"Best of Fools" 
Jean Lorrah

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Story summary:

Zhag Paget is a Sime. It is his heritage to kill Gens because he Needs their selyn (life force) in order to live. However, since his brother turned Gen and was killed, he has been seeking to live without the Kill. But he is too old to disjunct (separate from the Kill), and month by month is slowly dying. He will die rather than ever kill again.

Tony Logan is a Gen, grown up in Gen Territory but always feeling an affinity for the Sime Territory his Gen mother escaped from, just across the river. When the fragile Unity Treaty is forged between Sime and Gen Territories, Tony leaves home to seek his fortune in Gulf Sime Territory.

What Tony Logan has in common with Zhag Paget is music: he has heard the songs his mother sings with his ears, but the music of Gulf Territory with his heart. Zhag Paget is the finest shiltpron player in Norlea, which makes him the best in the Territory. When Tony wanders into Milily's Shiltpron Parlor one night, hears Zhag play, and asks to sing for his supper...the rest is history.

"Best of Fools" is the story of men who are two halves of one whole. Music brings them together--and in their rhythm and harmony they are also selyn matchmates. Tony is the one Gen who can keep Zhag alive--but can he overcome his instinctive fear and give without resistance? Or will the music of both men be stilled forever?

Subscribe to Lifeforce-l to receive a free copy of this story which so well illustrates the Kiss of Death/Kiss of Life concept.



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