FAQ for alt.startrek.creative.erotica.moderated
ASCEM, A Guide to Infinite Combinations.
Updated: Moderation, Admin Team
Table of Contents:
I. An Introduction
A. An Introduction
C. More on that
II. How things Work
A. Moderation Process
B. E-mail and Newsgroup Delivery
C. Moderation verse Censorship
D. Technical Process
E. The Admin Team
III. Reading, Posting, Replying
D. Technical Guidelines
IV. Discussion of Stories and Ideas
A. Stories and Ideas
C. Critique and Debate
V. Writing Stories
E. Formatting Suggestions
F. Codes and Labels Pointer
VI. Special Posts and Services
A. Status of Stories
C. The Archive
D. Golden Orgasms
E. ASCEM NOONE
D. Archive Team
I. An Introduction
--A. An Introduction
In the beginning there was the word, and the ... oops, wrong FAQ.
This is the FAQ and purpose of
alt.startrek.creative.erotica.moderated (ASCEM), a USENET
newsgroup, the successor to alt.sex.fetish.startrek (ASFS) and
alt.startrek.creative.erotica (ASCEM) Please read in its
"alt.startrek.creative.erotica.moderated is a newsgroup for the
lustful devotion to Star Trek characters, technology, and ideas.
More specifically, it is for erotic Star Trek fan fiction ranging
from mild to NC-17."
--C. More on that
ASCEML is how we refer to the mailing list version of ASCEM,
which gets everything that goes to the newsgroup. We are a
moderated group, which means we don’t accept spam. That’s our
only restriction. The charter you see above is as it appears on
the new group message sent out in 1997. I should note that the
more specifically phrase should probably be worded center of
group, as the group's reason for being is that, but you will see
quite a bit of chatter not associated with a particular story.
Our sister groups are alt.startrek.creative (ASC) and
--D. The Admin Team (Divinity Conveyed)
With the retirement of the Divine Dina, an Admin Team has stepped
up to take over the job of moderating. As it has been the habit
of this FAQ throughout the years to convey Divinity on the
Our Senior Moderator and FAQ Maintainer is Stephen, who has been
serving as FAQ Maintainer for a number of years, as well as Senior
Moderator of our sister group alt.startrek.creative.all-ages.
You may hear him referred to as Old Man ASC due to his tenure in
the hierarchy and large number of jobs. He's also our archivist.
The Divine Sileya has the honor of being Second Moderator as well
as the Duty Moderator of ASCEM-S. She's also one of our website
Her Highness Birgit, aka Acidqueen is Third Moderator as well as
our Status of Stories FAQ Maintainer, and member of the Awards
The Most Logical Sorlak is Fourth Moderator, as well a back up for
Sileya on ASCEM-S.
At this time we have one opening for a moderator on ASCEM.
Also on our Admin Team is Cait N., who serves as an Categorizer and
Chief Assistant for the Golden Os Awards.
Our Stories Only Feed (ASCEMS) is lead by the Divine Sileya with
moderation assistance by Stephen, Sorlak, and Constable Katie of
the Archive Team.
The Admin Team would be remiss not to mention that one of our
predecessors in the Moderation job, Jen Ingram, aka La Demonessa,
is still on the group and often provides us with good advice.
If she's not careful, we'll draft her back.
II. How things Work
--A. Moderation Process
ASCEM(L) is moderated through a process known as a white list.
Accounts subscribed via the yahoogroup (ASCEML) are given
moderation free posting rights after a few posts are determined
to not be subscribed for spam purposes.
Moderation is currently done by the Admin Team, who goes and
approves posts that are from accounts not yet white listed or
posts that arrive via the newsgroup moderation account (ascem
) They also white lists accounts.
--B. E-mail and Newsgroup Delivery
You can receive ASCEM via two methods:
1. Newsgroup Delivery
This is via your Internet Service Provider’s Newsserver,
Look for the newsgroup alt.startrek.creative.erotica.moderated
2. E-mail Delivery
Via the yahoo group ASCEML
E-mail: asceml-subscribe yahoogroups.com
There is also a stories only version via ASCEMS
E-mail: ascem-s-subscribe yahoogroups.com
--C. Moderation vs. Censorship
Moderation is not Censorship. The Admin Teams only allowed to
reject posts that are defined as spam (advertisements,
chain-letters, or cross-posted all over the universe). They can
not reject posts because she hates you (she most likely doesn’t
know you) or doesn’t like the sexual content or pairings. This
is an equal opportunity perversion posting newsgroup.
The Current FAQ Maintainer will note that there have been debates
about content restrictions that have even included his own works.
We intend to never go down the slippery slope of restricting what
one can or can not do in a story.
--D. Technical Process
A post can enter the newsgroup via one of two ways. Via the
newsgroup, or via the mailing list. The latter of these is the
quickest to get to the group.
A post to the newsgroup on a properly configured server will
result in that post being e-mailed to the Divine Moderators.
They, on a regular basis, goes through these e-mails and forwards
them to the mailing list.
A post to the mailing list, should the address not be on the
white list yet (and our Divine Moderators adds people to this
white list on a regular basis) will also wait for her attention.
Once a post gets to the mailing list, it goes out to everyone who
kept their account set to e-mail them. It also goes to our mail
to news interface, created by Randall Raemon, which then sends it
with the proper headers to the newsgroup.
Occasionally, a new poster will wonder what takes his or her
posts so long to get out. That's because the Divine Moderators
are not, nor should they be, on duty 24-7. Except for Stephen,
who as we all know doesn't have a life, he has a program.
--E. Stories Only Feed
ASCEM provides a service via its ASCEM-S yahoogroup of a story
only feed. Posting a story to ASCEM(L) is considered permission
to forward to ASCEM-S, as well as archive at Trekiverse, unless
otherwise noted in the header.
The ASCEM-S moderation team forwards any story post to ASCEM-S that
it finds. During this process, the subject line and story header
is made to conform to the FAQs. If you are ever unsure if you did
your header and subject line right, you can check the ASCEM-S feed
III. Reading, Posting, Replying
Thanks to the wonders of moderation, ASCEML consists of stories,
discussions about stories and related things, and no spam.
Stories can be quickly identified by their title as found in the
title line and message header, usually accompanied by a morass of
codes traditionally referred to as "alphabet soup". Later in
this FAQ you’ll get an explanation of those, and the Codes FAQ
(which we share with alt.startrek.creative) will give a full list
If you're new to newsgroups or mailing lists, please read quietly
for a bit so as to get the tone and temper of our group. This is
called "lurking", and is an honored tradition on much of USENET.
Sometimes newsgroup regulars will go to lurker status for a
while, if they're overwhelmed by real life, tired of some thread,
or need a break. Lurkers are just as valued here as anyone
else, and in fact a majority of folks here *are* lurkers. So it
doesn't matter that you don't have much to say. You're still
Firstly, don't send advertisements, binaries, or cross-posts. It
wastes your time and ours, and they won't get past the spambot or
the moderator. Secondly, try and be courteous. It's a very
good idea to send your messages in fixed-width, plain-text
format, simply because that way, everyone can read it. A line
width of not more than 72 characters is *strongly* recommended.
Most word processing programs can be set to do this
If you're replying to someone else's message, please don't quote
their entire message when you're responding to just one point.
It wastes space and time. Use common sense and you'll be doing
the right thing. Please keep your messages to around 50K in size,
for technical reasons as well as kindness to people who use slow,
modems (like the FAQ Maintianer). In addition, some ISPs, like
aol, chop off posts that are longer than that, meaning folks
can't read half of your story.
The nature of UseNet means that topics frequently segue into one
another and threads can get wildly off-topic. One helpful way to
avoid confusion is to rename the subject header of the message if
you feel it doesn't reflect its content any longer. We do debate
things over and over, but we're usually a tolerant bunch of
people. We try not to be a clique; The Vulcan IDIC (Infinite
Diversity in Infinite Combinations) holds true here. Now and
then we all fall from grace, but we'll get up and try again.
--D. Technical Guidelines
For those unsure of how to measure 50k, in most word processing
programs 50k ends up being about 16 pages of plain text. 1000
70-character lines also is a good guide here. Don't post in HTML
IV. Discussion of Stories and Ideas
--A. Stories and Ideas
If it's Star Trek, and it's yours, we have no objection. If it's
not yours, have permission before posting. That's all I'll say
on the subject, and all I should have to.
The authors of the fan-fiction posted here don't get paid for
their work, so a compliment is the best they're hoping for and
the nicest way of giving thanks. If you have something to say
about a story, please say it. It doesn't matter if you'd prefer
to send it privately to the author or would rather reply to the
list (as most of us do). Many times the author themselves will
state what sort of feedback, if any, they would like, and whether
they prefer public or private feedback.
Be sensible; feedback like "This story sucked!" is not real
helpful. But if all you can think of is "Wow, I loved it!" --
authors need hugs too. Plain insults are not constructive. If
something didn't work for you and you're bothered by it enough to
write to the author, a comment such as "I had trouble
understanding why you did X with character Y" is much more
helpful to them and might be returned with an explanation of why
they wrote it that way.
--C. Critique and Debate
Public discussion of various stories happens a lot, and more
often than not the authors themselves are heavily involved. Try
to exercise courtesy if you want to argue a point, because this
is the best way to get along well enough to do this. Again, this
is simple common sense. Critical acclaim and attack are usually
welcomed on this list, but be prepared to back up your opinions
and discuss them as the rest of us do. And please respect if an
author has said they does not want negative feedback. It's hard
to put our babies out there on the firing line, and sometimes an
author just is not ready to deal with bad news. Many others
welcome feedback, though
Also, some authors are not native English speakers, so keep that
in mind. English is tough to learn if you didn't speak it as a
V. Writing Stories
There is a very good chance that you don't own Star Trek. So
acknowledge that fact. Something like "Star Trek is property of
Viacom Inc. I'm not earning one red cent from it. (Just a few
green ones.)" This is a good idea. It covers you and us.
This raises two points: (a) you can be amusing in the disclaimer,
if you want to be; (b) you *cannot* sell these stories. Even if
you have the author's permission -- even if you happen to be the
author! It's illegal, and ParaBorg has legions of Ferengi
lawyers with nothing better to do than go after copyright
violators. Fan-fic is recognized as a "fair-use" usage of the
copyrighted material -- but if you sell it somewhere, they *will*
hunt you down and beam your atoms into space. (Making you watch
bad movies is another fandom)
The Story header and Subject line are very important. If you
don't follow them, the Archive Team have hired Morag and Kozek to
hunt you down. We'll also put your story at the back of the
The Subject Line consists of (in this order): Postname, Series,
Title, Parts, Codes, Rating.
NEW TNG Morag's Dinner Guest 1/1 (viol) [R]
N2U ENT Hoshi, Girl Genius 1/4 (angst) [PG-13]
REP DS9 Never on Sunday 1/7 (Qu/Grilka) [NC-17]
REV VOY Wicked 8/31 (J/C, P/T, bdsm) [NC-17]
You'll find a list of what these parts mean in the Codes FAQ,
The Story Header is a little beginning that makes the archive
team's job just a little easier. The data you see in it will be
ported directly into the Archive's Index, and I don't change
things quickly. The lines are:
Title: Full Title of your Story
Author: Your name as you wish it to appear in the Index
Contact: how to get a hold of you
Series: Series and Subseries this is written in
Rating: MPAA rating and why
Part: 1/6 or the like
Codes: The pairings and story type of your story
Summary: 3-5 lines telling what your story is about. (With a blank
line after it)
Include it. Your readers will find it easier, and you won't have
to talk with Morag and Kozek.
ASCEM(L) wants your treksmut! Any erotic, pornographic, smutty,
sexy, romantic, etc. fic you'd care to share with us is
appreciated, so long as you base it in one of the Star Trek
timelines or even an alternate universe for one or more of them.
Bring 'em on!
Your story doesn't need to feature familiar characters, although
most stories do. It doesn't need to include sexual or adult-only
situations either, although if you're primarily writing
non-erotic stories then you ought to think about posting them to
ASCA or ASC instead. (Incidentally, ASC welcomes *all* Trekfic,
including erotica.) You can also post stories without actual sex
-- we call those UST, for "unresolved sexual tension". We also
welcome parodies, humour, filksongs, poems, etc. If it's got
Trek and sex, we want it.
Equally, authors here don't limit themselves to heterosexual,
"vanilla" explorations of sex. There's a lot of different
material here, going all the way from m/f just kissing, to dark,
disturbing, and seriously kinky. ASCEM(L) is about diversity as
much as Star Trek and sex itself are about diversity. Read the
codes and the warnings, and if something strikes you as eww, way
gross, just remember: Mr. Delete Key is your friend!
We have content guidelines based on what we've found works best.
We don't have style guidelines; art is subjective, after all. The
best style advice is to have some! What that style might be is
entirely up to you.
However, remember that your work will be read by most people on a
screen, not a printed page. This means that single-spaced lines
of text in block paragraphs, separated by a clear line (as in
this FAQ), are preferred to indented paragraphs. Web browsers
tend to eat the indents, as do quite a few other programs, and
your story can end up looking like one huge run-on paragraph --
which makes it hard on the reader. You can still add indents if
you like -- I do. But it's best not to rely on them alone.
The USENET convention is to use *asterisks* for emphasis (what
might otherwise be in italics). ALL CAPS is only used when a
character is shouting. Asterisks are also found separating a
character's inner thoughts from speech, as is the //double
slash// (however this is also used for telepathic speech). Try
to be consistent once you have a preference. The underscore is
sometimes used similarly, and also for names given in italics.
Some of us have used hyphens or <<>>. Doesn't matter much, just
pick what you like and stick to it. Remember that
word-processing codes like bold and underline and italics will
not come through in ASCII text. Likewise, accented letters,
word-processing hyphens, non-Roman-alphabet characters etc. will
show up as garbage codes, and many readers will just say "aw,
screw it" and delete it unread. Stick to plain old boring ASCII
text and you won't go wrong. All word processing programs have
an export-to-plain-text feature; specifics vary, but you *can* do
this. And your readers will be forever grateful.
--E. Formatting Suggestions
Please post in fixed-width, plain-text format. Anything that
isn't ASCII text will be zapped, either by the spambots, or by
our moderator. They might also have to be fixed before archiving
by the archive team.
Also, if you find you're posting a long story and it's totaling
more than 50K or so, please try to find a suitable point to break
it into two or more posts. Longer posts may not be seen in full
or, at best, will annoy the "slow, flaky modem" contingent. This
still includes the Senior Moderator. With this in mind, please
make it obvious which post is which story segment. The best
thing to do is include a part number in the title line, like
"1/3," and to repeat that part number at the end of each post,
like "End of part one of three." This way, folks know they've
got the whole post and none of it got chopped off.
--F. Codes and Labels Pointer
The Codes FAQ can be found at:
It is also posted along with this FAQ and to ASC monthly.
VI. Special Posts and Services
--A. Status of Stories
Special post you'll find is the "Status of Stories" posts; the
SOS is a monthly listing of stories posted to the group, a bit
like an index. These are compiled by the SOS maintainers, who are
more lovely volunteer folks who work hard so all of us can enjoy.
SOS is the place to check and see if your story made it into the
archive intake queue or not.
This is the primary FAQ for ASCEM, but you'll also wish to check
out these other FAQs for this and our sister newsgroups:
The FAQ that tells exactly what all those letters mean in the
header. Posted along with this FAQ and weekly on ASC
Primary FAQ for alt.startrek.creative Posted weekly on ASC
Reader's Guide ...
A Reader's Guide to ASC, known for it's different format.
Advice for Authors ...
Detailed guide to ASC* from the Author's perspective.
Mannerly Art of Crit ...
By Peg Robinson. Posted Monthly on ASC and as needed on ASCEM.
A guide to how to criticize a story.
Mannerly Art of Disagreement ...
By Macedon. Posted Monthly on ASC and as needed on ASCEM. How
to keep your temper when the group gets hot.
--C. The Archive
The group's archive is know as Trekiverse, and can be reached at:
By default, all posts to ASCEML are archived. You have to tell
us not to.
The Archive Team currently consists of many volunteers and is led
by Constable Katie, and the Insufficiently Reluctant Guy whose
writing this FAQ.
--D. Golden Orgasms
The Golden Os are the annual Awards for this newsgroup, and are
held in February. They comprise the stories posted within the
prior calender year. Due to staffing issues, this year they were
held in May, but usually they occur in February before the ASC
Awards on our sister group, alt.startrek.creative.
The GOs consist of the top 3 vote getters from all stories posted
for various categories via the 5x2 rule. Further explanation on
voting and categorization can be found in their FAQ.
For the past three years, the winners were announced with an Awards
Dinner post. It is hoped that this will be an annual tradition.
Status of Stories FAQ
Golden Os Coordinator
Assistant At Large
--D. Archive Team
This FAQ was prepared mainly from the text of Greywolf, my
predecessor in this job, after the fully rewritten version got
swallowed by a hard drive crash. Revision assistance: DataLaur,
Previously this FAQ was written by Ned Fox and substantially
revised by Greywolf the Wanderer; Thanks to Ruth Gifford (author
of the original FAQ), and to many other contributors.
Thanks also to those other hard workers in the newsgroup (I can't
do everything, and how would you like to take on ...) The writers
ASC* FAQ Maintainer
ASCEM messages are copied to a mailing list. Most recent messages
can be found at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ASCEML