Book(s) #60: Babylon 5 Books

OK.  I’m not typically much interested in the legions of science fiction novels which are derivative of (as opposed to the generative source for) movies and TV series.  I haven’t read a single Star Wars or Star Trek novel, and don’t see myself doing so.  I did, however, recently finish watching the fifth (and final) season of Babylon 5, and picked up used copies of several of the associated novels.  Babylon 5 is an amazing achievement, telling a single unified story over five years of television.  Like many fans of the series, I’m stunned by J. Michael Straczynski’s ability to tell an epic tale, broken into one-hour episodes while maintaining a steady pace of character development, story integrity, and richness of detail. 

The novels I’ve read thus far are those which are reasonably “official” parts of the B5 storyline, wrapping up details (such as the Icarus trip to Zha’ha’dum and Sinclair’s leadership of the Rangers on Minbar) that could not be told fully during the series.  I’ll likely read a couple of the others, focusing on Londo Mollari’s years as Emperor after the close of the series, and the Telepath War (which clearly occurs in the series between the final two episodes of season 5).  Some of the other novels appear to be far more incidental and less expository of the main storyline, and I have no interest. 

UPDATE 12/29: I had some downtime recently for health purposes, and read more of this series, about 7 in all at this point. I’m counting them all as one book for Challenge purposes, since they really are fairly insubstantial reads. Many of them are pretty good, though I’m a bit irritated that the third book in the Centauri Prime series is basically unavailable except at collector’s prices — considering that it’s just a paperback like books 1 and 2.


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