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Title: Air Magic
Author: [archiveofourown.org profile] Flamebyrd
Fandom: Leverage (characters), Emelan (fusion, universe but no characters)
Genre: Fusion
Length: Short (2,687 words)

Author's Summary:
Parker moves into Discipline.

Review:
I have a special love for Emelan fusions and or Parker, Hardison and Eliot so I jumped on this fic as soon as it was posted. Some really good choices were made to translate the characters into the Emelan world - their magics in particular. The characterization of all the characters is spot on too.

Air Magic (on AO3)
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Title: Our Skin, Our Bones, Our Silent Poems
Author: [archiveofourown.org profile] taylorpotato
Fandom: Teen Wolf
Genre: Friends to Lovers Romance, Deaf character, Language and Linguistics (uses ASL Gloss)
Pairing: Peter/Stiles
Length: Medium (7,675 words)
Warning: Stiles is underage
Admin note: I don't have a tag for differently abled characters - I will keep an eye out for more fics in the future that could go under such a tag and come back and change it but for now and so I can find it later, I'll tag this neurovariant as the closest thing I've got even though they're not the same at all.  WIll fix later.

Author's Summary:
Peter is a Deaf werewolf. Stiles is a CODA (Child of a Deaf Adult). They’re a kind of unlikely pair. But sometimes things you wouldn’t think of as a good combination, end up turning out to be the perfect combination, you know?

Review:
I LOVE this fic. I really like ASL gloss (I like ASL in general a lot and wish I knew more, and could use it more often without crazy pressure to not screw up - I should probably study harder) and love to see it included in fic about deaf characters. I already know a passable amount about ASL grammar so I didn't have any trouble following the gloss - I would guess it's pretty followable by anyone with a couple of exceptions that can be worked around with context so don't ignore this fic is you're not familiar with ASL - it's really cool, you'll probably like it. The ship isn't treated as being as important in the fic as the general bond between Stiles and Peter over ASL and challenges of being deaf and having deaf family - it's more a Friends-to-Lovers fic. It should also be noted that the dark parts of canon are pretty strongly downplayed or ignored altogether and the age difference issues (including how Stiles is underage) are lampshaded lightly and not dealt with again - this may not be okay with everyone - I was a pretty meh about it, but can't pass up ASL Gloss in a fic.

Our Skin, Our Bones, Our Silent Poems (on AO3)
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Title: Session Transcripts
Author: [archiveofourown.org profile] lastcrazyhorn
Fandom: Harry Potter
Genre: AU - Diverse characters, Epistolary, Psych issues
Length: Very Long (118,844 words)
Warnings: contains discussion of abuse and its lasting effects

Author's Summary:
What happens when a brain damaged Harry and a transgender Hermione both get sorted into Slytherin? Snape's not sure, but he thinks it's likely to be an interesting term. This story follows various first years through the trials of their first year.

Review:
This fic deals with a lot of heavy issues, mostly really well. This story is mostly about characters with a variety of psych issues, with a Harry with TBI and/or autism and FTM Hermione and a lot of other students in counseling too after active screening of all students for abuse. But it's also a story about Snape as a mentor to these characters and it really develops his character well in service of that. Finally, I think this is the best use of epistolary that I've ever found. Lots of good reasons to read this fic.

Session Transcripts (on AO3)
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Title: Westminster Care Home For Troubled Children
Author: [archiveofourown.org profile] DemandMeNothing
Fandom: Sherlock BBC
Genre: Character Study, Psych issues, Pre-canon
Pairing: Sebastian Moran/James Moriarty
Length: Epic (346,956 words)

Author's Summary:
Jim Moriarty is a troubled child. At only eight years old he's been moved from Dublin to a London care home for difficult youngsters, having attempted to kill his parents and baby sister in a house fire. His roommate is ten year old Sebastian Moran, a painfully shy but incredibly violent little boy.

Review:
I saw this fic rec'd as a must read non-Neurotypical character fic with the reccer saying it was spot on for Borderline Personality Disorder so I had to give it a try. I know next to nothing about BPD so I can't really comment on that aspect, but I do know that Moriarty makes a lot more sense as a character to me now having read this fic which is narrated from his POV so I wanted to pass on the rec. I have to admit I didn't make it very far proportionately into the 350k words, but I recommend at least giving it a try as a great character study of Moriarity.

Westminster Care Home For Troubled Children (on AO3)
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Title: Irregularities
Author: [archiveofourown.org profile] Amythe3lder
Fandom: Sherlock BBC
Genre: Romance, threesome, friendship
Pairing: Mycroft/Lestrade/Molly, John/Sherlock
Length: Medium (54,205 words)

Author's Summary:
She held back from correcting them, because the truth was even more absurd and still as hopeless. It never was Sherlock.

Review:
I think most people would assume this fic is just another threesome romance, but I have to argue for this being one of the better friendship fics in the fandom and I think, screen time wise, the story is pretty evenly split in its focus so don't tune out if the ship tags aren't your thing. I really like Molly's characterization here - competent, caring, good at reading people but lacking other people skills, just a little eccentric but enough that it makes sense that she'd take the far more eccentric Holmes family in stride. I also really like Sherlock's characterization here and if you prefer to read Sherlock as lying about having sociopathy to cover up some other neurovariance, you'll like him in this one too and really like how Molly acts as his friend in this story.

Irregularities (on AO3)
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Title:  Thursday Lunch Cafe
Author:  [archiveofourown.org profile] clavicular 
Fandom:  Big Bang Theory, Leverage
Genre:  Friendship
Length: Short (1,602 words)

Author's Summary: The table was turned 45˚ too far clockwise, hardly the optimum angle for maximising space. There was really no reason for Sheldon to be crushed into the corner. And yet. Thanks to the incompetent café staff, here he was. "Alright, what do you want?" Sheldon gaped at the woman. "You're not my waitress!" "I guess your usual waitress took the day off," she said, tapping a pen against her notepad.

Review:
Parker and Sheldon meet, hit it off in their very unique ways, and decide to be (platonic) something-better-than-friends.  It's amazing :D

Thursday Lunch Cafe (on AO3)
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Title: Control Issues
Author: [archiveofourown.org profile] LitGal
Fandom: Sentinel
Genre: Sentinels are Known (and it's treated like a disorder)
Pairing: Jim/OMC, Jim/Blair, Jim/Incacha/Incacha's wife
Length: 186,028 (Very Long words)
Warnings: Rape, systemic abuse (including sexual abuse), intense feelings of helplessness in the face of systemic abuse

Author's Summary:
In a world that knows, loves, respects, but doesn't trust its Sentinels, Jim is determined to hide his abilities. He won't submit to a guardian ad litem having custody of him in a legal system that ranks him on the same level as a child. He will not give up his control, not to anyone.

Review:
My feelings about this story are complicated and that's left this review kind of rambling and waffling between praise and generalized anger and I have to apologize for how confusing it ended up being. But I read this and decided to rec it because I think it's important.  As much as I really, really love Sentinel/Guide fandom, I've always found it strange how the whole thing is framed, in fanon especially - with Sentinels as these respected protectors recognized as being highly capable, as some throwback that was vital in the Iron Age and therefore still deserving of uncomplicated prestige in this very different (and much more cacophonous) world. Because people with real life sensory sensitivities know no one's looking at you like a super soldier - it's much more likely to end up framed as "you're the freak who needs to learn to hold it together and act like normal if you're to be trusted around real people." Been there, done that.  And this fic comes at the Sentinel issue from that direction which I really needed to see, as unpleasant as it ends up being.

I certainly wouldn't want to read a million stories like this because I read for escapism and this kind of dystopia is really depressing, but I feel like it needs to be out there at least once and this fic did a great job of showing it. But what I really, really liked about this fic was the ways that it deconstructs how it treats Sentinels and how alternate perspectives operate within and outside that system too, even as it sets the system up as a logical outcome of this way of thinking. I like how complex all the various viewpoints on Sentinels are and I liked how Blair suddenly has to face a moment of real empathy when it looks like something might be happening to him to put him on the other side of that system he had previously thought of purely in terms of "flawed but well-intentioned".

There are some really great characters in this, but be warned that there are also some triggers to watch out for - scenes of violence including rape, scenes of systemic sexual abuse presented with "clinical" detachment, and some pretty intense feelings of helplessness as Jim is forced into the system which uses some pretty clearly abusive practices against him (and leaves Jim very angry and really nasty towards some other characters, including Blair... the level of nastiness itself may also put some readers off and whether its entirely justified or taken too far may be up for debate).

Control Issues (on AO3)
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A staff person at the school I work at had lunch duty the other day, monitoring the students as they ate their lunch in the cafeteria, and she came by to gossip about her lunch shift.  Apparently, she'd noticed a magnet (Gifted and Talented) kid sitting alone apart from a group of non-magnet kids.  She decided to promote inter-class cooperation and good social skills and went to suggest this kid should slide down the couple of vacant seats between him and the small group of non-magnet kids and be friendly.  The magnet kid reportedly replied that he “doesn't mix with normal classes”.  According to this staff member, she immediately responded with a well-tempered remark about that not being very polite when what she'd really wanted to say was something about how that kid was such a snob and doesn't he realize how offensive that was to the normals of the world and that if he wants to get anywhere in the world, he'd better get off his high horse... 

Now take a moment and think about your personal response to the situation.  Go on; I’ll wait.

 

Read more... )


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Title:  Magical Thinking
Autho
r: [archiveofourown.org profile] kappamaki33 
Fandom: Glee
Pairings: 
Artie/Britney, Santana/Britney
Genre: Character Study
Length:
Short (Words: 6,077)

Author's Summary:
Two questions someone, someday, should ask that would give them all the insight into the mind of Brittany S. Pierce that they would ever want or need.

Review:
I love this fic.  Maybe its a little geeky of me, but it just seems like this fic perfectly demonstrates a rare kind of empathy towards difference.  Here, on the surface, it's about ableism but its also about worldviews.  And in demonstrating this rather than explaining or defining it with big words like relativism and perspecitivsm, it's much more accessible - how it works, why its important, etc - it's humanized.  And its great as a character study of Britney and a Glee fanfic too (that's just not what made me feel like it should be rec'd right away).
 
Magical Thinking (on AO3)
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Title: The Obsessive Joy of Autism
Author: Julia Bascom aka [wordpress.com profile] juststimming 

Review:
Not a fanfic, but so worth sharing because so much of what neurotypicals - be they writers, teachers, family etc - are taught about autism is from the outside looking in and that's just not good enough.  I don't know how many people are aware, but sometimes there's a really huge gap between what something looks like from the outside and what it's like from the inside (what's called the "lived experience" of it).  This gap between what it looks like and what it is leads to a lot of misunderstanding.  If the only view you ever see of something or someone different is from the outside, it would make it very difficult to write a character like that realistically.  It would also make it too easy to disregard that person's point of view entirely, to take for granted that its fundamentally wrong and that they're pitable for it.  Unfortunately, a lot of the stuff about autism is written by parents and doctors and teacher, for parents and doctors and teachers with the implication (or sometimes its far to blatant to merely be called an implication) that autistics themselves don't have any insight, aren't worth talking to or writing for which is not only wrong but actually makes me really angry sometimes. 

And this is why I think it's great to see the contrast between the way stimming is normally viewed (as wrong and disordered and distressing) and the way it's described here.  This essay is really beautiful and happy.  It's an autistic speaking about joy and about joy with autism and its so cool.  Before you write a fic where someone is autistic, you should really read it.  Or, you know, read it anyways... because its all infectiously happy and made of awesome.  If you like it, check out some of the author's other writings too.

... )

The Obsessive Joy of Autism (on Wordpress)

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Title: The Makings of a Good Man
Author: [archiveofourown.org profile] thebermuda 
Fandom: Sherlock (BBC)
Pairings: Sherlock/OFC
Genre: Case!fic, Romance, General
Length:  Medium (Words: ~80k and counting)

Author's Summary:
In which the villain shoots himself before the story starts and everyone else must fix the mess he made. Sherlock and a woman genius, Dr. Madder, travel the world to solve a threefold problem: a perfectly genuine computer code, a broken sniper, and Jim Moriarty's psychopathic ally, Adelbert Gruner (from The Illustrious Client).

Review:
Don't let yourself be put off by the OFC pairing.  She's well-written and fits into the Sherlock storyverse well and the pairing isn't forced and doesn't push Sherlock OOC.  There's also plenty of plot to go along with this pairing as Sherlock is drawn into helping the OC (a math, programing, and cryptography supergenius) destroy all record of her work on a key Moriarity badly wants and can't be allowed to get under any circumstances.

I love the portrayal of autism in this fic.  I really, really love it.  In particular, I  think the handling of sensory issues associated with autism scene is really well written.  I also like the contrast between autistic!Sherlock and psychopath!Moriarity, particularly in the childhood stories slipped into this fic periodically. 

Related: If you haven't already seen The Slumber of Feelings by [livejournal.com profile] street_howitzer  (my rec post for it is here), be sure to check it out along with this story.

The Makings of a Good Man (on AO3)

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