I struggled with answering this over the last couple days for a couple reasons. FIRSTLY - as I tried to compile the list, I got caught up rereading a bunch. I’ve spent the better part of three days either refreshing my Instagram to flail over lilicole at Coachella, or rereading old favourite fanfics. Total time!suck. lol.
Also, like I’ve said in the past, I read A LOT of fic. Like, I think I was several thousand fics last year (Completed and WIPS) on top of the 53 original novels I read for my goodreads challenge in 2016). I read a lot of fic and honestly, I *like* most of the fics I finish because if I hate something or it doesn’t give me joy, I’m not going to continue reading it. (As an example, just recently, I stopped reading a fic by a friend of mine - not because it’s terrible writing (because it wasn’t) or because I don’t love my friend (cuz I do - she’s talented and wonderful and kind and every good thing) - but because every update of the story was giving me anxiety and literal rage at the characters to the point where I was unproductive in real life because I was so mad. Fic is supposed to be fun - even angsty and emotional fic - so I literally had to unsubscribe and take a step back a bit. I still love her, and will read other stories by her - just not that one anymore. It’s a complex thing. So, there’s that.
And then there is the fact that I like a lot of fics that I wouldn’t call MASTERPIECES but… I *liked* them. It’s hard to know what crosses that line into epic awesomeness. I generally bookmark my particular favourites but again - does that mean I think they’re all MASTERPIECES? What does being a MASTERPIECE entail? And maybe there is fic that I absolutely am over the moon about - that other people wonder “What’s the big deal?” There are several favourites of mine that could be like that.
And what if a fic is short? Most Masterpieces are usually Tolstoy length, aren’t they? Sometimes. But sometimes they’re short and perfect and speak to me RIGHT NOW (before more canon makes them suddenly AU) but reading them after isn’t as gut punchy. And sometimes they start as AU and yet they’re still freaking spectacular.
And I hate to throw even one more wrench into the problem - but here’s another: I’ve been around fandom in general for a LONG time. Like 12 years. 12 years where I was really active in fic writing/reading/reviewing/betaing/reccing etc. That makes for a LOT of different specific fandoms. Are you interested in the fics I fell in love with 10 years ago when all I read was Draco/Ginny? Or what about my Sherlolly love? Or Hiccastrid? Or Gendarya? Or Violate? Or Shenny? Or Reylo? Or most recently Bughead? Like - I have a lot of favourites that I read and reread over and over again in all of those fandoms.
And what if a MASTERPIECE is a fan favourite? Does it HAVE to be a fan favourite? Maybe it was written by a BNF and maybe it wasn’t. I was accused of BEING a BNF once (which is laughable - as I’ve mentioned in posts before, I’m a collector of BNF friends - I don’t claim to be one myself) - but does that colour whether I think something is a MASTERPIECE or not?
Does my opinion even matter for that matter?
One last thing before I actually give you a mini list of just a FEW of my favourite “Masterpiece” fics. As I’ve said, I like to collect writers. It’s kinda selfish of me - but I like to surround myself with fandom friends who have so much talent that the metaphorical room is thick with it. Probably because I’m only a mediocre writer myself - but I sure do know how to fangirl people who deserve praise. So, sometimes I love an author so much that every thing they write is a Mastepiece to me. How can I choose when everything they write is so perfect?
You see why this is a SUPER tough question?
ANYWAY - if you got through that, you deserve some links. Remember, some of these will be in fandoms that you aren’t into, greyface. But I hope one or two of them catch your eye. I loved each and every one of them.
And if you’re a writer, and I’ve loved on one of your stories with comments and praise and yet it’s NOT mentioned right here - that doesn’t mean that in the eyes of “Jandy Salmon” it’s not a Masterpiece, it just means that I had so much to choose from and such conflicting feelings about which/how many to share that it didn’t get mentioned. But remember, I’m sincere in every review I leave - and I try to leave at least fangirly squeeing on like 95% of the stories/chapters I read (which is a freaking lot). It’s been a while since I posted fic, but I /still/ receive reviews that make my heart happy and I think being actively engaged with reviews helps build connections with the authors I love.
Right? Okay Right. Here’s the list of just a FEW of my favourites (fics that I would probably call MASTERPIECES) that I read over and over again because I love them THAT much:
Then anything written by @lolableu (who also writes awesome Divergent fanfic btw), GrayGlube @whatwouldflorencedo (also awesome GoT fic), ScarletWoman @feelavalanche (also started one of my fave Veronica Mars WIPs), and OhYellowBird @ohhyellowbird (also wrote a freaking AMAZING Reylo fic too). These girls are my Awesome Nerds - my Lunchtable girls and I love them. There is no higher praise than that. Read them.
Star Wars (Reylo) - probably the hardest section to choose from - because I’ve literally read over 1000 fics in the last year and bookmarked nearly 100 which I *liked/loved*.
Firstly - read anything by diasterisms (kylorenvevo) - especially Ghostwalks (Gin and Fog) http://archiveofourown.org/works/6931657 (there are only like a dozen stories so I’m serious when I say read them all. *waves fangirly flag*
Ahgh - there are just so many Reylo fics. This is definitely not a definitive list. Read terapid, corariley, and perrydowning too. I promise I love SO many and all of you writers are freaking brilliant.
OKAY - and lastly Bughead (Riverdale). It’s still new for me. Most of my most favourite fics aren’t finished yet. Like, I hope you’re reading these future masterpieces - that aren’t finished - but are DELICIOUS and if we’re all very, very good - maybe the authors will love us enough to make sure they get finished: (these are just a few of my very faves - I don’t usually rec WIPs but these are just really freaking good!)
I’ll Wait for You by AGirlNamedWhiskey http://archiveofourown.org/works/10478181 (UNDERGROUND RACING AU - and it also freaking works! Jughead’s wink will KILL you in the very first chapter. The author also writes a fic named Space and Time which is also brilliant and should be read.)
Bizarre Love Triangle (Series) by @ficmuse http://archiveofourown.org/series/697908 (First fic is complete and it’s fabulous and campy with cool music and a HEA. Currently Story 2 is WIP but intense and potentially angsty. Hold on to that HEA, friends.)