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Old November 22nd 08, 07:59   #1
Elipsis
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Just Finished - Dark Genesis: The Birth of the PSI Corps

I just put down Dark Genesis after blowing out part four in one sitting after telling myself I was going to read one chapter (two at the most!)

Personally I thought this book was absolutely fantastic. I liked the writing style much better than To Dream in the City of Sorrows - and it did an outstanding job of meshing with all the little one off references to Earth history that are just barely touched on here and there throughout the B5 series.

Dark Genesis had a much tougher job to do than To Dream in the City of Sorrows because it had to 1. Introduce (and make the character care for) new characters 2. Cover a huge time-span and 3. Weave in and out of the pieces of Earth history we already have.

Great characters in here and I'm very glad I picked this up.

I have tons of thoughts on the plot and will return to this thread in the near future. It is nearly 4am. Book 2 is already en route to my house.
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Old November 22nd 08, 11:38   #2
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Re: Just Finished - Dark Genesis: The Birth of the PSI Corps

I enjoyed DG, but much like To Dream In The City Of Sorrows it suffered because it was both dry, and a collection of events as opposed to an actual book with a plot. I really liked all the ancestral call backs with the teeps, and I liked the various moments in history we were shown. It was a fun, breezy read, and I enjoyed it.
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Old November 30th 08, 17:23   #3
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Re: Just Finished - Dark Genesis: The Birth of the PSI Corps

As I foretold, I have returned to this thread. So much going on here. Lets start with a few questions and thoughts - spoilers herein.



The origin of telepathy, a lot of different dates are mentioned. I am somewhat confused... when was the first set of telepaths actually crafted? I love the beginning of the book and how telepathy is discovered. Truly brilliant. Some freakin' grad students were making yet another shitty paper on telepathy which everyone at the time of course regards with proper skepticisms and thinks is retarded until there are results. It's important that it was grad students, not real researchers at first... who would have dismissed the thought almost immediately as garbage and never spent time on it. And of course the one study and talk show drama that many silly topics receive long before they are perceived with any legitmacy. The amount of skepticism and the later public outcry / overreaction was very well written and I found it most believable. Human nature is what it is.



Senator Lee Crawford: Now here is an interesting character. The man is essentially the founder of the Psi Corp., but what I enjoyed was his behavior and motivations. Not truly an evil man, but not a hero either, Crawford does his best to stop violence and ultimately comes up with a solution to "The Telepath Problem" that is a lot less dramatic and oppressive than some of his counterparts might have implemented. Not above getting messy, the man is certainly no role model and obviously is interested in increasing his own political power, but also seems to be aware and concerned with the social ramifications of his creation. I was confused as to what killed him. Was it Monkey and Kevin? Or just Monkey and Kevin didn't try to stop it? He obviously had a close relationship with Kevin and Kevin was saddened by his death... did he really have a large hand in it?


Alexander Family: I was worried when they introduce, "Blood" Alexander as a powerful telepath - it seemed unlikely given what we know about Lyta the P5. Still, this was a great play on the "5 generations back" line, and the author seemed to have a handle on the subleties of the plot after all when Natasha Alexander is "sadly only P5." Not sure how I feel about Lyta's mother having an encounter with a Vorlon before Lyta... they're going to have to do one hell of a job explaining why Lyta of all people ended up on B5 with Kosh, otherwise I'm not buying the coincidence.


Other telepath ancestors: I caught a Winters and an Ironheart. I knew that the Winters girl would eventually be brought into the corp. The "diary of Ann Franke" format was a nice touch, because you know just by her last name which way she's going to go. I don't remember the last names of any other telepaths in the story right now, were there other references in there that I missed? I find it interesting that Monkey ends up being both an ancestor of the Alexander family and the adopted father of the Vacet / Bester line. Hell, Lyta and Al are almost related...


The book had a great challenge in that it had to jump around through time a lot and write new characters. The last sequence with Matthew and Fiona and Stephen and their awkward relationship with one another was very human, very real, and actually made me care about these characters who were introduced only in the last quarter of the book. The internal conflict within Stephen was fantastically written. The relationship made even more complex that, ya know, they can read each others minds.



So weird to read a B5 book that takes place almost entirely on earth, among humans. But I really liked it. I might jump in with more thoughts later but I'd like to hear some responses from some of you who have read this. If you haven't, you really should do so - it's a great book.
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Old December 3rd 08, 12:32   #4
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Re: Just Finished - Dark Genesis: The Birth of the PSI Corps

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Alexander Family: I was worried when they introduce, "Blood" Alexander as a powerful telepath - it seemed unlikely given what we know about Lyta the P5. Still, this was a great play on the "5 generations back" line, and the author seemed to have a handle on the subleties of the plot after all when Natasha Alexander is "sadly only P5." Not sure how I feel about Lyta's mother having an encounter with a Vorlon before Lyta... they're going to have to do one hell of a job explaining why Lyta of all people ended up on B5 with Kosh, otherwise I'm not buying the coincidence.
c/mother/grandmother/

The Alexander family psi strength fall from P12+ to P2 as part of a selective breeding programme under direct control of a Vorlon. A selective programme would have been expected to go the other way. Either this was a big mistake or Lyta was being breed for something else. The only thing Psi Corps values more than telepathy is telekinesis. All Psi Corps teeks are mad except Lyta, Talia and Ironheart. So breeding for telekinetic stability would be worth while.

How Lyta got picked for Babylon 5 is never explained. The Vorlons via the Minbari?
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Old December 3rd 08, 12:37   #5
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Re: Just Finished - Dark Genesis: The Birth of the PSI Corps

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Other telepath ancestors: I caught a Winters and an Ironheart. I knew that the Winters girl would eventually be brought into the corp. The "diary of Ann Franke" format was a nice touch, because you know just by her last name which way she's going to go. I don't remember the last names of any other telepaths in the story right now, were there other references in there that I missed? I find it interesting that Monkey ends up being both an ancestor of the Alexander family and the adopted father of the Vacet / Bester line. Hell, Lyta and Al are almost related...
I suspect that after 200 years all the telepaths are related.
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Old December 17th 08, 17:34   #6
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Re: Just Finished - Dark Genesis: The Birth of the PSI Corps

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I suspect that after 200 years all the telepaths are related.
I'm not sure this claim makes a lot of sense.
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Old December 17th 08, 17:57   #7
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Re: Just Finished - Dark Genesis: The Birth of the PSI Corps

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I'm not sure this claim makes a lot of sense.
There were only a small number to start with and they tend to marry-in rather than marry-out. The children are related to both the father's family and the mother's family. With two married sisters three families are now related. If a generation is about 20 years then over 200 years 200/20 = 10 generations have passed. 3^10 is 59049. So for a high level of unrelatedness the Vorlons would have needed to convert sixty thousand people.

If you are arguing whether it is 99% or 100% relatedness that is a different argument.
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Old December 17th 08, 21:17   #8
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Re: Just Finished - Dark Genesis: The Birth of the PSI Corps

well, the first shadow year was over 1000 years ago. and according to the book of G'quan (sp??),, narns had telepaths then.

So its well over 200 years...

And according to Lyta, the Vorlons abducted people and made them into telepaths, so not all the gene pool was in breeding. and took 1000's of years to tweek the teeps.

I always thought Lyta was randomly picked to serve on B5, it wasn't a really posh job being as everyone thought it would explode or disappear too. Like Londo said, no one wanted to go to B5 so he was picked for the job as ambassador.

but the connection to the Vorlon and Lyta, was when Kosh was dying, and it was Lyta who peered into the vorlon to get who tried to assassinate him.
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Old December 18th 08, 22:33   #9
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Re: Just Finished - Dark Genesis: The Birth of the PSI Corps

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So its well over 200 years....
I believe that the 200 year period referred to is since humans *verified* telepathy and created the Psi Corps. That would be the point at which selectively breeding teeps with each other would have started, making teeps more or less a closed gene pool.

Of course, from some things that we saw we know that there are still some teeps manifesting from mundane families. So there has always been *some* new blood being injected into that gene pool.

Still, after having the Psi Corps separated out of the general population for 200 years .......
If you're counting 5th cousins twice removed and such ......
Then my bet is that most of the Psi Corps is related to most of the rest of the Psi Corps.
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Old December 18th 08, 22:45   #10
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Re: Just Finished - Dark Genesis: The Birth of the PSI Corps

The vorlons weren't stupid though, they probably seeded telepaths in a decent cross section of the gene pool, in order that should a breeding program begin... the genetic diversity and stability of telepaths would not be adversely affected.
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