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Click here to read Betsy Westphal's story, Suicide by Sime.
By Mary Lou Mendum on Friday, March 17, 2000 - 9:03 am: Edit Post


I really enjoyed the first two sections of SUICIDE BY SIME, and am eagerly awaiting Part III.

The first section was particularly tight; it's not easy to do such an extended flashback without losing your pacing, but you managed, and it let you start your story in the right place.

The second installment was a bit less focused, because you kept switching your point of view. However, you avoided the common mistake of switching pov in the middle of a scene.

I'd always thought Hugh's contention that nobody commits suicide by Sime was a cultural blind spot, not reality. Given the emotional baggage out-Territory Gens must have regarding the whole subject, there have to have been quite a few Gens who would have fixated on that method as appropriate.

More! More!

Mary Lou

By Kaas Baichtal on Friday, March 17, 2000 - 9:00 pm: Edit Post

Speaking of Suicide by Sime, Part I scrolled off the end of the Recent Additions list so I provided an index. Look below, in the Indexes, to find it. Betsy, if you want to change the index, go for it... it's in your directory and you have full access to it.

By Jocelyn on Saturday, March 25, 2000 - 4:48 pm: Edit Post

Hi Betsy,

I just reread both stories. The way you create the feeling of total despair that drives Edam is wonderful. I have a long way to go to be able to do that half so well. Both stories are a wonderful read.

Thank you!!

By Kaas Baichtal on Sunday, April 30, 2000 - 9:54 pm: Edit Post

Anybody heard from Betsy lately? How is part 3 coming? I really enjoyed both parts 1 and 2. I didn't think part 2 was unfocused at all. I enjoyed the main character's patchy understanding of what goes on in Sime Centers, and his obvious confusion as to how to feel about Simes, channels, and Sime Centers. To me it seems quite realistic.

By Betsy on Wednesday, August 23, 2000 - 6:31 pm: Edit Post

Thanks so much for commenting on parts 1 & 2. I have good news and bad news. After a long busy summer I have finally had time to figure out how to get Edam off the roof (which was where I left him in part 3 when I posted part 2). That's the good news. The trouble is, I had thought that part 3 would wrap up the story. No-o. Edam has quite a lot more to tell and although he's off the roof (at the moment, building new furniture for the transfer suites as I type), he's not done with me yet.

Ann Marie, are your guys as self-willed as this?

By Ann Marie on Thursday, August 24, 2000 - 8:23 am: Edit Post

Yes, my characters are very self willed. That's why I write. I want to find out what they're going to do next!

What has improved is my ability to herd them without them bouncing off 'authorial interference'. Which, I'm seeing now, is where people were saying my transitions were too rough. What was happening is I would intervene too strongly and it would show up as a lack of continuity in the story. A great deal of practice seems to be helping this problem.

Ann Marie

By Irmtrud on Saturday, September 2, 2000 - 7:54 pm: Edit Post

I loved the first 2 parts and now Im eager to read more, more, more!!!!

By Mary Lou on Saturday, September 16, 2000 - 3:14 pm: Edit Post

I liked this third section; the writing was much smoother, and the bit about Edam turning the Sime Center on its head as he rebuilds the furniture is genuinely funny.

The last scene, however, was a bit confusing. I had trouble figuring out why a changeover victim with a Sime father, good changeover training, and a channel standing by, would be so afraid of killing that she would run away from said channel and grab a nearby Gen. Also, as near as I can calculate, Edam would still be very lowfield at this point, as he gave transfer only about a week before. That would presumably make him unattractive to hunting Simes.

I'm looking forward to seeing what happens in Part Four.

By Betsy on Saturday, September 16, 2000 - 3:22 pm: Edit Post

It's closer to two weeks since Edam arrived at the Sime Center in such a dramatic fashion and he dealt with a Second in changeover that time. So a little renSime wasn't a problem two weeks later. As for the rest of it, I'll explain it in part 4. There is a lot of sorting out going on right now...

By Jocelyn on Saturday, September 16, 2000 - 9:32 pm: Edit Post


I just want to say this is good stuff!! I am enjoying the story. I am happy that Edam is doing so well. I like his take on nager control -- think small!

I can relate to the sorting out and just can't wait for the rest.

Happy, greedy, little me! ------ :~)

By Mary Lou on Saturday, September 16, 2000 - 10:42 pm: Edit Post

Hmm, my impression was that for the first three weeks or so after transfer, or donation, a Gen's field would not zlin attractive to a Sime. It would do if nothing else was available, but a channel wouldn't have any trouble zlinning more appetizing.

By Jocelyn on Sunday, September 17, 2000 - 12:04 pm: Edit Post

Just a note from the Diet (hee, hee) Front.

Having the choice between cheddar cheese and nonfat cheese substitute, all other things being equal, give me the real thing every time!! I will blow my calories on a cube of real cheese before I would take six slices of the plastic stuff.

So I would think any Sime with a choice would take a Little Bit of Gen over a Whole Lot of Sime pretending to be Gen.

And did I miss something (which I probably did) but if Edam is a Companion in the making wouldn't he have a whole lot more field than a regular Gen at two weeks past his last transfer? That would put him at midfield wouldn't it? Way more than any renSime would need and right tasty to zlin too I would bet.

I get the feeling that there is another component at work in little Ari's choice. Can't wait to see what it is!

Greedy little me! :-)

By Yon on Wednesday, September 20, 2000 - 2:43 pm: Edit Post

Ditto on a lot of the comments.

I find myself getting more into the story with this section; the descriptions of Edam repairing the Sime Center seemed to make me able to visualize him clearly in a way the preceding material didn't. Another case of the successful use of the show, don't tell principle.

And if he is going to start giving transfers to renSimes, I can see why training him is going to require many doses of fosebine for everyone involved.

By Bumpkin on Friday, December 27, 2002 - 7:01 pm: Edit Post

I hope to heck that part three is not the last!

I am absolutely taken in with the story so far and I hope to see more soon :)

By Jocelyn on Wednesday, January 1, 2003 - 10:20 am: Edit Post

Me too!!!


By Anonymous on Sunday, March 2, 2003 - 8:42 pm: Edit Post

This is a great story -- especially Edam's "voice," which is a window into his head.

By Anonymous on Friday, August 15, 2003 - 4:13 pm: Edit Post

I was impressed by all three parts of the story and I really hope there's going to be a fourth. It sort of left me hanging with Edam giving transfer to Ari at the end. WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?????

By wdarling on Tuesday, February 17, 2004 - 11:24 pm: Edit Post

Wonderful, somehow had not fou this story until today!

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