Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Tentacle Encounter

One of the oddest fan groups I was involved with was the "Sime-Gen" crew, which flourished in the 1980s and 1990s, with some membership persisting into the next decades. "Sime-Gen," short for "Sime-biotes" and "Gen-erators," was an imaginary Earth future in which the human race had diverged into two forms. One was the Simes, whose forearms sprouted small tentacles which could grip and manipulate as well as transmit an esoteric energy called "selyn." The "Gens" were outwardly indistinguishable from the original human form, without tentacles, but they could generate "selyn" energy. The Simes, rather like vampires, could only exist with regular feeding on selyn from Gens. And sometimes, especially in the earlier stories, the feeding resulted in death for the Gen. After a while the Simes and Gens found a way to live with each other without killing their hosts. Simes had special abilities that Gens didn't have, such as brief bursts of super-strength or super-speed, and some special ones had psychic powers as well.

I did a lot of fan illustrations for Sime-Gen publications including this one, in which an impoverished Gen runaway is caught stealing ears of corn to eat, by the farmer's daughter, who is a Sime. Naturally they fall in love, but how can they have a life together when she might have to feed on his energy and kill him in the process? They work something out because the story ends with the grown-up Gen telling the story to his and her son.

Ink on illustration board, 7" x 8", December 2000.

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