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Title: Unidentified
Author(s): the drifter
Date(s): 7.2007
Length: ~30,000 words
Genre: AU, Earth AU, slash McShep amnesiafic
Fandom: Stargate Atlantis
External Links: Unidentified: Index Post

Unidentified: podfic

Unidentified cover by aesc.png

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Unidentified is a classic SGA amnesia Earth AU fic by the drifter. It was a huge hit and immediately widely recced when it was posted and is still often recommended to newcomers to the fandom. It also inspired a soundtrack, a short sequel, a DVD Commentary and several covers. The story won second place in the McKay/Sheppard Fan Awards 2007. Justbreathe08 recorded a podfic in 2008.

Recs and Reviews

"You are going to see this rec'd all over creation and back again, and let me add my voice to the throng. I am absolutely rocked back on my heels by the_drifter's [Unidentified], PG) - so much so that I literally cannot think of the words to do it justice. AU, Los Angeles, present day; John as a pilot, Rodney as the guy who was his college roommate, stricken now, at 33, with sudden amnesia -- and if you're thinking cliche, think again. Good god - it's just brilliant."[1]
"[...] this was the fic that ate fandom (six pages of comments so far!) and it sounded awesome and I wanted to read it and it WAS awesome, so very awesome, so I wanted to post my review and share, for the few of you who haven't seen it mentioned five zillion times on your flist already. I would highly recommend this even if you don't usually read SGA. It's AU and could totally be read as original fic, I think. Everything you need to know is there. And it's just. Wow. Wow. Why aren't there more stories like this? It's funny because in the interview meme I asked a couple of people something like, if you could have someone write you the perfect fic, what would it be? And this is like my perfect fic I didn't even know I wanted. This has just the right amount of everything. And it's set in LA! ♥ (Even though they don't like LA, wtf. Heathens.)"[2]
"Amazing. AU, and--I have no *idea*. It's perfect. It's beautiful and fascinating and this wonderful AU mix and it's John and Rodney and the things that are constant and the things that aren't. I just--God. I want to forget it so I can read it *again* and be amazed all over again."[3]
"Without a doubt "Unidentified," an AU that takes place with SGA characters who met in college instead of in the Stargate program, is the story of the year. What an amazing, powerful, beautiful, poetic read. I'm not a fan of amnesia fics. I can take them or leave them. But here fiercelydreamed built on the understanding that amnesia isn't about Rodney's past, recovering his memories and returning him to who he was, but discovering who he is without his memories. Without the trauma, without whatever had made him the sarcastic, rude, rather bitter man whom you love anyway for his raw, vulnerable honesty. She reveals the traits fundamental to his personality: his wonder, his obsessiveness, and his powerful intellect.

As if that insight alone weren't enough, she slowly adds, in small doses, what John knows of Rodney's recent past, their history together, and what Rodney's memory loss means to John – both good and bad – and then there's the incredible scene where John is kicked out of the military. It would be excruciating (if still bittersweet) without fiercelydreamed's gorgeous writing. Better yet, the story is tightly structured, honed, giving you no more than you absolutely need to know.

Then we have that final scene where you learn Rodney's last act before he lost his memory, and the whole story is turned on its end and you know the truth. I don't cry at stories. But she got me with the sheer joy of it.

All this would be enough to make this the finest story of the year – and I say this in confidence in August. Not a chance anyone's going to surpass this. [...] fiercelydreamed, I envy you this story, and applaud, breathless."[4]


  1. 10.7.2007, rec! by sheafrotherdon
  2. 12.7.2007, Fic reviews: Unidentified (SGA) by kanata
  3. stargate:atlantis sheppard/mckay recs by seperis
  4. 18.11.2007, Some of my favorite SGA fics so far this year. by icarus