Copyright 1982.

It is the near future of 1983. The United States has a grain embargo on the Soviet Union for their invasion of Afghanistan and Poland. The embargo is effective as the Soviets had crop failures and have daily food riots. The US though is in a severe recession and the embargo is hard on the farmers. The President was the Vice President who was elevated to the position on the sudden death of a popular President. He faces an uphill reelection battle where he might not even get his party’s nomination.

Thus on Christmas a Soviet brigade parachutes into Alaska under the cover of a massive storm. The objective is to hold the oil pipeline hostage in exchange for the lifting of the embargo. A rogue KGB has initiated this without the knowledge of the Soviet premier. Now there is brinkmanship to see who backs down first. Into this a Lt. Colonel and a company of Alaska National Guard try to hold off the superior Soviet force.

This is an adaptation of a TV miniseries. I didn’t originally see it when it came out but caught it a few years later when it was rebroadcast. I was captivated about a series that actually dealt with a Soviet-American conflict. It had some good actors and fun action sequences. Back when it was filmed in 1981 the US was in a recession and the Soviets had recently invaded Afghanistan and the military declared martial law in Poland. There was also a grain embargo that Carter initiated for the invasion. Only it was a failure as the Soviets bought from other countries and never effected the farmers in America. The writers envisioned that the US was able to persuade other countries to join the embargo. Now looking back you can see that the whole strategy was a bit goofy. How you can invade Alaska and get what you want seems a bit unrealistic. Still it made for a fun story if you don’t think about it too much.

The novelization was written by Harold King under the pseudonym Brian Harris. It adapted the screenplay by Robert L. Joseph. The original director Boris Segal was killed in a helicopter crash early in filming and was replaced by David Greene. Segal was a Ukrainian Jew who emigrated to America. His plans were to end the series open ended to leave room for a possible future miniseries or even a TV show. Wow how cool would that have been to have a TV series about WWIII back in the eighties. Needless to say, it wasn’t a ratings hit and the new director decided to end on both countries launching a nuclear war.

The book itself is good. It manages to include stuff that the series due to budget constraints couldn’t. The battle scenes are much more epic in scope. There is actually 800 Soviets with multiple tracked vehicles. They battle ambushes by a 100-man company using their helicopters. At the end when they reach the pumping station, the American commander opens the pipeline and burns up the Soviets. This contrasts with the series small scale battle with men using pipes for cover. Also, the Soviet premier never died in a car bomb but was shown to be basically powerless as the KGB seized control of the country. There is also more characterization for the characters including the Soviet political officer being portrayed as a much bigger jerk.

The series is available on DVD and on youtube.



Copyright 1997.

The 58th Wildcard squadron are assigned a dangerous mission. The Chigs have established an aqueduct on Bulldog’s Belly. This aqueduct is supplying food to the sector. Only it is heavily guarded. The plan is to insert riding one-way torpedoes to the surface. Blow the aqueduct and steal some fighters to escape. Sounds easy but like most plans don’t go that easy. First, they are saddled with a silicate as a demolition expert. There are also reports that a group sent in before them deserted. Now with an untrustworthy silicate and deserters to deal with they also find out the Chigs have POWs to shield the aqueduct. The new plan is to steal some tankers to take out the prisoners.

A year after the series was canceled, they decided to release an original novelization. Now I guess this was probably commissioned earlier and they decided to just release it. Telep does a great job of giving us an exciting story. It has action and many twists and turns you don’t see coming. He also clearly understands the characters having watched the series. Now I would have liked them to release a book that gives the series closure. It did end on a cliffhanger. Still, this was a fun book to read and really has rekindled my interest in the series. I have it on DVD and probably have to give it another look.



Copyright 1985.

It is 2063. The Earth is at peace and starting to colonize other planets. Only there is life out there. They attack the two colonies that Earth has set up. Now Earth faces a war with another alien civilization. The aliens called Chigs are winning. The story focuses on a group of new recruits to the United States Marine Corp Aviator Calvary. Five young men and women who for various reasons joined. They form the 58th “Wildcard” squadron and stop the alien invasion.

Back in 1995-96 Fox had a brand-new series. An innovative idea that had a futuristic war with an alien species. Told through the eyes of a Marine squadron they fought the Chigs and their Silicate allies. Silicates were robots that gained sentience and rebelled. Being the nineties and created by X-File writers it had some good old fashioned government conspiracy thrown in with the shadowy Aerotech Corporation. Telep basically adapted the pilot episode. He did a good job of it and this brings back memories of a cool show that was cancelled way before its time. The series ended on a cliffhanger which was never resolved. In spite of this I still highly recommend checking out the series.




A number of story articles including the possibility of an animated series. An article by David Kemper on the season final. Also some reviews of Farscape Season Four Companion and Sci Fi president’s take on why the show was cancelled.


An interview with Gigi Edgley who plays Chiana on the show. What her thoughts on the show and her character. What her plans are after the series.


An interview with Rockne O’Bannon the series creator and how the show got started. What went right and didn’t with the series.

HORIZONS by Rockne S. O’Bannon

It is three hundred years in the future and Crichton is still alive. The translator microbes have kept him alive. He is reunited with the surviving crewmembers to attend Rygel’s funeral.


An article on Dave Elsey of The Creature Shop and how he created the many aliens that appeared on the show.

THE COMPLETE EPISODE GUIDE TO FARSCAPE by Martin Eden, Paul Simpson and Joe Nazzaro

An episode guide to all four seasons on Farscape. As a brief discussion for each season with Rockne O’Bannon, David Kemper, Ricky Manning, David Prowse and Brian Henson.

ARTSCAPE by Paul Simpson

An article that talks with the head of the art department Tim Ferrier. How his department came up with all the fantastic concepts for the series.


An article on the just released Farscape role-playing game.


Letters from the readers.


Poll of readers for a number of questions.
Favorite Moya Crewmember: Crichton
Favorite season one episode: A Human Reaction
Favorite female and male character: Aeryn and Crichton
Favorite season two episode: The Way We Weren’t
Sexiest Character and Favorite Villain: Crichton and Scorpius.
Favorite season three episode: Green Eyed Monster
Favorite Alien race: Nebari
Favorite season four episode: John Quixote
Best Farscape Moment: Infinite Possibilities, Part II Icarus Abides- John Crichton’s death.
Favorite Season: Three


David Kemper answers questions from fans.

AND FINALLY… by Ben Browder

A final farewell from Ben Browder who played John Crichton.

I bought the final issue of the magazine because I heard that there was a short story that showed the fates of the crew. After the cliffhanger ending I wanted to read it. It was quite good. Some interesting things were Crichton had three kids. Two sons and a daughter. His first son was named DK instead of D’argo. D’argo is still alive and commands a Skellon ship. Chiana has two husbands, one real small and another that is a race very well endowed and doesn’t wear pants. Scorpius is the advisor to Rygel and his successor who is the first female Dominar. It is hinted that the crew actually went the the other side of Death which was an episode I would have loved to see.

This did nothing to lessen my disappointment in the show’s cancellation. Thankfully The Peacekeeper War mini-series gave the show the closure it needed. Also there were a series of comics that carried on after that shows what the plan was for the future. This was a good issue. It gave a good overview to the entire show. It reminds me of how much I truly loved that show and still am disappointed it was cancelled too early.



Copyright 2001.

Moya makes a starburst to escape Crais and the Peacekeepers. The ship is in a part of the galaxy and soon is captured by a large living ship. The ship is an exploring vessel of the Nokmadi. They have explored the universe for millennia and mapped all the galaxies. They can provide a way home for the crewmembers of Moya. The Nokmadi have transformed themselves into ethereal beings. They need a physical being to gain access to where their genetic material is stored to return to physical beings. Crichton who has equal parts longing for home and exploring fits the mental pattern of the Nokmadi and can access this place. Only the Nokmadi are split in two factions. One that want their bodies back so they can return home. The other that want to remain ghosts and continue exploring. Crichton and the crew of Moya are caught between the two factions as a Peacekeeper vessel is hot on their trail.

This was an interesting book. It had a lot of weird things like talking food and a huge mouth appearing and swallowing Crichton. Also had dragons and stuff. This actually fit in since Farscape was known for some pretty weird and off the wall stuff. The story takes place very early in the show. Chiana is not part of the crew yet. It was written by David Bischoff who is responsible for the greatest book series in the history of human civilization Mutants Amok. He also did the novelizations to the TV series Space Precinct. I enjoy this guy’s writing and his take of Farscape was enjoyable. This was a truly excellent series and reading these books reminds me of how much I loved the show. They sure don’t make them like they used to.



Copyright 2000.

Moya is dying of an infectious disease caused by Crichton disposing of his infected dentics in the recycler. Unless they find a cure then Moya will die. They come on the trading fleet of Lord Jansz. The crew of Moya successfully trade for a cure. Only Rygel finds his first love is captive of Jansz. He frees her and now the crew of Moya has to battle Jansz. Aeryn and Crichton are captured while Moya crashes into an ocean planet in a system about to go supernova. A sentient creature saves Moya and they manage to defeat Jansz.

Andrew Dymond is a pen name for Jim Mortimer. Mortimer wrote my least favorite Babylon 5 book. Sadly this would be my least favorite Farscape book. The story starts out with an interesting premise. The backstory that goes into Rygel’s past gives a very believable look at his father. The story of his first love was also believable. The trader Jansz a strange gesalt type being also had great potential.

Unfortunately the story just falls apart after the first few chapters. Chiana is completely out of character. The weird subplot with Re some sentient being on a doomed ocean world that saves Moya makes little sense. Oh and Rygel’s love was not a prisoner but in love with Jansz and in on some scheme. It is very clear that the writer is not a fan of the show. He was given some info and threw together a book. A book that was a big disappointment.



Copyright 2000.

The crew of Moya meet a Luxan trading ship with a passenger that wants to hire them to get him home. His home is the planet Liantac a Las Vegas type gambling planet. The job looks like easy money and allow them to get much needed supplies. The planet has a problem with particles in the atmosphere that only biological ships can enter. Something Moya could easily handle. Only Rygel decides to partake of the gambling and manages to gamble Moya away. Now the crew has to complete a number of challenging assignments to pay off Rygel’s debt. They soon find out that one of the leaders of the planet deliberately cheated Rygel and also plans to turn them over to the Peacekeepers. John Crichton and friends must find a way to free their ship and escape.

I really loved Farscape. It has to be in the top five of my all time favorite TV series. This book really reminded me of why I loved that show. DeCandido is obviously a fan. He lists a whole bunch of websites, books and people he consulted to get the technical aspects correct. I knew that after this he co-wrote the comic book series with the creator O’Bannon so he definitely knows his stuff. All the characters and situations just feel like the TV series. If you are a fan of the series than I highly recommend it.



Copyright 2001.

The techno-mages have successfully hidden themselves away on an asteroid. Galen is responsible for monitoring the galaxy as the Shadows continue their rampage to promote chaos. One day he watches as the Shadows attack his former home planet of Soom. The renegade mage Elizar has come to get the information of Galen’s spell of destruction. He uses a telepath to get it from an old friend. She dies and soon after a revolt occurs among the mages. This is what Galen needs to convince the Circle he needs to leave their sanctuary and kill three people. Elizar his sister Razeel and Morden the chief Shadow agent. His journey takes him to Babylon 5 and eventually the Shadow homeworld of Za’Ha’Dum. There he has an epic final confrontation that will alter the course of the Shadow War.

The final book in the trilogy comes to a satisfying conclusion. Galen has a confrontation with the murderer of his lover. He learns the secrets of the tech and helps Sheridan who is also on Za’Ha’Dum. We get some more background from the TV series that wasn’t shown. In this instance what happened to Anna Sheridan the wife of John Sheridan. She was joined to a Shadow ship and her personality was forever enslaved to the Shadow machine. We find out Morden was serving the Shadows on the chance they could rescue his wife and daughter who he though could be trapped in another dimension. We find out Galen was the one who managed to disable the great eye and allow Sheridan to plow his explosive laden ship into the Shadow city. Plus some insightful look into the Vorlon Kosh’s reasoning while part of his soul was inside Sheridan. Galen was not really part of the main series but a main figure in the short lived spin off Crusade. This was a great trilogy to give his story and the story of the mysterious techno-mages.

So this is also the last in the Babylon 5 book series. Except for 2 books it was a solid and enjoyable read. This is probably due to the creator J.M. Straczynski being very involved with it. In most if not all he sketched out the basic outlines to the stories. So they retain a firm basis in canon and don’t deviate all over the place like many more established series. Many of the books added more to the mythos and were enjoyable and informative. The second run under Del Rey really embraced filling in the stuff never covered in the series. If you are a fan of the series than you will probably enjoy reading these books.



Copyright 2001.

The techno-mages are going into hiding. The Shadows have basically given them an ultimatum. Join they or be destroyed. So the mages have decide to abandon their homes and gather at a secret hideout. The plan calls for an elaborate deception. They will gather on Babylon 5. They have to use misdirection to convince the Shadows they are on one vessel that will be destroyed by them. The reality is that they escape on another and convince the Shadows they have succeeded in destroying them.

As this is going on Galen is assigned to accompany one of the Circle to a Shadow stronghold on the rim of the galaxy. It is a mission of intelligence gathering but Galen does have the hope of meeting the renegade mage Elizar who is responsible for killing the woman he loved. A confrontation does occur with Galen finding out the secret of the techno-mages. That the tech they use originated from the Shadows.

The second book is an improvement over the first. We find out that the Shadows were the ones that gave the tech they use to the race that founded their order. Only the tech enhances aggression and need to compete which destroyed the race. The whole lie is they have been dependent on the Shadows for their tech. Now the Shadows are demanding payback and they know they have to flee. Galen discovers the truth and also the destructive power he has managed to uncover. The book skillfully integrates into the events of the TV series. So we get some behind the scenes of the events that happened. The book did at some places drag a bit but was for the most part an interesting read.



Copyright 2001.

Galen is about to be initiated as a full Techno-mage. At the annual convocation on the planet Soom, Galen along with other apprentices will have tech fused with their bodies. Yet there are rumors of the Shadows the ancient beings that sow chaos have once again awakened. Galen who has discovered a destructive spell seriously injures a fellow apprentice. The Circle that rules the Techno-mages decide to assign him with another new mage to investigate the rumors of the Shadows return. With Isabelle they journey to Zafran 8. There they not only find that the Shadows have returned but some of the Techno-mages have joined them. Galen manages to escape but his love Isabelle is killed by the traitorous Elizar.

The final trilogy in the Babylon 5 books is another outline from the creator. This time it gives us the story of the mysterious Techno-mages and in particular Galen. Galen was prominent in the short lived spinoff Crusade so we never really got to know him well. We find out the Techno-mages were founded by an extinct race. They join the tech with their bodies. I enjoyed the book but it did seem a bit padded. The convocation took up the first third of the book and went on forever. After that the action picked up and it was quite enjoyable. I really enjoyed Cavelos last book and it wasn’t at all padded. Don’t know if that was some directive from the publisher because her books were much longer than the previous trilogies for Del Rey. Anyway an enjoyable story that tells us more about Galen and the Techno-mages.