More Summer Reading

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!

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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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36 Responses to More Summer Reading

  1. thinkling says:

    Thanks again, Dave, for giving me piles of summer reading. 🙂

  2. Verkan_Vall says:

    Thanks, Dave. I really enjoy Ninjavanish’s work; Billatwork and Louzeyre are quite good, but I haven’t even heard of the other authors you mentioned.

    Lots to read.

    • atcDave says:

      Quistie and dontfreakout are both new as Chuck writers (although I know quistie has done some beta work). Michael66 and fogh have small bodies of work, while mia2009 has been active for a while.
      It is absolutely one of the pleasures of fan fiction to find a new and talented writer. We are really blessed with the quality of talent that is drawn to Chuck. You know Chuck fans are always a cut above!

  3. lappers84 says:

    I’m working on a story that is somewhat of a continuation to Everything She Ever wanted by MySoapBox. Kind of a AU season 3, within that universe. Also hoping on carrying on with my other story Dark Hour (and since it’s been so long have rethought out the plot).

    Anyway some good suggestions there Dave. I’m enjoying a lot of those stories. Especially Rome Assignment, I’ve been hooked on that story since the first chapter. Long Road Back is another great read. I think I’ve read all of BillatWorks stories and they never fail to grip you.

    • atcDave says:

      mysoapbox is certainly a good writer and I’ve recommended her stuff a few times here. Although “Everything She Ever Wanted” is a pretty depressing one-shot based on a depressing movie I didn’t actually care for much! (“Castaway” for those who are unfamiliar). It might be interesting to see what you do by tinkering with it.

      I agree Rome Assignment is one of the best stories currently going. It was engaging from the start, and now we’re finally getting to the “pay-off” chapters, so its extra fun.
      I’ve always appreciated billatwork for a lot of reasons. Going back to late S2, he was one of the regular posters on the NBC forums I most often agreed with. So it wasn’t surprising I got into fan fiction through his work. His starting philosophy has always been that he would put Chuck and Sarah together at the start then tell the story as Chuck and Sarah vs the world. Well, long before the show was willing to go there, I found that a very appealing way of dealing with things; and have always appreciated him for that. He does use sex as a theme a little more often than I would prefer, but given that Chuck and Sarah are often married by about chapter two of his work I find that less offensive than I otherwise might(!). I also like that he is so prolific, when he gets a story going you can expect an update at least once a week; and I think its awesome to be able to count on that.

  4. Jake says:

    Two stories wort keeping an eye on are “Breaking out” by Wedpiggy and “For all that we are” by “Isabella Baxter”. They are both in their early stages, two chapters posted for each. Both stories are well written and it seams like they are going to be a lot of fun.

    I also have to mention the “Lazy summer serial” “Curtain Call” posted over at Castle Inanity. This is a collaboration between Frea and MxPw, so we know it’s going to be great.

  5. Nervert says:

    Thanks for the recommendations, Dave. I got started on NinjaVanish’s story then got distracted by work. You just reminded me to finish it.

    Also, if I’m included in the “lost inspiration or enthusiasm” I really promise I haven’t. Real life just gets in the way of writing, particularly when you get to the more technical parts of a story which you can’t just rip off in an afternoon. I promise I’m working on it though.

    • atcDave says:

      I imagine that’s among the reasons many writers give up or slow down. I know even doing posts here just comes easier on some days, or with some topics, than others. When your hobby gets to be a chore it can really slow things down. Then there’s always that whole real life intruding thing…

      I do hope you find time to get back to it, your AU has been one of the more enjoyable this last year; but you weren’t quite to the point of me giving up on you yet (now if you go a year inactive I think we have to call it over!).

      • Nervert says:

        Heh! Don’t worry. It’ll be much less than a year till I update next (probably more like a few days). The big issue was that I needed a grant to fund my research and that involved a lot of reading, writing and meetings. Fortunately, as of yesterday, I am now funded so I can stop worrying about that (of course now I have a new monster project to get started on so I’ll have to get as much writing done as possible before that happens).

      • Kate McK says:

        Dave, don’t worry. I’ve seen the first half of the next chapter of Revenge of the Bartowski and will nag Nervert to death for the rest of it 🙂

      • atcDave says:

        I’m sure we can count on Kate to do the dirty work. Nervert’s trapped now!

      • Nervert says:

        Chapter 14 is now in beta.

      • atcDave says:

        Awesome! (and we Chuck fans don’t use that term lightly) I can’t wait.

      • Nervert says:

        Okay Dave, chapter 14 is posted (thanks Kate!).

      • atcDave says:

        This Monday just gets better and better….

    • joe says:

      Oh no! It’s a plot and conspiracy hatched right here on Chuck This! to coerce Nervert to do our bidding!

      Just remember those famous words, Nervert; Resistance is Futile. 😉

  6. michael66 says:

    Dave,

    Thanks for your words of encouragement. And for the plug! 🙂

    The biggest problem I have is finding the time to actually write. The family and the job come first.

    I would like to add two stories to your list, if I may;

    The first is “Chuck and Sarah vs The Veterans” by BDaddyDL and Quistie64. Only the first chapter has been posted, but it promises to be a fun story. Yeah, this is a recommendation based on the writers’ reputations. It’s good to see BDaddyDL back again and Quistie64 is a surprose breakout. All of her stories are good reads. The ninja librarian character is such a silly concept, but once you start reading the stories, she really does fit the Chuckverse well.

    The second is “Handle Him with Care” by Lot’s Wife. A mystery of a story that revolves around a maudlin Chuck and his new handler Carina. It isn’t a Charina story yet nor am I sure it will be. The author is weaving a very nice story line. It is by no means Charah fluff.

    Oh, and leave a review; good, bad or in between. We live by them. They tell us if we have something worthwhile to continue.

    • atcDave says:

      Great to see you drop by Michael. I know writing is a time consuming hobby, it does make it difficult to make demands of you guys when I know how of my time is consumed by reading and writing here. I’m always pleased and impressed by the volume of quality fan writing we do see, and thank you very much for your latest addition.

      I really enjoyed the first chapter of bdaddy’s latest. Many will recognize him as a long time commenter here, and I have recommended much of his work. I fully expect to do a review of it in a later post, but I felt I didn’t have enough to go on after only one chapter! I’m sure most around here know I’m a pretty hardcore Charah fan; it doesn’t have to all be fluff, but I’m unlikely to plug the other story you mention. Chuck and Sarah together and happy about it is a requirement for me. It doesn’t mean other stories aren’t good or that others can’t enjoy them, but it won’t make my favorites list without Charah.

    • Amron says:

      I was doubtful about “Handle Him with Care” myself, because I don’t like Charina at all, but the mystery part is interesting…

  7. joe says:

    I like to joke around (like I did up-top), but seriously, this is good stuff. Thanks, Dave. These reviews are are becoming an amazing resource for the community.

    And I also want to thank a bunch of the writers for taking the time to read here and leaving comments! It’s great to see your names.

  8. Kate McK says:

    Hi Dave,

    Thank you for another great post. Yeah, things have slowed down a bit, but I’m sure it will pick up again as we near October. I’m also a guilty party (I know you’re not pointing fingers, just saying), ironically enough, now that I have more time for writing, I’m struck down with a case of writer’s block, but I’m slowly working my way through that, so hopefully regular updates will happen soon.

    It’s great to see new writers emerge, spicing things up a bit. Aside from the stories already recommended, I would also like to mention one from one of the established writers – Costas TT recently started ‘Chuck vs the Accidental Spy Team’, and it looks really promising. Some of the background is based on the Chuck verse he’d established in previous stories, but even if you haven’t read those, you can still follow what’s happening. And given his track record, there will be Charah.

    • atcDave says:

      Hopefully your working through your writers block! Common Spy Problem is one of my favorites of yours, and I sure enjoyed the latest update. But I really feel no basis for complaint; you, and many others, are providing a free service and I’m only a free loader.

      Yeah I’ve been enjoying “Accidental Spy Team” as well as his previous “Chuck’s Heroes”. Costas is a prolific and fun writer.
      The vast majority of Chuck stories are Charah themed to one degree or another. I think that’s a big part of the appeal of the setting for a significant number of fans. But I doubt I have to explain to you, I never really worry about where your stories might be heading…

  9. Lola says:

    Thanks for the suggestiond guys. We just lost at the Quarters of Copa America against Uruguay, and I reallyyy needed a cheer me up!

    • Amron says:

      Ya ni me digas, que la Selección Mexicana hizo el ridículo total…
      And if you want a laugh, I recommend you Chuck vs The Emoticon

      • Lola says:

        God Amron, que vamos a hacer con estas selecciones 😦 omm.
        Anyway, good suggestion vs the emoticon! I’ve read it a wile ago, but i’m going to re-read it now, because I need a laugh!

        uh,uh, Paraguay acaba de ganarle por penales a Brasil! OMG!!! Brasil is out!

  10. Rev says:

    You know the difference between “Chuck vs The Rome Assignment” and “The Long Road Back.” just goes to show that the spy aspect of the stories, is just a backdrop. Chuck, both in fanfiction and in the show finds it’s strength in being about heart, about family, friendship, etc. I don’t mean to say that the spy side of things, can’t be awesome, because well it often enough is(for example in those two stories), but that’s not what dictates the nature, or the tone of it. It should all be about the characters that we all love and care about, and their struggles to get through everything together.

    • atcDave says:

      I agree entirely. A good spy adventure is fun, but its the characters we love and that’s what keeps us coming back.

  11. Fogh says:

    Someone mentioned that you recommended my story, which really is a very humbling thing. So dave at least thanks for that. Also some great recommendations, especially save you later seems like an interesting idea. And ofcourse ninja’s stuff is amazing.

    • atcDave says:

      Yeah I recommended Rome Assignment a couple of posts back (it can still be found by going to the “categories” header at right and pulling down “fan fiction”). It is absolutely one of the best going right now.

      • atcDave says:

        Okay, my mistake. I just went back and checked and I had not done a longer review of Rome Assignment! I can only call that an oversight. It is really a wonderful work, and I will make sure to give it a longer treatment next time I post on this topic (insert Homer Simpson “Doh!”)

      • Fogh says:

        That’s okay Dave, it’s honestly amazing to get mentioned in one of your amazing posts. Before I started I’d never imagined being mentioned here.

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