The saga of humanity's destiny...
Following a cataclysm, humanity has been divided into two mutant forms" the Simes and the Gens. Gens consider themselves to be the true humans, with little outward change, but their bodies produce selyn, an energy that Simes can't live without. The stronger and faster Simes develop the means to extract selyn from the Gens, a method that kills the Gen in the process. Gen communities are raided by Simes, the Gens rounded up and held in pens for Simes to use when needed. This is the saga of how these two disparate peoples learn to live in harmony.
Sime~Gen: The Unity Trilogy presents three classic novels of the future struggle of humanity:
In House of Zeor by Jacqueline Lichtenberg, Hugh Valleroy, a Gen, must rescue the woman he loves from Sime raiders. To do so, he must learn to cooperate with and trust a renegade Sime, leader of the infamous House of Zeor.
In Ambrov Keon by Jean Lorrah, Risa Tigue, having just witnessed her father's death in a hurricane, stumbles upon a Gen man who saves her life and discovers that she is much more than what she seems. Can she admit the truth of this discovery?
In Zelerod's Doom by Litchtenberg and Lorrah, Gen numbers are dwindling, which spells the end of Simes as well. As Gens rise up to fight back against the tyranny of the Simes, the two must find a way to live together or both will be destroyed.
House of Zeor
"...Lichtenberg handles the deepening relationship between Klyd and Hugh with great delicacy, and through these two strongly realized characters, she effectively dramatizes the truth about the two races. Like the two sexes in the Platonic myth, Sime and Gen are incomplete without each other. But this is painful knowledge, and whether both sides can learn it in time is not at all clear" —Gerald Jonas, New York Times Book Review of Science Fiction
"House of Zeor by Jacqueline Litchenberg is the first novel to be published in the Sime ~ Gen Universe. In this twist on the vampire tale, a mutation has divided the human race into two distinct groups, Simes and Gens. The Gens' bodies produce a substance called selyn, which is the biological energy that sustains them. The Simes need selyn to live.
However, when the average Sime uses his or her tentacles to extract selyn the Gen victim usually goes into shock and dies. Fortunately, some Simes have the ability to channel selyn. These Simes extract the selyn harmlessly from Gens and then transfer it to other Simes.
One such Sime channel is Klyd, Sectuib of the House of Zeor. In search of Klyd comes Hugh Valleroy an agent in the Gen Federal Police Force. Valleroy's love, Aisha, has been captured by the vicious Runzi raiders. These raiders pen Gens like animals and kills them for their selyn, use them as suppliers of selyn until they die. To save Aisha, Hugh pretends to join the House of Zeor. In order not to blow his cover, he must become a willing supplier of selyn to Klyd, a prospect that terrifies him.
"Together playing the part of a Sime channel and his Gen companion or supplier, Klyd and Hugh must find a way to rescue Aisha. What follows is a daring rescue and a final return to Gen territory for Hugh and Aisha.
"I thought this story an interesting take on the vampire or mutant tales, which have evolved overtime in fantasy literature. However, I also found it unsatisfying in several ways. This story, first written in 1974, leaves many questions unanswered. It never really explains satisfactorily the union between Simes and Gens in households. I understand the Simes need of Gens. However, even if a Sime rescues a Gen, gratitude only goes so far. Why not demand return to Gen Territory after giving some selyn? Why stay imprisoned within the walls of a household unable to leave without a tag or chain? Those are symbols of slavery. When a prey lives within his predator's house, he is at a disadvantage. Can he ever trust the predator? None of this is explained fully.
"However, the answers I seek may be contained within other Sime ~ Gen novels. I do recommend this novel as an introduction to what promises to be an interesting world. I hope the other novels in the series develop the world more fully, and we get to spend some time in Gen territory." —Judith Woolcock Colombo, Author of The Fablesinger and Night Crimes
"... Lorrah adds her solo effort to the series with a bang-up story of one Sime's attempt to disjunct—to eschew the killing of Gens.
"Risa Tigue, an intelligent young Sime businesswoman, meets Sergi ambrov Keon, one of the Comapnions who donates selyn voluntarily to Channels, the Simes who can take selyn without killing the Gen and then transfer it to disjunct Simes. Sergi recognizes Risa as a powerful potential Channel and persuades her to try to disjunct and then learn to use her abilities. He also want to marry her, but Risa is wary of any restrictions on her freedom.
"Lorrah has crafted an effective and suspenseful narrative, skillfully inserting background information without interrupting the tension and flow of the story. The ambience of Keon is a new dimension to the series, and fans will demand this vital episode." —Susan L. Nickerson, Fantasy Review
"Finished Ambrov Keon by Jean Lorrah. To set the stage, Jacqueline Lichtenberg created a culture in future earth where two human races have mutated. The Gens are pretty normal but generally receptors for strong emotion—or emitters. Kinda like in Asaro's universe. And the Simes, who have tentacles, need to (once a month) get "recharged" with lifeforce (called selyn), and guess who they get it from? Needless to say, the Gen doesn't survive.
"Now make it more complicated the Gens make other Gens—and so they have Genbreeders—but two Simes have children who may turn into Gens at puberty—and BTW after about two kids, the Sime mother dies.
"Got the stage? Okay, enter Risa, a Sime, whose father is killed in the opening paragraph. And she is saved from the same fate by the Gen Sergi, who wakens her to the fact that a Gen can give selyn and not die. This is a perversion to her since Gens are little more than cattle—until she realizes that her little brother may very well become one—on, how to reconcile these problems society has brought?
"She takes the hard course of taking her little brother to Keon, which is a Household where Sime and Gen live side-by-side, and she resolves to fight the urge within her to kill Gens during her monthly "need", because she is capable of changing into one of the few Simes who doesn't need to kill to live.
"The book was written in the mid 80's and I'm trying to recall what would have been going on at that time to generate a "how can someone change their nature?" Some very wrenching scenes which I wish might have been soft-pedaled. POV was generally from Risa's, description of selyn transfer is wonderful and when it is definite the two consummate their love, I was left with the feeling of "gee, did they have to take a step back?" Was this when men were supposed to be "caring and sensitive"? Because Sergi is.
"One of the other Sime ~ Gen books mentions on the back blurb about "vampire-like" Simes. I confess, I read the whole book and it never hit me. In Ambrov Keon, Risa takes the "taker" role and Sergi the "giver" role, both which seem very natural for the characters created. I recommend it for those who like "culture" read. Be prepared for a few deaths. Be prepared for Risa to change and struggle along with her. Be prepared to get irritated at her as a she fights what seemed to me—in 1999—irritating hang-ups." —Romantic Science Fiction and Fantasy
"...Mathematician Zelerod had predicted statistically that the day would come when the number of Gens would equal the number of Simes, and when each Sime had taken the selyn from a Gen (killing the Gen in the process), the Simes would die of attrition, thus ending the human race on Earth.
"This day is fast approaching. Drought and famine, government mismanagement, and the depredations of Freeband Raiders have so diminished the Gen population that the Householdings are the only stable sources of supply.
"Devotees of the series are gonna love this! Lichtenberg and Lorrah pull out all the stops and present Doom in magnified scale: armies clashing, pain, terror, diplomatic ructions, all the usual alarums and excursions writ large on a vast stage. Totally engrossing, this novel is not the place to begin for new readers, for the farther the authors get into the series, the more perfunctory become their bits of background explanation. The novels no longer stand alone very well, but who cares? Anyone who can accept the basic premise of the human race mutated into two symbiotic sub-groups will probably be sucked in completely and will have to read all the episodes. Doom includes a list of characters and a helpful (though incomplete) glossary. Recommended." —Susan L. Nickerson