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The questions on this page are recent ones (2003) that have been culled from a variety of sources. They were destined for a future issue of HCI, that never was released.

Editor's note: The fan asking the queston will be identified by first name. JL is Jacqueline Lichtenberg. Jean is Jean Lorrah. Anyone else whose answer is used will be identified by first and last name unless he/she requests otherwise.


Katherine: how does the need cycle inter-relate to a sime women's hormonal cycle? If the need cycle is disrupted, does it also disrupt her hormonal cycle? And if the hormonal cycle is disrupted, what does that do to the need cycle?

Jean: A female Sime whose need cycle is disrupted also has her hormonal cycle disrupted. Female Freeband Raiders, for example, are sexually promiscuous (they stay post most of the time), but very rarely bear children because they disrupt their cycles all the time. On a normal 27- to 30-day cycle, transfer triggers ovulation, and menstruation begins on a woman's turnover day.

We have not explored the effects of hormonal disruption other than pregnancy, which of course shortens the cycle--but that is because of the baby's selyn needs. As Sime women do not drop dead at menopause (once they start living that long), it is unlikely that the _mere_ disruption of the hormonal cycle causes disruption of the need cycle. However, disruption of the hormone cycle other than pregnancy or menopause is caused either by various forms of stress or by disease--and that stress or disease would also affect the need cycle.

David: Also, another point of curiosity, there is at least one place where the lack of homosexuality is mentioned. Why is that? Did we as a race outgrow it? What other deviations from the norm have we outgrown?

Jean: None that are part of human possibilities, although a good many that once were confined to the sexual arena now manifest in the transfer situation. And the only people who cannot be gay are channels. The rest of the S~G population has the same percentage of gays as the Ancient population. Jean



HANNAH: Do Simes wear different sleeve lengths than Gens, to accommodate their tentacles. Do they wear their cuffs higher on the arm to allow for freedom of tentacle movement.

JL: In Nivet Territory, elbow length sleeves are the most you ever see except in the dead of winter. For mere chilly weather, the cloak with arm slits usually suffices. (Simes have better body-temperature control than Gens -- they can just augment a little to make more body-heat -- which has it's downside of course when Need is a factor.)

Hannah:And if they don't, can a cleverly designed sleeve hide tentacles from view sothat a Sime can at least casually conceal his/her attributes and identity.

JL: As Andrea Alton has pointed out in her ICY NAGER stories, yes of course. But only in the dark and/or where the Gens aren't looking for Simes.

Hannah: Also, are the tentacles ever viewed as an "erogenous zone" such as breasts are, and would they be covered for modesty's sake.

JL: Now that's a point that hasn't been raised before. Yes of COURSE tentacles (especially laterals) are erogenous zones, and of course SOME cultures somewhere would restrict the display of such in public.

This also might be an outgrowth of the 'retainer laws.'

This is a MOST INTERESTING topic that I haven't considered at any length or depth. Betcha the Tigues have though.

Jean: In-T both larities wear elbow-length sleeves at most, as pre-Unity Pen Gens are considered "available" at any time and are dressed in yawals--a cross between a poncho and a T-shirt, but about knee-length, similar to the smock that was the basic garment for both sexes through the entire Middle Ages in Europe. Householding Gens pre-Unity and Free Gens post-Unity keep their forearms bare so that they are free to serve any Sime who needs or requires to touch them, as practically any function is performed with a transfer grip. Hence the popularity of capes for warmth in cold weather.

Out-T Gens of course wear whatever is in fashion, and would generally AVOID anything that looked like Sime fashion.

Hannah: And if they don't, can a cleverly designed sleeve hide tentacles from view so that a Sime can at least casually conceal his/her attributes and identity.

Jean: Yes, of course. Now, Simes have that ultra-Kate Moss physique, of course, but as human faces do not reflect body type, a Sime can theoretically pass in a crowd of Gens by wearing loose, long-sleeved clothing. Walk down the street, yes. Live day-to-day undiscovered in a Gen community, no way.

Hannah: Also, are the tentacles ever viewed as an "erogenous zone" such as breasts are, and would they be covered for modesty's sake.

Jean: What a neat idea! If you remember, the Simes of Fort Freedom were ashamed of their tentacles, and kept them retracted as much as possible. But this idea is different. It's the first spark of world-building a different society--what ELSE is different there? One thing we know: it can't be a junct society, for a junct society has no time for such niceties. It has to be a nonjunct society in which transfer is the norm.

Unlike Madagascar, where Simes are dominated by Gens in the way that men dominated women throughout most of the history of Western culture, this might be a society where Simes are completely enslaved, sold, and used for the pleasure of their Gen masters. OTOH, it could be a Victorian society in which the focus is on transfer rather than sex as the unmentionable act to be performed under only the most strictly controlled conditions.



Hannah: I've read MAHOGANY TRINROSE and have some idea what the "endowment" is, but only a sketchy one. I gather that this is high-level psychic powers (telekinesis, teleportation, long-range telepathy, etc.) which only certain Channels and Donors can do?

Jean: That's right--though it's all consistent with the abilities Simes and Gens have demonstrated pre-TRINROSE, just an extension of those powers. It's all connected to transfer mechanics.

Hannah: Is this an intermittent phenomenon outside the control of the Endowed person, manifesting only when necessary? Or is it a controllable, consistent set of abilities which are then trained, enhanced, and used for the benefit of the community?

Jean: At first it is the former. Obviously a person can learn to control it, and like any power it can be used for benefit of self or community, for good or evil. In and of itself, it is neutral power.



Robert: I've just finished re-reading UNTO and HOZ (first time for both in >almost 20 years!), and the experience has left me with some burning questions. First, notice that because Illyana and Digen were matchmates, just her physical proximity was enough to cause Digen to go nuts... and he almost completed an illegal transfer with her right under Mickland's nose... an event that could have resulted in Digen going through public attrition. All of this, even without any actual selyn flow between them.

Hugh and Klyd are also matchmates, so I'm assuming that Klyd's attraction would have been as strong, and as difficult to overcome, as Digen's. Yet after he burns Hugh, there is a long period of time where the two of them are at Zeor, and from the description in the novel, Klyd doesn't appear to be having any undue problems.

Jean :They HAD transfer, so he was satisfed, unlike Digen. Robert: Is this entirely due to the fact that the book is from Hugh's viewpoint? It still seems to me that Klyd would have taken great pains to avoid contact with him... instead, they go off travelling together!

Jean: It's partly because of Hugh's POV, partly because Klyd does not understand this kind of dependency, and partly because Klyd is in deep, deep denial. Remember, Klyd believes all LOT relationships are myth. At this point in the history of the S/G universe, no channels and Donors have reached the levels of production/consumption that Klyd and Hugh will reach by ZD, years later--and that includes Klyd and Hugh! It really isn't that deep a dependency yet, and Klyd has no criteria by which to judge what it is capable of becoming.

Robert: Further question: during their first, aborted transfer, Hugh briefly wrests control from Klyd, who then wrests it back and continues to draw until Hugh's body is a mass of pain. Wouldn't this be enough to qualify as a junct-mode transfer? If so, it would make Klyd semi-junct, would it not?

Jean: Not semi-junct (he never actually kills), but in Digen's day he would be labeled technically junct, like Digen. No one understands this distinction in Klyd's day--thank goodness. All that man needs on top of his other stress is to go around fearing he might actually be tempted to kill! He won't be; he is psychologically as nonjunct as he ever was, and physically his only lack of control concerns Hugh, who can handle him easily. Jean

Robert: OK, so now I'm curious about the possible difference between the (aborted) transfer at the beginning of HOZ, and the glorious one at the end. Klyd obviously establishes Hugh as a 4+; Hugh gains the ability to sense fields, etc. But what about Klyd? Would this transfer have flooded his junct pathways as no transfer before it? Would there have been some movement in these pathways even during the first one?

Jean: Quite probably. You have to understand that at the time of HOZ no one knows or cares. My guess would be that it is Klyd who discovers the meaning of selyn movement in those particular pathways, and that is what leads to his final attempt to break with Hugh, which in turn leads to Hugh's suicide. But you'll have to ask Jacqueline about that.

BTW, any fairly high Donor can sense fields, not directly, but from his/her own responses to Simes. Hence all that, "How do they _do_ that?" confusion among Simes not used to having Companions around, when the Gens automatically move to balance the fields any time there is a shift in the ambient. The Gens are not really conscious of what they are doing--they simply sense Sime discomfort and move to alleviate it. Jean

David: Excuse me, I seemed to have missed something somewhere. Hugh's >suicide? Where am I missing this reference? Please fill me in.

Jean: It's in the zines somewhere. Sometime after ZD (exact time frame not established), Klyd breaks with Hugh on philosophical principles, refusing to acknowledge their dependency (which is about like refusing to acknowledge an elephant in the middle of your living room). Suffering from underdraw, Hugh commits suicide by burning Rior down around him (I tend to think that he doesn't use a match, but no one suspects anything arcane at the time).

With his matchmate dead, Klyd is forced by his own deprivation to recognize that he did indeed have an orhuen with Hugh...and now he is going to die very horribly. Instead, he walks away from Zeor one day and is never seen again. His daughter Muryin becomes Sectuib. Some years later she follows her father in disappearing into oblivion, leaving her son by Tonyo Logan, Hilo Klyd Farris, as Sectuib by default.



JoAnn Lee: What's a junct Gen?

Jean Lorrah: Originally known as a Giant Killer Gen, a junct Gen has the nageric and emotional control to be capable of killing a Sime in some nageric way-- Genslam, or aborting out of a transfer/kill. Such a Gen need never actually have killed; it is the capacity to do so that Simes recognize and juncts fear.

That is grossly oversimplifying, but it gives you a general idea. Like Simes, Gens can be actually or technically junct--Sergi ambrov Keon, for example, was technically junct--he had all the capabilities but had never killed anyone--when he met Risa Tigue. She actually juncted him in their first transfer, and the next day he literally killed a Sime with a nageric shock. As that is not what AMBROV KEON is about, the incident passes without commentary in the novel, but it's there. The Feral Gens in ZELEROD'S DOOM are actually junct and routinely kill Simes.

Semi-junct Simes who cannot kill psychologically but are too old to disjunct can only be kept alive with killbliss transfers from junct Gens--you have probably missed all the Zhag and Tonyo discussion, about my new musician characters. Tonyo keeps Zhag alive for nearly twenty years he would not otherwise have had by giving him killbliss transfers. See the info on Rimon's Library about these characters.


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