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11 May 2014 @ 02:30 am
Fic & Author Recommendations <3  
*streeeeetch, yaaaaaawn* Oh, wow, that was quite a cat nap! I think I dreamed about being some mundane human going to college, earning a degree, and finding work that had little to do with that degree. Hmmm….

Anyway, as of April 3 of this year, Danny Phantom, the show, has been adored, analyzed, and discussed for 10+ years, and still has a pretty solid fanbase that expresses its passion through drawing, writing, music, videos, and other outlets. As for fanfiction, we at Phantomsues know that a lot of love goes into the writing – perhaps not always a lot of work – but behind every story is a person who enjoys (or at least had enjoyed at one point) the show, and that’s pretty awesome.

While this blog mostly focuses on the less than stellar fanworks in an attempt to provide humor and an effort to better the fandom’s literacy as a whole, there really are quite a few great DP fanfics in the mix, and I have not forgotten my promise from my last entry to showcase a few of them.

Please keep in mind that this is by no means a complete or even absolute list, stemming mostly from my own opinions on what makes writing ‘good’, and my selection sample is probably biased by my own preferences in subject matter. I also won’t link to stories I haven’t fully read, not because they aren’t good, but because I can’t make a fair assessment on them. These are examples that stuck out for me (and stuck with me) for having well written characters – canon and OC alike – intriguing or meaningful plots and themes, and being creative over cliché. I encourage former, current, or future sporkers to add their own suggestions to this, and, of course, anyone in the comments.

(I tried to tag trigger and mature theme warnings as best I could, I may have missed some things, but given the nature of the show and how fans tend to explore it, please be aware that there can be a lot of distressing scenes for those sensitive to certain materials. I also tried not to spoil plot elements in my notes, but there's always that chance, so be aware of that as well.)

In alphabetical order, by author:

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Author: AnneriaWings

Links:
Lab Rat - (WARNING: Graphic descriptions and implications of gore)
Wasteland

Notes: There’s a number of vivisection+revealation fics, and while Lab Rat wasn’t the first, it’s one of the more well-known and remembered ones – and for good reason. Yes, there is some graphicness, but it’s not about the gore or shock value, it’s about family. Anneria explores Danny experiencing his worst fear from his own point of view while his parents discover that his is also their own, the family dealing with the aftermath in a realistic way, and with Danny sorting through subconscious thoughts of depression and bouts of PTSD without resorting to obnoxious wangst or self-harm themes. Even through the angst that the author is quite talented at conveying, there’s a thin thread of hope present from each family member that I feel is canonical to their characters, they know they love each other, and Danny realizes he shouldn’t let his depression overtake him, but they simply don’t know how to deal with what happened yet. (Unfortunately, Wasteland hasn’t progressed far enough yet to see if the healing process ever kicks in, but the optimism is there, if hidden between the lines.)

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Author: Chouhatsu-Itsudatsu

Links:
‘Toon Danny Phantom Saga (TDPS)
Danny Phantom SuperS
Danny Phantom Stars
Danny Phantom Return - (WARNING: Implications of rape and abuse)
Pretty Guardian Danny Phantom
Danny Phantom Savers
Danny Phantom Chronicle
Danny Phantom Adventure
Danny Phantom Next
The Melancholy of Danny Phantom - (WARNING: Psycological and non-violent physical abuse)
Danny Phantom Road to Dream - (WARNING: Subject matter of suicide)

Supplementary articles by the author that are helpful to the world-building – link

Notes: If you’re familiar with “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”, you’ll understand the setting of Chou’s expansive AU, mega-crossover saga, where cartoons (‘toons) are aliens second class citizens living in a mostly prejudiced human world and acting is one of the more prestigious careers a ‘toon can hope to achieve. While not the main in every part of the saga, Danny is a prominent character, and even though Chou gives each character their own spin, effectively making them her own, they still feel like the characters we know and love, almost like she adds an even deeper facet to who they are. A lot of other ‘toons you may recognize make cameos, and some take the spotlight (as well as humans, including Butch Hartman), though Danny’s journey, discovering his heritage, fighting for his friends, ‘toonkind, and himself is integral to the saga.

With impressive world-building, character dialogue, humor, drama, and parody, Chou explores deep subjects such as treatment and segregation of second class citizens, genocide, corporate and individual corruption, immortality, death, culture, friendship, family, love, religion, and politics (and possibly string theory) with a ‘show, not tell’ approach. All with action/adventure and ‘toonish antics, of course! The saga even touches on the general mood of the Danny Phantom fandom through the years, from the efforts to save the show, to the acceptance that it was indeed over, to the nostalgia that people still harbor. Being set in a relative of our universe, actual fans (usually friends of the author) have been included in a believable way to portray different ‘toon and fan dynamics – a great example of where inserting actual people into fanfiction feels appropriate.

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Author: ghostwriter56

Links:
The Phantom’s Crown Series
The Abracadabra Factor
Hush…Hush, Sweet Danny - (WARNING: Psychological torture)
Three Faces of Evil
Night of the Living Dead Teacher - (WARNING: Brief suicidal implications)
Phantom Chased Forever More

Notes: Engaging plotlines and lively dialogue that feels like it would fit right in with the actual show more than makes up for the occasional distracting spelling and grammatical issues. Ghostwriter’s series contains an incredibly diverse cast of well written OCs, including eccentric family members and ancestors of the Fenton’s, and ghostly adversaries who embrace their darkness and sport unique abilities. Yet there is a nice balance in Ghostwriter’s work, the OCs don’t overstay their welcome and canon characters aren’t shafted, especially giving Sam, Tucker, and Jazz plenty of room to shine. And while Vlad regularly attempts to break Danny down and tear his family apart, the strong loving bond between the Fenton’s holding them together – particularly between Danny and his father – is refreshing to read.

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Author: Nonny The Anon One

Links:
Unwilling - (WARNING: Sexual themes; brief, but graphic, suicidal imagery)

Notes: A rare example of a romance fic with a plot and actually points out unhealthy behaviors in the relationships it presents (although a few things seem to slip). Nonny conveys that love can be messy and complicated, but also joyful and fulfilling, contrasting ideas of affection, attraction, obsession, devotion, and faithfulness as the characters are challenged to understand what real love looks and feels like. One of the major questions examined throughout the story is whether Sam could have been truly happy and loving with someone other than Danny, and the given conclusion may be surprising.

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Author: pearl84

Links:
My Little Badger
Checkmate

Collab - with truephan
Seeing is disBelieving

Notes: Chapters can be long and slow-paced with some repetitive elements, but pearl is extremely thorough which can make for a satisfying read. Some spelling and grammar mistakes are inevitable in writing long pieces, but pearl has made the effort to edit even after submitting which is a fully encourageable practice. Vlad as an antagonist, mentor, and father figure to Danny is often explored in pearl's writing; quite a few authors have demonized Jack Fenton in a sloppy attempt to strengthen Vlad and Danny's bond, but pearl's fics are examples to look to for much more believable character growth without jeopardizing Danny’s love for his father and family. Original characters have depth and play large parts in both action and giving intriguing insights into the canon characters, especially Vlad and his past. In Checkmate, events stay as true to canon as possible, even with these additional characters, bridging a perceivable gap between seasons 2 and 3 of the show where notably Vlad’s character, and his and Danny’s relationship, seemed to change.

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Author: PixieGirl13

Links:
Soul Searching - (WARNING: TERRIFYING Graphic horror themes)
Powerless - (WARNING: Intense; minors drinking alcohol)
Incommunicado - (WARNING: Intense; graphic horror themes)

Collab - with MutantLover09
The Collector

Notes: In addition to exciting adventures, Pixie (and Mutant) has written some incredibly memorable OCs – fitting comfortably within the DP universe, but could easily have their own completely detached stories and still be interesting. These are also great examples to look to where other characters can have unique powers and abilities without overshadowing Danny or other canon characters. Soul Searching includes crossover characters that are integrated just as well. Don’t read that one at night… Danny himself is extremely well written and feels quite in character, notably in the first person, and tends to go through a lot of distress, but not without hope, and not without help from his friends and loved ones. Sometimes authors can write a lot without much happening plot-wise, but this never feels like the case, things are always moving, and Pixie is able to use suspense to great effect – making it difficult to take a breather – without bragging about her cliffhangers.
 
 
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