Reading fanfic

by , under books, thinking

I had a sudden urge to read some Lord Peter Wimsey that I didn’t already know by heart, so I turned to Archive of Our Own for fanfic. I opened about a dozen stories that looked interesting in tabs, after a several-times-refined search that excluded unfinished works, subjects I really don’t want to read about (like rape/non-con) and crossovers. Though that made me find stories that admittedly weren’t crossovers but weren’t Lord Peter Wimsey stories either!

(The problem with crossovers isn’t that I don’t want to read crossovers. The problem with crossovers is that they’re mostly crossovers with fandoms I’m completely unfamiliar with, and the reason I wanted more LPW was, this time, comfort reading; more time with people I know and love. One of the best stories I’ve ever read was a LPW/Sherlock Holmes crossover.)

What I’d found was, as I expected, the full range from “where’s my nopetopus” to “oh wow, this goes on my ereader immediately”. I also downloaded a 10-chapter story about the younger generation doing the detecting, which I haven’t got round to yet because I’m trying to read War in Heaven by Charles Williams, and that takes concentration. (May put it on my ereader now anyway for when War in Heaven takes more concentration than I can muster.)

One of the things I like about fanfic is that it explores parts of a world that the canon writer didn’t get round to, wasn’t interested in, or simply weren’t the things they were writing about though they can exist in the setting. (As well as things that can’t exist in the setting!) Sometimes I’m just looking for some juicy smut, but this time it turned out that the stories I liked most were about Peter and Harriet being happily married and solving a new mystery. I can see why someone would want to write a drabble about Harriet being disillusioned in her marriage after X years, but that wasn’t what I wanted to read. (Also, in another story, Harriet dressing up as Bunter and wearing a silver strap-on? Nope.) And sometimes the smut really got into the way: I’d have liked the story about Miss Climpson and Miss Lydgate developing a, well, ‘particular friendship’ much more if it hadn’t been interspersed with explicit Bunter/Jerry. Not “nope” so much as “but whyyyy?”

No links; do your own research 🙂  Finding unexpected things is half the fun.

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