Here's to what will hopefully be the first of many weekly fanfiction recommendations!This Week's Rec
: whoami and We Are Pilots
(link goes to series index on AO3)
whoami is a prelude to We Are Pilots, following Tron after he washes up on the shore of the Sea of Simulation.
We Are Pilots follows on almost directly from that. The AO3 summary:
Six months and Sam still can't shake off his father's ghost, so Quorra suggests returning to the Grid to find the answers he needs to move on. With her monitoring from the outside, Sam goes in not knowing what he'll find or if he'll succeed. What he discovers is a dying Grid that needs his help to rebuild… and Tron, who needs to become himself again.
We Are Pilots is a Sam/Tron fic. The rating is definitely a strong T/PG-13, but the romance never moves into more explicit territory. There is some violence as well.My Review
: I read this story-verse back when it was first posted, in 2010/2011. We Are Pilots has since been revised, and it shines through magnificently. There is an incredible amount of worldbuilding: shirozora speculates on what would happen to a Clu- and Creator-less Grid, and the result is a faction-filled, almost post-apocalyptic Tron City that is crumbling in the wake of the reintegration. There is a lot of character development for Sam, too, who comes to the Grid looking for the key to all of his father's plans and nothing more, but soon realizes that the Grid needs him.
At the heart of the story, however, is the relationship that develops between Sam and Tron. It builds slowly before turning to romance, founding itself on a basic trust between the two. I like the interpretation of Sam as demisexual or gray-ace, and the differences (and some similarities) between how Users and programs express their sexuality. I also loved that as Sam and Tron get physically involved, they nevertheless take the time to make sure of what the other is okay with.
While whoami is a bit more unpolished, We Are Pilots shines with excellent worldbuilding, fulfilling character development, and a well-written and well-considered relationship at its center.Do you have or know of a fic you'd like to recommend? Leave a link in the comments! I might feature it on a future Fic Rec Friday.