gladdecease: (*meta type stuff)
gladdecease ([personal profile] gladdecease) wrote2013-10-31 10:16 pm

thing the thirty-fourth [time travel rec list for [community profile] trope_bingo]

I don't know why I'm having such a hard time coming up with a fic for this trope. Time travel is, like, my favorite thing. (See: Doctor Who, Booster Gold, my favorite episodes of any Star Trek or Stargate series.)

But, on the bright side, that means it's pretty easy for me to throw together a time travel rec list at the last minute! (If I had more time to scour my bookmarks, I'd make this specifically a Peggy Sue rec list, buuuut there's less than two hours before the bingo period closes, so generically time travel-flavored it is!)

Speranza is a huge name in SGA fandom for a reason - she wrote a lot, she wrote it long, and she wrote it hot. But I think Sheppard's Law is my favorite of her fics, because it takes this situation - John is stuck in a box that's manipulating his past to kill him, so Rodney goes back into his past and saves him over and over again - and really delves into what makes John John, and how his relationship with Rodney changes and remains fundamentally the same because of this course of events. (I really like how the alterations come into effect, new but so seamlessly inserted it's hard to remember that for long.)

Timeline, by Unforgotten, is a great pair of X-Men movieverse fics. She writes Charles and Erik with a touch of absurd humor to them, and in a way so that you can clearly feel both the MacAvoy/Fassbender and Stewart/McKellen personalities shine through. This is an excellent Peggy Sue fic (aka Character Time Travels to Fix It, named after the movie Peggy Sue Got Married), where Charles of an X2 AU sends his mind back in time to fix the past, using a very stupid plan. He doesn't get everything perfectly right - something that bugs me about some Peggy Sue fics - in fact, this Charles is so delightfully flawed that it's amazing he gets anything right. It ends on a wonderful, happy note, and the second fic does nothing to reduce that, but instead fleshes out background events in a very nicely written way.

Another favorite along this line - an X-Men movieverse Peggy Sue fic, that is - is Sponge Away the Writing, by Tam_Cranver. The difference between this fic and many others, is that the younger version of Charles is still aware - is, in fact, the dominant version in his head - and thus concerns which are more immediate and relevant to him than to his forty-years-older self are given space in the story, and are allowed to matter. The result is an unexpected amount of compromise between these two Charleses, and ultimately a far happier ending.

A twist on the Peggy Sue trope combines it with the Groundhog's Day time loop trope, so your character of choice keeps traveling back in time involuntarily, and will do so until some arbitrary requirements are met - usually Fixing whatever needed to be Fixed, but sometimes authors get cruel on you. My favorite Groundhog Peggy Sue fic, by far, is the stunning, epic-length Les Mis fic Toil Until the Old Colours Fade, by drcalvin. Toil takes Javert, a character who, when faced with the first moral dilemma of his life, chose to commit suicide rather than struggle with the concept any further, and forces him to adjust to his new worldview by refusing to let him die. He learns and grows and dies, and learns more, and dies, again and again, and this allows his immense character growth over the course of the fic to feel incredibly earned.

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