swissmarg: Mrs Hudson (Default)
[personal profile] swissmarg
Title: The Vampires of London
Author: consultingdetective
Pairing: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson
Length: 72K
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: Major character death
Verse: BBC
Author's summary: Over one hundred years after the first battle, a series of murders have caught the attention of London's police force and Sherlock Holmes. While most of the city has forgotten the vampire that once walked its streets, the descendants of the Van Helsing, Harker, and Seward families have not.

Reccer's comments: Perfectly timed to coincide with the recent announcement that Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss, and Sue Vertue will be teaming up again to bring Dracula to the BBC, this unites Sherlock Holmes and Bram Stoker’s Dracula in a casefic full of classic Gothic horror, secrets, ancient magic, and the past coming back – sometimes quite literally – to bite. The fic delights with twist after earth-shattering twist, simmering Johnlock UST, and John Watson as the baddest BAMF to hit the streets of London since 1897. The OCs are deliciously wicked, and in true ensemble style, secondary characters such as Mycroft, Molly, Moran, Lestrade, and even Sally Donovan all have crucial and prominent parts to play. There is a modicum of gore and major character death, but it’s not a sad ending and I mean, without spoiling… vampires. ;)
write_out: (Default)
[personal profile] write_out
Title: (Never) Turn Your Back to the Sea
Author: [ profile] DiscordantWords 
Pairing: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson 
Length: 39968
Rating: Mature
Warnings: None 
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary: 

Baker Street is very much the same. Only different. 

And Sherlock is just trying not to drown.

Reccer's comments:

The smiley face was wrong.

No, not wrong exactly, it was impossible for such a thing to be wrong but—

Perhaps different was the better word.

The smiley face was different.

It had been a good effort. An excellent effort. He'd found replacement wallpaper in the same design as the original. John had even gone out and purchased a can of Michigan hardcore propellant in the proper shade. He'd gotten the placement mostly right. Sherlock had provided the bullet holes himself.

And yet it wasn't quite the same.

The differences were subtle. The yellow paint intersected with the wallpaper pattern slightly lower than it had before (likely due to John's shorter stature.) The paint had been applied with a heavier hand, a more measured, controlled spray compared to his own broad bored sweep all those years ago.

The effect was—unsettling.

Full disclosure: I bid on this author for the Fandom Trumps Hate charity auction on on Tumblr and this is the story that came out of it, so I have a very personal connection.

This amazing post-S4 story deals with the aftermath of all that has happened, particularly the events in The Final Problem, from Sherlock's perspective. To crib some of what I've said about this fic elsewhere, I love how this story ties together so many of the loose ends we were left with once the series ended. This story approaches TFP from a canon viewpoint: TFP is real and this is what happened during and after. It has some of the most chilling scenes (featuring Eurus Holmes), some of the most heartbreaking (featuring Gloria Trevor), and some of the most uplifting (featuring Sherlock and little Rosie Watson). 

This is a beautifully written story that runs an emotional gamut from anxiety and unease and fear, to healing and warmth and brotherhood and so much love. We come full circle with Sherlock as he works to heal himself and to make Baker Street truly home. Yes, it's Sherlock/John endgame, but the focus is more on Sherlock and how he deals with all that has happened. I don't hate TFP as much as some- in fact, I found much to love- but this story has given me answers I needed, the emotional closure I craved, and it has made rewatches that much more enjoyable. 
[identity profile]
Title: Look west from London
Author: fahye
Pairing: Molly Hooper, Sherlock Holmes/John Watson
Length: 4500 words
Rating: Teen
Warnings: none
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary: There are almost no lies in the way that Molly presents herself, only omissions.

Reccer's comments: *deep breath* Okay. This is the most quietly horrifying and heartbreaking story in this fandom that I have ever managed to read and admire. I am generally a wimp, but this story is so perfectly crafted that I was willing to let it haunt me. A supernatural variation on the Reichenbach Fall in which Molly remains the key to arranging Sherlock's resurrection, though at a terrible price. Written with complexity, clarity, and stark emotion, this fic hits hard. The ending hurts, but the whole is darkly beautiful.
ancientreader: black and white pet rat (Default)
[personal profile] ancientreader
Title: Leaves
Author: DiscordantWords   
Pairing: John/Sherlock
Length: 7,513
Rating: PG or R; I'm really not sure
Warnings: High creepiness factor. Very high. OMG so high.
Verse: BBC Sherlock
Author's summary: It came on a Wednesday, with the post.
Reccer's comments: One of the tags on this story: "it's a horror story it's meant to be a bit unsettling," and holy smokes does DiscordantWords come through on that promise. I am a cowardly shipper who demands John/Sherlock happy endings, so I almost didn't read this one (another tag: "ambiguous/open ending"), but I'm glad I did. Well, sort of glad. For the value of "glad" that includes whimpering and gibbering. But it's a Halloween story, after all, and a masterful one, so brace yourself for some highly satisfactory creepout and HIT THAT LINK.

    Sherlock furrowed his brow and scrunched up his face in an exaggerated expression of bewilderment, holding the plant up to the light. The leaves quivered a bit, stirred by his breath.
    He gave it a thorough looking-over, eyes flicking rapidly as though determined to unravel some deeper meaning to it.
    "Boring," he declared, after a long period of scrutiny. He looked offended at having expended the effort. He deposited the plant on the windowsill, left the room in a flurry of dressing gown.
    John stood and went over to the windowsill, looking down at the little pot. The plant was a strange, sad little thing, shriveled, dried out. It didn't look like any plant he'd ever seen, but, then, he'd never really been much for houseplants.
    He tipped a little cup of water into the dry soil.

Read on the AO3.
[identity profile]
Title: Sentiment
Artist: A-Little-Night-Music
Pairing: Sherlock/John
Length: 2 pages
Rating: PG-15 (blood/gore)
Warnings: Contains spoilers, highlight to view Character death, blood/gore
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary:
BBC Sherlock fanart :3
size: 16x9cm ~ 8x9cm
done with rotring art pen EF & isograph pen 0.1, 0.3, 0.5
colored with Photoshop CS5

Reccer's comments:
Another from ALittleNightMusic. This bit of sequential art exemplifies just the sort of angst that can reach into one's chest and crush one's heart in its cruel fist. Sherlock has been looking for John, post-hiatus, and he finds him... and refuses to ever lose him again.

These drawings are truly excellent examples of hatching and cross-hatching technique, and the framing is purely cinematic, as is typical of this artist.

Page 1

Page 2

[identity profile]
Title: Ashes - a graphic novel
Artist: A-Little-Night-Music
Pairing: Gen
Length: 8 pages
Rating: R (gore/violence)
Warnings: Lots of blood and various disturbing images.
Verse: Sherlock BBC crossover with Silent Hill
Author's summary:
ashes: a graphic novel (BBC Sherlock x silent hill crossover)

done with isograph pen. edited in ps.

Reccer's comments:
This dark and brooding, horror-filled graphic novel is unfinished as yet, but the artwork the artist has produced for it so far is spectacular. It's near-photographic in quality, at times, and the way the action is framed is incredibly cinematic and suspenseful. There are no words used in the available pages of this story, and this, combined with the fact that the book is unfinished, leaves a whole lot of room for the imagination of the reader to run wild. You'll be wondering what on earth is going on in this universe, and what is real and what isn't.

London, which appears to be half-demolished by a disaster, is largely deserted but for menacing animals roaming the foggy streets, and Sherlock is on his own to face the terrifying task at hand. Each page, each frame, of this book can be lingered over, as the artwork is consistently beautiful and detailed. This is definitely a fanbook I will buy instantly if it is ever finished.

I've attempted to put the pages in order, since the artist left them jumbled in a folder. There are additional pages on the artist's tumblr, but I don't know how they fit in with the other pages, since they are not labelled in any coherent way.

Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8
[identity profile]
Title: Coins on my Eyes
Author: indybaggins
Pairing: Sherlock/John, Sherlock & Mycroft
Length: 35,000
Rating: M
Warnings: Graphic depictions of violence
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary: 'Sherlock spent nights lying awake, listening to the rustling of John’s hands on the bedcovers. The dull thumps of John’s head against the headboard. The rhythmic grinding of his teeth. The soft, hungry sounds of his mouth and throat.'

There is an unknown infection rapidly spreading through London, fear, unspoken love, dead who cannot die... and a way for them to come back. Post-zombie AU!

Reccer's comments:

This fic was one of the highlights of my summer. The writing is stellar, the characterizations nuanced, the relationships breath-taking, the moral conundrums complex, and the setting horrifying. The story shifts perspective between its main characters as it follows the devastating progress of an incurable disease. Mycroft's perspective is insightfully rendered as he adopts ruthless measures to stem the spread of the plague while at the same time reluctantly supporting Sherlock's attempts to cure John after he seems long lost to infection.

This story portrays the deeply generous love between Sherlock and John, and Sherlock and Mycroft, without ever slipping into sentimentality. Its central characters move and breathe with extraordinary detail and emotional integrity. The intense crises they each face bring out the core qualities of their personalities. I think it's an amazing piece of work.

(Possible warnings: this fic deals with end of life issues and caregiving for debilitated loved ones; it portrays suicidal ideation and mentions suicide and euthanasia; it also contains some imagery that is reminiscent of the Holocaust.)
[identity profile]
Title: Dark Things
Author: bethagain
Pairing: none
Length: approx. 16,800 words
Rating: teen and up
Warnings: none
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary: The answer should be obvious. It's almost always obvious. But these murders... They don't make sense.

Reccer's comments: Take Sherlock in clever deduction mode, have him meet Lovecraft and a new genre is created: tentacle casefic.

London is confronted by a string of atrociously violent murders and no one, initially not even the world’s only consulting detective can make head or tail of them. There’s no motive, no method, just a trail of hideously abused corpses.

Of course Sherlock is the one to eventually figure out what’s going on, staying true to his maxim that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth, even if you'll first have to wrap your head about the fact that it slithers and has numerous tentacles.

As any Lovecraft-enthusiast is justly weary of those tentacles, Sherlock’s actual explanation for the murders had me snorting with laughter.
[identity profile]
Title: Within
Author: songlin
Pairing: none
Length: 992 words
Rating: Teen+
Warnings: none
Author's summary: Amazingly enough, John notices it first. It must be something to do with combat instincts, or paying attention to nagging feelings despite any amount of contradictory evidence, or just paranoia. Whatever it is, it boils down to this: something is wrong.

Reccer's comments: Busy this month, running late on everything, crabby and hot, scooped on a couple of recs, kicking puppies, and suddenly realizing that ... no, really?


*reloads spreadsheet*

How has songlin not been recced here?

Songlin has written a little of everything in the BBC fandom. The quality of this writer's off-the-cuff prompt-driven work amazes me. This horror ficlet is a good sample - smart, sharp, and satisfying. It's also creeeeeeeeeeeeepy. Eeeeeeee. Eee.

[identity profile]
Title: Love Letters
Author: helicidae
Pairing: Jim Moriarty/John Watson, John Watson & Sherlock Holmes
Length: 39,260 words
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: Everything. All of it. There is not a thing that should not be warned for.
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary: Dearest John... Moriarty sends love letters. When it's over you'll have your own blood and my come in your mouth and on your lips, John, and that'll be the most beautiful sight in the world.

Reccer's comments: Horror. Horrific horrible horror.

Here is the full list of author tags: Mind Games, Bloodplay, Cannibalism, Child Death, Child Torture, Forced Self-harm, Minor Character Death, Necrophilia, Non-con, Body Modification, Rape, Torture, Sadism, Sexual Violence, Starvation, Extreme Underage, Horror, One-Sided Relationship

Moriarty is John's stalker. Almost every horrible thing is an exercise in imagination. Somehow, that makes it worse - there are places people can go in their heads that it might be hard to sell them going in a fic that stayed in character.

There are not enough capital "D"s and colons in the world to express my reaction to this as I read it. Well-regarded published horror does go this dark, but somehow it was just not something I was prepared for in fan writing.

The development of John and Sherlock's relationship throughout is a marvel of authorial ... something. Deftness? Delicacy? John is trying to keep a secret, and Sherlock is trying to uncover it, and it's never entirely certain how their friendship will survive the onslaught of Moriarty's obsession. (This is an S2 canon divergence, and takes Reichenbach a different direction.)

This story was written for the kink meme; the AO3 version is somewhat amended. The effect in the end is a little different, but probably not enough to worry about. Read it twice! But really, not if any of the tags tweak you too hard, because the author does not pull punches.
[identity profile]
Title: Ruins of the Dark
Author: philalethia
Pairing: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson, John Watson/Mary Morstan
Length: 8,205 words
Rating: Mature
Warnings: Graphic/extreme violence, non-consensual sex
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary: Three years after “The Reichenbach Fall,” Sherlock comes back. But he comes back wrong.

Reccer's comments: Sherlock comes back very wrong, and he doesn't care what John thinks about it. This is very dark, no kidding. Non-con note for apparent consent under extremely dubious conditions.

A passing conversation in this story regarding what might have happened to someone who got too nosy is still giving me bad, bad feelings. In the good way, obvs. This is a neat shot of something strong and bleak to make you forget S3 ever happened.*

*I liked S3, don't get me wrong. Just, you know.
[identity profile]
Title: The Vow [on sherlockbbc-fic | on author's LJ]
Author: velvet_mace
Pairing: Shub-Niggurath/Sherlock
Rating: NC-17
Warnings: Non-con.
Verse: BBC Sherlock/Lovecraft fusion
Author's Summary: Written for this prompt The reason Sherlock doesn't sleep much is that every time he goes to bed, this happens: (NSFW).

Reccer's comments: One of my favorite short fics from early prompt meme days, and not on AO3 as far as I can tell.

Sherlock is descended from the Old Ones, and Great-Grandmother wants him to procreate. He's vowed not to, which irritates her. Forcible tentacle incest ensues.

I've been indulgent, because you and your brother have always been my favourites... but no more. If you won't serve me willingly, you will be made to serve.

“No!” Sherlock cried out, but before the word was half out of his mouth, a tentacle, slimy and fat and covered with small pebbled scales, plugged his mouth. He recoiled back, drawing his tongue protectively deep in his mouth and away from it. Then the flavour hit him. Far from being fetid or foul, as he expected, it was sweet and savoury, hideously delicious. Nourishing.

Velvet_mace has a way of keeping up the tension with little twists and foreboding dialogue. This fic makes great use of both Lovecraft and the prompt art, and is delightfully dirty.

(Thanks to the Sherlock rant meme for hunting this down - you're all cocks to me.)
[identity profile]
Title: A Study in Midnight
Author: M_Leigh
Pairing: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson
Length: 41,500 words
Rating: M
Warnings: none
Verse: ACD books, also a crossover with Neil Gaiman's "A Study in Emerald," which is itself playing within the works of H.P. Lovecraft.
Author's summary: In a world dominated by an alien monarchy, criminals Sherlock Holmes and John Watson work to take down the royal establishment while detective James Moriarty and his associate Sebastian Moran try to track them down. Also featuring Irene Adler, and Roderick Maclean, who did in fact exist. AU based on Neil Gaiman's phenomenal short story "A Study in Emerald."

Reccer's comments: I have never read Lovecraft or Gaiman, but this nightmarish dystopia drew me in immediately and the story, though darker and more violent than my usual fic tastes, kept me constantly absorbed, intrigued, and excited, and occasionally it completely pulled the rug from under me. It was darkly operatic in the best sense, theatrical and unashamedly Victorian but grounded in truly complex characterizations with delightful touches of dry wit. Throughout this story, we slowly learn that no one is quite what they seem.

It has one of the best Watson narrative voices I have ever encountered; the story at times switches to other POV characters in clearly marked sections, but the majority of the story is Watson's. He and Holmes are more broken, more desperate, more afraid and more bloody than I am used to seeing them, but they live in a horror show of a world, and despite it all they are deeply recognizable: Holmes fights for justice, and Watson fights for Holmes.

The story is beautifully written and paced, and the main secondary characters -- Irene and Moran -- are particularly interesting. A truly engrossing read.

Excerpt... )
[identity profile]
Title: Daddy loves me the best, also here at at AO3
Author: [ profile] thisprettywren
Pairing: Moran/Moriarty, Moran/Holmes
Length:3,800 words
Warnings: Graphic violence, non-con. Contains unpleasant violence during a sexual act (as does the original).
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary:Holmes doesn't understand Jim at all. Not like I do. Not yet.

Reccer's comments: This is one of [ profile] thisprettywren’s least popular stories. Such a shame for I think it is one of her best. It is a remix of a very dark story, written in [ profile] thisprettywren’s unique, bare, powerful language that slashes down at you like strokes from a sword wielded by some ghastly monster.

This is not just a horror story, no, it is a horrid story. And yet, once you start reading you’ll read on breathlessly. There’s no escaping from this dark hellish pit of sadism and mindfuckery that would have the Marquis himself in raptures in his Bastille prison.

The story is told from the POV of Moran who’s torn between his jealousy of and his own fascination for and attraction to Jim’s newest object of desire. To have been abducted by and be the prisoner of Jim is no holiday, to have to contend with Moran’s attempts to seduce Jim into loving him again is a straight descent into hell.

Utterly disturbing, but a marvellous read if you want to explore what Jim’s mind dungeon probably looks like.
[identity profile]
Title: Stumbleine
Author: wiggleofjudas
Pairing: Molly/Richard Fox [James Moriarty]
Length: 1,552
Rating: M for violence
Warnings: Graphic Depictions of Violence, Canonical Character Death
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary: A re-telling of Mr. Fox/The Robber Bridegroom in the key of BBC Sherlock.

Reccer's comments: No S3 Spoilers
Death-Tender Molly Hooper shines in these seven 221Bs set in the fairytale-inspired 'verse The Snow Queen. This part of the series can be understood without having read the previous installments, but I do urge you to enjoy them to obtain a fuller view of this gorgeous, terrifying, yet intensely human world.

It can be difficult to do Molly justice, to either make her ineffective and uninteresting, or to swing wildly to an opposite extreme in an effort to "fix" her perceived faults, thereby obliterating the traits that make Molly an engaging character. But in masterful hands, that balance between awkwardness and a core of understated strength is maintained, as Molly reacts to what she finds in her fiancé's ancestral home:

Molly’s skin prickles panic-hot and goes numb, numb. She can’t take her eyes from the hand (her age; more elegant).

If I have to, she thinks, her mind a bloody, beating thing recalling those last, hardest lessons at the death-tender’s cabin: I will. If.

Richard buries the blade in the table and storms up the stairs, lips all disgust. Doesn’t see her.

Never, Molly thinks, saw her.

Before she leaves: her work. She hasn’t time for the science of it (though how she would like to, how good it would feel to find the whats and hows and how-manys, to make a record), but the ritual: that, yes, she can do.

She starts at the table. Lays the hand with the body, rummages in the pouch at her waist, clinks through vials ’til she finds what she wants: distillations of ivy, aloe, yew. Three drops on the forehead, smudged once with her thumb; rites she mouths quiet as she can; relief when she feels the soul rest, release.

On to the next. Again. Until, when she whispers the words that let her hear what’s held back, there is peace.

Throughout the story she will do what must be done (and more), quietly, competently, shunning the easy path.

The prose is spare and poetic in its approach to rhythm and pacing. This adds to the otherworldly character of the 'verse, which has the folk ballad's economy and darkness. Best read in a well-lit room with a valiant tomcat or steadfast terrier by your side.
[identity profile]
Title: The Madness of Angels
Author: ayalesca
Pairing: Sherlock/John
Length: 87,457
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: Graphic Depictions of Violence, Canonical and Minor Character Deaths
Verse: Sherlock BBC

Author's summary: Urban fantasy AU. In which John Watson is a war sorcerer recently invalided home from Afghanistan. In London he meets Sherlock Holmes, the world’s most irritating urban sorcerer and only consulting detective. There, John finds himself and Sherlock suddenly under attack by a mysterious and malevolent power—and drawn into a mystery that may tear London apart. A fusion with the Matthew Swift series by Kate Griffin, but no prior knowledge is needed.

Reccer's comments: No S3 Spoilers

This impressive work is one of my favorite BBC series fics.

The bare facts: it is a fusion (with crossover elements consisting of cameos from two urban magic series) that requires no knowledge of the originals to steal your breath, squeeze your heart, and cause you to pound the nearest surface in amazed delight. The vivid, sharply realized settings and the stunning way in which John, Sherlock, Mycroft, and Irene just fit as their IC selves into the dangerous and fantastic landscapes of the City of London is truly remarkable. Let me not leave out the brilliant dialogue, the skillfully re-imagined S1 and S2 cases, and the plot twists so gorgeously done that my sole desire (aside from thanking the author) was to find the other enraptured commenters and hold a joyously raucous re-reading party.

I'll be honest: This fic reminds me exactly why I fell deeply, madly in love with the BBC series in 2011.

Excerpt: “What are you exactly, John?”

“Washed-up RAMC,” John says lightly.

“Oh, no, I think there’s rather more to you than that,” Sherlock breathes.

He grabs John by the elbow and yanks him to a stop; John nearly stumbles. He gets his footing back and has his mouth open to swear at Sherlock when the iron-like grip loosens, shifts, and then Sherlock takes John’s hand in his own with surprising gentleness. Their eyes meet, dark blue to an ice blue so intense that John has to remind himself to breathe. Then John feels a softly glowing warmth in his hand, and in the next instant all of London thrills through John’s body and his heart suddenly jumps, resets its rhythm, palpitates, and then pounds in the rhythm of cars stopping and starting at thousands of traffic lights. His head fills with the laughter and sorrow of eight million souls; his lungs fill with the air they inhale and exhale. John closes his eyes and allows himself to exist within every footstep on every cobblestone, every raindrop falling on every roof, every spark of electricity burning through every streetlamp in London.

Sherlock pulls away and his gaze is challenging, his lips mocking.

Silently John reaches into his pocket and takes out the shell casing belonging to the bullet that is currently lodged in a dead serial killer’s heart. Sherlock’s face opens in a grin and John is absurdly pleased by Sherlock’s smile.

He reaches out for Sherlock’s hand.

The shell casing firmly fixed in his mind, John clears the London fog from their eyes and shows them both the clear starry night skies above a starkly beautiful desert. He fills both their lungs with the rush and roar of air during a parachute jump. He makes their hearts step in time with the inexorable march of conquering soldiers down through thousands of years of history. Then he presses the shell casing between his and Sherlock’s hand. He feels the sharp, desperate struggle between life and death imbued into the metal; he can feel the tiny thing pulsating as if it were the heart that it had stopped so recently.

And he sends a thrill of power into Sherlock’s body, filling him with the hot roar and spray of blood that the bullet remembers and will always remember.

“You’re a war sorcerer,” Sherlock says the words like a spell that is new to him: feeling the words for their hidden powers, tasting and feeling them for secrets and nuances. His eyes are scanning over John, studying every molecule of him, sniffing out every tendril of magic that is awakening deep inside John’s blood. “How can you be this powerful in London?”

“Because you are a battlefield,” John whispers, and with that realization his world blurs, reels, and then snaps into razor-sharp focus again.
[identity profile]
Title: Sickly Sweet
Author: wiggleofjudas
Pairing: Gen
Length: 1,313
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: Minor Character Death
Verse: Sherlock BBC and Hannibal and a Certain Oft-Told Tale*

Author's summary: The Holmes brothers are lost in the woods.

Reccer's comments: Beware of the woods, dear children. Beware of the stranger who lures you with sweets cunningly made. Beware of the cottage that appears where no compass may work...

Although fairy tales may be derided as fluff by the ignorant, fans and folklorists (or more properly, fans whose rabidness recognizes few bounds) know these stories and songs can be as terrifying as any horror film. Set against the dread closing in on Mycroft and Sherlock is the tart brightness of the brothers' love for each other. Mycroft really shines here, the resourceful savior and sheet anchor of his shrinking family. Yet neither child comes across as more than extraordinarily brilliant children. So follow the virtual bread crumbs, my dears, if you dare!

* = no knowledge of Hannibal is required, but familiarity with the fairy tale that inspired this may cause you to forswear these, these and also these and to hide under your desk with a flashlight and your Ted/Cat/Canine Friend

Excerpt: Read more )
swissmarg: Mrs Hudson (Molly)
[personal profile] swissmarg
Title: The Beast of Baskerville
Author: faviconMildredandbobbin / [ profile] mildred_bobbin
Pairing: Sherlock/John, Harry/Clara, others
Length: 74,550 words
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: Character death
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary: 15th Century/fairy tale AU. An invalided John Watson comes to the isolated village of Baskerville seeking shelter with his sister, only to find himself embroiled in a grisly murder. As the villagers point to a local werewolf legend, the odd but brilliant friar, Brother Sherlock, disagrees, and soon he and John are on the the trail of a very human murderer. As the killer takes another victim, fear and suspicion grips the village, culminating in the arrival of Inquisitor, Friar James Moriarty, who proves more terrible than any supernatural beast could ever be.

Reccer's comments: [ profile] mildred_bobbin has written several great fics in this fandom, but this is definitely my favorite so far. It's a medieval AU which is a melange of the first two series of Sherlock, Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose, Janet Lewis's The Wife of Martin Guerre and the 2011 Red Riding Hood movie. It's a tightly plotted, well-paced ensemble piece, veering away from the usual main supporting characters of Lestrade and Mycroft to give larger parts to rarer characters such as Harry, Clara, Henry Knight, Robert Frankland, and Louise Mortimer. Irene as the Mother Abbess is a pointed provocation, and Molly and Moriarty shine in their respective roles as midwife and Inquisitor too, but the real stars are, of course, Brother Sherlock as a keen-eyed Franciscan friar and Master Watson as a peasant foot soldier recently returned from Granada (not only a nod to Granadaverse, but also a real war waged in the late 1400's).

The driving force of the story is the series of horrific deaths plaguing the small village of Baskerville. A werewolf is the supposed culprit, but Sherlock sees a mortal hand and sets out to gather his evidence, with John's help.

Excerpt contains mild gore... )

One thing I thought the author did really well was to make use of the beliefs and superstitions of the era, especially the quotes from the Malleus Maleficarum at the start of every chapter. There are also nice period details for flavour, but it's not so overflowing with references and research that it feels like reading an academic treatise.

The secondary plot is the relationship between Sherlock and John. Due in part to Sherlock's vows and in part to the societal attitude toward homosexuality, it's obviously not an easy road, but I thought the author handled it with respect and not at all in a sensationalist manner. I thought it was a brave move to cast Sherlock as a truth-seeker and rational thinker who nonetheless takes his vows seriously and does try to adhere to the good core of the Church's teachings. He is in fact a heretic for the time period, but not because he is actually an atheist or humanist (or at least his character didn't come across that way to me).

Finally, the story has been illustrated throughout by some very talented artists: [ profile] kikislasha, BlueStoneArcher, and khorazir. The art alone would be worth a rec.

In addition to the character death warning (neither of the two leads, but multiple canon characters), there is torture, gore, and mention of non-con. I also really want to add a special warning for
the murder of unborn children
because I think it could be quite upsetting for some readers.
[identity profile]
Title: Breathe With The Soul
Author: i_ship_an_armada
Pairing: John/Sherlock
Length: 42825
Rating: Explicit
Warning: Graphic depictions of violence
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's Summary:
Sherlock and John hunt a serial killer who uses The Nine Circles of Hell as his modus operandi.
This is a alternate universe fusion casefic based on the movie Se7en and Dante Alighieri's Inferno. Any mistakes or misrepresentations regarding these two works are on purpose (probably) and entirely mine.
Reccer's Comments:
Not for the faint of heart.  Even if you'd watched Se7en yesterday, this one will still get to you.  The author builds the tension slowly and painfully.  I just kept thinking 'The tag said neither one dies.'   On the tail of that thought though, I started worrying about the truth of author tags.  Great characterizations and a great AU that tailors the Se7en universe to its needs.  If you've never seen it, most of the movie takes place in an endless downpour and that serves as an excellent backdrop for this story: the brown and grey buildings of a murky, wet London.  Best read with all the lights on.  And a taser.  Just to be safe.

Sherlock raised his torch, sweeping the light across the room, highlighting the cooktop. Or at least, what they could see of it. Pots and pans covered each burner, crusted food spills covered everything else and continued on to the adjoining countertop and sink. Dirty utensils were strewn haphazardly in between empty food containers. As the beam hit each surface, cockroaches scattered in multiple directions, their soundless escape making the scene all the more surreal.
The beam illuminated similar detritus all over the tiny kitchen, up to and including the small kitchen table in the center and the grotesquely obese man slumped over it.
“John…” Sherlock’s voice trailed off. He could feel his heart pounding in his chest. John stepped up next to him and they brushed shoulders.
“Jesus Christ, Sherlock. Why exactly are we here?”
“Murder, John,” Sherlock breathed.
Almost in sync, they walked up to the dead man, each taking a side and leaning in to study him without touching. The man’s face was not visible, face buried in the batter bowl full of syrupy treacle.
“Sherlock, this guy…he must weigh twenty-five stone…”
John continued as if Sherlock hadn’t spoken. “Don’t you suppose there is the possibility that he went into cardiac arrest and he simply…he just keeled over in his pudding?”
[identity profile]
Title: Equinoxes & Solstices
Author: [ profile] afrogeekgoddess
Pairing: Gen
Length: 611
Rating: T
Warnings: none
Verse: Sherlock BBC

Author's summary: Molly/Spring, Irene/Summer, Sally/Autumn, Anthea/Winter. Portrait poems of the women of Sherlock, centered around the four seasons.

Reccer's comments: Vivid and compelling portraits of four of the female characters in the series.

One of the best things about fanfiction is that it can explore the complexity of the characters in ways unaddressed in canon. Through her potent imagery, Afrogeekgoddess subverts the stereotypes that the series' male writers invoke: sweet girl with a crush, oversexed villainness, angry woman of color, and sexy secretary of a powerful man.
For example, AGG suggests the depths of Molly by reminding us that the new growth of spring is made possible by death:

Molly loves the growing spring, when the world is
sodden, unfurling its secrets from the ground....
when the colors she loves so dearly—rose golds,
dusty pinks, the splashes of vermillion and violet
she wears on her skin and paints on her blog—
dance across her eyes; when the buds break
through the dirt like saws through chest cavities,
lay their bright, juicy blossoms out for her
to measure and weigh

Although Molly is often depicted as someone soft and sweet, if you consider her chosen profession, both life and death must fascinate her. Darkness and death are not something to be feared, but generate things of stunning beauty: flowers in this poem, data and solved mysteries in the world of Sherlock Holmes.

Each woman is competent, powerful, and beautiful: Sally who knows the victory of capturing a perp and recognizes her value as a person despite pervasive racism ("the whole of London loves the colors of her body/(she knows it won't last, knows the white faces who adore/the changing leaves won't give her brown body/a second admiring glance)"); Irene the Domme, who willingly lets herself by dommed by the most powerful Female in the solar system; and Anthea, whose "elegant avalanches,/smothering and deadly" and "secrets encoded in crystal" protect the British Government.


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