Modems of the Queen
|Name:||Modems of the Queen|
|Date(s):||began in October 1994 or before (possibly as early as 1991), was out of service as of December 31, 1999|
|Moderator:||"supervised" by Larry Dixon and Mercedes Lackey|
|Fandom:||Mercedes Lackey, Valdemar|
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For those of you who either a) do not remember GEnie, or b) only heard about it in passing, a little history. GEnie was General Electric's attempt to compete with Compuserve back in the early 90's, before the Internet became so incompassing [sic]. On GEnie, there was this little area known as 'Modems of the Queen', the official Mercedes Lackey area.Now, Misty used to be there along with a few of us more ah... brave souls. And there used to be an area where fanfic was allowed, under her supervision. It was there that Myste first made her appearance. 
"Modems of the Queen" is an on-line fanclub for people who use GEnie (the GE-owned server/private-net). It is not accessible to anyone who does not subscribe to GEnie's service, so you can forget about it unless you are really interested in switching servers. I only know about it because my sister uses them as her server. It is part of the 'Queen's Own' fan club, and requires a monthly membership fee of $8 to pay for a newsletter to members. If you don't want the newsletter, you don't need to pay.
I understand that there is another on-line fanclub in aol.com called "Arrows On-Line" and it is a similar situation (no outside access).If anyone knows a way to sneak-in (legally, of course) I would love to hear about it.
Everywhere I go that has to do with Misty and her books, here, Arrows OnLine on AOL, and Modems of the Queen on GEnie, there's very little discussion of the books, though the people are all knowledgeable fans, many of whom have personas in Velgarth. Most of the discussion is extremely friendly, with much banter of personal lives, battles with the monster called Real Life, virtual hugs and kisses and more chocolate than any chocoholic could ever eat (but would die trying). Frankly, I love it! With all of the various trials and tribulations of my own Real Life, I need the friends I've made online, and most of them are in the Misty areas. 
Around this same time, I wrote my third piece of fanfic, although it only counts on a technicality. One of my friends from RomEx and the Writers RT was involved in Misty Lackey fandom and she had a category (or maybe two, I forget) for her fans in the SFRT and she allowed a certain amount of fanfiction within fairly strict guidelines. Morgan sort of dragged me over and I ended up hanging out in the Modems of the Queen area for a while, and I wrote a story with an OC protagonist (one of the requirements) who wasn't even a Herald or anything, doing something completely away from everyone else. It's another story I finished, though, so it's notable if only for that. 
Many, many moons ago, on a place formerly called GEnie, there was an area known as "Modems of the Queen", an area where Misty's fans (and Misty herself) used to congregate. Now, there was a fan area where you could write stories, but... before you could post there you had to sign an agreement that laid down the law. You couldn't use her characters (save for Myste the Chronicler) but other than that, you could have fun. There was some other stuff about any ideas that you came up with could be used by Misty and that you basically signed over rights, etc, etc, etc...
Now yours truly had already known and talked with Misty prior to his appearance on GEnie, so when I arrived there I already knew the rules of the highway there. *chuckle* This was when the novel "By The Sword" and "Winds of Fate" made its appearance in print. And by then, I had already posted a cobbled together and completely made up timeline from the beginning of "Oathbound" to the end of "Arrow's Fall". And I posted it on GEnie.
So you can imagine my surprise when I get my copy of "Winds of Fate" and find that the dates I came up with (purely out of thin air) were the dates on the timeline. And yes, Misty did state that she did use the timeline that I came up with, since "it made sense."
Later on, I discovered that those weren't the only things that Misty "borrowed" from me... as you probably well know. *Gryn* ...
Seriously, the issue of story ideas today is a touchy one. Anyone who recalls the incident involving a fan-written story and Marion Zimmer Bradley will know what I mean, and why it has led to the situations that are so common today. I could mention an idea to Misty or any other author friend and care less if they use it or not, but there are lots of other folks who look at the possible dollar signs and will claim "THIEF!" at the drop of a hat...Oh, for the old days back in the 70's when you could write Star Trek fanfic or Doctor Who fanfic and not have anyone worrying about rights and copyright... because no one cared all that much. It's only when it became big money that the rights issue reared in a most ugly fashion. 
- "But like the old Modems of the Queen back in the days of GEnie, the topic drift does get rather fast at times, almost riptide levels. Just get used to it, and you'll be fine. Unlike the halcyon days of GEnie, we don't have access directly to Misty and Larry..." -- comment by Tal Greywolf, May 11, 1997 at Mercedes Discussion?
- Impressions of Exile's Valor, comment by Tal Greywolf, January 2, 2004
- from FAQ, RolePlaying, HomePages, Etc (Feb 22, 1996)
- This newsgroup, and bandwidth, comment by Sally Aaron, September 8, 1997
- by Angie, How I Got Into This, July 2007
- comment by Tal Greywolf at alt.books.m-lackey > Mercedes book - Stoned Souls...?, April 27, 2009