Episode 43: Fanfiction “Modern AUs”

cover art in which Merlin wears a headset with microphone and holds up a finger to his lips as if to tell you to be quiet

In today’s episode, MissSnowfox and Momo are joined by Isaac to talk about Modern AU fanfiction! There’s another debate about classification – will Momo and Rox EVER agree? – and many, many recs once more, as well as a discussion of some of the most common tropes found in modern AU fic in this fandom.

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Find more stream or download options for this episode below the cut.

Download here [Right click, save as] || Listen/subscribe on iTunes here


Beta Discord Server
Lao Pendragon’s fanbook
Reverse Big Bang Challenge
Bottom Arthur fest
Merlin Memory Month


Elirwen’s comment on episode 25
Episode 42 [in which we talk about the ages of the characters]
Elirwen’s additional fic recs for Canon Fics
Elirwen’s additional fic recs for Early Fics
ilovehertjes’ comment on Episode 12
Liz Martin’s comment on Episode 34

Mentioned Fanworks

The Student Prince, by FayJay ; podfic by FayJay
Pairing Pendragon/Merlin, by anon ; podfic by lunchee

Two Weeks Notice, by ras_elased ; podfic by jennacorinth
A Modern Manservant, by Mamalazzer
All I Want for Christmas (Is You), by dreamdustmama ; podfic by striped_bowties

Pride & Support, by Supercalvin
The Letter Q, by herbeautifullie

Drastically Redefining Protocol [series], by Rageprufrock ; Podfics by various readers
Missed Connections (Glory, Glory, Holelelujah), by tourdefierce ; podfic by thisissirius is unfortunately no longer available
London Skyline, by Caledonia
Not In This Land Alone, by torakowalski ; podfic by crinklysolution

Counterpoint, by PlaneJane ; podfic by fire_juggler
Mr Jones Falls in Love, by ella_bane
Now That I’m Rich They Give Me Coffee, by lady_ragnell

We’ll Be a Dream, by Sarakgeek16
Coffeeshop Muffins, by skellerbvvt ; podfic by underlay | momopods
Every Story is a Love Story, by lady_ragnell ; podfic by carefultread
podfic of frantic’s Mending Wall by Erica Schall [text no longer available]
Lord Drake’s Bequest, by pennyplainknits ; podfic by pennyplainknits
The Prince [series], by Mizufae & psmithery

Arcane Asylum, by new_kate ; podfic by Sophinisba
Evil Overlord, Inc., by Footloose
In Spite of Everything, the Stars, by Polomonkey ; podfic by momopods

like grabbing my heart and taking my breath, by pandatwirls ; podfic by lunchee
Listen, Learn, by Anon ; podfic by Sophinisba
Skin Deep, by PlaneJane ; podfic by Bravenclawesome
Perfectly Imperfect [series], by little_dhampir
If You Will Be My Bodyguard, by Tari_Sue
Drown My Sorrows in Yours, by La_Temperanza


Arthur and the Real Boy, by anon
Being With You, by ella_bane
Continua, by roamer
Flying Change, by Magnolia822
Little Wooden Boy and the Belly of Love, by new_kate ; podfic by Sophinisba
Perfect, by scatterglory
There Are No Gays in Football, by Malu_3

The Good Times Are Killing Me, by minor_hue ; podfic by MissSnowFox
James Bond Eat Your Heart Out by Friggas_Flower

The Passage of Time [series], by freezerjerky
Of Dragonbabies and Noblemen, by Elveatas
The Lonely King, by Cori_Lannam
Remember, Remember


Merlisten theme music composed by side_steppings
News music by Mansardian on freesound.org
Interview/Talkback quote music: Monkeys Spinning Monkeys by Kevin MacLeod on freesoung.org
Manip for the cover by brolinskeep, Cover by momo

momotastic on AO3 | tumblr | Podfic | (Pod)Fic updates
misssnowfox on AO3 | tumblr | YouTube | Cosplay
Isaac on tumblr | AO3

3 thoughts on “Episode 43: Fanfiction “Modern AUs”

  1. You guys are funny. I was born in 1950 so anything later than that for me feels modern. However, that said, I would probably set modern to be in the late 70s-80s onward because the technology becomes so much more computer based and that’s taken over the entire culture by then. Plus some modern moral values were being set (women’s rights, gay rights, etc) starting then. Otherwise, if you define modern AU as set in the now, a fic set in the Merlin filming years would be historical which doesn’t make sense to me.
    I’ve read stories that were written in the 50s that felt modern to me. If you keep technology and fandom specifics out, it shouldn’t be a problem to label it modern.
    Have to completely disagree with Rox about the reincarnation fics not being defined as modern AU. If it’s set in the modern times, it’s modern to me.
    I think the AO3 data is due to tagging issues. Most of what I read is modern AU, maybe it’s under alternate universe?
    I have “Good times are killing me” on my computer just so I will have it if it ever disappears. I LOVE that story.

  2. I’m with Isaac on “There Are No Gays in Football.” It’s one of the most perfectly-paced fics I’ve ever read. The emotions are Real. The smut is Good. And, coming from someone who actively avoids sports-themed stories, the sporty parts are still interesting because they’re character-driven and relevant to the characters’ personal growth and emotions outside of the sport itself. I don’t think either of you will regret reading it if you do!

  3. (As was kindly suggested on Discord, here I am with a topic to discuss on future talkbacks ?)
    I would’ve loved if you had expanded on what writers usually replace the magic secret in non-magic!AUs (when there’s something Merlin doesn’t disclose at first in the first place, many writers gloss over the thing entirely), magic is such an intrinsic part of him and the fact that he can’t reveal it plays a huge role in his interactions and behaviour

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