d20 Babylon 5 ~ Babylon 5 Wars ~ Babylon 5 Component Game System ~ The Babylon Project ~ B5 Episode Info
Dining on Babylon 5: The Ultimate Guide to Space Station Cuisine
AUTHOR'S NOTE (from Amazon.com)
"Here's how the idea for the book came up ... The folks in WB Licensing were sitting around trying to come up with ideas for B5-related products to license, as B5 was taking off in the ratings and becoming somewhat of a hot property. They'd recently licensed a cookbook based on "Friends," so someone jokingly added a B5 cookbook to their list of ideas.
To their shock and horror, someone actually showed an interest, a U.K. publisher called Boxtree.
I'd written for other B5 licensees, and had a good working relationship with B5 creator Joe Straczynski, so the Licensing folk gave me a call to ask if I could write it.
"The only way it will work," I said, "is if we go over the top."
While I knew B5, I didn't know squat about cooking. WB hired a "food consultant" who designs recipes for food chains. She knew cooking, but didn't know squat about B5.
So we began by my going through all the aired episodes to date. I compiled a clip video with any scenes I could find showing or referring to food, e.g. the infamous flarn dinner prepared by Lennier for Sheridan and Delenn, and Garibaldi talking about his pop's bagna cauda. I gave her the dishes, both human and alien, to concoct, while I went off to write the rest of the book.
I decided that this book was to be firmly rooted in the B5 universe. I chose late third season, in the lull before the alliance defeats the Shadows who then send Anne Sheridan to B5. (You might recall the recently enlightened G'Kar was a bit loopy around that time, so I wrote him that way.)
We'd seen Fresh Air, the true five-star restaurant at the end of the universe, so I came up with the idea of Emerson Briggs-Wallace, a rather arrogant, pompous gossipmonger who owned the joint. (As I said, he's loosely based on Basil Fawlty.) Viewing himself as a man of importance on the station yet clueless that he's generally disliked by the command staff, he approaches Sheridan with the idea for the cookbook, who as a practical joke sends him off to see Ivanova and the other characters in the book. (The joke is lost on poor Emerson, but the others suspect they've been set up.)
If you pay close attention, you'll find some cross-references in the book. For example, G'Kar quotes a "wise Human who said: Stuff it." If you look at Garibaldi's recipe for Cannelloni, he writes, "Just prepare your filling, and stuff it."
When the recipes came back, I came up with alien names for some of the ingredients. If you look throughout the book, you'll find the alien names are totally consistent. Beeba (olive) oil is beeba (olive) oil anywhere it's listed as an ingredient.
The food consultant worked with WB Licensing to take the photos of the prepared dishes. I helped pull the slides and screen-grabs taken from the episodes you see in the book.
Is the book canon? Obviously, anything that came from the show is canon. But the stuff I made up? If you watch the fifth season episode "A View from the Gallery," there's a scene where the maintenance workers Bo and Mac are waiting out an alien attack in a shelter. You'll see one of them pick up a book lying on the floor, flip through it, and toss it aside. That book is a mockup of "Dining on Babylon 5" which hadn't been published at the time of filming.
I didn't know Joe was going to do that, and only found out when the episode aired. (I think I peed all over the floor when I saw it ...) So far as I'm concerned, if it airs on the show then it's canon. If you assume the book was published in late third season, then by the middle of the fifth season it would make sense that this book made the rounds for its semi-tabloid nature and was quickly tossed aside. Finding it lying about in an air raid shelter seems entirely appropriate.
Joe did tweak the spoo recipes, because he had a reference to it in an upcoming episode, so he wanted to be sure the book was consistent.
The Boxtree license only allowed the book to be published in the U.K. and I think a couple other European countries. Del Rey, the U.S. publisher with the rights to the B5 novels, showed no interest at all in the cookbook, which is why it never surfaced here in the States. Any copies in the U.S. were shipped from the U.K.
It's a shame it never got a reprint, here or there, because it's a fairly unique, if not bizarre, piece of B5 spinoff merchandise. I'm still surprised it was ever published in the first place -- but then B5 always had its unique bizarre sense of humor, so I guess the cookbook fits in just fine."
1998 ... Steve Smith ... 128 pages ... ISBN 0752211439
Babylon 5 Security Manual
This isn't actually a part of the Babylon Project RPG, but it's a great sourcebook for the station itself, something lacking in the RPG.
Visions of Peace: A Rangers Novel
"A chance discovery in an asteroid field of a weapon dating back to the Dilgar War leads to a galactic crisis of massive scale. Recently graduated among the Anla'Shok. Michael Shaw finds himself thrust into the centre of calamitous events that are set to propel the Earth Alliance into war with the Centauri Republic. Sinister forces lurk within both governments, eager to shatter peace and threaten the lives of millions for their own profit and advancement. Only the Rangers stand between the status quo and this nightmarish future."
2006 ... Matthew Sprange ... 299 pages ... Mongoose Publishing ... ISBN 1905471432
Babylon 5 Component Game System
"Can your ambassador outwit the representatives of the other races in this fast-paced component board game. The Council resides on Babylon 5 voting on many issues which affect the galaxy. The size of your empire's economy and battle fleet dictate your victory. Explore the galaxy on an evolving board that is different every time you play. Use strategy to lead your fleets into combat with your opponents. Sway the Babylon 5 crew to your aid to gain a political edge over your opponents." (Component Game Systems, Inc.)
Babylon 5: The Board Game (2258 Edition Core Set) [BOX SET]
CONTENTS: • 4 Empire Control Sheets • 21 Map Pieces • 50 Playing Cards • 1 Rulebook • 96 Tokens
1998 ... CB5-001 ... ISBN 1891394169
Minbari Starter Kit (2258 Edition) [BOX SET]
CONTENTS: Minbari Empire Control Sheet * 10 Playing Cards * 6 Map Pieces * 16-page Rulebook * 20+ Tokens
1997 ... CB5-511 ... ISBN 1891394029
Vorlon Empire Starter Kit (2258 Edition) [BOX SET]
CONTENTS: Vorlon Empire Control Sheet * 12 Playing Cards * 5 Map Pieces * 1 Rulebook (Verson 1.1) * 25 Tokens
1998 ... CB5-551 ... ISBN 189139407X
Earth Starter Kit (2259 Edition: Babylon 5 Board Game) [BOX SET]
CONTENTS: Empire Control Sheet * 6 Map Pieces * 12+ Playing Cards * 1 Rulebook * 21 Tokens
1998 ... CB5-502 ... ISBN 1891394118
Minbari Starter Kit (2259 Edition) [BOX SET]
CONTENTS: Empire Control Sheet * 5 Map Pieces * 12 Playing Cards * 1 Rulebook (Version 1.2) * 24 Tokens
1998 ... CB5-512 ... ISBN 1891394126
Centauri Starter Kit (2259 Edition)
CONTENTS: Empire Control Sheet * 5 Map Pieces * 12+ Playing Cards * 1 Rulebook (Version 1.2) * 26 Tokens
1998 ... CB5-522 ... ISBN 1891394134
Shadow Starter Kit (2259 Edition) [BOX SET]
CONTENTS: Shadow Empire Control Sheet * 12 Playing Cards * 5 Map Pieces * 1 Rulebook (Version 1.1) * 24 Tokens
1998 ... CB5-542 ... ISBN 1891394061
Psi Corps Starter Kit (2259 Edition) [BOX SET]
CONTENTS: • Psi Corps Empire Control Sheet • 13 Playing Cards • 6 Map Pieces • 1 Rulebook (Version 1.1) • 21 Tokens
"Can your ambassador outwit the representatives of the other races in this fast-paced component board game. The Council resides on Babylon 5 voting on many issues which affect the galaxy. The size of your empire's economy and battle fleet dictate your victory. Explore the galaxy on an evolving board that is different every time you play. Use strategy to lead your fleets into combat with your opponents. Sway the Babylon 5 crew to your aid to gain a political edge over your opponents.
The Psi Corps consists of Psi Corps outposts, as well as map pieces, ships, cards and rules for the Psi Corps. Great for creating and expanding your Psi Corps play kit. Each player needs 1 Starter Kit to play or a Core Set."
1998 ... CB5-562 ... ISBN 1891394088
League of Worlds Starter Kit (2258 Edition) [BOX SET]
CONTENTS: League of Worlds Empire Control Sheet • 13 Playing Cards • 5 Map Pieces • 1 Rulebook (Version 1.1) • 26 Tokens
1998 ... CB5-571 ... ISBN 1891394096
The Babylon Project
"The Babylon Project is a dream given form. It is a community which we build to create a lasting peace in the galaxy: a place where diverse populations can gather calmly without the threat of war and discuss their differences with the hope of understanding each other and settling their disagreements peacefully. Today we gather here in neutral space, in the shadow of a war that nearly cost us our civilization, to dedicate a place for all sentient beings to meet and interact openly. The Babylon Station will be built here in this orbit as a monument to those who have died in wars of misunderstandings: a place where the differences of our past can be overcome and we can live in peace with all inhabitants of the galaxy."
Chameleon Eclectic (best known for their excellent Millennium's End game) is now defunct, but used copies of The Babylon Project are generally available on Amazon.
Visit my Babylon 5 pages for episode and DVD information.
The Babylon Project
1997 ... Joseph Cochran ... 196 pages ... CEE 051-000 ... ISBN 1887990054
Another excellent full-color book. The EF Sourcebook not only describes character creation and equipment, but ship-to-ship combat as well, based on Jon Tuffley's "Full Thrust".
Also pictured is the UK edition, licensed by Titan Games.
"In the aftermath of the Earth-Minbari War, Humanity is rebuilding its shattered fleet and reestablishing its colonial empire. Earthforce morale — and power — is on the rise as young men and women from all over the Alliance step forward to serve Humankind. The military life is tough and dangerous — but it's the thin line between Humanity and a hostile universe.
The Earthforce Sourcebook outlines the structure of Earthgov's military arm, delves into military life, details Earthforce facilities and ships, and features The Babylon Project's ship-to-ship combat system."
1997 ... Joseph Cochran & Jon Tuffley & Dale MacMurdy & Charles Ryan & Zeke Sparkes ... 140 pages + 2 cardstock sheets of counters ... CEE 051-001 ... ISBN 1887990062
The Babylon Project Gamemaster's Resource Kit
1998 ... 3-panel screen + 24-page booklet + 2 charts ... CEE 051-002 ... ISBN 1887990070
I don't believe copies of the following 3 books saw print before Chameleon Eclectic closed its doors.
Earth Colonies Sourcebook
A Dream Given Form
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