- "Burn Layer" by tryfanstone (G; 2200w; Cierdwyn, original character).
This character-study story is gorgeous, unhindered by its unusual second-person narration. Vivid with history and the opportunity to learn, it builds a subtle drama to plant the seed of another story, one which only the reader and Cierdwyn can expect. "Burn Layer" plugs into the ways many of us interact with history and with Highlander.
- "Domaine du Meilleur Bien-Aimé" by hafital (R; 7600w; Duncan/Methos).
This quiet, slow-flowing, love story is very fine work. It gently moves the characters to a softer, less-threatened space, and winds a melancholy past around the present on the fog of oral tradition rather than the blade of memory. Descriptions are rife for every sense.
- "Elementary, My Dear MacLeod" by dkwilliams (PG-13; 9500w; Duncan, Methos, Claudia Jardine, Sherlock, Watson, Mycroft).
Crossover with Sherlock. This is a smooth, convincing, equal merging of the two universes, very like how a crossover episode could actually have been structured to air. All canonical voices are recognizable, and the driving plot is buoyed by the conceit of what Sherlock alone sees as painfully obvious in the statistics of lightning strikes and decapitated bodies.
I must also nod to "Truffes noires d'hiver" by unovis (PG; 1800w; Methos, Darius, historical figure), which is very good, but creeps me out in at least three ways. It's chilling, inspired, disturbing and innovative. I won't say much more, because it's the sort of horror story that depends on its own slow unwinding, and deserves to hit unspoiled. But seriously, warning: it's as grim and twisted as it is clever. (Very Methos, I think.)
It's amazing to have so much new HL all at once! With thirty stories, many different genre tastes are served, including action (e.g. "Dirt Road Blues" by Mackiedockie), capers (e.g. "Fencing" by Merriman) and sci-fi (e.g. "From Out of the Wilderness" by Morgynleri). From a whole-series perspective, Methos is perhaps overrepresented; Richie, Charlie and Tessa are underrepresented; and there's a surprising plenty of Rebecca. Take a look?
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