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 Message
    From: jmsatb5@aol.com
 Subject: Re: ATTN JMS - Mongoose Books?
      To: rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated  
    Date: 12/12/2006 8:12:24 PM  

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Joseph DeMartino wrote:
> There is news up at the Mongoose publishing site that has generated
> some discussion in fan circles - to say the least. Naturally this
> happened just when the newsgroup went pear-shaped and it became
> impossible to ask you about it or see anything you might have posted on
> the subject yourself.
>
> Given the controversy earlier this year on this newsgroup, there is a
> lot of skepticism on the 'net about this announcement, especially given
> that the newsgroup, your main means of publicly communicating with your
> fans, was effectively down.
>
> Can you, or will you, offer any coment?
>

I've tried several times to reply, but each time the server ate it,
let's see if this one gets through.

To recap...after making a number of rather controversial statements
about my involvement, which were not accurate, there were several
emails exchanged which resulted finally in my agreeing to give Mongoose
a second chance. The main concerns were that a) information given to
the fans should be accurate, b) the books should be canonical, and c)
the level of writing on the books had to be consistent with what's gone
before. To be fair they said they would work within the guidelines
they were given.

I made it very clear that I did not want any money off the deal, no
fees for myself, the purpose was to ensure the quality of the books.

The manuscripts came in on the books currently in progress, and
unfortunately the level of writing is at very best amateurish, on a
level somewhat below what one would find on the average fan-fiction
website. In some cases the manuscripts had net handles not even actual
names, they were unprofessionally put together and edited, and the
writing is just not there. This is not the sort of thing that can be
easily corrected with just some notes or asking for re-dos. They
haven't done much publishing in the area of fiction previous to this
time, and my feeling is that as well-intentioned as they might be, they
don't really have the chops when it comes to fiction. And their
statements on their website are again somewhat overstating the
situation and not being entirely accurate in the projects and processes
being announced.

So having given a second chance to this process, and again as well
intentioned as they may be, my sense is that this is going to be a case
of diminishing returns. Fiction is a far more subjective field than
putting together reference books, and you really have to trust the
tastes and perspective of your editorial staff, which for me,
subjectively, isn't here. So I've stepped back and said I really can't
be a part of this process because I can't endorse something if I don't
think the quality is going to be there. So it's between them and WB at
this point.

jms

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