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.

[Previous report was for 8/7/97]

Hi all!

AWESOME new fiction tonight! Both stories are alternative.


The first four parts of Book 2 in Baermer's epic war saga are now available and they are contributing nicely toward making this one truly outstanding story. Having decided to stand with the people of Poteidaia against the Athenian army, Xena and Gabrielle immediately become primary players as the warrior lends the Poteidaians her battle expertise and the bard works to rekindle in her people their sense of community and hope. Even as they try to help the beleaguered villagers, Xena and Gabrielle struggle also against personal challenges as they confront the bard's family for the first time since becoming a couple and begin to suspect that they may be pawns in a very dangerous battle between immortals. This story is exceedingly well-written with an intriguing, well-structured plot, great characterizations and a romance as epic as the historic events being depicted. Note that this tale is available in both subtext-explicit and subtext-lite versions. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!

EMPATHY'S COST by Puckster
With the debut of CERBERUS' CHALLENGE (review available at this URL: on the Net back in June of this year, Puckster immediately claimed a place among the best of the best in XWP fan fiction. With this new sequel, her standing is assured. Starting where the first story left off, this tale has Xena and Gabrielle traveling toward the Island of Thera so the bard can meet the "master empath" - a mysterious figure who they hope will be able to help Gabrielle control the empathic powers growing stronger within her. Soon they are joined on their journey by a spunky teenage priestess-in-training who is able to tell them a bit more about the dangers associated with Gabrielle's newfound abilities. What none of them suspect, however, is that the fate of the world will soon rest on those powers for a destructive force of unimaginable proportions has targeted the earth and not even the gods of Olympus can hope to stand against it. With the concept of a "chosen one" and a proud warrior protector on a valiant quest to fulfill their destinies, this story is very reminiscent of grand epics of fantasy literature like Tolkien's LORD OF THE RINGS or Terry Brook's SWORD OF SHANARA. Unlike those, however, it is like Puckster's first story, a very passionate, dare I say "imaginative" romance, that continues to explore the Xena/Gab relationship and presents us with a very beautiful, satisfying interpretation of it. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!

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 Gabby, depicting them as more than just friends.

Happy reading!

Lunacy 8-)