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Congratulations to the Award Winners
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Thank you to our judges and those who sent nominations.

Magnificent 7 Fan Fiction
[All thumbs up - if they deserved a thumbs down, they wouldn't be here]

Note:  Reviews are in alphabetical order by story title.  We've tried to avoid spoilers.



All  Frosting - Chocolate** by Charlotte Hill
When we sent the author feedback for this story and told her we were going to list it in the comedy section as well as in the Chris and Buck sections, she said she hadn't really thought of it as a comedy.  So we pointed out the most obvious, not-to-be-missed sign - chocolate frosting as a lubricant and rested our case.  So she reckoned as how there might be a few comedy bits.  (Charlotte doesn't talk that way in email, we just Buckinized her message.)  It's true the story has a lot of very "sweet" relationship moments  but at the very least, it's a story with strong comedy elements -- starting with the reference to a clean-up on aisle one.  The story is told from Buck's POV and contains cute insights from the unique Buck Wilmington perspective.  We loved Buck's thoughts in response to Chris's question as to whether two guys baking a cake for their co-worker was "really gay." And the porno that went through his mind when Chris used a tiny physical gesture that he knew would rev Buck's motor.   And there's that little problem of the double dipping.  The comedy didn't herald a lack of hot sex either- who would have thought the combination of cop and culinary fantasies would culminate in - well, read the story. 
Review by TimeTracker

All the Reasons Why by G.M. Atwater  OW
This is our the favorite Buck story -- a well crafted look at the reasons why women love our mustachioed Lothario.  The story is set in a seedy, little mining camp where Chris and Buck have gone to pick up a prisoner.  Without the need for excessive detail, the author makes the reader feel she knows Tuscaloosa Lil, the independent prostitute Buck befriends.  This  gentle story combines compelling description, a tight plot and lively dialogue that rings true - both between Chris & Buck and Buck & the OFC.  If you love Buck, you'll love this story.  If you like good writing, you'll like this story even if for you Buck is a supporting character.
Reviewed by MidnightBlue & TimeTracker

Alligator Alley by Hillary Fox
Hillary Fox writes with a sparkling wit that fairly leaps from the page.  I love her work.  Alligator Alley is a prime example of her style.  The story features Vin and Ezra (no, not slash) as they travel to a conference in Florida.  Hillary’s dialogue is perfect.  She completely nails her characters and makes you hear them speaking.  She sets up a tense situation but somehow keeps the reader giggling, even at the most dangerous spots.  Her Ezra is perfect.  He’s not the wistful St. Ezra peering at the doings of the Seven with longing eyes, and he’s not the villainous Ezra who would lie, cheat and steal from his friends for the sake of a good con.  Fox’s Ezra is a witty, polished gentleman who harbors a deep affection for his fellow agents.  Her Vin is also spot-on.  No sad-sack Vin’s here.  Fox’s Vin can more than hold up his end of a bantering conversation and wriggle out of a dangerous situation at the same time. If you’ve never read Hillary Fox start with this one.  But don’t stop there.  She’s got a treasure trove waiting for you.
Reviewed by DarkSkies


Annie Greer's Brand New Boy Child, A Gambling Boy & Emphemeralby NotTASHA OW
When I first read Annie Greer, I didn’t intend to like it.  I’m a Vin girl, and tend toward C/V stories and stories about the entire Seven.  NotTasha is unabashedly an Ezra writer.  However, on the recommendation of StarkeRaven, I'd enjoyed NotTasha's Ezra/Vin Amazon series.  Therefore, I was ready to read everything she'd written even if Vin didn't share center stage.  Annie Greer snuck into my heart and mind and took up residence.  I couldn’t help but root for the poor, bereaved widow who wanted an infant son and got 9-year old Ezra instead.  NotTasha has written an excellent addition to our small selection of childhood stories.  She’s written Ezra as he could have been, in fact, would have been at the age of 9.  All cynicism and worldly-wise on the surface, but with a hurt, sad little boy lurking under the paper-thin veneer.

And then, just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, NotTasha follows Annie Greer up with a sequel, The Gambling Boy.  This one tugged at my heartstrings.  NotTasha’s a master of subtle writing.  She’s crafted a beautiful look into the life of a grief-stricken, repressed woman who’s coming back to life at the urging of a 9-year-old boy.  But she never beats the reader over the head with it; she simply lets us make those assumptions for ourselves as we get caught up in the tale of Annie and her ‘adopted’ son.  Here’s hoping  NotTasha takes the plunge and makes this a trilogy.
Review by DarkSkies

NotTasha went for a grandslam when she added Empheral to the Annie Greer series.  Sentimental yes - but made palatable even for us less sentimental (make that cynical) types with compelling description, nice insight into the child Ezra and a perceptive jump to the thoughts of the adult Ezra.  There are several ways she could have gone over the top with his  reminiscences but NotTasha avoided them.  And if you like this series, you'll also want to catch Home of the Brave.
Review by Outrider

Apastapickleby Ruby  This story and its two sequels were the reason we set up a separate Just Plain Funny category.  It's a piece of fluff - really not something to go in a category with the full-blown, fully plotted comedy stories.  But it's such a perfect piece of fluff, we almost called the category So Damn Funny.  We find ourselves laughing every time we read any of these three stories.  Usually once is enough for a little comic piece - funny the first time - but like a joke you've heard the punchline to, doesn't hold up on repeat readings.  For some reason, Apastapickle has us laughing out loud every time.
Reviewed by MidnightBlue, Outrider & TimeTracker

Auld L'Anxiety   **C.V. Puerro
No one can write a great mockery of slash like a great slash writer.   This hilarious comedy vignette shows us Buck and Chris "the morning after" trying to reconstruct a few things about the night before.  What they find out sends them both spiraling downward into despair while at the same time getting them a little hot - well, not under the collar.  This little story never slows down.
Reviewed by MidnightBlue
Begin the New** Annie
Can a writer known for her gift for writing comedy pen a serious and sexy New Years tale story about a first-time sexual encounter between a man with a head cold  and a mean drunk?  Apparently so.  Great dialogue, nice description and just enough hint of the others for us to remember this is, after all the story of seven men.
Reviewed by Mojave Moon

Body of Work - Head ** & Body of Work - Heart ** by Megan Kent
Is it really possible for a group of siteowners who profess to love canon characterization above all else to get unaccountably hot over a story that turns  macho Western heroes into lovers turned on by phone sex and body piercing?  Damn right.  These companion pieces are two of the sexiest stories in the C/V pairing fanfic catalog.  We  love the confident sexy Vin and the "slightly overwhelmed by some new turn-ons" Larabee.  Buck and JD are well-characterized in minor supporting parts.
Reviewed by Mojave Moon

Brass Ring Series** by KETanner 
This series is actually two, connected stories in 24 parts.  It constitutes a big commitment of time to read the entire work, but well worth it. (It can certainly be read separately as a story and a sequel though we found ourselves unable to stop once we started reading.)   The opening is a surprisingly fresh take on well-trodden ground - Chris/Vin's first time.  From there the story includes all the elements of a good popular novel: mystery, action, angst, occasional humor and sound characterization.  We don't want to include any spoilers, so we'll try to be circumspect in congratulating the author on her treatment of an important element of the second part.  There is something done to a central character for which many authors would have resorted to some non-existent drug, technique or machine to accomplish what is beyond modern science.  Instead she carries out her machinations carefully, step by believable step so that at the crucial moment the reader isn't thinking "no way that could happen."  Bravo
Review by Outrider & TimeTracker

Buckaroo**(BR) by  Jody Revenson
In light of the criminal dearth of het fic about the Seven's resident hot property, we're so happy that there's such a good one in Buckaroo.  A simple story, beautifully told and sexy as hell, this is a story of an encounter with Buck from the POV of the lucky woman.  Although we assumed it was an old West fic, on closer reading there is nothing that actually bars it from taking place a modern AU like ATF.  We mourn for the lack of more stories in this vein, especially for the fact that even this author apparently had only this one het fic in her.  Sigh
Reviewed by Midnight Blue & TimeTracker

The Bull by Helen Chavez
This story is a very funny take on Buck's animal magnetism - in this case he's a literal animal magnet.  The premise of this story, which brings together Buck Wilmington and a very affectionate Zebu Bull, suggests broad slapstick but it's not.  It keeps all the men, even Buck, well in character under the most improbable and delightfully funny of circumstances.  The author even manages to bring in a little H/C and some Buck nakedness to balance the humor.  The dialogue and descriptions are very clever and move this three-part story along quickly.  And we're always impressed with a nonAmerican author (from Scotland we think) takes the trouble to cull her dialogue of Britishisms that  would take readers out of the story.  After all, if an author wants us to suspend our disbelief enough to get an occasional snatch of POV from a cud chewing bull from India, she doesn't want to press her luck by having our western lawmen standing in queues or falling on their bums.


Call Me ** by Maygra
Call Me is right up there on our top ten list of Chris/Vin “first time” fics.  We knew from the first page this story  wouldn’t be overly sentimental and trite, the men wouldn’t suddenly start talking like teen-age girls and no one would feel anything  “with every fiber of his being” or “release a breath he didn’t know he’d been holding.” 

Chris’s mood moves realistically from irritation to concern to sympathy to lust even as his fatigue makes it hard for him to say the right thing in a way that won’t be misunderstood.  Believable circumstances bring the two together on a dark and stormy night (the author finds much more compelling ways to describe it <G>).   The dialogue rings true – Chris and Vin talk like male buddies because regardless of where their physical relationship goes, that’s still what they are.  [Loved little things like, "You should take the bed," Chris said, before Vin could fall asleep just like this, stretched over the sofa.  "Naw. Bathroom's closer here. Beers are gonna be making their good-byes at some point."]  It was fun to watch Chris testing the waters to make sure he’s welcome in the direction he’s heading.  And the “adult content” is everything it should be. Appeal to prurient interest? – damn straight (wait that can’t be right).  And as need be in adult fiction generally written by and for women, every physical action has an emotional tie down.

This is strictly the story of Chris and Vin.    Still there was a delightful paragraph contrasting Vin and Buck and not in a way this Buck lover found disparaging:    “There weren't too many people Chris knew that respected his own tendency toward quiet. Not Buck, certainly, because Buck liked talking and noise and movement. He was like a big magpie, all fascinated and delighted by the bright shiny bits of life all around him. Vin was fascinated and delighted too but he took it into himself, no need to share, or not so loudly. A flicker of eyes and a grin at something or other and Chris would follow that gaze and find himself grinning at whatever Vin had found so amusing. Vin trusting Chris to get the joke whether it be a couple fighting, or a kid taking on the world with a plastic sword and a towel cape.”

In all, this story has enough adult content to be a very sexy PWP (which is apparently what the author started out to write) but as any “first time” story should, the emotional discoveries and confirmations make it so much more.
Review by TimeTracker & MojaveMoon

Call of the Wild by Annie  OW
Imagine Ezra being bullied into a holiday with his ATF friends at a rustic cabin.  Imagine that everything that could go wrong, does.  This is a totally delightful comedy of errors with witty dialogue and a madcap pace starring Ezra, Vin, Chris and Buck, all in fine comedy form.  A longer review would include all the hilarious quotes  we exchanged with each other by email when we were reading it-- but better you should just go and read it.
[Reviewed by StarkeRaven & TimeTracker]

Cold Enough to Snow*  by Gwyneth Rhys  OW
This lovely, gentle  story of lost opportunities and second chances even moved the hard-hearted Outrider.  It's a very fresh and moving entry into the crowded Chris/Vin's first time category.  The beauty of the writing made my heart ache.
Review by TimeTracker & Outrider

Cold Hard Cash by J Brooks  OW
We aren't sure whether this is a comedy with strong action elements or an action story with strong comedy elements.  Either way we enjoyed the whole thing.  Brooks has Ezra, Buck and Chris down pat.  Their actions, interactions and  internal monologues ring true.  This is the kind of story that we'd read just to see how the plot resolved itself.  But even without that, we'd have continued reading for the simple joy of the sparkling dialogue, delightful descriptions and funny situations.
Review by MidnightBlue & Outrider

Color Series- starting with Red by Linda B.  OW
This series of short stories, some closely connected, some not, start out with comedy vignettes but also includes more introspective stories.  The variety of moods will give the reader a good overview of this author's top notch writing.  What we really recommend is that you click on the list of Linda's stories linked to her name and just start reading everything.  That's what we all did and none of us were disappointed with anything.
Recommendation by DarkSkies & TimeTracker

Conspiraciesby The Desperado's Daughter [2nd site]  OW
Desperado's Daughter has done what I’d almost come to consider impossible—she’s written a story featuring Nathan that doesn’t have him simply standing by with medical supplies.  Nathan plays a starring role in this one, and the interaction between his character and JD’s is particularly well done.  Before you run screaming from the room, however, you should know that all Seven guys are well-represented.  Desperado's Daughter writes excellent dialogue, and uses it to set up a tense, believable mystery. This is a must-read for all Mag7 fans.  It’s a wonderful example of how to use all of the characters, not just some of them. 
Review by DarkSkies

Conversations in Solitaire  by Katmorg

The Cur - Series by Linda B.
Do you have your tissues handy?  You’re going to need them for this series of five stories.  Start with the Cur and get Vin’s viewpoint, and then move on to Vin’s Dog, Lucky, Fallen Angel and Sent for a look through other eyes.  As you read them in turn a beautiful portrait emerges of the Seven men who guard the town, and the little dog who strayed in one summer and stayed for a while. I freely admit by the time I got to the last story in the series my nose was running and tears were streaming.  Linda B. is an exceptional writer.  She can say more in just a few sentences than some people can say in a 20-page story.  She combines excellent dialogue, with dead-on characterization, and in this case a fantastic little original character, who just happens NOT to be human.  Feel in need of an uplifting moment?  Read the Cur series start to finish.  Trust me.  You’ll be better for it.
Review by DarkSkies


Dark Angels ** and sequel Burning Angels** by Cattraine [Rule Exeption]  AU

The Day of the Dead by Lady Chal

Days of Friendship by Helen Adams  OW
This author was new to the Mag7 fandom when she wrote this but had written many fine Bonanza stories.  Her first Mag7 fanfic displays an excellent ear for the speech patterns of the Seven and an eye for the little quirks specific to each.  The focus of the story is the origins of the friendship between Nathan and Josiah which according to canon started prior to the pilot.  Excellent opening scenes using all the seven with nice (and unconfusing) use of flashbacks as Josiah tells his story to Chris. A gentle story with clever dialogue and humorous moments.  Rings true as a possible explanation for the pre-existing friendship of these two oft-neglected characters.
[Reviewed by Milagro & MidnightBlue]

 DINNER (Series) **(BR)  - Annie - ATF Buck/Ezra  Comedy
The Apéritif**(BR)
 The Appetizer*
 Les Huitres, Oysters*
Entertaining Angels* by Firefox  ATF

Is there such a thing as the perfect story?  Or the perfect author?  Probably not.  But Firefox sure comes close.  Entertaining Angels is one of my all-time favorite stories, just as Firefox is probably one of my all-time favorite authors.  While she couldn’t write a bad story if she tried, this one just speaks to me.  On the surface it’s a simple story, Chris Larabee pacing yet another hospital waiting room.  But Firefox weaves intricate details into every sentence.  Her writing transports you so that you’re pacing right alongside Chris, seeing through his eyes, hearing with his ears and smelling the wretched old bag lady with his nose.  The writing in this story speaks to my heart and soul.  I could (and have) read it over and over again and never get tired of it.  The twist at the end is the perfect cap to a story that comes as close to perfection as anything can.
Review by DarkSkies

Entertaining Angels is the first story I read by Firefox and I was amazed that a British author could so beautifully recreate the experience of anyone who has spent time in an American hospital waiting room.  Everything was spot-on.  I’m not a gusher like DarkSkies – for one thing, I’m sure that Firefox is quite capable of writing a bad story, she’d just be too smart to post it.  In fact, she doesn’t have a large body of work but she has written one I didn’t love – possibly it was her first one.  But she was also able to get TimeTracker, MidnightBlue & I to buy a nonhumorous Buck/Ezra slash pairing [see our review of Fighting Midnight] and that accomplishment warrants a very high ranking in our fanfic hall of fame.  In any event, I will admit that I found this story to be a solid 10 in every respect.  It’s often easier to write Chris through Vin’s or someone else’s eyes than to use his POV but it was well done here.
Review by Outrider

Every Rose Has It's Thorns**  C.V. Puerro 

The Explorer  J. Brooks  OW
This is another of Brooks' stories that on the surface is an action story, but contains such strong comedy elements that it's cross-indexed as a comedy.  We need say nothing about this story except to quote one passage and we're sure no one will be able to resist reading the whole story: 
Ezra rolled a bleary, baleful eye in his direction. "Mr. Tanner," he panted. "What did I tell you about traipsing ... across the scene ... of the investigation?"

Vin caught himself just before his foot would have landed in the tacky blood. He adjusted course and dropped beside Ezra, holding out a canteen. "Tanners don't traipse," he said, lifting Ezra's head gently so he could drink. "Ain't for sure what traipsing is, but it don't sound like me."

Ezra's eyes fluttered closed, but he doggedly kept up his end of the conversation. "I've been known to traipse on occasion. Or saunter. From time to time I ... perambulate."

Vin opened his saddlebags and fished around for something he could use for bandages. In his condition, he didn't have a prayer of digging the shotgun pellets out of Ezra. Best he could hope to do was to splash some of Ezra's fancy liquor around, wrap him up and pray Nathan got here soon.

"That just a fancy way of gettin' from one place to another?" he asked, hoping to distract Standish as he rooted through his pockets for the flask.

"Yes indeed. You should try traipsing some time." Ezra squinted up at the tracker, frowning at the quantity of blood matting the younger man's hair. Best to keep him talking. "How do Tanners ... move from ... place to place?"

"Mosey, mostly. Unless we're in a powerful hurry. Then we skedaddle." Vin fell silent, swallowing hard as the world began to spin unhealthily around him.


Fellow Travelers by J. Brooks [Rule Exception]  OW
I really don’t like stories where one or two of the guys are children being raised by the rest of the Seven.  They tend to set my teeth on edge.  But there are always exceptions to every rule, and ‘Fellow Travelers’ is one of them.  Yes, it’s a story about Ezra as a child.  Yes, he’s traveling under the protection of first Nathan, then Vin, then the rest of the Seven.  But is it overly sweet and sentimental?  No way.  This is Ezra as a child.  A very bright, precocious child who can already con most of the adults around him.  Who can resist a little Ezra like this:
"The Kiowa headlock is supposed to inspire fear and dismay," Ezra informed Nathan, adjusting his grip and nearly tumbling off the healer's shoulders. Nathan caught him smoothly and flipped the boy into a more secure fireman's carry.

Ezra studied the Kansas prairie from his new upside-down vantage. "Were you struck with fear and dismay that time, Mr. Jackson?"

"I was struck by forty pounds of silly white boy, same as the last three times," Nathan snorted, latching on to Ezra's ankles and lowering him slowly toward the ground, head-first. Ezra stretched his arms out and attempted a handstand, tumbling in a heap just like the other times he'd tried it. He blinked up at Nathan expectantly.

The healer thought it over. "The growling was a nice touch," he conceded. "And you did sneak mighty quiet that time. Wouldn'ta known you were coming at all if Vin hadn't kept laughing."
This story is an antidote for all those horrible tortured-child Ezra stories that I’ve read and groaned over.  In my opinion, J. Brooks has captured the very essence of Ezra and boiled him down into a child’s body.  Her characters stay true to canon, her dialogue is superb and her comic timing is impeccable.  This one is a ‘must-read.’
Reviewed by Dark Skies.

Note from MojaveMoon:  Although I often enjoy stories which flash back to the men's childhoods, I usually get the creeps at stories of one or more of the men shrunk to boyhood being raised by the others [especially in light of the relationship Chris and Vin have in adult fanfic].  But I loved this one.  The biggest saving grace of Fellow Travelers is that the dynamic of the Seven is not seriously disrupted.  The boy Ezra is clearly a boy, not a little man, but he still managed to fill the place of the adult Ezra in the story of the Seven.  A terrific blend of humor and action.

Fighting Midnight** (BR)by Firefox  ATF
As the group's resident defenders of Buck's core belief that woman are everything good, we were astounded that we actually loved a noncomedy Buck/Ezra slash. [We'd already admitted our love of Annie's funny Dinner Series.]  There was something so natural about this one we were drawn in.  There were no overly romantic suppositions that without explanation Ezra was the focus of Buck's existence or vice versa. Ezra wasn't treated like "the woman" in this relationship between two very male men.  The story handles  tension beautifully - both of the sexual and action variety.  And when we say this was not a comedy, that is not to suggest that there isn't some natural and gentle humor in the dialogue - how could there not be when we're talking Ezra and Buck?
Review by MidnightBlue & Time Tracker

Four Corners Police Dept. by Heidi & Cin  AU
Starting this AU reminded us of reading perhaps the third novel in a series after reading the first two and becoming familiar with all the characters.  Because this is fanfic and these authors have translated the Seven so well into their AU, they seemed familiar right away.  This is a very realistic, Wambaugh-style AU, a real police procedural.  Even without being told of their dispatching backgrounds, it is easy to see the authors have first-hand knowledge of the genre in which they are writing.  And some of the incidents are too damn outrageous not to be true.  [Itching to put in a spoiler here, but we won't.]  The authors make excellent use of many supporting and "guest" characters from the series.  Because this is a modern police department, they also include an OFC as an officer and former girlfriend, now friend, of Buck.  This was really a wise choice - Inez and Casey both have signifcant places in this AU but they just wouldn't have translated well into female officers of the type needed here.  Never fear, although the character plays a significant role, she is not the focus of the story nor is she better at everything than the Seven (except for rookie JD).  She's a competent officer with as many foibles, strengths and weaknesses as her male counterparts.  we found she added a lot to the story while never taking time away from the Seven as she interacted with them.  The opening story in this AU is the equivalent of a pilot movie and is followed by some shorter stories.  Beware - despite the fact that there are follow-up stories, the novel-length opener is a WIP - apparently at least 3/4 complete.  We're hoping to get more people to write to the authors urging them to finish this magnum opus.
Review by MighnightBlue & TimeTracker

A Friend to Me  by Mitzi
This story, though complete in itself, is part of a series of at least five of which four are completed.  The others are Spirit of a Hero  Crossroads,I Will Help You  These stories are  not quick or easy reads because they have a depth which deters skimming.  They're definitely worth devoting quality time to.  This author writes intriguingly  about the psychological forces and games that work on people's minds and blends her insights into the compelling action of the stories.  Although we were captivated from the opening of the first story, a few of the others had more trouble getting into the first one.  However, we insisted they keep reading and every one was glad she did.  One person cussed us out because they got so involved in the stories, they stayed up to the wee hours of the morning finishing them.  Each character gets his time in the spotlight [or perhaps under the microscope is a more suitable analogy] in these fine novellas.
Reviewed by Outrider & MidnightBlue
Green Beer ** by Diamondback ATF  Chris/Buck 
This story uses another of our disfavored pairings - of course since we disfavor most of them, no surprise there.  Our real slash junkies are Chris/Vin fans and the rest of us have to be won over anew with each story outside that pairing - heck, even inside that pairing.  Of course, Diamondback is the brilliant author who wrote a story with a Buck/Chris pairing we all found absolutely convincing (Camino del Diablo).  Green Beer is  an engaging PWP - lust and affection, not romance and so well done, it was just great fun. 
Review by MidnightBlue


Hell, Ham, Milkshakes & Mayhem by Heidi  ATF Comedy
This kind of nonstop, rollercoaster ride humor is hard to carry off - Heidi didn't miss a step with this one.  If you don't laugh out loud here, you might as well skip our whole comedy category.
Review by Milagro & StarkeRaven

Helluva Thing by SueN
Okay this is SueN - so we're 99% sure we're going to get St. Vin of the Tortured Soul to whom some grave injury has been done to make him also St. Vin of the Tortured Body.  No adult content warning so no C/V sex this time around, just C-V pain and angst.  We know she's a gifted writer who takes the utmost care in her editing, creates clever dialogue and manages descriptions that let the readers see just what the author wants them to see.  But can she possibly have anything new to say in this genre -- in this, one of her later stories?  Surprisingly, the answer is yes.  Just when you think her gold mine must be played out, she comes up with a new vein.  The opening to this story is especially intriguing -- a description of the predicament of a wounded man from the fuzzy perspective of said man.  It was delightfully done - if something so painful and disoriented can properly be called delightful.  Chris's angst is not solitary in this story but is  nicely supported by the concern of the rest of the seven who all get their moments to shine in this fine story. 

Homecoming* by KETanner  OW, DF
Dark Skies is our low threshold for tears - if she doesn't cry, we don't even put it in the Tear Jerker category.  Outrider is the high threshold.  She didn't even get misty when Melanie died in GWTW or Beth in Little Women.  The last time fiction made her eyes moist was as a child when they shot Old Yeller and Beautiful Joe died.  Hah!  She cried buckets over Homecoming.  The author labels this as a death fic or we wouldn't spoil it by telling  you that much.  You don't even have to love the character who dies to cry over this.  The story is  beautifully developed and makes you ache for all the Seven.
Review by TimeTracker
Note by Outrider:  Okay, I admit it.  This story really got to me but I actually cried at different parts than some of the others.

 Hospital and Hurtby Mel
Okay, I cry easily.  I’ll admit it.  But Mel writes in such a way that even the hardest hearted person would shed a tear or two.  In fact, I defy even Outrider to read “Hurt” and not get all choked up with emotion.  Mel has a real gift for writing the Seven exactly as I see them.  Her characterization is one of her strong points.  She writes in the Old West setting, as well as in the modern day and still her Vin is the one I know and love, her Chris is our Chris Larabee, and so on.   Mel is one of our exceptions to the rules in fact.  She’s managed to write an AU where Chris and Vin are related and make us love it.  Her “Hospital” is  hurt/comfort raised to an art form.  So if you’re looking for a good read, head for Mel.  But be sure to take your tissues with you. [And she's not one of those authors who boastfully gives you a tissue warning.]
Review by DarkSkies

Added thoughts on Mel by MojaveMoon:
 I’m a Chris fan through and through, and Mel really knows how to bring out the best in the MIB.  She does such nice work on the Chris/Vin bond, whether it’s the friendship angle or the family relationship .  My favorite story of hers is Hospital.  She’s created a world where Chris and Vin are brothers, normally something taboo in my book.  But she makes the AU work.  Her Chris remains the strong, tough-guy leader we rightly expect, but he loves his brother and will protect him to his dying breath.  Another good one is ‘Into the Unknown’.  It’s a modern-day retake on the first meeting of Chris and Vin.  Mel does a great job of translating that glance across the sidewalk into a believable present-day scenario. Dark Skies made me read my first Mel story.  But nothing could have prevented me from reading all the rest of them. 

 Hunter's Moon** by Joe Lawson


Ice** by the Moar Sisters

In for a Peso, In for a Pound by SueN

Inkslingers by J Brooks
This is one of those comedies for which one can use the term non-stop laughter.  It's hard to review this without including spoilers because when I read it, I cut and pasted numerous little bits in emails to my friends.  The story is most definitely  a comedy but all the characters are quite clearly their canon selves - often hard to do when going for laughs.  The descriptions and dialogue sparkle through-out as our seven gunslingers become inkslingers.  You'll love Nathan and Ezra "working" together, Vin theorizing on what the orange stuff is in the fudge, Mary's editorial written under the influence of pain medication, Buck's frantic (and creative) search for news, Josiah and JD exploring the mysteries of typesetting, Chris using his special talents to solicit advertising and gather the news about the latest meeting of the ladies aid society.  A very funny story.
Reviewed by TimeTracker
Legends Born Series  Joan Curtin


Magical Cats & Sewer Rats  by MODS

The Man With No Name by Debbi K
This is a haunting story, beautifully told.  The author took an interesting premise and made some excellent writing choices.  This story could easily have been spoiled by too much detail - it certainly would have lost its haunting quality.  It's wonderful when an author knows when to quit -- when she's created the perfect little gemstone and doesn't spoil it with gaudy settings.  There's a nice little business with Vin's hat near the end which showed in just a few words what it might have taken paragraphs to tell  us.
Reviewed by TimeTracker & Outrider

Moved by Silent Hands   [Alternate URL]  by Painted Eyes -  OW  Vin, All 7  Novel  Action CCC
This story is a full blown novel - a lengthy one, closing in on 1000 pages.  Although Vin is clearly the  main protagonist, fans of the rest of the Seven won't be disappointed.  Her portrayal of each includes a lot of nice description and character insight.   Readers who simply love the Seven in action together, like a good story and enjoy a well-researched  historical setting, will like this story regardless of who their favorite is.   We tend to be skeptical of writers who can't wrap a story up in the length of an ordinary novel - that's generally a sign the author needs a reality check and a better editor.  (See our Pet Peeves page.)  However, none of us found anything significant we would have cut from this work.  If she had been looking for a beta reader to pare down the story, none of us would have qualified.  All the words seem precious and in a Mag7 story you can't cut out any characters.  Not a story to be approached casually, but well worth spending substantial time with.
Reviewed by all of us
New Crew and sequel Old Foes by KT  Modern AU
How does a British writer avoid the problem of slipping Britishisms into the speech of our old West (or Denver ATF) heroes?  She makes them British.  We were afraid they wouldn't translate well but these stories were - searching for a British description here other that the trite "jolly good" - enchanting? lovely?  What Buck lover could resist a Buck who has all the animal magnetism of his old West counterpart and can also cook?   And while we all love that Vinnebago, Vin living on a boat, the waves gently rocking him to sleep . . . . Sigh.  The action sequences stem from both their own pasts and their work as volunteers on a rescue lifeboat team (unless you count playing cricket and rugby as action - in our opinion, a case could be made for the latter but surely not the former.)  Although many of the words and expressions will be unfamiliar to the American reader, they are generally understood in context and add greatly to the charming atmosphere of the stories.
Review by MidnightBlue & TimeTracker
Of Mice and Men**by SueN
What can we say - SueN - C/V - great sex and lots of it.  But added to the mix this time is a damn funny subplot (or is sex the subplot?).  At any rate, who wouldn't love our intrepid sharpshooter and his glaring ATF boss on the trail of a most recalcitrant gang - of mice. Damn, they ate Vin's Cocoa Puffs and Thin Mints.  When they get desperate enough to seek help from Buck's special experts in extermination - it can only get funnier. Who could resist reactions like this: 

"If you say one word," Chris muttered, not liking at all the sudden silence at his back, "your body will never be found."

Vin couldn’t help himself. He knew he shouldn’t, but he just couldn’t help it. He took a step closer still and, in a voice pitched for Larabee’s ears alone, breathed, "Me be quiet as mouse, Kemosabe."

Chris groaned and hung his head. Great. On top of everything else, he now had a demented sidekick.
Review by Outrider


River Styx by Estevana Rey  OW
This story contains graphic images so well written they could be problematic to someone with a weak stomach.  But for everyone  else, this is story is replete with fine writing and examines interesting psychological possibilities.  She does a fine job with characterizations of all the Seven although Vin is the central character.  We don't want to add spoilers but we loved it when she let a somewhat unexpected member of the seven play the hero in one part and did a wonderful in-character job of it.  The story examines post traumatic stress syndrome while thankfully not resorting to actual use of that anachronistic term.  Not many stories of this length are worth the time.  This one is.
Review by TimeTracker & Outrider

Road Trip by MOG, Cassie & Maggie

Rocky Mountain High**by CV Puerro ATF 
We never expected to like a story with our least favorite pairing but this one is definitely an exception.  We're not sure if it's Just Plain Funny or satire or an H/C.  Whatever it is, it's very clever and probably the only JD/Buck slash you'll see here.  But if that pairing appeals to you Puerro is an excellent writer and you'll find some more of them where this one is stashed.
Review by Milagro & MidnightBlue


The Sadist's Grin **Cobalt

Save the First Dance For Me**(BR) Debbi K.

Seven by Debbi K & Nancy W.  OW  All 7  C&A  CCC
The authors' warning on this story says,  "If you don't like reading about the Boys as kids, skip this one."  Well. to tell the truth, most of us who put together this site don't generally like stories of the Boys as children, but we loved this one.  This story is not just a puddle of syrup, it illuminates the characters of the men the Seven were to become.  As we've said, we hold stories of the Seven's childhood to a  high standard.  This story clearly meets that standard as it presents seven flashbacks to a childhood incident of each man.  We especially laud the restraint of the writers in the Ezra story.  It must have been so tempting to have the child Ezra come to a realization beyond his years but the writers left it for the adult, looking back.  An excellent job.
Review by StarkeRaven

The Shenandoah Waltz by Sue Bartholomew  OW
We found this beautifully crafted story to offer one of the most interesting and realistic speculations about Ezra's past of all we've read.  The story makes good use of the rest of the Seven in the portion that takes place in Four Corners and develops an enchanting story about young Ezra and his cousin Sophie in the flashbacks.  The story explains the influences on Ezra's development without making him into a plaster saint. 
Review by StarkeRaven & Outrider

Silent World ** by Tarlan



Under the Skin by Gwyneth Rhys  OW
Hot damn, the desperate searchers for Buck het fic stumbled on another lovely Buck/Ezra story. (We certainly weren't looking for one.)  We just happened upon it while searching out the beautiful Cold Enough to Snow.  The author has both Buck and Ezra down pat in speech, in actions, in mannerisms.  She would have to, to make us love a slash with this pairing.  A real gem.
Review by MidnightBlue & TimeTracker

Unexpected in Common Hours  by Jody Revenson

Vignettes**- by C.V. Puerro.  This is a series of 34 short stories, .  Although we especially loved the poignant "A Date by Any Other Name," they really should be read in order - there are a couple of PWP sex vignettes but most contribute to the development of the overall story and all are very well written.  The Buck contingent also particularly loved "Skirt Night"   because they saw an honest portrayal of the reactions of a man like Buck to  - well, no spoilers here - read the series.  These vignettes are not part of a "we're not gay, we just love each other" alternate reality.  They embrace a gritty, compelling emotional journey of a gay man who's part of the real gay world - the world depicted in the less comedic story lines of Queer as Folk.  The stories follow Vin from his Texas high school days through his tentative reaching out to Chris in the ATF - a moving picture of a young man yearning for true love.  The use of the string of vignettes worked better in this case than a long, single-story format.  Each vignette had its own emotional impact - some that just break a reader's heart for Vin.  Considered together, they tell a moving and complete story.
TimeTracker & Outrider


Wild Night ** Wild Night II ** by Maygra & Ruby J.

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Stories are cross-indexed.  One story may appear in several categories.  Stories with two to four main characters will be listed under the names of each.  Stories with five or more will be listed under the All the Seven category. [We don't claim to be good at math.]  Stories with explicit sexual content are marked with double asterisks**.  Stories with no explicit sexual content but which are likely to be in the adult section of sites like Black Raptor due to reference to slash relationships are marked with a single asterisk*  If an author has her own website or an index of stories on a website [and we know about it] we'll provide a link to it.  Just click on her name.
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