the site ::about me :: the recommendations
Templum Bellonae is primarily a slash fanfiction recommendation site, although there are a respectable number of het and gen fanfic recs, as well as an original fiction category.
I started this site on February 4, 2005, in order to learn something about web design. At the time, I had only a very shaky grasp of html, and I’d never heard of xhtml, css, or php. So the site has accomplished its primary goal—building and rebuilding it taught me a lot about web design—and in the meantime, I’ve recommended stories, poems, and essays in many fandoms.
I’m pretty flaky about sticking with a site design, so this is the fourth fifth sixth eighth ninth (?) version of Templum Bellonae since I started the site on February 4, 2005. I really like designing websites, but I have very little experience or artistic talent, so things never come out quite the way I want. Still, designing and redesigning this site has taught me a lot. The site’s current theme is BlueMod, adapted by me to suit the needs of the site. My thanks to the theme’s designer for his/her work.
the site:: about me ::the recommendations
My name is Bellona (well, not in real life, although I chose it because it’s close to my real name, in a way.)
I’ve been reading fanfic since 1995 or ’96; I can’t remember exactly when I began. I started out reading Paris/Torres fanfic. At some point later I found other fandoms, and then slash. I’m now an expert at finding new fandoms and good stories (because I do it so often.) I quite regularly read fic from fandoms I’ve never heard of; I’m willing to do a little internet research to find out about a show or a movie in order to read fic by an author I like. Aside from this site, I’m generally a lurker. I keep a livejournal, but just to participate in community discussions and to comment on friends’ journals.
Off the internet, I still spend most of my time reading.
I admit it: I’m a fandom whore. I’ll read anything and everything, so long as the writing is decent, and usually even if it isn’t. Most of what I read is slash fanfic, not because I have anything against het or gen, but because its easier to find high-quality stories. I’m not the kind of person who has OTP’s; if I like the story, the pairing doesn’t much matter. Of course, I always have preferences, and in some fandoms they nearly amount to OTP’s (McShep in Stargate Atlantis, Fraser/RayK in due South, Heero/Duo is Gundam Wing, Clark/Lex in Smallville…pretty much the ones you’d expect. The buddy pairings.)
There is one fandom where I have an actual, honest-to-god OTP, where I’m really not interested in a story that breaks up my favourite couple. That fandom is Farscape. I love the show, I adore Aeryn Sun, and I’m crazy about John/Aeryn. I wish there was more J/A fanfic out there (although I can see why there isn’t—the relationship is canon, and on top of that, Farscape is kind of like fanfic of itself. Main character is constantly hunted, beaten, tortured, or raped? Check! Tragic, angsty story of true love, but with a happy ending? Check! Dead character is magically resurrected because he/she is part of a One True Pairing? Check! Body-swapping? Check! Character molests love interest’s body while body-swapped? Check! Character has to get married/pregnant for political reasons? Check! Mpreg? Check! Strange phenomenon causes uncontrollable horniness? Check! God, I love Farscape.)
There are a few things about the way I classify stories that might be confusing, so here’s my explanation of some the site’s categories, for what it’s worth:
Fandoms: these are mostly pretty self-explanatory, but there are a few multi-fandom categories:
- Classics: fanfic from Greek myth, Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, or the movies Troy and Alexander. Quite often there’s overlap between these fandoms, which is why they’re grouped together. However, fanfic based on Mary Ranult‘s books has been moved to its own category. A bit confusing, especially since Alexander is so heavily based on her Fire From Heaven and The Persian Boy, but oh, well.
- Miscellaneous: fic from very small fandoms, where I’ve only recommended a few stories (and don’t think I’ll recommend more in the future.) Mostly very rare fandoms, like The Secret Garden or Finding Nemo, or fandoms that I’m not really into, like The Professionals.
- Star Trek: includes all
fivesix incarnations (The Original Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space 9, Voyager, Enterprise, and Star Trek XI)
- There are several author categories, where all the fanfic based on an author’s work are listed together, like Gordon Korman.
Genres: for when you feel like reading a particularly kind of story, rather than a particular fandom.
- Action: a story that has a significant amount of action, generally with an A-plot somewhat separate from the romantic B-plot (if there is one.)
- AU: where canon has been changed in some significant way. Obviously this category contains only fanfiction, no original fiction.
- Coming of Age: a story where one of the protagonists matures in some significant way. Often includes some kind of sexual awakening or first time. And can I just say here that I hate the the term “coming of age”. “Sexual awakening” too, actually. I wish I could think of some other name for it…
- Crossover: a story that includes characters or other canon details from two or more established universes. Doesn’t include original fiction, although the stories may contain original characters.
- Femslash: female/female sex. I rec very few of these, so they get their own category to make them easier to find.
- Future Dystopia: it’s surprising how many of these there are out there, especially in original fiction. A dystopia (for anyone who has never had to study 1984, The Handmaid’s Tale or Brave New World) is the opposite of a utopia.
- Het: does not indicate no slash, just a story that contains heterosexual sex or romance.
- Historical: any story written about a time previous to our own. This mostly applies to AU and time-travel fanfic and some original fiction; fanfic from historical fandoms like Master & Commander or Troy is not included.
- Horror: stories in this category tend more toward gothic horror than the kind of thing one sees in horror movies today. Ghosts, goblins and creepy atmosphere rather than blood, guts and mass murder.
- Humour: fics that are especially funny.
- Mystery: any fic where a mystery (and the solving of it) plays a significant part in the plot.
- Non-fiction: essays about fanfic, funny fandom stuff…that kind of thing.
- PWP: stands for “Plot, What Plot?” Or possibly “Porn Without Plot”. Fics that are made up primarily of sex scenes, or which have little or no plot that isn’t related to getting the boys (or girls) in bed together.
- Romance: stories with little or no plot beyond getting the characters together in a romantic relationship, or fics made up primarily of romantic scenes. Or just stories I found romantic.
- Sci-fi/Fantasy: I had to put science fiction and fantasy together, because I sometimes have trouble distinguishing one from the other. Fanfic from sci-fi/fantasy fandoms won’t necessarily be included; the author has to have done some innovation herself by altering the canon world in some significant way. Most stories in this genre are AU or original fiction.
- Explicit: contains graphic sex, extreme violence, rape, torture, bdsm, non-con or underage sex. Ages 18+.
- Mature: contains sex, violence, extreme bad language. Ages 18+.
- Teen: contains foreplay,or bad language, or is unsuitable for children. Ages 12+.
- General audiences: contains no objectionable material. All ages.
- BDSM: bondage/discipline, dominance/submission, sadism/masochism. A very useful catch-all acronym; stories may contain any one of these elements, or all of them.
- Broken Link: stories that have moved or been taken offline. I can usually find a new link fairly quickly, but sometimes these stories are gone for good. If you have a working link for one of these stories, please, let me know! Drop me a line, or leave a comment on the entry. (Also, please comment to let me know if you find a broken link that I haven’t spotted yet.)
- Character Death: a canon character or important original character dies during the story.
- Extreme Violence: just what it sounds like. Stories that I had trouble finishing because I was bothered by the violence. It’s one of the more subjective categories.
- Incest: sex between two members of the same family. Usually brother/sister, brother/brother or father/son. Peuso-incest (between, say, adopted family members) counts, too.
- Non-con: contains non-consensual sex that somehow falls short of rape (as defined for the purposes of this site.) The line between the two is often rather blurry; sometimes rape that takes place off-screen or that isn’t violent is called non-con. More properly, non-con is sex where one partner is not in a position to give proper consent, whether due to coercion, misinformation, or incapability, but does not actively deny consent. (The distinction between rape and non-con is purely to inform the reader of what to expect with regard to violence or graphic description: outside of this rather artificial classification, rape is rape is rape.)
- Rape: contains sex where one partner explicitly refuses consent. Often accompanied by violence, sometimes by torture. Again, the distinction between rape and non-con is pretty subjective, measured mostly by a story’s effect on me as a reader.
- Torture: contains scenes of torture, or a character is tortured off-screen during the story. May or may not be accompanied by rape or extreme violence.
- Underage Sex: contains sex scenes between an adult and a minor, or a minor and a minor. Typically the minor is 16+, or 13+ if they’re both minors. Actually, now that I think about it, here in Canada the former wouldn’t actually qualify in real life, since the age of consent is 14. But whatever–an adult having sex with a 14-year-old is icky and wrong, no matter whether it’s legal or not.
- WIP: the most dreaded of all fanfic warnings: work in progress! I don’t usually read WIP’s, and I very rarely recommend one that isn’t being updated regularly. If I do, I’ll put a specific warning in the rec; it’s so annoying to start a fic expecting it to be finished, and then realize that it never will be.