The Dying Gaul
Methos, so sharp and pricky and vivid in this single Highlander story. I love the free way it mixes art, and history, and Immortality.
His Dark Materials:
All of the His Dark Materials stories were really good this year.
This fandom is a challenging one, with its free mix of theology, fantasy, and steampunk Victoriana. The author on this piece does a convincing job with the world of Lyra's Oxford, in the tale of the first meeting of Marisa Coulter and Lord Asriel. The characters are themselves, younger and growing into their deviousness. And the twists are quite interesting.
Three meetings between Serafina and Xaphania - lovely and poetic, this one.
A Brief History of the Witches and their Culture
The lives of Serafina and Ruti Skadi, Queens of the Witches. A very dense look at their lives, intersecting and different. Another one that gets the culture of their world correct.
Of Capes and Kindred Spirits
Edna Mode designs Buddy's new suit, and has regrets.
James Bond Reboot:
The Care and Feeding of Your M
From the perspective of Miss Moneypenny: A female M changes everything, or does it?
A Year of Women
Stop everything. You must read this one, even if you only casually like the fandom. This is about twelve women in Alan Grant's life, but the author has really just blown up the book fandom, the movies and put them back together in an elegy about life, and the role of women (and gender) in science.
Lilo and Stitch:
The entire ohana is concerned about when David and Nani will get married. Short, but so in tone with the film.
The Little Mermaid:
So many good fics for this fandom this year!
Mysterious Fathoms Below
Little vignettes of Ariel's life interspersed with a Victoriana lecture about the merpeople. I love the not-so-cryptic Disney crossover, and the way this uses material from the recent sequel.
The temptation with the Disney fics is always to make them darker and more sinister - because the Disney Princess films are full of flawed messages (and none so much as The Little Mermaid). I like this one for its effort to stay away from that, to take canon for what it is and find the happy medium between the characters and the story.
The Skin Beneath the Skin
Of course, the original story was a bitter and melancholic affair much driven by Anderson's closeted homosexuality. Ariel's ever-after. I like the stories hinted in a couple of lines - I wish this one was longer, actually.
Lion in Winter
Should have a warning for rape. A really interesting take on how the memory lies.
Oh Gosh, how I thought about signing up for Yuletide just to write the story for this person. My favorite painting of all time, Manet's Olympia. The author took an interesting tack on this one, narrating the story from the perspective of the painting and not any of the interesting historical people surrounding its creation.
The Never-Green Tree
I know one of these days Gaiman might get around to writing the sequel to this, and Joss all these Yuletides to bit. None the less, I love them every year. On the quest to find Door's missing sister, Ingress, Richard Mayhew decides to go on a quest of his own: to discover what happens to Anesthesia, the rat-girl. The author of this one takes clear delight in remixing London Above's history with the world of London Below.
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
Let It Be
The author of this one is patently obvious, and as if she knew it, hasn't bothered to wipe all her smudgy fingerprints off of it. Missing scenes from the death of Jadzia and the arrival of Ezri Dax - I love the way she's brought in Worf's backstory from TNG to DS9, and made the eventual relationship between Ezri and Julian make a lot more sense. They do have much in common after all.
buckle up, we're wayward bound.
Gert and Chase, so alive. This fic made me feel the rush of shipper love, which is something I didn't really know I could feel about comics.
Title rather gives it away, but it perfectly captures the spirit of the comic - and manages to include the new team members around the edges. Plus: they fight evil hipsters in a Starbucks. That's perfection.
Some truly brilliant fics for this fandom this year. It feels like Yuletide (and fandom) may have finally figured out what they want to say about this show.
Two Omissions, One Acknowledgment
A year in the (sex) life of Peggy Olson. It just gets her right.
The Hot 100 Number 1 Singles of 1965 & 1966
Another long, STOP you must read this fic, the kind that Yuletide is famous for, and that I was almost afraid wouldn't appear. This fic does the seemingly impossible task of making a Peggy and Joan friendship believable - there's an appearance of a ridiculous fic trope towards the end and I could not BELIEVE that I not only bought it, but loved it. Everyone's voice is perfect. I love the scenes with Joan and Lane, and the Joan/Roger scene is worth the price of admission. I hope season five is as satisfying as this fic, but I know it'll be more frustrating: this fic is the perfect expression of Mad Men wish fulfillment.