As the author, I thought I'd share a slightly different viewpoint as to how the story came into being. Originally written in 1973 as a short story entitled VIRUS 5, you can imagine the underlying technology has changed significantly over the last 40 years. I have always been fascinated by the idea of what if we sent people to the stars and when they got there, there were already people there. So I had to come up with two completely different methods of interstellar travel, one slow and one faster than light. My heroes, Rei and Rome, have been there since the beginning (in 1973) as well as OMCOM. And the major threat was always the Stareater. That's about it. Everything else about the story has changed and evolved over the years. The first book of the modern version, called VIRUS 5: Asdrale Cimatir (Stareater), was 108,000 words. It started with a beautiful short story about Silas Hiram, a farmer on New Earth (later called Helome in The Ark Lords). He was the first to discover that Alnilam disappeared. My intent for that book was to do a "you are there" type of style. So what are the odds that people 14 centuries in the future still speak English? Zero. So I had to invent a language. I actually wrote a computer program that would translate any English words or paragraphs into Vuduri and used as needed.
Well, being a beginning writer, I was open to suggestions by other, more advanced writers, and the whole story started getting chopped down. Gone was the story of Silas Hiram. Gone was the pretty exciting chapter on how the Vuduri discovered Rei's Ark. Gone was the viscerally stunning chapter on Rei's reanimation. I think the story lost something but I persevered.
I had in my mind the scene where Rei is all alone on Dara, getting ready to let the VIRUS units loose and thinking he had lost Rome forever. But then it occurred to me, when Rome figured out how to remain behind, she would just radio Rei and the scene would lose all its dramatic tension. That's how the Vuduri with their 24th chromosome and the Overmind sprang into being. They had no NEED for radios, they had their heads. So I had to go back and reengineer a whole new society. I had written a future history outline but this kind of set me back. It took a while but eventually the whole thing blossomed and became more like the story you read today.
After I completed Asdrale Cimatir, I was sitting around one day and said to myself, what happens when they get there, to Deucado? The idea of traveling all that way, only to face imminent death, seemed exciting. But I had to figure out WHY they were being attacked. Genocide seem like a powerful theme so that became the underlying background. I loved the idea of a split narrative, Rei taking a physical journal, Rome taking a mental one, before they rejoined each other. The book was relatively easy to write and I wasn't burdened with having to put in as much physics and science. It became more of a philosophical and adventure story. Its original title was VIRUS 5: Bez Onquode (An Uneasy Peace).
Book 3 wrote itself. Once I had set up all the political forces, the travails that Rei and Rome had to go through were pretty clear. I finished it in about 6 weeks. I loved the idea of a double climax. Just when Rei and Rome thought they had ended the threat forever, the Stareaters return. That was fun!
Then reality was, nobody was going to buy Books 1, 2 or 3 from an unknown author. So I got the idea to crush the now 330,000 words down to one book, three parts. That's the book you see today called Rome's Revolution. Since so many words had to be cut out, a lot of the long developing story lines (like Rei and Rome falling in love) had to be sped up. I had to create the Espansor bands to get Rei and Rome in love super-fast. In the original book, it took them 8 chapters to even recognize they had feelings for each other. In the new one, they are sleeping together by the end of Chapter 2. Oh well. Hopefully, you won't find it too rushed and just suspend belief and go along for the ride.
More on how The Ark Lords came about in my review there.
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