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: 912 recs in 209 fandoms; 64 links

Miscellaneous: Visual

Actor fiction | Aladdin | Alien films | Amélie | American Psycho | Artworks | Batman films | Blackadder | Blade Runner | Breakfast Club | Brokeback Mountain | Coupling | Das Leben der Anderen | Disney cartoons | Dogma | Firefly | Galaxy Quest | Good Life | Gosford Park | Grand Budapest Hotel | Hinterland | Hot Fuzz | House, MD | How to Train Your Dragon | Indiana Jones | Interview with the Vampire | James Bond | Juno | Labyrinth | Lewis | Lost in Translation | Love Actually | M*A*S*H | Matrix trilogy | Pan's Labyrinth | Princess Bride | Rear Window | Red Dwarf | Remington Steele | Reservoir Dogs | Robin Hood (BBC) | Sex and the City | Shakespeare Retold | Singin' in the Rain | Sleepy Hollow | Smallville | Sound of Music | Spirited Away | Sunset Boulevard | The Hour | The Incredibles | The Mentalist | Twin Peaks | Who Framed Roger Rabbit | Wire in the Blood | Yes, Minister

Actor fiction

Alternate by Kaydee Falls

I love fiction that explores the workings of chance. Give this unusual series of drabbles a chance even if you never read real person fiction (Lotrips)

[Added 12/02/2004; Drama; 1000-2500; Actor fiction]

Not Waving But Drowning by Toft Froggy

'Paul flirts shamelessly, almost compulsively, with any woman that crosses his path, but when he’s Avon and Gareth is Blake, all that fickle attention is focused on him, and he feels like the axis on which the world turns.' A perceptive exploration of the interplay between actors & roles (Blake's 7 RPF)

[Added 15/07/2008; Drama; 1000-2500; Actor fiction]

Aladdin

Passings by ChokolatteJedi

'When he refuses again and again to kill, the man finally asks him to keep him hidden from all the eyes that watch him. The Genie obliges, but he does not know enough of this new world.' A fascinating take on the Aladdin universe, with some chilling moments along the way

[Added 27/05/2012; Drama; 1000-2500; Aladdin]

Alien films

Killing Elvis by David Hines

'The Chair wants Elvis stuffed and mounted. Is that possible? He wants this done by next week.' Believable science meets hilarious office politics with a great slow-building tension as one waits for the inevitable climax. Epistolary Aliens humour really shouldn't work, but somehow this clever story pulls it off

[Added 21/01/2011; Humour; 6000-20,000; Alien films]

Amélie

Le Mondain Futur d'Amelie Poulain by Kinetikatrue

'She likes to think it wasn't, that Nino tells his secrets to someone, even if it isn't her. And that his world also has corners which other people can't peer around.' A delicate take on what 'happily ever after' might mean in practice, which does a good job of capturing the film's whimsy

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

American Psycho

This is Not an Exit by Lizardbeth

'I try to calm myself, thinking about each breath, but nothing works until I picture Murray's head in a display case at Bloomingdale's, next to the Lalique.' A chilling portrait of insanity, as the police finally catch up with Patrick. The ending is unexpected yet perfect

[Added 28/01/2011; Drama; 2500-6000; American Psycho; Adult]

Artworks

Keris By The Sea by Quillori

'At last he cast his eyes still further away, away from the city and the land and the harbour and out across the sea itself: out there, on the rocky shoals where only the most desperate fishermen now ventured, was the wreck of some great merchant ship, come from a far-off land, through uncounted storms and dangers, only to beach itself at last by lonely Keris.' This unusual, intricate set of tales within a tale constructs a history of the city of Ys, woven around pictures by Donato Giancola. Quillori imbues the whole with a wonderfully wistful atmosphere

[Added 04/10/2013; Drama; 6000-20,000; Artworks]

Portrait of the Artist as a Young Woman by Ghostie

'"The tea today is lemon zest," he finally said. He had a deep, sonorous voice that swelled to fill the room as if it were an oven filled with rising bread. He kept his gaze trained on the windows and the forsythia beyond as he spoke; Rayyana wondered if he even knew she was there. "With infusions of clover-honey, grapefruit rind, and tentative optimism in the face of new opportunities."' Ghostie draws on several artworks by Omar Rayyan to create an entirely believable world peopled with fabulous characters. Charming & original

[Added 15/04/2015; Drama; 6000-20,000; Artworks]

A Traveller's Guide to Venice by Quillori

'Nergüi listened to him impassively, her hands folded in the depths of her ruffled sleeves, and her posture as upright and still as an owl upon a branch. You would have thought she was accustomed to having her wisdom sought on a daily basis by kings and beggars alike.' A travelogue to a fantastic Venice, inspired by Travelling Hermit & other works by Colette Calascione, which unfurls slowly to reveal its secrets. Original & strange, with a wonderful narrative voice

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

we played escapees while they hunted in the woods by drcalvin

'It was always harder to be an Escapee, because you had to remember to angle out your elbows, or keep your knees bent, or in some other way copy the imperfection of gyro-walk even the best balanced robots suffered back in those days.' Rich world-building & a strong narrative voice, inspired by Simon Stålenhag's Rymlingen Mecha

[Added 11/08/2015; Drama; 1000-2500; Artworks]

Batman films

The Kid from the Narrows by Ro

'You're too old for teddybears but you cling to something nonetheless. ...You fall asleep clutching the metal casing and wake with his symbol pressed deep into your palm.' Excellent use of a minor character to illuminate Batman and especially the city he patrols. The second-person narration works very nicely here (Batman Begins/Batman comics)

[Added 11/11/2008; Drama; 2500-6000; Batman films]

Lodestone by Eyebrow of Doom

'At the corner, a section of veneer the size of a silver dollar was missing, revealing chipboard beneath. Like Gordon's failings as a provider, this had a certain humble charm, but would become less charming over time.' Gritty portrait of Jim Gordon, full of well-chosen details (Batman Begins)

[Added 11/11/2008; Drama; 1000-2500; Batman films]

Such Deliberate Disguises by LC

'Out in the field, the post hanging bare.' Creepy character dissection, language precise as a scalpel (Batman Begins)

[Added 30/12/2005; Character Piece; 1000-2500; Batman films]

Tandem by Irisbleu

'His faithful Lady Liberty never disagreed with him. Ever.' This clever Harvey character study has a beautiful rhythm to it (The Dark Knight)

[Added 13/01/2011; Character Piece; <1000; Batman films]

Blackadder

Blackadder's Fifth Column by Kerrypolka

'Bobbie's eyes widened. "Oh, wicked," she said. "Are you a suit here to subvert the dominant paradigm? That is immense. Why don't you sign up for the finance committee?"' This episode from the fifth season, set during Occupy London, is mysteriously missing from the BBC archives. Hilarious

[Added 28/05/2012; Humour; 1000-2500; Blackadder]

Field Marshal by Lakester

I don't think I've ever recommended script format before, but this could so easily be an episode from the Beeb. Worth reading just for the turnip joke

[Added 13/01/2005; Humour; 2500-6000; Blackadder]

Blade Runner

Keep Breathing by Kittydesade

'...She liked the rain. It felt and smelled different here than it had on the colonies. You could chew the rain, it had a flavor, the whole city did.' Most of the tiny amount of fanfiction for this film focuses on Roy Batty, so this study of Zhora is a treat. The inevitable ending is beautifully written

[Added 18/01/2012; Character Piece; 1000-2500; Blade Runner]

Pride Goeth Before by Silk Knickers

'We should be their gods, not they ours.' A subtle tale of awakening, beautifully conveyed

[Added 03/01/2007; Drama; 1000-2500; Blade Runner]

Breakfast Club

Most Likely To by Kaneko

'Around the ten-year-reunion mark there was a second, smaller spike during which complex sums were worked out (receding hairline −2; law school +1; appearance on Wheel of Fortune +3) to create a whole new map of failure and success.' A slow-building coming-of-age story for Brian, with a fluent style & an amusing structure

[Added 01/02/2011; Romance/Erotica; 6000-20,000; Breakfast Club]

Brokeback Mountain

A Man's God-Given Right by Trascendenza

'Their roots gave them stability and comfort, helped them weather the inevitable trouble, made the nights when one of them had to sit on the porch with the shotgun easier to bear.' I don't usually recommend fix-it AUs, but this feels absolutely right, with spot-on character voices and a decided lack of saccharine

[Added 11/11/2008; Drama; <1000; Brokeback Mountain]

Coupling

Grown Men Do Things Together by Katta

'Real life does not resemble porn. That's why it's porn.' Dialogue at its best: delicious fun

[Added 30/12/2005; Humour; 1000-2500; Coupling]

Das Leben der Anderen

Operation Reunification by Blueteak

'He could understand why she had not cast him as a rescuer. After all, when people thought about the uses of Deus ex Machina they almost certainly never thought of Stasi captains.' Blueteak really gets into Weisler's head after the film, as he – & Dreyman – slowly come to terms with the tragedy. Weisler's report-like viewpoint is leavened with a deep tenderness & flashes of sly humour

[Added 29/10/2014; Character Piece; 1000-2500; Das Leben der Anderen]

Disney cartoons

See You Real Soon by Bossy Marmalade

'Minnie doesn't ask how his nephews are. Minnie minds her own business and doesn't meet his rolling, translucent eyes.' A strange, memorable short that paints horror movie red & black over Disney pastels

[Added 06/12/2011; Drama; <1000; Disney cartoons]

Dogma

Godma, or, The Seven Stages of Grace by Merlin Missy

'Her friends are starting families, yet all they have to worry about are what colleges to save up for, and the hundred little darker worries every parent has about car accidents and child predators. Bethany has to consider the near-surety that her child is destined to wind up murdered for the sake of the rest of the world.' This long loosely knit sequel loops in all the film's players, and successfully balances a suitably offbeat humour with flashes of serious insight

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

The Priest that Tastes the World by Proserpina

'Being the Voice of God could be a confusing experience. He was never quite sure which thoughts were his own and which were the speech of God.' Sweet & funny, with some perfect observations on the deity

[Added 30/12/2005; Humour; 1000-2500; Dogma]

Firefly

Plum Blossom Song by Unovis

'In a small scarlet book, in neatly inked numbers, Inara tracked her year according to Sihnon.' A delicious little peek into the Companion's way of life. Delicately written, with a deft mix of humour & sadness

[Added 19/08/2005; Romance/Erotica; 1000-2500; Firefly]

Something in Leather by Mosca

'Kaylee...was lost in the imaginary world where she was a magical cowgirl princess. Wash understood imaginary worlds and was cautious of interfering in them.' A clever ensemble character piece, cunningly masquerading as kinkfic

[Added 19/08/2005; Character Piece; 1000-2500; Firefly]

Galaxy Quest

The Alien Lover by Peet4paint

'They looked so different from Laliari's people, with only two tentacles and such terribly long mandibles.' Interesting alien point of view, with serious insight into body dysphoria interlaced with broad humour

[Added 28/05/2012; Character Piece; 2500-6000; Galaxy Quest]

Episode Thirty-Three: 'The Dark Reflection' by Lizardbeth

'"Don. I'm not saying Evil Tawny needs to dress like a nun, okay? You want a little T and A, I'm okay with that. I don't eat lettuce and oranges because I like them, after all; I have to avoid the craft table so I don't look like a hippo on camera."' Galaxy Quest fanfiction, like the show, has a tendency to short-change Gwen, so it's nice to see her getting a chance to be awesome for once

[Added 28/05/2012; Character Piece; 1000-2500; Galaxy Quest]

The Headaches, the Heartaches, the Backaches, the Flops by Maidenjedi

'All Gwen heard was that they thought she could be like Farrah Fawcett, and wasn't that enough for a girl whose biggest role in Hollywood to date had been as a serial killer's victim in a made-for-tv movie, only the scene had been cut?' Gwen's story, season by season. This is exactly how it went

[Added 29/08/2013; Character Piece; 2500-6000; Galaxy Quest]

The Rebirth of Brandon Wheeger by Janice Chess

'He's always chosen fantasy over reality. But that's not stupid, that's smart, because reality sucks.' A wonderful coming-of-age tale, which will make geek hearts happy all over the galaxy. Sweet & funny

[Added 17/07/2009; Drama; 6000-20,000; Galaxy Quest]

SMOF by Hollimichele

'I’m a n00b, by Quest standards--started watching with the New Adventures, right as LJ was taking off.' An exploration of what GQ fandom might be like, which turns into an affectionate portrait of fandom itself. Great fun!

[Added 28/10/2014; Drama; 2500-6000; Galaxy Quest]

Good Life

Too Much, Too Little by Cheapmetaphor

'She has her own pursuits. Music, pottery, an upstairs bathroom in major need of redecorating.' A delicate character study that feels much longer than its thousand words

[Added 30/12/2005; Character Piece; 1000-2500; Good Life]

Gosford Park

Sometimes On The Rarest Nights by Clionaeilis

Clionaeilis constructs an entire era through Ivor Novello's letters to Mabel Nesbitt in this clever epistolary story, with its seamless blend of fact & fiction. The glimpses of other characters' futures are a bonus

[Added 18/07/2009; Character Piece; 6000-20,000; Gosford Park]

What Henry Wants by Clionaeilis

'"Ivor was right about this being the wrong place to play master and servant -- it's not a game to these people, Henry."' Clionaeilis fleshes out the cipher of Morris Weissman, one of the film's most opaque characters. The piece also explores the realities of being queer in the Hollywood of the time

[Added 28/01/2011; Character Piece; 2500-6000; Gosford Park]

Grand Budapest Hotel

Most Valued and Distinguished by Argyle

'In that time, he drank two cups of milky Darjeeling; filed a hangnail from his left index finger; inspected his hairline for greys, and finding four, pinched them free; and listened to Sketches of Spain, side two, on the hand crank gramophone his grandfather gave him for his twelfth birthday, and which he had, quite obstinately really, gone to great lengths and expense to keep in working order.' A perfect origin story for M. Gustave, just as whimsical & digressive as it should be. Fabulous!

[Added 12/08/2015; Character Piece; 1000-2500; Grand Budapest Hotel]

Hinterland

Ar Haner Nos yn Glir y Daeth (Upon the Midnight Clear) by Lost Spook

'The rough waves that eat away at the town and sweep over the edge of the Prom on a bad night have been the end of unwary drinkers before now.' An all-too-brief casefic, very much in tune with canon, that really brings Aber in winter alive

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

Hot Fuzz

Model Village by Basingstoke

'There's a camera in the school lunch room, and one on every exit, and one in the lavatory. All the boys wash their hands carefully now.' An Orwellian AU, bleak & spare

[Added 28/01/2011; Drama; 1000-2500; Hot Fuzz]

House, MD

Beggarman, Thief by Secondary Author

'There was one thing the counselor had gotten right, kind of: his stealing had nothing to do with immediate need. Only son of solidly middle-class parents: House had never lacked for anything--or, rather, the things he lacked were not the sort you could steal.' A well-shaped piece that takes a perceptive look at House's kleptomania

[Added 13/05/2009; Character Piece; 2500-6000; House, MD]

The Cat That Walked By Himself by Secondary Author

'Counting out loud, he came up with the names of at least seven dogs he'd owned as a kid. Well, not so much owned as inherited: usually they came with the military housing, left behind by previous occupants along with dying houseplants and mismatched crockery.' An unusual & memorable character exploration that wanders around a bit, but always rings true

[Added 13/05/2009; Character Piece; 2500-6000; House, MD]

Lies, damn lies and statistics by nigeltde

'Patient's symptoms: eight straight hours working with dying people, no lunch break, one coffee break only; three subsequent days avoiding all work, hiding out in the cafeteria (although not at lunchtime, more's the pity), his office, Cuddy's office, even the clinic, without once showing his face in House's own department; a devil-may-care attitude towards clothing, resulting in the foregoing of a doctor's coat and, horror of horrors, an argyle-patterned tie; and a renewal of the kind of behaviour that would get a less charming and attractive man a lawsuit from every woman in the place.' A well-written story featuring one of the best House voices I've encountered

[Added 14/05/2009; Drama; 6000-20,000; House, MD]

Maryland by Shalott

'"New project, kids," he announced, coming in. "I want to know everything there is to know about the oncology department." ' Shalott's take on House boasts strong characterisations all round, and despite the lack of patient of the week, there's more of the feel of an episode than much fanfiction for this series

[Added 14/05/2009; Drama; 2500-6000; House, MD]

Pain and Magic by Violet Quill

'"This is possibly the most boring case you have ever brought before me. A cranky old man with problems controlling his bladder and arthritis. Call in the frickin' cavalry." / "And he thinks he's a wizard."' A jewel of a premise, with spot-on characterisations all round (House/HP)

[Added 07/08/2008; Drama; 2500-6000; House, MD; Crossover]

Things To Do Before You Die by The Dead Parrot

'"Well, seeing as it's your thirty-eight and a half birthday, I thought you might want to go through your list. Get started on your midlife crisis."' Believable dialogue & precise details make this sweetly amusing vignette stand out from the House/Wilson hordes

[Added 14/05/2009; Humour; 1000-2500; House, MD]

How to Train Your Dragon

blinded by the sun by Akamine Chan

'WheatWyrms are found almost exclusively in grain silos, slithering among the grains of wheat, building up a slight electrical charge that they use to shock their rodent prey.' AU in which Hiccup & Toothless go on the flying equivalent of a road trip & explore how other cultures interact with dragons. At its best in the whimsical excerpts from Hiccup's Revised Dragon Manual

[Added 04/10/2013; Drama; 1000-2500; How to Train Your Dragon]

Indiana Jones

Indiana Jones and the Chinatown Ghosts by Lemuel Cork

'If Sallah could hear him now. Mr. Tough Guy, used to be able to take a bullet in the arm and keep going full-steam, save the girl and get the gold and the hell with the pain, and now he was griping because his eye patch dug into his cheek.' A peek at the hero, after the story ends. Melancholy & atmospheric

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

Interview with the Vampire

Un Vampire se déplace dans l'espace et le temps (A Vampire Moves In Space and Time) by Cephalopod

'...The freshwater oceans and silicate soil of La Jeunesse failed to match the oceans of Earth which all humans still contained some small part of. There were supplements, for citizens. New arrivals tasted better, Lestat said, but the whole planet had the taste of a boiled trout.' A novel setting & an unexpected twist mark this original take on the mythos. Memorable & strange, with a surprisingly moving ending

[Added 28/10/2014; Drama; 2500-6000; Interview with the Vampire]

James Bond

Iterations by Rheanna

'It would be easy to dismiss what he hears as merely an echo of his own steps, but Bond knows better. When he looks over his shoulder, no one is there.' Clever short which slides between metafic & horror

[Added 25/05/2012; Drama; 1000-2500; James Bond]

Juno

Something That Feels Right by Starfishofelves

'It's kind of hard to ditch somebody after you've officiated their guinea pig's funeral and shit.' This vignette absolutely nails Juno's voice, and provides another dose of the film's irreverent humour over teenage rites of passage

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

Labyrinth

A Forfeit of Dreams by KL Morgan

A thoughtful view of the universe, above-average characterisations & a believable ending go to make 'A Forfeit of Dreams' the best take on the 'adult Sarah returns to the Labyrinth' genre I've read. (The epilogue & abandoned sequel, What Dreams Must Come, don't work quite as well for me, but you might disagree)

[Added 22/07/2004; Drama; >50,000; Labyrinth]

Galatea by KL Morgan

'Days later when everything was itself again, when the moon and sun were found and put back where they belonged...' Like all good Labyrinth fanfiction should be, but almost invariably isn't

[Added 22/07/2004; Romance/Erotica; 6000-20,000; Labyrinth; Adult]

Invited by Astolat

'...black leather glove taking substance under her fingers, the knife-sharp points of his long glittering jeweled coat drawing themselves out of the night.' This vignette series gives an interesting take on the complex relationship between Jareth & Sarah, fairy tale & real life, with appropriately magical descriptions of the Goblin King. The final piece is the strongest

[Added 19/07/2011; Romance/Erotica; 2500-6000; Labyrinth]

Rock Legends by Danse Macabre

'Once, a long time past, he summoned the stones from their beds of earth. Now they called to him, a constant murmuring only he could hear.' An unusual short, beautifully bittersweet

[Added 31/08/2011; Character Piece; <1000; Labyrinth]

Seasons Change, and the Scenery by Kernezelda

'Goblins short and tall flooded the market, squirming between stalls, popping up under tables, clanking and creaking and generally making a nuisance of themselves.' This unusual & inventive piece explores Hoggle's past. A remix of the ficlet Seasonal Work, by the late Mistral Amara, also recommended

[Added 19/07/2011; Character Piece; 2500-6000; Labyrinth]

Something Has to Give by AKA Jay

'Magic leaves traces on you, tiny shimmering beacons that call to the source, nagging it to come take back its missing fragments. Sarah was now bearing the occult equivalent of "If found, please return to..." tags. Of course, at this point she was trying earnestly to forget the name that was written on the flyleaf of her soul.' A Pratchettesque sequel to Labyrinth. Incomplete, & unfortunately likely to remain that way, but still well worth a try

[Added 22/07/2004; Humour; 20,000-50,000; Labyrinth; WiP]

Lewis

Each to Each by Jenwryn

'Robbie runs water over his face, avoids his reflection, leaves Lyn a voicemail saying he probably won’t be calling her at breakfast like planned, but that he trusts she’ll still be emailing him the ultrasound photos, and finds himself some trousers. He needs to do the laundry. He needs another hour’s worth of sleep.' Jenwryn takes on one of the oldest slash clichÉs in this satisfying casefile, and shows just why the trope got written in the first place. More of a feel of the show than much fanfiction

[Added 11/08/2012; Drama; 6000-20,000; Lewis]

Even Now We Are by Jenwryn

'The waves are impatient to eat the land, James thinks; impatient to lick wet tongues beneath the fundamentals of earth and dust and dry-boned roots.' Gorgeous contrast between Lewis's earth-bound practicality & Hathaway's flights of philosophy in this future for the couple. Hathaway's point of view is hard to pull off, but this succeeded for me

[Added 10/08/2012; Character Piece; 1000-2500; Lewis]

Oranges and Lemons by Toft

'He's been in love before. He's thirty-three years old. It shouldn't feel the way it does, dizzying, leaving him lightheaded and ashamed and wanting, wanting, wanting.' Toft cleverly plays with the reader's expectations in this unusual vignette. To say more would spoil it

[Added 11/08/2012; Romance/Erotica; 1000-2500; Lewis]

Lost in Translation

Late by Memorycharm

'Sometimes, Charlotte thought she'd imagined meeting him in Tokyo.' A delicate coda that somehow remains perfectly in the spirit of the film, despite the film ending perfectly

[Added 13/01/2005; Character Piece; 1000-2500; Lost in Translation]

Love Actually

Down At Your Door by Bluestalking

'Billy would have to be tumbling off the edge of a cliff before he’d ever notice it was there, and Joe had doubts about whether he’d ever stop laughing before he hit the ground.' Pitch-perfect voice for Billy Mack in this futurefic, which fixes the cop-out ending of the film for this couple

[Added 04/10/2013; Romance/Erotica; 2500-6000; Love Actually]

Impropriety by Miggy

'HINDE'S HIND, blared the front cover of that day's Sun. Pink cotton bikini briefs covered in cartoon strawberries took up much of the lead graphic.' Miggy is a dab hand at writing comedy, and this take on how Natalie might adapt to dating the PM is sweet, funny & in character

[Added 21/01/2011; Humour; 1000-2500; Love Actually]

M*A*S*H

Because the War is Endless by Nemo the Everbeing

'The Father isn’t a half-bad nurse. If he took off the crucifix and flashed a little leg I just might be in love.' A pitch-perfect Hawkeye voice carries this piece through the rather unlikely pairing

[Added 25/11/2011; Romance/Erotica; 2500-6000; M*A*S*H]

Love Me Because Nothing Happens by Alestar

'"Where's Pierce?" he asked gruffly. / BJ shrugged. "You were right, Frank, the whole time." He caught Radar's eye. "He was a Communist. He defected."' A post-Korea piece packed with sharply observed setting details & infused throughout with a lovely bittersweet melancholy

[Added 12/08/2015; Drama; 2500-6000; M*A*S*H]

Matrix trilogy

I See With My Eyes by Suaine

'Here though, here her body had all the wrong parts.' The Matrix gives such an interesting perspective on being trans, I'm surprised this hasn't been explored before. A lean, sparse vignette where every word counts

[Added 29/05/2012; Character Piece; 1000-2500; Matrix trilogy]

Pan's Labyrinth

Returning to the Deep by Tristesses

'Mercedes' dreams are redolent of loam and damp earth, ripe with drops of water splashing on old stone like the clicking of insect's feet, wet like Ofelia's blood on her hands, sinking into her skirt.' I was rather worried about Pan's Labyrinth fanfiction, because the film is so perfect, but this futurefic is poignant & ambiguous, just as it should be

[Added 29/05/2012; Character Piece; 1000-2500; Pan's Labyrinth]

Princess Bride

The Most Excellent and Lamentable Tragedy of Westley and Buttercup by Atra

'"This is True Love. It ends happily. We must believe that."' Perfect characterisations as the world spirals out of control in this anything-but-happily-ever-after ending for Westley & Buttercup. It's the frame story, though, that really makes this heartbreaking

[Added 17/08/2009; Drama; 2500-6000; Princess Bride]

Unemployed in Greenland by Miss Pryss

'It began with a mermaid, which in Inigo’s experience was true of about 85% of all stories worth telling.' Miss Pryss catches the whimsical tone of canon in this tale of Inigo & Fezzik's first meeting. The sweetness is counteracted by some precise, & often amusing, details

[Added 09/08/2015; Drama; 2500-6000; Princess Bride]

Rear Window

Look and Listen by Yahtzee

'It was her own fault, her mother said. If she’d pushed more, or played a little harder to get, then Ted would have married her.' Yahtzee cleverly turns the camera to tease out Miss Lonelyhearts' story

[Added 28/05/2012; Romance/Erotica; 6000-20,000; Rear Window]

Red Dwarf

Making Up The Numbers by Kahvi

'The planet was probably Earth, though these things were often hard to tell. Interdimensional differences between planets could mean anything from variations in continental shift to kumquats being a different color.' A dark take on the series, with flashes of leavening humour

[Added 25/11/2011; Drama; 6000-20,000; Red Dwarf]

Remington Steele

And Still More Tomorrow by Medie

'Murphy...tells himself he's a detective, some days he even believes it. Most days he punches the clock and waits for the weekend.' Bittersweet backstory for a character that canon short-changed & most fanfiction overlooks

[Added 11/11/2008; Character Piece; 1000-2500; Remington Steele]

Put the Blame on Steele by Yahtzee

'In Steele's opinion, reality is grievously overrated.' A top-notch character study, done just as it should be, through the movies. I smiled all the way through this one

[Added 03/11/2004; Romance/Erotica; 2500-6000; Remington Steele]

Six Ans de Mer by Dirty Diana

'Maybe she's not a falling kind of girl.' Subtle picture of a shifting relationship

[Added 30/12/2005; Romance/Erotica; 1000-2500; Remington Steele]

Steele to be Discovered by Xenon

Excellent characterisations & good dialogue, married with a twisty plot with the same madcap feel as the series, make this a gem amongst Remington Steele fanfiction. Xenon's other adventures listed on the author's site are also worth a look; I'd particularly recommend 'Edge of Steele', 'Steele and Old Lace' & 'Steele Stolen'

[Added 29/10/2004; Drama; 6000-20,000; Remington Steele]

Reservoir Dogs

Stories Untold by Russian Blue

'Changing his tone of voice, the pace of his delivery, his word choice, his body language. Building Mr. Orange.' Russian Blue uses structure & repetition to counterpoint the film's random violence in this clever vignette

[Added 04/10/2013; Drama; 1000-2500; Reservoir Dogs]

Robin Hood (BBC)

Know Your Enemy by Unsentimental Fool

'He hadn't been sure that her absolute confidence was entirely flattering. He was after all a man, and a formidable one. Would it hurt her to tremble a little?' Enjoyable identity porn that mirrors the show's playfulness in a world where Robin Hood aired after the watershed (if only)

[Added 29/08/2013; Romance/Erotica; 6000-20,000; Robin Hood (BBC); Adult]

The Wolf's Head by Corrielle

'"Well met, Sir Guy," she said. "I would say that you are welcome in my house, but I would not have my first words to you be a lie."' A thought-provoking AU novella in which a small divergence, Robin's mother being alive, spirals out to change everything. The repercussions for Robin, and for Guy, are unexpected, but always remain believably within character. I'd love to see a sequel continue this universe

[Added 25/08/2013; Drama; 20,000-50,000; Robin Hood (BBC)]

Sex and the City

The Good That Won't Come Out by Cheapmetaphor

'Samantha thinks that this is the worst part of getting older, you have to smile more.' Excellent not-so-happily-ever-after tale. One of those stories that's more profound than the show that inspired it

[Added 13/01/2005; Character Piece; <1000; Sex and the City]

Shakespeare Retold

Eff-em-ell, and Other Quotes for the Official Biography by Fahye

'...Tim has vivid memories from the post-post-election-party party of the newly-elected leader of Her Majesty's Government drinking far more vodka than her size would suggest she could handle, eating eggplant dip out of a bowl with her bare fingers, and then racing around the room on her husband's back.' Pitch-perfect voices make this short feel like a DVD extra (The Taming of the Shrew)

[Added 27/05/2012; Humour; 1000-2500; Shakespeare Retold]

Singin' in the Rain

To The Stars by Beatrice Otter

'Twelve times twelve always equaled 144; baking soda always reacted with vinegar. All you had to do was memorize the steps and follow them correctly, and you'd get the right answer. They never said you were a wonderful actress with a stunning personality in one moment and a hack and a harpy the next.' Lina takes up rocket science after the film. A wonderful example of how the crackiest of premises can be made to work (and the example of Hedy Lamarr suggests it's not as cracky as all that!)

[Added 29/10/2014; Character Piece; 2500-6000; Singin' in the Rain]

Sleepy Hollow

The Tin Man by Ro

'As for Ichabod Crane: the bullet did not miss, not in this world, for the Lady shot true and shattered his heart to pieces.' Nicely written little AU, a blend of horror & whimsy very much in character with the film

[Added 13/01/2005; Drama; 1000-2500; Sleepy Hollow]

Smallville

All recommendations are from Season 1

Cotton by Vera

A very believable view into Martha's head. Nice concrete detailing and some lovely phrases

[Added 13/01/2004; Character Piece; <1000; Smallville]

A Good Year for the Corn by Beth

Simple idea, but it's the details that make this story for me. The author contrasts style and content very effectively

[Added 13/01/2004; Drama; 1000-2500; Smallville]

Hell Money by FayJay

'Hell Money' is the story that first made me realise that crossovers can be made to work. It crosses Smallville with Angel S2, and knowledge of both is required, but for those who love both series, it packs a resounding punch into fewer than a thousand words. Strongly recommended. If you enjoyed 'Hell Money', then give No Fury a try -- another very clever Smallville crossover

[Added 13/01/2004; Humour; <1000; Smallville; Crossover]

Memento Mori by Jayne Leitch

'L is for Lana; two parents she lacked.' Not many stories make me feel for Lana and this one did; she's excellently characterised, simultaneously interesting and believable

[Added 13/01/2004; Character Piece; 1000-2500; Smallville]

Precipice by Hope

A moment in Whitney's life that unfolds to tell you more about his character than seemed possible. This writing just hums with energy

[Added 13/01/2004; Character Piece; 1000-2500; Smallville]

Quid Quo Pro by Smitty

This well-crafted short story deals with Lillian's death without over-sentimentality, and includes a childhood Lex I can believe in

[Added 13/01/2004; Drama; 2500-6000; Smallville; Crossover]

Shrine by DarkEmerald

Every word counts in this subtle vignette. You get excellent characterisation, fabulous images, and flashes of humour to leaven the angst

[Added 13/01/2004; Character Piece; <1000; Smallville]

Undone by Hope

I like stories that jump out of their mould to bite me. A fluent stylish read, coupled with a well-constructed plot and great characterisation, especially perhaps of Lex

[Added 13/01/2004; Drama; 6000-20,000; Smallville]

Sound of Music

Fourteen and Impossible by Halotolerant

'The boy is blinking back at her; such blue eyes, he is like a propaganda poster come to life, one sees them everywhere now, such blue-eyed boys, with slogans that end in exclamation marks.' This peek at the Baroness succeeds in making her sympathetic without softening her sharp edges too much. Halotolerant also sets the film firmly in history

[Added 28/05/2012; Drama; 1000-2500; Sound of Music]

Spirited Away

The Age of Not-Believing by Mithrigil

'Talking with the spirits doesn't mean the same thing it did when Chihiro was a little girl. It's more of a general sense, which she might have had to begin with--that eye for statues and houses and the peculiar turns of the wind.' An unusual older-Chihiro story that doesn't restrict itself to the usual suspects. Mithrigil melds the film's brand of magic and modern technology perfectly

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

Along the Way by Ariana

'In the end, you discovered that you had lost three days along the way, exchanged for a shiny purple hairband and the knowledge that moving to a new place was perhaps not the worst thing in the world.' A moving conclusion to Chihiro's story, with a lovely smooth style & a spot-on ending

[Added 13/01/2012; Character Piece; 1000-2500; Spirited Away]

Becoming by Springgreen

'But long before that, the river once was not, once was a swirl of gas slowly coalescing, then a molten core of lava, then earth and rock and veins of metal. Then came the rains and the run off from snow-capped mountains, and time, so much time, carved a course. That was the river.' This lyrical telling of the river-god's legend is stronger, perhaps, in the beginning than the end, but well worth a try

[Added 13/01/2012; Character Piece; 1000-2500; Spirited Away]

By the World Forgot by Erin C

'The halls that led to the boiler room were a forest of pipes and dials and steel, and this was where the magic happened, because this was why everything worked.' A charming piece of backstory which melds perfectly into canon. Simply delightful!

[Added 27/05/2012; Character Piece; 2500-6000; Spirited Away]

The Emissary by Beth Winter

'"The deaths at that time were unfortunate," the inspector said. "This time, it is my task to find out what happened and find a way for the mountain to accept this power line."' An intriguing take on the role of spirits in 21st century Japan, with the perfect choice of career for Chihiro. The young OC narrator is well drawn, and she bridges nicely back to the film

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

Tales of the Bathhouse by Littlerhymes

'Like most of her kind, the weasel was very bold and very clever, and in a more prosperous year she would have been far too clever to even think of trying to steal from a sorceress. However in times of hunger, daring was in much greater demand than wit.' A charming set of tales within a tale which fleshes out the bathhouse universe & its inhabitants completely believably

[Added 13/01/2012; Character Piece; 2500-6000; Spirited Away]

Sunset Boulevard

Lebenswerk by Selena

'Max never asks Norma whether the man was actually her father, or at least could have been. She never asked him about his lengthy tales of life as an officer in the Austrian Empire, either. Neither of them truly existed before they came here, after all.' Max & Norma's relationship, and the rise & fall of silent film, charted in eight films. There's a gem of a Chinatown crossover, too. Clever & moving

[Added 04/10/2013; Romance/Erotica; 6000-20,000; Sunset Boulevard; Crossover]

The Hour

Impatient Both of Delays and Rivals by Disenchanted

'Adam was one of those bad actors who compensate for their lack of talent by clinging to the common wisdom that all members of the profession are bound by nature to be false.' Most The Hour fanfiction is a bit syrupy for my taste, but this edgy piece bucks the trend, succeeding in making Angus sympathetic without making him out to be any nicer than he is

[Added 12/08/2015; Romance/Erotica; 2500-6000; The Hour]

The Incredibles

the greatest good by Dudski

'God must have one hell of a sense of humor, her mother says, to give the gift of elasticity to someone so stubborn.' An insightful portrait of Helen before the film, which explores how difficult it must be for her to be the careful one of the family

[Added 04/10/2013; Character Piece; 1000-2500; The Incredibles]

The Mentalist

Five Ways Patrick Jane Hasn't Died Yet (And One Way He Never Will) by Dira Sudis

'A good performer knows that how he gets off the stage is as important as everything he does on it. This isn't depression. It's professionalism.' An unusual take at group characterisation, as dark & twisted as the inside of Jane's head ought to be, but rarely is. Heed the warnings on this one

[Added 07/08/2014; Character Piece; 2500-6000; The Mentalist; Adult]

What You See Is What You Get (If You're Looking Hard Enough) by Sixthlight

'...it's not the settled East, where the land is laced with iron and running water. Things are wilder out here, for all the cities and the regular dirigible service across the Pacific and the electrick lights you can see at night, if you're brave or stupid and out in the hills above Sacramento.' The premise is neat, but it's the well-developed fantasy AU background that really makes this casefic. It works just fine with only the barest knowledge of the source, as I can attest

[Added 29/08/2013; Drama; 6000-20,000; The Mentalist]

Twin Peaks

Always Music in the Air by Bossy Marmalade

'Thinking is something he has to struggle to do here; it doesn't slide easily along the patterns of black and white, it doesn't adhere easily to curtains and sheets of red.' A surreal interlude that captures Lynch's brand of weirdness in a way that most fanfiction for this series just misses

[Added 04/08/2009; Drama; 1000-2500; Twin Peaks]

And the Devil Makes Three by Nemo the Everbeing

'If Albert allowed himself to be fascinated by the living they would inevitably turn out to be shallower and less interesting than he had hoped. He knew exactly what to expect from the dead.' Pitch-perfect Albert, struggling to come to terms with the supernatural as he investigates his first case with Coop. Case fiction doesn't grow on trees in this fandom, so this novella is a rare treat. The post-series sequel, If It had to Perish Twice, is also recommended

[Added 28/01/2011; Drama; 6000-20,000; Twin Peaks]

Blue Velvet to Moon River by Gabihime

'Fidelity, Bravery, and Integrity were the words he'd steel-belted his life with.' An exquisitely Lynchian short, sensuous & disturbing

[Added 30/12/2005; Romance/Erotica; 1000-2500; Twin Peaks]

Closing Doors by Amand r

'There was something in there. In the lights. On. Off. On. Off. They couldn't go on without going off, and they couldn't go off unless they were on. Off. On. On. Off. Off.' Darker than much Twin Peaks fanfiction – the fragments making up this piece have the feel of shards of glass. It wanders around a bit, with some of the viewpoints more enlightening than others, but the kick of an ending is worth the wait

[Added 28/05/2012; Drama; 2500-6000; Twin Peaks; Adult]

Crazy Little Thing Called Love by Amatara

'...Cooper's skin is still new on him. Like a good coat, it'll need some wear before it stops chafing at the seams.' Possessed Cooper is hard to get right, and Amatara does a good job in this creepy sequel. She's a prolific author and her work just keeps getting better; other stories I enjoyed include Wake Up and Face the Music & Flashes of Light, both also sequels

[Added 09/01/2014; Drama; 6000-20,000; Twin Peaks]

Dweller on the Threshold by Nemo the Everbeing

'His smile was sharper than she remembered. "I don't know if that's something you get to decide, Audrey. Good days, bad days ... it's a crapshoot, and the table just might be rigged."' This braided ensemble novella unfolds slowly but surely to reveal the best fix to the series finale I've encountered

[Added 14/04/2015; Drama; 20,000-50,000; Twin Peaks]

The Magician Longs To See by St Aurafina

'He identified Agent Horne by her age: she was the only female agent under thirty in the room. Neat and slender, she perched on an office chair as if it were a velvet covered throne, legs neatly crossed and a distant expression on her face.' This inventive novella-length case file, an X-Files crossover set ten years after the end of Twin Peaks, starts out slowly but soon accelerates to deliver just enough twists to satisfy. The Lynchian weirdness is dialled down a bit for my taste, but some unexpected insights into the characters' futures make up for any lack. There's also a prequel, Say Goodbye (To the World You Thought You Lived In), set immediately after the series (mind the warnings on this one)

[Added 10/01/2014; Drama; 20,000-50,000; Twin Peaks; Crossover]

Pinion by Amand r

'John spent hours out in the leaves and owls, sawing, welding, wiring, creating their new life with his bare hands, every log, every curl of plaster a testament of his love, and she made curtains and tablecloths and re-upholstered furniture scavenged from the junkyard.' The Log Lady's backstory, dark as old engine oil

[Added 09/01/2014; Character Piece; 1000-2500; Twin Peaks; Adult]

The Tender Boughs of Innocence by Amatara

'This corpse was in worse shape than the first, but the connection was unmistakable: those same tight, intricate shapes, chiseled in bloody streaks across the torso. Albert was reminded, suddenly and vividly, of the spirograph he'd owned as a kid.' A suitably spooky casefic, with perfect characterisation for the younger Albert as he investigates his first Blue Rose case. The cameos from Fire Walk With Me & the series are a bonus

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

Who Framed Roger Rabbit

The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down by Merlin Missy

Someone's deleting toons, and this time it's Jessica who's the prime suspect. This inventive murder mystery works on several different levels, and never fails to amuse

[Added 11/11/2008; Drama; 6000-20,000; Who Framed Roger Rabbit]

Wire in the Blood

Erotophonophilia by Loz

'Sex. It has to be sex. It's always sex in cases like this. Repression. Expression. Shut it in, let it out. Murder is always about lust, isn't it.' An intense vignette that nails the character voices, particularly Tony's

[Added 11/11/2008; Drama; 1000-2500; Wire in the Blood; Adult]

Yes, Minister

A Completely Authorised Biography by Lakester

'Sir Humphrey found Jim Hacker to be -- not only an open book -- but one with large colourful illustrations.' Amusing sketch that captures Sir Humphrey's voice remarkably well

[Added 22/04/2006; Humour; 1000-2500; Yes, Minister]