Whoosh! Issue 47 - August 2000
Letters to the Editor




Published Fan Fiction: A Critique of Emerson's Latest Xena Novels

Date: Sat, 08 Jul 2000
From: Nusi Dekker
Subject: Re: WHOOSH 2nd All Fan Fiction Issue

I thoroughly enjoyed reading the WHOOSH 2nd All Fan Fiction Issue. The articles were all high-quality and interesting, the standouts being those by Chris Boese, Rooks, and Lunacy.

After reading PUBLISHED FAN FICTION: A CRITIQUE OF EMERSON'S LATEST XENA NOVELS, I'm afraid that I disagree with the author's evaluation of the books. I'm very hesitant on this, since I wrote a critical letter about an article by this same author two years ago which was not taken so well, and I still feel regret for that. But I do feel strongly enough about this that I must make a comment on it.

First of all, I don't think that these new books are focused on Joxer at all! Joxer is in the book as part of the plot - as part of several guys involved in the plot. His character is benign and refreshingly asexual, much like that of a 12-year-old boy who isn't constantly thinking about women yet. He's like a food stain on one's shirt that you can't remove - always visible and irritating because it messes up the look of the shirt, but it can also be ignored for more important stuff. Joxer's presence in these books was far more complimentary to his character than the show's portrayal of the peeping, whiney stalker who is obsessed with having a sexual relationship with an unresponsive Gabrielle. And there is never any doubt that Xena and Gabrielle care deeply about each other, even though they are indeed separated a lot in the book. There are many, many instances of Xena folding Gabrielle into her arms, or Xena stroking Gab's face to get stray hairs out of the way, or tucking a strand of Gab's hair behind her ear, or kissing the top of Gabriele's head. Xena touches Gabrielle in affection many times in these two new novels, a very important point missed in bluecitywriter's critique. These gestures of affection, which to me were not sexual at all, but just about love, were extremely welcome and stood out because they were so severly lacking in the actual 5th season of XWP.

As for being a writer of Xena Fan Fiction, I would put Emerson as better than average, but not up there with the very best of the Net writers. As the Official Novelist, however, she is subject to severe rules and restrictions put upon her by StudiosUSA and RenPics, as well has her publishing house. These are all huge influences upon how she writes her characters or even which characters she must include (such as Joxer, who the studio was pushing very ernestly in season 5, the same time as these three novels were released). With these restrictions in mind, I thought that Emerson's newest novels were leagues better than her first three, and she addressed all the faults that were present in those first works and corrected them in these latest works.=20

And one last thing. Although bluecitywriter was not under any obligation to do so, I believe that the critique would have been better if she had contacted Emerson about some of the specific points of writing these new novels to get a better insight on the workings and problems involved with doing "official" stuff. I wrote to her myself after reading GO QUEST, where I dissed her first three books but then told her how much I liked the improvement in this 4th book. Her answer came the next day, printed in it's entirety below:

To: ndekker@earthlink.net
From: XenaBard@aol.com=20
Subject: Re: Go Quest, Young man

Well, first off I apologise for the problems with the first books--but I must tell you that many of the inconsistencies were not mine but the publisher's. I did everything but fly to New York and typeset the third book myself, to make sure "chakram" was spelled right! And although I had not seen the show prior to getting the contract for the first book (in October 1995, about the time TITANS came on the air), I watched it and was immediately hooked.

Part of the problem was that, at the time, I thought MCA would be my best source of information, when I had questions. After the "Argo incident" (she's named "he" in the first book), I realized I'd be much better off going on-line and getting my data from fans. The main problem, of course, was that I wrote Book 1 just after "Beware Greeks" aired, and finished all three books well before the end of the first season, when Gabrielle still wasn't much of a strong presence, and there wasn't much, if any, humor. And it takes 8 months or so for a book to come out, after the manuscript is turned in, so the second and third books came out, well into the second season, and of course people wanted to know why Gabrielle was still wearing that ridiculous skirt and why I hadn't kept up with the show.

Just an explanation of how these things work.

Anyway, I'm delighted to hear that GO QUEST works for you, and hope you'll enjoy the next two as well....

best,
ru

As you can see, Emerson was very upfront and informative as to the workings of the publishing business. It also helped me a great deal when reading these novels, since the characters in the show have changed so radically from how they are portrayed in the books.

What I am really trying to say here, is that I think that Emerson got a bum rap for being critiqued negatively in this article, and she didn't even have a chance to say anything about it. But I have to remember that it is only a critique and an opinion of the author of the critique, which is to be respected as much as any other. At least Emerson's novels were mentioned here, which was a good thing, and which I'm glad about.

Nusi

Thank you, Nusi Dekker, for so laudibly defending Ru Emerson. I considered contacting Emerson prior to writing my review. I knew from my long-time involvement with the Xenaverse that Emerson is a nice person. I also knew she has, in the past, said problems with the books came from the rules and regulations of StudioUSA and Renpics. Had I written her and received a nice personal reply, I feared the influence would have led me to write a less-than-truthful review out of courtesy.

The first two books in the Quest series are better than the first three Xena books. Unfortunately, as books with a TV tie-in, they are still not on par with books written for other series. Perhaps part of the problem lies with the intended audience. The Xena books, in my area, are not shelved in the teen section, but with other TV tie-in books (most notably the Star Trek books). Some books, such as the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series, are shelved both places. If the Xena books were found in the teen section, it might be easier to cut Emerson slack for the "asexual 12 year old boy" character of the full-grown man, Joxer, or the youthful attitude of Gabrielle.

The gestures of affection you cite do make it apparent that the women care for one another. However, Xena's role as mentor/teacher to student Gabrielle is not one I particularly like. I do not see the women as equals in these Quest books. Once I reached the mindset that Xena was Gabrielle's teacher in these books, gestures of affection then fell into categories of relief that the pupil was safe, or relief that the teacher wasn't alone.

Unfortunately, for me, the Xena books do not stand up against the Star Trek: Voyager books written by Diane Carey or Christie Golden, nor does this Quest trilogy compare favorably with The Gatekeeper Trilogy in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series. If this is because of the rules and regulations of StudioUSA and/or RenPics, then the companies are ill-advised on their methods of promotion and licensure of characters. TV tie-in books can be true to the series and the characters, as the examples I cite above indicate.

I am grateful to you for defending Emerson. I truly regretted that my review became a negative critique. The books are not bad books. They are just not as good as they could be.

--Bluecitywriter








From: Janet Elizabeth
Date: Sat, 22 Jul 2000
Subject: RE: Published Fan Fiction: A Critique of Emerson's Latest Xena Novels

I don't come to Whoosh that often anymore, due to it's pro-subtext stance, and that is my choice. I do not wish to claim that there is no place for subtext, it is just that I don't agree on the presence of this issue, unlike majority of online fans. Despite this, I decided to peruse the All Fan Fiction issue and found an article reviewing Ru Emerson's work in the new "Quest" series of Xena books.

The author of this article (bluecitywriter I believe) makes some good points about Ms. Emerson's work but I take exception to the following statments regarding her use of Joxer and Gabrielle.

"She finds his head and stays inside it quite a bit. Gabrielle too seems easy for Emerson."
I have read both novels, mostly due the presence of Joxer (my hero). I disagree strongly with the above statements. Joxer is written as TPTB (the powers that be) wish him to be written, not as he is (at least in my heart and the hearts of many other Joxer fans) or as he should be. He is once again degraded to the level of idiot, buffoon and disposable plot device. I and my fellow Joxer fan fic writers, write better Joxer.

Nor does Ms. Emerson write Gabrielle well. I found her characterization of the Bard to be shallow, juvenile and for lack of a better word, bitchy! That is not the whole of Gabrielle's character as many Gab's fans know.

I also find this statement to be untrue.

"The books should definitely appeal to Joxer lovers. They are about Joxer, "
The hook to get Joxer fans to read these books is to put Joxer in them. But every Joxer fan that has read it, at least that I have talked to, hates these books for the continuing disrespect of a character we love and have hope for!

The author of the article, reiterates a statment I find to be untrue.

"For what it is worth, Emerson has made a good effort to capture Gabrielle and Joxer."
Neither character is properly captured either within their frame of reference or within a writers choice to rise above a characters negative qualities. She seems to have taken the basest parts of their persona's and made the rest up out of some highschool pcychology class.

Needless to say, I am unimpressed with this series and will refuse to read the rest. It is a shame that TPTB can only find a hack to write good Joxer instead of approaching a Joxer fan who writes Joxer fan fiction to create something for the wannabe warrior's fans.

Unfortunately, the author of this article on Ms. Emerson's works does not understand the Joxer fan enough to comment on whether Joxer is written appealingly enough to capture his audience. Despite this, bluecitywriter does write eloquently.

Sincerely,
Janet Elizabeth





A Very "Good" Thing For Fan Fiction

From: MerLin
Subject: Re: WHOOSH 2nd Fan Fiction issue
Date: Sat, 8 Jul 2000

I must admit that I only ventured over to WHOOSH to read Lunacy's article on Missy, but in doing so, I realized that I had fallen away from something that had been, at one time, very important to me.

I didn't discover XWP until the middle of the second season when I returned from living overseas. I stumbled upon some episode as I was channel surfing, and I thought, "This is a real stupid show!" and quickly changed the channel (must have been one of the slap-stick eps). Sometime later, I channel surfed onto it again, and something about the show made me sit and watch. I can't remember which ep, but I was drawn by the interaction between X & G (must have been a subtext-laden ep!). That was it--I was hooked! From that point on I was obsessed. I couldn't wait until the next episode, and when the summer came, I was thrilled (for once) that I could look forward to reruns! I was ecstatic when USA started airing the program, and I wrote my first letter of complaint when they preempted "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" for US Open Tennis!

Anyway, when I got caught up on episodes, and I finally had access to the internet, I marked time between new eps by surfing around for all things Xena. I went back and looked at the chronological order my bookmarks are arranged. Here is the path:

Hu's Episode Guide
Power Star Merchandise
Tom's Xena Page
Whoosh!
I didn't have to search any further. Every morning, I'd check to see if there was anything new and reread the episode guides and synopses. When I discovered the fan fiction that was out there, I slowly moved away from the websites and focused on reading fanfic. I laugh now when I remember wondering if the Missy Good who wrote some of the synopses was the same person as Melissa Good who wrote fan fiction (duh!). Once I got hooked on Missy and found my way to the Pack, I didn't have time for the other websites.

I guess I have come full circle. I can now enjoy rediscovering WHOOSH while waiting for Missy's next update! Thanks for the quality entertainment that you and the myriad talented people out there provide to the rest of us free of charge. As a history major, it does my heart good to know that this past and present have a future.

Thank you!

MerLin






From: Erin
Subject: Letter to the Editor
Date: Mon, 10 Jul 2000

In regards to July's Whoosh! Issue 46, I was very happy to see an issue dealing with one of my favorite subjects, Fan Fiction. I was especially gratified to see an article covering one of the most successful -- if not _the_ most successful -- authors of Xena fan fiction, Melissa Good. Ms. Good's writing has been enjoyed by many Xena fans, and I was looking forward to seeing her writing dealt with in an in-depth fashion.

Unfortunately, the article didn't go quite as far as I would have liked. It contained many summaries of Ms. Good's works, and even an occasional comparison to the series; but as an aspiring writer myself, I would have liked to see in Issue 46 something closer to a literary critique.

Now, I realize this wasn't the intended focus of that particular article, and I hold Lunacy blameless for that. The article covered what it was meant to cover. However, I would have been very interested in seeing an article that deals with Ms. Good's stories from a writer's point of view, which is to say, what her techniques are, what rules she follows, what rules she breaks, what improvements could be made, and essentially, what makes her writing both popular and publishable.

Writers who dabble both in professional writing and fan fiction know that many writing rules and conventions are regularly discarded (intentionally or un-) by fan fiction writers, often to fan fiction's detriment. As every writer can always improve, I would have liked to see an article detailing the positive and negative points of Ms. Good's techniques, as a lesson to those of us who as yet only dream of improving our writing to the point of publication.

As a relative newbie to the writing arena, I am rabidly devouring everything I can in order to improve my stories and create a better experience for my readers; an article which goes into some depth on this subject would be welcome indeed. Unfortunately, I have no knowledge or experience to write such an article, or I would.

Erin
Member of the BtVS Writer's Guild
http://redrival.com/btvswriters/





July Editorial

From: DL30CHL
Date: Sat, 8 Jul 2000
Subject: (no subject)

I agree with you wholeheartedly about Xena being top notch when it comes to a mechanical and technical standpoint. When I watch other show like Buffy, Stargate and the like, they don't even come close. I also think the acting is superb. I may not always like the content like you said, but I always like the mechanics and the acting.





Kudos

From: Xenamour
Date: Wed, 28 Jun 2000
Subject: Letter to the Editor

I am writing to tell you how much I appreciate Whoosh! The Whoosh! site is by far the most user friendly, up-to-date, and complete source of Xena related information I have found, beyond Mary Draggin's Australian Xena Information Page. When I am unable to find information elsewhere in the Xenaverse, it in almost always available at Whoosh! I sincerely thank you for your consistently stellar efforts.

Trisha Von Doss
Xenamour





Sexual Objectification In Xena: Warrior Princess

From: Rachel Gordon
Subject: Response to Lettter to the Editor
Date: Tue, 04 Jul 2000

In response to Michael Klossner's commentary on "Sexual Objectification in XWP", I would like to point out that the article was not written as an across-the-board "objection" to nudity. Many men AND women enjoy what Klossner refers to as "the prominent display of Xena and Gabrielle's bodies." It is stated in the article's initial sentences that Xena and Gabrielle have always been "sexual objects" and that this has been a key factor in the show's success.

The display of attractive bodies in and of itself is not "objectifying and harmful." Harm comes when an individual's personality is repressed, or a character's development is lost through the effects of sexual objectification. This happens on X:WP when other characters stop treating Gabrielle and Xena as people and start treating them as objects to be possessed. The article gives some examples of how this has occurred on the show.

To address Klossner's first point, the sexual objectification of men is a trend in the media. I agree that if objectification is wrong for women, then it is certainly wrong for men. I did not create this media trend --- I merely observed it. However, I see a way in which its presence can be beneficial. Recent psychological studies, as well as what I have witnessed through my own observations, indicate that many men feel discomfort and stress when they are objectified. Yet these same men do not feel uncomfortable when they objectify women. As they experience the furthering of this trend towards male objectification, it is possible that they will alter one of these two seemingly hypocritical sentiments.

Klossner's next concern is which men on X:WP should be undressed. I disagree with Klossner's suggestion that a male who only appears on the show infrequently is not worthy of objectification. To objectify a person is to present them as an object, rather than as a fully developed human being. It is much easier to objectify an individual whose personality has not been well defined. I see no reason why any of the episode's attractive male guest stars (when present) could not assume this role. Certainly this formula was used regularly with female guest stars on Hercules: The Legendary Journeys.

In response to the statement that a "scantily-clad Gabrielle" fighting a "scantily-clad villain would give a very different impression than her usual fight", I would point out that the conflict between Gabrielle and Mavicon met these requirements. As long as both parties refrained from, for example, cutting each other's clothing off, I do not see any difference from the status quo.

Let me respond as well to Klossner's suggestion of significance in Ulysses' exclusion from a list of potential Naked, Dancing men, by saying: never read too much into omissions. Many writers edit. If they did not, essays would be novel-length and even fewer people would read them.

Since we're on the subject of Ulysses, and Klossner is concerned with the potential for controversy in Xena and Gabrielle's reactions to minimally clothed men, let us imagine a slightly different scenario for Xena and Ulysses' first meeting. The revised scene would open with Ulysses walking along the beach, dressed in a loincloth, when Xena and Gabrielle spot him. Xena acknowledges him with a wolf-whistle, which indicates to all viewers that he is an object to be admired. The camera pans across his attributes while Xena continues to avidly ogle his body. As in the original, the dialogue could be:

Gabrielle: What are you doing?
Xena: Just following your advice.
Gabrielle: What do you mean?
Xena: Just smelling the flowers.
The action could then pick up as it does in the episode, with Ulysses under attack and Xena coming to his aid. This is the same storyline with a dash of sexual objectification of a male character. Since Xena was clearly impressed with Ulysses before the fight, there is no doubt that the attraction was purely superficial and unrelated to any aspect of his personality, his fighting prowess, or his situation --- in which he continued to do battle against a larger, almost overwhelming force. In the original episode, Xena was not "indifferent or contemptuous" of Ulysses' presence. Apparently TPTB have previously addressed this issue without hesitation.

Finally, to address Klossner's fourth point, no correlations were made between any show's quality and the equal portrayal of male and female sexual objectification. This was in part because no such show exists. Certainly H:TLJ with its marked sexual objectification of women did not meet these requirements. In all likelihood a show that only objectified its characters, and denied them three-dimensionality, would be of poor quality indeed.

However, I would add a new consideration now that the Fifth Season has aired. It is highly possible that the increased emphasis on female sexual objectification this past season was used to compensate for the lack of Xena and Gabrielle's character development and interaction. The Fifth Season ratings, as well as X:WP fans' general dissatisfaction with the quality of Season Five, would attest to the failure of such an attempt.

Rachel Gordon, MD





July Letters

From: Richard P. McArthur
Date: Tue, 4 Jul 2000
Subject: Letter to the Editor

Thank you for publishing my e-mail of 6/000.

May I comment on the July issue's letters?

1.Michelle Walker and Charmer expressed a view I find on several boards. I don't think the viewership of original episodes next season will be reduced. Renaissance knows how to enthrall its viewers. But I repeat, viewership of past reruns may be affected.

2.To Mr. Shaughnessy on Xena and Callisto: Herc was right. Callisto chose evil, as, at one time, did Xena. As written, Xena would never have avoided Callisto. Callisto could always have found Xena, and fought her. The people killed to provoke Xena; Perdicas, Solan, all were unnecessary to any justified revenge on Xena(I am aware that then, and even now in certain places, vengeance on the family of the "wrongdoer" was, and is, acceptable). Callisto chose, and continued, evil.

Please note the HTLJ double parter, ARMAGEDDON NOW. Callisto gets a chance to go back to Cirra on the day Xena's band attacks it. She kills her mother and father (Query: what about the sister?). Callisto was, in reality" saved the trouble of later killing her family, by Xena's men. That "Psycho Barbie" was a born murderess.

No excuses to Xena. When you lead a bunch of thugs, you are responsible for their actions. But, Xena repented-while alive, and tried to atone. Callisto's "redemption" is after death (and boy is that a botched up theology nder any system).

3 Re: Joxer:

To Mr. Lashman: Joxer died a hero. Yes, he blocked Xena's throwing the chakram at Livia/Eve. He wasn't able to see what was happening-in its entirety. But, if he'd stayed down, and Xena killed her daughter, how do you think Joxer would have felt? Xena would have mourned Eve/Livia, maybe by that time Gabrielle would not, but eventually G would have felt Xena's grief. Joxer died as he would have wanted too, saving Gabrielle (Query-why did Livia leave at that point?).

I hope this could be explained to Meg. I really wonder how a person in her position would react. I may be happy not to find out.

I agree that resurrecting Joxer would be an overuse of this device.

To Ms. Beckworth: Right. And note Joxer's use of the spell over Gabrielle in COMEDY OF EROS is not to have sex, but to get her to join with him in singing "Joxer the mighty". Clearly, sex is not his driving concern. What he wants is validation of his opinion of himself.

Incidentally: In LIVIA, Joxer tells his son to fight "as I taught you". Virgil turns out to be a good fighter, maybe Joxer was a good teacher, if a poor doer.

Also note: Large farm in LOOKING DEATH IN THE EYE, thriving business in LIVIA, is it possible that when Joxer stopped trying to be Joxer the Mighty, he was Joxer the Smart?

4. Charmer, of Gods and Magic Babes: Right. Not only that, neither Xena nor Gabrielle check out this God's rules, etc. If it's the monotheist we're familiar with, Xena's nonmarital sex with Marcus, Caesar, Ulysses, Antony, and maybe Petracles could send her to a very unpleasant place for a long time; and somebody help her if there's any truth to the subtext.

5. To name withheld re: Braining Gabrielle:

You're right Hope didn't match Eve in numbers of victims. That's the value in capital punishment, fast.

I'd like to reiterate: Agreeing to reincarnate Callisto in Xena's baby was not one of Xena's smarter moves.

6. Leedsbard on Gabrielle: I agree. Gabrielle had to grow. Admittedly, she's a bit "trigger happy", but she has reason

Hair style ok. It's the color which may give the impression of harshness.

7. Mr. Shaughnessy on Centaur Genetics: Right again. On both H:TLJ and X:WP no female centaurs. Centaurs mate with female 2-legs, offspring always male. Sometimes not even a male centaur. So: if offspring not a centaur, skipped genes, or end of centaur line?

8. What happens to Herc after killing Zeus? The other gods don't seem on best terms w/him, except Aphrodite. w/o Zeus' protection, is it open season on Herc?

Curious,
Richard P. McArthur (again)






More Pondering of the 5th Season

Date: Mon, 10 Jul 2000
From: Caesar
Subject: In Support of Season 5 (Letter to the Editor)

It is inarguable that XWP's fifth season suffered from the 'sudden' pregnency of Lucy Lawless (but my greatest congrats to Lucy and Rob!). The writers were forced to provide Xena with a child that would top the Solan/Hope/Rift storyline, while creating episodes that would not have to show Lucy's pregnant body until it was necessary. I don't think Eve's story is as riveting as the Solan/Hope arc, but it remains to be concluded and XWP has never failed to entertain me.

In spite of the weaknesses, I was thoroughly impressed with the fifth season. "Fallen Angel" was magnificent. I was very glad to see Gabrielle fighting again. Joxer's character development and Ares' return were long overdue. The episodes dealing with Roman history are my favorites, and I was glad to see my heroes from the textbooks--Mark Antony, Octavian/Augustus, and Brutus--brought into the storyline, as well as Xena's daughter becoming the Champion of Rome.

Even since his first appearance, I was not a fan of Eli (nor was I impressed with the whole Indian arc), so I was more than happy to see the Man in Black get rid of him. I liked Amarice since she was introduced, and I enjoyed every episode in which she appeared. I was glad to see Alti's return, and because of Ted Raimi's wonderful knack for comic acting, I can't help but love Joxer.

Of course, both Joxer and Amarice were killed off. Joxer died valiantly, as I knew he would, in defense of Gabrielle. Amarice, however, with her new work on Cleopatra 2525, was unable to make a dramatic exit. This didn't upset me too much, though, because when you examine Amarice in-depth, you realize that she wasn't a terribly important character (of course, neither was Joxer, but hey, he'd been around so much longer!).

I didn't used to like the comedies, but with such likable characters as Joxer, Amarice, Draco, and Aphrodite, I laughed my butt off this season. I don't think I've ever laughed as hard as I did when Xena, Gabrielle, and Joxer wailed "War-HUH!-(good gawd, y'all!)-What is it good for? Absolutly nuthin'!"

Now to the finale. I knew deep down that "Endgame/Ides of March" would never be topped, but nonetheless I was on the edge of my seat during the last four episodes. Excellent plot twists, unforseen surprises, and of course, violent deaths abounded. And, like always, Gabrielle 'died'. But it was still played very well.

I had my little peeves, of course: Xena's new double-chakram, the anti-climax of the Chin sequence, no flashbacks of 'evil Xena', "Life Blood", the complete absence of the great Autolycus, and the idea that because Xena and Gabrielle have died and come back so many times that not even the Olympian Gods are a threat anymore (the next generation of Caesars, Valescas, Hopes, Callistos, and Altis won't even be able to put up a good fight!).

But, because I love the show so much, I would have to see 22 straight episodes of "Amazon High" tie-ins to be disappointed in my favorite show.

Hopelessly devoted,
Caesar





More Braining Gabrielle and Other Hobbies

From: Andrew Shaughnessy
Date: Mon, 17 Jul 2000
Subject: Braining Gabrielle

I agree with your anonymous correspondent over the disturbing trend which has developed since Season Three, namely that Xena is always right even when she's wrong. In times past Xena would allow herself to be guided by Gabrielle's sound moral judgment, something she advised Tara to do in FORGIVEN, but those days seem to be over.

This problem was foreshadowed as early as Season Two. The otherwise hilarious scene in A DAY IN THE LIFE, in which Xena uses one of Gabrielle's scrolls as ersatz toilet paper, has a disturbing undertone. Next to Xena, what are the most important things in Gabrielle's life? Her scrolls. What does Xena do with one of these precious objects? Exactly - in this scene Xena shows a monumental lack of respect for Gabrielle. We should not have been surprised at the way in which she ran roughshod over her friend's feelings in GABRIELLE'S HOPE and THE DEBT 1. The writing was on the wall.

The double standards mentioned are also a problem. A classic example occurs in SEEDS OF FAITH. Xena chews Gabrielle out for being too quick to fight, then goes off to delay Ares' army. She does this by cutting the bridge they were going to cross, but only after butchering a squad of hapless soldiers. Wouldn't it have been easier to just take down the bridge at the start? Sure, but it wouldn't have been nearly as much fun!

I hope these issues are addressed in Season Six, but I don't hold out any great hopes. Nevertheless I'll be tuning in for the remainder of the series, as it's still a good deal better than most of the so-called entertainment on the airwaves.






From: LeedsBard
Date: Sun, 9 Jul 2000
Subject: Letter to the editor

'What's with all this Lucy-bashing?'

or:

'A short reply to whoever it was who wrote that letter about 'Braining Gabrielle and other hobbies' and didn't have the guts to include their email address.'

Your letter was interesting right up to the point you said 'I guess the real problem is that the show is named "Xena" - not "Xena and Gabrielle" - and Lucy, not Renee, is married to Rob.'

Darn right it's called "Xena", and I can't think of anyone I'd rather have play that role than Lucy Lawless, who time and again has shown a generosity of spirit and attitude that is very rarely seen on TV these days, no matter how mean people are about her. There's no need to make judgmental and personal remarks to make a point, so please don't. It's unnecessary and it undermines your argument.

Furthermore, it may be very untrendy in these "let's-bash-Xena-and-Lucy" days, but I'm a big Lucy Lawless fan (and, for me, that doesn't mean I can't also be a Renee O'Connor fan - how odd, it seems, these days!!) So leave her alone!

LeedsBard





More Centaur Genetics

Date: Mon, 10 Jul 2000
From: Rob Lent
Subject: Centaur Genetics.

All centaurs are male, so we are told on XWP. This does not, however, imply that all offsprings of centaurs are male. Rather, it implies that all male offspring of centaurs are centaurs. Any female offspring of centaurs would be human.

This implies that Centaurism is a Y-linked condition, that the genes which make someone have the torso and head of a human, and the body of a horse are only found on the Y chromosome. As only males have the Y chromosome, all centaurs would be male.

Rob Lent





Joxer Corner

From: Janet Elizabeth
Date: Sat, 22 Jul 2000
Subject: FALSE SYMPATHY & THE JOXER FAN

In your latest issue, the All Fan Fiction issue, I checked out the letters to editors. I found some interesting letters regarding Joxer.

I find it intriguing that now that he is dead, most fans of the show are mourning him in some way. While I find this satisfying to see that even subtext fans have hearts big enough to embrace the poor dead fool, I am also saddened by the sudden outpouring of sympathy.

Except for the most die-hard Joxer haters, a great many fans are now feeling badly for Joxer the Mighty. They say he died badly, he died a hero because of his defense of Gabrielle, he should have been mourned, he was never realized fully as a character, and so on. I say that this is highly hypocritical!

How dare the non-Joxer fan, who most likely has trashed him at some point during the series, express their sympathy at his passing. At least the Joxer haters are honest in their emotion.

The only people who liked Joxer were his true fans. The ones who saw his potential and cared if he was there. The ones who write his fan fiction and carry his torch in memory. Most fans of the show, specifically the subtext fans, didn't like the character and wanted him off the show. Now that he is gone, the only honest ones are the fans who are now dancing for joy on his grave, or should that be a couple of palm fronds.

I say that these expressions of sorrow at missed opportunities are just feelings of deeply surpressed guilt. For most subtext fans, they are glad he's gone but don't want to look bad by expressing glee at his ignomius death.

All I can say is that this false sorrow is as bad as flaming a subtexter. Show a little respect for the fans who liked him, like subtext fans demand respect for their views, and just say nothing!

Sincerely
Janet Elizabeth
Joxer fan and fan fiction writer






From: Robert Charleson
Subject: Joxer
Date: Sun, 16 Jul 2000

As a watcher of your show, X:WP, I have been rather mystified as to what useful purpose the Joxer character is supposed to perform, since I think he's a liability to the show. After thinking about it, I decided he must be based on the 'Swaggering Soldier' ('Miles Gloriosus' in Latin) that appears in one of Plautus' plays. But it appears I was wrong, and he's based on Don Quixote instead. So which character is Sancho Panza? I'm now as puzzled as ever.

Regards,
Robert





The Christianization of XWP

Date: Fri, 30 Jun 2000
From: simahoyo
Subject: Letter to the Editor

I have been extremely disappointed with the Christianization of XWP. I think it was a foolish attempt to push the viewers into accepting the premise that Monotheism is the pinnicle of religious evolution. What bunk. At one point in the past, Steve Sears stated something to the effect that they expected to lose some viewers from a change in their writing direction. Subtexters feared the statement meant them. I am beginning to think it meant the Pagan and Heathen viewers. I do not enjoy losing a place I could go where the Gods and Goddesses were shown as real, and the state religion did not intrude. I am, however, very pleased with the response of some very talented pagan sympathetic fanfic writers to this situation. Joe Anderson's thoughtful comments in Motherhood and Twighlight, and the truth-telling session with Charmer in her, "After Amphipolis" are well worth reading ofr all thoughtful people.

Simahoyo









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