Well, it’s been a while. I will likely always consider myself a big Chuck fan; but no doubt, things are truly slowing down in all corners of the fandom. But at least fan fiction is likely to provide new stories for years to come yet. I enjoy discussing my favorites from time to time, and I always like hearing from other readers too.
So join me again as I look at a few of my favorites after the jump.
We still have a surprising number of new folks showing up at this site. And it pleases me that so many have already read Thinkling’s excellent “Sarah vs Finding Herself.” I’m sure by now, most readers know that story was finished last week. But if you haven’t read it yet, do yourself a favor and get right to it! Thinkling suggests there may be some later one-shots in this epilogue universe she’s created; but for now it is complete. Of course that’s a mixed blessing; but the good news is, we have a complete and very satisfying story that goes right from late in the finale itself until two years later. This story is novel length and would take several days to read. I would call it a “PG” rating, for some grown-up drama and romance, but nothing ever explicit.
I think this is an excellent starting point for anyone who has not previously read fan fiction as it continues so directly from the show and keeps a similar feel to the show and characters. I still remember well my own introduction to fan fiction. Back in late season two I was a regular at the NBC forums. This is where Joe, Amyabn, Faith and I all first became acquainted. But one of the regular commenters at that site who most often agreed with me was billatwork. He would occasionally mention stories he was writing, and I finally decided to check one out. The story he had just finished when I took the plunge was “Chuck vs The Negotiation“. I was immediately hooked, and that story remains a favorite of mine. I didn’t just go nuts reading at the time though. I did read all of Bill’s work, and gradually found more to read by checking out some his favorites. ”Sarah vs the Long Flight” by Go-Chuck-Go is another of those earlier works that remains very special to me. It was during that very long break between season two and three that I gradually started reading more Chuck fan fiction. Especially after Comic Con in July 2009 when I found myself not liking what I was hearing about the coming season. By the time season three actually started I was pretty seriously hooked on the stuff. (hi, my name is Dave and I’m a …) If you’re just getting started, I offer my own favorites list as one possible starting point. I like a pretty wide variety of stories; but I am a hard core Charah ‘shipper, and I care a great deal that both characters are treated in a positive and respectful way, so any story I recommend will absolutely end well for the both of them. That doesn’t mean the romance is always front and center, not at all; again, I do like a wide variety of themes and styles.
Another of those fairly early stories that I found was “Sacrifice” by Cindy Ryan. Cindy is a very prolific writer. Her total body of work is almost as long as my favorites list! But as near as I can tell, she’s only written about a half dozen stories for this fandom. Which is too bad, because she’s a very good writer and Sacrifice is a great read. It is an alternate, longer end to “Chuck vs the Best Friend”. This time, Chuck actually drives the Herder away from Morgan and the Chinese Ambassador. Chuck is seriously hurt in the resulting explosion, but what’s worse, is Sarah and Casey can’t find him and assume the worst. There is some pretty well done drama here, especially for Sarah. This story is not long and could be read in a couple hours. I would call it PG for some difficult subject matter, but nothing too graphic.
Jumping forward to a much newer story; I’ve really enjoyed “Chuck vs the Rogue Spy” by Crumby. Crumby has been an occasional commenter here for a long time, so many of you ought to recognize her name! This story also was just finished, the very next day after Thinkling’s! It is an alternate season three tale, which many of us are always glad to see more of. It doesn’t start at the beginning, but we quickly learn in this AU, Sarah never met Chuck at Prague. And he went on to finish his training and become an agent. But Sarah isn’t to blame; she’s been framed for treason and has gone rogue. Chuck knows little at first, but this quickly becomes the story of Chuck and Sarah’s struggles to prove her innocence. This is an exciting and well written story. It is also novel length, so allow plenty of time. It would be rated PG-13 for content.
I’ll recommend an on-going story too. This is “Chuck vs Hollywood” by CostasTT. Those familiar with Costas work will instantly recognize his fast paced style of adventure and fun, with a minimum of angst! This complete AU has Chuck as a successful software developer (game designer). Sarah is an actress who is playing the lead in a movie based on Chuck’s latest game. She’s still a pretty tough character who even does most of her own stunts, but this is definitely not the indestructible Sarah Walker we’re all used to. Not surprisingly, Chuck and Sarah meet and get quite “close” while working on the movie. The action adventure part comes from a deranged fan (Daniel Shaw, of course) who decides to put an end to her. This story is just pure fluff and fun. No ulcers will come from the reading of this story. But if you’re ready to just laugh and have fun with our favorite characters you should enjoy this plenty. It would currently take five or so hours to read and would be rated PG-13. Costas is very good about updating regularly and finishing his stories, so there’s a very a good chance this will be finished quickly.
A couple of really excellent stories I’ve previously recommended continue. ”Chuck and Sarah vs the Recruits” by NinjaVanish seems to be approaching its climax, its been getting very intense and complex these last few chapters! If you’re a new reader, this is the third part of a trilogy. So start with “Chuck and Sarah vs the Bunker“, then read “Chuck and Sarah vs Themselves“. NinjaVanish is kind of the intense, over the top action writer of this fandom. So expect lot’s of explosions and gun fights.
And Quistie64′s excellent “Chuck vs The Sound of Music II” is also still updating regularly. This is a beautiful family centered tale that continues the setting and characters of the “Sound of Music” AU. In case anyone missed it, Quistie also gave us a one-shot for this setting “Chuck vs The Sound of Music II: Operation BiB” which has the Woodcomb kids including Sarah in their Mother’s Day celebration. This whole setting is just such good stuff. After Thinkling’s epilogue, I would consider this the next most essential reading in Chuck fan fiction whether you know the original Sound of Music source material or not. Its just fun, sweet and beautiful, in a way that our favorite show often was too.
As always, I would love to see any comments from fellow fans. I love when these discussions get going.