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Coming Home by Xanthe (NC-17)

Title: Coming Home
Fandom: SGA
Pairing: McKay/Sheppard
Categories: Romance, h/c, BDSM, AU
Length: Epic (~185,000 words)
Warnings: none

Author on LJ:[info]xanthestories
Author Website: http://www.xanthe.org/

Review:
I've heard that this story (along with the other long fic that Xanthe wrote in this AU, The General and Doctor Sheppard) created a huge bruhha in fandom, sparking lots of debates and 'homages' and righteous indignation about how a universe where BDSM is the societal norm could not possibly exist. As a result, I feel I should warn you that if BDSM really offends you, do not read this story. Trust me, you'll thank me later.

Now then, for everyone else: OMG, this story rocks! Typically I don't read BDSM because BDSM stories are usually PWPs about...well, BDSM. I'm much more interested in characters and plots and relationships than in how two characters choose to show their affection for each other. Fortunately, this story is *not* about BDSM. It's about two men who meet and fall in love and it just so happens that these two men are living in a universe where BDSM is the norm, rather than a subculture (and let's face it, is such a universe any more odd than one where humans can turn themselves into energy beings or where walking through a ring of stone transports you to another galaxy?) You will find intense scenes of BDSM in this story (see above warning), but it never feels like the lifestyle is more important than the characters.

The relationship between John and Rodney is what makes this story work for me. John is his usual closed-off self and Rodney is self-destructing (which, when you think about it, is just like canon: how many people manage to piss off their superiors so much that they get exiled to the *enemy's* camp?) and it's hard to imagine any two people who need each other more. Their relationship develops naturally over the story (which loosely follows season 1 canon) and I defy anyone not get get all mushy inside as John starts to open up and Rodney learns how to trust again. Even better, you have excellent showings by virtually all of the first-season SGA cast (Carson is especially good) and the plot ties in bits of canon and an original storyline to create a deeply engaging and very well written story.

Final verdict: This is a fascinating AU with excellent characterizations and more shmoopy romance than you can shake a stick at. Beautiful, touching, and highly recommended.

Coming Home (index)
Coming Home (direct link to story)

Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
autumnbook
Jun. 14th, 2007 10:02 pm (UTC)
Very nice. I love Xanthe Mcshep stories and have already read this. In fact I just recently bought it as a fanzine and have it beside my bed to read again. The warning at the beginning is an excellent idea but the first time I saw a story had BDSM I had to look it up to see what this meant. You might want to define the abbreviations the first time you use them. When you review a story in a series I might not be familiar I would like to know what the abbreviation means.
jane_elliot
Jun. 14th, 2007 10:09 pm (UTC)
Hee! Now that you mention it, I had to look it up the first time I saw it as well. Maybe a glossary would help; after all, it's not like everyone here is going to know what an AU is or what lemon/lime means. Sounds like a fun project for tomorrow (I'm heading home soon or else I'd do it today -- this is a *really* slow week at work...)
autumnbook
Jun. 14th, 2007 10:18 pm (UTC)
I was thinking more of defining the abbreviations you use in the review itself like SGA (Stargate Atlantis) and then using the abbreviation in the rest of the review. There is already a good fan glossary at http://www.subreality.com/glossary/terms.htm#?.
jane_elliot
Jun. 14th, 2007 10:23 pm (UTC)
I think SGA is the only fandom for which I plan on using an abbreviation (and in that case, only because I've never seen it written out, anywhere. Even Stargate SG-1 gets written out occasionally, but for some reason SGA doesn't). But it's not a problem to write it out if that will ease confusion. I still might write a glossary though, just because I'm boooored. Seriously. They need to find more for me to do here.
bluespirit_star
Jun. 15th, 2007 09:31 am (UTC)
I adore this.
It's such a beautiful, beautiful love story. ♥

I did beta it but I know I'd have the same opinion, no matter what! *g*
jane_elliot
Jun. 15th, 2007 02:31 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I'm a fan, too:)
harried_minion
Jun. 16th, 2007 09:51 pm (UTC)
Excellent recommendation. I started reading Xanthe's work in the XFiles fandom and was thrilled when she started in on SGA.

jane_elliot
Jun. 17th, 2007 05:04 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Xanthe actually recognized me from the X-Files fandom; otherwise I wouldn't have known she wrote in SGA and would have missed out on some excellent fanfic. Actually, now that I think about it, I'm off to download CH for a second read:)
xanthe
Jun. 24th, 2007 06:14 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
Hello! I just saw your new rec community - it looks great. And thanks so much for starting off with "Coming Home". I really appreciate it :-). I thought your review was spot on as well in what you identified in the story - especially the BDSM element.

Thanks again!
jane_elliot
Jun. 25th, 2007 01:02 pm (UTC)
Re: Thank you!
Thank you! I really enjoyed the story and was happy to share the love:)
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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