February 3rd, 2019

Anya final stand, S7

fic recs: original works

This is an oddball array of recs. Most posted to AO3, but one not.

SCP-1733 - The SCP is a wiki-like horror fiction project where people write "articles" describing strange and eerie objects in the possession of an archive and research institute. This one's a personal fav - a very nifty twist on the time-honored Groundhog Day/time loop trope, with bonus sports.

The Course of Honour by [archiveofourown.org profile] Avoliot
117k, m/m, political marriage fic in space with a charming party boy, a serious-minded woobie, and all the pining the heart could want. Also plot! I got to read this as a WIP, and man it was so much fun. (CW for significant focus on the woobie's history of emotional abuse.)

Blackbird Claw, Raven Wing by [archiveofourown.org profile] Violsva
3.6, f/f, political marriage. Princess Catarina is dismissed to rural seclusion, and makes it her own. I especially enjoy femslash that's a bit more on the melancholy side, and I really enjoy how this one balances the melancholy with the romance with Catarina coming into her own.

the only game in town by [archiveofourown.org profile] thisbluespirit
16k, m/f, snowed in, hurt/comfort. A gentle romance centered around two strangers trying to be kind to each other. I loved the retro feel of it - it's set in 1960s England, and it very much feels like a novel from that era or perhaps slightly earlier.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Comment here or there. (comment count unavailable DW replies)
Anya final stand, S7

I guess I'm a horror fan?

At some point in the past five years or so I've taken a hard swerve into horror as a genre. I've sought out more horror canons than in the rest of my life combined. And I... am not sure why? I've found myself craving stories about fucked-up people in fucked-up situations. Maybe too much tropey hockey RPF romance? I'm not sure that can explain all of it, though. I've always been a late bloomer, so maybe now in my mid-30s I'm hitting my edgy teen phase.

Now, consuming a lot of horror doesn't mean I LIKE that much of it, and a lot of what I do like might better be categorized as horror-adjacent. A non-exhaustive list of stuff I've loved recently:
* The Magnus Archives
* The Terror (TV)
* The Awakening (2011)
* I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House (2016)
* A Quiet Place (2018)
* The Haunting of Hill House - Shirley Jackson (although I've loved this for longer than five years)
* The Haunting of Hill House (TV)
* Castle Rock (TV)
* The Elementals - Michael McDowell
* Fallen London (some people count this as horror? the horror elements are my favorite parts, anyway)
* The Innsmouth Legacy - Ruthanna Emrys (again, is this even horror at all? IDK but I adore the melancholy and the worldbuilding, especially in the first book - there's something incredibly soothing about the timescales on which Aphra's people are accustomed to thinking)

Stuff I have tried and not loved, but found interesting:
* The Babadook (2014)
* The Descent (2005)
* Teeth (2007)
* Sleepaway Camp (1983)
* It Follows (2014)
* Ravenous (1999)
* The Witch (2015)
* Bird Box (2018)
* Get Out (2018)
* Annihilation (2018)
* Ginger Snaps (2000)
* Tag (2015)
* The Silenced (2015)
* Alien, Aliens, and Alien: Resurrection
* The Ballad of Black Tom - Victor Lavelle
* The Winter People - Jennifer McMahon (this actually was fucking awesome except for all the racism!!)
* The Southern Reach trilogy (tbh I kind of hated this, but at least now I know what's in it)

I've never called myself a horror fan before, though, because I'm so incredibly picky about it. I have no interest in gore, torture-porn, or slasher, and I also don't like jump moments very much, which really cuts out a lot of the genre!

I do like horror comedy (which Ravenous kind of is, and older favorites like The Frighteners and Black Sheep definitely are). I like horror focused on women. I like historical horror and horror that has a really strong sense of place and setting. I love body horror, although that generally seems to be more an element than a genre of its own. I love horror where the horror is in the ideas as much as or more than the execution; I'm more interested in horror that follows you to the fridge than horror that's solely an experience in the moment. I love stories with horror elements that are less about those elements than about the characters they impact (see: the Haunting of Hill House show). I prefer horror that has some kind of speculative element in it, which to me is a key difference between horror and thrillers.

On the whole I think prose is a better medium for horror for me than movies, but I haven't had a ton of luck actually finding prose horror I want. OTOH I love horror takes on my non-horror fandoms and wish there was more fic like that out there. Being invested in the characters before the horror begins goes a long way, for me.

I don't really have a conclusion here. Taste in fiction - how does it work?

Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Comments welcome over there. (comment count unavailable DW replies)