ATTN JMS: Comparison to "Lucifer's Hammer"

B5JMS Poster b5jms-owner at
Sat Feb 15 06:10:40 EST 1997

Subject: ATTN JMS: Comparison to "Lucifer's Hammer"
 No. | DATE        |  FROM
s  1: Feb 13, 1997: mbovee at
*  2: Feb 14, 1997: jmsatb5 at (Jms at B5)


From: mbovee at
Lines: 72

Howdy, Joe.

[potential spoiler space inserted, just in case]

[voila! la message]

You know, with all the noise and commotion about ITF resulting in an
anticlimax - "What now? Where do we go from here?" - it reminded me a
great deal of the book (by Pournelle and Niven?) called "Lucifer's
Hammer." This was the book that spawned the B movie "Comet." What made
LH great was that the set up of the asteroid-core comet crashing into
Earth was only about the first 90-100 pages of a 300+ pager - the rest
of it focused on how the individuals introduced at the start of the
book coped with the massive upheaval and change to the very fabric of
society that resulted from a cataclysmic disaster. I distictly
remembering reaching the same sort of moment of "letdown" when I
reached the point in the book where the comet had already struck.

The marvellous thing about the book, and about B5, was that the
writing was so engrossing that I wanted to follow each character and
find out how they handled things. It turned out to be the very best
part of the book.

Reflecting on this early experience in my sci-fi reading has given me
an appreciation for what you can potentially do w/the remainder of the
B5 story arc - whether it's 4 years or 5. Like LH, your writing to
date has proven that whatever comes next will be equally good, if not
much, much better. From the character development we've seen to date,
I have to agree w/Jay when, in regards to what to do when all seems
quiet on the JMS front, he says "Be very, very afraid."

Incidentally, what I felt made "Comet" a B grade movie was the LACK of
insight into the characters AFTER the disaster - my recollection of
the movie was that it focused on the events leading up to the comet
strike, not how people coped with the aftermath. Kinda reminds me of a
quote which I'll paraphrase

It isn't the impact of environment or events on people that determines
the course of history. It is how people respond to those factors that
makes the difference.

I'm looking forward to the next episodes (and "Epiphanies" has
justified my faith in what lies ahead!)



From: jmsatb5 at (Jms at B5)
Lines: 21

I agree, it's often the aftermath that holds the greatest interest.  The
Civil War tells one kind of interesting story; the Reconstruction that
followed, which endured for many years longer than the war, tells another,
just as interesting story.

There's a line one of the characters will say soon, "The duration's going
to be a lot longer than the war."  It's a very true comment.

One of my favorite books is "Alas, Babylon," by Pat Frank, which is about
a nuclear war (written in the early 60s).  But the war happens entirely
off-stage, way in the distance...and the book focuses on one small
township dealing with the after effects, and the day-to-day realities of
surviving in a changed world.  I've always been partial to that kind of


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