Fan Fiction Reviews …and some maintenance stuff…

I could be wrong, I haven’t done a real statistical study on the subject, but it feels to me like we’ve been seeing more fan fiction activity lately.  That and a couple of big favorites have had updates since my last post here, so it looks like time for another of my recurring fan fiction review posts.  That and more, after the jump!

For starters, I have to make an administrative comment.  My favorites list has grown very large, almost 170 titles at last look.  So I did a little review and clean-up.  I removed a couple of titles that don’t reflect my taste as much as they once did. I do not wan’t to get into which titles and the exact whys of it here (if you really have any questions feel free to e-mail me through this site or PM me through my fanfiction.net page, I’m happy to answer questions privately). [In fact, I’m going to do something special here not done on this site before; but I’m telling you exactly what so no complaining!  If any comment on this post identifies a specific story that I have removed I will delete that comment.  I do not want to single out or hurt any writer or their work.]  Suffice to say all decisions were carefully considered and not the result of a single chapter I disliked.  I tried to apply a standard of asking myself if I was unhappy with the overall direction or tone of the piece; this is largely a hazard of favoriting stories that aren’t complete yet.  A couple of titles I removed remain exciting and well written, but are simply no longer to my taste.  And that is the main issue.  I really am sorry if I removed anyone else’s favorite story.  But my list is a reflection of me.  This has been brought home to me by a few comments from others who have been mining my list.  If I recommend a story I want the reader to know that means certain things.  Writing quality does matter; but mood, entertainment value, and certain thematic elements matter more.  So if I am no longer enjoying a story, or if I come to feel it has crossed certain lines I am not comfortable with, it is likely to be removed from my favorites list.

Feel free to consider me wrong. And please let the writer know if you enjoy their work.  I am truly flattered by how many readers have utilized my list, but that makes it important to me that it remains a reflection of my taste.  Now on to the fun stuff…

Let’s start with “It’s a Wonderful Cover Life” by KateMcK.  Kate is no stranger to these posts and I’ve recommended her work many times before.  This latest is a (slightly tardy!) holiday themed story.  It uses some basic settings and characters of the Chuckiverse, but is highly AU.  There will be no spies or Intersect.  It features Chuck Bartowski, Buy More Nerd Herd supervisor and single parent of a five year old (seems we’ve seen this a few times recently!)  And Sarah Walker, a wealthy heiress who recently inherited the Buy More, and wants nothing to do with it.  For reasons explained in the story Sarah needs to convince a potential buyer that she is happily married with children.  And, you guessed it, she recruits Chuck as her “husband”.  This is shamelessly borrowed from several movies, but so far has been sweet and a lot of fun.  I don’t believe it will be very long.  It is currently five chapters long and would take about 90 minutes to read.  It might be rated PG for some mild innuendo.

Next up is “Chuck vs the Master Thief” by CostasTT.  Costas has been very active recently  plugging our favorite Chuck characters into a variety of Hollywood standards.  This time around Chuck’s very capable team of super spies needed to recruit a master thief for a job. They find their specialist in Sarah Walker.  The planning and execution is explored in some detail and makes for a fun and occasionally tense read.  We’re about ten chapters in, and so far these all-pros seem to know what they’re doing, but I’ve been assured by the author all is not so easy!  So what complications will develop?  You know I’ll be reading to find out!  Costas’ stories are always a good time, not terribly long, and Charah friendly.  It would currently take about three hours to read (my guess is its about half done) and be rated PG-13 for thematic issues similar to the show.

The last story I’ll recommend this time is “The Good Samaritan” by someone very familiar to readers of this site, Aerox.  This story starts some years earlier than the show.  Sarah is already a spy, and Chuck is a Nerd Herder.  When Chuck is sent to a conference in Washington DC he gets mugged and seriously injured.  Sarah is a nearby witness who rescues Chuck and gets him to the hospital.  Just like the Good Samaritan of Luke 10 she goes above beyond anything expected to ensure Chuck is helped and made right.  So far we have a very heartwarming story, that has gradually grown more complex as Chuck’s friends and family (yes, that means Ellie, Devon and Morgan) have entered the stage.  This story has a very different sort of pacing and I honestly have no sense for how far it might go or how far into it we are.  But I know I’ve enjoyed every chapter and look forward to seeing where Aerox wants to take us.  So far it would take about three hours to read and would be rated PG.

There is much news since I last posted on this subject.  For starters, NinjaVanish just concluded his outstanding “Chuck vs The Frontier” today.  This is a fun AU, with a finale/twist that seems very fitting just now(!).  From beginning to end this is a fun tale with sort of a steam punk feel to it.

Quistie64 has resumed work on her very well written “Return of the Ninja Librarian” since finishing  “Chuck vs The Sound of Music” and its great to have such an enjoyable Chuck story back in production after hiatus.

Uplink2 is continuing into the epic second part of his complete rework of S3 “Chuck vs Life, Love and Lies“.  He’s started working more actual S3 elements into the story as he goes, and it’s been a fun ride.

Several writers have indicated they will continue writing after the show goes off the air.  So the impending end of Chuck need not be the end of all Chuck!  I look forward to good tales yet to come.

 ~ Dave

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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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88 Responses to Fan Fiction Reviews …and some maintenance stuff…

  1. SarahSam says:

    Good piece Dave. All are some of my favorite stories and authors and do an outstanding job.

  2. Aerox says:

    Hey, thanks for the mention. Always nice to see my work appreciated. I suppose you could liken my story to the first seventy two. We’re almost done with this one, but the sequel (if it ever appears) will be more spy focused.

    As for the latest chapter, don’t know when it will appear. Bought a new PC recently and in the transfer, all my documents got corrupted. I fixed them now but I’m not completely in the mood yet so it might take a bit 😛

    • atcDave says:

      Yeah Aerox new computers can be a real mixed blessing. I’ve been fighting with a new router all day myself. Blecccch.

      • Aerox says:

        Well, let’s just say it took me 12 hours of consistent work to get it working and stable. After that, I still had to transfer 350 gigabytes of data. It was a pain, but so, SO worth it (which considering the price, is a good thing)

  3. Cardinal19811 says:

    I’ve never commented on this site before, but I couldn’t resist this time. The first part of this article sounds like a political add. Your telling us you’re changing your favorites list because some stories no longer meet your taste. That’s fair, but then you go further and explain in detail why you did it how you don’t want to hurt anyones work. That’s actually quite thoughful of you by the way. However with all the clues you’ve provided here and looking at your current list, I can come up with a couple right off the top of my head. My question is why did you even have to tell us all of this? I think it’s because you did actually want to do the things you said you didn’t want to do. Quite subtle of you.

    • atcDave says:

      Cardinal its always great to have someone new join the fray, and even a little surprising so close to the end of things! Believe me I wavered both ways on if I should comment about the changes I made or not. But in the end, since I was removing a fairly large number of titles by different writers at once, I decided I needed to say something. I didn’t want the discussion about specific stories or writers to be a matter of public debate; so THAT was the deciding issue on my statement. I am happy to talk about how I make such choices in a more public forum, but I don’t want to name names (and yes there are several stories by several writers affected).
      I don’t believe the average reader will go to the trouble of examining lists to figure out what I’ve changed. But its exactly those many silent readers (I have 3 replies here, but over 190 page views) who I want to be sure are getting what I really mean to recommend. Again, it is not any sort of statement of absolute quality, it is purely a matter of my taste.

      If I have hurt anyone’s feelings I apologize, that was not my intent. I really tried to figure the least traumatic way of doing this. This hobby is a labor of love for most of us. And I have no doubt for every story I’ve decided against there are MANY readers who feel differently. That is awesome. I hope every writer and reader alike continues to enjoy the whole Chuck experience for a long time to come, and obviously fan fiction will soon be the only venue for new material.
      If you’ve read this site for long you know I am anything but subtle. If I wanted to hurt feelings or draw attention I would have been far more overt. But I can only give you my word on it. As I indicated before I will be happy to correspond in a private context if you really want to discuss specifics.

  4. Amron says:

    Aerox’s work is one of my favorites, as well as the new Kate McK’s new fic, but I believe you forgot something very big on Chuck’s FF Fandom: What Fates Impose’s last cliffhanger! When I read the last two chapters, I had to re read the whole thing to catch all the clues, all the references, and just… just wow! Frea did something wonderful there: she really HAD A PLAN for her story, and that’s something I have always appreciated. She builded this last arc in such an amazing, coherent way that, even with the 55 very, very long chapters -I’m not complaining about it-, she surprised her readers on a way that not even the real show had done -at least for me- in a while.

    • Nervert says:

      I agree with you. The last two chapters have been a great payoff and have really built the anticipation. I think I’m looking forward to the next chapters of Fates more than the actual show (although that’s not saying much with me).

      And good call, Dave, on Cover Life because it’s the perfect romantic comedy. Kate’s got a great eye for fun and for these characters.

      • atcDave says:

        Thanks Nervert. Still looking forward to an end for “Revenge” too…

      • I don’t think Dave forgot Fates, Amron. He’s got it on Story Alert. 😉

        Also, I’m now preening thanks to the two of you. Thanks for talking up Fates, guys! I’m glad you liked the 55-chapter payoff; I know it hasn’t been a hit with everybody! I know some people feel tricked or like they weren’t reading the right story in the first place and are rather disgruntled about that, but I really am pleased you two like the story!

        I’d like to third or fourth the recommendation for Kate McK’s It’s a Wonderful Cover Life. It’s a fantastic story; I don’t like kidfic, but she’s managed to make Maggie both real and charming, and I can’t wait for more.

      • atcDave says:

        “I don’t like kid fic” from the writer who brought us Violet Bartowski! Say it ain’t so!

        It is fascinating to me how many writers have had fun with the idea of a little munchkin wreaking havoc on Sarah. Whether she’s a tough killer or just a wealthy heiress there always seems to be something in the character of Sarah Walker that is easily upended by kid chaos. Not just “Cover Life”, but “Sound of Music” and Frea’s own “That Which is Greater” have been particularly fun takes on the idea.

      • Aerox says:

        May I just say that if people stopped reading Fates thanks to that fantasticly amazing turn of events then I have lost all hope for them. Sure, I may not agree with the choices that Chuck made, but that’s just it. I don’t agree with (his) choices and not (Frea’s) choices. Stellar writing is stellar!

      • Amron says:

        I second that, Aerox. And, although very, very -almost machiavellian- subtle, the clues for the last two chapters had been there since the beginning, which made it only more awesome to read! And, as well as Nervert, the wait for the next chapter is just killing me…

      • Aerox says:

        It had been a while since I read Fates so my recollection of things prior was muddy. But then when I read the reviews and I read back those chapters, my damn mind exploded at the sheer brilliance.

      • Amron says:

        Aerox, do yourself a favor and read Chapter 33, the part where Chuck couldn’t breath beacuse of laughing. Sarah KNEW! And she used it!

      • Aerox says:

        Right, but it wasn’t a bad thing that she used it. She calmed him down. And as far as I know, that’s the only time she’s done that. Yes, Sarah knew, but she hadn’t used it for evil and she actually got into a relationship with him. She didn’t have to do this. She could control him with the code phrases if she wanted to. So there must’ve been a reason for actually wanting to get in said relationship. That’s why I don’t get Chuck’s reaction of bolting. If she wanted to, she could’ve messed with him a long LONG time ago.

      • Nervert says:

        Aerox, I’m thinking that Chuck’s reaction isn’t exactly a rational one. If I put myself in Chuck’s position — everything he knew has been ripped out from under him, the person he trusted most was holding something huge back from him, and he just had the absolute sh*t kicked out of him — his reaction seems real and understandable, at least to me.

        Thanks, Dave and Amron, for the interest. I’m writing a part of the chapter as we speak between running to the bench to work on my ChIP assay. It would have been done already but Christmas vacation was far from a vacation and I had no time to write … and because I write at the speed that continents migrate.

      • Aerox says:

        I get that he wasn’t thinking rationally, but I’d like to think that Sarah has build up SOME form of credit after getting him out of the bunker (pre knowing what it was he truly was), then after finding out still keeping him grounded and lying to her superior officer. I hope he comes to realize that sooner than later, otherwise it’s a major regressing point.

      • uplink2 says:

        I mentioned this in my review of 55 that though I really liked the chapter I was a bit disappointed by Chuck’s running mainly because it was been there, done that. I felt it was too much of a deja vu and a bit repetitive. Shouldn’t he be beyond that by now and ready to confront things instead of running from them? Doesn’t she now deserve to be asked how and why first before he in a way condemns her by running? Its just that again things get really weird and he runs. Where is the growth? Now if it is planned that the code phrase that she used back in 33 and here triggered the running then maybe it works better for me as both time frames they are spoken in are just before he runs. I was just a little disappointed that he chose the same path of avoidance again. It just felt too much like the final scene at the Motel. That scene when I first read it I called an incredible season finale scene and it led to what I believe is my favorite scene in the entire story, the Grand Canyon scene, so if we get that again I’m ok with it but it kind of felt like I was reading the Motel finale all over again. Chuck almost dies, Chuck kills, Chuck freaks out, Chuck runs.

        I’ll be completely honest and say I also do have some issues with the Manchurian Candidate storyline but I am looking forward to seeing it play out before I make final judgement. I’m not saying that Chuck is putting the leather jacket and waterskis on just yet but the image did enter my mind.lol

      • Amron says:

        Yes, she used her power for good, and yes, he ran away as he already did after the Motel thing, but I believe Chuck’s reaction was on-Fates Canon. And about he not trusting Sarah… Really? I mean, he had showed his trust on her in very single chapter but the last one, and just because she didn’t trust him into telling him his secret. Sometimes, I believe that we punish every “bad” reaction Chuck has about Sarah and we forgive easily Sarah’s bad moves.

  5. Leigh says:

    One day. One day I will write a fic and it will wind up on your list. Oh yes.

    *nods*

    *toils away over fanfic*

    😉

    • atcDave says:

      I don’t recognize your name as a FF writer Leigh, do you use a different psuedonym?

      I’m sure you can guess what I like; action adventure with a strong Charah angle. I love stories of friends and family who will do anything for each other and enjoy each other’s company. I like things that are edifying in the “uplifting” sense of the word (yes I know, I have an archaic vocabulary, even my wife laughs at me for it…) In spite of how all that sounds the bottom line is I want to have fun when I read; tension and conflict are good when the protaganists deal them and the story moves on, not so good when they fester over multiple chapters.
      My patience with dark deeds, conflicted morality, angst, and suspicion between those who ought to be friends is severely limited. I’m quite old-fashioned about wanting my protagonists to be good guys. I’m also not real big on stories that are sexed up too much. Chuck and Sarah don’t need to be jumping in bed every chapter, there are other ways to show a loving and committed couple. Of course there is a built in tension and conflict of interest to deal with if a Chuck story is set during an early period of the show. Some of that helped make the show so compelling in its first two seasons. But just as I believe the show carried that conflict out for a season too long, I’ve seen many fan fictions that take it too far or too long. That’s one of the biggest deal breakers for me in a story. But its probably better to focus on the positive aspect of it; Chuck and Sarah together is the single biggest hook in a Chuck story. It doesn’t need it to be the main thrust, but it does need to be a part of it. The greatest strength of the show is Chuck and Sarah together, fan fiction is the same way.

      I love humor. Most of my favorite shows and movies have been comedies, or at least knew when too laugh at themselves. But comedy is VERY hard to write. And I’d say bad comedy is often worse than bad drama. Especially since I don’t find profanity or sleaze very funny (again, I’m old fashoned… possibly because I’m old, but that’s another story…) Character based humor, especiallly based on canon characters, can be particularly tricky to do well. Most of the very best stories/writers do pull this off, Quistie64 has shown a wonderful touch for it, and Frea O’Scanlin has hit comedy gold with Violet Bartowski. DocinOZ and regular commenter here MyNameIsJeffandImLost have written some very funny stuff too; but I think their stuff is more situational than character based (or is it just the difference between guy humor and gal humor?!).
      But all of that is just a long way of saying if humor isn’t your thing, play it straight. A well told story is better without poorly conceived humor. If you turn out to have a gift for comedy, bonus points! But I think writing with comedy is a very fine art.

      • Leigh says:

        On FF I am Lipton Lee. 🙂 I’m writing something super srs bsns at the moment, and am 30 pages in, but have done some comedy/romancy stuff in the past. Mostly it’s what strikes my fancy This Hot Second. I’m a huge futurefic and kidfic fan, and wind up writing that quite a lot.

        Only a small portion of what I write gets posted, and I like doing one-shots. So far in writing Chuckfic, the Charah relationship seems to be a great backdrop for other things. It’s always there, but I’ve yet to write something that makes it the focus. So many fics do that I feel like anything I’d come up with would be unoriginal.

      • atcDave says:

        Okay I was just looking at some of your titles and I’d have to admit I haven’t read your work. But I promise I’ll fix that and read a few (or more if I like what I see!).

        I do like Charah used just an established reality, or backdrop as you call it. It can be a lot of fun when a story focusses on other things instead.

      • Leigh says:

        Awww thanks!!

      • Amron says:

        Are you Lipton Lee?!! Leigh!! That’s a fantastic news! Now I can bother you until you update Bryce vs Buymoria! 😀

      • Leigh says:

        Yay! You like that fic! That fic got some shit for including Shaw in any way shape or form! I got so discouraged!!

        I’ll see what I can do to pick it back up though 😀

      • Aerox says:

        For what it’s worth, I really enjoy Bryce v Buymoria as well 😀

      • BDaddyDL says:

        I really liked Buymoria as well.

    • atcDave says:

      Hey I really like your one-shots. I start your big multi-chapter in a bit. But Willow is a good character and you came up some creative scenarios. I liked the big family argument too, that would have been a great scene on the show!
      You tend not to involve Sarah much, she is generally my favorite character. But other than that you have a nice style. I like your use of family and friendship themes.

      • Leigh says:

        Thanks!!! I’m glad you liked Willow! I’ve got plans for her.

        I’m still kind of working on my Sarah voice. It needs work and I know it, so she takes a backseat so I don’t screw up her character too badly.

        I do have a couple of ideas that involve her more heavily though. 🙂

    • Amron says:

      Oh, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named! Yeah, I know… Almost every fic that not includes Charah or Shaw gets crap… something that I don’t really care too much as far as it has a new perspective, and Bryce vs Buymoria has it. Also, I liked the last one you post, the one with the Laudanol…

      • Leigh says:

        Hahaha! I expect to get flamed super hard for the Laudenol fic. I am BRACING myself! Glad you like!

      • Aerox says:

        Almost, Amron, but not every. I wrote a sham one and the reviews were somewhat positive. Not at all the epic rage that I had expected (and hoped for)

      • atcDave says:

        You’re not doing yourself any favors there Aerox. The idea of wanting “rage” from your readers is quite the turn off. Why would I read such a thing? I see a lot of fan fics that look deliberatley provocative. I skip them all. I read to have fun not be POed. I certainly don’t appreciate a writer yanking my chain. On top of that, I won’t post a negative review; I simply quit reading.

      • Nervert says:

        Dave, I can kind of understand where Aerox is coming from as there are some readers/reviewers who want to let you know exactly how much of their favorite elements that you should include in your story (i.e. you’re doing it wrong; here do it like this; don’t get it wrong next time). In my case, it makes me want to do the opposite. I know that it would turn others off so I avoid purposefully poking the bear but I sure want to sometimes.

      • atcDave says:

        Obviously that’s always the writer’s choice. But we so often get pleas “how is this?” “what do you all think?””how can I make this better?”. And then we often get defensive replies when we do criticize….
        I think for most of us, if we tell what we like or want to see, it’s not a mandate or order, we’re just trying to be clear. AND is so often asked for!
        Most of all, I just want the writer to play fair. Give me a clue if this story is for me. That way I don’t waste my time in stories that aren’t to my liking AND the writer is spared a very disgruntled reader. We readers DO get mixed signals on if a writer actually cares what we think or not.

        That’s why I just won’t do it anymore. I may criticize In a PM, but not in an open review. But most of all, if a story isn’t to my liking I’ll simply move on. There are plenty of stories I love.

      • Nervert says:

        No, don’t worry, Dave, it’s not the constructive criticism I’m talking about (and certainly none of your reviews). I’m talking about a very specific kind of comment (most often in PMs and much less often in reviews) where a person either directly or passive aggressively tells you what the content of your story should be. It’s not just about saying “this is what I like” but more just the written equivalent of swatting the authors hands away from the keyboard and saying “here, let me fix it for you.”

      • Aerox says:

        Actually, the sham was a one time thing (having said that, someone did come up to me and asked me to write more, so that was very interesting) plus it was on a seperate account. I’m always pretty straight-forward in labeling my stuff so that people who don’t want to read that particular theme don’t get a nasty surprise.

      • atcDave says:

        Shaw is always a very special case for Chucksters. I’ve seen him used effectively, and I’ve seen him suck the fun right out of a story. I think most of us are fine with him as a villain, or even as a doomed or conflicted team member. But putting him with Sarah was easily the single dumbest thing the show did in 5 seasons, and I think it’s a pretty small sub-set of the fandom that would actually want to see him in that capacity in any story. The only possible exception being a story that STARTS with the Sham In effect and makes undoing that situation a major part. I think that now, two years after the fact, I’m less interested than ever in revisiting that mess.

  6. rk2012 says:

    Question for Aerox. Are you going to have a chance to update your story “Chuck and Sarah vs the Intersect Project” anytime soon? cause its one your best ones you’ve written so far.

    • Aerox says:

      haha, glad you like it. I don’t like it that much anymore, but to each their own. Yeah, I will finish it, but probably not until I’m done with GS. Both are close to completion.

  7. Henry says:

    Well, Dave, this is your list, so I don’t know if I can comment and how, but I can say that I agree in general with your suggestions (including obviously Fates, that is not even worth a mention, just because it goes without saying, if you read Chuck’s FF you HAVE to know Fates!).
    I can see that in your list is not included one story that for me is one of the best at the moment, May the best man win by LittleCandyMan: I don’t know if you just missed it, or if you intentionally skipped it, but in the first case, I highly recommend it. There are others that I am enjoying at the moment, besides those that you mentioned, but this is not a “my favorite fanfic” post, so it will be for next time…

    • Amron says:

      Oh, LittleCandyMan’s May The Best Man Win is good too! Yes, there is a lot of tension between Chuck and Bryce, but I believe it could be classified as a Charah story, but the kind it doesn’t give you an diabetic coma, but one well-written. And because the author expended a lot of time building Chuck and Bryce’s friendship, Bryce’s movements and actions felt most traitorous than others fics.

      • Aerox says:

        To be honest, his Bryce to me felt like a caricature at times. His actions were so dickish that I couldn’t help but roll my eyes. Also, there was never any doubt what her choice would be, which was sort of unfortunate. I think it would’ve been more awesome had Chuck joined the team a few years later, when Sarah and Bryce already had something. At least then you’d get some interesting moments 😛

      • Henry says:

        @Aerox: yes, it is shipper-friendly, but I have seen Bryce depicted much more as a caricature in other stories. i think that the character is difficult to place (different from Shaw, 99% of the FF writers and readers just hate him…. :)).
        And i think that angst is always difficult to write in a fanfic: you know it better than me, as you discussed it on twitter recently…

  8. Aerox says:

    atcDave, I just found a GEM of a fanfic. Don’t get discouraged by it being Twilight… just… read it… Trust me haha

    http://www.fanfiction.net/s/5674909/1/Bella_Swan_Pregnant_and_Furious

    • atcDave says:

      hmmmmm, not sure why you’d point me at that one Aerox. It seems to be the antithesis of everything I like; unless that was your point? (are you yanking my chain Aerox?)
      Maybe you saw something there I didn’t. I know your taste is far more eclectic than mine, you’ve written things I like a lot and things I won’t touch.

      Perhaps I shouldn’t trust your recommendations? (Twilight, geeewizzz….)

    • Aerox says:

      Yes Nervert, but yours didn’t have pirates (although it did take place on a ship), ninjas or Mecha-Hitler. So, I’ll still have to rate this fic a wee bit higher than yours. Unless of course, you go completely off the reservation and General Diane Beckman is actually a distant cousin to Hitler and she has her own mecha suit… in which case… wow, that’d be awesome.

    • Amron says:

      “Now ninjas, fell the wrath of a preggo!” and Bella jumps from the chandelier and kicks the ninja in the face.

      I think this phrase resumes pretty well the level of insanity of that fic.
      Insanity, the only way I can tolerate Twilight.

  9. atcDave says:

    So I was just rewatching “The Sound of Music” tonight with my wife. Always fun to watch such an excellent old movie. Even MORE fun to laugh at and point out to each other all the parallels and twists Quistie got out of it for Chuck‘s version of it!

  10. Non Omnis Moriar says:

    I haven’t watched Chuck or read Chuck fanfiction for a long time. After season three I just didn’t care for the show anymore and on top of that, to me it seemed as if every fanfic had to have loads of angst and Sarah….well….let’s say she did more “spywork” on her back than standing up. Recently I’ve started to read fanfiction again and I’m pleasantly surprised by the diversity and quality of the Chuck stories. I’ve started to read the stories you mentioned Dave and I enjoyed them a lot. I’m working myself through your list now and so far I really like these fanfics.

    Thanks.

    NOM

    • atcDave says:

      That is really awesome to hear NOM! I’m not a fan of heavy duty angst or slutty Sarah either, although some angst is sort of endemic to the set-up. But you can bet any story I choose will have a worthwhile pay-off.

      BTW, you might want to give the show another chance starting with S4, the angst is much reduced and the stories are more fun again.

      • Non Omnis Moriar says:

        Recently I’ve watched the beginning of the fourth season till Sarah decided to go undercover in Volkoff’s organization. I found that move so terribly unbelievable that it was the famous last drop for me. Honesty dictates me to tell that I was very ill at the time. So perhaps that had more to do with me not liking Chuck anymore. I still watch season one and two on a regular basis. I consider those seasons among the best television I’ve ever watched.

      • atcDave says:

        A lot of us here agree Sarah’s actions in Gobbler are a little tough to swallow, but it does resolve very quickly and acceptably. Bonus points, late in the season Sarah gets to chew Mary out pretty good for her reckless way of doing missions.

    • Katsumaro says:

      Definitely give some of the stories out there a chance. I hate/pretty much won’t read a story if it involves “Slutty Sarah” but there’s definitely some quality out there!

  11. Non Omnis Moriar says:

    I like the AU stories the best as I tend to like the main characters of Chuck and Sarah much better than in canon. I’ve really tried to ignore the things I didn’t like about Chuck and Sarah in canon, but somehow I couldn’t do it. After the whole Shaw/Hannah arc and throwing Chuck and Sarah together again almost as if nothing had happened between them, I didn’t even like these characters anymore. But despite all that, Chuck will always hold a special place in my heart and I know that I will follow the careers of both Zach Levi and Yvonne Strahovski. I truly hope that these two will have a bright future ahead of them in the world of entertainment.

  12. Non Omnis Moriar says:

    Dave, perhaps you can help me. I see that you also like Billatwork’s fiction. But isn’t that almost always about seduction and kind of angsty? Perhaps I’m wrong, but I just don’t want to start reading about Sarah the Seduction Sexpert who thinks that everytime a new threat arises it’s only a question of dropping your pants and everything will be allright. And of course Chuck is okay with it because it’s for the greater good. It has been a while, so perhaps I’m mixing up writers now. It’s just that I really can’t stand those kind of stories and as you know most of these writers, I thought I’d better ask you first before actually reading it.

    Thanks.

    NOM

    • Aerox says:

      The threat is there, but he never actually has her do it.

      • Non Omnis Moriar says:

        Thanks for your quick respons Aerox. Even if it’s only like some sword of Damocles hanging over the story, I still won’t like it. So I think I’ll skip Bill’s stories. He won’t notice anyway, he seems to have plenty of fans. To each his/her own of course.

      • Esardi says:

        I have to admit that I liked the Long Brick Road and the Long Road Back. Yeah you are right there are uncomfortable moments but he never has her cheat on him. Sarah is very dedicated to Chuck and as a matter of fact it is people like Ellie who come into play that really has some show stopping moments with seduction. BillAtWork might not write for Chuck anymore but there are many upcoming writers that will take his place.

        If I may recommend Aerox’s The Good Samaritan. That is very good story. It is not completed yet but he is an excellent writer.

      • Non Omnis Moriar says:

        So many good stories. So many good writers. Where to begin? Before I began reading fanfiction, I was like “let’s see if perhaps there’s a story I like to read?” But now it’s more like “oh god! Where do I get the time to read all these great stories?” I’ve read sp,e chapters of Bill’s work and decided to leave it be. This is not for me. It’s not the fact that she has to seduce someone that’s bothering me, it’s how easy Sarah decides that it’s the only option left while that’s totally illogical. I do thing that he’s a good writer though. From what I’ve read, I could see that he crafts a solid story that’s planned and executed almost to perfection.I started writing a Chuck story once. Chuck vs the rage, and I stopped because it just took so much of my time that I didn’t like to do it anymore. So someone who’s written as much as Bill definitely deserves some admiration on that fact alone. It’s definitely not his writing prowess that I don’t like, but what he writes and that’s probably got way more to do with me than with him. Like I said before; to each his own. Show me Phase three Sarah, and I’m a happy man. Some of the Adorable Psycho stories are very funny. I’ll make sure to check out Aerox story next time. I didn’t know that he(or she???) is also a writer.

        Thanks again everyone for answering my questions.

        NOM

      • Non Omnis Moriar says:

        I had a case of the butterfingers there….
        I wrote “I’ve read sp,e chapters of Bill’s work…..” where sp,e was supposed to be the word “some”. Sorry about that!

      • Aerox says:

        oh, um, yeah, do read my author notes 😛 Trust me on that.

        Also, I’m a guy. You’ll notice it due to my emotional range, which is about as wide as a wooden spoon.

      • atcDave says:

        And I would add Aerox, I hope you won’t take offense, but you are one of those writers who embraces a very broad range of themes and styles. I like some of your work A LOT, yet you’ve written others I wouldn’t touch with a 10 meter cattle prod…
        It’s funny, there are writers at both extremes. There are some I have learned to trust on anything, some I will never, ever read; and some who go to all extremes.

      • Give yourself some credit Aerox. Some of these wooden spoons have a lot of range:

      • Aerox says:

        Damn Jeff, I didn’t at ALL see that coming. Well played sir, well played indeed haha.

        Dave, why would I take offense to that? Most of the time I’m well aware that what I’m writing might not be received very well. But those are simply my own way of working through things. Relaxing, if you will. It mostly depends on what mood I am in 😀

      • Aerox says:

        For what it’s worth though, I ALWAYS give warnings prior to a story 😛

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah Aerox, I have learned to read your author’s notes carefully before I proceed! (of course I do with anyone, I rarely take much for granted)

    • atcDave says:

      Funny, Bill and I were just writing each other about some of this yesterday…

      Yes Bill always sees Sarah as a master seductress. He relies on that as a story device and source of tension FAR more often than I would prefer. He very much paints Sarah in the whore for Uncle Sam role which I very much dislike. BUT, as Aerox indicated, Bill’s Sarah will never cheat on Chuck. He always depicts it as a past behavior that she rejects once she’s in a committed relationship. In fact, in some of his AUs he’s had Sarah make a point of saying she has always stopped short of “going all the way” on the job. Although in other AUs Bill has suggested Sarah actually had quite a trashy past, so there is no universal answer about a Billatwork Sarah.
      And he does like to toe that line. Pretty much all of his later stories take us right to the point where Sarah “sees no other way” and thinks she will have to sleep with a mark, until she (and/or Chuck) figure a way out of it at the last minute. Bill does generally paint a pretty decadent picture of the spy lifestyle.
      But that said, you’ll see that his stories that are on my favorites list are all earlier works of his. Three in particular I recommend with little reservation. First would be “Therapy”; which is a fairly short story and apart from some discussion of Sarah as a victim of an assault at the dawn of her career makes no real mention of the seductress role. Next would be “Fake Relationship”; which if anything paints Sarah as a failed seductress, because she refuses to lead Chuck on she finds herself replaced as handler. This may be the most original story Bill ever crafted and there are some very good ideas here. Being one of his earlier works, I think his writing style is not very sophisticated, but the basic story is solid. He has mentioned maybe going back to it and polishing some of its rough edges.
      The other story of his I really like is “Negotiation”. Sarah the seductress does show up a little in this story, but she never lets things go very far and she is clearly completely loyal to Chuck. Basically the angst in this story all relates to a kill order coming down on Chuck shortly after he and Sarah are secretly married. The scene where Sarah decides to make war on the CIA if she has to is one of my all time favorites.
      In many of his later stories sex plays a far bigger role than I would prefer and he paints an almost Matt Helm picture of the spy world where various hook-ups are almost as important as getting the bad guy. But you can count on Chuck and Sarah being in love and faithful to each other from beginning to end. Even if he likes to make the reader think that may not always be so. The three stories I recommended above I recommend very highly, and there are many good scenes in his other stories too. If you really just want to read I would say try the whole Negotiation arc. It is quite long, there are many excellent moments, including some good deceptions and take downs of bad guys, some very sweet Chuck/Sarah moments, and even some great action. But you’ll also see some excesses on display, so just give it a try is all I can say. Negotiation itself is the only story of the arc that gets my whole hearted recommendation, but there are good moments throughout.

      • Non Omnis Moriar says:

        Hi Dave. Thank you for your fast and also extensive answer. It’s much appreciated. I’ll try the Negotiation arc and judge for myself if it’s my kind of story. I thought I already read something from billatwork, but I’m not so certain anymore now. It could very well be that I have him mixed up with some other writer. By the way, I never knew how addictive reading fanfiction could be! Some of these stories are incredible. I’m now reading Sarah vs the strong swimmer from jaytoyz (I believe that’s his name). I just love his sense of humor. But there are so many writers and stories to like.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah I know NOM. I think I’m up to 185 tagged as favorites, and there’s a HUGE number I enjoy but just fail in some minor way to keep me from tagging them. Chuck fiction is literally the only fiction I’ve read in 2+ years! (I still read a lot of non-fiction too though!) I know that will start winding down soon, but I think we’ll continue to see at least some regular activity for a long time to come.

      • Aerox says:

        Fake Relationship arc is still my favorite of his. Hits all the right notes for me. The Negotiation arc is okay, although it misses quite a few beats for me. Also, the repeated: “OH MY GOD, I’M GOING TO HAVE TO SLEEP WITH THE RANDOM BAD GUY, STOP TELLING ME YOU KNOW WHAT’S BEST FOR ME” angst, followed by Chuck being the smartest person in the entire world really started bugging me, which is a bit of a problem considering 85% (this is a totally legit number, gained through mathematical equations!) of his stories go along this path. Oh well.

      • atcDave says:

        Maybe one reason I prefer his earlier work is the patterns hadn’t been established yet!

        And just for the record; I love Fake Relationship, but the sequel may be my least favorite multi-chapter story of his (extreme dichotomy!).

        With Negotiation, it is only the title story I give my unqualified support to. I have some concerns with all of the sequels, including (especially!) repetitive themes.

    • MyNameIsJeffNImLost says:

      NOM and others, I got into fanfiction because of a(n evil) post on chucktv.net a couple years ago about the Awesome Awards for the best Chuck fanfiction. The winners an nominees are a good place to start. All of the past nominees and winners are listed here:
      http://forum.fanfiction.net/topic/49974/44317203/1/
      Stories in the Fluff and Charah categories are usually the safest place to start.

      The best stories and authors from the past year are currently being nominated:
      http://forum.fanfiction.net/forum/TWoP_Kicked_Us_Out_But_We_Still_Love_Chuck/49974/

      • atcDave says:

        Not to be too obvious or shameless, but I like my list better…

      • I collected the list, but it’s not really my list. My list has 13 multi-chapter Chuck stories, 3 of which are part of a different series.

        I just checked your list Dave. You only have 5 of 14 Fluff stories and 6 of 13 Charah stories. Although a one of the Charah nominees is tagged as Angst, so they aren’t necessarily as shipper safe as your list of 185. Then again, even Collide has a couple of very angsty chapters, although they are disclaimered at the top and have sequel chapters that are a little happier.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah I noticed that about the Charah stories! (Geez you are thorough Jeff!) I would never recommend a couple of those.
        I would recommend Collide VERY highly; I believe there was only one story in the whole collection (told in two parts) that I would by-pass. But as you mentioned, it is clearly identified as not ‘shipper safe.

        I would also point out, that although my entire list is ‘shipper safe, a few contain A LOT of angst before they deliver. I’m not opposed to sweating it, as long as the pay-off is worth it!

      • The epilogue posted recently is supposed to be “more uplifting”. I tried reading it, and then realized I’d need to re-read the 150K angst-filled story for it to make sense. Maybe someday.

        Collide is like 48 fantastic Charah stories rolled into one. Fortunately, the other two were “fixed.”

      • Non Omnis Moriar says:

        I have already read Collide. Well….at least a large part of it. I read a lot of the later chapters first and only then I started reading the first ones. Most of these are very good. There was however one story that destroyed it for me and I haven’t read anything from Brickroad after that. It’s the chapter that has Sarah sleeping with another guy. The fact that she slept with someone else is not my major gripe here. I mean, she wasn’t raised in a convent before she met Chuck. It’s her motivation that bothers me so much. I, and I don’t like to use that word, hated that chapter with a passion because it made the other chapters with Sarah in it so much less enjoyable for me. I didn’t like her character anymore. So I decided to skip that story from now on. After all, I read FF to enjoy, not annoy, myself. I don’t mind angst as long as I can see is as being realistic and not as plot device that’s obviously thrown in to disrupt the Chuck/Sarah relationship. There’s plenty of angst in a good relationship without having to result to teenage drama stuff. For me it’s not all about the pay-off. The journey in getting there is equally important to me.

      • Ah, the evil chapter 18 of Collide. That’s what I didn’t say 50 good stories. It’s an example of why readers should never skip the author’s note. Fortunately that Sarah is only in chapters 18 and 21. If you rule out Ch 13 and 18 and their sequels, Collide has 46 good stories, many of them great. My favorites are all Ch 30 and later. The first 22 chapters were written pre-season 2, so the back story and characterization is built on fewer episodes.

        brickroad16’s Seven Times is a great story too and is shipper-friendly throughout.

      • Non Omnis Moriar says:

        Oh, it’s absolutely may own damn fault for not heeding the author’s warning! I thought that, considering the other chapters he’d written, that it could never be that bad. Well, that was the last time ever that I decided not to listen to the writer. I robbed myself there. I’m now reading Chuck versus The World by JoeltotheD. It’s a bit dark at times but sooooo good. This really is one of those stories that totally sucks you in to a point that you’re not even feeling like you’re reading anymore. You just see it all playing out in that immense cinema in your mind. I never thought I’d ever like a story with Shaw in it. James Bond was right after all I guess: Never say never again.

      • lappers84 says:

        If you want shippery fanfics I’d suggest anything by LittleCandyman – he has some really good Charah stories definitely worth reading.

      • Aerox says:

        All of brickroad’s stories have a happy ending… Some of them are just in other chapters. I for one enjoyed chapter 18 and the subsequent one. Mostly because despite her silly choices, it still felt in character 😛

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