Whoosh! Issue 41 - February 2000
Letters to the Editor

To write to the editor regarding your comments, observations, and questions about Whoosh!, send an e-mail to ktaborn@lightspeed.net and mark the subject "Letter to the Editor". All letters with the subject "Letter to the editor" are subject to publication and may be edited. Due to the volume received, some letters may not be answered individually or receipt acknowledged.

The Price of History
Dead in the Xenaverse Calendar and Interviews
Hercules, We Hardly Knew Ye
WHOOSH's Pop-Up Captions
Lesbian Fiction
Creation Entertainment Practices Questioned
Here's to the Faux New Millennium!
Hercules Articles Appreciation
The Continuing Saga of Lao Ma
The Continuing Saga of Laura Sue
The Continuing Saga of Updates
Too Much Negativity
Xena in the Military
Same Old Uber
The Century Awards
The Joxer Corner
Into the Breach: If Only She'd Use Her Powers for Good and Not Evil

Letters To The Editor

The Price of History

From: Steven L. Sears
Date: Sun, 2 Jan 2000
Subject: The Price of History

First of all, for those who wondered, I'm still around and I still read Whoosh.

I had to comment, though, about an excellent piece of comparative work in your last issue. I refer to Virginia Carper's article "Inspiration for the Price" [WHOOSH #40 (January 2000)]. It was very well written and researched. I have only one issue to comment on and that is something that has been reported as fact for so long that people now take it as the truth. I did NOT base The Price on the movie Zulu. As I've said several times in interviews and chats, I based it on the real historical events of Rourke's Drift and Isandlwana. Many of you know that I am a bit of a military history buff, and many of my stories can be traced to historical events. I have also said (and this is where the confusion comes in) that I liked the movie Zulu because it stayed as close as possible to the actual events (with dramatic license and the prism of the 1960's). The movie Zulu Dawn (the account of the Islandlwana story), for example, was not as enjoyable because it sacrificed that accuracy more for drama.

Of course it should be understood that The Price may take its major source from the Zulu/British battle, it was never meant to be a retelling of it. I just felt that the setup for Rourke's Drift would have been a perfect setting for an exploration of Xena and Gabrielle's philosophies and, more importantly, a comparison of Xena's attitudes toward enemies as a result of her past and Gabrielle's attitude as a result of her lacking a past in that area. Some people have commented that I was influenced by Beau Geste (true), the Sioux/Cheyenne victory at Little Big Horn (true), the battle for Bastogne (not true), and the Borg (not completely true, but I knew the comparisons would be there).

However, being someone who enjoys military history, I thoroughly enjoyed Virginia's article. The correction I made should do nothing to diminish it. In addition to the wonderful books and references in her bibliography, I would also like to mention an exceptional book entitled "Like Lions They Fought" by Robert B. Edgerton. It's hard to find and I had lost my copy, but the efforts of a certain Bret Rudnick made sure that my library was, once again, complete.

Steven L. Sears
Ex-Co-Executive Producer
Xena: Warrior Princess


Thank you. I am glad you enjoyed reading my article. I agree with you on "Like Lions They Fought" by Robert Edgerton. It is a wonderful readable book on the Anglo-Zulu War for the general reader .

Dead in the Xenaverse Calendar and Interviews

From: Heather Adair
Date: Sun, 2 Jan 2000
Subject: (no subject)

I just wanted to thank you so much for all of the hard work you did on the "Dead In The Xenaverse Calendar" [WHOOSH #40 (January 2000)]. I am an absolutely intense Gabrielle fan, and I am delighted to say that I was not disappointed once! You have amazing senses of humor and kept me hysterical the entire time. You are ... truly clever and in inventive, thank you for everything.

Heather Adair


I'm glad to hear that you weren't disappointed. I tried to maintain some continuity from last year's Gabrielle interview in the Grrlfriends of Xena calendar while still keeping this season fairly vague for the sake of fans who haven't received season five yet.

I can only take credit for the interviews...all the humourous stuff was Kym. :)

Hopefully, there will be a calendar next year, too, and we'll do our best to make sure you enjoy it, as well!

Thanks again for taking the time to drop us a line.

Date: Mon, 03 Jan 2000
From: Shana
Subject: Calendar

I can't decide if I should be laughing or saying EW!

The Whoosh calendar is hilariously gross! *G* I knew they were dead, but I didn't consider that you'd put dead pictures of them up! *LOL*



I did it in the spirit of Sam Raimi and company.

Date: Mon, 03 Jan 2000
From: Dana Hlusko
Subject: Re: Pasadena con

I just read the interviews for the Dead in the Xenaverse 2000 calendar [WHOOSH #40 (January 2000)]. I found them to be quite a hoot. You captured the characters so very well and didn't hold back on the pointed questions like some interviewers would. You really pulled Nebula's chain ("Suck it up. Life is hard and then you die." Poor ol' Nebula). You hit the Xena attitude right on the head. And Caesar's, Julius Caesar's, too. I laughed out loud at Lao Ma's significant others: Lao Tzu, vegetable; Xena, protege. I should be so creative. Great job.

Date: Mon, 03 Jan 2000
From: Martin Slater

I read your interview with the fav dead character [WHOOSH #40 (January 2000)]. It was great. Thanks for the voting chance, and all your work. Happy New year, may your life and all the lives that follow be wonderful.


Hercules, We Hardly Knew Ye

Date: Fri, 07 Jan 2000
From: Kristina Larsen
Subject: Letter to the Editor

I feel compelled to respond to Bret Rudnick's editorial in the January 2000 (#40) edition of Whoosh. "The Night of the Full Circle". I must thank Bret for an extremely well-written and thought-out editorial on the twilight of a wonderful show.

Throughout it's entire run, there were episodes of HTLJ that I loved, hated, tolerated or generally didn't give a hoot about. To me, that's the trademark of a great show. The writers, producers and stars of any television show should strive to make the viewers think about each episode (as the show valiantly tried to do) and run the gamut of emotions, yet not necessarily love each and every episode. The staff associated with HTLJ did just that.

If I had to pick one favorite episode from the entire series, it would have to be the second season episode "The Other Side". Watching HerK reunite (albeit temporarily) with his wife and children still brings tears to my eyes when I watch it.

As much as it broke my heart, as well as the hearts of millions of fans worldwide, to see "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys" come to an end, I also believe that "Full Circle" was a wonderful final episode. As I watched it, tissue in hand, I was reminded of the reasons that I had come to love HTLJ.

For me, the absolute best reason to watch HTLJ was the friendship, camaraderie and esprit de corps between Hercules and Iolaus, and their portrayers, Kevin Sorbo and Michael Hurst. While watching "Full Circle" I both laughed and cried, and got more than a little weepy eyed when I gave myself more than 2 seconds to comprehend that this was the *final* episode, and there was to be no more 'Big Guy' and 'Curly'.

You will be missed.

Kris "SaraQuinn" Larsen

WHOOSH's Pop-Up Captions

Date: Sun, 09 Jan 2000
From: Paige Siskin
Subject: Whoosh Pop Up Captions

I was just reading this month's Whoosh when I discovered the pop up captions, the ones on the pictures, not under them. Now the captions have always been fun, but some of the captions this month had me rolling on the floor. Especially those in the article: "The Words, The Lines, The Action: The Same, The Similar, The Opposite: A Unique Review of Seasons 1 & 2 of XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS" [WHOOSH #40 (January 2000)] by Faith A. Williamson.

Let your caption writers know their efforts are worth it. Some of them brought tears to my eyes they were so funny.



"The Words" alt tags (as we call them) were written by Marian Pappaceno, Bongo Bear, Bret Rudnick, and yours truly. Usually Bret Rudnick, Beth Gaynor, Marian Pappaceno, or I do the lion's share of alt tagging.

Lesbian Fiction

Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2000
From: Sharon Bowers
Subject: Letter to the Editor

It was with great interest that I read Christine Pattee's recent article, "Heroic Deeds and Moral Delimmas: Reading about Women Before and After Xena" [WHOOSH #40 (January 2000)]. Though by the end of the article I was thoroughly confused as to what her ultimate point was, there were two primary issues that I have to take with the article itself.

Firstly, Ms. Pattee seems to conflate the character of Xena herself with the archetype that she represents. This conflation is the primary flaw in her discussion. While I do agree that Xena was a watershed in terms of television portrayals of women-- literarily speaking, there was nothing remarkably new about her. She is simply an archetypal anti-hero-- the stranger with a dark past attempting to atone for (in this case) her past. Joseph Campbell's "The Power of Myth" first explores such an archetype, and Carol Peason/ Katherine Pope's "The Female Hero" examines its application to women in literature specifically. In practice, the female antihero set in both ancient times and/or a distopian future that uncannily resembles those times was very much alive and well in the early seventies in Suzy McKee Charnas' "Holdfast Chronicles" (recently reissued by Tor Books in three volumes) and Sherri S. Tepper's "The Gates to Women's Country." (For a more recent and comprehensive look at lesbians in literature, readers might want to examine Bonnie Zimmerman's outstanding survey, "The Safe Sea of Women.")

It is to this archetype-- not necessarily Xena herself-- that I believe viewers of the show and (more importantly for our purposes here) readers of the fan fiction respond. And it is why uber fiction has proven to be so extraordinarily enduring and popular with the readers. It gives writers the freedom to experiment (perhaps unknowingly at times) with versatility of both archetype and genre conventions. It seems to me, that Ms. Patee is missing an essentially critical point to both uber fiction and their archetypal incarnations-- and that is the simple fact that it all functions within a *genre.*

As I'm sure Ms. Pattee well knows, genre writing by its very nature, has pre-programmed pleasures-- ie, the mystery has a "whodunit" denouement, the romance has a happy ending, etc. And the very repetition that she dismisses as flawing uber fiction (although at this point, very little of the more complex novels called "uber" have anything to do at all with the concept's origins) and preventing their "commerical" success are, in fact, the very things that draw readers back again and again.

Which brings me to the second issue I have with Ms. Pattee's article-- the crucial, critical importance she places on "commerical bestsellerdom."

"Event novels" may garner the lion's share of marketing dollors and advertising awareness, but within the industry there are only 3 authors who are regarded as "A Tier" authors-- John Grisham, Tom Clancy, and Patricia Cornwell.

However, the bread and butter of the industry-- what makes us our money-- are the "B and C Tier" authors (far too many to name) and-- more importantly the genre paperbacks that line the shelves of bookstores everywhere.

The "Oprah Effect" has inadvertantly made a "genre" of literary fiction, but more substantially what her bookclub has done is give a faux patina of critical esteem and importance to what are essentially mid-level novelists like Anita Shreve, Maeve Binchy, and Wally Lamb. Traditionally, these authors' sales numbers spike with the book Oprah selects and then resume their normal course. Take Anita Shreve-- her "The Pilot's Wife" was one of the most popular Oprah selections of the last few months, but her new novel, "Fortune's Rocks" has well-- to use a bad metaphor-- found itself run aground with poor sales despite respectable notices.

Finally, Ms. Pattee's emphasis on "bestsellerdom" overlooks two critical trends in contemporary publishing. The first of these is the "crossover" of a number of notable lesbian authors from smaller, independent publishing houses to mainstream ones. Notably: Katherine V. Forrest who crossed from Grier's Naiad Press to Berkley, and JM Redmann who crossed from New Victoria to Dutton. A number of lesbian authors are choosing to maintain two publishing houses, one for their "smaller" writings (such as collections of short stories)-- among these are Jenifer Levin (one of the best novelists I've ever read) who works with both Plume (for "Sea of Light") and Firebrand (for "Love and Other Disasters"), and Dorothy Allison who works with Dutton (for "Bastard Out of Carolina") and Firebrand (for "Two or Three Things I Know for Sure).

The second trend-- and the one where "uber" novelists will find their niche, I believe-- is the growth in general the marketplace for lesbian novels. Independent publishers like Naiad, New Victoria and Firebrand are finding their way out of the big-city lesbian bookstore and into the smaller town Barnes & Noble; as well as reaching the most isolated farmhouse thanks to the internet. Mainstream publishers like St. Martin's are creating gay imprints of their own, like Stonewall Inn Press, to tap into this ever-growing market.

Respectfully Submitted,
Sharon Bowers

Creation Entertainment Practices Questioned

From: Deborah Wood
Sent: Thursday, January 27, 2000
Subject: WHOOSH Letters: Pasadena Con

The H/X Pasadena Convention

Having just attending the annual Hercules/Xena Convention, I have a few serious issues and concerns with Creation Entertainment that I'd like to express. I, as many others here in Xena fandom, have attended every January Herc/Xena Con since the first one in '97. It has become a tradition where I can see friends and visit fellow fans. I have to say concerning the convention itself, that this is absolutely the worst I've ever seen and experienced. To be brutally frank, I am extremely personally offended.

The first issue revolves around the blatant disrespect and vile treatment, bordering on assault, by their security team towards fans. I saw not only screaming at fans to not take pictures by their "so-called" security, which had nothing to do with protecting the guests or as they would say "talent," but fascist/guerrilla tactics of purposefully blocking views to not allow pictures, pointing fingers in the faces of individual's and overall invading personal space by these "security" personnel. All over attempting to take a picture, when cameras were allowed in the venue. Then I witnessed herding people and again, "screaming" at them as though they were sub-human. That behavior is not only unconscionable, but unacceptable. If I wanted someone to abuse me, I would get a dominatrix thank you very much.

Secondly, for Adam Malin to get up and attempt to *shame* bidders into bidding more money for this so-called exclusive Gabrielle staff because the "Xena sword" went for $31K last year, despite the fact he acknowledged that the staff wasn't being auctioned for charity, is despicable. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised since I personally heard Adam say in San Antonio last year that Creation had done their "bit" for charity, which was his response when he was asked at that convention if any of the auction items proceeds were going to charity. I do however, have to honestly wonder if TPTB at Renaissance Pictures are aware of all the things they have been providing, like signed press kits and autographed scripts are being sold FOR PROFIT, since these are items that traditionally are given to raise money for charitable organizations (i.e., tax exempt 501 c.3's) and their respective causes. A press-kit is an item that is generally complementary. Why are autographed press kits and autographed scripts being specifically given to Creation Entertainment, who then auctions them off on eBay and at conventions FOR PROFIT? One can logically assume that this is being done "for-profit" since any business who makes charitable contributions usually indicates very publicly that those proceeds are being given to charitable endeavors. Certainly items that are auctioned for charity are indicated as such because people are naturally more generous and for what should be obvious reasons.

And isn't it interesting that after Adam's less than stellar display, Creation posts this update:

"Finally, an original Gabrielle staff used during the filming of the show was auctioned off from a private collection. The person who donated this item has made a substantial contribution to a charity close to their heart and we at Creation will add to that amount generating an additional $8,000 (the full auction price of the staff) for charity! Thanks to all the Hercules and Xena fans who made these donations possible!"
I believe that illustrates my point concerning publicly indicating charitable contributions. ;>

Also, since when did Creation become Sotheby's or Christie's, auctioning off items from "private" collections?

Finally, I must say that I have had enough with what amounts to their fraudulent advertising. Previously it was the fan club kits and this year it was pre-sales of this convention's tickets at the Santa Monica convention. For all intents and purposes, when one advertises that buying tickets to an event (with NO booked guests, mind you) a year in advance gives one preferred seating, that meaning being the best and ostensibly closest seats, one should deliver. It is a fact that they did not. When a person buying "gold" seating less than two months away from the event gets 4th row seats, and persons who bought tickets at Santa Monica are in the 6th, 8th, 10th and even further rows back, THAT is nothing less than FRAUD, in my opinion.

As just one example, this was posted on the netforum:

"Genesis Member posted January 26, 2000 03:10 AM - Well I was more than happy with my seat, but that's because I was in the fourth row and only ordered my tickets 1 1/2 to 2 months before the con. I know some people who ordered at the con last year that were more than 10 rows back. So, I got my moneys worth but I know a lot of people felt cheated."
Yes, cheated would seem to be a correct assessment. Frankly, I can't fathom how one can say this was an accident. One may say what they will about Creation's actual wording concerning ticket sales in Santa Monica, but it is clear that Creation strongly implied that people who bought tickets there would get the best seats, since that IS the only incentive to buy that early AND to an event that had no confirmed guests. They even admitted to changing the rules. That is clearly deceptive. Far be it for me to tell anyone how to spend their money or what to do, however, I honestly do think it is time for Xena fans who have experienced and/or witnessed this behavior to speak up to the appropriate sources, namely Studios USA, Renaissance Pictures and consumer agencies about this shoddy treatment. Perhaps it will still continue but until the fans as consumers do complain, it most certainly will continue.

Deborah Wood
aka Dallas'Dahak'Deb

Here's to the Faux New Millennium

From: Rebekah
Date: Mon, 3 Jan 2000
Subject: Faux New Millennium

Thank you!!
Thank you!!
Thank you!!

For What?

For having the stalwart dignity to do what CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, Larry King Live and the rest of the "News" organization have not had the decency to do...call a spade a spade and opening declare that the year 2000 IS NOT the beginning of the 3rd millennium.

I am absolutely amazed that the media would encourage this by even now referring to this as the new millennium instead of trying to educate the public, especially the children. But being the Island of true Intellectual Civilization that you are you have begun the education and nuturing of our society.

I hope that you continue to stand as an ensign of truth and reality (except where that may interfere with the Xenaverse). God Bless America, God Bless Math, God Bless Whoosh.


Hercules Articles Appreciation

From: Chris
Sent: Thursday, January 27, 2000 12:20 PM
Subject: hercules appreciation

thanks for your hercules articles. i used the previous one, and will again use this one, to point toward the episodes i want to see. great tastes run in the same track (tho i also get a kick out of some of the pure comedy episodes also)


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