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mcshep_match Recs, Part One

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Sep. 20th, 2009 | 11:56 am

Guys, guys, guys. mcshep_match-- in case you were unaware-- is a one month post-a-rama of McKay/Sheppard stories, with two posted each day for your reading pleasure. There are two teams which compete on the basis of your votes. This year the teams are Peace and War, and surprise, surprise, I'm a proud member of Team War. The stories are, however, anonymous until the reveal. But this year we've got a bit of a competition for guessing the authors and artists going on, and if you guess a certain number right, there will be prizes involved. I may very well be drabbling for your victory, and there are some talented people on both teams frantically creating drabbles, icons, art & other happy things as prizes, so go read the stories and vote on them and guess the author/artists!

You can try and guess which story I wrote as well. :) (And no, just because I've recced it doesn't mean I haven't been extra sneaky and recced my own story as cover so. Heh.)

There's another reason why I want you lovely lot on my friends list to vote. This year, because of the War/Peace themes of the fest, Team War has been coming up with lots of dark and delicious and twistily sharp stories that really get under the skin of the show-- but unfortunately the darkness of the stories is getting them marginalised, even if they're wonderful, well-written, interesting and perhaps even hopeful tales. I know we're a generally fluffy lot in SGA fandom, but there's room for character death and darkness and scariness in our otherwise sweet and domestic paradise isn't there? (I know there is-- one of our fandom classics is Freedom's Just Another Word For Nothing Left to Lose, and that's a devastating & brilliant read...) Go and show the hard-working authors of mcshep_match darkfic some love, because they deserve it, and they certainly don't deserve people voting them down for writing stories that are beautifully sad.

I'm mostly reccing Team War stories, but a couple of Team Peace ones made it in too. Never let it be said that I wasn't bipartisan. :D

Holding On, Art, Team War
An interesting piece of art that's full of desperation or hope, depending on your interpretation. It's one of those pieces of art that hints at a long and interesting story behind it. How did the characters get here? What happened? How will they go on? Because it's Team War, I'm inclined to take a darker view of the possibilities of the picture, but I love it nonetheless. Warnings for characters in various states of dead/injured/unconscious.

Where The Brave Dare Not Go, Team War
It's a Were AU, and I actually enjoyed it. I have to say that I don't generally like gimmicky AUs because John and Rodney can sometimes seem plastered onto an unbelievable world, or are so fundamentally changed that I don't feel like I'm reading about the same characters. But this story subverted my prejudices. It's a detailed, surprisingly intricate and fresh take on this kind of AU universe, with a focus on John-and-Rodney but some great ensemble storytelling. The characters and the larger universe beyond them are believable and fun.

War Games, Team War
Does it get any better than this? This dark, subtle, shifting gem of a story hits every one of my fic buttons. Sheppard needs McKay to win, and he'll go to any lengths to get him. We get such a great, sharp insight into these two dangerous, difficult, complicated men. There are very few stories that explore their darker natures, and fewer that turn them against each other. War Games is great because it gets to give us a slice of this frisson and tension, without destroying any of the trust and love that clearly exists between them. It's just an exercise...right?

The Imperious Dr. Rodney McKay of Atlantis, Team Peace
This is a wonderful, inventive story about what happens post-Enemy at the Gates, and the political machinations that the team becomes involved with in ensuring that Atlantis gets to go back to the Pegasus galaxy. But, as it's Team Peace, is approaches these ideas from a humourous and interesting perspective-- and features Rodney doing hilarious personnel reviews, Woolsey being a sneaky bastard, and the team all pulling together against a supposed enemy. Nothing is quite what it seems, but it's a fun ride.

The Ethical Life, Team War
Rodney McKay and John Sheppard meet in 1939. A historical AU where Rodney is working as a scientist for the Allied government has a wonderful period feel. It's Bletchley Park, the Enigma machine, the Kiss-The-Boys-Goodbye dances with music playing over the sound of air-raid sirens. This story really captures that desperately alive feeling of the era, and Rodney and John are both recognisable within the context. Their romance hits all the right notes, and the story is held together with a prose-style that is a pleasure to read, and packed with lots of lovely little insights.

The House of Atlantis, Art, Team War
A beautiful piece of fanart, which places the team in a medieval context. There's an abundance of gorgeous detail that makes this a picture you could look at for an hour, and that tells a story about the entire team. It captures a completely alternate life for them-- and hey, John as a knightly champion is never amiss. :)

Saving Sheppard, Team War
Rodney was eight the first time he met Death. How to describe this story? Part Gaiman, part Ingmar Bergman, part Supernatural. Rodney is a sickly child, and plays chess with Death to pass the time-- but it's only after he becomes part of Atlantis that he realises what Death truly is. This shifts from a story about an alienated child's friendship with Death, to a man's struggle with it-- it ends, ultimately, in acceptance, but this story is deftly characterised, and hopeful without being in any way sentimental. It's a pleasure to read plausible backstory for Rodney-- this one definitely makes it onto the list of personal canon for me.

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