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Yuletide guessing and recs

I sadly have almost no recs this Yuletide, largely because I've only spent a few hours browsing around the archive. Mostly I tried to go through the Chromatic Yuletide 2010 collection first, but given that I spent all of the first half of my sister's visit writing (and rewriting, and researching, and despairing of, and occasionally giving up on) my story, I felt kind of guilty abandoning her to Yuletide for the second half as well.

That said, OMG people!! My gift fics!!!! I have not one, not two, but THREE stories for my random wuxia reincarnation Jay Chou music video request (link goes to my pimping post with the music video itself, lyrics, and translation). And another bittersweet and food-full fic for xxxHolic!

In the order they show up on my gifts page:

The Summer Triangle (Qing Hua Ci (Music Video)) - OMG BEST THING EVER! I want everyone to read this because you really don't need to know much about the source (reincarnation!), and if you do want to know the source, here you go! It's only four minutes long! Vase ex machina!

I love love love how the story takes the over-the-top ridiculousness of the music video and makes fun of it, that even though the vase snarks, it still wants the lovers to get together, that the vase has its own tragic backstory. I love the references to cdramas and ubiquitous pop music and the hair and wind machines and giant training sequences of wuxia movies and Macross and Jay Chou's totally over-the-top emotastic music that is everywhere, I love the interstellar war (I so want more of that story too!), I love that the fic gives so much agency and coolness to Yan Yu, who mostly just lounges about prettily in the original vid! I cannot wait to see who wrote this, and I'm dying to see what the writing process was behind this (I am sure it is hilarious!) and to see all the references I got or missed! I keep wanting to point out all the little things in here and how I appreciate all that thought and effort going into what feels like an effortless piece, but then I get distracted and flail and squee and exclamation point! SO AWESOME! INCOHERENT SQUEE!

Here, I'm going to skip ahead a little. Yes, there's a pretty great story about how he battled his way through mountains and forests, nearly died at the hands of bandits before meeting an Immortal who nursed him back to health, and finally, his tests of courage at the temple in order to obtain me, but this is the thing. It's a really long story and you don't have the time right now. You'll just have to wait for the 40-episode drama to come out next year.

I Wait for You (Qing Hua Ci/Bride with White Hair) - OMG people I saw the one-line description for this ("In a post-apocalyptic future, a boy with an illness that forces him to live as a virtual bubble boy meets a feral mutant girl living in the forbidden woods.") and the two fandoms and started flailing incoherently! This is more Bride with White Hair than "Qing Hua Ci," though again, I want everyone to read this because you don't need to know much about the source (reincarnation!) except that in the original, she can kill with her hair and was raised by wolves, and that theirs is a tragic forbidden love.

There is so much in here to squee about! The cracktastic and yet absolutely awesome worldbuilding! Exiled mutants! Piles of baby bones! A giant dome that keeps everyone trappedsafe inside! But what I actually love best is how despite the cracktasticness of both original sources and the fic's world, the interaction between the boy and the girl in the fic is just as real and touching as it was in the movie. I especially love the girl's many incidences of "You humans are strange and yet interesting" as she tells the boy his mutation sucks, offers him raw catfish, and then tells him to bring her more food! And I'm so glad that he doesn't break her heart the way he does in the movie, that he saves her by being vulnerable, the tiny mention of his life opening like a flower at the end instead of forever sitting in the snow guarding it.

The Dome wasn't entirely sealed off, of course: there were the pipes which brought captured rainwater to the filtration plant, the hundreds and thousands of tiny holes which allowed air to pass in and out, and the terrible Exile Gate through which mutant babies and children and even the occasional long-undiscovered adult were thrust out, never to return. The boys and girls whispered that the white piles of baby bones rose so high on either side of the Exile Gate that a tall man couldn't see over them.

In a Chinese Landscape (Shan Shui Hua Li) (Qing Hua Ci/Bujold's Cetaganda and Vorkosigan) - Again, one in which I don't think you need to know the canon to read! I actually haven't read the Bujold books, but the fic is lovely by itself. Also, even though the notes say the fic isn't wuxia and is only incidentally space opera, it feels like wuxia in space, especially the focus on forbidden love and honor. I love the prose in here, the way it manages to evoke Chinese brush paintings and Song ci and Ming porcelein while still being set in space, the way ancient China and another lifetime in the wuxia world fits with spaceships and the art of genetics and airlock doors.

I have seen it not only as it is, but as a memory of clay, mould, brush on unfired porcelain. Perhaps a child's story of our ancestors' artistry when the rest of the world was content with porous earthenware, as advanced then as our genetic is art now. Art will progress; the older things fall away. How few of our ladies' works will survive for three thousand years?

Living Memory (xxxHolic) - This is a lovely fic that is set post-series (I think? I haven't actually finished), and it's so nice to see Watanuki and Kohane again, especially cooking! I love how it goes into the process of cooking and the way it ties food with memory and remembering, both new friendships and old in the background.
Watanuki looked up from the sea bream he was cutting. "Then it's time to add the first ingredients, Kohane-chan. Do you remember which ones?"

"Mushrooms," she said, picking up the bowl of sliced shiitake. "And the clams ... and shrimp ... and scallions ... and cabbage. And that fish."

Recs of the few things I have managed to read!

Persuasion to Joy (Mulan 2009) - This is the fic I wanted after I watched the movie, and I am so glad that the Rouran princess gets her own story, and that it's a quiet and gentle and happy one, despite the intial culture shock and difficult adjustments.
She does not have a name. She will always be the barbarian princess who took away the youngest, most beloved prince. She climbs to the tallest reaches of the palace walls, watches the stars turn in their steady paths, and does not cry.

This story, she thinks, will have a happy ending.

The Opening of Coffee Princess (Coffee Prince) - So cute! It totally makes me want to rewatch the drama, and I love that even though it's about Eun-chan and Han-gyeol, it fits in so many of the other characters, including Eun-sae and Seon-gi, which is particularly appropriate given the shift from coffee princes to coffee princesses.
“For you, my Chan!” Ha-rim announced before looking around the café. “Wah, looks nice! Of course, it’s all due to my guidance. You should have seen this place before, Eun-chan, before I came onto the consulting team! It was all the wrong image! Now it has the proper feminine touch.”

So far, I only have two guesses and one hunch for Yuletide, since I have read nearly nothing. No confirming or denying please! Also, even though there is only one day left before the reveal, have fun leaving wild and completely unsubstantiated guesses re: any stories anyone wrote in the comments! Even more fun if you leave reasons for your guesses! I would promise drabbles to people who guess what I wrote correctly, except my fic output in the past few years has been so pathetic I'm not sure I remember how to drabble.

Hints for what I wrote: I wrote two stories, both full length. Both of them star chromatic characters, and one is also in a chromatic source. As you can tell by my whining and complaining, one of them is the longest and most difficult thing I have ever written.

I think [personal profile] troisroyaumes wrote "The Opening of Coffee Princess" because of the way I can hear some of the dialogue being translated from Korean, and just because the names are in Revised Romanization.

I think [profile] edonohana wrote "I Wait for You" because we rewatched Bride with White Hair together a week ago, because of how the boy brings the girl taro buns first but she likes red bean ones best, and also, because of MUTANT POWERS!!!

I also haven't even read the Moulin Rouge fic with Arabia, but I am guessing [personal profile] ranalore wrote it because it's Moulin Rouge and revisionist and ... I don't even know why. This is such a random guess on my part!

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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 1st, 2011 09:49 pm (UTC)
Let's try this without the HTML fail.

I also haven't even read the Moulin Rouge fic with Arabia, but I am guessing ranalore wrote it because it's Moulin Rouge and revisionist and ... I don't even know why. This is such a random guess on my part!

And yet so accurate! *G*
Jan. 2nd, 2011 01:35 am (UTC)
I can't believe I actually got that right! I was so sure that someone I knew must have written it, though.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


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