in order to fully appreciate ben bova's "the starcrossed," one must have a working knowledge of a certain short-lived television science fiction series from the early '70s, "the starlost." that was a project created by harlan ellison that went through so many changes (beginning with bad and going downhill from there) that ellison actually took his own name off the titles so as to use his favorite way of "giving the finger" to the unknowing and uncaring execs who ruin his work: ellison's pseudonym "cordwainer bird" was credited as creator and author.
ellison and bova have been friends and co-writers for many decades. bova had been attached to the project as science advisor, but nobody listened to him, either. ellison has written about this collosal mis-adventure many times, and each bitter recollection is funnier (and very much sadder) than the previous ones. for what it is worth, all sixteen episodes of "the starlost" are available through netflix - i watched the first episode and gave up in disgust in the middle of the second. lol!
this novel is bova's satirical look at the project and about some the disasters that occurred. bova actually dedicates "the starcrossed" as follows: "to cordwainer bird -- may he fly high and strike terror in the hearts of the unjust." in fact, one of the principal characters of "the starcrossed" is the writer of that series, "ron gabriel," a thinly-disguised caricature of ellison.
if you know anything at all about "the starlost," you will love this book. if you know nothing about "the starlost," you'll see just how good a writer bova is. oh, yeah. it's really funny!
Bova's 'take' on the teevee biz.