M. Luder, King of Seti Troopers

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Title: M. Luder, King of Seti Troopers
Author(s): Livia Balaban
Date(s): 2002?
Fandom: "SETI Troopers" itself is an affectionate nudge at Voyager, Bab5, Farscape, Next Gen, and TXF."
External Links: Wayback link

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M. Luder, King of Seti Troopers is a fanwork by Livia Balaban. It is told in the form of message board exchanges.

The author describes the non-existent show: "SETI Troopers" itself is an affectionate nudge at Voyager, Bab5, Farscape, Next Gen, and TXF."

This fanwork has a companion piece called M.L. Luder, King of Webjournal.

The author also wrote some explanations: Livia's Ink Spot, Archived version. A fan comments on this: "Thank you! That is essential data for whoever writes the definitive history of fanfic." [1]

Reactions and Reviews

...Uhmm... o-kaaay... This one is beyond me so I'll have to abstain or wait until someone explains it to me. [2]
Thank you, Delilah,for suggesting this. Thank you, Conundrum, for your summary; without it, I never would have tried this again. I thought it was funny, and affectionate. The writer loves our show, loves Fandom, and fanfiction writers and readers. This story made me wish I had been around during the heyday of this fandom, it truly must have been something else. Have I mentioned that I love this message board? [3]
It's based on the old Friday feedback ritual from the Xapen list, where the story names would be posted and people would run down the list leaving a few lines of feedback. That stuff sort of disappeared with the arrival of LJ and the winding down of the fandom.

The regular feedbackers who are not Manhammer and the other gunmen are parodies of (a) feedback types or (b) in at least two cases, affectionate impersonations of the styles of two particular very characterful feedbackers. If you know them, you recognise them, if you don't, no harm done.

I always hoped to get feedback off of one of them and never did. It was like a badge of honor to get a note from her.[4]
I love, love, love this story and have read it several times. The best satire is produced by those who know everything about their subject and love it anyhow.

The only thing I'd add to the description is that Seti Troopers is a lot like Star Trek in its various incarnations. So if you're a Trek fan as well as an X-Phile you're getting double the fun.

I loved the literal-minded fan who had trouble with the metaphors. [5]
Yeah, I can see the Star Trek parallels.

I loved Grace Mueller's "character evolution" posts. Really, the whole story gave me a lift, and I imagine I will keep going back to it.

Good work on the typography and look of the story. It would be incomprehensible in straight text.

I never fed Livia the first time around, since I totally didn't get it. Probably time to send her an e-mail. [6]
This really isn't fanfic. It's both less and much, much more. Livia calls it meta-fic, a term I'm unfamiliar with. It's an invented world. I'm really amazed and impressed with the layers and layers of depth here. We have the gentle poke at the various characters of our fandom, a nod to the conventions of all fandoms and a look at the Seti characters through the eyes and filter of the XF characters. It all fits together and works brilliantly. I am...in awe. Just in awe. [7]
I'm just so charmed by the notion of Mulder working out his lust for Scully via fanfic. And the horny gunmen checking his verb tenses. [8]
This is the first time I 'got' this - the only other time i tried to read it, i was deeply into fluff - nah, not really. I wasn't sure how to read the thing - but the explanation has enlightened me. It's brilliant. And what a joy to be reading something that, for me, is new! And good! Damn! [9]
Warning: Do not read while ingesting beverages of any kind. Genius. Pure, goofy, twisted genius. Structured as a sampling of posts to a fanfiction list for the fictional television show "SETI Troopers," Livia builds layer upon layer of coincidence, irony, and good-natured self-parody here. And, though it's funny as hell, the overall "narrative" also manages to be by turns poignant, sweet and sexy. Snaps! [10]
This story is one of my favorites, a fanfic I can read again and again with pleasure. Livia Balaban's metafic is an unusual blend of humor, laced with sorrow and loss. It's sweet, slyly funny, and wise to the ways of fandom. It fills me with longing for what I never got to experience firsthand: being a Phile, back during the heyday of The X-Files. [11]


  1. comment by Eleanor at Fic Talk Message Board, August 2007
  2. comment by dee at Fic Talk Message Board, August 2007
  3. comment by Wendy at Fic Talk Message Board, August 2007
  4. comment by aformerwriterwholurks at Fic Talk Message Board, August 2007
  5. comment by EleanorS at Fic Talk Message Board, August 2007
  6. comment by Conundrum dee at Fic Talk Message Board, August 2007
  7. comment by Delilah at Fic Talk Message Board, August 2007
  8. comment by EleanorS at Fic Talk Message Board, August 2007
  9. comment by Em at Fic Talk Message Board, August 2007
  10. The Basement Office, June 2002
  11. Crack Van, December 2013