"Hi, my pseud is skaredykat, and I'm an SGA fic addict. I started inhaling the SGAfic-crack last summer, first a little, and then a little more, and then I seemed to be addicted..."
I thought I was a late entrant to the fandom, but it looks like others are also just diving into the vast ocean of SGA fanfic. I found an awful lot of good or interesting stories using the resources in this post -- many of which I wish I'd found earlier than I did. (Okay fine, some didn't exist yet.)
*Last updated* March 2011
ETA-update: This Guide is not billed as definitive in any way. It's more up to date and somewhat more varied in what it includes than several earlier guides, but it does reflect my personal interests and journey through much of my earliest SGA fic reading. There are many resources and links focused on McShep (the dominant pairing in the fandom) on here, and many non-McShep-focused ones. However you got here and whatever your main SGA fic interests, I hope you'll find something you enjoy. Mostly, I encourage you to use this Guide -- but especially any or all of the resources mentioned in it -- as a jumping-off point for finding whatever kind of SGA fanfic you're especially interested in. Happy reading!
Handy primers and primer-ish meta
sga_guide The Alternative Guide to SGA Fandom, a nascent centralized resource that will provide an array of pairing- and character-focused guideposts for SGA fans interested in fanworks not focused on the dominant fandom pairing. (Created March 2011, ongoing) *added* March 2011
And then, randomly, there was a McShep Primer on your flist by bookshop (largely written in September 2008, posted March 2009). A great primer that entertainingly explains why getting sucked into the McShep vortex
Naturally I didn't find this primer until months after my SGA fanfic addiction started (with astolat, then resonant, speranza, chelle, thegrrrl, rageprufrock, followed by everything else*), but even as a no-longer quite newbie it was great fun. *Everything else, that is, except fanfiction.net, also colloquially referred to as "The Pit," where I've only read a handful of extremely frequently recced stories because I cannot stand (oh woe is me, I am so delicate) the formatting. Among other things.
In her primer, bookshop didn't list her don't-miss-these episodes for the, ah, highly variable Season 5; mine would be, in airing order: The Daedalus Variations (I love encounters with alternate realities!), The Shrine (who does Rodney call for? John), maybe Remnants (for the Shep-whump), maybe Brainstorm (if you don't like McKeller, just imagine it's John there with Rodney, as 99% of fanfic writers did), and definitely Vegas (oh yeeaaah! Did I mention I love ARs?). Plus, for Season 4, The Last Man, because Rodney spent decades figuring out how to save John (really, if he'd wanted, there were much easier ways he could have changed the timeline to just save everyone except John). Back to Season 5 episodes, if you're not just about the John and Rodney show: if you love Ronon, Broken Ties. If you love Teyla (and Todd), The Queen. If you love Daniel (and Rodney talking really fast at each other), First Contact/The Lost Tribe. If you want to understand the canon background to all the post-series fix-it fics, Enemy at the Gate.
Fandoms I have Loved: Stargate Atlantis by thefourthvine (September 2005). Even though it is older, it includes some mighty good primer info. And a handy early canon-watching tip, for whenever Teyla says "my people." Plus, in general thefourthvine's recs are wonderfully fun to read.
The SGA Project 2006, aka Flavor of the Year essay by icarusancalion (2006). Gives an in-depth overview of what was going on in SGA fic in 2006 and compares it with earlier trends. As a bunch of not-to-miss classic SGA stories were written in and before 2006, this is an excellent resource to find them, see how/if they relate to each other, and maybe even do your own extrapolating of their connections to later trends.
Revisiting Love: Why John and Rodney Rocked My World by cupidsbow (February 2009) offers links to favorite stories and vids, an example of her own outlining/story-starting/storytime process (and I so wish we'd gotten the full story thus outlined there), and talks about some of the things she learned and tried as a result of jumping into SGA fandom, including her love of and forays into SGA fandom meta. *added* April 2010: Also by cupidsbow, a Primer for Reading SGA Fanfic (when you haven't seen a single episode of the show) that includes recs for some older classics in a sensible reading order for newbies (June 2006), and How to Find Stuff in SGA Fandom, which includes links to not-just-McShep reccers (July 2007).
As an example of the vast quantity of fascinating meta the SGA fandom has generated, if you're wondering why, in the words of some of the writers above, canon is so "stupid," "not brilliant," or "ah, highly variable," xparrot wrote an essay detailing some of the strengths and weaknesses of the different writers for the show filled with interesting insights (August 2008, covers S1 through part of S5).
More recent: mecurtin's analysis of real problems with Atlantis being back on Earth in Enemy at the Gate. (The referred to post on parts of Season 5 as fanfic by the characters and the links in that are also entertaining.) *added* March 2010, now friends-locked but worth reading if you have/want to request access.
Recommended reading in lots of genresSome stories are listed in most of the rec resources below. Others fit the tastes of fewer reccers. Figuring out which reccers most often point you to stories you enjoy can be quite entertaining.
thefourthvine has wonderful and often hilarious takes on why she loved a story or vid. Just the recs alone are fantastically amusing, with the story or vid almost becoming a bonus. (Ongoing)
fiordeligi's themed SGA recs (January 2009) are delightful and insightful. The themes: Altered (states), Ancient tech, AUs, Compliments of the Season (holidays), Crossing and Fusing (crossovers), Drabbles, Earthside, Fairy Tales, Funny Valentines (comedy romances), Genderswitch, Going to the Chapel (marriage), Green-Eyed Monster (jealousy), Hot Hot Heat (explicit), Humour, Memory (or lack of), Mort (presumed, returned from the, and really most sincerely dead), Prequels, Ripping Yarns (mostly-gen adventures), Romance (John/Rodney), Romance (other pairings).
norah recs lots of SGA stories with a tiny capsule review for each. (Most recent SGA recs in May 2009.)
aka_arduinna's webpage of SGA recs gives reasons to read each story (last updated May 2007, more recent teeny-tiny capsule reviews on delicious).
kyuuketsukirui/kanata explains both likes and dislikes about different fics in their reviews/ratings of SGA stories, including most of the mcshep_match challenge stories. (Ongoing.)
facetofcathy offers very short reviews/personal impressions of, alas, all too few SGA fics on delicious and on dreamwidth here and here. (Ongoing.)
gaiaanarchy, who left fandom in 2007 but whose stories and livejournal are (thank you!) still available, usually said exactly what she liked, disliked, and found interesting about certain SGA stories. (Last recs: September 2007)
astridv's posts of SGA recs part I, part II, and part III. Recs for fic and more, with nice capsule descriptions (lists last updated March 2010, *added August 2010* more recent recs are tagged and ongoing).
unamaga's "Greatest Hits" rec post, sorted into amusing categories, includes author pages and other rec lists (last updated May 2008).
unadrift's recs of episode-related fanfic, each with a quote and a pithy reason for the rec (latest recs in July 2010), and McKay/Sheppard fiction rec list with either a cherrypicked quote or a short reason for reccing for each story (last updated in June 2010).
nestra and shrift's Polyamorous Recommendations page -- thus named for polyfandom-ness, not polyamory-only recs. Lots of gen, slash, and ship SGA stories with a sentence or so on why each story was recced. (SGA recs page updated in/around April 2009, What's New? page includes SGA recs through May 2010)
svmadelyn's SGA rec page is very straightforward, with most stories given just a summary quote rather than a description or capsule review, but the starred ratings (and the pipe icon) won't steer you wrong. Also created an interesting SGA fannish resources page, with links to communities, various pairing archives, assorted rec lists and pages, background info, and lots more. (Last updated early 2008?)
seperis's SGA rec pages, gen, McShep, and other pairings, with short impressions of each story recced. (Last updated February 2008.)
ratcreature has an SGA Alternate Universe Recs page and a page of Crossover Recs including SGA ones; all with capsule reviews that focus on what ratcreature especially enjoyed about each story. (Regularly updated.)
almostnever/cesare posts short capsule recs for many SGA fics; also one of the rare reccers who tracks and recs many sga_kinkmeme fills; scroll down for posts titled "kinkmeme recs" to see those. (Ongoing.) *added* March 2011
crack_van is a multi-fandom recommendations site where different people each "drive the van" for a month, offering fanwork recs for a particular fandom such as SGA. All recs include the reccer's (often entertaining) reasons why the story must be read/the vid must be seen. Checking out crack_van can be a nice quick way to see whose reccing style you like/tastes match yours. (Ongoing.)
epic_recs is another multi-fandom recs site, with a focus on long, well written stories. Only a handful of reccers rec, but there are a lot of SGA stories -- in all kinds of genres -- listed, with more in the readers recs posts. (Ongoing.) *added* February 2011
Already bored with "plain old" rec pages with their reviews or information on a story? ceteramisto's (2006) Why I Love McKay/Sheppard McShep rec list offers minimal but evocative story descriptions in an unusual and charming format. Another non-standard and clever list is siegeofangels's (2007) themed rec set Solsbury Hill, in which every line of the song's lyrics is thematically linked to an SGA fic. Very cool, as is its 2006 precursor Turn the Page: A Stargate: Atlantis Musical Interlude, also by siegeofangels.
Three McShep must-read classic contenders too recent to be in most of the primers and rec pages above*added* March 2010
Indelible, by shaenie. Classic in the category: you name it. Winner for Best Canon AU and overall Best Story in the most recent (and final/now-defunct) McKay/Sheppard Fan Awards. This one gets searched for all the time under possibly the most varied memorable elements of any SGA story: it's the one where John gets the cultural insensitivity spanking because Rodney messed up, the one with the memory tea, the one with the different cathedrae, the one with the awesome Havildar OFC, the one where John is so math-involved there is stabbing with a pen, the one where they remote-control the spaceships in a battle with the Wraith, etc. ~128,300 words of amazing.
The Hard Prayer, by rheanna. Classic in the category: apocafic. Rodney and John meet on the road after surviving a plague that takes out just about everyone else on Earth. They've both gone rather around the bend from being completely alone for too long, but very slowly start to connect and trust each other. The spare prose describes an end of the world that is bleak, but packs a real punch while skipping most apocalypse-survivor horror-story tropes. ~30,300 words.
Unidentified, by fiercelydreamed. Classic in the category: amnesiafic, Earth AU. An Earth-based no-Stargate AU where Rodney wakes up on a bench with no memory whatsoever of who or what he is. He doesn't remember John, but John helps him put together his life. ~30,000 words, plus a coda and missing scenes/extras. (This writer also wrote possibly the most interesting "Rodney can no longer communicate" story, Rebuilding Babel, which explores his interaction with all of Atlantis, not just mainly with John or his team.)
Frequently referred-to thematic lists and masterlistsMaintainers of thematic and masterlists usually focus on being as comprehensive as they can in that category or theme, so some of the stories on their lists may not be known as literary gems. The lists below are just a sampling; many more SGA themed and masterlists exist.
The Giant McShep AU masterlist. Created in December 2009-January 2010, this is a work of love and goodness for anyone wanting a quick way to find the AU stories where John is a cop/FBI agent/rodeo rider/baker/... or where Rodney is a brewer/chef/veterinarian/mermaid, er, man/rock star/... In
ratcreature maintains several comprehensive SGA thematic lists: Alien cultures and new non-human aliens, Wraith/Iratus bug transformations, John Sheppard as Ancient, Ori or Ascended, Atlantis is cut off from Earth or secedes, Werewolves and other wereanimals, and Wingfic. (Regularly updated, especially when readers suggest additional stories that fit.)
The post-Trinity phenomenon masterlist includes stories that contain multiple elements of the post-Trinity (S2ep6, a.k.a. Doranda/the Arcturus Project) phenomenon as defined by iibnf: Rodney blows up most of a solar system, gets shunned by the expedition/the mess serves lemon chicken, there is angst (usually because John is mean to Rodney), and Rodney decamps to China/the sewers of Atlantis. Stories are rated by level of Lemon Chicken (angst), and the list also includes a section of Not Quite Post-Trinity-Phenomenon stories. (Last updated July 2010)
The Deranged McKay masterlist part 1 (categories: pre-existing serious mental health problems / nervous breakdowns) - last updated February 2008, and part 2 (categories: Rodney's mind is broken by aliens, Ancient devices, etc. / Rodney with substance and alcohol issues) - last updated November 2007. Rodney's Miserable Childhood masterlist - last updated November 2008. On a lighter note, The Awesomely Improbable SGA Porn masterlist - last updated November 2007, all by by korilian. They don't include newer stories, but the lists are still entertaining (the story descriptions are snarky-fun) resources if you have a yen for stories with these themes.
frustration1123's SGA De-Aged List o' Fic lists many stories in which one or more of the SGA characters are turned into kids or teens, organized by who got de-aged. (Last updated April 2009)
pampalini007 maintains a masterlist of stories that include magic, categorized as SGA fics with magic-users in an original world and SGA fics with magic-users in fusions. (Last updated February 2011) *added* March 2011
debris_k maintains The Sentient!Atlantis fanfics blog here and here, a more comprehensive offshoot of the Sentient!Atlantis Fic Table. The blog gives concise information for each story, as well as descriptions of the type of interaction between Atlantis and the humans. (Last updated February 2011, reader suggestions for new stories that fit welcome.)
kyuuketsukirui/kanata maintains a multi-fandom thematic masterlist of transfic in which one or more of the characters is MtF or FtM transsexual, genderqueer, or intersex; it includes SGA stories. The bookmark for any story reviewed by kyuuketsukirui/kanata includes a link to the review. (Regular updates, reader suggestions for stories that truly fit the list-inclusion criteria welcomed, just tag them in delicious with "for:transfic")
Not so much a themed list as a (kink-)themed comm, sga_kinkmeme/sga_kinkmeme's filled prompts (i.e., stories!) are easy to find by theme using the delicious account that tracks both livejournal and dreamwidth fills. Stories are sortable by prompt-theme and various other keywords using the tags in the sidebar. (Thanks to almostnever for the tip!) *added* March 2011
incidental_fire's list of recommended short SGA humor stories includes many of my very favorite utter crack-fics as well as other cute funny stories.
Also not a thematic list, but to quickly get to more of the hilarious cracked-out stories the SGA fandom is known for, svmadelyn's Badfic Summary Mini-Ficathon (January 2006, Smallville as well as SGA) generated a vast quantity of fantastic crack stories, many of which became classics of the genre.
Masterlists of masterlists(yes, it's getting recursive)
- At sgagenrefinders, debris_k maintains a post that collects SGA thematic recs, thematic lists, and masterlists. The master and thematic lists above are on there, but there's more, more, more in that post.
- And there's more... at the list of Thematic Lists (both SGA and SG-1) at stargate_search.
- folavril has a delicious set of links to themed and rec lists and thematic searches for SGA.
Tasty delicious accountsI tend to like lists or recs with capsule reviews or commentary more than the often-basic tagging in delicious accounts, but some people's extensive, descriptive delicious tags helped me find interesting SGA fics more than once.
- ratcreature's at http://delicious.com/ratcreature/sga
- busaikko's at http://delicious.com/marysuefanfic/sga
- sherrold's at http://delicious.com/sherrold/sga
- wickedwords's at http://delicious.com/wickedwords/sga
- bookshop's at http://delicious.com/bookshop/sga:rec
(*added August 2010* so I can find it more easily again myself:
- sga_newsletter's at http://delicious.com/sga_newsletter)
Where oh where is the non-McShep? and a few recsMuch much much of the SGA fanfiction (good, outstanding, hilarious, indifferent, and bad) is McShep-flavored. But there is also a lot of very good fic that is general in nature or focused on other pairings. The recommendation sites and masterlists above include links to many non-McShep stories, and many excellent authors who write McShep also or primarily write gen or other pairings.
Challenge community sga_genficathon includes great gen teamy stories, leesa_perrie maintains a thematic list of episode-related mostly-gen (mild background pairings if any) SGA stories and other fanworks (latest updates in January 2011). stargategenrec offers lots of recs for SG-1 and SGA fics that are gen (or Bob) in nature. Many different reccers, ongoing recs.
spikedluv created a list (last updated in 2007) of the many SGA-focused livejournal communities, and there's another more recent one at Fanlore.org; many of the communities listed there focus on pairings other than John/Rodney or on gen fics. sga_newsletter is likely to be a good indicator of which communities are most active.
In 2007, sgatlantislight compiled newbie guide posts that gathered tips from readers on what they considered essential fanfics featuring certain main characters that didn't have as their primary focus a McShep or Sheppard/Weir pairing. They are The Essential Emmagen Fics, The Essential Dex Fics, The Essential Ford Fics, The Essential Beckett Fics, The Essential McKay Fics, and The Essential Sheppard Fics. No stories newer than earlyish 2007, but several classics are listed; for links that don't work anymore, try the various archives etc.
ship_manifesto is a community devoted to essays by various writers on the reasons why they believe in their chosen pairings in their fandom. The manifestos are all supposed to provide insights on the pairing's characters and their interactions, as well as some background information on the fandom/its canon and links to additional resources, and most include several recs for that pairing. Handy as mini-primers if you get sucked into the fic without detouring to watch the canon. There are several for SGA (both slash and het), with posting dates ranging from 2004 to 2008.
sg_femslash is a community devoted to SGA and SG-1 femslash that includes many SGA stories. Includes a community recommendations post (Last updated: 2008) *added* March 2011
A few recs
I won't go all out recommending my own favorite McShep writers or stories in this post (it would promptly burst the lj post limits, and many are in the primers and rec pages above) -- but I will mention a very few of the gen or primarily other-pairing stories I enjoyed a lot:
- synecdochic's don't-miss-it gen gem City on the Edge of Forever, the pilot, the rewrite of series pilot "Rising" where they're a lot smarter than in canon.
- miss_porcupine/Domenika Marzione's gen stories and epic series, often focusing on Sheppard or Major Lorne, multi-dimensional secondary and original characters, and the military aspect of the Atlantis expedition. At least as good as a lot of commercially sold military science fiction.
- sholio/sholio's mostly gen stories, many long, very nicely friendship- and/or team-focused.
- mad_maudlin has a number of excellent gen stories, such as Triptych, -.-. --- -. -. . -.-. - .. --- -., and One of Those Days All Week. Her Heteronormativity, Gender Construction, and Nonverbal Signalling in Intercultural Communication: A Comedy (a Mensa-verse AU) includes very entertaining non-McShep courtships.
- julad's The Secret Life of Scientists and Absurdity Theory are delightful McKay/Zelenka stories, the latter is especially hilarious.
- LtLj/Martha Wilson/Victoria Custer has various pairings and gen stories, including the extremely cute short teamy Naptime.
- samdonne's Your Cowboy Days Are Over (Mammas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys) is a gorgeous, heartbreaking, long, mostly gen story focusing on John, Teyla, (a surprisingly not-unsympathetic) Kolya, and John's child. Summerland (Portrait of the Man as a Boy) is the sequel.
- copperbadge's My Home and Native Land is strongly Ronon-focused mostly gen, while Angles Thus and So is convincing (mostly) McKay/Weir.
- hth_the_first's stories. Various pairings, well done Ronon and Teyla characterizations, and several very credible Rodney/Ronon (McDex) fics.
- michelel72's Remorse, a startling Rodney-focused gen SG-1 crossover.
- frostfire_17's At The Hour When We Are Trembling, a meaty SG-1 crossover John/Daniel apocafic that really works.
- Two short, very different, canon-inverting AUs with Teyla in an important role in each: Diplomatic Immunity (Teyla/John...ish) by harriet_spy, and Curiouser and Curiouser (gen) by gaiaanarchy.
- alex51324's I, Rodney, a charming gen inversion of the more common John-is-a-robot concept.
- Some short gen stories about the importance of unseen background characters: Sixty-Eight Whiskey and Four People Who Got the Job (and One Who Didn’t) by 2ndary_author, plus Five People Who the Press Won't Care About by shaenie and fiercelydreamed.
SGA Big Bang, its successor, and other challenge communities*edited/added March 2011*
Several big challenges at set times during the year provide a flurry of new -- sometimes outstanding -- SGA fic of varying lengths. Most of these challenges include gen stories as well as various pairings besides McShep.
SGA Big Bang. If you want lots of long fics by different authors in one place, try the 2007-2009 SGA Big Bang archive. 99 stories that are all 40,000-plus words and have been betaed by at least two beta-readers; the quality is often good or great. They're sortable by year, pairing, author, etc., and all stories have accompanying artwork. Many of the SGA Big Bang stories are or include McShep, but there are also many gen and other-pairing stories. I still have not read all the stories on there, but to me, two especially memorable gen stories from the 2009 SGA Big Bang challenge were Whipping Boy by skinscript and The Magical Number Seven (Plus or Minus Two) by general_jinjur.
As of 2010, as successor to the SGA Big Bang, there's atlantisbigbang, the stories and art are posted at the AO3.
sgareversebang is a challenge community where, first, artists create a piece of SGA fanart, then a fic writer claims the art and writes a story of 10,000 words or more to go with it. The first SGAreversebang of 2010 (a mini-reverse-bang as the minimum wordcount for stories was 5000+) has its masterlist up on dreamwidth.
sga_santa is a gift exchange challenge where writers write a story based on the recipient's prompt. Stories of various pairings (including gen) and lengths -- minimum length is 1000 words, many are much longer -- are posted anonymously from mid-December until December 23, authors are revealed on January 1. Masterlists for 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, and 2005.
sga_genficathon offers gen stories of at least 1000 words in different genres: Friendship, Angst, Team, Humor, Action/adventure, AU, and Supporting Character Appreciation Day. Stories are posted anonymously, authors are revealed a few weeks later. Masterlists for 2010, 2009, and 2008.
mcshep_match is a challenge community where two teams representing complementary themes compete to see which can best fill, as judged by readers, the prompts related to the themes. The teams consist of a limited number of writers and artists; slots fill up almost immediately after sign-up opens. The minimum length for stories -- all McShep-flavored -- is 1000 words per writer, many are much longer. Stories are posted anonymously (one story with the same prompt from each team, so two per day), authors and winning team are revealed a week or so after all entries have been posted. Masterlists for 2010, 2009, 2008, and 2007.
sga_flashfic is a challenge community where writers post stories based on a challenge prompt. Challenges used to run for two weeks, now often longer, while the number of entries has diminished. Stories are tagged (and thus sortable) by author or artist or by challenge. Although far less active than in its heyday, this comm has generated many SGA classics over its six-year history, and is also worth checking out for those looking for stories related to a particular theme (e.g., Harlequin).
More ways to find SGA fics -- lost stories or new-to-you goodnessThese handy resources are ones I didn't find until ages after I'd been following individual writers and reccers' links to stories, and wish I'd discovered earlier.
AUs, McShep-flavored. Do you sort of remember or want to read a story that is an AU where John or Rodney has a particular non-canon profession and that ends up McShep? Take a look at that Giant McShep AU list.
Iowa. Looking for a newer story in sheafrotherdon's "A Farm in Iowa" AU series -- a.k.a. the Iowa-verse -- that isn't LJ-tagged? The index post was updated in July 2010. Stories are also up at the AO3, sorted into the 'canon' series and the apocrypha. sheafrotherdon also has a set of delicious tags for the Iowa series. *updated* Oct 2010
sgastoryfinders, a super-helpful and friendly community -- so great it inspired poetry: Found and Searching by linabean -- where you can ask for help finding a particular fic you read but don't remember the title or writer of, or a story you saw recced but can't find a link for. Notes and Caveats:
- Requests for different stories with one theme/in a genre aren't allowed; that's what sgagenrefinders is for. Check the community profile page for more rules and guidelines before you post.
- If a writer has stated they do not wish their stories to be accessed/shared anymore, please don't ask for copies of them. *added May 2010*
- Before you ask for a story there, consider using mapsandlegends' helpful tips on finding a story yourself. *added August 2010*
sgastoryfinders inspired (self-pimp alert) my "Were you looking for that story where?" post, which lists many frequently searched for SGA stories. Warning: spoilers abound. *added* May 2010
sgagenrefinders, another very helpful, friendly community where you can ask for as many stories as possible with pretty much any theme you want, or request help finding a particular rec list or a link to an author's website. Searches for a particular story aren't allowed; that's what sgastoryfinders is for. As the tagline says, "use the tags, spare a search" -- to see if someone else somewhat recently requested stories like the ones you want and read the ones they were recced, use the tags. Maybe even mention in your request that you already read all the stories recced in search X and Y, plus the ones from masterlist Z, or that those didn't do it for you, so readers will be more likely to suggest stories that are new to you... Before you post, (re-)check the community profile page for more rules and guidelines.
*Added March 2011* A few sgagenrefinders posts that newer readers might find especially handy:
- Recs for a total newcomer
- Recs for epic-length McShep stories
- Recs for secret favorite McShep stories and favorite SGA writers
- Recs for modern-day no-or-not-very-much SF (so no Stargate) McShep AUs
- Recs for stories on FanFiction.net (most longer and Rodney-centric, many gen)
- Recs showcasing the women of Atlantis
- Recs for complex, satisfying het stories
- Recs for SGA fic suitable for children -- Not just for kids, as many great gen writers and funny stories are highlighted. (If you use this last post to actually pimp stories to the very young, please do reread them beforehand to make sure they're suitable for the kid's maturity and awareness level.)
sga_episodefic makes it very easy to find stories related to (usually missing scenes from, tags to, or AUs of) any particular SGA episode. Check the community profile page for information and rules and guidelines before you post.
stargate_search accepts both genre and specific-story searches for SG-1, SGA, and SGU, as well as search requests for vids and meta. Check the community profile page for more rules and guidelines before you post.
You know something I really like in the search-focused communities above? (Besides tags, which are awesome, in the comms that have them.) When searchers use a descriptive title/post subject-line with the genre or pairing or anything about what they're looking for. If the header says "Caldwell/Kavanagh on Earth" well, I know I've never read such a story, so I won't even need to skim the body-text to try to be helpful! (Why yes I am, how did you guess?)
Crossroads, the Stargate Atlantis Slash Index, a website where you can search for slash (so no gen or pure m/f) SGA stories by tags and/or by going through a handful of thematic pairing lists. Lots of stories listed, but mileage may vary, as the way the tags work can be a little confusing and the UI's dark background color may be visually challenging.
To discover the very latest SGA fic, regularly check out or subscribe to the sga_noticeboard and the sga_newsletter communities, which include announcements of/links to many authors' new stories as well as SGA-related news, communities, challenges, art, and more. (*added August 2010* To quickly re-find a story or item you know was recent but lost the URL for, try using the tags in the delicious account for sga_newsletter.)
What to do when an SGA story you're looking for seems to be offline1. Archives: The demise of GeoCities, or the deletion or friendslocking of certain writers' online journals can mean formerly good links to stories no longer work. But writers may have left their stories accessible on an archive. So check the various archives to see if they have a copy -- for example, Wraithbait (SGA and SGA crossover stories only, gen plus all pairings), Area52 (SGA and SG-1 slash), other SGA-focused archives, the Archive of Our Own a.k.a. AO3 (all fandoms plus RPF, all pairings. AO3's still in beta, so many writers don't have their stories up on it, but if you do find the fic you're looking for there, that particular link will likely last), etc. Each has a search page.
2.a Wayback Machine/The Internet Archive: If you know the URL for the livejournal post or dreamwidth post or website or website page the story used to be at, try the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine. For example, to find a story by helenish before her new site was up, you'd go to http://www.archive.org/web/web.php, type the old http://www.helenish.net/storyname.html URL you had or found (from an old storyfinders request or the cached link from a google search) into the Wayback Machine field, then click on one of the dates returned, and often you'd be able to read it that way.
2.b ReoCities: If the story was on GeoCities and you know the old URL, (tip from michelel72, thanks!), try changing the "g" to "r" so the URL includes "reocities" instead of "geocities" -- this doesn't always work, but it may.
3. Ask: Request a current link for the story at sgastoryfinders. The people there are very helpful, and can often point you to a working link. Or if it's by a writer who has taken down their livejournal/archive copies but is still okay with their stories being emailed, someone there will tell you and possibly send you a copy if you ask nicely.
3.b. But before you do, check: perfica at stargate_search maintains a list of fanwork creators across all Stargate franchises whose works are no longer online. Check there for either a working link or to see if the creator doesn't want their work shared anymore. *added May 2010*
"Is there an audio version?" "But I want to read it on one page," readability tips, tracking comments, and miscellany (mostly not SGA-specific)Including a few more things I would have been pleased to know earlier in my reading adventures.
Audio versions. I prefer reading stories to listening to them, but many fic fans like the option of listening to audio (podfic) versions of stories. If a podfic of the story you want to hear exists, you can likely find it at the multi-fandom audiofic archive maintained by general_jinjur, which hosts podfic versions of many SGA stories, or somewhere in the sga_newsletter announcements of new podfic.
One-page versions. When reading, I very much prefer getting stories as a single-file page whenever possible. Not a problem when it is a short story on livejournal that fits in one post, but what if it's in 20 posts? Or on a site where it's in lots of little chapters you have to click through to?
If the story is a multi-chaptered one on Wraithbait (or a few other archive-type sites that work similarly), click on the "Story" link where it says "Chapter or Story" towards the top right of the start of the body text. This will give you a single-page version.
If the story is a multi-chaptered one on fanfiction.net, sorry, there isn't a way to make a multi-chapter story show as a single page on the site. However, there are a few free software tools that will let you download such stories as a single file, such as Fanfiction Downloader (thanks to motschekiebchen for the tip), the Fanfiction Lightweight Automated Grabber, the open source De-FFNet-Izer utility, and (*added* March 2011) lithiumdoll's Squee!Book.
If the story is a multi-chaptered one on Archive of Our Own (AO3), you can easily switch between only seeing one chapter at a time and viewing all chapters in a story on one page by clicking "View Entire Work" or "View Chapter by Chapter" near the top of the page. To quickly get to the next or previous story in a series, just click on the "<<" or ">>" links at the beginning or end of each story (where it says << Part X of the Y series >> ). Updated Mar 2011: As of several months ago, every story on the AO3 is easily downloadable as a PDF or as an HTML, Mobi, or Epub file.
If you want to see if there's an e-book version (RTF, PDF, .txt. or a format compatible with your specific e-reading device) already available of a story that's not on the AO3, amalthia/amothea maintains a multifandom archive/index of e-books including SGA stories. *added* May 2010
If the story is divided into many posts on livejournal, you can check if the author has a non-livejournal website, or maybe even a dreamwidth.org journal, as dreamwidth posts can be longer. Sometimes the non-journal location for their stories is in their journal's sidebar, but they'll usually also have a link to it on the user profile or user info page of their livejournal or dreamwidth account. For livejournal and dreamwidth users, a quick way to get to that page is by clicking the little or image/link next to their journal username (that you see when other journal users link to their username/journal homepage, next to their username in posts they commented on, or often at the very top of their journal page in the middle, where it may say "You are viewing exampleusername's journal").
- To find authors' non-livejournal websites, folavril has a delicious set of SGA writers' non-livejournal websites (regular additions).
- Back in 2006, zincpiccalilli created a list of writers active in the fandom that has links to their livejournals and non-livejournal websites, if they had one, with a short description and sometimes a tiny mini-review on the author's type of writing. (Last updated July 2007)
Various tips for better readability. facetofcathy compiled a post pointing to various resources to make reading stories formatted in challenging ways easier, including additional tools/bookmarklets to see them as a single page (such as the Safari browser) and one that often fixes the funky formatting/bad coding of special characters on old webpages (jane_connor also has a tip to help with that that doesn't require a bookmarklet, just changing the settings in your browser). *added August 2010*
Commenting on stories you read. You finished a story and loved it and want to tell the author so.
- If the story is on an archive, see the comment box or "Review" link at the end.
- *added* March 2011 If the story's on the AO3 and you loved it but you can't quite figure out what to say, as of December 2010 the AO3 offers a "Kudos" button at the end of each story -- just click it and the fic writer will get notified that someone left kudos on their work.
- If the story is on an author's non-journal website, it may have a link to the journal entry (where you can post your comment) or the author's email address at the beginning or end of the story.
- If the story's on livejournal or dreamwidth or a blog, just hit the Leave a comment, Post a new comment, Reply, Speak (or the amusing alternate linked phrase that leads to a comment box) at the end (or beginning) of the post or comment.
- If you want to leave a comment on a story that's only on dreamwidth that does not allow anonymous commenting, and you don't have a dreamwidth account but you do have a livejournal, there's a way you can comment on stories on dreamwidth as a livejournal user. It involves getting an OpenID; once you have that figured out it's pretty easy.
I am one of the worst readers ever to suggest/recommend leaving comments on stories since I have been too bashful to do so in almost every single case... But if you can make yourself comment -- do as I say not as I do? -- even if it's just two words, most fic writers truly appreciate it. As they're really truly absolutely doing it for love not money and all. </end of very hypocritical encouragement>
Which brings me to, if you comment on a story and want to see if the author replies without having to go back to that livejournal page all the time...
How to track livejournal posts (be automatically informed when there are new comments). For example, you may want to get automatic notifications of new comments on an older post. Or for posts written by others that you want to see the responses to, such as an interesting-looking story search. Or if you commented on something (or had it posted in a challenge) anonymously but want to be automatically informed when someone responds. Making it happen is easy: Make sure you're logged into your livejournal and click the pushpin icon at the top of the post or comment, or click the "Track This" link at the end if there is one. That will bring you to a page where you can choose to get notifications in your livejournal inbox, sent to the email address associated with your livejournal, or both.
Fanlore, AO3, and OTW. Above, I link a few times to Fanlore.org, a wiki created by the Organization for Transformative Works (OTW). If, like me, you're pretty new to fandom, this can be a handy place to look up definitions and find links to fandom-related things you may see somewhere but are unsure about. (e.g., BSO, OTP, Gatefail, Racefail, imbroglio, wank, etc.) The OTW is a fan-supportive, fan-supported, and fan-run non-profit organization that also created the Archive of Our Own (AO3), which is intended to be a permanent archive for fanfiction of all flavors.
Enfin:First of all, this list is more personal than comprehensive; it is even highly incomplete insofar as resources I used in my own SGA fic addiction. In my (relatively) recent journey through a few thousand SGA stories, I ran across links to many, many more handy resources. These are just the ones I either thought to save or spontaneously remembered as being potentially very useful to slightly bewildered fandom newbies like me. I'm also still adding bits, as I remember (or find) other things I really wish I'd discovered earlier in my fic addiction.
Second, a lot of the things I list here I found through links or recs from other lists or reccers, many listed above -- they're just highlighted or semi-organized here in a way that makes sense to me. If I offend anyone by remixing information you originally posted into this piece, I apologize (and will of course remove it if you comment-wristslap or ask me to).
Third, and most important: thank you fandom! for having all of these bright shiny wonderful things -- stories and vids and art and icons and resources and meta, oh my -- to find and enjoy. Although I'm mostly too shy to comment on things I read and usually just come out of my shell to help someone else (re-)locate stories (or ask for help with same), I love you writers for writing them. ♥
ETA: By now I've gone from too shy to not shy enough, and I still suck at commenting, despite resolving to do better. But creators, if you see this, ♥ ♥ ♥ again, thank you!