Monday, August 02, 2010

Series Ten

Ten Things I've Never Told Anyone About StarDoc

Beyond Varallan's cover art is still my favorite from the series, which is lucky because I also own the original painting. I paid for it with some of the wages I earned moonlighting as a bookseller.

Cherijo originally had a middle name (Ten) but it made the whole thing sound disjointed when spoken out loud. I decided everyone would have to wait until Shockball to discover that she was the tenth clone Joseph created.

Dream Called Time originally ended on what is page 355 in the print edition. After talking about the series with you guys here on the blog several times, I decided to add what is now Chapter Twenty (disclaimer: I mentioned it to Shiloh Walker after she read the book, and she says it was definitely the right decision.)

Endurance is the only book in the series that I've never re-read since I corrected the original proofs. I've tried, but the memories involved with writing it are still too painful. Whenever I needed to check or use something from that particular book, I've always consulted my original notes.

Joren represents several different personal metaphors, including my vision of what I considered the perfect world. Still do. It has also appeared regularly in my stories since 1974, when it came within one typewriter key's distance of being called Goren (fortunately I found my brother's secret stash of Gor novels, and prudently decided to alter the spelling.)

Maggie's character was named for my Great-Aunt Margaret, who for every Christmas and birthday gave me a new Laura Ingalls Wilder novel until by the time I was eleven I had the entire Little House series. Those were the first books I ever owned, and motivated me to become a ferocious reader.

Nine of the titles in the series are either the original titles I came up with or alternates I thought up when my first titles were vetoed. The exception is ClanSon, which was retitled Plague of Memory by my publisher. I always tried to limit my titles to one or two words, although I planned far in advance to call the final novel Dream Called Time (and fought hard for that title.) The biggest disappointment to me was having to give up Drednoc, which I thought perfectly suited the eighth book, and go instead with Omega Games.

Reever is the character who has escaped death by author more times than any other member of the StarDoc cast. At least once during the writing of every single book I've wanted to kill him; I usually write my way through it. As a result I have a rather massive collection of unpublished Reever death scenes, which include succumbing to the Core plague, losing a challenge to Xonea, being eaten on Catopsa, being eaten by Catopsa, coding on Joseph's operating table, being blown up during the Jado Massacre, dying on the battlefield during the Akkabarran rebellion, bleeding out on Vtaga and, my personal favorite, being stabbed in the heart by Jarn at the end of Rebel Ice.

Squid Lips, Cherijo's nickname for Squilyp, is a chiding nickname one of my guy's oldest friends uses for him (I guess we kissed a lot when we were dating.) Typical writer that I am, the first time I heard it I thought, "God, that would make a great SF character" and Squilyp evolved from there.

Xonea's name is an anagram of "one axe" with an e dropped (mainly because Xoneea looked a little weird on paper.) His character was inspired by a Frank Frazetta painting I fell in love with in high school.

15 comments:

  1. Are you going to publish the death scenes as extras sometime? They sound gleefully fun. Also, is there any chance the whole series will be available in ebook eventually? Right now it's about half the books, and some of the titles not available in e-format are also out of print.

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  2. oops, spoiler. i've only read stardoc so far and now i know there were more clones. noooo.

    great post - it's interesting to learn about these insights.

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  3. I am very, very, very, very glad you never killed Reever. I'm pretty sure he is my favorite character, even if he is so angsty! I like him more than Cherijo/Jarn.

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  4. Um... I wanna see the death scenes, too.

    And tell me that at least one of the scenes involve Cherijo getting to give him a bloody demise. Accidentally or something?

    I also want to see the Frank Frazetta painting...

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  5. Lynn, I'm there with you about the Little House books. In fact, I found the entire boxed set this weekend for TWO DOLLARS. I was so excited I had to blog about it.

    Glad to find a bosom friend in this series!

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  6. I want to read the Reever death scenes too, but I'm very glad you never killed him off.

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  7. I'm requesting the death scenes, too... though I'm not sure which I've wanted to kill more often, Reever or Cherijo.

    Maybe that's why I'm so warped... since I'd already read all the boxes sets like Little House and Narnia, my grandmother gave me the Clan of the Cave Bears set for my 11th birthday.

    And I just gave in and ordered today. Been being budget-cautious and the guy just asked me to order him something that needed just exactly the price of Dream Called Time to get free shipping, lol.

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  8. Charlene wrote: Are you going to publish the death scenes as extras sometime?

    I don't know . . . some of them are pretty brutal.

    Also, is there any chance the whole series will be available in ebook eventually?

    I hope so, but I can't promise anything. Given the length of the series and the number of new readers who discover it every year, I think it would be an intelligent thing for the publisher to do, but SF as a genre doesn't sell especially well, and they may just let everything go OOP in a year or two to make room for more popular titles.

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  9. Shiloh wrote: And tell me that at least one of the scenes involve Cherijo getting to give him a bloody demise. Accidentally or something?

    No, I always thought her oath would prevent her from sending him into the stars. ;)

    I also want to see the Frank Frazetta painting...

    Here's a large version of it (905 X 1200).

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  10. Frazetta fan here! That's an amazing painting to look at for inspiration, and for such a beloved character as well.

    This post has actually brought it home: this series came to an end. Throat lump and all.

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  11. No, I always thought her oath would prevent her from sending him into the stars. ;)

    Oh come on... you're creative. Figure out a way...

    And FYI, I will be honest, because I love you and you know I don't mean this cruelly... there where a few books where I thought... damn it, that writer want to kill us... I'm going to beat her!

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  12. And wow... nice painting... give him blue skin? I can see that.

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  13. I want those Reever scenes, too. Don't worry about brutal, not in todays market - heh, you could even make it a competition: Who can find a scene more gritty than Reever getting eaten by Catopsa. *grin*

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  14. Those Reever scenes would be a good use of one of those extra pages Blogger has enticed you with and you were wondering if you should use....Just sayin'...

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  15. Are "After Midnight" and "Nightshine" Star Doc books?

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