More Alternate Realities

There’s been some really outstanding work over at FanFiction.net that I wanted to draw some attention to.   It is amazing to me how many really dedicated and enthusiastic creative writers there are among Chuck fandom.   I know we all are most concerned with the happenings of the actual show  and all things we consider canon.   As a military history buff who occasionally enjoys alternative history,  I often find it fascinating to look at some creative variations on Chuck orthodoxy.   The most obvious reason is it’s just plain fun.   It also can be an exercise to look at what situations and issues are interesting to other fans  and explore what problems may arise with particular situations.

A new writer (first published story this March) has been of particular interest to me.   He goes by ninjaVanish (http://www.fanfiction.net/u/2274784/ninjaVanish) and is currently working on his second story.   He started with Chuck and Sarah vs. The Bunker.  The story is set about a year in the future and opens with Sarah in a hospital bed having just given birth to her and Chuck’s daughter.  But she’s restrained,  under NSA guard,  and Chuck and her newborn daughter are missing.    The writer shows quickly he is good at exciting action sequences and suspense.   The bulk of the story has to do with Chuck and Sarah’s efforts to re-unite their family,  and includes a couple of chapters of back history about their time in hiding off the grid.

Of greater interest to me is the prequel story he is currently working on.   Its called Chuck and Sarah vs. Themselves.    It is a detailed well thought out  retelling of season 3.   Starting with the infamous Prague train station scene that Chuck and Sarah carefully staged to convince the authorities they were no longer an item it continues to parallel the episodes of S3 with some amusing twists such as  convincing Hannah that Chuck had slept with her!!   Shaw is largely a non-issue, so far, but we’re only just past events of  Fake Name.  I’ll be fascinated at how this unfolds.   We know escaping together is the goal they are working towards and as a prequel we also know the ending point leads to Chuck and Sarah married, pregnant, and off the grid   (that’s the earliest “flashbacks” of the first story).  That end still seems a long ways off.

You all may know I read and enjoy a lot of fan fiction.   NinjaVanish stands out as imaginative and a good story teller.   Not to mention,  he’s telling a story many of us wish we’d seen on the screen.   He is very good with action sequences  and seems to understand weapons and tactics better than the show writers.   I do have to add a few warnings though  many of us old farts would call his content a hard “R” for sex, violence, and language.   It could never air on broadcast television as written.   I’m probably least bothered by the violence,  some of the harsh language seems out of character (OK,  they can’t really swear much on TV), especially from Chuck,  and the fairly explicit sexual content is between a husband and wife.   But I do wish he’d tone it down just a bit.   The site has its own ratings system and the material is rated “T”,  it is short of the pornographic qualification for an “M”;  but that makes it a very hard “T”.    All this means to me is,  while I love ninjaVanish’s work;  many may find it too course,  so keep that in mind.   I will add a link to ninjaVanish’s FanFiction home page,  check it out if the warnings don’t concern you!

Last time I posted on this topic I mentioned Billatwork.   He has been an occasional visitor to this site  and remains a fun and prolific writer.   He is now 17 chapters into his “Dark Intersect” story;  which is his 19th story overall  and 5th of his epic “negotiation” arc that picks up way back after the end of episode 2.11 and the infamous Mauser shooting.   His writing truly takes on a mythology of its own and I don’t know anyone else who combines convoluted schemes and character driven stories in such a satisfying way.   In his current story,  we finally encounter the Intersect 2.0.  Unfortunately,  it’s a survivor from the recently destroyed Fulcrum who is the first 2.0.

I continue to recommend Billatwork’s writing very highly.  The rating, while still a “T”, is a bit softer.    If you read anything by Billatwork or ninjaVanish be sure to leave a short review.  They seem to get excited to know anyone is paying attention to them.   And speak up here if you have other favorite fanfic writers,  whatever the future of the show,   there will be creative fans adding to the mythology for a long time to come.

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About atcDave

I'm 53 years old and live in Ypsilanti, Michigan. I'm happily married to Jodie. I've been an air traffic controller for 30 years; grew up in the Chicago area, and am still a fanatic for pizza and the Chicago Bears. My main interest is military history, and my related hobbies include scale model building and strategy games.
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26 Responses to More Alternate Realities

  1. weaselone says:

    There are a number of excellent writers at the site and there’s pretty much something for everyone. Plus you can dig back and discover some decent one shots and short series from early in the show’s life.

    • atcdave says:

      Yeah, there really is so much to choose from. I like a lot of the S1 spin-offs. They are often simpler and sweeter. Marlin seems to have inspired a large number of deeply romantic pieces. No surprise that a lot of S3 inspired material is darker and sadder.

  2. Blake says:

    One fanfic that is have to recommend is “Chuck Versus the Second Chance”. It’s the only fanfic I have read I ended up stumbling apart across it during the break waiting for “Chuck Versus the Honeymooners.” Someone on this board I had it on their website and I ended up reading the whole thing even though it was long, almost 50 chapters. It was really good though it is an AU where Chuck and Sarah ended up reuniting after 5 years apart from each others and goes from there. I ended up being very caught up in it and had never read a fanfic before, but it kept my attention throughout the entire length of it. Here is the link for it: http://www.fanfiction.net/s/5353869/1/Chuck_vs_the_Second_Chance

    • atcdave says:

      Another shorter story, in the same vein, is Chuck vs. the Missing Years. Its an S2 AU where Chuck has had brain surgery to remove the Intersect, and ends up with 5 years of no memories. I know it sounds cliche, but it combines some interesting detective work; and of course, falling in love with the same person all over again…

      • atcdave says:

        I know its weird to respond to yourself, but my last post reminds me of an oddly similar piece; Chuck vs. the Missing Memories. It starts in almost exactly the same spot, Chuck awakening in a hospital with no memories (10 years in this case). It is a much sweeter, sillier piece though. Little angst, a fun adventure, but mainly about Chuck and Sarah.

    • joe says:

      Hi, Blake.

      Just had a strange reaction. After reading what Dave and you wrote, I realize that I have the potential to get caught up in this.

      Would it take away or enhance the canon, do you think?

      • atcdave says:

        That’s an interesting question Joe. It enhances what we know to be true in several ways. By exploring different ideas, outcomes, twists, etc. it makes it easier to see what the key moments and issues are; at least according to other fans. With many of the longer, more involved stories, it is crucial to know WHEN it breaks from the series. So you get an AU (alternate universe) based on a particular decision or event. Of course some writers take huge liberties with characters and other details; which is sometimes a deal breaker to me, other times that’s the whole point of the fic, and the results can be a lot of fun.

        It sure can be time consuming. but like all things Chuck, it also can be a lot of fun. My recommendations for starters would be (by no means complete)

        Chuck vs. the Negotiation (billatwork)
        Chuck vs. the Fake Relationship (billatwork)
        Sarah vs. the Long Flight (GoChuckGo)
        Chuck and Sarah vs. the Bunker (ninjaVanish)
        Chuck vs. the Missing Years (malamoo)

        And yes, I like romantic fluff.

    • Crumby says:

      Chuck vs. the Second Chance has been my favorite so far.

      Chuck vs. the Missing Years was by the same author. It’s really good too. And Chuck vs the Long Days and Nights is its sequel great as well.

  3. Blake says:

    Hey Joe,

    I read the whole thing and got very engrossed in it. I think it does not detract from the canon. What I thought was interesting, is it takes these characters that you are very familiar with and just begins to tell a story. Things pick up very quickly because you don’t need to take the time to be introduced to the Chuck and Sarah because you are already very familiar with them. However at the same time that I recognized the Chuck and Sarah that we know from the show, I realized they were not exactly the same as the ones that I was reading about, but rather character templates to quickly build a story from. Honestly I have only read that single fanfiction, mostly as way to occupy myself during the 3 week hiatus. Now that I have finished reading the story, I do not find it difficult at all to separate that story as a different entity from the show itself, so in that regard I do not think it detracts from the cannon. It also help that the story takes place in a storyline that broke from out current one about midway through season two so that makes it easier to separate the stories in my mind. I don’t plan though on reading much more fanfiction, so I have limited experience on how reading extensive amount of it would effect how you view the actual cannon of the show. In that regards I would defer to Dave’s opinion.

  4. Aardvark7734 says:

    No “Chuck” Fanfiction list could possibly do justice to the wealth of great authors and stories on that site, but I can mention some authors and works that I have been personally inspired by.

    Malamoo (http://www.fanfiction.net/u/1774747/malamoo)
    with Missing Years, Long Days and Nights, Then and Now. I think she’s a writing savant – good scenes and dialogue just pour out of her. Love her work but she wields angst like a scalpel.

    Sharpasamarble (http://www.fanfiction.net/u/1516507/sharpasamarble) Just everything. IMO, the most logical, detailed plots, bar none, in the “Chuckverse”. Smart and realistic characters. The Sarah interrogation scene in Scavenger Hunt will be forever engraved on my brain.

    Altonish (http://www.fanfiction.net/u/1768981/Altonish) Chuck vs the Doldrums – A classic story with an amazing “Sarah rips her heart out for Chuck on the beach” chapter that I will never forget.

    Brickroad16 (http://www.fanfiction.net/u/1440214/brickroad16) Collide is her showpiece, a collection of stories that won best fic among other awards on the FF “Chuck” forums. My favorite, though, is the “Funeral” chapter of Seven Times. Read it and be transported.

    GoldenGirl (http://www.fanfiction.net/u/105005/GoldenGirl) The Words Written on his Chest, A Series of Dreams. ‘Words’ contains a dark and truly heart-wrenching secret that drives Chuck into a vengeance he cannot deny himself. ‘Dreams’ is a post S2 AU with some startlingly prescient scenes (bo sticks, anyone?)

    Ne71 (http://www.fanfiction.net/u/1419578/ne71) Chuck vs the Premium Drunk, Chuck vs Knowing, Chuck vs the Emoticon – None of these are to be missed, they’re all classics and I think ‘Drunk’ won one of the “Chuck” Fanfic awards for comedy.

    Course Jester (http://www.fanfiction.net/u/1604408/Course_Jester) Sarah vs Fulcrum’s Transdimensional Killer Cold, Chuck vs Eleven Roses, Sarah vs the Squire of Buymoria – Alternately funny and heartwarming, CJ is an intense romantic at heart and it shows. You’ll go “awww” at some point in one of these stories, guaranteed.

    Notorious JMG (http://www.fanfiction.net/u/1293524/Notorious_JMG) Chuck vs the Beautiful Letdown, Chuck in a Moment – ‘Letdown’ has a soul-rending early scene of Chuck watching Sarah leap off a bridge that left an indelible mark on my brain. Both of these are Veronica Mars crossovers, for those that like that show. Like me. 😉

    Liam2 (http://www.fanfiction.net/u/407330/Liam2)
    Chuck vs the Road to Innocence – One of the most vivid original characters ever introduced in a fanfic: Rachel, the bold, aggressive yet endearing agent who kidnaps Chuck and ultimately becomes both Sarah’s biggest booster as well as competition for Chuck’s attentions.

    Farrington Girl (http://www.fanfiction.net/u/873387/Farringtongirl) Chuck and Sarah versus the Projectiles, Chuck and Sarah vs the Force Field – Ahh, feel good pieces from S1-S2 time frame with very memorable scenes, including the one in ‘Projectiles’ when Chuck borrows a knife from Sarah in a very public moment – I’m not doing this justice, you just have to read it.

    Mystlynx (http://www.fanfiction.net/u/1746908/Mystlynx) Chuck vs the Demon, Chuck vs Obiwan Kenobi – ‘Demon’ has an awesomely affecting hospital scene with Chuck addressing his family from a video will. Caution: WILL generate tears. ‘Obiwan’ is just sweet, sweet, sweet. But, you know, I have a sweet tooth.

    Truthseekr (http://www.fanfiction.net/u/1784848/truthseekr) Chuck vs the Burning Man, Chuck vs the Twilight Zone – Very quirky and different take on the show, but with high entertainment value. High humor content (and Ferrets too!).

    and finally, just because this list has grown enormous, one more author I have to mention:

    Frea O’Scanlin (http://www.fanfiction.net/u/2256498/Frea_OScanlin) What Fates Impose, To Resist Both Wind and Tide – An ambitious and wildly entertaining retelling of the Chuck series starting back at the beginning of S1, these are companion pieces, ‘Fates’ from Chuck’s viewpoint and ‘Wind’ from Sarah’s. Frea strikes a perfect balance between original story and characters/places from the show, leaving you feeling both comfortable with the situation and simultaneously charmed by the unexpected turns. If you like the “Chuck” premise, you’ll like this story – and if you loved S1, you’ll *love* this story.

    I’m not going to re-mention NinjaVarnish since Dave already did (oh wait, I just did), but I’m up-to-date on ‘Themselves’ and he’s right, it’s excellent.

    Again, if I left anyone out of the above list, it doesn’t mean you’re not doing tremendous work. But this list had to stop somewhere. 😉

    [ed: Sorry this got put automagically in the mod. bin, Aardvark. Sadly, Wordpad questions comments with lotz-o-links. – joe]

    • atcdave says:

      I wondered if you were the same Aardvark I’d seen with a story at fanfiction.net; I guess so!

      Thanks for a more comprehensive list, you’ve remembered a lot of stories I’d forgotten all about. Some great comments there too. Malamoo does love angst, yet she tends to wrap things up nicely. NE71 seems to capture a lot of the humor of the show, which I think is very difficult for an amatuer writer.

      Of course, now you’ve stolen my material for the next couple posts….

      • Aardvark7734 says:

        No problem, Dave. I hope readers here have a chance to check out at least some of these stories – many are short and can be read during a lunch break (like ne71’s ‘Emoticons’ or FarringtonGirl’s ‘Projectiles’ or one of brickroad16’s self-contained chapters in ‘Collide’).

        As to stealing your material, well… there’s lots of great fic I couldn’t even get to in that post. And with an inter-season break coming, maybe you could do a reoccurring piece covering the works of each author in more depth? The NinjaVarnish focus you took here is a good template, I think.

      • atcdave says:

        I was kidding about the poaching. If we end up with an off season that may be exactly what I do. I spread my reading out over so long I don’t even remember some of my earlier favorites, so it might be fun research to start doing mini-reviews on a lot of storys. There have been many that left me drained or grinning ear to ear. The only thing is, interest here seems slim. This is the second time I’ve broached the topic, and it gets little response. But I like fan fiction, so I will bring it up at least occasionally.

      • Aardvark7734 says:

        Yep, yep. Got that you were kidding, honest. 😉

        But in the middle of returning the quip I got the idea about the regular reviews and just wedged it in there.

        This is what happens when your brain is faster than your fingers!

    • Crumby says:

      What Fates Impose and To Resist Both Wind and Tide are really great.

  5. BDaddyDL says:

    Ya know I dont think I have ever been as peeved with the members of this board then right now. 30 minutes ago I was perfectly happy about to go to sleep, let me just check the board out. Now I dont want to stop READING!

    • Aardvark7734 says:

      Heh.

      Think you’re peeved now? Wait until my previous post makes it through the mod filter.

      Just remember I said I was sorry in advance!

    • joe says:

      Trust me, DBaddy. We’re not immune either. 😉

      Sleep? Whaz dat?

    • weaselone says:

      Pace yourself. You’ll need the stories to fill the break should Chuck get a 4th season.

    • atcdave says:

      I’m happy to do my part to rob you all of a good nights sleep! (trust me, its happened to me).

    • BDaddyDL says:

      I finished Chuck vs the second chance last night. I know I was supposed to pace myself, but could not with that story. It has plenty of “angst” but it is adult grown up angst.
      For anyone who has been married for a long time, and has dealt with the trials that it can sometime bring, there are a lot of familiar pain and joy in it. in the end a great story.

      I also think that what happens in the story is what would have happened without season 3.

      • atcdave says:

        I don’t think things would have necessarily played out that way, but I do agree it is a more adult handling of angst. That’s one area where I think the fanfics regularly do better than the show, creating angst and tension without cheezy triangles.

  6. Mclovin says:

    Afternoon joe. Is there a specific place in this blog where we can make general comments that don’t relate to a particular topic? Peace.

  7. Pingback: 2010 Awesome Awards: Steven J. Bartowski Memorial Award for Best Feature-Length Story « Crumby's

  8. anitaak says:

    It’s tickled to be part of this online community! I hankering to undergo a lotof late friends here! discuss items and go through other community members

    • atcDave says:

      Well welcome to the site anitaak! We always look forward to having new visitors and their comments.

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