From the Galactic Archives: Revisiting an Old Friend

I’ve been home alone with McDuff, the canine nugget, for the last week. (Wife and daughter headed to Puerto Rico to work on the house. More Ponce Chronicles to follow, soon.) I gave myself a few days to crash, after they left. I decided to rewatch Battlestar Galactica: The Miniseries and travel in time back to the days of writing the novelization. It was fun!

It reminded me that I never got around to posting on my website the essay I wrote for the compendium about BSG, Somewhere Beyond the Heavens. Well, there’s no time like the present!

Here’s how it starts out. Click at the end to read the whole thing.

Writing the 2003 BSG Miniseries Novelization


“So, Jeff, how would you like to write the novelization for Battlestar Galactica?”

That was what my Tor Books editor, Jim Frenkel, asked me, out of the blue, one day in 2005. Until that moment, the thought of writing anything related to Galactica had never crossed my mind.

As it happened, this was the day after I had finished writing the long overdue first draft of my novel Sunborn, a challenging project that had nearly done me in. I had let out an enormous sigh of relief at completing the rough draft. When Jim called me that next day, I assumed it was to find out how things were going with the new book. Instead, he asked if I had seen the new Battlestar Galactica on the Sci-Fi Channel, and if I liked it.

“Well, yes,” I said. And, “Sure, talk to me about it. But you’re aware, right, that I have this unfinished book to finish? That you’re waiting for? I just wrapped up the first draft, by the way.”

“Perfect!” he said. “You need a break. You should do something different for a while, and this is right up your alley. I’m editing the Galactica tie-in books, and I think you’re just the writer to novelize the miniseries. Also, it will be fast. Can you write it in two months?”

“Uhhhh…” My mind raced. I am a notoriously slow writer. Most books take me years to complete. Could I even type a book in two months? I wasn’t sure. I had never written a novelization before; I was used to writing my own stuff. “Can you give me three?” I asked.

I did not start out as a fan of Battlestar Galactica….[more]

  1. Pam Phillips
    | Reply

    Great story. Sounds like you managed to fill in gaps without straying from the show’s concepts.

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