Attn: JMS Yahoo article accurate?

B5JMS Poster b5jms-owner at
Thu Nov 20 06:32:47 EST 1997

From: "Theflinx" <tetdemerde at>
Date: 17 Nov 1997 12:17:57 -0500
Lines: 153

Much has been made in the ST newsgroups about an article that appeared in
Yahoo's magazine that seems to quote you as saying the B5 fans have higher
IQ's than ST fans. (complete text below)

Did you really talk to this clown?

If so, how accurately does this article reflect your conversation?

Are you quoted in context?


To hear J. Michael
                                                                  the most
                                                               form of life
                                                               on the Net.

                                                               by Craig

            Average IQ of a "Star Trek" fan: 152.

            Average IQ of a "Babylon 5" fan: 170.

            At least that's the way "Bab5" fans
            figure it. J. Michael Straczynski, the
            creator and executive producer of
            "Babylon 5,"has his own theory about
            why the show's fans are a little
            smarter, a little more sophisticated
            than your run-of-the-mill Trekker: "I
            think it's simply because I treat them
            with the respect they deserve, which
            comes out of my being a fan as well,"
            he says. "My roots are in fandom, and I
            think to some extent, there's the
            perception of 'one of us' making it,
            living the dream."

            Straczynski's show, currently de
            rigueur among sci-fi fans, is a
            phenomenon rivaling "Star Trek" in
            enthusiasm on the Net. Much of that
            enthusiasm is propagated by
            Straczynski himself, who spends two to
            four hours a night chatting with fans
            online (as well as "quashing" the
            occasional rumor and "icing down"
            flame wars).

            It's a role that comes easily for
            Straczynski, who has been online since
            the mid-'80s, when he began logging
            onto CompuServe with a Kaypro II and
            a 300-bps modem. In fact, when the
            idea for "Babylon 5" first began to
            grow and take shape, it was only
            natural that Straczynski begin talking
            about it online.

            "I mentioned it as part of my regular
            [online life], and people started to
            follow the progress of it as a result," he
            says. "It was never done as a way of
            getting PR for the show, more simply
            that I didn't feel like changing my life
            and my habits at this late date."

            But like the show itself, Straczynski's
            reputation has grown, to the point that
            he has become an online icon, or as
            one fan put it, "the closest thing SF has
            to a rock star." There are now
            hundreds of "Bab5" sites and tens of
            thousands of fans online, and every
            one of them can talk to Straczynski, or
            at least send him e-mail.

               But making
            accessible to
            fans means
            Straczynski is
            also subject to
            the less
            savory side of
            the Net,
            ranging from
            the "socially
            maladroit" to
            people who
            are "nothing less than Net stalkers."
            Some "Bab5" cast members won't go
            online anymore because of an
            atmosphere they called "brutal and
            casually malicious," Straczynski says.

            There are other dangers as well: Some
            fans post their own "Bab5" stories to
            the Net. For legal reasons, Straczynski
            chooses not to read these story ideas
            and instead sticks to the moderated
            newsgroups where there are rules
            about what can be posted.

            "There was one case when someone
            posted a story idea which paralleled a
            story I was working on at the time,"
            Straczynski says. "I had no choice but
            to put the story on a back burner for
            over a year until the other person
            signed a release indicating what had

            But the occasional negatives don't
            outweigh the positives, and
            Straczynski says he enjoys meeting his
            fans online. And although some shows
            are trying to control the proliferation
            of fan Web sites, Straczynski insists
            that he desires a more fan-oriented

            "I felt strongly that if somebody goes
            out and does all the work to make an
            Internet site to support 'Bab5,' this
            should be applauded, not attacked."

            Of course, that's easy for Straczynski
            to say; the sites are all devoted to his
            work. But Straczynski says he's just
            trying to keep things in perspective: "I
            go out of my way to stay firmly rooted
            in reality. After all, I'm as doofy a guy
            as you're ever going to meet."


From: jmsatb5 at (Jms at B5)
Date: 19 Nov 1997 14:57:41 -0500
Lines: 11

I'm not quoted at ALL.  I never, at any time, said that B5 fans were in any way
 smarter than ST fans.  The person who wrote the article came up with that as a
 lead that has, and had, nothing to do with anything I said.  All I talked
 about was the close relationship with B5 fans through treating them with
 respect.  I think he may have been looking for a quote like that, but I didn't
 give him one, and thus it didn't appear.  

Never said it.  If I had, it'd be there.

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