patron saint of neglected female characters (rose_griffes) wrote in het_reccers,
patron saint of neglected female characters

character manifesto: Sam Anders, Battlestar Galactica

Fandom: Battlestar Galactica
Character: Samuel T. Anders
Pairings included in manifesto: Kara Thrace/Sam Anders, Tory Foster/Sam Anders, Laura Roslin/Sam Anders, Jean Barolay/Sam Anders, Anastasia Dualla/Sam Anders

Blurb: Sam Anders isn't my favorite character on BSG. He is half of my favorite pair, though, and he has a fascinating story beyond his relationship with Kara Thrace. (There's a Kara/Sam ship manifesto that you should read if you're a fan of the pair.)

We met Sam when Kara Thrace returned to (old) Caprica to retrieve an artifact, the arrow of Apollo. Sam was the default leader of a small band of resistance fighters, mostly composed of teammates from the remnants of the Caprica Buccaneers. He was clearly interested in Kara (and that interest was reciprocated).

Instead of being rescued from a dead planet or keeping Kara there to help with the resistance, Sam pushed her to return to the fleet with the arrow, leaving him to continue fighting and presumably to die there. Not much choice--the ship Kara had for her return wasn't large enough to hold all the resistance fighters, and those fighters had a goal to eliminate as many of the Farms (places where human women were held captive for reproductive experiments) as possible.

That wasn't the end of his story, though. We saw him later in season two, still alive on Caprica and still fighting. The dogtag Kara gave him helped save his life when he was captured by two cylons; they were inspired by the 'tangible proof' of the human capacity for love.

That's Jean Barolay with him. My second favorite pairing for Sam.

Eventually he does get rescued from Caprica, ends up settling on New Caprica and marrying Kara. It's not exactly a fairy-tale marriage; in part due to who Kara and Sam are, and later because the cylons return.

After four months of fighting and captivity (for Kara), they return to the fleet. Though Kara is suffering from PTSD and Sam is unable to deal with her, neither seems willing to let the other go for good. But then Kara does let go--of everything. Sam is left a widower.

This is not the end--for character development nor for Kara/Sam. At the same time as Kara mysteriously returns, Sam figures out that he's one of the enemy: a cylon. That's when I actually starting rooting for them as a pair because I'm perverse like that.

BSG has a wildly convoluted story for many characters. Sam's story arc goes from professional athlete to resistance fighter to pilot to cylon to ship's hybrid. And that's just the parts he can remember--before that he was a cylon scientist heavily involved in the recreation of resurrection technology.

I do ship Sam with Kara, but there are many spaces in canon where he's not in a relationship with her. Here are some of my favorite Sam het fics. I had a lot of help compiling this, since most of my own bookmarks are Kara/Sam stories.

Kara Thrace/Sam Anders stories first. I'm trying to choose stories that haven't already been recced here.

Fic Rec #1: Before & After
Pairing: Kara Thrace/Sam Anders
Author: daythirtynine
Rating/Warning(s): PG

Why This Must Be Read: Because it's a poetic look at all of Sam's memories. Brief, but a vivid portrayal of all he was and his love for Kara.

Fic Rec #2 Five Times Kara Misses Sam
Pairing: Kara Thrace/Sam Anders
Author: butterfly_kate
Rating/Warning(s): PG

Why This Must Be Read: Kara's POV about Sam and how she can't stop yearning for him even when she doesn't think she deserves love. (The Earth mentioned is the ruined Earth from episode 4.10.)

Fic Rec #3: Relearning
Pairing: Kara Thrace/Sam Anders
Author: cynthia_arrow
Rating/Warning(s): NC-17 for sexual content

Why This Must Be Read: Sam on Caprica meeting Kara for the first time. It's a bleak yet hopeful portrayal of a man who's been torn apart by the fighting he's helping to lead.

Fic Rec #4: Cold Feet
Pairing: Kara Thrace/Sam Anders
Author: ivanolix
Rating/Warning(s): PG-13

Why This Must Be Read: Another Kara POV, this time about life on New Caprica and learning to adjust to a new relationship with Sam. It reflects on why Kara was so gunshy after Zak's death and how Sam slowly works past that with her.

Fic Rec #5: End of Line; New Command
Pairing: Kara Thrace/Sam Anders
Author: lyssie
Rating/Warning(s): R for sex

Why This Must Be Read: Kara and Sam in the afterlife: visiting the people they knew before after they settled on our Earth, flying imaginary Vipers and having lots of sex.

Moving on to other pairs!

Fic Rec #6: Persona
Pairing: Jean Barolay/Sam Anders
Author: ivanolix
Rating/Warning(s): PG-13

Why This Must Be Read: There's hardly any Jean/Sam fic out there; this story helps fill in the gaps about them as teammates before the attacks and how they connect after their worlds have ended and all they can do is fight.

Fic Rec #7: All the Fun
Pairing: Anastasia Dualla/Sam Anders
Author: lizardbeth_j
Rating/Warning(s): NC-17 for explicit sex

Why This Must Be Read: Considering their identical positions in the quadrangle of doom (cuckolded spouse), Anders/Dee only seems logical.

Fic Rec #8: Last One on the Dance Floor
Pairing: Anastasia Dualla/Sam Anders
Author: daybreak777
Rating/Warning(s): PG-13 (brief moment that verges on dubcon, but is quickly resolved as consensual)

Why This Must Be Read: Subtle and sexy: another view on how Dee takes charge after Kara and Lee's fight at the Dance.

Fic Rec #9: Ballad in plain D (Do Not Talk Falsely)
Pairing: Tory Foster/Sam Anders
Author: nicole_anell
Rating/Warning(s): PG-13

Why This Must Be Read: Written in the post-season three hiatus, Nicole's story explores what would happen if Tory were outed as a cylon. Considering that these two did have at least one sexual encounter and that they're both Final Five cylons, it's surprising that there's not more fic pairing them.

Fic Rec #10: Part I: War Crimes; Part II: Shell Shocked; Part III: Outside the Ring
Pairing: Laura Roslin/Sam Anders
Author: i_am_davnee
Link: War Crimes, Shell Shocked, Outside the Ring
Rating/Warning(s): NC-17

Why This Must Be Read: Recced to me when I asked for hetfic with Sam that didn't include Kara; this story was a fantastic view of two people who have lost what's most important to them. The first two parts happen on New Caprica during the occupation; part three is after Adama's speech at the Dance. (I had never stopped to consider how isolated Bill Adama's speech would have been to Laura Roslin; her anger in the final story is palpable and well-earned.)
Tags: fandom: battlestar galactica, ship: anastasia dualla/sam anders, ship: jean barolay/sam anders, ship: kara thrace/sam anders, ship: laura roslin/sam anders, ship: tory foster/sam anders, special: manifesto

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