Last Updated: 2017-07-22 (Added “Going Native”)
I’ve always enjoyed first-contact fics, because they’re a good way to stir up groups of people and see how they react. No plan survives contact with the enemy and no worldview survives first contact.
…but, in the case of Battlestar Galactica, having them find an Earth of comparable social development is often even better, because they’re not just going in with any old expectations, they have deeply held preconceptions about what they should find.
That makes for a rather unique “flavour”, but, like any slice of a fandom you look for, there’s a big gulf between the rare cream of the crop, and everything else.
…so, without further ado, here is my list of those special “Earth-contact” fics which deserve a read:
Best of the Best
- The Consequences Of Not Being Polite by The Sidhe
- Length: 266,212 Words
Strongest Element: Managing to feel like a sci-fi novel
- In this fic, the fleeing colonial refugees are discovered by a forward patrol from an Earth at least a thousand years more advanced and slowly pushing back an equally advanced enemy descended from terran velociraptors.As is the case with most good “one side could curb-stomp the other” stories, this is a story about exploring and adjusting the worldviews of the less advanced factions, with the cylons also eventually coming to the table after Cavil’s failed attempt to ally with the raptors instead.
I think one of the biggest reasons this appeals to me is how much effort the author puts into developing the backstory for the setting, which gives it a fairly strong “sci-fi novel” feel to it, rather than the generic “fanfic based on a sci-fi TV show or game” feel that I get from most fanfics.
I’ve re-read this at least twice and I’d recommend that you give it a try if you’re even remotely interested in contact fics that don’t focus on combat.
- Reunions Are A
BitchDeleted by Bob Regent
- Length: 349,784 Words
Crossover: Stargate: SG-1
Strongest Element: Capturing the complexity and misunderstanding which drive wartime politics
- In this Stargate SG-1 crossover (which had to be renamed on Fanfiction.net), after making contact with the Prometheus, the leadership of the Twelve Colonies decides that it would be good business and good politics to “reunite with the 13th colony”, by force if necessary.What I like about this story is that it’s a believable blending of the two settings with sort of a Cold War-esque dynamic:
- Earth’s almost-nonexistent but much more advanced space defences barely fight off the massive Colonial fleet, but a few nuclear missiles do wind up hitting the planet.
- The first act of the story leaves both sides assuming the other is much more prepared to counterattack and scrambling to build up defences.
- World-changing events happen because of honest mistakes, ill-considered decisions, and greed.
- Cylon infiltrators in Earth POW camps eventually ask for asylum.
An engaging fic which is one of the handful I’ve re-read over the years. Definitely one I’d recommend despite it being unfinished.
- Gods Among Us by arturus
- Length: 168,665 Words
Crossover: Harry Potter, Stargate: SG-1
Strongest Element: World-building, lore, and exploring the cylons as characters
- While not an Earth-contact fic in the strictest sense, given that Harry Potter and Hermione Granger come to them and their origins are kept secret until well into the story, this certainly fits all of the more abstract criteria much better than many other fics on this list.
- The gist of the plot is that Harry Potter and Hermione Granger wind up on on one of the Colonial refugee ships as a result of finding a mothballed Furling ship which they accidentally activate, but the setup isn’t overly important and the flaws in chapter 1 are irrelevant once chapter 2 rolls around and they’re in space.
- What makes this story so special is how satisfyingly deep its focus on the cylons and its world-building really are. While it does technically star Harry and Hermione as the main characters, it would be more accurate to say that, once the story gets going, they are revealed to merely be important players in a much larger narrative.
- If you like lore, this is the fic for you. If you ever wished the cylons had been developed more as characters in general, this is the fic for you. If you like Galactica crossovers that don’t feel like the crossover characters are trying to steal the show, this is the fic for you.
- Going Native by Rap541
- Length: 156,591 Words
Status: Complete* with sequel
Crossover: Star Trek: The Next Generation
Strongest Element:Keeping a personal focus despite the scale of things
- “What if Felix Gaeta were a Starfleet officer, stranded in the Beta quadrant on his first mission, and had to build a deep cover identity?” That’s the question that spawned this fic.
- The story starts in a counselling session with Deanna Troi after the fleet has already made contact with the Enterprise, then bounces around, both from person to person (both Federation and Colonial)… something that it does quite well.
- A big part of that success is probably down to this being half a first contact story, focused through the individual characters involved, and half a story about exploring this interpretation of Felix Gaeta as a character. The combination provides a nice balance that, while having similarities to The Consequences of Not Being Polite, is still quite different.
- It’s a bit on the angsty side, but still a good read and it’s got its own uniquely clever ideas for various cylon-related things.
- * This story is complete but isn’t marked as complete. As I remember, it predates Fanfiction.net’s support for supplying such metadata.
These are stories which, while they’re good, don’t quite make the cut for reasons I’ll explain on a case-by-case basis:
- Worldwar: Discovering the Balance by AlbertG
- Length: Multiple Volumes
Status: 3 completed stories, 1 Incomplete
Crossover: Stargate: SG-1, Harry Turtledove’s Worldwar
Strongest Element: Focusing on individual OCs who have to deal with the violation of their expectations.
- The main reason this story is a runner-up is that it’s hard to truly characterize it as a proper “BSG: Earth-contact” story.While the Colonies do come to play a major role and one volume does focus entirely on them, the story starts with the Worldwar-SG1 aspects and the Galactica stuff not only feels like an alternative take on RAAB, this story is supposedly intended to be set in the same multiverse and I feel like a reference to one of the other AlbertG-Bob Regent stories in the shared meta-setting only cheapens it by needlessly referencing an off-screen-and-before-story-start war with the Vorlons.
That said, it’s still a story I liked enough to re-read. The basic plot is:
- A while before the story started, the Prometheus did encounter The 12 Colonies, but they parted without the colonies finding out where Earth is.
- The Race from Turtledove’s books arrives a few decades later than in canon and get a big shock when, instead of conquering the knights on horseback that they planned for, they’re met by a starship more advanced than their fleet in every way.
- The Race, being The Race, are forced to cope with a species that can crush them and refuses to acknowledge their ownership papers for “Tosev 3”, when they’ve not had to deal with the universe violating their expectations for ten thousand years.
- Because Gaius Baltar didn’t get fooled, the last handful of Cylon refugees wind up fleeing into Earth’s solar system by accident, where they successfully petition Earth for asylum.
- Earth manages to drive off the pursuing Colonials with no losses.
- The rest of the plot ensues.
If you want something that’s got similar elements to RAAB, but is mainly focused on forcing foreign cultures to face the fact that their expectations are wrong and then have them slowly develop relations with Earth as that happens, you’ll like this. I like how it develops its original characters to achieve said goals.
- Contact at Kobol by wilkins75
- Length: 478,758
Crossover: Stargate: SG-1
Strongest Element: Having a boots-on-the-ground-oriented approach to a war without boring me into losing interest
- If you wanted something similar in concept to RAAB, but with things escalating to a boots-on-the-ground invasion of The 12 Colonies, this is your story. I’ve always found following soldiers on the ground to make a story more boring, so I think the fact that I was willing to read this story to the end speaks well for it, even if I’ve yet to read it again.
The main difference between this and the other SG-1 crossovers is probably that it takes place a little further in the future, when Earth has had time to study Asgard technology a bit and are about to reveal the Stargate so they can ease overpopulation in countries like India via a colony they’ve just finished building on a planet they’ve named Valhalla.
The first encounter between Earth ships setting picket stations and a Colonial patrol along the Cylon border ends in disaster when the colonials mistake them for Cylons and lose several battlestars in the resulting skirmish.
While cooler heads do manage to arrange a diplomatic contact, relations eventually devolve (partly due to the discovery that Earth’s new colony is actually Kobol) and this eventually precipitates a war, which then gets stoked when a screw-up by a Colonial battlestar results in Disneyland Valhalla getting nuked.
I don’t want to spoil too much, so I’ll leave you to read the other memorable details yourself.
The main flaw I should mention is that it could use a second proofreading… but the typos aren’t excessive and it’s still perfectly readable.
UPDATE 2017-11-14: There is now also a sequel in progress which is better-proofread and mixes in Harry Turtledove’s Worldwar with a satisfying amount of focus on an apparently OC world that humanity chooses to help liberate from The Race.