Yes, I’ll call this anything to get some attention…
I’m not sure if this will be the last go around for reviews before the show returns October 28th. But I do know there’s always some fun stuff we can talk about. This remains a mostly slow summer for new fan fiction, but the quality of what is being published remains high. So this time I will look at a mix of old and new offerings.
My last post at ChuckThis was a review of Phase 3. That post generated some discussion about alternate endings, especially if more long term consequences would have been a good idea. Although I remain firmly convinced the ending we saw was the best possible one, I have seen some alternate takes that are interesting and fun. A recent attempt is called “Chuck versus Phase Two and a Half” by Shipper-For-Life. In this story Chuck has lost all of his memories since he downloaded the original Intersect, before he is rescued at the end of “Phase Three”. The story does present itself primarily as a romance, so the main focus is going to be that Chuck no longer knows Sarah. It is so far four chapters long and could be read in less than an hour. The author ranks it a “T”, which corresponds to about a PG-13; so far there is nothing objectionable, and while it doesn’t seem likely to get violent it may get moderately steamy in later chapters.
Another darker and more intense exploration of this theme is “Sarah Vs Phase Three” by SicklyRaven. In this story, the team is way too late, and Chuck has apparently had all his personality and memories stripped away leaving only a living Intersect. So this starts with Chuck in protective custody at Castle and Sarah distraught (and alone) at home. In short, the beginning is complete desolation. When Sarah hears the government has decided Chuck is now a hopeless case and dangerous, and therefore to be terminated; she shakes herself from her funk to try and fix things. This presents a very difficult journey, far darker than anything they would actually do on the show; but ultimately interesting and satisfying in its own way. I’ll spill it right here, this story ends hopeful, but all is not right yet. For those who wanted to explore some of the more difficult and challenging possibilities “Phase Three” presented this story is an excellent effort. This story would be rated PG, not for any specific content, just for some difficult subject matter. It will take a little more than an hour to read.
Next up I’d like to look at a real oldie. Now for the record, I started reading fan fiction between S2 and S3, so I tend to regard anything finished at the time I started reading as an oldie! So when I’m talking about a story finished before S2 even started I call it a “real oldie!” There is so much background and back-story that wasn’t known to us yet, it is sometimes challenging to read older works and remember how much the writers didn’t know at the time. But I always think it also makes some of the vision and passion these writers had at such an early stage that much more remarkable. So the story I’m recommending today is “Only Two Options” by LeeCan. Those who are familiar with LeeCan will know he was one of the early heavy angst writers in the fandom. If you’re thinking “I’m surprised Dave would recommend something by LeeCan” I’d say you’re almost right. But keep in mind a couple things; for starters, I do give most stories a chance to catch my interest (sometimes that chance doesn’t go very far!) and LeeCan is a very good writer. Secondly, LeeCan pointedly describes this story as having “a little less angst” than is usual for him. It will still get pretty tense in places, but this really is a pretty relaxed and sentimental look at a developing relationship between Chuck and Sarah set sometime after Marlin. The writer makes some assumptions about Sarah, like her coming from a respectable family well used to sacrificing for the greater good, that are directly contrary to what we later learned in cannon. And its a lot of fun to read such an early epic. We get a fun story with a good mix of humor, action and romance. In addition, its sort of a time capsule for fan attitudes way back before S2 even started. This story would be rated PG-13 for a mix of moderately violent and sexual situations. It can be read in about four hours.
For a one-shot I’ll recommend something kind of different. Jaytoyz is a newer writer to the fandom, he’s been active for less than a year. He has a sort of comic rambling style. Some of his longer works are amusing, and clearly not burdened by a detailed outline. But he’s written a few one-shots that really highlight his strengths. These are a series featuring “Mr. Grumpy Pants.” The stories are all based in jaytoyz own AU known as the “Swimmerverse.” Without going into too much detail, let’s just say its AU from the very start as Chuck and Sarah end up engaged and expecting twins almost as soon as they meet. If you can’t guess, “Mr Grumpy Pants” is the name used by the Bartowski twins for their frequent babysitter, John Casey. The main story is fun in its own way, and features many eccentric twists like Carina Miller finding that Morgan is her true love. But for today, I’m just going to recommend two of the funnier Mr Grumpy Pants tales; “Mr Grumpy Pants Comes to Breakfast” and “Mr Grumpy Pants Goes to the Movies.” Each can be read in 15 or 20 minutes, and would be rated PG for some mild language and innuendo.
Several stories I’ve recommended before have been updating. Billatwork’s epic “The Long Road Back” updates weekly at least.
Ersk4’s S2 AU “Chuck vs The Jill Ride” has been both fun and tense, and is now clearly nearing the end. Chapter 9 was particularly satisfying.
A big surprise recently was a new chapter in Tynianrex’s “Chuck vs The Pond” after many months of inactivity. This may well be the darkest story I ever loved.
You all know Uplink2, his story “Chuck vs Life, Love & Lies” has been updating once a week or more. It has been exciting and a lot of fun. It is an AU of S3, which I’m sure you all realize I see the need for! So far Chuck is still confined to training in a bunker, separated from Sarah and Casey. But he’s starting to figure out how the Intersect works. This story looks like it will have lots of good intrigue and adventure, and a Chuck and Sarah who clearly know what they want from each other!
Last time I recommended “Chuck vs The Sound of Music” by Quistie64. Well I’m going to recommend it again because this piece is wonderful! If you aren’t reading it yet, get started now!!! I think this may be the most appealing depiction of Sarah Walker in all fan fiction (something about being all mama bear for Chuck AND seven children), and the story remains fun and funny. The most recent chapter introduced Jill as the Baroness; except I think the original Baroness was a much more sympathetic figure!
Well this was fun, we’ll do it again sometime, I promise. As always, all these recommendations and many more can be found by clicking “atcDave/favorites.”