Fandom Politics

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  • Rec *

    Tags
    Summary

    It’s almost funny. All he ever wanted was to play hockey, to play in the NHL, to win the Cup. This—Samwell, the team, the Haus—was supposed to be just a detour, but now it feels more like a destination he failed to realize he’s already reached.

    (Or: Jack signs with the Falconers, graduates, and leaves. It's the hardest thing he's ever done. What comes after is even harder.)

    Series
    Language:
    English
    Words:
    157,904
    Chapters:
    20/20
    Comments:
    2049
    Kudos:
    4345
    Bookmarks:
    1478
    Hits:
    84352

    04 Feb 2018

    Bookmarker's Tags:
    Bookmarker's Notes

    This is one of the first fics I read in this fandom, and it was I think a pretty good introduction to these characters. Both sets of parents play a significant role while both Georgia and Canada are the locations of key scenes. The relationship between Jack and his parents, especially Bad Bob, is thoughtfully described as well as the that of Kent with all Zimmermanns. Eric's teenage years in Georgia are also touched upon, most notably with one memorable scene with Simon, described as his teenage crush, that would in itself call for a whole other story.

    Most SMH players from the first two generations appear heavily (Ransom, Holster, Shitty, Lardo, but also Dex, Nurse and Chowder). It looks like the fic was finished before later characters were introduced by Ngozi (no mention of Tater for instance)

    It is also notable by its use of LJ and Tumblr posts, tweets and instant messages as ways of telling the story. The comments written to these posts show the author has more than a passing familiarity with fandom workings. You also have within the fic recommendations to what is, from that perspective, RPF works, which are so well-done that the fact that they don't exist is a bit crushing.

    In that same universe, the author wrote nine other stories (one of which is likely never to be finished) that flesh out even further the universe, most notably by telling the story from Kent's perspective (Nate plays the Swoops-like role here since Ngozi had yet to introduce him) or imagining Jack's later life as captain of the Falconers.

    The writing is mostly very good, despite a few jarring POV changes that could possibly0have been made clearer (but I only write this as to appear somewhat objective).

  • Rec *

    Tags
    Summary

    It’s almost funny. All he ever wanted was to play hockey, to play in the NHL, to win the Cup. This—Samwell, the team, the Haus—was supposed to be just a detour, but now it feels more like a destination he failed to realize he’s already reached.

    (Or: Jack signs with the Falconers, graduates, and leaves. It's the hardest thing he's ever done. What comes after is even harder.)

    Series
    Language:
    English
    Words:
    157,904
    Chapters:
    20/20
    Comments:
    2049
    Kudos:
    4345
    Bookmarks:
    1478
    Hits:
    84352

    10 Jan 2016

    Bookmarker's Tags:
    Bookmarker's Notes

    An acknowledged virtuoso of the multimedia genre in the Marvel fandom, idrilka, in their recent foray into hockey fiction, has authored a nuanced exploration of the human condition that is accessible even to readers unfamiliar with the Check Please! canon. Although the romantic evolution of Jack Zimmermann and Eric Bittle’s relationship is certainly central to the plot, maybe i’m waking up is, at its core, an unflinchingly realistic Bildungsroman epic that refuses to elide over the apprehensions, the late night phone calls and the burdens of real life. Among all of idrilka’s feats I wish to enumerate here, their profoundest is their portrayal of a quintessential Jack and his non-linear recovery. During his transition between the NCAA and the NHL and his adjustment to the latter, the author implicitly underscores the fact that healing is tough and at times, daunting – people may have to take steps backwards, diagonally and upside-down before being able to move forward again.

    Notably, the author presents a multifaceted depiction of each character (including the secondary cast and an ensemble of online fans), with distinctions between their public and private façades. Jack Zimmermann exists not only as a Canadian hockey robot (who’s getting his EQ tuned), but also as an affectionate boyfriend who scrambles to answer Bitty’s calls and messages as soon as his name pops up on the screen, a devoted son who is blazing his own path despite the shadow of Bad Bob’s reputation, a true lover of the game who calls legends such as Mario Lemieux “uncle,” a mentor to teenage rookies, and a hard-working, socially-awkward teammate who doesn’t need a letter on his jersey to channel his “C” mindset. Yet, Jack is not the only protagonist grappling with his existence, or even sexual identity; given fandom emphasis on his optimism and culinary alchemy, other writers might have omitted or minimized Bitty’s canonical struggles with being Southern & gay and with his father (whom he addresses as Coach), but idrilka seizes a meet-the-parents visit as an opportunity for Bitty to confront his own fears.

    At once heart-warming and heart-wrenching, the final line of maybe i’m waking up, “There’s also a third thing that happens, quietly and almost imperceptibly, in the still moments between one intake of breath and another: They live” distills this epic into its essence. Indeed, idrilka masterfully balances provocative meta and organic fic progression with the allure of gratuitous platonic bed-sharing, comedic teammates who are willing to profess marriage for pie, Sidney Crosby (who is proud of his address) as a neighbor, cinnamon roll Cory Smith, a beloved OC in the Check Please! fandom, Instagram shenanigans (Jack behind the lens and Kit Purrson in front of it), Canadian lumberjack chic, paying it forward, cinematic classic The Cutting Edge, several returns to Samwell, a PR lady that ships it, Kent Parson’s ESPN Body Issue shoot (with strategic placement of a teddy bear and a popsicle), and other such Easter Eggs. The author further intersperses the central narrative with several outsider POVs and social media interactions (forums, twitter, tumblr, The Player’s Tribune, news sites, etc…) featuring a cast of stickhandling bros, a lovely peanut gallery (with authentic fandom politics and entertaining tagging) and one reporter that I would like to metaphysically punch in the face. As a side note, this work is not lacking in tasteful smut and the author deserves recognition for not defaulting to penetrative anal sex (although that’s great to read as well!) and writing sexual activity in a way that feels true to their protagonists.

    This work exists as the initial part of a yet unfinished series for all of the perfect things that i doubt that promises a HEA for Kent Parson and first-round pick Ian Davies so, idrilka, please consider this reccer’s interest piqued and accept her offering of <3 and kudos.

    If you cellied with this work, consider commenting, giving kudos, and sending love to let the creator(s) know!

    This rec has been crossposted from http://aconstellationofcelly.tumblr.com/