Happy New Year, everyone! It’s a new year, a new decade, and all kinds of things to look forward to! But I thought I might spend some time looking back, at things that might have been. The Galaxion that never was. Or, I suppose, one of many Galaxions that never were. Somewhere out there in all the parallel worlds, all the different versions of Galaxion I started and dropped over the years actually got picked up and run with. And isn’t that a very appropriate (if somewhat startling to me personally) view of a science fiction story. This particular version that I present today is the first two chapters of a Galaxion novel.

You can download and read the pdf file. (It’s not very long, it clocks in at only 20 pages.)

Some of you may recall that I made an earlier version of Galaxion throughout the ’90s, and then stopped making comics altogether for six years before finally relaunching it as a webcomic. Well, there was a period of time around 2003 when I fiddled around with remaking Galaxion as a novel. For me, this was returning to my roots– my original plan, back when I was a young teen, was to become a novelist. Somewhere along the way I got diverted into comics and have never looked back… that is, except for this one time. In 2003 I was at loose ends, with my son old enough for me to feel like I could finally get back to normal. I was starting to itch to get back to being creative again, but I didn’t quite know what to do. At the time, going back to making comics (I hadn’t yet learned much about webcomics, I was still thinking in “floppy” terms) seemed like a bigger effort than I was ready to handle. But I figured I could grab enough time in a day to sit down and write, so I started forming in my brain the framework for a novel.

What’s particularly interesting about this era of Galaxion is, this is when the webcomic relaunch really began. I spent a lot of time thinking about my old comic and all the things I wanted to change or improve, and worked it in. Aria’s background as a colonist began to evolve, and from there sprang a whole host of new ideas.

I got sidetracked from all this again at the end of 2003 when my daughter was born, and by the time I was ready to get back to work I realized that although the novel had been fun, it was the comic experience that I really missed. I used all my notes from the work I’d done on the novel, tweaked it a final time, and began producing the webcomic in 2006.

I still wonder what might have happened if I kept on with the novel instead on going back to the comic. There’s stuff in it I like, and stuff I don’t. The first chapter certainly resembles the webcomic version of Fusella’s storming the Galaxion in Chapter One that it would later become, but the second chapter– enjoyable though it was to write– never made the cut for the webcomic.

I have many Roads Not Traveled in my years of doing Galaxion, ideas not used and character concepts put aside in favour of others. This is one of them. Enjoy! And we’ll see you again on Tuesday, Jan 5th, as we continue down the Road Chosen, and launch into Chapter Five!

(The illustration, by the way, has no particular association with the novel. It’s just another version of the “characters by the big round window” that I like doing so much.)