Whoosh! Issue 46 - July 2000
Editor's Page

From the Editor-in-Chief:
Oh No, Fan Fiction Again???
From the Guest Editor:
Once Upon a Weekend Dreary...
From the Graphics Editor:
The Night of the Cinematic Show

From the Editor-in-Chief:
Oh No, Fan Fiction Again???

With great pleasure and RELIEF, I present to you WHOOSH's 2nd All Xena Fan Fiction issue (if you haven't seen our 1st All Xena Fan Fiction issue, or just are nostalgic to see it again, CLICK HERE). It took a lot of toil and trouble to put this baby together, but it was worth it. Bongo Bear was the guest editor and was the main shaper of most of the articles you will find here this month. She had a vision of articles covering the entire works of some of XENA fandom's bards. We send out out call and some very wonderful people gave up a lot of time to write about Della Street, Vivian Darkbloom, Cyclops, and Missy Good. Because Bongo Bear is a fan fiction writer herself, I made sure she had to go through the embarrassment of having an article written on her works as well.

We also have articles about why a man would want to write XENA alternative fan fiction, a review of Ru Emerson's latest XENA novels, an interview with bard LZ Clotho, an essay on why bard's write their fan fiction, a look at the continuing circus of copyrights, a historian's critique of XENA fan fiction, and a fan-ficitiony solution to last month's Caption This.

And what would a special issue be without a parody by Joanna? She submits for your reading pleasure a parody of the new and still wet behind its ears Conqueror genre of XENA fan fiction.

As always it was a great pleasure working with everyone who particpated in the production of this issue. Many people literally were writing, coding, or editing up to the wire just so this issue could see the light of day. I specificially thank the WHOOSH editorial staff of Darise Error, Beth Gaynor, Bret Rudnick (who hates fan fiction -- what a trooper!), Cynthia Ward Cooper, Bongo Bear, Kristin Daugherty, Lydia Woods, and Betsy Book for a job well done; and the writers for this month, Nancy Amazon, bluecitywriter, Christine Boese, Virginia Carper, Ewok, Nicola Guest, Linda Knighton, Lunacy, Carolyn McBride, Rhana McConnell, Marian Pappaceno, Rooks, Joanna Sandsmark, and David Simpson for giving above and beyond the call of fan duty. Furthermore, it was an honor and privilege to work with Bongo Bear. I am glad we survived the many late hours of discussing, debating, and arguing over this issue. I look most forward to future collaborations.

I hope you enjoy this issue which has been in the works for over 6 months. If you enjoy it, if you hate it, or anything inbetween, please write us and tell us how we are doing.

Kym Masera Taborn
Executive Committee
Calabasas, California
June 27, 2000

From the Guest Editor:
Once Upon a Weekend Dreary...

Once upon a weekend dreary, I pondered a most bizarre query
About the quaint and curious fanfic I download and store.
So many bards. Some have great style. Others make me smile.
As I read all the while about Xena and Gabs and occasionally that bore,
"What is it," I wonder, "that makes me want to read so much more?"
After all it's only fanfic, and nothing more.

Classic X&G was there from the beginning. Now Uber is winning.
Closely followed by tales of Callisto where she's still a whore.
Warlord and Slaves romp across the page where they spend their nightly rage.
Evil Conqueror Xena paces in a cage. There's even Joxer and Ares to explore.
Everyone is fodder in the Xenaverse. So much fiction to render your eyes sore
With a genre for every taste and more.

This edition is for the bards for whom writing well is often hard.
This edition is for the tales that hundreds and perhaps thousands adore.
An all consuming hobby defines Fanfic. Let's find out what makes it tick.
We have many articles from which to pick. Read them, but don't keep score.
Your fellow Xenites wrote them and its their ideas we consider and explore.
And who knows? Fanfic can be the seed for something more.

Bongo Bear
Guest Editor
Houston, Texas
June 22, 2000

From the Graphics Editor:
The Night of the Cinematic Show

Since moving back to the West Coast, there's been something available to me that I haven't seen on a regular basis in 15 years of television. Whilst living on the East Coast, I was at the mercy of what I could pick up on broadcast television. This wasn't so bad. Heck, I got three different PBS stations! There was the usual "big three" networks, a WB affiliate, a FOX affiliate, a UPN affiliate, and a few others. No worries, plenty to see.

But when I moved into my new (temporary, it is hoped) digs, there were two choices: cable television or a satellite dish. The dish thing was a major hassle, and a much higher initial cost, and I don't intend to live where I am now forever, so I went with cable.

What a difference! Not only is the reception interference-free, there are many more cool channels to choose from. Now I can get History Channel, Sci-Fi, The Learning Channel, Discover, Animal Planet, CNN, E!, Bravo, A&E, and some ethnic programming that I haven't seen since I left California the first time but didn't realise how much I missed it until I returned. Plus all the local stations come in clearly. What a country!

Although I no longer have to rely on a friend for taped episodes of FARSCAPE, and although I am able to sample a lot more "stuff" out there, I have to say that with rare exception, the additional programming doesn't do a lot more for me. Sure, I can watch a lot more TV if I want to, but after a few days initial "glut"of some new stuff, I find I watch even less TV than I did before.

This flood of new programming selections has given me renewed appreciation for how XENA is put together as a show.

Particularly in regards to cinematography and editing, it is clear that XENA is still technically top notch. In comparing some of the earlier XENA episodes (from first season) to some XENA episodes from fifth season, the evolution is nothing short of remarkable.

MOTHERHOOD is a prime example.

Forget about the story aspect for a moment. I know some people loved it and some hated it, but from a technical and mechanical standpoint, this episode is an amazing piece of work. It is the equal of many motion pictures these days. The whole episode has a "big screen" feel to it from the scenes outside (such as on the beach) to the close confines of the combat indoors. The dialogue scenes are interestingly photographed and cut together. There is not a dull moment in the hour. There is a sense of tension and urgency, yet there are no harsh jumps or jarring cuts. From the start, the viewer is drawn in to the episode and it doesn't let go of you until the last act is over.

While I've sampled the shows that also have some interesting stories and characters (FARSCAPE, STARGATE, and LEXX being three of them, and I wish EARTH: FINAL CONFLICT could make up its mind about what it wants to be), and while sometimes those shows come close to XENA in technical quality here and there, I'd be hard-pressed to name another show that has the consistent high quality of technical components that XENA still maintains. Sure, sometimes there's a falter here or there, but overall, the folks behind the camera and in post production sure haven't been napping. Great cinematography and composition, exceptional editing of some episodes, great sound quality, and so forth. Set design continues to be super, although costumes have been a little hit and miss since N'gila Dickson left.

While we're on the subject of programming and sampling channels, I will make this tenuous link to history.

Last night I watched a marathon showing on the Korean War that was broadcast on the History Channel. 25 June 2000 was the 50th anniversary of the start of the Korean War, so it seemed an auspicious time to show something about this event. Unfortunately, they started this 4-hour show later in the evening, and it ended well past my normal bedtime.

But I wanted to give this a look. My dad was a Korean War veteran. He did not live to see this 50th anniversary mark. But watching this documentary gave me renewed respect for his experience there and the service of tens of thousands of soldiers on the United Nations side who did not live through the conflict itself.

Politics aside, when it gets right down to it, modern wars are fought by people who don't know each other, often ignorant of their language, culture, art, and history. A soldier does what he or she is told, believing the cause fought for is just. Historians and politicians can argue about justice and justification before, during, and long after the battles are fought.

The guy being shot at just wants to live to see tomorrow.

Bret Rudnick
Graphics Editor
Executive Committee
Hermosa Beach, California
26 June 2000

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