BABYLON 5 BOOK#4 CLARK’S LAW BY JIM MORTIMORE

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Copyright 1996.

The Narn-Centauri war has come to an end. The Tuchanq are a world that was conquered and brutally exploited by the Narn. With the Narn defeated the Tuchanq have overthrown their masters. Yet their world is hopelessly polluted by the Narn heavy industry and they need help from others. So a delegation departs for Babylon 5 to seek aid. Their arrival results in one of their delegation D’Arc going nuts and killing a human visitor. The alien is injured in the assault and loses her mental capacity. Effectively rendering her with the mind of child. Yet President Clark of the Earth Alliance pushes for her to get the death penalty. Soon Babylon 5 faces unrest from this decision as Captain Sheridan deals with the moral dilemma of following an immoral order.

So I guess it had to happen that a book would be written in this series I didn’t care for. The writer clearly is not a fan of the show. He probably got some material and maybe watched a few episodes but he clearly didn’t understand the characters. None of them seem like the characters in the series. Also he basically wrote a 279 page anti-capital punishment book. It was a very heavy handed and unrealistic look at that issue. Never a good thing when someone has an agenda instead of writing a good story. There is a sub-plot that involves G’Kar trying to assassinate Londo the Centauri ambassador but that seemed awkward too. The writer is an Englishman who has written some novelizations for British TV including Doctor Who. Otherwise his big accomplishments are being an award winning graphic designer and musician. Hopefully he didn’t quit his day job because I didn’t care for his writing. This was the first and only book in the Babylon 5 series by Mortimore.

BABYLON 5 BOOK#3 BLOOD OATH BY JOHN VORHOLT

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Copyright 1995.

Ambassador G’Kar gets a message from the daughter of Du’Rog. Mi’Ra has declared a Shon Kar or blood oath against G’Kar’s. Seems G’Kar framed Du’Rog as a traitor so he could gain a coveted position with the Third Circle. G’Kar decides to frame his own death in a shuttle explosion so he can return to the Narn Homeworld and set things right. Susan Ivanova and Michael Garibaldi are assigned as the Earth’s representatives for the funeral. They find a harsh world filled with extreme class differences. With his aid Na’Toth the four must navigate Narn society to make amends to the wronged Du’rog family without falling victim to the Shon Kar.

This is the second and last book in this series written by John Vornholt. Like his first one this was an interesting story that explored a world outside Babylon 5. In this case the Narn. A race that are very stratified by class and still mired in old blood feuds. I always enjoy when books based on TV series go outside the limits of the series and this one does. Our two humans are given another human who lived on the world as their guide which helps the reader explore this world. This book gives an excellent insight into G’Kar and Narn society. A well written book with plenty of action and a satisfying ending. Something I can’t say for all the books in this series.

BABYLON 5 BOOK#2 ACCUSATIONS BY LOIS TILTON

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Copyright 1985.

Susan Ivanova gets a message from her old colleague to meet with her. The guy doesn’t show but is later found dead. The man Ortega was also wanted by Earthforce for connection to a Mars separatist organization. A ruthless Earthforce investigator comes and accuses her of being in league with him. Now under suspicion Ivanova must clear her name. Her investigation leads to a link with pirates that are getting inside information on shipments of a valuable element. It soon becomes apparent that corrupt officials in Earthforce are part of this conspiracy. Now she must expose this conspiracy to save her career and the lives of herself and her colleagues.

The second book in the series is another very well done story. It was focused mainly on the character of Susan Ivanova but had plenty of time also with Garibaldi and Sheridan. A fun little mystery story. At first I thought that it was too soon for another story of a character wrongly accused and going on the run. But it was a completely different story from the first book. I thought the author had a strong grasp of the characters and this read like a good episode of the series. This was Tilton’s first and only Babylon novel. I think she did a good job and would have liked to see more of her.

BABYLON 5 BOOK #1 VOICES BY JOHN VORNHOLT

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Copyright 1995.

Psi Corps is having it’s annual convention. The site on Mars that was scheduled had to be cancelled after a terrorist attack. The next choice is Babylon 5. Only the terrorists follow them and another bomb goes off. All the evidence points to the resident telepath Talia Winters as the main suspect. So now Talia goes on the run to Earth. Hunted by the Psi Cops and Garibaldi the chase takes her to Earth and Mars. She soon finds out she is in the middle of a conspiracy by a private telepathy firm to take over the Psi Corps. Can she prove her innocence before she is killed by Bester and the ruthless Psi Cops.

I loved this series back in the nineties. So naturally I decided to check out the books being put out. This first one was an enjoyable read. Focusing on the character of Talia Winters and set in the second season. What I like about the books of TV series is you can explore more than the budget would allow on the TV show. So in this instance we get a look at Earth and Mars. Not to mention the Psi Corps. Vornholt did a good job of creating a mystery that keeps you guessing until the end. He has the characters down and clearly watched the series. This was the first of two he did for the series and both books were quite good.

DARK ANGEL AFTER THE DARK BY MAX ALLEN COLLINS

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Copyright 2003.

The transgenics of Terminal City have now been excepted by normal human society. They have set up a profitable arts and crafts business. Soon they will get representation on the city council. The only problem is Ames White the NSA agent. Now on the run from the government and his snake cult people. Captured in Canada by the snake cult Ames makes a deal. He will deliver Max to the cult. So he hires a Seattle gang to kidnap Logan Cale. Now Max and her fellow transgenics must track down White. The trail leads to a cult run mental institution and their plan to rule the world when a comet comes on Christmas 2021 that will release a plague on the world.

Well the final book in the trilogy. This one tied up a lot of loose ends from the series. It comes back to me as I read it. Kind of forgot how goofy the second season was with its snake breeding cult and the genetic virus that infected Max and Logan. This was because the producer thought the two were getting too close and wanted to preserve the sexual tension. The virus was gone because in the last book Kelpy took on the likeness of Logan and that somehow made the virus go away. We also find out the snake breeding cults plan. That two thousand years ago a comet left a virus that could wipe out humanity but they were breeding themselves to have immunity. Only the founder of Manticore was the father of Ames White and gave Max the cure in her DNA. So she could produce a cure for the world. Only the comet does come and nothing happens. A very anti-climatic ending. Oh and Max and Logan finally get together. Plus it set up that the next season would be the search for Max’s mother.

The trilogy was an interesting read. Not necessarily high quality but an enjoyable romp down nostalgia lane. It was interesting to get some closure on the series and what was planned for it. I suppose it would have worked for a TV series. If your a fan of the series I would recommend.

DARK ANGEL SKIN GAME BY MAX ALLEN COLLINS

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Copyright 2003.

The transgenics are now trapped inside Terminal City. A deserted part of Seattle that was abandoned after chemical spills. Only the transgenics can survive exposure to the chemicals. Now the police and National Guard surround Terminal City. The press thanks to NSA agent Ames White who has his own ulterior motives is fueling the hate and fear in the news. Max the X-5 who has become the leader for the transgenics tries to negotiate a peaceful solution. Unfortunately a transgenic is stalking the city and skinning people alive. The fear grows and soon the National Guard will storm Terminal City. Max and her friends go after the serial killer who turns out to be Kelpy. Kelpy is make from chameleon DNA and wants to build himself a human skin suit. Max and her friends also find out Kelpy is being manipulated by White. Now they must capture Kelpy and expose the plot by White.

So the second season was a departure from the first. It introduced a whole bunch of transgenics and sort of had a X-men type story of transgenics vs. normal people. It left off with them trapped in Terminal City and their decision to stand and fight. The books gives the first chapter over to the final part of the season final to refresh readers memories of that episode. While once again it reads like an average TV episode it does give us what was going to happen in the third season if this show was renewed. Through a contrived story they manage to expose White on national TV and make peace with regular society. It was nice to have some insight into where this series planned on going. A great book for fans of the show but otherwise would hold no interest to those that never watched the series.

Season two trailer.

DARK ANGEL BEFORE THE DAWN BY MAX ALLAN COLLINS

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Copyright 2002

It is 2009 in Gilette, Wyoming and a group of young transgenics escape from the Manticore facility. Max and her siblings were breed to be genetic super-soldiers for the government. Max manages to hook up with a kindly woman and adopted into her family. Eventually the abusive father forces her to flee and she makes her way to a street gang living in the abandoned Mann Chinese theater in Hollywood. The gang survives in this post-pulse America. A dystopian world where terrorists set off an electro-magnetic pulse that sends the country into third world status. One day she sees a pirate video from Eyes Only that shows one of her brother transgenics Seth that escaped with her. So she heads off to Seattle and along the way makes friends with Original Cindy. The two get jobs at a bike messenger service called Jam Pony. Yet the evil Colonel Lydecker from Manticore is hot on her trail. Along with a billionaire computer mogul involved in smuggling art, the Russian leader of a gang from L.A. that wiped out her former gang and Colonel Lydecker all meet up at the abandoned Space Needle for a big showdown.

Back at the turn of the century James Cameron fresh off his success with Titanic developed a new series. It was a cyberpunk series set in the future of 2019 after a terrorist attack crashes the U.S. economy. I found it an enjoyable series but it was a victim of poor timing. The cyberpunk genre was at its end. Also the 9/11 attacks soured people on a dystopian future when the present was looking pretty dark. Kind of fun to read about the future of 2019 when you are actually living in 2019. Reading it you see that the 2019 envisioned is really transporting the nineties to 2019. Which is what most future based stories are. Just transposing the present to the future.

A trilogy was released after the series was cancelled. This one was a prequel to the pilot and gives some backstory to what Max did in the years between her escape and ending up in Seattle. An OK story if reading somewhat like an average TV show. Still brings back a lot of nostalgic memories for this forgotten TV series.

SPACE PRECINCT #3 ALIEN ISLAND BY DAVID BISCHOFF

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Copyright 1996.

Patrick Brogan and Jack Haldane have been invited to the GOKS by Captain Podly. GOKS is the Gathering of Kindred Souls and is a club for police officers. Brogan and Haldane are the first humans to be honored with such an invitation. This club is exclusively for men only which triggers officer Jane Castle. So as the guys head off to Dreek Island for the annual weekend retreat, Jane and her partner Officer Took go to expose this male chauvinist organization. She also takes along an old flame that has returned to help. This flame may have exterior motives himself. It all ends with a plot by an officer Cradla who is planing to assassinate Podly and turn the other officers into mindless zombies to eventually take over the police force and eventually the world.

So Jane Castle in this book becomes a radical feminist who sprouts endless speeches about the oppression of male patriarchy and gender equality. Wow this stuff was woke before woke was a thing. There is even a character who thinks he can’t “argue with the values and logic of political correctness.” Well isn’t that special. Well for all Jane Castle’s rhetoric she still gets all weak kneed when the handsome former boyfriend returns. Luckily this boyfriend is so sensitive that he agrees to help her. Of course the boyfriend is later revealed to be a robot that houses a small little alien. An alien that belongs to some secret galactic organization that promotes peace through extra-judicial assassinations of troublemakers. I had to admit that I didn’t see that coming in the book. Oh well the pitfalls of falling for the hunky sensitive guys.

So anyway the threatening male behavior consists of the guys dressing as women. Having Catch stew which is dumping various insects, snakes and rodents on the floor and beating them with a mallet and throwing them in a pot of boiling water for dinner. Yum. Then they belch out songs and later go hunting dangerous alien game. These aliens are just some wild and crazy guys.

So this was the last of the books of Space Precinct that Bishoff wrote or for that matter anyone else. Kind of interesting such an obscure series managed to get three books. The guy was definitely someone who could write interesting off the wall stuff. He apparently wrote many books, screenplays for TV series. He also wrote the greatest series in the history of human civilization Mutants Amok. Sadly he died this year. I am sure that I will run across more of his work. So God bless him for his wonderful works.

SPACE PRECINCT #2 DEMON WING BY DAVID BISCHOFF

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Copyright 1995.

Officers Jack Haldane and Jane Castle are invited by officer Took to attend a Tarn concert. This is a great honor for humans to be invited to this event. At the concert an alien creature tries to take a Tarn baby but Castle and Haldane manage to stop it. Haldane and Castle are then assigned to watch over the baby to protect him from further attacks by this alien entity. Brogan gets a new partner a beautiful woman from Earth. Meanwhile Sally Brogan infiltrates an Earth politicians organization to expose his plans to eventually dominate the galaxy. It all comes together with the alien creature being exposed as being used by the politician and the alien cult he was working with.

So the second book in the series starts out OK. Some mysterious alien creature stalking Demeter City. Brogan getting a new partner that is hot. Haldane and Castle constantly bickering. The problem is how it all ends. It was like the author realized he had to tie this up now and just threw everything together at the end. So we get the Tarn baby developing the power of speech and reason. Seems the telepathic Tarn babies have the capacity in times of danger to call on the racial memory and become smart. There is some alien cult being investigated that turns out to be in league with the human supremacist politician and controlling the dangerous alien creature. Which was somehow split in two. Brogan’s new partner being in the employ of the politician and trying to kill Brogan. They somehow all get magically transported together. The politician kills the traitorous police officer than falls off a building. Everything is great. The end.

So there was some really weird stuff that just seemed to come together that gives you the feeling of what the fuck just happened. I think this book needed a little better pacing. Otherwise it had the potential to be very good. Bischoff is one of those writers who does delivery some far out and unexpected stuff in his writing. Anyway for all its faults it is not boring.

So here is an interesting video on the TV series.

SPACE PRECINCT #1 THE DEITY-FATHER BY DAVID BISCHOFF

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Copyright 1995.

Patrick Brogan is a twenty year vet of the New York Police. In the year 2040 he accepts a transfer to Altor. The main city of Demeter City has a serious crime problem and needs the expertise of cops from Earth. So he finds himself on an alien world inhabited by many alien species. Brogan and his partner Jack Haldane another human are investigating the shady dealings of Mrax Computers. The company was recently bought by an Earth corp called Cost & Gnostra. It seems the Mafia are attempting to establish themselves on Altor. Brogan finds out it is run by his old college buddy who he thought that he killed back on Earth. Only he survived using his new nanotechnology. Now Brogan and his colleagues Haldane and Jane Castle are prisoners in his version of virtual reality twentieth century New York. Meanwhile Brogan’s family is held hostage by the nanotech computer that has come to live. Now Brogan and his colleagues must save themselves and Brogan’s family and stop the Deity-Father’s insane plan to rule the universe.

Remember back in 1994-95 the hit TV series Space Precinct? The Gerry Anderson show that had humans and aliens fight crime on this alien world. The aliens would basically act like humans and usually talk with a British accent. Sounds like a comedy but has played straight which made it even more funny. No. Well you are probably like 99.99999% of the population at that time. The show at least in America was put on at around midnight on a Sunday so hardly anyone knew it existed. Only young shiftless night owls like me that didn’t have a job and stayed up late to watch. This was a bizarre but fascinating show. Surprisingly it also spawned three tie-in novels. Each written by David Bischoff who is responsible for the greatest book series in human civilization Mutants Amok.

The first book is a very bizarre yet fun read. You have the Mafia who come in with their pasta and pizza in their commissary. Computers that come alive with tongues and walk and talk. Nanotechnology was a new field back in the nineties so this was a new thing. Bischoff gives us some introductory background on Demeter City and its origins which we never did get in the TV series. He also was aware of the goofy accents used like the Creon police captain Podly who spoke in thick Irish accent. As the character Brogan mentions he thought the Irish were the most Irish in the universe until he moved to Altor and found out otherwise. This brings back good old memories. I have the entire series on DVD and you can find episodes on Youtube. Give it a try.