Author's Note on The Nexus Cycle


The Nexus Cycle has been more than 25 years in the making. I've been a Voyage fan since the first episode was televised on ABC in September of 1964, and Voyage stories were my earliest venture into fanfic (those stories, written in grammar school, have thankfully disappeared into the forgiving mists of history -- and a garbage dump somewhere in the great state of New Jersey).

I started writing what would become The Nexus Cycle in the summer of 1987, after spending five years writing stories, filksongs, and poetry in Classic Star Wars fandom (The Starbird's Children series, which was published in various Star Wars fanzines, and in multifandom fanzines as well). This entire universe hinges on one premise -- I had a need to explain the wedding ring that appeared on Chip Morton's hand at the beginning of Season Three. The stories themselves were were inspired by two dreams I had in July of 1987, both centering on Chip: in the first, he was changing a tire on a pickup truck for a young woman on the side of a road in the rain, while she tended to two horses in the horse trailer she was pulling; in the second, he was having lunch in a classic-style diner with Formica tables, shiny red vinyl seats, and lots of chrome. After that one, I woke up with The Who's Behind Blue Eyes playing in my head. At this point, I figured someone was trying to tell me something, so I started kicking around ideas. 

The first Nexus stories were published in print fanzines (primarily the Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea fanzines Below the Surface, The Nexus Chronicles Vol. 1, and Anchors Away, as well as in a number of multifandom fanzines, like Shadowstar, The Clipper Trade Ship, and Potpourri) back in the late 1980s and early 1990s, with additional stories being written and published in various print fanzines (The Seventh Chevron, Remote Control, and Remote Control Goes to War) through the mid-2000s. Two novels (False Faces, and The Last Ride Raid, which was co-authored with L.C. Wells) were also published as standalone zines. Additionally, some pieces have appeared on The Subpen, a mailing list for writers of Voyage fanfic.

The Nexus Cycle not only comprises my own take on the Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea universe, but contains stories based on characters from other television series such as Rat Patrol, M*A*S*H, Emergency!, Magnum PI, JAG, The Cape, Stargate SG-1, and NCIS (a guide to the characters I've borrowed from other shows can be found here). All previously-published and posted stories will eventually wind up on the Nexus Cycle fanfic page here, with new stories being posted as they are finished. And all of the previously-published stories are being reworked. Some are just getting a tuneup, while others are receiving a major rewrite thanks to differences in the way I see my universe now as opposed to the way I saw it at the time the stories were written. My writing has changed, and so have my ideas for my universe. If you've read these stories in zine form, some things will be different. Some are minor, while are dramatic. I hope, though, that the changes don't get in the way of a good story.

The core original characters (Lynn Murtagh and her brothers and other relatives) and their backstories were pretty much established by the time the first published story in the cycle (Requiem, which is actually the third major piece chronologically in the initial story arc) appeared in Below the Surface #1 in May of 1989, with the original settings (San Sarita Ranch in California and Diamond Shamrock Farm in New Jersey) being developed soon after. With the exception of five minor characters based on close friends, all of which were created with their permission, all characters (including names and backgrounds) are my creations and are intended to have no resemblance to people either living or dead. Any similarity to living people or to real-life situations is pure coincidence (and a little scary at times, too). A guide to the original characters can be found here.

While the characters were established long ago, some of their avatars have changed over the intervening years. I like to cast my original characters with actors, since it makes it easier for me to relate to them as I write. I'm a very visual person, and being able to see the characters as I write makes it easier for me to get their actions down on the page. I cast Wendy Kilbourne as Lynn Murtagh in 1988, soon after I first saw her in Midnight Caller (oddly enough, the first one of the original characters that I'd cast, Lynn's oldest brother Jack Murtagh, played by Gary Cole, Ms. Kilbourne's co-star in that show, was cast a full year earlier, when I saw him in a TV movie titled Echoes in the Darkness). Unfortunately, Ms. Kilbourne left acting for the legal field about fifteen years ago, which makes reference shots of her for the screencap gallery nearly impossible to come by, so this spring, I made the difficult decision to recast Lynn with Amy Carlson. Likewise, Lynn's youngest brother, naval aviator Donnie Murtagh, was originally cast with Grant Aleksander, who had a long and active career in soap operas (primarily Guiding Light, but also in All My Children and Capitol). He has also been recast with Patrick Wilson to make it easier to obtain shots for the screencap gallery.

The stories which comprise The Nexus Cycle start in 1944 and go forward from there; at the moment, the last one chronologically (Beyond the Edge, a crossover with NCIS, which is still in progress) is dated 2010. In them, I allow my characters to age and to grow emotionally. I adhere to the dates given in the episodes where possible, but Irwin Allen made that tough -- dates in one episode will contradict dates in another, and some episodes have dates that even pre-date Seaview's commissioning date as given in the show! So I arbitrarily assigned dates to episodes and fit them into the timeline where I need them for my purposes. The Nexus Cycle Timeline does what I need it to do -- it blends the Nexus stories with the aired episodes in what I hope is a logical manner (though some visual data in the episodes, such as dates and the rank insignia worn by various characters, will contradict storylines -- but in regards to that, I claim artistic license).

I hope you enjoy what you find here. Please feel free to contact me with comments, questions, or suggestions by using the link on the index page.




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