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Old January 1st 02, 01:17   #1
RW7427
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Babylon 5: Leap of Faith

I was perusing Amazon.com this afternoon and I saw that a new B5 book is about to be released (as of February 25th). It's called Babylon 5: Leap of Faith. Here is the description of the book given at Amazon:

The experimental Earth Alliance science vessel, the EAS Eyre, had a fully mapped route to what they thought was a cache of Vorlon-era technology ready for them to salvage when they triggered their jump drives and entered Hyperspace. With the highest-grade scientific equipment, a fully trained staff, and a squad of defending Marines in case of emergency they were ready for nearly anything. That was seven weeks ago. President Luchenko worries for their return, and not just because they have yet to report in any way. There is a lot more going on with the EAS Eyre than she can let on. Even though she could easily go to the Rangers for aid, she does not. She instead goes to a group of freelancers who she knows cannot risk divulging what they find, if they find, the ship. Whatever it is she is afraid of being discovered only partly has to do with this mysterious cache. Although the tyrannical reign of Clark has ended, it seems that President Luchenko has her share of dangerous secrets as well...


Now, from this information, it looks as if the book is set sometime after the end of season 5. It also doesn't seem to contain many of the characters from the show other than President Luchenko, so it doesn't look as if we'll see much of people like Sheridan, Delenn, Lochley, and the others. The author of the book isn't given, so I'm not sure who wrote it. But whether or not it has characters from the show in it and inspite of the fact I don't know yet who wrote it, I think it could be interesting. I'm looking forward to reading it simply because it's set in the B5 unviverse.

BTW....has anyone else heard about this book? If you have and have any information to offer, please do so!
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Old February 23rd 07, 09:42   #2
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Re: Babylon 5: Leap of Faith

Nope, who is publishing ?

Its not listed on Mongoose site as one of theirs. The plot also sounds very 'fannish'.
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Old February 23rd 07, 10:00   #3
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Re: Babylon 5: Leap of Faith

Amazon.co.uk lists it as published by Mongoose, and links from it to their other B5 novels (the Rangers one and Claudia Christian's book.) And their synopses read as very 'fannish', too. Hence JMS's reluctance to be involved with them, seemingly.

EDIT: Having said that, I finally tracked down all of the canon B5 short stories, and while most of them were excellent, Fiona Avery's True Seeker was really appalling. I think I could have written better. So since canonicity doesn't necessarily equal quality, I may be tempted to try Claudia Christian's book. It sounds by far the best of the Mongoose 'licensed fan-fiction' (quoting JMS) novels, and it's fairly cheap. Certainly compared to the hideous price I paid - willingly and with little regret - for Legions of Fire book 3. Obsessive fandom is expensive!

Last edited by raw_bean; February 23rd 07 at 10:14.
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Old February 23rd 07, 10:04   #4
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Re: Babylon 5: Leap of Faith

On the Moongoose site I found this:

This is a scenario for the Babylon 5 Roleplaying Game Second Edition set in the year 2264, during the growth and expansion of the Earth Alliance under the aid of the Interstellar Alliance and without the heavy yoke of Morgan Clark. It is designed for a handful of experienced characters ready to get hurled into Ancient mystery and underhanded politics, and will give them an opportunity to learn one of the EA's darkest secrets.

Read more here:
http://www.mongoosepublishing.com/rp...es=Babylon%205
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Old February 23rd 07, 10:17   #5
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Re: Babylon 5: Leap of Faith

There is a whole series of scenario books from Mongoose related to the role-playing game.

Click here for the full skinny
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Old February 24th 07, 18:54   #6
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Re: Babylon 5: Leap of Faith

Been awhile since I've read any of the authorized short stories, but I'm quite sure I wouldn't call any of them "appalling", and remember rather liking Avery's "True Seeker" It was fun to pick up some of the left over threads from the series, visit post-war Narn and see Na'Toth again. There was certainly nothing "fannish" about the quality of the writing that I can recall.

I hope no one looking into the stories will be disuaded from reading that one by one fan's harsh opinion.

Regards,

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Old February 24th 07, 20:02   #7
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Re: Babylon 5: Leap of Faith

Actually reading Legions of Fire I think that even this is poor quality and only of interest to fans,not readers in general.

If not for the depth of the B5 world covering it it would be pretty lame.

Was expecting better and was disapointed.

It would be nice to see someone with real writing skills write a B5 book.
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Old February 24th 07, 21:54   #8
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Re: Babylon 5: Leap of Faith

Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyhorse View Post
Actually reading Legions of Fire I think that even this is poor quality and only of interest to fans,not readers in general.

If not for the depth of the B5 world covering it it would be pretty lame.

Was expecting better and was disapointed.

It would be nice to see someone with real writing skills write a B5 book.
While I wasn't disappointed in any of the novel trilogies, and certainly wouldn't characterize any of them as being "poor quality*," the short story True Seeker was one I didn't care for, and the one I'm least likely to reread. Next would be Space, Time, and the Incurable Romantic because of how far JMS stretched things to make it work. I didn't HATE it like some people do, but I thought JMS stretched things beyond the breaking point.

Here's how I'd rank the esisting B5 Short Stories, best on top:
Hidden Agendas
The Shadow of His Thoughts (tie for 2nd)
Genius Loci (tie for 2nd)
The Nautilus Coil (tie for 2nd)
<large gap here>
Space, Time, and the Incurable Romantic
True Seeker

* Sure, the novel trilogies had a couple of mistakes, but overall, I'd say they were all very good to excellent.
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Old February 25th 07, 00:31   #9
Joseph DeMartino
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Re: Babylon 5: Leap of Faith

Quote:
Actually reading Legions of Fire I think that even this is poor quality and only of interest to fans,not readers in general.
Well, that's pretty much the nature of move and series tie-in books that aren't actual adaptations of screen material. Their target audience is the fan, they don't exist to bring people who have never heard of a given universe to it.

Quote:
It would be nice to see someone with real writing skills write a B5 book.
Like Peter David? How about J. Gregory Keyes? Jeanne Cavelos? Kathryn Drenan? How about the legendary Robert Sheckly? All have written B5 novels. If I had to rank the Del Rey Trilogies in the order of preference (not quality, just my own idiosyncratic response to the writing styles) I list them thusly:

Technomage
Centauri
Psi Corps

I find Keyes prose a bit flatter and more pedestrian. Especially in the first volume, where the action is operatic and every character has more aliases than the cast of War and Peace, the style tends, for me, to work against the story. This is less of an issue in the next two volumes which leave epic history for biography and police procedural.

Despite my objections to some of the Soviet Revisionism she did in terms of B5's plot and some of the characters, I thought Cavelos's books were the best pure "read" and the ones the could most readily be enjoyed by non-fans. (The Technomages themselves are so outside the main plot, and so many of the characters and events here are original, that a reader who picked up the first book would learn just enough about the B5 universe and the overall story to follow events from the 'Mage's point of view.)

I thought Peter David's books fell in between the two. Mistakes in chronology aside, I thought he did a good job dealing with great chunks of exposition and filling in the cracks in the B5 universe while keeping the thing moving as a story. And he brilliantly captured the characters on the page, Londo, Vir and G'Kar, especially. That a non-fan might not find it immediately accessible is really a non-issue for me and hardly an area to critcize, since the books were never meant for non-fans. The Centauri novels in particular were intended to answer questions fans would have after having watched the entire series, just as the Teep books were additional history on Psi Corps and Bester and the Technomage books a chance to explore those characters (and lay in Galen's backstory - don't forget, the books were commissioned, outlined and written while Crusade was being preppped and shot, and when it was assumed that new viewers would continue to be drawn to the reruns on TNT by the new series.)

Regards,

Joe
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Old February 25th 07, 02:41   #10
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Re: Babylon 5: Leap of Faith

So some of you said the book sounds kinda campy or like a fanfic, and not necessarily canon or sanctioned by JMS. Most likely those things are true, but I don't really care. It's still B5, and I'd read it, even if it was only out of curiosity.
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