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


The Dance by LJC

'Orion Prime had the Syndicate the way Old Chicago had Capone. That was the thing about infamy.' LJC paints a much more complex picture of Orion society than most fanfiction

[Added 22/02/2011; Character Piece; 1000-2500; Star Trek: TOS/AOS]

The Desert Between by Beatrice Otter

'Across the room, seated on the only chair, was the oldest Vulcan woman Nyota had ever seen in person. Her face was seamed with age, and her eyes held the tranquility younger Vulcans only aspired to.' A plausible premise, strong world-building & an interesting range of OCs characterise this novelette

[Added 18/10/2011; Drama; 6000-20,000; Star Trek: TOS/AOS]

from the greek "xenos" which means "stranger", but also "guest" by Pogrebin

'This is why Nyota Uhura picks xenolinguistics: the ways in which different cultures communicate might differ, but the ways in which they fail to communicate do not.' An interesting study of Uhura & her relationship with Spock. Powerful precise language

[Added 16/07/2009; Character Piece; 1000-2500; Star Trek: TOS/AOS]

The Loudest Noise (affannato, affettuoso, agitato) by zvi

'There was difficulty, always, in translating the gestures of a species with wings, prehensile foot claws, and double eyelids to a human's body.' This vignette really nails the frustrations & complexities of communication between alien species

[Added 22/02/2011; Drama; 1000-2500; Star Trek: TOS/AOS]

Lunch and Other Obscenities by Rheanna

' "Look, the only reason we're rooming together is because someone decided that the best phonetic rendering of her name in Standard is almost the same as mine. Can't you just decide to spell Uhu with two O's instead?" Nyota asked, desperate. "Listen: Oo-hoo. That works." ' This starts out as a humorous look at intercultural differences and ends as a sweet affirmation of all that the Federation stands for. Persuasive writing that feels just like canon

[Added 15/07/2009; Drama; 6000-20,000; Star Trek: TOS/AOS]

Need To Know by Ellen Fremedon

'Taste, he'd said; and the first analogy he'd leapt to had been one of criticism—of appreciation. This wasn't just a metallurgical sample to the kid; it was a gourmet meal, or a box of truffles.' Ellen explores what it means for Jack Harkness to be pansexual, with some really unusual food porn (ST:TOS/Whoniverse)

[Added 16/10/2015; Romance/Erotica; 6000-20,000; Star Trek: TOS/AOS; Crossover]

No Roses on Vulcan by Igrockspock

'Vulcans did not grow flowers for ornamental purposes. It was illogical.' The dry humour saves this sweet vignette from sickliness, as Sarek & his mother attempt to understand human customs

[Added 25/05/2012; Romance/Erotica; 1000-2500; Star Trek: TOS/AOS]

Speech by Raven

'Much much later, long after the Eridani petition to join the Federation had been received and granted, Nyota could still read the Federation Charter in scratch 'n' sniff lavender, pepper, citrus and soap.' Sequence of shorts, some stronger than others, the whole piece forms a joyous exploration of what xenolinguistics might mean in practice -- one of the real pleasures of post-film fanfiction

[Added 18/10/2011; Character Piece; 1000-2500; Star Trek: TOS/AOS]

Three Fates, Watching by Kangeiko

'He is six years old, and there is a fat, squirming batch of new memories deposited into his cortex, crawling blinding through his thoughts to find room to grow and fester in the night.' The idea that the Blake's 7 & Trek Federations are mirrors of each other is widespread, but this clever & unsettling story is the first I've seen to run with the notion (TOS Mirrorverse/B7)

[Added 03/09/2009; Drama; 1000-2500; Star Trek: TOS/AOS; Crossover]

What We Don't Talk About by Ellen Fremedon

'Closer to the city, the first crop of grain on this planet is ripe. In that field, Vulcans walk behind the robot combine; it only leaves a handful of seed for gleaning, but there'll be a ceremony over that handful later.' An intelligent look at the repercussions of the rebuilding of Vulcan. The warm background details highlight the bleakness of Spock's position

[Added 15/07/2009; Drama; 1000-2500; Star Trek: TOS/AOS]

Wherein Gaila is molting by kayliemalinza

'Starfleet gave assurances years ago that Medbay can accommodate an Orion's physiological needs, but their idea of a burial bed is a hard-edged box filled with silica beads and powdered nutrients. It is nothing like the petite sleeping gardens of the Orion embassy on Earth, and even those were a poverty compared to the luxurious loam of her homefield.' A clever, lushly written take on the idea that Gaila is a plant, which never ceases to surprise. One of the few stories I've read in any fandom to capture a truly alien point of view. Superb!

[Added 10/12/2018; Character Piece; 1000-2500; Star Trek: TOS/AOS]

With All My Crooked Heart by Igrockspock

"Why is it always the men who are doing and the women who are feeling?" she snaps. "When I explore space, I'm going to smile and tread." Delicate & sweet exploration of Gaila's past via language

[Added 09/07/2012; Character Piece; 1000-2500; Star Trek: TOS/AOS]

The Word for World Is— by Laura JV

' "We are the people of the mountain, and the desert, and the well. I build on the mountain, the highest mountain of Vik, where Laktra meets the sea. Perhaps one day we will be a people of the sea, as well, but we will always need the mountain." ' This interwoven short is at its best in the bittersweet depiction of Vulcan culture. Beautiful

[Added 16/07/2009; Drama; 1000-2500; Star Trek: TOS/AOS]