|1997 to present
|Dina Lerret, Stephen Ratliff
|Star Trek: The Original Series, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager, Star Trek: Enterprise
|ASCEM / Trekiverse
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.
The fiction from this site was archived beginning in June 2000 at AESCM-S.
All ASCEM submissions are archived at Trekiverse.
February 2000 was the month with the most posts: 3848.
An associated mailing list, ASCEM(L), acted as a mirror for ASCEM usenet posts. See Differences Between the Mailing List and the Newsgroup.
ASCEM began as a USENET group. It was originally alt.sex.fetish.startrek in 1994 but spam caused a migration to the alt.startrek.creative hierarchy as alt.startrek.creative.erotica in December 1995. The spam unfortunately followed, and by July 1997, discussion had developed on the group about becoming a moderated group to the point that the proposal was brought to alt.config. The proposal was originally called alt.startrek.creative.treksmit  Some sources have suggested that ASCE was the result of the slash debate on ASC, however ASCE predates the cited debate.
The amount of slash/sex discussion stirred up on the newsgroup upset a number of members and a separate group alt.startrek.creative.erotica (ASCE) was created for those specifically wishing to write read such things. But advertising is everything, and within a few months, ASCE (as well as alt.sex.fetish.startrek) was drowned by spambots pushing adult services. ASC endured, and those wishing to see a viable list for K/S pushed on and petitioned for alt.startrek.creative.erotica.moderated (ASCEM) to be formed—moderated only for the purposes of filtering spam.
Thusly was The Big List born.
In 1998 the numbers involved increased dramatically, possibly due to a change in the group mechanics: messages from the Usenet news server were relayed to a Onelist mailing list, making posting and receiving much more user friendly and accessible. Describes Hafital: “It didn’t take long for me to read my way through the archive to feed my new obsession. But, I had no idea where the actual activity was going on. I saw the stories in the archive, which I could reach through the World Wide Web, but I had no clue about email lists or newsgroups or anything, really. The Frequently Asked Questions section on the main ASCEM Web site was helpful for those wanting to submit stories but it made no mention on how to actually join ASCEM—presumably because the moderators thought if you where there already, you would know! I felt very much like I was stranded outside the party and could only look in the window.“Eventually, some of the stories posted to the archive had a footer at the end that mentioned that ASCEM was mirrored on Onelist and that proved to be my salvation. I was able to find Onelist and able to subscribe and then I blindly walked into a world I really had no idea had ever existed.
You can read more about the Alt.startrek.creative Slash Wars.
ASCEM(L) was initially moderated by Anneinchicago.
The Differences Between the Mailing List and the Newsgroup
An associated mailing list, ASCEM(L), acted as a mirror for ASCEM usenet posts. ASCEML, unlike ASCEM, allowed real-time posting with no moderation after the subscribed account was determined not to be a spam account. Navigating this was a challenge for both the maintainers and the readers. From a 1998 discussion:
>>A given post can go through three different newsreaders (the poster's, the moderator's and the end reader's) before the end reader reads it. It can go through as many as *five* mailreaders (the poster's, earthlink's, rocketmail's, the ASCEML List Mom's, and the end reader's) before the end reader reads it.
Five? I count more. The original poster's. Then rocketmail & earthlink. Onto AOL (one of List Mom's) and MCS (the one that the List Mom's posts are sent *from*) and the reader's. And don't Alexas's & Ruth's readers count as well?
As an example of what Ruth is talking about: A post that looks fine in AOL's reader can, when cut & pasted to theMCS account, be too long, lose it's paragraphs etc. Which is why, sometimes, a story with a part 1 then two will, magically, end up becoming a Part 1a then Part 1b.anne in chicago (amazed that, after all a poor post goes through to get to your mailbox, is readable at all) 
On the first day of 1998, anneinchicago explained some of the work that went into maintaining this community:
Anne here. The ASCEML List Mom (so much more friendly than Goddess, don't you think?
ASCEML is a very different creature from ASCEM. Why? Because it is a mailing list <duh> Because it is a mailing list, you the reader have no control over the posts you receive. You, as an ASCEML subscriber, get each and every post, from chat to stories, whether you might be interested in them or not. Whereas the person who gets their Smut direct from the newsgroup can simply pick the posts he/she/it/whatever is interested in.
This is the main reason I have put an arbitrary cap of 50 messages per send. I wouldn't want more than fifty messages a day to wade through. Frankly, there are days when I am amazed that there are people who want TrekSmut so bad, they are willing to do this.
There are also a few other differences between ASCEM the newsgroup and ASCEM/L the mailing list. Unlike Alexas or Ruth, I have the additional time consuming chores of any list owner. Handling subscription requests, requests for info on ASCEM itself, handling vacation requests and then there are all those pesky bounces and warning messages. Everyday, guaranteed, I get at least one warning and one bounce from the address list. That means every message is returned to me and has to be dealt with. One warning and one bounced addy can equal one hundred returned messages. Makes the mind boggle, doesn't it?
Here is how ASCEM/L works. I receive the messages from Ruth or Alexas. These, as well as the newsgroup messages, are downloaded from AOL. Why both? Because not once have the two matched. Which is no one's fault. It is simply the way cyperspace works. It is my method of making sure I get all the posts for the day and that you do too.
These messages are cut & pasted into my mail program. And then sent out.
Now, I am willing to stay up to 1AM CST USA. Maybe even 2. But, if even I am up later, I am not willing to do the group any later. Simply because it is so time consuming. If there are fifty messages, that can take a minimum of an hour. Plus, an hour more, if cyberspace is slow, to send. That's two hours.
Ruth, I am sure, isn't complaining. Neither am I. We volunteered to do this because we're crazy. I mean, because we love you all and want to dedicate our lives to the promotion of TrekSmut <g> And we wouldn't have volunteered if we didn't want to do this. (That and the glory, the name-recognition when we walk down the street, the crowds of acoyoltes [sic] willing to see to our every whim <g>)But we would like you to know some of what goes on behind the scenes. Frankly, like Ruth has said, I am astounded that it works as well as it does. 
While I am very pleased that the mailing list option works for most people with little or no missing posts, I would like to remind everyone that ASCEM was conceived first as a newsgroup, not a mailing list. Somehow, we seem to have put the tail before the horse.
A newsgroup provides the most access, especially to newcomers.
A newsgroup provides easier access to those who do not wish to have or cannot have an overflowing mailbox.
Without easier access, a newsgroup becomes insular, moribund. Easier access would keep those who are new or those who are tired of missing posts *or* seeing their posts disappear into thin, cyberair from going elsewhere. Easier access keeps a group healthy.Without easier access, the newsgroup slowly but surely becomes what we have always said we *didn't* want it to become: a country club marked members only. Open and responsive only to those *in-the-know*.  
Some History and Stats Regarding the First Year
From a January 1999 post by Katie Redshoes at alt.startrek.creative.erotica.moderated:
It was a year ago today that Dina and I were hired by Alara Rogers to take her place handling the ASC* Archive, which consists of stories, poems, parodies and other creative efforts archived from the following newsgroups: [[alt.startrek.creative, alt.startrek.creative.all-ages, alt.startrek.creative.erotica.moderated]] (and its predecessors, alt.sex.fetish.startrek and alt.startrek.creative.erotica), and alt.fan.q.
It's been an eventful year. I don't know if I *want* to recap the entire thing -- I think I will leave that to someone else (Stephen??) The only event of note that I would like to gnash my teeth about in public is what I have taken to calling The Great Gatekey Meltdown -- when our main archive mirror vanished overnight in early March, taking with it two months of files carefully saved for archive processing.
Fortunately, we had backups of everything, and we were able to re-upload the files to a new (more stable) site, but the repercussions of that event are still being felt. It took months to figure out what files I had re-uploaded had already been processed and archived. I actually didn't get back on a regular schedule of processing until July, and, in fact, I still have nearly 500 files that are more than 6 months old in my processing queue. On top of the 7 month gap in the archive from July 1997-December 1998, when Alara succumbed to a severe case of Real Life and Archivist Burn-out, this means that we still have a large archive backlog. (I still boggle at the idea that Alara did this job entirely by herself for three years!)
To all the authors who have written to me in the past year, wondering where their stories were in the archive process, my continued thanks for your patience, grace and good humor during this time.
To anyone who *hasn't* written and is wondering, feel free to write to me with a list of your missing stories, and I will be more than glad to check the archive queue to see whether we, in fact, have your stories and where they are in the process -- particularly if you posted your story more than a year ago.
Despite the frustration of not having been able to reduce the backlog to a more reasonable level, still and all, I believe that Dina and I have made great strides this year. The archive grew 23 percent in 1998, and as of our last update, has 5,679 files, totalling 230 megabytes. We released 1,070 files to the archive in 1998, totalling 47 megabytes. There are currently 504 files ready for release, totalling 17 megabytes, and I have 1,870 files, totalling 66 megabytes, collected through January 9 in my processing queue.
Whew. The ASC* world has sure been *busy*. :-)
We hired Ian Toldman as assistant archive formatter in October, and he has already done some stellar work in helping to make a dent in the backlog. Not least of this is that he had access to the Unix tools that enabled us in November to take possession of Alara's backlog, and begin to process those files. Unfortunately, it isn't as simple as uploading and releasing the files -- we have to check them against files already archived, as well as files already in the processing queue. We've begun working on the process of sorting through it to find files we did not already have (though last night, I lost a day and a half's worth of work, *sob*!). There are 1,570 files in this queue, totalling 39.3 megs, though many of these are duplicates of files we already have.
My thanks to everyone who has helped me in this past year with my archive duties -- to all the authors who've posted their stories and written to me with questions and been patient, to the PTFever and CPSG lists for keeping me sane with their stories and chat, to raku and anne in chicago and Jane St. Clair just because, to my writing partner Jamelia for the road trips and "Reveries & Remembrance," to the RedJam beta-readers for having faith that we can pull it off, to DangerMom for dedicating stories to me when I most needed cheering up, to the members of the staff list for coming to my party and staying to help clean up, to Ian DaBear for his infectious enthusiasm and for hand-holding during one dark holiday weekend, to Captain Jinx for writing me the funniest, hottest, best Treksmut I could ever hope to have written to order, and last but not least to Dina, my partner in crime who won't let me give her a nickname and is still Queen of Not Enough Sleep.
Below are some interesting facts and figures about the ASC* Archive. For purposes of this analysis, I have omitted certain archivecategories, including awards, images, info, misc., pics, tech, etc. So it's not going to add up to 5,679. But the columns *should* line up (I hope!). 
The First FAQ
Memes and Themes
A subgroup of ASCEM, TSU, developed in 1998 as a response to the students (now known as aca-fans) who were part of fandom to study it for their college theses, etc., as well as for pure fun. The Star Trek fandom came down hard on both sides of the issue, with many fans annoyed by the academics' "intrusion" into the safe space of fan community, and others excited about the prospect of academizing—and to a degree legitimizing—fannish practice.
Soon after, UKJess posted a parody of classic Kirk/Spock stories, Ah'm Norra Rude Person, written in broad Yorkshire. A second wave of Rude Person stories followed, where the basic Kirk/Spock plot was re-written in various ways - in Minnesotan dialect, in Silicon Valley speak, in the style of Joseph Conrad, etcetera.
No Sex, Please... It Sounds Unfriendly
From a fan in 2001: "The fact that a *moderated* group exists for Trek erotica, in addition to the original, says disturbing things about the volume being posted. *Shudder* (I don't like to even *think* about my friendly neighborhood SF characters, regardless of series, having sex. I'm probably in a minority.)" 
What About RPF and RPS?
Some topics discussed: visibility, the differences between RPF and RPS and acceptability, label it appropriately, slashing Galaxy Quest characters with real Trek actors, what the moderation on this list is for, the line between written RPS and RPS fanart.
There was no real conclusion, at least in this discussion, other than it used to be the only thing not allowed.
I'm pretty close to writing a William Shatner/Kirk slash story, and I was wondering if that sort of thing was allowed on this ng/ml, or not. Thanks in advance.
No idea, but I find it pretty weird that you can't [look at] K/S art because you see Shatner/Nimoy in it, and then want to write RPS ;))
Honestly, no matter whom you pair any RP with, I can't understand your problems with the art, but thinking about writing something like that at the same time.I've read only one good RP smut piece once, and it was a Beatles' one. Very nicely done, and very funny. But as long as I can use characters to play with, I wouldn't write RPS about living persons (I might write about dead ones). And I think as actor I wouldn't like to see such stuff either. Parody excepted, if well done.
Of course I can't answer this one anymore, but if anyone cares about irony and all that, back when I maintained the FAQ that was about the only thing you couldn't post. The irony here is that not only do I write it, but I co-modded the RPS panel at Escapade and I'm in the process of setting up a kinky RPS RPG.
People change, oh yeah.
RuthPS no I don't write Trek actors. Well not so far.
Everything's allowed. We've had stories about 13-year-olds having sex with 18-year-olds. The moderation is just to remove spam.That being said I personally find that concept unbearably icky and hope you will appropriately disclaimer it.
There is, of course, a published piece of RPF (Real Person Fiction as opposed to Real Person Slash) in one of the really early New Voyages fan anthologies published in the '70s. It's called "Visit to a Strange Planet Revisited" and it's the story of what happens when a freak transporter accident sends Shatner, Nimoy and Kelley to the Enterprise. it's apparently a mirror to another fan tale which tells what happened to Kirk, Spock and McCoy on the set. Never read the later, but the former was pretty good if I recall correctly (and yes I still kick myself for getting rid of those books). Wacky hijinks ensued
I myself have pondered writing humor to the effect of, Shat & Kirk switch places randomly [anomaly? Q? Q-thru-Farfalla again? ;-)] and Shatner wakes up in bed with Spock (both of whom freak out, of course...)I think Hy's question was more 'bout Real Person *slash* as opposed to just writing fic about the actors. Since, well, you know. *giggle*
Who said I was RPSing Shatner with Nimoy?Ewwww.
There was a Patrick Stewart smut here a while back. It was het, but I don't see a big difference.
Well, if you think William Shatner reads this list, you've got another thing coming.Seriously, even if he *did* find out I posted a story insinuating that he has subconscious bisexual urges, he ought to be man enough to laugh it off. Laugh, Shat, laugh!
Former staff and members.
- Greywolf the Wanderer(2000-2002)
- Ned Fox (1999-2000)
- Ruth Gifford(1996-1999)
- Christine Faltz (1995-1996)
Status of Stories
- Juls - Status of Stories FAQ (-2004)
Fan Discussion: Cliques, Newbies, and Fitting In (1998)
In April 1998, a fan named Emily Salzfass wrote:
In the process of trying to figure out the nature of this online fan community, I've noticed that a lot of people are taking issue with the "cliquey" nature of ASCEM. Note:
One person who responded to my query said:
>ASCEML is very cliquey. If you're not in the 'inner circle', you basically get ignored. [...] Anyway, the point is, unless you post a really, really, really great story, or ask for help with something, OR start an argument (which is a bit childish, but then what's the point of being grown-up if you can't be childish sometimes?) then nobody really gives a toss.
And another person said:>Some of these people seem to have known each other for years, and for newcomers, well, it's a little of the old 'new kid on the playground' feeling. That said, I *do* get good feedback on my stories... but I don't often get into the threads that are started up. Observing them, I notice that the same people keep writing in them, and outsiders tend to be ignored a little. It's like any group, anywhere - there is always an inner clique. [See the ASCEM community for much more].
Fan Discussion: Changing Platforms and Fan Communication (1999)
In 1999, there was much discussion regarding the group's organization, structure, and function, something that was an ongoing topic. One fan commented at length about fan communication, spontaneity, fandom silos and splintering, different platforms for fan discussion, and her fear that ASCEM was going the way of the doomed printzine:
Compared to non-moderated groups, ASCEM lacks spontaneity. I am NOT advocating a return to ASCE and death-by-spam, but I think we need to consider the fact that the wonderful, dynamic, entertaining chat that used to go on here rarely happens anymore. I think part of that may be due to the popularity of the non-moderated ONELists. They are delivering what ASCEM can't--immediate, spontaneous Treksmut.
In the past, we had discussions here on ASCEM that were outrageously smutty and fun. B/c ASC isn't dedicated to Treksmut, those discussions didn't happen there, even though ASC was more immediate due to non-moderation. So ASCEM prospered partially b/c there wasn't much of a choice if you wanted to talk Treksmut. Now there's a lot of choice (ONEList) and it's much more spontaneous than ASCEM and we are losing people b/c of it. When there have been problems that kept the posts from going out, some people have left the newsgroup rather than struggle to participate in something that bore little resemblance to conversation. On non-moderated newsgroups and ONELists, people can get their Trekchat in something that approaches real time. In the past six months, the liveliest, most productive, and most entertaining Trek discussions I've been in have all taken place off the newsgroup. I've noticed that lately, ASC is having livelier discussions that ASCEM. So behind "can't wait to see their replies" is a genuine, serious concern that this group is simply going to die out as a hotbed of Trek creativity.
Some of us have stated a belief that the days of the printzines are numbered due to their inability to compete with something (the Net) that delivers the product better, faster, and cheaper. I am afraid that if something isn't done to enable ASCEM to deliver faster, we're going to suffer the same fate. Given the choice, which Treksmut forum appeals the most--the one where something is almost always going on or the one where most of the time is a lull? And do you want to double-post, trying to keep separate convos straight? Esp. when by the time round 2 of the ASCEM convo rolls around, the ONEList version has moved onto something else?
I don't mean to sound harsh or like I'm ranting against ONELists or private chat groups. These are my observations and worries about ASCEM. I still love ASCEM, but I'm afraid that eventually everyone is going to join a ONEList b/c ASCEM is getting so slow and worn or just hang out on ASC even though it's less smutty. They do have the advantage when it comes to immediacy and that seems to be what people want. What ASCEM has is availability. A person searching the Net for Treksmut will probably find ASCEM. ONELists and other chat groups are private. I'm not saying they blackball or act like "clickish creeps," but you do have to subscribe, which means you have to be able to find them. The private lists seems to get their new members from the newsgroups. If ASCEM dies, they're pretty much stuck with the same people forever. We used to see a lot more newbies coming into ASCEM and that seems to be going away, too.
The other thing ASCEM has is diversity. If it weren't for ASCEM, I wouldn't even know who the VOY people are, much less anything about their sexual proclivities. Most of the ONELists are much more topic-specific: slash only, K/S only, what-have-you. I'm not interested in limiting my options that way.In short, folks, I think we're unwittingly mimicking the history of the print community. At one time, all Trekfic co-existed. There were zines that printed slash, het, and gen, all together. Then the fandom broke up into its little subgroups and only a few special interests survived. We're heading down the same path. I, for one, would like to see the all-embracing Treksmut online community continue and I'm afraid it won't if we don't make an effort to regain the spark that we once had. I think ASCEM was at its best when the discussion was roaring along. Many of my stories have been inspired by ideas that were tossed into the mix. Now that sort of chat is happening elsewhere. I want to see it happen here again. I'm not going to ask people to give their time and creativity to ASCEM if they prefer the action on ASC or private lists, but I would like ASCEM to give them some reason to consider it.
Fan Discussion: Platforms and Backlog (2000)
The archives and how seldom they are updated.
I posted my first story to ASC/ASCEM summer of 1998 I believe it was, and so far none of my stories are archived on the ASCEM archives. Now, I'm not complaining per se, but I think it's only a perfect example to show how far behind in archiving the archivist is (Dina? Is that your workload).
I'm not saying this to grate on Dina or anything, I think she's doing a marvelous job and the archive looks beautiful. i go there from time to time to check out stories I haven't read, but it is updated very seldom. Now I understand that this is due to the fact that Dina and anyone else who is involved in this only have so much time on their hands and that they have Real Lives (TM) too, so please don't take this as a complaint.
I'm just wondering if there isn't a way to make the updates of the archives more efficient. I know there's a place called www.fanfiction.net where you can upload your own stories to the archives and pluck them down too if you want to. Isn't there any way you could make the www.archive.nu site more automated to give the archivist(s) a lighter workload? And at the same time make the archives more current? Is this a really bad idea on my part. Granted I don't know much about the scripts used to do things like this. I don't know much of scripts at all so I'm out of my league here. It's just a suggestion.
What do you all think about that? -- kira-nerys
- As I mentioned to Jonk, find me another archive server. Archive.nu does
not allow any cgi scripts and is being paid off by my credit card, translating to I'm not exactly willing to give out passwords, especially after finding fraud. web charges on it. It is also the only archive remaining. I've got a notice of terms of service violation on my quota on the other archive, and it's subject to removal at the whim of the management. Plus, I can't make alterations to the other account, except delete files. A hard hit below the belt since I don't work on the archive off my own computer. The machine is not Y2K compliant and very low on space.
The ASC* archive would need a starting space requirement of 400megs and the ability to un/zip files with traffic that can range from ~2-5gig/month. Then to get it automated like the Sentinel, cgi access because the person who designed the scripts used to write Trek stories. To get it automated like fanfiction.net, it would need Cold Fusion, the far more expensive type of host. Yes, I've also asked for assistance in getting the archive more automated from them and received nadda, zippo, zilch. Can't blame them.
Last year, I asked if anyone on the groups knew Cold Fusion. Again, the sound of silence. Some guy complained a web designer with programming skills was willing to donate some time towards the archive but was rejected. What he failed to realize was that this was years before Katie and I started our shifts. The ideas fly but, unfortunately, no one has walked forward with a working solution.
To answer Karmen's question, yes, the ASC* archive is the largest Trek specific one on the internet at nearing 300megs. R'rain's archive is about 31megs. Hers is the second largest. She mentioned she was a year behind as well and offers of assistance were give to her. Offers that would probably require giving others password access. So, this was one possible reason why I heard from an ex-PKSPer/Highlander offers went unanswered for the longest times.Dina, who only has a high school diploma and works as a clerical assistant, no computer programming in her personal education 
- Something to say about ASC* archive's state (June 15, 2000)
- The smell of napalm in the morning (June 21, 2000)
- More than a few words about the ASC* Archive (June 27, 2000)
- Trek Archive was ...about the ASC* Archive (long) (July 18, 2000)
- The Rule of Sturgeon (was Re: The Nameless Genre) (December 2000)
- ASCEM History ... before we loose it... (February 15, 2008)
- "ASCEM: A Guide to Infinite Combinations". Archived from the original on 2022-02-26. Retrieved September 30, 2008.
- "PROPOSAL: alt.sex.fetish.startrek (RESEND)".
- "PROPOSAL: alt.startrek.creative.treksmut".
- The Legacy of K/S on the Internet: Online K/S Fiction, an article in Legacy #1 (2007)
- "ASCEM--the List, part 2". Retrieved September 30, 2008.
- from The Legacy of K/S on the Internet: Online K/S Fiction, an article in Legacy #1 (2007)
- from [ ]
- More Some Thoughts on: Days w/ no TrekSmut...; archive link (Jan 31, 1998)
- from Usdenet/Newgroup Feeds Vs Mailing List (Dec 26, 2000) Note: "Usdenet" in the post title is a typo.
- A fan replied: "I agree, newsgroups are easier to follow threads, read, etc, but my newsserver all of a sudden has decided to drop many posts, so the only way I can get ascem in it's entirety is via the mail lists."
- "ARCHIVE: One Year Later".
- comment by Phillip at Gen Fic Crit
- Is RPS allowed? (April 15, 2003)
- Posted the first FAQ (Proposed) January 7, 1995 to a.s.f.s. Prior to this date there was no FAQ. The last time she posted the FAQ was May 5, 1996 to a.s.c.e. (Accessed October 11, 2008)
- comments by Jungle Kitty: Modding, October 21, 1999
- see more of this discussion at Archives and updates (January 3, 2000)