Given that I was going to do two different days but didn't this is rather long...like really long. Hopefully you enjoy it and are not overwhelmed. Hopefully it will fully post. Either way I hope these recs are at least somewhat helpful. Thanks to all the awesome podficcers whose work makes my life so much better!
Almost-Ten-Minute Wonder Model Protectorate, read by hiding_places. Why this is the most awesome thing ever, and why you all should listen to it right now, and share it with your mother, and your friends and perhaps your dog too.
Mediafire link to rec is here, 4:38 minutes
9:17 minutes, Hetalia
Breaking to You read by issaro
long and soothing
1:58:19, SPN RPS
Call Soft Enough read by thingswithwings
slow, sleepiness and warm/contement
Friendly read by fiercelydreamed
highly emotional, brings the reader in, quiet,
Light On read by winkingstar
like a bedtime story, short
Mediafire link to the rec is here, 6:40
Well, now you’ve heard me sound less eloquent I’ll try and write out more clearly a longer list of things everyone should listen too. Given that I tend to make people podfic playlists as presents, which is how my friends mother wound up finding out about podfic after borrowing her daughter’s ipod and listening to the “Audiobooks” section. However! This is a good thing, because podfic is so amazing, and said friends mother was under the impression the recordings were professional audiobooks. She was surprised when her daughter explained that they weren’t. Good job guys!
…Without further ado:
Laugh Out Loud
Go Fish by celtic_cookie
This is the story that caused the director of my office (who works near where I do) to come over and ask if I was alright because I was laughing so loudly. I think it was at the point that Jared knocked over the stand of toys in the pet story, but really I was giggling through most of this. celtic_cookie shows a lovely flare with voices here, subtle but just enough you always know who's talking, this helps to enhance the story as well as the comedy. The story is hilarious, the sort of thing you might sputter at reading on the page, but listening to it it's that much harder not to break up laughing. I'm endlessly impressed that celtic_cookie has read this with a metaphorically straight face while infusing the recording with feeling and hilarity.
80:28 minutes (total, in two parts), SPN RPS
This story has (I believe) been taken down. The original author has left LJ, it's been referenced in SPN Storyfinders with the quote "the author said, before taking the story down, she didn't mind people saving it." So while it appears to be nowhere on the web (I missed that the original was taken down so I was quite confused for a while trying to find it) I still want to rec it here in case you have it sitting in a "to listen" playlist on you computer. You should listen to it!
life is a banquet (and some poor suckers are starving to death) read by sad_cypress
If I haven't already said this I love sad_cypress' readings of comedic fic. She always has me in stitches. I don't even really know how to explain it, but this fic is a great example, the wide range of her voice from magical creatures, to a very amusing Dean. She brings a sense of character to the narration as well as the dialogue in a way that gets inside the narrators head that brings out every possibly funny aspect, whether it's the ridiculous, or the turn of phrase, or the mundane. She could read a phone book and I would start laughing, so given the context of a ravenously hungry Dean Winchester and a Sam’s Club among other things is enough to have me howling. I dare you to try and not crack a smile listening to this.
47:59 minutes, SPN
Rose in Another Man’s Garden/the Edible Man read by sad_cypress
Given the previous rec I'm not sure I even need to explain this one. Other than saying "run, don't walk. Sam thinks he's a plant and Dean gets cake" and as read by sad_cypress with a wry smile and her comedic skills it is both funny, and rather hot.
43:31 minutes, SPN
Common Knoweldge read by juice817
This is probably the king (or queen?) of all hilarious podfics. It also falls on my list of "favorite podfics of all time" partially for it's laugh out loud quality, and for it's wonderful storytelling. Honestly this is my favorite of all of these recs, which means it's the one I have no idea how to recommend. What can I say. It's amazing, the timing is fabulous, the intonation perfect. I always wind up laughing. I thought having heard it so many times it might be like a security-blanket fic and ready for a bed time story slot. It doesn't work because I wind up laughing so hard and don't fall asleep. Seriously, even if you don't like RPS, or you have no interest in J2/Supernatural related things this is one of those podfic that I would recommend to anyone, including possibly my own mother. It's just that good, funny, well read, interesting story, wonderfully interpreted into the auditory medium. I just can't even. You should all listen to it. Like now.
1:17:18 minutes, SPN RPS
Hot in Here
Taken With You read by the_oscar_cat
I swear this entire section of this recs list makes me sound like an awkward awkwardson, but I will press on with as much dignity as possible. the_oscar_cat’s reading brings a wonderfully clear enunciation to this story while being able to sensually draw in the listener, her breathing is as much a part of the story as the words. It's not something you necessarily think about in a recording of a more steamy variety but it adds to the audio experience, both the words that are said and the level of intensity in how the reader slows and draws things out, with breath and an almost languid drawl in places. Highly shiver-worth.
20:10 minutes, SGA
So Quit Asking Me read by sir_yessir
It seems weird to be reccing this with the primary reason being OMG male(?sounding) voice! But that's part of it. The reading is quite flush worthy, the warmth the reader brings to their voice and again, like with Taken With You the way they reader uses their breathing in this fic is amazing: from huffs of exasperation and embarrassment to the hitch of the characters breathing. At the point the reader is warmly purring the dialogue I'm sure you too may be pink cheeked as well.
11:36 minutes, SPN
Autopsis read by pandarus, Fayjay
I listened to this while separating a million+ print outs on the paper copier at work. I have never been more appreciative of the paper cutter as a dull job. This podfic my not be for everyone, but that's due to content, not due to Fayjay's fantastic reading. Fayjay brings out the danger in Sherlock in a way that's knee-bendingly sexy. Her reading is just as wonderfully sharp as the knife's edge of the situation.
48:20 minutes, Sherlock BBC
Under Five Minutes
One of the suggestions for recs lists was "under 5 min" That seems easy enough so I looked at my "favorites" folder to see what I might recommend. I was surprised that there were less fics under five minutes than I expected. There were a lot just over five minutes but very few under five. Now I have to admit I haven't listened to all that many short podfics but here are my suggestions of what I have heard.
parameters read by winkingstar
clocking in at 3:11 minutes, RENT
I first listened to this fic on the amplificathon "new fandoms" anthology a while back. I was really excited to hear Rent fic. The story itself is quiet and matter of fact, stating without telling. Winkingstar brings that out beautifully with her voice, not overly emotional and yet creating that quiet sense of feeling. This is one of the wonderful examples of how podfic can add layers to a story without being dramatic. This is the wonder of someone there behind the mic showing you a story.
the Fate Machine read by anatsuno
clocking in at 3:32, House
The premise of the story is interesting. This is a story I never would have come across if not for podfic. anatsuno starts out clearly explaining the premise of the future but her almost clinical tone which lulls the listener into the intense situation of the story. Her reading of the characters voices is lovely and as her voice changes with the tension of the situation it compliments the story wonderfully.
I have always loved listening to books on tape. I got them from the library as a kid, sure I could read but what's better than having someone read a story to you. I can remember my favorite parts of some, and have memorized the dialogue of others, the tone of voice of each character the way a certain phrase was said. I was always enthralled most by recordings with multiple voices, or an actor who somehow created an entire world just through the versatility of their voice. Some podfics that do amazing voices are as follows.
Fayjay (pandarus) has a wonderful skill with eliciting voice, varied and true. Of her stories my favorite for the voices is Homo ex Machina. I am enthralled by her use of accent and intonation in this story it adds completely another dimension to the original fic, which was already very good. She breathes life into the characters through their unique voices, and leaves the reader with a better understanding of the story for it.
1:35:24 minutes, Sherlock Holmes
Another story with a wonderful accent is Before and After read by doccy. I have tried to create a Chezk accent, it's hard. This author beautifully reads Radek's voice. The intimacy of the story is the greater for it. This is a fic I was tempted to put in my before-bed recommendations, but while being calming and heart-warming its the voice that truly brings out those aspects. It's warm, and you can often hear a wry smile behind the words and the accent. I am endlessly impressed by this recording and would highly recommend listening to it even if you have no context whatsoever for the story.
24:44 minutes, SGA
Freedom’s Just Another Word for Nothing Left to Loose read by kuipo
Wonderfully emotional, wonderful for re-listening. I love how this story is so clearly about a character even when that character isn’t actually part of the story. It’s a wonderful, subtle view of grief, life and moving on in a beautiful, hopeful way. Totally worth listening to, I know the series (SGA) but I think it would be just as moving if I didn’t and that’s really the wonder of this readers talents.
2 parts, 2:06:57 total, SGA
Reparo read by pennyplainknits
This podfic could easily fall under the voices section, it’s probably one of my favorite podfics for voices actually because of the wide range of voices the reader does consistently over such a long period of time which is quite impressive, and also really enhances the flow and pull of the story, investing the listener even deeper than they might have been already. Having seen the movies as well I was blow away by how spot on the voices were. Beyond just the voices, this is a story that also stands well on it’s own, away from the fandom. I honestly feel for me that’s a requirement for “Epic”, epic is where I’m enthralled and not totally sure where I’m going. It fits the fandom yet it transcends it as well.
8:15:30, Harry Potter
Chicago’s Most Wanted read by zabira
This podfic could easily go under laugh out loud, but it falls under Epic for length and the shear awesomeness of the story. Even if you don’t know Due South the Robinhood hijinks and scrambling intensity of plot will have you waiting to hear what’s next. What happens when the perfect cop (sort of) becomes the perfect criminal, by round about accident? The reader fully brings out all the levels of the story, from adventure to laughter to emotional intensity. This is one anyone could listen too, for the accessibility of the story for outsiders to fandom, for the readers wonderful performance, and for how all that comes together for an amazing final product.
5:11:13, Due South
Crown of the Summer Court read by pandarus, fayjay
This is just a fun recording. Again it’s an AU off of the original fandom. It goes into very interesting territory adding elves. Grand battles, magic, your typical Merlin but on a heightened level fitting for Arthurian <i>legend</i>. Fayjay does some really cool tech things with the voices for the elves that make them audibly super-human (beyond human, inhuman…? She still brings the same level of emotion but it’s mixed with this weird sort of mystery and they layering of their voices just enhances that) and of course her reading is impeccable as ever.
After being about 6 pages I might as well throw in one last thing…
Filk! Because everything’s better with music!
The Gun by Heather Thomas, Supernatural, haunting, and beautiful could be interpreted as Wincesty but not explicit so familial works too.
Mission Report by Lim, Stargate Atlantis, this is a really neat take on filk as storytelling in and of it’self. How a mission report is done Atlantis style, beautiful and thoughtful.
Don’t Ask Don’t Tell by Shaddyr, Stargate Atlantis, very poignant, another take on telling a story through music.
Northwest Passage by Luzula, Due South, it’s brilliant to take a song like this that’s so integral to the original story and turn it into a fanwork about that story, this expands upon how Due South already follows the original song into something even more direct and with beautiful harmony.
Barrayar and Roses by Maureen O’Brien, Vorkosigan Saga. With beautiful harmony, professional sounding quality this is a gorgeous filk.
Can be found here: http://www.dendarii.co.uk/MP3/
The Balland of Jensen and Jared by Seedyapartment, SPN RPS, this is of course the king of all filk in a way (hopefully you’ve all listened to Common Knowledge by now so you know). For some reason a friend of mine made this the ringtone when I called her, however as catchy and fun as it is, how could anyone object?
And if you want more music other more professional sources:
I’m On Firefly by Tom Smith, FREE! here: http://filkertom-itom.blogspot.com/2007/09/050-im-on-firefly.html (4:32 minutes)
Mal’s Song by Michelle Dockrey, the extension of the opening theme into a full song. Just as fun to sing, but with more of it!
The Snarry Song if you can find it by songstowearpantsto is rather amusing (it seems to have disappeared from the web which is unfortunate, but there are certainly enough vids to find it on youtube) (1:10 minutes)
And for more meta-like: The LiveJournal Shantyby Michelle Dockery, streaming (and buying) here: http://catfish.dhs.org/~happyfish/filk/livejournalshanty.html (3:06 minutes)
Then of course there’s the actual CDs
-Out of print but so worth it, Songs from Vanyel’s Time by Mercedes Lackey and performed by Heather Alexander. This sounds like middle school to me. In a good way. It’s wonderful and anyone who’s a fan of the Last Herald Mage series, or Valdemar in general should check these out. If you want just a listen, there are some posted to youtube here: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=heather+alexander+vanyel&aq=f
-The other I’d suggest of the Valdemar Filk CDs would be By the Sword by Mercedes Lackey and performed by Meg Davis, this too is unfortunately “unavailable” (http://www.amazon.com/Mercedes-Lackeys-Sword-Meg-Davis/dp/B001HXIN3K)
Songs from this, and other Valdemar CDs can be found on youtube here: