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.