THE ACID DESK: Vol. 1, No. 5

The Underground XFFanfic Newsletter
Vol 1. No. 5

Welcome to THE ACID DESK, a bi-monthly newsletter discussing the latest fics, recs, trends, discussions, and even *gasp* gossip in the X-Files Fanfic Community. All opinions expressed herein belong solely to the author, CiCi Lean.

Write to me and tell me how wrong I am!
CiCi Lean
CiCi Lean's EBox

"The Pen Is Mightier..."

RE: Acid Desk: Vol. 1, No. 4

From "[email protected]"

"Gee, CiCi. I think I want to stay on your -good- side."

Oh, I'm so sorry, sweetie. Because, unfortunately...

I don't have one.

From "[email protected]"

"This *newsletter* appears to be some form of propaganda used to forward your own agenda."

Well... duh, Einstein.

(But, please note, for 500K of Pendrell smut and 10 bucks, I'll CONSIDER forwarding the agendas of others. Well, maybe 20 bucks...)

From: "[email protected]"

"Loved the Acid Desk 04. Damn, I needed that. Really, really badly. I've been waiting, and I mean that. You do a great service--knocking ALL of us equally off our high horses (though some are a lot higher than others )."

Ain't that the truth. But, don't worry.

I'll get around to you eventually. {evil smirk}

Great Authors, Stories & More!

"Shootouts, Shopping & Sinking Ships" by MsBrooklyn (on XAPEN): Feldman is BACK! And so is the fabulous Ms.Brooklyn. The wonderful, funny, and brutal adventures of Ellen Feldman and Alex Krycek as they storm their way through danger and adventure, in a land where bloodstains are just another dry-cleaning problem. Real wit, grown-up writing, and -tons- of fun. Check it out! Rating: 5+ Flashlights.

The Work of Jill Selby/Jill Selby XF Fanfic ( - I've always found Selby very interesting, as in she's a lovely, decent, self-effacing person, as well as being a -truly- talented writer, two traits that rarely, if ever, coincide in the same human being. Her work is some of the finest in XFFanfic, and yet, she is often taken for granted, as if free XF-novels of professional quality are -supposed- to drop in from the sky as a matter of course. Her work is true to Carter, but it's also filled with the high-end emotion and angst we crave from fanfic. She also is the undisputed Queen of Canon Scully Characterization, which is no mean feat in itself. Normally, I'd slap her silly with my Spiked Gloves of Insane Jealousy, but she's so darned nice (and her work is so damned good), that I really don't have the heart.

So, let me take the plunge here, and recommend ALL her fics (she's DISGUSTINGLY consistent), which include "Rags," "Mediocrity's Allure," "A Makeshift Kiss," "Ever After," "Mr. Efficiency," and "Aspirations of Closure," just to name a few. Her WIP, "Paper Saints" is certainly worth the gander, but it ain't done yet, so don't yell at me.

Oh, and if you've enjoyed her work, send her a letter for cripe's sake. Just do it. Before some other fandom gets a hold of her.

To read the works of Jill Selby go to: Jill Selby XF Fanfic( )

(...and join her ScullyFic List! Lots of volume, but worth the wade. Send an E-mail to "ScullyFic Subscription".)

Notes On The Archive of Note

For something different, check out that "other" Gossamer, the "Gossamer Specialty Archive" maintained by Amy Clayborn. Filled with filks, poems, MST's, top ten lists, and things that don't fall under the usual "fanfiction" guidelines, you'll be pleasantly surprised by the novelty and the chuckles you'll find here.

Check it out: and tell Amy, CiCi sent you. {grin}

Eat Your Heart Out, Cindy Adams

Blind Item #1: Which poor slash author is so notoriously bad, that their pen name has become a euphemism in certain circles for -any- particularly lousy fic?

Blind Item #2: Which inseparable pair of merry fanfic pranksters are having -way- too much fun with pseudonyms, even up to the point of making bestest E-pals with their worst enemies, writing purposefully putrid MSR's and "flaming" each other's identities mercilessly, both of them laughing all the way to the nuthouse?

Blind Item #3: Which lean and mean fanfic author has absolutely NO qualms about anonymously recc'ing her own work, which she does shamelessly in any forum that will listen?

The Latest From The Usenet Front (

IT'S MINE I TELL YOU! -- Two scandals worth noting this month. A heated discussion as to the technical aspects of plagiarism, which, IMHO, are pretty clearly defined. Word for word theft of another author's works, put forward as your own. Nothing more, nothing less. Plots, styles, and titles don't count, for as Andre Jute says in "Writing A Thriller" -- "Novelists are permitted 'borrowing' that would elsewhere be called theft. Indeed, such cross-pollination of ideas is not only permitted but should be encouraged for the health of the literary form. The art and originality of the storyteller lies to a far greater extent in how he puts his tale together than in its content..."

Truer words were never spoken.


THEY'RE HIS, I TELL YOU! -- Another scandal, nowhere near as important as the above, was the strange, rabid insistence by an individual on atxc that all stories should be "true to Carter's vision" and that anything outside of these boundaries was not only an exercise in bad taste, but might actually endanger the fanfic community as a whole once Carter got a gander at our blasphemy and shut us down in a fit of righteous rage. (Of course, according to "Mrs. Carter", NC-17 MSR's were perfectly acceptable as *canon*, but slash, "other" and noire fiction were not.) However, the fact that Carter has most likely heard of and read slash, (AND gave it a healthy nod in "The Red & The Black"), as well as *non-canon* fiction (he's said he particularly loves the "real nasty" fanfics), made no impression on this poster, who soon made it clear that "Carter's" vision, was actually her own and we'd all better listen up or else.

Yeah. Right. Well, if I'm not there in five minutes, honey, start without me.

Reviews From The Wild Side

"Witness tree" by torch (M/K) -- Lovely, lyrical torch. This short one packs a power-punch and is one spooky, dark and painful ride all about the marks we leave on the world, whether we want to or not. Angst lovers, go get it! Rating: 5+ Lashes

"Break Time" by Te (B/L) -- Written 'specially for me one balmy night, this unbelievably sexy snippet has a horny Byers, a sneaky Langly and a Frohike who knows a -little- bit more than he's letting on. The Offices of the "Magic Bullet," INDEED! Whoo-hoo. Rating: 5++ Lashes

THE SLASHFEN LIST: Run by BethLynn, this list for the "fen" (otherwise known as slash "fans"), has nifty discussion about a wide range of slash topics in all fandoms. Join up and talk the talk. (To subscribe: Send E-Mail to SlashFen Subscription)

Discussing The Discussion Lists

XFCTalk: Topics this week include ruminations about The Ring (you know which one I mean!) and the where's, what's, who's and why's as to the possible "legally-wed" Mrs. Spooky. Kudos to Jessie who boldly suggested that Mulder's "wife" might have been a guy. Like the saying goes, "Hey, You Never Know." Not much fiction talk, but, on this list, sometimes any talk is welcome. Why not join and liven it up? (Hey, I'll even give you the -right- addy this time: Send E-mail to XFCTalk. Put in body of E-mail "subscribe XFCTalk "your name")

CHAOS FICTALK: Kudos to List Mom SciNut, who has actually turned the flaming, terrifying beast of XFFanfic into a quiet Utopia of recommendations and kindly newbie assistance. Geez, the place is so damn civilized now, I don't even recognize it anymore. Of course, my absence from posting -might- have helped bring about that change, but I'll give most of the credit where credit is due. For those among us with high blood pressure and/or chronic anxiety, you can come out now and join. It's "o'tay." (To join FicTalk, send an E-mail to Fictalk Subscription Addy with "subscribe fictalk" in the body of the letter. Administration approval required.)

AOL FANFIC JUNKIES BOARD(Fanfic Junkies): Good Heavens, is it possible that a flamewar can break out, even in the Gentle Land of The Fanfic Junkies? Of course it is! The scandal? A certain newsletter named the Acid Desk, of course, containing a TOSable word directly linked to the forum boards that was promptly shot down, torn and trounced. No big deal, except that every post following it was TOS'd, AS WELL AS the link to Lydia Bower's archive, which had the nerve to clearly warn readers that NC-17 material may be lurking three or four links away. (Just so you know, TOSing Bower's archive, in the Junkies folder anyway, is an action that's akin to throwing The Koran into a Port-O-Potty.)

So, what the hell was going on? A new "AOL Folder Monitor" of course, one who was not only ignorant of Junkie forum protocol, but also of the basics of the English language. All attempts to garner an explanation for the TOSing of Lydia's archive were met with illiterate rambling that not only didn't clear the matter up, it actually made it ten times worse. Things were getting truly ugly, with no relief in sight from the Forum Managers (who might not be able to read or write either for all I know), UNTIL....

...the scorched "Folder Monitor" gets the bright idea to sneak in under another AOL screen name and flame the complainers. (Still incoherently, but this time with "feeling.") However, the utter lack of punctuation soon tips off The Screamers, who in turn tip off Forum Management, and lo and behold, two days later we receive a NEW Folder Monitor, who makes her air-kissed, smiley-faced entrance, and just HOPES we can all get along now. Yeah, well, I hope so too, punky bear. But I doubt it.

BTW, this edition of The Acid Desk is dedicated to the old, freshly unemployed monitor.

A shame he or she probably can't read it.

(Where The Names Have Been Changed to Protect...well, Everyone.)

"we could say that he [Mulder] was eaten by a mountain lion or bitten by a snake, crushed by a gorilla, or maybe catch a fatal illness [sic]"

Poor Mulder. Just another gorilla crushing statistic.

(A.P.I.G.P: All Pendrell is Good Pendrell)

(Pendrell Fic List)

Dedicated to fiction and fiction discussion featuring everyone's favorite dead (NOT!) lab rat, Agent No-Name!Pendrell. All genres are welcome, including NC-17 and *gasp* slash (a.k.a. "Socks"), and there's no age requirement. Flamers and LabBoy Haters are NOT welcome, so don't join up just to have me boot your ass out the door. Which I certainly will.

TO JOIN: Send a blank E-mail to: Pendrell Fic List

Ravings From The Acid Desk:
"Confessions Of A Ballot Stuffer"
An Acid Desk Interview -- by CiCi Lean

The scene: The 1996 ATXC Spooky Awards run by author and archivist, Stef Davies.

The scandal: During the final ballot counting, Stef notices a surprising number of closely timed votes, all clamoring for stories that were nominated, but up to that point, hadn't even been in the running for top honors. She immediately gets suspicious, quietly investigates, and soon, her worst fears are confirmed.

We had a ballot stuffer on our hands.

Using the endless multiple screenames that AOL gives you with membership, the stuffer had, one evening, decided to sway the awards to their liking. Stef never let us know *who* had done the deed, and she quietly disqualified the votes, while warning all of us, not to do it again.

Now, even -I-, Miss Know-It-All, have wondered for the past two years who exactly was it who did the deed. Then, last month, to my great shock and surprise, and completely by accident, I found out.

When Elysavets IM'd me out of the blue one morning, I was skeptical, but after a bit of fact-checking, I realized that she indeed was the Infamous One. After a few days of talking, she agreed to be interviewed for the Acid Desk, and so, below, please find...

An Interview with Elysavets
Questions by CiCi Lean

CL: Well, I suppose the first question that's on everybody's mind is -- why? Why did you do it?

EL: Well, I guess I have to answer two different things. I thought that the idea of fanfic awards was pretty neat to begin with. But the more I looked at the nominations, the more I realized that it really had nothing to do with who the best writers were. It had to do with who wrote the most popular stuff. And the more I looked at that, the more I realized that the writers who were writing fan fantasies were really going to win, instead of the best writers. So, one night, my husband and I had some friends over, and I confessed my secret fanfic addiction and told them about the awards. We'd all had a few drinks, and were feeling sort of playful and I logged in and showed them the ballots. I don't remember who suggested it, but it might have been me, I admit it; anyway, we started voting and I created a screen name for each of our guests and advised them on what I'd vote, with various differences. I had to describe each story, since there certainly wasn't time for them to read them, and they'd tell me which one to vote for and so on. Once we got rolling, we just kept on rolling, and we used the most awful screennames imaginable. I think ultimately, we voted about forty or fifty times. I'm not positive, we were all a little tipsy by then, and laughing hysterically. The guys were competing for the most smarmy screen names and the girls were right behind them. Toward the end, we were voting strictly by writers who weren't like total raves in the newsgroup, but who wrote decently.

CL: Did you vote for yourself?

E: God, no! I don't post fanfic! I write it for my own private pleasure. And my husband's. [g]

CL: Just to be the Devil's advocate, what is wrong with the most popular stories winning over the ones that are supposedly better quality? Aren't awards supposed to be a "will of the people"?

E: Oh, there's nothing wrong with that, but call it what it is. If it's a most popular story contest, don't call it best story for each category, call it most popular story for each category. If it's a contest for quality, then you need to not rely on popular vote, but maybe some independent judges to judge the writing quality.

If tons of people like Jackie Collins and say that she's the best writer in the world, it doesn't mean she IS! [LOL]

CL: Just out of curiosity, did you vote for me?

E: Er, I can't say. I don't know. Maybe?

CL: You just lost most of my sympathy here, you realize. {grin}

E: Oh, don't be mad, I probably did.

CL: Last question. Do you have any regrets?

E: Well, sometimes. I feel bad that Stef Davies was upset.

And I feel bad that what we did technically was very dishonest.

The entire awards process seems like nothing more a popularity contest to me. It doesn't matter how good you are or how original or unique the plot is. The winners always seem to be writing the same old plot, and most of them are romances. So the non-romances fall completely out of the loop. Look at your stuff, I love your stuff, but has Wonderland ever won an award? But the dumbest of romances can win. If you want to have a popularity contest, call it a popularity contest. If it's a quality contest, let's call it a quality contest. Otherwise, people who are really good, but who don't have the following for slurpee stories--they never get the chance to win.

The only other regret I have is that one of the worst, yet apparently most popular fanfic writers (IMHO) won over better writers. I guess I also have to admit that I regret the fact we got caught. I don't know that forty or fifty votes would have turned the award to another writer, but I sometimes think it might have.

CL: Okay, that should do it. Thank you for your time and candor, Elysavets.

E: You're welcome.

If you are interested in writing to Elysavets, send her an E-mail, in c/o me, In Care Of CiCi Lean and I'll forward it on.

CiCi Lean

That's it for this edition. Thanks to Elysavets for her interview, Alicia, Te & Zoot for beta reading and many air kisses to all my anon blind item contributors!

Come again next time, and I'll have some more snarky rants, squealing raves, gratuitous Pendrell Slapping, filthy gossip and a whole lot more!

THE ACID DESK is, hopefully, a bi-weekly newsletter, written & created by CiCi Lean.

This newsletter may NOT be copied, forwarded or posted to any other list, USENET news group of web page without express permission of the author, CiCi Lean (CiCi Lean's EBox). In short, if you sneak it around, I'll catch you and eat you alive. (And I chew 100 times per bite, just like Mama Lean taught me

All comments are welcome. Send to CiCi Lean's EBox


You are visitor number to this page. Thank you.

Hosted by