House of Zeor

by Jacqueline Lichtenberg

House of Zeor


Genre: Science Fiction
Original Publication Date: June 1974
Reviewed: March 2004

        Unity trilogy cover This book is the first of an ambitious series of science fiction novels that spans a future history that puts Heinlein's to shame. Humanity has mutated into two types, Sime and Gen, one the prey of the other. Stories range from the early days after the cataclysm, when human technology has reverted to the horse and wagon, to the far future, where Sime and Gen have made peace, and travel the galaxy in selyn-powered ships together.

        Actually, House of Zeor isn't the first book chronologically. It was the first book published, however, and is probably the first book a newcomer to the series should read. The Sime~Gen universe is complex and can be a bit confusing; House of Zeor is a relatively simple but compelling introduction to it. Hugh Valleroy, a Gen who, like all Gens, hates and fears Simes, must go undercover into Sime territory to rescue the woman he loves. He meets Klyd Farris, a different kind of Sime. A Sime who doesn't kill. The book is a classic "getting to know an alien culture" story, and the reader comes to understand Simes as Hugh does. It's a fast read, full of adventure and intense male bonding. If you liked Trek Classic or early Cherryh, you'll love this book.

        House of Zeor was first printed in hardcover back in the '70s, and has been reprinted in paperback since then. It's out of print as a standalone book now, but you can often find used copies. It's currently available as part of the Unity Trilogy, along with two other Sime~Gen novels, Ambrov Keon and Zelerod's Doom.

Related Links:

The Official Sime~Gen Web Site - Cluttered and hard to navigate, but persevere, and there's fanfic, mailing lists, news of upcoming books, and other cool stuff.

The Secret Pens - The unofficial fan site, where the good stuff is ;-)