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Why is #9 book not considered 100% canon?


As title says, why is #9 book "To Dream in the City of Sorrows" not considered 100% canon? To quote JMS words in book introduction "this is the very first one that is considered canonical in every small detail".
If I'm remembering correctly, it's "mostly" canon in that the general events that occur in the book are pretty much what JMS would intend to add to the backstory if he had written it himself.

However, I could have sworn I've heard of one or two errors in logic or continuity, possibly somewhat significant, that contradict the timeline of a character or the entire arc. I think it's the one or two glaring inconsistencies that are keeping it from being 100% canon.
I also seem to remember that Sinclair may have broken up with Sakai somewhere but that at any rate to dream is not 100 percent cannon.
Wouldn't she know more than the average writer?

Just because she is married to JMS doesn't neccarily mean she has better access to the storyline of b5 if anything .I would think it would be harder because that would playing favorites for the lack of a better term.I would also think the publisher would have put restrictions on this because of this.Any of the other novels could have been just as good IMHO of course had the authors just taken more time and better thought out storylines considering the fact most people think of them as trash.
As I recall, JMS mentioned that Kathryn *did* ask him questions and questions. I think the term 're-fragging-lentless' was used. If I'm right, it should be in the forward to the book.

Wouldn't she know more than the average writer?

Just because she is married to JMS doesn't neccarily mean she has better access to the storyline of b5 if anything .I would think it would be harder because that would playing favorites for the lack of a better term. I would also think the publisher would have put restrictions on this because of this.
I think that this was true up until the point when she had been hired. Once she had been given the job without any extra help, then the fact that she had more constant access to the source of canon just became an advantage. She still didn't have direct access to the JMS' B5 notebooks etc. But she could ask innumerable questions about whether this detail would fit.

This is different thatn when she went to write a spec script for the series. In TV, IIRC, the writers often write the entire first draft of the script before they are either bought or not bought. Novels are *much* longer, and for tie-in sorts of jobs they are hired or not hired based on a brief synopsis. Then they write the full book only if they get hired by the publisher for that job.

Once she was already hired based on her synopsis, then it was no longer a matter of nepotism when it came to answering her questions. The other authors were also allowed to ask questions. However, since they didn't just see JMS at home all of the time, actually availing themselves of that would be a more time consuming and cumbersome thing to do. It would be a series of letters, not an ongoing dialog. The nature of that would pretty well guarantee that the other authors wouldn't ask as many or as finely detailed (where one answer leads to several follow-ups) questions as his wife doubtless asked.
Exactly. She had greater access to him than the others did, so what she wrote would have better chance of being considered canon. Knowing him as well as she did, she would have an easier time writing something that fit what he was trying portray in telling the whole story of the B5 universe.
I think you're right Jan.

I just reread the Introduction JMS wrote for "To Dream..." A couple of snippets from it:

"We're talking here late-night conversations, too many to number that began with, "Okay, now when you wrote...."


"It's a remarkable achievement. A breathtaking accomplishment, if for no other reason than we both somehow came through the experience without killing each other."

So, yeah, I'd say it's definite that Kathryn took advantage of the resource she had. ;)

As for other authors checking in with JMS, I did find this post but no indication of what he found out:


By the way, I think you've misplaced your last name :D

I honestly don't remember why I left if off when I was switching from my married name. Thankfully there don't seem to be a whole lot of Jans posting on the sites I hang out. <g>

And didn't JMS' wife write that novel?

Yes she did .And ????

Obviously you have never been married. You see, when you get married your wife immediately inherits (and in fact usurps) all your knowledge, and becomes the sole source of information with respect to friends, family, and anyone else your wife comes into contact with.

You would know this if you were married.

Women, it seems, keep this a secret until *after* the honeymoon, when it's too late. I myself found out a few months after our marriage. With over 24 years in school and more than four degrees, I am now a board certified emergency physician; my wife a local arts foundation and ballet administrator. However after our marriage she suddenly became the oracle of medical knowledge. I was unaware, but her five sisters, brother, parents, and countless cousins and friends all knew this immediately, as evidenced by our phone bill. She now fields questions covering the expanse of medical knowledge and if I dare contradict her I am quickly put in my place. :eek:

Not that this is relevant to the above discussion, but I'm just saying...
I don't remember specifically, but, I think there was one reaction from Sinclair that just seemed wrong, maybe soemthing to do with Marcus's personal history that didn't quite fit, and maybe something with Catherine Sakai that wasn't quite right. But, they were all I believe very minor things.
So anyone come with a "violation" of canon in this novel? KoshN, et al?

Can't remember. I read it a long, long time ago, and didn't especially care for it until it got going (toward the middle of the book). Nothing specifically stuck out as being blatantly wrong, though.

JMS says it's canon in his intro, to the novel. Then again, in the Crusade DVD commentary, he gets the length of the Excalibur wrong by between a factor of 5 and a factor of 2.5*, so who knows? <shrug>

* <ul type="square">[*]"War Zone" at the 20:00 minute mark - Gideon: "...a mile and a quarter long."
[*] "Racing the Night" commentary at 16:22 minute mark - "It's almost like a half a mile long or a quarter mile long."

You'd think, with him being so proud of this aspect of the ship ("It's huge." and wanting the series to have an awesome ship. Listen to the commentary.), that would be one of the facts he'd get right. :rolleyes: Think he needs a few fact checkers on staff, to help keep him straight.