You may be looking for The X-Files (zine).
|Date(s):||1993-2002: (Original TV series)|
The X-Files Season 11 ("Season 11")
|Medium:||Television series, Movie series, Video Games, comics|
|Country of Origin:||US/CDN (1993-1998, 2008, 2016, 2018), US (1998-2002)|
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The X-Files is an American science fiction/fantasy television series created by Chris Carter and starring Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny that initially ran from September 10, 1993 to May 19, 2002. There have been two accompanying major film releases: The X-Files: Fight the Future in 1998, and The X-Files: I Want To Believe in 2008. In 2016 a six episode event series aired from January 24th to February 22nd.
The premise of the series and films is the investigation of paranormal cases (x-files) conducted by FBI special agents Fox Mulder, an Oxford-educated psychologist, and Dana Scully, a medical doctor. While Mulder is willing to give credence to supernatural or fantastic explanations for the cases that he and Scully investigate, Scully is skeptical and will first look to science for answers. They report directly to Assistant Director Walter Skinner, whose patience is constantly taxed by Mulder's flippant insubordination.
Over the course of nine seasons, The X-Files developed a famously complex mythology arc, or "mytharc," involving a government conspiracy to conceal the existence and activities of extraterrestrial beings. The Syndicate behind this conspiracy was associated with many shady characters, including Alex Krycek, Marita Covarrubias, and operatives who were never given proper names and simply referred to by epithets such as Cigarette Smoking Man (CSM), and Well-Manicured Man (WMM).
[The X-Files] helped pioneer two popular TV genres- the supernatural thriller and the quasi-romantic investigative partner procedural (with all due respect to “Moonlighting”, we wouldn’t have “Bones”, “Castle”, or countless others if it weren’t for Mulder and Scully).
Entertainment Weekly, March 2015
Other examples of the cross-connection between fans and the industry could be found with filmmaker Julie Ng, who helmed the extras and documentary content for the 2016 Event Series DVD / Blu-ray, and is still involved this season as the Director and producer. Julie is a long time fan and seems to understand the sensibility of what holds fans interests.
(...)Her interaction with fans in 2015 helped to give her an insight into that demographic: “I only discovered Tumblr during post-production of Season 10. One thing I’ve recently come to appreciate is what a high percentage of X-Philes are actually women. I honestly don’t know where the dudes hang out - on Reddit? But it certainly feels like the most active online are young, smart females. I also got to meet and know some fans after my involvement with the show, which is new to me since high school days — I’m years away from the olden days of my online XF friends on IRC and alt.tv.x-files, so that’s been cool too.
In March 2015, it was announced that The X-Files miniseries, a continuation of the original series would have a six-episode run on network television starting January 24, 2016. On May 15th the order for another 10 episodes in a 11th season has been announced starting January 3rd, 2018.
From a fan:
Before this year, I didn’t read a ton of Revival fics. Why? Because they got in the way of me suppressing from my memory about 75% of what I saw in those episodes. Learning that Mulder and Scully were living apart in 2016 was the first gut punch, but not the last, and it’s taken me quite a bit of time to reconcile myself to Chris Carter’s vision for them in Seasons 10 and 11. While I still feel he focuses more on what bait will keep viewers coming back for more than on organic storytelling choices, I’m now striving to make peace with canon as it exists rather than what I wanted it to be. A big help on that front has been X-Files fanfic writers who, as they have been doing for decades now, find ways to reclaim these disappointing canon developments and somehow make them make sense. 
X-Files Fandom: First Wave
Fan activity surrounding The X-Files started on usenet and dates back to December 1993, with the creation of alt.tv.x-files. ATXF's fic-friendly counterpart, alt.tv.x-files.creative, was founded in May 1994.
One recommendation site, created in the mid-nineties, is IOHO. Another was Sparky's Doghouse. Chronicle X was also a popular website, now defunct, that offered a small archive of favorite stories as well as links to authors' pages and specialty archives. The site was well known for its twice monthly interviews with fanfic writers.
X-Files had a huge number of specialized fic archives, each catering to a different target audience. It wasn't unusual to have MSR archives that dealt specifically with stories where Mulder and Scully were forced to share a bed, or stories where they took baths together. Free sites like Tripod and GeoCities made it easy to throw together such specialized archives. Consequently, most of these sites were lost when the hosts went under or were bought out.
From a fan in 2017:
What is most prominent figure in X-Files fandom? Probably some from 90s, old school X-Phile. [...] X-Files in 90s and early 00s has everything. Legendary writers, Philes, flame wars, sporking, shippers and noromos, The Witches controversy, Gossamer, legendary forums like ATX, awards, wars with media, Free Speech Is Out There: Protecting X-Phile Web Sites, good and bad things. 
Some Fan Fiction Firsts
- Like a Shepherd, possibly first piece of X-Files fan fiction, posted to the Internet on January 13, 1994. It was a Forever Knight/X-Files crossover written by Lisa Payne.
- Fooms by Glenn Wallace was posted May 1, 1994. It was probably the second piece of X-Files fan fiction posted to the Net.
- Beyond the Sea Monster by Gail Celio was posted May 24, 1994. It was probably the third piece of X-Files fan fiction posted to the Net. It was a humorous piece and an X-Files/Scooby-Doo crossover.
- Krychek was the first Mulder/Krycek fic posted to the internet, July 15, 1995
- FanHistory reports that the first Mulder/Skinner story was written in October 1995. It was "Authority" by Laura Cooksey and "it would set the tone for future Mulder/Skinner fan fiction."
- The Sound Of Windchimes, written in 1995, was an early, influential Mulder/Scully story.
- see a List of Very Early X-Files Fanfiction
The Term "Shipping"
X-Files, and its time place in history as one of the first big internet fandoms, is often regarded as the fandom that started formal shipping.
The term originated in the X-Files fandom, probably on alt.tv.x-files.creative, where viewers who wanted to see a romantic relationship between Fox Mulder and Dana Scully were dubbed "relationshippers," or "shippers."
One early use of the term was in April 1996; a fan describes her story as something "I think that everyone, both R'shipper's and Non R'shipper's alike, can enjoy this story. :D." 
Another fan in 1996 posted: "It comes to my attention that there is a great deal of misunderstanding as to what exactly it is that we "relationshippers" want in the show. To say that we want Mulder and Scully to simply fall into bed together like would happen on any other show on TV is unfair, and patently untrue...One of the reasons we 'shippers have kept to ourselves for so long is because every time we dare to bring our opinions forth, we get words that we never spoke shoved into our mouths and then we get flamed for them..." 
From a fan in 2006:
I think the X Files started it when the endless "will they wont they" storyline combined with the out of control myth-arc. As the myth-arc got more inaccessible, people turned away from it to the much simpler matter of the characters shagging each other senseless. More people got online during the mid-to-late 90's, it was easier for them to get into that....
Then there's gender: Blokes don't talk about their feelings so much as a rule. They were more likely to sit around discussing the workings of the Starship Enterprise than write about Spock/Kirk getting it on. The character of Scully drew a lot more women into the budding net fandom where they discovered that they, um, were not alone. They brought all these messy feelings with them. The "will they wont they" messed up myth-arc encouraged that at just the right moment and shipping - not quite as we know it today - was born. Women then found that this new medium gave them freedom to explore the sexual fantasies they'd always had but had never before been able to express. Through the guise of becoming your favourite ship you can try out all sorts of stuff that you might never dream of doing in real life. Men wanting to see lesbians at it has generally been regarded as fine but women wanting to see two men getting on it... woah! Incest?! Go for it. S&M? Rape? Torture? Men have so much fantasy fodder provided for them, we've had to make it all for ourselves... and how we have!! We've broadened the playground and we're obsessed by the wonderland we've created for ourselves. It's a fantastical pandora's box we've opened with our silly little shipping....It makes perfect sense that teenagers are very into this. Men fantasize alone. Women are doing it all together, which is a touch weird and goodness knows what it'll do to society. I'm hoping it's a positive effect. So shippers are pushing the envelope of our human sexual fantasies, forcing them into respectability. Fandom has become less about the shows themselves and more about making friends and exploring relationships and sexuality. Whether you perceive that as good or bad really depends on what you wanted from your fandom in the first place. 
From a fan in 2008:
Ah, but don't you know, to us shippers the X-File was always secondary to the Mulder/Scully stuff. ;)I'm being only partially facetious here. Really, a number of the individual episode's "A-plots" were pretty stupid at worst and a bit ... holey at best if you thought about them too hard. The mytharc was a complete and total mess by the series end. The reason I loved the show was the characters. As I used to say back then, "The X-Files" was really a character driven show in a plot driven show's clothing. 
A Fandom of Fannish Acronyms and Terminology
Starting in 1994, the x-files Usenet group (alt.tv.x-files) began compiling list of fannish acronyms used in X-Files fandom. Some examples: E.B.E. (Extraterrestrial Biological Entity) and ISS (Infamous Speedo Scene, referring to a scene in where Mulder emerges from the pool wearing a very skimpy pair of Speedos.) See Speedos - Acronyms explained - alt.tv.x-files on Google Groups. Another 1994 link: 20 Questions To Be Read Before Posting + YAXA List; archive link.
This 2000 list at alt.tv.x-files is very extensive: X-PLAINING ATXF part 3: acronyms and inside jokes.
This list from 2001 is also very extensive: [www.geocities.com/kpcatalia/philes.html X-Files Message Board Glossary], Archived version
A Fandom of Intense Media Interest
The X-Files' popularity, combined with the rising influence and availability of the internet, and the interest in fandom fanned by books such as Textual Poachers and Enterprising Women, made the show a media and press darling. There was an explosion in the number of articles in mainstream publications that attempted to explain this "new" thing called fanfiction. See Category:Perspectives on Fans for more information.
I think our shows been popular on the Internet from the beginning because the cult fan base being science fiction and that somehow entails owning a computer and being on the Internet is something that – makes sense. I don’t personally visit the sites…except for one time but it makes sense.It seems to fit very well with the nature of the series. A lot of the episodes hint at the broadening of technology and technology taking over in some way or another and the involvement of extra terrestrials and their heightened technology. It seems logical…and I’m not answering your question at all…I think it’s great!
In a 2015 Gizmodo article, X-Files was credited with having spurred a new type of online fandom:
"Alt.tv.xfiles, which is still an active forum, sprang into one of the first flourishing fandom hubs. It was followed by a bloom of competing groups and thousands of garish Geocities websites, from the (impeccably named) David Duchovny Estrogen Brigade to the (also impeccably named) Order of the Blessed Saint Scully the Enigmatic.
It was one of those lucky moments of convergence where a show that questioned authority and promoted fringe or alternative thinking came out just as the greatest tool for subversion and spreading unconventional ideas became mainstream.Fans adopted the new technology of the internet to talk about the show, helping the Friday night cult hit balloon into a pop culture phenomenon These fans pioneered a new way to interact with media that presaged social media."
The philedom were also subject of three documentaries (X-Philes by Christopher Clements and Maria Bowens in 2000, X-Philes - Ils voulaient croire in 2016 and The Fans Are Out There in 2017) as well as creator Chris Carter (the 40 minute documentary The Joy of X).
Cease & Desist
For other incidents in which platforms used by fan communities have cracked down on fanworks, discussion by fans, and fansites with "inappropriate" content, see:
For a more general related topic, see List of Content Banned by Archives.
X-Files was a fandom that stood at the threshold of fandom's migration to the Internet and experienced maybe the first salvo in the "World Wide Web War Against Fandom". In the early-1990s few fans had the resources to host and design their own websites so fandom was concentrated to a few main archives and fan websites.  By the mid-1990s, as technology and Internet access improved, more fan sites began appearing  leading 20th Century Fox to launch a legal campaign against the use of images and sound files from its two more popular TV shows: The Simpsons , The X-Files, and Millennium  .
"Strange things are happening in cyberspace. Visitors to The Simpsons Files , which once housed a pretty cool stash of sound files such as Homer's "mmmm . . . forbidden donut," have recently been greeted by a downright forbidding cease and desist order. Issued in accordance with the very X-Files sounding "Imperial Department W Provisions," it reads like something Darth Vader would write if he had gone to Yale Law School. But it's no joke. On April 9 , X-Files fan Eric Wacker received a similar letter via certified mail from the same law firm of Baker & Hostetler, legal representatives for Fox, which owns both shows. Informing Wacker that their "Internet monitoring program" had discovered his website used material from The X-Files, the letter waved a finger of admonition: "We must respectfully ask that you remove all audio clips and video clips relating to The X-Files from your website as soon as possible. If you do not remove these properties, we may be forced to take legal action to have them removed." 
Perhaps because of the new participatory power of the Internet, X-Files fandom did not take the assault lying down. They quickly organized themselves into a viral pro-fandom campaign called "Free Speech Is Out There: Protecting X-Phile Web Sites."  When Lucasfilm began targeting Star Wars fan websites that same year, fandom realized that this was this was not an isolated act by a single studio.
Even industry magazines took notice. E-Online reported:
"But for Web fans, resistance hasn't been futile. When Lucasfilm made a threatening phone call to a popular Star Wars site last April, it was confronted with a rebel assault of calls, faxes, and E-mails, which eventually persuaded the company to back down. Likewise, X-Philes have been repelling Fox's crackdown on X-Files websites with a Free Speech Is Out There protest. The irony is that most of the infringement rises from a devotion the corporations normally welcome. Jeanette Foshee says she was simply trying to share her fandom of The Simpsons when she [drew] 400 icons depicting the show's cast and distributed them gratis on the Web. When Fox discovered the cut-and-pastables, it demanded that Foshee provide a detailed list of anyone who'd ever downloaded the icons." 
Other fandoms and TV shows were pulled into the battle, with 20th Century Fox shifting its focus to its then ratings impaired TV show Millennium  and with Viacom targeting Star Trek websites. 
In the "War Against Fandom", one commentator astutely noted:
"The problem is that the nature of fandom has changed fundamentally in the past 30 years, while perception of the role of fan culture in marketing campaigns has not. No longer content to be passive consumers, fans - especially those on the Net - now expect to be listened to by those who create the culture they enjoy. They demand to be in the loop.Both the fans and the media companies want to cheat a little. The media companies want to parade their Web savvy in the marketplace and they want to funnel all the Net traffic into a few commercial sites. The fans want to have freedom of speech and assembly in sites of their own choosing and to have fewer constraints on the use of copyrighted materials than in any other medium." 
A fan in October 1995 on a mailing list said:
Putting a zine on the Net is only tempting fate. The PTB have copyright and trademark police out trolling for infringements. A woman who agents Lois Balzer's t-shirts for her put an ad for the shirts on her Web page. Soon after, she was hit with a C&D by Twentieth, telling her that they were going to confiscate all of the X-Files tees and slap her with a fine, to boot. Back in April, Beth Bowles received a C&D for her zine CrossFiles (X-Files crossovers), because she advertised on the Net using only her pressname. She looked like a professional, and Fox's lawyers went after her. She explained that her publication was a fanzine, but has heard nothing more from them on the matter.Copyright holders have looked the other way as long as we've remained fairly low-key about zines -- but make no mistake, if we become too visible, they'll be after us. Word from Bill Hupe is that Paramount will shortly be coming down on Trek zineds -- they won't take any action against zines already in print, but no new zines will be allowed to be published. 
By 1997, the phrase "Foxed" had become a techno verb "used to describe a Web site threatened with legal action for copyright infringement." 
Links to Then Current Sites
- Infomania, compiled by Ola Mårtensson (many, many links, though most are dead)
Duchovny Fans vs. Anderson Fans (aka "My star is better than your star")
In the late 1990s and early 2000s there was a noticeably tendency between fans of one of the two actors to pit the other act (and their fans) against their favourite. From this period the derogatory term Silly Gilly was coined to describe (the often younger and predominantly female) fans of Gillian Anderson. It's notable that in the Gillian Anderson fan community no term was ever created to call a Duchovny fan names.
On message boards like the IMDB boards (which were infamous for their high troll quota) those users often trolled the board of the other actor by opening provocative threads title like "[Actor] is overrated, a bad actor, a bad mother (usually only Anderson's parenting skills were questioned), a one trick pony, has has plastic surgery, needs plastic surgery, is too fat/thin (again, only Anderson weight was mentioned)/ looks old, etc.".
Boards like the David Duchovny Fans message board feature an extra off-topic section called "The Dumpster" were users could attack Anderson, Chris Carter, Frank Spotnitz (calling him Aunt Frank) and other people to their heart's delight. This area was also especially used to attack snoggers or people who were suspected to be snoggers because they proclaimed to be a fan of both Anderson and Duchovny (which in the eyes of some was impossible and thus those people had to be closeted snoggers). Anderson and her fans were also called lesbians as an insult.
One hypothesized reason for this fights could be the different structures of the two fandoms of the actors (based on available pictures of fans posing the actors during that time): In the beginning the Anderson fan was the "typical" Sci-Fi geek male fan boy who focused on Anderson's sex appeal, which later, especially in the late 1990s and early 2000s moved to younger female fans where Duchovny's fan base consists more of older, usually back then already middle aged and conservative (compared to the Anderson fan base, which could also explain why calling somebody a lesbian was considered being an insult by Duchovny fans) female fans. Erin M. Blair, who openly posted RPF fan fiction was a regular and welcome target for a certain group of Duchovny fans.
User from this community even went so far to register at the Shipper Sanctum and taunt fans there. One user who used variants of the user name Pippy was especially infamous in the fandom  for her behaviour in "defending" Duchovny and Téa Leoni by putting Anderson down every time and everywhere she could.
Since the second wave and the raise of Gillovny in the fandom mainstream, the behaviour to pit one actor against the other seem to have thankfully died out or the most active spearheads have by now left the fandom.
General Fannish Mayhem
A fan in 2016 wrote a response to a Tumblr ask:
Next thing you know we’ll have a shippers vs. noromos war on Usenet and a famous fanwriter will be discovered to be massively sockpuppeting , and at least six secret lesbian couples will form (and two will break up), and Brandon Ray will mansplain at all of us womenfolk for seven paragraphs, there will be more than five separate discussions of Scully’s characterization in Iolokus, and at least twelve heartrendingly angsty WIPs will be updated, and that one creepy guy will post a fic where Scully erotically eats her own poop, and the Mulderists will accuse the Scullyists of something dreadful, and Erin Blair will post six fics in 24 hours, and I’ll DEFINITELY post something about shortbread or snickerdoodle cookies to get everyone to calm down, and the private e-mail lists will be buzzing about whether Mulder would be a dom or a sub in a BDSM relationship with Scully, and there will be a scandal when someone plagiarizes X-Files fic in the Nanny fandom , , and there will be a side conversation about DD’s dick (that has never really ended to this day), at least one fangirl will cry when she realizes everyone else was invited to the big secret fangirl gathering, and everyone will bitch about there no Gossamer update in three weeks, and we’ll end the day with a rousing discussion about whether Mulder/Krycek slash is out of character or not.**This is not even close to an exaggeration of a typical fandom day in 1999 or so. 
In 1997, there was intense turmoil regarding FicTalk (and X-Files-Fanfic) that involved plagiarism, who owns what list, access to fiction and lists, flaming, open letters, power moves, censorship, personal disagreements, unsubscribing...
- Joining other xf fanfic mailing lists, January 17, 1997
- an open letter to the chaos.taylored.com mailing lists, June 28, 1997
- an open letter to the chaos.taylored.com mailing lists, a second post, June 29, 1997
- Mailing lists and Archives and Usenet..., June 29, 1997
- An open letter to ATXC, June 30, 1997
Conflict: Old Characters Depart, New Characters Arrive
The addition of new characters to the show often disrupted fandom and sparked flamewars as fans took sides.
But that small upset was nothing compared to the backlash that took place when Mulder more or less left after season seven and Agent John Doggett and Agent Monica Reyes joined Scully in the x-files office in the eighth season. Many fans were upset over this development, but some took it to extremes. One example was the short-lived 2001 website The DoggShit Website.
Laurie Haynes, owner of the X-Files Creative mailing list and its archive Xemplary, went so far as to refuse to archive fics with Doggett in them and viciously bashed Doggett in public forums. This brought up a lot of questions about creative expression and censorship. See Ban of Doggettfic. At the time, XFC was one of the largest mailing lists in fandom and fans resented being told they had to ignore a significant part of canon in order to be able to post there.
Conflict: Archiving and Archives
When The X-Files first began airing, fans had three choices regarding the distribution of their fanworks. They could send it in hard copy, print form to their friends via the postal service, something fans had been doing for decades. They could send their fanworks to fans who created print zines, another decade's old custom. But fans of The X-Files had a new option: Usenet, specifically alt.tv.x-files.creative, a mailing list that allowed fans to distribute their fiction on a much wider basis.
This new fannish territory also opened up many discussions regarding permissions, distribution, and the archiving of fiction in completely new ways.
When a fan posted their fiction to the mailing list, it was automatically archived via ftp at the fledgling site Gossamer. Only fanworks that had a note to specifically NOT be archived were not included. A list of some ftp sites in early 1995: Re: info on x-files, Archived version.
As fan's online access increased, and fans began taking advantage of free web hosting provided by companies such as Tripod and Angelfire to created their own webpages, archiving fiction became a free-for-all. Many, many fans who wrote fic understood this, and simply asked that when their fiction was archived somewhere that they only required that all headers and credits be included.
When fans realized they had other options than simply being archived at Gossamer, they began to get much pickier about who was able to archive, or simply post links to, their fiction. There were many, many discussions, often very, very heated, about fan's "rights" to read fiction as opposed to fan's "rights" to control where their fiction was read.
As shipping wars and other conflicts heated up, these fights became quite personal. A lot of these early archives had titles that reflected their hoped for safe-retreat from the main archives' higher visibility, and by some defaults, greater hassles: "Idealist's Haven" is one example.
As soon as archives became more specialized, challenges to fans became more numerous. While Gossamer did not police its fiction regarding content, it had grown huge and the frequency of updates to it became a source of contention. Fans with smaller archives could be more nimble, and while these smaller archives appealed to fans who wanted to read things in a narrower focus, there was much gate-keeping.
There were also many discussions regarding who "owned" archives, and the responsibilities of these owners.
Some examples of early fan discussion regarding archives and archiving:
- ARCHIVISTS AND AUTHORS!, Archived version, scroll down for the main discussion (July 1998)
- Question for Authors (October 1998)
- What's With IOHO? (June 1999)
Sometime around 2020, a fan wrote:
In addition to coining the term “shipper,” the TXF fandom was one of the first to develop robust archives where fans could find all the fic they could read in one place. Some have stood the test of time and remain indispensable resources, like Gossamer and whispersofx.net. Others have been rescued and archived themselves, usually either migrated to bigger collectives like Archive of Our Own (AO3) or lovingly preserved at newer domains like xphilefic.com and xf-redux.com. Incredibly, new collections of fanworks are also still being developed–the Audio Fanfic Podcast, for example, is doing the lord’s work by recording TXF fanfics in audio form and sharing recommendations for stories that span the decades. And, of course, what would we do without AO3, Fanfiction.net, LiveJournal (still limping along but for who knows how long), or the Wayback Machine?All of this is to say: If you love The X-Files and want to help ensure the fandom’s history is preserved, please consider reaching out to thank the hard-working fans behind these fic archives and/or becoming a patron of their work to help them cover the costs of keeping these sites up and running. 
Conflict: Fanwork Content (Shipping, RPF, Slash, Explicit)
- the conflicts regarding the character of John Doggett, including the DoggShit Website
- discussion regarding X-Files RPF
- Noromos vs MSR vs slash
Conflict: Fanwork Concrit and Reviews
- The Wicked X Witches of Badfic Punishment and similar sites
The Chris Carter Effect, and Canon Failures
The X-Files was a show that got in over its head regarding canon continuity and expectations.
Fans constantly complained of storylines that went nowhere, revelations that hit walls, poor continuity, lack of character development, constant use of the reset button, increasingly bizarre complications that promised much but delivered little, and general perceived ineptness and cohesion regarding the overall mytharc.
Some fan comments:
[The] most significant, and frustrating, to my mind is the way Fox is making a concerted effort to treat The X-Files like the last Holstein in a cereal factory -- milking it for all its worth. I will be very disappointed if, as they're beginning to insinuate, Fox goads TXF into lurching along for another season or more. It's one thing to retool a program and carry on bravely. It's quite another to lose both main characters, plus the creator, and still pretend you're making the show just because you happen to own the rights to the title graphic. I love the show dearly (I probably wouldn't belong to a fictional Abbey dedicated to one of its characters if I didn't) and will be very sad when it's over, but come on, can't they let it go out with a few scraps of dignity remaining? David Duchovny is suing; Gillian Anderson has said she doesn't want to come back for "private reasons." Chris Carter is winding down the mythology with a graceful (I'll believe it when I see it) denouement planned for the end of this year. The tide of trendiness in the land of television is, sadly in my opinion, turning from serious, high-quality dramas (otherworldly air optional) to ultra-hip teen soap operas, "women's" programming, and, the best indication of the final decline of our civilization, wrestling. TXF's ratings are just beginning to slide and the strain of coming up with all those wonderful stories is starting to show. All in all, it seems like an ideal time to gracefully hang up the flashlights and slip into a movie franchise. Yet if Fox has anything to say about it, the show will continue indefinitely, floating on the inertia of its brand name until nobody cares anymore.So here in the seventh season, my biggest worries so far are not about The X-Files itself, but about whether or not Fox will succeed in ruining it before it's through. 
I first found the show the first winter I lived in this apartment during "Darkness Falls," an ep from Season 1. I became fascinated and then addicted. My NYC friends and I had viewing parties on Friday nights, and endless debates on plot and character. The show continued to improve in quality through Seasons 2-5. I was ultra-loyal until the movie came out in 1998, when I realized there was no master plan, no breathless resolution of a tightly plotted structure. They were pulling it out of their ass, and I felt betrayed. I watched intermittently in Seasons 6 and 7, but the love was gone. 
Sept. 11 had a profound effect on my fic habits, but I suspect that everyone lost interest in their hobbies for a while, whatever their hobbies were. It didn't destroy the show. I think we can agree that the show committed suicide. One of the continuing weaknesses of The X-Files was that it didn't let the characters grow or change, or even remember. Scully's chip, Skinner's nanites, little lost Gibson--ignored and forgotten. 
If we're gonna make a list of all the times the show didn't deal with the fall out of various major events, we're going to be up all night. *laugh* I am convinced the X-Files has got such a tremendous amount of fanfiction because of the repeated frustrations experienced by fans while watching it. Fanfic fixes characters, narration, story lines, continuity. It adds layers of complexity to a show's universe (unless you're talking PWP of course). There is less need for it when the series isn't flawed. I guess we should thank the boys at 1013 for having made such a giant mess of it! 
I, at any rate, was quite sure up through about season 6 that Chris Carter had a grand master narrative in mind and that all the inconsistencies and loose ends would one day come together. And in order to believe this, I had to put a lot of work into creating schemes and plots and explanations for things that would create sense and meaning where, in fact, none really existed. But we enjoyed doing it. For a while, it was fun coming up with theories and trying to figure out where the show was going next and imagining ways in which things that appear out of character were in fact totally in character and things that appear contradictory did in fact make perfect sense, in the expanded X-Files Universe that we the fans were constructing in our heads and online. And then, at around season 7, it became impossible to sustain belief. It became pretty clear that there was no grand master narrative, just Chris Carter making shit up, and doing it less and less plausibly as time went on. And it was bitter. 
I wish they'd handled Duchovny's absence better, I wish they'd exited Mulder and Scully together at the end of season 8, hell, I wish they'd ended the show with Requiem.
- Me, too. I think everyone but the diehard fans of season 8 and 9 would agree with us. I can see now that the ending of "Requiem" was poignant and gave both characters what they wanted: Mulder got his aliens and Scully got a second chance at a normal life. 
Conflict: Sockpuppets, Harassment
- The X-Rated X-Files (Brills Content article, May 2000)
Fans in Canon
In the second season episode Little Green Men, the plane manifest that Scully is scanning while searching for Mulder lists several online X-Files fans as passengers, including Cliff Chen and Pat Gonzales.
In May 2001, in the episode Alone, Agent Leyla Harrison was introduced as a tribute to Leyla Harrison, a popular fanfic writer who had passed away in February 2001. In 2002, Agent Harrison returned in the ninth season episode Scary Monsters.
Starting in the ninth season, the show got a new opening credit sequence during which a document headed "FBI Contacts, Witnesses and Contributors" could be seen. Every episode had a slightly different list of names, many of which belonged to online fans, including FrogDoggie, Deslea, sistaspooky, and PaigeCald.
The X-Files is regarded as the fandom that started formal shipping. Fans who did not support a romantic or sexual relationship between Mulder and Scully were called NoRomos. The conflicts between these two factions were legendary. For an explanation of one of the many, many discussions, see X-Files Wank: 1996-2000.
Early X-Files fandom did not embrace RPF or "actorfic" as it was known then. Even with the increasing popularity of popslash and bandom, X-Files fandom has been resistant to change and RPF is still considered taboo in many X-Files communities.
See X-Files RPF for some history, fan comments, and some examples.
Interviews with Fans
Popular Genres in X-Files Fanworks
Popular Tropes in X-Files Fanworks
The show and fandom created quite a few tropes and genre of it's own. Please see X-Files Tropes & Genres for details.
- Fuck or Die/Aliens Made Them Do It: Characters are forced to engage in sexual intercourse, usually by aliens, madmen, or members of the conspiracy. This would often occur in captivity, sometimes with the help of chemical stimulants.
- One motel room/Bed Sharing: Oh no, there's only one room left! Characters have to share a motel room, and often a bed. This actually happened to Mulder and Scully in the sixth season episode The Rain King when Mulder's motel room was destroyed by a flying cow. He moved his stuff into Scully's room, but the show didn't bother to explain the sleeping arrangements. Fans happily filled the gap with dozens of missing scene fics.
- Undercover: Characters go undercover, often posing as a couple, in order to investigate crime or paranormal activity. This was a popular cliche long before season six's Arcadia saw Mulder and Scully moving into a gated community as husband and wife, wearing a pink polo shirt and a twin set, respectively. These fics could be light-hearted and romantic, or dark and angsty. In Parrotfish's award-winning Caught in the Act III: Sub Rosa, Mulder and Scully go undercover to infiltrate a white supremacist militia group and find themselves in over their heads.
- Quarantine: Exposed to alien spores or unknown toxins? Time to be locked up in quarantine together. This got an early start on the show. In the first season, Mulder and Scully are exposed to a nasty insect in Darkness Falls and after being rescued are confined to a secure quarantine facility in order to regain their strength. This bit of canon influenced a lot of fanfic, encouraging fans to write their own quarantine fics and post-eps for episodes like Ice, Field Trip, Firewalker, and of course Darkness Falls itself.
- Bodyswap: Characters swap bodies. This, too, happened on the show, in the season six two-parter Dreamland, but in that episode Mulder swapped bodies with Morris Fletcher, who was not a series regular. Fans are more likely to write stories where the main characters swap bodies.
- Eggbeater: From a notorious challenge, "exactly 500 words and an eggbeater."
- Apocalypse: It's the end of the world, for so many, many reasons. Post-Colonization was always popular.
- Case fic: Many stories mimicked the show by creating a mystery for Mulder and Scully to solve. (see X-File (genre))
- songfics and fic inspired by music by Melissa Etheridge, see Dance Without Sleeping for notable example
- forehead touching (see Forehead sex): In the X-Files world, kisses happen very seldom, instead forehead touching became popular
- Canon Divergence AU: often attempted by Fan fiction writer to "fix" Chris Carter's canon.
- Accidental confession: under influence or in argument an accidental declares their love for the other
X-Files was one of the first fandoms where the majority of fan activity happened online. As a result, the number of fanzines in the fandom does not reflect the size and breadth of fannish participation. A list of the X-files fanzines in print can be found X-Files Fanzines on Fanlore and at List of X-Files Fanzines.
Besides the major archive project Gossamer, X-Files fandom boasted a wide variety of specialty archives at the height of its popularity. Archives existed for characters, pairings, genres (both XF-specific such as Muldertorture or Profiler!Mulder as well as panfandom ones such as AUs), kinks, ratings and formats. Many have since vanished, but others are still online.
fanthropology reports that the first two X-Files fan fic archives were Rutgers (September 1994) and X-Files fan fiction ftp archive (August 1994) both of which predated the popular Gossamer archive.
The specialty archives included:
- The Acacia Archive -- NoRomo archive 
- After the Fact -- defunct post-ep archive  (WB machine link)
- All Around Angst Archive (Angsty adult X Files fiction)
- All Things Rat -- (Alex Krycek fic, pics, artwork & more)
- Alternate Season 8 (fan-produced AU fic episodes)
- The Animal Files -- animal stories 
- The Annex -- novel-length fanfic 
- The Basement -- slash archive 
- BSU: Behavioral Sciences Unit -- defunct Profiler!Mulder archive  (WB machine link)
- Chemical Reaction -- Skinner/Doggett archive 
- Ephemeral (X Files fanfic auto archive)
- Gertie's X-Files MSR FanFic Archive 
- GilliAnd (bilingual site with stories in English and Russian)
- Hiraeth Archive (Mulder/Scully stories)
- The I in FBI -- defunct casefile archive  (WB machine link)
- M/K Slash" target="_blank (Mulder/Krycek slash)
- MKRA -- Mulder/Krycek archive
- Mulder In Jeopardy -- Muldertorture Archive 
- Muldertorture Anonymous -- Muldertorture Archive 
- The Nursery Files -- Child/Baby/Pregnancy/Parenting Related Archive
- The Oncology Ward - Cancer-arc fics featuring Agent Scully
- previous eXcursions -- pre-XF stories
- RATales Archive -- Krycek-centric 
- RatB -- Mulder/Krycek archive
- Red Light District -- slash rated R/NC-17 
- Romo and ANgST -- specialised archive
- Scully Angst Archive -- defunct Scully angst archive  (WB machine link)
- Scully Slash Archive -- Scully slash 
- Scuttlebutts -- defunct Skinner/Scully archive  (WB machine link)
- Semper Fi -- Scully/Doggett archive 
- Skipper Tales -- Scully/Krycek archive 
- The SKSA (Skinner/Krycek slash archive)
- Slashing Mulder -- Mulder slash archive
- The Slipper Archive -- slash rated PG-13 or less 
- Strange Realities: the X-files Alternate Universe Archive
- Ter/Ma -- Mulder/Krycek archive 
- Two Close for Comfort --The X-Files Stuck!Fic Archive
- Virtual Season X (AU episode fic starting from season 7)
- The Vision (Dogget/Reyes fanfiction)
- WArm thoughts -- Skinner/Krycek archive 
- WetFic! -- for stories featuring rain, baths, showers, lakes, swimming pools, oceans, hot tubs, car washes, etc.
- Whispers of X (adult X Files stories) 
- Xanadu X Files Fan Fiction (organized by author)
- XFSM Archive -- defunct BDSM archive  (WB machine link)
- X-Philes For Christ -- defunct Christian fanfic archive  (WB machine link)
Also see Category:X-Files Fanfiction.
From a fan in 1999: "The only reason for fanfic (in my mind) is to allow us to live in the world CC won't let us have." 
- The Iolokus Series, by RivkaT and MustangSally
- Ghosts, by torch
- 12 Degrees of Separation and its prequel, 12 Rites of Passage, both by Paula Graves
- Oklahoma, by Amperage and Livengoo
- The Round File, by YouKneek, an X-Files RPF - One of the few RPFs accepted by X-Files fandom, mostly due to its humorous and non-sexual nature.
- All the Mulders by Alloway, more science fiction influenced than most MSR fic.
- World Without End, by Rachel Anton
- Blinded by White Light, by Dasha K
- Pleasant Dreams, online here (May 1995) by Laura Cooksey is the first slash X-Files fic posted to the internet. It features Mulder and an OMC. The author describes it not so much a story, but a vignette.
- Authority, online here (October 1995) by Laura Cooksey is the first Mulder/Skinner slash fic posted to the internet.
- Krychek by Brenda Antrim is the first posted Mulder/Krycek fic posted (July 31, 1996). The author's spelling of this story was never corrected.
- An example of a 1997 Scully/Marita fic is Cold.
- a weatherman to know which way the wind blows by zauberer_sirin
- Argus by Jintian (2001)
- Last Light by Agents Haines and Willis
- Practice by Alelou
- Sixty Degrees of Separation by Barbara D.
- Abuse of Power by Ian Horsewell
- various X-Files fanart on FanPop
- XPhilesAnonmynous group on DeviantArt
- The X-Philes group on DeviantArt
- The X-Files Poster Project on tumblr
- Fan Art featured on the official X-Files page on FOX.com
From a fan:
X-Files fans have always celebrated the show in a variety of creative ways, including by writing fanfic and original songs, making gifsets and manips, and editing clips from the show into music videos. (Am I dating myself with these terms? Probably. Have some pity–I am an Elder Millennial!) Some of these art forms seem to get more respect than others, however. Because while I hear more and more people casually discussing their fic-reading habits these days, many still seem baffled when I say how much I enjoy fanvids. I guess not everyone finds it as soothing as I do to hit “play” on a carefully curated YouTube playlist, tune out the world, and relive shippy moments set to excellent songs? Weird. But those people are missing out. When I want to bask in the vibes of a favorite fictional couple but don’t have time to rewatch whole episodes, I turn on a playlist and do just that, often while doing the dishes or reading. 
- Patterns by Cybel Harper (early Mulder vid)
- Close to You by The Chicago Loop (humorous rare 4th-wall breaker)
- Subterranean Homesick Blues by Luminosity and Tzikeh
- Rook by Laura Shapiro
- Only Happy When It Rains by Media Cannibals
- Mood Swinging Man by Jill & Kay of JKL
- Scar by Kay of JKL (a rare Krycek vid that is solely about Krycek the character)
- Nobody Takes Me Seriously by Media Cannibals
- Fall in the Light by Media Cannibals (Scully vid)
- Patterns by Carol S. (Mulder vid)
- We Care a Lot by Carol S. (ensemble vid of the badguys in the X-Files mytharc)
- Tainted Love by Media Cannibals (OTT Mulder/Krycek vid. Katharine said she got the idea at least partially after seeing Randym's "Tainted Love" listed as a M/K song on the MKRA webpage.)
- There's No Way Out of Here by Media Cannibals (multimedia vid that compares Scully with Nikita and Buffy)
- Not Only Human by Killa and Laura Shapiro (Scully vid)
- Have You Seen Me Lately by Lyle (Scully cancer-arc)
- Move (Scully-centric)
After the show ended, some fans continued to make vids and share them online. Here are a few archived websites
- DamnBee.org X-Files Vids, dated around 2001
- Music Videos by Deslea, vids date from 2002 onward
- My 15 Favorite Mulder/Scully Fanvids • ShipRecced, Archived version
- Playlist on YouTube
- X-Files: The Musical by the The Colonel Mustard Amateur Attic Theatre Company (2011)
- My Favorite X-Files!- Funny MSR and Sing-Along Parody by dqmargerit
- My Favorite X-Files by Li'l Red's Fangirl Raps
- In X-Files 3 by dqmargerit (about #XF3)
- I Wanna Believe! An X-Files Parody Musical by the Chicago based The Annoyance Theatre & Bar, which ran from April 25, 2019 until July 25, 2019 I Wanna Believe! An X-Files Parody Musical, Archived version
- Biani - a collection of fic was part of the virtual world created by fans Bianca and Dani
- Mark of X-cellence. Links to award-winning stories, including the winners of the Spooky, EMXC, Starbuck, Morley, and Whammy awards.
- The Wirerims . Awards for best Walter Skinner stories, including slash, gen, and het works.
- Purple Heart Awards - MulderTorture Anonymous - Categories include vintage (pre-October 97), current, and slash. First annual (1998) awards are available.
- Lisa e Krysa. Archive and awards for Mulder/Krycek slash fiction.
- X-Files Fanfic Olympics. Links to gold medal winners for 1999 and winners of the "Hit By A Grease Truck" awards.
- Spooky Awards - 1995-2000. Archive of winning stories for the year, selected from fiction posted to the alt.tv.x-files.creative news group.
- Whammy Awards - 1997-1999. Awards for slash net fic.
- xfiles -- large general discussion community
- XF Book Club on LiveJournal and List of Stories Discussed
Fanfic, all kinds:
Art & Multimedia:
See List of X-Files Mailing Lists (for mailing lists that currently don't have a Fanlore page).
See Category:X-Files Mailing Lists (for mailing lists that have a Fanlore page).
- Eat The Corn
- David and Gillian Archive
- Inside The X
- Rohan's X-Files Realm
- The X-Files Experience
- The X-Files Music.com
- The X-Files Screen Grab Archive
- The X-Files Lexicon
- XF Road Runners
- Trajan's Warehouse
- The Vault: writing archive for ATX
- Dealing With It; WebCite, a set of five essays by Charlotte P. D. Price (1995-1997)
- Why the "Moonlighting" Argument is a Fallacy by Dianora (1997)
- two essays: "Dana by Darwin" and "Triumvirate"; WebCite by Barbara Ruef (1997)
- Dear Mr. Chris Carter. The X-Files is boring... I'm resigning my fan girl membership so I can go and play in the Babylon 5 sandbox instead... by Yvonne Harrison, (1998)
- A Caution About Public Criticism (1998)
- The Passage of Time by Leah2 (an essay about the "Twin Peaks/X-Files reality puzzle") (May 2000)
- I've been reading back in the old Gossamer X-Files fanfic..., essay by Sam Starbuck (2002)
- untitled essay by jeviltwin (2002)
- X-Files Wank: 1996-2000 by cschick (2006)
- Rediscovering the X-Files: A Photo Essay - Help, I've lost my flotation device., Archived version by elliotsmelliott (2011)
- Fannish discourse communities and the construction of gender in The X-Files by Emily Regan Wills (2013)
- X-Files Meta, meta series by PlaidAdder (2014-2016)
- I Want to Believe...That Chris Carter won't ruin The X-Files: Fan/producer relationships and textual ownership, Archived version, In Media Res (2015)
- The Return of The X-Files: Will it Work?, Archived version, In Media Res (2015)
- A Note about the X-Files Fandom (2015)
- 201 Days of The X-Files (reviews, fanart, meta, The X-Files Poster Project) (2015-1016)
- “You’re still obsessed with The X-Files? I don’t get it, it’s just a TV show.” by campaignofmisinformation (2017)
- Creating a Pocket Universe: "Shippers," Fan Fiction, and "The X-Files" Online
- Estrogen Brigades and "Big Tits" Threads: Media fandom on-line and off
- Filling in the Gaps: Fans and Fan Fiction on the Internet
- "The Truth We Both Know": Readerly Desire and Heteronarrative in "The X-Files"
- "Your Sister in St. Scully": An Electronic Community of Female Fans of The X-Files
- Cyberspaces of their own: Female fandoms online, by Rhiannon Bury (Review: View of "Cyberspaces of their own: Female fandoms online," by Rhiannon Bury, Archived version)
Also see Category:X-Files Academic Commentary
News Media Articles
- Cataloging the 'X-Files' websites, Archived version, article in "Entertainment Weekly," describes some of the then-current 482 X-Files websites (1997)
- So, you are an X-phile: Part One, Archived version and So, you are an X-phile: Part Two, Archived version Yale Herald, Tech Briefs (2000)
- 7 Things We Should Thank The X-Files For, Archived version Article on mentalfloss.com for the show's 20th anniversary (2013)
- "X-Files articles and Meta" Board on Pinterest
Also see Category:X-Files News Media.
- X-Files Conspiracy Timeline
- X-Files Wiki
- Deep Background
- Newbieguide to XF on LJ
- exclusive interviews and reports
- The Basement Office (Archive)
- The Ultimate X-Files Webpage (Archive)
- X-Files Fandom Never Dies: 11 Newer MSR Fics I Recommend • ShipRecced, Archived version (unknown date, likely 2020ish)
- alt.tv.x-files on Google Groups
- alt.tv.x-files.creative on Google Groups.
- Legendary Philes
- FanHistory cites Rosalita's comment in the fanthropology LJ community (offline).
- NEW: TITLE 17 [1/1], post by Amy Schatz, April 20, 1996
- Clarification (was Re: My problem with 'anti-relationshippers'....), Eric Johns, May 17, 1996
- The internet is for... ah, you know..., Archived version (post and comments about shipping, and pairing, history of terms, and prevalence) (2006)
- Checking in on July 25, daybreaq, July 27, 2008
- How Horny X-Files Lovers Created a New Type of Online Fandom, Archived version
- "The X-Files, X-Philes and X-philia: Internet fandom as a site of convergence" by Amanda Howell (2000)
- By 1997, there were 900 unofficial X-Files websites
- Steve Rapport's Simpsons' Home Page, Archived version
- Fox Slams Bootleg Millennium Sites, Archived version HotWired (1997)]
- "The Web Wars" by Jeff Yario (1997)
- Free Speech Is Out There: Protecting X-Phile WebSites, Archived version
- "The Empire Strikes Back: Things Get Sticky For Fan Sites On The World Wide Web," E-Online (1997)
- 20th Century Fox's Official Letter to Jeanette Foshee
- Fox Slams Bootleg Millennium Sites, Archived version HotWired (1997)]
- E! Online News - Fox Fights "Millennium" Fan Sites, Archived version (1996)]
- "The War Against Fandom," by Steven Silberman (1997)
- from a fan on Virgule-L, quoted anonymously (October 21, 1995)
- Blue's News, November 26, 1997
- This may be Sheare Bliss.
- See some of the conversations at the alt.tv.x-files.creative discussion in February 1999: Unscrupulous Folks Afoot and A Response from "The Nanny" camp
- dashakay.tumblr, Archived version February 4, 2016
- xfc: Change in Xemplary policy, Mar 6 2001.
- from Revisiting 13 Classic X-Files Fanfics with Mulder/Scully Romance • ShipRecced, Archived version (unknown date, perhaps 2020?)
- OBSSE Newsletter: January 2000 News for the OBSSEsed, Archived version
- Of X-Files, Farscape, Action Figures, Marathons and Munchausen by Internet, Archived version
- anonymous commenter at xf book club, November 2009
- badforthefish at xf book club, November 2013
- The Chris Carter Effect, Or, How The X-Files Changed How I Watch Television, Plaidadder, October 27, 2014
- from discussion at xf book club, February 15, 2015
- X-Files In-Jokes: Season Two
- Fan Names in the S9 Credits
- Sharing a Hotel Room
- Going Undercover
- Quarantined Together
- Lists of specialized archives: The X-Files Lost and Found FAQ, X-Files Fan-Fiction Alphabetized Links, Specialized Archives
- See Fan History Wiki's entry on the website: archived at the Wayback Machine
- Fan Fiction Archives dated May 23, 2007; WebCite.
- from X-Files Fanfic Addiction Site Interview with MD1016
- from Heather Waters at X-Files Fandom Never Dies: 11 Newer MSR Fics I Recommend • ShipRecced, Archived version (unknown date, likely 2020ish)