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 Message
    From: J. Michael Straczynski <71016.1644@compuserve.com>
 Subject: B5 Story Arc
      To: CIS  
    Date: 5/15/1996 4:10:00 PM  

Message 1 in thread 

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Meryl Yourish <103470.2703@compuserve.com> asks:
> In "Infection," I was thinking, "Gee, what's this got to do with
> anything?" 1) Will we see Ironheart again?
> 2) Are Sinclair and Delenn married?
> 3) Will we see the ship or beings that Catherine saw on Sigma 957
> again? 4) Whatever happened to the insect-like being from Down
> Below?

Thanks. I've actually heard similar from others who've gone
back and done the same thing...including some who, as you did, were
kinda "Oh, yeah?" for the first part. But as long as someone's willing
to go back and look at what's there with an open mind, I don't have any
complaints, and no apologies are ever required.

SF fans have so often been disappointed by shows that it's
natural after a while to have "a chip on one's shoulder," as you
say...I think it's based on a desire to defend oneself, to not get
sucked in One More Time. It's understandable.

To your questions: no plans for Ironheart at this time,
omnipotent beings running around my universe make me nervous...Sinclair
and Delenn aren't married, it was stated as a *rebirth ceremony* which
CAN sometimes double as a marriage ceremony, the rebirth being Delenn's
upcoming change... she became more "passive," more insecure, after her
change; that began to turn around after her encounter with Mr.
Sebastian...and we saw the Sigma 957 ship again in "Voices of
Authority."

Beyond that...thanks for the great words. They help. Pulling
this show off is a tough job, harder than I think anyone knows, or ever
will know, or ever *should* know, since that's irrelevant to what's on
the screen.

jms
    From: J. Michael Straczynski <71016.1644@compuserve.com>
 Subject: B5 Story Arc
      To: CIS  
    Date: 5/16/1996 3:33:00 PM  

Message 2 in thread 

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Arline Williams <102551.2346@compuserve.com> asks:
> How do you do it?

Actually, the scary thing is...I wrote 12 the first year, 15 the
second, and 22 the third, so that's 49 out of 66 altogether. That's
about 2,400 pages in 3 years, equal to 5 full-length novels.

Suddenly I have the overwhelming urge to take a nap....

jms
    From: J. Michael Straczynski <71016.1644@compuserve.com>
 Subject: B5 Story Arc
      To: CIS  
    Date: 5/17/1996 12:10:00 PM  

Message 3 in thread 

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{original post had no questions}

Thanks; foreshadowing is tough, because it implies the audience
is going to BE there x-years down the road to Get It, and you have to
risk the audience going "huh?" one time too many and wandering
away...but nothing good comes without risk.

jms
    From: J. Michael Straczynski <71016.1644@compuserve.com>
 Subject: B5 Story Arc
      To: CIS  
    Date: 5/18/1996 1:10:00 PM  

Message 4 in thread 

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Carol Naylor <100645.2613@compuserve.com> asks:
> Quick question - is the "rebirth ceremony" from Parliament of
> Dreams what we would have seen had the full ceremony gone ahead
> in Ceremonies of Light and Dark or are there several different
> versions - each with their own significance? Did you know that he
> used to be a monk?

Yes, it's the same ceremony; Delenn states as much in the
episode.

jms
    From: J. Michael Straczynski <71016.1644@compuserve.com>
 Subject: B5 Story Arc
      To: CIS  
    Date: 5/20/1996 10:59:00 AM  

Message 5 in thread 

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{original post had no questions}

Thanks....

jms
    From: J. Michael Straczynski <71016.1644@compuserve.com>
 Subject: B5 Story Arc
      To: CIS  
    Date: 5/21/1996 4:18:00 PM  

Message 6 in thread 

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{original post had no questions}

I truly appreciate that, thanks.

jms
    From: J. Michael Straczynski <71016.1644@compuserve.com>
 Subject: B5 Story Arc
      To: CIS  
    Date: 5/23/1996 5:15:00 PM  

Message 7 in thread 

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Meryl Yourish <103470.2703@compuserve.com> asks:
> In real life, the most difficult decisions we make are what house
> to buy in which town in which neighborhood, or what car do we
> want to get, or should I leave my current job and get another,
> maybe better one? Sometimes, we make extremely crucial
> decisions--there's a war on--should I enlist? It makes me wonder,
> though, that if Ivanova is a latent telepath, even only a P-1,
> would she sense the Shadows near Morden? Will you be bringing
> Talia back at some point in the future?

Thanks; no plans for Talia for the time being.

I agree with much of what you said. The unexamined life is a
real peril, and literature at its best can help us to avoid that trap
by asking uncomfortable questions.

I actually tend to think that the day-to-day questions can be
more central, more profound, than where to buy a house. Do you tell
your friend that his/her spouse is having an affair? Do you intervene
when you see someone on the street being mugged? Do you have an
abortion? Do you sacrifice buying the boat you always wanted so you
can put your kid through college?

At some point in our lives, we have to make a baseline decision
about whether our actions will be ethical, or convenient; do we do
right, or do we do wrong? Some may seem like small or unimportant
decisions, but each one made for the wrong reasons makes it easier for
the next bad decision to slip through.

Politicians tell us that we can find lives in which courage and
hard decisions are not necessary.

They are, of course, lying.

jms
    From: J. Michael Straczynski <71016.1644@compuserve.com>
 Subject: B5 Story Arc
      To: CIS  
    Date: 5/28/1996 4:45:00 AM  

Message 8 in thread 

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Alan Kaiser <76003.1050@compuserve.com> asks:
> 1) When will we learn who Delenn saw in her flashfoward/flashback
> (which?) when the door opens? 2) The reception here was not that
> good...did the two vorlons we saw have Minbari faces? Are they
> related? 3) When will we ever learn who built the Great Machine on
> Epsilon? Has it a greater role to play in the story?
> 4) If WWE could have been 3 episodes, would you have done it?
> Will you be fleshing out many of those fragments down the road or
> leave most of it "as it stands"?

There's not much point to asking me "when are we going to learn
who Delenn saw in her flashforward." Or similar questions. I will not
throw away the impact of something happening in an episode by blowing
it out in a message. There have to be surprises along the way. You'll
see it when it happens.

No, WWE couldn't have been 3 episodes. Yes, it had enough
story for it, and then some, but you can't take one storyline and
stretch it out that far. I wouldn't have done it even if I could.
I'd've had to introduce a B story just to break it up a little, because
3 hours of just a straight line one-story plot is murder. And that
defeats the purpose of expanding it.

jms

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