We still have almost four months until we start the final season of Chuck, but a big part of the appeal of fan fiction is that we can get new Chuck stories all summer. I imagine at this point most readers at this site have long ago decided if fan fiction was for them or not; but I would encourage anyone still on the fence to take the plunge. For myself, I wasn’t interested in anything non-canon at first. I gradually started reading a few stories by people who I knew as regular contributers at the NBC forums, and found myself reading quite a bit during that long break break between S2 and S3. It really did help keep the setting and characters fresh in my mind during the long break.
After the jump I’ll have my usual assortment of recommendations.
Anyone who’s read one of these posts before knows I’m a big fan of NinjaVanish’s work. He recently finished his very long and exciting “Chuck and Sarah vs. Themselves”, and has now been concentrating on his second project “Chuck vs. the Frontier”. This is a complete AU. All the familiar characters are present, often in fun and different roles. The closest parallel to this I know of would be “The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.” It has a fun archaic sci-fi/fantasy feel to it. Chuck is a watchmaker working in the 1890s in the shop owned by his father. We discover his dad is working on something very unusual when a beautiful Secret Service agent comes snooping around (gee, guess who…) The story quickly launches into something wild and exciting. This version of Chuck is intelligent and industrious, but has nothing like the Intersect 2.0; so while Chuck might be a little more vulnerable than we’ve seen for a while, this version of Sarah more than makes up the difference, and may be the most dangerous Sarah we’ve seen in any story (or at least she’s the only one to routinely carry a brace of six-shooters and a wakazashi!)
Like any NinjaVanish story we get a good blend of clever storytelling, humor, and explosive action. How easily the basic Chuck tale is converted to something like steam punk is highly entertaining. This story is already quite long, I would allow a couple days to finish the 27 chapters currently posted, and the author has indicated 6 or so more until he finishes. He has already finished a couple of lengthy stories so I think the chance of this one being completed is very high. I would rate this story PG-13, or maybe barely R. The violence is occasionally intense; but I’d say there’s nothing objectionable for language or sex, unless you’re easily offended by Victorian vulgarities.
My next recommendation is “Chuck versus the Do Over” by Louzeyre. Some of you may recognize the author as a sometimes commenter on this site. The story starts with a simple, but somewhat heart-wrenching event of Chuck being sent 10 years back in time, just a few weeks before his and Sarah’s wedding. So he finds himself back at Stanford, rooming with Bryce. The story advances quickly to get up to where the series started in 2007, but many of the gaps of what Chuck has done differently this time around will be filled in as the story unfolds. The basic idea here is; what would Chuck do differently and try to fix with a do over? The really fascinating part of this story is how things don’t always work as expected. So some events clearly work out for the better, while others certainly do not. The situation with Sarah is painful at first, but trust me, it does get better (I mean, how exactly would you tell Sarah your last serious relationship was with alternate reality Sarah…).
The story is currently novel length (nearly 100K words, as are many of the stories I recommend) and approaching the end of the S1 time frame. I believe the intent is to continue for quite some time yet, but as fun as this ride as been that is good news! I would give this story a PG rating, for the usual Chuck reasons; but nothing very graphic.
My last multi-parter this time will be “A Common Spy Problem” by KateMcK. This story picks up from an obvious crisis point in canon; Chuck and Sarah get a little carried away while washing off the Kool-Aid (shower scene from “Fat Lady”). This is a well thought out look at what a serious Chuck/Sarah relationship might have been like in the S2 time frame. And as an added bonus we see Sarah really fighting for it; she’s trying to sell Beckman on leaving the team alone and avoiding a 49B. Those who have ever read Kate’s work will know some of what to expect here; she does a wonderful job of taking her thesis idea, and meshing it into the actual episodes we saw. Although there’s nothing subtle about this one, in some stories Kate gives the reader gradual breaks from canon that snowball as the story goes; this one is more of an avalanche, she makes a sharp break from canon at the very start.
This story is much shorter than the others and could be read in a couple hours. It also is not done yet, but Kate does have a good record of finishing her tales and I expect this one to wrapped up over the summer. It would be rated PG-13 for the actions of an affectionate couple.
I often try to include a one-shot when I post. These are the shorter tales that can be read in a single sitting. A few weeks ago, jaytoyz proposed his Shate challenge; that is, stories celebrating extreme dislike for the bane of S3. Sometimes referred to as Shaw snuff fiction. I know, sounds kind of sick; but most of the responses to the challenge have been appropriately tongue in cheek. One response to the challenge really caught my attention was “Shaw vs. The Reader” by yvonnefan. It is essentially a fun joke with a good punchline. It could be read in 5 minutes and would be rated G. It is the least violent snuff story you will ever see.
As always, these stories can all be found by looking under the fan fiction header on the right column of this page. The atcDave/favorites link will take you to my favorites list that contains all of these stories and many more. I expect to do a few more of these posts in the next few months, and hope to hear from other readers during this break too!