Q. When you
were writing the VOYAGERS series, what was happening in your
BB. I was editing Omni magazine, living in
Manhattan during the week and repairing to West Hartford CT most
weekends. Two of the most powerful editors in New York, heads of
Doubleday and Bantam, asked me to write a completely contemporary novel
based on the idea that we receive unequivocal evidence that there is
intelligent life beyond Earth, and they wanted the novel finished
in less than a year.
Being a morning writer, I worked on the novel
every morning for about nine months, then went to the Omni office for
the rest of the day.
Weekends I worked in Connecticut. I delivered
the manuscript on time, although both the editors who had commissioned
the project had lost their jobs in the interim.
That’s the book
publishing business for you!
II: The Alien Within*
Keith Stoner awakens after being
frozen for eighteen years aboard an
alien spaceship. He comes to in
a high-tech medical facility on Hawaii’s
Big Island, a virtual
prisoner. Stoner is the first person to be revived
cryogenically frozen. Stoner escapes. Inside his mind there
alien presence. He returns, though, after his brief outing. Almost
as if he’s amused, he remains in his high-tech prison.
He reads whole volumes of books in minutes.
He seems to
be studying the world as if it was all new to him.
his student eighteen years ago, has doggedly climbed the
ladder and engineered the rescue mission that brought Stoner
Earth. Jo is still in love with him.
Jo realizes that Stoner is more
than human now.
It’s either work together, Stoner insists, or the
human race will
destroy itself – as so many other intelligent races
“It’s a good world, Jo. Well worth
“But it looks so hopeless, all the wars and killing and
“We can do it,” he says. “It won’t be easy, but we can do
it. And once
we do, we can go out and visit the aliens – as
year did you start the series, and did you know it would be a series
when you started?
BB. If memory serves, I started the series in
late 1979. I didn’t think of it as a series at first, but it was clear
by the time I finished the original novel that there was a lot more to
tell about Keith Stoner and the impact of alien intelligence on the
*Book III: Star
Keith Stoner is more than human, his body absorbed
that give Stoner strange mental powers. The Star
Brother inhabits his
body – and his mind.
Plague, riots, war,
climate disaster and government unrest, the Earth is
Greenhouse warming is flooding coastal cities. Farmlands are
A horrific plague known as the Horror is striking down
agonizing pain. Cities are in tumult. Refugees are
streaming into inland
cities, seeking food and safety. A riot is
turning the streets of Tokyo
into a bloody battleground.
single saintly Buddhist lama walks among the rioters.
Hardly saying a
word, he calms them by his very presence. Walking beside
Soul” is a tall, bearded, American: Keith Stoner.
One man might be
able to end the plagues and save humanity if they don’t
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