Fan Fiction Again

It actually seems like I just did this, but there has been a number of excellent stories started or finished in the last few weeks; and I’m eager to talk about fan fiction again.  There a number of self-imposed guidelines I try to follow when doing this, a couple of which I’ll be ignoring this time out.  There will be no “classic” stories this time around, because I have five (!) newer AUs I want to discuss.  That also means, no one-shots this time.  I do love a lot of those simple shorter stories, but this time around everything is longer.

But one thing you all can count on, these are all the sorts of stories I love.  So after the jump let’s look what I’ve been reading recently.

First up, is the only completely finished story this time around.  It is “Chuck vs the Wildcat” by dettiot.  This is a pure western, no sci-fi or spy-fi elements at all.  It starts with Chuck as a young man who has just finished avenging his sister’s murder.  Surprisingly, Chuck isn’t that different than we’re used to; and now that his mission of vengeance is over, he is somewhat adrift.  So he pairs up with an older gunfighter, John Casey, who is off to help an old friend of his, Sheriff Beckman, keep the peace as a range war is flaring up between the  Shaw and Walker ranches in her jurisdiction.  This is pretty much classic western formula, with all of our favorite characters inserted in appropriate and often amusing roles.  Dettiot does bill the story as a western/romance for reasons both obvious and appropriate for a Chuck story.  It is well written and fun from beginning to end.  It is medium/long and would require six hours or so to read.  I would rate it PG-13 for a prime time TV sort of feeling.

Next up, many of you may recognize the name of Marc Vun Kannon (sometimes AuthorGuy) as a regular commenter here.  He has a season three alternate ongoing; the first story is nine2five, with a follow up Casey vs The Janitors: nine2five and a third part in progress Larger Than Life: nine2five.  In this S3 AU Orion wasn’t quite so scarce after Chuck downloaded the 2.0.  He provided a suppression device that allows the  Intersect to be deactivated when Chuck is “off duty”, and he facilitated a much better plan for Chuck and Sarah than running away together from Prague.  So now, although Chuck has been relocated to a new cover situation in DC, he can at least go home at night as a free man to his bodyguard/wife. It doesn’t hurt that Ellie has been brought on board as one of the new Intersect scientists.  Marc’s style is clever and fun.  The stories are all fast paced with good dialogue and action.  Each can be read in less than two hours and would be rated PG-13.

Chuck Versus What Happens In Vegas by anthropocene is next.  This is another writer familiar to readers here and he is bringing us a post series tale.  This story starts with Chuck and Sarah still on the familiar beach like so many other post series stories.  But this will be aggressively fun.  It is structured like a hypothetical start to season six.  Let’s say the kiss was “semi-magical”, and Chuck and Sarah are happily heading off for new adventures together, even if Sarah still doesn’t remember much.  I would call the story fun and intriguing.  The writer has done a good job of creating some mystery, some menace, and a case that will require both their skills and the help of the team.  So far, the story is only five chapters long and could be read in an hour or so; but we currently have more questions than answers, so my guess is we have a pretty long adventure ahead yet.  It would be rated PG.

Another post series story has been started by the familiar tandem of billatwork and brickroad16 under the BillandBrick moniker.  This is The Long Road Home. It starts at the beach like so many post series tales, and also has Chuck and Sarah in a pretty good but not miraculous place.  But this story’s twist has Sarah at a meeting in DC and learning of a serious threat to Chuck’s safety.  It’s still too early to guess any details of how it will play out, but it looks like Sarah will be in her familiar role of defending her nerd/partner.  And this Sarah is already thinking positive about plans for their future; so although I would expect some angst as is normal from these writers, this is shaping up to be a fun and very Charah friendly story.  The two chapters posted so far could be read in less than an hour; and those familiar with Bill will know he’s pretty good about posting regularly, so expect weekly updates.  So far this story would be rated PG, but Bill’s work often strays into R territory.

The last new story I want to mention this time is a complete AU, by another writer who visits this site.  This is Sarah Versus the Farm by Angus MacNab.  The simplest way of introducing this story is by saying it takes the basic Chuck set-up, but has Sarah looking for a rural crop dusting Chuck instead of the familiar Nerd Herder.  Angus is a really good writer.  I know of no other way to put it.  Of course it doesn’t hurt to have the flying and aviation themes told with loving care by someone who knows and lives the life.  The authenticity and detail jump off the page.  Okay, how could I not like this story?  This will include the familiar spy elements, the Intersect, Orion, and Morgan as Corky (hmmm, will anyone get a “Tales of the Gold Monkey” reference?).  The writing is intricate with long chapters, that and Angus is busy this time of year actually flying, so updates may come slow.  But I give this a very enthusiastic recommendation.  The two chapters up so far could take nearly two hours to read and would be rated PG, its too early to know if it will stay there!

Two ongoing favorites of mine have continued with updates.  Chuck vs The Sound of Music II has been coming weekly, but Quistie advises that may be slowing down due to a research heavy part of the story.  Hopefully, the slowdowns will be nothing too drastic, and this very enjoyable family adventure will continue.

Also, Chuck & Sarah vs the Recruits by NinjaVanish has put up a couple very exciting action loaded chapters these last few weeks.  You know any time a helicopter borne electro magnet makes an appearance you’re dealing with serious action adventure.  But the writer has put up notice that real life and work demands may cause some delay now as he approaches the conclusion; but there really is only a few chapters to go, so I expect it won’t be too terribly long until we get to that end  That real life thing just keeps intruding for all of us…

~ Dave


About atcDave

I'm 54 years old and live in Ypsilanti, Michigan. I'm happily married to Jodie. I've been an air traffic controller for 31 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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43 Responses to Fan Fiction Again

  1. NOM says:

    Hi Dave. Thanks for the update! Except for the BillandBrick story, they all look very promising to me. Especially the western themed story. By the way, do you write fanfiction yourself?

    All the best,

    • atcDave says:

      I don’t have time to write with all the reading I do! Seriously I don’t really have the skill set to be a good writer. But I sure have found a way to be involved as a fan.

      And yeah NOM, dettiot’s “Chuck vs the Wildcat” is a very fun story.

  2. garnet says:

    Wow, I asked for this yesterday, and here it is!
    They all look good, and I have been following the Sound of Music II already with great enthusiasm.
    I have to admit I prefer to read “complete” stories as there is no chance that the author will write him/her self into a corner and stop writing (or simply lose interest). There is nothing I hate worse than an unfinished story… Maybe that explains my initial reaction to the finale.

    Anyway thanks for this as it will provide some more hours of reading

    • atcDave says:

      Yeah Garnet, I also prefer finished stories and agree entirely about the frustration when one isn’t complete. For a long time that was all I would read. But eventually I started reading the in progress works of writers I already knew, and then I started looking at work as it came out…
      The big plus to getting involved as a story is in progress is the chance to encourage and interact with the writer during their process. Of course the down side is not only unfinished stories, but I’ve occasionally recommended stories I later decided weren’t for me. But in a way, that unknown element just adds to the excitement, especially when something proves to be satisfying all the way through.

      • quistie64 says:

        Glad you both are enjoying the Sound of Music II. I just posted an update.

        I’m hoping that any lags between chapters will only be a week (if they happen at all.) We’ll see!

      • atcDave says:

        Oh, and now’s my chance to encourage and interact! Good job! Great chapter! (okay fine, I’m not very articulate…)

  3. jam says:

    I like Sarah vs the Farm a lot too, after just two chapters it’s very high on my most anticipated updates list. Another newish AU fic worth mentioning is Chuck vs the Rancher’s Daughter, written by Jameson Black.

    I have to say, after the finale I’m not too interested in anything but completely AU fics. There are some post-finale stories that are exceptions, like anthropocene’s fic that Dave mentioned, but mostly I’m skipping them. Basically, if the story doesn’t have Chuck and Sarah going home together after the beach, I am not reading it. :p

    I don’t usually like BillAtWork’s stories, but hopefully The Long Road Home will be different. There were some elements typical to Bill’s writings in chapter 2 that I dislike, but for now the positives outweigh the negatives.

    • atcDave says:

      At this point, any post series story I recommend WILL feature Chuck and Sarah coming home together from the beach. I consider that non-negotiable. I may change my mind later, but for now, you can bank on an atcDave recommendation meaning they return home together (if I do ever change my mind, I will be very clear about it in the post).

      I do understand the concern about billatwork, his writing often dwells on the seduction missions which is not a favorite theme of mine. But he has written several stories that I like a lot, and I do usually like brickroad quite a lot. So that combined with a promising start, is enough to include it on this list.

  4. joe says:

    Arg! I have a job interview to prepare for, and here I am reading FFs! It’s all your fault, Dave.

    Anthropocene, <voice type=growling>YOU’RE NEXT</voice>!

    • There’s probably some good fanfic out there featuring job interviews. Try a Google search for “job interview” Chuck Bartowski. I don’t know if they would help with yours, but it is good procrastination.

      Good luck on your interview, Joe.

      • joe says:

        Heh! Now *that’s* a good suggestion, Jeff. Chuck didn’t have much luck interviewing at the start of S4, but Beckman’s was a friendly intervention. 😉

        And thanks.

    • atcDave says:

      Joe, how important is the job interview anyway? C’mon, this is Chuck stuff. Check your priorities man!

    • anthropocene says:

      If that isn’t motivation, to keep writing I don’t know what is!

  5. anthropocene says:

    Thanks Dave!

  6. chuck fanfictions are really my therapy! they help me cope! thanks dave for the recommendations, one of my favorites are sarah vs true friendship, thinkling’s very own version of sarah vs finding herself! also what if fate imposes!

  7. Ohmygosh Dave, I’m not sure if I’m going to be able to get my helmet back on after this wind we’re currently coping with finally lays down. Thanks for the recommendation, but I still consider myself a novice when it comes to writing fiction and probably will for some time to come – meaning the day I finally make a buck at it. That being said, Sarah Versus the Farm has indeed been a delight to write. The funny thing is that it started out as just a writing exercise for me to get my head into gear for writing an agricultural aviation themed original fiction. My wife proof read and helped me edit the first chapter and liked it so much she encouraged me to publish it – now she’s my beta reader on this project. I really didn’t think it would attract the interest that it has but was pleasantly surprised to find I was mistaken. This has lead to unintended but very pleasurable consequences. Now my better half and I have been collaborating for the past several weeks on the plot of this story (she is also a big fan of Chuck) while I work 1300 miles from home. It’s been a very fun diversion that’s helped us to stay connected and helped me stave off the usual homesickness that can go with the job. We have so much fun talking about the story and the locale where it takes place because we’re originally from that area.

    The tale of crop duster Chuck has reached a dead run from a creative aspect. It’s been very easy to think about over the last several weeks and the chapters seem to be writing themselves. This story is truly being written ‘on the fly’ so I hope I don’t paint myself into a corner with it (that’s a crop dusting reference, believe it, or not). But, I see the potential for some tremendous fun with it, both for myself as a writer and for my readers, especially those readers who might be interested in an action oriented aviation theme with sort of a ‘Sky King’ flavor to it and a Chuck and Sarah more antagonistic to the other farm and willing to take more risks (if you get my drift). And the spoilers stop there…with one exception. Expect to see many of the regular characters from the original story filling some very different roles.

    As Dave mentioned, and it helps a lot; if you want to share your thoughts about a story while I’m still slicing and dicing the ingredients, please drop me a line. I like to discuss the process (when I have a moment to spare).

    • atcDave says:

      I’m really glad to hear this has been so much fun for both you and your wife Angus. Hopefully it stays fun for you both through completion! I love the Sky King motif, and I love inserting known characters into new and interesting roles. Sounds like a lot of fun.
      Your comments about the creative process are interesting. Do you actually want specific input from readers? I can see two sides to that. On the one hand, it’s surely disappointing for everyone involved when story takes a turn that many readers can’t tolerate and they quit. Usually it happens very early on (if it’s going to happen), but occasionally a story gets quite a ways in when such a break happens.
      Of course the flip side is, you can end up with an overly entitled readership, or a story designed “by committee”, or flat out pandering. Soliciting input can be a dangerous can of worms to open!
      Sorry, I just always wonder HOW specific I should actually get on such input. I was always very specific about the show itself, but that seems very different as its a commercial product at least as much as an art form. But I always see fan fiction as a more pure art form; and the product is completely yours in a very unreal and non-legally binding sense.
      Typically, I’m most comfortable as a cheerleader. But I do wonder sometimes if that’s fair when a story takes an alarming turn.

      • jam says:

        Writers asking the readers for tips/suggestions in the author’s notes scare me away pretty quickly.

        I might comment on the characterizations as those are always the most important issue for me, mention what worked for me and what did not and why so, but I’ll never make suggestions as to where the story should be headed to.

        ” I was always very specific about the show itself, but that seems very different as its a commercial product at least as much as an art form. ”

        Yeah, I never had problems criticizing the show’s direction if I had problems with it, but doing so with fanfiction just doesn’t seem right. It’s better just to stop reading.

      • Oh, don’t worry about someone influencing me *that* much. I’m a major control freak when it comes to my writing and crafting a plot. Even my wife says, “Oh, whatever!” when I stick to my guns about a specific direction I want the story to go – probably the typical writer/editor relationship in many ways. I just enjoy discussing the process in more general terms and will share minor spoilers privately if pressed for them (with a non-disclosure agreement similar to the one Chuck was forced to sign) or toss out pieces of the puzzle for a particularly curious or impatient reader – but never an edge piece! Well, ahem, I’ve given an edge piece to one or two people.

        Any disturbing turns in the story will be all mine. But I don’t intend to go there. But, please bear in mind, in some ways this won’t be the Chuck and Sarah many of us are used to seeing or expect. The very nature of the setting and the back story I’m crafting demands something a little different from both characters, and that should be self-evident.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah they already seem different in ways, certainly your Chuck is more independent and self assured. To some extent I always expect that, I mean every writer brings their own take on things. In a way, I’ve already read a thousand different versions of Chuck and Sarah. But it is interesting to see that take on more deliberate twists, like a version of Chuck who runs his own business, has some financial means, and is successful in a more solitary occupation. You do give up some of his awkward nerd appeal when you make those decisions, but when the changes serve the story, or are a part of a well written story, they are just changes, not problems.

      • BDaddyDL says:

        @Jam To tell an author what they should do can be insulting. However, I’m always open to suggestions. It just takes me forever to write them down. For example, sometimes a character jumps off the page to readers and demands more attention. Also, I have seen a tiny part in a chapter get so much attention it is only natural to feel the urge to expand what you were going to do later.
        As long as the person making the comment is making a suggestion, to me its like getting two presents. First, they thought enough to review, and second, the story captivated their imagination so much they saw their own future plots.

    • BDaddyDL says:

      @Dave I great rule I am trying to follow is that for every added quality you add to a character, that means it changes another. For example, so far in the flying scottsmans story, Chuck is more confidant and at the same time Sarah also seems to be different also.
      Its all about chemistry, add something here, there must be another change down the line.

  8. Judy says:

    I never read any fan fiction before, but the end of Chuck made me interested in it. I really enjoyed reading The Long Road Home. Thanks for the recommendations.

  9. resaw says:

    Just wanted to mention that my first foray into reading fan fiction was Thinkling’s Sarah vs. Finding Herself, of which I am a relentless cheerleader, but based on earlier recommendations, I am now reading Chuck vs. the Sound of Music. Very promising so far!

    • atcDave says:

      Glad to hear you’re enjoying it Resaw, just as Thinkling’s story is as good of a canon compatible piece as you’ll ever see, Sound of Music is one of the very very best AUs.

      • BDaddyDL says:

        If any of you haven’t read Sound of Music, or any of her other stories please do so. She has the ability to make these really small moments come to life in vibrant color. Plus she writes at an amazing speed, so unlike when you read others stories Cough ME cough you know you will get a fast update.

  10. anthropocene says:

    Forgive the shameless plug, but Chapter 5 of Chuck Versus…Vegas is posted.

    • atcDave says:

      We’re happy to hear it! I look forward to reading.

      • anthropocene says:

        In case anyone might be looking for a finished post-series fic, “Chuck Versus What Happens In Vegas” is now a wrap.

      • atcDave says:

        And its a very good story too Anthro. Thanks you so much for getting it done! It feels a lot like the show itself, and even ends with the right amount of closure and on-going mystery. I sure look forward to any further stories you might come up with in your very own “season 6”.

      • anthropocene says:

        Thank you Dave—there will be more coming at some point.

      • joe says:

        Thanks for the heads up, Anthro! I’ve down-loaded everything and am already busy reading from the beginning (un-like Kate Becket, I don’t remember everything! – just the moth-drones…)

        This will be fun.

      • anthropocene says:

        Here’s hoping it stays fun for you throughout, Joe!

      • joe says:

        Finished! – and it was fun, Anthro. Love the music selections, love the guest star list, the episode/scene references, and the plot line is exactly the kind that I would hope to see from the pros when season 6 gets started.

        I have been dreaming,
        dreaming again…

        Jim Croce

        For the three people here who haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend it.

      • anthropocene says:

        Thank you, Joe!

      • jam says:

        Thank you for finishing that fic Anthro, I think it’s the best post-series story I’ve read. If you ever decide to write that 6.2 story I will read it for sure.

        In other ff news, JoeltotheD updated his wonderful AU fic “Chuck vs The World” after 7 months, and hopes to finish the story by Christmas. It’s perhaps slightly darker than your average Chuck fic, but incredibly well written. Highly recommended.

        Also, everyone should be reading “Chuck vs the Rancher’s Daughter” by Jameson Black and “Sarah vs the Farm” by Angus MacNab. Both are heavily AU, but the characters feel instantly familiar and just right.

      • anthropocene says:

        I appreciate the generous words, jam! There will be a 6.2 at some point. I’m running potential plot lines by my in-house reviewer (who helped me a great deal in fine-tuning 6.1).

      • joe says:

        In-house, Anthro? I do hope you’re paying union scale… 😉

      • anthropocene says:

        Heck, Joe, I do better than union scale. I split the royalties with her 50:50!

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