Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sime~Gen Perspectives Newsletter - August 2009

* Check our our new Amazon "Stores"


Anticipation 2009 was in Montreal. Anne Pinzow and I drove up on Thursday, August 6, and left Monday morning, August 10. After marathon attempts to get onto the correct one-way street to reach the parking entrance to our hotel, we left the car in the hotel garage for the duration. Believe me, you do NOT want to drive in Montreal!

We didn't have to, as we were caddy-corner from the convention center, but boy, did we do a lot of walking! The center is huge, and strangely designed. Only the ground, second, and fifth floors are complete. The other floors are partial, and if you want to reach them you have to figure out which elevators or escalators will actually take you there.

The conference center is a quarter mile from end to end, and as the programming was laid out, everyone spent a good deal of time walking from one end to the other. The writing workshops, filking, and parties were in a different hotel, just about another quarter mile away, so everybody had a number of half-mile hikes, too.

Anne ran the press room for much of the convention, and I got to sit with her in the press box at the Masquerade and Hugos. I took photos for her, some of which turned out pretty well. Thursday evening I did a reading from NESSIE AND THE LIVING STONE ( in the children's programming area. That area was certainly a success for the kids, who were obviously having a good time, but difficult for the adults doing presentations because there was no attempt to run the arranged programming. The con opened the walls between four rooms and closed all but one of the doors.The two front rooms had supplies of every kind, paper, paint, crayons, glue, beads--anything kids might want to make stuff with. Magazines to cut pictures from. clothes for costuming. A creative child's paradise. The only people supervising when I was there were one set of parents in the first room, checking badges and getting supplies for the kids.

The back two rooms were set up for programming with an audience in one, and a circle of chairs for reading in the other. That was where I was supposed to read. But the only children in that room were coloring and doing beadwork, and didn't want to hear a story. I tried talking with them about what they were doing, but they didn't want an adult intruding. Eventually Anne arrived and saw what was happening. She had the bright idea to ask the kids to pose for a photo, which at first they didn't want to do, either. But finally she got them to go along, and told me to read while she took photos from various angles. Some of the kids got interested in the story and stayed after the picture taking was over, so I read on until their parents came to get them.

Friday was my busy day. It started with a panel on whether fan writers need to know about the academic studies on fan writing. The consensus was pretty much "why should they?" Then I taught in the writing workshop. Our three students were at different levels, but all showed talent, and all took criticism well. I ended the day with a panel on the technology of writing, which ended up being just Joe Haldeman and me. We ended up waxing nostalgic about the days of typewriters, and how great it was when the first word processors came along. To this day, though, Joe writes his first drafts by hand, while I'm strictly a keyboarder.

Saturday I bought gifts in the dealer's room for the people who took care of my animals while I was away, then worked at the SFWA table for a while. Anne and I went out for dinner, then to the masquerade. Though it was small, the masquerade was excellent. Afterward we went up to the roof garden for a magnificent display of fireworks. It seems there is some sort of contest going on this summer, with a different group sponsoring a fireworks display every Saturday.

Sunday I had a panel on monsters, where the rest of the panel didn't show up. Fortunately there was a woman who has written books on dragons in the audience, and we managed to wing it pretty well. All of us who had autographing right before the Hugo ceremony had no takers, so we left early and went to the Hugos.

That was the end of the con for Ann and me--we had to leave early Monday morning. Altogether it was a medium-sized WorldCon that seemed to be attended mostly by fans who could afford the travel, the hotels, and good restaurants. I must admit that Anne and I availed ourselves of the excellent French restaurants as well as the Chinese restaurants right across the street, as we were on the edge of Chinatown. Everywhere we went we saw con members.

My experience with the reading in the children's programming the first evening was typical of the way the whole convention ran, pretty much taking care of ourselves. Certain areas, like the green room, were well run, but over all experienced people kept things going without help from higher-ups. I heard stories of whole panels not showing up, of events being canceled without any announcement.

And then there was the party fiasco. Parties were supposed to be on just two floors of the party hotel, nowhere else. Local journalists came to the con on Thursday and wrote stories that appeared on Friday. Somehow the major paper included in its coverage a sentence that could be interpreted to read that there were free parties open to the public. So, on Friday night, the public showed up. Someone called hotel security, who in turn called the police. The police chased away everyone without a con badge, but then started searching the hotel for "illegal parties." It seems that in Canada any gathering of five or more people in a hotel room not on a party floor is an illegal party. The SFWA suite was not on a party floor, so they shut down the SFWA suite.

Then, because the elevators were overcrowded, they decided that a con badge was not acceptable to be allowed to go up to the party floors--people had to show a hotel key to the party hotel to be allowed in the elevators.

Good thing we didn't try to have a Sime~Gen party this year, as all the Friday parties were pretty much ruined.

All in all, though, I had a good con. Anne and I drove up and back through beautiful mountain scenery, met old friends at the convention, and overall enjoyed ourselves.

****** SIMECENTER NEWS ******

This month's story on <> is:

Electric Dreams (by Katy Thorp)
- the power of imagination

The accompanying artwork is:

Lunar Slide (by G.B. Chew)
- the latest in astronomy

These enjoyable works were donated in support of Clarion Writers Workshop <>.

When you donate to this worthy organization, be sure to tell them you were referred by SimeCenter.

Send your comments, questions, etc.--about the site, the stories and art...whatever--to the address below. [Mention 'SimeCenter' in the subject so I'll know it isn't spam.]

In Service to Unity,
Kaires Tevesu


******NEW REVIEWS******

A Quiet Flame by Philip Kerr

Luke's Story by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins

Blonde Roots by Bernardine Evaristo

The King's Grace by Anne Easter Smith

The Perfect Poison by Amanda Quick

Devil's Garden by Ace Atkins

Borderline by Nevada

Look Again by Lisa Scottoline

Loitering with Intent by Stuart Woods



New entries are up in Jean's India/Nepal blog
Varanasi, the Ganges, lots of pictures.

India and Nepal--True Adventures. A journey into a new world, real events, wonders vs. hardships. Tips and tricks for travelers. What to see.



TENTH ANNIVERSARY SALE! During 2009 we are offering any of the advertising packages at for four months for the price of three, or eight months for the price of six. Ad packages must be reserved by December 15, 2009, for ads to begin any time up to June, 30, 2010. Lock in this low price by contacting and putting down a 25% deposit, remainder due at the time the ad is posted. Limit of two ad packages per advertiser. Use code SGNL to claim your bargain ad package.

******Please Support Those Who Support Us******


NEW NEWS: We have a new way of accessing WHAT'S NEW on It is a blog where you can read the monthly Newsletter and drop your own comments and news, tell us what you need done, or report problems with pages. Click in the right margin to follow this Newsletter, and the news will appear in your account. Or you can use the RSS feed. If there's another follow-tool you would prefer, please e-mail asking for it (give the URL) and we'll enable it. There are a few handy tools we haven't enabled yet, but they are available (such as feedburner).

Patric set this magical thing up on our server and Karen has posted the Newsletters from Jan 2009 to now, so you can access past news just by scrolling. Please visit our top page,, and note that my Twitter scroll is there for you -- plus a very nice Writing Tips Twitter scroll. Click and read the entire scroll on Twitter.



It's the tenth anniversary of Sime~Gen Inc. and We will be celebrating all year long--and we need your contributions to the festivities. Please send your ideas for ways to celebrate to But please remember that our small staff is already overburdened, so we need easy to implement ideas, not projects for our staff to put in even more hours of work than they already do. If you would like to implement your idea for us--YAY!



When you enter the imagination of L. H. Young, you begin a fascinating ride, whether you are traveling the time stream with witches, finding love the stuff of legends with her wonderful vampires, traipsing across the universe with her Sci-fi, or going to school with four unusual teenagers born with the ability to heal by touch. Don’t forget that she even writes for the imagination of the very young as seen in The Christmas Kitten.

*****Please Support Those Who Support Us*****


We have another new blog for the WorldCrafter's Guild students that is just taking shape.
Here you can read a lesson, post homework, and get a response. There will be a new lesson on Scene Structure posted soon.


****** Check our our new Amazon "Stores"

Blatant commercial to keep on the air.If you buy from Amazon using one of our search boxes at the bottoms of many of our pages, or find what you're looking for in our a-stores, we get a few cents to pay the bandwidth bills.

Our Amazon stores (we recommend buying directly from Amazon itself, not one of their onboard retailers unless you know the retailer very well -- we get paid the same, but have found better customer service with shipments). -- NEW STORE created to hold gift items specially useful to writers, both in writing and in just finding the TIME to write.

Also we now have Google ads on our main entry pages -- and they pay nicely when someone finds what they want via one of those ads. But don't click just to click -- click something that looks like what you really want.


That is a page that needs redesigning, just as the /marketplace/ top page will.
We are preparing to make available in e-book and on paper, a set of 7 textbooks on writing, 5 of which are on philosophy, the wellspring of ideas and the bulwark against writer's block.
The particular philosophy showcased is the structural framework behind Tarot, but you don't have to be interested in Tarot to use this information in writing or many other endeavors.
Novel and Screenwriting are both very much rooted in structure which becomes invisible when clothed in unique details. Learning to perceive the underlying structure behind seething masses of detail is somewhat like learning to spot starfish against an underwater boulder full of barnacles.

It's pattern-recognition, a brain function we all have and sometimes fail to buff up. These first 5 volumes help train the mental "eye" in a kind of abstract "pattern recognition" that will serve to sharpen results in everything you do.

The final 2 (or possibly more) volumes are directed at readers and writers who want to understand the application of the pattern recognition principles showcased in the first 5 volumes. These volumes are designed to be of use specifically by writers, but writers working in fiction, non-fiction, or screenwriting.

Currently, this project stands at the beginning of Volume #5, with several more weeks work to do on that volume, plus artwork and packaging efforts. This is a team effort that has absorbed Karen, Patric, Jean, me -- and others here -- for a year or more.

Some of these Tarot and Writing Lesson chapters have been posted to the blogs
And on Tuesdays where I post on
The better entries on these two blogs will be compiled and presented in PDF (or other e-book formats) plus, on paper.

******COAL FOR CHRISTMAS**********

COAL FOR CHRISTMAS by Lois Wickstrom and Jean Lorrah finished in the top ten family screenplays in the 2008 TheMovieDeal contest. Find the SCROLL icon at the lower left, and scroll down to see the top ten in each category.


******BOOK REVIEWS******

Jacqueline Lichtenberg's book review columns for August 2009, ReReadable Books, has been posted.

The books to be reviewed in 2010 have been posted through March 2010 at

ReReadable Books has posted monthly columns since 1993, and you can read them all free starting at

With incredible gratitude to Lorraine Tutihasi for getting up all the NEW REVIEWS in What's New!
And a great thank you to Karen MacLeod for posting the NL to the blog! Subscribe to the blog: for handy reference.

Live Long and Prosper,
Jacqueline Lichtenberg


****** Patric Michael (our Webmaster) is pleased to announce his NEXT publication!******

Light of a Different Moon by Patric Michael, part of the "To Die For" ghost anthology by MLR Press, will be released in September. Watch for it at

Check out for the Start of Something Great.



I'm developing a new way to find books to review -- via Twitter! And with more people helping we could, perhaps, find more reviewers. I've been collecting people in writing, editing, publishing, and various parts of the film industry on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
I really could use some help with this. To connect with me on Twitter
To connect with me on Facebook --
To connect with me on LinkedIn --
Karen MacLeod and Patric are also available on LinkedIn. We are moving gradually into the networking space and evaluating the uses of cloud computing. We need a new coordinator for the Reviews department who can work with the social networking tools.
For the moment, we have only a few reviewers responding to the e-mail List, and I suspect that's the drift away from e-mail because of the spam load.
We need to launch a blogspot blog for our Reviewers instead of a List, or perhaps establish a Group on Facebook.
I will continue to post books to be reviewed to the reviewers List as I discover them. As Coordinator of our Reviews Department, I ask for your help. With the current upsurge in e-book publishing that is sweeping the Internet, we daily receive an increasing number of books to review. Yet, in counterpoint, we have a shortage of reviewers, and many of our reviews staff are several books behind. We are eagerly and actively seeking new people to review for us. As with all of Sime~Gen, our reviewers are volunteers. When they write a review, it is posted
with their byline, and they get to keep the review copy of the books they have read and reviewed.
For more information on our Reviewers Agreement, visit:
Please help us by passing this information along to anyone you know who might want to join our happy band. If interested, they can send a note expressing their interest to Jean at


Anyone shopping Amazon who wants to contribute to without it costing them a cent, please start by using any of the Amazon Search boxes on our pages. Our top page has three really handy ones near the bottom.

******Please Support Those Advertisers Who Support Us *****

A SIME~GEN postage stamp is now available to order on cafe press. It can be used just as you would use a regular postage stamp. Be the first on YOUR block to have them!
We've got a new page for Cafe Press items from our artists and authors. Now you can get t-shirts, greeting cards, clocks, mugs, and other great stuff with work from your favorite artists. You can even buy books about Nessie, the Orange Forest Rabbit and The Reluctant Spy that aren't available anywhere else. is a direct link to all our items and merchandise stores. Use of this page will give the domain extra income. If there is an item that you wish to see that isn't offered, just write Lois at and she'll get it ready for you to order.

******HELP WANTED*****

The spotlights section of currently needs interviewers, spotlight posting personnel, an assistant spotlights gatemaster, and a keygifts store manager. We are also requesting an Assistant Reviews Co-coordinator - duties include covering when other staff are unable to perform tasks. We are almost finished revamping our reviews section and expect activity to be at a constant high level. We're looking for a versatile quick learner able to put in some time
daily. Pluses are: A good command of the English language (syntax, grammar, punctuation, in that order), some computer experience or ability to learn, and an interest in books. Direct all inquiries to
Individuals to take over, or assist with the SIMECENTER Site -- It isn't at all hard, but a bit time-consuming...and very rewarding ("meeting" these marvelous authors and artists, if only via E-Mail and their websites.) Please write me, Kaires Tevesu, if you are interested. People who talked to me earlier about helping: I've lost track of your communications in the throes of several changes of computer. PLEASE contact me again. The time is right, the templates are much more robust, I have a small backlog of stories (the hardest part of operating SimeCenter), and I've even documented some of the processes. I'd like to talk to you again.

****** Please Support Those Advertisers Who Support Us *****


We have had to withdraw the entire Sime~Gen project from Meisha Merlin for a wide range of reasons. They missed several deadlines for publication of TO KISS OR TO KILL and showed no signs of intention to get it out any time in the foreseeable future. That stalled everything else. It was very disappointing. So we are now actively in search of another publisher.
THE UNITY TRILOGY should continue to be available for some time -- they have the right to dispose of all stock in the Meisha Merlin warehouse.

******AVAILABLE RELEASES***********

~ the Omnibus reprint of Jean Lorrah's SAVAGE EMPIRE: DARK MOON RISING -- is #1 in the reprint program.
~ Trade Paperback edition of DREAMSPY from BenBella Books and you can order on Amazon and some other places
Read the comments here:
~ SAVAGE EMPIRE: PROPHECIES is #2 in Jean Lorrah's and Winston Howlett's omnibus reprint of the Savage Empire series.
Still Available in Trade Paperback, SIME~GEN: THE UNITY TRILOGY

***** Sites to Remember *****

Author spotlights:
Romance articles:
Reviews of books by Jacqueline Lichtenberg:
Sound files of Jacqueline Lichtenberg pronouncing Sime~Gen vocabulary words can be found at
To sign up for classes, go to
To volunteer, go to for the latest openings.

To unsubscribe from this list, send e-mail to with no subject and the text "unsubscribe NEWSLETTER-L".
To contact editor for any reason, please e-mail Lisa Saunders at
*Please Note all material posted on Official Virtual Tecton is copyright © by Sime~Gen Inc. and all rights are reserved. To get your Sime~Gen(tm) material
sanctioned for web posting or to get permission to repost from official materials, e-mail, contact
Sime~Gen (tm) is the trademark of a fictional universe copyright © by Jacqueline Lichtenberg, 1969, 1974, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1984, 1986 and Sime~Gen Inc. 1999-2009.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

In Memoriam Bev Zuk

The following is from Melissa Bayard Clemmer 8/19/2009

Beverly Zuk, Illinois writer and artist in fandom for many years, passed away this last Sunday (Aug. 16, 2009) in Wisconsin where she and her husband retired two years ago.

She is survived by a patient, loving husband who was there for her till the end, and two wonderful grown sons.

Bev was mostly a Trek fan, writing several novels, several of which are still available today. She particularly liked McCoy, who appealed to her sense of humor. She was one of the original members of the Trek Mafia, and helped with many SF and Media cons thru the years.

She will be missed.

You may drop comments on this news blog for possible inclusion in a more permanent web page in the Sime~Gen fanzine Companion In Zeor to stand beside the tribute to Joan Winston

Everything on and almost everyone associated with the enterprise is somehow related to or connected to or derived from Star Trek.

See and our classic Star Trek 'zine section

Bev Zuk was a mover and shaker, a guiding light, a cheer leader and a first in scout. She had common sense and a flaming spirit. There's no way to express how she will be missed.

If anyone knows more details of how it happened, please share with us here.

Jacqueline Lichtenberg