Pairings: John/Mary; John/Sherlock (ultimately)
Verse: BBC Sherlock
Author's Summary: He wasn't Sherlock, he couldn't work miracles. All he'd ever been able to do was write about them.
Reccer's Comments: Let us suppose, gentle readers, that Sherlock Holmes is dead and has never returned, and that John is married to a nurse named Mary, who is not now and never has been pregnant. Let us suppose that John has made a life for himself. Really. He has. And as part of that life, he is writing a sort of novel that he keeps on his laptop and whose events, to a startling degree, resemble the events of S3.
You may go into this expecting a supernatural story in which John's novel comes true. It isn't. It's much more clever and surprising than that. And you will notice that I have not included a "character death" warning, okay?
It is beyond me why this fic hasn't had more readers. Also, I have checked the spreadsheet of past recs about half a dozen times, because how has this not been recced before?
Here's an excerpt from the opening.
Mary's voice had gone strange. The tone made something lurch in his chest.
He looked up from his newspaper, from where he sat on the sofa. She was sitting at the little desk in the corner, staring down at her laptop—except—no, no, it wasn't her laptop at all. It was his.
"What's this?" she asked, and her voice was definitely strange, high and strained.
It set his heart pounding, thudding a steady beat of no no no, each jump of his pulse flooding him with a sickening dread. He wanted to throw his newspaper down, bolt for the door, flee into the damp evening air. He wanted to stand up and snap his laptop shut, like he'd done to Sherlock all those years ago—except, no, best not think of that.
He did none of those things. Instead, he rustled his newspaper, folded it neatly and set it down on the coffee table, and met her eyes. He sat very still.
"Hm?" he said. "What's that, then?" He feigned casual, did a crap job of it, and why did he even bother, she'd always been adept at seeing right through him, right from the very start. That's why he'd—
Read on the AO3.
Pairing: Gen JW/SH established
Verse: BBC Sherlock
When people first see Lestrade and John together, they assume that they are a couple.
They're not, though. They're just really epic bros.
Reccer's comments: A little light read to brighten up your Thursday. I was delighted by the author's description of a Watson/Lestrade friendship. I also liked Donovan in this fic as well, she had a couple great lines. Good ninja's eat their veggies. ;) Enjoy!
Also Hello! This is my first time reccing, it's nice to meet you all!
Length: 4,741 words
Rating: General Audiences
Verse: Murder by Decree
Author's summary: After the events of Murder by Decree, Mycroft Holmes leaves the British government and tries to decide what to do with the rest of his life.
This is, quite simply, an incredible Mycroft fic. I don’t know the movie it’s based on, but rachelindeed has helpfully included a (spoilery) summary in the notes at the beginning of the fic, and the fic is entirely comprehensible with just that information. It’s a fantastic exploration of Mycroft’s character, less Machiavellian than he is often portrayed but still very much the brilliant man whose “specialism is omniscience.” He starts the fic at a crossroads, wondering where to take his life next, and where he takes it is a delightful surprise. There’s a nod to larger Holmesiana that I won’t spoil but which made me burst into laughter; there are so many quiet, touching character moments, for Mycroft himself and for the Holmes brothers and for Sherlock & Watson; and the ending of the fic is deeply moving. It’s a fic that just grows and grows as you read it, developing layers and shades of meaning and building to a resolution that brought tears to my eyes.
Length: 3,903 words
Verse: ACD canon
Author's summary: The 1880s: A self-appointed man of the law, and his doctor friend who's good with a gun, fight crime in their town. But enough about "Tombstone." (Western AU)
This is an utterly delightful Western AU. Lock and Doc’s voices are pitch-perfect, Mayor Les Strade is exactly the right mix of grateful to and baffled by them both, and the nods to canon cases are woven throughout in intriguing ways. Currently three connected short fics, the series has wonderful scope for expansion; my favorite fic may be the second, with its wry philosophizing, but all three have their different charms, surprisingly domestic in and around all the shooting.
Title: Desperate Men and Fools (prequel inspired by “Welcome to Bakerstown”)
Length: 11,074 words
Verse: ACD canon; Strange Empire crossover
Author's summary: “It’s bringing justice to a murderer, Doc,” Lock assured me, “nothing more. Strip away the politics, and we’re hunting a common murderer like any other.”
July 1869, and a surveyor has been killed in Manitoba. Lock and Doc are called in to find the killer, but find themselves at odds about whether they're on the wrong side of justice.
Inspired by the Bakerstown ‘verse, sanguinity wrote a truly impressive and immersive prequel. It’s a crossover with the television show Strange Empire, which I have not watched; from osmosis I gather that the show’s tone is fairly dark, and this fic matches that tone more than the tone of the Bakerstown fics. Lock and Doc, some nebulous time before they’re set up in Bakerstown, get drawn into a manhunt up in Canada; but of course, not all is as it seems. It’s a fic about making the least-bad choice, and their partnership is unexpectedly tested nigh unto breaking. The characterization of both Lock and Doc is so rich and nuanced, so subtle; I particularly love how convincingly Southern Doc is, and how fraught that identity can be given his Watsonian principles; and Lock’s willful blindness to certain aspects of the situation is just perfectly Holmesian. It’s an unsettling story, with no easy answers, but so very worthwhile to read. And there are hints even amidst the darkness of the delightful So-Married dynamic between the pair so evident in the future Bakerstown fics, just the right leavening for an otherwise gutting story.
Pairing: John/Sherlock, just a bit
Length: 219 words
Verse: BBC Sherlock
Warnings: irredeemable ridiculousness
Author's Summary: John can see straight through Sherlock. He knows what this is all about.
Reccer's Comments: Posted for the July 12 installment of the Watson's Woes challenges. This is a silly, silly, silly little fic that you should read because of its great silliness. No excerpt, because it's so compact that any excerpt would spoil some of the silliness. Take five minutes to read, and go away smiling. That punchline! GROAN.
Read on the AO3.
Pairing: none (but not incompatible with John/Sherlock)
Length: 1240 words
Verse: BBC Sherlock
Warnings: graphic (but brief) depictions of violence
Author's Summary: "Sherlock shouldn't have any trouble killing someone. He is, after all, a sociopath."
Reccer's Comments: That good old trope, Sherlock as (not) a sociopath. It's been done to death, I suppose, in the past five and a half years, but this, posted in late 2010, was one of the earliest variations on the theme and I'm still impressed by the characterizations of both Sherlock and John. (We could argue for hours over whether the picture of Sherlock here is jossed by the climax of HLV, and I would be delighted to have that conversation if anyone wants!)
To say much more would spoil the plot, but I suggest looking closely at the ending. I'm not sure that it's not ambiguous, and if that's cloudily worded, that's because I'm, oh, let's say 98% sure that everything is as it seems. You?
"You are tiresome," Sherlock tells [the murderer he has at gunpoint].
Stockton grins. Blood from his split lip runs down his face. "Then kill me."
Sherlock shifts again. The angle of his arm is rather uncomfortable. "To kill everyone who irritated me would needlessly complicate my social life."
Read on the AO3.
Length: 4273 words
Verse: BBC Sherlock
Author's Summary: Jotted for a prompt on the kink meme. Because really, how could a linguistics scholar resist it?:
Sherlock finds John's porn stash. He reads the entire thing, and when John comes home, he finds part highlighted and circled where they've got it wrong.Reccer's Comments: "STET," as the author explains, is an editorial notation meaning "Let it stand" -- that is, a previously made "correction" is withdrawn and the original text is restored. As a longtime book editor with a well-deserved reputation for fussiness, pedantry, and asking authors many annoying questions, I found the image of Sherlock marking up John's trove of porn and objecting to its perceived inaccuracies simply irresistible. (Remember that "Wrong!" "Wrong!" "Wrong!" from Lestrade's press conference in S1 E1?)
Also irresistible: John proving Sherlock wrong, in any context.
It's fair to say that we've seen plenty of Three Continents Watson schooling sexually!inexperienced!Sherlock. But the Sherlock in this fic, though ultimately vulnerable, isn't a woobie. And Sherlock's irate rant about factually inaccurate bad-porn tropes is pricelessly funny and will please any reader who has ever rolled their eyes at the dreadful One from Column A, Two from Column B sex scenes so common in fanfic (and elsewhere). Which leads me to another reason for reccing this story: the sex scene. It's a good one (remember, once upon a time not every story had an obligatory rimming scene -- this used to be a thing that happened occasionally in some fics, for example here), well observed, genuinely sexy, and tender.
And what would a story that begins with editing be, without an editorial punch line?
. . . Sherlock's snatched the sheaf off the coffee table and is brandishing it upwards in an angry shake as if the ceiling were an avenging deity who would obligingly smite it.
"A 'weeping' cock! A weeping cock, John. It's patently absurd. The human penis does not 'weep'. It produces Cowper's fluid in the amount of approximately .0002 drams - at best. In what possible world is that weeping?"
Breath unnecessary when he rides this kind of wave, he barrels on without stopping, "..apparently the same world in which the contraction 'You are coming' has been revised to 'Your coming' and the word 'lose' no longer exists: 'I'm going to make you loose control'. It's as though primary education has simply vanished from the face of the earth."
The great despair of the malapropism epidemic slows him temporarily, frown tugging at his mouth before he gets his second wind, clambering over the ottoman with impunity so he can shove the mass of paper under John's nose as he continues.
Read on the AO3.
Welcome to this month's reccers: snarryfool, eddieblackmaru, and phoenixfalls! Experienced and new, it's great to have you here.
Our thanks as well to our reccers for June: pipmer1 and venusinthenight. We've enjoyed your choices and we appreciate your time.
Sign-ups are open for reccers for August now, or any later month. The usual: you only need to make four recs a month, for works created for any version of Sherlock Holmes, as fic, art, vids, podfic, or meta. Sign up here! Info and Guidelines here. We want to keep this community active for as long as volunteers are interested in making recs.
Length: 14,000 words
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary: To the outside world, Sherlock and John are just friends. In private, they're much, much more. They've agreed to keep their relationship a secret to protect John's daughter, but it's not going to be as simple as they hoped.
(Or, bittersweet, hot, angsty, secret-relationship-while-coming-to-term
Reccer's comments: This is a companion piece to the story Coming of Age, which is told from John's daughter's POV. In my opinion this story stands just fine on its own, although "Coming of Age" will provide additional context. In fact, if you're someone who generally doesn't care for parentlock it may be just your cup of tea, because Olivia doesn't have much of a physical presence in this one. The story's focus is on Sherlock and John, and how they navigate the minefield of a secret relationship that spans several years, and told from their points of view.
I like the sense of inevitability that we feel throughout this story. It's series 3 compliant, and at the start we find John as a single parent to six-year old Olivia. There's a lot of pining and yearning going on, and it doesn't help that John is initially firmly resistant to entering into a romantic relationship with Sherlock. But of course it happens that the two of them just can't stay away from each other for long. The angst is bumped up a notch just from the very fact they decide to keep their relationship 'private and secret'- from everybody, not just Olivia, and for a variety of reasons. Several years pass - over a decade - before a conversation happens that teaches them they had nothing to fear after all.
A lovely story that ends with Retirementlock, I hope you enjoy!
You know the drill: You only need to make four recs a month, for works created for any version of Sherlock Holmes, as fic, art, vids, podfic, or meta. Sign up here! Info and Guidelines here. We want to keep this community active for as long as volunteers are interested in making recs.
I'm also declaring a few extra days for June recs, with July beginning on the 4th. Sounds like a good day for it.
Pairing: allusion to Sherlock/Alfredo
Length: 1830 words
Warnings: references to drugs
Author's summary: Joan and Sherlock celebrate Christmas.
Reccer's comments: Yes, I am reccing a Christmas-themed fic in June. ;)
It is so delightful, and Sherlock is at Peak Sherlock with regards to doing stuff behind Joan's back, only this time it isn't malevolent. But there is an ulterior motive all the same.
An excerpt behind the cut...
( Excerpt!Collapse )
Pairing: Sherlock/John, John/OMC, John/Mary
Length: 31,750 words
Warnings: Canon-typical violence
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary: He turns back round then and looks down at me, eyes curious. “Your name, W.S.S. Holmes.” That’s not my name. “Is it Walter? Or Wilbur? Maybe something really awful like, er,” he smiles wryly, “Willoughby? Winchester?”
I feel my face go blank as my body numbs over. “Scott,” I say, voice devoid of emotion. “My name is Scott.”
Reccer's comments: Wow does this story pack a punch. It has a unique writing style that I haven't run across before that is very effective and emotionally harrowing. Filled with clever twists, it'll keep you guessing as to what is what (and who is who) until the very last chapter. Out of all of the outstanding fics to come out of the most recent round of Holmestice, this is one of the most memorable for me.
It's a bit difficult giving a rec for this without giving too much away, but I will do my best. The story takes place post-Reichenbach, and is not series 3 compliant. It has all of the angst one comes to expect from such a fic, along with offering its own unique twist to it. Someone is kidnapped off the streets of London - someone who the kidnapper thinks is the 'deceased' Sherlock Holmes. The story is told in first person, mostly from the kidnapped person's perspective. The narrative is non-linear, so we also see scenes from Mycroft's POV as he and Sherlock plot to bring down Sebastian Moran. Mary also has a role here, albeit offscreen.
The scenes between the kidnapped person and the kidnapper are at the crux of the story, emotionally intense and done in such a clever way that I was not completely convinced of the identify of either one of them until the grand reveal. The emotion coupled with heartstopping action left me on the edge of my seat the entire time. This is the type of story that I live for, and that will remain with me for a long time.
A possible trigger warning: there is a death of an unborn child, although it does take place offscreen.
Here is an excerpt from the very beginning of the story to give you a taste of the experience you are in for:
( Sneak PeekCollapse )
Music Title & Artist: Let Her Go - Passenger
Vidder: neopuff on Tumblr
Pairing or Character: Joan Watson/Marcus Bell
Link: Posting on Tumblr
Reccer's Comments: This is only a 51-second vid, but oh, this hits my short/small-things-that-pack-a-major-pun
(content notes: Gunshot at :27 mark.)
Length: 10,000 words
Warnings: Suicidal ideation, minor character deaths, pet death
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary: John becomes used to it. If he’s perfectly honest with himself, he’s become used to it a long time ago. At night, things are different. The darkness tickles his skin and the cemetery is the loudest place in the world and he tastes dust and iron on his tongue when he hears them talk. In the dark, the bones whisper.
And sometimes John whispers back.
Reccer's comments: This is something a little different. In this AU (not series 3 compliant), John can hear the bones of dead people, and he can talk back to them as well. It makes for an intriguing, if a bit macabre, premise. What makes it truly unique, is that the most interesting character in the story is Sherlock's skull. Per the author's tag, the skull is a bit of an asshole, and yet ends up being the impetus John needs to face his fears and acknowledge his feelings.
The story follows John from childhood all the way through Sherlock's Fall and eventual Return. The language evokes within the reader all of the emotions that John is feeling as he deals with his mixed blessing/curse. A highlight for me is a scene during which John puts his unique skill to use in solving a crime before Sherlock does.
A warning: there is some suicidal ideation here, and at the very start of the story there is a pet death that may be upsetting.
A lovely story. Here is a sneak peek:
( Sneak PeekCollapse )
Artist: naturalshocks on Tumblr
Warnings: No warnings apply
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Artist's summary: Watercolour and white gel pen on Hahnemühle Britannia. 14 x 14 cm.
Reccer's comments: Oh my god, this painting of Sally is so beautiful. I love how the artist added constellations in her hair, the whole ethereal vibe this gives off.
As rachelindeedhas mentioned, holmestice Summer 2016 gifts have been posted this week. About 40 works in the exchange are currently anonymous, until the reveal on Monday, June 20 (with a Guessing Post for anyone who wants to play).
Holmestice and other Sherlock Holmes fests are always sources of fresh delight. Before the reveal, we're leaving this post open for recs -- please, share with us gifts and works you've enjoyed.
Pairing: Mrs. Hudson & Jon Watson
Length: 543 words
Warnings: Creator chose not to use warnings
Verse: Watson and Holmes
Author's summary: “I have often found it inconvenient [to be a black man] in America.” – Bert Williams
Reccer's comments: For those unfamiliar with Watson and Holmes, it's a comic book series that features the title characters as black/African-American men solving crimes and living at 221B Baker Street in Harlem. You can buy it digitally on Comixology.
Anyhoo, with a black Holmes and black Watson in NYC, they would be bound to run into racial profiling, to be arrested for doing something while black, even as they work with a police force that is most notorious for it. gardnerhill's short fic imagines such an incident as Watson arrives at the apartment to find a note waiting for him.
Author: everybodylies on AO3
Pairing: Marcus Bell/Sherlock Holmes
Length: 2340 words
Author's summary: Broadway AU. Marcus is an actor, and Sherlock is a theater critic.
Reccer's comments: Because Theatre Critic Sherlock Holmes would be besotted with Broadway Actor Marcus Bell. Because of course Marcus would figure out who "the Phantom" is. Because it is much adorable Lockbell.
(Mods, may I have a pairing tag for Marcus/Sherlock?)
Pairing: Sherlock & Joan, Ms. Hudson
Length: 8300+ words
Warnings: Crack. Also, bees.
Author's summary: Things get Kafkaesque around the brownstone.
Reccer's comments: One of the standouts for me from this round of holmestice, which is currently posting. This is one of those fics where someone takes a cracky premise -- in this case, Joan Watson waking up one day as a queen bee -- and gives it a serious treatment. It's a situation that's also complicated by the fact she and Sherlock are in the midst of a case! Also: excellent Ms. Hudson content!
(edited to add the author after the Holmestice author/artist reveal.)
Pairing: Gen Holmes & Watson
Length: 1200 words
Warnings: None apply
Verse: ACD Canon
Author's summary: Sherlock Holmes did not expect to enjoy film.
Reccer's comments: Retirement fic! Involving the cinema! Naturally, Holmes would be fascinated by the filmmaking process as opposed to actual movies... at least until he sees the title film starring Buster Keaton, along with a certain scene in said film.