Brian in 1970
New York Times
Best Selling Author
Brian Daley, author

 

Brian's manuscripts, Star Wars
radio scripts, and correspondence
are available for public access at 
the Science Fiction archive of 
University of Maryland Baltimore 
County. To arrange to see them,
people can contact the curator, 
Tom Beck at beck@umbc.edu 

Misc. graphic


Brian with James Luceno (in the back row) with
 the Sherpas (aka the Choir Boys) in Nepal.

From The Jan. 18, 1998 Capital Newspaper:

A labor of love
Science fiction writer keeps a promise
to his colleague
By Kevin Kidder, Staff Writer

Science fiction writer James Luceno knew his latest endeavor was the hardest and yet best thing he had ever done.  The first book in a four-part series, just published this month, is the culmination of more than a decade of work - but not his.

The series was written by renowned author Brian Daley, a close friend of Mr. Luceno who died almost a year ago.

Mr. Luceno, an Annapolis resident, plays down his role in getting the new "Gamma L.A.W." series to the stores.  "I mostly did editing of the manuscript," he said, emphasizing that Mr. Daley did most of the work before his death from pancreatic cancer on Feb. 11, 1996.

But editing a 1,600-page manuscript was no small job.  Mr. Luceno said he had to search through hundreds of files containing notes by Mr. Daley so he could accurately edit the book.  "'Gamma L.A.W.' was by far the largest challenge for me," Mr. Luceno said. "It was extremely tough to do."

He also had to put his individual writing style aside in deference to Mr. Daley's style.

"(Brian) had tremendous grasp of technology information." he said.  "I had to concentrate on what I edited."  That included reading through notes and even newspaper clippings so he could better grasp the technical know-how that Mr. Daley used in his writing.

It was truly a labor of love, born of the strong bond between the two best friends.

In Star Wars Insider article by Mr. Luceno, he explained what their relationship meant over the years.  "In losing him - a friend of more than 20 years, a collaborator on more than 20 books, god father to my teen-age son - I felt like a parent who unimaginably survives his or her child," he wrote.

The two science fiction aficionados had quite a history together.  They met 20 years ago in New Jersey at a screening of the original "Star Wars" movie, (sic) both pursuing what would become fruitful careers in science fiction writing.

The pair often would travel around the globe on vacations from the rain forests of Guatemala to the roof of the world, the Himalayan mountains in Nepal.  "Brian couldn't stand knowing that I was traveling while he was sitting at home," Mr. Luceno recalls.  "Brian and I did a lot of traveling together."

On their trips, the two would map out their next intergalactic adventure.  The inception of "Gamma L.A.W." for example came on the trip through the Himalayan mountains in Nepal. 

"Brian must have been missing the ocean a lot," mused Mr. Luceno, referring to the water world where the new series takes place.

Mr. Daley and Mr. Luceno had collaborated before on several projects, including TV scripts, the novel "Tron," (sic) the "Robotech" cartoon series and several other science fiction book series.

But the most powerful incentive for Mr. Luceno when working on the "Gamma L.A.W." series was a promise he made to Mr. Daley after learning of his terminal cancer.  He vowed to finish the book if Mr. Daley didn't make it.

So, with the encouragement of his family, he set out to complete what Mr. Daley had so nearly finished.

Lucia St. Clair Robson, the self-described "soul mate" of Mr. Daley, said publishing the book was an enormous accomplishment.

"It was huge, and quite frankly, I didn't think it could be done," she said.  Her house, where Mr. Daley lived, is filled with stacks of loose papers and old-style floppy disks, with endless notes on the fictional encounters he wrote about/  "He had footnotes on the footnotes," she said.

Ms. Robson said the posthumous collaboration was old-hat for the two.  They had often written together and, several years earlier, Mr. Luceno had handed over writing duties for the "Black Hole Travel Agency" book series to Mr. Daley.

The "Gamma L.A.W." series now completed, had been split into four books to be released over the course of the year.  The first, "Smoke on the Water," has just been released and is now available in book stores.

Mr. Luceno said he won't know how popular the new books are until the end of the year, because science fiction fans usually wait until an entire series is published to read it.  But he's proud of what he helped wrought.  "I think it came out great," he said.

It's a bittersweet time, though, as he reflects on the last exhilarating journey he'll share with his colleague.  In the article he wrote for Star Wars Insider, Mr. Luceno told of a conversation he had with Mr. Daley toward the end of his life.

"Because we logged so many miles together - in the real and imagines worlds - I told him I wasn't comfortable with his going on an adventure without me. ... And Brian joked that he understood my concerns and would certainly find a way to contact me, assuming he could find a working phone or the appropriate postage for the kind of communication we had in mind."

Cross Pollination - what happens when two writers co-mingle their research and their lives...

From a Tapestry of Magics:

   Cursing all inspirations, he concentrated on staying alive.  I can see now as much buffalo meat as I could wish, he told himself. Unfortunately, it is all attached to a living flash flood.
   The animals shook the ground, hemming him in, heads down.  Even in the grip of the stampede panic, the huge bulls sought to interpose themselves between the horseman and the cows and calves. ...  From there he saw that one kill, at least, had been made that day.  He also knew what had caused the stampede.
   The hunter had somehow sensed his approach before Crassmor had topped the rise, though the thunder of the stampede must, he thought, surely have masked his trembling horse's hoof beats.  Too, Crassmor was riding crosswind through the remaining dust cloud.  Nevertheless, the hunter was staring up at the spot when the knight got there.
   The man was the red-brown color Saynday had been, his entire body inured to the touch of sun, wind, and weather.  He was tall, holding a posture at once graceful and relaxed, yet tense as a wound spring.  Well-defined muscle and sinew broadened a lean, limber body.  The hunter wore only moccasins and a soft-tanned breechclout trimmed with metallic beads and human hair, tucked through a narrow belt of braided hide.
   On his wrist was an archer's brace; a leather band held a quiver-bowcase, skillfully crafted from a white wolf's pelt, at his back.  His face was high-cheekboned, fine-featured, reserved, and full-lipped.  Bands of black paint circled his eyes; his gleaming, sable hair was drawn back tightly against his head and gathered in a long scalp lock decked with a raven's feather.  He watched Crassmor emotionlessly, unblinking.  In his hand glittered a skinning knife. 
   At the hunter's feet lay his prey, a behemoth bull of the herd, losing the last of its life, kicking in minute spasms which came to a halt even as the knight rode downslope.  Nearby, a lithe, glossy pony, the color of its rider's hair, waited trailing reins that must have been twenty feet long.  It bore no saddle, no cincture.  There was a single rawhide loop braided into its man; Crassmor, seeing that, thought what a fearless and skillful rider this man must be.
   As the knight approached, the hunter sheathed his knife at his belt.  A quirt hanging from his wrist made a snaking motion in response.  He turned aside to his pony, showing a profile any artist might have admired.  "Quietly, Night," he told his pony, and it became still.
   Crassmor leaned his unbloodied lance against his shoulder as he drew close, keeping it at a conspicuously casual cant.  He hoped he'd made no trespass on forbidden hunting ground.  He stopped well away from the hunter, who gave him silent attention.  Crassmor set the lance in its rest and slid from his saddle carefully.  Dozens of times before, he'd met people in the Beyonds in this unknown-quantity fashion.  It was easy to offend someone else's protocols in the Beyonds.  He kept his hands well in sight, away from his body, but in such a manner that his right one was only a split second from Shhing's waiting hilt.  He brought his left hand up to indicate himself. "Crassmor."
   The other relaxed a little.  The knight did then, too.  "Wanderer," the hunter responded, fingertips gesturing to his heart.
   "A hero's kill, Wanderer,"  Crassmor complimented, and meant it.  They both looked for a moment to the mountainous buffalo and the red-banded arrow sticking out of its side.  "I was not so -" He'd almost said "lucky," which might or might not have been an insult.  "Skillful," the knight finished truthfully.
   Wanderer waited.
   "Would you sell, would you trade some of your kill?" Crassmor asked.  The hunter tilted his head slightly, a tacit inquiry.  Crassmor was making an inventory of his possessions and trappings at that point, wondering what he might offer.  Then he saw Wanderer's eyes gauging the hilt of his sword.  Their eyes met.  Crassmor gave his head the barest shake, vowing, "I'd rather up the hunt once more."   The herd was no more than a distant dust cloud now; Wanderer very nearly smiled at the comment.  Tension left them both.
   The knight whipped off the white scarf from his forehead.  Risking the few steps between them, he held it out.  It was a lovely piece of work, with threads of gold woven in and raised embroidery.  "The meat is for a friend," Crassmor explained.  "It's the meat he loves best."
   Wanderer looked from the scarf to Crassmor, then turned and bent to the carcass.  His skinning knife was in his hand as quickly as ever Shhing had found Crassmor's.  When Wanderer straightened again, he held the thick, meaty tongue of the buffalo high for inspection droplets of blood and salvia streaming from it. 
   "I believe I know who your . . . friend is," Wanderer declared with a hint of amusement.  "This is the best part of the meat he loves best."  He held forth the tongue.
   Crassmor accepted it with his left hand and bowed low.  Something in him made him wish to make a more personal payment.  He took a step back; his right hand darted and Shhing, held high threw back the dusty light.  Wanderer hadn't reacted; he waited.  The knight's respect for the hunter grew.  Wanderer's eyes followed the reflection along the sword's blade, then sought Crassmor's once more.  Crassmor took the blade through a meticulous salute, then sheathed it at his back one-handedly.  Wanderer raised his hand in acknowledgement, smiling fully now.
   Crassmor told him, "In the place they call the Singularity, Wanderer, you have friendship and a home always."
   Wanderer drew the silken scarf over his fingertips, delighting in its texture and delicate patterning.

 
From Ride the Wind by Lucia St. Clair Robson:

   The pale reddish soil and short, patchy brown grass looked like a rumpled, mangy buffalo robe thrown across the hills.  The rolling plain marched off to meet the horizon with nothing blocking its way.  The sky seemed to hang lower to the earth than usual, and it was the color of ashes.  From the distance came the steady roar of thousands of buffalo.  It was a dull rumbling, as pervasive as the cold wind and the gray sky.
   Wanderer sat loosely on Night, and tucked the reins into his belt, leaving his hands free.  The reins were twenty feet long, and they would come loose from his belt if he fell while chasing the buffalo.  If he was lucky he could grab them in time for Night to pull him free of the herd.
   In the cold air of the late October dawn he wore only a breech-clout, moccasins, his skinning knife, and his quiver and bow case.  He rode barebacked, unwilling to burden Night with even the weight of a surcingle.  He shivered a little as he made one last check of his equipment.  He took the coiled sinew bowstring from under his armpit, where he kept it to protect it from the morning dampness, and strung it onto his bow.  If the sinew became too wet, it stretched , and it shrank and snapped when it was too dry.  He had two spare strings tucked into a small pocket on the quiver, in case one broke.
   ...
   His daydreaming was interrupted by a movement at the edge of his vision, and he tensed, the movement translating into a signal to Night.
   Pahayuca's hand rose and fell with a quick chopping motion.  Every man leaned forward , and the ponies leaped ahead.  The line of naked riders swept over the ridge and circled on the other side, trapping the herd in the magic surround.  As the ring of riders tightened, cinching the buffalo evermore closely, the cows and calves milled bawling in the center.  The bulls raced around them, using their bodies as a barrier.  They ran with their tongues out and their heads down, the air puffing in and out of their mouths.
   ...
   "Pahayuca promised the buffalo tongue ceremony when we get back to the main village," Star Name said.
   "And the women are in an uproar about it," added Owl.  "I can't wait to see who's chosen to serve the meal."
   "I suppose they all want to be chosen," said Naduah.  Owl laughed with delight.
   "Not exactly. ...

11th Armored CavalryBlack horse calvery patch
Regiment Blackhorse!

 

 

 

Brian with children 
in Viet Nam   >>

Brian in Vietnam playing with children
Brian's military experiences shaped his writings.  To him military Science Fiction was the best combination and his 12-year project that turned into the 4-book GammaLAW series has proved this point.  http://www.militaryresource.com/HomePage/UserCreatedTributePage
/0,10980,714657,00.html
 

From Were You There?  Vietnam Notes:  by Randy Cribbs, Vietnam 66-67

For Brian

Brian talked of writing a book.
Small talk, as soldiers do,
But it was his dream.

While all of us were searching 
For answers, or understanding, But finding neither, 
Brian was stringing words
Together in his mind,
To be spewed forth years
Later in not one, but
Many books.

We did not perish over there
And that caused us to smile
As we left,
Though not the same as 
A year before;
But there was a rip in fate
And a part of that place
Entered Brian, extracting its'
Toll these many years later.

Brian is gone, but
His dreams, in those books, Are not.

You did it Brian.

Bob Booker, Brian Daley,  ?, Denny Malloy, and Ron MyhroBrian second from left at the Brandenburg Gate in Germany.

Brian  Daley

Bob Booker, Brian Daley,  ?, Denny Malloy (giving the Hitler salute) and Ron Myhro

Brian's Black Horse unit 2005 reunion.  In 2005 Brian's Blackhorse unit held a reunion.  Lucia Robson attended to meet his buddies. 

Thanks to Lee Gentry and Marv Hall for these names. 

( * ) denotes 
those who were with the 
409th when Brian was with us.

Lucia St. Clair Robson, Lee Gentry*, Randy Cribbs*, Ron Barton* (lost his lovely wife, Susan, earlier this year), Don Dauphin, Marvin Hall*, John Schaper, John Stanley*, Ted Seagroves*, Joe Harter

Going through some old papers, I found a letter Brian wrote to me in 1969 while he was with Team A in West Berlin. It doesn't say much, but it does show his sense of humor. Saw your name on the Brian Daley site and thought you'd be interested. Please feel free to share the contents of the letter --- email from Ed Elkins on 8/1/2010



Top of Page

ŠLucia St. Clair Robson 2004-2013

 

Website by: www.Sky-Bolt.com