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Novels

These were all of the older books that were based on the B5 TV series. Some are definately better than others since some of the authors were not as familiar with the series as they perhaps should have been. I definately recommend book #9 since it was written by J. Michael Straczynski's (B5's writer and creator) wife and is 100% canon (meaning that it continues the B5 storyline) and book #7 as it is about 90% canon.

A small word of caution ... it is getting hard to find some of these books. You will see that there have been a number of online used and rare book suppliers listed in addition to the normal new book suppliers.

NOTE: Books are listed by publishing date from newest to oldest.

Book: 9-re · 7-re · 9 · 8 · 7 · 6 · 5 · 4 · 3 · 2 · 1 · omnibus
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#9: To Dream in the City of Sorrows
Author: Kathryn M. Drennan -- Published: Aug 2003 -- Format: Paperback
Amazon Amazon.com Price: $6.99 -- Usually ships in 24 hours
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Ambassador to the alien world of Minbar, former Babylon 5 commander Jeffrey Sinclair, is one of the first to learn the truth about the Shadows, the ancient race pursuing the destruction of the galaxy. Sinclair also discovers a startling secret: he is the linchpin in theplan to stop them. Now, Sinclair is asked to revive the legendary Minbari warrior group, the Rangers, but it may cost him his one chance to love...and his life.

Catherine Sakai, a commercial pilot and planetary surveyor, has lost her heart to Jeffrey Sinclair. Not even an attack by the Shadows can stop her from going to Minbar to join him... and the Rangers. As she trains with other pilots, including the mysterious Marcus Cole, the time is coming when their skills will be tested on their first mission. Led by Sinclair, they will venture into deepest space, into a battle of stealth and might, and toward a fate that nonebut the bravest can face...and none but the luckiest will survive.

MONICA'S REVIEW:
See my review of the original printing of this novel for more information. This is a reprint of that exact same novel with a few very minor edits and a new cover. I recommend picking this up if you haven't already or have had a hard time finding the original.

JMS AT COMPUSERVE SAID:
JUN.21.1997
I gave Kathryn a bare-bones stucture on the Marcus thing -- the death of his brother, his trip first to B5 and then to Minbar -- but she took on the rest on her own. The process was pretty much as I describe it in the intro, asking what X meant, how A related to B, and then her pulling all the threads together in a story that filled in all the blanks. The credit is entirely hers on this. I consulted and read, but she did all the creative work on this.

2.12.1997
This book stands to be the first one [...] to be considered a true chapter in the B5 storyline. What's fun about it is that it ties all the books and comics together with the show, and puts it all in chronological order, and weaves in and out of events in the second season. I think this is going to be a fan favorite.

6.9.1997
The Drennan book, just hitting the stands now, is 100% canon ...

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#7: The Shadow Within (Reprint)
Author: Jeanne Cavelos -- Published: Nov 2002 -- Format: Paperback
Amazon Amazon.com Price: -- This item is currently not available.
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Anna Sheridan has two passions--her husband, John, and the mystery surrounding some intriguing artifacts found during a mission to a distant planet called Z'Ha'dum. Now she gets orders to become the science officer on the follow-up mission scheduled for the spaceship Icarus.

MONICA'S REVIEW:
See my review of the original printing of this novel for more information. This is a reprint of that exact same novel with a few very minor edits and a new cover. I recommend picking this up if you haven't already or have had a hard time finding the original. Also, look in the upcoming months for more reprints of these hard to find novels starting with To Dream in the City of Sorrows by Kathryn M. Drennan.

JMS AT COMPUSERVE SAID:
2.26.1997
The story of the Icarus as presented in this book is considered canon.

6.9.1997
... the Cavelos book, [...] is about 90% canon.

JEANNE CAVELOS AT ISN NEWS SAID:
SEP.23.2001
I think of The Shadow Within as a sort of prequel to the trilogy.
APR.6.2001
On the topic of prequels, I certainly agree that it's harder to create suspense when the reader already knows the ending of the story. I struggled with this issue when writing THE SHADOW WITHIN, which told the story of Anna Sheridan and the ICARUS. But I certainly don't think it's impossible to generate suspense in these situations, and I tried very hard to do so.

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#9: To Dream in the City of Sorrows
Author: Kathryn M. Drennan -- Published: Jun 1997 -- Format: Paperback
Amazon Amazon.com Price: -- This item is currently not available.
Amazon UK Amazon UK Price: -- Limited availability
Click for larger image DESCRIPTION:
Ambassador to the alien world of Minbar, former Babylon 5 commander Jeffrey Sinclair, is one of the first to learn the truth about the Shadows, the ancient race pursuing the destruction of the galaxy. Sinclair also discovers a startling secret: he is the linchpin in theplan to stop them. Now, Sinclair is asked to revive the legendary Minbari warrior group, the Rangers, but it may cost him his one chance to love...and his life.

Catherine Sakai, a commercial pilot and planetary surveyor, has lost her heart to Jeffrey Sinclair. Not even an attack by the Shadows can stop her from going to Minbar to join him... and the Rangers. As she trains with other pilots, including the mysterious Marcus Cole, the time is coming when their skills will be tested on their first mission. Led by Sinclair, they will venture into deepest space, into a battle of stealth and might, and toward a fate that nonebut the bravest can face...and none but the luckiest will survive.

MONICA'S REVIEW:
This book is essential to any B5 fan. It covers a key point in Babylon 5 history ... the mystery behind the sudden disappearance of Jeffery Sinclair. It amazes me that JMS could have planned the whole story of Sinclair without letting on why Sinclair left at the beginning of Season 2. Leave it to JMS' wife to write an excellent story about one of the most pivotal charactors ever created in the B5 universe.

JMS AT COMPUSERVE SAID:
JUN.21.1997
I gave Kathryn a bare-bones stucture on the Marcus thing -- the death of his brother, his trip first to B5 and then to Minbar -- but she took on the rest on her own. The process was pretty much as I describe it in the intro, asking what X meant, how A related to B, and then her pulling all the threads together in a story that filled in all the blanks. The credit is entirely hers on this. I consulted and read, but she did all the creative work on this.

2.12.1997
This book stands to be the first one [...] to be considered a true chapter in the B5 storyline. What's fun about it is that it ties all the books and comics together with the show, and puts it all in chronological order, and weaves in and out of events in the second season. I think this is going to be a fan favorite.

6.9.1997
The Drennan book, just hitting the stands now, is 100% canon ...

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#8: Personal Agendas
Author:  Al Sarrantonio -- Published: May 1997 -- Format: Paperback
Amazon Amazon.com Price: -- This item is currently not available.
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Click for larger image DESCRIPTION:
Commander John Sheridan, Lt. Commander Susan Ivanova, Security Chief Michael Garibaldi, and the many aliens who make space station Babylon 5 their home embark on a new thrilling, action-packed journey through a mysterious and dangerous outer space adventure.

JMS AT COMPUSERVE SAID:
4.15.1997
I've said that while this one is okay, the characterization is off, and it tries way too hard to be funny, ignoring the notion that if everything is funny then *nothing* is funny. Unfortunately, I didn't get the actual manuscript until it was too late to do anything short of commissioning a full rewrite, which they wouldn't do.

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#7: The Shadow Within
Author: Jeanne Cavelos -- Published: Apr 1997 -- Format: Paperback
Amazon Amazon.com Price: -- This item is currently not available.
Click for larger image DESCRIPTION:
Anna Sheridan has two passions--her husband, John, and the mystery surrounding some intriguing artifacts found during a mission to a distant planet called Z'Ha'dum. Now she gets orders to become the science officer on the follow-up mission scheduled for the spaceship Icarus.

MONICA'S REVIEW:
I am happy that I finally got a chance to read this novel. It is nowhere near the caliber of her techno-mage trilogy but it does act as a nice prequel. It fills in some of the background on Captain Sheridan's first assignment to the Agamemnon and his struggles with it plus it gives some insight into Morden's personality before he became an agent of the Shadows. Anna's relationship with Morden surprised me a bit but it was interesting to see what she was like before the Shadow influence. I recommend that you try reading this before the techno-mage trilogy but it works well after it too.

JMS AT COMPUSERVE SAID:
2.26.1997
The story of the Icarus as presented in this book is considered canon.

6.9.1997
... the Cavelos book, [...] is about 90% canon.

JEANNE CAVELOS AT ISN NEWS SAID:
SEP.23.2001
I think of The Shadow Within as a sort of prequel to the trilogy.
APR.6.2001
On the topic of prequels, I certainly agree that it's harder to create suspense when the reader already knows the ending of the story. I struggled with this issue when writing THE SHADOW WITHIN, which told the story of Anna Sheridan and the ICARUS. But I certainly don't think it's impossible to generate suspense in these situations, and I tried very hard to do so.

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#6: Betrayals
Author: S.M. Stirling -- Published: Jun 1996 -- Format: Paperback
Amazon Amazon.com Price: -- This item is currently not available.
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Captain Sheridan and the EarthForce personnel have a security nightmare on their hands when Babylon 5 becomes the site of a peace summit between the universe's two warring super powers.
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#5: The Touch of Your Shadow, Whisper of Your Name
Author: Neal Barrett, Jr. -- Published: Apr 1996 -- Format: Paperback
Amazon Amazon.com Price: -- This item is currently not available.
Amazon UK Amazon UK Price: -- Limited availability
Click for larger image DESCRIPTION:
When conflicts between rivaling cultures aboard Babylon 5 escalate to riotous proportions, security chief Garibaldi discovers a link between a station-wide epidemic in nightmares and a strange alien presence.

JMS AT COMPUSERVE:
3.21.1996
[I]n the B5 universe you can't have two races interbreeding just like that. (In fact, I seem to recall pointing this out in my notes on the manuscript [...] I can only assume that it slipped between the cracks.)

3.23.1996
Initially Dell kept going for one-word titles, and I generally don't like that, so I told them to have the writers come up with more interesting titles.

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#4: Clark's Law
Author: Jim Mortimore -- Published: Feb 1996 -- Format: Paperback
Amazon Amazon.com Price: -- This item is currently not available.
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Click for larger image DESCRIPTION:
Serving the residents of space port of call Babylon 5, Captain Sheridan is torn between duty and defiance when he is ordered to execute an alien for a crime he did not commit ...

JMS AT COMPUSERVER SAID:
1.30.1996
"Lyta is deaf?" I don't know how that would've gotten past me...I don't recall seeing that in the draft...either I was tired when reading, or it was added later.

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#3: Blood Oath
Author: John Vornholt -- Published: Oct 1995 -- Format: Paperback
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Having narrowly escaped death, Ambassador G'Kar knows he is a marked man. A rival family from his Narn homeland has taken the Blood Oath to kill him. Security Chief Garibaldi, Commander Susan Ivanova and Na'Toth journey to the Narn Homeworld and find themselves enveloped by a chilling alien environment. And in this deadly place, the Narn Blood Oath is turned against them all.

JMS AT COMPUSERVE SAID:
FEB.6.1996
"How accurate is the Narn terminology?" It's accurate in some places, not in others; details slip sometimes.

DEC.10.1995
"The Narn ship had artificial gravity?" Urk...that must've slipped past me (which reminds me, I'd better get back to finishing proofing the next novel). And yes, we'll see more of the Narn homeworld as we go along.

JMS AT USENET SAID:
MAY.20.1995
Book #3 had, as stated, gone down some wrong roads, and needed to be brought back into alignment with the series. I had a substantial number of notes. Not John's fault, it just Is. Or Was. The revisions required to bring the book back into line were going to be enough to push back the publication date by a month or two. Dell wasn't exactly thrilled with the idea. I insisted. We went back and forth. Finally, the revisions were implemented. Hence the slight delay. (The revised manuscript has already come and gone through my office, and been approved, thanks to John's careful revisions.)

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#2: Accusations
Author: Lois Tilton -- Published: May 1995 -- Format: Paperback
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A deadly conspiracy from Mars succeeds in stripping Ivanova of her command and forcing the Babylon 5 loyalists into action.
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#1: Voices
Author: John Vornholt -- Published: Mar 1995 -- Format: Paperback
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Mind games of the deadly kind: Telepaths to the left of them, telepaths to the right of them. And danger is all around Commander Susan Ivanova and Security Chief Michael Garibaldi when a Psi Corps Convention is held on Babylon 5. Someone will turn this meeting of mind readers into a real blast... as a bomb makes Babylon 5 a death trap.

VORNHOLT AT The Lurker's Guide SAID:
UNKNOWN DATE
You can't write books set in other people's universes (that are so well known) unless you have a thick skin. I don't mind being called on the carpet for a factual mistake, but I worked pretty hard to get the characters right. Nevertheless, they are my interpretation of the characters, not someone else's. We had some bumps in the road on this first one, but I think things will get smoother as we go.

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#1-3: Omnibus
Author: Vornholt, Tilton -- Published: Sep 1999 -- Format: Paperback
Amazon UK Amazon UK Price: -- Limited availability
Click for larger image DESCRIPTION:
The omnibus edition of the three novels.

MONICA'S REVIEW:
I do not have this book but it appears to be a collection (omnibus) of the first three novels ... Voices, Accusations and Blood Oath. This may be a great way to get a hold of these books since they are out of print now.

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Book: 9-re · 7-re · 9 · 8 · 7 · 6 · 5 · 4 · 3 · 2 · 1 · omnibus
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