Title: The Lying Detective (alternative) 
Author: 221b_hound
Pairing: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson, past Sherlock Holmes/John Watson/Mary Morstan
Length: 20K
Rating: Mature
Warnings: None
Verse: BBC
Author's summary: Mary was the bridge between them. Without her, is there still an 'us'? Perhaps, if John and Sherlock can survive the guilt, the grief, the game.

Reccer's comments: This is part of an AU series 3 & 4 that takes the basic plot of the episodes, adds Johnlockary, and changes a few other things, some minor and some more major. I’ve found it surprisingly engaging despite not being a Johnlockary fan and generally disparaging fics that re-hash the aired episodes in much detail. I also admit I haven’t read all of the parts, but you can dive in at any point, really, if you are familiar with the episode in question.

This one is a terrific slog through the depths of grief and despair in the wake of Mary’s death, made more painful and eviscerating by the fact that the Mary in this was genuinely likable and the three of them were involved in a loving and happy polyamoric relationship. (We only see one brief and sketchy flashback scene of the three of them in bed together, which is easily skipped if you are only here for the Johnlock.) At the same time, the Culverton Smith plot is revamped to work more authentically, a far cry from the broadcast “go to hell/save John Watson” scenario that viewers were confronted with.

The characters are all treated with respect and depth, with a marvelous ensemble cast involving several secondary characters in meaty and important roles. Harry Watson in particular is a shining star of an OC with a potty mouth and a heart of tarnished gold.

I really encourage anyone who was unhappy with series 4 – and especially the whiplash treatment of Mary’s character and gutting of John and Sherlock’s friendship – to give this series a try. It’s gutsy and bold, drawing on real emotion rather than flash and showmanship, and truly allowing the characters and their stories to touch hearts.
swissmarg: Mrs Hudson (Default)
[personal profile] swissmarg
Title: Before I Come Home
Author: TooSelin
Pairing: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson
Length: 36K
Rating: Mature
Warnings: None
Verse: BBC
Author's summary: Sometimes you need to reopen old wounds before they can heal. Sometimes you need to get away before you can come home.

Reccer's comments: I raced through this breathlessly, both eager to see what would happen next and wanting it to be much longer. The most recent addition to the “couples therapy” trope, this is one of the very few that doesn’t involve a fake relationship. Instead, John and Sherlock attend the sessions with the specific intent of recovering from the events in series 3 and 4 (disregarding TFP and Eurus) and strengthening their relationship. I especially liked that there are no easy answers, but that both Sherlock and John are committed to each other from the get-go, regardless of whether they remain platonic best friends or allow the love they both feel to find its expression through romance and physical intimacy. (Check the tags to see which route they go…) This is also a Parentlock fic, with Rosie an integral part of the story and the family unit. With lots of delicious UST, quiet domesticity, heart-wrenching confessions, a day at the beach, a wise old woman, and all the time in the world to get things right.
tripleransom: (Default)
[personal profile] tripleransom
Title: Totus Mundus Agit Histrionem
Author: Mistyzeo
Pairing: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson
Length: 42715
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: None
Verse: ACD books
Author's summary:
The stage lost a fine actor, even as science lost an acute reasoner, when he became a specialist in crime.

January, 1881: a despondent army doctor is offered a ticket to a Shakespeare play, and is instantly captivated by the fellow playing the Danish prince himself. Then there is a murder. Then they fall in love.

Reccer's Comments: As of now, this fic has something over 300 comments on it on the AO3. I don't know why it hasn't been recc'd before, but I aim to remedy that now.

Yet another take on that fateful first meeting. This one from the inestimable Mistyzeo. She hurls us right into the middle of the action as we see Watson attending a performance of Hamlet, where the Prince is played by one S. Scott Holmes. Their attraction for one another is immediate, a murder soon follows, and the game is well and truly afoot.
There is femslash, a compelling mystery for Holmes to solve, a nod to The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, and not a word of the entire thing reads false. The period details are perfect as always, the characters are, well, perfectly in character. There are disguises, and picklocks, and even 221B complete with an aspidistra and a very knowing Mrs Hudson. And let's not neglect to mention some of the best written love scenes in the fandom.
There is a large cast of supporting characters, but they are all well-drawn enough that it's not confusing. A competent Lestrade makes his appearance as well, as in the end, the mystery is solved, the killer is caught and Holmes is launched on his true career.
Of course, like all detective fiction, it's a formula, but the genius of the thing is in its execution - and the execution is very, very well done.
discordantwords: (Default)
[personal profile] discordantwords

Title: Aircraft Recognition
Author: mydogwatson
Pairing: Sherlock & John
Length: 1,215
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: None
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary: Two little boys meet during the second World War. A different time, a different place, but the same magic.

Reccer's comments: This author writes a charming series called Postcard Tales, where they base a one-shot Sherlock fic on a postcard out of a set of vintage replicas. Their note from the very first Postcard Tale:

I have a set of postcards that are replicas of vintage Penguin book covers. Just before my recent trip to London [Hamlet!], I blindly selected one card for each day of the trip. Every morning in London I [again blindly] chose one card from the pile and then I would write a johnlock vignette based on the title that came up. I mailed each card to myself, every one covered with tiny print.

With that explanation, I've chosen a story from their third series of Postcard Tales. In the grand tradition of alternate first meetings, here we have Sherlock as an adventurous, mischievous little boy, evacuated from London during World War II. He's bored, and lonely, and takes to watching planes in the sky. One day, he's joined by a new friend. 

This story has a lovely and bittersweet direct sequel, Keeping Poultry and Rabbits on Scraps, where the boys are a little older and facing a separation, and a final story Siren Land, where they encounter each other once more as adults. The first two are John/Sherlock friendship, and the final tale is Johnlock.

tripleransom: (Default)
[personal profile] tripleransom
Title: The Emerald Band
Author: Firerose
Pairing: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson (as Rache/The Limping Doctor)
Length: 27882
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: None
Verse: ACD books/A Study in Emerald - Neil Gaiman/HP Lovecraft Cthulu Mythos
Author's summary:
How can I describe the sight that so unmanned my imperturbable friend? That caused the giant of a baronet to faint dead away? I could say Drago’s green-soaked body would no longer haunt my dreams—or if it did, it would be but a pleasant respite from the horror of that thing.

Rache & his faithful doctor investigate the murder of Julia Stoner in the 'Study in Emerald' universe, but the deeper they delve into the Roylott family history, the darker things become


Reccer's comments:
This is a fic set in the Emerald-verse, which is itself an inspired fusion of the Doyle Canon and HP Lovecraft's Cthulu Mythos, which is then crossed back over with The Speckled Band. You don't really need to have read any of them to get the gist of what's going on in this suspenseful story, but you should anyway. (ahem)
Rache and his loyal sidekick, the Limping Doctor, set out to solve the murder of Miss Julia Stonor, while trying to elude capture by Moriarty as chief agent for the Great Old Ones, who rule Albion. From there on, the familiar events of the Speckled Band play out against a background of Lovecraftian horror.
In order not to spoil the intricate plot - which is a good one - I won't summarise more, except to say that there's a secret passage, a classic locked-room mystery with a distinct supernatural twist, a crew of sinister Indian fakirs, and lurking beneath it all, an awful sense of primordial, unspeakable evil.
Firerose manages to juggle all these elements into a coherent whole and produce a corker of a casefic that's hard to put down But you may not want to read it late at night when you are alone in the house.
swissmarg: Mrs Hudson (Default)
[personal profile] swissmarg
Title: Antidote (link goes to tumblr)
Artist: anotherwellkeptsecret
Pairing: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson
Length: 1 mini-comic
Rating: Unrated, SFW
Warnings: None
Verse: ACD
Author's summary: None given. First line: In the dim light of a foggy November day, I chanced upon a package addressed to Mr. Sherlock Holmes.

Reccer's comments: Based on the Adventure of the Dying Detective, this is the comic equivalent of a one-shot missing scene that packs the punch of a full-blown story, and as such is an absolute delight. The facial expressions in this little comic are everything. I just love the tenderness and sweet emotion, paired with a modicum of angst and a hint of eroticism.

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