The Temple of Ares and Joxer

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Name: The Temple of Ares and Joxer
Owner/Maintainer: Erin
Dates: 1998- ?
Type: fanfic index
Fandom: Xena: Warrior Princess
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The Temple of Ares and Joxer (a.k.a. The A/J Index) was an Ares/Joxer fanfiction index. Dtories here are indexed by both author and title and have summaries.

The site was a member of the Ares and Joxer Slash Ring, the Slash Fan Fiction Ring, A.R.E.S., Subtext of a Different Kind, the Hercules-Xena Slash Ring, Hercules Fan Fiction Webring, the Xena Web Ring, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys Webring, the EVIL never looked so good webring, the FanFic Archive webring and the Television FanFic Webring.

The Temple of Ares and Joxer - a.k.a. The A J Index.png

A brief look at the evolution of A/J

Slash fan fiction in the Herc/Xenaverse has been around almost as long as the shows have been on the air. Subtext within the shows and stories from Greek mythology have given fans cause for speculation while giving fanfic writers plenty for their imaginations to work with.

Two pairings quickly emerged as the "traditional" ones; Hercules/Iolaus and Xena/Gabrielle. However, as the shows gained in popularity other pairings were written about with increasing frequency; Autolycus/Iolaus, Ares/Iolaus, Hercules/Iphicles, Ares/Iphicles, Ares/Strife, and many other combinations. In all of these pairings though there remained one character that was rarely, if ever, featured seriously in a story; Joxer.

Joxer has always been a controversial character in the Xenaverse, but maybe not so much now as when he first appeared. It took a while for the character to be accepted by fans and there are still many that don't care for him. He is, perhaps, what could be called an acquired taste. Regardless, Joxer has gained many fans over the years since he first appeared, especially amongst fanfic writers. There is even an erotic fan fiction mailing list named after him, Joxerotica, where both slash and gen fiction are welcome. And there is plenty of both.

As Joxer grew in popularity much of the fan fiction written about the character paired him with Gabrielle -- a cause of contention with the Xena/Gabrielle faction. There was the occasional pairing with Cupid or Autolycus or even Minya, but those were infrequent. Then back in December of 1997 a challenge was issued on the Hercfic list -- a mailing list devoted to stories featuring the men of Hercules: the Legendary Journeys. The challenge was for a story that had to include Ares, mistletoe and one of the twelve days of Christmas. Athea answered the challenge with her short story "Blame it on the mistletoe", and a new genre was born.

Pairing Ares and Joxer wasn't something that anyone had considered before. Unlike many of the other pairings in the Herc/Xenaverse there is no subtextual or mythological foundation for the match. The characters themselves had only been in one show together at that time. They are complete opposites with no apparent common ground, and perhaps that's exactly why people immediately found the pairing so intriguing. Joxer's innate decency and innocence could be used to add a softer edge to Ares' character, or in turn Ares' influence could cause Joxer's character to appear darker, more...tarnished. These concepts appealed to many fans.

In Athea's words: "The feedback from the beginning was fabulous. Normally, two or three people (including my mother) will tell me they liked it [her stories] but within a week I'd collected almost two a day [feedback] - all positive. I finished Solstice Dance on the Solstice 1997 and never looked back."

It was a few months before other fan fiction writers began to try their hands at Ares/Joxer, inspired by Athea's stories, and even then there were only three. Fans of the pairing were growing as more people ran across Athea's War God series but there wasn't enough A/J fiction out there to satisfy their cravings for it. Finally a few of the fans started to write it themselves.

That was one year ago. Since Athea posted that first story the fandom has grown at a tremendous rate. Ares/Joxer has actually become one of the traditional pairings in the Herc/Xenaverse. There are now so many fans and writers of A/J that a mailing list devoted solely to the pairing was started; the Joxer-luvs-Ares list.

However, as many new A/J fans have discovered, despite the prolificacy of the stories they are often hard to find for those unfamiliar with accessing Hercules/Xena slash fiction sites. At times even slash veterans have a difficult time of it. Days can be spent surfing the web for A/J fiction without result.

This Index was designed to alleviate that problem. The stories here are indexed by both author and title and have summaries for the reader's convenience. Hopefully this Index will also encourage people to not only read the stories here but to write some themselves. As a fan once said; there can never be too many A/J stories.

-- Erin

December 13, 1998