The J. Michael Straczynski Message Archive


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by J. Michael Straczynski (JMS).

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 Subject: Re: ATTN JMS: Short Stories
    Date: 5/16/2006 2:44:29 PM  

Message 1 in thread 

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Jan wrote:
> Here's part of a post from Mongoose Publishing
> about them:
> ----------------------------------------
> <<The first month of releases (I am waiting to hear back for exact confirmation
> of date, but assume June/July for now) look like this;
> Ranger Dawning by Richard Ford
> Actions of Many by MJ Dougherty
> Visions of Peace by Matthew Sprange (ahem)
> No Rest for the Wicked by Claudia Christian
> Second month (July/August);
> Ashes of the Past by Bruce Graw
> Birth of Heroes by Bryan Steele
> And more are in the works, from a variety of authors. I am looking at tackling a
> Crusade trilogy that wil wrap up that timeline but the work, is, frankly,
> daunting with my schedule.

Just to confirm, however: these books have nothing to do with B5
continuity or history from a canonical point of view. They are
operating totally outside the loop of what has been authorized before
from a creative perspective, and any claim that these "wrap up" any
sort of timeline within B5 is rather grandiose at best. That timeline
can't be "wrapped up" by anyone who doesn't know what was coming, and
the only person who knows what was coming is me.

As far as I'm concerned, these books have nothing to do with the show.

 Subject: Re: ATTN JMS: Short Stories
    Date: 5/16/2006 4:21:48 PM  

Message 2 in thread 

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Laura Appelbaum wrote:
> So basically, they're WB authorized fan fiction?

At best, yeah, which is why I in all good conscience cannot endorse

 Subject: Re: ATTN JMS: Short Stories
    Date: 5/17/2006 12:20:39 AM  

Message 3 in thread 

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Lance Corporal "Hammer" Schultz wrote:
> On Tue, 16 May 2006 23:21:48 +0000 (UTC), wrote:
> > Laura Appelbaum wrote:
> >> So basically, they're WB authorized fan fiction?
> >
> > At best, yeah, which is why I in all good conscience cannot endorse
> > them.
> I think what is "needed" (as much as anyone needs good fictional
> books) is a "Babylon 5 Universal Encyclopedia," something like the
> Dune Encyclopedia, which isn't a story at all but a "future history."
> I've read that you had the "history" of the B5 universe outlined for a
> million years after the events of B5. An encyclopedic "reference" of
> the entire universe and major events would be something I would buy in
> an instant.

Unfortunately it would require an infinite number of pages....

 Subject: Re: ATTN JMS: Short Stories
    Date: 5/17/2006 2:11:51 PM  

Message 4 in thread 

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AC wrote:
> So, are you claiming this Mathew guy is lying in the podcast?

Not having heard the podcast, I really can't say. All that I can say
is that there has been zero coordination or approvals between Mongoose
and anyone else that I know of. To date, again as far as I know, WB
hasn't been shown what they're doing, certainly I haven't seen it,
don't know what it is, nobody has signed off or approved anything that
they're doing in terms of story, content, characterization, anything.

In the long history of B5, we have never had a situation where a
licensee has decided to just go off and do their own thing without
coordinating the creative aspects through WB and myself. They're doing
this completely off on their own. No other B5 licensed company has
decided, in essence, "screw you, we don't need you," which has been my
perception of their approach from early on, when they first approached
me to try and (in my view) reluctantly get me initial
approach that was absurd, and insulting. When they came back, the
situation did not measurably improve and the attitude was one of, and
I'm admittedly characterizing it here, sod off, we don't need you, we
can go directly to the fans, who don't need you, we can do it better.
And they went on to kind of poison the well with the fans in that

And that's where it ended. They've gone off and done their thing,
without any kind of creative approval as far as I know, which I believe
is also a requirement of their contract. Be that as it may...whatever
they're doing, it has no bearing on the B5 universe insofar as I'm
concerned, which is again why I cannot endorse this on a personal or
creative basis.

 Subject: Re: ATTN JMS: Short Stories
    Date: 5/17/2006 3:35:17 PM  

Message 5 in thread 

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Mac Breck wrote:
> > > So, are you claiming this Mathew guy is lying in the podcast?

I've had a chance now to review a transcript of the podcast.

As is known, the Del Rey books were written from outlines that I wrote
for them.

When asked in the podcast "Are you guys going to be working from
Straczynski's outlines for these Crusade novels?" he replies:

"To begin with, yes, but there is only a very limited amount of
material available for Crusade, so we are going to be taking what
exists and forging on with that."

Let me be clear: I have provided no outlines for novels to Mongoose.
Nor are there any outlines of episodes beyond what was shot plus the
two scripted but not shot episodes. There ARE no outlines to which
they could have had access. So this is false.

A little later, he is asked, ""How much input directly are you getting
from JMS?" To which he replies:

"These days it's getting to be less and less," citing that there's an
open invitation to continue but that I'm "a very busy chap."

You cannot have less input than zero input. I have had zero input into
these novels. So to say there is less now means that there was some
before. Soi this is also false.

I don't much like having to be in a position to discuss this publicly,
because it feels like talking out of school, but if someone is saying
that I have had input into something when there has been no such thing,
and that something is based on outlines supposedly by me which do not
exist, and fans are making their decisions based on these statements, I
have to correct them in the interests of accuracy.


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