So, if you've been in a cave recently (and you might've been since the sun seems to be perpetually in 'Brick Oven' mode lately, at least where I am), you may not have heard that my favorite author of all time (and partner-in-crime a la 'CORE'), Tabico, has a blog - which you can conveniently find at tabicosf.blogspot.com/.
Now, recently, Tabico posted a few FACs or 'Fanmail Appreciation Chapters', most of which she had sent over to my great joy in the past, and one of which I hadn't read before. *So* I decided to put down my brief, very rushed and fresh thoughts about a couple of the FACs posted so far, and would love to see what others thought about these as well - though, more importantly, I'd be happier if you left the author your thoughts on her blog!
Spoilers ahead (obviously). If you haven't read the stories these FACs are based on, stop now and go read them on mcstories .
FAC: Allegiance by Tabico
This FAC is my favorite of the four recently posted stories, though that's unfair to say since I like them in different ways. 'Allegiance' is the mind control fetishist's idea of a mind control story. There's no sex - though there was in the full story - but even so, its *sizzling* hot.
This is sort of beating a dead horse, or ant in this case, but Tabico does world-building like no other author. At the end of her stories, you're always left with a 'What if?' or 'What's beyond that other door?', et cetera. All of that world-building is much of the time also tied to character development. Within a few paragraphs we know what type of person we're looking at (or reading). In the 'Allegiance FAC' we *know* what drives Commander Lewis, and what kind of person she is. To accomplish that within a few paragraphs is...well, its beyond my talent that's for sure .
This FAC is one of those stories with so much tension in it, that its hard to describe really. We're looking through Lewis' eyes, *but* the story isn't really about her, and the ending basically says as much. Tabico does squick and body horror mixed in with equal amounts of sexiness, and while the squick in this FAC is just a touch more than the non-existent overt sex, how the situation unravels *really* hits home as to what kind of trouble Lewis is in. I think I've mentioned this before but I *love* military/mercenary or 'strong' female tropes portrayed - especially in sci-fi - and the mind controllers using that strength (mental as well, not just physical) against the characters themselves or turning it for their own uses. Its basically the key to this story, why Lewis was chosen and such, but the way she ends up is just *so* delicious that even though I did say spoilers, I'd hate to spoil her outcome in my rambling .
We do eventually encounter the protagonist(s) from 'Allegiance' proper, but especially in the case of Ellibree - who I should note was *really* hot in the way she wanted Lewis in the first place, and then lamented at the 'waste of material'...*squee*! - we get to see that Ellibree is a *really* big deal, well she was a big deal in 'Allegiance' but now she's like a rockstar - militarily speaking. That makes the fact that she's...'recruiting' top officers from presumably all over the Union in order to destroy it (continuing her lover's Tetha's plan of squicky domination from 'Allegiance') all the more thrilling because again, that whole 'turn strength against itself' thing. I'm sure there's a phrase better than that but it escapes me >.-.
Fake Ones by Tabico
Now *this* is a story I'd never seen but more than that I didn't even know *existed*! Honestly, I thought I had my 'Tabico library' completed. Sure there were FAC's and things here and there I hadn't *read* maybe (I mean know of but never published, I've read each story at least 3 times), but this one was *old* and *new* at the same time.
If I had to describe it to someone who's read Tabico's work, 'Fake Ones' would be the most 'Un-Tabico Tabico story'. Nevermind that the antagonist is male, that its more or less grounded in 'our reality' with a sympathetic situation that we, as readers, can understand. I won't spoil too much about the setup, but its believable enough despite the fact that this story is *really* early in Tabico's writing. I did chuckle a touch because it does date itself a bit - 'internet porn', ha! .
All the notes that make a Tabico story a Tabico story are there though. There's a 'thriller' element in that you're wondering what'll happen next and can't wait to turn the page, which is hallmark of a great story, but also with the reveal of the nurses a certain...mmm...Tabioconic™ horror or creepiness that's present in later stories such as 'Blue' or 'Compromise'. The best I can describe it is...'there's something *wrong* here and I think I like it '.
The actual mind control in the story is *really* great, I think. Its not something *I* have personally read being explored much before, in setting and theme, and in my book it hits the spot. The story isn't finished, obviously, and its a bit bare in the ways that say...'Allegiance FAC' isn't, the world/character building and such. Its more of a *BAM* shock and awe, and it does get to the point super fast so its a bit of a departure in many ways from Tabico's other work which is more of a slow burn.
That was a bit of a ramble, but I'll close by saying even though its a male-dom story I for one could stand to read more of 'Nurse Young' .