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Red Beating Heart

The amount of time I spend reading TS fic has greatly diminished over the last couple of years, unfortunately.  Between RL, interest in other fandoms and just reading other things, not to mention writing my own fanfic, I don't get around to reading much anymore.  I have so many stories saved to read, it's ridiculous, and every time I save another one, I laugh.  At any rate, I still have favorite authors and favorite stories.  Some have remained such since I joined the fandom, others have come or gone.  So, without further ado, here they are. 

Note:  I prefer linking to authors' websites - I like seeing their personalities as well as other work they've done, plus it's a great way to discover other writers.  For all the authors here who don't have sites, I've linked to specific stories - some of which are archived, some not. 

The authors I rec'd on this page all gave their permission for me to link to their work.  People feel differently about having their work and/or page linked to, so if I haven't heard from their own mouths that I can do that, I don't.  That said, these authors below are more favorites of mine - and most of them have their own webpages - but for one reason or another, I wasn't able to get in touch with them.  I suggest you track them down, though, they're certainly worth it.
Aristede (linked through Bone's page)
Barb G (archive)
Betty Plotnick (linked through Livia's page)
Brighid (linked through Livia's page)
Deirdre (archive)
Emily Brunson (archive)
Helen (archive)
Justine (linked through Kass's page)
Lady of Shalott (archive)
Lanning Cook (archive)
Legion (archive)
Lemon Drop (linked through Martha's page)
Lyrica (linked through Sihaya's page)
Mallory Klohn (archive)

Alanna is a good example of an author who knows the value of a good opening sentence.  I read the first line of Toy Story and printed it immediately for my collection.  The premise of this story is that Blair is considering penetration with Jim, but wants to experiment first, so he seeks... help.  She wins major points for characterization and humor, and is no slouch in the sex department, either.  Have a look.

Back in July 2001, I had the pleasure of placing third in the MME first kiss contest with my story CitrusUnspoken, by Autumn Skies won second place and the sequel, Unspoken Two was featured in the sequel e-zine later that year (as was my sequel to Citrus.  See, it all works out!)  When I read Unspoken, I was so pleased to even place alongside something so lovely.  It's simple and sweet; Blair's at the academy and misses Jim.  He keeps calling him,  but can't really bring himself to tell him how he's feeling.  I was thrilled when the sequel showed up - which is the same story from Jim's POV, so I put 'em both here. 

And here's where we come across an author from my first year of fandom, Bone.  The first thing I ever read by this supremely talented author was Out of Whack, co-authored with the gifted Aristide. At that point, it was the longest story I'd read and I wanted my best friend to read it so badly, I read most of it to her over the phone long distance.  I honestly can't say enough about my love for Bone's work.  IMO, this is one of the finest writers in the TS fandom.  If you've never read Bone, you might as well start with Territorial Imperitive (and I do mean the WHOLE thing), because it's got everything she's great at - the wordplay, the sex, the inner and outer dialogues - all in one deliciously long novella.  Fantastic.

The writer who wins the award for story titles is cmshaw, hands down.  With goodies like, A Good Hard Fucking, and Starting With a Bang and a Whimper, I was enticed into reading them, even before I knew what they were about.  Once in, though, I discovered that these were generally short and hysterically funny with a nice shot of sex tossed in.  Thus, cmshaw became one of the folks I'd pick up for a nice, quick laugh that would ease into a slow and sexy smile by the end of the story.  In addition to the aforementioned two stories, I love Turtle and Silk.

What does it mean when a writer appears on nearly every rec page and list in a single fandom?  That person has either a lot of friends or a lot of talent.  Not knowing Francesca personally, I can't attest to the number of friends she has, but I know all about the talent.  I can't say anything here that hasn't been said countless times before, but I can tell you I'm one of the true believers.  Her body of work alone is enough to inspire awe.  The famed Nature Series starts out shocking but blossoms into a story so creative and vivid, not to mention emotional and moving. It's really quite an amazing piece of work.  Some of my other favorites of hers are Videotape, Nothing On and I Love You. 

No matter how many times I read Just Like Coffee by gritkitty , it does something to me - whether it's the motif of something edible (which if you've read my work, you know that's somewhat of a "thing" for me), or the description of that first date, or whatever, this story is a big favorite of mine.   She is a very clear and incredibly descriptive writer whose works are as seamless as any I've read.  This is an author who I'll read no matter what her subject matter is, she's that good.

Woods Forsaken by Josephine Darcy is one of my favorite AU's.  It's a sweeping, dark, hallucinogenic piece that had me caught up from the first paragraph.  We learn some interesting things about Blair's family when he and Jim take a trip to Germany for a relative's funeral.  I don't want to give it completely away, but I will say that this one gives his animal spirit a whole new facet.

Julad is a writer who I discovered as part of the collaborative effort that created the 3 alarm Hot Sky Blue, then upon reading her own stuff, found that she's got a razor-sharp style that I could really get into.  She has a fantastic, take-no-prisoners way of speech and adds some interesting character layers I don't see often in our boys.  Read Indomitable and Everything You Need in a Convenient Location.

Smooth, flowing text, romance, humor and spot on characterization with a little kink thrown in for good measure; that's Kass in 20 words or less.  Everything I go for in TS fic she handles so well, it's astonishing sometimes.  Senses and Sensibilty was the hook, but now, after gems like A Little Cheesecake and Window of Opportunity, not to mention a couple of  brilliant collaborations (The Right to Remain Silent? Yeah, baby....), I rarely even bother reading them off my monitor anymore - I go straight to print.

What I like most about LilyK's work are her ideas behind the stories - where she takes Jim and Blair and what she makes them do.  A New Road shows them on a "life sabbatical" in Central America where they do volunteer archaeology work and solidify their life together.  Her descriptions are so minutely detailed, I can taste the tortillas.  Broken Bonds, her 'zine published by AngelWings Press, pits good against evil as Blair tries to bring Jim out of a complete sensory/emotional shutdown enlisting the help of another sentinel and guide.  Her universes are fun to visit.

The first two stories I read involving Livia were collaborations, including one with one of my major favorites, Resonant.  Coming across her name in two pieces that I love (see Hot Sky Blue), I had to investigate her for myself, and sure enough, I found simple, straightforward and gorgeous fiction.  Air to Breathe and In Your Dreams stand out, but she has plenty more where they came from.

Gen is something I don't really mind as a concept, but I rarely read it.  The first gen I ever read was by Martha, prompted by my best friend who said, "You HAVE to read Snake Oil."  So, I read that supernatural triumph, then I went over the angsty Plank, then I checked out the introspective The Portable Jack Kerouac, then, well, I was pretty much hooked by that point.  She's dipped into the slash pool as well, but with her kind of skill, she could be writing nursery rhymes and I'd read them.

Storms of Winter started it all.  I don't even remember how I came across that one now, but I read it and fell swiftly in love with Meredith Lynne.  She's got the touch of the poet like few others.  Her work is romantic and angsty, lovely and lyrical.  Oh yeah, and hot as hell when it chooses.  See Promises and Water on Stone and you'll see what I mean.

Yet again, I was introduced to Nestra by my dear friend.  It was the story Unconscious and as simple and short and straightforward as it is, I really, really liked it when I read it.  I re-read it not too long ago and reminded myself of that fact.  Having read more of her, I find her to be a beautiful storyteller.  It's difficult to write clean, uncluttered prose without it sounding bland, but she's got it down.  Truly good stuff.  She's also got a way cool webpage, which you'll see with the link.

Pink Dragon is one of the undisputed queens of the quick fix as far as fic goes.  Her stories are always short, usually sweet and often unexpected.  Whether they're being gentle and tender (Everyday Love) or rough and raunchy (Kinks), or both (Possession), you can bet there'll be love and sexy shenanigans with her version of our boys.  I'm linking to Never Goin' Anywhere because it's still one of my true favorites of hers, where we get to see them fall in love over time (I LOVE those kinds of stories), but I suggest you go to the archive, plug in her name and give 'em all a glance. 

One of the reasons my best friend has been so for over half my life is that she knows me, and as far as fic goes, we have nearly identical tastes.  So, when she hipped me to Tender by Resonant, I bowed to her unwavering knowledge of the kind of fiction I would likely devour.  I remember thinking, "How the hell have I missed this writer???"  Resonant's stories are sort of like wine, or hot chocolate.  You read them, and they spread warmly through your system, turning on switches you may not have known existed.  Dramatic?  Yeah, well, I get that way when speaking about her.  Her characterization (yes, characterization is a BIG deal with me) is on the mark and her dialogue is genius.  She is one of the reasons I write, and one of the reasons I sometimes wonder why I bother.

This is where I rec Sihaya Black, but if you've seen her name before - and I'm sure you have - you may think I'm going to suggest you check out Those Who Can.  The fact is, I haven't read it.  I'm ashamed to admit it, but I just haven't gotten around to reading it, even though I have it saved.  I can tell you, however, that Give Peas a Chance is one of the funniest stories I've read, and Thinking of England just revs me right up.  Lie Perdu was actually the first thing I read by her and, wow.  That one'll throw you for a loop and I loved every minute of it.  So, one day soon, I'll read that novella of hers.  For now, I'll just tell you that she is one steamy writer who is well worth a visit.

Veronica is another writer who I print without reading first, and I've never been disappointed.  She appeals to the raging romantic in me and somehow manages to make her sex scenes non-graphic and sweet and hot at the same time, without making them sound like Harlequin outtakes.  I haven't read all of her stories, surprisingly, but I sort of like that - it means I have so many lovely things to look forward to.  The two "gift" stories (JIm's Gift - All Heal and Blair's Gift - Steadfast) are wonderful, as is But For the Grace of You.  Enjoy!


You will not find flames on this page or any other one at my site. I don't like them, I think they're unnecessary and mean spirited and I want no part of them. I'm not telling anybody what to read or not read by posting a rec page, I'm posting it because I like rec pages. Some of my all time favorite slash (and gen, for that matter) came from recs and I like hearing what other people like, as well as sharing what I like. I've seen and participated in a number of arguments on this topic, and my stance is this: Read what you want and don't read what you don't want. Don't demean people if they write something you don't like. Take the opinions of other people with a grain of salt and go about your business. We are all TS fans, or we wouldn't write about it or read what's written. Turn-ons and turn-offs are many and there's plenty out there for every taste. Variety is the spice of life, after all!