Deadly Relations: Bester Ascendant (Babylon 5)

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9780345427168: Deadly Relations: Bester Ascendant (Babylon 5)

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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Review:

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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