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05 October 2015 @ 09:43 am
The Ten Greatest X-F Fanfics You've Ever Read  
tenbest

Have you ever struggled whenever you've ventured inside a new fandom to find the really good stories?

With the Revival attracting a whole new generation of fans, I thought it would be a good idea for us to list the X-Files fanfictions that made our hearts beat faster, the ones that blew our minds, those stories we never forgot, the ones we've kept coming back to, or remember fondly because they were SO DAMN GREAT.

Our fandom is blessed with so many talented authors, but with more than 35,000 stories on Gossamer (and these numbers date from 2007), more than 4,000 on AO3 and around 8,000 on FF.net, plus God knows how many floating about on Tumblr, how can newcomers be expected to find the truly good stuff?

The rules are simple: list a maximum of ten fics you love the most followed by a short explanation of why you do.
Is it the plot? The writing? The characters? Something else?
You can list less, but not more.
No "everything by [insert author's name]" please, we're looking for specific stories here.
Let's rec!
ETA: you don't have to pick different stories if they have already been mentionned by someone else. Your list is *your* list.
 
 
 
xfdryadxfdryad on October 5th, 2015 03:01 pm (UTC)
Omg what fresh hell is this question?!?! I shall endeavour to answer it. Okay. In no particular order:

The Lost - Wintersong.

I...actually don't know what I love about these fics. Is it the portrayal of two people coming into their own? Is about the manner in which they hunt monsters? The family dynamic? The tantalizing WIP that makes up part 3, which I am not listing?

Games We Play - Wintersong. Summary - Mulder and Scully participate in an FBI wargame that raises interesting questions about what game is being played...and the identities of the players.

This story has it all. Humor, asskicking, unknown enemies, the internet, hurt/comfort. Romance, of a sort. Or perhaps just the promise of it...

The Four Corners Cycle - Spookey247. '

Our heroes in the post-apocalypse. This is not a comforting or comfortable story, but it's certainly a fascinating one. Mulder's new...spirituality is a huge adjustment for Scully, who I think suffers quite a bit throughout it.

Dropped Angels - shewhohides.

The fact that the author only appears to have written 3 stories just slays me. Dropped Angels gives us a vulnerable Krycek and a cruel, cruel Scully, a side of her we all know is there and so very rarely see.

Paracelsus - Prufrock's Love. Georgia Low Country: August, 1865

I'm not even sure this is my favorite by Pru, but I really love Mulder's character in this particular story. And if you haven't noticed, there are references to each previous story in Pru's big stories.

Paradise Lost -Bardsmaid (LoneThinker).

It kills me that Bardsmaid died before she could finish the final part of the Sanctuary series. I have the rough draft in my folder and honestly, haven't been able to bear looking at it all these years. In any case, I love the sympathy with which Bardsmaid writes her characters, Krycek in particular, and I love a certain...moment...that occurs that I can't talk about because spoilers. I like her vision of our heroes.

Being Crazy - Branwell.

The X-files are gone and Mulder is lost without them. Scully is trying to keep things together for both of them. In the middle of this crisis Scully receives a plea for help from her brother Bill. She and Mulder must carry out an unauthorized investigation of a crime to save Bill's family. At the same time a memoir falls into Mulder's hands that Scully's sister Melissa believed to be an account of a Scully family member's past life. Mulder's curiosity overcomes his sensible resolve to avoid reading the story of a dark, difficult life that he and Scully supposedly once shared. He doesn't want to believe in the authenticity of the document. Then events in the present go out of control and drive out every other consideration.

There's a prequel to this fic, Condemned to Repeat It, but I prefer Being Crazy. Two stories in which Scully suffers in ways that are not recoverable. Being Scully, of course she deals with them in her stoic, Scully-like manner, and Mulder is...flawed. There are family dynamics and really good plotting. So good. And yes, I cried reading each, for different reasons.

Night Giving Off Flames - JET.

Can't really go into details, save to say it's fabulous.

Okay, I;m going to have to review for my final two stories, and also see what other folks come up with...

Dang, OP, this is hard!

Edited at 2015-10-05 03:02 pm (UTC)
sinkwriter: Mulder - I Want To Believesinkwriter on October 5th, 2015 04:00 pm (UTC)
xfdryad, if it's any comfort, I just wanted to let you know that your link to the Bardsmaid Sanctuary series is a very old pathway. She did finish the Sanctuary series as a trilogy, here:

http://www.bardsmaid.org/XF/fic.htm

It's Paradise Lost (part 1), Walking Through Fire (part 2) and Sanctuary (final, part 3). That series is complete and it's wonderful. I highly recommend it. I know the original post says not to just say "everything by this author," but in Bardsmaid's case, it's completely true. I love everything she's written and wish there could be more of it.

Unfortunately, she was working on the sequel to that trilogy (called Topaz) when she died, so that is what will never be completed. Which breaks my heart, because she had such a thorough mapping-out of what she wanted to do with the series as a whole and how she would connect it to the actual show's events. I once visited her over a Thanksgiving holiday and she showed me this amazing chart she'd made of the show's events and how they interconnected, and how they'd line up with parts of her Sanctuary series.

She was such a mentor and friend to me, and I mourn all the stories we won't get from her, especially with this new revival of the series. Every time I read something new about it, I wonder what she would have thought and what she would have created in response to all the new energy in the fandom. It's such a loss.

Anyway, thank you for all your other links - I don't think I've read them! :)

Edited at 2015-10-05 04:40 pm (UTC)
Night giving Off Flames - addisonzella on October 13th, 2015 08:51 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Night giving Off Flames - wendelah1 on June 18th, 2016 04:48 pm (UTC) (Expand)
sinkwriter: Mulder - Smart is Sexysinkwriter on October 5th, 2015 04:38 pm (UTC)
Recommendations, part one. (LOL)

As I was saying to xfdryad, I really would recommend everything by bardsmaid. She was a mentor, a friend and a very talented writer who created character-rich X-Files stories. For me, there is no one better.

But if I can only name specific pieces, these are some of my favorites (by Bardsmaid and by other authors):

Overhead, The Stars by Bardsmaid ~ Two captivating characters: Fox Mulder and Alex Krycek. The weight of the world on each man's shoulders. A quiet yet surprising night in which the two rivals come to a momentary, unexpected truce in an intriguing (and humorous) way. As Bardsmaid herself notes, it involves "two very tired men, a language lesson, [and] a houseplant."

My added comment: Come on, you've got to be curious after reading that wacky description. *GRIN*

One of many great lines throughout, this one said in a snarky way: "Get a dictionary, Mulder."

Outpost by Bardsmaid ~ A fascinating snapshot of characters Dana Scully and Alex Krycek (and yes, mentions of Fox Mulder) during a moment's respite from fighting the alien occupation. This story captures the flavor of a dusty Star Wars-like "cantina" in a modern world slowly coming apart, with a poetic, contemplative quality that is pure Bardsmaid.

One of my favorite lines: "Her cheeks are flushed, her expression warm and relaxed; it lights the shadowed corner of the room like a quiet fire spied through a frosty window."

Lovely.

A Dream of Fools by Spica - A lengthy yet beautifully written piece about the dynamic yet dark relationship between Krycek and Scully. As the author writes: "Tiger and wolf, winter snow and cornflowers, wounds and desire: a war of wills." It's NC-17, so be forewarned, and it takes liberties with the possibility that Scully would ever get involved sexually with Alex Krycek (even just for one evening, as she does here), so if that's not your cup of tea, steer clear. But it's got some terrific insights into both the Krycek and Scully characters, and I love all her Russian backstory for Krycek. If you want to read something that's descriptively rich in detail, where words are like expressive poetry, it's a gorgeous, thought-provoking story. It's stuck with me all these years, ever since I read it. I think that's the mark of a good story. :)

Back in a sec. I yammer on too much for LiveJournal's character limits.
sinkwriter: Mulder - I Want To Believesinkwriter on October 5th, 2015 04:39 pm (UTC)
Recommendations, part two. ;)

If you're looking for a well-written slash piece involving Mulder and Krycek, I recommend One Night in Bangkok by Grimilkin. Here's the summary by the author: "One night in Bangkok and Mulder gets drunk, Krycek dances with a girl with blue hair, Stoli is used as a cold compress, envelopes are distributed, incriminating photographs are revealed, and Mulder's life is changed forever." Why I like it: it's funny, it's sexy, it's clever and it's a little dark. If I were ever to get into slash for this fandom, it's because of stories like this one.

I never thought I'd be a fan of Alex Krycek. When I watched the show back in the day, I wanted to slap him upside the head, he was such a bastard. But I never loved what they chose to do with his character in the final season; I thought it was a waste of a wonderful foil for Mulder and Scully, and through reading stories like ones by Bardsmaid or Spica, I've come to appreciate the potential of his character, the richness and dark levels that come from a guy who had to make hard, ugly choices and be pragmatic, which sometimes was in direct contrast with Mulder's more dreamy devotion to the unusual and uncovering "the truth," as Krycek's speech to Mulder in Red and the Black once showed. He could be a help or a hindrance, and I really love the writers who find the balance of his character - the dark ugliness and the potentially good.

In tribute to Krycek, I do have one more recommendation, called The House Of Hope Is Built On Ash by an author named M. Sebasky. It's the short story of Marita Covarrubias and her attempt to say goodbye to Krycek after his death. "He died without dignity and that was not right. She knew he had lived with dignity, or tried to. It was integrity he lacked." It's a bit supernatural in style, a little "out there," but that's well in keeping with the tone of The X-Files, so... I like it.

Those are some of my favorites. I hope you enjoy! And I look forward to others' recommendations. This could be a very fun revisiting of the best of XF fiction. ♥

Edited at 2015-10-05 04:44 pm (UTC)
xfdryadxfdryad on October 8th, 2015 04:22 pm (UTC)
I love M.Sebasky!!
zinnia03: Season 1zinnia03 on October 6th, 2015 12:59 am (UTC)
Six Fic Pics
There are some I would have recced that are already on lists here, so although I love them too, I’ll try not to repeat anything. Makes it a little harder to make a list, but also gives the reader more to choose from. These are all stories I've re-read recently, and I think they hold up well. In no particular order:

America’s Games by Sarah Segretti. Author’s synopsis: “Assigned to the bioterrorism squad at the 1996 Summer Olympics, Scully tries to make sense of confusing evidence, her baffling partner and her uncertain place in a world where the X-Files don't matter.” Set just post-Talitha Cumi and Herrenvolk. Sort of a fish-out-of-water story with Scully temporarily assigned away from Mulder and the X-Files, though of course Mulder can’t stay away long. Scully tries to puzzle out the information from files they found at Strughold Mining, and Mulder wants to investigate ginseng farms in Canada. Both are frustrated by their lack of progress, plus there's an undercurrent that is making them snipe at each other. High tension story that fits the mid-series tone.

Ninety-nine and 44/100ths Done by Sarah Segretti. Set post-Brand X. This would make a good semi-humorous episode, though it also has its serious moments. Mulder and Scully are called to Cincinnati for a mysterious case and while there, get involved in another one. Two casefiles for the price of one, and Skinner and Krycek too. Scully muses on what it would be like to be a part of a community as she observes in Cincinnati, and Mulder watches Scully eat Graeter’s ice cream.

Cunegunde’s Restoration, or The Best of All Possible Worlds, Really by Livia Balaban. it’s one way Mulder’s abduction in S7 could have been resolved. Though it’s implausibly happy, I got a kick out of it and enjoyed it so much that I emailed the author halfway through reading it. Morris Fletcher makes an appearance and he is spot-on. The author’s intent was to write the best possible outcome to Mulder’s abduction, however unlikely it was to happen on the show. I found it a lot of fun to read, especially the epilogue.

Failure to Die by Kel. Narrated by Jerry Luskin, who works with Scully and Mulder on a case involving a hospital, some wise guys, and if Mulder has his way, ghosts. Scully gets to be a doctor. I enjoy a good third-party observer story, and this one has an interesting case file, too.

Beginner’s Guide To Tightrope Walking by Kel. Agent Luskin is back, retired from the FBI and running a detective agency with one other investigator: Fox Mulder. However, Agent Luskin isn’t sure that Mulder is investigating what he’s supposed to be investigating. This is post-series but pretty much ignores anything that happens after Mulder’s abduction.

Flesh and Blood by Prufrock. Very early partnership story. Mulder doesn’t want Scully involved in a case featuring real-life snuff films, but Skinner makes him take her. It’s profiler Mulder, and Dr. Scully, figuring out how to work with each other. I love the touches of pre-XF background the author provides, including Scully’s erstwhile boyfriend, Ethan Minette.
mimic117mimic117 on October 6th, 2015 04:31 pm (UTC)
So many to choose from!
Where do I begin?!

I've never visited the book club before because I knew I'd get sucked into reading All The Fic, but I love sharing recs so I couldn't resist. Thank you for the opportunity to give a shout-out to some of my faves.

I'll second (third, fourth) The Games We Play, Soldiergirl, and Cunegund's Restoration. I've read all of them multiple times because they're just so perfect. My other 7 (because that's all I can post! ~sob~):

Changes by Shirle. This one has Mulder!Torture, validation, a great OC, Scully comfort, and a marvelous profiler/bombing case. The interactions of the characters ring true and give us a look at Mulder being accepted and supported by his peers instead of the stereotype Spooky-Boy jokes.

Renovatio by Lisby and MaybeAmanda. The e-mail structure of the story works like a charm. A wonderful chance to see how Scully deals with having to stay home while Mulder's out taking risks. Fantastic characterizations and Mulder/Doggett interactions by proxy.

Kinesthesia by Spookey247. M&S undercover at a traveling carnival. "Duke, this is Brenda, the greenest and meanest weight-guesser this show ever saw. Brenda, this is Duke. He's learning to jock the Thunder Bolt." Yes... yes he is. Splendid casefile.

Operation Clean House by Sarah Segretti and Won & Lost by Branwell. Rather than post-col, the very beginning of colonization and what it means to M&S.

Happy Christmas, Your Arse by David Hearne. I love David's writing style and this is one of his fics that I read every year during the holidays. It answers the age-old question, "What does Mulder do for Christmas?"

Sieg und Verlust by aka"Jake" gives us a look at what part Mulder might play in defeating colonization. In this story, he takes Doggett with him. Epic post-col and great characterizations.
xfdryadxfdryad on October 8th, 2015 04:25 pm (UTC)
Re: So many to choose from!
HOW DID I MISS A BRANWELL STORY :O
Re: So many to choose from! - mimic117 on October 8th, 2015 04:36 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Suzanne FeldSuzanne Feld on October 6th, 2015 06:51 pm (UTC)
Best fanfic
There are not in order, but are my go-to favorites:
http://krycek.gossamer.org/display.php?AfterEight.mult
Smut. Yow.
http://www.thebasementoffice.com/RachelHoward/AR1.txt
Just so lovely, so in character.
http://leylaslandofpurple.xffics.com/surface.txt
The love. Just... the love.
http://krycek.gossamer.org/display.php?BlueChristmas.Deniability
More smut. I know, I know.
http://tooms.gossamer.org/display.php?CarrotAndTheStick.Deniability
The humor, and Mulder POV.
http://tooms.gossamer.org/display.php?Celebration.Jess
It leaves me smiling.
http://krycek.gossamer.org/display.php?AphrodisiaI.Oxley-Johns
Best. Erotica. Ever.
http://www.whispersofx.net/whispersofx/stories/worthbreaking.txt
Best. Long. Smut. Ever.
Is it wrong if I pick two of my own? I mean, seriously, I read what I like to write.
http://archiveofourown.org/works/3788173
My favorite non-NC-17 story of my own.
http://archiveofourown.org/works/3825070
My favorite NC-17 of my own.

I could easily add another dozen!

cygnet7cygnet7 on October 6th, 2015 10:56 pm (UTC)
Just 10? Really??? Okay, so I cheated a little bit by listing a couple of series. I don't think I can wax as eloquent as some of the folks posting, but here is my list, in no particular order.

The Lost - Wintersong.
Games We Play - Wintersong
Ninety-nine and 44/100ths Done by Sarah Segretti
Vengeance by Juliettt
Goshen series by Bonetree
Deliverance From Evil by Char Chaffin and Tess
And Cupid Laughed by JHJ Armstrong
It's Me and Quis Custodiet by Lee Burwasser
The Fringe series by Michelle Kiefer
Parabiosis by Penumbra
(Anonymous) on October 7th, 2015 01:21 am (UTC)
Venturing over from Haven
Don't have a LJ, so posting anonymously (fansince93 on Haven). I don't know if these are the ten GREATEST that I have ever read, but they are among the first 10 that popped into my head as favorites or those that I read over and over again.

“The Tourists” by Discordia/DiscordantWords – Possibly my very favorite story ever. Beautifully written, with characterization and dialogue that fits the characters…or fits the characters as I would expect them to be post-December 22, 2012 when colonization didn’t occur. Sentimental and nostalgic, without being too much of either, this story is exactly how I would like to picture Mulder and Scully at that point in time. I doubt I’ll ever get tired of reading this.

“Parabiosis” by Penumbra - Because it’s Parabiosis? But really, this makes my list because it’s long, it’s epic, and it’s a behind-the-scenes look at season seven, and all the possible scenes viewers were deprived of. The writing style is unique and I enjoy it.

“Home, Home” by onpaperfirst - Because I can’t say “everything by onpaperfirst”? But also because she nails the banter (“Recidivist offenders are often bold”) and because Mulder and Scully contemplate a new career as turkey shoot ringers.

“Across the Rubicon” by Anne Haynes – I enjoy post-“all things” stories and I enjoy stakeout stories, so…

“Jasper’s Last Thought” by MD1016 – I remember reading this when it was newly published and was so taken by it that I read it repeatedly that first week. An interesting premise and a story that has stuck with me all these years.

“The Dreaming Sea” by Revely – A sweet casefile. I love the tone and the writing and the charm of the setting. Another story that has long been one of my favorites.

“The Ineffable Aura of Planet Spooky” by sixpences (or bravenewcentury on Gossamer) – What can I say, I’m a sucker for stories that take place in the aftermath of “all things.” I’m also a sucker for subtle stories offering glimpses of the mundane happenings in the day to day life of Mulder and Scully; this story is both.

“Nonessential Personnel” by Lara Means – Lighthearted and sweet, reading this story has almost become a tradition of mine (is that weird?). I’m a teacher, and I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve celebrated the first snow day of the year by re-reading this gem.

“Tinfoil” by Loch Ness – This is a really old one, but also sort of a tradition. I look forward to re-reading this one during the “Holiday Fic of the Day” countdown at Haven.

“20” by syntax6 – It spans twenty years! Enjoyed reading this as it was posted “year” by “year” and have reread it several times since. I enjoy the little glimpses of M&S, and how the different chapters capture their changes over time.
milagroitsme: reallymilagroitsme on October 7th, 2015 06:04 pm (UTC)
No specific order because these are my babies

1)Cruise by Partous, Madeleine
It was one of these stories that made me stay up all night to read. It was so creepy that I had to leave the computer (yes. No notebook back in the days....) to clear my thoughts with a cup of coffee. And I am still in love with the story

2)Where there's a will by andrea
Such a sweet and romantic story. I remember that I started rereading the moment I finished this . Sigh. Great characterization.

3)Never by Allison Kinney
Oh I love it. Short skirt. Beer. Mulders hand reaching for her.... ok. That's NC17, of course.

4)Beyond Fragile by Leyla Harrison
OmG. This was so heartbreaking. I cried so hard. Leyla was such a talented writer. I should go to re-read this story.

5) Comfortably Numb by Paige Caldwell
Because I know what Paige was writing about. It was good to read. Another side of Scully. Breaking my heart.

6) Words Series by Karen Rasch
As you can see I'm into fanfiction since the beginning. And this one was always on my mind back then. Wonderfully written.

7) His and Hers by beduini
Because I am such a shipper and this post- all things piece melted my heart

8)Butterflies All Tied Up by Bugs
I was drawn into this plot and couldn't stop reading

9) Bite Size Love by Malibu Sunset
I just love her stories.

10)More than a river by flynn
Back in the days I had a printed copy of this fanfiction in my suitcase every time I had to leave town. I still own this copy and every time I come across it I have to smile because of all the memories

Oh. Ten. Sigh.
(Anonymous) on October 11th, 2015 08:07 pm (UTC)
Never
Oh my, I've never heard anyone talk about Never by Allison Kinney before, but that's been my favorite for years and years- such a sexy, hot fic, but so sweet and tender as well!
amyhitamyhit on October 7th, 2015 08:12 pm (UTC)
Faves - part 1 of ?
Before I give my list, I have to say that often the things I love most about a fic are not the same things that make the greatest impression. For example, a big part of me demands that Atomic Split by Pteropod, and Instructions by tree, and Without Speaking, Confess by bravenewcentury, and a dozen other fics of their kind be on this list of favorites, because they are exactly the kinds of fics I love: poetic, intimate, delicate, lovely. They're the fics I read over and over again. I carried them around with me in my head. I repeated lines from them to myself, like incantations.

But then how can I set one of those fics beside a fic like Arizona Highways, and choose the former? How can the tiny, lovely fragment outweigh the masterfully executed behemoth? Ultimately, in compiling this list, I tended towards choosing fics for the extent of their ambition, for how masterfully they achieved that ambition, and for the impact they had on fandom. Do I love Arizona Highways more than I love Without Speaking, Confess? I don't know. Do I admire it more? I don't know. But I had to impose some kind of value system on my choices. It would have been impossible to choose, otherwise.

Also, I limited myself to choosing only one fic (or series) by each author, to ensure variety.

My Ten Favorites (in no particular order, except that Parabiosis is first):

Parabiosis by Penumbra // For me, nothing beats Penumbra's deft, intelligent characterizations or her gorgeously poetic prose. I read this fic early on in my time as an X-Phile, and to a large extent I think her characterizations did a lot to shape who the characters were in my mind for the next five years. I stayed up all night reading this fic, looking up words in the dictionary as I went along, and rereading every third paragraph because I literally couldn't believe how good it was. At the risk of being over-dramatic, Parabiosis is the most intense, profoundly moving reading experience I've ever had, no contest.


Small Lives Awake by Jesemie's Evil Twin // Picking a favorite of JET's work is incredibly hard, and part of me balks at choosing one that is almost entirely domestic/relationship based, with very little of the actual X-Files in it. But Small Lives Awake simply cannot be denied. It's just...just wonderful, it's so lovely, such a sweet, tender, nuanced, luxurious joy of a story.


Universal Invariants by Syntax6 // Syntax6's writing has it all, and nowhere is that more true than in Universal Invariants. If someone told me there was a long, complex X-Files fic set in S1 & 2, which nails Mulder and Scully's early-days dynamic, sizzles with UST, aches with pent up emotion, thrills and chills you with multiple threads of creepy and sinister plot, weaves gracefully through the framework of S1 & 2 episodes, and has the most perfectly placed, perfectly written sex scene imaginable, I'd be like, "I'll believe it when I read it, because this sounds like the kind of fic that only exists in one's fantasy of what a fic could be." And then I would read Universal Invariants and have to admit that Syntax6 has written a fic that is better than even the perfect, unformed fantasy fic of my imagination. I think it's fair to say that while Penumbra's M&S shaped my headcanon of the characters mostly from the inside out, Syntax6's M&S shaped my headcanon of the characters from the outside in. They have the incisive strength and capability I look for in all my favorite characters. They're professionals, they're bamfs, and their smart about it.

Edited at 2015-10-08 08:18 pm (UTC)
amyhitamyhit on October 7th, 2015 08:14 pm (UTC)
Faves - part 2 of ?
Iolokus (et al.) by MustangSally and RivkaT // What can one say about Iolokus without repeating everything everyone says about Iolokus? If fanfic can be iconic, Iolokus is iconic. It's novel, it's epic, it's dark as fuck but also darkly clever and witty. The writing doesn't seem to take itself too seriously, but it's also not afraid to take itself seriously when appropriate. And there's a sleekness even to the ugliness that's so liberally present in Iolokus, between the characters, and within them, and surrounding them. Iolokus is a whole new breed of beast, and it almost singlehandedly pried open my mind to the idea that there can be extremely different permutations of the characters I love, and that I can still love them in all their extremity. I've never particularly believe that hate and love are closely related, but Iolokus made me believe it, temporarily, with a Mulder and Scully who, at times, hate each other every bit as much as they love each other. There's tremendous potency in that dynamic when it's done well, and in Iolokus its done very well. The kind of fic about which people say, deservedly: buckle up.


Sokol (et al) by Khyber // I find it very, very difficult to choose just one of Khyber's fics to call my favorite. I love most of his fics, for a handful of qualities they all share, as well as a few things that are specific to each one. I love Khyber's writing for the strong, complex characterizations of M&S as well as the secondary characters. I also love his writing for its complicated brand of realism. Khyber's stories manage to be incredibly grim, even brutal, without being overly cynical. The ideals of the characters always remain an important part of who they are: their desire to do good, to preserve what is vulnerable, to fight for justice and safety and truth and clarity. To be strong in their actions regardless of how vulnerable and flawed they feel.

I find it particularly hard to choose between the Sokol 'verse and KvsS7 (both of which I insist can be chosen as single works, even though technically the fics in them are quite separate). I adore KvsS7, and in particular The Fall of Our Summer is one of those fics that will remain seared into my brain for a long time to come. But I have to choose the Sokol 'verse as my favorite of Khybers fics, if only because I think the writing is stronger. Perhaps Sokol is slightly less conceptually complex than KvsS7, which is such a dense, knotty conceptual tangle, but certainly Sokol is more consistently engrossing. The narrative is a smoother, cleaner fabric.


Life During Wartime by Cofax, Fialka, Maria Nicole, and Marasmus // I admire LDW enormously, but in truth, this fic is almost on my list as a matter of principle. Because, IMO, it's quite far out in front as the best colonization fic there is. LDW sets the standard. It's possibly the only colonization fic that deals carefully and realistically with colonization, without skipping major details or huge chunks of time, and without being either noir or decidedly optimistic. What it does is capture the scope of colonization, in a balanced, objective way, with M&S at the center.

Arizona Highways by Fialka // Dear, dear Arizona Highways. I loved you, I'm sure of it, but I don't really remember you. I just remember this fic being another fic that has it all. Strong, smart, attractive M&S characterizations, but also vulnerable and at times prickly M&S characterizations. A complex, gripping plot (which I don't remember now, but which I'm quite sure I thought was awesome at the time). Lots of UST and lots of angst between M&S, but also an M&S who are mature, professional people who admirably fight their way through the crises they're dealt. IIRC, the eventual, final sex scene in this fic didn't quite do it for me, but apart from that I'm pretty sure I loved almost everything. The one thing I remember perfectly is Mulder having to buy shoes for Scully because something catastrophic had happened and all her clothes were toast. And he comes back with these tiny tennis shoes that practically fit on his outstretched hand, and he just cannot believe that Scully, who is so strong and tough and capable, has such tiny feet. I've always loved that.
amyhitamyhit on October 7th, 2015 08:16 pm (UTC)
Faves - part 3 of 3
The Unfinished Universe by Revely // Another fic that I'm absolutely certain is spectacular, but which I don't remember very well anymore. Mainly what I remember is that Revely's writing has exceptional emotional intelligence. Her M&S are smart, but it's the depth of feeling in them that really shines through, especially in Unfinished Universe. I just remember it being very intimate and poignant and...delicate? Like, Scully and Mulder are attempting to mend a lot of really fragile personal fragments of themselves, and there's such care and gentleness in it, and also this deep, shared well of grief for everything they've been through and lost or nearly lost.


The Best Lies by Julie Fortune // The final two of my faves feel a little out of place, just because they're such relatively small fics, next to the previous fandom giants. I'm also a bit unsure about choosing The Best Lies over Fata Morgana as my favorite of Julie Fortune's fics, given that the latter is almost certainly the stronger-written and more substantial story. But I'm choosing The Best Lies, because it's so deliciously vivid in my mind. It lacks the length and complexity to be an episode, yet it has all the narrative punch to be a movie. Plus, the last scene is perfect, and beautifully captures the kind of painful, almost horrible UST I'm such a fan of - the complexity of Mulder and Scully's feelings for each other, and their feelings about themselves, and their interdependency which borders on unhealthy but also keeps them going.

On a separate note, I think of Julie Fortune as something of a stylistic sibling to Syntax6. Her fics are never as long and never as complex, but otherwise they're quite similar: strong, gripping plots; vivid, cinematographic prose; strong, capable M&S characterizations; and UST that's often more painful than it is sweet.


Waiting by Kipler // The shortest and least well known of my favorites, Waiting is an eerie Post-Gethsemane fic that was actually written during the S4 hiatus (rather than long after the fact), which is something I love about it. Waiting just...I read it and it stunned me. It's spare, it's vivid, it's creepy, and it's fascinating. I love the way the fic plays with the perception of time and of reality. I love that despite themes of death and grief and dying, the fic's aim is evidently to unnerve you and make you think, rather than to make you cry. And I really love Scully's characterization. First person POV is hard to pull off in fanfic, but in Waiting, Scully's POV is spot on, and a big part of the strength of the fic.
xfdryadxfdryad on October 8th, 2015 04:27 pm (UTC)
I am so glad to see so many of my favorites posted by others.

Like I said, OP, choosing is so hard!!!
stefrobrts on October 12th, 2015 02:05 am (UTC)
Recs
I came around here to find a fic I remembered from back in the day, but was having trouble locating.

By luck I finally ran across it: Going Nowhere by Nicole Perry. It is a long adventure with M & S on the run from the consortium, written early on - like after One Breath, before we had to deal with cancer and stuff like that. The action kept me on the edge of my seat, I could not put it down as I plowed my way through the series. And it has the hottest sex scenes I ever read. Lets just say that if I still remembered how much I loved this particular story, roughly 15 years since the last time I read it, it's pretty amazing. BUT - just a heads up - it is unfinished. It is still worth the read.

The other thing I found in my search was Jill Selby, specifically Rags. It was such a joy to run across a rec for her Aspirations of Closure, which led me to her site, only on the Wayback Machine since she didn't put her stuff on Goassamer. Since it had been so long I couldn't remember her name exactly, but it was such a joy to read her work again. I also recall her being a super nice person who helped me out by proofing some of my work as I tentatively set free a few fan fics of my own.

Other oldies but goodies:

The Sin Eater by Jane Mortimer

All the Mulders by Alloway

No Greater Love by Karen Rasch

Back in the day I felt badly burned by Season 9, and I dropped away from the XF universe, but the revival sucked me back in, and the creativity of fan fic is still one of my favorite things about XF. Thank you for throwing this 'book club' together and to all who share recs, I have so much reading to do, and I am loving it.
addisonzella on October 13th, 2015 03:53 am (UTC)
Favorite Fics
I'm new to the fandom (summer 2015) but here are my favorites, in no particular order:

1. Secret World http://wwwu.keyofx.org/fiction_bonetree-secret%20world.txt
If Chris Carter wants to make a 3rd movie, he should read this fic. This story has everything: plot, characterization, and fleshed-out supporting characters. Also I love how Mulder acts when he isn’t allowed to be around Scully.

2. The Eleventh Hour http://www.keyofx.org/fiction_Rachel%20Anton-The%20Eleventh%20Hour.txt
I’m referring to the beginning of this story, when Mulder goes mental. It gave me goosebumps and brought tears to my eyes. I like how the author describes the events that transpired in a non-linear way, slipping from Mulder explaining the event itself to his present-day situation. The rest of the story is good, lots of sex, but I don’t really like AU stories.

3. Third Wish. http://x-files.bytewright.com/arcTh/ThirdWish.html
Just a smut-fest. Mulder basically goes caveman on Scully.

4. One Last Push. http://web.archive.org/web/20100129171737/http://shippers.fredfarm.com/fanfic/stories/OneLastPush.txt
Again, sex, sex, sex.

5. In the Ruins http://fluky.gossamer.org/display.php?InTheRuins.Bower

6. After Midnight. http://www.annex-files.com/annex/stories/aftermidnight.txt
Smut again. Along with a well-developped story that fills in the gaps between episodes and imagines a different season 7 finale. A long read, but well-written and worth it!

7. A Show of Strength. http://www.keyofx.org/fiction_meredith_show%20of%20strength.txt
This story loses momentum in some places, but the overall plot is clever.

8. Move the Body Over. https://www.fanfiction.net/s/9273367/1/Move-the-Body-Over
Sex.

9. And She Cried https://www.fanfiction.net/s/7062870/1/And-She-Cried Short and Sweet
http://whispersofx.net/whispersofx/3e-7hhhstories/allure.txt

10. The Ghost of You. http://web.archive.org/web/20041112013914/http://home.comcast.net/~juliefortune/X-files/ghostofyou.htm
Clever story. Great X-file as well.