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Title: Retrograde
Author(s): Ltlj
Date(s): November 22, 2005 - 2007
Genre: Fan Fiction
Fandom: Stargate Atlantis
External Links: Retrograde + Extras (Water Gate)

Retrograde (AO3)

Retrograde Extras (AO3)
cover by Fatuorum

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Retrograde is a Stargate Atlantis/Stargate SG1 crossover series written by Ltlj (writing as Martha Wilson and Victoria Custer). It is set in the Retrograde-verse, an alternate universe where the Atlantis expedition has made no contact with Earth for three years. When SG-1 goes to find them, they arrive just a little too late.

The later stories in the series deal with the fall-out of the attack, the slow building of trust between the Atlantis expedition and SG-1, and the consequences of re-establishing contact with the SGC.

The series is very popular and widely recced. In 2007 it was voted "Best Crossover Story" in the Stargate Fan Awards.

In 2007, Sian published a zine that contained all stories as well as various illustrations: Stories from the Retrograde Universe.


Retrograde series index at Water Gate
alternate cover

Main Retrograde-verse stories, in sequence:

Stand-alone Retrograde stories:

Recs and reviews


  • "I don't follow SGA at all, but I absolutely adore Martha Wilson's AU Retrogade series. Her characterization is lush and loving, her plots are intense and tightly-woven, and she writes the best General Jack O'Neill ever. Nearly all the stories are gen, too - bonus! :)"[1]
  • "Comfort fic isn't, to me, always fluffy. Mostly, it's stuff I re-read for the feeling of complete warmth, hope, genuine feeling throughout, stuff I walk out of feeling better about the world in general. What makes Retrograde special to me is it's high action and characterization both, and now that I know how each story ends, it's not nerve-jangling oh god, will they be okay and more God, this is good. I'll use my number system on what I loved about it (...)"[2]
  • "This is a fabulous, well-constructed crossover with a totally plausible (if totally AU) plot -- it gives me the shivers, it's so plausible. I freak out a little every time I read it, because, eep, what if it had happened like this?? And on top of that scary plausibility is the structure of it, as she fills in what's going on bit by bit, slowly building an ever more complete picture. Martha nails the voices across the board here, both SG1 and SGA, with interactions within each group and between the two that ring absolutely true. It's all just wonderful, and you should read it." [3]

Retrograde (first story):

  • "This is a very intense and dramatic story of betrayal. The author does a very good job of portraying the expedition's fear and mistrust of the SGC and the fine line SG-1 must walk to help them."[4]
  • "Why this story has to be read: Retrograde is an AU, based on the premise that the Atlantis mission went missing for three years. The Atlantis expedition has been lost for three years. SG-1 goes to find them, and arrives just a little too late. The summary says, and that doesn't even begin to cover it. This fic hits so hard for me because the idea of being betrayed like this, by people you expect to be able to trust is just staggering. The distrust and brokeness and none of that coming from the Wraith, or some other foreign invader but from home knocks me on my ass just thinking about it. The inclusion of SG-1 is very effective without in any way playing down the parts of the Atlantis people. And despite the fact that everyone is seen through the eyes of the SGC personnel, a very complete vision of each of the characters is given. Even Teyla, who's a bitch to write on a normal day, let alone when you've got to approach her from the point of view of an outsider. This fic isn't to be missed..." [5]
  • "If the powers that be (really fucking stupid) had shown even the slightest bit of balls in their writing and ideas for the show, they could not have come up with this. It is space opera at some of its best. There is angst, horror, adventures on the sea, some possible! ship stealing and a whole lotta snark. This is good stuff. Read it all through. And hey! There is even a podcast of the first three parts! P.S. For milady, there is some slash, hinted at around the edges… I believe it is Sheppard/Cameron & Sheppard/McKay. In separate chapters." [6]
  • "I remember reading this back as it was first coming out, and I just adore the complex AU world-building because it's done so thoughtfully and carefully." [7]


  • "You've read Retrograde, right? Well, here's the sequel and it's just as amazing. Recovery is just wonderfully written and addicting to read because it immediately follows up on the conclusion of Retrograde, as we see how members of SG-1 sees the expedition now as they rebuild from the attack by the Trust but as soon as things settled into an awkward but somewhat acceptable situation, things are shaken up a bit again and it's back into the action again."[8]


  • "ltlj's stories seem to have a strange effect on people.You want to give thoughtful and articulate feedback, and then you just find yourself trying to quote every single great line, even though they make no sense at all out of context, while flailing wildly. The people currently wandering around LJ babbling, "Heterosexual boyfriend! Teyla's from Sweden! Flat cakes with embossed squares! Nobody's a prostitute!"? They just read Vegas.[9]


  1. ^ 14.4.2008, rec by sg_fignewton on stargateficrec, Trading Day, by Martha Wilson (PG), accessed 18.10.2011
  2. ^ 5.9.2006, rec by seperis, recs I've made before, but with commentary!, accessed 18.10.2011
  3. ^ Arduinna's Recs, 2006
  4. ^ 6.11.2006, rec by speedgeek on stargateficrec, "Retrograde" by Martha Wilson (PG-13), accessed 18.10.2011
  5. ^ rec at Crack Van, August 2006
  6. ^ Slash World, 2011
  7. ^ rec at Crack Van, August 2006
  8. ^ 6.2.2007, rec by therisingmoon on stargateficrec, Recovery by Martha Wilson (PG-13), accessed 18.10.2011
  9. ^ 5.6.2006, rec by rydra_wong on stargateficrec, Vegas by ltlj (R), accessed 18.10.2011