|From: Ann Mathis
Sent: Friday, February 15,
2002 9:44 PM Subject: Dream, Reality, or Both - by Python
I was dismayed that you apparently
received only negative responses from other readers about this story. I
had quite a different reaction to it. This was one of the earliest slash
stories I'd ever read. Before then, I didn't know 'slash' fiction even
existed, much less that ANYONE would ever entertain the idea of Jack or
Lennie or Mike being bisexual. But - this story by Python is SO believable
to me. Jack McCoy is a highly sexual and sensual person; I can easily imagine
people of both sexes being attracted to him, and his responding to that
attraction. Plus, Python's writing is so damn good, and so damn erotic,
I was quite spellbound. BTW, I'm a long-married het woman. I want to say
to Python - WELL DONE, give us MORE !
From: Farishta Dinshaw
Sent: Monday, February 18,
2002 2:30 AM
I give you credit for standing
up to your right to post fiction/non-fiction that you as editors deem fit
(as long as it is within the boundaries of human rights). One of the inherent
qualities of freedom is the freedom not to be part of it if you find it
unpalatable. I chose not to read the slash story when I saw the icon, not
because I am against homosexuality per se but because I am squeamish about
graphic sex. However, I must admit that I find it a sad loss of innocence
that a thirteen year old would have the knowledge, the experience and the
inclination to write about sex (heterosexual or homosexual).
Editors' commentary: We
thought about that, too, but since we do not know this individual we need
to understand that there are precocious individuals, and that just because
one can write about a subject does not mean one has personally experienced
it or even witnessed it. Imagination frees us to write what we see in our
heads, and there is no reason to assume it was seen, heard or experienced
anywhere else. Our guess: This writer is also a fervent slash reader elsewhere,
Sent: Monday, February 18,
2002 2:09 AM
Subject: Second Chance
Oh, my! I loved it! You should
forward this to a certain idiot producer who killed her off in the first
place, LOL! You made my day! Lorry
From: Katharine Bigott
Sent: Saturday, March 02,
2002 2:33 AM Subject: Second Chance
Very Clever! But ya know,
I think at the end, it really should have been Claire or something. She
should have gotten into the witness protection program. LOL, that wouldn't
be very good...I just miss Claire. But your story was wonderful!
From: Katharine Bigott
Sent: Saturday, March 02,
2002 2:08 AM Subject: Cold Light of Dawn
Oh! I like it. It's a great
short story that conveys a much larger point. A little unlike Claire though,
what are the chances of her getting drunk with Logan?
From: jill d. doll
Sent: Monday, March 04,
2002 6:18 PM
love the idea of jack mccoy
meeting up with jordan in boston!! what an idea!! and i would love to read
more - i am sure they could meet up again somehow - jack's trying someone
in boston and she needs to be called as the medical examiner...could work
out i think!!
From: Vicki Underhill
Sent: Sunday, March 10,
2002 8:54 PM
Subject: The Beginning
Great story! What a wonderful,
and believable, back story to the whole "Jack and Claire" epic. I've often
wondered if they knew each other before hand considering they did work
in the same office. This was a fantastic contribution!
Cat (aka V)
Sent: Monday, March 11,
2002 2:00 AM
Subject: Night Portrait
I by S.E. Olson
Provacative and Subtle, I
enjoyed this piece very much.
Sent: Wednesday, March 27,
2002 7:36 PM
Subject: Editor's Note from
Spring Issue: Slash Controversy
What if the writer of the
deleted slash story had been 11? Or even 8? Will you accept sexually explicit
material (hetero OR gay) from any age writer as long as it's "well-written"?
And why accept such material
from writers who are supposed to be too young to legally access explicit
stories on your own Web site? Sure, accepting their stories may be legal
and constitutionally protected, but is it the right thing to do?
THAT is the issue your readers
would like to see addressed. Instead, you practically accused some of them
of homophobia, which was irrelevant and totally unfair.
The Editors reply:
First issue: How Young
Is Too Young To Write?
First answer: No age.
If a writer can pass our standards, we are not interested in how old or
young he or she is. Age is irrelevant when it comes to creative endeavors.
We discriminate against: bad writing, sloppy writing, writing of a particularly
sadistic and/or irredeemable nature. That is, for example, no gratuitous
rape. So far, we've had 100 percent of the first two, and zero percent
of the second two in our rejection pile.
Second issue: Well, Man,
That's F-ed Up. That Kid's F-ed Up To Write Sex Fic.
Second answer: We disagree.
Implicit in such outrage is that the youth of the author plus the subject
of his or her writing equals some kind of personal experience. Since the
vast majority of our stories are about murders and shootings, we're going
to go so far as to say that we're not publishing the writings of murderers
and criminals. If that sounds facile, so is the issue raised. Imagination
does not equal experience.
Third issue: So, Fine,
Your Site's Got Sex Fic. You Oughta Keep Kids Out. There's A Law.
Third answer: We heartily
disagree that a "Only Enter This Site If You're 18 or Older" link at the
entrance to apocrypha will stop anyone from coming in who is determined.
We assert that the content of our site is far removed from flashes of nudie
photos: There is a conscious level of maturity required to get to our stories
(most of which are not beyond PG-13 on any level) and then make anything
out of the images described therein. Again, if there's a young person with
that kind of interest, time and imagination to get into these stories,
then they're ready for them. If they're not, while we do not wash our hands
of any responsibility, we do next assert that it is up to their parents
to have a firmer grip on what they're doing on that thar infernal machine.
First (implied) issue:
Well, Man, That's F-ed Up. That Kid's Really F-ed Up To Write Homosexual/Slash/Gay
First (non-implied) answer:
Yes, we admit we brought the homosexual, hidden element of the letter-writer's
implication to the forefront of our initial discussion – and it may have
seemed like a diversionary tactic, but we believe that this is what motivated
the person to write. Not that the author was young. Not that it was a sex
fic. But that it was a slash sex fic. The only objections we have ever
gotten to stories on the basis of their content have been when we run slash
fic. Readers who decide to be shocked in slash fic make more of an effort
to find reasons we should remove stories than when we run hetero fic. Homosexual
fiction raises more hackles: It is "dirtier" somehow; those who read or
write it must be "damaged" in some way. We disagree. It is as much a legitimate
expression of creativity as it would be if the story had been about heterosexual
sex. 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? We do not support censorship.
We support guidelines.
Sent: Thursday, June 06,
2002 8:35 PM
Subject: Spring editorial
I agree that is appalling
that a 13 year old has the knowledge discussed in your editorial; however,
it is not at all surprising. I teach 5th grade and what my students know
is years ahead of me. I had crushes on stars and occasionally played dolls.(My
barbie was perpetually pregnant). This year most of my girls had "the hots
for" the construction workers redoing our school, one came to school with
a hicky as large as a silver dollar --- and was proud of it, and two missed
school the last day because they had stayed out to late the night before.
I am scheduled to teach 6th grade in 2002-2003 and my biggest hope is that
I don't have to deal with a teenage pregnancy or labor. My boys "came on"
to any girl that appealed to them. And we won't even get into their knowledge
Children -- yes!!!! Innocent
-- NO (8 or 9 is about the end of innocence).
Look at the cartoons they
watch. Or even the regular shows that are SUPPOSED to be aimed at
families/ teenagers/children. Or the next time you are in Target,
Walmart/K-Mart or any other store that sells clothes for children 3 to
15 look at the clothes they have for girls. or the Make-up. Look
at who their idols are; look at the ads for children.
I hope this doesn't sound
contradictory, but just because they have the knowledge does not mean they
are ready to deal with it emotionally. Or that they have the maturity.
Street-Smart is an old way to describe it.
My own daughter's birth mother
was 14 when she gave birth. A child with a child.
What I find surprising --
to the point almost of envy -- is the talent many of these children have.
I am on several lists with teenage writers and their stories are
very well written. They know their characters and develop them well. (Even
when put into a different universe -- which is what slash is
[as well as all of our stories]
). And they don't write short stories, either; some are very long.
In many ways they are actully better than some of the older writers because
they tend not to tell the endings but to finish it out as strong as they
We don't need to censor their
work on their age. Instead, let them explore their craft and guide them
toward what is deemed "acceptable" at apocrypha. Or point them to
sites where slash is allowed.