Sarah Stegall

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Fan
Name: Sarah Stegall
Alias(es):
Type: fan fiction writer, reviewer, researcher
Fandoms: X-Files
Communities: ATXC, Official X-Files Message Board
Other:
URL: Munchkyn - Sarah Stegall's Books and Reviews, Archived version; The X-Files Reviews (wayback link), Archived version
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Sarah Stegall is an X-Files fan who was active in the very beginning of that show's fandom. Her online reviews led to official duties for Chris Carter and Ten-Thirteen Productions. She was the researcher for the first three episode guides, The Truth is Out There, Trust No One and I Want To Believe. Not only that, she was an early contributor to the official X-Files website, and to the first editions of The Official X-Files magazine.

She was also one of the original members of the David Duchovny Estrogen Brigade.

Her original short story “Snowman” was featured in the 2016 IDW book anthology The X-Files: The Truth Is Out There, Volume Two [1].

The Limitations of Early Access to Platforms

In 1996, Stegall wrote of her lack of email and desire to give feedback:
[Auld Lang Syne] If that's Kellie Matthews-Simmons' story, I liked it too! And she got me to reading fanfic with her story "Gemma". I didn't even have an email account at that time, but a friend at work who knew I liked the X-Files downloaded it for me and gave it to me. I read it, swooned a couple of times, and then went to work the next day and HOUNDED our sysadmin to give me an email account. My very first post EVER in email was to Kellie. :) [2]
Despite her vast popularity as an early writer, Stegall may have not had direct access to the very platform from which her fic was read. In 2012, one of the archivists of Gossamer said:
A lot of—like, people on AOL back then did not have access to newsgroups. So, AOL users were a strong contingent of the original list members.... that's why the X-Files-Fanfic list was developed, so that people who didn't have access could post their fic in a place where there were many members, I mean, there were a thousand members on the X-Files-Fanfic list. And also, it went to ATXC, so that everybody there could have access to it. And so, the reason for the X-Files—. I mean ... The irony is [that] some of the popular early authors on ATXC and Gossamer didn't actually have access to ATXC directly. And I mean ... I remember Sarah Stegall being one of them. She didn't get, I mean, you can look at Gossamer and see, you know, she was posting early. She didn't actually get direct access to ATXC until '97 or '98. [3] [4]

The First Fic Stegall Wrote

Kellie Matthews-Simmons got me to reading fanfic with her story "Gemma". I didn't even have an email account at that time, but a friend at work who knew I liked the X-Files downloaded it for me and gave it to me. I read it, swooned a couple of times, and then went to work the next day and HOUNDED our sysadmin to give me an email account. My very first post EVER in email was to Kellie. :) The first story I *wrote* was "Suuare", which was a Red Shoes Diaries fanfic, but I didn't post it here, of course. The first story I posted to a.t.x.c. was "Angel", I believe. [5]

From an Interview with The X-Files Lexicon

It would be safe to argue that Sarah Stegall is a true innovator within X-Files fandom. She broke ground in the early nineties as a fan critic of the show who managed to get the attention of Chris Carter and the Ten-Thirteen Productions team. She was the researcher for the first three episode guides, The Truth is Out There, Trust No One and I Want To Believe. Not only that, she was an early contributor to the official X-Files website, and to the first editions of the X-Files magazine, and collaborator to various calendars, and trivia products, eventually becoming a critic for SF Scope. These feats are rare for any fan to be honored with such opportunities, and only a small percentage of fans have enjoyed such privileges. She has moved on to writing a series of published novels, Farside and Deadfall, thus fulfilling an aspect of fandom that brings a fan full circle–to be so inspired by another’s work that you create your own original material.... In light of some of the developments within the Lexicon since 2008, I naturally felt a fan kinship with her. But when one considers her accomplishments during the early years of the internet circa the mid 90s, one does feel like a piker when one compares our work to hers... In many respects, Sarah Stegall is following in the tradition of early Star Trek fans like Bjo Trimble, a skilled fan who was at the right place at the right time. I found Sarah to be of good nature, out-going yet relatable, with no pretense, and a real pleasure to commiserate with as a fellow traveler. [6]

From denofgeek.com article "The X-Files: A History of the Fandom"

My cultural life shifted from the real world, where almost no one admitted to watching ‘that UFO show,’ to the internet,” says X-Files fan Sarah Stegall. “The internet was the one place I could go to hold an intelligent discussion with other fans about the Cigarette-Smoking Man's real agenda, or whether Ratboy was a double agent, without having to excuse or justify even watching the show.[7]

Some Fanworks

Links

References

  1. http://www.idwpublishing.com/product/x-files-the-truth-is-out-there/
  2. Sarah Stegall alt.tv.x-files.creative: What was the first story you read?, September 1996
  3. Fan Fiction Oral History Project with Deirdre (2012)
  4. Sarah Stegall herself commented in 1996 at alt.tv.x-files.creative: What was the first story you read?, so the 1997 or 1998 date quoted by Deirdre is not correct.
  5. Sarah Stegall alt.tv.x-files.creative: What was the first story you read?, September 1996
  6. from The X-Files Lexicon Interview with Sarah Stegall
  7. http://www.denofgeek.com/us/tv/the-x-files/250375/the-x-files-a-history-of-the-fandom