Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Tuesday's Best 7-5-2011

Good morning, folks. Hope you're enjoying the summer (or winter, I suppose, depending on where you're at?). Conversed and Aradi have found some goodies to share, so why don't we just get to it. Don't forget to bring your panties and towels, now ;-)


Submit by cjmuehlb is another one of those dirty little secret fics that we all have.  (And this one isn't even that big a secret since it's been nominated for various awards.)

When I sat down to ponder what to say about it, I realized I couldn't even categorize it.  (And I've been reading it since the beginning, so it's not like I haven’t had time to figure it out.)

It's canon, but it's slash.  It's slash, but it isn't romantic.  It's arguably dub-con/non-con, but it isn't.  Not exactly.  It's D/s, but as a fact of life, not a chosen lifestyle or a kink.

Hats off to a reviewer who likened it to a National Geographic program, but on the species we know as Twilight vampires.  In Submit, the coven structure is maintained through D/s heirarchies among the members.  On "paper" it is more interesting and less cheesy than I can ever explain.  It's kind of harsh and brutal, but cjmuehlb magically makes it work, and it's all somehow "okay" because that’s just the nature of these particular beasts.

Submit started with an Edward/Carlisle one-shot.  More chapters have been added to it since then, and they are flashbacks or continuations with various pairings (even including some Edward/Bella for you crazy purists).

If you want sunshine and romance and flavored lube and flowers, this fic may not be for you.

And if issues of consent are a trigger for you, definitely reconsider clicking that link.

But if you don't mind your boys a little (innately) rough and dirty...

Here's the part where I could paste some rough & dirty for you, but I won't.  You'll forgive me if I think the subject matter isn't anything I want people tripping over accidentally.  Also since it's essentially a series of confrontations, I'd hate to spoiler.  There aren’t even fluffy moments to paste because this story just isn’t like that.  

In case I've painted a picture of a non-stop, bite-and-scratch smutfest, let me correct that.  There's plenty of exposition as we're led to understand this life.  There's also plenty of funny moments (including some hilarious events with Bella).  The whole thing is steeped in such canon familial love that I'm not sure how it escapes my incest squick reflex (but it does).

My mostest favoritest chapter is Jasper/Carlisle, where cjmuehlb masterfully answers the question of how do you attempt to dominate a practiced killer who has a powerful gift.  I won't spoiler that either.  Just know know it deserves awards all on its own.

So there you go.  Try Submit if you feel like saying “I never would have thought of that... but I can kind of see it.”  And leave cjmuehlb some well-earned love for managing mostly-canon slash.

ps:  While I’m conveniently on the topic of dub-con, go check out this blog entry by the wonderful Einfach Mich.  Food for thought.

I should have known better than to read ArcadianMaggie’s Amid the Lucid Stream. I’ve only just recovered MONTHS after reading her misleadingly titled I Wept Not. That said, when I received an author alert to her Vamp Slash contest entry, I grabbed my Kleenex and locked myself in my office so I could read without shaming myselflike I did last timein front of my whole family.

They still LOL about the way I snot-sobbed all the way from London to Devon as I read I Wept Not in the car.

Thankfully I wasn’t driving. I saved the rest to read later in bed, under the covers. My husband thought I was having a breakdown. *shakes head*

Amid the Lucid Stream is a Jasper/Edward OS with stellar qualities. I do love fics that make reference to the constellations, and if they slip a little astral education in also, well, I’m in heaven. (Enough? Yes? Okay.)

Edward recalls the story of Cygnus, which is a tale of love and sacrifice:

“Cygnus willingly made the sacrifice and was ultimately rewarded with a spot in the heavens.

Through Cygnus’s story, he describes Jasper’s love,

       I'll always love you, he hears in his head, for as long as there are stars up in the sky.

He keeps his eyes closed, reveling in the feelings—body sated, love surrounding him, embracing him in its warmth.

When he opens his eyes, he is alone on the cliff.

His heart aches.”

Edward’s understanding of love and sacrifice comes after his perspective shifts. And it does shift--shockingly, suddenly, irrevocably. Once he views one element of his life from an altered perspective, every single aspect is affected.

       “He never knew, never even suspected.
He views everything differently now.”

This is such a touching story that’s beautifully paced, with authentic characterisation that made my heart ache.

Amid the Lucid Stream is a wonderful read, as were so many of the Vamp Slash entries, so if you haven’t already, go catch up with them all.



And there you have it; two wonderful stories (and a little food for thought. Feel free to comment - both here and on Einfach_Mich's blog, but remember to play nicely). Don't forget to leave these wonderful authors some love, and be sure to check back next week to see what Aradi and I have in store for you. 

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