July 19, 2003
Ronnie Bob Whitaker added the following to his comment of June 9, 2002.
I've been thumbing through the book (Sime~Gen: The Unity Trilogy, trade paperback) and the LOOK is absolutely great.
I did see the cross advertisement from BenBella that was mentioned, and
having the list of characters and a glossary was nice, but the MAIN thing I
drooled over was the map which is so much better than the one originally
contained in Zelerod's Doom and the additional maps made from the early
sketches that Katie Filipowicz Steinhoff did. Graig Kreindler did a
marvelous job. Meisha Merlin did a great job putting these books together
into a format which is "stunning" to say the least.
If I saw this book on the bookshelves, the cover by itself would grab me
and the information on the back would tantalize me into a purchase. I hope
that the sales exceed all of their expectations.
Even though I have read all three of these books, I've never read them
together and I've reread the series at various times enough to know that I
pick something out new that I will enjoy each time that I do read
them. (I've also waited before reading the series again for several years
to make sure that I could build up my anticipation again.) NOW the big
trouble that I have is finding the right weekend within the next two or
three to curl up with nothing much else to do but thoroughly read through
747 pages of enthralling writing. I'll give you my thoughts at that time.
I can hardly wait for the next volume which will have NEW works in them.
Sunday, 9 June 2002
Sime~Gen Inc. may quote this on http://www.simegen.com/writers/simegen/ in whole or in part, Ronnie Bob Whitaker.
Background: I've been an avid reader of Science Fiction since I was first introduced to it in the school (now called middle school) library with _When Worlds Collide/After Worlds Collide_. When the mobile book store dropped by, I would spend my allowance accumulating paperback books to read. Even when I was in the military service, my idea of the perfect weekend was to grab a book or two, read until my eyes could take no more and when hungry, microwave a dinner or send out for Domino's pizza. I know when a universe "takes my fancy" because when my eyes can take no more and I finally do sleep, then I dream about being in that universe or dream up stories appropriate for that universe. Then when I wake, I have to hurriedly scribble down notes (back before computers). Then, later, as I reread my notes, I start expanding them into stories to myself. The more I like the universe, the more I go back to it and the more thoughts I have about what might go on in that universe. Another indication, after I got my first computer, was if I really liked a book, I would spend spare time typing that book into a word processing program to be able to search for things in the book easily. After OCR programs became popular and affordable and accurate and flat bed scanners were reasonably priced, I scanned in books and proofed them. The Sime~Gen Universe was converted this way by me and that conversion came in handy for the authors when they needed electronic copies. I'm very glad I could give back to the authors something substantial for all of the pleasure I've enjoyed in this universe.
1. What was the first S~G novel you read, and how did you encounter it? What did you think of the a)cover, b)novel inside. Why did you buy it, or pick it off the library shelf? When did you read your second one? Which one hooked you? Which is your favorite? Your least favorite? (and why)
House of Zeor was the first Sime~Gen novel I purchased and read. I'm sure I got it as something "new" to read from the bookstore and read it as I got to that portion of the stack. 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, I thought that RenSime and Zelerod's Doom were both way too short and Mahogany Trinrose was my least favorite because of the emphasis on psi phenomenon without really understanding the basis of this within the S~G universe.
2. When did you first find S~G fandom, and how and why? Have you introduced anyone else to this fandom? How long have you been involved and why so long?
After reading the series again, while introducing my co-worker to the series, I decided to take a chance and write to the PO Box in all of the books and discovered the fandom. I believe that this was 1991. I ordered all of the fanzines and even attended a con in Maryland to meet Jacqueline Lichtenberg and Kerry Lindemann Schaefer in person. The rest is history. I'm still an avid fan, as is the co-worker I first introduced to the series.
3. If you've read any of the fan fiction, where did you first discover that, and why did you read it (I mean FAN FICTION - UGH WHO WANTS TO READ THAT STUFF -- oh, but oooooooohhhhhh this is different.)
Sime~Gen was really the first fan fiction that I read, and most of the other fan fiction that I have read is because I like the authors and decided to find out what else they have written. (Such as Kerry's Kung Fu and Hercules stories.) Because of this I have NEVER been disappointed in fan fiction like many others have.
4. Have you recommended S~G to any of your friends (and are they still friends after that?) (did they steal your books and disappear?) What kind of people do you recommend these books to? (Only sf fans? Romance readers? Mystery fans? Star Trek fans? People who like certain TV shows? Which shows?)
I've recommended S~G to many of my friends and relatives. Only a few actually have tried it and of those, only about half actually like it, but those who do REALLY like it. I don't EVER loan out my books, I have to find another copy from a used book store for them to read or they have to on their own. If I could find a way to predict how they would like it, I would know better which ones to tell about it, but some of the ones who like vampires like Sime~Gen and some don't. Some who liked Star Trek do, some don't. Some in Romance do and some don't, likewise with mystery.
5. Do you keep a second set of books for loaners? Why?
I either find a second copy of the book and give it to someone to read or help them find it so they can read it. My books are not for loaning. (They might disappear that way.)
6. Who is your favorite character in the books? Your favorite fan-writer and character?
I'm not sure that I have a favorite character in the books. I like the interaction of the characters in these books. Many only have one "hero(ine)" and one "villain(ess)" while these books have many well rounded characters. Klyd and Hugh are perfect foils. Risa and Sergei are meant for each other. Abel Verritt nearly steals the show from Rimon and Kadi. Digen and Illyana are mutually tragic for each other. Perhaps that is why I felt that RenSime and Zelerod's Doom were too short, since I didn't find Laneff being matched up with anyone very well and Zelerod's Doom tried to have too many matches and didn't have enough time to do justice for any of them. I just didn't get involved with Ercy and Halimer Grant.
Fan wise, Kerry was one of my favorites with Frevven, though Dr. Mary Lou Mendum with Eskalie and Tallin and Den and Rital is definitely a close second. Many of the authors don't have enough stories. Cherri Munoz definitely needs to write more.
I've downloaded all of the current material, but haven't had time to read it all yet, and I'm sure I will like many of the newer authors, even in their alternate universes.
7. What other writers are on your favorites list? Whose books do you shelve beside Sime~Gen? Are you in touch with any other author-fandoms? Which?
I've read and like many different authors, however the authors that I reread books from rather than read a "new" one is more limited. Sharon Green's Terrilian and Jalav series, Lois McMaster Bujold's books, and David Drake's military series are some of the other books and fandoms which I will read again, especially if a new one comes out.
Having Fun in the Sime~Gen Universe, Ronnie Bob