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Name: Ephemeral
Date(s): 1998 - present
Archivist: Scott Miller
Founder: Scott Miller
Type: Fan Fiction Archive
Fandom: The X-Files
URL: http://www.ephemeralfic.org

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Ephemeral is an archive in the X-Files community, developed and maintained by Scott Miller.

The site was created in 1998 as a partner site to Gossamer when Gossamer had a multiple-month, several thousand file backlog. A automated news collector gathers story files from alt.tv.x-files.creative and posts them to the Ephemeral site. The site also allows direct uploading of story files, which the author can also opt to have e-mailed to Gossamer during the upload process.

Stories are harvested by this means:

1. Subjects whose first three characters are 'NEW'
2. Subjects whose first four characters are '*NEW'
3. Subjects whose first four characters are 'REP:'
4. Subjects whose first four characters are 'REV:'
5. Subjects whose first six characters are 'REPOST'
6. Subjects whose first seven characters are 'REVISED'

The Fic

The archived fic is here: Index of /stories/archived, Archived version.

Another site is here (the twelve folders may be duplicates of the link above): Index of /stories, Archived version

The Archivists

Scott Miller developed the Ephemeral interface and newsgroup collection program, and has maintained the site from its introduction in 1998 through today.

From a early FAQ sheet: "I'm quite proud of the technology behind the scenes. Ephemeral is composed entirely of Open Source software. Its written in PHP3, accessing a MySQL database of archived stories. The stories themselves are periodically fetched by a home grown Java application, running on my own Gamora architecture. The Web server is Apache 1.3.2, running on the delightfully quick and stable Linux operating system. Click the icons below for the homepages of each component."

Archive Structure

Ephemeral is intended as a simple-to-use web access to files posted to the alt.tv.x-files.creative newsgroup and files submitted directly by authors. Its basic interface is a by-date listing of stories, starting with the most recent. It also has a control panel which allows stories to be sorted by Recommendations, Hits, or Length, and a basic search engine which allows Title, Author, and Text searches.

Archive Policies

Ephemeral is intended as a temporary archive, to hold files during the time when Gossamer has not yet posted them. Story details and files are eventually deleted from the site's database.

A FAQ Sheet

The first FAQ sheet: About Ephemeral.

Ads in 2004

In 2004, the site owner asked fans if they would support his accepting ads for the site. [1]

Fan Comments

A fan talks about this site in 2012, see Fan Fiction Oral History Project with Nightflier.

2017 data loss and planned rebuild

As of September 2017 the following message by owner Scott Miller can be found on Ephemeral's front page:

Dear X-Files Fanfic Community,

Due to circumstances outside my control, Ephemeral was cruely wiped from the Internet. Our hosting provider, with no warning to me, disappeared from the web, most probably going out of business. This left me unable to access Ephemeral's server, which most likely no longer exists.

Worse, due to a computer crash a few months ago, I lost the backup of Ephemeral's code and so have no way to recover the site.

I've maintained Ephemeral as a side project and passion since 1999, nearly 20 years. While most of the site was automated, it still took a kick here and a nudge there to keep her up.

And I don't plan to stop now.

I plan to rewrite Ephemeral using everything I've learned in my career to bring her back on a stronger footing than the duct tape and bailing wire that the old site was. My plan is to get the site back up taking registrations and accepting stories as soon as possible, including a "Bring back the Fics" day after launch where I hope all the authors out there can barnstorm the new site and get fiction back online where all of us readers may enjoy it.

After that, I'll begin adding a few new features you won't have seen before to try and make this a better site than it ever has been.

One thing I won't bring back, however, is the Usenet auto archive feature that Ephemeral was founded on. While incredibly useful in the beginning, posts to a.t.x.c just aren't common any more. Direct posts will be the first supported, and I'd love to work with other fic sites to cross polinate as they see fit.

I want to thank all of the authors and readers who have rode Ephemeral's adventure from beginning to end, and I hope you all forgive this bump in the road.

E pur si muove,

Scott Miller
ephemeralfic.org, accessed September 4th 2017

As of 2020 the site is available again in a beta version.


  1. ^ alt.tv.x-files.creative: Ephemeral and Advertisement, April 2004