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In some ways, INTERCEPTED is a lot like a role playing game with no dice, no character sheets, and very few rules. It's been nicknamed "the Multiversal Party Line" and consists primarily of in-character conversations between anybody the members care to imagine, against whatever backgrounds they care to use. You may use as many aliases as you like; your own characters, other fictional characters, historical characters, and pretty much any alias nobody else is using is acceptable (note that should the creator of a character join, they do have priority if they want it. And someone like Anne Rice who publically objects to the use of their characters in fanfic should not have them used in here, either.) About the only limit to content is that if it would require this thing to be limited to adults only or grosses out Ye Ed it won't get printed (Hint - if you can't be tasteful, at least be funny.). It is not necessary to contribute to The Cast List (see below) to run a character.
Currently each issue costs $1.75 plus postage (it usually weighs 2-3 oz, bringing the cost to $2.30/$2.52 in the US, higher elsewhere.)I am also willing to trade for interesting fanzines. No back issues are available for volume 1 (it was published in mimeo in 1975 and the one set of copies I have is too uneven and faded to photocopy; yes, this zine has been around for awhile!), back issues are available for all succeeding volumes (write me for prices).
The Electronic Intercepted, as an ascii file containing all the text but none of the artwork is available for free from my website at http://home.earthlink.net/~kayshapero/icindex.htm (at least when I get around to updating it), along with the Cast List and this letter. I will also email copies - if you're interested send me email at email@example.com
Action is roughly divided by independent plot lines which generally do not even take place on the same planet, much less in the same story. Think of a television set. You can switch between watching the news on channel 2, Casablanca on channel 5, and a basketball game on channel 7 at will, and keep track of all three (OK, so maybe you want to throw a VCR into the equation), but you don't get Shaquille O'Neal dribbling the ball through Rick's Cafe Americaín and slam dunking it into the news desk. These are three different programs. (Mind you, if someone WANTS to send a character careening through half a dozen plotlines there's no law against it. (grin)
Anyway.. Current plotlines include the adventures of Phil the Cat and Crystal the Puma who, despite having been dumped into the Hotel Fountain-Boo by the enigmatic "Boo Birds" were doing just fine until Crystal was kidnapped by Mary Sue Myerbeer (see below), who is currently leading a merry chase involving everybody from Phil (of course) to Elmer Fudd. Elsewhere, a gigantic battle between pirates and superheroes recently concluded, leaving the supers with the problem of getting all the folks the pirates kidnapped and enslaved freed of compulsion and sent back home. Not, however, before the captain of the pirate ship dispatched agent Mary Sue Myerbeer to kidnap Crystal (see above). Kei and Yuri are attempting to save the Universe from the Bong (think - “Toon Borg”); those who know them wonder if it’s possible to save the Universe from Kei and Yuri, all this as Edison Carter interviews Lolacuteass on the Bong Bridge. Jazz Jackrabbit is playing a computer game the hard way (he’s in it), and some other people are doing something similar. Others just got married and are off on their respective honeymoons. Some folks serialize stories (currently Mike Capriola’s in the middle of “Splendid Wisdom at the Second Hilltop Castle”, the longest entry thus far in the “writer’s challenge” wherein the writer is handed a packet of random objects and asked to create a story. If you want to play, just ask and I’ll mail you your packet.) And some folks are just sitting about chatting. There are also a LOT of other plotlines about, but these are best discovered by inspection. There’s no reason not to start your own, either!
Another aid to figuring out what is going on here is The Cast List (see, I did get to it eventually), a companion-zine consisting of short bios of various characters involved in INTERCEPTED, plus a fairly complete list of all characters currently in play, which is updated as characters are added or deleted. This is available for $1.00 plus postage with your INTERCEPTED issue. Contributors of a new biography get the next Cast List free.
If I haven't scared you off by this time... There have been traditionally two main approaches to this thing. One is to read it for awhile, try to identify what's going on, and maybe put in a few ads now and then. This usually leads to the reader dropping out in a few issues from frustration. The other, and far more successful approach is to just jump right in with your own stuff and let the other people try to figure YOU out. If you know another member, cooking up something with them so as to get a dialogue going is a good way to do this too. Many a major story has started out as between two people. Sometimes people also post from one character in a well known background (say as Captain Picard from Star Trek) in the interests of attracting other characters from it - if it looks interesting, feel free to respond. If the character you select is in use by someone else, I'll intercept the ad & tell you so worry not.
Finally, Don't Panic (to quote the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy); not even Ye Ed understands everything that's going on!