Episode 57: Fanfiction: Epic Fics

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 Ruth and Michelle from the Destiny and Chicken Podcast to talk about Epic fanfiction! We get into yet another argument about what even IS an epic fic, and then finally discuss their merits.

The episode is just over 2h 15min, long but given that we’re all practicing our social distancing now, we probably should’ve made it longer.

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

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Out of the Auditary
Finish that Fic, Merlin!
Merthur Glomp Fest


Destiny and Chicken Podcast
Ruth on Twitter
Ruth on tumblr
Michelle on Twitter
Michelle on tumblr

Archaeologist_D’s comment on Episode 54

Epic Fics on Fanlore


(as of the middle of January 2020)

  • Filtered for works that have more 99.999 words in the Merlin (TV) fandom tag

Top 5 Epic fics by wordcount

Top 5 Epic fics by kudos

Top 5 Epic fics by comments

Oldest Epic Fic on AO3

Newest Epic Fic on AO3 (as of Jan 26, 2020)

  • Moonfall Empire, by Alice_I_Clovis – 174,699 words | Published on January 6, 2020

Recs & Mentioned Fanworks

Arcane Asylum by new_kate, Podfic by sophinisba
There Are No Gays in Football, by Malu_3
Coffeeshop Muffins, by skellerbvvt | Podfic by momo
Loaded March, by Footloose | Podfic by EchoDeltaNine
May I Love You, by MissSnowFox


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

3 thoughts on “Episode 57: Fanfiction: Epic Fics

  1. I always think of epic as grand or well beyond the ordinary. So for me, epic doesn’t have anything to do with historical. It could be set in any time (past, present or future), and if the struggles are hard and the stakes high and there is sacrifice and love, to me, that’s epic. When I’m done, I should feel as if I’d been with them on whatever journey they’d taken, be it physical or psychological. My heart should race, and the storyline and the characters and all that they had to go through should haunt me. It’s not length so much as whether the storyline pulls me in, tears me apart, and puts me back together in the end.

    Fandom loves The Student Prince, but I thought it was overly full of extraneous stuff that didn’t add to the plot except toward the end. I thought it could have been pared down considerably. I think everyone should read it at least once, though. And I did climb the St Andrews tower to see if anyone had carved Merlin and Arthur into the tower at the top.

    Rox, seriously, you haven’t finished Falconry yet??? Bird of Paradise is even angstier! I do know versaphile and yes it’s done now. She’s moved on to another fandom. 🙁

    Rox, get to writing that fic. I wrote a 300+K fic that took me 7 years to finish so there’s hope!

  2. Ooh ok so I have thoughts on the epic genre as a whole (ie outside of fic): I feel like part of the reason stories feel more epic when they’re set in the past is because long journeys and huge feats take longer and are more difficult in a setting pre modern technology. There’s also the inclusion of gods/monsters/magic, but those basically can be replaced by anything that has that unreal quality you mentioned and that is significantly more powerful tha humans or out of our understanding – including, possibly, future/imagined technology. In that case maybe the new epic is imagined futures, scifi most obviously, because that tech is out of our current understanding and feels as big to us now as travelling across an entire ocean did to people far in the past. Like, an ancient Greek listening to the Oddyssey and feeling awe at the sheer length of the journey, or the amazing feats (killing monsters etc), whereas that journey would have to be far far longer nowadays to merit such a long journey – there’d need to be some articificial constraint like the character only being able to travel via… I don’t know, a tiny raft, alone. Whereas a journey into deep space feels epic because even getting to the moon is still an awe-inspiring feat, and the technology that could take us further than that is still so out of reach. I feel like there has to be a level of the audience feeling like “I could never do that” or “that’s impossible” to make a story epic.
    IN WHICH CASE, is Doctor Who epic? Technology from deep space so far out of our understanding that it’s indistuishable from magic, a character who is basically immortal but is up against foes who could in theory kill him because of their own immense power (like ye olde demigods and heroes)…

    Anyway, I rarely read long fics because I mostly read fic late at night and I tend to read fic more for comfort and to cheer myself up than for the plot (partly due to being a literature student and having a lot of Serious things to read and I feel guilty reading novel-length fic when I feel like I should be reading “”””real”””” novels, but more because of the role fandom plays in my life generally – I read mostly short angst or hurt/comfort fics, or sometimes fluff – and I’m not hugely into romance). That said, I do have a long fic recommendation, since I’m currenly on a gap year between bachelors and masters so I have time: These Breaths We Breathe, by kayura_sanada https://archiveofourown.org/series/137616 . It’s well written overall, has a lot of angst, but ends with a hugely sentimental happy ending. It’s what I think is cool about long fic: I would never want to read the final scene of this fic on its own, but after 200k words of awful things happening and Arthur going on a huge learning curve, it feels earned, and it made me really happy.

    Final thing: I just found you via Ruth and Michelle, and I’m very excited that I did! I need more people to talk Merlin with and you guys seem awesome 🙂

  3. No need to talk back 🙂

    I love your podcast in general and your recs are fantastic. I found so much new reading material – I am in heaven. It’s been mentioned before as a rec and I would definitely second the Change Trilogy by emmbrancsxx0. It’s one of the most epic Merlin fics I’ve ever read and I was an emotional wreck for a couple of days after finishing.

    I started listening to you quite some time ago and honestly didn’t realize you are still publishing regularly! Your dedication is incredible. All your episodes are so well prepared and discussed in a balanced and meaningful way. You play off each other very well too. You are doing a great job. Thanks so much for your contribution to the fandom.

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