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Yuletide mostly-cheer

It started snowing on the night before Christmas, and kept going on-and-off ever since, so everything outside the window is carpeted with perfect winter scenery. Seeing as I don’t have anywhere to go, this has been great.

I got an absolutely heartwarming Yuletide fic, a new take on “Ozma decides to spend some time in Tip form”, featuring some quality Worried Dorothy and Protective Aunt Em:

Homecoming (6127 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Oz – L. Frank Baum
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Dorothy Gale/Princess Ozma
Characters: Princess Ozma, Dorothy Gale, Aunt Em
Additional Tags: Comfort, Genderqueer Character, genderqueer character misread as male, mentions of past emotional / physical abuse, aunt em has a bunch of unexamined gender and class biases
Summary:

A nice young person with experience on a farm comes to help Aunt Em with the chores for a celebration.
Meanwhile, Ozma isn’t in the Palace, and Dorothy goes looking for them.

More rec posts to come. I’ve been churning my way through all the promising-looking fandoms, trying to read everything in-the-moment instead of letting it disappear into marked For Later.

…with the exception of a bunch of Locked Tomb fics, because I’m still only 80% through Harrow the Ninth (the second novel), and any time I’ve looked at post-Harrow writing for more than 5 seconds I’ve been spoiled for something. (Fortunately, there are So Many wild and unpredictable twists that it’s turned out I was still unspoiled for most of them.)


On less fandom-y notes:

Half my family is being scrupulous and careful about COVID restrictions, and the other half is…not. I don’t know what to say. They’ve already had two scares (notable COVID-like symptoms that ended up testing negative), you’d think that would make them more cautious, not less. The hospitals are full of people who thought “oh, nothing bad will happen to me.” And by “full” I mean record-breaking cases, record-breaking deaths, “lining up beds in the hallways because all the rooms are occupied” full.

This Week In Virology had a good discussion of the new COVID variant that’s developed in the UK, including a breakdown of why it’s not likely to be more vaccine-resistant than any other variant. There is a serious chance it’s more transmissible, but even if that’s true, it’s not so transmissible that it can overcome all the usual measures — keeping distances, wearing masks, washing hands.

So we just have to stay serious about doing those.

Music recs: We The Kings, Wendy Matthews, Within Temptation

We The Kings: American alt-pop, full of earnest feelings, with just the lightest shiny glaze of fantastical imagery. (We The Kings playlist.)


Wendy Matthews: Clear, soulful, ’80s pop. The playlist gets pretty samey part of the way down, but there’s good stuff at the top. (Wendy Matthews playlist.)


Within Temptation: Gorgeous, epic, symphonic goth rock. (Plus some of those growly male vocals they love in goth-metal. Those tracks, I skip.) The soundtrack for your tormented hero’s fall into anguish, or your fantasy team-up’s desperate last-stand battle. (Within Temptation playlist.)

This first track is another of my Top Favorite Songs, Period:

Music recs: The Veronicas, Vienna Teng, Walk The Moon

The Veronicas: Australian electropop-punk. Lots of powerful, fiercely energized songs about intense yearning in all its phases — for a bad relationship to get better, a bad breakup to be forgiven, a good relationship not to blow up, a hot stranger to, ah, answer their thirst. The singers are identical twin sisters (neither one named Veronica). (The Veronicas playlist.)


Vienna Teng: Soft indie chamber pop. Her performance range goes from “a-capella singing group” to “clasically-trained pianist.” Unmatched at wistfulness. (Vienna Teng playlist.)

That last one is boundlessly joyful — don’t miss it.


WALK THE MOON: Ohio new-wave dance-rock. Energetic, offbeat, if neon lights were turned into music this is what they’d sound like. (Walk The Moon playlist.)

Multifandom recommendations (Red Dwarf, Doctor Who, Star Wars, Quantum Leap, Good Omens, LeGuin)

  • Red Dwarf | Lister/Rimmer, Cat, Kryten | G | Names
    “Guys, you’re missing the point. All we’re doing is trying to figure out what we should be called. You know, theoretically. If we got married. Rimmer thinks one of us needs to change our name, but I don’t want to be a Rimmer and he doesn’t want to be a Lister.”
    series:red dwarf,pairing:rimmer_lister,fic:one-shot

  • Red Dwarf | Lister/Rimmer | M | Across the Spectrum
    Rimmer’s curious about all he can feel, now that he’s hard light. All he can feel, pain included. But he’s not great at inflicting pain on himself, so he’s going to need some help.
    series:red dwarf,kink:bdsm,pairing:rimmer_lister,fic:one-shot

  • Doctor Who | Five, Holly | G | Undercover Operation
    The Doctor investigates a dodgy restaurant chain and gets both considerably more and less than he bargained for. Holly gets a new crush.
    genfic,fic:one-shot,series:red dwarf,series:doctor who,crossover

  • Good Omens | Aziraphale/Crowley | T | To Rest My Weary Soul
    “Since when do I give a toss about moral consequences, angel? No, you’ve got a Hell hangover. Must have hit once the adrenaline wore off,” Crowley answered.

    Aziraphale’s trip down to Hell leaves him worse for wear.
    series:good omens,pairing:crowley_aziraphale,trope:hurt-comfort,fic:one-shot

  • Good Omens | Aziraphale/Crowley | G | Long-Term
    Take, for instance, the couple she’s consulting with this afternoon, for their upcoming October ceremony. Seemingly mismatched in every respect.
    pairing:crowley_aziraphale,series:good omens,fic:one-shot,trope:outsider.pov,trope:marriage