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Fanfic Recs / Firefly

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Proof that the remaining 10% is worth still flying for.

These are recommendations made by Tropers for Firefly, all of which have been signed. After a few samples, you will be able to judge whether you might be interested in the 'fic, based on who recommended it. No-name recommendations will be zapped. Nobody would back up the rec. Discussion of the recommendation is welcome on the discussion page. As such discussion is important, do remember to add the discussion page to the watchlist, if need be.

Do warn when a fanfic may head into non-canon territory, and for shipping fics, please list the pairings involved - as we all know, Shipping is Serious Business. Also, due to the new content policy, no recs for porn or pedophilic content may be added.

Authors, and Websites

The Works of Mal4prez

  • Recommended by Zlurekim, Bytemite.
  • Synopsis: Characters are spot on and all in Original Flavor. Plot revolves around Mal, but everyone is here and used to great effect. Also, Mal/Inara heavy, but hey, if you like them, this is for you.

Still Flying

  • Recommended by Ryan Lohner, Rogue 7
  • Synopsis: Simply put, a continuation of the series based entirely on Joss Whedon's vision. The series is continued in script form and the occasional illustration past the point the actual show left off, with the remainder of season one and the first half of season two building to the film Serenity, and the second half of season two being the events of that film spread out over twelve hours instead of just two. Naturally, this allows for far greater depth and nuances than Whedon himself was able to do.
  • Comments: Rogue 7: Thanks. Been starved for Firefly ever since I finished the series. This is the stuff. Pure awesome.
    • Library Lasz: Original link was down. I've replaced it with the most recent snapshot from the Wayback Machine.

The works of ScrewTheAlliance

  • Recommended by GG Crono, Double-recced by Jonn.
  • Synopsis: A number of Original Flavor fics. Two complete ones, Kaylee's Lament and The Treasure of Lei Fong Wu (the latter of which, if made in print form, would doubtlessly be a Doorstopper) and one still-in-progress (but, sadly, most likely dead), Unfinished Business. Superb stories with flawless characterization. A must-read for any browncoat worthy of the name.

Firefly The Virtual Seasons

  • Recommended by Ryan Wm, Azreal
  • Synopsis: Sadly not updated in a while, but what you find at The Virtual Seasons are really really great pieces of work. They fit almost perfectly, with a great blend of humour, drama, and easy plausability.

Death Or Glory by Hotpoint

  • Recommended by Kalaong
  • Synopsis: Started before the Big Damn Movie, this follows the crew as the group of True Companions grows by five; a Heroically Scarred tank commander, his loving yet dominant wife and their two-point-five children - the firstborn a semi-fascistic badass-in-training named for the flying tank she was conceived in. They get into increasingly greater amounts of trouble, each catastrophe only averted by increasingly Magnificent Violence, applied mostly by River. After battles with cops, bandits and secret agents, the Alliance's hunt for River goes so hot that the crew is driven beyond the Rim Worlds, where they start slaughtering Reavers. Finally, they make an amazing discovery; An Independent Remnant numbering in the thousands flying their own rutting Battlecruiser. With River leading them, the Rim is about to Rise Again!
  • Comments: Hotpoint Genre Shifts Firefly from Space Western into Military Science Fiction. Unfortunately, it hasn't been updated since 2006. Don't let that stop you, though; there are over a quarter million words worth of story, with repeated and extensive moments of Tear Jerking, Heart Warming and lots and lots of Awesome.

Stories focused on the family and the friendly relationships of the cast. Plot-focused stories or light day-in-the-life stories. Pretty much anything that isn't focused on romance.

My Own Kind of Freedom by Steven Brust

  • Recommended by AkatsukiDaybreak, Fast Eddie, Jonn
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis:
  • Comments: My Own Kind of Freedom is a Firefly 'fic by troper and published author Steven Brust. Original Flavor.
    • Oh my god. I've been desperately in need of more Firefly and even reading the entire Vlad series in chronological order has not satisfied my wish to read more Steven Brust. I think I love you.

A Life Less Extraordinary (alternatively titled The Man With No Name) by Frostfyre 7 (Crossover)

  • Recommended by Extraintrovert, Unclouded TJ, theladyisatiger, Jonn, Mr Gibberring Genius, Godborn, Giant Eye, Serine Queen
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: A crossover with Doctor Who that, aside from effectively capturing all of the characters perfectly, is replete with wonderful interactions between the Doctor and Serenity's crew, in particular, Mal and River, surrounded by a tense and portentous plot.
  • Comments:
    • Highly recommended. The characters are spot on and the story itself, beautiful. A must read.
      • Mr. Gibbering Genius: An excellent crossover with Doctor Who, with the Tenth Doctor in the Firefly 'verse. It's complete, and a whopping 32 chapters long, but it's very well written and worth every word.
      • mestizaa: It should be noted that this fic has a whopping 18 people recommending it on the Doctor Who fic rec page.
      • Mondegreen: I first read this story as a Doctor Who fan without any knowledge of the Firefly mythos, and you can thank this fic for introducing me to such a glorious Space Western show. It's my favorite fanfic of all time, and also an example of how to write a brilliant crossover.
    • Now has a Tropes page.

Forward by Peptuck (AU)

  • Recommended by corin, Jonn
  • Status: Dead
  • Pairings: Wash/Zoe, Simon/Kaylee, Mal/Inara UST
  • Synopsis: Doorstopper-length Original Flavor Continuation series set after the Big Damn Movie, divided into episode-like story arcs. Covers events after the Miranda broadwave, and how the crew fights against both the Alliance and other sundry enemies they've made thus far. Minor alternate universe elements in the form of Book and Wash having survived the events of the movie. Focuses primarily on River and Mal as characters, though everyone gets their own spotlight. Starts off relatively dark (the first story arc involves River and Jayne being captured and tortured by Niska) but gradually lightens.
  • Comments: Written by the same author behind Tiberium Wars. Strong characterization, believable character development, and a solid, compelling plot. The author uses intense description and action to make for vivid scenes, and captures the Firefly essence very well; a number of reviewers have said that it might as well have been written by Joss Whedon himself.

Pieces Tossed Aside by anagrrl

  • Recommended by brittanyw
  • Status: Complete
  • Pairings: mostly gen, a touch of Mal/Simon and Jayne/Kaylee
  • Synopsis: Radio silence hits. Post-apocalyptic gen.
  • Comments:

Deuce of Hearts by hannasus

  • Recommended by Samred, Sasha Honeypalm
  • Status: Complete
  • Pairings: mostly gen, with Mal/Inarra and Wash/Zoe
  • Synopsis: Money's tight, jobs are scarce, the crew's at each others' throats, and Kaylee gets kidnapped.
  • Comments: An original-flavour style episode of Firefly with great crew banter and characterization.

Five Times Jayne Walked Away from Serenity and One Time He Didn't by rinalin

  • Recommended by brittanyw
  • Status: Complete
  • Pairings: all gen, Jayne-centric
  • Synopsis: Tells the story of five times Jayne walked away from Serenity and the one time he didn't.
  • Comments: Great character study. Captures Jayne's voice really well.

The Whole of the Thing by Dyce

  • Recommended by brittanyw, Komodo Classic, Eries-Lane
  • Status: Complete
  • Pairings: none really, gennish River/Jayne
  • Synopsis: Jayne admires River the way he admires a weapon.
  • Comments:

Lost in the Woods by Ardwolf.

  • Recommended by SAMAS, trimeta
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: Shortly after that business with Jubal Early, the crew of the Serenity is laying low on the edge of the 'Verse when River declares that a Dragon is coming, a Dragon called Enterprise...
    • No Good Deed Also by Ardwolf.
    • Also Recommended by SAMAS, trimeta.
    • * Status: Complete
    • Synopsis: Serenity's luck never goes well for long, and after that huge piece of luck running into the Enterprise, it comes back to bite him big time. Meanwhile, Picard has to answer for his actions in the 'Verse, and discovers the true meaning of Q's bringing him there.
    • Now has a Tropes page.

Picture of Health by Jedi Buttercup

  • Recommended by Caysha, hummingbirdcakes
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: Some days it ain't so bad, this business of talking to things as don't keep their brains where he can see them.
  • Comments: At only 1000 words it is still one of the best Firefly fics I've ever read

Browncoat, Green Eyes by nonjon (Crossover with Harry Potter)

  • Recommended by Unclouded TJ
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: Two years have passed since the secret of the planet Miranda got broadcast across the whole 'verse in 2518. The crew of Serenity finally hires a new pilot, but he's a bit peculiar.
  • Comments: An interesting crossover with Harry Potter where it's believable that Harry existed in the same universe. The story works so well that sometimes it's hard to believe they're not meant to be in the same time much less canon. Other than that the character and plot development is top notch and at about 300k words it's a very well done fic.

The Firefly Chronicles by Dayzejane (Crossover with The Chronicles of Riddick)

  • Recommended by Kalaong
  • Status: Dead (last updated October 2011)
  • Synopsis: An average day on the Eavesdown Docks on Persephone. The mysterious stranger with a Dark and Troubled Past is looking at ships. An annoying barker starts bugging him. He grabs the guy's wrist and threatens to snap it like a twig. It's not our old friend Book. It's Richard B. Riddick.
  • Comments: This crossover is actually quite easy to swallow once you think about it. The far-flung anarchic worlds of Riddick mesh well with the half-terraformed sand traps of Firefly, and Mal's abandoned faith meshes him just as well with the god-hating Riddick. Sticking Vin Diesel's Chaotic Neutral Zen Survivor into the True Companions-bound environment of Serenity enables Dayzejane to show the character off, and have him interact with people on a level the movies don't. And Vin Diesel's Dystopian "slams" somehow fit well in the Alliance's 'verse of bright crystal spires hiding dark secrets. Riddick does come off as a bit of a Canon Sue, as he has the skills and reputation(not to mention the survival-focused ethics) to thrive in situations that normally torment the crew. However, the author does know how to write entertaining badass dialogue and fight scenes.
  • Counter-opinion: the writing in this really could be better. There are a lot of SPAG issues and the prose is lackluster (and also way, way over-uses the word "iffin'"), which means there's very little to distract the reader from how Riddick is either a Canon Sue, an Invincible Hero, or both.

A Man of... by TheScarredMan

  • Recommended by Stormbringer 951
  • Status: Ongoing
  • Synopsis: A series of semi-connected stories with an extensive and slow-burning Myth Arc, A Man of Honor and A Man of Action examines Jayne Cobb's character and a pre-Rayne River/Jayne friendship. The story is continued in Campfire Story, a set of one-to-one conversations between the crew; A Man of Principle, following Badger's life on Persephone and the upcoming A Man of Conscience, which focuses on Shepherd Book.
  • Comments: TheScarredMan's Firefly universe is rich and vibrant, realistically fleshing out a lot more of the day-to-day happenings of the 'Verse. The Alliance isn't a monolithic evil empire, but filled with distinct people with their own goals, Mal and his crew not getting their preferred sort of work (because they're earning the wrong sort of rep after their attack on Niska's skyplex) and the exploitative policies of the Core World elite are all explored. His work is detailed and little touches, like the references to a currency war between the Border World platinum and the Alliance credit or the politics of keeping indentured servants in Persephone society, show that he's really thought things out.

Testing By Ariastar

  • Recommended by Mimey, seconded by Bytemite
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: There is no getting better. There is only getting different.
  • Comments: This is an amazing One-shot from Rivers point of view, it grabs the nuances of River's personality and really makes them shine. It even has a delightful take on how River views all of the other crew members. This story is just utterly beautiful.

Take Me Where I Cannot Stand and its companion sequel Destiny by WastelandRose

  • Recommended by MidsummerNiteDreamer
  • Status:
    • Take Me Where I Cannot Stand: Complete
    • Destiny: Dead
  • Synopsis: Two beautifully written continuation fics centering around the lives of the offspring of the current Serenity crew. The first, Take Me Where I Cannot Stand focuses on Wash and Zoe's daughter, Louisa Agnes Serenity Washburne. Destinty continues her story while zooming out to include the rest of Serenity kids.
  • Comments: Many many OCs. And the best part? They are almost all brilliant. The story is beautiful, dark at times, funny at others. The wide wide 'verse is also expanded upon well fleshing out the fic.

Tell Them I Ain't Comin' Back by sudipal

  • Recommended by Agent Beats
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: Firefly/Castle Crossover - Mal is captured by the Alliance and banished back to Earth That Was. Having no way to return, and under the watchful eye of the Alliance Officer Martha Rodgers, Mal must cope with the reality that he may never get back. As time passes, Mal learns to cope and adopts the persona of the now famously known novelist Richard Castle. Years later, after he has a daughter and has moved on, his crew finds a way back to him. But now that he has a chance to get home, does he want to?
  • Comments: It's an entertaining take on a crossover that actually works. It's a fun story that I recommend to others.

Presets by analogarhythmagic

  • Recommended by Absynthe
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: Three months after Miranda, the crew of Serenity is struggling to get by. But when they take on a pair of passengers that turn out to be more than they bargained for, the ties of family are tested and River finally must confront her inner demons...
  • Comments: It's entertaining, to say the least. The author knows the characters inside and out and has a very unusual way of looking at River's differences.

Jigsawed by velvetandlace

  • Recommended by luckylucky
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: The pieces are there, but they just don't seem to *fit*. (River-centric.)
  • Comments: This is seven hundred extremely powerful words. River's thoughts during her torture and confinement are scrambled and nonsensical, but just conscious enough to be chilling. I didn't know whether to want more or want less (simply because it was so poignant it's scary) when I finished it.
    • WhereAmI101A: The original link is down, and so has been replaced with the only capture provided by the Wayback Machine.

Insensate by dandeliondreams

  • Recommended by Progeny Ex Machina
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: The view through a Miranda colonist's eyes as the world dies around him. A skillfully composed and thoroughly haunting take on the Reavers' beginnings.

My Little Serenity: Misbehaving is Magic by Trachyon

  • Recommended by Chargin Chuck
  • Status: Dormant
  • Synopsis: The 'verse is a weird place. One moment, you're being attacked by flesh-eating monstrosities, the next, you're sitting down to dine with a horse. Serenity flees from a Reaver infested wreckage, but not before the Reavers follow. Catastrophically damaged, the ship descends on the surface of a planet which holds more than its fair share of mysteries. Unfortunately, the Reavers are hot in pursuit. Rated "Teen" for occasional mature themes, such as violence, profanity in both the English and Mandarin language, potential showing of blood, possible mild sexual themes, poorly executed penis jokes, and intense amounts of Jayne. You have been warned.
  • Comments: Yes, this is a crossover between Firefly and My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, and yes that is a concept that should never, ever work. But somehow it does, better than it has any right to. The author has managed to perfectly capture the personalities of both franchises and the interaction between these very different characters is surprisingly realistic (or at least as realistic as a meeting between a crew of space pirate cowboys and colorful talking ponies can be). You have every right to be skeptical of this one, but if you give it a shot, you just might be surprised. Currently incomplete.

The First Secret, by Robot_Iconography.

  • Recommended by Belphegor
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: The first secret: the dinosaurs really do talk.
  • Comments: This is one of the strangest, most lovely, wistful, heartfelt Firefly stories I've read. It's a little one-shot from River's POV, showing the way she sees the crew - in colours, tastes, shapes and smells - and the "secrets" around, in particular Wash's death from Serenity. It's short, but each character is beautifully presented, and River' and Wash's relationship is absolutely lovely.

The Gifts of Serenity by analogarhythmagic

  • Recommended by Progeny Ex Machina
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: Kaylee insists on having a gift exchange on Serenity, resulting in an elaborate nine-man Gift of the Magi Plot with an unexpected ending. A cute, fluffy Christmas fic that manages to capture each character's voice and personality.

Elusive Words By Anti-Kryptonite

  • Recommended by Anaja Rift
  • Status: Complete
  • Synopsis: The series through River's eyes.
  • Comments: The story does a wonderful job of showing how River, with her mind in the state that it is, would experience everything. The largest focus of the story is how important the relationship between her and Simon is. For both of them. The title refers to her difficulty communicating clearly. This is an absolutely beautiful, amazing, sad, and heartwarming fic.

Big Damn Zombies, Sir[1] by Shrift

  • Recommended by ThEeK01
  • Status: Complete
  • Sypnosis: "He eats all their brains / And he gnaws on their bones / Was never too bright / Now he's dead as the stones / Our love for this idea's not hard to explain / Who could resist him, the zombie called Jayne!"
  • Comments: A short, funny fic in which the crew deals with a zombified Jayne.

Can't Stop The Turtle by Roga

  • Recommended by Sasha Honeypalm
  • Status: Complete
  • Crossover with: Discworld
  • Synopsis: The crew of the Serenity gets a job solving one of Discworld's longstanding theological debates.

Freedom To The Free by Dreolin

  • Recommended by: chicagomel
  • Status: Complete. The author mentions a sequel, but it doesn't appear to have happened; the fic does work on its own though.
  • Synopsis: Mal unknowingly sets Serenity down in an area frequented by slavers, and Wash, River, Simon and Kylee are taken. As Mal searches for a way to rescue them, they all try to stay sane, especially Simon, who endures worse than the others trying to protect them and being forced to do things he considers against his oath.
  • Comments: Dark in places and does deal with things like slavery, violence, physical and sexual abuse, but it's well written and hits in the feels at times. The author avoids a lot of frequent traps involving these types of fics.

Stories focused on the romantic relationships between the cast.

"Horseshoe Nails" series by Dyce (AU)

  • Recommended by Tabby, Much Good Little Time, Reason, Genki Girl, Eries-Lane
  • Status:
    • Two Gorram Days - Miranda: Complete
    • Prodigal: Dead
  • Pairing: River/Jayne
  • Synopsis: As the title suggests, it's about one small change that changes everything, leading to plot twists and character growth that are unexpected but made completely plausible. Gradually develops into River/Jayne.
  • Comments: I barely tolerate Firefly, but I cannot recommend Dyce's "Horseshoe Nails" series enough. Dyce manages to capture the distinct voice of each character in turn, both in dialogue and in prose. The last story in the series is a Dead Fic, but the penultimate story is a staisfactory ending in its own right.
    • Much Good Little Time: This troper was very pleasantly surprised by how well the River/Jayne pairing developed, while still keeping the essential personalities very much canon based. Two bad things: one, that Firefly was canceled, and two, that Dyce was never a writer on the show.
    • Genki Girl: This is what solidified my love of Rayne. I had considered it before but told myself it wasn't canon and wouldn't work . . . and then I read, and I understood why I love Rayne. The gradual development is the tastiest I've read in a long while. Jayne and River are very in character, but they also develop in a way I find plausible and awesome at once. Other relationships (not necessarily romantic, mind you) are developed (Mal/Inara, Simon/Inara, Anyone/River and Anyone/Jayne most notably) and while the main relationship does take a bit more precedence than it would on the show, it's an enjoyable precedence to Rayne shippers, so I don't care. It's sweet, then sexy, but without losing the sweet, something many PUBLISHED authors have trouble with. A great find for any Firefly fan, Rayne shipper or not.
    • Godborn: The Horseshoe Nails series is a perfect example of how you can write perfectly engaging and wonderful stories without the characters being absolute idiots. The plot is fantastically well thought out and very good and maintaining the Firefly flavour.
  • Individual links:

Wish I Was Somebody Else by Nauticalgal

  • Recommended by Indigo, theladyisatiger
  • Status: Complete
  • Pairings: Wash/Zoe with hints of Inara/Mal.
  • Synopsis: An extremely well-done and believable retconning of Wash's death in Serenity.
  • Comments: Rather than just ignoring Wash's death or creating an AU universe the author, as stated about, provides a way out, great new characters and a hell of a story.

Water in One Hand by anagrrl

  • recommended by brittanyw
  • Status: Complete
  • Pairings: Mal/Simon (slash)
  • Synopsis: The terraformed planets begin drying up, and our gang follows the water. Post-apocalyptic in tone.
  • Comments:

In The Cold Cold Night by Edenfalls 81

  • Recommended by HG131, corin
  • Status: Complete
  • Parings: Maliver (Mal/River)
  • Synopsis: First of a trilogy of fanfics dealing with River and Mal developing a relationship following her being kidnapped and raped and the two working their way through the trauma.
  • Comments: Best. Maliver. Firefly. Fanfic. Series. Ever. Be forewarned, the story starts off dark. Don't let the spoiler above taint you, though, because the plot and character development are very well-done.
    • Reluctantly seconded by corin. Though the series has some problems with grammar, and some of the prose is a bit dull (along with some flat dialogue here and there) the story more than makes up for it with an excellent exploration of River and Mal dealing with the aftermath of the opening chapter and their feelings for each other. There is some iffy stuff in the later parts of the series i.e. Inara betraying the crew, but the character development for River and Mal is nonetheless top-notch.

Should've Known Better by TheShoelessOne

  • Recommended by corin
  • Status: Complete
  • Pairings: River/Jayne
  • Synopsis: River is drunk. Jayne is drunker. Hilarity Ensues when Mal and Simon walk in the morning after.
  • Comments: A hilarious and heartwarming one-shot that captures the characters perfectly, particularly the Bedmate Reveal when the pair wake up and how they deal with it. One of the best Rayne one-shots I've ever read.

One Time, That's All (Or Not) by ana-grrl

  • Recommended by Samred
  • Status: Complete
  • Pairings: Simon/Jayne
  • Synopsis: He never did like Simon Tam. (post-movie)
  • Comments: Jayne asks Simon to teach him how to do "doctorin'". It goes pretty well! This fic is funny and in-character and I love it.

Begin the Beguine by N. L. Rummi

  • Recommended by Mandichaos, Bytemite
  • Status: Complete
  • Pairings: Wash/Zoe
  • Synopsis: Pre-series. The crew of Serenity is offered a very lucrative job by a wealthy aristocrat. But when Mal is prevented from accompanying Zoe to the negotiations, there's only one man suitable for the job...
  • Comments: This is my favorite "how-Zoe-warmed-up-to-Wash" fanfic. It's not only believable and adorable, but the romance ties in directly to the action (rather than have the job just be ancillary to the main plot).

Reflex by goddessofbirth

  • Recommended by Zaptech
  • Status: Complete
  • Pairings: River/Jayne
  • Synopsis: Set a few years after Serenity and a brief but intense relationship between River and Jayne that ended on a very bad note. Jayne reunites with his old crew in the midst of gunfire, and finds both an angry, bitter River and a child he didn't know he had. Things get more complicated when others discover the child exists as well....
  • Comments: The word I'd use to describe this one is "realistic." The relationship between River and Jayne is complex and painful for both of them, and handled with an impressive degree of finesse and respect. They both feel like realistic people with realistic flaws, and shift their personalities (Jayne softening and becoming a tired and regretful man, and River hardening and becoming more cynical and bitter) feels true to the events and history between them. And despite their flaws, disagreements, and anger, one can't help but hope for them to get back together. Also, a stealth crossover with Dollhouse

The Good Doctor by Mikanis

  • Recommended by Hekateras
  • Status: Complete
  • Pairings: Mal/Simon
  • Synopsis: Set post-series and before or ignoring Serenity. An initial need for the doctor to find grounding and stress relief culminates in a relationship between him and Mal, but then Plot happens and part of the crew must spend a lengthy amount of time on what is effectively a slave plantation while undercover on a job. Things don't go smooth, but when do they ever?
  • Comments: Early on, it's a satisfying enough shippy fic with Mal and Simon exploring their relationship in a refreshingly mature way, but truly starts to shine when the plot picks up. The two are forced to witness horrors that tax their relationship and threaten to bring out the worst in the two of them, with a pivotal turning point when Mal outright asks Simon to violate his Hippocratic Oath. Notable for its charmingly in-character writing of Simon, with all his strengths and vulnerabilities, and just plain good drama.