For Your Approval
Crossroads of the Galaxy
In the late 70s, Harlequin Books came up with the idea of marketing a line of young adult books in various genres. Since I had worked well with them during the Laser Books days, they asked me to create the science fiction line. I was to write the "pilot" book in the science fiction series; if the line was successful, there would be about 20 or so more of the books, which I could farm out to other writers while keeping responsibility for the overall series.
I wanted to create something in the young adult tradition of Robert Heinlein and Andre Norton, two of my heroes. This book (originally subtitled Nexus 1) was the result. (It was originally published under the pseudonym "Steven Charles," which would have become the house name for the sf line if it had succeeded.) There were other books commissioned too, in other genres, but the vice president of Harlequin told me privately he thought my book was head-and-shoulders above the others. Harlequin's marketing department printed about 2,000 copies of each title and gave the books free to a test audience for its reactions. The test results weren't strong enough for Harlequin to start the juvenile line, so they reverted the rights on the book to me. If I ever become famous, those test copies will become rare collectibles.