The ratings system, in Nan's ownwords.
Rating zines, like rating movies, isn't an exactscience. Basically, there are two broad categories: those that aresuitable for children and young teens, and those that aren't -whether for strong language, sexual situations or explicit sex,mature themes (strong emotional intensity), violence, or whateverelse might disturb or upset a young or very sensitive reader. Ratingson one side of the border include G, PG, PG-13; on the other side areR and X, which require an age statement to be sent with an order,attesting that the person ordering is over a specified age and istherefore aware of and accepts mature content. This saves headacheslater for publishers who don't want to be accused of sendingpornography, however defined, through the mails.
The series itself would probably have been ratedPG-13: there's the occasional profanity (as you may have noticed, byits being cut, on Family Channel); people who aren't married havingsex (though implied rather than being graphically filmed), and eventhough the blood doesn't show much, the body count gets pretty highat times and there is considerable violence in all threeseasons.
Here are some general guidelines on ratings:
G - suitable for any reader of any age. Nomature themes or subject matter whatever. No age statementneeded.
PG - Probably not appropriate for youngchildren (under 10, say), and as in movies, for older children, aparent's opinion should probably be asked before ordering. The PGmeans "parental guidance suggested," not "required." No age statementneeded.
PG-13 - Probably not suitable for anyoneunder puberty. Anyone under that age should get a parent's consent toorder. There are at least mature themes and perhaps strong language,violence, implied sex or sexual themes, or any combination of these.If sex is involved, no sexual organs are mentioned except byeuphemism and body parts not customarily exposed for public view arenot discussed in any but a passing way (breasts, for instance). Theemphasis is on emotion, not anatomy. No age statementneeded.
R - contains either graphic violence,extremely crude language, or explicit (but not graphic) sex - thatis, sex acts are described but the story's sole focus isn't sexual.Body parts get mentioned, often in some detail. Age statement isrequired.
X - the story's main focus is sexual orviolent. Either element is graphically described. Age statement isrequired. All of the above have produced fine zines in this fandom,though given the series' focus on chaste (but intense) romance,either G or X rated zines are relatively rare. A rating is not ajudgment on the quality of the zine, only a description of itsorientation in terms of mature material. When rating information wassupplied by the publisher, it's been included. If not, the reviewertook her best guess."