Posted on 12/18/1996 by to

Yes, Ghar, and we all know what a bastion of patience and tolerance you
are, and that your tastes are the norm and nobody else could possibly
enjoy something if you do not unless they are an idiot, we've been down
this road before.

You are free to have your opinion. And I am free to hold mine. And in my
opinion, the Jeanne Cavellos book is probably the best one of all the Dell
books to date.

One reason for the difference in these next batch of books is that I got
deeply and intensively involved with the books this time around, which
time didn't permit me to do in the past. I made the time, because I felt
that they needed improving. I worked closely with Jeanne on the backstory
(Anna's experience leading up to, and on, the Icarus), made sure she got
scripts prior to airing so she'd know what was being done, and so on. The
third book (based on an assigned premise) follows Sinclair to Minbar and
starting up the Rangers, and though I haven't seen the manuscript yet,
it's easily the most comprehensive tie-together of the B5 universe that
I've seen yet. The second book (this is in order of publication) by Al
Sarrantino is also based on an assigned premise, set on Centauri Prime
around the time of the first 4 episodes of season 4.

In the past, it's been a question of outside writers coming up with a
notion or a scientific idea (expressed poorly or well is a matter of
opinion), and then trying to work that into the arc, or as a stand-alone.
This time the three books all fit tightly into continuity, and there
aren't any based on goofy nonscience notions. (The Sarrantino book is a
little off the mark in terms of the way the characters speak, and I sent
it back with some notes, whereas Jeanne's book went back without one
single, solitary note.)

In the past, the books have been primarily about the guest characters,
since that's what outside writers want to write about, the characters they
introduce. This time I insisted that our characters had to be at the
*center* of the story, not the periphery.

So overall, these three books are the best, especially Jeanne's. Now,
based on what went before, you may want to prejudge these. Such is life.
But I do object to you smearing Jeanne's ability or accuracy without any
information whatsoever on the content of the writing involved...she spent
a great deal of time researching archaeology and anthropology to use in
the background for Anna and the mission, and I think she's done a bang-up

But like all things B5, the book will stand or fall on its own. And this
one will stand.