Sime~Gen Perspectives Newsletter November, 1999


Welcome to those new to this Newsletter! We expect you'll be counting many anniversaries here, and we will soon regard those of you joining us in October of 1999 as having been "in on the ground floor."

October 26, 1999 was the first anniversary of our domain moving onto its own server hardware. January 1, 2000 will be the first anniversary of the beginning of the build-out of these web pages. January 28, 2000 will be the first anniversary of the incorporation of Sime~Gen Inc. which owns WorldCrafters Guild. The WorldCrafters Guild opened with its first course June 6, 1999. That course finishes with its final exam November 28, 1999. And November 29, 1999 we begin our second course, The Radio Play.

July 2000 will be the 4th anniversary of when I (Jacqueline Lichtenberg) moved from Prodigy to AOL and began discovering Sime~Gen fans who had moved online, rediscovering old friends, and finding new ones. Notably among them are Jenn and Dancer Vesperman who have created our server from pieces, and who program and run the server and its invisible tech-magic that lets this school work, and an old friend, Marge Robbins, a superb writer who has become the domain's webmaster. In addition, we have a small army of other independent contractors building our content and recreating us on nearly a monthly basis.

Our new content for the year 2000 has come into existence in virtually nothing flat -- all due to hundreds and hundreds of hours of labor by this terribly overworked crew keeping to this brutal pace. (even though you've never seen them sweat - trust me, it's a brutal pace.)

November 1999 will see the complete overhaul and redesign of our DIRECTORY TREE. Almost every URL on this server will suddenly (from your point of view, overnight!) change. The old URLs will still appear to work -- but you will be instantly bounced to the NEW URL. YOU must re-bookmark that URL, because eventually the forwards will be deleted.

As soon as the Tree Morphing is completed, our overhaul of our APPEARANCE will begin. Gradually, the look and feel of all these pages will change before your eyes. We will be installing new, more user-friendly and intuitively obvious navigation aids. The names of places will change.

As we continue to add content, courses, and attractions, we are about to launch our next great effort - to build our traffic. We expect to pay for all this by advertising revenue, and thus be able to keep the school free to students. To achieve that, we will need a vast increase in traffic.

What can you do to help? Spread the word. Mention us on newsgroups, on your own websites, at gatherings, in your sig file, in line at the grocery counter -- anywhere and everywhere you might be overheard. Then write to us and tell us about what you've done.

If we meet our traffic building goals in 2000, this school will always be free to students.

************************ WorldCrafter's Poetry Contest

The WorldCrafters Guild Poetry contest is now closed, and the poems are in the hands of the judge. Our first writing contest was a huge success, drawing nearly fifty entries, and we thank everyone who participated.

We expect the winner to be announced before the end of the month--watch the Winner's Circle (see below) for the announcement and posting of winning entries, or subscribe to the Contests Newsletter at to be among the first to know.


Story Contest

N3F Story contest -- there's a HISTORY to this too. N3F (National Fantasy Fan Federation) is the first sf fan organization I joined when I was in 7th grade, and I'm STILL a member. It was founded by damon knight (small letters on the name are correct) who also founded SFWA of which I am also a member.

It was in the N3F that I got my first lessons in professional writing, from a writer named Alma Hill -- who taught me the most important thing I ever learned about writing. And now it's the motto of WorldCrafters Guild. "Writing is a Performing Art". N3F still runs its STORY CONTEST -- and is currently running it. Years ago, the editor of the Sime~Gen fanzine, Ambrov Zeor see was Kerry Lindemann- Schaefer, and she was also writing her now famous Freven stories (you can read them at Rimon's Library). She entered the short story contest at N3F and won with a story "Cloudscape" -- and went on to sell a couple short stories but still bills herself as an amateur writer. Now she has a number of stories of her own written in various TV series universes (Hercules, Alien Nation, KF:TLC ) posted to and is marketing a couple of novels (great novels, too) to the online publishers.

The N3F story contest is a good place to start for serious, aspiring writers in the sf/f field. __________________________

News from the World of E-Books

" the Frankfurt Book Fair: Microsoft Corp is putting up $160,000 to establish awards for literary achievement in the emerging online book industry. The new Frankfurt e-Book Awards will be presented annually in seven categories, including a prize of $100,000 for the best work published originally in electronic form.

First recipients will be announced next year at the Frankfurt show, the world's largest book fair. (Publisher's Weekly)" Rules, etc., to be posted at


Food on the Web

free food on the web: Step 1) go to and give them three email addresses. Get your fre $5 flooz (web money.) Step 2) go to click on the free $20 groceries coupon and pick out groceries that are In Stock. There's $3.95 shipping. Pay that with the flooz.

At this time of Holiday celebrations, you can also donate free food to the hungry. I've bookmarked this site, and go there daily. This is for real. You can donate food to the hungry by clicking on the button on the website. You get the names of the cash donors after you click.


News from the Webmaster


This is a very busy and exciting time for the Webmaster staff here at We are in the end stages of redesigning our web tree. With the expert assistance of Jenn and Dancer Vesperman. Our Programmers/System Administors we are going to rearrange our websites to make them more accessible and easier to navigate.

Sometime in early November FTP access for webmasters will be blocked for several hours. Jenn, Dancer and I will rearrange the webserver and put all our pages in their new homes. We will also update all the links. Once we have everything working right FTP access will be restored. If you have a site on all you will need to do is login and download your pages with the new URLs. During the changeover mail services will continue as usual. The webserver will be available for most of our working time. There will be at most a few minutes of disruption while we move the new tree into place on Keon.

Dancer will also teach Creeping Need (our pet name for our error 404 process) to inform visitors that the URLs they are looking for have changed, then waft them gently to the new location. In time this will automagically update search engines and intelligent browsers. I will announce the date in simegen-l as soon as we settle on a date and time.

I am also very pleased to announce that my staff is increasing. Karen Litman has agreed to serve as an Assistant Webmaster. She does coding and tech support for our webmasters. She also helps with the posting of student assigments.

Patric Michael, Assistant Webmaster and Domain Artist is back with us, for the winter months at least. He will be busy redesigning the domain, doing artwork, and administering the Studentshowcase area. Welcome back Patric, you have been missed.

Jeff Hall has also joined my staff as an Assistant Webmaster. He is tireless and very valuable. He has done most of the work in getting "Flames of Inspiration," our e-cards project, underway. He's also accepted a position as Startup Coordinator for our WorldCrafter's Guild. And as if that wasn't enough work he will be working with Patric to maintain the Studentshowcase area. This is where all class assignments are posted.

We are also very pleased to welcome Claire Gadzikowski as a graphics specialist. She will be assisting Patric and I with our web graphics. Welcome aboard Claire. Your talents are sorely needed. ///////////////////////////////

The Winner's Circle

A website on now exists to announce all the winners of our various contests. Go to The winners of the NAME THE VILLAIN contest are the first announced there. They are: Janet Coleman Sides, who gave us the name of CLIRE FARRIS, and Deborah Thompson who gave us RAVEN STONEDRAGON, which will be used as a nickname for the character.

/////////////////////////////////// Introducing Michelle Freeman -- she wrote to the following:

I'd also like to take this opportunity to thank you for the Sime~Gen novels. I read them as a miserable, malleable, Midwestern teenager, and they helped to establish some of my core values. From them, I learned not to fear those who are different, and that it is possible and sometimes even necessary to love someone who is unlike oneself. I've since grown up to marry a Jewish man (I'm Methodist), and we have adopted a daughter from India. I am eternally grateful that I, as my mother often put it, "wasted my time reading science fiction, which has nothing to do with the real world."

welcome to Michelle, and all the other new fans who've joined us since the last Newsletter


Contributors this issue: Jacqueline Lichtenberg Jean Lorrah Lois Wickstrom Marge Robbins Karen Litman

*Please Note all material posted on Official Virtual Tecton is copyright by Sime~Gen Inc. and ALL RIGHTS ARE RESERVED. TO GET YOUR SIME~GEN(tm) MATERIAL SANCTIONED FOR WEB POSTING or TO GET PERMISSION TO REPOST FROM OFFICIAL MATERIALS EMAIL AMBROVZEOR@AOL.COM, contact Sime~Gen (tm) is the trademark of a fictional universe ) copyright by Jacqueline Lichtenberg,1969, 1974, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1984, 1986 and Sime~Gen Inc. 1999

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