Babylon 5

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Kail, Nov 21, 2015.

  1. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Oops. I accidentally left out the last character in the URL. I fixed it now.
    This is the correct link.
     
  2. David cgc

    David cgc Admiral Premium Member

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    There's a typo in the link, it tries to go to the article "Telepath Wa."

    And there's nothing official about that wiki, though there aren't any issues with the actual Telepath War article, in particular (there's some wacky editorializing occasionally in ship and tech articles, which I try to remove when I see it).

    The script-books having the first three pages of a treatment for a Telepath War movie (the first two of which are pretty much boilerplate: "It's Babylon 5! It's a movie! It'll have the people from Babylon 5 in it, and also greater scope and production value, as it's a movie"). The plot summery cuts off suddenly somewhere around what's probably the end of act one, describing how Lyta's resistance movement spent two years becoming bolder and more violent, explicitly analogizing the state of events to the Troubles in Ireland. It doesn't mention anything we know about from the final Psi Corps novel about the Psi Corps taking off the masks in response, the atrocities against rogue telepaths, all that stuff, so Sheridan tries to set up a mediation between Lyta's group and the Psi-Corps on Babylon 5, but the situation deteriorates rapidly. It cuts off right after a mention that it turns out there's a telepathic fifth column within EarthForce, but it doesn't even clarify if these are Corps telepaths or rogues that suddenly have command of warships and military units.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2024
  3. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Too soon?

    Unless they were given Gravity drives, and they were stapled into engineering as an afterthought, the Earth Force Engineers would have to have been given the schematics for a Minbari gravity drive 10 years ago, for the technology to be part of the original design of something rolling off the production line hours after Sheridan liberated Earth.

    Point is.

    Earth Force must have already had gravity drives, from pulling apart Shadow vessels on Mars for ten years, when the alliance was offering them to Luchencho, but their possession of the tech had not been made public yet.
     
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  4. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I believe the books are basically as canon as something like this can be. If I remember corectly from what I've read online, the stories came from JMS himself, or he personally approved them and considered them canon.
     
  5. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    A well meaning man, but there are nine novels in the main range, and he only says that one of them is canon, by the creators assessment, even though it's all about Sinclair and Catherine, which JMS did himself all over again in comics, so there is probably some conflict between the Valen comics and novel # 9, both of which are purported canon at one point in time.

    Can I get a ruling on this from someone who remembers stuff?
     
  6. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I thought the Centauri and Psi-Corps/Bester trilogies were also canon?
     
  7. David cgc

    David cgc Admiral Premium Member

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    That's pretty much my take, too. There's a stray mention in B5 Wars that the pre-ISA Warlocks weren't in space long enough before being refitted with Minbari engines for it to be worth making a ship control sheet for them, but JMS's short story, "Hidden Agendas" has Ivanova visiting Babylon 5 in her new, active-duty ship extremely early in season 5. I just checked the dates, and at the absolute most, there are 11 weeks between Earth joining the ISA and Ivanova having been in command long enough to figure out that there was a chunk of black goo somewhere in her ship.

    I remember seeing fan-art of prototype Warlocks that were basically replaced the engine with the rotating section and rear hull of an Omega (which I haven't been able to track down), but that makes very little sense, considering there'd need to be a pretty substantial redesign to put positive-gravity crew spaces in the main section, and that's assuming all the infrastructure worked correctly under gravity (there's a big difference between a zero-g fighter bay and a 1-g fighter bay). My guess is Earth already had extremely rudimentary gravity technology (which would also nicely explain why the ships aren't full Expanse-level hard sci-fi and how Omegas don't torque themselves apart when the maneuver), and the Warlock was going to be the first time they used it for something more than inertial compensation and structural integrity, but it didn't work correctly until they got proper Minbari blueprints and proper Minbari parts and proper Minbari engineers to answer their questions and they were able to make the ships functional.

    Well, functional, though maybe not perfect. Saying that the crews of the first Warlocks were walking around in lunar or Mars gravity instead of Earth gravity for the first year or two until Earth was able to build Mark II gravity engines that incorporated all the Minbari expertise is a fitting compromise to me between making sense and what happened in the story.

    There's no contradiction. The first DC comics run ("The Price of Peace"), covering Sinclair's arrival on Minbar, is directly and repeatedly referenced in the Sinclair novel ("To Dream in the City of Sorrows," which covers where the comic ended up to the beginning of season 3). The last comics miniseries, "In Valen's Name," only describes stuff Sinclair did after he went back in time and became Valen, and also directly references something from the novel. Well, it tries to, but there's a very confusing scripting error that muddled the meaning.

    (In "City of Sorrows," Catherine Sakai joins the Rangers and, on a mission, falls through the time-rift in sector 14, never to return. At the end of "In Valen's Name," Valen has an extra, secret message, in case anyone who knew him as Sinclair finds the recordings discovered in the comic, where he addresses his closest friends, and says that, in the end, it all worked out, because "I found her," referring to Catherine. Well, it would've, except Catherine is included in list of people in his home time he's hoping will hear the message. I imagine if there's ever a re-print, they can easily replace her name with Marcus's, and everything will make sense.)

    That's right, the official, JMS-approved canon prose works of Babylon 5 are

    #7: The Shadow Within (though only the parts about Anna Sheridan on the Icarus, the parts about John Sheridan on the Agamemnon don't entirely count, but he's never been specific about his objection, and there wasn't anything egregious in it)
    #9: To Dream in the City of Sorrows

    All the movie novelizations.

    The Psi-Corps, Centauri Prime, and Technomage novel trilogies.

    All the comics (even "Laser-Mirror-Starweb," which is awful and probably should be ignored).

    All the short stories published in various magazines in the late '90s and early 2000s written by JMS himself and other writers of the shows or canon novels. That's "Hidden Agendas," "In the Shadow of His Thoughts," "True Seeker," "The Nautilus Coil," The One Where G'Kar and Lyta Murder a Living Planet For Being a Dick Whose Name I Can't... no, wait, it was "Genius Loci," and, everyone's favorite, "Space, Time, and the Incurable Romantic." I think that's all of them, but this post has gone on too long for me to check.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2024
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  8. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    They are.

    "The main range" is nine random novels by random people, some of who had not seen b5 yet, because the novels were commissioned to be released side by side with the pilot, in the way that most of the early TNG novels were written by people who had never seen TNG.

    The "main range" are not the trilogies.
    One novel is "solved" by Ivanova consenting to a psi scan from a no good nick.
     
  9. Snaploud

    Snaploud Admiral Admiral

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    The Shadow Within is more in canon than the rest of the numbered books. It was even republished (without the numbering) with reference to it being a prequel to the Technomage Trilogy.

    Canonicity

    According to Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski in 1997: "The story of the Icarus as presented in this book is considered canon."[1]. Events surrounding this plot-line are revisited in the novel Casting Shadows (also by Jeanne Cavelos) while the later chapters of Deadly Relations - Bester Ascendant by J. Gregory Keyes depict Ms. Donne being sent on the Icarus mission by Alfred Bester, shortly after hearing of the incident with Terrence Hilliard.


    https://babylon5.fandom.com/wiki/The_Shadow_Within
     
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  10. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I can only imagine that they stopped making numbered novels because they were not selling well, or their misleading inaccuracy enraged JMS and he traded "something" to see them done.

    The list I provided above says that the first of the numbered novels were released congruent with season 2, so they were probably written half way through season one, so Sheridan is Captain on TV but the books are still talking about the shining Destiny of Sinclair?

    There's a schism.

    Yes, the final numbered books would be more on par with the feel of the show, to be welcomed as canon, since it's likely that the author of the very first novel had probably only seen In the Gathering, or read a few plot outlines for season one episodes.

    Noticed a glaring joke.

    "Luchenko sold Mars for 5 magic beans".

    No one told her R&D already had gravity drives, because she was a total noob, on her first day.
     
  11. USS Firefly

    USS Firefly Commodore Commodore

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    Are those books good? I heard that the Centauri Trilogy are ok
     
  12. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The Centauri Trilogy is about Gaylen from Crusade and Vir knocking out the Drakh and taking over. Excellent.

    The Psi Corps Trilogy is about 200 years of human telepathic dynasties banging each other, until Bester, who may have been working for the Vorlons all along, cocks it up. Excellent.

    The Technomage Trilogy is about Gaylen sad that his girlfriend blew up. Boo hoo, I used to kiss this really awesome girl, but she's red mist now, so I'm just going to be a mysterious conceited jerk off for the rest of my life and really annoy people with cryptic bullshit, and never get laid again.

    The technomage trilogy, and the Centauri trilogy and the Crusdade TV show are all happening at the same time, with some of the same characters, and they brush up against each other a bit.

    These books are purported to be canon, they add to the complete story.

    The numbered novels are %95 trash commissioned by the network to make money, with no understanding of the 5 year plan, or even sometimes season 1.
     
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  13. Booji

    Booji Commodore Premium Member

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    The Psi Corps books are awesome. Centauri trilogy is very good. Techno Mage books are good. Shadow Within is a bit meh. To Dream is ok.
     
  14. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I think for "Shadow Within" you kind of need to distinguish between the Anna storyline, which I think is pretty good (but I have a soft spot for pathos, and her arc is continued in the Technomage Trilogy) and the John storyline, which is basically filler.

    I think I'd go...
    Centauri
    Technomage / Psi Corps (they both have stronger and weaker portions)
    Shadow Within
    To Dream...

    But they're all worthwhile reading. I can't recommend any of the other books, though I also can't say that I ever read them.
     
  15. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Admiral Admiral

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    His name is spelt Galen - presumably named for the Romano-Greek physician Galen of Pergamon.
     
  16. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    My flatmate at the time thought I was an idiot for watching and rewatching this show/shows... So he kept asking me "What's his name?" and then he would giggle because you were allowed to call things Gay back then to mean that they were awful.

    Mild mannered abuse.

    Food of the gods.
     
  17. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Admiral Admiral

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    How very queer of him.
     
  18. David cgc

    David cgc Admiral Premium Member

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    Found it, it was Anthony "Hyperion" Pakizer's B5Wars fan-site. The page for the Warlock prototype on the Internet Archive is lacking the images, but I have them on my drive:

    warlockproto.jpg

    swarlock.jpg

    I just happened to stumble on it while going over the files on the game from the B5 Wars Vault, which has compiled all the resources from that game that have long since gone offline. It's really driving my nuts how much Babylon 5 stuff online (and IRL) there was at the turn of the century, and how little of it has survived. Lucky there are a handful of curators trying to preserve this stuff, but it can feel overwhelming to try and find stuff I didn't have the harddrive space to save, or assumed would always be there.

    I read an essay a few years ago suggesting that Babylon 5 was teetering on the edge of becoming a dead fandom, and I do dread the prospect (though that post does predate the HD release, which I hope is a turning point. It got my focus back on it, at least).
     
  19. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Had a thought about the Shadows and gravity.

    They are spiders with carnbon steel pincers to walk up side down on ceilings.

    I don't think that want or need gravity.

    They could have adapted to life in space over the course of millions of years, and pilgrimage to Za'ha'Dum is PAINFUL.

    Furthermore...

    I don't think they have air in their ships.

    A fluid you can breathe possibly, but they don't have to breathe because of their encounter suits, yes they are probably wearing encounter suits, and we have never seen a Shadow, but a shock absorbing fluid would be great for space travel, especially if your gravity drive is only making enough gravity to make sure you are not pancaked by a unpredictably steep left turns.

    Although...

    The same genetic programming 2001 style that forces us to see Vorlons as Angels, may trick us into thinking of the Shadows as creepy Spiders, so we could be seeing them wrong.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2024
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  20. Tim Walker

    Tim Walker Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Regarding Anthony Pakizer's site... When I click on some ship classes I get interesting material, but when I click on others I get "This page is not available on the web because page does not exist."