Timing really is everything: If all goes well, you'll be reading this on the eve of the 13th season premiere, a season which will feature Law & Order's 300th episode.  Not that we're counting, mind you -- and not that NBC will acknowledge that the 300th is actually the 301st. But it does amaze us that this series has become the juggernaut it is; between SVU and Criminal Intent (for which we just don't get enough submissions! Throw 'em here, kids!) and all of the reruns (now on TNT), you can't swing a perp by his handcuffs without hitting an episode. And, as in years past, there are changes on the horizon: Michael Chernuchin is back in the producer's seat, and Fred Thompson has become the show's fourth District Attorney, Arthur Branch. High on at least one editor's wishlist: Fanfic featuring Branch, McCoy and Judith Light's Elizabeth Donnelly, from SVU. We smell triangle! (Or at least some really good conversations.) Who says the young 'uns always get to have the fun?
This'll be a short note, 'cause at the moment, we're fat dumb and happy with things as they are. The season opener looks to be a pretty solid swing for the stands, and we're hoping for even better things with some of the old guard in place. On the other hand, a little less ripping from the headlines and a little more stories with surprises and thoughtful gray areas in them is our real hope for the new season. Thirteen can be a lucky number.
So, before you head over to the issue proper, be sure to make youself heard: The company putting out the show on DVD is apparently soliciting fans to submit questions the cast may answer in the next season's Cast Commentary DVDs. Go here: www.electricartists.com/law_and_order/ and fill out the form -- due date is October 3, so there's virtually no time!
After doing that, settle in with the new issue, chock full of nuts and fic and other fun amusements to keep you from doing what you probably should be doing right now. Speaking of Elizabeth Donnelly, we've got a short interview with Judith Light herself, plus the next Blue Wall Nominations (read the directions carefully, thankyouverymuch). And two fiction picks: Kor says "I love what-if stories!" and Leslie Rampey's provided her just such a one with "File It Under 'Conversations That Never Took Place' " while Kitt has (again) responded to the troubled, broody tale of Ed Green in Tobias Charity's "Saigon." story is just such a one. And, of course, don't forget about our regular contest -- you'll have to do a little searching to get the answer, but we still think it's easier than the last question we asked. Finally, get writing -- our special Halloween page will be ready for reading at the end of this month, and we need good stories to fill it up. In the meantime, if you have any love or noodles to share (or criticism or spare cash), feel free to write us. We hope to be there soonest.



From: PacettiM
Sent: Monday, June 17, 2002 9:29 AM 
Subject: Crossover Suggestion 

I really liked the idea for the fan fiction challenge for the next issue, and I have a suggestion for one possible crossover that I would like to see someone try.

There are many good crossovers between Law & Order and other series except one of my other favorites, Highlander!

I would like to see a crossover where one of the Law & Order characters becomes a Highlander style Immortal and gets trained by Duncan MacLeod, and how the others deal with it.

I really would like to see someone give this a try, especially if you use Angie Harmon's character, Abby Carmichael.

Thanks for your time, and keep up the good work.


From: jo_bautista 
Sent: Monday, June 10, 2002 11:54 PM 
Subject: challenge suggestion 

I have a suggestion for the next challenge ---  How about writing stories about Adam and Jack/Adam and Ben or Adam/Jack/Ben --- no slash please! :) 

That's it. 
Jo :) 

From: "Jim B" 
Sent: Tuesday, June 18, 2002 4:06 AM 
Subject: Re: 

Great issue. I really liked the adopt-a-mutt ad with Jerry Orbach. Very cute.

From: Carol Fiddes T
Sent: Tuesday, June 18, 2002 2:48 AM 
Subject: Requiem 
Thank you so much for that beautiful piece. I really love the Mike and Liz Olivet continuing story and you write it in such an appealing way that I really don't want to stop reading. Hope there is more to come in this story.

Thanks again, 

From: "Maggi Michel"
Sent: Wednesday, June 19, 2002 3:18 PM 
Subject: burden 

This story is amazing. Well written, moving, totally entrancing. Every word made me want to read the next one. I was in the narrator's grip
from the first paragraph. What a great character study. What a great "slice of life" piece. What a beautifully drawn portrait of those "dark nights of the soul" we all experience one time or another, when everything in life seems to conspire against us, and even our oldest beliefs start to tumble.

Thank you, thank you, for this piece.
Maggi Michel

From: thesentinel
Sent: Friday, June 21, 2002 2:19 AM 
Subject: Mary Seuss 

Just read this - very well done! And one of the funniest things I've read in a while! 

The imagery, even in Suess-style poetic form, is wonderful! And the entire thing is so true of "MarySues" (btw, I love the 'play on words'!)

The Sentinel

From: "Jayne Deaux"
Sent: Friday, June 28, 2002 9:18 PM 
Subject: Mary Seuss 

I thoroughly enjoyed R. Miles' Mary Suess. In a word, "hilarious." In two words, "So true." In six words, "Oh, crap; she's talking about me!"

From: "Cassatt"
Sent: Saturday, June 29, 2002 4:18 PM 
Subject: Dreams, Reality, or Both 

I was pointed to your site by a fellow fanfiction writer, as she knew I wrote slash and liked L&O. She told me there was some slash 
controversy, so I tried to find out what was going on and eventually did. From what I gather this story was written by someone younger than 17?

One reason I'm writing is to support you as editors for putting any content here that you deem worthy. Obviously, as a writer of explicit 
slash, I have no issue with free speech on the internet. 

Secondly, I did find the character of McCoy quite believable as a bisexual, which surprised me. I deliberately had not thought about who 
the story would feature, and have never considered L&O characters in a slashy way (as we say in our fandom). McCoy was an excellent pick. Briscoe, I had some trouble with, but by the end I believed it. 

And thirdly, if indeed this story was written by someone young he or she has a promising future as a writer. I thought it was well done, 
definitely above average for fanfiction. And there was nothing so explicit in it as to be offensive, in my humble opinion. There was 
nothing explicit in it at all, other than some kissing and some post-coital cuddling. If just the mere thought of two men making love 
is enough to send people into a tizzy, then, yes, I'd agree there is some homophobia coming through.

I realize I am not part of the L&O fandom world, though I do plan on wandering through the archive to see what you've got there. So I 
appreciate the opportunity to put in my two cents. Best of luck with your continued efforts to encourage the craft of good writing. I like 
your "KISS" - I have "Less is More" over my desk ;-).



From: "Keith Yearman"
Sent: Friday, June 28, 2002 4:52 AM 
Subject: Minorities in Law & Order 

I miss Richard Brooks, Michael Moriarty, Chris Noth, Steven Hill, Dann Florek and Paul Sorvino/George Dzundza. This was one of the most powerful and talented lineups ever assembled. The first 2 1/2 seasons were magical. I think most of the personnel changes have actually watered down the show.

From: "Tobias Charity"
Sent: Monday, July 15, 2002 1:33 PM 
Subject: Letter to the Editors 

To apocrypha and its readers:

I am the author of the slash fic which seems to have stirred up so much controversy over the past few issues. I've read through the letters written by readers, and I feel there are a few things which need to be said.

In the editor's reply to one letter, they said: "We are unaware, and uninterested in, the author's sexual tendencies, but if he or she happened to be gay (and yes, 13 is not too young to know this about yourself) why 
should it be up to us to declare that the expression of their sexuality on paper was invalid?"

There's something here I'd like to respond to. There is the assumption that one must be gay/lesbian/bi to write slash fiction. Not true! I consider myself a straight female, as do many of my close, slash-writing friends. As 
the editors stated before, it is not necessary to have first hand experience in order to write about it. I write West Wing fiction as well; does that mean that I'm a politician? And what of X-Files? Have I been abducted by 
aliens? Am I an FBI agent? The 'author's sexual tendencies', as you put it, have absolutely nothing to do with what goes down on paper, at least in my case. I do not attend some big city school where teen sex is the norm; in fact, I live in a small, rural village in Upstate NY where the entire school 
regularly attends middle school football games.

Small town values have not lost their meaning here; however, that does not mean that we are stuck in the 19th century. There is an openly gay teacher at the middle school, as well as two students attending the high school who are openly gay. There is some prejudice, of course, but that is only because of the closed-mindedness of certain individuals. That's something I'd like to address: homophobia. The staunch conviction of a few that homosexuals are wrong/sick/twisted/etc., and that slash fiction should not be featured on this site, is no reason to remove slash fiction all together. Sure, slash is controversial, but then so is the assumption that our fate is mapped out for us. I've received more hate mail and flames claiming that I shall burn in hell for my philosophic fic "Chess" than I have for my entire, slash, five-story Union series (of which "I Plead the Fifth" is a part).

Third issue: readers, had you even scanned "I Plead the Fifth" before writing the letters? I happen to doubt that you did; if you had, I don't believe you would have referred to it as 'explicit'. It was, in my opinion and in the opinion of numerous others, about as explicit as a PG-13 movie, and more to the point, would you have responded in the way that you did if it had been a Jack/Claire story? Or a Jamie/Rey? Or even a, god-forbid, Jack/Serena? I tend to think not. It is acceptable for young people to put heterosexual characters in minor sexual situations; why is it not acceptable for the authors to do the same with the same 'hetero' characters, but put them in homosexual situations? One paragraph was all that described the sexual part of the relationship; the entire fic was meant to be a self-doubting monologue on the part of Ben Stone. The slash was secondary;  the *element* of slash and the idea that one male character might sleep with another male character, and then question himself, doubt himself for it, was the reason behind the fic.

Yes, I am a slash reader. Yes, I write slash for numerous fandoms. No, slash is not the only thing I write, no, I am not gay, no, I do not write 'explicit' material, and no, I do not agree with those of you who say I should be silenced for my age. Do you say that gifted children should not take higher level classes because of their age? You claim that children should be innocent; I ask you, how can we be innocent with the images constantly projected at us through the television, movies, radio, etcetera? In a world where pop stars sing about soda in bikinis, telling us to 'think young', of all adjectives, can you truly, honestly expect the young minds receiving all of this information to not absorb some of it and think that 
flaunting your sexuality is the norm? The media is feeding us this, while my own state's Board of Regents deletes all references to anything that might be construed as 'politically incorrect' on a *state test*, which might, I don't know, maybe not, have some bearing on our lives as adults. Soda 
commercials do not.

If children capable of understanding advanced material should not be protected from it (for example, higher level courses in middle and high school), then neither should be protected from incorporating their knowledge and interpretation of that material into their creative outlets.

So why restrict me, a 13 year old, who is perfectly capable of deciding what to and what not to read on grounds of 'adultness,' and is also perfectly capable of separating fantasy from reality and knowing what to incorporate into the real world, why restrict me to writing something that I have no creative/imaginative interest in whatsoever? Would you prefer that I write happy little cheery stories, where no one ever suffers or has doubts? Is that the way humans live? Or are you suggesting that I simply not express myself, my own cynical, sarcastic outlook on life and the people who populate it, on paper?

There. I have spoken my piece. Feel free to write back to me so as to not bug the apocrypha editors at writer525@hotmail.com

Thanks for your time;