Morgan's Free Rangers

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Fanfiction
Title: Morgan's Free Rangers
Author(s): calamitycrow
Date(s): 2009-2012
Length: 30,000+words (main story)
Genre:
Fandom: J2
External Links: offline

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Morgan's Free Rangers: A Tale of Courage and Daring in the Tayasha Badlands is a J2 historical AU series written by calamitycrow as part of the 2009 Supernatural Big Bang. The story was often recommended for its complex world building and for offering a uniquely set of interactive LJ blog posts with photos, recipes, fictional/historical facts and even hidden website easter eggs ("click here and get a surprise"). Artwork for the 2009 Big Bang post was by wede_fic. Calamitycrow later added several more shorter stories and additional stories were written and posted to the LJ community aztlan_memoirs by other fan writers as part of the shared universe "The West That Never Was".[1] The LJ posts and communities were taken offline in July 2012 after the author announced plans to publish the series commercially.[2]

Author's summary: "These stories are set in 'The West that Never Was', an alternative history world where the Norse colony of L'Anse aux Meadows flourished. Because of this, the western continents were ‘discovered’ in early 11th century, not late 15th century. What we call North America is a much more fragmented land, made up of many countries and federations. The earlier settlement means that Islam and Irish Christianity are the main religions in the southwest, and both religions are practiced with some odd regional peculiarities......It’s 1854. Jared, an Easterner, goes west and meets a handsome Ranger named Jensen. You know, typical western romance."

screencap of the front of the interactive blog

Reactions/Reviews

  • "Loved the feel of this. The author paints a vivid picture of a very different America, aided by techniques of linguistic borrowing and the smooshing of different cultures, which is fully enhanced by the collaboration with artist wede_fic . You instantly become immersed in this strange world they created and it’s a joy to read. Also the idea that married men become wives hit my fic kink button hard."[3]
  • "Interesting story, very difficult to describe--the story summary is (possibly intentionally) not very helpful. ...I enjoyed it and in made me think, but I had issues as well. Fascinating structure using links and images--not something you want to read in plain text. Multiple other pairings. More non-white characters than any fanfic I've ever read, and the most realistic Western setting I've ever seen."[4]
  • "The reader will be left wowed by the level of work, research, and world-building the author put into creating this wonderfully complex alternative history. This story is a truly captivating, imaginative, and wild ride. The page comes alive with a feast of details that’ll leave you hungry to see many more tales set in this universe."[5]
  • "And if you'd rather something with a nice alt!history/AU twist, Morgan's Free Rangers is one of the lushest 'verses you'll ever find...."[6]
  • Regarding the art: "Amazing Old West-style manipulations with a gorgeous wallpaper of Jared and Jensen in Old West garb."[7]

References

  1. "Yes, we highly encourage writers to join the fun and write in the sandbox." post to morgans_rangers "Writer's Guide" on LJ dated 30 June 2007 .
  2. Coming in 2013, "a western romance with an alternative history twist."
  3. lexzilla's Recs ahoy dated August 3, 2009.
  4. facetsoftext story recs dated Dec 12, 2010; added ref link.
  5. sawedoff-recs Big Bang Recs Weeks 8 and 9 dated August 10, 2009.
  6. Anonymous comment in spnstoryfinders post Southern Fic? dated May 24th, 2010 .
  7. crack impala Friday - Vids/Art/Icons/Misc dated August 7, 2009.