Where Sime and Gen Meet, Creativity Happens
Jacqueline Lichtenberg generated the basic premise behind Kraith by observing that Gene Roddenberry had chosen certain specific sf/f writers to contribute scripts to the show.
Being very familiar with those authors' other works, as Gene was, Jacqueline Lichtenberg deduced (not having met Gene at that point) the universe outline that Gene was sketching.
And surveying the authors who were represented, it became glaringly obvious that one prominent author who belonged with that set of authors was missing.
Jacqueline added into the Star Trek premise the basic thematic premises of the work of that one missing author and thus generated Kraith as an alternate-universe Star Trek.
Years later, Jacqueline was told by that missing author that indeed Gene had approached her with an offer to do a script and she had turned him down. She didn't (at that time) own a television and had no respect for television -- didn't want to be a part of that "scene" -- hadn't seen Star Trek and didn't want to.
During those years, Star Trek and television changed -- the place of sf on tv changed -- the very definition of sf changed in the minds of those producing shows in Hollywood. And Star Trek became legend. "Beam Me Up, Scotty" became a pop-culture saying.
And so her opinion of television changed - a little. A very little. However, in the end, she did permit one of her most treasured works to become a Made-for-TV miniseries.
The author in question is Marion Zimmer Bradley. The premise lifted from her work and woven into Star Trek is the premise behind her Darkover Universe novels, namely the laws of ESP. The miniseries in question is The Mists of Avalon, based on Marion Zimmer Bradley's best selling novel about the women of King Arthur's day and the way they affected the course of history - the women behind the King Arthur Legend, The Mists of Avalon, which has several sequels.
Jacqueline Lichtenberg, after more than ten years as a dedicated Marion Zimmer Bradley fan, finally met her when Devra Langsam, editor of the Star Trek Fanzine Spockanalia, and some other Star Trek fans connected with the Committee of the New York Star Trek Conventions were sitting around Jacqueline's kitchen table, and happened to mention that Marion Zimmer Bradley lives on Statton Island. That kitchen table was then near New York city.
Jacqueline wrote to Marion, and they corresponded heavily during the years Jacqueline was formulating and writing Kraith, and simultaneously formulating and writing (and selling) the Sime~Gen Novels. Marion helped sell the first Sime~Gen novel, House of Zeor, and mentored Jacqueline through the writing of the second Sime~Gen novel, Unto Zeor, Forever.
House of Zeor, the first published Sime~Gen Novel, was written specifically to test the main hypothesis presented in Star Trek Lives! about why Star Trek fans love the show. The novel is mentioned in Star Trek Lives!
The House of Zeor hardcover edition (at that time an expensive book) was sold on a money-back guarantee to Star Trek fans who loved the Spock character best, and none of those copies were ever returned. House of Zeor was in print for 20 consecutive years, and is now part of the omnibus Sime~Gen: The Unity Trilogy, and also available in e-book form at www.embiid.com
Star Trek + Darkover (Marion Zimmer Bradley) = Kraith
Kraith is the foundation of the research behind Star Trek Lives!
Kraith is the subject of an article in the New York Times Book Review section titled "Spock Among the Women" (Nov. 16, 1986).
The author of "Spock Among The Women," Camille Bacon-Smith, wrote a book titled Enterprising Women which mentions Kraith. Both article and book also feature Jean Lorrah's Star Trek fanzine series, Night of the Twin Moons (which is background for some of her professional Star Trek Novels). Jean Lorrah is a Kraith Creator, the co-author of Sime~Gen professional novels as well as several Sime~Gen fanzine stories available here, creator of the Savage Empire novel series, and author of the Award Winning novel, Blood Will Tell.
Kraith earned Lichtenberg a nomination for the Best Fan Writer Hugo.
And in 2004, Lichtenberg has been included in the award winning film, Trekkies Two, the sequel to the acclaimed Trekkies. Jean couldn't make it to California for the interview. But Joan Winston, co-author of Star Trek Lives! is also in Trekkies Two.
During the extensive interview for the film, Lichtenberg explained that House of Zeor is the test of the Spock Premise and the Tailored Effect presented in Star Trek Lives! - the book that attempts to explain why people like Star Trek.
Although not explicitly stated in House of Zeor, many of the premises behind Darkover are incorporated into Sime~Gen, and much of the writing in Sime~Gen is strongly influenced by Marion Zimmer Bradley's techniques.
Like Classic Trek, the Sime~Gen series has spawned its own fandom, with a proliferation of fanzines, crafts, and role playing games.
More on Sime~Gen and more on Sime~Gen fandom.
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This page was last updated: 07/26/2015