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Issue #17, Big Bang Special

So sorry for the terribly long hiatus, it is mostly my (and grad school's) fault. In recompense, please have recs for a score of Big Bang fics, art, and vids. ^_^

Picks of the Issue from eosrose

[art] Arthur and Merlin by brille | WS | 1 works
Summary: Art for "The Course of True Love" by puckling.
eosrose says: The way Merlin is cowering behind Arthur and Arthur is all soft and indulgent is impossibly adorable.
Themes: era - camelot
[art] Arthur and Merlin by yue_ix and xenakis_ | WS | 1 works
Summary: Art for "Accidental Memory In The Case Of Death" by derryere.
eosrose says: Creative, hot, and sweet. The mirror between past and present is very relevant and appropriate given the story it was created for.
Themes: era - camelot, era - modern
[art] Campfire by _afterism | WS | 1 works
Summary: Art for "Deluge" by suaine. It's an illustration of a scene fairly near the start, of Merlin and Arthur talking quietly by the fire as they camp in the woods for the night.
eosrose says: _afterism has a real eye for detail. The intent way Arthur and Merlin are looking at each other, the crackling of the flames at their feet, the light sheen of rain falling around them: all these things added together create something powerful.
Themes: era - camelot
[art] Dirgelaeth Nyni by nachte | WS | 2 works
Summary: Art for "In Time of Trial" by shinetheway.
eosrose says: nachte has gifted us with a two-page illustrated comic of one of the most poignant scenes of In Time of Trial. The desperation of the moment is made real.
Themes: arthur finds out, era - camelot, protective!merlin
[art] Indoor Picnic by glockgal | WS | 3 works
Summary: Art for "Communications In Binary" by justthismorning.
eosrose says: Mostly I'm recommending this for the flash of hips. Yum. glockgal puts on a good show!
Themes: era - modern
[art] Prats and Frankenstrawberries by nachte | WS | 3 works
Summary: Art for "Pendragons Are NOT The Only Fruit (Except When They Are)" by nahara.
eosrose says: These artworks reduce me to a puddle of goo every time I look at them.
Themes: era - modern
[art] Untitled Artworks by aqualillium | WS | 3 works
Summary: Art for "Steam" by new_kate.
eosrose says: I have these pictures printed out and taped to my wall for ogling. The pretty: 'tis lethal!
Themes: era - historical period
[art] Untitled Artworks by thedeathchamber | WS | 3 works
Summary: Art for "Drawn to Any Good" by chibirhm
eosrose says: Simply gorgeous. I could stare at these for hours.
Themes: au - with magic, era - historical
[art] Untitled Artworks by theholysea | WS | 2 works
Summary: Art for "No Fear of Drowning" by i_claudia.
eosrose says: The first image of Arthur sitting at Merlin's feet, being pet by Merlin, is one of my absolute favorites. The little Charlie Brown Christmas tree makes me melt!
Themes: era - modern
Summary: Merlin is content, but not exactly happy, in Ealdor, so when his mother's friend Gaius' shows up with a tale of dragons under castles and priestesses and an exiled prince, Merlin is thrilled to listen. The reality, however, isn't so great: the priestess is a killer, the prince is a prat, and the dragon sure does have some curious ideas about them. But Gaius is saying it's Merlin responsibility -- destiny, even -- to help Arthur win back his kingdom, and to evade all the forces amassing against him on the way. This would, of course, be a whole lot easier if he could stand to be in the same village as Arthur for enough time for them to stop arguing.
eosrose says: A gorgeous alternate meeting between Merlin and Arthur. The characters are immediately recognizable as the same ones we meet in the first season of the TV series: Arthur is a well-meaning prat, Morgana is both practical and passionate, Gaius is long-suffering, and Merlin is drawn to Arthur despite his efforts to the contrary. With his father deposed and his kingdom overrun by sorcerers, Arthur is forced to grow up and into his crown very quickly; Merlin is the perfect shoulder for him to lean on. It's nice seeing them learn and grow together, under circumstances where Merlin doesn't really need to fear execution if his magic is discovered.
Themes: arthur finds out, au - with magic, era - camelot, experienced!arthur, experienced!merlin, first kiss, first time, grief/mourning, powerful!merlin, war
Summary: In which Lord Arthur Pendragon loses everything and gains a magician.
eosrose says: This is the way a Victorian novel is meant to be written.
Themes: arthur knows, au - with magic, era - historical period, first kiss, first time, marriage, uther knows
[fic] Hunter's Blood by shadecat | NC-17 | ~32,000 words
Summary: Something is stalking through the streets of Camelot and taking its women. Arthur devises a plan to trap whoever is behind the deed with the brilliant idea of using Merlin as bait. The plan doesn't go as well as hoped, and Merlin winds up injured. How deep do Arthur's affections for his servant and friend run - what is he willing to do to save his life? How will a man who will be King choose to save his people from a deadly predator - and at what price?
eosrose says: If you like tales of the supernatural, you'll definitely enjoy this story!
Themes: character death (minor), crossdressing, era - camelot, experienced!arthur, first kiss, first time, jealous!arthur, protective!arthur, vampires, virgin!merlin
[fic] Steam by new_kate | NC-17 | ~40,000 words | Podfic
Summary: It's been centuries since King Arthur united Albion and lifted the ban on magic. Ruled by Pendragon dynasty, the kingdom had prospered till a feud between the magicians and King Uther the Second drove the country to the brink of collapse. Now it's up to Prince Arthur and his Knights of the Engine to harness steam power to replace the magic Albion had lost, and it's up to Merlin to protect Arthur while he fulfils his destiny.
eosrose says: new_kate's world-building is brilliantly believable! There are a lot of aspects of the story that vaguely resemble the original series, but Uther's reasons for hating magic are more believable and the consequences of magic's disappearance far more tangible. This is among the first steampunk story I've ever read--and now I'm addicted to the genre.
Themes: archimedes, arthur knows, au - with magic, character death (minor), era - historical period, first kiss, first time, protective!arthur, protective!merlin
[fic] The House On Castleview Road by planejane | NC-17 | ~34,000 words
Summary: Arthur is a handsome and eligible bachelor with a well paid job in the City and a luxury penthouse flat in Canary Wharf. His life is the stuff of dreams ... Just not his. After his sister gets a lodger it seems that Arthur's life has taken an even bigger turn for the worse. Until, of course, he falls in love. Unfortunately, the path to true love is never smooth, and sometimes requires reckless driving, illegal parking and chasing after trains.
eosrose says: A lovely romance!
Themes: au - no magic, era - modern, experienced!arthur (girls only), experienced!merlin, first kiss, first time, insecure!arthur
Summary: When a visiting noble attacks Arthur with the intent to kill, Merlin is forced to openly use magic to save his life. With execution less than twenty-four hours away, a desperate Arthur tricks Merlin into binding their souls in order to prevent his death as a sorcerer. But the soul-bond has some unexpected consequences, and when Uther demands that Arthur unbind his soul so he can carry on with the execution, the two set out on a journey to find answers. Along the way they deal with the ramifications of Merlin's deception, discover some truths about their growing feelings for one another, and are forced to make some huge decisions that could have an impact on their lives forever.
eosrose says: A long and satisfying read. Don't start unless you're prepared for it to eat your life for a day or two!
Themes: arthur finds out, bottom!merlin, era - camelot, experienced!arthur, experienced!merlin, first kiss, first time, imprisonment, protective!arthur, uther finds out
[vid] Break Like Time: The Fifth Column by copperiisulfate | WS | 02:15 duration
Summary: Trailer for "Break Like Time: The Fifth Column" by rose_mina.
eosrose says: A brilliant, captivating fanvid. The vocal overlays and clip choices are perfect.
Themes: au - with magic, era - camelot
[vid] The Tournament of All Magicks by mamoru | WS | 00:47 duration
Summary: Trailer for "The Tournament of All Magicks" by corilannam.
eosrose says: This is very well put-together. It really captures the excited mood of the story.
Themes: era - camelot

Picks of the Issue from katerina_black

Summary: When Merlin Emrys is sent on a 'round-the-world assignment, he begins remembering a life of magic, dragons, and kings. To make matters worse, a strange woman starts stalking him along the way. And that's before he even meets Arthur Pendragon, whose answer to climate change is going to save the world. Because apparently just saving Britain won’t be enough this time around.
katerina_black says: I really loved the sense of PLACE in the various scenes of this fic. But I also loved that Merlin is always looking for Arthur, even if he doesn't realize it.
Themes: era-camelot, re-incarnation, established relationship, first time, immortal!merlin, king arthur, old religion/druids
[fic] Remake the Current Stream by hulubululu | PG-13 | ~44,200 words
Summary: In Albion Zoo, keepers and students don’t mix and head of the mammal department, Arthur Pendragon, is happy to keep it that way. But when one research student by the name of Merlin Emrys arrives and shows no regard for Arthur’s unwritten rules of socialising, Arthur’s life is turned upside down, and he’s forced to take his view of life up to reconsideration. In which there is sibling snark, matchmaking otters, neighbours who are a bit too preoccupied with the idea of destiny, possessive best friends, drunken nights out and proof that maybe some things are indeed meant to be. Basically it’s a rom-com, with animals. But not like that.
katerina_black says: Really, this is just kind of adorable. And not just 'cause I'm a sucker for otter. :P
Themes: au-no magic, era-modern, oblivious!arthur, first kiss, insecure!arthur
[fic] Communications in Binary by justthismorning | PG | ~37,400 words
Summary:University AU. Merlin came whirling into Arthur's life and left everything in shambles on the floor - literally. They couldn't be less alike - Merlin with his computers and his easy, goofy grin, Arthur with his breeding and his need for everything to be in it's place. They have nothing in common besides a key to the same room, but as the academic year progresses and Arthur finds himself wearing tiaras and critiquing Westlife and having picnics on his living room floor, Arthur comes to learn things about himself he didn't even know he didn't know.
katerina_black says: I actually love modern AUs in which Arthur is a little socially awkward. Because outside of Camelot, where he is the prince and people have to respect him, he probably would be. But also, I love him and Merlin trying to work out how to be around each other.
Themes: era-modern, au-with magic, first kiss, first time, oblivious!arthur, insecure!arthur
[fic] Fire and Rain by pennyplainknits | NC-17 | ~49,500 words
Summary: A Merlin-Supernatural Fusion. After a bitter parting and four years of silence, Merlin is contacted by Arthur to help find Uther, who has disappeared on the trail of Nimueh. Merlin is drawn back into the hunt, criss-crossing Britain in a vintage Jag with Arthur at his side, tracking ghosts, spirits, fantastic beasts, and Nimueh, the being responsible for the deaths of Ygraine and Hunith, years before. As well as the hunt, they must deal with their own relationship, and Merlin's special gifts that have begun to re-emerge
katerina_black says: So, I've not watched much Supernatural. Not because it isn't good, but because I just haven't had the time to catch up. BUT. This fic was so awesome that I did eventually watch the first season. This did what I always want a fusion to do. It allowed someone like me to love and get invested in the world without prior knowledge, because the characters I was reading about were still the characters I know and love. Also. HOT.
Themes: era-modern, au-with magic, fusion, powerful!merlin, uther finds out, arthur knows, character death - minor, character death - canon, first time, bottom!arthur
[fic] Flesh and Blood Dance by lilithilien | NC-17 | ~58,500 words
Summary: Bradley: "Are you doing that, Colin?" Colin: "Yeah." Bradley: "Yeah, I thought it must've been. I like the way you're dedicating yourself to this role. He's actually physically learnt magic." The 21st century is still a land of myth and a time of magic. The spells and enchantments that Uther banished are gone, but myths and magic live on, conjured on screens large and small with scripts and CGI. But one day, inspired by boredom and not a little mischief, an entertainment mogul (who might just happen to be an ex-evil sorceress) decides it might be a lark to tell the Arthurian legend—as it really happened. It's just a little BBC series, just something to amuse herself (and to annoy Merlin, of course). But when they awaken the Old Ways, not even the greatest Seer of all can foretell what awaits them. This is a story of destiny and choices, about what happens when sorcerers and kings collide with actors and beasts, and just how bad morning breath would be after a 1500-year sleep.
katerina_black says: RPF is usually not my thing. But I love this anyway, and I loved how much Merlin was missing Arthur, but they were still their usual snarky selves when reunited.
Themes: au-with magic, era-modern, immortal!merlin, established relationship, rpf, king arthur, old religion/druids, episode related
[fic] The Course of True Love by puckling | NC-17 | ~44,900 words
Summary: After Nimueh's death Albion needs a High Priestess, but what it's got is Merlin. Fortunately he'll serve after a few...modifications. Unfortunately for Merlin, being turned into a woman would be enough of a shock even without becoming the High Priestess. As is, it's his duty to sleep with the king or doom all of Albion.
katerina_black says: I love the use of magic in this one, and well. I just really liked it. ^_^
Themes: era-camelot, first kiss, first time, arthur finds out, genderswap, powerful!merlin, virgin!merlin, old religion/druids, experienced!arthur (girls only), bottom!merlin, episode related

Mutual Picks of the Issue

Summary: Art for "What Happened When the World Fell Apart" by iambic. Story scene: "'I trust you,' Arthur said slowly, like he hadn't realised it until just now."
eosrose says: Arthur's face is too pretty for words.
katerina_black says: Poignant and lovely.
Themes: era - modern
[art] Untitled Artworks by aqualillium | WS | 3 works
Summary: Art for "Steam" by new_kate
eosrose says: I have these pictures printed out and taped to my wall for ogling. The pretty: 'tis lethal!
katerina_black says: I love steampunk, and am relentlessly jealous of anyone who does it this well. ^_^
Themes: era - historical period
[art] The Voice of the Sea by lizardspots | WS | 1 work
Summary:Art for "Deluge" by suaine
eosrose says: This piece gives me the chills.
katerina_black says: Really, this is just stunning.
Themes: era - camelot
[fic] Accidental Memory in Case of Death by derryere | NC-17 | ~47,000 words
Summary: Tony O does not befriend losers. Tony O is not gay, not crazy, he is not particularly nice and he is most definitely not royalty. Destiny disagrees.
eosrose says: Initially, I had a lot of trouble getting into this because of the name changes: Arthur is now Anthony, Merlin is Emory (cruelly called "Heineken" by Tony and his friends). Their reincarnated selves are also very young and very different from their former selves. If you can get past these things, however, the story is well worth the effort of reading. You've never read anything quite like this, I promise you.
katerina_black says: Um. What she said. Still one of the most creative things I've ever read in this fandom.
Themes: arthur finds out, character death (major), era - camelot, era - modern, first kiss, first time, reincarnation, uther finds out
[fic] Camelot: A Romance with Rollercoasters by glitterdash | NC-17 | ~10,000 words
Summary: "You can't be serious. Your name is Merlin, and you work at Camelot theme park?"
eosrose says: A sweet, easy read. I swear my heart grew three sizes while reading!
katerina_black says: Funny and fluffy by turns. This fic is a great pick-me-up.
Themes:au - no magic, drunkenness, era - modern, experienced!arthur, experienced!merlin, first kiss, first time
[fic] Deluge by suaine | R | ~50,000 words
Summary: In the aftermath of Merlin's battle against Nimueh, the rain seems a minor complication, perhaps even a cleansing influence. When the rain doesn't stop, Camelot is pushed to the brink once more. This time, Arthur may be in over his head.
eosrose says: A long, gorgeous bit of prose. The way weaves words is truly a thing of beauty.
katerina_black says: This narrative is so dream-like, but the kind of dream that leaves you haunted afterword. It's brilliant.
Themes: arthur finds out, first kiss, magical accident(s), old religion/druids, uther finds out
[fic] In Time of Trial by shinetheway | NC-17 | ~43,000 words | Podfic
Summary: Uther fears his son's power, and Merlin has helped Arthur flee to escape imprisonment. Now the two of them must fight to regain Arthur's rightful place in Camelot.
eosrose says: This is one of the most intense political dramas in fandom. The rising tension as Uther's doubts grow, the fear of capture, the way Arthur slowly gathers followers and allies to him: they are all just lovely!
katerina_black says: I think what I love so much about this fic is that we get to see Arthur really grow into the king we know he will be. And we get to see the Merlin that we got a glimpse of at the end of Series 1, the one who will do anything for Arthur.
Themes: arthur finds out, era - camelot, experienced!arthur, experienced!merlin, first kiss, first time, old religion/druids, powerful!merlin, protective!merlin, uther finds out, war
[fic] Not In This Land Alone by torakowalski | R | ~38,000 words
Summary: When Merlin Emrys gets a summer job at Buckingham Palace, he doesn't expect to even meet King Arthur, let alone become involved in protecting him from a plot to overthrow the monarchy.
eosrose says: I was addicted to this story from the very first. My only regret is that it ended.
katerina_black says: I love AUs where Arthur is part of the modern English monarchy, probably because it is just so different than the Camelot monarchy, but still somehow the same. This was just awesome.
Themes: arthur finds out, au - with magic, era - modern, first kiss, grief/mourning, injury, protective!merlin
[fic] On the Knob Training by morcalivan | NC-17 | ~36,000 words
Summary: A promotion and a swanky new title, one might even think Merlin’s luck had changed. That is, if you didn’t look too closely to the fine print on Uther’s offer. There is companionship and then there is companionship.
eosrose says: Merlin is a little hasty in accepting a "promotion" to Lord of the Bedchamber and really doesn't understand why Arthur is so miserable over it. When he learns that everyone now thinks he's serving Arthur in bed, he's initially shocked and appalled. The idea quickly develops a certain appeal--and so follows a silly little seduction. Poor Arthur! The whole story is amusing, adorable, and hot in equal measures.
katerina_black says: I laughed so hard during this one. It was also as romantic as it was hot.
Themes: bottom!merlin, era - camelot, experienced!arthur, first kiss, first time, jealous!merlin, oblivious!merlin, virgin!merlin
[fic] The Tournament of All Magicks by corilannam | NC-17 | ~41,000 words
Summary: Merlin is invited to compete in a tournament of magic. Sure, he'd like to become the champion of all Albion, but first he has to get past giant creatures, a seductive sorceress, and the crown prince of Camelot.
eosrose says: A very exciting adventure! It plays out a lot like a (really awesome) episode, with Merlin trying to be sneaky and Arthur thwarting him at every turn.
katerina_black says: I loved how corilannam dealt with Arthur finding out. It wasn't easy, but it also wasn't overly dramatic. Plus the premise was a ton of fun. ^_^
Themes: arthur finds out, era - camelot, experienced!arthur, experienced!merlin, first kiss, first time, powerful!merlin
[fic] To You I Pledge by beren_writes | NC-17 | ~21,000 words
Summary: Merlin lays his life on the line to save Arthur yet again, only this time there are witnesses, lots of them. Only Arthur prevents him going to the headman's axe straight away, but Arthur alone cannot save him. That is up to both of them.
eosrose says: Too often in the series has Arthur bowed to his father's will regarding magic. Here, he puts his foot down and refused to allow Merlin to be executed without so much as a fair trial. Never have I loved and respected Arthur more than when he openly challenged Uther to be a better king. This story will keep you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end.
katerina_black says: beren_writes has always been one of my favourite authors, way back to when Harry and Draco were all I shipped. This fic was exactly the reason why. The relationship between Arthur and Merlin in this is beautiful, Arthur is well on his way to being a strong king, and Uther is able to be reasoned with. Also. HOT. Like burning, I'm not even kidding.
Themes: arthur finds out, bottom!merlin, era - camelot, established relationship, first kiss, first time, ghosts, imprisonment, injury, powerful!merlin, protective!arthur, uther finds out

Classic of the Issue

[fic] Defenders of the Realm by lamardeuse | NC-17 | ~25,000 words | Podfic
Summary: Arthur and Morgana are Metropolitan police officers drawn into a strange case involving robbery of ancient artifacts. Merlin is a graduate student at Imperial College studying the healing plants of Ancient Britain under Gaius – or at least that's what he tells everyone. Soon they, along with Gwen, Lancelot and Uther, will be facing a battle for the future of the country. Can they defend the realm from those who would seek to destroy it?
eosrose says: This is one of the most memorable AUs out there. It's well-plotted, well-paced, and incredibly well-written. It's easy to see that the author did not insert any scenes that were merely pointless filler: everything worked to advance the plot, character development, or relationship development. Given that this was written for the first series big bang, one of the relationship choices may take you a little off guard: Morgana/Uther. Yes, there is a bit of Morgana/Uther romance here, but it's very clear that they are not related and it's portrayed far to sweetly to really be considered creepy. I've listened to the podfic for this repeatedly, so you know it has to be engaging and fun!
katerina_black says: There's dragon in the underground. Really, that's all I should have to say. But this is also a fantastic adventure, and Merlin and Arthur are completely in character. The romance is believable and perfectly paced.
Themes: arthur knows, au - with magic, era - modern, experienced!arthur (girls only), experienced!merlin, first kiss, first time, powerful!merlin, reincarnation, slash dragon, uther finds out


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 8th, 2011 09:18 am (UTC)
Yay! Glad to see you back :) Unbelievably enough there are a couple here I haven't read so thanks for the recs.

Initially, I had a lot of trouble getting into this because of the name changes

I'm glad it's not just me. I have started this twice now and not got into it. Must try harder.

I totally agree that "Defenders of the Realm" is a classic :)
Apr. 8th, 2011 05:17 pm (UTC)
You're here again! I missed you...
Apr. 16th, 2011 02:25 am (UTC)
Aha, yeah, we've been bad. In our defense, there seems to be less new stuff being posted than when the fandom was still shiny and new.
Apr. 9th, 2011 03:26 am (UTC)
Wow, thank you so much for the rec! I'm both shocked and flattered ♥

Also, so many great fics here, and I haven't read a bunch of them, so that's awesome news for me! I always love reading more Merlin fic! :D
Apr. 16th, 2011 02:23 am (UTC)
You totally deserve the rec! You're a fabulous writer. I'm always happen when I see you've posted something new. :)
Apr. 17th, 2011 09:42 pm (UTC)
Ah, thank you for the rec!! I'm absolutely thrilled to be included alongside so many fabulous fics and drawings.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )