As a writer, I find inspiration in many places. My characters may be named in honor of an actual person—a family member, childhood friend or mentor. Settings may be drawn from some of the real life places I’ve visited or lived. A special memento might get a cameo appearance in a story. Or sometimes it’s the meaning behind a song that provides special insight.
My story, StarDog, largely takes place aboard a specialized transport ship named Calypso captained by Dava Jordan. Where this captain and her ship came from is anybody’s guess and subject of much speculation. Like a bolt from the black, the extraordinary vessel and her enigmatic captain one day simply appeared in a major spaceport looking to hire a crew.
Taro Shall is the navigator she hires, but before he’s allowed to assume his duties he must take an oath of secrecy. The ship has many mysteries and the crew knows better than to ask too many questions.
Why Did Captain Dava Jordan Name Her Ship Calypso?
Though the name may summon thoughts of tropical oceans and steel kettle drum music, it also has roots in Greek mythology. Calypso was the sea nymph who lived on the island of Ogygia and captured the wanderer-hero Odysseus with her enchanting song, detaining him from his odyssey for several years.
The man who designed Calypso was fascinated with the myths, legends and paranormal entities of “Original Earth.” He was a man Dava Jordan greatly admired, and so she felt an obligation to honor his naming protocol. But Captain Jordan chose this particular mythological name for her vessel for a specific reason. There’s a hidden meaning behind the name.
Google “Meaning of the name Calypso” and you might just find this: she who hides.
Why Did I Name Dava Jordan’s Ship Calypso?
Well, for all of the above reasons, of course. But the name also holds a special meaning for me in a different way than it does for Captain Jordan.
Calypso was the name of famous marine explorer Jacques Cousteau’s research vessel. Cousteau popularized the study and conservation of our ocean ecosystem, providing a great service to science. Captain Dava Jordan and her ship also provide a great service to science in the year 3500. It’s a very different use from that for which the craft was originally intended, much like Cousteau’s Calypso, which was a converted British minesweeper.
After spending time aboard Cousteau’s vessel in the late 1970s, artist John Denver was so moved that he joined the advisory board for the Cousteau Society and wrote a song about Calypso that beautifully captured the spirit of the ship and her mission. I like to think that same spirit will still be alive and well on her namesake some 1,500 years later.
Navigator Taro Shall has a mission no one wants – find a way to eradicate snakes on a starship. He never expects to find the answer to his problem in a charming street vendor named Adini. His already unusual mission becomes more complicated when he suddenly acquires an adorable StarDog that soon sweeps him and Adini into the maw of a brewing insurrection.
Laurie A. Green is a three-time RWA Golden Heart® finalist, an award-winning author, and a science fiction romance enthusiast who founded the SFR Brigade community of writers, which is now nearly 900 members strong.
She confesses to being an Andromeda Galaxy groupie and would someday love to own a vacation home on Mars or Titan. She’s enthused to be a part of this wonderful anthology mash-up of two of her favorite things–pets and space.
Her family includes her husband, David, four dogs, three cats and several horses, all who reside on a ranch in beautiful New Mexico. A former military budget director and reserve state trooper, she now spends her time writing, networking, researching, enjoying the Southwestern lifestyle and, naturally, stargazing and daydreaming about other worlds.
Twitter Handle: @SFRLaurie
I’d like to thank Laurie for stopping by to share her story behind the story. And so excited she shared StarDog with us in Pets in Space (which you can preorder today)!
So, peeps, what do you think? Do you remember Jacques? Or John Denver? Love pets?
I love comments so much that I pick a favorite to receive my monthly AnaBanana gift basket ($25 value). (And don’t forget that once a quarter I’ll be tossing in something fun from the Perilously Fun Shop!) Recipient is announced the first blog post of the new month.
And guess what, this is the first day of October and, because I had some family drama and didn’t pick a winner for August, there will be TWO winners today!
Denise A. Agnew