Xena: Warrior Princess
From Fan History Wiki
The Xena fandom was one of the earliest large scale f/f fan fiction, saffic fandoms. The fandom took off very quickly after the show's premiere, resulting in a great number of mailing lists and archives, along with a few fanzines although it was more predominantly an on-line fandom. Although Xena/Gabrielle was the largest focus of the fanworks created by the community, there were also strong ship followings for other het, slash, and saffic pairings possible by the large cast of characters in the show's universe.
Xena: Warrior Princess was the story of a former warlord, Xena, who has decided to renounce her past and begins to fight for good instead of evil. Joining her in her new battle is Gabrielle, a bard who travels with her to record her adventures, and their relationship becomes the core focus of the show.
The series was a historical fantasy set in a mythological version of Greece that also blended in elements of Oriental, Egyptian and Medieval mythologies. A large cast of recurring characters, from gods to warlords to Amazon queens, populated the show's universe and presented a wide array of enemies and allies to Xena and Gabrielle.
Below is a partial list of terms used in the Xena fan fiction community.
- A Bard is a word applied to fan fiction writers. It's derivation traces back to the 1400's as the creator or storyteller of epic tales or poems. This term was used in the Hercules and Xena fan fiction communities. Its usage predates 2001.
- C-W/S stands for Conqueror-Warrior/Slave. Stories which C-W/S in the header code or subject heading refer to alternate timelines where Xena forgets, pretends, or becomes is a warlord and goes on to conquer various people or places. This term was used in the Xena and Hercules fandom in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
- D/S stands for Dominance and submission. This term is used in the Xena fan fiction community. Its usage in that community predates 2001.
- Xenaverse is the general term for the online fandom community, its websites and members. It is also used by some to refer to the universer where the show is set, including its take on mythological characters and ancient gods, and how it does/doesn't fit in with actual world history.
Below is a partial timeline of events that took place in the Xena fandom.
1995 to 2001
- Xena was in its first run on television from 1995 through 2001.
1995 - 1996
- On September 4, 1995, the first episode of Xena: Warrior Princess aired, Sins of the Past.
- The first known online community for Xena fans was an AOL Chatroom started by a 14 year old girl named Laura. This chatroom was first noticed and, subsequently joined, by Steven L. Sears, then Supervising Producer of Xena: Warrior Princess. This became the first interaction of the actual staff of the series with the online fandom. This interaction continued through the life of the series and has continued since the end of the series.
- Clio's Logomancy Xena site launched in September 1995 after she contacted the series staff for permission to start a website. The site featured image galleries, episode summaries, and historical commentary, and regular contributors included Donald Frozina, Robin Mayhall, and Richard Carter, Jr. The Argo Awards were hosted there "live" from 1997-2001, and the site represented Xena in two Sci Fi Channel online conventions.
- Kym Taborn launches Whoosh, an online Xena resource page listing articles, interviews, episodic reviews and commentaries. It has expanded to include other Television series of fandom. The term "Whoosh" is taken from a signature sound effect used in the Xena series that accompanied any quick movement, such as the quick turn of a head.
- On May 13, 1996, the first season episode "Callisto" aired, two of the series popular (if in one case controversial) recurring characters: Callisto and Joxer.
- On May 31, 1996, Tom's Xena Page opened and became the premiere Xena fan fiction archive of the day. It included the works of Melissa "Missy" Good under the name of Merwolf, who went on to write two episodes of the show in Season 6, Coming Home and Legacy.( Lunacy )
- On July 24, 1996, the Xena Online Resources site was launched, which became a major site for finding links to various fan pages, fan fiction archives, fan art and more.
- Between August and October, Alternative (alt) fan fiction became a standard in the Xena fandom.
- Between August and October, Dax opened her fan fiction archive "Obsessions" which contains alt stories and quickly becomes a favorite site of Xena fans. ( Lunacy )
- On December 15, 1996, The Australian Xena Information Page (AUSXIP) was launched for Australian Xena Fans. It has become the largest Xena, Lucy Lawless and Renee O'Connor site online and is still active.
- In 1997, the term Uber (a Germanic word meaning "over" or, more commonly, "super") was applied to the Xena fandom by Kym Taborn of Whoosh.org. She noted on Whoosh that the sudden emergence of Ubers started in 1997, after the Xena episode "The Xena Scrolls" aired.
- In January 1997, “Truth or Dare” was written by Word Warrior. This story's debut on the Internet was important because the story portrayed Xena as dark and troubled. It would inspire many fan fiction writers to depict Xena in a similar manner. ( Lunacy )
- In January 1997, Xena: Warrior Princess Fan Fiction Index was created by Xeno and premiered on the Internet. This index linked stories from various sites across the Internet and categorized them to help Xena reader's find stories that were otherwise scattered across a multitude of pages. (Lunacy)
- In March, Callisto's Tales opened as the first archive in the Xena fandom dedicated solely to a supporting character in Xena: Warrior Princess. (Lunacy)
- In June, Xena: La Princesa Guerrera premiered on the Internet. It was the first foreign language Xena: Warrior Princess site on the Internet and features stories translated from English to Spanish and original fan fiction written in Spanish. (Lunacy)
- On October 10, 1997, the Pink Rabbit Consortium  was founded. This site was home to some of the best f/f on the Internet for a variety of fandoms including Alien, All My Children, Babylon 5, Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, ER, Law & Order, NYPD Blue, Star Trek: Voyager and Xena.
- In 1997, the Joxer Shields are formed in defense of Joxer the Mighty's presence on the series through season two. The movement begins to draw followers by the second half of the year.
- On December 14, 1997, Althea posted "Blame it on the Mistletoe", the first installment in her War God series. This was the first Ares/Joxer story of note and considered the start of m/m slash fandom in the Xenaverse.
1997 to 2002
- Between May of 1997 and October of 2002, through the Sword and the Staff, nearly $400,000 USD was donated by Xena fans to various charities. ( Web.Studies, edited by David Gauntlett, Ross Horsley, pg 90 )
- The Xena fan fiction community was at the stage where almost any piece of new fan fiction was considered good by virtue of it being written because of the lack of quantity of new material. (KitzenKat on AIM, April 30, 2005)
- In February 1998, Sci-Fi Entertainment ran an article on fan fiction. It referenced the Xena fan fiction community. An extract of a relevant section of the article says:
- There's also high-volume activity associated with Star Trek (referred to here as a aggregate for all four series, although currently Voyager seems to be leading to the greatest fanfic response ) and Lois and Clark: The New Adventure of Superman. But there are other, too: Star Wars, Babylon 5, Sliders, Xena, Dr. Who, Quantum Leap, Highlander, SeaQuest DSV, Beauty and the Beast - all of these popular science fiction and fantasy series have sites dedicated to the stories and characters of those universes.
- The Gabrielle and Joxer Romantics Society was formed in 1998 for followers of the Joxer/Gabrielle ship, including the launch of a website by Maid Marion of fan-fiction, pictures, and songs. By June of that year there was also an associated mailing list.[
- Also formed in June of 1998 was the Joxer Enthusiasts Supporting Sapphic Subtext, a website and mailing list created by sockii for those fans of both Joxer and the Xena/Gabrielle subtext.
- The Summer Joxer Wars begin on alt.tv.xena. This is the first major breakout of what would be frequent kerfuffles between Joxer fans and Xena/Gabrielle fans. During this battle, several more Joxer defense organizations would be formed, including Joxer Forces of the Xenaverse, the the Society Against Cruelty to Joxer the Mighty, and the Joxer Republican Army.
- Ashera's Archive was launched in August of 1998, to host het and slash fanfiction featuring any pairing from Xena and Hercules.
- On August 24, 1998, the Xena mailing list The Joxer Fan Fiction Guild was created.
- On August 31, 1998, the Xena mailing list xenaantisubtext was created.
- In the fall of 1998, the Revolutionary Joxerist Party is created by lothgar in an attempt to unify Joxer fans of various factions in an organized defense against those who continued to attack the character and his purpose on the show.
- A new website for the Gabrielle and Joxer Romantics Society is launched by Napalm Nancy in the fall of 1998, as the first one had vanished.
- On October 21, 1998, the Xena subtext mailing list xenassubtexttalk was created. 
- On November 9, 1998, Xena: Warrior Quarterback by L.Fox was published on FanFiction.Net.  It was the first Xena story published on the site.
- In early 1999, the Xena and Gabrielle Romantics Society as well as the Perdicas and Joxer Romantics Society are formed.
- On January 21, 1999, the Xena subtext mailing list xenaandgabtheology was created. 
- On February 21, 1999, the general Xena discussion mailing list All_Xena_Fans was created. 
- On March 18, 1999, the mailing list LesbianXena was created for Xena fan fiction. 
- On March 26, 1999, the Xena subtext mailing list axenasubtextclub was created. 
- On March 29, 1999, the Ares-Gabrielle mailing list was created for those who shipped Ares and Gabrielle. 
- On May 31, 1999, the Xena subtext mailing list hotxenalesbians was created. 
- On June 30, 1999, the Xena fan fiction mailing list AmazonQuest was founded. 
- On July 2, 1999, Whoosh, a Xena webzine, was founded. It helped to organize and foster meta oriented fan fiction discussion. That same date, the support mailing list for the site was also created. 
- On July 27, 1999, the Xena mailing list Muzza_s2 was founded. 
- On September 19, 1999 the Xena role-playing group Themiscrya was founded. 
- On January 6, 2000, the Xena mailing list dreamslores was founded. It was dedicated to the Uber fan fiction writer Dreams, aka iNgRiD. 
- Sometime around June of 2000, the site Bad Fanfic! No Biscuit! was created by Siubhan and Joan the English Chick. The site, last updated in January of 2001, introduced or helped further the concept of badfic into a number of additional fan fiction communities, including this one. Unlike some badfic websites or sites which just pointed out badfic, as in of accidental inferior quality, the site had deliberate badfic and explanations as to what was not right with the story, what made the story bad.
- On July 10, 2000 the Xena mailing list SUJE (Society for the Unification of Joxer Enthusiasts) was founded. It was dedicated to attempting to unite Joxer enthusiasts throughout the fandom, who were quite split between Joxer/Gabrielle shippers and Joxer slash writers (many of whom were also supporters of the Xena/Gabrielle pairing.)
- On March 18, 2001, Royal Academy of Bards was created. 
- On March 22, 2001, the mailing list milliways-L was created for the posting of science fiction related fan fiction and discussion. Fandoms represented included She Spies, Star Wars, Farscape, Star Trek, Andromeda, Star Trek: Deep Space 9, Star Trek: Voyager, Star Trek: Next Generation, Star Gate SG-1, Pitch Black,Dark Angel, Buffy, Sabrina, Angel, Level 9, VR.5, Sliders, Pretender, Babylon 5, Seven Days, Tracker, Highlander, The Immortal, Prey, Lost In Space, Battlestar Galactica, Buck Rogers, Wolf Lake, Witchblade, Special Unit 2, Freakylinks, Space, The Imagination Station, Star Trek: Enterprise, Black Scorpion, Alias, The Agency, Star Hunter, Xena, Hercules, Mutant X, Smallville, Outer Limits, Quantum Leap, The Time Tunnel, Birds of Prey, Astronauts, Veritas, Paranormal Girl, Ginger Snaps, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Starhunter, Firefly, Miracles, Lost. 
- On July 15, 2001, the Xena RPG mailing list Another-Xena-RPG was founded. 
- On August 3, 2001, the Xena mailing list dedicated_to_xena_the_warrior_princess was founded. 
- On November 11, 2001, the Xena subtext mailing list Absolutely_Xena_and_Gabrielle was created. 
- On December 28, 2001, the Xena subtext mailing list warriorsoulupdates was created. 
- On February 16, 2002, Kevin Tod Smith, the actor who played Ares, died. 
- On March 14, 2002, the MAMMOTH INDEX, an index of Xena fan fiction sites was created. 
- On August 12, 2002, the LiveJournal community anarchy99 was created.  It was dedicated to anything related to the actor Marton Csokas who was in XXX, Xena, Lord of the Rings and Rain.
- On October 12, 2002, the Xenafan fiction mailing list die_hard_xena_fan was founded. 
- On January 12, 2003, the Xena mailing list AshquarLegends was founded. 
- On January 12, 2003, the LiveJournal community temple_o_badfic was created. It was modelled after fanficrants. 
- On January 22, 2003, the Xena subtext mailing list Lesbian_Xena_Fans was created. 
- On June 7, 2003, the Gabrielle and Joxer Romantics Society opened the Livejournal community gjrs.
- On September 26, 2003, the LiveJournal community herc_xena100 was founded as a Xena and Hercules drabble community. 
- On December 2, 2003, Shadowfen's Xena:Warrior Princess Fan Fiction Index was last updated. 
- On December 11, 2003, the mailing list joxlovesgabby was created. It was dedicated to the Joxer/Gabrielle pairing. 
- On January 30, 2004, the LiveJournal community whoosh_org was founded to support the Whoosh website. 
- On February 6, 2004, the LiveJournal community warriorlesbians was created. It was dedicated to Xena. 
- On April 30, 2004, the LiveJournal community xena_challenge was created for Xena icons. 
- On November 6, 2004, the LiveJournal community warrior_women was founded. It was dedicated to Xena. 
- On April 4, 2005, the LiveJournal community xenafanfic was founded. 
- On April 18, 2005, the LiveJournal community all_joxer was founded.  It was dedicated to all things Joxer and the community encouraged members to post fan fiction to it.
- On November 13, 2005, the LiveJournal community xena_vids was founded for the posting of Xena fanvids. 
- alien_altars was created on March 18, 2007 as a challenge community for femslash cliches. Some cliches include About to die, must have hot sex, Aliens made us do it, Amnesia, Aphrodisiacs/Sex pollen, Caught masturbating, Everyone thinks we're doing it, Forced marriage, Forced to share a bed/sleeping bag/tent, Fuzzy morning after or "do you remember what we did last night?", Genderswitch (one or both women is turned into a man), Huddling for warmth, Insomnia, Jealousy, Kid fic are just a few of the examples to chose from. Fandoms represented include Xena. 
On December 9, 2006, there were 1,305 stories on FanFiction.Net. There are 6 stories on Mightier than the Sword as of December 9, 2006.  There are 69 stories on the Wonderful World of Makebelieve as of December 9, 2006. 
This section needs information added to it.
The Joxer and the Subtext Wars
The Joxer wars began for the first major round in the summer of 1998 in the alt.tv.xena newsgroup. There was a strong split between Joxer"philes" and Joxer"phobes" on the list. Some complaints about his presence on the show were related specifically to the actor who played him, Ted Raimi, who was not originally intended for the role (Wallace Shawn was, which would have resulted in a very different character). Others thought his presence distracted from the core characters of Xena and Gabrielle and their relationship--and specifically the Xena/Gabrielle subtext when it was made canon in the episode A Comedy of Eros that Joxer had romantic feelings for Gabrielle.
From at least the second season on, a strong divide grew between Xena/Gabrielle shippers and those who did not support the idea of the sapphic subtext between them. By 1998, there were already mailing lists such as xenaantisubtext for those who were against the subtext, and many flame wars on the subject populated the active alt.tv.xena newsgroup (eventually a separate newsgroup was formed, alt.tv.xena-subtext, for specific discussion of the subtext.) Many shipping and character/relationship "defense" organizations grew out of these battles, such as the Society Against Cruelty to Joxer the Mighty and the facetious Perdicas and Joxer Romantics Society, which was created as a jab at the Gabrielle and Joxer Romantics Society. (See timeline for more information.) Accusations of "homophobia" were often lobbied against Joxer/Gabrielle shippers, which were generally denied by most members of the 'ship.
The situation became even more problematic when slash writers began to be interested in the character of Joxer, the most popular slash pairings being Ares/Joxer and Joxer/Autolycus. Many Joxer slash writers were supportive of the Xena/Gabrielle pairing as well and found themselves in the uncomfortable place of being accused of being homophobic while actively writing slash fan fiction. Joxer/Gabrielle shippers were not often on good terms with the Joxer slash writers, either. Groups such as SUJE and Joxer Enthusiasts Supporting Sapphic Subtext began to appear in an attempt to unite Joxer fans who supported both het and slash ships, and to try to present a more united front to the anti-Joxer forces. (sidewinder)
The Rift Wars
The Rift refers to the betrayal of trust between Xena and Gabrielle in The Dahak arc episodes of seasons three. These episodes and the resulting fallout on the characters' relationship divided fans strongly and much debate about them took place. Some fans took Xena's side, other's took Gabrielle's side, still others disliked the entire storyline feeling that it destroyed the until-then pure love between the characters. This was one of the the points in the show's timeline where fan-fiction writers began diverging significantly from canon, as some did not want to introduce The Rift into their storylines.
Major ships in this fandom include:
See Xena bibliography.
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