Over our summer break, I was reading a book whose protagonists traveled to alternate universes which, frankly, I didn’t like very much. But it did get me thinking about the idea of alternate universes in fiction. Not the scientific concept of alternate (parallel) universes—though that’s often the subject of many sci-fi stories—I’m talking about the alternate universes that result from one thing changing in a fictional story. What if Charles Xavier died before he could found the X-Men? What if Captain America was a Nazi? Undoubtedly, a lot of things would be bad. And unfortunately, this is the kind of alternate universe that we often see in today’s fictional media. However, the idea that one different thing could change everything is so broad that I don’t understand why this kind of grimdark change is the most common. Fanfiction also often deals in alternate universes which diverge from canon, but the changes of fanfiction, on the whole, all tend to be more positive and more emotionally satisfying. Though many mainstream movies and TV shows disdain this sort of happy story, an alternate universe which changes originally negative canon material into positive new story fodder can bring with it a wide range of different emotions than the usual grimdark reboot is capable of.
Usually when I suggest fics they are complete, but today I am instead offering one which has just begun. A Fickle Heart is the latest story by one of my favorite authors, Candid-Canoe, and it has everything I love: Kogan, Fate, Mystery, and Romance.
So far only the first chapter has been published. Logan Mitchell, a doctor, wakes up after his heart transplant with pain, confusion, and the nagging thought that something is, if not exactly wrong, then at least different. The new heart seems to be the obvious culprit, but Logan knows that the human heart is not the poetic store of emotion that artists make it; it is an organ which does a job and nothing flows through it but blood. The story is an AU and so far we know that Logan is a doctor who buries himself in his work, using it as an excuse to not take care of his personal life so that his friend Carlos is kept at arm’s distance and his mother only gets to see him when something’s wrong.
This kind of behavior is so typical of Logan’s canon personality in which he fears personal interaction and hides behind excuses or altered personas, and this is what I love about Candid-Canoe’s AU stories: even when the situations are changed to affect the characters we know and love from the show in new ways, there is an essence which remains true to who they are. However influenced it may be by the situation, it doesn’t feel like an unrecognizable character. I think that’s so important in any fanfiction but especially in AU’s where the author needs to get the reader to make the leap from the established world in which we fell in love with the characters originally and now follow them in a new and different set of circumstances.
The above link goes to Candid-Canoe’s tumblr, but the story is also hosted on fanfiction.net where it will probably be easier to follow updates, so check it out here as well.
Hello readers, it’s me, Fiyero3305, bringing you another wonderful AU Big Time Rush fic. Today’s story comes from the very talented author candidcanoe and is titled “When the Music Stops“.
As I’ve mentioned in my reviews of the show, the boys of Big Time Rush started out as four friends growing up together in Minnesota before unexpectedly ending up with a trip to Los Angeles to become a boy band for a desperate record producer named Gustavo Rocque. This story is AU because it explores how things would be different if one of the four guys never moved to Minnesota, making for a completely different dynamic for the trio of friends as opposed to the quartet we know in the show.
In this story Logan suffers an accident as a child which leaves him deaf. Because his parents don’t want to uproot him in light of the situation they decide not to move to Minnesota as planned and Logan instead grows up in Texas, never knowing the three boys who would have been his best childhood friends had he gotten to meet them. Up north, James, Carlos, and Kendall grow up loving each other but never having the proper symmetry to their friendship. This is felt most keenly by Kendall, who has to deal with knowing James and Carlos share a closer bond with each other than they do with him while he has no one to call his own, to be his best friend.
Logan’s absence affects the group in another way: they never become Big Time Rush. Gustavo Rocque still comes to Shakopee, Minnesota on his talent search but instead of accepting Kendall’s terms of making his friends into a band in order for him to sign on with the producer’s label, he passes on the offer of a three-man boy band. The trio does feel the call to music, however, and try to make themselves a band and move to LA on their own.
Music also becomes very important to Logan in his adolescence. Growing up without his sense of hearing he has a unique appreciation for music in that he feels it rather than hearing it but it fills a need in his soul. Logan in this story grows up very differently than Logan in the show. He’s isolated and relies only on himself. He has trust issues and doesn’t express himself very well or put himself at risk of emotional pain but finding music gives him an artistic release. He pursues his dreams of being a drummer by attending school in LA.
From here, I’m sure you’ve guessed that he meets up with Kendall, James, and Carlos but things don’t go so smoothly. Read the story to find out all the twists and turns of how these four friends find each other and how differently they work together having grown up apart. It’s not so easy as one may assume and I love that candidcanoe keeps the story character-driven and doesn’t make things easy or clean when the four finally meet. There’s no magic moment of fitting in and understanding; it takes work and not everything is perfect harmony. I love it when authors don’t sacrifice characterization for a neat and pleasant story, so if you’re like me then you should definitely give this story a read.