New B5 books Update Dec 15 from JMS - not good news

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msprange
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Postby msprange » Mon Dec 18, 2006 5:13 pm

Hi guys,

A quick note here, as I cannot say too much at the moment. However, it seems that this situation has arisen through (surprise, surprise) a great amount of mis-communication via third party. We are currently in discussions to resolve the issues.
Matthew Sprange

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dorward
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Postby dorward » Mon Dec 18, 2006 5:20 pm

Its amazing the amount of miscommunication that goes on when JMS is involved (and I'm not talking just Mongoose-JMS here). I suspect the only solution is to not believe any promise for him to say or do anything unless you've got it from him directly ... and probably in writing too!
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Postby nitflegal » Mon Dec 18, 2006 8:31 pm

dorward wrote:Its amazing the amount of miscommunication that goes on when JMS is involved (and I'm not talking just Mongoose-JMS here). I suspect the only solution is to not believe any promise for him to say or do anything unless you've got it from him directly ... and probably in writing too!
Must. . . not. . . make. . . comment. . .

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Postby B5Temple » Tue Dec 19, 2006 6:35 am

emperorpenguin wrote:I thought the original lot of B5 books were awful and JMS sanctioned those....
You're right about that. They bleeeeeeew. :wink:
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Postby Jal » Tue Dec 19, 2006 6:47 am

B5Temple wrote:
emperorpenguin wrote:I thought the original lot of B5 books were awful and JMS sanctioned those....
You're right about that. They bleeeeeeew. :wink:
just 2 or 3 good ones out of the first single story series and the Psi-corp/Technomage trilogies were ok.

all this "mis-communication" is getting old very quick.
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Postby Ben2 » Tue Dec 19, 2006 8:27 am

And JMS has retrospectively said most of the original novelisations were toss. Voices was particularly bad, being written in about 27 days to cash in on the series popularity. Apart from books 5 and 7 and the subsequent trilogies, I don't think JMS had much consultation on the novels, and hence doesn't regard them as canon.
This is as much due to the poor quality of the writing as to the fact that all the books apart from 5 and 7 do not advance the plot, instead simply having conflict and returning it to the status quo at the end. Like most Star Trek books.
Writing quality is going to be a big issue. I'm guessing the writers of the Mongoose novels aren't professional writers (but then Mongoose can't afford them and they may well have reservations about writing for a licence like B5 that is not too high profile anymore).
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Postby Greg Smith » Tue Dec 19, 2006 12:01 pm

I find JMS' comments to be pretty unprofessional.

IIRC the Mongoose novels are written by Mongoose staff writers, so not inexperienced writers (although maybe some are untried novelists, I don't know).

Whatever the result, they can't be as bad as 'Touch of a Shadow, Whisper of my Name' or whatever it was called. Having a B5 novel with 'Shadow' in the title that did not include Shadows was kinda dumb.
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Postby Mouth of Sauron » Tue Dec 19, 2006 12:46 pm

msprange wrote:Hi guys,

A quick note here, as I cannot say too much at the moment. However, it seems that this situation has arisen through (surprise, surprise) a great amount of mis-communication via third party. We are currently in discussions to resolve the issues.
Now where have I heard that before?
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Postby Ben2 » Tue Dec 19, 2006 2:11 pm

Matt Sprange is the only person to have a novel under their belt. USing inexperienced writers is not a major problem (and by that I mean people who have not written a full length novel before) but you need a fairly experienced editor to guide them, provide feedback and criticism. If Mongoose are going down the line of publishing a lot of fiction novels I think they should have a staff member dedicated full time to editing the various lines who has had novels published themselves or has had big time editing experience.
When I was starrting to write plays and poetry, the presence of experienced writers made a big difference, particularly in terms of structuring narratives, and working in themes.
That is where I would go with that, getting in a fiction editor to be in overall charge of the novels Mongoose want to bring out.
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Postby emperorpenguin » Wed Dec 20, 2006 5:27 pm

While normally I'd have paid attention to JMS over this he did after all right "Legend of the Rangers" the script of which was absolutely awful, so maybe he's not that good at spotting drivel anymore....
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