(...) [in 1966, I'd been] writing science fiction in my
closet for a year, ever since the Big Meaningful Dream from which had
sprung, almost fully-dressed, a galoping, multi-generational science
fiction saga which would become the five books of my series
Tyranaël more than thirty years later. It was a very simple dream.
In the daily diary I kept that last year at home and dropped after a
few months at the university, utterly bored and depressed by my
so-called real life, I wrote only two lines about this dream, and to
this day I have no recollection of its images : words are all that are
left of it. "A huge planet, entirely covered twice a year by a
universal tide, during a universal eclipse, but nobody dies."
Though my journal says nothing of that dream afterwards
and I don't remember exactly how things evolved from there, I very soon
had a canvas of stand-alone but interlinked stories all contributing to
an overarching storyline - from the very beginning, I thought big. I
began to draw maps and invent various languages, creatures, societies,
and two whole planets. The entire story was there from the beginning.
Details changed over time, of course, as I came to understand more and
more about it, myself and the craft of writing. Of the two thousand
pages I wrote and rewrote obsessively for ten years, only two hundred
have passed without modifications from one draft to the next. But the
basic impulse never changed, the original design, the original need.
And in some way, everything I have written since (and will ever write,
I am beginning to suspect), is inscribed in that ur-story. (...)