Jacqueline Lichtenberg

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Name: Jacqueline Lichtenberg
Alias(es): Daniel R. Kerns
Type: fan writer & professional writer
Fandoms: a fan of Star Trek: TOS and Star Trek: TNG, Doctor Who, and of Darkover; created Sime~Gen, Dushau & Kren
URL: website, LJ
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from the Neo-Star: Cleveland Star Trek Convention program book in 1979

Jacqueline Lichtenberg is, among many other things, a fan turned pro. She is the creator of the Kraith series of Star Trek The Original Series short stories and novellas and of the professionally published Sime~Gen series.

Lichtenberg is a co-author of the hugely-influential Star Trek Lives!, a 1975 book that was a gateway to fandom for many fans.

She got into fandom when she had a letter published in "Amazing" and she was invited to join N3F.

Lichtenberg was one of the hosts of the Writing for Fanzines workshop.

She is also a practicing occultist who has written several books on Tarot cards and astrology.

In 1977, Lichtenberg wrote:

Jean Lorrah and I, in collaboration, have just sold Doubleday a Sime novel, FIRST CHANNEL. That's exciting to me for a number of reasons, but mostly because it's the first time I've sold an unwritten book, which makes it a milestone in my career. It's Jean's first novel sale (though not her first sale), and collaborations are "in" this year, so we're feeling very good about it. If Niven and Poumelle can do it, why not us women? [1]

From a 2020 interview:

I've often said — and I think it's still the most important thing we did—we blew the lid on fanfic.

In doing that, in telling the world that they can't do this to us; they can't take Star Trek away from us; they can't cancel us; they have no power over our imagination; we tore down walls for several generations to come to the gymnasium of the imagination where we share visions, articulate emotional wisdom, and become strong enough to "make it so" in everyday reality.

The "message," or theme, of Star Trek Lives! was simply, "You are not alone." [2]

Lichtenberg's Activities as a Fan

When I was in seventh grade, my father bought a typewriter and taught me to touch type in 2 weeks. Then he insisted I practice every day.
Lichtenberg at the Writers Workshop in Harrisburg in 1987

Since the artwork in the science fiction magazines had annoyed me because it was inaccurate, I practiced by writing a letter to the editor lambasting the artists for not reading the stories. I was in seventh grade—what did I know of the business and trade of illustration? They published my letter with my snailmail address (it was a different era), and science fiction fans apparently agreed with me I got dozens of letters inviting me to join "fandom." I joined the National Fantasy Fan Federation, the N3F.

Today, people don't understand that "fandom" was a web of social networks of organizations with constitutions, dues, by-laws, and internal publications, organizations of adults. Today people think "fan" means fanatic, childish, or not sane. Times change. [3]

In an undated essay (early to mid-2000s?), Lichtenberg wrote of being a fan:

For me the line between fan and pro in sf/f has always been a blurred one, and as time continues I find it becoming more blurred. The professionals I most admired while growing up, Hal Clement, Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, Fred Pohl, Edward E. Smith, Poul Anderson, and on and on and on, were fans - and in the beginning there were no pros in the sense of people who made a living from writing sf. There were fans who occassionally [sic] sold a story. And people like MZB who continued to be active in fandom while selling sf/f were my role models.

Today, some people I met before they'd sold any fiction became fan-friends and now have become professionals too. from those days have become professional SF authors in their own right. Elizabeth Waters (whom we called Lisa) is one such. She and MZB met in my living room. Some Ambrov Zeor collating parties were held at Lisa's house in Connecticut and for a while she published the fanzine and often ended up collating the whole thing by herself. Try some of her novels and stories - it won't be wasted money or reading time.

Ann Crispin is another. I met her at a Star Trek convention where she diffidently and eagerly offered me her STAR TREK novel manuscript to read. It needed some work, and after she mulled over my suggestions, she sent me a revised copy. I liked it so much I agented it for her and it became the first New York Times Bestseller of the Trek novels - Yesterday's Son. Now Ann has a career writing novelizations, collaborations with Andre Norton, and original novels of her own.

Another association that came to me through MZB and who is a perennial Guest at Darkover Grand Council is Katherine Kurtz, creator of the Deryni novels. [4]

Star Trek

Lichtenberg was a active fan in Star Trek: TOS and Star Trek: TNG zines, as well as a writer of Trek tie-in pro books.

She was also a co-writer of Star Trek Lives!, which her survey Strekfan Roster Questionnaire and her list The Strekzine List were utilized.

Lichtenberg was the creator of Star Trek Welcommittee.

Lichtenberg is the creator of Kraith, a Star Trek original universe.

She credits herself with having inspired early Star Trek fanzines to publish fiction, although there were already dozens if not hundreds of Star Trek fanzines running fan fiction by the time the piece she describes appeared -- Spockanalia 4, April 1969. (See List of Star Trek TOS Zines Published While the Show First Aired.) Spockanalia had published fan fiction beginning with the Spencerian farce "Star Drek" by Ruth Berman in issue 1, September 1967.

Devra Langsam and some other New York fen who were captivated by Star Trek started a Star Trek fanzine called Spockanalia -- on mimeo, paper now totally disintegrated, ink faded, and I still have my copies. I had an article "Mr. Spock on Logic," in the 4th issue.

The idea caught on, and suddenly Spockanalia was publishing fiction.

SF 'zines usually didn't publish fiction except as send-ups, spoofs, farces and gotcha's.[note 1]

But suddenly, dozens of Star Trek fanzines were publishing fiction and articles and letters of comments on the fan written fiction and articles. A whole new world of Star Trek was born.

And Star Trek conventions where fanzines were sold, and story ideas concocted for more fanzines. [5]

Trek zines with fiction, poetry, or articles by Lichtenberg: Archives' Log | Babel | Back Trekkin' | The Best of... (Sarek and Amanda) | Energize! | The Enterprise Papers: Warp One | Eridani Triad | Federation Centennial | The Federation Chronicle | Grup | Impulse | Independent Entity | Interphase | Kraith Creator's Manual | LNSTFCCF Bulletin | Masiform D | NCC-1701 | Off the Beaten Trek | Overload | Pastaklan Vesla | Remote Control | Space-Time Continuum | Spockanalia | Star Trek: That Which Survives | Tetrumbriant | Tricorder Readings | The Voyages

Darkover and Marion Zimmer Bradley

photo taken at Darkover Grand Council in 1978: Marion Zimmer Bradley was the Guest of Honor and Lichtenberg was the Fan Guest of Honor
"Jacqueline and her mentor Marion Zimmer Bradley" - photo taken at Darkover Grand Council in 1987

Lichtenberg was a major Darkover fan, and a personal friend of Marion Zimmer Bradley. In an undated essay, Lichtenberg referred to Bradley as "one writer, and very Best Friend, Teacher, Initiator, and Influence." [6] She was a relentless promoter of Bradley's work in zines, newsletters, and at cons. She mentions several times in her own zine Ambrov Zeor as well as Darkover Newsletter that she was working with Bradley on the pro book "Stormqueen!". Lichtenberg also co-wrote the pro book "Thendara House" though she is not credited. [7]

Lichtenberg was also in charge of "Keeper's Tower," the column in Darkover Newsletter that organized and oversaw Darkover Councils.

Darkover Newsletter has many comments and columns by Lichtenberg, and her Darkover fiction appears in Starstone as well as a story co-written with Jean Lorrah that appears in the DAW Darkover Anthology, "The Keeper's Price."

Lichtenberg was also in charge of organizing the Darkover fan clubs called councils. Her own council was called Keeper's Tower.

Marion Zimmer Bradley writes about Lichtenberg:

Marion Zimmer Bradley (creator of the Darkover Universe novels, and author of MISTS OF AVALON which was made into a TV Miniseries) wrote about Jacqueline Lichtenberg in the preface to "The Answer" by Jacqueline Lichtenberg and Jean Lorrah. Marion Zimmer Bradley writes:

"One thing an editor learns quickly is that cliches have a reason for existence. In putting this introduction together, I tried for a long time to avoid the statment, "No anthology of Darkover fiction would be complete without a story from Jacqueline Lichtenberg" and finally gave up because it's true, exactly the way the cliche has it; no such anthology would be complete without, et cetera. Second only to my editor, Don Wollheim, Jacqueline was the one single person instrumental in making me realize that Darkover had its own independent existence and that I should continue writing. Jacqueline and I differ on almost everything one can imagine, from the aesthetic value of mathematics (I'm con, she's pro) to the quality of the TV show Star Trek (and we won't go into that, thank you.) But, while with all these differences, one would imagine she would absolutely loathe the Darkover books, she likes them; in fact, she once paid me the compliment of saying that a copy of Star of Danger had "saved her sanity" when she was marooned overseas without access to American Science Fiction.

I also think of Jacqueline, with pardonable pride, as a protegee; I read reams of her earlier amateur fiction (and ripped the hide off of her in long bleeding strips for the usual amateurish mistakes, having made them all myself, and worse.) Therefore I was delighted when her work began to assume professional and publishable quality; she has now [1980-jl] sold four novels in her own series, and has begun another, and I couldn't be prouder if I'd written them myself." [8]

Lichtenberg writes about Bradley:

As you all know by now, I have a terrible case of hero-worship for Marion Zimmer Bradley. At times, it is so bad that she gets mad at me because it embarrasses her how I gush on and on with my effusive statements of pure wonderment." [9]

Doctor Who

Her Dushau books are, in part, Doctor Who fanfic.

As an Author

Fan Fiction Policy: Lichtenberg both tolerated and encouraged it via her Kraith universe, her Dushau books, and Sime~Gen zines.

Lichtenberg was a very frequent guest of honor at for-profit conventions and non-profit fan cons.

In 1974, Lichtenberg was one of two Star Trek fans nominated for a Hugo Award. The other nominations, and winner for Best Fan Writer - Susan Wood, Richard E. Geis, Laura Basta, Jacqueline Lichtenberg, and Sandra Miesel. The winner was Susan Wood.

Fandoms: Kraith and Sime~Gen

Kraith (Star Trek original shared universe) is by Lichtenberg with contributions from Jean Lorrah among many others. Sime~Gen (original universe) is by Lichtenberg and Jean Lorrah. See those pages for much more.

"All the work by Jacqueline Lichtenberg and Jean Lorrah revolves around themes of an "exchange of lifeforce." Both of them have written "traditional" vampire novels and stories (not in the Dracula vein), but their major work has been reinventing the vampire archetype in the Sime~Gen series." [10]

Intimate Adventure

Intimate Adventure is a genre which was created and actively promoted by Jacqueline Lichtenberg.

Despite robust attempts to make the term into a widely-accepted one in fandom, only Lichtenberg and her associate, Jean Lorrah, appeared to use it.

A similar term, one which did take on wings of its own, is Paula Smith's term Mary Sue.

See more at Intimate Adventure.

Guest of Honor Appearances at Conventions

Jacqueline Lichtenberg (wearing a con guest of honor ribbon) and on the right end Francis Zawacky. One of the other fans is Fern Marder, the other fans are unknown.

Lichetenberg's attendance at Seacon (1979 Worldcon) was something that sparked some science fiction fans to created the satirical zine, JACKIE!.


Views on Lichtenberg

A fan described Lichtenberg in 1978:

To any serious Trekker, the name of Jacqueline Lichtenberg needs no introduction. She has been a leader in the Star Trek Fan movement since its beginnings: organizer of the Star Trek Welcommittee, author of the controversial "Kraith" series of fan fiction, and co-author of the best-selling paperback, "Star Trek Lives."

Her interests are not confined to Star Trek alone. Destined, it seems, to be a leader wherever she goes, she's one of the shapers of the "Darkover" fandom (Marion Zimmer Bradley's SF series). She also has a fanzine of her own; the 'zine "Ambrov Zeor" is entirely devoted to her "Sime" series which, to date, consists of two published novels ("House of Zeor" and "Onto Zeor Forever") and numerous short stories. Her writing is richly detailed and convincing, with powerful emotional impact.

In person, Jacqueline Lichtenberg is every bit as dynamic and impressive as her writing. slender, almost frail in appearance (it's easy to see where she got the model for her wiry, agile Simes), she's a powerhouse of energy, efficiently accomplishing more in an hour than most people can in a week. She is also an effective speaker. Her voice is soft, but intense and she speaks with impassioned rhetoric or quiet humour with equal facility. Often, like the good writer she is, she will pause as she speaks, searching for exactly the right word to express her thoughts.

Interviewing Jacgueline Lichtenberg was a memorable experience, and one I shall treasure. Her success is an inspiration to fan writers and her generosity in giving her time and talent to fandom would seem to know no bounds.

Thank you, Jacqueline. [11]

Perceived Ego

A fan in 1979 wrote that she enjoyed Lichtenberg's zine Ambrov Zeor "except for the overdoing on JL's part sometimes of autoegoboo." [12]

In 1979, Jean Lorrah (Lichtenberg's friend and professional and fannish collaborator) wrote of Lichtenberg in Ambrov Zeor #8 in response to a fan's comments about characters in the Sime~Gen universe:

Are Farrises self-centered? Yes, exactly the way Jacqueline Lichtenberg is self-centered. If a neo stumbles across Jacqueline when she is saying she can do the new Trek movie better than Gene Roddenberry, and then encounters her discussing how she plans to change the course of science fiction, then runs into her assertions about copyright and trade marks, and finally sees Jacqueline directing her personal gofers, that neo would undoubtedly decide that Jacqueline is the most self-centered person in the world. Yet Jacqueline is the same person who delayed publication of UNTO [her own book, Unto Zeor Forever] to sell Joan Winston's book to Doubleday; who founded the Star Trek Welcommittee; who gave Kraith to fan writers as a kind of giant writing laboratory; who sold my idea for FIRST CHANNEL to her editor. Self-centered? No, she is the embodiment of Chaucer's clerk, the ideal teacher: "Gladly wolde he lerne and gladly teche."...The reason Jacqueline seems so alien to so many people is that she is a non-junct in a junct world.

In 1974, Cara Sherman wrote an extensive essay about Kraith and said:

Before getting into a critique of the material itself, I'd like to discuss the author a little. I have never met her or seen her, but I've written to people who have and their feelings are sharply divergent. Personalities have nothing provable to do with writing — I'm talking about her Author's Preface, in which she comments on Strekfen who dislike Kraith, particularly Kraith's characterization of Spock, offering the pages of the preface as a forum, where those who dislike KRAITH can formulate their views. After examining my own feelings about the matter, I find it isn't Kraith I dislike at all, it's Jacqueline Lichtenberg's attitude. You get the distinct impression from things, like her calling Kraith Critics "Johnny One-notes of fandom," that her theories and ideas are the Word Made Flesh and that Kraith is the only and best explanation for all the of Vulcan. She sure as hell has gotten into aspects of Vulcan society and culture that apparently most authors on the subject don't touch, and given time we'll have a veritable Vulcan Margaret Mead... She writes with incisive perceptions and really scientific authority on Vulcan philosophy, mating habits, mores and psychology. It's only natural that, having seen nothing comparable in the criticisms of those who write and complain, she might feel put upon and react with prejudice.

But if she wants an explanation as to why Kraith is alienating, have someone read her her Author's Preface and a few key phrases from her stories, and if she's as openminded as I suspect she is under all the defense-mechanisms (one person I'm writing to told me that arguing Kraith with Jacqueline Lichtenberg is a one-way thing — "you just can't win" — sort of like arguing the Bible with a Fundamentalist — arguing in a closed set ultimately proves only which participant has the better memory), she'll see it herself.

Perhaps not. Kraith is a cherished thing, a beautiful thing, in places nearly a magical outline of what Vulcan society is and what our society could be if we were to apply Kraith—Vulcan principles to living our own lives. Well, if and when you see the collection, read the foreword. [13]

In the mid-2000s, Lichtenberg herself wrote:

At this point in my life I was already a professionally published sf writer and a very famous Star Trek fan writer for my Kraith Series. I was used to signing autographs and having people gasp, "You're Jacqueline LICHTENBERG?" [14]


On Slash Fanworks

Lichtenberg had a complicated relationship with slash fanworks and portrayals of homosexuality.

In 1979, Lichtenberg wrote about same sex relationships and how she did not intend for them to be in her stories, stating she "had thought I had weeded that out of me":

I ask you to consider that HoZ was written about 6 years ago on premises I conceived in my teens over twenty years ago! It does not' represent my current thinking, and in fact doesn't even represent my thinking as of the time I wrote it. As a result of my first pre-publication showing of HoZ to MZB, I was led to investigate the phenomenon of homosexuality in human psychology. Until I wrote HoZ the word had only a dictionary definition for me. It honestly never occurred to me as a teenager that people could be sexually attracted to others of the same sex — and this attitude is still deeper in my thinking than I really like to admit considering the world as it is today. It rather horrifies me, but it is still there. Witness: this last weekend Carol Lynn and Debbie Goldstein, the eds/publishers of Kraith Collected, were here. The first advance copy of UNTO ZEOR, FOREVER was also here, and they read it. First thing they spotted was an error I had passed over no less than 10 times during the course of putting that book through publication — in the glossary I define Lortuen:

Lortuen: a condition of profound and virtually unbreakable transfer dependency reinforced by both psychological and physical sexual love relationship between a male Sime and a female Gen who are matchmates. [Between a female Sime and a male Gen, the relationship is called torluen. Between the same sex, it is called orhuen.)

Now to me that does not imply that there is any sexual component to the orhuen relationship. However, my fans immediately point out that most people take to mean that there is. They brought me a Starsky & Hutch story [15] in which Starsky goes through changeover and Hutch establishes creating an orhuen, and the essence of the story revolves around Hutch loathing himself for being sexually raped by Starsky (or seducing him, he can't decide which).

I pointed to the definition and declaimed that it is clearly stated there is no sexual component to orhuen — and they said there was. My error was semantic. To me, the statement "between members of the same sex" deletes all connotations of sexual love and/or passion between the two! It was completely subconscious and though I had thought I had weeded that out of me, there it was again! And in print! Oy veh! [16]

In 1983, Lichtenberg included her comments in the larger discussion, The Great Gay Channel Controversy. larger discussion. In Lichtenber's essay, there is much discussion of chakras, Judaism, the beliefs of Marion Zimmer Bradley, "Intimacy" with a capital "I", "we need a some hard laboratory data on the nature of gayness"...

[footnotes indicated in brackets were provided by Jean Lorrah:

Can you see why I can't completely resolve the problem of the gay channel? Our real world science doesn't have the whole theory of gayness yet! Esoteric theory is mixed and still in furious argument over -whether gay sex can be used in "white" sex-magic (that's something MZB stayed out of in the recent hot controversy in pagan circles.) (1) [note 2] Until I have an absolute and thorough real-world theory of gayness, I can't develop an analogue in the S/G universe.

Currently our readership is using a wide diversity of theories of real-world gayness, and so there is no consensus on what the S/G data implies or what it ought to be.

My intuitive knowledge of both reality and S/G tells me quits loudly (and has not been swayed by the arguments so far advanced because none of those arguments include the building of a real- world theory to which the S/G can be made congruent) that you can't have a gay channel. He/she would simply perish at first cross-flow between primary and secondary systems. *Zap* that's it.


I need evidence from psychics under controlled conditions of male-identified lesbians, female-identified lesbians, male- identified homosexuals, female-identified homosexuals -- and all of the above for the following groups: gays who will not touch straights or members of the opposite physiological sex; gays who can copulate with members of the opposite physiological sex, but don't get anything out of it and gravitate to other gays; gays who get just as much out of sex regardless of the physiology of the partner — wherein it matters more WHO the person is than WHAT they are (i.e. bisexuals).

A discussion of the origin of gayness also belongs here — is it a phenomenon of mental illness (fairly well discredited theory, though I'm sure that SOME people are gay-identified as a result of some form of mental illness), genetics, cultural nurture, or WHAT? I see many, many origins, each represented by a few people most of whom don't care how they became as they are but are merely concerned with living their lives. It is certainly a phenomenon that has been with us since recorded history began -- and is observed in most animal species. And therefore it must be regarded as natural.

However, the Torah specifically prohibits gays from an active part in Jewish life (it does not in any way imply that gayness is unnatural or wrong or evil; (5) it simply accepts the phenomenon as part of humanity and carefully, specifically and firmly excludes all such from the daily observances of Jewish practice which are -- if you consider it from a certain point of view -- highly potent magical ceremonies. Gays are not excluded from humanity, nor from the "Nations" nor from any other form of magic. Only from the Jewish community practice. There is something particular about this magic, not shared with any other system, which makes it dangerous for gays to participate. We are not told dangerous to whom, nor what the consequences are other than the cutting off of the incompatible person. (6)

One wonders why this should be? What terrible and dreadful consequences might proceed from accidentally getting the magical ceremony to "work" while including in the group those who are practicing gays? I, frankly, don't know. But I've figured out so many of the other proscriptions which made absolutely no sense to me before I started studying esoterica that I'm very leery about discarding one so prominent and emphatic even though it seems to make no sense given what we know today.


I've been accused of writing "too technical" — if I were to write a gay channel into any S/G story, it would wax so technical even the deep-steeped fen couldn't follow it! I'm not even sure I could write it! I don't know enough! [17]

Fan Comments Regarding Lichtenberg and Her Views on Slash and on Homosexuality

A fan in 1993 wrote bluntly:

JL "says" she's not anti slash, and that we just don't understand the underlying imperatives of her universe....but she's full of it. [18]

Another fan wrote:

Tell me more [about any of her new novels]? (in serious Jacqueline Lichtenberg withdrawal (even if she *is* a jerk about slash stuff) [19]

Regarding Concrit: "The Negative Value of Positive Input"

In 1993, Lichtenberg addressed fans in Information for Would-be S/G Writers about writing fanfic. It displays her views on concrit for fan writers, the "payment" for zines, thin and thick skins, egos, "real writers," and her views on the purposes of amateur fiction.

The Negative Value of Positive Input.

To a serious writer, even one who hasn't sold yet and may choose to never attempt to sell, positive input has no value whatsoever and is a waste of time to read. It's the seemingly insightful fingering of the flaws that the real writer is starving for. And that's what I (and all the editors and agents I know, as well as most of the writers I know) dish out.

Therefore, a lot of my criticism is couched in acid-tipped language. If there's nothing complimentary to say, I use scathing rebukes and searing putdowns to make my points.

I have a reason for this and it's not cold, uncaring cruelty. It's the cauldron in which professionals are tempered. It is how I was taught, and the very pain is really the only teacher. No pain, no gain. It's true. Writing is about pain, human pain, emotional and physical pain, because without the pain there can be no pleasure. No one who is afraid to hear the truth about their product will ever make a good writer.

AZ and the other zines do not "nurture" any writers. Writers are not made by nurturing. They are made by truth, craftsmanship and discipline. They are made by honesty, not by "positive input." Anyone who can be discouraged from this craft should be discouraged. Writing is something you do because you can't not do it. It's not something to do for glory. Tender egos should not be nurtured because if they do get so full of "positive input" that they think they can write, they'll be doubly devastated by the first truth that comes from a professional editor. Positive input only makes that moment of truth unutterably destructive.

After you've gone a few rounds with me, and you begin to see a positive comment on your mss, however small, fleeting or irrelevant, you know it's the truth and not any kind of salve for your ego. You know you did it!

When I was writing Kraith, twenty years ago, I had letters in every zine that carried my stories begging and begging for negative input—I had tons of letters of positive input that did me no good whatsoever. The oniy letters of any value were those pointing out where my stories failed, not where they succeeded. Stories succeed for different reasons, but they fail for the same reasons: plot, conflict, thematic disunity, etcetera.

I have no trouble getting along with people who are wholly and totally incompatible with me, and I welcome with open arms S/G stories that are incompatible with my own biases and themes. I've worked with many ST and S/G writers who are now better than I will ever be, many of whom will never, ever submit anything for professional sale. I have no problem with that.

But I am a professional and the S/G zines are amateur publications. The only way we can pay contributors for their work is with access to professional level criticism, plus publication in a zine that has become known for its rigorously high standards. AZ is an expensive addiction for our readers and so we try to deliver a product that meets their highest expectations. Many of the stories we've published actually exceed the minimum standards necessary for professional publication—and that's why we are now beginning to see so many of us breaking into professional print. And I expect more to come.

I often circulate mss submitted to me among several other S/G writers for their comments, so don't be surprised if your ms returns to you via people you don't yet know.

No beginning writer can learn anything of substance from a non-writer. Most other beginning writers have little input of value. But the more criticism a beginner has taken, the better their output comments on other mss. I have beginners comment on other beginners for their own benefit—to make them articulate the lessons I've been harping on— not for the benefit of the one receiving the commentary. I tag mss to be circulated to particular writers for reasons having to do with the particular writing lessons each of the pair is wrestling with, I tag mss for exchange because of their subject matter, theme, or technical flaws. I wouldn't waste a serious student's time on irrelevant nonsense that isn't pertinent to what they are currently learning. I match up people who have something valuable to exchange.

So if you're willing to participate in this admittedly difficult and challenging experience, we're willing to have a go at your ms. Maybe, just maybe, you'll live to see your own words in print!

This attitude echoes and was in part shaped by Lichtenberg's apprenticeship with Marion Zimmer Bradley, but it's not unique to them. See also Marion Zimmer Bradley as a Mentor to Other Fan Writers, Dianne Sylvan's Vampires Saved My Soul...after Marion Zimmer Bradley tried to kill it, and Lichtenberg's Marion Zimmer Bradley's Influence on the Sime~Gen Universe.

Regarding Male and Female Protagonists

In 1979, Lichtenberg responded to a fan who had expressed a need to read fantasy and science fiction works with women protagonists, that most of the Zeor books had primarily male leads, and the few women tended to be damsels in distress: "But what I am most tired of is reading books by women writers about men. I want to read books with female protagonists."

I grew up on SF with all-male characters end learned to identify with males for lack of any good female leads. I guess times are changing. But as yet, I find it unnecessary to write about females. [20]

This same fan also expressed revulsion toward settings such as Darkover where "men are on top" and where men talk about having the right to sleep with women. Lichtenberg's response: "Good heavens, it's not that different from here-and-now," but added that she'd addressed this in the story "Channel's Exemption".

General Topics

There was a lengthy exchange between Lichtenberg and Octavia Butler in May 1979. The topic was concrit, the use of created curse words, the use of overly cute characters, and more. See A Companion in Zeor for more.

An excerpt by Lichtenberg:

The key to all this is that in order to get the MOST out of what I write, you must be an aware-reader—that is, a fully conversant Sime/Gen afficianado. You can get the impression you've read a good book without knowing all those things, or caring—but it is just an illusion. The real impact comes through only when you really know the stuff cold. This is deliberate—it is the way I justify the PRICE people have to pay for books these days. I write to be re-read—many times. My overall attitude toward writing is all too noncommercial, I know—but it is my attitude, and I'd be lying to you if I pretended it wasn't. I write for my fans. Others are welcome to eavesdrop if they like, but they'll understand only what an eavesdropper can expect to understand. The substance will go right by. [21]


Other Photos

Meta/Further Reading


  1. ^ True. Prior to Star Trek, science fiction fanzines were mostly run by fans who themselves wished to become professional writers and have their work published in science fiction magazines, including John W. Campbell's prestigious Analog. They weren't about to run serious work for free in their own self-publications.
  2. ^ In Gardnerian Wicca, because of its emphasis on magic's roots in male-female balance, "'the law always has been that power must be passed from man to woman or from woman to man, the only exception being when a mother initiates her daughter or a father his son, because they are part of themselves'". This was specifically to keep homosexuals out of the Craft. As Lichtenberg says, this was controversial at the time. Today's Wicca is certainly inclusive of LGBTQ+ people and energies.


  1. ^ from Darkover Newsletter #8 (November 1977)
  2. ^ from Living Star Trek: How Two Women Breathed New Life into the Franchise
  3. ^ Fear and Courage: Fourteen Writers Explore Sime~Gen (2015)
  4. ^ from Marion Zimmer Bradley's Influence on the Sime~Gen Universe
  5. ^ Jacqueline Lichtenberg, "The Hurt Locker, Indie Films, Financing TV - Part I." Alien Romances blog, Tuesday, May 11, 2010. Lichtenberg may have her dates confused. Like many articles in Spockanalia, "Mr. Spock on Logic" was a "nonfiction" piece or article, supposedly written by Spock, not fan fiction in the sense of a narrative. It appeared in issue 4, April 1969, alongside Lelamarie Kreidler's Relationship story "Time Enough", Sherna Burley's script "Pierce", and Devra Langsam's romantic comedy "Family Affair."
  6. ^ [[Marion Zimmer Bradley's Influence on the Sime~Gen Universe (early to mid 2000s?)
  7. ^ Bradley's comments in Holes in My Yard, 1992
  8. ^ About Jacqueline Lichtenberg, excerpt
  9. ^ from A Companion in Zeor #2, November 1978, from Lichtenberg's con report for Balticon, called "one weekend, with orchid.
  10. ^ Lifeforce-L newlstter info
  11. ^ from the introduction to An Interview with Jacqueline Lichtenberg (1978)
  12. ^ from Amy Harlib in Ambrov Zeor #7
  13. ^ Kraith Review (Whap! Crunch! Ow!)
  14. ^ Marion Zimmer Bradley's Influence on the Sime~Gen Universe
  15. ^ This fic was most likely Orhuen Obbligato, but also could be Fighting for Duo.
  16. ^ from Three Letters on the Subject of Homosexuality in the Sime/Gen Universe (1979)
  17. ^ from The Great Gay Channel Controversy
  18. ^ Sandy Hereld, Virgule-L, quoted with permission (May 17, 1993)
  19. ^ comment on Virgule-L, quoted anonymously (May 17, 1993)
  20. ^ from a letter exchange in A Companion in Zeor #4
  21. ^ from a letter exchange in A Companion in Zeor #4