Thursday, January 15, 2009

Dark Genesis

I completed Dark Genesis, The Birth of the Psi Corps last night. I watched all 5 seasons of Babylon 5 via DvD a couple of years ago and came away with a profound respect for the work of J. Michael Straczynski. Not only did he create the show but he built the entire story arc and authored almost all of the scripts for the show. But even in 5 complete seasons, there is always room to learn more about various aspects of the show. The background and fate of the character Bester has always interested me so I specifically looked for the Psi Corps trilogy written by J. Gregory Keyes. I was gratified to learn that Mr Keyes wrote his Babylon 5 novels from an outline by Mr Straczynski so I felt confident that the novel was an "official" part of the Babylon 5 canon.

This first novel of the trilogy serves largely as background. I enjoyed seeing how the Psi Corps began and watching the evolving dichotomy of humans with psychic abilities vs those without. I liked seeing characters with familiar names (ancestors of some on the show). But overall I felt it was a little flat. I think there was just too much territory to cover, too much of a timespan to cover in a fairly thin book (~280 pages). The novel really was a series of connected short stories depicting certain aspects in time of this great transformation in society. The fact that the human race also experienced first contact with intelligent life outside Earth (Centauri) was largely lost in the rest. I have read a few reviews of the rest of the trilogy though and most agree the second two books really pick up, especially as they concern Bester himself. So I look forward to reading them soon.

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Top 10 Books in no particular order (Well Known Authors)

  • "The Stand" by Stephen King
  • "Kane and Able" by Jeffrey Archer
  • "The Killer Angels" by Michael Shaara
  • "The Dark Elf Trilogy" by RA Salvatore
  • "Name of the Wind" by Patrick Rothfuss
  • "River God" by Wilbur Smith
  • "Mortalis" by RA Salvatore
  • "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card
  • "Centennial" by James A Michener
  • "The Repairman Jack" series by F. Paul Wilson

Top Books/ Series in no particular order (Lesser Known Authors)

  • "The Sculpter" by Gregory Funaro
  • "Power Down" by Ben Coes
  • "Revolution at Sea Saga" by James L. Nelson
  • "Black Rain" by Graham Brown
  • "Top Producer" by Norb Vonnegut
  • "Prairie" by Anna Lee Waldo
  • "The Wild Blue" by W. Boyne & S Thompson
  • "Unsolicited" series by Julie Kaewert
  • "Freedom" by William Safire