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

Vorkosigan series

Aral Vorkosigan

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Aletheia by Elvaron

'Glass, Illyan thought, and his chip helpfully pulled up a list of fifty-six ways in which a glass building could be compromised using tools that you could obtain from your nearest D.I.Y. store.' Simon encounters another person with a memory chip. A beautifully characterised story with a well-drawn OC that feels like a missing prequel to Memory

[Added 09/01/2014; Drama; 6000-20,000; Vorkosigan series; Characters: Simon Illyan, Aral Vorkosigan, OC]

The Councils of Despair by Parhelion

'Real leaders don't stop being leaders just because they've resigned, just because they're now drunks.' Despite the extracanonical pairing, this piece feels like a missing chapter from Shards of Honor, with believable characterisations and a strong portrayal of the darker, seamier side of Barrayar

[Added 06/08/2008; Character Piece; 6000-20,000; Vorkosigan series; Characters: Simon Illyan, Aral Vorkosigan]

Frequently Suggested Sexual Practices: An Aid to Communication by Dira Sudis

'Each night Aral changed out of his uniform in the knowledge the gesture was futile. He could as soon set aside his own skin for the night.' A wonderful blend of melancholy & humour marks this surprisingly delicate study of Aral & Cordelia, and Barrayar, masquerading as kink

[Added 15/07/2012; Romance/Erotica; 6000-20,000; Vorkosigan series; Characters: Aral Vorkosigan, Cordelia Naismith, Original character; Adult]

From the Old to the New by Avanti 90

'A thousand things set you apart: the pallor of your skin, the inflection of your voice, the principle ingrained in your mind that all men and women are born free and equal; these things and many more will forever distinguish you, and so you can never and will never be one of them.' An intelligent AU that casts Galen(i) as Gandhi and goes on to unpick many of Bujold's – and her readers' – assumptions about the Barrayaran Empire. The documentfic approach works perfectly, and a surprising array of characters, from Fletchir Giaja to Enrique Borgos, get to play their parts

[Added 21/05/2015; Drama; 6000-20,000; Vorkosigan series; Characters: David Galen, Laisa Toscane, Gregor Vorbarra, Aral Vorkosigan, Mark Vorkosigan, Miles Vorkosigan, Simon Illyan, Delia Koudelka, Fletchir Giaja, Guy Allegre, Ser Galen, Enrique Borgos, Cordelia Vorkosigan, Helen Vorthys, Dr Riva, OCs]

One Thing by Sineala

'His honor was at stake. He was Marcus Voraquila, and if he did not watch this everyone would know that he hadn't, and they would never, never stop.' This is the kind of story that makes fandom such a joy: not only is Sineala responding to Philomytha's powerful Vorkosigan's Day, but it's also a fusion with Eagle of the Ninth, casting Marcus as the son of Aral's political officer. I think the piece would stand with the narrator as an OC, but it gains extra resonances from the parallels between Rome & Barrayar. And, on its own terms, it's perfectly characterised & profoundly moving

[Added 15/01/2019; Drama; 2500-6000; Vorkosigan series; Characters: Aral Vorkosigan, Marcus Aquila (Eot9); Crossover]

Tour Guide by Philomytha

'Her accent was the highest of high Vor, a level sharper and crisper even than Ivan's. The immediate resonance for Duv was with the cruel Vor ladies from the subversive holodramas his father had given him to watch as a boy, the wicked witches of his childhood...' Duv gets a history lesson from Aral in this thoughtful one off. Like many of Philomytha's stories, it feels like a missing corner from canon

[Added 15/10/2017; Drama; 2500-6000; Vorkosigan series; Characters: Duv Galeni, Aral Vorkosigan, Ivan Vorpatril, Alys Vorpatril]

Vorkosigan's Day by Philomytha

'"My father...had all the pictures from the Massacre, flat, holo and vid footage, up on display in his study. So that he would never forget, so that we all would never forget. I saw them every day since I was four."' An intense gapfiller, both intelligent & moving, displaying Philomytha's excellent understanding of what makes the Vorkosiganverse characters tick

[Added 07/02/2011; Drama; 2500-6000; Vorkosigan series; Characters: Duv Galeni, Aral Vorkosigan]