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.