Compiled by the Espresso Addict

Espresso Recommendations

Innovative and stylish fanfiction, showcasing the very best across multiple sf, fantasy & literature fandoms. Good writing in all its forms can be found here, including gen, het, slash, OCs, AUs, crossovers, future fics, humour & pastiche

Contents: 1010 recs in 235 fandoms; 65 links


Ang Nuo by Corinna

One of the best original character-focused stories I've encountered in any fandom: Brother Xiao is unobtrusive, yet interesting in his own right, and he provides an interesting perspective at a turning point in Angel's long journey. Highly recommended

[Added 15/01/2004; Drama; 6000-20,000; Angel]

As Time Goes By by Yahtzee

Take two great series, cross with one of the all-time classic films (Casablanca), add a seasoned writer and a bleak but believable background -- what's not to love? The characterization stays true to the series, even though the plot follows the film surprisingly closely. Yahtzee writes the AtS ensemble at least as well as the series writers do, and this is my very favourite of her output (AtS/BtVS/Casablanca)

[Added 15/01/2004; Drama; 20,000-50,000; Angel; Crossover]

Blood & Water by Rheanna

'Since when do we run the Undead Red Cross?' Deftly executed adventure set after 'To Shanshu in LA', which feels just like a bonus episode

[Added 15/01/2004; Drama; 20,000-50,000; Angel]

Blood Types by tkp

'When she opens her vein for you, she opens up an atlas.' Unusual Angel character study which focuses on his vampiric nature, with rich poetic writing. Some vignettes are stronger than others, but there are novel insights to be had

[Added 10/02/2011; Character Piece; 1000-2500; Angel; Adult]

Captive of the Soul by Yahtzee

Among my favourites of Yahtzee's prolific 'Angel' output, set after 'To Shanshu in LA'

[Added 08/07/2004; Drama; 20,000-50,000; Angel]

Cigarette Break by Christina Kamnikar

'But as most wage-slaves instinctively know, appearances and attitudes hardly matter after a few crises. In the place where the pair actually existed, crises were daily fare, while the trivial appearances were subject to change without any real notice.' A highly unusual conversation piece, set post-'Reunion'

[Added 15/01/2004; Drama; 2500-6000; Angel]

Crave by Rheanna

'He felt hungry when he woke up. He always did.' Rheanna writes AtS as well as any of the series writers, and this novella is among her best

[Added 15/01/2004; Drama; 20,000-50,000; Angel]

Fault by Ins

'Buffy imagines, in slow and intricate procession, all the ways he can die now.' I've read a number of stories centering around this premise, but I think this was the first, and is the best (BtVS/AtS)

[Added 28/01/2004; Drama; 1000-2500; Angel]

Fitter Happier More Productive by Zara Hemla

Five things that might happen to Connor. Funny, clever & heart-rending by turns, and I didn't even like Connor!

[Added 28/01/2004; Character Piece; 6000-20,000; Angel]

The Girl in the High Castle by Mosca

'They're not here to win the war; they're here to hold the line, to gain the advantage, to put the right things in the wrong shells and fight the laws of thermodynamics.' This Season 5 AU picks an interesting point to diverge from canon, and develops a believable Fred voice

[Added 01/06/2005; Drama; 2500-6000; Angel]

Gore-met by Jennifer-Oksana

'Sometimes I think that there should be strawberry-flavored blood.' Jenny-O really nails Harmony's voice in this funny, poignant character study

[Added 20/03/2006; Character Piece; 1000-2500; Angel]

Honour by Roz Kaveney

'Not making ancient demon godthings like they used to, clearly.' Set after 'Not Fade Away', 'Honour' is one of the best stories I've encountered that attempt to look into Illyria's head; Roz not only nails her attitude, but also pays attention to her nature, her history, her Fredness. All that plus a very cute bonus of an ending (AtS/BtVS)

[Added 02/11/2004; Character Piece; 1000-2500; Angel]

I Really Don't Like Mondays by Booster

'New temporary mail guy turns up. Pros: Does not wear a mask and push me through windows. Cons: Really, really should wear a mask and attempts to stab me with Dagger of Yenal.' This laugh-out-loud tale of an ordinary day at Wolfram & Hart is chockfull of priceless little details

[Added 13/08/2004; Humour; 2500-6000; Angel]

In the Waiting by Rheanna

'I got junk mail, and sometimes I got parking tickets; I didn’t get kidnapped. I felt like a movie extra who has suddenly and unaccountably become part of the main plot.' Lovely example of a story seen through the eyes of an original character

[Added 15/01/2004; Drama; 6000-20,000; Angel]

Itsy-Bitsy Teeny-Weeny Purple-Puppet Angel Penii by Willa

'He's just not feeling...himself, today.' Completely plausible & utterly hilarious

[Added 09/08/2004; Humour; 2500-6000; Angel; Adult]

A Letter from Screwtape to Mr. Holland Manners by HonorH

A peek at Angel's destiny, from the other side. It's a straightforward crossover, but HonorH rewards the reader with abundant black humour & bags of insight into issues that were often ducked on the show. A real classic (AtS/CS Lewis)

[Added 08/06/2005; Humour; 1000-2500; Angel; Crossover]

Lost in the Supermarket by Lint

'"If you behave yourself," he offers, "I'll let you push the trolley." ' It's a bit rough around the edges, perhaps, but this quiet piece is well worth a try for its plausible characterisation of Illyria

[Added 09/08/2004; Character Piece; 2500-6000; Angel]

Noggin and the Vampire by Speaker-to-Customers

'I have told you how Thor Nogson, Captain of the Guard, found a stranger washed up on the beach and took the stranger to Noggin, King of the Nogs. You have heard how the stranger revealed that he was Spike, the Good Vampire, from Los Angeles in far Vinland, magically exiled to the Northlands by the evil Wolfram and Hart.' If you need any further encouragement to run to this charming crossover, Speaker-to-Customers milks the culture clash between Spike & his hosts expertly, and there are a few bonus crossovers at the end (AtS/Saga of Noggin the Nog)

[Added 25/08/2013; Humour; 6000-20,000; Angel; Crossover]

The Periodic Table of Wesley by Dana Woods

'Cadmium bars scream, too, when they're bent.' I've never been quite sure that this short captures Wesley's character, but it's worth a try for the Fred voice alone, one of the best I've encountered

[Added 25/05/2012; Character Piece; <1000; Angel]

Poppies are the Colour of Blood by Cas

An interesting window on Angel's history: plausible, beautifully detailed and completely heart-rending

[Added 15/01/2004; Drama; 6000-20,000; Angel]

Second Hand by Kita

'Spike the vampire bard, keeper of handed down tales no one else wants.' This insightful coda to 'Not Fade Away' draws parallels with 'The Gift'. Kita's work will be familiar to all AtS readers, but I think 'Second Hand' may be her best yet (AtS/BtVS)

[Added 13/06/2005; Drama; 6000-20,000; Angel; Adult]

Seven Virtues from a Broken Hill by Minim Calibre

Seven virtues, seven drabbles & one hell of a great summary of just how far Wesley's travelled

[Added 28/01/2004; Character Piece; <1000; Angel]

Shaken, Not Stirred by FayJay

An inebriated Wesley, perfect pacing, gorgeous details and great dialogue -- what more could a gal want?

[Added 28/01/2004; Drama; 2500-6000; Angel]

Termination by Yahtzee

'They say that evil is only the absence of good, but they lie. I feel it now, settling back over me, and it warms me in a way I haven't felt in way too long.' Set during 'Calvary' in season 4, 'Termination' oozes round the episode, featuring pitch-perfect characterisations, a couple of neat plot twists and some white-hot sex

[Added 12/02/2004; Drama; 20,000-50,000; Angel; Adult]

These Reasonable Taboos by Glossolalia

Glossolalia has captured Connor's inner voice incredibly well, as he tries to remain true to himself in the moral maze that is LA. Highly recommended

[Added 12/02/2004; Character Piece; 6000-20,000; Angel]

Things Left Undone by Minnow

Twelve vignettes about things left undone after the Angel finale. The best piece I've seen to follow 'Not Fade Away' without taking away from the episode's impact. Some of the pieces are more interesting than others, but the whole is definitely worth a try

[Added 02/11/2004; Drama; 6000-20,000; Angel]

Vivere by Rheanna

One of the most interesting takes on Angel's shanshu that I've read. Rheanna's stories never fail to delight, and 'Vivere' is probably my favourite

[Added 15/01/2004; Drama; 6000-20,000; Angel]

William the Bloody Useless and the Beaker of Doom by Roseveare

A lovely early Wesley and a great pissed-off Spike voice combine to make this story compulsive reading (AtS/BtVS)

[Added 28/01/2004; Drama; 2500-6000; Angel]