About this site
My rationale in selecting stories for this recommendations archive is to showcase some of the very best fanfiction in those fandoms that I read. I strive to select works that are particularly innovative or stylish: present or future fandom classics. Clearly, these are just personal opinions, but I hope you will share them! I particularly enjoy plausible alternate universes & crossovers, well-crafted original & minor characters, casefiles, future fics and pastiche, so these genres are probably over-represented here. The majority of recommendations are for sf & fantasy (Tolkien, Star Trek, Harry Potter & Buffyverse are the largest fandoms), but there's also a large selection of rare fandoms, from Agatha Christie to Yes, Minister.
To avoid spoilers, I prefer not to present a summary or detailed critique when describing stories, providing only a teaser to whet the reader's appetite for the story itself. For this reason, I rarely state pairings. For further reading, check out the archives, recommendations & awards sites and author sites in the links section.
I only recommend freely accessible material; unfortunately there is no guarantee that works will not subsequently be removed from public access. Almost all stories recommended here are complete; occasional works in progress are marked 'WiP'.
This site is designed for adults. While not focused on erotica, many works will not be suitable for under-12s. Some works which struck me as being particularly graphic (whether explicit erotica or extreme violence) are denoted 'Adult'; I don't generally warn for consensual vanilla acts, no matter what gender or species of participants. Nervous or underage readers should proceed with care, and always consult the author's rating & warnings.
Feedback & suggestions are welcomed. Updates to this site will be announced in Espresso Diary.
Browser compatibility All features should display correctly in Mozilla Firefox 27, Opera 20, Chrome 33 & Internet Explorer 11. Earlier versions of IE have not been fully tested and might not display correctly. In particular, IE 8 does not display correctly; the horizontal navigation bar is particularly badly affected. Other browsers are untested.
Main index The major fandoms are displayed on the main index page. The 'All fandoms...' links access all fandoms by type of medium.
Fandoms To access the complete list of 235 fandoms, use the 'fandom index' in the sidebar. The pullouts give fandoms by medium; here 'miscellanous' shows all recommendations in fandoms that are not linked from the main index.
Mediums 'Print' covers novels, short stories, poetry & print comics. 'Visual' is mainly television & film; it also covers paintings & actor RPF. 'Myth & history' covers legends & fairy tales, various religions & historical RPF: any fandom without a single specific canon. 'Drama' includes theatre, opera, musicals & songs: anything performed. Adaptations are usually included in the original (or best-known) medium (eg Lord of the Rings filmverse works are under print) unless the adaptation is very different from the original (eg Sherlock, the Disney version of 'Beauty & the Beast').
Character indexes 41 of the larger fandoms have indexes for characters. These can all be accessed via the 'characters index' option on the sidebar or – for those fandoms displayed on the page – via the fandoms dropdown menu on the red navigation bar. This dropdown only shows fandoms where a characters index is available; if it is blank then none of the fandoms viewed has a characters index. While viewing recommendations for a character, the characters dropdown in the navigation bar provides a short cut to select another character from the same fandom.
Recommendations display Each entry gives the work's genre (character piece, drama, essay, humour, poetry, romance/erotica) & length (<1000, 1000–2500, 2500–6000, 6000–20,000, 20,000–50,000, >50,000 words), as well as the date it was added to this archive (not the work's date of publication). Crossovers, WiPs & some explicit works are also indicated; see above for caveats regarding the 'Adult' label.
Character lists Lists of characters are available for most recommendations, via the show/hide button on the red navigation bar. They may contain significant spoilers for the story. Character lists are shown by default when accessed via the character indexes; to avoid spoilers, they can be hidden using the show/hide button. (Character listing is under construction in smaller fandoms for recommendations added before Autumn 2012.)
Sorting Recommendations are sorted by title by default. Use the red navigation bar to sort by author, date added, genre or length.
Latest update The most recent batch of recommendations can be accessed via 'latest update' on the sidebar or the 'Latest' section on the main index. This generally covers a month to six weeks; for earlier updates use the red navigation bar to sort by date added.
All recommendations Just what it says on the tin; not for slow connections. Use the pullout options on the sidebar to sort. 'By fandom' groups recommendations by fandom; the other options don't, allowing one, for example, to find all works by an author or latest additions across all fandoms. Resorting using the red navigation bar should remember whether or not the list is grouped by fandom. 'Crossovers' lists all crossovers by their main fandom. (Crossovers are only listed under a single fandom.)
Links Recommended links can be accessed via 'navigation' on the sidebar. These cover archives, recommendations sites, artwork, episode guides, information sites & author sites.
The Espresso Addict