November 15th, 2008

Fast Rope
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Woolsey's Team-Building Fiasco by Nika Dixon (PG-13)

Fandom Category: Stargate Atlantis
Pairing: Jennifer Keller/Ronon Dex, Teyla Emmagan/John Sheppard, Laura Cadman/Evan Lorne
Fic Title:
Woolsey's Team-Building Fiasco
Nika Dixon / nika_dixon 
Woolsey's Team-Building Fiasco
Rating/Warning(s): Mandatory fun and other HR-devised tortures, mild language and violence
Genre: Humorous Action/Adventure
WIP?: Complete

Why This Must Be Read:
Even if you have never been tortured by corporate team-building, company-bonding, trust exercises or corporate retreats, you will enjoy the funny and action-packed
Woolsey's Team-Building Fiasco by Nika Dixon. The author always has a deft touch with mixing humor, action and romance and this story is no exception. In fact, as another survivor of these horrors, she seems to have been inspired to new heights of hilarity. In the story, Woolsey decides to bring yet another of his beloved corporate activities to Pegasus. He plans an elaborate, multi-phase, off-world (bringing new meaning to off-site!) retreat and exiles the senior members of the expedition off to it for several days, including the team, Keller, Lorne and Cadman. Of course everything that can horribly wrong does, with a little help from pranks by the boys and the curse of Sheppard, leading to some serious whumping for several of them. Throughout their ordeal, they flirt deliciously, making the story all the more fun.

Fast Rope
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The Protect and Survive Series by RowenaR (PG-13)

Fandom Category: Stargate Atlantis, Stargate SG:1
Pairing: primarily Laura Cadman/Evan Lorne, past Laura Cadman/Carson Beckett, hints of Samantha Carter/Jack O'Neill, Teyla Emmagan/John Sheppard UST
Fic Title: The Protect and Survive Series:
Out of Reach ; (2) Seize the day ; (3) Where it all began; (4) Protect and Survive I: Might just save your life; (5) Protect and Survive II: Raising the stakes (6) Protect and Survive III: No sleep tonight (7) PAS IV: Wouldn't hurt to tell the truth (8) Protect and Survive V: Draw blood tonight (9) Protect and Survive VI: Building bridges (10) Protect and Survive VII: Show the world ; its AU Last Man verse connecting series Defining Moments: (1) Defining Moments: The faith that cleans your wound (2) Defining Moments: Like a song without a melody (3) Defining Moments: You and I will meet again (4) Defining Moments: If it kills me; and its sister series Minor Characters: (1) Minor Characters: Odd Man Out (2) Minor Characters II: A Little Change
RowenaR aka gelbes_gilatier 
Find all stories here.
Rating/Warning(s): Character death (same as onscreen), mild language, off-screen torture, violence, kissing only
Genre: Angst/Action/Adventure/Romance
WIP?: All these stories but one are completed, the overall series is ongoing thankfully.

Why This Must Be Read:
RowenaR, aka gelbes_gilatier , writes my canon of Lorne/Cadman in a series called Protect and Survive, with a few prequels and a spinoff AU set in the alternate future from "The Last Man." She takes the reader along as Lorne and Cadman gradually move from friends to best friends to more so gracefully and naturally that relationship feels like it evolved organically and was meant to be. The series starts with Laura grieving Carson's death, and then later, because she and Lorne have become closer friends, almost best friends, he tells of the CarsonClone and intrigues her into coming back to Atlantis to see if any feelings remain between she and Carson. In Atlantis, Evan and Laura's friendship deepens and grows more intense. Their feelings change so smoothly that Laura is taken unaware and has a memorably bad reaction. Things evolve from there as RowenaR proves that bringing characters together does not equal the death of romatic and dramatic tension for a great author. Along the way there are missions, action, kidnappings and captures as life in Pegasus remains eventful, to put it mildly. Please check this series out. You will not regret it.

What makes this author and this series stand-out? It's probably the gold standard for the pairing, always note-perfect, creative and emotionally true.
Her Lorne POV is as good if not better than the legendary Miss_Porcupine, with fabulous zingers, sarcasm and dry wit that feels completely in character. He is movingly brave, honorable and stoic, and when he suffers because of Laura's willful blindness to his feelings, your heart will break for him. Her Laura is believeably tough, damaged, strong and lovable. Their chemistry is palpable enough to make a strictly g-rated romance quite sexy and she writes incredible original characters that the reader falls in love with, especially Lorne's loyal Sergeant Meyers. Even her villains are quite memorable and multi-dimensional. Oh, did I mention how funny this series is? It's hilarious, dry and sarcastic with the characters' trademark humor through-out. Even so, I probably wouldn't love this series so insanely much if she wasn't just as deft at writing all the show characters just as well, especially John Sheppard and Teyla whose tortured and ambiguous non-relationship (or is it? she keeps me guessing) crackles in the background throughout the series as possibly the best and most agonizing secondary pairing ever in terms of how slowly and sparingly she has spooled it out. She also gives incredible angst that makes my chest hurt in the best way as she tortures the characters deliciously.  Bonus? She features The Princess Bride as a key prop in the couple's relationship; in fact, they give each other nicknames from the book.

All this is made all the more skillful and amazing by the fact that English is not the author's first language as she cautions at the beginning of each story and she seems to be cursed with the worst luck with computers ever (I think she's killed four or five PCs and at least as many external and thumb drives over the course of the series). I'm just grateful she's persevered and shared her wonderful stories with the world.

Her stories should be read sequentially. So the order is (1) 
Out of Reach ; (2) Seize the day ; (3) Where it all began; (4) Protect and Survive I: Might just save your life; (5) Protect and Survive II: Raising the stakes (6) Protect and Survive III: No sleep tonight (7) PAS IV: Wouldn't hurt to tell the truth (8) Protect and Survive V: Draw blood tonight (9) Protect and Survive VI: Building bridges (10) Protect and Survive VII: Show the world  Lorne in the Last Man alternate universe (1) Defining Moments: The faith that cleans your wound (2) Defining Moments: Like a song without a melody (3) Defining Moments: You and I will meet again (4) Defining Moments: If it kills me

She also writes a SG-1 series that's great called Minor Characters that links back subtly to her Lorne/Cadman stories (some original characters and canon characters appear in both): (1)
Minor Characters: Odd Man Out (2) Minor Characters II: A Little Change
. The events in this series occur in season eight of SG:1 and then the characters transfer to Atlantis and appear in the Protect and Survive series. There are two great romances in this series and it is also well-worth reading.
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For the Rain, by Peanutbutterer (pg-13)

Fandom Category: Stargate Atlantis, SG-1
Pairing: Elizabeth Weir/John Sheppard
Fic Title: For the Rain
Author: peanutbutterer
Rating/Warning(s): pg-13
Genre: AU
WIP?: No, just completed. ;)

Why This Must Be Read: I like to think of this is as my canon for the upcoming Vegas episode, where John Sheppard is a FBI agent (or something). Anyway, the Sheppard/Weir fandom has a supreme gift for creating AUs that everybody loves. They're always insanely creative and intelligent and unique, and PB's fics are no different. I love this story the most for it's snark. PB writes it like NCIS, with the constant flirting and humor, and there is no way anybody will be able to read this without laughing out loud several times. There's action, suspense, romance, angst, and my favorite kind of UST. Lovely, lovely fic that deserves to be read and reread.

Plus, it's got absolutely hilarious Cameron, Jack and Sam. What more could you ask for?

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All The Way To Reno by Violet (R)

Fandom Category: CSI (Vegas)
Pairing: Catherine/Gil
Fic Title: All The Way To Reno
Author: Violet or tangleofthorns
Rating/Warning(s): R
Genre: Romance/Drama/Character Study
WIP?: No

Why This Must Be Read: I think this has probably been recced all over the place already, because it's from several years ago, but it's one of my favorites. I've always gotten a mainly friendship vibe from Catherine & Grissom on the show, but this story really makes be believe in them as a couple. They're both such fully realized characters in this story; and so comfortable and honest with each other by the end because of their shared history. It's also just a great Catherine character piece, with wonderful backstory for her and a great character voice. It's just a lovely fic all around.
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Conflicts of Interest, by lanna_kitty (nc-17)

Fandom Category: Stargate: Atlantis
Pairing: John Sheppard/Elizabeth Weir, and a cast of thousands. ;)
Fic Title: Conflicts of Interest
Author: lanna_kitty
Rating/Warning(s): NC-17, sex and violence
Genre: AU, Drama
WIP?: No, though it's 70K+!

Why This Must Be Read: Loooong fic written for sgabigbang. Awesome, in-character, supernatural AU dealing with steampunk AU. It's one thing to write a totally new universe where you have to make up rules and species and define new terminology, and yet quite another to breath such life into the world. Lanna_Kitty does an awesome job of creating a whole new world where "the world is an alternate history version of our own world with a few radical changes. The first is that magic is real and works. The second is the presence of supernatural races that live, work, love and fight with normal humans. Most notable of these are the Werewolves and the Vampires. The third is that it is a steampunk setting - The technology of this world is at once far ahead of modern technology as we know it and yet far behind. There are airships and huge steam-powered mechs, lots of steel and brass and, of course, goggles. These three factors have changed history as we know it."

All of this should not mesh with SGA, but dude, like I always say, Sheppard/Weir fandom kicks ass at AUs and does it better than anyone else. Loved that she had that same sense of adventure/exploration in it that we're familiar with in the show, and how everybody was in character despite being in different roles. It should not work, but it totally does because Lanna never goes bad with characterization. Even with Teyla and Ronon as werewolves, or Elizabeth as a vampire, etc. This story has everyone from Sumner to Sam to Jeannie Miller to Laura Cadman. Practically everyone.

Plus, there's some steamy romantic scenes with John and Elizabeth that will reduce your brain to liquid! Read! Go! It will amaze you!

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His Favorite F Word by Summer Reign

Fandom Category: CSI (Vegas)
Pairing: Sara/Grissom
Fic Title: His Favorite F Word
Author: Summer Reign
Rating/Warning(s): R?
Genre: Romance
WIP?: No

Why This Must Be Read: This is one of my favorite canon ships on TV, but there's a shocking lack of good fic for the pairing. This is a nice one - charting the course of their relationship from first meeting all the way to love. It's sweet without being too sweet & fluffy, has a nice Grissom POV, and weaves canon well throughout the series of vignettes.

Ab Initio by Caroline Crane

Fandom Category: CSI Vegas
Pairing: Sara/Warrick
Fic Title: Ab Initio
Author: carolinecrane
Rating/Warning(s): R
Genre: Drama/sort-of-PWP
WIP?: No

Why This Must Be Read: Another one from a few years ago -- what can I say, I haven't found much great CSI fic that's more recent (hint, hint to other reccers out there ;) ).
This one has a really wonderful Sara voice, and an excellent depiction of how Sara and Warrick might come together despite their very different personalities. Oh, and it's also hot! :)