Welcome to Virtual Selyn (simegen-l@siu.edu), the mailing list dedicated to the appreciation of the Sime~Gen universe!

The list owner is Leigh Kimmel . I am responsible for the smooth running of the list, and am the person to contact when you have problems with the list.

(Last revised February 1, 1997)

*** Copyright Notice ***

The Sime~Gen universe is an original creation of Jacqueline Lichtenberg and is copyright by her. The contents of individual posts on this list are copyright by their respective creators.

*** Mechanics of the Listserv Software ***

Whether you joined directly or were added to the list by someone else, you should have also received a document from listserv@siu.edu. This document explains the mechanics of the listserv software and the commands that enable you to communicate with the server on which VS runs.

Please read that document as well as this message. You will probably want to download both documents and keep them in a safe place -- i.e. on one or more floppies, because hard drives _do_ crash and take all your data.

You will want to be able to refer to your introductory messages in the future. For instance you may want to change your membership settings. If you are gone on vacation, you will want to know how to set the list to NOMAIL so that your mailbox doesn't overflow.

Finally there may come the time when you need to unsubscribe. Even you're just moving to a different e-mail address, you still have to unsubscribe your old address and re-subscribe with your new address.

*** What is Sime~Gen ***

(Those of you who are longtime fans just discovering the new electronic fanac, please be patient. We also have people who've joined on the recommendation of their friends, or because they found the listing on a Web page and thought it sounded neat, and may never have heard of the S~G universe before).

Sime~Gen is a universe created by Jacqueline Lichtenberg (JL). All eight books are out of print but they can be found at a public library, perhaps via interlibrary loan, or at a used book store. Some titles are still available from the author. Jean Lorrah (Jean), JL's long time friend, played in the universe as well. The books are (in order of publication, not internal story order):

The premise:

The human species has mutated. At puberty, a child may become an adult by establishing, the process in which the body starts to produce a biological energy called selyn. This child is said to have become Gen.

Or a child will change over and become Sime. A Sime develops six tentacles on each arm and must obtain selyn to live.

In the olden days, the process of taking selyn would result in the death of the Gen. This was known as the kill.

Another mutation happened. A new kind of Sime was discovered. This Sime could learn to take the selyn without killing the Gen. Then that Sime, called a channel, would be able to give the selyn to other Simes. This enabled the other Simes to live without killing.

On the Gen side of the equation, there was a mutation which enabled certain Gens to be able to care for the special Simes.

As you can imagine, the universe is full of intense angst, and conflict. However these writers focus on the power of humanity to rise above their environment and find the goodness in life.

(The outline of Sime~Gen was originally written by Cherri Munoz)

***General Guidelines***

#1: BE NICE! If you can't play well with others, these lists aren't the place to be. Remember the Golden Rule -- and live by it!

#2: NO FLAMING ON-LIST! If you can't be civil to one another, even in disagreeing, then this is not the place for you. Spirited discussion is welcome, meanness is not.

#3: BE TOLERANT OF OTHER PEOPLES' LIFESTYLES! The Internet is a big place, and reaches far beyond your hometown. You will be meeting people who are completely different from you. Some may be gay, or atheist, or black, or any number of things you may not like or understand. However, the lists are a neutral ground. There shall be no serious name-calling or lifestyle-bashing around the lists. This all hearkens back to #1 and #2.

#4: TRIM MATERIAL FROM POSTS TO WHICH YOU ARE REPLYING TO THE MINIMUM NECESSARY TO PRESERVE CONTEXT. Standard netiquette specifies 4 lines. Due to the highly technical nature of some S~G discussions, it may not be possible to cut the text you're responding to down to only 4 lines and still have a comprehensible message. However be sure every extra line you quote is essential to the context of the discussion and the meaning you're trying to get across -- we don't have to read the same post 4 times with only 4 new lines of info.

Also please do your best to delete anything that looks like headers in replied text. These can cause the Listserv software to choke on a message and lose it. Then I have to dig it out of the error bin, trim off the headers, and send it on. If it's something time-sensitive, it may be too late by the time I find it.

#5: NO 'ME-TOOS'. A 'me-too' is where someone quotes back an entire post and then tacks on one or two lines that essentially says 'me too'. (However if you then make a lengthy explanation of _why_ this is a good idea or what should be done to implement it, this is no longer a "me too," but we'd still prefer that you trim your quoted text to a minimum).

#6: NO FICTION: This list is not the place for posting fiction. We run all S~G fanfic through private e-mail workshopping circles. See below for instructions.

#7: NO PERSONAL REPLIES TO THE LISTS: A personal reply is something intended for just one person, rather than the list at large. Unless it's an emergency (like your personal mail to so & so bounced), personal replies to the lists are frowned on. Check and make sure that your reply-to is set correctly to personal rather than list before you send stuff that's intended for private mail.

If you _have_ to make contact with one person via the list, it is preferable to simply send a message like "Are you still at jophan@nd.edu, Jo? My e-mail to you has bounced three times now." rather than to send the private message itself. If Jo's still on the list, she can let you know what the situation is. And if she's not, making all of us read your message won't get it to her.

#8: NO SOLICITATION: If you make an S~G-related product and you want to sell it, you *may not* post an advert to the lists unless it is a non- profit affair. This list runs on a .edu server, and running commercial adverts via SIU bandwidth and storage could get the list kicked off -- which would hurt us all.

#9: DON'T PANIC: Sometimes our listserver clogs, or the machine crashes, or mail just isn't delivered on time. If you don't get listmail for some time, just send a QUERY command to the server (see the commands page for more info) before posting and asking where the mail has been. This just gets annoying when 20 or so people send querying messages to the list.

(These guidelines were adapted from the Rules for the Forever Knight list).

*** Topics ***

We currently have three topics formally activated via the list header. The following topics are on the header list. Anything not under one of these three topics will automatically drop into the special "other" topic that everyone will get. This includes items marked with topics that haven't yet been formally activated in the list header.

When you are subscribed, you are automatically subscribed to the "SMOF" and "CONS" topics, as well as the special "other" topic, but not the "WORK" topic. If you want to change your profile of topic subscriptions, you must notify the server of that.

(Please note -- if you are receiving the list in digest form or are retrieving archive files, you cannot filter by topic because only one digest and one archive is prepared for the list).

For instance, if you don't want to receive convention information, you would send e-mail to listserv@siu.edu with the following command:


The minus sign tells the server that you want to take off that topic.

Make sure that you send the command to listserv@siu.edu, not the list address, and that you keep the subject line blank (or if you're on AOL or another service that disallows blank subject lines, you repeat the command line in the subject line) and you suppress any signature files so they don't confuse the server.

If the server refuses to accept your command after a couple of tries (and there seem to be a few addresses out there that it won't deal with, for reasons known only to itself), let me know and I'll set your topic options manually.

SMOF: -- Nuts&bolts discussion of the "gears" of keeping our fandom running, like setting up and maintaining the Webpage, creating and updating the Welcome message for the List, creating FAQ's of various types (for the List, for the Webpage, technical FAQ's for fanfic writing, etc).

WORK: -- This is the workshopping topic, through which we run JL's workshopping circles via the List. We'd still distribute actual stories manually (for copyright reasons if anything, and so that people who workshop original-universe fiction don't accidentally throw away their first-publication rights), but we'll be able to distribute discussions on writing skills automatically instead of having to mess with copying long lists of e-dresses into mailheaders.

CONS: This topic is for discussion of upcoming conventions. It can include announcements of upcoming cons, planning for them and reports after the convention is over.

The following topics haven't been formally activated on the list yet, although they may be in the future. However using them helps identify what kind of material is in the message, and is good practice for when we do activate them.

PARTY: -- This one will be for the "war" or party or whatever activity that Cherri wants to get organized. (This is why I'd like to get the SET TOPICS command working ASAP -- so that we can get such an activity going without swamping people who have to pay for their connections by the minute and might well be driven off by having to manually identify and delete all this stuff).

NEWS: -- This one will be for news items like JL's announcement that she had a possible publisher for _Farris Channel_, or internal fandom announcements like new items on the Webpage, additions to the FAQ, changes of contact persons for various activities, or the creation of new topics that will need to be added with the SET TOPIC command and then learned. Or important hardware news from SIU's server, which I may well have to pass on to all of you (like scheduled downtimes). _Everyone_ will want to have this one selected to keep up with important changes in procedures, so please don't abuse it by using it for trivial matters or replies and comments on news items.

TECH: This deals with any kind of neepery that doesn't really fall into the "SMOF:" topic, ranging from computer talk to the finer points of transfer mechanics.

GOSS: This is the "gossip" topic for chitchat about people's lives -- new jobs, children, etc.

*** Contact People ***

Here is a list of people who take care of various aspects of Sime~Gen fandom. If you have a question that is primarily directed at one specific area, it is often best to send private e-mail directly to that person instead of sending the question to the list in general.

Welcommittee chair:

Kit Plowman (71223.115@compuserve.com)

VS listowner:

Leigh Kimmel (kimmel@siu.edu)

Online Roleplaying/"War" Organizer:

Cherri Munoz (cdmunoz@earthlink.com)

S~G Website Host:

Samantha Herdman (sam@aviary.share.net)

Website Editor:

Robyn King-Nitschke (rking@redbrick.com)

Website Sound Librarian:

Don Jaramillo (ddraig@primenet.com)

Channel's Transfer (e-zine) editor:

Rhonda Marsh (rmarsh@lnxland1.ccd.cccoes.edu)

Companion in Zeor (paper zine moving to e-zine) editor:

Karen Litman (KarenLitman@juno.com)

Postsyndrome second edition editor:

Beth Phillips (no e-mail yet, can be contacted via Karen Litman)

Maintainer of the snail-mail address list:

Ronnie Bob Whitaker (ronnieb@onramp.com)

Tecton Star (S~G APA) Co-ordinator:

Leigh Kimmel (kimmel@siu.edu)

Co-ordinator of Taping Project for Print Handicapped:

Karen Litman (KarenLitman@juno.com)

Householding Registrar:

Torun Almer (torun@gte.net)

*** Volunteers ***

Like all fannish activities, Sime~Gen fandom runs on the hard work of its volunteers. We're always looking for a few more good people to take on various tasks. Off and on you may see new "jobs" posted on the list as we discover some task begging for someone to take it on.

If you know of something else that you think ought to be done, speak right up and suggest it. We can work out the details as we go -- we won't let the fact that we've never had someone do that job before stop us from developing a position if the fandom can really use it.

Here are our current openings:

*Fanfic Workshop Chief

This person is responsible for maintaining our "stable" of fanfic critiquers and knowing their levels and styles of critiquing. This person will take fanfic as it comes in from the writers and assign it to circles of two or three readers for workshopping. This person will also be responsible for seeing to it that the workshop runs smoothly and people are encouraged to complete critiques and rewrites in a timely fashion.

*Missing Persons Bureau Chief

This person is responsible for locating "lost" S~G fans, persons who have lost contact with organized S~G fandom for various reasons, and providing new contact information on these persons to the appropriate contact people (above). This person should have skills in using various Internet search systems to locate such people's net addresses and Web pages.

*HTML writers

If we're going to get stuff onto our WWW site (see Channel's Transfer below), someone will have to put the files into HTML format. These people will be willing to take care of the details of putting the necessary tags onto the files and making sure that they work before the files are loaded onto our Webserver for everyone to see.


We would really like to be able to have a second person on each of our major areas of responsibility (the fanzines, the Web site, etc). It's a lot of work to do these things, and it's easy for one person doing it alone to get burned up and wind up gafiating, to everyone's loss.

Also having only a single person doing something means that if the unexpected (computer crash, illness, family emergency, etc) happens, everything can come to a halt until that person can regroup. If we have an assistant for each of these major positions, there is someone to jump into the breach in such an emergency and keep things from falling apart.

Furthermore, being an assistant can be a great way of "learning the ropes" before moving up to a senior staff position.

***Fan Fiction***

This list is a discussion list. Although you will probably see _discussions_ about fan fiction, this is not the place to post fan fiction. Unlike such lists as those dedicated to Forever Knight, we do not have a separate fiction list. Because we want the fan fiction that is placed before the public to represent the writer's personal best, fan fiction is handled privately and manually in workshopping circles.

When you have fan fiction that you'd like to have others see, e-mail it directly to the Fanfic Workshop Chief (at the present we don't have anyone to fill that position, so e-mail materials to me at kimmel@siu.edu in the interim -- and if you'd like to volunteer for the position, we'd be glad to have you!), who will forward it to two or three readers whose level of expertise is appropriately matched to yours. After reading your story, they will offer a critique of where it falls short of the mark so that you can rewrite it.

This cycle can be repeated as many times as it takes for you to polish your story so that it represents the very best you are able to produce right now. Then we'll send it to Jacqueline for final approval before it goes on our Webzine, _Channel's Transfer_.

Technical questions will be referred to Jacqueline from the start. There's no use wasting hours perfecting a story that rests on the untenable foundation of an incorrect assumption about the technical underpinnings of the S~G universe.

This may sound onerous at first, until you realize that unlike most other fiction outlets, we are not reading to reject. We want to work with you to learn how to write the best fiction you can write, and we _want_ to publish your work. The skills you'll learn here will enable you to write professionally-publishable original-universe fiction. How many other places are willing to work with you to that degree these days?

*** Channel's Transfer ***

Channel's Transfer is our "sister" on the World Wide Web. It is an electronic fanzine in the form of a Web site, which you can find at http://www.aviary.share.net/~sam/zeor.html. As it grows and develops, it will have all the features that you knew and loved from the old paper fanzines -- stories, poetry, art, articles, round-robins and even a letcol -- in easily accessible electronic format.

We ultimately hope to be able to put all the old fanzines into HTML format. This way they will continue to be available even after the paper- zine operations close down for good.

The realities of publishing have changed so that it no longer makes economic sense to publish fanzines on paper. By contrast, it is easy to reach a vast audience for a fanzine on the Web, since search engine technology makes it easy to find Web pages dealing with anything.

However, if you don't have access to the World Wide Web, don't fret. Just let us know and we'll make sure that you can get the 'zine via e-mail or on disk.

***Final Word ***

I am available as a resource whenever necessary. Please try the commands first, and be patient (sometimes servers do go down, so it's generally a good idea to wait for a day or two before getting too worried), but if nothing seems to be working, send me e-mail at kimmel@siu.edu.

Leigh Kimmel, owner of the simegen-l list.

This page was last updated May 4, 1997.