An e-newsletter for the fans of Jacqueline Lichtenberg's Sime~Gen Universe. Issue #1
New issues become available on this website no more than twice a month. Last Updated: 2/16/98
Welcome to what will hopefully be a bi-weekly newsletter on happenings in the Sime~Gen universe. I know that most of you have discovered this newsletter via the world wide web and I share with you that wonderful moment when you typed in Jacqueline Lichtenberg or, perhaps, Sime and came up with a hit. My first visit to the electronic Sime~Gen universe was like coming home and with a little exploration I discovered that, in the more than twenty years since its debut, Sime~Gen has grown from a professionally published novel to something a great deal more. This universe is special because it is one of those strange places, like the London of Sherlock Holmes or the future of Star Trek, that seems less to be created by one person than to be discovered - a place that has a life of its own which we have somehow stumbled upon and are now exploring.
Many of the initial pioneers have gone on to contribute their own creative efforts to this evolving universe. Others, who have only recently crossed the frontiers, are also learning how they can play a role. This newsletter will be a forum where we can do our own exploring - of the ever increasing material posted to the web, of the new work being created by Jacqueline Lichtenberg and Jean Lorrah, of the Sime~Gen movie's progress, and of the new talent being nurtured in the Sime~Gen universe. It will also be a place to share - ideas which fly furiously about the Sime~Gen listserve and ideas which are put forth by this newsletter's audience.
Science Fiction fandom in general is an accepting group, but like Trek in the 70s, Sime~Gen fandom takes acceptance a step further. There are people who make the time to mentor and take concrete action to help others grow, develop, and flourish - on a large scale. I doubt that it is a coincidence that Jacqueline Lichtenberg and Jean Lorrah were involved with Trek in the 70s and Sime~Gen now, but we see the fruit of their efforts in people like Cheryl Wolverton, a Sime~Gen fan who is publishing professionally - and others who have created Sime~Gen works of professional quality. Cheryl participated for years in the writing workshop conducted by Jacqueline Lichtenberg which has now found its home as a separate component of the Sime~Gen listserve. There are other professional writers, musicians, and artists who are active fans. And there are some incredibly talented people for whom creating, in a myriad of forms, is a passionate and serious avocation. One of the amazing, wonderful, and refreshing things about Sime~Gen fandom is that we can interact with these individuals and see them as "regular" people. Equally wonderful is the way that Sime~Gen fandom has a way of helping everyone discover that they have something to contribute.
So, welcome, and come explore with us.
Maureen Gibbins, editor
WHAT IS JACQUELINE WORKING ON NOW?
One of the first questions that I started asking when I discovered Sime~Gen was, "What else has Jacqueline Lichtenberg been doing?" The answer is her new series, The Biblical Tarot. Published under the Belfry Books imprint of Toad Hall, Inc., , the first book in the series, "Never Cross a Palm with Silver", is available at Barnes & Noble and at Amazon Books . Other books in the series include: The Magic of The Wands (which has been turned into the publisher, The Cups--Half Full or Half Empty, The Two- Edged Truth Of The Swords, The Pentacles--Money Isn't Everything, and The Major Arcana: Branches On The Tree of Life. JL dedicated Never Cross a Palm with Silver to Gene Roddenberry, creator of Star Trek. In the book's Acknowledgements she mentioned a number of people who played a part in her creative endeavors and pointed out, "There is an invisible thread that ties all these people together: Star Trek." Make the time to go to Toad Hall and read the acknowledgments, which explain her comment. Read the first chapter , also, which is available courtesy of the publisher. Reading this will bring home that mixed right into the middle of all of this is Sime~Gen, also . In the next issue of the newsletter we will explore that connection.
FIND OUT ABOUT THE NEW SIME~GEN NOVEL
You can find out all about The Farris Channel, a new Sime~Gen novel by Jacqueline Lichtenberg, at http://www.best.com/~shadorat/sg/sgfr.html. If just 400 people are willing to pay $25.00 for the hard cover edition of the novel, it can be published. Simply submit your name and address (you can use the form found at the site listed above) and indicate any of the following which apply: that you would be willing to pay $25.00 for a hardcover copy of The Farris Channel, that you would be willing to pay $15. 00 for an illustrated trade paperback of The Farris Channel, that you would send in a check to reserve your copy of either book once the manuscript had been sent to the printer and a release date had been announced, or that you want to help spread the word. The mailing list *will not* be sold to junk mail advertisers. If you are one of the first 400 to commit to paying $25. 00 for a hardcover copy, you become one of the Founding 400 and a part of Zeor history. A few lucky individuals will even have "walk-on" character roles.
THE FOUNDING 400
The count is now at 126. Only 274 left to go!
FEATURED HOUSEHOLDING - AHLVASTIN
We are all familiar with the Household Zeor. While Zeor may have been the first, many have followed. Currently registered Households can be found at: http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Rampart/6002/registry.html along with a fascinating definition of "virtue." For this first issue of Sime~Gen Perspectives we are featuring Household Ahlvastin. It isn't hard to guess why.
The Householding Ahlvastin Virtue: Perspective
Gabriel, Sectuib in Ahlvastin in Digen Farris' era:
The Householding virtue is "Perpective". That means, to me, that any problem can be solved if you can just get the right perspective from which to view it. The word loses something in translation - perspective involves the nageric gradient and texture as well. There's just no way to explain it if you can't zlin.
Deann, First Companion in Ahlvastin in Klyd Farris' time:
Sometimes a thing looks impossible to accomplish. When that happens, you're looking at it wrong. Step back, walk around it, get over it and look down, get under it and look up. Look at it from the corner of your eyes. There's always a way of looking at it where it becomes possible again.
ANDRE NORTON AND THE SIME~GEN CONNECTION
A participant in the listserve recently noted that Andre Norton had listed Jacqueline as a contributor to the Witch World universe. Jacqueline posted this reply. Notice how she manages to tell a story and teach (about the interconnectedness of things and writing skills, among other things) at the same time!
********* Yes, I have a story introducing a Vampire to the Witch World -- it's in TALES OF THE WITCH WORLD #2 -- and when I told Andre about my idea for a WW story on the phone, (she had called me to solicit a story -- you have to be invited into that anthology) she said no. WW isn't horror and she didn't want any vampires. Then I told her about Dorian St. James and she said yes!
So I ran downstairs to the office and wrote the story and sent it (back in those days, it went out actually printed on paper) -- and she wrote back that she liked the story and was buying it.
Now THAT is a high-water mark in a career let me tell you!
One of the very first sf novels I ever read was Star Rangers, and I read that book 16 times and then reread parts I loved for years and years. I read every Norton title I could get my hands on. It was the BEST STUFF. And then as I grew older, she started writing more adult stuff, and IT WAS THE BEST STUFF.
And then I added a character to her world. Just wow. That is living. That is what it's all about.
With her permission, I started to tell the story of Dorian St. James before he fell through a hole in the sky into the Witch World -- trying to explain what he did to deserve such good fortune for a Vampire. (read the story in TWW #2 and you'll see why).
I sold the first to Galaxy and they asked for a sequel, and I sold them the sequel, then they disappeared. So now both the prequels to my TWW2 story are posted on Rimon's Library for free download. One day they may not be free, so anyone interested get over there and pick them up.
I do love that character and want to finish the novel that these two short stories begin -- I think the outline for that novel is on Rimon's Library with the stories - and that ensemble of stories is part of the Workshop Homework. The end of the novel will explain what Dorian did to deserve such good karma as to fall into the Witch World.
Then there's another area of my life that Andre Norton influenced. The DUSHAU trilogy is my version of her Star Rangers followed by 2 sequels.
One time, Jean Lorrah and I were visiting Andre at her house in Florida (years ago before she moved - she keeps a lot of cats and serves Tea graciously) and when leaving I called back across the lawn apropos of previous discussion, "Well if you won't write the sequel to Star Rangers, I WILL!"
And pausing with the screen door open she turned back and said, "Okay, go ahead."
Well, at the airport on the way home I bought a notebook and on the plane I sketched out the Dushau Trilogy. I had to invent an entirely new universe because I couldn't write in hers (I wanted HER to write the sequel but she claims there isn't one). So I had to rewrite Star Rangers.
That book, called DUSHAU (which I still have a few copies of and I have the other 2 in the trilogy for sale) won the Romantic Times Award for Best SF.
DUSHAU, FARFETCH, and OUTREACH are to Star Rangers what Lois and Clark is to the old B&W tv series Superman.
So Andre Norton is deeply entwined in the roots of everything I write.
Oh, one other point -- when I was 10 years old, my Dad got us a manual typewriter and taught me to touch-type (which came in handy for a quick A I really needed in high school by taking typing! The HS typing teacher really didn't know what she was doing!) My Dad wanted me to practice by copytyping the newspaper. I refused and practiced by typing SLAN and STAR RANGERS. I copied some of Andre Norton's other books. I learned STYLE and PACING from that exercise and I still recommend it to very young people who are ambitious enough to want to learn to write. Nothing gets the concept PACING into your head better than copytyping something that's well paced.
********* If you are interested in finding out more about the authors and television programs which have influenced the Sime~Gen universe, go to: Sime~Gen Welcommittee and read about the Influences on Sime~Gen.
JOIN IN ON THE FUN
Help us explore the Sime~Gen universe. If you read a story or visit a website, tell me about and we may include include it in our readers' reviews . Tell us about yourself. If you want to hear from other fans, include your e-mail address. This newsletter is, at its heart, about community and you are a vital part! So join the fun. You can reach me at Karen Litman.
Editorial and Technical Staff Maureen Gibbins, Gossamer, Jenn Vesperman
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