Welcome to [community profile] underheard, a rec comm for underappreciated fanfiction! Currently we are Round One for the month of August, with spotlighted fandoms of:
  • Generation Kill
  • Seventeen
  • Power Rangers (old school)
  • Yuri!!! on Ice
  • One Piece
  • Harry Potter - Draco/Harry
  • Georgette Heyer
  • Bangtan Boys
  • Harry Potter - Scorpius/Albus
Watch our comm for updates!

September 2017

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darkages: (hands)
[personal profile] darkages
Hi guys, a quick message from the mods here: because we've both been very busy IRL, we've decided to pause Underheard for the month of October. Neither of us have time at the moment to keep up the regular maintenance this community requires. However, we'll be back in November, so keep an eye out and we hope you'll all still be on board to read and rec underappreciated fic :)
eccentric_hat: (poemcrazy)
[personal profile] eccentric_hat
Fandom: Yuri!!! on Ice
Title: What Love Is
Pairing/Character Focus: Katsuki Yuuri/Victor Nikiforov
Author: [archiveofourown.org profile] elstaplador
What makes this a gem:
Everything started in September. The Grand Prix series took care of autumn. Nationals followed the Grand Prix Final and Europeans followed nationals and Worlds followed Europeans, as reliable as Christmas and Epiphany, Lent and Easter. The wheel of the year was endlessly reassuring, a lifebelt to cling to when the fog was drowning him; a compass when it lifted, allowing him to orient himself by the red or the purple. Or the gold.
I think of this as the fic where Victor is Russian Orthodox, because I found it when I was wondering if there were any of those and did a text search for "orthodox" on the AO3. But it's much more than that, too. It's a story about Victor living in time--skating time, seasonal time, liturgical time--and learning something about love each time the wheel goes around. The story has a really nifty structure, organized by the months of the year, and a thoughtful perspective on Victor, who we see here taking comfort in ritual and repetition at the same time as he learns how to let his life be transformed by love.
ideare: (Default)
[personal profile] ideare

Fandom: inception
Title: i know (but i am not resigned)
Pairing/Character Focus: mallorie 'mal' cobb
Author: [archiveofourown.org profile] Skoll
What makes this a gem:

Dom thinks that they have woken. Mal knows better, and it terrifies her.

i know (but i am not resigned) is another 'mal was right' au, which looks at mal's point of view of being trapped in a dream because of fear, because of what once was love.

we see mal's quiet fear grow into a roar too loud to ignore as she watches dom cling to shadows while they wait for a train that never comes. until mal eventually decides to create her own form of inception, planting inside dom's mind a horror so great that he'll have no choice but to wake up.

germankitty: (MMPR helmets)
[personal profile] germankitty
Fandom: Power Rangers (1993-97)

Title: End of the Rainbow

Pairing/Character Focus: None, background Tommy Oliver/Kimberly Hart and Adam Park/Tanya Sloane

Author: Jennifer Bigley ([personal profile] sailorzeo on LJ; dormant since 2008)

What makes this a gem: Power Rangers generally is a happy fandom; while you get your share of drama and angst, it's rare that there's a truly dark fic. "End of the Rainbow" probably comes closest, as it's a story of the Rangers perishing one by one until the original team -- Jason, Kimberly, Billy, Zack and Trini -- see no way out than following their fallen comrades into the Great Beyond. (Yes, that's a trigger warning for voluntary death!)

The story (series?) is set within "Power Rangers Turbo" and each chapter is dedicated to one particular Ranger, starting with the youngest and newest Ranger, Justin Stewart. The last character-specific chapter belongs to Tommy Oliver, who ended up being the longest-serving (if you include PR:Dino Thunder). The last two chapters tell of how the original Rangers end and how Zordon takes revenge for the destruction of his protegés. It's poignant and sad, quite unlike any other story I've read in the fandom, and wasn't well-known even back then.

Jennifer started a more optimistic sequel featuring the "Space" Rangers -- made possible because that was the first season where the whole cast of actors was changed yet still retained a connection to the previous series by keeping the setting in Angel Grove. Sadly, she abandoned that particular subverse after only two chapters. While EotR used to be posted to various PR archives in its day, Jen's own site, the now-defunct "Gridmaster's Castle", is the only place where it can be found nowadays -- and even that only via the WaybackMachine.
eccentric_hat: (Default)
[personal profile] eccentric_hat
Fandom: Yuri!!! on Ice
Title: who can sing both high and low
Pairing/Character Focus: Otabek Altin/Yuri Plisetsky (Yuri-centric)
Author: [archiveofourown.org profile] infiniteandsmall
What makes this a gem:
It’s startling to watch videos of his practices and see angles where he’d seen straight lines, broad shoulders where he’d seen a waist that had made him think sometimes, in a cool quick flash, girl.
Yuri on Ice takes place in a world without homophobia, and a couple fanwriters have taken that idea and run with it: why not consider it a world without transphobia as well? What if you tell a story about someone figuring out their gender, and the only difficulty they face is in finding the right version of themselves? This is that story for Yuri Plisetsky, who's now eighteen, a lot taller and broader, and starting to miss the days when he was encouraged to be pretty. The narrative voice is perfectly suited to the story; it's vivid and opinionated and gentle, all at once. And the compassion in Yuri's relationships with the important people in his life is like a balm to the soul. As a bonus, I really love this version of Otabek, who is warm and patient and wry and shows pictures of Yuri to his mom.

This is the second story in a series, but it stands alone pretty easily--you get all the context you need in the first couple paragraphs. That said, of course, the rest of the series is well worth reading too!

(Hi mods! Could I get an Otabek/Yuri tag for this post? Thanks!!)
darkages: (Default)
[personal profile] darkages
Fandom: Haikyuu!!
Title: bystander
Pairing/Character Focus: Ennoshita Chikara/Futakuchi Kenji
Author: [archiveofourown.org profile] harklights
What makes this a gem: You know when a fic leaves such a lasting impression on you that it gives you chills each time you reread it? This is one of those fics. Playing off Ennoshita's canonical interest in film, this fic takes it to the next level and makes him an art student and filmmaker, with Futakuchi simply someone who's wandered off the street and into his exhibition. The ensuing conversation between two people who've just met is one of the most powerful pieces of dialogue I've ever read, full stop. It's intelligent without being too academic, challenging without being overwhelming. Just... really clever writing.
germankitty: unknown (txt life?)
[personal profile] germankitty
My apologies for missing the last two weeks; I was super busy with RL stuff. To make up for this, here's a truly epic series, comprising a total of forty-five (yes, 45!!!) fics.

Fandom: Power Rangers (MMPR 1993 - In Space 1998)

Title: Personality Conflicts. Also at Paladar or at Fanfiction.net (links go to the respective author pages, as not all archives have interlinked fics. I'd suggest using the first link to Jenga's Library, as everything is in proper reading order there.)

Pairing/Character Focus: The series starts with Tommy Oliver as the main character, but soon involves what feels like half the planet, including many OCs. ;-) Multiple characters get focus chapters eventually. Pairings ... honestly too many to count.

Author: Ellen Brand

Summary: A series of disturbing dreams have Tommy questioning his sanity. Is he losing it, or is there something more at work here? In desperation, he seeks out the help of a psychiatrist. Eventually, he has no choice but to reveal his secret identity as a Power Ranger to that person and Things Are Starting To Happen.

What makes this a gem: In its time, "Personality Conflicts" was one of the must-read fic series in the fandom. Epic as it already is, it's technically unfinished -- well, at least Ellen had plans to cast her net even wider than she already had by the final fic. (Just imagine what would've happened if Mulder and Scully of "The X-Files" had been drawn int the Power Rangers universe ... Sadly, that never came to pass.) This is pretty much the ultimate crossover -- not only of all seven Power Rangers series set in Angel Grove (Mighty Morphin' to In Space), but also Masked Rider, Big Bad Beetleborgs and VR Troopers (all series produced by Saban). Then throw in the original Ghostbusters, lots of OCs, stir well and see what drifts to the top ...

I know it sounds like a hot mess, but somehow it all works. There's romance, humor, action, character development, adventure ... and yes, some therapy, too. :-) It's also written well and suitable for younger readers.
ideare: (Default)
[personal profile] ideare

Fandom: inception
Title: sworn to lucidity
Pairing/Character Focus: mallorie 'mal' cobb
Author: [archiveofourown.org profile] GloriaMundi
What makes this a gem:

"This is my dream journal. I must write the twists of every dream: I must write the details of every day. Now, more than ever before, it's vital I remind myself, minute to minute, of the fine lines between dream, memory and the waking world."
Mal is awake. Dom sleeps on.

sworn to lucidity is a 'mal was right' au, which examines the whole of inception as a dream from which dom needs to wake up from.

we watch as mal struggles to come to terms with the invasion of her mind by dom and the loss of her husband, because his desire to create is stronger than his will to live in a world so immalleable.

this fic examines and proposes answers to questions that a lot of viewers had in regards to the ending of inception. and the whole thing is so plausible, especially when you take into consideration the symmetry of the length of the film and the length of the kick song, "Non, je ne regrette rien".

eccentric_hat: (Default)
[personal profile] eccentric_hat
Fandom: Yuri!!! on Ice
Title: Stairwell (part one of Vodka Tonic)
Pairing/Character Focus: Christophe Giacometti/Georgi Popovich
Author: [archiveofourown.org profile] prillalar
What makes this a gem:
Georgi looks up. "Go fuck yourself," he says, more or less, in Russian. He lifts the bottle and takes a drink, chokes a little before he gets it down.

"If only I could." Christophe leans on the metal handrail. "If only we all could."
So hey, have you ever considered Chris/Georgi? If not, that's okay, neither had I; and neither has Georgi; and neither has Chris, until halfway through the Cup of China, when he happens across Georgi drinking and crying in a hotel stairwell and decides to take it as a challenge. This starts as a PWP of the can-this-ship-work variety, and then the characters turn out to be in such a complicated place that the story grows an emotional arc. And then the arc grows beyond the confines of one story! I like what this fic does on its own but I love what happens as it grows into a series. It turns out that the sex machine and the angst monster have some stuff to deal with, separately and together, and it's fascinating watching them both try to figure out what on earth they want and how to get it.
darkages: (hands)
[personal profile] darkages
Fandom: Haikyuu!!
Title: Riptides
Pairing/Character Focus: Tsukishima Kei/Yamaguchi Tadashi
Author: [archiveofourown.org profile] Kuleshov
What makes this a gem: Some stories leave you with a strong impression, and this is one of them. It does so in all the requisite ways for a great story—with characterisation, relationship development, lovely writing—but stands out particularly with its incredibly strong atmosphere. This fic is fondly reminiscent of long summer days and the will-they-won't-they of a new romance, with a strong cast of supporting characters and OCs to make it feel multilayered and rich. There's also a bit of an air of mystery, as it's the author's only fic, so I feel like I really treasure it all the more for knowing that. Hopefully, this is the kind of fic that will warm its way into your heart, too.
eccentric_hat: (Default)
[personal profile] eccentric_hat
Fandom: Yuri!!! on Ice
Title: the fences we mended
Pairing/Character Focus: Katsuki Yuuri/Victor Nikiforov
Author: [archiveofourown.org profile] sophiahelix
What makes this a gem:
It’s always awkward, seeing Yakov again; it brings back creeping, crawling memories of the night Victor missed the podium at Skate Canada last year, when Yakov cornered Yuuri in the hall. The way Yakov picked up the gold medal around Yuuri’s neck and tugged at it, hard enough to hurt. Is it worth it? he'd spat, in his guttural English. Holding him back so you can win? You think love is enough?
This is a short fic, less than 3k words. But after I read it once it haunted me. Here’s something we don’t always talk about in YOI fandom: Yuuri and Victor’s relationship is going to be hard to pull off. It’s a logistical nightmare, its romantic and professional elements are all knotted together, and the people in it are passionate perfectionists who don’t necessarily communicate very well. This is one of the only stories I’ve seen to push that train of thought to its logical conclusion. Both the emotions and the physical details are incredibly grounded in careful thought. It's also a shippy Yuuri/Victor fic, so don’t worry too hard about your heart getting smashed.
darkages: (hands)
[personal profile] darkages
Fandom: Haikyuu!!
Title: One Gray Morning
Pairing/Character Focus: Datekou gen
Author: [archiveofourown.org profile] SterlingLee
What makes this a gem: I don't even know where to begin with this fic, because I've read it so many times, I've rec'd it to so many people... I think, ultimately, I have to say this is an all-time favourite. It's a genfic short story, which makes it almost the very definition of underappreciated, and if that's not enough, it focuses on Datekou, one of the least popular teams in the Haikyuu!! fandom. But even if this isn't what you'd normally go for, please give it a chance. The humour is incredible, the narrative is told in an immensely clever manner, and the writing itself flows wonderfully and keeps you hooked throughout. The fact that such a vivid story of such complexity is told in so few words is really masterful. And this is the kind of fic you can read over and over, and it never gets old. It's just that much fun.
ideare: (Default)
[personal profile] ideare

Fandom: inception
Title: creation mated to destruction
Pairing/Character Focus: mallorie 'mal' cobb
Author: [archiveofourown.org profile] matrixrefugee
What makes this a gem:

Whether Dom is asleep or not, Mal is always watching...

creation mated to destruction is an inception fic from the point of view of mal, and also my first bookmark on ao3. here's my original comment on why this fic is so good:

i like how mal was aware of ariadne and dom from the moment they entered the dream; how mal is connected to the projections but is also stronger than them, how they sense and act on her emotions.

i love how mal's anger is directed at dom, how she wants to punish him before she can forgive him for what he did to her. i also love how mal sees herself as protecting ariadne from a similar fate that mal suffered through, even if she doesn't particularly like her. it never occurred to me that mal would see ariadne as someone who is replacing her in both dom's work life and love life.

my favourite line is:
The girl needed to learn that the act of creation also implied that there were acts of destruction as well.

another line i really liked is:
Her chance came again in due time. It could have been a week, it could have been a month, it could have been a day later.

because it shows that time is such a fluid and ambiguous thing, especially in the dream-world. it shows how mal is existing in a place where the traumatic events in her life could have happened days ago instead of years, and mal is perfectly justified to sit and stew in her anger when her pain still feels so recent to her.

overall, this is beautifully written!

meretricula: (Default)
[personal profile] meretricula
Fandom: Georgette Heyer (Cotillion)
Title: A Gentleman of Taste
Pairing/Character Focus: Kitty Charing/Freddy Standen
Author: [archiveofourown.org profile] athousandwinds
What makes this a gem: This fic is ICONIC. I still randomly think of lines from it, years later, and crack up laughing in public. It perfectly encapsulates everything that is both ridiculous and delightful about Freddy and Kitty. Heyer herself couldn't have written it better. (This was, nearly ten years ago, one of my first-ever Yuletide presents.)
germankitty: (PR ninjetti)
[personal profile] germankitty
Fandom: Power Rangers (MMPR - Zeo, 1993-96)
Title:The Sun Goes Down (alternate link is here; it's to the archive's subpage. The series is posted pretty close to the bottom.)
Pairing/Character Focus: Billy Cranston, Skye Brannon (OC); main pairing Billy Cranston/Trini Kwan, others
Author: Peregrine (perryvic on AO3 for other fandoms)
What makes this a gem: It's called a series, but it's really one 250K-plus-long story in 14 chapters, none of which can be read as a standalone.

The story begins in the middle of the TV Zeo universe, set in the Rangers' fictional hometown of Angel Grove, CA. Very soon, though, the protagonists go off-planet and enter the universe established in the first MMPR movie, blending both rather ingeniously via the artistic visions of Skye Brannon, an OC introduced in the first chapter. The Rangers and Skye delve deeply into the mythology of the Zeo Crystal and its guardians, the Ninjetti -- and yes, Billy regains his Ninjetti powers. :-) The other present and former Rangers go on their own Zeo quest to become Ninjetti as well, and then the whole team spreads out to recruit allies among the stars, to unite against the threat of the "Darkness Visible".

There's action, romance, angst, mythology, character development, and ultimately loss -- albeit tempered by hope.

I really shouldn't love the story as much as I do, mainly because I usually detest OCs -- especially when they take a central, or at least pivotal role like Skye does here. I'm also not exactly a fan of Billy as the main character, nor of the central pairing. But Zeo is just about my favorite PR season, ever, the premise intrigued me, and here I am, 20 years later, still rereading it from time to time. Just goes to show that a really good writer can sell me almost anything ... and Peregrine definitely was one of the best in the fandom at the time. Her unusual style, depth of esoteric knowledge and the scope of her imagination are, in a word, breathtaking. What's more, despite writing one of THE most popular tropes at the time, she still manages to avoid falling into clichés, bringing freshness, originality and maturity to a fandom built on a rather cheesy children's TV show. And in her first fic, too!

(It should be said that she didn't acquire a beta until much later; please ignore/forgive the minor errors!)
ideare: (Default)
[personal profile] ideare

Fandom: generation kill
Title: a devil dog in baggy pants
Pairing/Character Focus: ray person
Author: [archiveofourown.org profile] buffyaddict13
What makes this a gem:

Josh Ray Person is a US Marine. He thinks he knows what war is. He thinks he knows what friendship means. He thinks there’s no such as time travel. Ray is about to find out he’s wrong on all three counts.

a devil dog in baggy pants is a time-travel, body-switch, crossover between generation kill and band of brothers. and it's done so beautifully.

ray is literally thrown from his war in iraq into the d-day landing of world war two. we travel with ray as he tries to navigate his way around a war that's already over, with people who are mostly already gone, while trying to get back to bravo company and the people he left behind. it's an emotional journey, with frustrations and fears and heartbreak as ray grows attached to the men of easy company.

[archiveofourown.org profile] buffyaddict13 does an amazing job of narrating the parallels of wars 60 years apart while capturing not only ray's personality, but the men of easy company.

knowledge of band of brothers isn't necessary, but there are nods to the canon that would be better appreciated with experience of both miniseries.

reccer: excited candy is excited (Default)
[personal profile] reccer
Fandom: Harry Potter (Scorpius/Albus)
Title: Folie à Deux
Pairing/Character Focus: Scorpius Malfoy/Albus Potter
Author: [archiveofourown.org profile] persepolis130
What makes this a gem: I'm starting this off with mentioning that this fic is told in the first person.

And before anyone starts running away, I need to emphasize that this is THE fic I rec to anyone to prove that first person can be done masterfully, wonderfully, and gracefully in fanfiction.

Not only is the POV written in such a loyal way to exploit characterization (as, in my opinion, first person should be written) - especially for characters that, at the point of being written, didn't even have canon personalities - but there is a blending of naivety and maturity within the prose that makes this read like a real, if not slightly quirky, teenage perspective. Additionally, the plot itself is handled well and doesn't force itself at you. This fic feels like it just guides you in slowly with its words and before you know it, you've read so much already.

But that's on the technical stuff - content-wise, this story is also fascinating, and just memorable and different. Words cannot explain how much I adore this fic.
reccer: excited candy is excited (Default)
[personal profile] reccer
[this is a disastrously late rec from last week, sorry!]

Fandom: Harry Potter (Scorpius/Albus)
Title: Burnt Grounds
Pairing/Character Focus: Scorpius Malfoy/Albus Potter
Author: [archiveofourown.org profile] mijeli
What makes this a gem: Words cannot describe how much I remember I still love this fic, even though I first read it several years ago. There's a thick layer of drama and real plot - Albus wanting to fix the Vanishing Cabinet - as well as lingerings of the war sprinkled here and there. But what gets this fic the most for me is the mix of h/c (Albus taking care of a temporarily blind Scorpius) and the delicate nature between romance and plot here. Also, all the adults are wonderfully characterized, and I always love it when Draco makes an appearance and is protective over his son.
darkages: (hands)
[personal profile] darkages
please remember that while any of these days may look full, we currently have a no-limit policy so feel free to signup for any day that works for you, even if it's occupied on the table.

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
 [personal profile] ideare: Inception  [personal profile] nenya_narya_vilya: Legend of Korra [personal profile] darkages: Haikyuu!! [personal profile] eccentric_hat: Yuri!!! On Ice    

underappreciated by )
darkages: (hands)
[personal profile] darkages
this is the post where you sign up for the fandom (or large ship within a fandom) you're interested in reccing for. we're looking for recs just for the month of september, with one person per fandom/ship. (please don't worry if the fandom/ship you're interested in is taken! there will be more rounds in the future.)
the way this will go is that once you have a fandom/ship to rec for, you will be assigned a certain day (such as sunday, monday, tuesday.) on the designated day, you will post one fic rec for your fandom. here's the schedule for september.
how we define "underappreciated" (as stated in our profile) is:
- any fic with less than 1000 kudos on ao3 - this is a hard rule
- fic that is not in the top 2% of pages for a fandom
- fic not by an author who has a story in the top 1% of pages for a fandom
- fic that has been posted/created for at least a month
- (we will help set these numbers for you so nothing gets lost in translation)
- if you're interested in reccing a specific popular ship for a large fandom, please let us know for that. (e.g. drarry)
- if you're interested in reccing fic from small fandoms, we can discuss adjusting qualifications.
- if you're interested in reccing fic from fanfiction.net, livejournal (not x-posted to ao3), or any other platform, please let us know so we can discuss popularity proportions.
this is the format of the recs:
subject: Title by Author [Rating]
Fandom: your fandom
Title: title with link to the fic. please let us know if you don't know how to make a link on dreamwidth
Pairing/Character Focus: please use full names if possible
Author: ao3 users can be credited with the following code: <user name="main ao3 pseud" site="archiveofourown.org">
What makes this a gem: write a little blurb about why you're reccing this fic in particular! does it have wonderful prose? wonderful themes? (both?) is it a personal favorite? can you not stop thinking about it?
warnings are not required as they are assumed to be appropriately marked by the author

formats inspired by [community profile] crack_van
please leave a comment with the fandom you're interested in reccing for, and you'll hear from us soon! and yes, we do require a dreamwidth account.

aside: this mod would like to apologise for accidentally posting both thursday and friday's recs on thursday :')
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