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  • B5 Novels

    I happened to run into John Vornholt's Voices and was amazed how crappy it was. Is it just me, or does others think that Vornholt was quite lost with the characters? I can hardly recognize Garibaldi, Ivanova and especially Sheridan and Talia Winters.


    The utmost crap ever come across from B5.


    -Dip

  • #2
    Dipper, in one of the few such cases with any group of people I can think of, the people who've read the B5 novels almost universally agree that the only ones worthwhile are "The Shadow Within", "To Dream in the City of Sorrows", the Psicorp trilogy, The Centauri trilogy, and the Technomage trilogy. I'm right there with you on "Voices." He just didn't find the "voice", if you'll pardon the expression, of the characters.
    "That was the law, as set down by Valen. Three castes: worker, religious, warrior."

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    • #3
      *jumps in his time machine and goes back to time of initial B5 novels--gives the authors a well deserved beating for their pathetics attempts at writing the B5 universe*

      *comes back to present*

      I am sorry, but the only novels out there are the ones worker caste mentions above.. nope there never was a numbered series of b5 novels..
      i cant say i remember them at all..
      *grins evily at Aisling*
      There is no greater power in the universe than the need for freedom. Against such power, governments, and kingdoms, and conquerors cannot stand.
      WE WILL BE FREE!

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      • #4
        I enjoy Voices but it could have been a lot better. The other numbered books get worse, until JMS took over.
        Andrew Swallow

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        • #5
          Originally posted by WorkerCaste
          Dipper, in one of the few such cases with any group of people I can think of, the people who've read the B5 novels almost universally agree that the only ones worthwhile are "The Shadow Within", "To Dream in the City of Sorrows", the Psicorp trilogy, The Centauri trilogy, and the Technomage trilogy. I'm right there with you on "Voices." He just didn't find the "voice", if you'll pardon the expression, of the characters.
          Colour me universally agreeing!

          Well, almost...

          I ordered "To Dream...", has yet to arrive, will keep myself busy with the D&D 3.5 Players' Handbook in the meantime.

          I've read the three trilogies, which were good, and "The Shadow Within", which was also good.

          Anyone still without these 10 (or 11) books should consider investing in them

          Now... Anyone tried B5 roleplaying with the D&D rules?

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: B5 Novels

            Originally posted by Dipper
            I happened to run into John Vornholt's Voices and was amazed how crappy it was. Is it just me, or does others think that Vornholt was quite lost with the characters? I can hardly recognize Garibaldi, Ivanova and especially Sheridan and Talia Winters.


            The utmost crap ever come across from B5.
            Then, you've never read #5 "The Touch of Your Shadow, the Whisper of Your Name" , have you??? Seriously, it's 1000 times worse than "Voices."


            I just finished #6 "Betrayals" and #8 "Personal Agendas." "Betrayals" was OK, and "Personal Agendas" wasn't as hideosly bad as everybody's been leading me to believe. Sure, Sarrantonio goes overboard on the humor (starting around page 86~87), but it's nowhere near as bad as #5. I thought Londo, Vir, and Lyndisty were written very well in #8, and some of that humor had me laughing out loud. G'Kar, Garibaldi, Franklin, Ivanova and Cartagia were written fairly very well in #8. The Sheridan and Delenn pages were "off" though.

            Re. #1 Voices, I read it two years ago, and while it had errors, it wasn't completely worthless (#5 was. The best thing about #5 was the cover art. #5 was a build-up to ....wait for it....NOTHING.)

            Having now read all of the first nine Dell novels, I find that #4 "Clark's Law" and #5 "The Touch of Your Shadow, the Whisper of Your Name" were, by far, the worst.

            Out of 5 Stars:
            =============
            Book#1 Voices - 2.5 stars
            Book#2 Accusations - 2.5 stars
            Book#3 Blood Oath - 2.5 stars
            Book#4 Clark's Law - 0.0 stars
            Book#5 The Touch of Your Shadow, the Whisper of Your Name - 0.0 stars
            Book#6 Betrayals - 3.5 stars
            Book#7 The Shadow Within - 4.5 stars
            Book#8 Personal Agendas - 2.5 stars
            Book#9 To Dream in the City of Sorrows - 4.5 stars

            Dark Genesis - The Birth of the Psi Corps - 4.0 stars
            Deadly Relations - Bester Ascendant - 4.5 stars
            Final Reckoning - The Fate of Bester - 4.5 stars

            Legions of Fire - Book I - The Long Night of Centauri Prime - 5.0 stars
            Legions of Fire - Book II - Armies of Light and Dark - 4.5 stars *
            Legions of Fire - Book III - Out of the Darkness - 5.0 stars

            The Passing of the Techno-Mages - Book I - Casting Shadows - 5.0 stars
            The Passing of the Techno-Mages - Book II - Summoning Light - 4.5 stars **
            The Passing of the Techno-Mages - Book III - Invoking Darkness - 5.0 stars

            A Call to Arms - 2.5 stars
            In the Beginning - 4.5 stars
            Thirdspace - 4.0 stars


            * Due to the date errors (2267 is actually 2266.).

            **Were it not for the error of the where and when of the Ondavi explosion, and it was an error, regardless of how Jeanne tries to spin it, it'd be 5.0 stars across the board.
            Last edited by KoshN; 11-14-2004, 01:00 PM.
            Mac Breck (KoshN)
            ------------------
            Warner Brothers is Lucy.
            JMS and we fans are collectively Charlie Brown.
            Babylon 5 is the football.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Re: B5 Novels

              Originally posted by KoshN
              Book#4 Clark's Law - 0.0 stars
              Too many stars. In fact, the terms "0.0 stars" and "Book #4" are going too far.
              I believe that when we leave a place, part of it goes with us and part of us remains. Go anywhere in the station, when it is quiet, and just listen. After a while, you will hear the echoes of all our conversations, every thought and word we've exchanged. Long after we are gone .. our voices will linger in these walls for as long as this place remains. But I will admit .. that the part of me that is going .. will very much miss the part of you that is staying.

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              • #8
                I'm now starting in to reading "The Shadow Within" and then the Technomage, Centauri and Psi Corps trilogies for the second time.

                It occurs to me that "The Shadow Within" would make an excellent feature film. It'd have a great horror aspect (much better than "Thirdspace" and would end dark and poignant. That could lead into the Technomage trilogy as feature films.

                Then we could have the Centauri and Psi Corps trilogies as feature films as well, concurrent with a re-start of Crusade.

                It's a dream I have.
                Mac Breck (KoshN)
                ------------------
                Warner Brothers is Lucy.
                JMS and we fans are collectively Charlie Brown.
                Babylon 5 is the football.

                Comment


                • #9
                  In an attempt to be fair to John Vornholt - novel #1 was commissioned and released very, very early in the process, without the author having had much (if any) opportunity to see the actors cast actually play the roles. He was, in a sense, working completely blind.

                  We shouldn't therefore be too harsh, or too surprised, if he didn't capture the characters in the way that we all NOW know and love them. In fact it would be a miracle if he had, since he hadn't seen any of them in action.

                  Likewise, knowing what B5 story security was like back in those days, it is unlikely he was given too much of a sense of the big picture (and the characters' parts in it) as part of his brief.

                  I haven't actually read the book myself, so I cannot comment on how good it is in and of itself, but I do think it is a little unreasonable for us to criticise an author for not capturing the characters truly, when we now have the benefit of having seen them develop through 5 seasons of TV and 5 TV Movies, and he didn't have any of that.

                  Having said that - that reasoning wears thinner and thinner as you go through the book series, but I have heard the same critique of some of the later novels too.

                  Cheers,
                  The Optimist: The glass is half full
                  The Pessimist: The glass is half empty
                  The Engineer: The glass is twice as big as it needs to be

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Garibaldi's Hair
                    In an attempt to be fair to John Vornholt ...
                    I think it's good to be fair to the authors. I am often harse on the books, but not on the authors. Just to begin with, I think it has to be hard to take someone else's characters and give them life in the same way. Also, as GH pointed out, the first round of books was done fairly early. Even though I wouldn't consider most of those books worth reading, I don't recall finishing the book with a feeling that the author was horrible. Of course, it's been a while.
                    "That was the law, as set down by Valen. Three castes: worker, religious, warrior."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by WorkerCaste
                      Even though I wouldn't consider most of those books worth reading, I don't recall finishing the book with a feeling that the author was horrible.
                      Same here, hence the reason I gave it a so-so rating,as opposed to a horrible rating (like Dell #4 & #5).
                      Mac Breck (KoshN)
                      ------------------
                      Warner Brothers is Lucy.
                      JMS and we fans are collectively Charlie Brown.
                      Babylon 5 is the football.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I happen to likes Voices the characters may have been more than a little off but I found it an enjoyable read.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The only books from the original 9 I read were the ones re-released by Dell-Rey (#7 and 9). I never bothered hunting the others down because I heard they were crap.

                          I read somewhere that part of the reason that the original nine were bad was because JMS really had nothing to do with them, where as the trilogies are considered canon because they were all baised on outlines from JMS, because he wanted the novels to be better.

                          Any truth to this?
                          http://www.andrewcardinale.com
                          @acardi

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by JDSValen
                            I read somewhere that part of the reason that the original nine were bad was because JMS really had nothing to do with them, where as the trilogies are considered canon because they were all baised on outlines from JMS, because he wanted the novels to be better.

                            Any truth to this?
                            Welcome, JDSValen!

                            Pretty much. He was given the chance to review them before publication to make sure that they weren't contradictory to his plan but he didn't have any input into them. The trilogies were all done from extensive outlines of his.

                            Jan
                            "Fascism always comes in quietly, holding a flag in one hand and a holy book in the other, inching its way in. The bugles and drums only sound after they've already taken over and believe it's too late to do anything about it." JMS Twitter Dec. 24, 2017

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                            • #15
                              The Shadow Within is excellent. It should have been made into a film. My favorite was To Dream In The City of Sorrows. I was saddened by O'Hare's departure from the series.
                              Battlestar Pacifica:

                              http://s4.invisionfree.com/Battlesta...ica/index.php?

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