Ishmael is one of the very few AtS fanfics I've written and one of the very few stories where Xander doesn't even appear (although he's mentioned in passing). It's strictly a Faith story with Angel and Ghost Wes.
The key difference between my story and the remix is that mine was written way back in 2004 only months after AtS's "Never Fade Away." The remix incorporates both AtS and BtVS comics canon, and it changes the story considerably.
It's a very well-written remix that I think stands very well on its own. Hell, if I randomly came across this story I maybe would've noticed some similar themes, but I also wouldn't have thought Ishmael had any role in inspiring it.
It's not a complaint by the way, just so I'm clear. I rather like the remix quite a lot, but it is a very different story so anyone going in expecting a straight-forward remix of Ishmael should put that thought out of their heads. It's definitely a remix of the some of the themes (Angel's obsessions and how it blinds him; Wes's obsessions and how it makes him incapable of actually helping; Faith realizing that staying isn't going to help anyone and that she has to find her own way).
One of the major reasons I find Unsalvageable interesting is because, in a way, it's a remix of a remix. The original Ishmael was something of a remix of Moby-Dick (a book I read at least every 2 or 3 years), and at the time I had written Ishmael, I had just finished one of my regular re-readings. In a strange way, Ishmael is the first remix I had ever done, before I even did my first story for the annual fest.
It's interesting to see that the themes I thought were important ended up being carried over into the Unsalvageable in interesting ways.
Another thing that's striking is Ishmael has that somewhat cold-blooded New England anti-transcendentalist sensibility in it (not surprising, considering the source material), which has a horror vibe that's not dissimilar to watching a scientist pull the arms off of a person just to see what happens. Unsalvageable has more a Southern gothic feel, where the horror is more visceral and lands an immediate gut-punch to evoke an emotional response.
Watch. My remixer is going to be like, "Dude. I don't read Southern gothic. I'm not even American, you twit."
Anyway, I highly recommend stopping by and giving my remixer some love for their work this year.