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[and all those exceptions to the Fucking Rules]

All of us who put together this site like erotic fiction, including homo-erotic fic.  We love shows like Queer as Folk and Sex in the City.  None of us are offended by the explicit sexual content of Mag7 fan fic slash.  All of us have close relatives or best friends who are gay.  For those of us who have objections of one kind or another to slash, the objections are related to characterization, not m/m sex.  We figure we'll probably offend people with the apparent arbitrariness of our recommendations in the slash genre, but we have tried to be up front about why we've made the choices we have.  Then again, we probably won't offend as many people as we started to because this site, even while under construction, has resulted in readers sending us recommendations for stories in pairings we wouldn't have considered otherwise.

In the Mag7 fandom, our primary interest is in the characters.  A story can be a beautifully written work of fiction, but if the characters don't resonate for us, it isn't Mag7 fan fiction.  All slash is "alternate reality" in a show in which all the characters were clearly heterosexual men.  But then any Mag7 AU is alternate reality.  The trick is to work in the alternate reality while keeping the Seven as close as possible to their canon characterization.

For an interesting little article on slash try: http://www.writersu.com/WU/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=47

Our adult story selections may be influenced by how well we think the sexual pairings, sexual activities, etc. retain the characteristics of the men involved.  Some slash pairings often don't work for us, others never do  - although some of our walls are crumbling.

We started out sure we'd never choose any stories involving slash with Nathan, Josiah, JD or Buck.  As far was we're concerned, canon puts Nathan with Rain and JD with Casey that's about all we want to know about their sex lives.   (That hasn't really changed.)   As for Buck, the essence of his character is so linked with his feelings for women, that we couldn't reconcile slash with him at all.  Josiah was not far behind Buck in that department.  We found Buck/JD slash particularly offensive as it seemed like rank exploitation of their mentoring relationship.

When we started reading slash, the best stories we found were Chris/Vin.   This pairing not only seemed to attract a lot of the best writers, but the character justification seemed the strongest with this pairing.  One saving grace is that the dominant writers don't change the characters beyond extending their love to include a sexual relationship.  We don't know the history of slash in this fandom, but it does seem that most writers take the lead from the good ones and the Chris/Vin stories generally don't have the two men use cloying language or otherwise act like groping teens.  Of course, as it is the most popular pairing, they attract a big share of poor quality stuff too.

At first we didn't think we would find any "convincing" Chris/Ezra pairings.   Most of the ones we'd read turn Ezra into a "woman" and have Chris using all kinds of silly endearments that just didn't ring true.  And the bottom line was, the stories never gave us any reason to understand why suddenly Ezra was the center of Chris's life.  The pairing seemed arbitrary.  Then, even before the under construction signs came down, a reader recommended Zeke Black.  Her Snags, its sequels and two other stories are exquisite and absolutely convincing.  We expect other readers to steer us to additional stories in that pairing.

Given our feelings about Buck's unshakeable sexual orientation, we never expected to like any Buck pairings, but even before we decided to be more "flexible," we found some we liked.  Three different authors bowled us over pairing him with Ezra.  Annie has her delightful  Dinner Series and other odd couple takes on the two.  Foxfire's Fighting Midnight and Gwyneth Rhys' Under the Skin  are  more serious views of the pairing, [But no one can write Buck and Ezra together and avoid  humorous dialiogue.]  Those and a few others are listed on this site were on an early version of the list.  We've found a number of others since then.  We are especially looking forward to the completion of Lumina's Burning Leaves which is stunning so far.

We still haven't found any serious Buck/JD pairings that stay true to our view of their characters and their relationship -- and truthfully we aren't looking for any.  Buck's mentor/big brother  relationship with JD was for us a key element of the show.  We did find a  very cute "medical necessity" Buck/JD pairing, Rocky Mountain High by CV Puerro.  Puerro is an excellent writer and her other Buck/JD stories are very well written - it's just our take on the relationship that makes us squeamish about them.  (But we found her Vin Vignettes to contain some of the most highly recommended pieces of writing on the internet.)  For those who like the pairing, give her other Buck/JD stories a try.  In fact, she's an excellent writer who dabbles in many pairings - give her a try if other pairings appeal to you.

Our initial dislike of the Chris/Buck pairing stemmed from our view of both canon and characterization.  We just couldn't fit any kind of sexual relationship into the long friendship that included the 6 years or so Chris was obviously in love with Sarah.  Some writers seem to make Buck into Chris's emotional (and sometimes physical) punching bag, converting from lover to friend to lover again.  Others indicate Sarah knew of their ongoing sexual relationship and didn't mind.  Some very good writers have done the Chris/Buck pairing, but not in a way that convinced us.   That is, until we read Camino del Diablo by Diamondback.  The "rules" underlying her master vampire AU totally justified the pairing for all of us.  We even had a few slash-hating friends make comments to the effect that having the slash relationship fully justified makes all the difference.  CV Puerro's very funny Auld L'Anxiety was also on an early version of the list.  We knew there were other good writers who wrote the Chris/Buck pairing -  Charlotte Hill and Joe Lawson for two.   Our new Buck slash consultant (see below) included Puerro, Hill, Lawson and additional Diamondback among her recommendations.  So - more Buck slash will be included - but still no Buck/JD.   She promised - it's one of the terms of her lucrative contract.  Recently Maygra started a Shadow Riders AU  that presents a beautifully intense a C/B/V slash trio in a complex and surreal story.  Maygra and Charlotte Hill are also working on a novel  - Skip Trace - in a modern AU started by Charlotte in Fractured - a sexy presentation of a Chris/Buck pairing.
Camino del Diablo also justified a Vin/Ezra pairing for all of us.  (Heck, it could have justified a Buck/JD pairing had she wanted to take it in that direction.)  But other than Camino, we haven't found a high percentage of the Vin/Ezra to be  convincing.  Part of the problem may be that NotTasha's gen pairings of the two in her Amazon series and other stories are so completely delightful in the comaraderie and sparkling dialogue that a sexual relationship just doesn't seem to fit.  It certainly isn't necessary.  We've included other great gen stories in which the two are the main characters because we definitely like them together.  We howled over the Vin/Ezra bickering in Annie's Call of the Wild.  But once we started getting recommendations from "the outside," we did find some V/E slash to add to our list.  We're hoping for more.

We've read some Josiah slash but there's not a lot and what's there didn't convince us that the Seven's secondary ladies man should switch teams.  But then, despite the great possibilities for this complex man there isn't much good fiction about him at all.

We found ourselves tossing out a lot of stories that were well-written but just seemed off in characterization.   We've made our love of canon characterization clear on this site.   It's possible to keep them in character whether they're flying spaceships, working for ATF, living as Immortals or Vampires or loving each other.  There are lots of good slash stories that keep the men in character and keep their speech patterns intact.  Those are the ones we've collected for the site and cross indexed on the character and category pages.  We generally don't like the stories in which the men lavish each other with the kinds of cloying endearments that just don't sound right coming from the mouths of these men - even when they're in love.  And when they start necking or gropping in front of the other men - well . . . .  So early on we decided - one "sweetie" and that story was out of here.  Arbitrary - maybe - probably.  But you've been warned.

This is where our website team stands on slash as best we can explain it:

Mojave Moon   I started my  fanfic reading in the Star Trek fandom in the printzine days.  I loved it and read all the Gen stuff I could get my hands on.  After a while I found there were few decent gen stories being written as all the best authors had turned to slash.  Like many other slash readers, I took my first steps with Kirk/Spock printzine stories. My favorite character is Chris and although I'm theoretically open to other pairings, my favorites use  Chris/Vin.  I don't know whether that's because the better writers started with that pairing or because I just think they're a better match.  I also still have a fondness for stories that simply show a near-slash bond that doesn't need to spill over into sex.
DarkSkies   I don't have a clue why I like slash.  It just strikes a chord with me for some reason.  I hate the stories where Chris or Vin have a female lover.  Perhaps it's because I resent the time and attention given to an Original Female Character.  Slash is a way of deepening the buddy relationship between two male characters without bringing in someone extra.  Does any of this make sense?  Although Chris/Vin is still my favorite pairing, I'll seek out good stories in any pairing.
Midnight Blue  I came from fandoms which were not dominated or even heavily influenced by slash.  And since Buck is my favorite character, I resented slash as too great a deviation from his essential character.  Since I like erotic fiction and it was clear this fandom didn't have much to offer by way of het fic, even for Buck, I explored some slash, but generally preferred the Chris/Vin pairing - probably with the "keep your hands off Buck" rationale.  (Once I'd read the wonderful Buckeroo by Jody Revenson and the incredible but not explicit All the Reasons Why by Gloria Atwater, I couldn't find anything else worth reading that paired Buck with a woman, jokes about his dating exploits aside.)  I love slash that "justifies" a pairing, though I'm pretty tough on what will do that. Camino del Diablo is the only one that truly drew me in and made me utterly accept both the Chris/Buck and Vin/Ezra pairings.  Although I don't fully accept the character justification in Joe Lawson's Hunter's Moon AU, I have to admit I enjoyed it because each sexual "event" was true to the "style" of the participants.  Maygra's Shadow Riders AU promises to be one of my favorite slash AU's when completed.  And perhaps her collaboration with Charlotte Hill in the Skip Trace AU will even top that.
Starke Raven:  Ezra is my main man though I truly love all the others.  I was resistant to Ezra slash at first because Ezra is often so much "the woman" (espcially with Chris) or the stories are so cloying (especially with Vin).  It was only natural that the first Ezra slash I took to (after the wonderful Camino del Diablo) was Buck/Ezra as written by Annie, Firefox, Amy and Gwyneth Rhys.  That's still my favorite slash pairing for Ezra although I adore him with Vin in NotTasha's gen Amazon series.  I was surprised at how much I liked him with Chris in Zeke Black's stories.  Her stories keep him fully in character.
TimeTracker  My first favorites in the series were Vin (a carryover from Now & Again which I actually saw prior to getting into Mag7) and Buck (loved him in Time Trax, love him more in Mag7).   Then after watching each episode several times, Ezra started to grow on me.  If you ask me my favorite character now, I couldn't tell you, though it would be one [probably all] of the three.  I strongly resisted all slash but after loving one of SueN's H/C, I did venture into her Vin/Chris slash.  I got hooked.  Since then I've found other Chris/Vin writers and have been reluctantly drawn into the genre due to the absence of het fic.  I still haven't taken to any other pairings except in Diamondback's wonderful Camino del Diablo , Maygra's Shadow Riders. and Maygra & Charlotte Hill's Skip Trace AU.  And although Cattraine's hard-edged Dark Angels and somewhat softer, but more humorous Burning Angels have as the central pairing Chris/Vin, her "bending" of the characters let me buy her brief Buck/Chris encounter and the more extended Buck/Raphael pairing.  (Raphael from "Love & Honor")
Milagro:  I love the whole seven, but am admittedly partial to the Buck-JD relationship.  I hate Buck/JD slash (okay, I did like Puerro's Rocky Mountain High and Julia Verinder's Guilty Heart but I don't count those as real slash, just  very clever stories).   However, in the absence of decent het fic (I did find a few good JD het stories which are included on our list) I read the best Chris/Vin slash fic.  And I loved Diamondback's Camino del Diablo and actually felt bad that JD didn't have a slash relationship in that one - it would have been justified.
Outrider:   I never cared for slash in other fandoms - Starsky & Hutch, Simon & Simon, Andromeda (unless the slash is a female/male pairing), X-Files (except Scully/Mulder), Alias Smith & Jones, etc.   Like the others, I found that many good writers were doing Chris/Vin slash that I made that an exception to my anti-slash preferences.  My first encounter with slash that I really "bought" was Diamondback's Camino del Diablo.  And once the walls crumbled that much, I latched onto the satirical Dark Angels/Burning Angels because the characters weren't quite our seven, but ever so interesting.  Since then I'll have to admit liking selected pairings when the story keeps them very much in character -- much harder with some pairings than with others.  [Except for the aforementioned Rocky Mountain High by Puerro and Julia Verinder's Guilty Heart, I've never found a Buck/JD pairing I found to be in character.]  Our Buck slash consultant is, however, working on the Chris/Buck and  Buck/Ezra front.  I'd already loved some Buck/Ezra but she got me thinking about Chris/Buck, starting with Cobalt's Blame for a different interpretation of Chris's backstory and Puerro's Campfire series for an idea of how a relationship might have started.   Whether she convinces the rest of us or not, we're looking to her to find us  Buck slash for the site.
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In light of our mixed and mixed up feelings, we decided the following about slash:  Our standards are higher - we're only listing stories that are 9.0 to 10 on a scale of 1-10 (as opposed to 8-10 for gen and het stories).   And as we said above,  many of the stories we passed up were because we disagreed with characterization not the other attributes of the writing.  But heck, if we get enough "consultants" for other pairings, that might change.  [See below.]

OUR BUCK SLASH CONSULTANT:  We done hired ourselves a consultant.  We offered her a share of the hefty profits from this site - which makes her a volunteer.  LovePotion has written exquisite slash in many other fandoms over the years and loves reading Buck slash in Mag7, especially Buck/Chris and Buck/Ezra.   Right now we have her on board to select some Buck slash for the site  -- some stuff beyond the PWP's and comedy stories we picked.  We're not saying all seven of us are really going to buy into it character-wise -- we're a stubborn lot.  And we'll still be reviewing the stuff for literary  merit (just because we love the pompous sound of that).  So we feel we'll eventually have a pretty decent selection of Buck slash.  But let her speak for herself:

LovePotion:  I'm a both a gen and a slash fan and have been for (mumblemumble) years, and my favorite pairings are Buck/Ezra and Chris/Buck. I can "see" a well characterized Buck/Ezra because they are friends and each in his way guards a piece of himself. I think there's a mutual respect there from early in the series that could, with "slash glasses," be used to justify a friendly intimate relationship, though I've only once been truly sold on a True Love kind of story with them.  Great B-E basis for slash (or them being good friends) in the series can be found in The Collector, Manhunt, and Penance.  On to Buck and Chris. I identified C/B past relationship for sure at, "Easy big fella, folks'll talk" (an overt homosexual reference in 1870!), in the fact that Chris knew exactly where Buck was, to the room and the woman, and in the fact that he knows Buck so well that he's sure he's not putting Vin in danger of getting shot with the feigned "irate husband returns" gag. I can see in-character Chris/Buck especially in their early years, and in the timeline of the series it feels easy and plausible because Buck is the only man I see Chris confide in throughout the entire series, and Buck is the only man who really calls Chris to task on his behavior in a way that leads to Chris taking action. Episodes in which I see so much intimacy and shared history that it's easy to extrapolate slash if one wants include, The Collector, Working Girls, Vendetta, Manhunt, Nemesis, Love and Honor and, from Buck's side, One Day Out West and Inmate 78.

I love gen stories as well, but usually those that focus on the entire seven rather than just two or three of them.

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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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