: Recs : Grand Epic Multiparters

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Grand Epic Multiparters - Fics Everyone Should Know About

Nitid: Some of the most enjoyable type of stories, are what I call "big screen flickfic", in the grand tradition of Indiana Jones, Star Wars, etc. These are fics with a bit of everything in them - action, adventure, suspense, romance, humour, with all the pilots written in-character. For me, most of the time this means using the original Gundam Wing universe, although some of the fics here are AUs. If you don't read yaoi or Gundam Wing at all, try the following stories. If these don't convert you, nothing will. Be aware that I am a 1x2 shipper, and my favourite characters are Heero, Duo and Quatre, so the following choices will reflect this bias.

Another Version of Events by Karan Seraph [Shinigami & Wing, Qirfae's Secret]
Status: WIP, 80+ chapters!
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This is by far one of the longest running, most detailed and thoughtfully written 1x2 fics out there. Written from Heero's pov, it explores his emotions, sexuality and relationships after the war, and is quite an interesting read, mainly because Heero's descriptions can be so clinical and blunt, and yet he feels so intensely. Another strong point of this fic is the setting and background, (aka 'research'), which many other authors in this fandom skip over. The social and political differences between the colonies and the Earth are distinct, and the feeling of being in the future is subtly underlined by the many references to technology and old customs. One of the best fics in this fandom. Now, I don't want to sound like I'm brainlessly gushing and kowtowing to an author to curry favour. I don't always agree with the way Heero and Duo are characterised, Trowa can be annoying, and there are some jarring typos, and a few Heero-Relena interactions that just make me raise my eyebrows. However, with all that said, this story is very much worth checking out, even if you aren't a Gundam Wing fan. I have some snobbish literary friends who demand high standards from their fanfic; Good English is de rigeur and an involved plot with half decent characterisation would be considered just competent. If I had only one shot at convincing them of the validity and attraction of Gundam Wing fanfic, this would be it. I no longer follow this story as fervently as I did in the first 20 chapters or so, but there are still a lot of interesting plot developments that make me check up on it every month. (Note: crossdressing alert!)

Ion Series by Sunhawk [Lev's Lair, Aenai Ai]
Status: WIP, 8 very *long* chapters

If "Another Version of Events" is Heero-centric, the Ion Series is definitely its polar opposite. A very detailed plot (wheee, another yaoi fan who reads science fiction and thinks of spacer customs and science!!) and a wonderful extended characterisation of Duo, with realistic OCs that support the storyline and don't overwhelm it. And just like the fic above, the major weakness, if you consider it so, is portraying the other person in the relationship, in this case Heero. Definitely one that should go over well with Duo fans, but Heero here is almost excluded to the point of being a background prop, like the other GW pilots. The high point of the series is not the 1+2 or 1x2, but Duo's growth and transformation as a person. This is one of the few fics where Duo seems utterly real. Many people seem to find Sunhawk's other series "The Road Trip" arc, which concentrates more on the 1x2 relationship, more emotionally satisfying. Personally, I think it suffers from technical problems, but it is an earlier work and I'm starting to savour the later sections that were written more recently. Note that Sunhawk has a fondness for Wufei, so you may see some unrequited 5+2 in her work, and I see the writer has been also experimenting with 1+2+5, if you like that kind of thing. (Not part of either series, but a one-shot, thank goodness). Another reason why I like the Ion series is that it tackles the sticky subject of Relena in a believable manner. She's not evil, but she's not the shining princess either. She's naive and a flawed human being. High points from me, and I'm no Relena fan.

Again, I may seem like I'm being overly nitpicky, but I wouldn't bother to say anything critical if the work wasn't so engrossing. If you haven't read anything by Sunhawk yet, I suggest you set aside a few hours and run over to Lev's Lair and read some pronto!

Crossing Paths Arc by Kracken [Kracken's Fiction, I Love Bishonen: Kracken]
Status: Complete, 29 parts
Like the two above, this is another story that I have mixed feelings about. It's one of Kracken's latest, (completed Fall 2002) and among her best. I almost put her series "Shinigami's Lover" arcs 1 and 2 up here, except they're still ongoing. What I like most about Kracken is that she doesn't take the same interpretation of Duo and Heero and reuse them over and over ad infinitum in her fics like most writers do. In every series she's started, her characterisation of Duo is slightly different, ranging from trained terrorist with a high pain tolerance in her "Black and Blue" series, dangerous and deadly in "Shinigami's Lover", fallen victim in "Crossing Paths" and a manipulative user of people in "Lost Soldiers". In Crossing Paths, Kracken conveys an aching sense of yearning between Heero and Duo that is simply beautiful, especially in the first few chapters. However, she does have a liking for Zechs, who seems to pop up at inopportune moments. Kracken should be applauded just for the fact that she doesn't gloss over the aftermath of ugly events like rape and drug addiction. Not everything can be fixed with sex. To sum up her work: Dark. Realistic. Absorbing. What I also really like about Kracken's work - absolutely no Relena and no 5x2! *cheer* Now the only thing I have worry about is the 6x2. If you're sensitive, please be aware that her work contains strong elements of violence and NCS (rape).

The Wildflower Series by Becca [Becca Abbot's Page]
(Not directly linked, as requested.
Read the warnings, enter, and then scroll down about halfway)
Status: Three long parts, another part forthcoming

I don't like NCS fics that torture some characters and bastardise other characters for the hell of it, so after reading the first fic in the Wildflower series, I wasn't sure about whether I liked it or not. I had too many questions about why characters acted the way they did, and I found myself impatiently skimming over the necessary, but less interesting Zechs and OC sections to get to the 1x2 parts. Since the release of the third fic in this series, with another on the way, most of my questions have been answered. Some of the general ideas and situations are a bit cliched, but the way they are presented - well, it is so skilfully done that I could not help but devour it anyway, and sigh in utter bliss at the shippy 1x2 moments. :) Becca is a longtime fanfic writer with some novels in other fandoms under her belt. Her style tends to be long, plot-driven fics with strong characterisation - my favourite combination! A relative newcomer to GW, but her familiarity and ease with the written word is immediately apparent from some of the very powerful and evocative passages in the Wildflower series. Definitely one of the strongest writers in this fandom. All of her fics so far are worth trying, even if you don't know anything about Gundam Wing.

Gundam Wing Genesis by Ashkara [Ashkara's Fanfiction Vault]
Status: Complete (13 parts)

Genesis is a wonderful political thriller, that shows off Duo and Quatre at their best - they're both highly intelligent, strong and yet they remain human, with human weaknesses. Heero, Trowa and Wufei by contrast, are somewhat in the background, but there is still plenty of screen time for all the pilots and supporting characters. It is quite an accomplishment to successfully juggle and write all of the pilots in a believable manner and attach the characterisations to a fast paced action/adventure plot. Especially when more and more, many 3x4 writers are ignoring 1x2, and vice versa. Another observation: in general, I find that most female fanfic writers, whether writing het or yaoi, tend to focus on characterisation and emotions over plot, while male (or extremely young) writers do the opposite, and focus on plot without much character development. With "Gundam Wing Genesis", I think Ashkara has achieved a satisfactory medium between those two extremes. I only wish there were more stories out there in this vein!

The Murder of Crows Saga
("A Murder of Crows" - 12 parts, complete +
"Another Murder of Crows" - 51 parts, complete)
by Karen/KKChitown [My Writings on the Wall]

Finally, a fic that doesn't turn Quatre into a googly-eyed, breathless idiot with all his brain cells taken up by Trowa. He is intelligent and sarcastic, and yet retains that compassionate core that marks him as an empath. I really love the close brotherly relationship he has with Duo, and the solid friendship with Wufei. In fact, Wufei is a pleasant surprise here - he still has those delicate sensibilities, :) but he's loyal, steadfast and true, and not a caricature of a nose-bleeding misogynist. The Relena-Heero-Duo love triangle is also quite amazing to watch, and the delicate on and off balance has me on tenterhooks.

"Companions of Fate" Arc by Laekin with bonnejeane [GWAddiction]
Status: Complete (many, many chapters!)

Another clearly Quatre-centric fic, and the 3x4 later turns into 3x4x5, which may or may not be your cup of tea. The first few stories in the arc admittedly make for slow reading, but this changes during the middle of the arc, and the writing gets progressively better and better. Laekin turned me into a Quatre fan! The post-war political scene is complex, and everything is plausibly explained. One of my favourite stories in this arc is "Shades of Red" which has a kickass Quatre and some beautiful Heero and Duo moments. Another notable one is "Partners Not Lovers", the highlight of which is a magnetic, angry Shinigami.

Soldiers and Fools Arc + Sequels by Lonewolf [Lonewolf's Gundam Wing Fan Page]
Status: Complete (many parts)

1x2. Early parts are a bit rough, but the sequels to the Soldiers and Fools arc, especially the "Rejects" series have a very polished feel. Obviously a writer who cares about his craft. Easy to get immersed in his works, and a very elegant, spare style of writing that is rich in meaning. For example, take this line by Lonewolf from his angsty series, "Crossing":

[Heero:] Trowa had told me once that tears were beautiful in zero-G. I didn't believe him until I looked up one day and saw it for myself.

That is typical of some of Lonewolf's best writing. It shows a remarkable amount of forethought in writing the scene. He doesn't force emotion on the reader and tell you what you should be feeling because Heero is crying. Instead, Lonewolf vividly shows what's happening and you can't help but be moved. I would sum up his work in his two words: Subtle beauty. You could practically hear the collective moan of dismay when Lonewolf retired from fandom. One of the few authors for whom I've bothered to read everything they write.

Bridlewood Manor (MitsuGallery site) or Bridlewood Manor ( site)
by Mitsugi [FFN: Mitsugi, MitsuGallery]

Status: WIP, 60+ episodes
"...Bridlewood Manor, which I hope is NEVER finished...
you see, it's an ongoing fic with no visible end in sight."

AU. Set in London, in the year 1901. Relena does play a large role in this one but her character is integral to the story, and just as in the series, her position provides a handy starting point for conflict, tension, and intrigue. All the five pilots are featured here, Duo and Heero quite prominently of course. :) This story is hands down, the best fic of this type that I've read in this fandom; no other historical AU even comes close to replicating the feel and mood of an entirely different age. I not only enjoy the loving attention to historical detail in the footnotes at Mitsugi's site, but also seeing new readers' reactions and reviews on Fanfiction.Net, where it has garnered quite the following.

Hmm...I've been reading this story from its inception and there is something about WIPs and just plain *time* that allows me to really fall in love with an author's version of the characters. The semi-masochistic agony of cliffhangers is not only heightened by the suspense of waiting but also, unlike many other authors, effectively resolved with the prompt addition of another chapter. Mitsugi is rare in that she maintains a regular posting schedule of an episode about every two weeks. She notes on her FFN profile that this fic will never be finished. Some people might grumble about proper storylines and conflict, climax, etc but Mitsugi's approach allows us to see the characters grow and change, real-time.

Whispering Pines by Pale Rider [Death and the Dragon]
Pairings: 1x2, 6+9, 3+4, 5+S, HxMm, 13x11, 2+5
Status: WIP, 7+ parts

An AU schoolfic but not your average schoolfic. Whispering Pines has the requisite large ensemble cast of characters, but unlike other fics, actually takes the time to delve into each character and their motivations. Quatre-centric, but lots of other pairings on the side. I've never seen anyone spend so much time fleshing out the whys and wherefores of Quatre's genius. The background and (rather disturbing!) family history is fascinating. I'm enjoying how the layers of the characters are slowly being revealed, and the relationships being developed. There are some very nice 1x2 moments here too. :) I was reluctant to put this up here until it was confirmed for me by the author that the pairings would stay 1x2 and 3x4 for the forseeable future. If you like Quatre and you don't mind a background pairing of 1x2, try this fic and send some encouraging feedback to Pale Rider, who last posted to GW-Fan ML in March of 2002. This is a series that should not be left languishing unfinished!

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Comments From Visitors
  • Bridlewood - by: Black Widow
  • another great fic - by: Sheron
  • Heero and Duo A Good Catholic Boy - by: Peter
  • Mission Arcadia - by: KC
  • Chiaroscuro - by: Kendra A.
  • Great - by: Maaya
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    Fanfic Quote/Excerpt of the Moment:

    The whistles blared, the wheels clattered, and steam shot out from the braking mechanisms of both trains as they tried to slow down, but Heero had picked a spot far enough inside the tunnel that the effect would be minimized, and the wind force enjoyed to its full extent. It was perfectly calculated, a perfect mix of security and excitement, of serenity peppered with shots of adrenaline. Heero leaned forward, and at the exact point in time where each of the two trains shot past them on a different side, creating a miniature cyclone to which both boys were purposely oblivious, he pulled Duo even closer, and kissed him.
    --Bridlewood Manor by Mitsugi [Mitsu Gallery]
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    This Page Last Updated: Sunday, 28-Sep-2003 14:45:11 CDT
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