The Underground XFFanfic Newsletter Vol 1. No. 8

Welcome to THE ACID DESK, a bi-weekly 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
([email protected])

"I thoroughly disapprove of duels. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet place and kill him." - Mark Twain



From: "[email protected]"

Dear Acid Desk:

I'm at a loss for the astonishing amount of authors who don't respond when they get a feedback letter. I always thought when someone said "thank you," you should reply with a "you're welcome." I have even gotten a reply that flamed my butt for the feedback.

When I suggested that the characters should have progressed further in the story, this "well-known" author told me, in no uncertain terms, that "The End" meant just that. I did get an apology letter later, but I must admit, it still left a bitter taste in my mouth.

Same goes when asking for permission to archive. After sending not one, but two letters to ask to archive a story went by with out a reply, I thought the hell with it. I'm a fan not a stalker. A simple "yes" or "no" will do, folks. I know from talking with other people that sometimes you forget that writers who have made a name for themselves need feedback too, but so do loyal readers.

Editor's Reply: Hmmm, guess I have to give a reply now. :-) IMHO, feedback isn't a "thank-you" -- it's a gift, to be appreciated and responded to as such. And, besides, I've gotten negative feedback. So what would we call that? A "no, thank you?" [g]


Great Authors, Stories & More!


Yes, yes... I hear the moans of the battered and beleaguered newbies in the distance. We, The Old Guard, don't pay any attention to you. We ignore you. We Bitter Old Fanfic Queens are *much* too busy spitting Oil Of Olay at each other to even -bother- noticing you.

Well, little do you innocent newbies know that this is a complete and total fallacy. We *do* notice you, read you, see the fine work you are producing, and believe me, we simply HATE you for it, darlings.

There, doesn't that make you feel better?

Anyway, below find a couple of newbies that this old Fanfic Queen enjoys to no end. God, these young 'uns. Where on earth will I ever find a cage big enough to lock them up in, these talented little ((@#$*(!*!!'s?

The Work of Analise -- Wow. Want to check out the latest in our deadly competition, gals? This writer has given us an *incredible* mix canon XF with actual PLOT (gasp!) and wonderful writing. May The Fanfic Gods help us. Oh, don't believe me? Check out "Mindprints" and weep. Gosh, maybe if we break her thumbs... ;-)

The Work of Barbara Driscoll -- Wow again. Scully as a real, human, complicated woman. Go, Barbara, and keep going. She claimed she was just going to write one, and we're happy to see that she's written another one and might continue. Encourage her....or else.

The Work of Marguerite -- Marguerite isn't QUITE a newbie, but she's not one of those Bitter Old Fanfic Queens, either, so I'm including her. Another writer who clearly has so much affection and understanding of both characters that she doesn't have to reduce them to caricatures. What can the world be coming to!

All of the above can be found on Deja News or on The Ephemeral Archive

Notes on the Archive of Note

The Latest on Gossamer...

The updates are still months behind.

*chirping of crickets*


BUT... on a much brighter note, Ephemeral is doing very well, and has gotten over 100,000 thousand hits in the first two months of its existence. Of course, don't tell Scott, but 50,000 of those are me, checking to compare my hit-to-recommendation ratio and making sure it stays within a reasonable range. (One hit, one rec. Two hits, THREE recs...)

Don't ever leave us, Scott. This is the most fun I've had since I discovered The Kama Sutra of Pooh Web Site. (Don't ask, folks.)

Eat Your Heart Out, Cindy Adams

BLIND ITEM #1: Which optimistic fanficcer is still coyly insinuating to pals that it's just a matter of time before their script is on Carter's "to-do" list, even though the 1013 director the script was handed to made it *very* clear that they were not accepting ANY unsolicited scripts of ANY kind from ANY writer who didn't have an agent and a good resume in the biz, and handed it back?

BLIND ITEM #2: Which lively author recently confided in me that they've slept with three other fanfic writers during *one* recent sojourn?*

BLIND ITEM #2a: Which batch of Acid Desk readers will be incredibly disappointed to learn that when I said "sleep" for Blind Item #2, I meant SLEEP. (Ha! Gotcha, you dirty-minded little nudges. [g])

BLIND ITEM #3: Which fabulous fanfic author just became the mom of bouncing baby TWINS? You go, Mom! Twice the fun and double the lack of sleep! What say we all snooze an extra hour in her honor this weekend? I'm sure she'll appreciate it. :-)

The Latest From The Usenet Front
( --
Deja News )

This week: A contribution from the fabulous and opinionated... La! [ [email protected] ]


I'm not sure if it is just me, but I've noticed a definite change in ATXC in the last two weeks. Maybe it is the growing popularity of the Mice, but I hate to place blame or credit there--however you choose to look at it. I sort of think we create our own monsters and don't need to go looking for them where there are none.

We had another troll this week, and yeah, I know, big hairy deal. So what. It was evident early on that we were dealing with someone whose school projects go under the refrigerator magnets, and is still looking for the perfect cure for zits, but still the same...troll.

After the most logical solution to our troll problem was ignored--ahem, ignore the child--we got another solution that left me feeling ever so slightly nauseous. Let's report her to her ISP administrator.

I'm not sure where ATXC is going, but I still like being a part of it. I like chatting with people there, and as long as the flames stay down to a certain tolerable level, I'm hanging around. I probably don't have the best reputation for walking away from flame wars, but I'm learning, and most importantly, I'm learning to pick my battles.

Here's my beef. Siccing someone's ISP administrator on someone is like the kid who stands in the middle of the playground threatening to tattle on everyone if you don't play by his rules. They are the sadistic hall monitor that turns in even their best friends for going to the bathroom without a pass. Get my drift?

God knows I've done and said my share of dumb things, but one thing I've always tried to remember is that on the other side of that screen name is a person. A living, breathing person. I think we sometimes forget that. I know I have to keep reminding myself of it and hit the cancel button after I've whipped out an especially nasty response to something I've read. But like I said, I'm learning. I'm starting to like the concept of tolerance.

Recently, some nasty things have happened involving ISP administrators and screen names, and this is probably not the best time to go into it, but I think when it gets to the point that this is our only recourse, we need to find another hobby. What this troll said was not especially nasty or offensive, just rude and immature. Why does the thought of reporting someone to their ISP administrator for being indifferent to the feelings of others evoke an image of the villagers with lit torches?

Folks, we can't create the monster and then act all surprised when the villagers storm the castle gate and burn it down. Unless the person says something that under any circumstances is totally unforgivable,threatens you or insults you using language that is so offensive it burns your monitor or nose hairs, ignore it. Let it pass and soon enough, they will, too. Conflict is only good if someone keeps it going.

God, I sound mature. I sure wish I would snap out of it! :P

Reviews From The Wild Side
Slash Rant

The Work of Halrloprillalar -- This prolific author of many wonderful and unique short pieces, parodies and angsty tidbits is writing incredible stuff by the truckload and really deserves her own day in the sun. Her work is clean, precise, and filled with side-splitting humor, pathos, clean writing and a soulfulness that's hard to find in slash works these days. Her novelty of pairings alone should get her kudos, but to couple that with great writing, well...

Try "Big Spender," "Male Bondage," the "I Love Lucy" universe or her latest wonder "First Light" for a refreshing look at the "extreme possibilities" of slash. Wonderful!

Hal's work can be found at Archive X and on Dejanews -- (RATING: The body of her work: 5+ Lashes on average.)

"Life With The Slashers" by Diana Williams (Various Pairings - Rated "R"): Very amusing parody series, one that skewers all of the cliches of the genre, even a few that I've seamlessly encouraged and employed. Love it! (On ATXC, SlashX, XAPEN archives, and Dejanews.) (Rating: 5 Lashes.)


Discussing The Discussion Lists

XAPEN-Talk -- Yep, I've gotten into the discussion list game, and it's an up and down proposition, with floods of mail one day, silence the next. Some *great* essays by Vehemently, on writing, meta-fiction, parody and all the rest. (Of course, the usual flame war on feedback proceeded all of this, so I won't toot any horns yet.) All in all, I'm pleased with the level of discussion, we just have to get those recs moving again. (To join send email to: [email protected] ))

XFCreative Talk -- Good discussion on Scully's motivations in "The Beginning" and Scully characterization in general, with both sides taking a slightly different view of her impossible skepticism. No, no one really understands it, but rationalizations abounded. As for me, I think the proof of an alien invasion by gut-ripping cow-eyed geeks from Mars just makes Scully nervous, but hey, that's only my opinion. (To join: send email to: [email protected] )))

FICTALK: Quiet as always, but I still think it's a good place for newbies and the curious, and I'll bet if you have a question on canon or Skinner's age or middle name, this is a good place to start your information hunt. Kick 'em up into some recommendations, Sci... I think they is just shy. (To join send email to: [email protected] with the words "subscribe fictalk end" in the body of the letter.)

FANFIC JUNKIES: The WIP talk has given way to post-episode recs, which are good tidings for the season. Hot authors include Dasha K, Plausible Deniability, Annie Sewell Jennings, and the lovely Perelandra. There are some new Honorary Screamers hanging out these days , and the fresh blood always makes for interesting, nostalgic discussions of old favorites and pet peeves. I wish I didn't have to lurk here, but since the AOL account I use isn't my own... *sigh* (AOL MEMBERS ONLY! Sorry! Go to keyword "X-Files" and Message Boards.)

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

"Heat & Decay" by Abree Brand -- This WIP (Work In Progress) is getting more incredible by the installment with some of the most lyrical and wonderful writing I've read in ages! This apocalyptic post-Colonization fic is a LabLover's dream! Oh, the poetic ANGST of it all! We are up to Part Four and I'm DYING here, Abree! Pulleeze, hurry!

To be found on the Pendrell-Fic egroups archive, Parts One and Two. To join, E-mail [email protected]All ages welcome.

RANT-O-RAMA: Ravings From The Acid Desk:

THE DEBBIL & CiCi Lean (A Tale of Unimaginable EVIL!)


"You are paralyzed by the fact that cruelty is often amusing."


Heavens, tres Scandal, boys and girls!

Seems that my quest to protect the free speech of even the unpopular members of our little "community" has gotten me into a bit of a kartufle, but, as always, it's a tempest that doesn't even make the proverbial teapot.

Oh, well.

The DebbilMice Page , a site that prods and pokes at XF, authors, genres and episodes has been around for nearly three months and is now at the center of all the spittle, both warm and cold.

I noticed this site after someone pointed out that I'd been given a "Tipsy Pitchfork" for writing "Diamonds," a hideous and silly MSR for which I should have been flayed alive for posting, but, hey, I *did* write it as a gift for someone.

Anyway, when I mentioned that I liked the Debbilmice page over a MONTH ago, in THE ACID DESK, Vol. 6., I told everyone far and wide that while I believed that the site was naughty, it was also quite funny in its own way, and I enjoyed it.

Never heard a peep about it.

No one complained, no one howled.

A couple of days later, I joined the site's mailing list as well, and everything was just dandy, until the most recent issue hit the "stands." For this particular issue, a rankled author decided to wage a campaign against whom they *thought* was the webmistress, and what they *thought* was her real-life persona, home phone number, and address.

Now, I don't know about any of you, but to me... that's a no-no. In fact, IMHO, that's the biggest no-no you can possibly commit around here, negative critiques and Pitchforks be damned.

You don't screw with someone's real life and name over fanfic.

That's far beyond overkill. That's insane.

So, more than a little peeved myself, I wrote a complimentary essay defending the web-mistress's and mailing list's right to post without "real-life" harassment and told the Debbilmice to stick it up front, with my name attached in big, bold red letters right on the bottom.

Just to make sure nobody could miss it.

Now, you might ask, is this site that I was defending, a kind, nice, politically-correct site?

No. For the most part, it's a bunch of nasty bastards being nasty, and gleefully admitting that they are rotten to the core, but there -are- some redeeming, and hilarious, features on the site.

So, does this site add to the "community," you ask?

Like most sane people, I can only speak for myself, and therefore, if any one of us enjoys it, I must say yes, it adds to the "community," whatever that is.

Do these DebbilMice have a right to publish their opinions on publicly posted works, ones that BEG for feedback in any way, shape or form?

Yes, I believe they do. I -strongly- believe they do and I'll defend their right to do it, and sign my name to that defense. Also, if I enjoy ANY site, I'll say it loud and proud, not giving so much as a HOOT who doesn't think it's the right thing for such a "pillar" of the so-called "community" as myself to do.

(Oh, and kids? Please save your disappointment in me for when I come to your doorstep drunk, throw up on your cat, and take a piss on your lawn. It *could* happen someday, believe me.)

Anyway, with the essay posted, I waited for the deluge of hate mail with baited breath and whitened knuckles. (Okay, okay, that's not exactly true. I had a beer, a pack of Kools and was writing some Untouchables smut while taking occasional peeks into my in-box, but, it was close enough.)

Puffing and drinking, I waited. And waited. Then waited some more.

And, as always, I was sorely disappointed.

Nada. Zilch. Zip.

A couple of letters of feedback. A request for beta-reading. A piece of SPAM from the Ravishing RedHeaded Boy Toy site.

Then, four days later, the trickle began.

And what a hilarious, and sad, one it was.

First letter I received was from someone who I'll refer to as "Frankie" because she rather reminds me of the character in the movie "Blue Velvet," Frank, who sucked down Whip-Its, and sliced off people's ears while demanding that they sing cheesy lounge songs for him.

Now, I can't really tell you all of what Frankie wrote to me, because, as I have in the past with this particular writer, I usually delete her emails on sight, though I've heard rumors that she's claiming I'm a dingo in human form who's been going around eating babies raw. Which, of course, is an absolute lie.

I like my babies cooked, thank you very much.

Roasted, with the slightest hint of garlic.

But, on a whim, I opened one and saw that Frankie was quite outraged, and upset, and angry, and also wanted to know if I was the goat who was dancing around her bed the night before wearing a red cape while chanting stock quotes, to which I firmly replied that I certainly was.

Hey. Saves her the trouble looking them up in the paper, doesn't it?

Now, was Frankie an author who was critiqued on the DebbilMice page you might ask?

Duh. Of course, she was.

So much for objective indignation.

The second letter I received was from someone I'll refer to as "Miss Disney." It was a very -correct- letter, both politically and grammatically (not a typo in sight!) gently berating me for Not Being Nice. It was a lovely letter, so beautifully written, and so passionately felt, for a second, I almost wondered how on earth I could have ever become such an insensitive and lowly piece of poo-poo.

Weeping, I mourned for my loss of innocence. Pounding my breast, I howled to the heavens and bemoaned my foray into The Dark Side of Evil. And I was -just- about to put on my hair shirt and cover myself with sheep manure, when... I remembered something.

Sheesh, I says to myself. Wait a second...


In fact, as long as I can remember, when it's come to critiquing in the XFFanfiction fandom, I've -never- been nice. I write scathing reviews, Blind Items, Special Commentaries, hell, I write a newsletter called THE ACID DESK, for Pete's sake! I trashed the sacred cow Gossamer, remember? I crucified Fester, remember? I pissed somebody off so badly they TOS'D me, remember?

In fact, I committed one of the most heinous acts of all XFFanfic!

I. Slashed. Spender.

If that's not the work of someone who is Evil Personified, I don't know what is.

So, I reminded Miss Disney of this, who continued to reply in the same vein, until, she too had to go into my delete bin, because while one can argue with flames, stubborn naivete is another matter entirely.

And, could it have been possible that Miss Disney was an author who was critiqued on the DebbilMice page, you may ask?

You get one guess, kids.

Duh. Of course she was.

The third, and final letter I received was from someone whom I call "Chuckles." Like a rabid squirrel on speed, poor Chuckles went completely nuts on me.

She sent me a huge E-mail, so enraged, so out of control, and so badly in need of an editor, I feared for her blood pressure (not to mention her year-end school grades.) Boy... was it angry! It was righteous! It was taunting! It was ENOUGH TO MAKE YOUR EYEBALLS EXPLODE!

And boy, was it long.

Real long.

Mind-numbingly long.

In fact, it was *so* long and *so* poorly written, I had delete it before I'd finished it, but friends I forwarded it to said it got slightly funnier toward the end where I was taunted with a chorus of comments regarding my faulty genetic make-up, including the immortal mantra of "Mom. Mom. Mom. Mom."

Uh, huh. I think y'all get the idea.

So, it was with a heavy heart, but much lighter mailbox, that I decided to sit and wait for some fresher, more coherent, flames.

Which have yet to materialize.

So much for the jihad.

The only interesting feature of the three responses I received was that not *one* of the authors who wrote was honest enough to say that they were peeved about their own Pitchfork. That their teeth were grinding to stumps over their own negative fiction review. That the Muldertorture essay ruined their enjoyment of the genre and they were now going to hurl themselves off a building and die because they were just too pissed off to live.

No, no... they were angry about the low morality of the Debbilmice, which is sort of like saying you hate cats because they eat cat food.

No, no... they were angry that I found the site funny, and had the nerve to say it publicly, along with a spank in the direction of people who are so wacky they'll TOS and report folks to their ISPs over something like FANFICTION.

No, no... they hadn't taken their medication, and wanted to know why they were hearing voices through their fillings.

Like I said, you get the idea.

And, out of those three, not one gave the slightest hint of understanding that plotting the real-life harassment of a web site owner, newsgroup poster, even one who posts things that they don't want to hear, things that make them angry as hell, is not only wrong, but much, much worse than ANYTHING that ANYONE could ever post ANYWHERE.

Not one.

But, I'm not surprised.

Because, all too often, that's the way it goes around here. What *should* be called simple vengeance for slights unseen is somehow twisted and turned into something that supposed to stand for the general good of the "community", so as to let angry individuals avoid the label of "pettiness."

And they do this not by taking an actual moral stance, but by *creating* one that suits their own personal needs and desires.

By making sure that morality is nothing more than a device to keep "feelings" from getting hurt while guaranteeing we look good at the same time.

Which, IMHO, is a bigger, smellier, and far more dangerous load of hooey than all the DebbilMice in the world.

CiCi Lean, 1998


I'm now opening up the Acid Desk to contributions!

If you have a batch of reviews, some good gossip, a rant you just HAVE to let out, why not send them in to me, and have the whole world know about it?

Contributions must be short, concise, have an irreverent, objective attitude (ie, no gushing, mushing or back-scratching) and are published at the editor's discretion.

So, don't by shy. Send some ACID my way!

CONTRIBUTIONS TO: [email protected] with the word "ADSUB" in the subject line.


That's it for this edition. THANKS to Zoot for her beta reading, la and anon for their contributions, and as always, my blind item contributors, especially, the Masked Wonder!

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. All opinions expressed within belong solely to the author.

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 ([email protected]). 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 to.)

All comments are welcome.

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