An Interview with Jacqueline Lichtenberg (1980)

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Interviews by Fans
Title: An Interview with Jacqueline Lichtenberg
Interviewer: Michael J. Tartaglio
Interviewee: Jacqueline Lichtenberg
Date(s): 1980
Medium: print, online
Fandom(s): Star Trek, Science Fiction, Science Fiction
External Links: online here; WebCite
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.


An Interview with Jacqueline Lichtenberg was printed in A Companion in Zeor #5.

Also see An Interview with Jacqueline Lichtenberg (1978).

first page from A Companion in Zeor #5


Well, what happened was, I had already begun publishing in the Sime series before I got involved in writing Star Trek fiction, the Kraith series. And I then realized that Star Trek had been cancelled and I realized that fandom was not dying and being as my family has BEEN in the news game all my life, and I can recognize a news story when I see one, I knew that I had a big one on my hands. I wanted to write a newspaper article about it for our local paper, and I started out to write the article, and you need to know who, what, when, where, how, how many, you know the basics . . . That research took 5 years. And in the process, the book turned into Star Trek Lives! It turned into a whole book instead of an article.

While we were writing Star Trek Lives! we were using the responses to the Kraith series as research material to discover why it is that people like Star Trek and what it is that they see in Star Trek. And we came up with a theory in Star Trek Lives! called "The Tailored Effect". At that time it was just a wild hypothesis.

Now, what I did was, in order to turn a hypothesis into a theory, you have to run at least one experiment. I took 3 of the 7 Tailored Effects that composed "Spock Charisma Effect" and I constructed a novel in my pre-existing Sime series universe around those three Tailored Effects, and I sold the novel to Doubleday. And that $6.00 hardcover book I sold on a moneyback guarantee, personally autographed, to those 3/7ths of the Spock fans who liked Spock for the particular reasons that I liked Spock.
To the people who were on target to my Tailored Effects. I said, "Give me your $6.00, I'll sign your name in the book, and if you don't like the book give it back to me. I'll give you all your money back." Okay? I've never had one returned! I sold over five dozen of them that way, 'til the book sold out. It sold out its printing. It did not get pulped or remaindered. It sold out its printing!! And I did not get a single one of those books back! Okay? So that means that the Tailored Effect is a bonafide, genuine theory. Not just a hypothesis. It works. At least I can make it work. Maybe I can't make anybody else understand HOW I do it, but it's obvious that I can do something. Because I am right on target to the Star Trek fans. Unto is built out of different material. It is NOT targeted at Star Trek fans. There is, of course, a certain overlap, but it isn't a deliberate, premeditated, specific targeting at Spock fans. However, it does have a certain gut wrenching effect on certain Star Trek fans. But that's not their Star Trek nerve that's being hit. It's something else within them. Do you see? Unto is a very different kind of book. Now that's the connection between the two series. There is one book, House of Zeor, which was written specifically to demonstrate the viability of this, the Tailored Effect Hypothesis. All right? That's the only connection between Star Trek and Sime.
And Science Fiction has traditionally been targeted at the adolescent male. Having never been an adolescent male, I can't imagine why the field has gotten into the shape that it's in. BUT, I was an adolescent FEMALE, and I know what an adolescent female wants out of their fiction, and I know that Science Fiction sometimes delivered that, but very rarely, and usually just a flash in the middle of a story, or a thread running through a novel. Never as the baseline or the main point, or the substance and meat of the story. Well, what I'm trying to say is that in real literature, you see, (and NOT because the author is male or female) because the author is writing FOR both men and women, real literature has a certain balance of psychological actions and physical actions, psychological story and physical story, psychological resolution and physical resolution. Right? Science Fiction traditionally has never had to have this because they were ignoring the women in the readership. Not that they weren't there, but that they were ignored. NOW they're beginning to realize, especially through the impact of Star Trek, that more and more women are reading Science Fiction, and more and more women are writing Science Fiction, and the competition is ON, to develop stories and characters and premises and ideas and universes …