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Babylon 5: Deadly Relations: Bester Ascendant [Mass Market Paperback]

J. Gregory Keyes
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 9.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Book Description

March 1 1999 Babylon 5 (Paperback Ballantine) (Book 2)
The child of their greatest heroes--
he was destined to become their darkest enemy . . .

In the twenty-second century, the discovery of human telepaths led to terror and bloodshed, and to the creation of the Psi Corps--a government agency of elite telepaths who were used to control their own kind. Under the command of a power-mad politician, the Corps became a ruthless tool of oppression, and the telepath underground was formed.

Matthew and Fiona Dexter led the resistance to its greatest victories. But when they were martyred for the cause, their only child was claimed by the very forces they had died opposing.

Raised from infancy within the Psi Corps, Alfred Bester was a telepath of exceptional ability, determined to make his mark by transforming himself into a master of deceit. Schooled in hate but tormented by shards of conscience, he wrestled with the seductiveness of the sinister cause he served. But slowly stripped of humanity by the war between decency and betrayal, he surrendered his soul--and rose to become the most dreaded figure of his time . . .

Book Two in the gripping new epic trilogy that uncovers the secret history of the Psi Corps.

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From Amazon

Babylon 5 is a rarity among SF TV series in having a thoroughly worked out future history, even if parts of that history are only hinted at on TV. Which is where this novel comes in. Based on an original outline by series creator J. Michael Straczynski and following Dark Genesis: The Birth of the Psi Corps, it is the second novel of a trilogy detailing the history of the Psi Corps. Yet it is sufficiently self-contained to be accessible to readers unfamiliar with B5.

The book chronicles the life of the Psi Corps Alfred Bester from boyhood to the dramatic events that will first take him to the eponymous space station. As befits the show, Deadly Relations is complex and well characterized, aware of SF history, and filled with fascinating background detail. J. Gregory Keyes portrays Bester's paradoxical nature: a man haunted and lonely, able to read the thoughts of others, and capable of betraying those closest to him out of a sense of duty to the greater good. A sinister, ruthless figure becomes a sympathetic, almost tragic antihero as the book ranges from Earth to the Beta Colony and Mars.

The fictional Alfred Bester had a real-life namesake who authored several major SF novels. These include the still extraordinary 1953 thriller of murder and psychic detection, to which Deadly Relations pays due homage. If you enjoy B5, try The Demolished Man by the original Alfred Bester. It's a genuine SF classic. --Gary S. Dalkin, Amazon.co.uk

About the Author

Born in Meridian, Mississippi, in 1963, J. Gregory Keyes spent his early years roaming the forests of his native state and the red rock cliffs of the Navajo Indian reservation in Arizona. He earned a B.A. in anthropology from Mississippi State University and a master's degree from the University of Georgia, where he did course work for a Ph.D. He and his wife, Nell, live in Seattle, where, in addition to full-time writing, he practices ethnic cooking--particularly Central American, Szechuan, Malaysian, and Turkish cuisine. Since moving to the Northwest, he can no longer participate in his favorite sport--Kapucha Toli, a Choctaw game involving heavy sticks and few rules--so he has taken up fencing. Greg is the author of The Waterborn, The Blackgod, and Newton's Cannon.

J. Michael Straczynski is one of the most prolific and highly regarded writers currently working in the television industry. In 1995, he was selected by Newsweek magazine as one of their Fifty for the Future, described as innovators who will shape our lives as we move into the twenty-first century. His work spans every conceivable genre--from historical dramas and adaptations of famous works of literature (The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde) to mystery series (Murder, She Wrote), cop shows (Jake and the Fatman), anthology series (The Twilight Zone), and science fiction (Babylon 5). He writes ten hours a day, seven days a week, except for his birthday, New Year's, and Christmas.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars good 2nd part of trilogy May 6 2011
Format:Mass Market Paperback
this is the 2nd part of the trilogy and while it's very good I dissaprove and disagree with the authors decision regarding the full extent of virtual omnipotence granted telepaths.

this is an opinion and personally I'd have gone a different way, I'd like to see anti telepathy tech introduced for citizens, I'd prefer that telepaths not be godlike in their ability but again these are opinion and differing only in choices.

good book though and a worthy 2nd chapter in the story.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The history lesson continues. Feb. 22 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book, based on an outline from Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski (so you know it's official), covers the period in B5's history detailing the early life of Psi Cop Alfred Bester, from his first years being raised by Psi Corps right up to before his first visit to the Babylon 5 station.
There were revelations abound in this book, including details of Bester's first love, Lyta Alexander's internship with the Psi Cops, and just how Bester's hand became crippled. Let's just say, it's a big surprise.
The book also gives a greater look into the Bester character and after reading it you start to understand his motives for the things that he does both here and during the B5 series. Highly recommended.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Understanding Bester Jan. 2 2004
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
After reading this book, now I have a better insight "why Bester is who he is". The book explained the motives of BEster, give me a better understanding of the great series of Babylon 5.
I used to hated Bester almost as much as Ivanova, but after reading this book, I feel pity for Bester, and I can understand his point of views
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not bad. Interesting storyline. Nov. 12 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book offers some background information on Bester.
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4.0 out of 5 stars good follow up to a great book. June 20 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book travels over 60 years telling of the rise of bester. It starts gradually by telling bester's story as a student at the psi corps and then it ties up the events that happened in the previous novel and the tv series, where it ends. fun and keeps you guessing about what is to come next. quite enjoyable
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5.0 out of 5 stars Babylon Nior Sept. 27 2001
By weinham
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This was my favorite book of the three. This is a great book even on its own, the author has courtiously included all pertinent information to allow the reader to feel the anger and the pain. Bester, the main character of this story, is so excellently written here. At times I hate him, at times I can see he's teetering on the brink of being a wholesome human being, but ultimately he obey's his nature and I'm impressed by how much I care. Great Book!
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3.0 out of 5 stars More a biography than a novel July 30 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Deadly Relations opens as Bester is 6 years old, growing up in the Psi Corps center in Switzerland. The book follows his life as he struggles with his ambition and his desire to be loved. Interestingly for fans of the Babylon 5 TV show, Lyta and Byron have cameos and this book ends with Bester about to leave for his first trip to the station.
Fans of the series will enjoy this book. J. Gregory Keyes has done a good job of capturing Bester and making him sympathetic. Bester truly becomes a well-rounded character whose motives we can understand, even if we don't agree with them. This is something I enjoyed about the show itself, and I'm glad to see it continued here.
However, this book suffers from the same problem as the first in the trilogy - no real plot. It follows Bester for 68 years, and as such reads more like a biography. There is no real climax; it just ends. The other characters just serve the purpose of helping us understand Bester and are not super interesting on their own.
Any fan of Babylon 5 will enjoy this novel because of the information on Bester. New comers to the series will be more interested once they've viewed the show.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Character-building. At last... March 5 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This second, and best book of a wonderfull trilogy that deals with the aspects of the Psi-Corps, and telepaths in usual is centered around the intriquing character of bester. We see his life story from a five year old child to the days just before his first appearance on the show. And many of the aspects of this novel are explored further in the last book of the trilogy. If you haven't read it already do so. And dont forget the other books of this truly intriquing trilogy.
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