Reading notes, week 48

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November 29: Sword of Ice and Other Tales of Valdemar by Mercedes Lackey and many others. As I said before, a very mixed bag but I think I’ve become more accustomed to fanfic in two and a half years because I could appreciate almost all the stories. Still no patience for the military one, though.

Also, lots of ordinary not-under-canon-author’s-auspices fanfic, because I’m reading a book I find hard to finish (but want to finish, if only to say things about it; it’s not actually bad but it has Issues). Some highlights:

Best Copper by Blurble. One word: Ea-Nasir. (Perhaps that’s two words.) Some of the text is almost literally taken from the article that made him famous.

Mae Owen yn hoffi pannas pinc (Owen likes pink parsnips) by Silky_Octopus. Yuletide 2021 story in the Duolingo Welsh Course fandom. It doesn’t end well for Owen (but somewhat better for the red dragon).

to translate a passion, to divide a sorrow by nnozomi. Another Yuletide 2021 story — goodness, didn’t I do a recommendations post? No, I didn’t (looked it up and I did promise but apparently didn’t get round to it). Anyway, this is Harriet Vane writing Shrewsbury College its very own murder mystery. Delightfully meta, and very Harriet.

In Every Life a Place of Peace by resolute. Yet another Yuletide 2021 story. Saint of Steel (White Rat) universe, a wonderful neurodivergent protagonist, an equally wonderful woman paladin, cameo appearance by Zale.

Index of reading notes is here.

Reading notes, week 47

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November 21: Neither Have I Wings by Alice Degan. A very slow read for some reason this time. Definitely not the last time because I still can’t get my brain around the late-middle where people (including Hal) aren’t sure whether Hal is an angel or a devil. It’s never actually confirmed that he’s an angel, but all the signs point to him being one.

November 23: Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree. Oh wow! It’s just like those scenes from our roleplaying games where the PCs go shopping because they’ve just bought a house! It’s a D&D world but a real world regardless! Recommending so much!

November 26: Choices by Mercedes Lackey et al. Liked it better than the first time around (April 2020) but that might be because I’ve been reading much more fanfic since then, and I’ve got used to different ways to treat canon. Still not enamored of Hawkbrothers, though, and still not a fan of disjointed some-foresight-and-some-real-happenings stories with an ambiguous ending.

Index of reading notes is here.

Reading notes, week 45

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(I was on holiday and didn’t note what I finished exactly when; they’re in order, anyway.)

Wizard’s Holiday by Diane Duane. Goodness, this is so much more intricate (in both plotlines) than I remember! And there’s a strain of enemies-to-lovers, or at least “was sich liebt, das neckt sich” that faintly irks me but the initial enmity gets resolved plausibly. Still doesn’t exactly endear Roshaun to me but he turns out kind of all right.

On Ordeal: Mamvish fsh Wimsih by Diane Duane. Because I like this lizard. Again, as on every reread, the scale of the thing fazes me: thousands of years as if it’s an ordinary adolescence –wait, for these people it probably is an ordinary adolescence.

How Lovely Are Thy Branches: A Young Wizards Christmas by Diane Duane. A bit early in the year but it’s such a nice holiday read.

On Ordeal: Roshaun ke Nelaid by Diane Duane. Yes, even as a fledgling wizard he’s almost unbearably arrogant. I hope Dairine manages to pummel him into shape a bit.

November 11: The Pit-Prop Syndicate by Freeman Wills Crofts. Soooo intricate! Every little thing described! And still the mystery is a real mystery. (But if a man treated me like Merriman treats Madeleine, I’d run a mile: “I love you enough for us both”, ewww).

Index of reading notes is here.

Reading notes, week 44

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November 1: Games Wizards Play by Diane Duane. Goodness, wanted to look up a reference and got sucked in and now I’m on a(nother) Young Wizards spree, though not as methodical as the last time around.

November 3: High Wizardry by Diane Duane. Better than I remembered, but perhaps YW books have to age, like cheese. Must read some of the not-so-favourites again (Wizard’s Dilemma, A Wizard Alone).

The Time Traveller’s Guide: Important Additional Information by thisbluespirit. Fun reread. “Will the Tourist who removed Roger Bacon please return him to his proper place and time? Thank you.”

Grief, Observed by thisbluespirit. Problem of Susan, done sort of right.

(And some more fanfic by going down rabbit holes. As well as my own Trick or Treat gifts, which I’ll list after author reveal because I’ll definitely reread them then.)

Index of reading notes is here.

Reading notes, week 43

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October 23: The Mysteries of St Jorian the Martyr by AZDesertRose. Novelette-length Deryni fanfic, proving yet again that Deryni fanfic is on average better than canon, just like Pern fanfic.

Tigger Holmes and the Case of the Midnight Slipper by Small_Hobbit. #22 in The Casebook of Tigger Holmes, which I’m subscribed to and that’s a good thing or I’d miss a lot of hilarious Winnie-the-Pooh fic.

Vanity Fair by Edonohana. Cute Pern fic.

Also some more Pern, some Narnia, and some Star Trek fanfic, of which this is the highlight: Matchmaker of Mars by Edonohana. John W. Campbell accidentally matchmakes T’Pring and Uhura.

Or perhaps this: On Wings of Song, also by Edonohana, in which Menolly becomes a dragonrider and Mirrim’s weyrmate.

October 25: Flotsam by Edonohana. Excellent Piranesi/Narnia crossover, which made me seek out other work by the same author but I didn’t read it until last.

Now reading can’t-disclose-yet Yuletide canon. (And more fanfic on the side.)

October 26: For Always and Always and Always by Katherine. A Just So Story about the Kitten who plays by herself.

Mabel of the Crater School by burglebezzlement. Spot-on canon voice. Highlight: “There is something about a good, hard morning’s labor shared together that leads to camaraderie.”

Settling, Without Dragons by Betony. Enchanted Forest fic in which King Mendanbar and his son get to know one another.

How Tigger Got His Bounce Back by automaticdoor. Cute Winnie-the-Pooh fic with good Kanga philosophy.

Three Places Kim Merrill Lived, & One Where She Lived Happily Ever After by Gray Cardinal. Wonderful slices-of-life.

October 27: Pondering the Stars by Isabeau. If Narnia was made for Talking Animals and mythical beings, why are four human children the rulers?

Poppies and Tea; or In Which Mary Poppins Makes Everything Better With No Magic Whatsoever, I don’t know what you are talking about at all, what magic? by phoenixflight. World War I comes to Cherry Tree Lane, and so does Mary Poppins. Excellent story with wonderful voice, but the writer could have done with a copy editor (is a green grocer a grocer who happens to be a Vulcan? Or who is very new to the job?).

Seven Sisters A-Swimming by Rosencrantz. Cat Chant as Chrestomanci! Mermaids! Caprona! Marianne all grown up (with a wonderful picture)!

Flower and Thorn by Morbane. Polly and Tom, oh my. “I always promised you a rose garden.”

The Weight of Glory by wei. Three times Reepicheep thought about stories. (Okayish, nothing special.)

The Life Everlasting by wei. Lucy meets Caspian and the Star’s Daughter again in the real Narnia. And they all live happily ever after, even Susan eventually.

O Come All Ye Faithful by wei. Healing of Peter’s mother-in-law from the POV of Peter’s wife!

Index of reading notes is here.

Reading notes, week 42

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October 21: Snow Day by hhertzof. Frau Holle comes to Chrestomanci Castle!

October 22: From All False Doctrine by Alice Degan. This is a slow book, and I read it much more slowly than the first time because I kept going back going “er, what?” as well as savouring the best passages, and reading a lot in between (canon review and beta reading, neither of which I post notes of). But it’s SO GOOD. One of the concurrent plots (there are at least three) is friends-to-lovers, which I’m usually not a fan of, but they’re such excellent friends. They (Kit and Elsa) both fall in love early in the friendship without knowing it of each other, and the slight Failure To Communicate in the middle doesn’t help, but the love doesn’t harm the friendship at all, which could very well have happened. I’d also completely forgotten Vera, which she doesn’t deserve. Kit doesn’t only need friends and an intelligent wife but also his candid kid sister.

Index of reading notes is here.

Dear Yuletide writer,

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Hi, I’m sinkauli on ao3. I don’t know who you are but I probably love you already for wanting to write for me. For good measure: I like surprise gifts, too!

General

Likes
A note about crossovers
Dislikes and DNWs

Fandom specifics and prompts

Alpennia – Heather Rose Jones
False Doctrine – Alice Degan
Atlantide – E.M. Epps
Fire and Hemlock – Diana Wynne Jones
Kate and Cecelia – Caroline Stevermer & Patricia Wrede
The Saint of Steel – T. Kingfisher (aka White Rat universe)

For ALL fandoms: I don’t need all the characters in my signup to be in the story. I don’t need only characters in the tagset to be in the story.

Likes

This is the easy part. Don’t feel yourself limited to things in this list! There are lots of things I like that I’m not listing because if I listed everything in the world that I liked, there would be literally no end. Any of these will make my face light up with joy, though.

  • Friendship. Unexpected, uncomplicated friendship is good! Complicated friendship too, I like any story with friendship better than one with only antagonism, but my very favourite stories are about people becoming friends, or people who are already friends, doing something together or turning out to have something in common which neither of them would have planned for. Peter and Harriet combing the beach for clues in Have His Carcase is one of my favourite scenes. Also the scene in which they decipher the code letter.
    Friends-to-lovers is okay but it’s a pity if that’s the whole point of the story.
  • Happy ending. I’m a sucker for happy endings, especially other happy endings than “people getting together as a couple”. It’s a good thing when people get together as a couple! But that’s not by far the only way to be happy. I also like open(ish) endings with the possibility or expectation of happiness. The ending of The Goblin Emperor is a good example: Maia and Csethiro are likely to end up very happily married, but at the end of the book they are friends and allies and partners, and for now that’s enough.
  • Cooking, food sharing, bonding over food. Recipes!
  • Autistic characters (canon or headcanon; Dairine Callahan comes to mind) who either come to terms with being autistic in the story, or have already figured it out and can handle it. Bonus points if they use their autistic traits to get things done.
  • More generally, disabled characters who work with their disability rather than “overcoming” it.
  • Religion (real-world or fictional) portrayed in a positive light, including people making light-hearted fun of their own religion.
  • Kidfic. Canon characters’ kids, canon characters when they were kids, canon characters who happen to be kids (Matilda), original canon-compliant child characters. Either POV or secondary characters.
  • Found family, chosen family.
  • Fluff. Domestic fluff, married fluff, established-lovers fluff, friendship fluff. Don’t worry if there seems to be no plot. One of the great strengths of fanfic is that it doesn’t necessarily have to have plot or conflict or any deeper meaning, though it may of course have any or all of those.
  • Discovery and detection. Plain detective work, casefic. Adventures in which people (children, for instance) find out things. People finding out things about themselves when they do something they didn’t know they could do.
  • Learning. School stories! Good or hilariously bad teachers. Give me a good training montage any day, or let someone teach themself. Achieving mastery by hard work.
  • Competence, intelligence, problem-solving, clever escape, clever (preferably non-violent) thievery. Self-rescuing princ(ess)es.
  • Missing-scene fic, interpolation, pre- and post-canon. (How did these characters get here? What was this person like as a student? What happens after the canon says The End?)
  • Cats, mice, meerkats, donkeys/mules/hinnies, elephants, birds (either as characters or supporting). Not “animals” as a category but specifically those.
  • Worldbuilding, with or without characters involved.
  • Fantasy nonfiction. Guidebooks, gazetteers, encyclopedia entries…

A note about crossovers

I used not to like crossovers at all, mostly because when I first started reading fanfic it was all about “I want to read more about X” and then I didn’t also want to read about Y. But I got better! I love crossovers between fandoms I’ve both (or all) requested, or with adjacent/compatible fandoms (will often end up as fusion), like The Great Mouse Detective with The Rescuers, or Lord Peter Wimsey with Miss Marple, when I’ve only requested one.

The greatest problem with crossovers is that if I know only one of the crossovered fandoms, the point may be completely lost on me, and it might spoil the whole story. I don’t know many of the really popular fandoms (Doctor Who or Supernatural, for instance). I don’t know many films, or any TV that’s been aired after, say, 1975. I don’t know anime or manga except Miyazaki, and not much of that.

To be on the safe side, find my profile (I’m sinkauli on ao3) and check my fandoms list and my gifts. If I write for it or have ever requested it, I’m bound to know it.

Dislikes

A lot harder because I don’t want to give the impression that I dislike everything. (But there’s enough that I do like in the list above that that impression is unlikely.) I’ll try to categorize.

Sex, romance

I don’t dislike sex! But I also don’t want any surprise sex sprung on me so I tend to request gen-only unless in very specific circumstances. I’m very picky. I’ve read some smutty stories that I liked (such as this one) but they were mostly joyful consent and vanilla sex. (Note that vanilla is a spice, a subtle and intense one, it doesn’t mean “bland”.) I’m not listing dislikes of particular kinks because, to be honest, for most kinky things people request or put in their likes or DNWs I don’t even know what the words mean. I’ve looked up some and almost invariably shuddered. So, mostly no kinks for me.

  • Rape, non-con, dubcon. This is one of my hard DNWs. I consider it excluded when I exclude all sex, even though rape is usually not about sex but about power. I also dislike powerplay, hate-sex, and sex between people who are vastly disparate in age, power or experience.
  • Fellatio. (Makes me gag, even when it’s just words.) *deletes a sentence that’s all too explicit*
  • Casual sex without friendship. Includes PWP, I think. Casual sex in general, even between friends, is mostly a no-no.
  • Seduction for any other reason than that one person is in love with the other and is trying to get it across to them elegantly.
  • Soulmates, the trope with explicit markings or similar, it’s okay for a character to say or think “we were made for each other”.
  • Love triangles. A fully explicit and consensual triangle falls under “polyamory” and see next bullet point.
  • Adultery, infidelity. This includes contradicting, ignoring or breaking up a canonical pairing for the sake of a ship.
    Polyamory is okay but I don’t really prefer it.
  • Incest. I don’t care what Boromir and Faramir were up to in their shared bedroom when they were boys. Cross-generation incest is worse.

Interpersonal stuff

  • Enemies-to-lovers. Even if it’s enemies-to-friends and then friends-to-lovers. Reconciling with your enemy: okay. Cautious friendship between former enemies: okay. Hopping into bed with someone who was once your enemy: nope.
  • Bigotry of any kind, unless fighting against it is a plot point. That includes homophobia, TERFness and other transphobia, sexism, racism, ableism, ageism and anything I’ve forgotten.
  • Religion-bashing, against religion in general, a specific faith or denomination, or bullying people because they’re religious; unless fighting against it is a plot point.
  • Abuse, particularly of people in a dependent relationship (children, elders, subordinates).
  • Pranks, practical jokes, humiliating people for the sake of it.

Disability, body issues

  • Pathological/medical view of autism or other neurodivergence, portraying it as something that needs to be fixed rather than as a characteristic of the person.
  • Disability as punishment, teaching-a-lesson or inspiration porn. Just let disabled people be people!
  • Discussions of disordered eating or weight (it’s completely okay if someone’s body type is part of the description, like mentioning that the person has dark skin or blue eyes or wears glasses or uses a wheelchair, but no fat-shaming or other judgmental language about weight please).
  • Gluttony, gross drunkenness (tipsy/merry is okay, maudlin is not), vomiting (whether from illness or overindulgence).
  • Body horror, torture, mutilation, gore, cannibalism.
  • Monstrous pregnancy, monster birth. Hard DNW.
  • Mpreg, which is a species of body horror in my book. Such a hard DNW that it will make me throw the virtual book against the virtual wall. (Ordinary pregnancy and childbirth is okay.)

Miscellaneous

  • Horror. Body horror is the worst, but any other horror is also a turnoff.
  • Werewolves, unless very well done. Vampires. Zombies. (Perhaps this falls under “body horror”.)
  • Unhappy endings, unresolved tragedy.
  • Current events, real-world contemporary politics. (Fantasy politics in an invented world is okay! Period politics in a story with historical background is okay!)
  • Suicide, suicidal ideation, depression.
  • Plague, pandemic, terminal illness. There’s enough of that in the real world that I don’t want to also read about it, not even about overcoming it.
  • Climate catastrophe, extinction, (post)apocalyptic anything. (Ditto, in fact.) Imminent/unavoidable destruction of a whole world or a significant part of it. A random natural disaster is probably okay if it’s not part of a pattern of impending catastrophe. (My 2020 Yuletide writer got that exactly right.)
  • Worldbuilding DNW: extra information about a setting that makes it less pleasant (“… but you didn’t know these sordid details”).

Fandom specifics and prompts

Alpennia – Heather Rose Jones

Characters: Anna Monterrez, Antuniet Chazillen

I can see these two banding together to fight injustice, and/or use magic/mystery for craft. Either Antuniet & Anna or solo Anna would be wonderful!

  • Anna Monterrez: explore Jewish culture in Alpennia, Anna’s background and family, the way she and her family handle living in a predominantly Catholic town, how she copes with being the apprentice of a Gentile master.
  • Antuniet and Anna doing alchemy. Training montage is awesome!

DNW: any sex or romance between these characters. (Should Anna be in love with anyone else than Antuniet, of course she can talk about it)

False Doctrine – Alice Degan

Characters: Any (Charlie Boult, Evgenia | Evvie, Elsa Nordqvist, Kit Underhill)

This seems to call for Christian or Christian-inspired magic/supernatural stuff: angels, apparitions, mysterious light, miracles. But anything else exploring these characters and their friendship/love is cool too!

  • More of Kit and Elsa becoming friends (or falling in love, but they’re friends first).
  • Kit and Elsa when they’re married, between the books. Kit/Elsa can go up to Mature. Perhaps a scene with kid!Sara.
  • Charlie and Evvie friendship missing scene, or investigating something post-canon. Charlie is Anglican and Evvie is Greek Orthodox, and both are well-versed in their respective practices, if you can do something with that you’ll make me very happy. DNW: sex or romance between these two. Charlie has a boyfriend (who happens to be an angel, okay) and Evvie is celibate.

Religion-bashing stays a DNW but mild blasphemy or people harmlessly making fun of their own religion is all right.

Atlantide – E.M. Epps

Characters: Any (Simon Benedict, Marie Saint-Yves, Lucien Benedict, Rosemary Rosenblum)

  • More about the friendship between either couple (if it turns into fluffy romance that’s nice but not required)
  • Cooking scenes!
  • Lucien kidfic (which would include Simon and Marie but obviously not Rosemary)

Fire and Hemlock – Diana Wynne Jones

Characters: Ann Abraham, Polly Whittacker

Gen strongly preferred but I’m okay with Polly/Thomas and/or Ann/whoever coming up in conversation.

  • Finding out more about exactly what happened in Laurel’s garden.
  • Ann and Polly post-canon, telling each other the parts they weren’t both there for and trying to make sense of the whole picture.
  • Just hanging out as friends.

DNW: Ann/Polly ship, even though I read Ann as lesbian.

Kate and Cecelia – Caroline Stevermer & Patricia Wrede

Characters: Kate Schofield, Cecelia Tarleton, Elizabeth Wrexton, Sylvia Schofield

Any interaction between two or more of the characters is good!

  • Cecelia learning magic from Lady Sylvia or Aunt Elizabeth or both.
  • Aunt Elizabeth and Lady Sylvia setting up a distaff branch of the Royal College of Wizards.
  • More correspondence between Kate and Cecy (implied Kate/Cecy without breaking up canon pairings or shortchanging James and Thomas might be nice).
  • Lady Sylvia telling Kate stories about young Thomas…
  • Kidfic (either with canon kids as per The Mislaid Magician, or young Kate and/or Cecy)

The Saint of Steel – T. Kingfisher

Characters: Bishop Beartongue, Zale, Earstripe

  • Subtle magic!
  • Religious people doing the right thing, helping people!
  • GNOLES!!

I don’t require all the characters but I’d love to have at least Beartongue, with any number of gnoles if a gnole is willing to show up.

DNW: any sex or romance for this fandom.

Reading notes, week 41

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October 9: Magic at Lyme, or, The Midnight Company by emily_grant. Eleven-year-old Kate, already spectacularly clumsy! Aunt Elizabeth’s aversion to magic explained! Gunpowder, Treason and Plot!

October 10: In which Rabbit has a baking kerfuffle and Tigger gets out of trouble with honey by redsnake05. Cozy Winnie the Pooh fic.

For Always and Always and Always by Katherine. A Just So Story about the Kitten who plays by herself!

October 11: Mrs. McGinty’s Dead by Agatha Christie. I don’t know why I hadn’t read this before! It’s a really good Poirot full of red herrings, and fortunately none of the actually nice people are guilty. (Some of the not-so-nice people are guilty, but most of them of trivial things.)

October 12: Some stories from the Untitled Goose Exchange. Fun, but most of them not memorable enough to list separately.

This one, however, Origin by Meatball42, is memorable!

And so is Goose Tidies Up, also by Meatball42, in which the Goose tries the KonMari method.

The Hunting of the HONK by MiraMira. It is a lovely day in Narnia to go questing after a horrible goose. (With AU ending, which I didn’t notice the first time around.)

October 14: Elephants Can Remember by Agatha Christie. This time I liked Ariadne Oliver (this is not always the case, not even in the same book on different readings). Also Poirot is only semi-obnoxious. And good people are good, and the ending was almost a surprise again after almost two years.

Index of reading notes is here.

Reading notes, week 40

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Instead of doing canon review for the Trick or Treat exchange (need to get the characters right, I do have a probably-working idea and some of the story written) I’m reading Jerry-survives-the-war fixit fic for some reason. And more fanfic. And still more fanfic, making this a monster post because I want at least a link and a couple of words for each story.

October 2: A Clean Fire by harborshore. Jerry gets rescued by a pal and things fall into place from there.

H. M. The Queen Mother interviews Lady Peter Wimsey as new Duchess of Denver by jpadsk. Oh, what a missed chance. John Cowan says it all in a comment (and how I wish I could give kudos on comments, I’d like to let him know I agree but not in the writer’s hearing): “This story desperately needs an editor. These characters are obviously German spies masquerading as the Duchess and the Queen Mother. It isn’t just the mistakes in English, either, it’s the whole way in which they speak. It’s true that the Q.M. is Princess of Teck in Württemberg, but she was born and raised in the U.K.” (For one thing, Harriet wouldn’t break down and sob for any reason in front of the Queen Mother!)

Ring Out, Wild Bells by keswindhover. There are two almost identical versions of this; I inadvertently left kudos on the (locked) 2004 version but I’m linking to the (public) 2011 version. (Which I’ve now also left kudos on.) Good aunting from Harriet, echoes of the hospital scene in Gaudy Night. And John Cowan does it again: “A great vignette, although I can’t help pointing out that if you can’t sing, you don’t get into Oxford’s Bach Choir.” Apparently the writer has read Gaudy Night all right, they should know that Harriet can sing and Peter knows that!

October 3: I think, if I were king of Greece by custardpringle. Not fix-it, but Jerry kidfic set just before Clouds of Witness. Good aunting from Mary and a glimpse into her relationship with Denis Cathcart.

A Fine Romance by hhertzof. Jerry and Hilary at Oxford, becoming friends with a promise of more.

Role Model by AlexElizabeth. This one is very thoughtful and touching. Jerry is sure he isn’t going to produce any heirs of his own, but he wants to leave Bredon with something he can be heir to.

The Distant Hum of Engines. In which Peter asks Jerry to do some difficult and confidential work, and he (Jerry, not Peter, obviously) gets re-embroiled with Hilary. (“You still are an ass,” Hilary told him. “I haven’t spent the past five years praying you wouldn’t die not to marry you when you came back home.”)

Also this wonderful (completely unrelated) story: There Is a Cottage by the Woods by Rebecca Burton. Though there’s a ghost in the early part of the story there’s nothing creepy about it, just wonderful sweetness and friendship and a woman standing up to the world wanting other things from her than she realizes she’s made for. Oh, and everything’s better with kittens. With one specific kitten, at least.

October 4: A Soldier’s Return by ryfkah. Polly and Maladict sorting out where they stand, with footnotes.

Born to Strange Sights by ryfkah. Howl/Young Wizards crossover. Makes a lot of sense!

And So The Garden Grew by ryfkah. Now Lady Mary Parker née Wimsey is a detective, too!

Jamie Hamilton’s Rotten Luck by ryfkah. Homeward Bounders/Harry Potter crossover, with a hint of Howl’s Moving Castle!

Local Customs by ryfkah. Homeward Bounders/Buffy the Vampire Slayer crossover. I don’t know Buffy but it’s clear enough what happens. Nice look at Jamie Hamilton!

The Young Chants by ryfkah. Chrestomanci vignettes, starting with cute kidfic and evolving into teenagers being clever.

October 5: in olden days, a glimpse of stocking (series) by custardpringle. Hilary Thorpe and Jerry Viscount St George as a bickering, and later married but still bickering, couple. I skipped #2 (A Jolly Kind of Detective Game) because it’s novel-length and I’ve read it more recently than the rest. In fact I didn’t read beyond #5 or so the first time around, I don’t know why!

Barriers by ryfkah. (note: you may not be able to read this unless you have an AO3 account and are logged in). Hexwood fic, Mordion/Vierran. Must reread the book because I think I’m missing a lot of the context.

October 6: No Good Deed by ryfkah. (Locked, ditto). The beginning of Flavian and Mordecai’s friendship.

Impulse Control by ryfkah. Another Mordion/Vierran one, somewhat less canon-dependent than Barriers (though still canon-compliant).

The Curse of the Blue-Eyed Tiger by vanillafluffy. Midnight is a Place fic; another book I should reread because I remember those characters only vaguely. There’s a cat!

knowledge in pursuit by possibilityleft. Missing scene: Millie leaves Series Ten, taking only the barest necessities.

Reflections of a King by Merfilly. Yes, Edmund really did grow up.

Office Hours by labellementeuse. Robert Millman and Carmela Rodriguez cope better with the Pullulus effects than the wizards do.

love like mountains by betony. The Adon, Manaliabrid and Lagan from Lagan’s POV. Disturbing (in a good way).

October 7: Thrones, Dominations by Dorothy L. Sayers and Jill Paton Walsh. Started it to check a fact and ended up rereading the whole book in between all the fanfic. Not as good as the Sayers-only Peter/Harriet books but still good characterizations. (And I agree completely with Harriet that Rosamund was a very silly woman with strange ideas but it’s a shame that she got killed.)

In Which Pooh Goes Puddle Jumping and Piglet Throws a Picnic by hhertzof. Er, what it says on the tin? Very cute. With Hums.

We Are Six — in Space (The Department Six Remix) by hhertzof. Wonderful Calvin Spaceman Spiff and Hobbes adventure.

October 8: A Place to Call Your Own by hhertzof. Janet Chant carves out her niche in Chrestomanci Castle.

Common Ground by hhertzov. Janet and Tina cope with rooming together without Molly, and it turns out they have more in common than they thought for the last three years.

Taming by Morgan (duckwhatduck). Petit Prince fanfic, in which a boy tames a fox and/or vice versa. Somewhat bittersweet ending.

A Slip of the Heart by opalmatrix. Mitt and Biffa figure things out. “I’ll say,” said Mitt. “Biffa — I could marry you on the spot!”

In Pompeium by hhertzof. A Doctor Who drabble in Latin!

In Which Sophie Puts Her Foot Down by ryfkah. Yay Morgan! (But it’s a good thing that Sophie puts her foot down)

In Which Lettie Makes Demands by ryfkah. Very reasonable demands, too!

The Prisoner’s Dilemma by ryfkah. “Navis knew that he would make a far more effective tyrant than any of the other members of his family, if he were to put his mind to it.”

Another Country by ryfkah. Dalemark/Oxford Time Travel Universe crossover. Very effectively done, and peak Mitt/Maewen.

Lord Edgware Dies by Agatha Christie. A Poirot I hadn’t read before, or at least didn’t remember! Spoiled a bit by Hastings being the first-person narrator. I do like the fact that none of the (somewhat) nice people did it — it’s “we think X did it” [lots of reasons why they can’t have done it and almost all of these other people can] — “surprise! X did it after all!”

Index of reading notes is here.