Mark Reads ‘The Affair of the Asphyxiated Acafan’

Hello, folks! This is a little untraditional, but I like sharing some of the commissions I get with y’all, and this one in particular is pretty awesome. Generally, I just stick my videos in my YouTube Channel and put them on Twitter, but in this case, this massive Sherlock fic I just read is worthy of some additional attention.

This was commissioned by Cindy, and it’s a BBC Sherlock fic called “The Affair of the Asphyxiated Acafan,” which you can read at the link. To prevent this page from being a mile long, I’m linking to each of the twelve parts at the end of this post instead of embedding them.

Anyway, without spoiling the numerous twists, I wanted to talk about why I found this fic so stellar. I read a lot of stuff these days, so this REALLY stood out to me for a few reasons:

  • It focuses almost entirely on the fabulous ladies of series one. I realized who Sarah was by the third video, for the record, but this fic features an entire chapter with just Sarah, Sally Donovan, Mrs. Hudson, and John Watson’s sister, who is one of the better lesbian characters I’ve come across in a fic.
  • There is queerness all over this fic, it’s not just hinted at, and NONE OF IT INVOLVES SHERLOCK/JOHN. Oh god, IT’S SO FUCKING GREAT.
  • The whole thing is from Sarah’s point of view, and her snark towards Sherlock is like oxygen.
  • It manages to be ridiculously meta about fandom, conventions, and fan behavior without being a disaster at all. It’s a murder mystery on the Internet, and it’s pretty damn good.
  • Sally Donovan threatens Sherlock a lot, and it’s beautiful.
  • Mrs. Hudson is written brilliantly.

It’s a long fic – around 25,000 words in seven chapters – and there are only a few points where things trudge about. It’s a slow builder, but worth it. I don’t recall which video it was, but I do talk about how strange it is to read something live, as it’s nearly impossible to properly judge the rhythm and meter of longer sentences when you’re doing it in real time. So, there are a lot of long sentences, but I’ve decided that they probably sound way better being read in your head than outloud. It’s a stylistic choice of this author, and I think it works to build up Sarah’s imaginative personality, one that is constantly working to beat Sherlock’s.

Anyway, if you’re looking for a good fic in the Sherlock universe, I liked this one. And if you just want to listen/watch along, here are the videos!

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
Part 10
Part 11
Part 12

Enjoy! And thank you, again, to Cindy for introducing me to this fic.

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since ’09.

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