The year 2007 is the year I discovered podfic. I was surprised to learn, quite recently, that 2007 was pretty much the year EVERYONE discovered podfic. I have spoken, in other entries, of my obsession with fanfic during the time I was in public accounting. The fact that I could not compel myself to stop reading fanfic when I was supposed to be producing billable hours is a testimony both to my obsessive nature and to the horrendous judgment I have habitually applied to my career choices.
So, in this post for Amplirecathon 2010, I want to put on my granny glasses, lean back in my rockin' chair and tell all you young'ns about how it was in the old days - way back in 2007.
What interesting about podfic, and what I think is undergoing a process of maturation and change is the extent to which the product - the podfic - has been, up until now, largely a secondary consideration. Little attention has been given to so-called "production values" in producing podfic, in favor of just GETTING THE STORY READ. Although I have a great deal of respect for those that are raising the bar to a certain extent (I wouldn't be writing this if I didn't), there's a lively "Wild West" feeling to the early podfics. Background noise? You betcha. Errors and repeated phrases? Yep. Incredible enthusiasm and sense of fun? You'll find it in spades.
Others have written and recommended podfics from this time period that don't fit this mold. Written by the Victors is so far and away a different animal from any other podfic that came out in 2007 that it broke molds, shifted paradigms, re-wrote rulebooks. THE quintessential multi-reader fic, and of a fic that lent itself incredibly well to that format, "Victors" is AN EXPERIENCE that begs to be enjoyed on its own, not as mere background for the events of the day.
As amazing as "Victors" is - and it remains a podfic achievement that is unparalleled in so many ways, it was NOT the only fic that came out back in "ought seven" that the listeners of 2010 should re-visit.
Let me start with Reality by Resonant, read by zabira. What I love most about this fic is zabira's McKay. I have listened to this story hundreds of times, and the scene when Rodney figures out that John has been enjoying a "relationship" with him that existed primarily in John's imagination precisely because he doesn't think a "relationship" with him in real life would be as satisfying makes me grin like a complete LOON every time. From, "And HEY! There's sex at the end of this am I right?" to "I take it your indirection means you figured a relationship with me would be less complicated if I weren't actually involved?" with it's perfectly nuanced McKay admission that "there is some truth in that," zabira's Rodney is a classic.
No listing of the greats from '07 would be complete without a rec for readings by anatsuno. One of my favorites is another cesperanza fic, When in Haldoria. This twist on slave fic is just plain fun. Not only is listening to anatsuno's delightful French accent a hell of a lot of fun, but her John Sheppard is amazing. You wouldn't think that the portrayal of an American Military Man would be terribly convincing from a voice that is neither American, nor Male, nor, I presume, military, but it just IS. When anatsuno tells us that John felt like a "pale, hairy, white boy" and has him tell Rodney that he "wants a GOLD chain," I can picture those words on Joe Flanigan's lips, and it is delightful.
But, why do I read fanfics? For the PORN, baby! And I have two incredibly hot and hotly read recs for you. The first, Disambiguation by yin-again, is written and read by the author, and is both emotionally satisfying and sexually inspiring. An SGA McShep (Since that's where I lived in my corner of fandom in 2007), it is a first time, it is a character study and it is what I call an "atmospheric" piece, heavy in description and marvelous, pinpoint-accurate adjectives. There are phrases here that pop into my consciousness at the oddest times, prompting a return to the story. The two that come back time and again are, "before he died from the rightness of it" and "Heads. John Sheppard sucks cock."
And, while I'm on the subject of yin-again, she's amazing. One of the most amazing readers of her own work that I've ever heard. Her name is a guarantee. Hot, funny, emotionally resonant, just plain fun. And her voice is a delight. Go - browse - read - listen - enjoy - Yin's fics.
I was almost stopped in my tracks by the other hot and hotly read contender and I mean that literally. I was walking along, exercise made bearable by the fanfic being read into my ear when HOLY HELL - WTF was THAT!!!!! It was a story I had never read in text form, torch's Call Soft Enough, read by thingswithwings. Tender. Amazing. Dialogue-free. And HOTTER THAN THE SURFACE OF THE SUN. I can't imagine that it would have had anywhere NEAR the affect on me that it had, if thingswithwings hadn't read it for me. In fact, I have never even looked for it to read. Which is really my bad, because torch wrote one of the best PWP's I've ever read in any fandom. Not the kinkiest, not the best for sheer athletic sex, but the best all-around "get inside the head of the lover" PWP I have ever experienced.
One of the best types of stories to experience in podfic form is comedy. I've already mentioned yin-again, who wrote and read Crack AUs and the People That Love Them. This is a great collection of funny stories - Sheppard as a dog walker that walks Rodney's cat (a 40 pound Maine coon named Ronon)! Sheppard as a stylist, where McKay is a master colorist! Rodney the masseur!!! Rodney the food stylist!!!! There is also, these being yin's stories, a high hot and sexy quotient.
I feel I would be remiss in mentioning 2007 without my favorite recs from these readers:
I love listening to dodificus. She has a voice that I could (and have) listened to all day long. Australian accent. 'Nuff said. Give Kid A, by Speranza a shot. Hearing dodificus read, regarding John Sheppard: "They didn't thing he was gay. They just thought he was an asshole," and try not to share "their" opinion...
None of us would be here, precisely, without jinjurly. And I want to know how, in all this time, I NEVER KNEW about her reading of "In the City of Seven Walls.". This epic, can't listen to it in a day, HUMONGOUS fic is read with her typical no-nonsense style, but the tension in the story is damn near unbearable if you're listening, instead of reading. The scene prior to the rescue is amazing. I couldn't concentrate on anything else.
I'm going to have to leave it here, with regret for the ones I didn't get to. Enjoy the fics!