My beloved [ profile] emiliglia  has been working away on an AU bigbang in which Jim is a helicopter pilot and Bones is a modern-day trauma surgeon.  It's long, it's angsty, it's gorgeous, it's a reworking of all of their tropes in contemporary times, and Bones is a medical BAMF while Jim is his own brand of kick-ass and they both re-write their stories, both apart and together. 

It's called The Greater Good (NC17), and I completely adore it.  I hope you do too.
... and not just because I was a lucky beta and got to read this gorgeous, incredible fic as it developed and once again stand in awe of [ profile] ennyousai 's incredible storytelling skills.

Refringere, Supernatural Big Bang, PG-13 Wincest, Sam/Dean, Michael/Lucifer, with fantastic moments by Cas and the Trickster, as Sam and Dean avert the apocalypse in an S5 AU in their inimitable way.
They're bad-ass motherfucking pirates-- sort of.  It's gen-- sort of, if lots of sexually explicit talk between men and women and various pairings' UST and male-on-male NC-17 smut can be included in an overarching swashbuckling dystopian adventure.  The whole crew is there.  Sort of.  And not since Hounds of Morrigan has AOS canon been twisted in such beautiful, fucked up, world-building, universe-tearing-apart ways.  It's [ profile] jane_potter 's riotverse series, and though I'm late to the party, I'm so very addicted.

Not chronologically ordered, if that matters to you, but I am enjoying reading the stories from the start and watching the puzzle pieces fall into place.
[ profile] castofone 's The Last Two Tours, a series of a-chronological K/M vignettes that take place over ten years and tell the story of Jim and Bones' coming together and love affair-- it will (SPOILER-ISH WARNING) break your heart.

Not an easy read but in my humble opinion, some of the best never are-- so very well written and so very worth it.

Edited to add:

I absolutely did not mean to say that I don't love fluffy, funny, cracky, schmoopy or other types of fics out there in fandom, and I have certainly flailed in plenty of funny, cracky, schmoopy fics others have written.  If you read this rec to exclude one of these genres as not being "the best" because they are "easy reads" by comparison, I can only say I didn't mean it that way.  What I meant to say was that I appreciate it when an author takes the hard road and tackles hard subjects, because life isn't happy and for me, as a writer, I think it's important to see all the different aspects of life addressed, happy and unhappy.  I wanted to rec the fic to others because of that very reason-- even if I am an angstwhore myself with tendencies toward the happy ending in my own personal writing.  BUT.  It's a big fandom.  There's room for lots of "best" authors in lots of different genres, and there are lots of fantastic comic authors out there.


An entirely impromptu meta discussion has erupted in comments because you all are awesome like that on the following topics:

1)  concrit: how to give it, when, why, what it is, what it isn't, and why some people just fail at it entirely

2) personal taste in what we read and how an author's real skill often has nothing to do when/why we choose to read a fic

3) issues of control and intersection of taste on our choices to read

4) writers' projection of self and personal issues into their writing

5) requests for sequels

6) sad pugging and how AWESOME it is.

So.  Discuss.

And ... rec some awesome funny fics, if you like.  Or sad pug me.  I can take it.

Ensemble AU by [ profile] withthepilot , a New York restaurant AU with Kirk as the Chef and Spock as head of the house-- Kirk/McCoy, Chekov/Sulu, Uhura/Spock, Scotty, Gaila, Pike, even some Cupcake. 

Funny and tender and brilliant and just fanfuckingtastic.

You should be reading this.  NOW.
The marvelous [ profile] ewinfic wrote a Karl/Eric/Zach called "This Side of Life" that ruminates on mortality, fidelity, marriage and the need to hold and be held-- it's a small masterpiece of melancholia and the way we can dwell on how we don't know all the things that we thought we'd know better by now-- and yet don't.
[ profile] framlingem 's Stretched to the Point of No Coming Back. The author's summary says: "An Introduction to Practical Astronautics" is a mandatory courseset for Starfleet cadets. For McCoy, it's terrifying.
[ profile] mijan 's "Redshirt," a beautiful rumination on how Jim might memorialize the loss of his crew during their missions.
Working Title: Enterprise (4 chapters) by Fishspots.  Be warned, however-- this is a long-ass story.  Epic, even. 

If Jim and Bones were actors who met on an Indie film set on a project directed by Christopher Pike, what would happen?  This is that story.  Jim's both serious and a bit of a frat boy, Bones is serious and a bit of a prick, Chekov and Sulu battle over Sudoku and Uhura has fierce stilettoes.

[ profile] hitlikehammers wrote a really wonderful femslash for Uhura and Chapel called "Nightingale."  I'm truly envious of the tone she carries throughout and the way she really captures the ache someone feels when they think their interest is unrequited.  

Her prose is more lush and lyrical than mine tends to be, and her stories are lovely and often tinged with that delicious bittersweet awareness of how fleeting happiness can be.  Her descriptions of details are never scanty, either-- I feel like I'm rolling around on a plush velvet rug of yummy metaphors when I'm reading her writing.

[ profile] hegemony 's Mirror My Malady, Transfer My Tragedy.  You may not have known you wanted an epic sexy post-Narada, beginning days of Enterprise nontraditional (and kinky) romance and friendship fic about Uhura and Sulu, but you do.  Really.  Mentions of Gaila, Kirk, Spock. 
[ profile] northatlantic wrote a story in which we meet Tiberius.  Because "with a name like Tiberius, there has to be a story."

This is that story.  It's incredible-- genfic, Jim's childhood and family, and the best description of what I think is the fiercest manifestation of Jim's anger I've ever yet read.  Have a box of tissues nearby for sniffling-- you may cry, but you'll hope, too.
... 'cause I'm about to ruin any attempt you ever might want to make at a Pike/Enterprise Ship!'ship fic.  THIS INCREDIBLE STORY, Lensflare Lover, will ruin any pretension any of us ever have to capturing the love a Captain has for his ship with any eloquence ever.  Because THIS?  Well, just, I'm done.  I'm glad I wrote my Ship!'ship fic anyway, but I'm not even going to try writing another one.

This story will fuck you up in all the best ways.  Seriously.  It's long, but in a holy whoa! just keep going forever because I don't want to stop reading kind of way.

I've never read the story the author mentions as inspiration, but it reminds me of "The Ship Who..." Brain/Brawn stories, except better.



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