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  • Lost Stories

    I stumbled upon an old Babylon 5 magazine last night, and read through a few of the articles. Something I noticed was a mention of books that I certainly don't remember coming out.

    1 - Novelization of River of Souls by Yvonne Navarro -- She won't talk about it, and the only thing I've heard from JMS' camp is that it wasn't up to snuff, despite several rewrites.

    2 - A trilogy by Robert Sheckley -- While it's *possible* this is a reference to one of the three trilogies we got, I don't think so. The magazine is from September 1998 (volume 2, issue 2, special about In the Beginning). By that time, the trilogies we know had either been published or at least announced.

    Besides those mentioned in the magazine, there's also ...

    3 - The Game, Into the Fire. There's another thread on that subject already.

    Do you know of other books/comics/stories/projects that had been announced, but have yet to see the light of day?
    "Jan Schroeder is insane" - J. Michael Straczynski, March 2008

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  • #2
    Originally posted by OmahaStar View Post
    1 - Novelization of River of Souls by Yvonne Navarro -- She won't talk about it, and the only thing I've heard from JMS' camp is that it wasn't up to snuff, despite several rewrites.
    She did talk about it actually. Check out her version of events here:
    http://www.yvonnenavarro.com/souls.htm

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    • #3
      Originally posted by OmahaStar View Post
      2 - A trilogy by Robert Sheckley -- While it's *possible* this is a reference to one of the three trilogies we got, I don't think so. The magazine is from September 1998 (volume 2, issue 2, special about In the Beginning). By that time, the trilogies we know had either been published or at least announced.
      I've not come across any evidence of a Sheckley-penned B5 trilogy while exploring the archives of Babylonian Productions. Indeed, I can say with certainty that precisely THREE trilogies were called for in the contract that yielded the Psi Corps, Centauri Prime and techno-mage trilogies. I suppose it's possible Sheck might have been in line to do the third of those, but I'm pretty sure Jeanne Cavelos was always on tap for those because of the connections to The Shadow Within. Interesting...

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      • #4
        As for other "lost stories," there are at least a dozen stories that were developed for the tv series and not used. Some were one-line descriptions (many reprinted in the original B5 script books). Others were developed further into outlines (several by JMS were included in Artifacts From Beyond the Rim and there was an unused David Gerrold premise in one of the Babylon 5: Other Voices books). Finally, a very few scripts were abandoned, or--in the case of Crusade--went unfilmed, after being written.

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        • #5
          The other thing to consider is that a number of writers- mainly during season one when the show was still in its infancy- probably came up with a story idea or two that probably never saw the light of day, whether it's because they were too much like Trek (read Harlan Ellison's manifesto about what constitutes a good B5 story, in Brain Movies Vol I), maybe the series was heading in a different direction, or that story had elements that were too similar to something else already in the works. That would mean there were probably several story ideas that never saw the light of day but those titles crept into the public record somewhere.

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          • #6
            By the way, thank you JoeD80 for publishing that link regarding the River of Souls novelization. I never read that account of events so it was interesting to see. I also found it interesting that there was a demand for the then-reference editor to get a 'written by' credit on the novelization, even though her paid job as rererence editor was to my understanding, to check any licensed material for inaccuracies. How that entitles somebody to a writer's credit is something I don't quite understand, but it sounds as though there's a lot more to that story than meets the eye.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Joe Nazzaro View Post
              How that entitles somebody to a writer's credit is something I don't quite understand, but it sounds as though there's a lot more to that story than meets the eye.
              Well, it wouldnÆt be the first one. Though you most certainly know that a good deal better than I do, I imagine. ; )

              And yeah, interesting link there JoeD80.

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              • #8
                Here's another post by JMS with additional information on the Navarro book:

                http://jmsnews.com/msg.aspx?id=1-613

                Sounds like there were some issues with Del Rey and communication in general.

                ETA: Me, I always wondered why we never got the "The Gathering" novelization from David Gerrold:
                http://jmsnews.com/msg.aspx?id=1-7580

                Jan
                Last edited by Jan; 11-04-2011, 08:36 AM.
                "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

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                • #9
                  Well, I'm pretty sure one of those Del Rey people is someone I'm currently having problems with at another company, who just can't seem to be bothered returning e-mails about an interview we already talked about setting up, I mightbe inclined to say the more things change, the more they stay the same.

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                  • #10
                    There were the ones a few years ago from Mongoose gaming, who owned the rights to the Babylon 5 RPG and thought (wrongly) they could produce original novels under that license. One by Claudia - Baptism of Fire and another by Richard Ford called Ranger Dawning. I know for Baptism Claudia had several authors' copies she was selling for awhile that actually made it to print. Richard Ford after it was announced that Mongoose had no rights to such things, put up a PDF of Ranger Dawning before he was told to cease and desist.

                    There were supposed to be 2 more books, don't know if those ever saw the light of day or who were the supposed authors on them.

                    Having read the first two, they're fan-fiction quality at best.
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Jan View Post
                      Here's another post by JMS with additional information on the Navarro book:

                      http://jmsnews.com/msg.aspx?id=1-613

                      Sounds like there were some issues with Del Rey and communication in general.

                      ETA: Me, I always wondered why we never got the "The Gathering" novelization from David Gerrold:
                      http://jmsnews.com/msg.aspx?id=1-7580

                      Jan
                      As Jan knows, a few days ago, I asked Joe on Facebook if there was any chance that he might now be able to do the 'Gathering' book, being the creator and main writer and all. That, his proven writing history and now having a lot more creative freedom and choice since his tremendous, significant profile expanding, movie success....

                      Alas, sadly not. He said that that particular window had shut a good while ago.

                      Shame. I feel it would have been a perfect book-end to the show. The original story, told exactly the way JMS would have wanted it told. The TNT special edition was very good, but the book would have been exceptional.
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by SmileOfTheShadow View Post
                        There were the ones a few years ago from Mongoose gaming, who owned the rights to the Babylon 5 RPG and thought (wrongly) they could produce original novels under that license.
                        Just to clarify a bit, Mongoose *did* license the rights to do novels in the B5 universe. They also wanted to do comics but it would seem that DC may at that time still have had the rights to so B5 comics and so that was taken away from them. But despite all of the foofooraw between Mongoose and JMS, they could have published Claudia's and anybody else's B5 books quite legitimately.

                        Jan
                        "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by SmileOfTheShadow View Post
                          There were the ones a few years ago from Mongoose gaming, who owned the rights to the Babylon 5 RPG and thought (wrongly) they could produce original novels under that license. One by Claudia - Baptism of Fire and another by Richard Ford called Ranger Dawning. I know for Baptism Claudia had several authors' copies she was selling for awhile that actually made it to print. Richard Ford after it was announced that Mongoose had no rights to such things, put up a PDF of Ranger Dawning before he was told to cease and desist.

                          There were supposed to be 2 more books, don't know if those ever saw the light of day or who were the supposed authors on them.

                          Having read the first two, they're fan-fiction quality at best.
                          Hmmm you're right, there were supposed to be more books. From this link it seems there were three more planned:

                          The six planned novels were:

                          1. Ranger Dawning written by Richard Ford
                          2. Baptism of Fire written by Claudia Christian
                          3. Visions of Peace: A Rangers Novel written by Matthew Sprange
                          4. Ashes of the Past written by Bruce Graw
                          5. Actions of Many written by M. J. Dougherty
                          6. Birth of Heroes written by Bryan Steele
                          For those who haven't read the licensed fanfic, there's a link on that wiki page to the PDF of the first three books, apparently authorized by Mongoose.
                          "Jan Schroeder is insane" - J. Michael Straczynski, March 2008

                          The Station: A Babylon 5 Podcast

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Jan View Post
                            Just to clarify a bit, Mongoose *did* license the rights to do novels in the B5 universe. They also wanted to do comics but it would seem that DC may at that time still have had the rights to so B5 comics and so that was taken away from them. But despite all of the foofooraw between Mongoose and JMS, they could have published Claudia's and anybody else's B5 books quite legitimately.

                            Jan
                            My apologies, I thought the license was the issue with the novels.
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                            • #15
                              ^^ It wasn't too very long after that that Mongoose let the license to do B5 stuff lapse and stopped doing even the RPG books, which may have been what you were thinking of.

                              Jan
                              "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

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