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NEW COMMENT ADDED FEBRUARY 28, 2008
(THIS STARTED A DISCUSSION ON SIMEGEN-L DISCUSSION LIST FEB 25, 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 www.simegen.com...
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....
I picked up my first S~G book in March, 1983, during Spring Break from a Biology undergrad major. I was 33 years old, had just left my 2nd husband and had had a bunch of other relationships that had all ended badly, and I had never been able to quite figure out why, and my life was a mess. My family had been organized in a heirarchical top-down power-struggle way, and it was the only way I knew to have a relationship. I began reading S~G, figured out that the 2 JLs wrote in tandem, and began hunting down all the books I could find by either or both of them: First Lifewave, Savage Empire, and TOMB, and read them obsessively for several years.
Without realizing that they were the fulcrum of the lever that wrought the change until rereading them a couple of years ago, I got myself into therapy, found a new way of having relationships based on negotiation and shared responsibility. I left my old friends and old church, old beliefs, and old life, went into the "wilderness" -- and yes, after 20 years, I do think of it now as "coming out of Egypt -- and after a vacation from romantic relationships for a couple years, I met my current Significant Other, Eric, on Valentine's Day, 1987. We've been together since then, and still going strong. He's a SF buff, but more into the spoken word and movies than reading -- he's legally blind.
It was on rereading the First Lifewave about a year and a half ago that I realized that the fulcrum of change finding these books 25 years ago and at least unconsciously realizing that even though these books were science fiction, there was a different way to have relationships and I was darned if I wasn't going to learn it. I'm not sure it was even a conscious connection at the time -- but it was the impetus I needed.
Now that I've read JL's columns, and read that she deliberately sets her books up so that people ready for the message get it, I see that I was ripe for it -- but at the time, all I knew that I consciously saw was a great read that "filled a void" -- the words I even remember using! -- that I had to keep reading and reading and reading because it was so deep and profound. (I assume Jean does the same thing -- I feel the same thing when I read her books, too...) I've never had that void filled by anything but Intimate Adventure -- and only the very best of Intimate Adventure, at that.... though I didn't hear the term for another 15 years....
The second thing that has changed my life was March, 98, finding www.simegen.com and beginning reading JL's columns, and the books, first at Lightworks and then at Simegen.com.
NEW COMMENT ADDED Sept 2005
Oy,gewalt!!!!!!!!!! Not to mention the rest of the
shenanigans that went on.... it's simply a more mature adult's book than I
was ready for 20 years
ago. Then I reread MT... first time since internalizing the
Aspectarian articles... BOY, is it ever more meaningful now!
Jacqueline, I want you to know again how much I appreciate your books!
Previous comments in response to questions posed on simegen-l List.
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?
Favorite: Ambrov Keon or First Channel. Least: Unto, Zeor Forever. Hooked with Ambrov Keon.
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?
1986 during Spring Break. Involved with fandom since joining this
list 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.
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.)
Fan fiction: I bought a couple of zines in the late 80s and was
not inpressed. Never read any more 'til it was online.
Favorite character: oops, not good at names. The boy who was shot
just before he established for whom the channel developed his selyn
production illegally to save his life. I wanted to hear more about him.
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?)
Recommended to some people, but none have really gotten hooked.
HOWEVER -- 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.
5. Do you keep a second set of books for loaners? Why?
Yes, and am always interested in scooping up extra copies in case
one doesn't come back.
6. Who is your favorite character in the books? Your favorite fan-writer and character?
Laneff, because she tries so HARD. (I chose "Laneff" for my middle
name when I changed my name 4 years ago.)
Fan character: see above.
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?
Lois McMasted Bujold. I keep a complete set of her books by my
chair in the office, S~G on the headboard in the bedroom.
I find that I'm much harder to please as a reader since steeping
myself in these 2 universes. Both the story and character development and the technical excellence of the writing (tight POV, every word necessary and perfect) than I used to be. Even seria I thought were great before, I reread and pick to pieces now. (Eg: Lackey doesn't keep POV, the later McCaffrey books tended to cover the same old ground, etc.)