swissmarg: Mrs Hudson (Molly)
[personal profile] swissmarg
More underrated Sherlock fics! Because there are also great fics that don't end up on everyone's rec list.

My qualifications for this list are:

- Fic complete
- Last chapter posted prior to October 1, 2016
- Fewer than 200 kudos as of this posting
- Earned a 'favorite' from me on AO3

Previous installments:
Part One from October 2013
Part Two from May 2014
Part Three from November 2014
Part Four from May 2015
Part Five from November 2015
Part Six from May 2016

In descending order of length:

An exciting adventure in the vein of an Agatha Christie mystery (if Agatha Christie had written gay smut). Note that this is really a BBC fic even though it is set in the Victorian age and bears no relation to the TAB episode.

The Seafarer; or, A Question of Time (40573 words) by DoubleNegative
Rating: Explicit
Relationships: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson
Summary: “Put two ships in the open sea, without wind or tide, and, at last, they will come together. Throw two planets into space, and they will fall one on the other. Place two enemies in the midst of a crowd, and they will inevitably meet; it is a fatality, a question of time, that is all.” - Jules Verne
The Indian Ocean, 1880: John H. Watson, MD, meets Sherlock Holmes and is deduced.

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A beautiful hurt/comfort piece with John taking the investigative lead, this is a fascinating foray into esoteric psychology and a neat twist on the undercover-as-boyfriends trope.

Lucifer's Gardens (32679 words) by ampersand_ch
Rating: Explicit
Relationships: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson, John Watson/Other Male Character
Summary: John goes undercover for an investigation as a favour to Lestrade in a village in Suffolk. The events surrounding the case awaken deep-seated fears in Sherlock. While John begins to come to a realisation of what he needs in Lucifer's Gardens, Sherlock tries to find a way to reach John – in more ways than one.

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This is an involved and complex casefic that ties in all the threads of Moriarty, Magnussen, and Mary, along with new threats and allies. Spider tattoos, spies, secret siblings, and shocking deaths make this a carousel of adrenaline, adventure, angst, and ardor, with Sherlock and John in the midst of it all. Really a fantastic piece.

When the East Wind Falls Silent (32346 words) by ampersand_ch
Rating: Explicit
Relationships: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson, Mary Morstan/John Watson
Summary: Sherlock is called back from exile by his brother in order to catch Moriarty, who has resurfaced in a televised message. The task which awaits Sherlock goes far beyond anything he feared. Starts at the end of HLV.

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A marvelous piece of mindfuckery, this is definitely one you'll want to read twice!

Ford (31744 words) by theshopislocal
Rating: Mature
Relationships: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson, Mary Morstan/John Watson, John Watson/Original Male Character(s)
Summary: He turns back round then and looks down at me, eyes curious. “Your name, W.S.S. Holmes.” That’s not my name. “Is it Walter? Or Wilbur? Maybe something really awful like, er,” he smiles wryly, “Willoughby? Winchester?” I feel my face go blank as my body numbs over. “Scott,” I say, voice devoid of emotion. “My name is Scott.”

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This is a genfic with preslash overtones; the Mature rating being for mental, physical, and sexual torture as we descend into the dark, depraved recesses of Moriarty’s psyche and his obsessions with Sherlock, fairy tales, games and power. A disturbing yet compelling read with Major Sherlock!whump, not for the faint of heart, but with a tender, optimistic ending that should heal at least some of the wounds inflicted.

The Blue Light (31381 words) by Lorelei_Lee
Rating: Mature
Relationships: Sherlock Holmes & John Watson, Sherlock Holmes & Jim Moriarty, Sebastian Moran & Jim Moriarty
Summary: Moriarty abducts Sherlock several times in a row, bringing him to a secret location where his victim is at his mercy. Thanks to a special drug cocktail, Sherlock has no memory of the abductions. But he begins acting strangely back home. So strangely that John finally notices...

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This is a very atmospheric piece, set largely in Siberia, with some of the worst angst short of major character death. But don't be put off, it's deeply Johnlock with some stunning character choices. And retirement in Sussex beckoning.

Building Jerusalem (26426 words) by ampersand_ch
Rating: Explicit
Relationships: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson
Summary: John finds out that Sherlock has more secrets from him than he ever imagined. The discovery threatens to destroy their relationship.

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This is a slightly older fic (published in 2013) and should really have more kudos and hits. I thought at first from the summary and tags that it would be similar to a Pirate!lock adventure, but it’s not that at all. It’s set in modern times but with a touch of magic, lots of romance and yummy insecure!Sherlock and BAMF!John. A really terrific story with an underlying mystery and a surprise reveal.

The Case of the Fleeing Frenchman (26035 words) by PenelopeWaits
Rating: Explicit
Relationships: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson
Summary: Captain James Watson and his son John have been protecting each other and their beloved Harriet for years. Where will true safety reside when a handsome sailing ship and her haunted captain arrive and he makes a shadowy proposal? This is a crossover with the myth of the Flying Dutchman. John is Senta.

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Set within the Victorian world of The Abominable Bride but with no direct connection to the episode, this is really a very well presented and written story that I would encourage readers to give a chance even if it’s not your usual pairing. I especially liked the exploration of Molly’s character with the duality of her presentation, along with Lestrade’s personal story that shed light on the problems even someone who would otherwise be happy adhering to societal norms might be faced with.

The Case of Doctor Hooper and Inspector Lestrade (16917 words) by Sapphire_Princess
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Relationships: Molly Hooper/Greg Lestrade, Sherlock Holmes/John Watson/Mary Morstan (background)
Summary: Inspector Gregory Lestrade liked Doctor Hooper and found that the more he spent time with him, the more he wanted to do so. But he wasn’t naive - not in the way Sherlock Holmes thought he was, and he was unfailingly honest with himself. His growing attachment to Doctor Hooper shouldn’t go any further than it had already. Equality for the sexes was one thing, this was quite another.

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The summary doesn't say much, but this is a really cleverly done piece, angsty and sweet.

Preliminary Experience With A Specific Remedy In A Specific Syndrome Of Human Insanity (15193 words) by mydogwatson
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Relationships: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson
Summary: A study of Sherlock Holmes's nature.

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This is a terrific author and a good old-fashioned, high-tension casefic, an exciting plot with juicy Johnlock emotional entanglements. The real mystery is why it doesn't have more kudos.

The Last Case of Dr. John Watson (14468 words) by Susan
Rating: Explicit
Relationships: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson
Summary: If he really had less than twenty-four hours to live, was it too much to ask that it be sunny? Being poisoned and soaked to the skin on the same day seemed to John a bit of cosmic overkill. Sherlock's only hope of saving John is finding the antidote before it's too late. But where does he start?

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This was an interesting intellectual exercise, along with being exciting, poetic, fun, and deeply satisfying. With an alternate take on ASiP that makes everything even more right than in canon.

Balance (13939 words) by Laur
Rating: Explicit
Relationships: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson
Summary: Each universe was like an intricate game of cat’s cradle, or a complicated blanket of crochet, billions of threads interweaving and crossing and tangling. Some threads never touched, never even came close, but when one thread was plucked the entire fabric quivered in reaction. Each stuck in a universe where the other does not exist, a distortion of space allows Sherlock and John to meet each other through touch alone.

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Basically, John smokes a cigar. In the hottest, most erotic, filthiest, most creative and deviant way possible. Light me up!

Thank You for Smoking (13242 words) by Lorelei_Lee
Rating: Explicit
Relationships: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson
Summary: Sherlock encourages a suspect to smoke inside Scotland Yard... so that he can (secretly) inhale the smoke too. Too bad John took Sherlock's promise seriously that he had quit smoking. John decides to teach Sherlock a lesson he won't soon forget ...

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Another Victorian TAB fic, this story posits a Sherlock and John who are able to openly communicate their feelings, and a Mary who is completely okay with the results. An awkward/sweet first time that doesn’t quite go to plan, but that’s what second times are for!

Your bed should be a refuge (11744 words) by TooManyChoices
Rating: Explicit
Relationships: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson, Mary Morstan/John Watson
Summary: Sherlock and John finally face their mutual attraction, but is it too late? John's married (and happily so). Is there any way that John can have it all?

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Super angsty, this shows us what is and what might have been in all its painful glory. Beautifully written, hurts so good.

the knife I turn inside myself (11308 words) by polyommatusblues
Rating: Explicit
Relationships: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson, John Watson/Mary Morstan
Summary: There are a million parallel universes out there in which Sherlock and John are happy—universes in which Sherlock never jumped, John never married, and things never went to hell. Sherlock knows that this is not one of universes. It could have been, he imagines, but it’s not. They make do.

Date: 2016-11-16 06:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] garonne.livejournal.com
I recently wrote a script that can go through all the fic returned by any AO3 search term, and extract all the info, for example including hits and kudos, and return a spreadsheet containing for example a list of all fics sorted by kudos/hit ratio. Would you be interested? I remember discussing something like that with you before. (However, it may or may not be easy to get it running on your computer.)

Date: 2016-11-16 10:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] garonne.livejournal.com
You'll need to have Python and a python package called beautifulsoup installed (https://www.crummy.com/software/BeautifulSoup). I'm not sure what kind of computing background you have? So that might be something straighforward to you or something rather difficult and time-consuming.

As an alternative, I could also just send you the excel spreadsheet I intend to create anyway, where you can sort by whatever you want, and then click on a url link to the fic (of course, only the fics posted up until the day I create the spreadsheet!)

I actually wanted something that would be a combination of these two tools, but that would work over all of the pages that a search returns, since these two tools both only work on one page:
http://random.fangirling.net/fun/ao3/statistics.html
https://greasyfork.org/en/scripts/3144-ao3-kudos-hits-ratio

At first I tried to do it the way those two tools work (a little bookmarklet that any user can install in their browser, without having to install anything special) but unfortunately it's not really possible. I understand now why the people who wrote those two tools only have them working on one page!

So that's how I ended up writing this other script, which can go through and resort all 80,000 Sherlock fics, but as I said only after installing that Python package :(

Date: 2016-11-26 12:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] garonne.livejournal.com
Just sending you a PM now.

Date: 2017-05-01 08:11 pm (UTC)
ancientreader: black and white pet rat (Default)
From: [personal profile] ancientreader
Ooh, I want these rec lists! But the links for 6 & 5 go back to an LJ page that no longer exists. (I didn't check the earlier links, because I'm lazy.)

Date: 2017-05-02 03:14 pm (UTC)
ancientreader: black and white pet rat (Default)
From: [personal profile] ancientreader
Thanks!

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swissmarg: Mrs Hudson (Default)
swissmarg

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