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

Doctor Who

Almost all recommendations are from the new series

18 Seconds by Kate Bolin

'He starts off by going north. Even though 'north' is a somewhat moot point when travelling in the five dimensions, it's still a place to start.' A neat character study of the Ninth Doctor. My favourite of the many stories that tell where/when the Doctor went in the titular 18 seconds

[Added 29/03/2007; Character Piece; 1000-2500; Doctor Who]

A Change in the Wind by Beatrice Otter

'Domaripopexnal—currently calling herself 'Marie Babineaux,' and before that 'Mary Poppins,' and before that 'Maria Pabst'—studied the list of errands the housekeeper had given her when she and her charges had left the house that morning.' My favourite of several stories from Yuletide 2011 exploring this delightful premise. Domaripopexnal underlines how different the Doctor is from other Gallifreyans (Doctor Who/Mary Poppins)

[Added 27/05/2012; Drama; 1000-2500; Doctor Who; Crossover]

Entangled by Doyle

'You’ve always liked the thought of non-locality.' A clever & surprisingly sympathetic portrait of Adam, with a generous side helping of physics

[Added 13/06/2005; Character Piece; 1000-2500; Doctor Who]

Errant by Novembersmith

'The money has blood on it, but gas stations attendants and truck stop waitresses don't seem to mind. It spends like it was clean, and he doesn't have to drive for anyone but himself, now.' Atmospheric vignette with a neat crossover idea. I haven't seen Drive, but this caught me in the first paragraph and didn't let me go (Doctor Who/Drive)

[Added 27/05/2012; Drama; 1000-2500; Doctor Who; Crossover]

Experimental Science by Corona

'Donna pushes the phone under her chin, talking into the mouth piece with both hands full and it's a bit fiddly but it's not like she isn't used to all that plastic and metal and shiny parts. She's barely concentrating because Melanie's telling her about how woman past a certain age shouldn't wear hot pants and tights without expecting to be mercilessly ribbed for all eternity.' Corona captures Donna's voice perfectly in this bittersweet but ultimately optimistic take on her fate. I wish this were canon

[Added 10/01/2014; Character Piece; 2500-6000; Doctor Who]

An Inordinate Fondness by Dame Ruth

'"It's like being stuck inside a New Age relaxation video!"' This extended vignette meanders a bit, but with excellent character voices & interesting world building, I'm happy to go along for the ride

[Added 05/08/2008; Character Piece; 2500-6000; Doctor Who]

Looked Up in Perfect Silence at the Stars by Doyle

'If she concentrated with every ounce of herself she could see wisps of colour against the sky, a shadow of the Northern Lights.' A clever, disturbing short, set on Gallifrey, which centres around the Time War

[Added 29/03/2007; Drama; 1000-2500; Doctor Who]

No Man's Land by Ellen Fremedon

'"This whole landscape is wrong. It's not just a matter of a few lost days--this isn't the war I remember."' Captain Harkness meets Major Wimsey in the trenches in this plotty crossover novella. Wimsey's voice is particularly well realised (Doctor Who/Dorothy L Sayers)

[Added 01/02/2011; Drama; 20,000-50,000; Doctor Who; Crossover]

No Sleepers Must Sleep by Fahye

'"Queen Lucy the Valiant," he says, and she can't work out if he's teasing her or not. "Do you have valour, do you think?"' A portrait of Lucy Cole as she becomes Lucy Saxon. Mesmerising and disturbing in equal parts

[Added 11/07/2008; Character Piece; 2500-6000; Doctor Who]

Nowhere Man by Selena

'"Being an undercover agent isn't glamorous heroism, children. Not if you want to survive and be effective. It usually involves fawning around people you despise, selling out people you like and doing absolutely anything to reach your goal."' An intelligent adventure plot which features the Torchwood team during the Year That Never Was. Garak, as always, is a bonus (Doctor Who/Torchwood/DS9)

[Added 05/08/2008; Drama; 6000-20,000; Doctor Who; Crossover]

Paleolinguistics, Paleolinguistics (The Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis Remix) by Astrogirl & KindKit

'A language with one speaker is a dead tongue. A language with two is alive.' Intriguing pair of shorts which highlight the differences & similarities between the Doctor & the Master

[Added 15/07/2008; Character Piece; <1000; Doctor Who]

Planned Obsolescence by Miggy

'Should an agent find himself/herself/itself stranded, he/she/it should immediately place an approved distress beacon model at a location that will hold a prominent place in the upcoming timeline of the area.' A clever story set after 'The Parting of the Ways', very much in the spirit of the series

[Added 05/12/2005; Drama; 2500-6000; Doctor Who]

The Polar Bears' Golf Club by Doyle

'Travelling with the Doctor, she'd sometimes thought about dying, but she'd never imagined it like this ... while she was posing as a schoolboy and wearing a really big false moustache.' Longer adventures are relatively rare in this fandom and this is a real treat, with just the right blend of slapstick humour, wacky action & clever plotting

[Added 05/08/2008; Drama; 2500-6000; Doctor Who]

The Ragged Edge by Jonquil

'On Gallifrey, each baby falls down only once.' Memorable short which captures both the alienness and the uniqueness of the Doctor

[Added 11/07/2008; Character Piece; <1000; Doctor Who]

The Red Maw and the Blue Box by Lindenharp

'You would have laughed to see him. He belonged to one of those nearly-bald species that have no proper pelt, just a patch of fur on top of the head. His face was as pale as wet sand, and his hair mud-coloured. His eyes were brown, though no one who looked into them would dare call them mud-coloured.' Lindenharp expands a throwaway line from canon and gives a chilling outsider's perspective on the Doctor

[Added 04/08/2015; Drama; 1000-2500; Doctor Who]

So Let the Bells Ring Out by Doyle

'The flat hadn't burnt down and the Doctor hadn't disappeared; the microwave was in a hundred bits across the living room floor, but since it had fallen off the back of a Dixon's lorry in the first place he didn't think Jackie could complain too much.' Mickey, after 'The Christmas Invasion'. Doyle has an eye for dialogue, and the characters are all absolutely spot on

[Added 12/07/2008; Character Piece; 1000-2500; Doctor Who]

Spring Cleaning by infiniteviking

'He had changed; the equations had not.' Well-written portrait of regeneration from the inside

[Added 01/06/2005; Character Piece; 1000-2500; Doctor Who]

To Make In Hell For Us A Heaven by LJC

'Her blonde hair was twisted into a simple chignon that made him want to introduce entropy into her carefully maintained existence.' LJC draws parallels with Nine & Rose in this character study of the Master in relation to Lucy

[Added 05/08/2008; Character Piece; 1000-2500; Doctor Who]

A Triumph of Necessity by mswyrr

'The human body wasn't quite up to snuff.' Clever, funny & poignant, all at the same time. The shipper fic to end all shipper fic!

[Added 01/06/2005; Humour; <1000; Doctor Who]

Ulysses by Rheanna

'It's like a fingerprint on his soul, the one remaining touch of the fantastic on a life which has been in every other respect absolutely and perfectly unremarkable.' Insightful AU in which 'Human Nature'/'Family of Blood' ended differently

[Added 11/07/2008; Character Piece; 2500-6000; Doctor Who]

The War to End All Wars by Snowballjane

A precisely characterised short story, with more of the feel of an episode than much Ninth Doctor fiction. While the WW1 setting is a common one, here it's used to good effect in drawing parallels with the Doctor

[Added 22/07/2005; Drama; 2500-6000; Doctor Who]