Unauthorized books?

 Posted on 12/21/1999 by J. Michael Straczynski <71016.1644@compuserve.com> to CIS

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I think that unauthorized books fall into a grey area; on the
one hand, they're exploiting a known commodity (a show) but none of the
creative people involved with the project actually benefit from the
book; that's sort of the bottom-feeder aspect to the thing...on the
other hand, an unauthorized book can sometimes (but may not always) be
more objective in telling the story of a given show. I've generally
tried to make sure that anything associated with B5 is more than just
fluff; the B5 magazine is probably the best example of this, and
they've shown both the warts and the good stuff, and have in fact
published any number of very critical articles and reviews of episodes
(teeth-grindingly so, in some cases, but I let it go through on

The Lane books fall into the "may not always be more objective"
category stated above, especially the second one, in which the author,
feeling that the series didn't go the way *he* would've wanted it to
go, totally distorts situations and events to underscore his theme,
even at the expense of honest reporting. The whole book is, frankly,
skewed and even fans have considered it mainly a personal
attack/fannish venting than a book about the show...it's about the
author's frustrated desires and not about the show at all, in the final
analysis. There's a lot of incorrect information in the book, which
in an authorized book could have been caught, but here there was no
safeguard against misinformation and personal opinion disguised as