NOTE: I do not update these reports after they are posted so some of the links may not work after a while. If you find a broken link check the title in the alphabetical lists of alternative or general reviews at the end of this report.

TUESDAY FAN FICTION REPORT - 1/5/99
[Previous report was for 1/2/99]

Hi all,

First tonight - a little rant. It has come to my attention guys that some readers are writing bards DEMANDING updates to unfinished stories, DEMANDING sequels, DEMANDING all sorts of things. Folks, as readers of fanfic we have no right to demand ANYTHING from bards. Bards spend their time and effort writing and sharing their stories with us out of the goodness of their hearts. They do not OWE us anything. Fan fiction is supposed to be fun to read AND TO WRITE! People who become involved in a fandom as fans do so because it is fun, it is relaxing, it is something that helps them to get away from the pressures of daily life and work and school. We are EXTREMELY lucky to have in this fandom a lot of VERY talented people who help to enrich our Xenaverse experience every day by sharing their visions of Xena and Gabrielle through their stories. It is in our best interest as readers to make sure that the experience for bards remains a positive one. When we start demanding things of them all we're doing is helping to turn what should be FUN into work.

The Xenaverse includes many different types of bards. There are those who like to post finished stories on the Web. There are others who prefer to post their stories in parts. Readers have an infinite variety of choices. NO one forces readers to read stories in parts. If you are a reader that simply does not like to read stories in parts then the solution is simple - just take a quick look at the very end of the story you're about to read and if it says "to be continued" or "more to come" on there then - DO NOT READ THE STORY. Monitor the story through the indexes or reviews until it is finished or just read other fiction. Bards who post in parts sometimes take a long period of time updating their stories because they have real life concerns to deal with, or they haven't been inspired lately or for a number of other reasons which are perfectly valid for them and which we have no right to be condemning. I've heard of instances lately where readers have written bards with rude demands for updates or for sequels. THAT folks is TOTALLY uncalled for in a fandom where writing is supposed to be FUN. Already there are bards who've removed their stories from the Web or have been deeply discouraged because of rude, demanding exchanges of this type.

I've always encouraged readers to communicate with bards - to let them know that they're enjoying their fiction, to give them feedback when the bard indicates that it is welcomed. Feedback and "thank yous" are the only ways in which we as readers can "repay" bards for the gift of their fiction. There's NOTHING wrong with e-mailing a bard expressing a desire for a sequel to a story you really enjoyed or sending an OCCASSIONAL note letting a bard know that you're looking forward to the next update of an unfinished story. The key guys is not to DEMAND - to be careful with the wording of your messages so bards don't start feeling pressured to deliver something which consequently can start seeming like work instead of fun. As far as posting stories in parts is concerned - do remember that there are bards who prefer to do that AND there are readers who have NO problems with reading stories in parts. PLEASE do not ruin it for everyone by making demands of bards or making them feel as if they owe us. Lets be grateful for what we have folks! Rant over ;-)

Some good news to report tonight :) Some of those lost stories I listed in my last report have resurfaced on the Web! Available once again are:

AS THE CROW FLIES by Mlocket
COMPELLING ASSOCIATIONS by Lara Zielinsky
FIRST WORD by Lara Zielinsky
GABRIELLE'S CHOICE by Lara Zielinsky
GOLDEN MOMENTS by Lara Zielinsky
HISTORY CAST IN AMBER by Lara Zielinsky
HORSE THIEVES by Lara Zielinsky
ITCHIN by Mlocket
LOVE NEVER FAILS by J. Covington [Alt]
MANTLES ARE HEAVY by Clotho [Alt]
NEW TERRITORY by Clotho [Alt]
UNDERWORLD ADVENTURES by Lara Zielinsky
WELLSPRING OF WISHES by Clotho [Alt]
WHEN WE DANCE, WHO LEADS by Clotho [Alt]
XENA'S CHOICE by Lara Zielinsky

I'm republishing the reviews for these with the new URLs below

CLOTHO'S CORNER has returned to the Web at this new URL: http://members.xoom.com/LZClotho/index.htm

Lara Zielinsky is looking for copies of two of her lost stories, THE ARCHON and CRYSTAL STORYTELLER. These are both screenplays guys. If you have copies please e-mail these to her at LZClotho@xoommail.com

Lizzy Tendre has made her fanfic available at a new site. TENDRE'S TEMPORARY TABLET is now open at: http://members.aol.com/Radigund/index.html

Also, FIRE'S SCROLLS INDEX featuring Ares fanfic is including stories with Xena/Gab in them. Check out the site at: http://www.electricferret.com/fireheart/wrindex.html

A warm welcome to Andrew Ramirez, new fanfic editor at TOM'S XENA PAGE. Andrew has already been busy adding new stories to the Fan Fiction page at: http://www.xenafan.com/fiction/index.html

I've added some more volunteers to the BETA READERS DIRECTORY so bards, if you're looking for someone to help you edit those fanfic stories make sure to stop by at: http://lunacyreviews.com/beta.htm

If any of you readers would like to volunteer to help bards edit their stories first of all take a look at the file SUGGESTIONS FOR BETA READERS found at http://lunacyreviews.com/betasuggest.htm so you can see what it involves. Then if you REALLY think you can be a beta reader go to this addy for further instructions: http://lunacyreviews.com/howto.htm

Now some bad news - for personal reasons L. Graham has decided to remove her fanfic from the Web. She's giving us all a week's notice guys so if you want to save L. Graham's stories NOW IS THE TIME TO DO IT! This bard has written some exceptional fanfic, both uber and general tales, so make sure to take a look at her stories. I suspect a lot of you will want to save them. MANY THANKS to L. for sharing her stories and for giving us an opportunity now to save them before they're removed. You can find L. Graham's stories at: http://ausxip.com/bards.html#graham

Reviews/synopsis of all of them can be found at my site at: http://lunacyreviews.com

Lastly I have a purely personal commentary here - my deepest sympathies to those of you who are up-North here in the U.S. in all that snow. We're in the 40's here in Miami tonight and I am FREEZING my little fingers off!!! Have NO idea how you guys manage it. Oyyyyy! 8-|

Five new ones, an update and lots of re-releases tonight :)

GENERAL FICTION:

SISTER ACT by Barbara Davies
Ares' twin sister decides to try to help her brother win the Warrior Princess back and soon Xena and Gabrielle find themselves with some extra company on the road. This one could be a TV episode. - 10 pgs.
http://midgit.co.uk/sister.htm

AS THE CROW FLIES by Mlocket [re-released]
Mlocket's darkest piece to date and absolutely RIVETING. The tale begins with Xena and Gabrielle making their way through a GRUESOME war zone. It is an experience that causes Xena's worse nightmares to resurface motivating the warrior to stop the bloodshed at any cost. Meanwhile, Gabrielle struggles to understand what is happening with her companion while she uses her own methods to try to bring peace. Mlocket does an excellent job at depicting the deep bond between warrior and bard. Her imagery is powerful and effective. A fantastic read NOT TO BE MISSED! - 12 pgs., 12/96
http://www.xenafan.com/fiction/content4/asthecrowflies.html

COMPELLING ASSOCIATIONS by Lara Zielinsky [Re-released]
A truly compelling new offering that tells the tale of Xena's first meeting with the god of War. Learning of a feared and vicious new warlord many are referring to as the "goddess of war", Ares goes to see for himself who this young upstart could be. What he finds is the warrior of his dreams - a blue-eyed mortal goddess who captures his heart, his mind and his every passion. Determined to learn more about her, a disguised Ares conspires to get close, starting an obsession that would haunt him...and that warrior, for all time. This is a very well written speculation on what Xena and Ares' first encounter could have been like. It features a terrific characterization of the god of War and ties in nicely with the events in the TV series. A great read certain to be particularly popular with fans of Ares. - 65 pgs., 1/4/98
http://members.xoom.com/LZClotho/gen/compelling.html

FIRST WORD by Lara Zielinsky [Re-released]
Well written account of the events told in the episode THE FURIES which has an obsessed Atrius determined to give his young daughter Xena to the God of War, and a desperate Cyrene determined to stop him. - 6 pgs., 5/25/98
http://members.xoom.com/LZClotho/gen/firstword.html

GABRIELLE'S CHOICE by Lara Zielinsky [Re-released]
Poignant story set just after the events in DESTINY which chronicles Gabrielle's efforts following Xena's death to try to come to terms with the crushing loss and bring the warrior's body safely home. Lara combines nicely some scenes from the actual TV series with her fiction producing an emotional piece that works well as a transition between DESTINY and THE QUEST. [See also UNDERWORLD ADVENTURES] - 13 pgs., 12/23/97
http://members.xoom.com/LZClotho/gen/gchoice.html

GOLDEN MOMENTS by Lara Zielinsky [Re-released]
Set during the period in between the episodes UNCHAINED HEARTS and SINS OF THE PAST, this little tale follows Xena as she takes the first steps toward truly abandoning her life as a warlord and meets a kindred soul ready to help her on that journey. This is a nice story about the beginning of one of the most special friendships in the warrior's life. - 9 pgs., 12/21/97
http://members.xoom.com/LZClotho/gen/gmoment.html

HISTORY CAST IN AMBER by Lara Zielinsky [Re-released]
A long and simply *SPECTACULAR* story which begins as a seemingly simple tale with Xena and Gabrielle on a mission to stop an army of slavers led by an ex-lieutenant of the Warrior Princess. They will be joined by another figure from Xena's past but as the struggle against the slavers begins a dark god will make his presence known - a god who having owned Xena's heart once will do anything to try to recapture it - dismissing in his zest, the determination of a young bard to protect the friend she loves or the lengths to which she'll go for the warrior. Covering some of the most crucial moments in the lives of Xena and Gabrielle and shedding light on the secrets which will form the basis of their legend for ages to come, this story is exceptionally well-crafted, depicting a friendship worthy of the greatest of sacrifices and a nobility of spirit capable of humbling even the gods on Mt. Olympus. An exceptional tale which I VERY HIGHLY RECOMMEND!! - 7 pgs., 8/14/97, returned to the Web 5/98
http://members.xoom.com/LZClotho/gen/hcia1.html

HORSE THIEVES by Lara Zielinsky [Re-released]
A very nice new story that has Xena and Gabrielle going after horse thieves when a certain mare of their mutual acquaintance comes up missing. This tale is well-written and presents a very committed, loyal depiction of the friendship between warrior and bard. - 20 pgs., 8/14/97
http://members.xoom.com/LZClotho/gen/horse.html

ITCHIN by Mlocket [re-released]
Short but very cute story that has the warrior and bard searching for the reason behind a strange rash. The ending is GUARANTEED to leave you in stitches. It just...disarms you! - 6 pgs., 12/96
http://www.xenafan.com/fiction/content4/itchinbolton.html

UNDERWORLD ADVENTURES by Lara Zielinsky [Re-released]
A companion piece to Lara's GABRIELLE'S CHOICE, this story is set immediately after Xena's death in DESTINY and chronicles the warrior's struggle in the underworld to get back to the world of the living...and the bard who so desperately misses her. Lara presents a very well-thought out and clever explanation behind Xena's eventual return while painting a deeply poignant picture of Gabrielle's pain over her friend's death. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! - 14 pgs., 1/31/98
http://members.xoom.com/LZClotho/gen/underworld.html

XENA'S CHOICE by Lara Zielinsky [re-released]
This EXCELLENT new story starts off immediately after the events in the episode SACRIFICE II, with a desolate Xena no longer caring whether she lives or dies, dispassionately doing Ares' bidding while forcing out of her thoughts any memory of the life she led during the past three years, of the hopes a young bard dared to inspire within her. Meanwhile, a confused Gabrielle finds herself traveling from one nightmare into another as the decision she made in Britannia once again leads to awful repercussions. Trapped in a very dark place, the bard must challenge the fiercest of opponents if she hopes to ever get out - an opponent that is once again ruthlessly living up to her reputation...as the Warrior Princess. This is an intensely psychological tale revolving around very well drawn portrayals of our two heroines. It also features a strong supporting cast and a storyline that will keep you glued to that seat. A fascinating read! VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! - 55 pgs., 7/6/98
http://members.xoom.com/LZClotho/gen/xchoice.html

ALTERNATIVE FICTION:

THE AFRICAN QUEEN by Bibbit
Mixing history with fiction, Bibbit's latest takes the warrior and bard to the land of Israel where the legendary King Solomon asks for Xena's help in searching for the culprit trying to assassinate the visiting Queen of Sheba. Meanwhile, Gabrielle finds a friend in the foreign queen, immediately sympathizing with the young woman's problematic love life and finding the courage to perhaps someday do something about her own. Bibbit does a nice job of developing the suspense here. The characterizations of both the principals and the supporting players are well-drawn with the Xena/Gab relationship showing a particularly compelling tenderness. - 40 pgs.
http://www.xenafan.com/fiction/content4/queenBibbit.phpl

SOMETHING I NEED by Rooks
In a departure from his usual fiction, Rooks explores the darker side of the Xena/Gab relationship. Set just after the events in the episode CRUSADER, the story has Gabrielle thinking about the past few days with her partner, and accepting her attraction to all the different aspects of her warrior's personality. Rooks delivers a fascinating portrayal of two women with fierce passions who complement one another in ways they cannot deny even if these sometimes blur the line between love and fear. Well-written story that wont be everyone's cup of tea but certainly caries quite an emotional wallop. DO NOT MISS! - 5 pgs.
http://bearblue.150m.com/library2/1990s/STO/wildfic/hunger.html

DISEMBODIED by Kristian S. Fischer
The latest entry in the INFINITY SERIES begun by Redhawk, this new offering by Kristian continues the tale of the immortal Xena and her beloved Rickie as they enjoy a quiet time in Portland, reveling in their love and remembering moments from their life together over two thousand years ago. It's a quiet time that is soon interrupted when an old friend of Xena pays them a visit, warning of dangers drawing near and a game about to begin all over again for the ancient warrior. Kristian does a nice job with the treatment of the Xena/Rickie pairing maintaining the sense of commitment and deep love it's had throughout the series. Good action sequence in this. - 20 pgs.
http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/Atrium/2385/Shorts/Disembodied.html

WARLORD METAL by Redhawk
Redhawk continues a tradition of original, well-written uber fanfic with a new tale set in the world of Heavy Metal music where teenager Sonny Middlestead soon finds herself drawn to the new singer for her brother's band - a troubled young woman with striking green eyes who comes from the streets and is carrying more emotional baggage than Sonny could ever suspect. Blurring the lines between the Xena/Gab uber archetypes, this one should prove a fascinating read in the weeks ahead. [unfinished] - 13 pgs.
http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/Atrium/2385/Warlord/Metal1.html

NANO #5: MOTION by Jules Mills
Part four is now available. Jules continues her exceptional NANO SERIES by picking up the story where NANO #4 GRAVITATION - NEWTON'S SECOND LAW left off. As their friend Rachel does a little quick house cleaning, Dana and Grace spend some quality time together, allowing the fierce connection between them to start healing the nanotech's body and soul. They know now, however, that neither will be safe again until they tie some loose ends from the past - loose ends that have Dana thinking about a dark part of her soul that although dormant most of the time these days remains very much a part of her. In this latest update Dana saves the day but soon has to face some old fears. Relying on an economy of words to get their points across, Jules characters tend to reveal more in a few lines of dialogues than characters in other stories do in entire chapters. Her skillful use of dialogue create blunt, realistic exchanges that often add great charm to the characterizations while allowing her to keep a nice pace to the story even in the calmest of scenes. Jules has also done a great job updating the personalities of Xena and Gab so that Dana and Grace, although clearly following the uber archetypes, are also imbued with modern sensibilities. Simply put, this bard is a delight to read and this series continues to be among the creme-della-creme in uber fanfic. This new installment gets my HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION! [unfinished] - 7 pgs.
http://members.tripod.com/~jules_mills/nano5p1.html

LOVE NEVER FAILS by J. Covington
This excellent follow-up to the JOINING TRILOGY finds Xena trying to help an old friend fight the raiders threatening her land while Gabrielle, in also trying to help that friend, falls victim to an injury that may forever change both her life and that of the Warrior Princess. The days to follow will be emotional, at times scary and even mischievously funny as the two embark on a journey of rediscovery. Nicely written, romantic and sweet. DO NOT MISS!! - 49 pgs.
http://www.fortunecity.com/lavendar/chelmsford/357/loveneverfails.html

MANTLES ARE HEAVY by Clotho [Re-released]
Clotho's latest takes Xena and the bard back to Amazonia where Gabrielle finds herself under pressure to choose between the royal mask and the warrior who owns her heart. All the while enemies, both new and old, are closing in. Nicely written with strong, believable characterizations and a well-crafted plot, this is another MUST READ from this talented bard. DO NOT MISS!! - 76 pgs., 9/7/98
http://merwolf.com/academy/fanfic/l/lzclotho_mantles.html

NEW TERRITORY by Clotho [Re-released]
A HIGHLY original new first time story that sets out to avoid common cliches in alt. fiction and succeeds quite well. The story has Xena and Gabrielle trying to deal with feelings for one another they can no longer ignore. Sensing the warrior's fears, Gabrielle realizes that it is up to her to take the initiative but those fears and the constant misunderstandings will make any progress for the young bard a SLOW process. This story is nicely written and very sweet. The characterizations of Xena and Gabrielle are different but well-drawn and believable. [See the sequel WHEN WE DANCE, WHO LEADS? reviewed below] - 22 pgs., 9/27/98
http://merwolf.com/academy/fanfic/l/lzclotho_territory.html

WELLSPRING OF WISHES by Clotho [Re-released]
Well written new offering that has Xena and the bard coming upon a band of Amazons previously unknown to them. Soon enough the two are helping the women warriors against some mutual enemies while Xena watches her partner, wondering whether Gabrielle would indeed be better off with the stability her own Amazons can offer. Nice depiction of the relationship with a strong supporting cast. - 42 pgs., 9/28/98
http://merwolf.com/academy/fanfic/l/lzclotho_wellspring.html

WHEN WE DANCE, WHO LEADS? by Clotho [Re-released]
Set just after the event's in Clotho's earlier story NEW TERRITORY (reviewed above), this is a very different alt. story that has Xena and the bard a bit at odds as they work on the dynamics of their new physical relationship. Aside from trying to deal with Xena's constant need for control, the two soon realize they may sometimes not be quite...in synch ;-) This is an original, realistic tale, sensitively told and well-presented. - 20 pgs., 1/5/98
http://merwolf.com/academy/fanfic/l/lzclotho_dance.html

For those of you reading this post who are not familiar with the term alternative (alt.), it refers to ADULT stories that add a romantic element to the relationship between Xena and Gabrielle, depicting them as more than just friends.

Happy reading!

Lunacy 8-)