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heart, a-flutter

Posted Sep 25 2004 12:00am
So, I was watching Trek (TOS: Is There in Truth no Beauty?) on Skiffy last night and I caught, for the first time, the promo (links to numerous bits of video) for the upcoming Farscape mini-series.

It's impossible to pretend I'm not a geek -- check out the URL of this blog -- but even I was surprised at how visceral my reaction was to that 30-second spot.

How is that I could've forgotten how much I love Farscape? I liked it so much that I ventured into the great unknown of bboards and USENET, and found community, and a voice I had forgotten I possessed. I launched a website and wrote tens of thousands of words about it. I assembled and edited a fanzine -- The Jigsaw Farscape Special -- at the request and with the great help of Bob Furnell, Canadian sci-fi fan and fanzine publisher extraordinaire. I was's Farscape's reviewer -- my first "professional" (although unpaid) gig, which lasted until they were bought out and re-org'ed into something completely different.

I can't say that Farscape turned me into a writer, because I always was a writer. No,Farscape gave me something to write about, and inspired me to sharpen my skills and actually make some use of them. March 1999 seems like it was two lifetimes ago, and in some ways, it is. But seeing that promo last night I had the same sense of excitement I did, back in the early days, when Farscape was just an obscure series on a third-rate cable station that hardly anyone watched. Yes, I was there at the beginning, and some part of me is still jumping up and down in keen anticipation of the mini come October.

Still, it's not all good: when Farscape was cancelled at the end of its fourth season, even though Skiffy had supposedly already given the nod for Season 5, I was one of the first to get the word out -- somehow or other, my notice of the cancellation got picked up by SlashDot, and my site traffic exploded. I did early research into contacting Skiffy, Skiffy's advertisers, and anyone else who would listen. It was fascinating to watch the FS community coalesce into a small, dedicated army of fans who just would not give up.

But I gave up. Health problems cascaded down on me, and I had more important things to deal with than the campaign to try to revive a dead scifi show. Sure, the show is destined to be a classic -- it already is classic, IMO -- and may someday enjoy cult status approaching Trekkian levels (it's that good), but there were too many flakes involved in the campaign, too many power brokers looking for money or fame or whatever it is you get from knowing that lots of people have you up on some pedestal. When good advice went ignored -- not just mine, but from others I respected as well -- and things got truly weird, I just faded into the background.

When the news of the mini first surfaced, I briefly flirted with the idea of reviving my ezine, just to keep fans up to date on the mini's progress, etc. More health problems and the advance of technology conspired against me: I used to just maintain my mailing list in Outlook (so shoot me); at one point, I had more than 700 confirmed subscribers. But spam filters everywhere prevent me from sending that way anymore, and I really have no desire to look into what it would take me to setup shop as an online publisher again. Maybe some day, but that day is not today.

So I have moved from the heart of Farscape fandom, one of "The Ancients" on the vibrant Skiffy FS bboard, to being well out on the periphery. I'm still maintaining FarscapeWeekly, and intend to, pretty much forever. There is still a boatload of content I never uploaded, including that Jigsaw Special, when I was forced to move from WebSeed. I'd like to do a major redesign of the site, but once again, technology's advances are leaving me in the dust: I developed the entire thing in FrontPage Express under Windows 98, and my new Windows XP machine doesn't have anything like it. I need a good simple HTML editor for maintaining Make It Low Carb, though, so I know I will tackle that problem, and soon.

Maybe actually seeing the mini will give me the motivation I need to put FSWeekly in order. It certainly shouldn't be left languishing the way it has, all these many months. I have an internal dialog underway now: go ahead, you can do it, just do it! - no, that's crazy, you're going in for surgery soon! -- that's not definite, why be negative? go ahead, do it! do it! -- but I can't, I don't know what's going to happen, and I'm just so tired these days -- couldn't you just do it anyway?

And the 3-year-old inside me says, "Yes! Yes! Yes!"
But the grown-up says, quite sadly, "I don't know."

Maybe it's enough, now, to be just a fan. And maybe by the time the mini actually airs, I'll have a better grip on what's happening in my life, and I'll be able to put FSWeekly in order. Until then, I'll just be happy that I have something really cool to look forward to:

Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars premiers on SCIFI on October 17 at 9/8C

For those new to the show, SCIFI is re-running the entire series M-F from 8AM-4PM beginning October 1 through October 15. Start your TiVOs!

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