CiCi Lean

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Name: CiCi Lean
Alias(es): DBKate, Kate, SynnerX, Syn, DarkBrat, Kate Rane, Althea Rand, Pendgirl, The Rabid Mouse, XF-Sox, RedLeathLuv[1], Canny409
Type: fan writer, list mom, archivist
Fandoms: The X-Files, Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, Twin Peaks, The Untouchables, U-571
Communities: The Acid Desk, The X-Anarchy Pen Mailing List, The Phantom Menace Lair of Kass and Kate
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CiCi Lean is a fan active in The X-Files fandom since the mid-nineties.

She has also written under various other pseuds, including DBKate and SynnerX.[2][3] She was a fiction writer, site owner, and frequent commentator.

Lean's first fic, "Slip," was posted in 1996. [4]

Her websites were The Circle of CiCi, The Phantom Menace Lair of Kass and Kate, and The Socks Shoppe.

Lean created the newsletter The Acid Desk.

Lean was the owner of the mailing lists: The X-Anarchy Pen and The Agent Pendrell Fanfic List.

Lean's X-Files slash was posted at The Basement under the name DBKate. She also has an Archive of Our Own account as DBKate, but has only two stories posted there.

1998 Bio

CiCi Lean has been reading fanfic since '95, took the plunge in '96 and has been addicted since then.

I live in Brooklyn, I eat the same lunch every day, and look *really* bad in fushia. I'm married, have a cat (for sale -- cheap), and my dishwasher is broken. (Yes, you can start playing your violins NOW...)

I've watched XF since the Pilot, but have yet to see "The Movie" (Hey, have you ever seen the SIZE of the roaches in a Brooklyn movie house? I'm waiting for a bat sale at Modell's before I go.)

I dig ALL interesting, well-written fanfic, of *every* genre, with a soft spot for slash. I run The X-Anarchy Pen Fanfiction Mailing List, The Socks Shoppe, a recs page, and am head of The Labmice, The Pendrell Cyberclub and someday, will probably get a life.

But not today. <g>[1]

Fic Sites & Mailing Lists

Example Fanfiction

The X-Files:

Star Wars: The Phantom Menace:

Fan Comments

  • "First [X-Files] thing I read was CiCi Lean's "Wonderland." A friend of mine forwarded it to me and I thought it was a riot." [5]
  • "For pure cleverness and overall talent no matter what genre they try, do not miss anything by CiCi Lean. ("Mr. Natural" is a favorite)..." [6]
  • "I don't think there's anything CiCi Lean can't write brilliantly, and she has made me love some characters I thought were unlovable." [7]

Some 1998 Comments by CiCi Lean About the State of X-Files Fiction

CiCi Lean's comments to a 1998 post titled: The Top 10 Most Over Baked X-Files Fanfic Themes:

All in all you've pointed out some interesting examples of overused fanfic cliches, but since I appear to be the Devil's Advocate no matter what the topic <g>, I'm actually of the mind that some things have improved in XFFanfic over the last year.

Your major complaints appear to be againt Muldertorture, which is a genre I don't read, so I really can't comment on. I find it kinda dull, mainly because I'm not a Mulder fan. There is also a strange sexual/sadism thing going on there, that I really don't want to get into either. I'm sure someone else will be happy to elaborate on it more.

I don't read Slash MulderTortue either, but I'll say this: XFSlash is better, more well-rounded, and better written than it has ever been. There's a revolution going on over there in Slash Land, presenting some of the most astonishingly talented authors and work that will make you slack-jawed with awe. "Lovers by torch came out this week, and there are such authors as Kassandra, Anne Zo, Lyrica, Radethea, XFStew, (with her incredible "Walking The Line" series, the watermark of all Scully slash) and so many others.

There is serious, brilliant writing going on there, and I honestly feel badly for people who won't/can't read slash, because they are missing out on the debuts of what are sure to be future masterpieces of all XFFanfic.

Now, your complaints against The Extended Happy Family Fics are very well founded, but to be completely honest, I'm seeing much less of those this year than years before, thank God, mainly because of the very dark direction the show is taking. Seeing Ma Scully married to Skinner is a place not too many of us can/want to go anymore.

The Mary Sue'ing is still happening, but I honestly defy anyone to find a fandom that doesn't have it. I'm the proud owner of a couple of my own Mary Sue stories, and to be honest, it's kinda fun to *occasionally* see an author stick themselves incognito (or not-so-incognito) in a story. But the keyword is *occasionally*. Do it everyday, for hundreds of stories and it's time for your happy meds, kiddo.

The dislike of *smut for smut's sake* argument is also well-founded, but I'm noticing grumbles from the peanut gallery about this as well, even from staunch *shippers. Everybody's been jonesing for a PLOT to have with their smut, and I'm pleased to see this. It's a sign that the readers are maturing and once the novelty of M&S doing the wild thang wore off, the demand for actual *stories* is becoming louder. This is a good sign.

Bed-Pan Mulder & Bed Pan Scully are MY big fanfic bugaboos, and I can't fathom for the life of me where that comes from. It's a gentler version of the "torture" genre with an MSR twist. I find it interesting to see that MulderTorture is considered a NoRomo genre (all torture, no comfort) while the H/C genre is an MSR territory. (little torture, lottsa comfort.) Good topic for debate. Frankly, I don't read either, probably because I've been seriously ill for long periods of time, and spending my time writing about diseases, doctors & hospitals would be about as much fun as ripping out my toenails with a pair of pliers. ;-)

Crossovers & A/U are traditional specialty genres, not really fanfic cliches, and there are very few of them *and* most people skip over them anyway, which is rather a shame, because there have been some dandy crossovers ("Into The Woods" comes to mind for crossovers & "The Magician" series for A/U are notable examples.)

I'm a bit confused by your dislike of Scully slash or Scully/other as "overbaked" fanfic cliches. There is honestly less than a dozen Scully slash stories that have *ever* been written and Scully/other isn't exactly a genre that will be overpowering the newsgroup anytime soon.

I, for one, would love to see more Scully/other and Mulder/other, for I believe this would *really* free XFFanfic up from the tons of endless MRS cliches that have been the source of much angst even for the occasional shipper. It's not the MSR genre's or authors fault by any means, it's just that with the bulk of fanfic being MSR, you are bound to have repeats of the same themes a few thousand times, with the medicore examples outweighing the brilliant ones by a much larger ratio.

There are some GOOD things happening in fanfic land tho'. I'm noticing less song stories (yippe!), less work that hasn't been at least spell-checked (yes, it used to be much worse, folks), more tackling of minor characters (you can only write about M&S for so long, it seems), and I am noticing more thoughtful, adult works, even for vignettes, such as XFBandit, Tim Scott, J.C. Sun and others. So, IMHO, things are actually looking up..


  1. ^ a b (ARCHIVISTS AND AUTHORS!) - CiCi Lean at, 12 July 1998.
  2. ^ X-Files Fiction at DBKate's GeoCities page: "I wrote a lot of XF. A whole lot under the names 'CiCi Lean', 'DBKate' and 'SynnerX'." (Last archived 21 October 2009 by the Wayback Machine.)
  3. ^ "syn" (was: Re: The Unsung Authors of Fanfic...), post by CiCi Lean at, 06 June 1999.
  4. ^ "No MSR, a little UST, lots of Scully angst and hopefully enough action to keep you reading anyway. WARNING: This is a work of total fiction, no scientific accuracy claimed. This is my first time, please be gentle with me. All comments are very welcome." -- [1], Archived version
  5. ^ In Their Own Words Interview with Sabine (2001)
  6. ^ Chronicle X Interview with Meredith (1999 or 2000)
  7. ^ Chronicle X Interview with Jill Selby (1999 or 2000)