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

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Campfire Tale for the End of Days by Stultiloquentia

'So. A very long time ago, Demons walked the earth. Stomped, also. Flew. Slithered, swam, percolated, oozed.' This clever take on the First Slayer legend packs a surprising amount into its brief span

[Added 27/07/2005; Drama; 1000-2500; Buffy the Vampire Slayer]

Dead Man Blues by Elsa Frohman

By no means your usual Spike history-fic, 'Dead Man Blues' gives a peek at a possible Spike in the 1920s, with resonances for the Spike of the 2000s. There's also a decent twisty plot, a host of interesting original characters and some rather out-of-the-ordinary settings

[Added 12/02/2004; Drama; >50,000; Buffy the Vampire Slayer]

Dig for Victory by Nostalgia

Surprisingly few Buffyverse authors care to explore the wealth of past slayers and their stories. Nostalgia's interesting vignette is a welcome exception, and Iris is a realistic past slayer whose plight is moving, despite the brevity of the piece. More past slayers can be unearthed at the History Lesson archive

[Added 15/01/2004; Drama; 1000-2500; Buffy the Vampire Slayer]

Five Things The Chip Was Never Marketed For by Josey

'"I understand," she said, "but would you hurt a poodle because a mastiff once savaged you?"' A disturbing look at the evil that humans might do in the Buffyverse. Not for the faint at heart (BtVS/AtS)

[Added 26/09/2014; Drama; 2500-6000; Buffy the Vampire Slayer]

Foreign Devils by Indri

'She is motion and she is fury: she is the warrior of the people.' The tale of the Chinese slayer from 'Fool for Love'. Indri's vision is so convincing it feels like canon

[Added 20/03/2006; Drama; 2500-6000; Buffy the Vampire Slayer]

The Giles and Spike Collection by Lori

An inventive novel-length AU series, spinning off after BtVS Entropy, set mainly in London. Starts with Giles & Spike, and spirals out from them to add other Buffyverse characters. It's rather 'shippier' than my usual reading, but the ships are more-than-usually plausible, the characterisations are invariably interesting, and Lori adds action to the mix in similar proportions to the later BtVS episodes. Highlights include that rare creature, a well-written Dawn, in 'Every Day I Write the Book', and a more-than-usually interesting Big Bad in 'Waiting on a Friend' (BtVS/AtS)

[Added 12/02/2004; Drama; >50,000; Buffy the Vampire Slayer]

A Girl Made From Sky by Doyle

'She wasn't a person, then; the idea of her flickered and flared at the edges, and she sat quietly on a cloud as the monk made paper dolls. He had a pair of very shiny scissors, and he would snip the girls (for they were almost all girl-dolls) right from the sky and whisper secret words to them that gave them life.' It's hard to write key-Dawn, and Doyle does a good job of capturing the particular brand of Buffyverse weirdness in this dreamlike snippet (Sandman crossover)

[Added 13/12/2018; Character Piece; 1000-2500; Buffy the Vampire Slayer; Crossover]

A Good Man by Indri

One of the very best renderings of William I've encountered, and Indri has clearly done her research on 1880s London

[Added 09/08/2004; Character Piece; 1000-2500; Buffy the Vampire Slayer]

Into the Blue by Ascian

'Don't you know by now that running away never solved anything?' Interesting fragmentary structure & nice bleeding together of worlds in this 'Normal Again' AU

[Added 20/03/2006; Drama; 6000-20,000; Buffy the Vampire Slayer]

Jigsaw by Perri Smith

'History is linear, straight, arrowing from nowhere to infinity. It can't just start, wham, right in the middle.' A little piece in the puzzle that is Dawn Summers

[Added 20/03/2006; Character Piece; <1000; Buffy the Vampire Slayer]

Just Full of Gifts by Karen

'I can give you a gift that you cannot refuse.' A thoughtful vignette that addresses a question that occurred to me as well after watching 'Chosen'. Written for the excellent 'When the Clock Strikes' Challenge

[Added 08/07/2004; Drama; 2500-6000; Buffy the Vampire Slayer]

Legend by Marcus L Rowland

I won't spoil the conceit for you; suffice to say 'Legend' is one of the most original pieces of fanfiction I've encountered. Highly recommended

[Added 30/07/2004; Humour; 2500-6000; Buffy the Vampire Slayer]

Living Dangerously by Andraste

'He once thought a house full of attractive women would be really cool, too, but in his head it was more about the lingerie and pillow fights, and less about people barging in on him in the bathroom.' An accurate portrait of Andrew, but this piece's real strength is in capturing the feel of season 7

[Added 20/03/2006; Character Piece; 1000-2500; Buffy the Vampire Slayer]

Mr Grieves and the Fallen Woman by Herself

Magic strands season 6 Buffy in the 1880s. One of the very few 'Buffy meets William' stories that pays any heed to the realities of Victorian life. The Watchers' Council scenes are a highlight

[Added 15/01/2004; Drama; 20,000-50,000; Buffy the Vampire Slayer]

My Baby Is A Centerfold by Barb C

'Anyway, I know all about The Sex in theory. I also know how sausages are made, in theory. That doesn't mean I'm panting for an up-close at the gooey details of either process.' Hilarious interlude in the Barbverse, Barb C's season 6 AU, with that rare creature, a likeable Dawn. The story should stand alone

[Added 25/05/2012; Humour; 6000-20,000; Buffy the Vampire Slayer]

Omphalos by Marcus L Rowland

Dawn visits DS9, seeking her origins. 'Omphalos' is not only an interesting & plausible crossover, but also that rare beast -- an ideas-centric BtVS story. Perhaps a little thin on some of the characterisations, but well worth reading if you enjoy Trek-style sf (BtVS/DS9)

[Added 30/07/2004; Drama; 20,000-50,000; Buffy the Vampire Slayer; Crossover]

Orleans by Hth

'They serve the vampires, you've heard. They have it in their heads that this daddy vamp with the alligators is some kind of test, some scourge sent by God to test their faith, and they go way, way off the deep end with this What Would Jesus Do? business, to the point of making modern-day saints out of his human victims.' Fascinating world building & a strong voice for the narrator characterise this unusual story set in the Wishverse

[Added 15/04/2015; Drama; 6000-20,000; Buffy the Vampire Slayer]

Phoenix Burning by Yahtzee

An AU following 'The Gift' that's arguably better than much of what Joss & Co wrote in seasons 6/7. Yahtzee is one of the very few writers who can interest me in Buffy as a character, and this novel focuses on her, in a rather unexpected setting. Deservedly among the fandom classics

[Added 08/07/2004; Drama; >50,000; Buffy the Vampire Slayer]

Resurrection by Rowan

'Death is plastic-and-metal, circuitry-and-bone, a cyborg with the Council's logo engraved in its breast.' Highly unusual far-future AU from one of the more inventive writers in the Buffyverse

[Added 25/05/2012; Drama; 1000-2500; Buffy the Vampire Slayer]

The Road to Byzantium by Barb C

'Vampires just didn't get this stuff, she reminded herself. She wished she could see Spike's eyes behind the insectile lenses of his goggles. "Look, if you do good things for people, they'll do good things for you." Honesty compelled her to add, "Sometimes."' A novelette prequel to the Barbverse that explores why the Knights of Byzantium didn't keep coming after Dawn. Like most other works in this series it contains a few annoying tropes, but it's well worth a read for the excellent descriptions and strong characterisations. Barb's competent Anya is particularly enjoyable

[Added 25/05/2012; Drama; 6000-20,000; Buffy the Vampire Slayer]

Serious Moonlight by RivkaT & MustangSally

Spuffy meets Indiana Jones: sex & plot wrapped into one neat novel-sized packet. Probably my favourite of the Bowiehabarata series, but the others are also worth a try

[Added 07/06/2005; Drama; >50,000; Buffy the Vampire Slayer; Adult]

Seven Habits of Highly Effective Sex Poodles by Doyle

'While Ramon had a fleet of convertibles that were soaped down every day by a dedicated team of community-spirited cheerleaders (the book had said his fantasy persona should be as specific as possible), the best Xander could do was a grope in the back of a pizza delivery van. And those boxes had sharp corners.' A devastatingly accurate picture of Xander that manages to be deeply touching and absolutely hilarious at the same time

[Added 12/02/2004; Humour; 2500-6000; Buffy the Vampire Slayer]

Silence, Sounds of by WhichWitch

'It's all connected, you see.' Beautifully written portrait of grief

[Added 07/06/2005; Character Piece; 1000-2500; Buffy the Vampire Slayer]

Silent Upon a Peak in Darien by Doyle

Most fanfiction treats Ethan as a plot hook for magical mayhem or an excuse for a bit of Giles slash, so Doyle's nicely characterised piece makes a refreshing change. A plausible bit of fallout from 'Chosen'

[Added 13/08/2004; Drama; 6000-20,000; Buffy the Vampire Slayer]

Something Old by Mikelesq

A well-thought-through AU where 'Something Blue' ended differently. The writing's a touch on the bland side, perhaps, but the idea's clever and novel

[Added 15/01/2004; Drama; 6000-20,000; Buffy the Vampire Slayer]

The Stranger's Portrait by Rowan

An unusual, haunting little vignette, as memorable as the portrait it commemorates

[Added 28/01/2004; Drama; 1000-2500; Buffy the Vampire Slayer]

Stumbling on the Fields of Praise by Dipenates

'In Sunnydale, no one went to church. Which was kind of ironic, because there was so little that was truly bad in Huxley, and yet he could count the people who hadn't gone to church on one hand.' There's so little sympathetic Riley fiction. This insightful study with the hook of his religious faith is a quiet gem

[Added 15/04/2015; Character Piece; <1000; Buffy the Vampire Slayer]

Theses on a Philosophy of Power by Glossolalia

'There are bloodsuckers on every corner. The usual kind, with fangs and dead eyes and skin like paper, and they die as dust. And the new kind, desperate bourgeois selling silver teapots and lace throws and children's toys to pay for passage out of the country.' Set during the Russian Revolution, this is one of the most interesting historical slayer pieces I've seen

[Added 07/06/2005; Drama; 2500-6000; Buffy the Vampire Slayer]

To Sleep, Perchance to Dream by Calle Dybedahl

One of the very few Tolkien/modern media crossovers that I've ever seen made to actually work. The characters are beautifully in character, the scenario feels plausible, and the whole piece adds depth to both sources. (BtVS/Tolkien crossover)

[Added 28/01/2004; Romance/Erotica; 1000-2500; Buffy the Vampire Slayer; Crossover]

Tucker's Brother by Jessica Walker

Andrew and Spike get drunk together. One of the best character studies of Andrew I've read, though I'm not quite so certain of Spike's characterisation. A bit overlong, perhaps, but well worth a try, especially if you're a fan of the supervillains

[Added 28/01/2004; Character Piece; 6000-20,000; Buffy the Vampire Slayer; Adult]

The Waking by Mad Poetess

One of the more unusual BtVS stories I've ever read. Haunting, beautiful, strange yet somehow perfectly in tune with canon

[Added 12/02/2004; Drama; 6000-20,000; Buffy the Vampire Slayer]

While the Women Came and Went by Mosca

Another interesting response to the 'When the Clock Strikes' Challenge. I've no idea how authentic the portrayal of Afghanistan is, but I love it that someone remembered Buffy's war wasn't the only one going on at the time

[Added 08/07/2004; Drama; 1000-2500; Buffy the Vampire Slayer]

With an Alien People Clutching their Gods by Mikelesq

A highly unusual take on the summer when Buffy's dead, 'With an Alien People Clutching their Gods' features excellent characterisations, snappy dialogue, plus a strong, plausible plot that you could almost imagine as an episode. The TS Eliot quotations are a bonus

[Added 28/01/2004; Drama; 20,000-50,000; Buffy the Vampire Slayer]