Smarter Than You: A Sam Carter rec list

Smarter than you.

New. 12/26/2008. New stories in alphabetical order with excerpts and descriptions.
  • Undertow by Abyssis. hard PG-13 (violence, torture). added 12/26/08
  • Where You Hang Your Hat by Destina. S4 SGA, gen, G-rated, 2,126 wdsadded 12/26/08


  • 72,000 by Claira. PG-13. Spoilers: In the Line of Duty. 04/06/07
    Excerpt: "Your world is strange, Samantha," she'd said often, but Sam had been too busy screaming in her own head to ask why.

    Sam struggling with the consequences of Jolinar's possession. Claira also expands on Sam's interaction with Jolinar during the experience, adding depth to both characters.

  • Action by Ness. PG. Pre-series. 04/06/07
    Excerpt: Mark's holding her hand and his fingers are sticky. Their mom says, don't you remember your daddy? and Sam wants to say that she does and that this man isn't him. Her dad has more hair on his head and less on his face. Her dad doesn't look this old.

    Very good look at a young Sam coping with her father's regular and lengthy absences. Ness neatly implies the future impact this will have on their relationship, and in doing so gives us a vivid picture of Sam's relationship with her father as a child.

  • Ambition (the Mens Rea remix) by Pepper. PG. AU. 09/26/07
    Excerpt: Sean shrugged. "I know the SGC apply front-line policies regarding women, but quite honestly, Captain, we need all the good men and women we can lay hands on. This isn't a glamorous assignment. You can never go back home, your parents will never watch the President awarding you a medal-"

    An intriguing AU look at early seasons Sam on a different path. Remix of Katie M.'s "Ambition."

  • Anything by nandamai. PG. S8. Spoilers: Threads. 04/06/07
    Excerpt: She slips away, finally, with Teal'c trailing her and Jack trailing both of them, and she changes quickly into jeans and a blue t-shirt. They end up sitting against the foot of her bed, not talking much. There's an arm around Sam's shoulders and another around her waist and Daniel finds them like that, eventually.

    This is a lovely, quiet character study of Sam and her relationships with the people in her life, and especially her team.

  • Apostate by Siggy. PG-13. AU.06/25/07
    Excerpt: His hand closed around her throat and she took a long look at her friend. She had failed him; she had failed her team. Tears joined the blood that streaked her face. Sam brought her hand up and touched his cheek.

    "I'm so sorry, Teal'c."

    She kissed him then, her lips touched his in farewell. Teal'c's whole body stilled for a moment. He pulled back a little and looked at her. His deep brown eyes were moist and held the expression of a lost child.

    "I want to come home, Samantha."

    An excellent example of dark fic, putting Sam in a terrible position to make a terrible choice.

  • Arachne's Chase by Siggy. PG. S3. 04/06/07
    Excerpt: Major Carter sounded calm. Walter wished he knew how she managed it. He was not used to feeling so out of control. Even when the SGC was on self-destruct, he always prided himself on his cool demeanor. Not now. Now, all he could think about was getting through that Gate as quickly as possible.

    Another excellently characterized Sam under pressure in the inevitable easy mission gone horribly wrong.

  • Before Midday by Otter. PG-13. 04/06/07
    Excerpt: She thinks that the earlier you get things done, the faster you can move on to the next thing. Today, she has destroyed an entire civilization, and it isn't even noon yet.

    One of those stories that examines the horrific side of what SG-1 sometimes faces, and how Sam processes that, and does it with quiet dignity and a refreshing lack of melodrama.

  • Bleed by Eve11. Apocafic. 04/06/07
    Excerpt: Of course there's no need for layman's terms. Jack and Teal'c are buried in the rubble of Cheyenne Mountain, and now Daniel... there's no one left.

    A short but weighty glimpse of Sam after the world had ended and she's lost her team, left to deal with straggling survivors and limited resources. As Sam works through trying to jerry-rig weapons in the forefront of the story, Eve11 neatly packs all of Sam's grief and fear in underneath the detailed descriptions of engineering so it becomes clear how Sam's apparently dispassionate tinkering is driven by her loss.

  • The Blue Jello Metaphor by Jennghis Kahn. PG-13. 04/06/07
    Excerpt: "Negative-energy string loops." Sam said.


    "Angular momentum."

    The man blinked at her. "I'm... sorry..." He began backing away.

    "Eigenvector!" She called after him. He turned and went into full retreat.

    In one of my all-time favorite Sam stories, Jenn gives her readers a funny, affectionate look at a Sam who is just a little disgruntled about being smart (and the expectations that come with it), about being the girl (and the expectations that come with it), and about not being the girl (and the expectations that come with it). There's a nice touch of team love, too, with the guys stepping up and letting Sam know they love her for who she is.

  • Boys Club by Elismor. 130 words. 04/06/07
    Excerpt: Save the world a few times, hotwire the odd mother-ship here and there, rebuild an engine or two and suddenly you never wore pink and sat home alone watching wrestling on prom night. It's annoying.

    Its' the little things that are the most annoying.

  • Buffalo by Jennghis Kahn. R.04/07/07
    Excerpt: "Sam? Are you even coming home at all?" She wants to say yes, but the words catch in her throat. She sighs and just quietly presses the 'end' button.

    Sam working out that people can't plan for the stupid things they do where love is concerned, and that doing them doesn't invalidate everything someone has done, and all that they may yet do.

  • Creak by nandamai. PG. 04/06/07
    Excerpt: In the night, locked behind the wooden bars of her cell, she drew circles in the dirt. She could not remember how long she'd spent in the camp, or where she lived before.

    A fantastic story showcasing Sam's skills and determination when she's trapped alone and without even her memory.

  • Cold Water Burning by Rigel. PG-13.09/26/07
    Excerpt: She frowned. "I remember falling, and then... White. It was all white."

    Lovely imagery and mixing of memory and reality for an injured Sam trying to process what's going on.

  • Feet Upon the Snow by Karen T. Spoilers: S8 and S9. 04/06/07
    Excerpt: She returns to nodding and cuts her eyes downward. So she gets two months -- maybe more, maybe less -- to continue leading SG-1. Then she'll get the rug pulled out from under her. Fantastic.

    This is a darker, bitter edge to Sam, one that you wouldn't be surprised to find lurking in her, given all that she's been through. An interesting what-if scenario addressing choices Sam might make if given the option to leave the SGC.

  • Fleeting by Shaz. PG. AU. 04/06/07
    Excerpt: She's done her duty a thousand times over and now she just wants to close her eyes in a familiar place and sleep. Sleep forever.

    A heartbreaking scenario of a mirror Sam jumping from reality to reality as she tries to find her way home.

  • Footprints by Raven. G. 04/06/07
    Excerpt: Sam could feel the sand cooling beneath her feet. Soon it would be dusk, and there was an hour's walk back to the gate, and no UAV to show for the trip, but she didn't mind. Maybe she ought to request downtime, once they were back home. Go down to the sea. Take her niece and nephew and have ice-cream.

    A quiet, happy moment with Sam and the people who have become her family.

  • Girls (and Jaffa) Do Not Fight Fair by kalquessa. 01/29/08
    Excerpt: Daniel stops even trying to help Carter unfasten his armor and elaborates. "Sam won a series of seven unarmed-combat engagements and Hakoor was so impressed with her that he had her brought up to his private box seat so he could meet her. She managed to get a home-made knife past Hakoor's guards and took him hostage.

    Hilariously fun Sam saves the day story.

  • Glimmers by greensilver. Spoilers: Moebius. 04/06/07
    Excerpt: In the moments just before dusk, when sun was distant enough to be tolerable and the sand began to cool, Sam stretched out on the dunes and stared up at the sky, trying to overlay her reality with a perfectly formed image of how things should have been. There should have been grass, to soften the ground beneath her; there should have been clouds, to break up the monotony of the endless indigo above her.

    Lovely tag to Moebius.

  • A Heavenward Striving by Katie M. PG. 04/06/07
    Excerpt: "That one," a man in the back said, pointing at Sam. With a sinking stomach--who knew it still had farther to fall?--she recognized the guard that had been assigned to the shield room above, the one who had smiled at Tisrat and called her sister. "That's the one who attacked me."

    Great plotty story that puts Sam at the center of some offworld intrigue.

  • Impossible Yet Useful Numbers by Tallulah Rasa. S2. 04/06/07
    Excerpt: Nothing is numerically interesting, she thinks. Really, the only numerical concept that's never attracted her is one plus one equals two, the equation that's traditionally of most interest to girls. She's always gone for the bigger numbers, the more complex equations that drown out poor simple one plus one. It's funny that now one plus one equals two seems to be the most complicated equation of them all.

    Great Sam inner dialogue.

  • In the Flesh and In the Clod by Salieri. 01/29/08
    Excerpt: She's a world unto herself, curled inward around a pulsing light-that is her heart, there, throbbing throbbing throbbing. She keeps her eyes on it. If she blinks it will go out.

    Lovely lyrical view of Sam, both internal and through her team's efforts to help her.

  • Infirmary After by Teand. Warning: rape recovery. 04/07/07
    Excerpt: Sam's turn to concentrate on breathing. Enough time passed that Janet was wondering if she'd even answer, wondering what she'd do if there was no answer. "Embarrassed," Sam said at last, her voice too low to carry much beyond the bed. "Ashamed. Not so much that it happened - I really did get my head around that years ago, played it over and over and over until I desensitized myself to the possibility - but that they saw. That it happened in front of... of... That they're never going to look at me again without thinking of it."

    This kind of story far too often ends up as part of a trigger for a romance that heals all wounds in a pat happy ending. This story isn't one of those, thankfully. Blunt and hard and painful, with excellent Sam and Janet friendship.

  • In Threes by nanda. 04/07/07
    Excerpt: Time becomes slippery after that. She hears their voices - "Too cold in here." "Shit." "Sometimes they get better before they get worse." "I am concerned, O'Neill." - and she flits in and out of sleep. She tries to respond to their questions. Colonel O'Neill orders her to stay awake.

    "Sorry, sir," she says.

    Some lovely H/C for Sam by her team, with nanda's always fantastic Sam voice.

  • The Knife's Edge of Madness by Strix Varia. 04/07/07
    Excerpt: Her speech progressed slowly. She learned to form words. It was slow and painful and embarrassing. Eventually she was able to form short sentences, but she had to concentrate on each word. Often she forgot what she was trying to say. She dreaded speech therapy, hated having to try to talk. They said she might always have trouble with it, but told her she was lucky. Some people could not read, write, or understand speech at all. She did not feel lucky.

    A "what-if" alternate ending to Desperate Measures. Strong Sam voice, good plotty story.

  • Loose Leaf Gridiron by Caitrin Torres. PG. S9. 04/06/07
    Excerpt: And he did. By the time the score was tied at thirty-six, they'd accumulated quite an audience. Russo weighed in on another call with confidence, and in the part of her mind that wasn't tied up in the game, Sam was proud of him. If he managed to step up to other weirdness without flinching, he'd be an asset to the program. The part of her that was keeping score, however, was decidedly less charitable. Her shot had teetered on the edge until one of the onlookers accidentally jostled the table, and he'd ruled in Cam's favor.

    Just a fun, happy moment for Sam, doing those behind-the-scenes kind of things you know must happen a lot at the SGC.

  • No Creed for Mathematics by Jennghis Kahn. PG. Spoilers: Metamorphosis, Fallen. 04/06/07
    Excerpt: She couldn't go right at the thing she wanted to know most. She wasn't sure why she always had to walk around things like this. Tiptoe and poke and prod, coming at it from different angles as if it might explode should she just pick it up.

    Pitch-perfect Sam struggling to let go of something that didn't happen in the wake of Daniel's return. Beautifully written.

  • Once Upon a Time in Egypt by LJ. Spoilers: Moebius. 04/06/07
    Excerpt: He knew he was not invincible, and he was a careful but proud driver. On his last day as a driver for the Checker Cab Company of San Diego, he picked up a Mrs. Jacob Carter from the airport at the request of her husband, an officer with the Air Force.

    One of the common comments about the AU verse in Moebius was how very different Moebius Sam was from our Sam. LJ takes the idea of that alternate universe back into the depths of its history to create a simple, yet compelling sequence of "what ifs" that would explain that difference.

  • On Schedule by Katie M. Drabble. 04/07/07
    Excerpt: "Does she do that just to freak me out? Because it's working."

    Katie gives us the smart-ass that lurks under Sam Carter, Consummate Professional. A great, smart, funny Sam moment, with an affectionate swipe at Jack's expense.

  • Phase by nandamai. R. Pre-series. 04/06/07
    Excerpt: She was too tall, she thought, her arms and legs too long, and her jeans always slung low on her hips because she was too skinny to hold them up. The boys had finally started to catch up to her in height, thank God. Seventh grade had been the worst. But that had been a long way away - a thousand miles away - and it seemed like forever ago.

    Her favorite TV shows were Magnum, PI and Nova. Her favorite song was "Tainted Love." Someday, she was going to fly in space.

    A teenage Sam learning to navigate life. nanda does a great job extrapolating the young Sam's thoughts and actions from the woman she is today, with some excellent back story.

  • Prevail by Denise. 04/07/07
    Excerpt: She'd greeted the dawn this morning, still nauseous and still haunted by the memory of their last day on that planet. She closed the door behind her and leaned against it for a second, before pushing herself up and crossing to her bench. She had work to do, she always had plenty of work to do.

    Another good story of Sam making the hard decisions while trapped offworld with an injured teammate. Also some great Sam and Teal'c friendship.

  • The Price of Admirality by grav_ity. 04/06/07
    Excerpt: But sometimes he thought of her as Sam.

    Why the Asgard never built a Samantha Carter. While this is not directly a Sam story, and only mentions her at the very end, it is a sweet reflection on the character and in a sense is a lovely thank-you to her from Thor.

  • Reaching Past the Sky by Amy. PG. Pre-series. 04/06/07
    Excerpt: She disgusted herself. Seven lives lost, millions if not billions of dollars of research down the drain, dozens of careers--or more--in the balance, the whole future of the program Sam had idolized her whole life in peril, and she was sulking about childhood daydreams.

    Amy does an excellent job of weaving a real world event that no doubt would have had a significant impact on Sam, considering her dreams of NASA and going into space, into an engaging and informative piece of Sam's back-story at the Academy. Sam's voice is spot on in this, and her struggles with more than one failure and her fear of losing the future she had so meticulously planned is believable and poignantly Sam.

  • Reckless by Annerb. 04/06/07
    Excerpt: This was the Sam that always surprised Daniel. Not the scientist or the soldier, but another person all together. Someone defined by an edge of recklessness that she normally hid underneath her levelheaded exterior.

    Sam kicking ass and saving the boys. This is a nice little piece of action-adventure that lets Sam the soldier shine through.

  • Socks by Cofax. 04/06/07
    Excerpt: She has two days before she has to report back to the Mountain. Sam sighs and pushes herself to her feet, wincing at the feel of the carpet on the raw and tender skin.

    A nice moment of Season 1 Sam contemplating the changes the Stargate is bringing into her life.

  • A Sudden Clearing by nandamai. PG. S9. AU. 04/06/07
    Excerpt: "I had no choice," Sam says. She pitches her voice low, the way Teal'c did sometimes to get Jack's attention. "Do you think I wanted -"

    Though primarily a team story, it places Sam at the forefront of trying to save Teal'c. Harsh and uncompromising.

  • Salt Tequila Lime by Claira. PG. Pre-series. 04/06/07
    Excerpt: He reaches for her again, but it's too much. She leaves her dignity at his feet and runs, through the house and down the street, slowing to a walk at the corner because Mandy's red heels are too small and hurt her feet. Eventually, she finds a payphone and holds the receiver for a minute, trying to summon the courage to call her father. She gets halfway through the number over and over and hangs up each time.

    In the end, she calls Mark. She can't face her father, not like this, smelling of tequila and lime and in jeans he doesn't know she owns. Her brother gets to her in less than twenty minutes and she knows he must have broken speed limits, but when she throws herself at him, he just rubs her back and drives her to his apartment.

    Nice piece of Sam backstory that solidifies her childhood relationship with her brother.

  • Sam In Atlantis by greenconverses. 01/29/08
    Excerpt: Sheppard had to learn the hard way that Colonel Samantha Carter was not Doctor Elizabeth Weir and would not be swayed by his cool grin and "Aw shucks, me?" demeanor. His pride was still smarting and he got back at her by playing favorites with the Marines, but she was pretty sure they were now on the same page about chain of command in a crisis situation.

    Excellent series of vignettes about Sam's transition to Atlantis.

  • The Sangata, Book 1 (The Ramayana Remix) by Katie M. 01/29/08
    Excerpt: So did she come to us, as empty as all of us had been:
    Samantha Carter,
    She who would not surrender,
    Unyielding as a bull in the road.

    Katie never fails to amaze me, and this is no exception. Prose-poem remix of nanda's "Creak" (linked above).

  • Scotoma by Rydra Wong. PG-13. 04/07/07
    Excerpt: She's in the bathroom before she's fully awake, sudden fluorescent light making after-images shimmer across her retinas like a migraine, hands gripping the edge of the washbasin so hard it hurts.

    The sense of yearning - of loss - somebody loved somebody for a hundred years, and she feels it, she can't stop feeling it, she just doesn't know if either of those people was her.

    She wishes she could have Sha're's certainty that Amaunet was someone else, a demon who stole her body. Then she catches herself and shudders. Jealous of Sha're.

    This is Sha're's story, but one in which Sam is a solid presence, and Sha're's recovery from Amaunet's possession brings out Sam's own demons. And a bonus tentative, beautiful friendship between these two very different women.

  • Self Assembly Required by Minxy. NC-17. S7. 04/06/07
    Excerpt: It was as close as she got to waking up next to someone, and sometimes, at moments like this, she thought that was just fine.

    A hot piece of Sam self-loving with some great character insights.

  • Session by HC-56. NC-17. 04/07/07
    Excerpt: The belt on her jeans was digging into her belly, and she reached down to unbuckle it. She was, after all, at home. Shoes off, no boots!, no ankle suffocation, no socks even. Her toes grinned up at her happily.

    Another Sam self-love fic. Nice counterpoint to the one recced above.

  • Surface Tension by Salieri. 04/06/07
    Excerpt: It was Wednesday. So, he would be gone for about nine hours and would return with some kind of take-out in a brown paper bag. The light would come on in the room over the garage and he would eat at his desk, a shadow behind the blinds. Sam would look out the window and after awhile she would go into the kitchen at the back of this house across the street and she wouldn't cry. Then, awhile later, it would be Thursday. Again. One times one is one, she thought. One times two is two.

    A lovely, moody mystery with a beautiful Sam voice.

  • To Thine Own Self Be True (The Protesting Lady Remix) by Katie M. G. 09/26/07
    Excerpt: "I am far too threatened by your intelligence to consider such a thing, Major Carter," he said, voice warmly amused, and she relaxed. Thank God for Teal'c, who knew how to make people feel uncomfortable and used that power wisely, if not always necessarily for good.

    Great Sam pov and Sam and Teal'c friendship over Daniel's loss and return.

  • Under Every Green Tree by rydra wong. NC-17. 01/29/08
    Excerpt: She pushes him down with a knee in his back - surprisingly easy - and takes the gun from her bag. She presses the muzzle up against the base of his skull, carefully visualizing the symbiote nestled around the brainstem, and pulls the trigger once, twice.

    "That's for Jack," she says aloud - it sounds like something she should say - but it sounds ridiculous and trite. Like a bad movie.

    The pairing says Sam/Baal, but it isn't a relationship story at all. This is really a story about Sam, and Sam making decisions, Sam making a point, and Sam getting revenge.

  • Under Fire by Strix Varia. K+ 04/07/07
    Excerpt: It came as a bit of a shock to acknowledge that she was scared. She didn't understand what was happening to her, and her whole body hurt… the situation didn't make sense, and she wasn't in control… not of anything it seemed… not even her own body…

    "Sam?" A hand on her shoulder made her jump, and she looked up into Daniel's concerned face. "Are you okay?" he asked.

    She looked around dazedly, realizing she had no idea of what had happened the past several minutes. Teal'c and the Colonel were far ahead. She swallowed, fighting sudden tears and the urge to confess everything to Daniel, confess how scared she was by the pain and confusion. But that would make her appear weak, perhaps even a coward. She shook her head. "Yeah."

    Absolutely wonderful action-adventure story that unfolds with a fabulous Season One Sam, injured and struggling on a mission, unsure of herself and the true nature of what's happening. Also a good story of the team working out their kinks in those first days.

  • Undertow by Abyssis. hard PG-13 (violence, torture). added 12/26/08
    Excerpt: She wanted to reach out, to see if they were okay, but nothing would move. Fingers fumbled on her neck, skirting over her pulse, and a hand rested in hers -- large and warm and she thought it was Teal'c's. She tried to squeeze his fingers, to let him know she was okay, but there was the sound of a struggle and someone being dragged, and maybe Teal'c shouted Daniel's name but she was already slipping under again.

    Abyssis uses a great fractured structure in this story, mirroring Sam's fractured thought as she struggles to be strong for her team.

  • Unforgotten by Cofax. Future. 890 words. 04/06/07
    Excerpt: Colonel Carter stands a little stiffly and stretches, one last beer bottle dangling from her fingers. Rya'c remembers: she was beautiful, once. She is still lean with muscle, and the grey in her hair is usually indiscernible. But the joyful smile he remembers from his youth has faded to a weary stretch of her lips, with only persistence behind it.

    This is one of those pieces that always gets me, no matter how many times I read it. It's a short character piece - Sam and Rya'c memorializing what they've lost in one possible future - but it creates a vivid and enticing suggestion of the larger story that must have led to the small glimpse Cofax gives.

  • West by minnow. 04/06/07
    Excerpt: They gave her food and water and drew her a map to the city of Reata far away, where perhaps she could find the men she sought. "Stargate. Chapa Hi?" she said, so perhaps it was a farewell. "Chapa Hi," they said in return, and sent Thaywood-ware-thees on her way with their best wishes.

    Sam lost and on her own, yet never stopping. Fantastic portrayal of Sam's perseverance and determination.

  • Where You Hang Your Hat by Destina. S4 SGA, gen, G-rated, 2,126 wdsadded 12/26/08
    Excerpt: The first few nights, she didn't sleep. Instead, she walked the turrets and observation decks of the city, eyes cast heavenward toward the muted light of unfamiliar stars. No one there to point out their origins, explain their meanings. No one to share them with. One more thing she'd put off until the time was right.

    A wonderful story of Sam settling into Atlantis.

  • The Working Hour by Siggy. PG-13. S1. 04/07/07
    Excerpt: The troop leader grabbed her chin and said something very quietly to her. There was a brief pause while they stared at each other. Teal'c gritted his teeth in fierce pride as he watched her spit in the Jaffa's face. The woman may be foolish, but Teal'c did not question her bravery.

    A great story of early Season One Sam told through Teal'c's eyes.

  • Ya Vas Lyubil by draegonhawke. Teen. 09/26/07
    Excerpt: Daniel inspected her from the corner of his eye as she navigated Colorado Springs. There was something a bit off about her--something impossible to see unless one'd spent years one step down from living with a person. "Something on your mind? Aside from Russian?"

    Lovely Sam and Daniel friendship, and layered story about Sam and language barriers and all that they entail.

  • [Three's Company: Sam/Jack/Daniel recs ][Multipass: Multifandom recs]
    [Earth-shattering Kaboom: Stargate Apocafic recs] [Let's Not Dwell: Sam/Jack recs]

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