HOW TO BE AN X-PHILE WITHOUT BEING A GEEK
BY DANIEL RADOSH
The truth is out there. And over there. And look, there it is. Heck, the truth is everywhere these days. It's splattered across the Internet like so much alien goo. It's stacked up in bookstores like top-secret files in a government warehouse. It shines forth from newsstands like beams from high-powered flashlights pointed at the camera. When it comes to The X-Files, the truth is all over the gosh-darned place.
When the Fox network launched the science fiction/horror/detective hybrid in September 1993, few people — including David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson, who play FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully — believed it would still be around five years later. Today it is more popular than ever. New episodes draw up to 16 million viewers each week, not counting growing audiences in countries from Japan to Switzerland to Croatia. It has racked up more than 25 industry awards, including a best actress Emmy for Anderson and Golden Globes for both leads and for the series. An ambitious big-screen version is on the way. But The X-Files phenomenon is larger than the show itself. X-philes wanting to look beyond the tube can turn to books with titles like The X-Files Declassified, to Internet sites and newsgroups like alt.tv.x-files, to magazines and even CD-ROMs, and to the touring ''X-Files Expo,'' coming next weekend to the Coconut Grove Convention Center. There has never been a better time to be an X-Files fan.
But there is a better way to be an X-Files fan. Do you own more than one of those books? Do you regularly check the Web sites? Have you ever actually identified yourself as an X-phile? If so — how can one put this gently? — do you have any friends? Meaning real-world friends, not ScullyGuy@aol.com.