cataloging

Fic rec: Sylvia Volk's Highlander stories

Last week I spent a day at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology--which is fascinating, and highly recommended if you're ever in the area of Philadelphia--and was reminded of a gorgeous set of fics that I always think of when debating the question of just how well-written fanfiction can be.

A couple years ago, during my long move from Stargate: Atlantis to Supernatural, I spent a few giddy months hanging out with Highlander: the Series, which I still think of quite fondly. The basic premise (for those who've somehow never come across it) is that there are people hiding among us who don't age and can recover from any injury short of having their head chopped off--which allows for all kinds of interesting stuff, especially when paired with their tendency to go into extended historical flashbacks at the drop of a hat. What sylviavolk2000 does in her fics is give us incredibly convincing glimpses into cultures from millennia ago, using the window of a single character at different chapters of his life.

In other words, even if you have no familiarity with the show the stories are based on, if you like historical fiction based in the ancient world, you'd probably enjoy these fics. Or if you're interested in the exploration of what it would be like for a functional immortal to interact (and occasionally fall in love) with mortals, that's another theme that keeps coming up, and the author always handles it in a very believable manner. Also, what friendship might look between two guys with a ~4500 year age difference between them.

Bonus: pretty much all of these are long enough to really sink your teeth into them.

The Good Teacher:

The Kellistra Quintet:

Bits & bobs:


  • Mistress of Turquoise (who is truly chained and who is free? An attempt at love in ancient Egypt)

  • The First Horseman (medieval war as seen from the sidelines by someone who wants only to heal. Also, a love story of sorts.)

  • Pen and Sword (two side characters meet and have a grand old time while the show's main character is somewhere else entirely)

  • Matadora (basically an unrecorded episode for the show)

  • Murder (a master class in the unreliable narrator POV and characters manipulating each other)

  • Millennium (which is the "rocks fall, everyone dies" fic, but that doesn't do it justice at all)

Very cool. I loved both Highlander and it's spinoff even if that one only lasted 1 season.