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Fic Rec: Obscurity

Title: Obscurity
Author: UrbanHymnal
Pairing: Sherlock/John
Length: 7,700 words
Rating: T
Warnings: none
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary: Because words were magic, because they only would come out when they had the right feel and sound, he couldn’t say simple things like: Dad, leave Harry alone for once or Hey, Amy, do you fancy coming out to dinner with me?

Reccer's comments: In this story, John Watson can only speak in the form of quotation; his only words are those drawn from books he has read that have meant something important to him. While a lovely example of magical realism, this is also close enough to real speech disabilities to carry the ring of authenticity. John's banked anger, his frustration at being dismissed as unintelligent because he cannot easily express his thoughts, his resentment at a world that makes no time for him, are powerfully and persuasively realized. In Sherlock, he finally finds someone who learns to bridge the communicative and emotional gap -- someone who sees him for who he is.

On another level, the story is a celebration of books and of the way we sometimes find our own thoughts or feelings revealed through other people's words. The fic makes use of quotes from a number of well-known works of literature, some of which I recognized and some of which I didn't (the author gives a list of attributions at the end of the story). John's patchwork method of communication is often quite beautiful, and several passages between him and Sherlock are uniquely romantic.

This is a story that I have come back to repeatedly over the last few years. When I first read it, I didn't know that my child would have a speech disability reminiscent of John's. Now that I do know, this fic is even more special to me. I love its celebration of language and silence, reading and listening, translation and learning, and all the amazing people who occupy unusual spaces in the realms of expression.

Here we go gathering nuts in May

Welcome to our reccers for May, rachelindeed and amindamazed. We look forward to your recs.

Thanks to our April reccers: tripleransom and dioscureantwins! You did a great job.

Sign-ups are open for reccers for June, or any later month. 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.

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Art rec: Anniversary

Title: Anniversary
Artist: numberthescars
Pairing: none
Rating: G
Warnings: none
Verse: Granada

Reccer's comments: This is more than just one picture - it's more like a series of illustrations with a story attached. It will load slowly; give it time, so you can see and appreciate the whole thing as it unfolds before you. It's poignant and sad and it illustrates the relationships between Holmes and Watson (and Mary) in the Granada series perfectly. It's really lovely!

Fic Rec: Tea In the Sahara

Title: Tea In The Sahara
Author: fleetwood_mouse
Pairing: Mary Morstan/John Watson, Mary Morstan/John Watson/Sherlock Holmes
Length: 13,400
Rating: None given R?
Warnings: none
Verse: Ritchie Films

Author's summary: Mary Morstan sees more than she is given credit for, and she has been watching for a long time. This is the story of how she gets John Watson to stop waiting and take what he wants: Sherlock Holmes.

Reccer's comments: I sense a theme in my recs for this month. I didn't love Mary in the films, but I love what fanficcers have done with her. She's just the sort of smart, tough, and funny kind of woman Watson would have fallen for (and Holmes, too!). She is no pliable Victorian lady in this fic as she schemes to get the three of them together. The dialog is great, the voices perfectly in character. It's a definite treat.
It was posted in 2 parts on Holmistice and there's no link for part 2 - just go back up to the top and hit 'next day', or read it on the AO3 here: Tea in the Sahara

Fic Rec : The Glass Half Full

Title: The Glass Half Full http://archiveofourown.org/works/1115835
Author: garonne
Pairing: Watson/Mary, Holmes/Watson
Length: 2500 words
Rating: G
Warnings: none
Verse: ACD Books

Author's summary: Nothing but unspoken words and unspent passions, declarations never made and caresses never given.
Holmes and Mary Watson have an after-dinner conversation about Watson.

Reccer's comments: This is a 'small' fic, but one in which a great deal goes on, despite the constrained setting. It's beautifully and economically written. There is no action, no train rides, no clients falling headlong on the carpet; even Watson is absent for most of it. It only covers a little space of time, just an after-dinner conversation between Holmes and Mary Watson. Not much is really said, but afterwards they understand each other a great deal better. Nothing is resolved, the ending is bittersweet; as the author says, with "unspoken words and unspent passions". Of course, we know as the characters do not, that there will be a resolution eventually - and one that they do not expect and cannot anticipate, which serves to make their situation all the more poignant.

Apr. 29th, 2016

Title: The Glass Half Full http://archiveofourown.org/works/1115835
Author: garonne
Pairing: Watson/Mary, Holmes/Watson
Length: 2500 words
Rating: G
Warnings: none
Verse: ACD Books

Author's summary: Nothing but unspoken words and unspent passions, declarations never made and caresses never given.
Holmes and Mary Watson have an after-dinner conversation about Watson.

Reccer's comments: This is a 'small' fic, but one in which a great deal goes on, despite the constrained setting. There is no action, no train rides, no clients falling headlong on the carpet; even Watson is absent for most of it. It only covers a little space of time, just an after-dinner conversation between Holmes and Mary Watson. Not much is really said, but afterwards they understand each other a great deal better. Nothing is resolved, the ending is bittersweet; as the author says, with "unspoken words and unspent passions". But of course, we know as the characters do not, that there will be a resolution eventually - and one that they do not expect and cannot anticipate, which serves to make their situation all the more poignant.

Fic Rec: Things On Fire, Things That Fall

Title: Things on Fire, Things that Fall
Author: verilyvexed
Pairing: Holmes/Watson
Length: 17,995
Rating: R
Warnings: none
Verse: Ritchie films
Author's summary: "We have visitors, Watson. Two of them. Women, unless I am mistaken, and one of them is wearing either new shoes or very uncomfortable old ones."
(That's a rather dreadful summary, isn't it? My apologies. Watson gets dragged into assisting with a case, then later gets dragged out of the Thames. No, that's not quite right either. Erm... there's banter, arguing, injuries, and awkward confessions over a dead body.
Reccer's comments: This fic is absolutely the most perfect movieverse settiing I've ever read. The dialog is fantastically spot on. You simply cannot read it without seeing Jude Law and RDJ speaking the lines. They bicker, they kiss. Watson is tied up in a warehouse by the docks. Holmes rescues him. As the warehouse burns, they jump out a window into the Thames. Finally the case is solved in a highly satisfactory fashion. The story unfolds exactly like a movie script. Even Mary, although she doesn't actually appear in the story, acts in perfect accord with her movieverse character. What more could you ask for?
If you liked the movies, you will love this one.
Also on the AO3 http://archiveofourown.org/works/253880

Fic Rec: mutatis mutandis

Title: mutatis mutandis
Author: SarahT
Pairing: Sherlock/Mycroft
Length: approx. 4,100 words
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: none
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary: No one ever gets to him.

Reccer's comments: With Mycroft playing for the other side it would be rather hard to imagine anyone ever getting to him. Except for his little brother, of course.

For even in a universe where the name of Holmes inspires terror for all the wrong reasons Mycroft still worries over him, constantly. Hence, he’s made sure Sherlock can only turn to him to find some relief for the perpetual boredom and Mycroft is willing to supply him with everything Sherlock needs… on his brotherly terms.

Exquisitely written, this fic will have you shivering with delight and make you feel glad in the series both brothers are on the side of the angels for this dark scenario might be all too likely.

May reccers needed!

Is spring finally here?

We need reccers for May. Come join us, and share your favorites, new or old. With the sometimes bewildering number of creative works related to Sherlock Holmes in all versions, it's so nice to have pointers from a variety of tastes.  

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.

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Fic Rec: Game Theory

Title: Game Theory
Author: 7PercentSolution
Pairing: none
Length: approx. 246,800 words
Rating: Teenage
Warnings: attempted rape/non-con
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary: Set between The Great Game and The Scandal in Belgravia, both Sherlock and John have to deal with the collateral emotional damage that comes after Moriarty's pool-side revelation that their relationship was a weakness that could, and would, be exploited. Mycroft Holmes meddles, as usual, and it all goes to hell rather quickly.

Reccer's comments: You’ll need to accept the author’s clever arguments for her explanation for Sherlock’s often appalling behaviour but if you’re willing to accept that this series will have you in for hours of glorious reading.

The author’s take on the characters is flawless, her exploit of and explanations for the constant sibling warfare very convincing and the often gripping angst is relieved by bouts of welcome humour and wonderfully warm friendshippy feels. The dialogue is spot on.

Told from John’s POV the author manages to convey that constant sense of wonder and admiration that pervaded ASiP, TBB and TGG so gloriously. Meet Sherlock Holmes, marvel extraordinaire and weep for him. Even though he’ll scorn you for it.

Revealing anything of the plot would be a huge spoiler that would take away all your fun. You’ll just have to read this wonderful fic yourself to find out how clever it is. Really, the author could give Moftiss a run for their money.

Fic Rec: Toplock Talent Search

Title: Toplock Talent Search
Author: anarfea
Pairing: Sherlock/John, Sherlock/Irene, Sherlock/Jim/Molly
Length: approx. 25,000 words
Rating: explicit
Warnings: top!Sherlock (the reason the fic exists)
Verse: BBC Sherlock
Author's summary: “It’s frankly alarming,” said the Sherlock in the fishnet top, “watching you simper and fawn and make puppy eyes over John like a … sad, gay baby.”
Sherlock’s mouth fell open. “I am not a sad gay baby!”
“Yes, you are,” said Irene.
“Well, what is he, then?” sputtered Sherlock. “Splaying his legs open so everyone can see his cock through those trousers. Sitting there leering at the rest of us like some sort of superior … Dark fuck prince.”

Currently a WIP. Last updated July 2015. There should be one more chapter according to the author. However, as chapter three to five are pretty much stand alone's you can really go ahead and read!

Reccer's comments: This fic is proof of the human mind’s remarkable talent to turn something vile into something hilarious. Written in response to the vagaries imposed upon last year’s 221B con by a this fic has the show’s characters discuss fanfic, gender politics, sexual roles, ship wars, and fandom, as they search for the perfect incarnation of Toplock.

The author masterfully plays with tropes and head!canons as exploited in the series by Moffat and Gatiss, by fanfic writers (the author included) and readers and shows that the pen, especially when wielded with a humour that manages to cast everyone in a satirical light, truly is the strongest weapon ever invented.

The fic heads off with lots of clever banter flying around the living room. Anthea presides and has a hard time keeping the various characters in their respective incarnations in check. We get to meet DarkFuckPrince!Sherlock, GayBaby!Sherlock, JustTransport!Sherlock, Angry!John (well, he doesn’t get laid, obviously), Saint!John and BAMF!John, Virgin!Sherlock and all these incarnations, traipsing around 221B’s living room together, are totally IC. As are Irene, Mycroft, Anthea, Mrs Hudson, Jim and Molly and even Sebastian Moran. Because no fic featuring Jim is complete without a truly creepy Moran in the background. Fie Moftiss.

Once Anthea has waved her magic wand and decided upon the various pairings we follow those to the rooms allotted them for yet more talk, debate, argument, conference, exchange, review, conversation,consideration, dialogue, consultation, seminar, discourse, deliberation,symposium, colloquy, confabulation not to mention examination, investigation, analysis, scrutiny and dissection that will have you screaming with laughter and chuckling over so much cleverness. Then in each chapter the whole delicious concoction gets topped off with some scorchingly-hot sex, with Sherlock topping of course. Yes, even GayBaby!Virgin!Sherlock gets to do the topping.

What really blew me away in this fic however is the encounter in chapter four, between JustTranpost!Sherlock and a beautifully brave and tender Irene. Even if you don’t read the rest of the fic, read this chapter at least for the wonderful insight into their relationship. You won’t regret it.

Fic Rec: Tall, Dark and Belstaff

Title: Tall, Dark and Belstaff
Author: dimity_blue
Pairing: Mrs Turner’s married ones
Length: 3,400 words
Rating: gen
Warnings: none
Verse: BBC Sherlock
Author's summary: What do the married ones next door think of Sherlock and John?

Reccer's comments: I know of few fics with a more adequate summary than this one. What we get in this fic is a rendition of that fateful evening Sherlock and John moved into Baker Street, told from the POV of Mrs Turner’s married ones.
Nothing ever happens in Baker Street so Matt and Ryan are almost constantly glued to the windows to goggle and speculate at the perpetual comings and goings, apart from the time they spend eavesdropping with the aid of a glass to the wall.

The author has a wonderful sense of truly dry British humour. The second sentence produced a smile on my face. Halfway through I was swiping my eyes and my sides were splitting from laughter. And yet, ridiculous as Matt and Ryan seem the reader does sympathise with them. Only imagine ending up with a pair of neighbours like Sherlock Holmes and John Watson.

Fic Rec: Save The Last Dance For Me

Title: Save The Last Dance for Me
Author: Lilith
Pairing: Sherlock/Mrs Hudson
Length: approx. 52,000 words
Rating: explicit
Warnings: major character death
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary: Sherlock Holmes and Martha Hudson, friendship, love and romance:
He kissed her cheek again and his lips lingered for a fraction of a second longer than normal. “Good-night, Mrs Hudson.”
She sat back on the sofa when he’d gone and touched her hand to her cheek, just like a giddy girl.
There are things that you don’t wish for, things that you don’t ever let yourself think about. Not even when you’re dying, least of all then when the cruel mirror shows you how old and ill you are. Youth is just an illusion, a flutter of butterfly wings in your soul, and there’s no point crying for the moon.

Reccer's comments: Yes, this is the fic where Sherlock and Mrs Hudson become lovers and even end up marrying each other. Sherlock may be a virgin at the beginning of the fic but yet it is he who seduces Martha, and remains the driving force behind the whole madcap enterprise.

Told from Mrs Hudson’s POV the writer captures her voice perfectly from first to last. The spot on language, full of lovely Briticisms turns reading this fic into a wonderful experience. But once you’ve accepted the premise this fic has so much more to give for Martha Hudson's portrayal feels a 100% IC throughout. It begins with her reaction to the bad news she's received and her musings over what she wants to do with the rest of her life. She doesn't want to see the midnight sun or go swimming with dolphins. Reading that put a smile on my face for that's so like the Mrs Hudson we meet in the series. She may like to present a dotty exterior but there's also a side to her that's as tough as nails.

Both sides of her are wonderfully maintained throughout the fic as it slowly unfolds from one unlikely scenario to the next in such a way it's highly believable. Her reactions to each of the other characters ring true throughout the story. Scenes that especially stood out to me where the row between Sherlock and John when John discovers Sherlock and Mrs Hudson have started an affair and Martha’s misery when Sherlock goes missing. Even at the end of her tether she can still spare a thought for the unhappiness of others, and then she decides that this time she doesn't really want to care, even though that makes her miserable as well.

And of course Mrs Hudson is the one to bring John back into the fold. Mycroft's attitude throughout had me dancing with happiness. Yes, that's my Mycroft. Anything to make his little brother happy. He'll stand by his brother, no matter what. And more than anyone else he realises why his brother would choose Martha Hudson.

Unavoidably Mrs Hudson does die in the end but before that this fic takes you on several turns around the room, from the lowest low to the highest high of a tumultuous and true love affair.

Enjoy!

April reccers

Welcome to our reccers for April, tripleransom and dioscureantwins. We look forward to sharing your joy.

Thanks to our March reccers: snarryfool and theanglophile! You did a smashing job.

We're open for reccers to sign up for May or for any later month. 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 apologize for the lateness of this post.

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Art Rec: Watsonapped by Eliosu

Title: Watsonapped
Artist: Eliosu
Pairing: Sherlock/John or Gen
Length: 1 page
Rating: PG
Warnings: None (unless buffoon!Sherlock AU counts)
Verse: Crossover: Canon / Sherlock BBC / RDJ films (aka buffoon!Sherlock AU)
Author's summary:
all John Watson have been kidnapped. What would Sherlock Holmes-es do ?

Reccer's comments:
One more for the month!

Hilariously accurate little comic about how each Holmes would rescue his Watson from a kidnapping, and each Watson's response to that. The artist's style is sleek, smooth, and a pleasure to look at.

Watsonapped

-
Title: Inscrutable to the Last
Author: DiscordantWords
Pairing: John/Mary; Sherlock/John (ultimately)
Length: 48,843
Rating: Mature
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: Yes, I know, you think you've read all the S3 fix-its and no one can possibly do anything new in that department. Wrong wrong wrong so very wrong. DiscordantWords has come up with an entirely original premise: the plot of S3 is a novel John is writing, an alternate life he invents to cope with his grief over Sherlock's death. Inevitably, Mary finds the file on his laptop, and reads it. It doesn't do their marriage any good; besides, Sherlock is really dead (isn't he?) and John should stop dreaming (shouldn't he?).

It is absurd that (as of the time of this post) "Inscrutable" has only 1365 hits -- it's clever, beautifully written, and utterly romantic. I was hoping against hope that DW would finish this before the month was up, so I could rec it. And hooray! Just wait till you read the ending. It is made of swoon.

Excerpt:

"John," she said, and she reached out, took his clenched fist between her hands. "Doing this, retreating into this—this whole other life, it's not good for you."

"People read, Mary," he said, as she gently rubbed at his hand, pried his fingers loose from their tight clench, clasped his trembling appendage between her warm palms. "People go to the movies. People write. It's a hobby. Escapism. Nothing more than that."

"It's different," she said, calmer, still looking steadily at him.

"How?"

She shook her head, rolled her eyes a little bit. "You can't figure out why writing thousands and thousands and thousands of words about a world where your wife is an ex-assassin who shoots your formerly-dead best friend in the chest, setting off a chain of events leading to him martyring himself for us might be a bit upsetting?"

"You've read a lot," he said, and he wondered how long he'd been sitting there, oblivious, while she was peering into the darkest, most secret recesses of his heart.

"Oh, it's a real page turner," she said.


Read on the AO3.

Fic Rec: Human for a While, by fengirl88

Title: Human for a While
Author: fengirl88
Pairing: John/Sherlock
Length: 12,375
Rating: M/R
Verse: BBC Sherlock
Author's summary: Written for this anonymous prompt on sherlockbbcfic:

John/Selkie!Sherlock

John comes home from a trip to the seaside with a pale-eyed young man in tow. Sherlock is tall, brilliant, and strangely sad, and seems incapable of leaving John's side. One day John brings a seal skin to Harry's house and makes her promise to hide it, and that she will never, ever tell Sherlock where it is.

Reccer's comments: This seems to be magical realism month in my brain. Anyway, this fic. I hardly even know what to say about it. Sherlock's a selkie, a seal-being who can shed his skin and live on land, among people, for a while. He's the love of John's lonely, heartsick post-Afghanistan life, and of course John betrays him, stealing and hiding his seal!skin -- which is not much of a spoiler, as it happens in the first chapter.

It transpires that great love can heal betrayal. And we know how huge Sherlock's heart is, right? Poignant, sexy, beautifully written, this is one of my favorite fics by a brilliant writer.

Excerpt:
“Promise me you'll never tell anyone,” he said. “And especially not Sherlock.”

“Jesus, John, what is this?” [Harry asked.]

“It's his,” he said. “He mustn't find it. Promise me.”

She lifted a corner of the velvet, touched the smooth pelt that lay heavy in his arms.

Sealskin.

She stared at him.

“You have got to be fucking joking.”

But he wasn't, that was clear.

She'd heard the stories often enough from Hector. Used to know the Great Silkie ballad by heart. Never imagined for a moment any of the stories could be true.

“I love him,” John said desperately. “I can't let him go.”

“Oh God, John.”

She wanted to hug him, but he wouldn't want that, and the sight of that crazy bundle in his arms made her feel sick, thinking of what must surely follow.

What they both knew about the ballads and the stories, what everyone knows: the love between a selkie and a human always ends badly.


Read on the AO3.

Reccers for April

Hello everyone,

We're still looking for reccers for the next month. As you probably all know you only need to post three recs total. Doable, right? :)

If you're interested please leave us a comment in the sign-up thread.

/mod announcement

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Art Rec: Dream #11 by MarionPoinsot34

Title: Dream #11
Artist: MarionPoinsot34
Pairing: Gen (mostly)
Length: 1 page
Rating: PG
Warnings: None
Verse: Sherlock BBC / Star Wars / Harry Potter crossover
Author's summary:
French video version : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_UJAcUBSzg
With : Sherlock, Watson, Darth Vader, Admiral Thrawn, Dumbledore, Voldemort, Gellert Grindelwald
Location : London

Reccer's comments:
Here is a wonderfully cracky crossover comic-fic, to lighten things up after my last rec. This little tale is based on a dream the artist had, and is accordingly fairly bizarre (in a good way). If you ever wondered what might happen in a universe where Sherlock, Dumbledore, and Darth Vader are all real people, you can find out here!

Make sure to click the 'download' button on the right side of the page to be able to read the text.

Dream #11
Title: The Most Poetical Thing
Author: silversmith
Pairing: Gen? Pre-slash? You decide.
Length: 4,666
Rating: G
Verse: BBC
Author's summary: Sherlock loves the Underground. Other things are a bit more complicated.
Reccer's comments: Well, here's another "How on earth has this never been recced before?" moment.

Sherlock finds sounds, people, engagement overwhelming at times, and finds refuge and coherence in charts, diagrams, maps. Silversmith beautifully evokes what it means to Sherlock, as child and as adult, to organize and map the world so as to make it manageable; and if you happen also to love maps and other illustrations of organized data, you'll be saying yes yes yes to yourself the entire time you're reading, the way you do when someone illuminates a book or a piece of music that you love but don't know how to express why you love it.

So Sherlock's system for managing the world serves him perfectly well, and then along comes (surprise?) John Watson. No, Sherlock's system doesn't fail him -- that's not what happens, at all. :^)

An excerpt:
Everything is confusing, but diagrams can make it better. Sherlock lies on the lawn and sees too many things: a hundred thousand blades of grass, all slightly different; trees sketched out in innumerable crooked lines; a beetle that crawls round and round in random meaningless patterns that seem to be burnt on the backs of his eyeballs. It makes him feel like he’s going to explode: there is too much of everything, all inside his head, and why, why is it all like this? He feels wildly unhappy, so he drums his hands and feet against the ground and screams to drown it out.

When he is tired of this, he goes to his room (reassuringly sparse and quiet). He makes a map of the garden so that he can look at it instead of the real thing, and in place of all the squiggles and mess, he draws everything as neat lines and squares.

“You can’t do that, Sherlock,” says Mycroft impatiently.



Read on the AO3.

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