THURSDAY FAN FICTION REPORT - 5/20/99
[Previous report was for 5/13/99]
Just some news to report on tonight. First, some good news - since starting the reviews Web site the most frequent request I've gotten is to add an author index. Well, took me a little time to do it the way I wanted to do it but the site now has an author index complete with over 450 individual author pages. Every bard that I've ever reviewed has an individual page listing the corresponding reviews. The main author index page lists authors by first name, last name and any pseudonyms that are public knowledge. It also lists team efforts where two or more bards have collaborated on a story.
Bards - I tried to use the main names you seem to use for those author pages. However, some of you use a number of different names, sometimes with different spellings, sometimes you use pseudonyms that are not public knowledge. I would really appreciate it if any bards who know they've been reviewed by me would take a look at that author index and just make sure that your name(s) is/are correctly listed and cross-referenced and that the stories listed in your author page are your own.
The bard names in the alt., general, uber, warlord/slave, Conqueror, and Holiday indexes have now been turned into links that visitors can click to in order to see the corresponding author page with all the works I've reviewed from that bard.
One thing to know about the author pages - the search engines which I have on the main page of the Web site do NOT search the author pages. I had to configure the site this way because those two search engines, the one run by Free Find and the other run by Pico Search, have a limit on the number of web pages they'll index. All the reviews included in the author pages are ALSO in the main general and alt. indexes so since those indexes remain searchable you should be able to find anything you're looking for that way.
The main Lunacy site is at http://lunacyreviews.com. The new Author Index is at http://lunacyreviews.com/authors.htm.
Now for some other news. This is my final fan fiction report guys. As many of you I'm sure are aware of - I've been progressively more and more disappointed with the direction the TV series has gone in since season three. The main thing that has kept me involved in the fandom and watching the TV series has been the fanfic. I still like reading the fanfic but I'm so disillusioned with the series that my interest is wanning by leaps and bounds. To do the reports the way I've been doing requires a total immersion in all things Xena. I've always made the effort to at least look at every fanfic story out there, reading the majority of them. I'm subscribed to most of the Xena lists so I can monitor any fanfic related news and of course - I've continued to watch the show because no matter how far the fanfic sometimes distances itself from the show the weekly episodes continue to set the canon on which the bulk of fanfic is based. I simply do not have the interest to continue that level of involvement. Moreover, I'm rather protective of what the Xena experience has been for me. I have all the episodes on tape and I have the bulk of the fanfic saved as well. In years to come I want to be able to look back at those episodes or read those stories without the current direction the series has taken coloring my perception and ruining the experience for me. I'm cutting back on aspects of the fandom to concentrate on what I like and avoid what I don't. To be honest I also want to pursue other interest since this one seems to have passed me by.
I'm not going to completely stop reading fanfic - I do still enjoy some of the stories and I think this fandom has the best writing talent around but I know that inevitably the fanfic mirrors a lot of what happens in the TV series and I don't want to feel the obligation of having to read every story out there particularly when those stories start reflecting the current direction of the series. I started doing reviews at a time when Xena fanfic was just getting popular. Among my aims in posting those fanfic reports all over the place was to encourage bards and bring attention to stories but Xena fanfic is well-established by now. There are three major fan fiction indexes, there are two art indexes that list fanfic art, there are other sources for reviews, and bards and readers frequently share announcements regarding new stories and new web sites through the forums or mailing lists (for links to those resources check out the BARD'S REFERENCE LIBRARY at http://lunacyreviews.com/reference.htm). The Lunacy reports aren't as needed anymore. More importantly though - the Lunacy reports aren't as enjoyable to produce for this Lunatic anymore so that's it folks.
Now, as to the web site - it remains where it's at and will remain available throughout my lifetime, or for as long as I can continue to afford an Internet account, or for as long as the majority of the links remain viable :) In other words - I have NO intention of removing the site. I've always intended the reviews as a contribution to the fandom in exchange for all the fun I've had here. Also, as many of you know I'm a librarian and librarians LOVE to archive things for posterity :) I'd love for people who are studying popular culture or TV shows 10-20-30 yrs. from now to be able to go to a site like mine and some of the other Xena ones out there and see what all the fuss was about, check out the fanfic stories we were enjoying, study what it was about the show that some of us treasured. I think it would be terrific if those of us who are fans have resources like these to look back on in the years to come when we get nostalgic about those Xena days ;-)
The site will remain where it's at AND I've added a WHAT'S NEW section where I will continue to add new reviews - those just wont be coming as frequently as they have in the past couple of years. As I said - I'm not gonna stop reading fanfic altogether - I suspect we're still gonna see a number of great stories come out of this fandom. Basically I'm just toning down the level of activity from very frequent reports and a broad coverage of the fanfic to less frequent reviews posted right to the Web site. I'm also gonna be getting a lot more choosy about the fanfic guys primarily because I'm not going to be reading everything out there. For those of you who still adore the series keep that in mind and make sure to check out the indexes and other review places for stories I don't list because our perspectives are clearly different and you may very well love some new story I didn't like. I want to try to maintain the web site as a listing of those stories I've really enjoyed so I'll continue to add any favorites I come across in the years ahead and to keep the links current. With that in mind, I'd like to put in a request here for bards to keep their fanfic available through the web on a permanent basis so that we truly CAN maintain a "library" of Xena fanfic long term.
If you need to contact me about the site or anything else do so by e-mailing me directly because as part of this downsizing I'm gonna be unsubbing from a number of mailing lists. I plan on remaining on a few but the direct route will still be the best way to make sure your message reaches me.
I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who's made the Xena experience a great one these past few years from the webmasters, to the list keepers, the artists, indexers, fellow reviewers, the posters to the various lists and forums and most ESPECIALLY - the bards. Much as I like Lucy and Renee and much as I am grateful to the people associated with Xena for having come up with that original concept that hooked me, the bards, in my book, are the ones that have truly made this fandom so much fun and satisfying. It's particularly nice to see bards now expanding their efforts into original fanfic and I look forward to Xena bards contributing to other fandoms in the future as new series and interests come along. I've made a lot of terrific friendships in this fandom and I hope to continue those. I've noticed that Xenites seemed to share a lot of interests anyway so I have little doubt that even after the series ends we'll be running into one another all over the place on the Net and at cons.
I'm going to keep the Lunacy-Reports list on the Onelist service but it will be used only as a means of notifying subscribers when new reviews are posted to the site - no reviews will actually be e-mailed out. I'm gonna change the list name to Lunacy-Updates. Those of you who subscribe to that - be aware that these update notices will NOT be as frequent as the reports were and they wont be including fanfic announcements listing new sites, contests, fanfic art, etc. because I'm not going to be monitoring the Xena fanfic scene as I have been. You should check the indexes for that information or the fanfic archives which include news. For now I'm going to continue maintaining the BETA READERS DIRECTORY and the EXPERTS DIRECTORY because those require little upkeep now that they've been setup. I have some other pending projects and obligations and will contact the individuals involved with regards to those. I'll be around guys but as of now consider me in semi-retirement :)