Sime~Gen Inc. Presents
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In April of 1967, as a long-time Science Fiction fan, I (Jacqueline Lichtenberg) became a dedicated, full time fan of the original Star Trek. In 1969, I started selling Sime~Gen Universe stories. Two of those early stories are posted online for free reading, Operation High Time and Channel's Exemption.
Around 1970, about a year after my first story was professionally published, I started publishing Star Trek fiction in Spockanalia and T-Negative, the earliest all-Trekzines. Through the Star Trek fanzines, I met Jean Lorrah, who was already a professionally selling author and whose work showed that professionalism.
When Trek was cancelled fandom erupted in a frenzy of superheated activity. As a professional writer and having grown up in a journalism oriented household, I recognized a hot news story and began researching fandom in order to write that story -- aiming at the New York Times.
Fandom grew too fast, and after five years of hard work, the article became the book STAR TREK LIVES! which was published in 1975 by Bantam Books.
Read more detail on how Star Trek Lives! relates to the first fan fiction ever professionally published, Star Trek: The New Voyages edited by Sondra Marshak and Myrna Culbreath.
In that book, I used research based on my Kraith Series of Star Trek fanzine stories to support a thesis about why ST affected so many people so intensely. Kraith at that time was being created by over 50 people - twenty years later, it was the first to win the prestitious Memory Alpha Surak Award. In STL! I capped the evidence I presented there with research based on my own first novel, House of Zeor, (click to read free chapters) the first Sime~Gen novel to be published (in 1974).
While writing Star Trek Lives! and selling Sime~Gen fiction, I met Gene Roddenberry and asked for and received his consent to create The Star Trek Welcommittee. And when we sold STAR TREK LIVES! to Bantam, a year after my first Sime~Gen novel was published by Doubleday, Star Trek Welcommittee went into high gear and handled the mail generated by STL!'s immense popularity (it went 8 printings before the data in it was deemed obsolete by Bantam -- because fandom burgeoned so rapidly as a result of the conventions and this book and generated hundreds of letters a month from ST fans who had never been in touch with organized sf fandom).
In 1975, Jean Lorrah, who later became famous for her New York Times Bestselling Star Trek novels, (to find a list of Jean Lorrah's novels, type "Jean Lorrah" (like that - in quotes) in the search slot below and click "Book Search.") had found STL! on the stands, and had been surprised that fandom survived the demise of the show. She promptly re-launched her career in fan writing and quickly created a series of ST stories (called the Night of the Twin Moons universe stories) which eclipsed Kraith in popularity.
Both these fanzine universes, Kraith and NTM, are treated in depth in an article in The New York Times titled "Spock Among The Women" by Camille Bacon Smith, November 16, 1986 Book Review section 7. (go to http://www.nytimes.com -- sign up for a membership, and click "Sections" "Books" "Book Reviews" and then search the Books Archives on "Jacqueline Lichtenberg" to find the review of "Channel's Destiny" or search Book Archives on "Camille Bacon-Smith" to find "Spock Among The Women." )
"Among the Women" later became the nucleus of Camille Bacon Smith's book Enterprising Women, Television Fandom and the Creation of Popular Myth which was published in hardcover by University of Pennsylvania Press and quickly became a best seller in fandom. Bacon-Smith has gone on to found a career in fiction writing and every novel she's done has this review column's highest recommendation. Note: I first met Bacon-Smith through Judy Segal, who was then an official of Star Trek Welcommittee and a dear friend.
In 1974, when Jean Lorrah encountered word of House of Zeor being published by the originator of Kraith, she promptly wrote a review of it for a Star Trek fanzine, and her review was titled "Vampire in Muddy Boots" which I promptly asked her permission to distribute to all the then-known Sime~Gen fen. Jean got a complimentary copy of the first Sime~Gen fanzine for her review, and wanted the next issue -- so she wrote a story for it.
Eventually, in the mid-1970's, that led to a series of Sime~Gen novels by Jean and me, and then Jean alone, published by Doubleday in hardcover, and various publishers in paperback, including DAW books. Our first full collaboration, First Channel, was finished at the first Shore Leave, the Star Trek Convention where Jean created the concept for her Savage Empire novels. (NOTE: upon going online, we changed the colophon from Sime/Gen to Sime~Gen)
At the same time, Jean founded her own series of novels, called Savage Empire, and published by Signet and Playboy in paperback. Right after that, she started selling Star Trek novels which hit the New York Times bestseller lists. In the meantime, Jean brought the famous Star Trek fanzine editor Winston Howlett (who wrote and edited the 'zine CAPTAIN UHURA) into the ranks of professional writers by co-authoring a novel in her Savage Empire series with him titled Wolfston's Oddysey. You can still find it for sale online. And now you will find Winston Howlett as one of the movers and shakers behind Galactic League, hosted here.
To this day, Joan Winston (one of the co-authors of Star Trek Lives! and later author of several Trek books), Jean Lorrah and I do panels and appearances at Star Trek conventions and SF conventions. And Joan Winston is still active in ST fandom, editing a Trekzine with stories about Riker. (great stories, too.)
The scriptwriter who did the script for the Sime~Gen feature film, Anne Phyllis Pinzow, also came into my life through Star Trek. She attended one of the talks I gave on Star Trek at a local library, and we became friends. Jean Lorrah, Anne and I often room together at cons.
At the time I discovered Trek, I had been an active science fiction fan for over 10 years. At the time I started to publish trekfic in fanzines I had been a professional writer for over a year. I recognized in Star Trek the first "real" science fiction on television. Why? Because of the character, Spock, and how that character was handled both by the producer and by the writers.
My main interest in science fiction is now and always has been focused on nonhumans, and/or human-variants, and the Relationships that can (and can not) be developed across the inherent gulf between human and nonhuman. My own fiction reflects that interest in Relationships as the determining force behind all Action - be it Action/Adventure or Action-Warfare. And so Gerald Jonas, the New York Times Science Fiction Book Reviewer, who reviewed my novels extensively, called my writing (in my paraphrasing) "Science Fiction Soap" -- and I agree whole heartedly.
Here is a quote from the January 23rd, 1983 New York Times Book Review column by Gerald Jonas: (I found this posted online along with a few of the other reviews of my things since 1980.)
"When I read the first novel in the Sime/Gen series - ''House of Zeor,'' published in 1974 - I had trouble deciding whether it was science fiction as pornography or science fiction as soap opera. On reading ''Channel's Destiny,'' the fifth and latest novel to draw on the Sime/Gen background, I realized that these books combine some of the qualities of both porn and the soaps - and, through a curious synergy, it is precisely this mix of genres that makes them so satisfying as science fiction."
Science Fiction - discovered when I was 10 years old (I've been an active SF fan since 7th grade) - is braided tightly together in my life with Star Trek, and those two colorful threads which have brought me most of my friends are braided very tightly indeed into the mystical side of my being.
None of my fiction published to date is overtly mystical -- but all of it has solid mystical foundations with deep and complex philosophical themes, (very much as Star Trek does). In general, I prefer to read fiction of that sort - complex, deep, exploring the Unknown sides of Life, but never letting the abstract overshadow the telling of a good story.
Using Mysticism as the "science" in my science fiction, and searching for that tendency in other writers, I have now found myself involved in the second nonfiction writing project of my lifetime (other than the review column here) -- The Biblical Tarot.
And that, too, is inextricably intertwined with Star Trek, which I explain in the introduction to "Never Cross A Palm With Silver."
I'll insert that Acknowledgements page of PALM here below to illustrate this point. Star Trek is a solid part of everything mentioned on this website, and not in any superficial way either. (Many of the explanations of the Tarot Cards in my other volumes in the Biblical Tarot Series use television shows like Trek, or even episodes of Trek, and many of the review columns here discuss Trek episodes in depth to illustrate some esoteric point of Magick.)
But first note this:
AUGUST 31, 2004
The sequel to the docudrama Trekkies, titled
Trekkies 2, is released featuring Jacqueline Lichtenberg as one of the
principle people interviewed.
Note that Joan Winston is a co-author of Star Trek Lives! and one of the original Star Trek Convention Committee in New York. She has several Star Trek non-fiction books to her credit but I've read some of her fiction and it's even better. This below is from the Trekkies 2 website (www.trekkies2.com)
Robert Meyer Burnett
David A. Goodman
Get your DVD, VHS or soundtrack recording.
|simegen.com contributors with a ST background||Where to find contributions on simegen.com|
|Kip Grimes||Fan art contributed to Companion In Zeor Issue #21|
|Sharon Jarvis||Literary Agent and Screen Agent|
|Sharon Emily||Star Trek Showcase - /Inspirational/SF/Romance Fanfic available for free reading.|
|Claire Gabriel||Rare and long unavailable Quartet Plus Two now available for free reading. Claire's professional writing career began long before Star Trek. Read all about her here.|
From Never Cross A Palm With Silver
Tarot belongs to an area of endeavor which cannot be taught as science is taught but can only be learned. So I must first acknowledge, in no particular order, three people with whom I've learned much, with whom I've conducted the seminars from which the material in the book is drawn, and whose advent in my life demonstrates the need for a spiritual model of reality beyond the scientific.
Katie Filipowicz wrote me my first fan letter for my first published original novel. We later met for the first time at a Star Trek convention where I read her name tag and promptly enlisted her aid during an autographing session. She inevitably was drawn into our group's exploration of the spiritual dimensions of reality.
Anne Pinzow was terrified of the Devil card when she first walked into my house and saw a Tarot layout on the kitchen table. Within a few years, she became much sought after as a Tarot reader, respected all over the East Coast. Using that reputation, she, together with Roberta Klein-Mendelson, another reputable Tarot reader, founded a gathering called Esotericon and drew all of us into the project.
Roberta got the idea for Esotericon from reading Marion Zimmer Bradley's Mists of Avalon. Marion had years before given me my first introduction to astrology and related occult disciplines to establish a mutual language in which she could explain to me what was lacking in my fiction.
To date, Esotericon has spun off three other esoteric gatherings: Ecumenicon, Ethericon and Sacred Space.
At about the time Marion introduced me to astrology, Judy Thomasses introduced me to Tarot, which I soon discovered Marion also knew. At that time, Judy was a beginner, but now she's a well established and respected practitioner and teacher of astrology and Tarot.
There is an invisible thread that ties all these people together: Star Trek.
I got Judy involved in the Trek conventions because she loved the show. I read Tarot in public for the first time at a Trek convention. I met Anne at a talk I gave at a library on the Bantam paperback Star Trek Lives! which I co-authored. I met my sometime collaborator Jean Lorrah through two friends I first knew via Trek fandom. Jean was already well versed in Tarot, astrology and palmistry, which helped us collaborate. The same two Trek friends introduced me to Marion. And Roberta came to me through my activities in the fandom surrounding Marion's Darkover novels. (to find a list, search "Darkover" in the search slot below.)
So this book comes to you ultimately because of Gene Roddenberry (1921-1991), creator of Star Trek and one of the greatest men of our century. Though his primary orientation was scientific, and he displayed little interest in the occult, his fictional emphasis was on the growth of human wisdom. That, ultimately, is what Tarot is about.
If you read my review column here online, you'll find many, many more Star Trek Links revealed. Just click on the date in the left column of the tables on these pages to go right to the relevant column.
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