ATTN JMS: Question about B5 novels

B5JMS Poster b5jms-owner at
Mon Feb 17 06:36:31 EST 1997

Subject: ATTN JMS: Question about B5 novels
 No. | DATE        |  FROM
s  1: Feb 15, 1997: dmajor at (David Major)
*  2: Feb 16, 1997: jmsatb5 at (Jms at B5)


From: dmajor at (David Major)
Lines: 39

What's the policy on B5 novels?

Let's say for argument's sake that I've got a pitch for a novel.
(Which I have.)

I emailed Dell and they told me that it's got to get to them through a
literary agent (I can understand that), but I've been told by others
that _you_ have to approve ideas so that they fit into the story arc.
(I can understand that as well.)

Someone else told me that novel ideas are "taken from your notes."
(i.e. the notes of jms). I'm confused about what that means. Does that
mean you have a small stable of writers, with whom you work on novels
from scratch, giving them the outlines and then they flesh it out?

I understand that you were getting frustrated by the fact that people
were submitting novels with their own characters, and just using the
B5 universe as a loose sort of backdrop. Tempting, since it's such a
great universe, butI can see how that's not 100% appropriate.

Can you tell me - who do I run my idea past? An agent? (If so, is
there one who "specialises" in B5?) Someone at B5 other than you? Or

I'd like to write the story, but I'd like to at least get the
provisional go-ahead so that I'm not wasting my time without knowing
it, if you know what I mean. If it's a closed shop already, I'd like
to know now.

btw, shouldn't <*> be <<<*>>>?


in defence of pigs


From: jmsatb5 at (Jms at B5)
Lines: 23

In the past, we've taken pitches, but overall I've felt that the books
strayed too far from canon by doing it that way; the latest batch were
more directly influenced.  One is taken right out of B5 canon, the
Anna/Icarus story, and it's one of the best to date; the second one up is
based on a premise I wrote up and was assigned to the writer (it's the
weakest of the three, set on Centauri Prime while G'Kar was still held
prisoner, but still okay); the third is also based on a premise, and
follows Sinclair after leaving B5 to form the Rangers...I worked very
closely with the writer here to ensure that virtually *every line* is
canon.  Frankly, if anyone asks from now on, "What happened to Sinclair
after leaving B5?" I can point to this book and say, honestly, "It's all
in there."

I think we'll continue to work this way more in future.

Dell only works with published authors with agents and credits.


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