Sime~Gen Novels 
What the Fans and Readers Say


Name  Excerpt 
Carol Buchanan

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I don't read sci/fi because I don't like fictional unreality, but in The FARRIS CHANNEL Lichtenberg creates a new reality that this #Western writer can identify with -- complete with horses. The beautiful writing is an added gift.

The Devil in the Bottle in paper & Kindle
Zoe Farris

I read the first published Sime~Gen book in 1974, a few months after its release. The bookstore owner knew my love of Vampire and alien stories and ordered a copy into Australia just with me in mind. I took one look at the cover. A young woman on her knee with a skimpy outfit and leather belt around her hips was being held by a strong looking man who was standing behind her. There was something very different about this man. He had tentacle extending from his arms and with his right hand he had a hold of the woman’s wrist while tentacles bound their arms together. Behind them on the wall was a stared cross carved into the rock, and the name of that book was House of Zeor.

I did not even have to read one word of what the book was about to know I wanted to read it. Something about that image was enough to buy the book and sit in the corner of the bookshop, as I often did, and start reading. I was only half way through when I was totally hooked. I was already identifying with the characters, especially with the tentacled Sime, Klyd. ...more

Jennifer Lawrence The Sime/Gen books were one of the first series of books I ever read that weren't children's books. I stumbled across "House of Zeor" at the age of 10 (1977, a few years after it came out in 1974) and was instantly hooked. I have (I think) the whole series, and I re-read them all every few years; they are some of my favorite comfort reading. more
Daphne A. Cochran-Shapiro The Sime-Gen series is one of the best and definitely in my top 10 fave series. more
Jeff Redmonds Anyone reading the Unity Trilogy SC for the very first time will be amazed at just how incredibly fantastic it all is. But for those who are more familiar with her writings there should be no real surprise. Anything by Jacqueline Lichtenberg is always ranked among the very best in fantasy and science fiction. more
"Winged Harper" adds comments 2008

I think it's especially apropos to say what I like about S~G since next month will be 25 years since I discovered

What I like:  The Intimate Adventure. 

The theme of making friends with the Monster Within in order to make friends with the Monster in the Community -- thank you, Jacqueline for the January column -- that really put things into a new perspective that made great sense!

Applying the ideas in my own life.

I want to tell you what S~G has meant to me....more


on the simegen-l discussion list on 8/9/2006

A long time ago I read Mahogany Trinrose & renSime & didn't like them all that much. So much so that I didn't re-read them for a -long- time. I guess I haven't looked at them in 5 years or so.

Well, I had a reason why I needed to re-read them (--long story--). Now I'm seeing stuff I never saw before, perhaps because my education in CM, though quite theoretical, has advanced quite a lot since the last time I read them.

This time thru I couldn't put the shenned things down, interfered with sleep, etc, etc. I know that good novels reveal new things every time you re-read them, and that I'm not the same person I was the last time I read them, but this is ridiculous!

Colleen M. on the simegen-l Discussion List on 10/12/2004. It's been ages since I've reread the S~G novels so I just began them again last week. I always read them in chronological, not publication, order so always begin with First Channel. As always, when it's been a long time between readings, I forget how much I like these books - I get so deeply involved in them, I don't want to put them down, I don't want them to end, and I always wish there were more. (For some reason, though I've enjoyed the S~G fanfic I've read, fanfic doesn't do it for me the way it does in other fandoms. I'm content with good Buffy fanfic, for example, and don't feel the need for more eps or movies now that the series is done. But with S~G, I always want more of the JLs.)

Anyway, I just finished up First Channel and a few thoughts occurred to me as I was reading it. First, I got to wondering why more . . .

Gene Evans  What I find notable about this is the idea of interdependence. The motivation is that the characters *have* to bond if they are to reach their goals,achieve their full potential, or merely to survive.The external pressure pushing them to overcome their prejudices is the source of much of the dramatic tension. No one has the option of going it alone.  (end comment)
Jana Paniccia The series that comes closest, in my opinion, to Sime~Gen is Catherine Asaro's Skolian Empire series. Asaro weaves a complex universe of societal and cultural dependencies and conflicts - full of adventure and romance. 

Yet, while Asaro's novels are grand adventures and romantic stories in their own right, they are not . . . more
Cindy Leonard-Krinsky

I tend to choose or like a lot of books based on that same feeling I get from the Sime~Gen series. 

The emotional intimacy I am looking for in a book is . . . more

Tony Zbaraschuk Sime-Gen is about life, and the ways in which more
M. Alexis (Lexie) Pakulak

Award Winning fan writer

In every culture, in each generation, there are certain preoccupying themes or defining issues. These form the stress fracture lines along which that culture, and the individuals within it, will threaten to break when pressure is applied. They’re often so much taken for granted from within a culture that they’re effectively invisible to its members.

Nevertheless, those inside a culture are unconsciously steeped in its themes, and will respond powerfully to art, music, and literature which addresses them. more


And a more personal comment telling a story of Jacqueline Lichtenberg at a Star Trek Convention.  

I was in Toronto for the Worldcon this year (2003), and ran into Jacqueline again (and was amazed that she remembered me). I was too ill to spend more than a few hours a day at the con, but I did get to one of her parties, and picked up a HC of the Unity Trilogy. Went back to my mom's house, reread all the Sime~Gen books she still had, and by the time I got back to Calgary I had an idea for a little Sime~Gen short story that I might offer to one of the Sime~Gen zines. more

Margaret L. Carter
I found out about it by accident, while watching TV in a hotel room many years ago. Jacqueline Lichtenberg, interviewed on a talk show, mentioned that HOUSE OF ZEOR would appeal to anyone who liked vampires and STAR TREK. Since I fit into both of those categories, I hurried to borrow HofZ from the library. I was enthralled with the symbiotic variation on vampirism and with the bridging of differences across a gap of alienness between Klyd and Hugh. .. 
writers ...whom I read faithfully are: Barbara Michaels/Elizabeth Peters, Mercedes Lackey, P. N. Elrod, Sharyn McCrumb, Laurell K. Hamilton, Stephen King, Susan Conant (dog mysteries), and Dean Koontz. Older favorites include C. S. Lewis, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Robert Heinlein  ... more  Additional comments on films added 8/15/2004
Marge Robbins  The first S~G novel I read was House of Zeor. That was back in the mid 80's I think. Yes I've been a fan somewhere in the vicinity of 20 years. I found the book in the library on the new book shelf. I don't remember why I brought it home. I _think_ the starred cross on the cover interested me. I wanted to know what it symbolized. Anyway I read it in one sitting, fell in love with Klyde and immediately went back to the library to see what else I could find. I read one or two more books that week, but I don't remember which ones for sure. I think Trinrose was one the library had. By the end of the week I had written Jacqueline the first of many fan letters. House of Zeor remains my favorite book. .. more 
Kalhan Barath  About 5 years ago I came across Ambrov Keon in a used bookshop and by the end of the second chapter the Sime-Gen universe had gone to the top of my book-ordering universe. ... 

Before the end of Ambrov Keon I knew that I could never pick-up another book in the series unless it was possible to start reading it early enough in the day to have time to finish it before bed.

I have managed to get a hold of copies of First Channel and Channel’s Destiny. My promise never held, can sleep anytime – but brilliant books cannot be put off. They call and nag until they are curled up with and read cover to cover. So by the end of First Channel I knew I had discovered a set of ‘I can sleep anytime’ books. more 


Ronnie Bob Whitaker House of Zeor was the first Sime~Gen novel I purchased and read. ...  I was HOOKED. I made a special effort to locate other books by that author and got Unto Zeor, Forever and First Channel, then Channel's Destiny. Each of the novels inspired notes and stories for me to dream and write about. For years, those were the only ones I knew about. I liked all of them, but House of Zeor was always my favorite. When introducing a co-worker to the pleasures of reading Science Fiction, I hooked her on Shards of Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold, then almost lost her with the Chanur series by Cherryh, and looked all over the DC area for the Sime~Gen Series books, which were hard to find. In that process, I discovered more books that even I hadn't read, Mahogany Trinrose, Zelerod's Doom, RenSime and Ambrov Keon. Ambrov Keon was another I liked ... more
Cherri Munoz

I think I received a newsletter than introduced the fan zines. I bought them all.....sometimes twice because I'd forgotten that I had one.

As for why? OH MY!!!! It's Sime~Gen. I couldn't get enough of it.

Other favorite writers? Laurell K. Hamilton. Loved all her Anita Blake books except the last one. more 

Dave O'Neal


House of Zeor was the first, when the Playboy edition of the paperback came out. I bought it from the rack at a local K-Mart because I recognized Jacqueline’s name from Star Trek Lives! It was actually one of the first sf books I bought, having been up to that time mainly a reader of Star Trek (Blish and Foster novelizations and various Bantam (ugh!) novels). By the time I’d read a few chapters, I was hooked, and wanted more. I ordered Unto from Jacqueline (or, rather, had Dad order it since I was still a youngling), then bought the others as they were published in paperback.  more
Ed Wilson  This winter (2001/2002) I had read to me Ambrov Keon and found the circumstances of the novel fascinating. The world where part of the population must pray on the other part, or die, is a fascinating situation. Compounded by the primitive state of the economy, and disrupted state of the country, it is a novel of terror and hope, one where courage brings love.  more 
Kerwin L. Schaefer
(aka Kerry L. Schaefer)
The first S~G novel I read was UNTO ZEOR FOREVER. I was browsing through the shelves of the small library near where my parents used to live in North Carolina, looking for something to read while I was there visiting them. I took the book off the shelf, glanced at the cover, then put it back, unimpressed. (This was the original hardback version.) Then I pulled it out again and decided there was a chance it might be worth reading after all. Once I started it, I couldn't stop, which is rare for me. 


Why did it affect me so strongly? I think it was because I could identify very much with Digen and the way he was caught between his conflicting loyalties to Zeor, the Tecton, and Gen medicine, with none of these entities being entirely right and none entirely wrong. Also, like many a science fiction fan, his sense of being an outsider in Gen society resonated very strongly with my own feeling of not belonging. UNTO is still my favorite book of the entire series, since it is the one that seems to search deepest for moral truths, while at the same time wrestling with the ambiguous nature of truth itself. more

Linda L. Whitten  I ran across a copy of Unto Zeor Forever in a bookstore that dealt with the odds and ends of sales runs. It was the only copy they had. As for the cover all I thought was "What a different cover!" It wasn't so much the cover but the blurb that made me buy it. At the time I had no clue there were other volumes to be had. more 
Robyn King-Nitschke  The first S~G novel I read was "House of Zeor," way back in the late 70s or early 80s. The cover was hideous ...and almost put me off reading the book. However, I persevered and was very glad I did!

I'd read "Star Trek Lives!" because I was heavily into Star Trek at the time, and was impressed by your ideas. This book was also responsible for getting me to read "Atlas Shrugged" and other books by Ayn Rand, so I'd say it was fairly influential in my reading career! :)

The second book I read was Unto Zeor, Forever. My mother got me a copy (I didn't even know it was out!) and I loved it. Not as much as HoZ, though. That was the one that hooked me.



"Winged Harper" 
9-28-05 - new insights shared on Unto Zeor, Forever. 
"I just finished rereading UZF -- I used to consider it your weakest book -- no more!" (read more)

Favorite: Ambrov Keon or First Channel. Least: Unto, Zeor Forever. Hooked with Ambrov Keon. ... 

Involved with fandom since joining this list simegen-l in 98. Oops. I also started a S~G bulletin board channel under my old name on GEnie back in about 92. Tony Zbaraschuk is the only other person I  remember being on it.

I stay involved because it's interesting and entertaining and I like the people. ... I went to a meeting back in '92 and met someone whose fave universe was ALSO S~G -- we're now much closer than sisters. more 

"Winged Wolf"

Other favorite authors? 

Alan Dean Foster, Anne McCaffrey, James White, PN Elrod

.... I'd like to find (a fandom like this) for James White (Sector General). more


Laurraine Tutihasi First novel? 

HOUSE OF ZEOR. A friend of mine who really liked it steered me toward it. The cover was okay. I liked the novel enough to continue reading the series. It's been so long since I read any of them that I really don't remember which one I liked best or least.  more 

Karen MacLeod Who is your favorite character in the books? Your favorite fan-writer and character?

Characters: Many of them are my favorites. Some are not. Abel Veritt from First Channel and Channel’s Destiny is a favorite. Ercy Farris and Halimer Grant from Mahogany Trinrose, are as well. I can give you a longer list of major characters as favorites – but some of the minor characters are also appealing.

There are many of the fan writers whose work I enjoy. Because I edit A COMPANION IN ZEOR, I’d rather not name specific authors and their characters to not slight those whose work I also like, to a lesser degree. If you’re curious as to the diversity of the fan fiction, explore


Donell Meadows My favorites in the series are the early books, House Of Zeor, First
Channel and Unto Zeor Forever and Ambrov Keon.
Mahogany Trinrose I liked the least due to the magic/mystical/esp like elements.
For me, these elements belong in fantasy, not SF and are a major turn off.  more 
Francis Carmody " Speculative Fiction in the finest traditions. Should be strongly considered for the Nebula Awards. This series is a rare breath of fresh air in a field in which too many otherwise viable properties still die of an-all-too fatal disease: an excess of intellectual depth. Rarely have I had so much fun while my own thinking process was challenged so deeply."

Francis Carmody
Alisa McCune "I just finished House of Zeor from Sime~Gen and loved it!  I look forward to finishing the other two stories.  I have actually spent my entire night reading - it's now 5:36am more.
Alicia Shank  . . . I must have read the book four times during the course of that trip. The only other that our public library had was Rensime! (one of the happiest, in my opinion--do you have any idea how sad Digen's story is! Well, obviously, since you wrote it, but Unto Zeor, Forever never fails to make me cry, after umpteen times...well, anyway)--and after that one I was well and truly part of the universe and of your fan club. I have all eight books now (read them more times than I care to count, refinished First Channel last night), and I've just ordered To Kiss or To Kill (hurry, Ms. Lorrah!). more

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