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Old 06-22-2017, 02:49 AM
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New B5 Unofficial Guide to be published in October 2017

I just saw this item suggested to me during my Amazon navigation this morning :
https://www.amazon.com/dp/1770412654...ing=UTF8&psc=1
planned to be released late September 2017 in the USA, October in the UK

Description :
Quote:
A Dream Given Form provides an accessible, comprehensive, and critical look at Babylon 5, one of the most groundbreaking series of all time. Nearly 20 years after the show ended, this indispensable companion not only covers all five seasons of Babylon 5, but also the feature-length TV movies, the spinoff series Crusade (including three non-produced episodes), The Legend of the Rangers, The Lost Tales, the canonical novels, the DC comic book series, and the short stories set in the Babylon 5 universe. Each season and text is explored thoroughly with an in-depth look at how the individual episodes, books, stories, and comics fit into larger ongoing storylines.

Carefully constructed to be enjoyed by both those who have watched the series multiple times and viewers watching for the first time, A Dream Given Form elucidates without spoiling and illuminates without nitpicking.
I'm not very sure what to think of it. Most books I looked into that were unofficial guides were not very great, pretty much rephrasing what was already known without bringing anything new. And their description of "covering all the canon universe" seem redundant with the coming B5 Encyclopedia, even though the fact the book is described has having 480 pages makes it potentially a pretty comprehensive one. Finally I really don't understand their statement, as they say at the same time to "explored thoroughly with an in-depth look" and at the same time "elucidates without spoiling and illuminates without nitpicking".

Last edited by Apsu; 06-22-2017 at 02:52 AM.
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Old 06-22-2017, 03:42 AM
Triple F Triple F is offline
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I know that a couple of knowledgeable long term fans consulted the authors on a number of points. Both those fans can be pretty pedantic buggers and as I understand it (meaning what I read them say on facebook), they’re looking forward to the book. . . . .
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Old 06-22-2017, 07:07 AM
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Yeah,

best way is always to ask the author, so I did.
I asked the two previous questions to Ensley F. Guffey, and he was kind enough to answer them and allowing me to post his answer here without changes.
So a big thank you to M. Guffey.

Quote:
Fair questions. So we both started our writing careers as academic writers, trained to critically analyse our chosen subjects, and we bring that experience and training to the table in our TV guides. What most books/websites on Babylon 5 have done is to summarize the events in an episode, maybe tie them in to the larger story or not, and call the job done. We avoid that. We're not summarizing the episode (after all, presumably you've already seen the episode, so you know what happened in it) we're digging into what happened - why are the characters acting the way they do? How does that fit in with the larger stories going on? What's the background, in the narrative, that underlies their choices? We also touch on the performances, technical aspects, etc., of course, but our main goal is to call attention to the things that aren't necessarily obvious when you're watching the show, and to draw out meaning. As to resources, with B5 that's not really a problem. You will see in the book that our source list is impressive. JMS in particular has given thousands of interviews and written millions of words on the show, and all of his online posts from when the show was being produced are archived and available. So the background research is most definitely there.

As to revealing without getting spoilery: if we're talking about Delenn's chrysalis in the season 1 sections, for example, we're not going to address her human/Minbari transformation until the episode in which it is revealed. We'll note the machine, and her intentness on building it, offer notes that it will prove to be important, but we don't want to spoil the later reveal of her new genetic make up in season 2. We always try to keep in mind that, while many people buying our guide will have already seen the show, some may be watching it for the first time, so we want to provide analysis without blowing the secrest the show still has to reveal for those readers. That's especially important for a show like B5 which has consistently attracted new viewers over its 20+ year lifespan.
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Old 06-22-2017, 08:06 AM
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New B5 Unofficial Guide to be published in October 2017

"I know that a couple of knowledgeable long term fans consulted the authors on a number of points. Both those fans can be pretty pedantic buggers and as I understand it (meaning what I read them say on facebook), they’re looking forward to the book. . . . ."

Who on Epsilon 3 could you mean?

Last edited by b5historyman; 06-22-2017 at 08:09 AM.
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  #5  
Old 06-24-2017, 05:08 PM
Triple F Triple F is offline
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Originally Posted by b5historyman View Post
Who on Epsilon 3 could you mean?
Oh, it’s just a couple of mad buggers I sometimes chat with while we stand in line for our meds.

BTW, I just remembered I wanted to ask you something. You up for a bit of contributing to B5Scrolls. The update is all but finished – and I’m just working on the bit highlighting *some* of the cooler, larger and sometimes lesser well known stuff which fans create. It’s a bit of an eclectic mix, and what you did fits the bill. . . . . Would mean a couple of questions to get the details right though.
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Old 06-28-2017, 08:32 AM
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No problem, we're on FB so fire off a pm. Glad to help!
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Old 06-28-2017, 09:53 AM
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Inside conversations aside you better not be talking about ME. LOL (I don't really participate in anything on Facebook, so it isn't this "mad bugger".)

So I was looking at this product. I feel that dust jacket is just awful. I am guessing they were trying to capture the flavor of B5 graphics without being accused of infringing on anything, but WOW is that not to my taste. There is just something that puts me off about it. It might be what I just said, that they tried to capture something that seems similar, but isn't.
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Old 06-28-2017, 10:12 AM
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Inside conversations aside you better not be talking about ME. LOL (I don't really participate in anything on Facebook, so it isn't this "mad bugger".)
Well, if he was talking about you, that would make you the second user on this forum that wear a totally appropriate username
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Old 06-28-2017, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Apsu View Post
Well, if he was talking about you, that would make you the second user on this forum that wear a totally appropriate username
Well he wasn't, but I will take that as an earned compliment!!!!!
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Old 06-29-2017, 07:59 AM
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Yeah, not too keen on the cover design either. It does try to evoke that classic vibe without any copyright infringement! Hahaha, but yes, they could have gone with something more slick and modern.

The book itself, I am curious at the very least. Could be fun and it's a good deal cheaper than some of the B5 Books offerings, which are always good but sometimes a tad heavy on the wallet.
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Old 06-29-2017, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Ubik View Post
Could be fun and it's a good deal cheaper than some of the B5 Books offerings, which are always good but sometimes a tad heavy on the wallet.
See I always look at the B5 Books as more like self-published books. I would like to know their numbers as far as number of units produced per each release. I would bet they are not getting rich off those high prices when it comes to cost to produce vs sales. Yeah I wish they were cheaper, but I also feel like there is a LOT of effort and love from a small group of individuals that goes into every release. I also wonder if the encyclopedia will be their final installment, other than finishing the Crusade stuff and/or a Stephen Furst tribute item. We'll see. JMS is going to have to get a reboot done so they can come up with future releases that don't rehash material from the scripts or encyclopedia.
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Old 06-29-2017, 08:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Looney View Post
See I always look at the B5 Books as more like self-published books. I would like to know their numbers as far as number of units produced per each release. I would bet they are not getting rich off those high prices when it comes to cost to produce vs sales. Yeah I wish they were cheaper, but I also feel like there is a LOT of effort and love from a small group of individuals that goes into every release. I also wonder if the encyclopedia will be their final installment, other than finishing the Crusade stuff and/or a Stephen Furst tribute item. We'll see. JMS is going to have to get a reboot done so they can come up with future releases that don't rehash material from the scripts or encyclopedia.
Oh yeah, totally agree. But nice to see someone else doing B5 related stuff that may have worth.
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Old 06-29-2017, 10:32 AM
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Might find this of interest. A USA Today article, written back in 2006, about self publishing and included some stuff on jms and the script books. Seems to indicate the first 7 issues were selling around two and half thousand copies each. Though that might have grown over time. I vaguely recall someone mention the mailing list for B5books is five figures these days.

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/money...n-demand_x.htm

Quote:
At about $40 apiece ($30 in the first week of release), Straczynski expects $1.5 million in total sales from the 14 planned volumes.

A large chunk will go to CafePress, the company that prints and ships each book. Still, Straczynski says he'll have a terrific return on the $500 he spent to set up www.babylon5scripts.com, the website for his sales.
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It's the oldest trick in the book, and the lowest, also the meanest, to take someone's words and paraphrase them to your own benefit, and characterize them with loaded terms to make the other person look bad. Frankly, this kind of tactic is beneath contempt. Grow up.
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Old 06-30-2017, 06:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Looney View Post
See I always look at the B5 Books as more like self-published books. I would like to know their numbers as far as number of units produced per each release. I would bet they are not getting rich off those high prices when it comes to cost to produce vs sales. Yeah I wish they were cheaper, but I also feel like there is a LOT of effort and love from a small group of individuals that goes into every release. I also wonder if the encyclopedia will be their final installment, other than finishing the Crusade stuff and/or a Stephen Furst tribute item. We'll see. JMS is going to have to get a reboot done so they can come up with future releases that don't rehash material from the scripts or encyclopedia.
I hope not, as I would like to see my fully revised and updated Babylon 5 Historical Database published!!!

Last edited by b5historyman; 06-30-2017 at 07:12 AM.
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Old 06-30-2017, 06:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Looney View Post
Inside conversations aside you better not be talking about ME. LOL (I don't really participate in anything on Facebook, so it isn't this "mad bugger".)

So I was looking at this product. I feel that dust jacket is just awful. I am guessing they were trying to capture the flavor of B5 graphics without being accused of infringing on anything, but WOW is that not to my taste. There is just something that puts me off about it. It might be what I just said, that they tried to capture something that seems similar, but isn't.
As one of the people Triple F refers to, I can guarantee a quality piece of work. Disclaimer: This poster cannot be held responsible for any failings if you don't like it.
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