Star Dancer
by John R. Plunkett

The original idea behind this story came to me while I was reading The Ship Who Sang by Anne McCaffery. At first I experimented with cybernetic starships, as Ms. McCaffery had done; later I tried robot ships, like Fred Saberhagen's berserker. Neither idea quite suited me, however. Many years later, the idea for synthetic organics came to me while reading an issue of Analog which talked about nanotechnology. On that basis I created a race of people who lived in space. Ideas came and went; I used the race in various role-playing games. I had characters and situations and I had a general idea of a story I wanted to tell, but it lacked a context. So, for several more years, the idea stayed an idea.

When I discovered the Internet, suddenly a whole, bright new world opened up. I stumbled upon the works of Terry Knight and Bernard Doove, a pair of talented artist/authors who gave me two things I critically needed: Mr. Doove created the fascinating world of Chakona and its inhabitants- and kindly granted permission for me to use them- thereby providing me with a location. Mr. Knight wrote a fascinating story called Lost. I read it- I loved it- and I thought "Hey: I could do that!" So I became inspired to tie it all together. The result of all this is the story which follows.

Cast Photo

Star Dancer Crew

Left to right: Chakat Snowflake, Fyodor Moseivitch, myself, Chakat Darkstar, Theobald Aaron "Kit" Carson.
Image 2000 Danna E. Whitney.


Story and characters unless otherwise noted:  1998 John R. Plunkett
The planet Chakona, its environs, and the Chakat race:  1999 Bernard Doove
The Skunktaur race and such information as pertains to them:  1999 Bob Reijns
Skip Matheson and Liska Sharpears based on characters that are:  1999 Richard T. Matheson
Kevin Dye and Renata Fayre based on characters that are:  1997 Thomas K. Dye
Keith Walker, Dawnfire, Swiftsure, Sundown, Nightshade, Mayfurr, Ranthe Narbalek, and the Isaac Asimov 1996 Terry Knight
Admiral Kline:  1996 Boyce Garald Kline Jr.
Illustrations:  1999 Terry Knight
Illustrations:  2001 Bernard Doove

Special Mentions

  • Lisa Jennings, whose excellent work inspired the character Chase
  • Terry Knight, who came up with the word 'Stariionae'


Sex:  Full nudity, mild depictions of coitus
Violence:  Graphic depictions of murder and warfare
Language:  Moderate swearing, some hate speech

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9