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NEWS GOSSIP RUMORS
#20

By Laura Sue Dean
May 23, 1998

NEWS!
XWP SIGHTINGS
MERCHANDISE
CONVENTIONS
GOSSIP
RUMORS!
GABRIELLE 3: HELL SEASON
BORING RATINGS STUFF
LETTERS TO LAURA SUE
LAURA SUE NEEDS YOU!

HELLO XWP Fans!
Now that most of you (well, those of you in the US, anyway) have seen Season Three's Lava pit-hanger, you know that we'all got a Long, Lonely Summer of Re-runs to look forward to. Oh...what to do, what to do!?! Nothing much, except stock up on lots of PEPSI products (their Pop Culture Game started on Wednesday, May 13, 1998, and one of the Grand Prizes is a trip for two to NZ and a tour of the XWP Set!) suntan lotion and good reading material (like NGR, natch!) to stave off the next stretch of XWS! (XWS, for the newbies among you is an acronym for Xena Withdrawl Syndrome, otherwise known as re-run season.) How will we survive? As in life, only time (and sometimes Laura Sue) will tell! Read on, XWP faithful. Laura Sue swears by the shimmer in her recently-retouched highlights that she will scour the pedestrian-bare streets and frequent the trendy restaurants of tinsel town (at least the ones who still let me in) to give you, the reader, the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth!....All rise, NGR is now in session!




NEWS!


A REALLY, REALLY BIG SHEW!!! ANNOUNCING **XENA: WARRIOR PALACE!!**
Laura Sue Dean is beside herself (much like Lucy in WARRIOR...PRINCESS...TRAMP and Renee in SACRIFICE) with glee, and happy to announce the latest Whoosh! fan project: a graphical chat environment called "XENA: WARRIOR PALACE." This is a joint venture with Tom's Page and SRT Enterprises. Many of you may be familiar with the "Palace" software from your non-Xenite Internet exploits. For those of you who aren't, take it from me--this is *really* cool stuff. If you are into online chatting and hanging out with other Xenites on IRC or AOL (LSD feels your pain), this is going to be your dream come true. If you have avoided chat spaces like the plague for whatever reason, now is the time to put your fears/prejudices aside. As Mikey once said, "Try it, you'll like it!"

The reason that our chat space is so cool is that....well...it's got lots of pretty pictures. The interface is completely graphical, meaning that each of the rooms has an illustrated setting, and each guest is represented by an "avatar." When you say something, the text appears in a balloon over your avatar's head. If you want to become a member (by shelling out some bucks to the Palace software people -- which, by the way, never trickles down to WHOOSH, Tom's Xena Page or SRT), you can carry objects around with you (like chakrams, perhaps) and give them to other Palace users. But you do not have to pay anything to participate--the software itself is free.


AND NOW, THE REEEALLLY BIG NEWS!!!
Regularly-scheduled Whoosh!-sponsored events are in the works for XENA: WARRIOR PALACE...like chats with authors of articles and.... THE LAURA SUE DEAN SHOW!!! You heard right, Sparky! Laura Sue is getting HER VERY OWN TALK SHOW! Keep your eyes GLUED to this space for guest info and dates and times. If you have any ideas for topics (please, no MY GIRLFRIEND TURNED OUT TO BE A HERMAPHRODITE-type ideas) write them down legibly, then send them to me.

Some already scheduled events for the Xena Palace are:


Sunday, 05-24-98, 10pm EST, Weekly Webmaster Chat Series, WHOOSH Room. Chat with Kym Taborn and Betsy Book, editor and webmaster, and creators of WHOOSH!

Wednesday, 05-27-98, 10pm EST, Candian Night, Are you Canadian? Have a strong attraction to Canadians? Drop on by and meet Canadian Xenites and/or talk about why you like frequenting Canadian Nights in chat areas although you are not of that specific persuasion.

Saturday, 05-30-98, 10pm EST, Bardapalooza. Meet and chat with the infamous fan fiction bards of the Xenaverse.

Tuesday, 06-02-98, 5pm to whenever EST. Kym Taborn's Virtual 40th Birthday Party. Join the editor/publisher of WHOOSH after she has experienced her 1st day in a new demographic group!

Wednesday, 06-10-98, time TBA, The 2nd Annual ARGO AWARDS.

For updates for scheduled events click here.


LSD NOTE:
The first big event -- WHOOSH!’s *Virtual Grand Opening Party* on Saturday, May 16 suffered from server problems. Some goober accidentally set the room limit to 40 instead of 500! (Could it have been... the fire marshal?) Because of the backlog, teaming throngs of overly-excited fans clamored to enter the A-List event. As per usual, some of the more boorish were drunk, got unruly and the cops had to be called. Betsy Book, Whoosh Webmistress has spent the better part of the week play PR firefighter, and has had more than her share of nasty emails to wade through. FWIW, folks -- it wasn't Betsy's or Whoosh's fault. Anyway, the error has been corrected and the party continues as you read! For more information about how to join the fun, go to:

http://www.whoosh.org/palace/ or
http://www.xenafan.com/palace/


ROC NEWS
The bogus interview on Mania -- Some loser felt the bright lights of stardom weren't shining bright enough on them, so they submitted a totally fabricated "INTERVIEW" to Mania. Mania was duped into posting it, but removed the offending article posthaste when they found out they’d been had. For more information on the scandal, go to The Renee O'Connor Fan Club News and Announcements.

In the bogus interview, the loser made up truly weird things that ROC would never think, much less say about her fans. Not only did this despicable someone slander ROC’s good name (not to mention her southern manners and erudition!), the cretin is impersonating the nicest mom on Earth! To quote RocWeb on this subject -- "Not only do we consider this to be a pathetically reprehensible thing to do, considering the many kindness' that Sandra has shown the fans - but it's also downright dishonest." (Laura Sue knows that RocWeb and Sandra are too nice to curse this loser, so as a public service, she’s doing it for them.) A pox on all their house... for generations to come!


OH NO -- RENEE DON’T GO!!!
Okay kids, let’s all take a deep breath... s...l...o...w...l...y. Now, exhale...good. Laura Sue has received several frantic emails regarding the last scene in SACRIFICE II. Being the consummate actor we all know Laura Sue is, she is loathe to offer spoilers, but feels she must to counteract what might become a web-panic. READ NO FURTHER IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN SACRIFICE II and do not want to be spoiled!

sigh.

sigh.

sigh.

sigh.

Now. Read Laura Sue’s lips:

Renee is, right now, (probably even as you are reading this) busy at work in NZ, filming fourth season! So even though her character made the ultimate SACRIFICE at the end of part 2, the writers somehow make it possible for Renee O'Connor not visit the unemployment line. Okay? Have faith Gabrielle Fans! Have faith! Come on now -- if she’d jump into that pit for Xena, don’t you think she’d stay around until her contract runs out for you, her die-hard fans? Natch!


LAURA SUE IN PRINT!
LSD was interviewed in Salon magazine about Simutronic’s Hercules & Xena online Role-Playing Game. This game is really fun, and worth taking a second look at... In fact, word on the streets of Ancient Athens is: Gabrielle was spotted making merry at a party there only last week!


AND NOW, FROM THE "HER COURAGE WILL CHANGE THE WORLD" DEPT:
Sword and Staff has been busy collecting the generous gifts of Xenites for charity! In the name of Xena fandom, they've been able to pass along over $6000 in honor of Lucy and Rob's Big Wedding, and the auction at the New York XenaFest also broke the $6000 dollar mark (with the help of a few items being auctioned online, too - the folks in the ballroom in New York City weren't quite that kind on their own - but almost! There's a long list of the charities that got the benefits of Xenite goodness; visit the spotlight page at Sword and Staff's web site for more details. Lucy and Rob were so psyched when they found out about the wedding donations that they sent an email to the mailing lists thanking the online fans for the charity giving and for helping keep the "best day of their lives" a secret. Suddenly Laura Sue feels like James Bond!




XWP SIGHTINGS


TALK ABOUT YOUR "MUST SEE TEE-VEE!"
Laura Sue was shocked and happily surprised while enjoying the very last Seinfeld:

SCENE SET-UP

Jerry Seinfeld is talking on the phone with his parents -- telling them that the show he and George created, "Jerry," is back on the burner.


JERRY'S DAD
[The only show we watch is] that Xena, the Warrior Princess. She's six-foot six!

JERRY'S MOM
(in background)
She's not six-foot six!

JERRY'S DAD
Do you watch Xena?
JERRY
Yeah! It's pretty good!

Congratulations to the cast and crew of X:WP. Not only are you certified pop culture geniuses... you made it onto the TV event of the decade! A big LSD High-five!




MERCHANDISE



UPDATE ON NINTENDO 64 GAME
Yeah, sure...Laura Sue really understands this stuff (not), but for those who do: Players will be able to use a memory pack to save information while playing the Xena game, and then pop it into the Herc game. For example, if you are using a favorite sword in Xena, you can save it to the pack and then use it in the Herc game, too. UH OH. Looks like Xena’s Unchained Heart may be crossing paths again with Hercules, soon!


XENA: ALL I NEED TO KNOW I LEARNED FROM THE WARRIOR PRINCESS
By Gabrielle, Bard of Poteidaia as translated by Josepha Sherman - US$12.00 Xena, Warrior Princess. Gabrielle, Bard of Poteidaia. Theirs was a life of adventure. A life of romance. A life of great deeds and great battles against the forces of evil. A life of good and bad magic, of deep and lasting friendships. Now, Gabrielle reveals what Xena taught her, how to keep your sword sharp and wits sharper, and when the size of your staff does make a difference. All this and more - lessons that will help ease the path for those of us battling on through the modern world.(Pocket)


XENA:WARRIOR PRINCESS - THE XENA SCROLLS - US$13.00
These ancient documents may unlock the secrets to long lost mystical powers. Powers so strong that they must be kept from those who would do evil. For these precious scrolls can reveal the deepest, darkest secrets of the gods, including the key to immortality. (Harper)

OK, it turns out that this is not a book as I originally surmised, but rather, it's a large fold out map. I don't know what is on the Xena map, but it's probably something similar to the HERCULES map, whose write-up follows >


THE WORLD OF HERCULES: LEGENDARY JOURNEYS MAP - US$13.00
This lavish full-color fold out map shows in detail the ancient Mediterranean world that is home to Hercules, his friends, and his foes so you can follow his travels and battles from place to place and episode to episode.(Harper) (So, I'm guessing that the XENA SCROLLS is a similar map following Xena & Gabrielle's travels in the ancient world.)


TOPPS XENA:WP COMIC: THE WEDDING OF XENA & HERCULES - US$2.95
Available in a photo cover showing the nuptial kiss, or in a painted cover by Alex Ross.

A note...Alex Ross is one of the most acclaimed painters working in comics today, folks..getting him for the cover of an ish is a coup, be sure to grab this version!




CONVENTIONS


UPCOMING FESTS AND CONS
Pacific North West XenaFest II (05/30/98) Fan
Robert Trebor in Phoenix (05/31/98) Creation
NWP XenaFest (05/30/98) Fan
Robert Trebor/Stephen Sears/Patricia Tallman: Las Vegas (06/14-18/98) Fans of Fantasy Con
SoCal XenaFest (07/25/98) Fan
Alexandra Tydings: Taunton, MA (07/31-08/02) RebelCon
Alexandra Tydings/Bruce Campbell: Milwaukee, WI (8/6-9/98) GenCon
Hudson Leick in Minneapolis (08/08/98) Creation
Hudson Leick/Karl Urban/Alexandra Tydings/Bruce Campbell in Cherry Hill, NJ (08/29-30/98) Creation
TBA in Atlanta (09/03-06/98) DragonCon
TBA: Reno (09/18-20/98) Mystic Warriors
TBA: Baltimore (10/2-4/98) Zon Con
Hudson Leick in San Francisco (10/18/98) Creation
TBA in Santa Monica (01/99) Creation

Organizing a fan convention, fan fest, or whatever?
Drop Laura Sue a line and I will shamelessly promote the heck out of it, especially if you give me a comp ticket to the event!




GOSSIP


KIDS -- HAS RUPERT GOTTA DEAL FOR YOU!
Herk and Xena fans! Home Shopping Network is having their second Hercules/Xena Shopping Hour on June 11 at 11 PM Eastern/8 PM Pacific Time. Included will be two 11" x 14" photos. One is Hercules/Iolaus the other is Xena/Gabrielle. They are being sold as a set, they are available only on this show -- and the pics are limited editions. For those with the 1998 Hercules and Xena calendars, the photos are: Hercules - May Center; Xena - January, Right. If you thought they looked good small, you won't believe how gorgeous they are in 11 x 14 glory! (LSD note: Gee wouldn't it be nice if there was a CON with both Lucy and ROC attending so we could get this limited edition masterpiece autographed?)


SOMETHING FOR YOU JOXER FANS!
And you thought Laura Sue didn't love you? No, no, no my children! It's just that nine times out of ten Laura Sue goes for the easy laugh...

Recently, due to technical difficulties, the Ted Raimi International Fan Club, or TRIFC as it's called for short, was forced to relocate to a new host computer. (...and no, it is not true that the *old* host computer was destroyed when disgruntled subtext fans pelted it with rocks and garbage!) The new URL is:

http://www.geocities.com/TelevisionCity/Set/5715/TRmenu.html

Please note that TRIFC is Ted's officially run fan club.


SEEN ON AUTOLYCUS' WEB SITE
He's directed the XWP season four opener. But could this just be more RenPic misinformation? They just left Gabrielle in a lava pit and they are opening with Meg and gang homaging "Raising Arizona"? That seems a bit too suicidal even for RenPic... That's why Laura Sue thinks this is a sample of RenPic's new open policy of misinformation. If not, it should be.




RUMORS!


UNREQUITED: RE SAPPHO
All tauntings from ex-merchandising mavens aside, the role k.d. lang will play in an upcoming episode won't be Sappho. The May 1998 edition of Curve magazine says k.d. lang asked to make a cameo appearance on an upcoming episode of Xena. "It's uncertain whom she'll play, but unfortunately, it won't be Sappho." In fact, LSD has learned that the episode featuring the "ancient Greek babe who started it all" may not be filmed! Xena star Lucy Lawless teased Burbank II Con-goers with the info that, in an upcoming episode, Sappho (played by Lawless) acquires a constant craving for Gabrielle, who "doesn't quite know how to handle it." However -- the much-reported on Sappho episode is not a definite, in fact, it might be a *definitely not*. Contrary to other reports (like, in said Curve article) RENAISSANCE has not shot this episode, and they probably won't --"because they know where to go with it and from what angle to do it. Everyone involved really wanted to go for it, but because of lack of a 'good way' to portray the story, (LSD interpretation: Keepin' our gal's relationship SUBTEXT instead of MAINTEXT) TPTB will probably shelve the idea, at least for now.




GABRIELLE 3: HELL SEASON


It's painful to think about Season 3 and all Gabby had to endure... Which is worse? Being raped (even if Liz and Co. insist it wasn't, I don't buy it) by the evilest of all evils and forced to bear the ROSEMARY'S HOPE, aka DEMON SEED... or, losing your bestest friend/soulmate in the whole wide world, plus having to poison your own daughter, and then pulling duty of telling said daughter to her face that you'd wished you'd done a better job of it? Dang, that has gotta hurt, ya know? Even now, after making the supreme sacrifice to save Xena's life we are left wondering if we'll ever see that Gabby we know and love again? (She was kinda MIA third season, but I digress...)




BORING RATINGS STUFF


Speedy looked at the latest ratings and then jumped into a lava pit.

Here are the numbers to VANISHING ACT, in memory of Speedy:

FORGIVEN. 02/16/98. (7) X-Files 6.7; (11) Hercules 6.3; (14) Xena 5.8; (16) Star Trek: DS9 5.1

KING CON. 02/23/98. (8) X-Files 7.1; (13) Xena 5.5; (15) Hercules 4.9; (17) Walker 4.7; (20) Star Trek: DS9 4.6; NYPD Blue 3.7; Earth Final Conflict 3.7

WHEN IN ROME... 03/02/98. (7) X-Files 6.8; (12) Xena/Star Trek: DS9 5.5; (15) Hercules 5.2; (18) Walker 4.7

FORGET ME NOT. 03/09/98. (6) X-Files 6.9; (10) Xena 5.4; (11) Hercules 5.2; (16) Star Trek: DS9 4.6

The Deliverer. 03/16/98. (8) X-Files 5.6; (10) Xena/Hercules 5.0; (14) Star Trek: DS9 4.6; (19) Walker 3.9

Gabrielle's Hope. 03/23/98. (7) X-Files 6.7; (12) Hercules 4.9; (14) Xena 4.7; (18) Star Trek: DS9 4.2

The Debt I. 03/30/98. (7) X-Files 6.0; (13) Star Trek DS9 4.6; (14) X-Files 4.6; (15) Hercules 4.5

The Debt II. 04/06/98. (8) X-Files 5.9; (14) Star Trek: DS9 4.7; (16) Xena 4,2; (20) Walker 3.9; (--) Hercules Under 3.9.

FINS, FEMMES, AND GEMS. 04/13/98. (7) X-Files 6.0; (11) Xena 5.3; (12) Star Trek: DS 9 4.8; (15) Hercules 4.5

TSUNAMI. 04/20/98. (7) X-Files 6.3; (13) Xena 4.8; (15) Hercules 4.5; (17) Star Trek: DS9 4.3; (19) Walker 4.2

VANISHING ACT. 04/27/98. (7) X-Files 6.2; (13) Xena 4.5; (17) Star Trek" DS9 4.2; (--) Hercules Under 4.0




LETTERS TO LAURA SUE


Dear Laura Sue,

I heard a rumor that Armus & Foster, with credits such as For Him The Bell Tolls, and Fins, Femmes & Gems, really don't exist and that they are pen names used by the writers when they don't want to catch flack for a real turkey of an episode. Is this true? Has anyone ever seen or talked to these two?

sign me "sick of Joxer in Texas"


LAURA SUE RESPONDS:

Dear Sick of Joxer in Texas,

"An Allen Smithee Episode"? You are intimating that "ARMUS & FOSTER" is actually an ALLEN SMITHEE ruse to protect the real writers from ridicule from their peers? Hmmmm. Although Laura Sue has never actually met these two, for the record she says, "No comment."

--LSD






Dear Laura Sue:

Why is everyone saying that the Callisto story has "dipped from the well one too many times?" We see Ares and Aphrodite quite often, what's the difference? For so many fans of the show, like myself, Callisto has very much become an integral part of our viewing. How can people say that it's time to leave? And why would she be killed off if Universal is STILL making tons from her merchandise AND still planning her convention appearances - even up into next fall? The majority of Xena fans do not want Callisto to be written out. We have to say good-bye to a goddess and hello to Joxer, weekly?! HELLO!!! Have these people flipped or what?! Even Lucy has mentioned, more than once, she has a ball when Hudson is on the show. Why not make her regular, not that fool, Joxer? This whole "Kill Callisto" has just perplexed me from the beginning, and I will never be made to understand the killing of the greatest character since Xena herself! And Laura Sue, why do YOU also feel that Callisto should go? I read that you agree with her being written out? Why? You would rather see more Caesar? You think that's not repetitive?! He is boring! Besides, it's called recurring, that means these characters reappear! Why are you guys only slamming Callisto? I don't hear anyone mentioning Ares or Autolycus. Ares is on MORE than anyone, yet no one says anything. Why?! What is the deal with you guys?

CallistoKX


LAURA SUE RESPONDS:

Dear CallistoKX -

Laura Sue loves to see Callisto. She's a yummy villain and maybe someday LSD will get to work on a picture with dear Hudson - I've been pestering my agent! But good characters do die, too, and it would be better for Callisto to die a good villain-y death than to be overused and lose her punch.

But just because the character has faded into the sunset, don't give up ALL hope. Think of one possibility: a flashback episode with new Callisto footage. It could happen!

And KX, dear heart: decaf. Consider decaf.

--LSD






Laura,

I am a faithful Zena-Gabrielle fan and will watch the show no matter how much of Joxer I have to endure. I think he makes the show too silly. The episodes are weaker when he is on it so the thought of 22 more...

Why not show the Amazons more. The plots they were involved with were exciting. Thanks for listening.

Cindy


LAURA SUE RESPONDS:

Dear Cindy,

I am very glad to know you enjoy the show. Did you know that ZENA is spelled with an X? (hint: Check the opening titles when you faithfully watch the show) Don't feel too badly though -- you get bonus points for spelling Amazon correctly! BATTLE ON, CINDY!

--LSD






Dear Laura Sue:

I wanted to thank you for your defense of TPTB in the matter of Ted Raimi's contract that you wrote in the last NGR.

As a Joxerphile I am naturally pleased to see more of the character, and have no sympathy for those who can't tolerate him. However, I am concerned about the quality of the episodes in which he appears. As with Gabrielle there have been too many holes, character reversals and loose ends (can you say "Gabdrag?"). Well-written episodes would go a long way to settle the stomachs of Joxerphobes.

Also, I agree that we can't have Joxer upsetting the Xena-Gabrielle dynamic. I believe this can be avoided, and that the rumored Gabrielle/Joxer romantic arc can work without forcing irrevocable choices such as Gabrielle falling so deeply in love that Joxer becomes a wedge between her and Xena.

Pause while the bodies of those who committed suicide over the Joxer/Gabrielle romantic arc are removed by those who are merely quitting the show.

Let's face it, Joxer is here to stay, so instead of cursing his presence, why not have Joxerphobes unite with Joxerphiles and insist on good writing!

Break a leg,

Phil


LAURA SUE RESPONDS:

Dear Phil,

Your letter sounds like that song, "THE FARMER AND THE COWMAN" from Rogers and Hammerstein's classic, "OKLAHOMA!" This is Laura Sue's all-time FAV musical, one dear to her heart because it was the impetus to her now almost-lucrative career as an ACTRESS! (Believe me, *NOBODY* "Cain't Say No" like LAURA SUE!)

However, in reference to your thanks for defending TPTB: I cannot take any credit. You see, one doesn't last too darn long in this business without a knack for "creative butt-smoochin", and that, my friend is the name of THAT tune!

Fondly,

--LSD




LAURA SUE NEEDS YOU!


If you HAVE any good dish, write me. Need a rumor confirmed, denied, or ambiguously tap danced around? I'm your gal! Just drop Laura Sue a line!

I can't print every letter, but I'll do my best to answer your questions... and report those late-breaking XWP stories!




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