Old School X Interview: Marasmus

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Interviews by Fans
Title: Old School X Interview: Marasmus
Interviewer: Lilydale
Interviewee: Marasmus (finisterre)
Date(s): September 29, 2020
Medium: online, Tumblr
Fandom(s): The X-Files
External Links: at lilydalexf; archive link
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Old School X Interview: Marasmus was conducted by Lilydale as part of the series Old School X Interview Series.

Some Topics Discussed

  • the difficulty in navigating fandom in modern times do to too much scattering
  • advice on offering criticism (don't)
  • keeping one's real name and fandom activities a secret
  • downloading fiction onto floppy disks at work
  • changing one's pseud due to feeling uncomfortable about its origin

From the Interview

What do you think of when you think about your X-Files fandom experience? What did you take away from it?

I look back on it fondly, but it was one of the first things that really hammered it home to me that every grouping throughout life follows the pattern of school.

A lot of people are really talented and funny and kind. Then there are absolute ego-rampaging nightmares who act like lady bountiful in public but do cruel things in private, or chuck their toys out of the pram at the least provocation.

And like school, fandom brings together a disparate group of people who you’re friendly with, but once you leave, the ones you stay in touch with are your friends.

Social media didn’t really exist during the show’s original run. How were you most involved with the X-Files online (atxc, message board, email mailing list, etc.)?

Thank God.

I watched the show pre-widespread internet and mostly when I had almost no money. I didn’t have regular internet access until the third season, and that was only at my incredibly conservative workplace. I didn’t get home internet access until midway through season six. You couldn’t download episodes easily, you couldn’t stream, you just had to wait until it aired overseas. I decided I didn’t care if I was spoiled and that worked for me. In fact for some particularly annoying episodes, I was glad.

I was a newsgroup and mailing list sort of person. Never really did message boards unless a newsgroup counts, though I had a Haven account.


What got you involved with X-Files fanfic?

I hung out on alt.tv.xfiles.analysis (a newsgroup), which was one of the smartest boards I’ve ever been on. The threads were full of well-read, erudite people. That led to a site which collated reviews of XF episodes. They mentioned alt.tv.xfiles.creative, and I got there the summer after Gethsemane, which was pretty optimal timing.

I’d take floppy disks into conservative workplace and quietly download the most gloriously filthy fanfic onto them for reading at home on my ancient second-hand Mac.

After that I joined Scullyfic, a mailing list, which was a lovely place to hang out for a while, and got stories through a couple of other mailing lists.


Do you ever still read X-Files fic? Fic in another fandom?

I occasionally wander in and read a bit on AO3, but nothing that deals with anything past season seven. Not interested in William, not interested in domestic fiction, not even interested in post-col any more, which was 100% my crack during XF fandom days.


Do your friends and family know about your fic and, if so, what have been their reactions?

No, and also absolutely not. Over my dead body. Over YOUR dead body.