Barbverse

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Fanfiction
Title: The Barbverse
Author(s): Barb Cummings
Date(s): 2001-2011
Length: >800,000 words
Genre: AU, futurefic
Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
External Links: @author's site; @AO3

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The Barbverse, by Barb Cummings, is a sprawling alternate universe branching from Buffy the Vampire Slayer canon after 'The Gift', in which Buffy's resurrection comes about differently. There are three novels (one incomplete), eight novellas and a wealth of shorter material spanning half a century and totalling over 900,000 words.[1] The series brings in almost the entire cast of BtVS and AtS, plus original characters, with the main pairing being Buffy/Spike. The writing is plotty, detailed and inventive.

The author introduces the series as:

A saga of sex, violence, violent sex, pizza, gods, demons, ex-demons, ghosts, road trips, black magic, white magic, sorta greyish magic, felonies and misdemeanors, cooking with pig's blood, ethical dilemmas, the importance (or not) of the soul, tying the knot, the care and feeding of small children (demonic and otherwise), life after undeath, the founding of dynasties, the folding of laundry, Ultimate Evil, blood play, channel surfing, true love and (ooh, that word) redemption, in which is explored the question of whether or not one Buffy Anne Summers, vampire slayer extraordinaire, and one William the Bloody, vampire of infinite heart and limited ethics, can reach a certain degree of mutual accommodation after diverse discourses and considerable ass-kicking.[2]

The main works are:

Reception

Stultiloquentia describes the Barbverse as one of the best-known sagas in the fandom, and a B/S classic.[3] The series is widely recommended, with some fans preferring its plot lines to the official seasons 6 & 7. It found favour with many who were not into the Spuffy pairing. Many stories from the series have won awards, including Halo Awards, Love's Last Glimpse Awards, Spark and Burn Awards, Spuffy Awards and Vampire Kisses Awards.[4]

Reviews

  • When it comes to Spuffy, there's no better way to start a rec set than with Barb's wonderfully inventive novel, "A Raising in the Sun," which is one of my favourites in the BtVS fandom. This is one hellofa long, detailed, involving story, dealing with all the reasons that Spike and Buffy shouldn't work, yet finding a way to make them work despite it all. Best of all, "Raising" doesn't take the easy way out, vis a vis the soul issue. / This is a top-notch, well-plotted het fic... (Cupidsbow on Crack Van)[5]
  • "Necessary Evils" does not have any cold dead seed magically healing sex or character bashing. What is does have is an intricate storyline with an impressive big bad and plots for everyone. The voices are all well done and no one really gets the short stick in terms of characterization. It deals with Season 5 & 6 issues a whole lot better than they were dealt with on the show. (Desiree on Better Buffy Fiction Archive)[6]
  • The deftly-written, plot-packed, sexy and often hilarious Barbverse trilogy (plus a few extras) ... starts with a re-imagining of Buffy's resurrection and goes on to explore, seriously, what trials and tribulations might have occurred had Buffy allowed Souless!Spike the title of "boyfriend." (Stultiloquentia)[7]
  • Long, plotty stories describing an alternative Season Six that's pro-S/B and includes excellent characterisation of a host of other characters, especially Dawn, Tara and Willow. (Indri)[8]
  • Thoughtful, strongly plotted, and filled with deep character-study goodness, Barb's BtVS fic are satisfying, novel-length reads. (The Deadly Hook)[9]
  • Terrific character development here, and plot that works. "A Raising" gives us a Buffy resurrection that's better than the official one! (Herself)[10]

References

  1. Barb C's BtVS Fan Fiction: Timeline (accessed 19 April 2012)
  2. Archive of Our Own: The Barbverse (accessed 19 April 2012)
  3. Fanlore: Barb Cummings (17:40, 26 July 2009) (accessed 19 April 2012)
  4. Barb C's BtVS Fan Fiction: Awards (accessed 19 April 2012)
  5. Crack_van: A Raising in the Sun by Barb C (R) (accessed 19 April 2012)
  6. Better Buffy Fiction Archive: Barb (accessed 19 April 2012)
  7. Stultiloquentia's Jossverse Recs (accessed 19 April 2012)
  8. Blood and Weetabix Recommends (accessed 19 April 2012)
  9. Just Stake Me: Fanfiction (accessed 19 April 2012)
  10. Bugger This: BtVS & AtS Recommendations (accessed 19 April 2012)