You guys, I just like genfic so much.
Every once in a while I reread marbleglove's A Square Peg in a Round Hole, or Junior Year of High School, Revised, A Clones Tale and I remember how much I love genfic. Like, I really love it.
And it's a little weird that this is the story that triggers it, because on the face of it, it shouldn't appeal to me so much. It's a crossover between two canons I have never experienced, in which one dude figures out a big secret some other people are keeping, lies to them about a big secret he's keeping, and then takes off to start a new career.
I mean, obviously, I love this story, and it slots into the category I've already discussed of secret-keepers and figure-outers, and has already been discussed there.
But somehow instead, while looking for more, I ended up traipsing through litgal's Not in Kansas Anymore series, which meets the requirements I outline in the above post, that the person keeping the secret doesn't spill their guts when confronted, but instead gives up only enough to satisfy the other party, but suggests some additional requirements I have perhaps developed in the intervening time.
I really want stories where the parties brought together do not adopt each others' agenda. That is to say: the Stargate team doesn't immediately say "Holy shit, vampires exist!? We need to help fight vampires!" But rather say "Holy shit, this weird transmissible virus conveys functional immortality and drastic personality changes? Can we isolate the functional immortality part?" Or, perhaps "Holy shit, can we make these guys our shock-troops? Are they susceptible to goa'uld parasitism?"
And maybe this is just good writing. In real life, people who work together don't always, or even primarily, work together because they all want the same thing, but rather because the things they individually want happen to be served by pursuing the same ends; writing them otherwise is a way to avoid dealing with the messiness of individuals.
I also want genfic where it's not an unlabelled AU where everyone who is not canonically in a relationship is asexual and aromantic. Like, this could be an interesting AU! But I'm not really interested in PG rated stories that get that rating by ignoring any aspect of sexuality. If some characters hook up, or experience attraction, that's a well written portrayal of a great many human beings. Sometimes called "gen/bob", to signify it's not just "gen" in the sense of being a story suitable for children; it's gen in the sense of not being motivated by romance.
Contrariwise, I also really love stories where the dilemma motivating the story is not 'will these characters hook up?' or 'will these two get together?' Don't get me wrong, I love ship-fic! But oh my god, I really love genfic, too, where the story's central question is "How can these two societies live together" or "can these characters build a future where they can live their lives authentically?"
Bonus points: Gratuitous anthropology, and actually alien aliens.
So, authors and stories who do this for me:
rydra_wong's Walked Right Out of the Machinery. SG1 fic about becoming a person you can live with, and finding a place to be that person, about surviving the unendurable and unacceptable, and becoming the person who can endure and accept. If you've been in fandom a while, you've already read it, but if you're newer, do yourself a favour.
LtLJ, pretty much everything written by, definitely gets the bonus points for anthropology, but I am fascinated with the beautifully constructed plot of her Retrograde series, how the story never falls into the trap of allowing itself to be about the characters' goals, but instead constantly frustrates their pursuit of those goals in unpredictable ways, as everyone's goals clash and interfere with everyone else's.
Please feel free to comment with links to your favourite genfic!This post also on dreamwidth ( comments)