Seems like its been too long since I wrote about this topic. Believe it or not, that’s partly good news. There has been a lot of fan fiction being written this summer, and frankly I’ve spent a lot of time behind the curve. It really gets quite challenging when you’re following a dozen or more stories at a time, especially when they’re all Chuck stories and often exploring similar themes.
For this post, I’m not going to review anything old; every story I review will be a new work. I find that exciting!
I’ll start with a few updates. Several previously mentioned stories are still ongoing. “Chuck vs The Rome Assignment” by fogh has taken a longer, more thoughtful route on restoring the central relationship after things bottomed out in Final Exam. The later chapters finally have our featured couple together as they actually deal with the difficult issue of Chuck killing somebody. If you’ve been waiting for it, this story is very satisfying now as it deals with the hard issues. Updates are often several weeks apart; but this story is well crafted and very worthwhile read.
The funny thing is, I’m also enjoying “The Long Road Back” by Billatwork. Which, in spite of a lighter tone, was coincidently overlapping with Rome Assignment in several key ways. At one point; we had Shaw kidnap Ellie in Rome Assignment while Shaw had kidnapped Devon in Long Road Back. In both stories, Sarah was somewhat out of favor with Orion and had to regain his trust. It is interesting how, in spite of such superficial similarities, the feel and mood of both stories is so different. Rome Assignment is heavier and more serious feeling, while Long Road Back is more light and fun. I enjoy both stories a lot; but its funny how things can be so different and so similar at the same time. Long Road Back updates at least once a week.
“Chuck vs The Frontier” by NinjaVanish also continues. I’d say the last few chapters have been a lot of fun, but really this story has been from the start. It is moving towards the climax now, and will likely be done by the end of the summer.
Also previously reviewed, “Chuck versus the Do Over” by Louzeyre is now technically “complete”; but the writer has dove straight into the sequel, “Chuck versus The Fish Out of Temporal Water” which picks up after the destruction of Fulcrum while moving into the post season one time frame. Thanks to Chuck using knowledge from already having lived through this, the battle against various baddies usually runs ahead of “the first time around”. But the farther we go, the more different the time streams are. This story updates fairly rapidly and remains a good read.
A few new stories have started this summer too. At one point I was worried this might not be the case. Things seemed to slow down for a few months, and several established writers have clearly lost their enthusiasm or inspiration as output has slowed down. But a few new writers have stepped into the breach, and some good new stuff is coming out now.
First up, is the only complete story I’ll look at this time. “Sarah vs The New Car” by Quistie64 can only be described as fluff, but very fun fluff. It is set in the aftermath of “CAT Squad” and tells the story of Sarah’s quest to replace her destroyed Porsche on a rather limited budget. At least limited when we consider her taste seems to run towards European super-cars. This leads to one of the standard assumptions in fan fiction that is inferred from canon but never stated. We assume, because Sarah drove a Porsche (and now a Lotus), that Sarah takes her cars very seriously. Its possible, she is only driving whatever cool looking car she can pick up off a government impound lot. But almost since the beginning of the series, we all assume Sarah is a serious driving enthusiast. Not that that’s an unreasonable assumption, but it is amusing to me how universal this assumption is. Every fan fiction I’ve ever read that mentions Sarah’s car refers to the great affection she has for it and passion she has for driving. Well, “New Car” takes this idea to the highest level. Sarah receives much unsolicited and amusing advice from friends and family as she seeks out a new ride. And in the end, Chuck provides valuable help from the Intersect, combined with Sarah’s professional skills, to get a great deal on the perfect vehicle. This is a fun story of no particular consequence. It would be rated PG for some suggestive dialogue and language; and could be read in under an hour.
Next up is “Chuck vs Guns, OnTheRun, and Big Blasty Explosions” by Dontfreakout. This story is a complete AU. It starts with Chuck leaving the hospital after visiting Ellie; when he encounters an unknown blonde in the parking garage who is apparently being mugged. Being the good guy that he is, Chuck lends a hand, only to get drawn into the fight, shoot-out, and car chase that follows. While this story does have a plot, and some Chuck/Sarah romance; it is an action piece first and foremost. Fast paced, lots of fun, and well written I recommend this story highly. I would currently rate it PG-13 for a multitude of reasons. So far it would take a couple hours to read, but I really have no clue how much longer it might go.
Next, “Chuck vs The Three Day Tour” by Michael66. This is set after season two’s “Break Up”. Chuck and Sarah are sent to Australia for a special assignment, but end up in a plane crash and stranded on an island together. Sarah is somewhat injured in the crash and so far is only marginally useful. Chuck however, has demonstrated more camping/survival skills than we might have expected. This story is only three chapters in, so I’m taking a gamble on if I’ll really like it or not. But it is very well written, the adventure is fun, and it seems likely we’ll see some serious Chuck/Sarah growth as the story unfolds. So far I’d rate the story R for some rather gruesome crash imagery; it could be read in about an hour so far, but this seems likely to go quite a bit longer.
Last story for this post is “Save You Later” by mia2009. This picks up from a well used crisis point in canon; the extraction scene on the helicopter pad late in the first season’s “Marlin”. This time, Longshore does take Chuck away; leaving a very upset Sarah behind. The early setting for this story puts us in a different place than we’ve been recently. Sarah is outraged that she failed her “friend” Chuck after having asked him to trust her. She is determined to make things right, but initially isn’t sure how to do that. Casey is sympathetic, but in this early time frame is apparently unwilling to go very far to help. In fact, I suspect coming chapters will involve Casey acting on Beckman’s orders to thwart Sarah’s efforts at rescue. But this tale is in its very early stages, and apart from liking the set-up, I don’t have a clear feel for how things will unfold yet. I have some faith in this author and am willing to bet this story will continue to be a lot of fun. So far it would be rated PG for some intense themes and could be read in less than an hour. Most mia2009 stories do not run very long, so my best guess would be 2 to 3 hours worth of reading when complete, excluding any possible sequels.
As always, all of my favorites can be found by following the link to “atcDave/favorites” under the fan fiction header at right. And you can bet, we’ll be doing this again before the show returns in October!