From the Editors' Desk
the minds of many, fanfic writers are stealing. We're little copyright
thieves who can't do anything original, so we go and get inspiration from
someone with more imagination than ourselves, and crib off of their ideas.
To this, apocrypha says "Ptui!"
Even if Law & Order Executive Producer Rene Balcer hadn't said, as he does in our interview this month, that he doesn't care if people write L&O fanfic "as long as they don't write it about me," the truth is that fanfic is just another word for writing. Plain and simple. You are inspired about something you see or feel or taste or smell, and you write about it.
But sometimes, a little backup isn't bad. Instead of "fanfic," which will always include the word "fan," which often inspires (in the less imaginative) images of drooly obsessed worshippers with nothing better to do -- let's take a page from the great science fiction writer Harlan Ellison who, in his groundbreaking anthology from 1967, Dangerous Visions, talks about how he cribbed off of also-celebrated sci-fi writer Robert Bloch -- and received plenty of praise for it! (Both Ellison's story and the one which inspired it are included in the anthology, which we highly recommend.) But Ellison doesn't call it "fanfic." To him, the phrase to use is "literary feedback."
Yeah, it sounds like so much paraphrasing, but think about it.
That almost makes more sense. As Ellison writes when prefacing Bloch's story, "Every writer save the meanest hack hopes his words will live after he goes down the hole, that his thoughts will influence people. It isn't the primary purpose of the writing, of course, but it's the sort of secret wish that parallels the Average Man having babies, so his name doesn't die with him. And here in my hands [Ellison had just been handed a German story inspired by one of his own tales] was the visible proof that something my mind had conjured up had reached out and ensnared another man's imagination. It was obviously the sincerest form of flattery, and by no means "plagiarism." It was the literary feedback. The instances of this action-reaction among writers are numberless, and some of them are legend. It is the reason for writers' seminars, workshops, conferences and the endless exchange of letters among writers."
Emphasis ours. The point being that fanfic -- literary feedback, as it were -- is nothing new, and nothing to be ashamed about. Much ado about nothing? We don't think so. Which is why we're here, just about two full years after we started apocrypha, feeding back to the same source which has so enthralled, aroused, enraged and inspired us.
One last note, and then on to business. Ellison first met Bloch when he was 18; the two subsequently became close friends and associates. And where did Mr. E meet Mr. B?
A fan convention.
Now, where were we? Oh, yes, this Summer's issue! First off, we have two new additions to the site, so listen up!
1) The apocrypha announcement list. To avoid confusion, this email list is solely for announcing-- no posts are accepted -- and will merely serve to alert apocrypha fans of upcoming deadlines, upcoming issues, special events, and maybe the occasional survey or two. We promise not to flood anyone's mailbox, and we won't give your email address to anyone. If you're interested, go here and sign up now!
2) The apocrypha Yahoo! Club. Call us ambitious (hey! you're out of your mind!) but we thought there ought to be a place out there where L&O fanfic writers could come and chat about fan fiction. Sure, some show stuff will naturally leak through -- but this message board is primarily designed to foster discussions on writing, and on stories that appear in apocrypha, and for general questions or suggestions you might have for the editors that you don't mind everyone else reading. In addition, we're planning on special events -- chats with authors, editors, and other minor L&O celebrities (hey, we're working on Noth and Waterston, but it could take some time), and chats to be held after show airings, so we can have some immediate feedback. We'd also love to hold online "seminars" to help people improve their writing, so keep an eye out there for special events like those. (They'll also be announced on the mailing list, too.) If this yanks your chain, go here and sign up now!
With all of that said (is your head spinning yet? Ours are!) we'll move on to the issue at hand. Don't forget to check out stories like Night and Fog, by Sarah Weiss. Kitt says, "It's short, but has the emotional punch of a bullet." And then there's Kor's pick, In Peace, by Gwen McNabb, which she says "is sad and moving -- and portrays Lennie's loss sharply." Naturally, the other stories deserve your time and attention, otherwise they just wouldn't be here.
Finally, we're just plain glad that you're here and contributing! We love feedback, and we love hearing from you about what you'd like to see here -- and what you'd like to write. If you have a fiction or nonfiction idea, and want to run it by us before writing, that's fine -- we can't guarantee acceptance, but we'll be happy to hear you out. As always, write apocrypha if you have questions. Our next issue will be for Fall 1999, which means you'll have even more fabulous fanfic -- er, literary feedback -- come early September! Enjoy!
Kitteridge and Korillian
To The Editor
We get letters, we get letters, lots and lots of letters...
Date: 2/16/99 12:25:27 AM Eastern Standard Time
I love everything D. Marley has written in the Law and Order universe. And after spending two frustrating days of trying to get into the Spring 99 apocrypha I was delighted to discover her story at the top of the list. And even though I have lesson plans to wrote for tomorrow I took time for a fast read. And I cried. For Mike. His lost childhood. His anguish. His dad. The guilt a parent feels when they can't protect their children.
Thank you for a wonderful story. I can hardly wait to have time to reread and savor Marley's insight into what makes Mike the man we love.
Subj: Loved it! (re: You Don't
Date: 2/16/99 8:40:40 PM Eastern Standard Time
I was a little hesitant when I first started reading, but by half-way I was hooked. Absolutely adored the last part. I can just imagine Jack saying and feeling those things. I always pictured Claire coming out of it with Jack by her side.
Thanks for the story!
Subj: Mrs. Greevey
Date: 2/16/99 10:26:56 PM Eastern Standard Time
What do I think? WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!!!!!!!
Subj: "Angilbas" calling.
Date: 2/16/99 10:34:58 PM Eastern Standard Time
I've just seen your "by book..." issue; I'm grateful not just for "Mrs. Greevey" but for all of the stories and articles. In particular, I have both thumbs up for your discussion of "Coma."
Thank you and all the best,
Tony aka Angilbas
Subj: Hated it [Cascade]
Date: 2/17/99 3:23:57 AM Eastern Standard Time
Writing good, innuendo bad
Editor's note: We asked if Mungo could elaborate, and received the following as a reply.
Subj: Re: Hated it
Date: 2/17/99 3:47:29 PM Eastern Standard Time
The innuendo that Mike could be gay. NO WAY.
Editor's note: And this....
Subj: Re: Re: Hated it
Date: 2/17/99 11:11:08 PM Eastern Standard Time
I just can't go that Mike is gay. That he was molested and that by being promiscuous it would diminish the incident I can believe.
Editor's note: Fair enough.
Subj: Tom Fontana article
Date: 2/17/99 2:45:27 PM Eastern Standard Time
I just read the article and interview with Tom Fontana regarding the crossover this week and "beautiful people" on his show. I was wondering who conducted the interview with Mr. Fontana. Was the line "and if they don't like it they can go f*** themselves" a direct quote from Mr. Fontana. If it is, I find it disturbing that he thinks so little of the show's fans.
Looking forward to hearing from you.
Editor's note: It was. We were going to publish the complete text of the Fontana interview this issue, but Balcer took precedence. Look for Fontana soon. Additionally, there had been some discussion in newsgroups which questioned the veracity of the reporting. Many magazines do not credit writers for news stories; we are no different, and the article was reported exactly as it was said. apocrypha stands by the story, and we mourn the passing of Homicide.
Subj: Fiction by Derek Stewart
Date: 2/19/99 8:29:03 AM Eastern Standard Time
It was wonderful. It made me late for work. I couldn't stop reading. You should put more stuff by this guy on your web site.
Date: 2/19/99 11:25:00 AM Eastern Standard Time
I just read "Cascade" and found it almost haunting. I've had these thoughts in my head since watching "Indifference" and "Bad Faith." The story was so well written, and so thoughtful. My compliments to the authoress.
Subj: You Don't Know Jack!
Date: 2/19/99 4:05:10 PM Eastern Standard Time
Absolutely luscious. Mes hommages, ma chere!
Subj: How I get my L&O
Date: 2/21/99 7:36:49 PM Eastern Standard Time
I live in London and for some bizarre reason my television doesn't receive Law & Order. I have come up with a nifty way to get to the best show ever created tho. My best friend lives in America and she tapes the episodes that come on A&E, then sends them to me. This is a great system because I can't stand that boring Ben Bratt and he often is not on A&E.
Tell Michele M. Leslie that I'm breathlessly awaiting the sequel to Keeping Secrets and that her work is some of the best I've seen!
p.s.: long live apocrypha!!!!
Subj: Latest issue
Date: 2/22/99 10:47:18 PM Eastern Standard Time
Thanks for another great bunch of stories. I just wish the zine would of could come out more often!!!
Subj: No Trumpets, No Drums
Date: 2/23/99 11:08:55 AM Eastern Standard Time
Just wanted to drop a line and say I enjoyed Elisabeth Blair's story, No Trumpets, No Drums. There's enough possibilities there that she could continue with the story. That would be really cool to find out if Logan and the Lt. hook up some how.
I like how she makes Mike think romantically about the woman asleep beside him. Not thinking of sex, but wondering if she has someone to give her flowers and candy. Some one that will make her feel special. I like that romantic side of Mike Logan.
Keep up the good work, Elisabeth, and I hope to read more on this hopefully continuing story.
Subj: Logan -- Cascade
Date: 2/27/99 2:49:10 PM Eastern Standard Time
To the writer: Silence to be followed by applause.
Date: 3/2/99 4:31:00 PM Eastern Standard Time
What an explanation for Mike Logan's anger and misogyny! I thought it was an outstanding story, very well-written. Sure to set off howls of protest from the Mikey Mafia, though.
Date: 3/2/99 8:13:04 PM Eastern Standard Time
I have responded before about the works of Michelle Leslie. I think her story, Keeping Secrets, is so compelling. The story, Patients, is very close to home for me since I too have waited in a doctors office to hear if I am going to live or die. I didn't have AIDS, I had colon cancer but the waiting to hear and looking at the other patients wondering if they too were possibly dying was very familiar. A year of chemotherapy is how I got so addicted to Law & Order. Mike Logan became a very important character for me. My cable company runs 4 L&O reruns Monday through Friday and it made the many hours I spent in bed much easier wondering what cocky Mike would say today. I love all the characters, but Det. Logan is by far my favorite.
Ms Leslie has such a superb way of keeping her acts and characters together, I can hardly wait for more.
Subj: father joe / Cascade
Date: 3/8/99 12:38:30 PM Eastern Standard Time
hi, i'm Lisa. I just wanted to ask about Logan's childhood. I thought in that episode he'd said that when the other kid told him if he, uh, visited the priest he'd get baseball tickets, mike decked the kid. i figured he must have been uncomfortable around the priest, and maybe even had to turn down a pass or two, but if he decked the kid, i wouldn't have thought he was actually molested, though if he was i guess it must have been before that particular incident. i was just wondering if i'd missed something in that episode, because most of the fan fiction i've read that deals with that assumes that he was molested. i mean, i was wondering what exactly it is that people saw differently than me.
Editor's note: Would anyone like to answer her? Lisa, I believe, as with much on L&O when it comes to personal lives, the interpretation is left up to the viewers. Just because most fans have chosen to believe that Mike really was molested doesn't mean that he was - only that it is a general opinion. Anyone care to write a different scenario?
Subj: Mrs Greevey
Date: 3/10/99 6:58:51 PM Eastern Standard Time
Nice submission... very thoughtful.
Keep up the great work!
Loved Spring Break!
I read it in the same amount of time it takes to watch an episode - about 45 minutes scanning through commercials. I thought it really rung true. I could just see our favorite characters speaking the words Derek gave them - especially Adam's grunts. Thanks to Derek -- very amusing to add himself to the show, also...
Subj: Big Fan
Date: 3/24/99 1:37:24 PM Eastern Standard Time
[I] just wanted to say that L&O is not the same without Chris Noth, Det. Logan. That's the only time [I] watch L&O. Hopefully Exile will return soon!
YOURS TRULY CHRIS NOTH FAN.
Subj: Keeping Secrets
Date: 3/25/99 7:44:57 PM Eastern Standard Time
It's the best L&O short story I've read, and I've read a bunch.
(Note to editor Kitt: Name of the Game is excluded, as I consider it a novelette)
I discovered fan fic only a few short weeks ago. But, I'm reading tons of it. I feel really fortunate to be able to read apocrypha's archives. I was able to read your 2 parts together, at night, in bed. It hit me like a ton of bricks.
Way to go, Michelle! MORE, PLEASE!!!
Subj: Law & Order crossover
Date: 3/25/99 10:09:29 PM Eastern Standard Time
Only a few weeks ago, I started reading fan fiction for "The Powerpuff Girls" (PpG) and I wanted to write a story. Since my favorite show is "Law & Order" I decided to a crossover between the two, basing the story on one particularly disturbing episode of PpG. After spending quite a bit of time on the story, it developed into the classic "Law & Order" style: almost everything is from the point of view of the police and the prosecutors, and it is written with the current cast.
Upon reading your guidelines for submissions, I realized that my story does not qualify because (a) it was posted on my web site, since it was too big to post to the PpG fan fiction page, and (b) it is just over you size limit. Still, I would like to share it and want to know if you can suggest any "Law & Order" sites which will either post my story or the link to my page for it. I will appreciate any information you can provide. The story "Law & Bubbles" can be found at the following site:
In any case, thank you for your fan-fiction site.
Editor's note: We don't usually put up links for other people's fic, particularly stuff we can't endorse one way or the other, but this was just too odd not to say something. Let us know what you think, if you decide to read! Btw, the Powerpuff Girls are a Cartoon Network creation; they're three kindergartners with superpowers. We think the slogan is "Saving the world before bedtime."
Subj: About Spring Break: By
Date: 3/27/99 4:17:14 AM Eastern Standard Time
I just wanted to say this was phenomenal! This was exactly how the characters would have been, and are. You kept the speech true. I can picture them saying it. In fact, I could picture the whole damned 'episode.' It was extremely well-written, very true to the characters and to the way the characters execute their lines. Well-paced and faithful. An all-around WONDERFUL fanfic. Out of ten, you get 11, my friend. Adam Schiff turning off the light in the end was so Law & Order.
It was great. I really loved it.
Subj: hmm / Cascade
Date: 3/29/99 2:44:05 AM Eastern Daylight Time
Although I think that the article was written very well and Mike Logan's character seemed to keep its integrity, I'm a little confused about the ending.
Am I to understand that the author thinks he's gay? I'm sorry, but that doesn't seem to fit with the character. I really enjoyed the story until right at the end.
Otherwise, I thought it was good.
Date: 4/1/99 4:38:28 PM Eastern Daylight Time
Please make that a weekly series, staring Chis Noth we miss him!
Date: 4/10/99 1:57:18 PM Eastern Daylight Time
I just read "Healing", and despite the fact I think most fan fiction is lousy, this was wonderfully written and well worth the read.
Date: 4/22/99 10:20:48 PM Eastern Daylight Time
Dear Ms. Leslie:
I enjoyed reading "Patients" -- the double meaning of that word was quite clever. It was also interesting that you've given Mike Logan a son that he is obviously devoted to. Thanks for a good read.
Your touching, beautifully rendered story has reduced me to tears. The dialogue between Mike Logan and his Dad was so realistic I could almost hear the glass crunching on that kitchen floor! I hope that you continue to write like this because I am looking forward to reading more from you.
Re: No Trumpets, No Drums
Bravo! Not only did you give our dear Mike Logan someone very interesting and worthwhile to meet, you made the heroine just that but without a ot of melodramatic, I'm-making-the-world- safe-for-democracy BS. This was a smart, tough young woman just doing her job and a nice man doing his.
Subj: Keeping Secrets
Date: 5/1/99 11:40:30 PM Eastern Daylight Time
I thought your story was quite moving. It was good. But couldn't you have made the ending nicer? I felt so sad & empty to find out that Logan's life would never be the same -- his son was murdered in front of him. Made me think what I would do if anybody hurt my son.
I will read more of your stories though.
Subj: Comments on "Cascade".
Date: 5/4/99 1:37:16 PM Eastern Daylight Time
I read Dorothy Marley's story, "Cascade", from your spring 1999 issue and I can't even begin to tell you how the story moved me.
In her one story, she managed to bring out the true heart and soul of Mike(y) Logan. I've been trying that, through my own fanfiction, for about three years, and I'm still nowhere near it.
And if anything, this story made me ache for Mike. I know it's one thing to see Logan on the screen and look at the deep pain mirrored in his eyes but it's quite another to watch it catapult off of the page and right into your heart. This story did that to the point where I almost cried.
Thank you, Dorothy, for writing this incredibly evocative and compelling story. And thank you, Kitt and Kor for putting it online.
P.S.: A suggestion for your page and that's would It be possible to put up the e-mail addys of the authors? I would like to let Dorothy, herself, what I thought of her story but with not her e-mail addy, it's a mite difficult to do.
Editor's Note: We don't put up writers' email addresses for privacy reasons. However, all notes regarding particular stories are forwarded to the writers (unless we're specifically asked not to forward them) so that the writer will have the ability to write to the person who sent the letter to the editor, if they choose. Thanks -- to everyone -- for writing!
Subj: Loving "Stand Off"
Date: 5/10/99 12:17:03 PM Eastern Daylight Time
I just discovered this site, and I LOVE it! I am a McCoy fan in a big way, and I really loved your story "Stand Off" in two of the archived issues. It's kind of interesting how the story hints at personal beliefs: It actually delves into the characters' thoughts instead of making comments. It was well-written and had a good plot.
PLEASE keep it up! I want to be visiting this site for years!
Lovin' the fanfic
Subj: You don't know Jack...
Date: 5/12/99 9:40:48 PM Eastern Daylight Time
Oh, yes you do!
I loved it! I'm new to this site and to the fanfiction, in fact, I've only recently become "fan-"atic over L&O. But Jack is my favorite character (I've always loved a smart-ass, don't give a you-know-what character.) And now I know why. Those characters are the ones most vulnerable, the attitude is just a facade, a shield against the hurt. So you know if you just watch long enough, he will show his "soft" side. Thanks... and hopefully soon I'll have my own fanfiction to contribute. I grew up writing stuff like that but never knew what to do with it.
Keep it up!
Subj: No Trumpets, No Drums
Date: 5/29/99 2:04:39 AM Eastern Daylight Time
I enjoyed the story very much. Seems just what Mike Logan would have done.
Re: Keeping Secrets
Best story I have read in a long time. This shows
a side of Logan you think may be there but can't
quite pinpoint it. Excellent storyline.
Date: 5/30/99 5:12:47 PM Eastern Daylight Time
I love your Law and Order zine and fanfic, but I have a suggestion - could you put with the fanfic, not just the little pictures you have now to give and idea what the story is about, but something to show *who* it's about? My time on the Web is limited, so I usually download the stories and read them later, and I'd like to know who the stories are mostly about so I can decide whether or not to download them... e.g. I don't like stories about Briscoe but I love reading about McCoy...it's be really helpful if you could indicate who the main focus is on.
Just a suggestion!
Editor's Note: Thanks for the idea, Jen! The reason we don't do that is that we like for everyone to discover the stories for themselves. Most of the introductions to stories give away who's in them, anyway, so you cn use that for a guide.
Subj: "You Don't Know Jack..."
Date: 5/31/99 7:27:35 PM Eastern Daylight Time
This is the way the story should have been!
Date: 6/3/99 9:27:23 PM Eastern Daylight Time
REALLY love your story "Friend Indeed". I love the way Zoni makes it look almost sexual, but pulls back and is completely decent. It's a wonderful story about what a true friend is, as hard as it may be to give such advice or to receive it. It's excellent, it plays well of Mike and Liz's character, and it is just delightfully sweet. Great stuff.
Keep it up, Zoni.
Subj: Next Issue
Date: 6/7/99 2:23:58 PM Eastern Daylight Time
Love your 'magazine'. The format is great - a little bit of everything. When is the next issue due? I will be off of work on a medical leave for 6 weeks and some new fiction would sure help my recovery! Please tell me you have at least ONE Ben Stone story. I know, I know - he's gone; but not forgotten.
That's what reruns are for - thank you A&E!
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apocrypha welcomes letters from readers. Letters should include the writer's name. Those selected for inclusion may be shortened for clarity and content, and unless otherwise requested, will not include email addresses. Send letters to us here at firstname.lastname@example.org. Only letters clearly marked "not for editor's page" will be excluded from consideration.
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