The Babylon 5 Encyclopedia
The most ambitious project in the history of Babylon 5 Books
One creator, eleven experts and a span of eight years to complete
Available in your choice of Online Multimedia Edition OR 2-Volume Hardcover Color Edition (or both!)
Almost 5,000 entries from 160+ canonical sources
For the first time ever, the whole canon of Babylon 5 has been assembled into a single document. You will be shocked at how much you don't know about the Babylon 5 Universe.
Click here to read the Marcus Cole entry.
LIST OF SOURCES
Episodes & Movies
• Babylon 5 Pilot The Gathering Original Version
• Babylon 5 Pilot The Gathering TNT Version
• All 110 episodes of Babylon 5
• All 13 episodes of Crusade
• Thirdspace TV Movie
• In the Beginning TV Movie
• The River of Souls TV Movie
• A Call to Arms TV Movie
• The Legend of the Rangers Pilot
• The Lost Tales
• The Shadow Within by Jeanne Cavelos
• To Dream in the City of Sorrows by Kathryn M. Drennan
• The Psi Corps Trilogy by J. Gregory Keyes
• The Legions of Fire Trilogy by Peter David
• The Passing of the Techno-mages Trilogy by Jeanne Cavelos
• Thirdspace Novelization by Peter David
• In The Beginning Novelization by Peter David
• A Call to Arms Novelization by Robert Sheckley
• "The Shadow of His Thoughts" by J. Michael Straczynski
• "Genius Loci" by J. Michael Straczynski
• "Space, Time, and the Incurable Romantic" by J. Michael Straczynski
• "Hidden Agendas" by J. Michael Straczynski
• "True Seeker" by Fiona Avery
• "The Nautilus Coil" by J. Gregory Keyes
• 11-issue DC Comics comic series
• 3-issue In Valen's Name comic series
• The Lost Tales comic
• Babylon 5 Scripts & Production Documents
• Crusade Scripts & Production Documents
• DVD featurettes from all 5 seasons
• Background details from the show
• J. Michael Straczynski's online posts
• Babylon 5 Magazine
• Dining on Babylon 5
• The Official Guide to J. Michael Straczynski's Babylon 5 (CD-ROM)
• Babylon 5 Collectible Card Game
THE PROCESS TO GET TO THESE 5,000 ENTRIES
Phase one: Build a concordance of the entries
A list of initial entries was devised by careful study of the as-broadcast teleplays (in consultation with the DVDs and, on some occasions, the broadcast versions) of all 110 Babylon 5 episodes, the five B5 TV Movies, the 13 produced episodes of Crusade (as well as the three scripts in pre-production at that time of Crusade's cancellation), The Legend of the Rangers and The Lost Tales.
Phase Two: Find Additional Entries and Details Through Supplemental Sources
The initial list was augmented after examining the novels, comics and short stories deemed canonical by JMS, as well as additional material produced by Babylon 5's producers (The Official Guide to J. Michael Straczynski's Babylon 5) and writing staff (Larry DiTillio's Alien Guide), and merchandise (Dining on Babylon 5, the Babylon 5 Collectible Card Game, the Official Babylon 5 Magazine) that was vetted by Babylonian's reference editor, Fiona Avery. Additionally, an editorial database of 104,892 screenshots was created from the DVDs for cross-referencing.
Phase Three: Fact Check, Fact Check, Fact Check
The fact check process for each entry begins by cross referencing all nouns against our standardized entries for those terms, sometimes referring back to the scripts, novels or other written sources as needed.
For example, "Anla-shok" is spelled no less than four different ways (Anla-shok, Anla-Shok, anla-shok, Anla'shok) in the scripts, so this step of the process catches typos and ensures that every noun in Babylon 5's massive universe is consistent throughout the Encyclopedia's equally massive text.
The second step of the fact check process involves verifying each described event against the DVDs, scripts, novels or other sources as needed. For example, the "Cole, Marcus" entry mentions that the Cole Mining company was nearly bankrupted by the Earth-Minbari War, which was verified on page 57 of the original Dell printing of the novel To Dream in the City of Sorrows.
Phase Four: Approval from The Fan Council
A committee of hand-picked mega-fans known to the Babylon 5 community will review each entry for thoroughness.
INCLUDES HUNDREDS OF DETAILS FROM DELETED SCENES
The most fun part of the process was checking the footage that was filmed but cut for time. Here's one example –
The video above contributed to these two entries:
Keffer trained under Ray Galus at the academy and won Star Fighter status. He first saw action intercepting raiders outside the Orion Belt, and received top marks from every commander after earning his wings. On 2 April 2258, Keffer flew against raiders in defense of the Tunguska. Early in 2259, Galus gave Keffer 95–100% in every category of his quarterly performance analysis and recommended Keffer’s promotion to lieutenant.
A Human Earthforce Starfury pilot and member of Zeta Wing stationed aboard Babylon 5. In his first quarterly performance analysis of 2259, Commander Ray Galus stated that Rafelli was a decent pilot but had not demonstrated any leadership ability. It was recommended that Rafelli not be considered for promotion until he logged another 100 hours of flight time.
The Babylon 5 Encyclopedia contains every canonical fact in the Babylon 5 universe.
WILL ALL 5,000 ENTRIES HAVE AN IMAGE?
No, but only because not every entry has a visual representation. For example, someone only mentioned in dialogue or who appeared only in a novel or short story – such as G'Kar's daughter G'Ryka – does not have an image. That said, most entries in the categories of aliens species, characters, locales, organizations, ships or technology will have a visual representation. We anticipate 1,000 images in the print edition and at least 1,500 in the online edition.
WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED BECAUSE IT IS NOT CONSIDERED CANONICAL?
Not Canonical: Dell Novels 1-6, 8:
In 2006, JMS wrote: "The first Dell books were not what they should have been because they tended to operate outside canon; so steps were taken to bring the Del Rey books into canon, working closely with the publisher, and the fans across the board agree that those novels were better than those which preceded them."
Not Canonical: RPG and table top games
Prior to Fiona Avery being hired as the Babylonian Productions Reference Editor, JMS had become increasingly concerned about inaccuracies creeping into the licensed gaming books due to the lack of a point person to oversee continuity. In May 1998, he wrote, "There are going to have to be some revisions in the game books to bring them into line with the overall story, and other licensees."
Not Canonical: The Mongoose Publications
No ambiguity here: In 2005, JMS stated "I have, subsequently, washed my hands of the Mongoose books. I haven't seen anything, don't know what they're doing, so sure as hell it ain't canonical."
WHAT ARE THE SPECS OF THE 2-VOLUME HARDCOVER COLOR EDITION?
Trim Size: 8.5 x 11 inches. These books are heavy and this was the best size to keep the weight evenly distributed for extended reading.
- 800+ pages
- Premium 70# paper
- Full, four-color printing
- USA-based printer
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF THE 2-VOLUME HARDCOVER COLOR EDITION?
Note: At the time of launch, the books will contain identical text to the Online Multimedia Edition of the Babylon 5 Encyclopedia.
• The pleasure of an actual book
• A welcome break from the screen
• A physical reminder of your Babylon 5 journey
• You can share it
• You can show it off in public or on your coffee table
• You can resell it
• You can easily highlight it and write in the margins (yikes!)
• Book smell
• Online searchable index to get you right to the page you are looking for
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF THE ONLINE MULTIMEDIA EDITION?
• Pay once, access forever (free updates)
• Pinch and Zoom images
• Added video for some entries, including some footage shot but cut from the television series and never seen before
• At least an additional 500 images, video clips, documents and audio files
• Continually updated
• Portable, always have it with you via tablet, phone or connected computer
• No shipping charges
• Takes up less space/weighs nothing
• Change font size and style to your preference
• Exclusive B5 Trivia Quizzes
• Exclusive B5 Word Search Puzzles
• Exclusive B5 Crosswords
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE ONLINE MULTIMEDIA EDITION AND AN EBOOK?
By definition, an eBook is a standalone document small enough to fit on an eReader or tablet that doesn't have to be online, except to initially download it. The Online Multimedia Edition of the Babylon 5 Encyclopedia is an online database of nearly 5,000 entries that incorporates video, audio, images and documents mounted on a platform that far exceeds the memory and processing power any device a consumer would own.
DO I HAVE TO PAY A MONTHLY FEE OR UPGRADE FEE AT ANYTIME?
Absolutely not. Pay once, access the Online Multimedia Edition of the Babylon 5 Encyclopedia for a lifetime. Note: B5 Books may offer additional non-Encyclopedia content for purchase through the same online portal that you use to access the Online Multimedia Edition.
HOW MANY DEVICES CAN I ACCESS THE ENCYCLOPEDIA FROM?
As many as you own. We monitor Internet IP addresses to make sure there isn't any password sharing. We don't limit the devices because we know so many fans have multiple tablets, smart phones and computers.
CAN I SHARE MY PASSWORD WITH MY KIDS / SPOUSE / SIGNIFICANT OTHER?
Yes. Your license is for a household and/or family (and we accept all definitions of the word "family").
WILL THE ZATHRI OF BABYLON 5 BOOKS BE MAINTAINING THE MULTIMEDIA DATABASE?
Yes. We think of the online edition as a living, evolving entity. Any future Babylon 5 material would be included. Pay once, get upgrades forever.
HOW WILL I KNOW WHEN THE ONLINE MULTIMEDIA EDITION HAS BEEN UPDATED?
We will let you know via text or email, whichever you prefer.
WHAT'S YOUR INCENTIVE TO KEEP THE ONLINE MULTIMEDIA EDITION UPDATED IF I ONLY PAY ONCE?
Our raison d'etre is to archive one of the greatest shows in television history and evolve that archive at every opportunity. We are a business, but we think of ourselves as historians as well. Nothing thrills historians more than sharing a new find. And we are finding stuff all the time.
CAN I DOWNLOAD THE ONLINE MULTIMEDIA EDITION?
Yes and no. It is meant to be consumed online. Technically, you can take a screenshot of each page for personal use offline, but with one entry per "page" that would take forever. This is in part why we are offering the 2-Volume Hardcover Color Edition as well, for those moments you don't want to be in front of a screen and want a more traditional reading experience. Think of it as your "downloaded" version.
WHERE WILL I ACCESS THE ONLINE MULTIMEDIA EDITION?
Via a password-protected entry-point online. This is a browser-based multimedia platform that can be accessed by any computer, tablet or phone and will be properly formatted for that device.
Watch the video above.
WHEN WILL THE BOOKS BE SHIPPED, AND WHEN DO I GET ACCESS TO THE ONLINE MULTIMEDIA EDITION?
The Online Multimedia Edition of the Babylon 5 Encyclopedia is the primary entity, with the print version as its companion, so our launch date is based on the online edition with the print edition following closely behind that. The launch date is no later than June 30, 2017 with the books shipping shortly thereafter. We will have more concrete estimates in February.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER I PLACE MY PRE-ORDER?
You will get a receipt from PayPal that will be your order confirmation. If you would like a secondary confirmation, just forward us your PayPal receipt and we will respond confirming your order.
Then, from January until the launch date (June 30, or sooner), we will send out progress updates and favorite entries. You'll always be in the loop on what is going on. When you order, you will have the option of getting updates by email, text or both. We also love hearing from you so email us anytime for a personal update at firstname.lastname@example.org and you will get a response from one of the team, usually Captain Jaclyn or Lt. Brandon.
WHY OFFER BOTH ONLINE AND PRINT EDITIONS?
Babylon 5 fans are hybrid readers. The fact that it's taken 8 years to research the nearly 5,000 entries has worked to our advantage because we couldn't offer electronic versions of any of our products while we were with CafePress. Since that contract has ended, it has opened up all sorts of possibilities for us. Having an interactive, multimedia database was our greatest hope and the timing worked out perfectly.
HOW ARE YOU SHIPPING THE PHYSICAL BOOKS?
Domestic orders will be shipped priority mail, 1 to 3-day service. International orders, including Canada, will be sent via international mail.
I LIVE ABROAD. WILL I HAVE TO PAY VAT ON THE BOOKS?
Probably not. Most countries do not levy VAT or Customs Fees on books. Our shipments are clearly labeled books. There is no VAT for Lifetime Access to the Online Multimedia Edition of the Babylon 5 Encyclopedia. (If you prefer, we can declare the shipment as a gift with a lower customs value. Just let us know.)
WHAT IS YOUR REFUND POLICY FOR THE ONLINE MULTIMEDIA EDITION?
Spend as much time as you like exploring the Online Multimedia Edition of the Babylon 5 Encyclopedia. If it doesn't meet your expectations, email us at help@b5books and we will refund 100% of what you paid.
IS THERE A PRICE BREAK IF I GET BOTH THE ONLINE EDITION AND THE PRINT EDITION?
Yes. That package has a $48 extra discount in addition to the debut discount for a total of $108 savings. Great deal.
Our suggestion is to get the print/online combo. If you are unhappy with either, we will happily refund either. Just email us at email@example.com and say you'd like a refund.
HOW DID YOU ARRIVE AT THE DEBUT DISCOUNT PRICES FOR THE ONLINE MULTIMEDIA EDITION AND THE COMPANION 2-VOLUME HARDCOVER COLOR EDITION?
We price based what it costs to make the product. What's true for us and most publishers is that the cost of printing a black & white book, hardcover or soft, is the least expensive part. That surprises a lot of people. (Full color on premium stock is about equal to our expenses because full-color is so freaking expensive when you do it right on 70# stock, like we do.)
What this means is that unless it's a full-color book (this one is), the expenses driving our prices were compiling the list of entries, researching and writing, fact-checking, photo editing, video editing, audio editing, design and layout, typography, proof-reading and database programming (huge!). Bottom line: Humans are expensive.
While B5 Books is not a non-profit, we are a "break-even" proposition. Prices are set after we consider the costs and the quantity we expect to sell. We then find the lowest workable price point and set it at that for the debut discount. Our debut discount prices are close to cost for those of you keeping score at home, and we sell 80% during the debut discount period.
This is also why we offer 4-payment plans (with no fees, interest or service charges), to be considerate of all budget ranges.
WE HAD A CHOICE:
SPIT OUT A CHEAPER, MEDIOCRE PRODUCT AT HALF THE PRICE,
OR CHARGE WHAT IT TAKES TO DO IT RIGHT, AND BLOW FANS AWAY.
Our love of Babylon 5 drives every choice we make.
WHAT IF I DON'T LIKE IT?
You get back 100% of what you paid – including shipping costs if the printed books were ordered, even for international orders. We also pay return shipping fees as well. Just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your order number.
HOW CAN YOU HAVE SUCH CUSTOMER-FRIENDLY POLICIES?
Simple. We have a near-zero return rate because fans love our products. Remember: we work for Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Stracyznski, and we stand for everything he represents.
WHY ARE YOU LAUNCHING PRE-ORDERS NOW?
This request came from our Official Babylon 5 Books Fan Council. Our plan was to start pre-orders in January. The Fan Council felt that this would upset some Babylon 5 fans, who would have either liked to have given this as a holiday gift or received it as such.
WHAT'S THE ADVANTAGE OF PRE-ORDERING?
Big savings...up to $108. Remember, we only discount products when we first release them so that our biggest supporters – fans who buy first – get rewarded.
A recent example would be the pre-order of the Cast Reunions Book and Blu-ray/DVD set. The debut discount/pre-order price was $88. The Cast Reunions now sells for double that at $179 because after the pre-order/debut discount period, we were able to get the books signed by all three of the featured actors: Jerry Doyle, Claudia Christian and Pat Tallman. In other words, pre-order peeps saved 50%.
All products we've ever put on pre-order have launched within the promised time frame. Also, If you change your mind, just email us for a complete refund.
"Only Chance Ever" Discount Pricing
|Online Multimedia Edition ONLY||$128
|2-Volume Hardcover Color Edition ONLY||$178
|BEST DEAL BUNDLE|
Online Multimedia Edition AND
2-Volume Hardcover Color Edition