Here Be Dragons: Sherlock Dragon AU Fan Fiction

13 Feb

I’m back exploring the world of Sherlock AU (alternate universe) fan fiction.  The last week or so it’s been the wonderful world of dragon AUs.  Yup, you heard me, Sherlock and Dragons.

Whilst I celebrate the imagination involved, so many of the stories require, not just the suspension of disbelief, but suspension of it by the neck until dead!

A lot of the stories I’ve come across are cross overs to many and varied dragon based fantasy worlds.  Although, to my surprise, I never came across the one I thought was the most obvious, Anne McCaffrey’s “Pern” world.  I’m sure there must be some out there, I just haven’t come across them yet.

The combinations are many and varied, Sherlock as dragon with John as his rider/handler.  John as dragon and Sherlock as his rider/handler.  Dragons (ie Mycroft) ruling England.  Wars between dragons and humans.

By far the most disturbing ones are the Johnlock ones, which unless handled properly tend to have a rather disturbing patina of bestiality attached to them.  Even if the beast in question is mythical.

Many writers have got around this by having dragons have an interesting ability – the ability to take human form.  And before anyone says anything about that being a useful cop out, I can remember this very same device used in a novel by a very successful fantasy novelist, Mercedes Lackey, in her Serrated Edge series.  Same goes for the interbreeding of human and dragon.  Mercedes got there first.  Though in the book I remember it wasn’t a human/dragon crossbreed, it was dragon/kitsune.  However, it’s the idea that counts.

One big problem with this particular AU genre, is that due to it being basically fantasy, it seems to be too difficult for many writers to keep the characters in character.  Far too many of the stories have characters named “Sherlock”, or “John” or “Mycroft”, but you don’t get a sense of the actual Sherlock characters.  They’re just random characters who happen to have these names.  It does let the stories down somewhat.  You need at that point to stop reading them as Sherlock fan fiction, and switch your mind to thinking of them simply as reasonably good fantasy stories. 

I did come across one major exception to this.  I was browsing on AO3, when I came across a story called “Sacrifices Must Be Made” by a fan writer using the handle Winter_of_our-Discontent.  This story is sheer magic.  Sherlock is the dragon and John is the human sacrifice from his small village.  The story is funny, witty, and warm, but also manages to keep both John and Sherlock in character.  I had absolutely no difficulty in hearing Martin and Benedict delivering the lines.  My favourite:  “Look,” John said, “there’s being a dragon and then there’s being an arsehole…”

If you would like to read it, here’s the link: http://archiveofourown.org/works/904589  Be warned, however, it is Johnlock, so enter at your own risk.

In summary, as much as i enjoyed the one particular story, I have to say that Sherlock dragon stories are just not for me.  Maybe I’ll try werewolves next, or faeries.

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3 Responses to “Here Be Dragons: Sherlock Dragon AU Fan Fiction”

  1. Sara August 25, 2014 at 9:51 pm #

    One of the reasons you won’t find a lot of Pern fanfic is that for years, Anne didn’t want any written (didn’t stop it /being/ written, but most of it’s still … hidden). So, a lot of fic writers didn’t write it for a long time. I have seen a few good fics, but none for Johnlock. (That’d rock, btw.) Also, the trope of dragons turning human is older than Lackey. It’s standard in D&D and in other older fantasy things.

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    • margysmusings August 25, 2014 at 9:57 pm #

      Mercedes Lackey is the first I had seen. I was never into D&D.

      The Johnlock story “Sacrifices Must Be Made” is brilliant. Still one of my favourite Sherlock AU stories. Did you see the link to it above? Here it is again: http://archiveofourown.org/works/904589

      For all it’s an AU John and Sherlock are both very much “in character”.

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  1. Full Moon: Sherlock Werewolf AU Fan Fiction | margysmusings - March 20, 2014

    […] Johnlock werewolf fiction.  Of course there is.  The same problem applies as with the dragon AUs (https://margysmusings.wordpress.com/2014/02/13/here-be-dragons-sherlock-dragon-au-fan-fiction/)  – overtones of bestiality.  Unfortunately, it is much worse with the werewolf genre than […]

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