Gossamer Interview with an Author: Alec Nevala-Lee (LoneGunGuy)

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Title: Gossamer Interview with an Author: Alec Nevala-Lee (LoneGunGuy)
Interviewer: Amanda Summer
Interviewee: Alec Nevala-Lee (LoneGunGuy)
Date(s): April 20, 1996
Medium: online
Fandom(s): The X-Files
External Links: Gossamer Interview with an Author: Alec Nevala-Lee (LoneGunGuy), Archived version
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The Gossamer Interview with an Author: Alec Nevala-Lee (LoneGunGuy) was conducted in 1996.

It was posted in the non-fiction section of Gossamer's Specialty Archive.


<< When did you begin writing X-Files fiction? >>

End of 1995. It was a completely unexpected urge on my part. I don't remember making the conscious decision to write one; it seems like I just sat down at my computer and--boom!--three days later "Kabuki" was finished. I hadn't even read any other fanfics at that time.

<< So when/how did you discover alt.tv.x-files.creative? >>

Simplest, dumbest way imaginable: I logged onto AOL and did a newgroup search with the keyword "X-Files." It eventually brought me here.

<< What, if anything, did you write before you started writing X-Files fan fiction? >>

Before submitting to ATXC, I'd finished one short novel, never published (or shown to anyone else, for that matter). I'd also written more than four hundred pages of a ridiculously ambitious postnuclear sci-fi epic that eventually collapsed beneath its own obese weight. Deservedly, I'm afraid. I also do little short stories and vignettes for my own pleasure.

<< Ever publish any of these stories or vignettes? (Not necessarily in professional venues-- just anywhere.) >>

Not really. I'm almost never satisfied with the finished product; besides, I rarely have the chance to upload and/or print them out for submission.

<< Is there anything in your background that you can point to that may have presaged your interest in X-Files? >>

I've always had an interest in the paranormal and various aspects of the Unexplained (with a capital "U"). It's always been a strictly skeptical interest, mind you; I see no contradiction in voraciously devouring UFO tracts, conspiracy theories, occult works, paranoid revisionism and Oliver Stone movies, while simultanously retaining my skeptical nature. I'm a devoted follower of CSICOP--which publishes "The Skeptical Inquirer" magazine--but I try to keep an open mind.

<< So, as an avowed skeptic with an open mind, do you identify with Scully? Do you find, as many seem to, that her continued skepticism is unrealistic considering everything she's seen? >>

I actually don't identify especially well with Scully, for that very reason. The Skeptical Inquirer said it best: Scully's mental attitude isn't one of skepticism, it's one of sheer _denial_. Face it. Given the evidence that Scully sees every week, even the most fanatical skeptics in the world--James Randi, say, or Martin Gardner--would have no trouble accepting phenomena such as alien abductions or psychic power. This, actually, is the show's only major weakness, at least from a plausibility standpoint. (However, I'm not suggesting that Chris C. immediately get his act together and make Scully a bona-fide believer. From a dramatic point of view, it is much more desirable to keep Scully skeptical, thus maintaining the kind of existential Punch-and-Judy show that she and Mulder manage so well. For entertainment, and for sheer narrative momentum, Scully's stance is justified. Hell, it's terrific. I mean, sure, it isn't especially realistic--but realism has never exactly been one of "The X-Files'" major attributes.

<< What aspects of the show appeal to you the most? >>

It varies. Currently, I really enjoy the genuine chemistry between Scully and Mulder, which is why I adore Darin Morgan's stuff. He allows them to be more clever and interact more freely; you can almost sense the two of them relishing their partnership, enjoying each other's company as they blunder through another ridiculous plotline. I also love the show's ingenuity, clever scripting and slick visual sense.

<< What do you make of the `rift' between Mulder and Scully that many fans see running throughout the third season? Does it change your opinion of the Mulder/Scully chemistry and partnership? >>

To tell you the truth, I never perceived a "rift" of any kind; I don't really know what those people are talking about--probably a misinterpretation of the "Syzygy" episode. But I look at episodes like "'Phages" and "Pusher," episodes in which a very deep vein of affection and tolerant friendship can be seen running between Mulder and Scully, and I see that while the tension is still there--I mean the underlying tension, the spirit of competition and admiration and good-natured bitchiness that both M and S exhibit--there is also some love, abeit of a nonsexual variety. The wonder of their relationship is its inability to be quantified. To explain it is to diminish the mystery. Which is why I'm not a fan of straight-forward relationshipping: it is to denegrate the purity of Mulder and Scully's partnership to reduce it to simple giggly handholding.

<< How many of your RL friends know about your XF stories? What do they think of your `hobby'? >>

About what you'd expect. They're all "90210" fans.

<< Are there any themes or motifs that you find yourself returning to and incorporating into your work? >>

I seem to be obsessed with the interplay of religion and science. Of course, that's a common fascination in the "X-Files," how to reconcile matters of faith with matters of fact. I also find myself returning to the problem of the nature of intelligence time and time again.

<< How DO you reconcile matters of faith with matters of fact? >>

I wish I knew! But, more specifically, what I really enjoy are people's _attempts_ to reconcile the two. I appreciate stuff like that Creationist textbook which came out a few years ago, claiming that the Grand Canyon was carved by the Deluge--complete with the geological and geographical information to back up the assertion. That kind of thing is fun. Or people who reinterpet the Bible in terms of modern science, proving how the Genesis story is actually _supportive_ of present-day cosmology. For a while, my hobby was tinkering with the various solutions of the Number of the Beast (i.e. the supposed code for the name of the Antichrist). 666, believe me, can be found _anywhere_. Demonstration: let's take an ordinary name. Say, "Amanda Summers." Converting that name to a number using the standard key of A=1, B=2, and so on, we come up with 142. Multiply this by three (the number of days Christ spent in the tomb) and we arrive at 426. However, let's consider the Diabolical influence. Satanically reversing the digits of 142 and subtracting 1 (emphasizing the Devil's negativity) we produce 240; add this to 426 and we get... Uh-oh. Um. Sorry about that.

<< What puzzles you about your other favored theme, the nature of intelligence? >>

Where it all comes from. How awareness arises from gray matter. Where "my brain" leaves off and "I" begin. And why an intelligent guy such as myself can't get a date on Saturdays.

<< A lot of fanfic does seem to revolve around putting Mulder through the wringer. In some cases, the author is clearly identifying with Mulder, but in others, he is victim to some rather vicious torture Could it be that Mulder's character-- a rarity on television, an intelligent and sensitive male who shows pain-- makes him seem like a target for this kind of abuse? >>

Personally, I don't think that Mulder's personality has much to do with it. The culprit, I feel, is nothing more complicated than the sheer _freedom_ which fanfic affords skilled authors: drunken with power, giddy with the realization that--within the confines of their fiction--they can do _anything_ with Mulder, many authors exercise this freedom in borderline sadistic ways. There's nothing wrong with that. The FOX network is never going to show a gory Mulder torture scene (or an NC-17 tryst, for that matter), so it's our perogative to write them ourselves. This doesn't excuse the torture itself, but I think that it is the primary motivation. Mess with Mulder while you have the chance. That's the principle which fanfic was built upon.

<< Your take on the Mulder-Scully relationship is fairly unique in fan fiction, a combination of intellectual rivalry and personal regard. What's your opinion about the prevalence of M&S romance on atxc? >>

I still don't have a definite idea of how Mulder and Scully feel about each other. (I'm still ambivalent on the whole relationshipping issue.) They respect each other, certainly, but I've always thought that there was some subtext to their camaraderie, some internal tension (not just sexual) that would interfere with their happiness as a couple. I have nothing against M&S romance _per se_. I do, however, object to a lot of the bodice-ripping and gynecology that I see in the fanfic love scenes. Whenever the plot demands that I write a sex scene, I try to avoid the messy details and concentrate on emotions; other authors, however, seem to focus on careful descriptions of the appartatus involved, if you take my meaning.

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