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Old November 18 2008, 10:00 PM   #1
Candlelight
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Babylon 5 Novels

I know these threads pop up from time to time but until yesterday I never really bothered to pop my head in.

My local library has quite a few in stock (the first 10 at least, didn't see the Centauri trilogy though). I was wondering which ones are worth a read, which to avoid, which are JMS sanctioned, etc.
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Old November 18 2008, 10:14 PM   #2
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Re: Babylon 5 Novels

Of the numbered books, 7 and 9 are considered to be almost completely canon. All three trilogies are well worth a read and were written from outlines penned by JMS. My favorites are the Psi Corps trilogy and the Centauri Prime trilogy.

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Old November 18 2008, 10:32 PM   #3
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Re: Babylon 5 Novels

The only one I've read is To Dream in the City of Sorrows, which is written by Mrs JMS and is about Sinclair's time on Minbari Prime, after he left the station. JMS says it can be regarded as canon. I enjoyed it. Can't say if it's better or worse than the rest, but it's highly regarded and if you're checking out B5 novels, I'm sure it's a pretty good place to start.
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Old November 18 2008, 10:40 PM   #4
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Re: Babylon 5 Novels

Most of the first nine books aren't really worth bothering with -- not because they're not canon, but because they're not very good. Few of them get the characters or the feel of the show right. At least with the trilogies you've got stories plotted by JMS and written by people with some familiarity with the series.
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Old November 18 2008, 11:07 PM   #5
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Re: Babylon 5 Novels

Book #7 of the Dell paperbacks "The Shadow Within" was written by Jeanne Cavelos who later wrote the Technomage Trilogy. As I recall (it's been a while) it dealt with the mission that the Icarus was on when it went to Z'ha'dum.

Book #9 of the Dell paperbacks "To Dream in the City of Sorrows" was written by Kathryn Drennan (Mrs. JMS) and as Captain Demotion said, deals with Sinclair's time on Minbar. It also covers how Marcus became a Ranger.

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Old November 18 2008, 11:19 PM   #6
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Re: Babylon 5 Novels

Jan has it right. Don't waste your time on any of the other books besides the two numbered novels she's listed (which have been re-released in a non-numbered form) and the three trilogies (of which three of the books are very difficult to find for a reasonable price).
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Old November 18 2008, 11:56 PM   #7
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Re: Babylon 5 Novels

Jan wrote: View Post
Book #7 of the Dell paperbacks "The Shadow Within" was written by Jeanne Cavelos who later wrote the Technomage Trilogy. As I recall (it's been a while) it dealt with the mission that the Icarus was on when it went to Z'ha'dum.
Shadow Within also serves as the prequel to the Mage trilogy. In many ways, it is "The Hobbit" to the Mage's "Lord of the Rings". It's certainly not required reading before the trilogy, but you'll get a whole lot more out of it if you do. They can be read on their own, make no mistake, it's just a better experience if you can read em all.

With that all said, avoid book #8 "Personal Agendas" like the fucking plague.
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Old November 19 2008, 12:08 AM   #8
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Re: Babylon 5 Novels

Hirogen Alpha wrote: View Post
Jan has it right. Don't waste your time on any of the other books besides the two numbered novels she's listed (which have been re-released in a non-numbered form) and the three trilogies (of which three of the books are very difficult to find for a reasonable price).
Which 3 are they?

Thanks everyone, will go down there after lunch and see if they have those ones in.
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Old November 19 2008, 12:27 AM   #9
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Re: Babylon 5 Novels

The third books in the Legions of Fire and the Psi Corps trilogies are highly priced on the secondary market, and so is one of the Techno Mage books (the second, I think).

If you can find the books at the library and have the time, you should read all that sound interesting to you. I loved Personal Agendas and hated the Techno Mage trilogy. I liked the first three numbered books and found the middle three utterly forgettable. We're all going to have different opinions, so take our advice on the content quality with a grain of salt.
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Old November 19 2008, 12:50 AM   #10
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Re: Babylon 5 Novels

I've only read the Centauri trilogy. If your library gets it, I highly recommend it. I found the Psi Corps trilogy at a used bookstore, but I haven't read it yet.
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Old November 19 2008, 02:08 AM   #11
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Re: Babylon 5 Novels

Candlelight wrote: View Post
Hirogen Alpha wrote: View Post
Jan has it right. Don't waste your time on any of the other books besides the two numbered novels she's listed (which have been re-released in a non-numbered form) and the three trilogies (of which three of the books are very difficult to find for a reasonable price).
Which 3 are they?

Thanks everyone, will go down there after lunch and see if they have those ones in.
The third book in the Legions of Fire Trilogy (Out of Darkness) is very hard to find, as is the first book in the Techno-mage Trilogy. I've also found the second book in the Techno-mage trilogy to be fairly hard to get ahold of.
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Old November 19 2008, 03:09 AM   #12
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Re: Babylon 5 Novels

I've only read the three trilogies but I thought they were excellent... sounds like it's a good thing I got them when they came out lol!
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Old November 19 2008, 03:18 AM   #13
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Re: Babylon 5 Novels

Smiley wrote: View Post
I loved Personal Agendas


Alrighty then.
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Old November 19 2008, 03:35 AM   #14
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Re: Babylon 5 Novels

#1: Technomage Trilogy: the origin of Galen and the Mages set against the backdrop of the Shadow War. Incredibly moving story, and a better depiction of the Shadow War than the tv series ever managed. Classic.

#2: Centuari Prime Trilogy: basically the "series finale" of the B5 story showing what happens in the 20 years after the series ended. Has some really touching stuff in it, lots of major events happening.

#3: Dream City of Sorrows: great story important to the plot

#4: Psi Corps Trilogy: didn't care for the first book but the last two were pretty good. Doesn't really reveal much story/plot wise though its basically the life story of Bester.

#5: Shadow Within: I just found this one adequate, it's not particularly epic or anything and has a real filler B-story.
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Old November 19 2008, 03:39 AM   #15
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Re: Babylon 5 Novels

Klaus wrote: View Post
I've only read the three trilogies but I thought they were excellent... sounds like it's a good thing I got them when they came out lol!
You can still find them on eBay and in half-price bookstores. I have seen quite a few. Do yourself a favor and at least read "The Shadow Within" and "To Dream in the City of Sorrows". Those two really do add to the overall story and appreciation of the series.
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