A Writing Team
Jacqueline Lichtenberg and Jean Lorrah will celebrate 25 years of
collaboration in 2003 with the revival of the Sime~Gen series.
The two women first learned of one another through Star Trek fandom,
in the 1970's. Both were already professional writers, but at the
Jacqueline had published a short story and had her first novel, HOUSE OF
ZEOR, about to appear in print, while Jean had been publishing a steady
stream of non-fiction magazine articles. Jacqueline was also in
process of publishing a work of non-fiction, as one of the authors of
We didn't meet, however, until a fan of Jean's fan novel, THE NIGHT OF
TWIN MOONS (NTM) sent Jean a copy of Jacqueline's new novel, HOUSE OF
ZEOR. Jean was so enthralled by the book that she read it twice
one weekend, and then wrote a review of it for THE HALKON COUNCIL, an
Star Trek letterzine.
Jacqueline then wrote to Jean--this was back in the dark ages of
snailmail--they began corresponding, finally met at a convention, could
help exchanging ideas--and the rest is history.
Jean bombarded Jacqueline with critiques and questions. In
Jean the manuscript of Unto Zeor, Forever. Small changes in that
which Jacqueline was revising for publication at the time, represent
first influence on the Sime~Gen Universe.
Sime~Gen fandom was beginning at this time, and Jean's comments followed
fanfic can be found in the early issues of Ambrov Zeor. Jean
invented her own Householding, Keon, a hard-edged practical counterpoint
Jacqueline's idealistic Zeor and Rior. Two very early stories
Risa Tigue and Keon may be found in the fanzines.
Meanwhile, Jean and Jacqueline kept up a steady correspondence.
thing that Jean kept coming back to, time and again, was the question of
how anyone ever could figure out how to channel. Every time Jean
come up with a way that Rimon Farris, credited with being the first
could have worked it out, Jacqueline would reveal more background
information that made it impossible.
Finally, Rimon got tired of waiting for Jacqueline to listen to him (she
would only listen to Digen at that time, it seemed), and began telling
his story. The result was that Jacqueline invited Jean to
the next Sime~Gen novel, First Channel. That book was supposed to
single novel about the discovery of channeling and the founding of the
first Householding--what would become Zeor.
But it didn't turn out that way.
When Jean and Jacqueline were half-way through the plot they had
they realized that the novel was already at the length they were
allotted. What had happened, of course, was that the _real_ story
discovery of channeling and the founding of Zeor was not that simple.
discovered that history had confused Rimon Farris with his grandson, Del
Rimon Farris, conflating three generations into one. It was Rimon
who discovered how to channel. Zeor was not founded until his
So the original plot of FIRST CHANNEL got broken up into two books,
CHANNEL and CHANNEL'S DESTINY, the second novel completing Rimon's story
through his death, but having as its protagonist Zeth Farris, Rimon's
And guess what? Zeor still wasn't founded!
Jean and Jacqueline then left that time period to write books in later
times in Sime~Gen history. AMBROV KEON takes place at about the
as HOUSE OF ZEOR in a different territory, while ZELEROD'S DOOM brings
main characters from both those books together approximately fifteen
later. MAHOGANY TRINROSE and RENSIME chronicle events during the
and end of Digen Farris' life.
When the series was brought to an unplanned halt by the exigencies of
publishing in the 1990's, the fandom continued, Jean and Jacqueline
remained in touch, but for over ten years there was simply no way to get
another Sime~Gen novel published. Now, however, the publishing
changed again, and these old friends and collaborators are charging
back to grab the opportunity Meisha Merlin has offered.
While the first new novel will be Jean's TO KISS OR TO KILL for two
(it's almost finished and it is a direct sequel to ZELEROD'S DOOM), the
next one will _finally_, after all these years, tell of the founding of
House of Zeor, in THE FARRIS CHANNEL by Jacqueline.
It's a good thing these two women stayed friends and never gave up hope!
Jean Lorrah, firstname.lastname@example.org
BLOOD WILL TELL http://www.awe-struck.net/AUTHORS17/bwt.html
WINNER, Lord Ruthven Award, best vampire novel!
FREE SHORT STORY available at my "Kiss of Death/Kiss of
Life" website, http://www.simegen.com/writers/bloodwilltell/