This was my second book, published in 1978.
"Hyperspace," or something similar by whatever term, is an old SF standby for short-circuiting Einstein by moving characters from one place to another quickly and getting on with the story. So much so, in fact, that we easily forget
the stupendous degree to which such an implied capability transcends not only
any technology visualizable today, but also our most fundamental theoretical
beliefs. It seemed to me there was a story here. Rather than just taking it for granted as a backdrop to another transplanted Western or fairytale adventure, let's ask, How did they find out about it to begin with? What experiments in labs gave peculiar results? What theories were constructed to try and account
for them, and how were they tested? How did things progress from there to solid
engineering? In short, how was hyperspace discovered? I asked around, and nobody
that I talked to had heard of a story like that either.
And then, after crossing light-years of space in an instant, what did those
interstellar warships do? Peel off into a dive like a World War II Stuka--as
often as not, piloted by somebody sitting in a World War II cockpit--and drop
a bomb on something. That didn't make sense. What does a bomb do? Concentrate
a lot of energy on a target. Well, if you can send the ship there through hyperspace
to drop it, why not just send the energy? Just imagine being able to materialize
the equivalent of a fifty megaton bang out of nowhere, instantaneously, with
the enemy having no idea where it came from. That sounded more like a weapon
worthy of truly futuristic technology. As often happens, these two lines of
thought merged to form the basis of a plotline that neither could sustain on
The eagle-eyed might have spotted that Genesis Machine and The Gentle Giants of Ganymede were released in consecutive months of early 1978. I was still living
in England at the time I wrote them. New writers tend to need a lot of hand-holding
by editors, which meant a lot of correspondence with New York. To avoid a lot
of dead time waiting for answers (there was no e-mail then), I wrote the two
books in parallel. Thus, if I needed some input from Judy-Lynn before I could
proceed further with one, I'd simply push it aside and get on with the other--and the two ended up coming in neck and neck. This was in the Fall of 1977,
when we sold the house in England and its contents, prior to moving to the States.
People were carrying away the furniture while I wrote the final chapters of Genesis Machine, until there was just a chair and a table left in the room I
used as an office. I typed the last page while my wife, Lynn, was packing the
suitcases to leave. We mailed the manuscript on our way to the airport.