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Saturday, January 20, 2018

international fandom under mistaken political fire

Just received an email that my Twitter account has been flagged as part of the Russian- US presidency scandal investigation, even though i never retweet anything related to actual politics. Please be aware I've been gently warned that my account could be closed if deemed dangerous, and that anyone associated with me might be investigated, as well. We all know I have strongly associated and supported Lexx fans in Russia since 2005, and I've shared on my personal blog that my family history goes back to Russia via Mennonite migration and land grants. I don't generally care for politics and avoid dragging that junk into my feeds, but the simple association with Russian accounts is enough to flag me. I guess it's getting real, and ignoring it doesn't keep my personal playgrounds safe from conspiracy. If you see my social media accounts shut down, it's not because I'm doing it. I did make my personal Facebook private this month, but it's unrelated. As I have always said, if fans want to copy paste my writing and whatever photos, I would thank you for link backs, but also just do it in case this gets stupidly ridiculous. I've been saying for years fandoms lead in world diplomacy, and fandoms will soon be razed as illegal content rippers as an excuse to control people. I believe in world fandom families, and I pray this doesn't get out of hand. I am one of the most benign people there is in Twitter, and yet I have been flagged in this nationwide investigation. Hopefully that email is all I get and nothing else happens, but in case the govt starts shutting accounts down, I wanted to say I love you guys, and be Lexxy with each other. - Janika Banks

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

see what one little book can do

My stats are LEXXploding this month, and it's been interesting watching them. Current top ten all-time is being rapidly taken over.

Zev vs Xex 1327

Lexx season 5 greenlit by Showtime 910

Giggerota the Wicked, Part One 705

Heresy in the First Degree- Thodin of the Ostral-B Pair 693

Lexx Collectibles 619

LEXX Unauthorized- a book review 618

Bunny 600

Lexx fans on Facebook 584

It's Good to be Queen- Giggerota, Part Three 575

Ellen Dubin interview 510

Top ten visiting countries all-time.

Compare that to top ten over the last 30 days. I haven't seen anything like this happen in a long time.

And here is where the interest is coming from.

In one scant week, a world fandom contorted itself over a book about Lexx. Keep in mind that blogger stats are super vague. I get much better incoming from statcounter, which is also impressive.

I just demonstrated why a Lexx reboot would be profitable. Lexx is 20 years old and is still being monitored by a world fandom. This may not look like big numbers, but having been in and out of fandoms since 1994, I guarantee you this is impressive for a 20 years old cult show that went out of print and disappeared for awhile and has absolutely no representation outside of a fan network. One week.

This fandom will never die.

Monday, November 20, 2017

LEXX Unauthorized- a book review

click the snip to get to this link share on Facebook
The earliest documentation of Den Valdron writing a Lexx book that I've found goes back to the SadGeeezer site.

  • Lexx books??- "The Valdron book has a release date of August 23, 2002" You can read further history about what happened in that forum thread.
  • Valdron's Lexx Book on Ebay- More info about the history. I think this was a one-off bound copy, with hopes it would still one day be available to the entire fandom.
  • Lexx Book Series- Since then, fans have inquired from time to time over the years across several forums.
Since then, that book has been talked about around the world for about 15 years. So now this book is finally available! 😁I bought mine from Smashwords for $2.99, a very reasonable price after waiting 15 years since I first found out about it, lol.

Besides blogging about Lexx, a few readers might know I occasionally do film and book reviews and splash them around haphazardly because I'm not a serious monetized blogger. I have friends who do that, some of them doing well and publishing their own books now, and one even being quoted on a movie jacket. Valdron's Lexx book has my full attention, and I have no doubt that I just hit gold.

"So, in a way, this is where it all really begins, with a couple of computer nerds sitting in an office, brainstorming about who they could interest in their supercomputer, in order for them having to justify it in the first place."

Some of you know I'm a little bit obsessed with film history across fandoms, and I'm already riveted. The first couple of pages might not feel necessary to average Lexx fans, but feel vital to some of us who soak up IMDb with coffee drips in our IVs kind of thing. Lexx was known to be cutting edge with its CGI at the time of filming, so I'm finding it really cool getting so much background on the tech that inspired the Beans- "Later, when LEXX was being written, one of the guidelines that Gigeroff and Hirschfield got was not to worry about limitations of CGI but just to write anything they could imagine. There's a kind of unfettered freedom there that's both exhilarating and scary. It's definitely working without a net. But at the same time, it opened the door for an explosion of creativity."

I am quoting for non-English fans to read through translator softwares. I'm not sure yet if the book will download and translate, or whether it will become available in other languages. I've already been privately asked about this by non-English fans, and right now I don't know. Much of Lexx fandom is in Russia, Germany, France, Brazil, and surprisingly, China. I've documented over 100 countries coming in from direct search engine hits to my Lexx blogs here and on my GrandFortuna Xanga site.

I won't comb through and quote a lot from here on, not rewriting the book for you guys through my own translator widget, sorry. 😊 If you'd like more info about language options, please contact Den Valdon on Facebook.

One note of interest, according to Valdron's interviews, was that a Lexx computer game was already being tossed around and in partial development before any of the movies were filmed. Fans around the world have asked why there was never a computer game, which would have been a great marketing angle. Computer games and film cross over all the time nowadays, as do comics, so Lexx was ahead of its time with their techability.

I'm reminding myself not to spoil the book. You guys really need to get this and read it yourselves. I've barely gotten started, so I'm going to have to really hold back. The rest of this is review-only, no more paraphrasing or reveals. I'll come back and assess after I'm done with the whole book.


Ok, no I won't. I can't help it. Still reading.

I'm liking Valdron's writing style. He's got great sentence structure and good command of language. A bit of back and forth in verb tense and a few typos that get missed by software checking might make translation a little wonky in a few places, but for the most part, this is a very good read.

I very much loved finding out that part of Paul's inspiration for the Lexx was simply liking bugs, and that bug motifs are popular in anime and manga. That explains some of the incoming I get on my blog posts. The variety of interest in this show really does shine across cultures around the world.

Ok, I've gotta quote this one, part of their mission statement- "They wanted to get completely away from the benevolent mediocrity of Star Trek." 😁 How many times in my own Star Trek review rants have I complained about explaining everything out in conference rooms? I've said over and over, you hit the ground running with Lexx and they don't stop and wait for you to catch up, which I find extremely refreshing and a pleasurable nod to viewer intellect. They definitely didn't dumb it down.

I'm currently at the idyllic Monty Python inspiration slash small group hanging out at the beach thing, "plotting away to revolutionize science fiction and upset all the apple carts", and I'm wondering what it must've been like being Stephen Turnbull's kid growing up around that. I would have been in heaven.

The "Show Me the Money" section is wonderful, my aspienado bread and butter kind of info obsession. And of course, Lexx fans all over the globe have researched and schemed themselves silly trying to get this show back out into reboot. I still find it difficult to believe Lexx completely disappeared from print for several years, given its worldwide interest.

This just snipped from my Lexxperience blog tracker map. Click it to see live stats better.

I used to get stats from sitemeter for my other blog on Xanga long after sitemeter stopped site support, but I think that site is finally permanently down now.

I shared that to back up the fandom support still going on long after Lexx was over and the property sold off. The interest is still very real.

Back to Valdron's book.

Valdron's Viacom, Inc history is excellent, but I'd like to add that Viacom was part of the Vivendi reduction in the media monopoly around the time of Lexx. Anyone else notice that the original Salter Street prints include French in the language options? Vivendi shows up in the credits in my original VHS recordings, and Vivendi is brought up in relation to the SciFi channel in the SadGeezer forum around the time of Friday Prime, the lineup of which included Lexx. In his book, Valdron expands on the continuing media aquistion history behind Lexx launching into film, which I especially appreciate. There is a lot of confusion in the fandom around how the Canadian-German production worked and who all had hands in the the project. I think this will greatly help fans understand why it's not so simple getting a reboot back off the ground.

By the end of Chapter One I was on the edge of my seat, visually riding along. Valdron seems especially gifted at breathing life into the mundane background paperwork info, making it so human that I caught myself holding my breath as I read up to the green light. Every bit of this was worth waiting 15 years to read. And there's more!

Chapter Two- Every time I see Les Kriszan's name I remember that's Sylvia's DAD, and I'm friends with her on facebook. Haven't seen her in awhile, but I love that I got to be friends with her. We get more background about the demo reel and the reason why the TV show title was changed a couple of times.

Chapter Three is Paul Donovan candy. So many fans have wanted more about Paul Donovan. I think he's as popular as the actors with the older Lexx fandom, if not more so. He's a Canadian film maker Cinderella story, absolutely charming. The way Valdron tells it sounds very much like Paul's story would make a great Lifetime MOW. Buy this book. Valdron also touches a bit of Halifax history, a name held in reverence in the Lexx fandom, along with putting a short spotlight on Canadian film funding history leading up to Lexx, resulting in a very important visual coming through about Donovan's history in filmmaking that gratuitously exposes the question "But why?", especially on a few of the more inside jokes filmed during season 4 of Lexx. Since I'm a film history fan, I immensely enjoyed the pre-history before Lexx was born into film, and I guarantee it helps make sense for fans who to this day scratch their heads wondering what in the world was in Paul's head. At that point, I realized that Donovan has left the same kind of time stamped cultural mark with Lexx that Rocky Horror did in its time, a glance through a time tunnel of vision, as it were. No wonder Lexx has become the cult classic that it is, kept alive for decades in a worldwide underground fandom.

I was well into Chapter Four before I remembered I'm writing a review, very swept along, but this bit grabbed me by the collar and I need to share it- "The script for Gigashadow wasn't approved until December 22, 1995, but the episode was shot in January, 1996. It seems insane to try and budget and plan, cast, costume and build sets for a four million dollar film with less than two weeks script approval." (Approval had to come from Showtime.) "On the other hand, Paul Donovan was practically a guerilla film maker, used to just going ahead and doing it. Now he was getting continually dragged off to meetings and story conferences in Los Angeles, meeting with people who knew less about his project than they did about their morning espresso..." Guys, this is competitive with Sam Raimi level film history, and my respect is growing exponentially as I'm reading. What makes and breaks in the entertainment industry has come to hold quite a lot of water in developing world political history as it marches across borders and takes over diplomacy with sales, Marvel lately being a great case in point. As Canada had a strong foot in the door of world military history, so have they apparently had a foot in the door of world entertainment history. We hold film creators on pedestals in the United States, so how did Paul Donovan slip past us? I'm still stunned that Lexx disappeared from the Friday Prime lineup on the SciFi Channel, never to be mentioned by SyFy again. What happened???

Sorry, I'm so Lexxcitable. Back to Valdron's book. By the middle of chapter six I was nearly crushed thinking how sad it feels to see such wonderful review writing coming out so tragically late to a world that no longer cares what was breaking through entertainment ice 20 years ago. Reviews and recaps are a dime a dozen nowadays, not even worth that because everyone and their dogs are doing it and you can find a hundred free quickies per TV episode with the push of a little search engine button now. Entire paragraphs in this book would have been gilded in gold and translated and quoted lovingly across a world of fan sites two decades ago, and today they are like finding treasure that barely anyone will notice in a thick soup of automated media bots regurgitating algorithmic overkill. Go. Buy. This. Book.

You can find out more about Den Valdron at

and you can find books by D.G. Valdron on-

A sample excerpt from LEXX: Unauthorized Back Stage at the Dark Zone can be found on Smashwords.

I paused there because I keep saying go buy the book, well, you can EASILY go get that book now. If you clicked some of those links you probably discovered he's a scifi superfan with other great stuff, too. Ok, back to this book.

I've arrived to a section called Taking it the Lexx Level, and I'm reliving scenes as set design discussion rolls into my eyes. This is the kind of stuff I love eating for breakfast. One of the reasons Lexx delightfully intrigues me is exactly what Valdron is saying here, and if this book had been out years sooner, I can already tell you I'd have been satisfied enough not to feel the need to create a fan site to talk about this stuff myself. I'm especially loving the words 'brutality' and 'functionality' and the way Valdron is kicking the tires on spaceships in other shows. The love that went into the realism in Lexx is, point blank, what makes the show for me. They don't flinch. I'm pretty sure Lucas didn't have the ocular parabolae (see what I did there) to muss up his sets, but Valdron is kinder than I am about it. Sort of. I mean, it would've been kinder not to bring it up, but what the hell, let's drag Star Wars into this, too. We've already mocked Star Trek, so why not, right. Comparing Jean Luc Picard and Han Solo to Stanley Tweedle immediately demonstrates why fans personally identify with the harsher realities of Lexx. That Valdron is able to give us visual inspirations around the Salter Street region gives thinking about Lexx and the Dark Zone so much more depth. "Walking around Halifax or St. John you see homes and buildings that are centuries old, you see cities that are built in forced compromise with their geography. This forced compromise appears endlessly in LEXX's interiors, and in the mechanical and biological design of the series." Like Lexx says, "Ouch."

I wanna quote the entire Big Hard Bugs... section and I'm totally holding back. How many fans have worked on backstory for Insect culture and the Insect Wars? I feel like this is Paul Donovan's personal Galaxy Quest hell, frenzied fans wanting more canon, more story, more information, and the Beans all like Yeah, we just thought it up one day *take swigs of beer*. And then Valdron comes along and whispers a disturbing paragraph about the sheer alienness of Insects and suddenly I want time travel to be possible so we can all go back and gang up in Halifax and make it happen, dammit.


Because no one else seems to be making it happen, do they? 🙄

Back to the book.

K, now I'm cheering. Valdron just compared the Gigashadow to the Death Star, omg. 😁

I would love to see a review comparison to other living ships, like Moya from Farscape. Moya had restraints, Lexx's entire physiology is forcibly jutted and hoisted. Sorry, getting carried away. Valdron is to Lexx what Poe is to Halloween. I never want this to end.

Chapter 7 is like finding the original tablet with the ten commandments on them. The Snarkalecs have a set of guidelines for watching scifi shows, and I feel like I just found the Original Gods of SciFi Snark or something. We get a complete set of The Rules regarding filming written by the Supreme Beans themselves, and yes, I was loling. 😂 I'd personally like to get this entire set of rules printed onto a poster and hang it on a prominent wall in my home. If I ever get the spare cash, I will.

I am currently about halfway through the book. Some of you have already thrown things at your screens because I'm not really telling you much, and some of you are struggling with international purchases and feeling frustrated. I might come back and add more later on, or I might move on, but if you are combing the internet for Lexx and actually found this post, there is much better info in Valdron's book, so go hit some links. He put an amazing amount of work into it and then had to work around publishing walls, so thank goodness the world is changing so fast and ebooks are everywhere now, right?