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

Miscellaneous: Print

Agatha Christie | Alice in Wonderland | AS Byatt | Aubrey–Maturin series | Cadfael | Charles Dickens | Charlie and the Chocolate Factory | Charlotte Brontë | Chaucer | China Miéville | Chinese poetry | Dracula | Dylan Thomas | EM Forster | Exeter Book | Frances Hodgson Burnett | Frankenstein | Goblin Market | Gormenghast | Handmaid's Tale | Hav | Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy | HP Lovecraft | I, Claudius | James Tiptree Jr | John le Carré | Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell | Jungle Book | Just So stories | Ladies' Guide to Collecting Mermaid Love Songs | Le Petit Prince | Lemony Snicket | Like Water For Chocolate | Little House on the Prairie | Little Women | Maltese Falcon | Mary Renault | Moby Dick | Name of the Rose | Neuromancer | Nineteen Eighty-Four | North and South | Ray Bradbury | Raymond Chandler | Rebecca | Regeneration trilogy | Rivers of London series | Scarlet Pimpernel | Stephen King | The Highwayman | Thursday Next series | Tipping the Velvet | Twelve Kingdoms | Walter de la Mare | War for the Oaks | Wilkie Collins | Winnie the Pooh

Agatha Christie

Coffee and Cognac by Gwenhwyvar

'The precise, finicking habits, the egg-shaped head, the mannerisms, even the accent were just window-dressing, they had faded from my memory after a while. But his smile was the real Poirot.' A delicate short piece, with a spot-on Hastings voice

[Added 03/01/2007; Character Piece; 1000-2500; Agatha Christie]

I Saw The Best Minds Of My Generation Destroyed By Sven Hjerson by Evelyn B

'Can there be such creatures as Sven Hjerson, Oliver's massive and amiable Scandinavian detective, who calculates square roots as a form of mental discipline and hums Socialist hymns as he breaks the ice in his morning bath?' Hilarious Edmund Wilson-style demolition descends into Lovecraftian horror in these reviews of Ariadne Oliver's novels

[Added 15/10/2015; Humour; 2500-6000; Agatha Christie]

The Spirit of St Mary Mead by Lost Spook

'"Oh, dear," she would say, watching her latest unwary worshipper with a gaze undimmed by her years. "I hardly think it fair to curse Coelius. After all, you have no proof that he was the one who spread those whispers against you. He dislikes you, it's true, I know, but I have seen such things before – a young man, of the Dumnonii, who detested a fellow craftsman, but he would take no underhand revenge, for instance. Oh, no, I think not Coelius. This Vitellius who told you of the rumours – now there, I think we have it. It is exactly like Cerdig and that envious brother of his all over again. Such malice."' Fabulous idea, which explains a lot about Miss Marple!

[Added 23/12/2017; Character Piece; 2500-6000; Agatha Christie]

Alice in Wonderland

Extract From the Carrollian Catalog of J. Phildrop by Ellen Fremedon

Excellent Carrollian pastiche, plus an unforgettable rewriting of one of my least favourite poems

[Added 13/01/2005; Drama; 2500-6000; Alice in Wonderland]

Ravens and Writing Desks by Meltha

'Darkness has fallen on Wonderland.' One of those stories that goes deeper than the source yet remains true to it. Highly recommended

[Added 13/01/2005; Drama; 1000-2500; Alice in Wonderland]

AS Byatt

Seen and Unseen by Argyle

'In the half-light the folds seemed wrought from cobwebs and parched earth.' Beautiful descriptive writing in this brief vignette (Angels and Insects)

[Added 30/12/2005; Drama; 1000-2500; AS Byatt]

Vivien & Merlin by The Red Shoes

'"But -- it was cold. You -- you are my fire. My hearth. My element. A salamander," he said, with a short sharp laugh, but she did not smile. "You burn without being consumed."' A missing scene between Ash & Christabel that could slot straight into the novel. Erudite & passionate (Possession)

[Added 11/11/2008; Drama; 1000-2500; AS Byatt]

Weaving Lesson by Baranduin

'She is sleeping now and I am scratching away in my journal. I love to watch my Princess sleep, her breathing so delicate and even. The ivory lace around her white throat barely moves.' A quiet piece which gives Blanche a voice (Possession)

[Added 11/11/2008; Drama; 1000-2500; AS Byatt]

Aubrey–Maturin series

On Solitude by Toft

'It was undoubtedly the fish that caused the thing, an ill-looking, mumchance creature served to them at a roadside tavern on the way to Portsmouth.' I don't often recommend accidental telepathic bond fic, but in Toft's capable hands the story deftly skirts clichÉ, always remains true to character & period, and slips effortlessly between comedy & profundity. Simply wonderful!

[Added 04/10/2013; Drama; 6000-20,000; Aubrey–Maturin series]


Not Strain'd by Seldear

'The mercy of man was inexplicable enough in this human coil of loss and love and jealousy and greed, how much more inexplicable the mercy of God upon his creation!' A solid if simple mystery for Cadfael, very much in the spirit of the original. This could easily be a short story by Ellis Peters

[Added 10/11/2008; Drama; 6000-20,000; Cadfael]

Charles Dickens

Diabolis in Musica by Sistermagpie

'"The music's meant to encourage the congregation to contemplate the things for which they ought to be grateful Mr. Jasper,” he said. "Not put them in mind of hell." / "I don't believe there is music in hell," Mr. Jasper had answered softly.' Slow-building Victorian horror, with a wonderful Lovecraftian feel. I suspect this was not the resolution to the mystery that Dickens envisaged (Edwin Drood)

[Added 29/10/2017; Drama; 2500-6000; Charles Dickens]

Star by A T Rain

'At the time when my story takes place, I had been a widow for two years, my husband, Bentley Drummle, having died after being kicked by one of his hunters (for horses have this advantage over wives: nobody blames them if they kill the man who beats them).' Wonderful novelette-length sequel to Great Expectations, with a good sense of period and a strong voice for Estella

[Added 13/12/2011; Drama; 6000-20,000; Charles Dickens]

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

The Chocolate Factory by Ignipes

'He was standing at the edge of a tremendous cavern, a sweeping valley -- there was no better word for it -- bigger than a dozen Quidditch pitches, sloping down toward a dark, dry riverbed at the bottom. A skeletal forest of charred, spindly trees lined the riverbanks, with not a single leaf among them.' Evocative descriptive writing and a most intriguing premise mark this memorable crossover (HP/Charlie and the Chocolate Factory)

[Added 26/04/2007; Drama; 6000-20,000; Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; Crossover]

A Life Worth Living by Slow Mercury

'Andrew Young in third grade once used a pack of this very gum to blow a bubble big enough to land on when he jumped out a second storey window and escaped from Crunchem Hall.' Inventive character study which cleverly undermines the moral of the original

[Added 15/02/2011; Character Piece; 1000-2500; Charlie and the Chocolate Factory]

Ordinary Chocolate by Minerva McTabby

'Wonka's hat flew off. His hair streamed upward in whirling Medusa-locks. He opened his eyes to see a hundred gleaming pipes grow to web the ceiling, announcing their birth in a grating whine.' Minerva does a wonderful job of realising the exuberant magic of the factory in this story set after the Burton film

[Added 21/01/2011; Drama; 1000-2500; Charlie and the Chocolate Factory]

Charlotte Brontë

Green As It Grows by Significantowl

'"People who look out of windows into the blackness of night are not in search of innocence," he murmured. "They chase the lurid," his mouth slipped lower, "the fantastical," and lower still, "why should we not give it to them?"' This vignette features perfect voices, especially for Rochester, and manages the tricky task of remaining exquisitely in character, even as the content moves well beyond where Jane Eyre treads

[Added 04/10/2013; Romance/Erotica; 1000-2500; Charlotte Brontë]

'I would not be you for a kingdom' by Jane Carnall

'...When I was eighteen I had men at my feet, dying for one glance from my eye. I was so lovely that even other women were fond of me. I was accustomed to indulgence and admiration. I tell you, my dear, that look of amusement from Lucy Snowe piqued me.' An acute portrait of Ginevra Fanshawe, sympathetic without diminishing her faults (Villette)

[Added 28/02/2014; Romance/Erotica; 2500-6000; Charlotte Brontë]

Mission by Solvent90

'There were curious scarlet flowers in the trees, some of which fallen underfoot and lay vivid as red silk in the black mud.' Evocative, sensual writing characterises this brief peek at an alternative ending for Jane Eyre. I love the way the piece echoes the original despite the very different setting

[Added 10/11/2008; Drama; 1000-2500; Charlotte Brontë]


Are We There Yet? (or, Fear and Loathing in Kent) by angevin2

'"If you don't shut up right now we're going to turn this pilgrimage around and go home!"' The Canterbury Tales as a road trip: Angevin gives us the bits that never found their way into the final version. I'm sure I'm missing most of the allusions here, and it's still hilarious

[Added 07/08/2009; Humour; 1000-2500; Chaucer]

China Miéville

Borderlands by Dynamicsymmetry

'Being someone’s lover is in itself a process of unseeing. You learn where to look and where not to. You learn which transgressions will result in your exile.' Dynamicsymmetry stretches The City & the City's concept of breach beyond the novel in this clever & thoughtful vignette

[Added 04/10/2013; Romance/Erotica; 1000-2500; China Miéville]

Chinese poetry

Green by Lnhammer

'Upside is "officially" international and modern but like everything here run by Personnel, the site is built on images from the Middle Kingdom -- auspicious cranes flap around the screen with message scrolls in their beaks, wise turtles offer compatibility advice.' Some things change over the centuries, but the problems faced by lovers stay the same. This story worked for me as original sf, with the various translations of the source, 'Walls of Emerald' by Li Shang-Yin, giving extra layers of meaning. The prose has the feel of poetry

[Added 27/05/2012; Drama; 2500-6000; Chinese poetry]


The Last Days of Dr Seward by Hedge Witch

'...I walk distractedly from the Prinsengracht to Dam square shuddering every time I catch sight of my reflection, twisted and elongated by the canals. What seeps through into them from the surrounding mud? All that lies in the earth is fixed, but if it reaches the water, might it not bob up?' Hedge Witch builds a powerful sense of dread in this dark, ambiguous coda to the novel

[Added 04/10/2013; Drama; 2500-6000; Dracula]

Shattered Mirrors by Assimbya

'Jonathan wants to tell her something in response, some sort of comfort or reassurance, but he sees, as though inevitably, that the white clips in her dark hair are made from human teeth, and the image silences him.' Intense imagery as Jonathan loses his mind. The blend of surreal & prosaic is particularly unsettling

[Added 01/02/2011; Character Piece; 1000-2500; Dracula]

Sympathy of Wolves by GreenSpine

'I wondered, admiring, at the great care He had taken to drive the wooden stake through her body without touching her heart or stealing her voice, for that was the touch of His true love, just as the tendernesses of my past were His violence.' An original viewpoint renews the age-old tale

[Added 03/01/2007; Drama; 2500-6000; Dracula]

Dylan Thomas

A Child's Apogee in the Black by Kass

'Sleek and long as coiled cables, mincing and pouncing, they would glide and goosestep over the heating ducts, and the cyberenhanced hunters, Jane and I, imagining ourselves in spacesuits barely-tethered to the ship's pockmarked exterior, would proffer our leftover protein shreds as though to alien lifeforms on an uncharted planet.' Re-envisioning of 'A Child's Christmas in Wales' which clings tight to the original, underlining surprising parallels between the worlds, but leaves room for some wonderful inventive flourishes

[Added 12/08/2015; Drama; 1000-2500; Dylan Thomas]

EM Forster

And Have Their Chance of Joy by Penguin

'The city was empty as only a city can be – filled with people, but not the ones you want.' A lush portrayal of George & Lucy's happy ending, with a final scene that's just perfect (A Room with a View)

[Added 28/01/2011; Romance/Erotica; 1000-2500; EM Forster]

The Home Front by Kindkit

'The war hasn't changed the way rich men get their pennies from poor men's pockets. Just speeded it up, maybe.' Sharp characterisation of an older Scudder. His perspectives on class & patriotism are particularly interesting (Maurice)

[Added 28/01/2011; Drama; 1000-2500; EM Forster]

A Mirror Distorted by Shirasade

'Clive had almost resolved to feel nothing but pity for the man.' A sad but plausible glimpse at one path Clive might take after the end of the novel (Maurice)

[Added 07/08/2009; Drama; <1000; EM Forster]

Stamp'd On These Lifeless Things by Halotolerant

'Alone, Cecil could be Cecil. When she broke their engagement, Lucy had said to him that when he came into contact with other people he destroyed them. What she had not seen was that the reverse was true - around others, Cecil was never how he wanted to be.' A subtle vignette, which offers a wonderful portrait of Cecil in all his complexity (A Room with a View)

[Added 07/08/2009; Drama; 1000-2500; EM Forster]

Exeter Book

saga hwæt ic hatte by Selden

'I saw him once, standing among them, watching me pick rushes. The mist lay heavy that morning and we were both casting shadows through it, longer and greater than ourselves. But his was muddled among the spines and flowers of the blackthorn, so that the mist and the blossom and the black branches hung at his back like a wave about to break.' Luscious, dense, layered writing that repays rereading, circling round to a perfect ending. I don't know the source (mainly the Wife's Lament) but this stands alone. Simply lovely!

[Added 25/12/2017; Character Piece; 2500-6000; Exeter Book]

Frances Hodgson Burnett

Dear Friends and Ruin by Minerva McTabby

'This must be what it's like to find a diamond.' Very believable expansion of a few lines in the source that made me long to revisit the original (A Little Princess)

[Added 30/12/2005; Drama; 2500-6000; Frances Hodgson Burnett]

A Garden in the Punjab by Rosemaryandrue

'Amarjeet pushed aside a curtain of flowers, and stepped into the heart of the garden. In here, she could barely see the walls of the house. It was a secret garden, a Punjabi garden in the midst of the British Raj.' Sympathetic original characters inhabit this vivid story of three women and another secret garden (The Secret Garden)

[Added 01/02/2011; Drama; 6000-20,000; Frances Hodgson Burnett]

Wick by Orichalxos

'The war has passed through the Sowerbys like a scythe through dry grass.' A delicate, moving story on the power of nature to heal. Simply wonderful (The Secret Garden)

[Added 01/02/2011; Character Piece; 1000-2500; Frances Hodgson Burnett]


Letter to Mrs Salville, England by Cefyr

'I hesitate, dear sister, to write what I know I have to; many times now have I laid down my pen, as if the very act of setting down on paper the latest course of events would somehow make them less real.' A thoughtful piece which takes an unusual look at the moral questions of the novel

[Added 15/04/2015; Drama; 2500-6000; Frankenstein]

Goblin Market

The Illusionist by Stultiloquentia

'In daylight, he was both fox and not-fox; eyes too large and paws too dexterous, and a coat that seemed to shift as she watched, now a red summer pelt, now a man's quilted jacket, now a weaving of leaves and bark.' A thoughtful, slow-building prequel to the poem, which puts a clever twist on Jeanie's story and brings the goblins to life

[Added 01/02/2011; Drama; 2500-6000; Goblin Market]

Nectar of the Honeymen by Borusa

'The honeymen do not sell their drug. You cannot buy it in a little pouch; you cannot take it home in a vial. They guard its secret jealously, because they could not stand competition.' An inventive re-envisioning of the poem in a dystopic future, featuring a wonderful Lizzie, grimly practical in her love for her sister

[Added 29/10/2014; Drama; 1000-2500; Goblin Market]

Queer Fruits by Mayhap

'She peeped from beneath the lowered golden fringe of modest maiden lashes and she peered around fingers and handkerchiefs and fans and she darted glances as swift as arrows, as mild as doves, as knowing as serpents.' Lush overblown language & a profusion of striking images mark this subversive prequel to the poem

[Added 01/02/2011; Romance/Erotica; 1000-2500; Goblin Market]


This Chill Intimacy by Mercurie

'She feels weak. The flood has sapped the fire out of her and the walls have caught the coals that remain in a narrow stone cradle.' Delicate portrait of Fuchsia, linked to the four elements

[Added 15/02/2011; Character Piece; 1000-2500; Gormenghast]

Handmaid's Tale

Here is What I'd Like to Tell by Oxymoron

'What sets Jezebel’s apart is the subtlety of its cruelty. (Everything that seems to be a blessing at first sight turns out to be another form of control, violation, appropriation, or insult.)' Oxymoron unpacks a couple of sentences in the novel to give a powerful version of Moira's future. The speculation as to what life as a prostitute might be like in Gilead feels spot on

[Added 28/01/2011; Drama; 1000-2500; Handmaid's Tale]

Sisters of Bilhah by Kel

'...I always, always get the greenest of greenies. I should have known. Can't touch a pen, afraid to sit in a chair, not even a proper haircut yet. I'm lucky she didn't write her prisoner's patronymic for her name.' A disturbing look at what the future might hold outside Gilead through the eyes of a realistic original character. Kel's take on the book is novel enough to feel like original sf, yet firmly linked to Atwood's universe. Wonderful

[Added 01/02/2011; Drama; 6000-20,000; Handmaid's Tale]

Vessel of Hope by Miss M

'I always use my gentlest voice when I teach.' Complex portrait of Aunt Lydia, which adds depth to the character without softening her

[Added 15/02/2011; Character Piece; 1000-2500; Handmaid's Tale]


Imaginary Planes by Cyphomandra

'And then a patchwork of buildings that ran out abruptly, leaving nothing but the railway line and the wrinkled white surface of the salt flats, the unmade bedsheets of some absent giant.' I don't know the original, but this deliciously written vignette stands on its own. The sideturn ending is superb, and surprisingly moving (crossover with historical RPF)

[Added 29/10/2017; Drama; 2500-6000; Hav; Crossover]

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Does the Doctor Know Where His Towel Is? by AstroGirl

'Indeed, the Guide's entry on the Doctor is no less than eleven times longer than its entry on the entire Universe.' An amusing crossover with Doctor Who, which takes on the eternal Towels vs Sonic Screwdrivers Question. No definitive answers arise, but the reader is rewarded with some note-perfect pastiche

[Added 25/08/2013; Humour; <1000; Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy; Crossover]

The Galactic Miscellany by Rheanna

'Arthur got out of bed, put on his slippers, pulled open the curtains of his bedroom and checked the front of the house for bulldozers. He did this every morning, without fail.' Very few writers dare to attempt DNA's style, but Rheanna does it so well here that you'd be forgiven for thinking he'd risen from the grave to write 'The Galactic Miscellany'

[Added 29/07/2004; Humour; 2500-6000; Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy]

In This Galaxy, Nothing Can Be Said To Be Certain by Makesmewannadie

'Under no circumstances should the wise hitchhiker ever make itself known to the GRS. They are more tenacious than the Tracking Hrunds of Bixastow, nastier than the Snarling Grattafiends of Trog, and even your towel will not save you if you come to their attention.' Guide entries, snappy dialogue and a healthy dollop of plot, as Arthur gets to save the day for once

[Added 03/01/2007; Drama; 2500-6000; Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy]

Long Gone Soon by Eruthiel

'Alleyways, backstreets and narrow spaces of all kinds feature heavily in a typical 'mean and seedy' environment. Kontropolis, nerve centre of the Mean and Seedy Republic of Kontron, is famous for being composed almost entirely of such areas, and for the badly-lit brothels, reclamation dives and kebab houses that line them.' This unusual one-shot suggests an intriguing possibility for Zaphod's past. Not the best pastiche, perhaps, but the atmospheric world-building makes up for it. Strange & dark

[Added 28/10/2014; Drama; 2500-6000; Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy]

That Tongue Thing by Makesmewannadie

I don't often recommend body swap stories, but hilarious doesn't even begin to cover this one. Adams' style is perfectly emulated, even if (especially if?) the result isn't something he'd have published

[Added 13/01/2005; Humour; 2500-6000; Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy; Adult]

HP Lovecraft

The Blood From the Sea by Lispeth

'Though they never died afloat, the Pabodie dead were always buried at sea, a tradition which had given the name an unholy savor in New England lore.' A wonderful slow-building sense of dread characterises this old-fashioned tale

[Added 29/05/2012; Drama; 2500-6000; HP Lovecraft]

For Mind and Memory is the Soul of Man by Quillori

'I first caught sight of him on the train, all muffled up in hat and scarf and coat with upturned collar. It was a cold day, to be sure, but something about him seemed off: the stiffness of his movements, perhaps, or the immobility of his face, nor was his voice when he spoke briefly with the conductor quite what one would expect...' Creepy & original horror story, inspired by Lovecraft's ideas notebook, which builds slowly but relentlessly to an inevitable end that invites parallels with dementia

[Added 28/10/2014; Drama; 1000-2500; HP Lovecraft]

The Long Summoning by Marcelo

'My father waited until I was seven years old before he sacrificed my mother to Nyarlathotep. Later, he would tell me he had wanted to make sure I was old enough to remember.' Original, disturbing darkfic that eschews Lovecraftian prose for a relatively restrained style that sets the horror in sharp relief. The final line made me shudder: not one for the faint of heart

[Added 25/12/2017; Character Piece; 1000-2500; HP Lovecraft; Adult]

The Strange Confessions Of Ambrose Blake by Sweetcarolanne

'He paid his bills on time, and made regular orders for paints of high quality. If he favoured certain colours over others, or tended to purchase darker shades of paint rather than lighter, this was barely noticed by anyone. It was none of our business, after all. As I said before, Pickman was a very good customer.' Traditional slow-building horror based on Pickman's Model, that starts off light, even humorous, but reveals a nasty sting in the tail

[Added 25/12/2017; Character Piece; 2500-6000; HP Lovecraft]

I, Claudius

Mater Patriae by Yahtzee

'Their goodness made them wonderfully pliable, like the softest, fresh-spun wool. Livia had been spinning for very many years.' Livia is among my very favourite villains, and this is a sharp look inside her head

[Added 22/07/2009; Character Piece; 2500-6000; I, Claudius]

James Tiptree Jr

The Greek Origins of Certain Words by Scioscribe

'"...And I eat vanilla wafers and hand-knit my own sweaters, but it must be conceded that by and large people have found more intriguing flavors and more contemporary gratification." / "So you enjoy me ironically. Like I'm camp. Or like you'd make your own jam if you could do fuck-all in the kitchen."' Clever & inventive sf, with a thoughtful look at the themes of And I Awoke And Found Me Here on the Cold Hill's Side, to which it forms a loose sequel

[Added 23/12/2017; Romance/Erotica; 2500-6000; James Tiptree Jr; Adult]

John le Carré

First know the truth by Philipa Moss

'Control had invented the job for her, after all, and it was hers to define as she saw fit. Usually this meant that she did as she pleased and relegated dull or mundane tasks to the sharper secretaries.' Insightful portrait of Connie in her prime, at its best in her pitiless assessments of everyone she meets

[Added 04/10/2013; Drama; 6000-20,000; John le Carré]

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

mirk mirk night, nae stern light by Indigostohelit

'...Childermass ... could still not make out whether they were a man or a woman, or their age, or indeed any feature of their face; but he could see, now, that they were wearing a long, long coat the color of moss. (Too like moss; he thought he saw insects crawling within the fabric.)' An atmospheric story set after the novel, with a strong pastiche style, an interesting depiction of Faerie & a suitably creepy OC

[Added 31/10/2017; Drama; 6000-20,000; Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell]

Jungle Book

How the Rock Python Made Three Meals Out of One Monkey by Minutia R

'The law of the porcupines is twofold: It is better to go hungry than to eat a yam with a spot on it, and it is better to keep silence than to tell the plain, unadorned truth.' A deft tale-within-a-tale that could fit perfectly into canon. Sweet & funny

[Added 21/05/2015; Humour; 2500-6000; Rudyard Kipling – Jungle Book]

Jungle Favour Go With Thee by Sullen Siren

'The seasons drift on and on, and Mowgli slips from windows and into jungles less often. When he catches his own scent, it is of smoke and men-villages.' A perceptive look into Mowgli's future, with an ending no less heart wrenching for its inevitability. Lovely use of language. Highly recommended

[Added 01/02/2011; Drama; 2500-6000; Rudyard Kipling – Jungle Book]

Just So stories

Places by Thimblerig

'"Last month," the Woman said, "this field was Unpromising Ground. Today it is the Breaker of my Back."' The First Woman invents agriculture. A delightful short in the spirit of the original

[Added 26/05/2015; Drama; 1000-2500; Rudyard Kipling – Just So stories]

Ladies' Guide to Collecting Mermaid Love Songs

An Argument For The Preservation Of The Self In Cases of Mermaid Transformation by Bakcheia

'I wonder if the sea tastes to mermaids as the air tastes to us? It would be dreadful to have salt in one's mouth all the time, I do not think I could bear it.' A possible future for Miss Holst, from a wistful short story by Aimee Picchi, one of Yuletide 2016's surprise gem fandoms. Thoughtful & very moving

[Added 25/12/2017; Romance/Erotica; 6000-20,000; Ladies' Guide to Collecting Mermaid Love Songs]

A Ladies' Guide to Recording Dances of Elves by Elektra121

'Imagine their feathery fronds, filtering the sunrays like green combs running through a maiden's hair. The earthy odors of mosses and mushrooms mixing with the fresh scent of young fiddleheads sprouting into the green twilight. Cheekily, they beckon you on, deeper and deeper into the woods, urging you to gather their untamed elegance into your botanist's container – but beware! Many ladies get lost when they blindly follow the impulse to further explore the unknown.' This deliciously detailed pre-story abandons the wistful tone of the original short story by Aimee Picchi in favour of clever tongue-in-cheek humour. Great fun!

[Added 25/12/2017; Romance/Erotica; 1000-2500; Ladies' Guide to Collecting Mermaid Love Songs]

Le Petit Prince

Another Chance by Cnoocy

'So recently, when I found myself making a crash landing in the Mediterranean Sea, as a child I thought, "how disappointing to be ending my flight so soon," and as a grown-up thought, "I will not be returning to my squadron at the expected time."' Saint-ExupÉry's disappearance in 1944 is the basis for this poignant future story. The ending is perfect

[Added 26/05/2015; Drama; 1000-2500; Le Petit Prince]

Lemony Snicket

The Gargantuan Garden by Yahtzee

'You will notice at once that this story has no warnings. Many readers prefer such warnings before their stories, because they will be mournful if anyone is said to die, or get angry if a character they dislike is treated nicely, or burst into flames if two imaginary people other than those they prefer are shown to be in love. Therefore such warnings are helpful things indeed.' I don't know Lemony Snicket, but Yahtzee's engaging crossover makes me wish I did (Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events/Edward Scissorhands)

[Added 29/07/2004; Humour; 2500-6000; Lemony Snicket; Crossover]

Like Water For Chocolate

La Adelita by Eruthros

'Her song mixed with the bean powder, her tears mixed with the onion, and she stirred a soup that made every man brave.' An original & powerful folk tale, steeped in the magical realism of the source. One of my favourites from Yuletide 2009

[Added 01/02/2011; Character Piece; 1000-2500; Like Water For Chocolate]

Little House on the Prairie

Little House After the End by Fera Festiva

'In the afternoons, once the dishes were done, Laura and Mary could do as they liked, so long as they did not go outside the fence. Mary would stay in the house and mend her padded armour, or sew on the nine-patch quilt she was making. But Laura liked to help Pa with the planting.' The tone of the Little House series is strangely perfect for the zombie apocalypse, and the details of this post-apocalyptic yet charming world are well chosen

[Added 28/02/2014; Humour; 2500-6000; Little House on the Prairie]

Little Settlement on the Moon by Rina

'Pa...had been learning about the new-fangled idea of hydroponic farming. Imagine - all that good food, no worries about weather or grasshoppers!' Rina uses prosaic little details to make the impossible premise surprisingly believable. The upcoming titles list at the end is a hoot

[Added 06/08/2009; Humour; 1000-2500; Little House on the Prairie]

Little Women

Beth Finds the Palace Beautiful by Snacky

'I was very sick. So sick that even Marmee didn’t think I’d get well. And when the time came to board the spaceship with all the others, I was still alive, but just barely, and no one would allow anyone so sick on board the space ship.' Snacky takes a crackfic premise, and makes of it a moving, thoughtful, memorable story, which is surprisingly faithful to the original. One of my favourites from Yuletide 2011

[Added 26/05/2012; Character Piece; 2500-6000; Little Women]

Maltese Falcon

Brown-Eyed Girl by LJC

'Her hair was the shade of dark blonde that gets called brown until you saw her out in the sun, and the streaks of gold made her look like she was born and raised in California. She hadn't been, but she did her best to fit in.' Plausible fleshing out of Effie, the original Girl Friday. Teeters on the brink of romance in the wonderful banter with Spade, without ever quite falling in

[Added 28/05/2012; Character Piece; 1000-2500; Maltese Falcon]

Mary Renault

Cobbler's Tales by Zopyrus

'"When I have 'learned how to be virtuous,' I want to go downstairs and meet your friends," said Mikka. "Especially the ugly man who worries about cows."' Simon the cobbler's new interest in philosophical discussions has repercussions for his family. An enjoyable quiet piece that doesn't take the easy route of embracing anachronistic class/gender roles (The Last of the Wine)

[Added 29/10/2014; Drama; 2500-6000; Mary Renault]

Moby Dick

Event Horizon by Norah

'It's a solemn thing, to go out into the dark. Disc mining's not an occupation for those who like comfort or the familiar. The dark looks back at you in a way you can't explain.' Space AU short, with fascinating world-building bubbling beneath the Queequeg/Ishmael foreground

[Added 24/12/2017; Romance/Erotica; 2500-6000; Moby Dick; Adult]

The Hen Frigate by The Alchemist

'Had she ever been pressed sufficiently hard, the long-suffering Mrs Ahab would have been forced to own that there was an extent to which persons who think it wise to use a six inch long knife to stab a creature with 14 inch thick skin, had, in the vernacular of the common folk, it coming to them.' An enjoyable fix-it AU, which invents a worthy wife for Ahab. The delicious dark humour that pervades the piece is a bonus

[Added 14/04/2015; Drama; 6000-20,000; Moby Dick]

Name of the Rose

L A U D S by Minyan

'...the forge the labyrinth had become devoured first principals and the crucibles of alchemists and the lives of horned whales, the rules of scansion and of physics and the circumference of the earth, the stars the Arabic astronomers recorded at the knee and the breast of the swan, and a hundred faces of the virgin.' An amazing achievement, true to the voice of the original, yet moving beyond it

[Added 03/01/2007; Drama; 2500-6000; Name of the Rose]


Mercury Scatters by Northland

'Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly, and a razorgirl's gotta cut.' A moving short that returns a hint of humanity to Gibson's creation

[Added 07/08/2009; Character Piece; <1000; Neuromancer]

Nineteen Eighty-Four

The Examination by TeaRoses

'The Thought Police didn't take recruits, and they didn't take refusals. Either she went through with this or she lost everything.' This powerful short gives a grimly realistic glimpse of life under Big Brother

[Added 04/02/2012; Drama; <1000; Nineteen Eighty-Four]

North and South

Hors de Combat, Hors de Commerce by Tofty

'The transience of the railway-station setting, the thick steamy air, and the tightening of his supplicating fingers around her wrist combined to make her dizzy, and they made her reckless, as well; and so she offered no objections as he bumped and buffeted her like a balloon, lighter than air, up the stairs and into the passenger car.' A welcome fix for the ending of the television series that does a good job of integrating it into book canon

[Added 28/02/2014; Romance/Erotica; 1000-2500; North and South]

Sick of Shadows by Lettered

'"Then you have a better opinion of me?" Mr Thornton seemed sceptical. "You do not think I have attempted to buy you, and only managed to succeed now because the price of your refusal became too high?"' Lettered takes the forced marriage clichÉ & spins it into pure gold: the thoughtful novel that results is as much preoccupied with the meeting of minds as of bodies. The characters are all well rounded, with Fanny a particular treat. Sadly incomplete

[Added 28/02/2014; Romance/Erotica; >50,000; North and South; WiP]

Ray Bradbury

When She Woke at Dawn by kalirush

'Alone, mute, and impotent, the house dreams. Memories crawl like termites along the wreckage of its cybernetic brain.' A cleverly structured vignette with a poignant future for the not-quite-dead house of 'There Will Come Soft Rains'

[Added 30/10/2017; Drama; 1000-2500; Ray Bradbury]

Raymond Chandler

Gimlet, No Bitters by Martha

'I paid him when he handed it to me because I wasn't planning to have another, and I wished him merry Christmas because somebody ought to have one.' Long Goodbye fix-its aren't hard to find, but this vignette has a surprisingly successful stab at the style while making explicit text of Chandler's subtext

[Added 09/06/2011; Romance/Erotica; 2500-6000; Raymond Chandler]

Leveling by Pearbean

' "I don't shoot people on Thursdays," I said. "It spoils the weekend." ' Marlowe feels very much in character in this slow seduction. The luscious Chandler pastiche is particularly strong in the dialogue (Farewell, My Lovely)

[Added 09/06/2011; Romance/Erotica; 2500-6000; Raymond Chandler]

The Shadow Line by Lemuel Cork

'I’d seen Tijuana zebras before. Every American who ventures south is offered the opportunity. They’re the result of an enterprising program of cross-breeding between a donkey and a bucket of paint.' This Long Goodbye epilogue is a bit uneven, but it's worth a try for the excellent world-building

[Added 09/06/2011; Drama; 2500-6000; Raymond Chandler]

The Woman in the Picture by Vehemently

'The window frame was black and looked like steel and the smooth machined glass curtly turned away my gaze. The morning sun's reflection was so severe I couldn't see more than a few feet into the foyer. Unfortunately, that was enough for me to find the body.' A wonderful understated casefile, with believable OCs & almost perfect Chandler pastiche. More in the spirit of the original than most Marlowe fanfiction

[Added 09/06/2011; Drama; 2500-6000; Raymond Chandler]


Danny by Tiffany Rawlins

'Once even Mrs. Danvers must have been young...' An excellent handle on Rebecca's slippery narrator

[Added 30/12/2005; Drama; 1000-2500; Rebecca]

Regeneration trilogy

Cum Mortuis in Lingua Mortua by Gileonnen

'The taper smacked of pretence, either the high-church ceremonial sort or the pentagram tomfoolery of a Bennett or a Crowley. / These things had a form to them, though, and a military man knew that forms had to be followed.' Precisely observed details anchor this quiet tale of the supernatural and add to its power. Bittersweet & beautifully written

[Added 04/10/2013; Character Piece; 1000-2500; Regeneration trilogy]

Rivers of London series

Birdcage by Philomytha

'Any police service takes the disappearance of an officer extremely seriously, and I'd studied all the proper procedures. The trouble was, they all started with notifying the missing officer's line manager. And I had no idea who Nightingale's line manager was, or if he even had any superior officers apart from the Home Secretary and the Commissioner. And it wasn't as if I had either of them on my speed-dial.' Peter takes centre stage in this satisfying, close-to-canon adventure novella, set during the London Olympics. Philomytha, like Aaronovitch, excels at creating odd corners of the capital, and unlike him, spares a thought for the ethical issues arising from Moon over Soho

[Added 18/10/2017; Drama; 20,000-50,000; Rivers of London series]

Folly To Be Wise by Philomytha

'London is constantly being destroyed and recreated, old buildings improved, extended, knocked down, blown up and redeveloped into something new.' Atmospheric ghost story that builds on the fallout from Ettersberg and feels just like a missing case from canon. Philomytha gives us some interesting insights into Nightingale's youth & the history of magical practice in this universe, too. I'm still avoiding spoilers in this fandom but I also enjoyed her earlier casefic, Pest Control

[Added 28/10/2014; Drama; 6000-20,000; Rivers of London series]

J'attendrai by Quasar

'His suit jacket was of good quality but altered rather than bespoke, and the style was unfamiliar - not Continental, perhaps American? He hadn't bothered with a tie or hat or waistcoat. As he dodged out from behind the anxious mother I realised he was a Negro or mixed race, which seemed to strengthen the American hypothesis.' An intricately plotted time-travel novel, which never confuses as it slowly unfurls, despite the frequent time jumps. The device neatly bypasses the mentor/student taboo, and offers a series of intriguing glimpses into Nightingale's long life

[Added 18/10/2017; Drama; >50,000; Rivers of London series]

Scarlet Pimpernel

All the Worlds by RecessiveJean

'The wondrous thing boasted carvings of an extraordinary nature all around its basin, figures of mighty lions and sly, wicked gods and many manners of like wonder, all of which travelled the circumference of the great pool in postures of play and war.' I don't know Scarlet Pimpernel well, but this dark tale of dissolution into madness works perfectly as a crossover, warning of the dangers of setting foot in other worlds (Scarlet Pimpernel/The Magician's Nephew)

[Added 04/10/2013; Drama; 1000-2500; Scarlet Pimpernel; Crossover]

Stephen King

Bird and Bear and Hare and Fish by Scioscribe

'Roland said, "There was a woman who had a wall in her home painted to look like a city. When she looked closely—and she spent many hours looking closely—she could even see the eyelets in the clasps of the purses carried by its citizens, could even see the freckles on a boy and the ribbon in a girl's hair. She fell into the study of it. And, as such things often do, her study turned into her occupation turned into her obsession. Not that that is something I would understand," he said with a smile so beautiful in its ruefulness that all three of his companions separately felt that they should memorize it.' I don't know Dark Tower, but the fantastic story-within-a-story draws the reader into this ensemble adventure. Deservedly widely recommended

[Added 27/12/2017; Drama; 6000-20,000; Stephen King]

My Soul to Keep by Maidenjedi

'Everyone is a little bit corrupt, he’s found, a little bit naughty inside. And secrets lie behind doors of all kinds, mahogany or framed screen doors, whitewashed doors and barely-hanging-on-the-hinges doors.' Randall Flagg makes a suitably disturbing narrator in this brief prequel to The Stand

[Added 04/10/2013; Drama; 1000-2500; Stephen King]

West by Edonohana & Kore

'Fran figured that even if the dark man won and the earth crumbled, a couple bags of Fritos would float around in space, unchanged and indestructible, as crunchy and salty as the day they were made.' An inspired feminist re-envisioning of the final act of The Stand, clever & moving

[Added 28/10/2014; Drama; 6000-20,000; Stephen King]

Works of Mercy by Scioscribe

'So that was how Jenny Engstrom left Vegas just ahead of Randall Flagg's tantrum. She rode a motorcycle and slept during the day because it seemed to her that nighttime was his time, when the gaps between the stars each looked like his face, and she couldn't sleep with him looking at her a million times over.' Thoughtful female-centric AU of The Stand in which one change leads to insidious escalation and a different outcome. I love Jenny's characterisation, and how it explains her choices in the original

[Added 24/12/2017; Drama; 2500-6000; Stephen King]

The Highwayman

though hell should bar the way by Betony

'She did this to me, mind. Bess the landlord's daughter, and that blasted love-knot in her black hair.' A subtle & atmospheric short, with a clever twist on the original poem

[Added 30/10/2017; Drama; 1000-2500; The Highwayman]

Thursday Next series

To Begin With by Aubry

'Usually, when protests kick off in Dickens's social commentaries it's in Hard Times, or the back-story of the first volume of David Copperfield. Carol was a different fettle of kitsch.' This enjoyable casefic set in A Christmas Carol has a ball with the best bits from both canons. There are amusing sidelines on the nature of fiction & Dickens lit crit on the way to the requisite treacly ending

[Added 28/10/2014; Drama; 2500-6000; Thursday Next series; Crossover]

Tipping the Velvet

The Beggar's Wish by Doyle

A very believable continuation of the novel, with a lovely tone & excellent detailing

[Added 30/12/2005; Romance/Erotica; 2500-6000; Tipping the Velvet]

Twelve Kingdoms

The Hinge of the Hour, the Spark of Eternity by Psiten

'See, I told you you wouldn't believe it. He did exactly that, on purpose, I give you my word. Would it make a difference if I told you he was a kaikyaku? You know how desperate they always are to get home.' A lovely strong OC narrator's voice draws the reader into this tale of bureaucracy & the birth of an unlikely cross-generational friendship. Absolutely charming!

[Added 13/08/2015; Drama; 6000-20,000; Twelve Kingdoms; Crossover]

Walter de la Mare

The Moonlit Door by Zdenka

'He could see an open grassy slope below him, unmarked by any sign of habitation; but as he went on he could feel a gathering in the air around him, as if many unseen folk stood watching and listening, waiting for what he might do.' Zdenka uses & subverts several fairy story tropes in this haunting prequel to 'The Listeners'. Simply lovely!

[Added 11/08/2015; Drama; 6000-20,000; Walter de la Mare]

War for the Oaks

In Kind by Resolute

'And then, Diary, I lied. In front of this woman, this lady, and this sharp, handsome man, I didn't want to be Mathilde Ruby Ingeson, recently of Hibbing, Minnesota. I wanted to be new. I wanted to be something fresh and neat and worthy of the city. Worthy of the lady's attention and the man's smile.' Resolute builds a wonderful sense of gathering darkness in this prequel, which brings the 1920s to life in all its vigour and cruelty

[Added 04/10/2013; Drama; 2500-6000; War for the Oaks]

Wilkie Collins

Lydia Gwilt in the American Melodrama Novel, or The Bride And Some Other People In The Tomb by Blueinkedfrost

'One of these American millionaires who seem to spring up like mushrooms after rain... They make their fortunes in hog bellies, piecing together railroad sidings for all of Maine, crowning themselves the king of ladies' hairpins, or some such concept. Ageing, dyspeptic, inattentive, and caring only for his next million and a safe digestive biscuit.' Lydia Gwilt travels to the New World to find herself in a terrible sensation novel. Lovely voice & a hectic romp through the genre tropes (Armadale)

[Added 25/10/2017; Drama; 6000-20,000; Wilkie Collins]

Winnie the Pooh

In Which a New Child Comes to the Forest by Loligo

Loligo cleverly uses the setting to voice insights into growing up and the responsibilities of parenthood, as well as the nature of storytelling

[Added 30/12/2005; Drama; 1000-2500; Winnie the Pooh]