Back Cover -
Written by Kathryn Drennan
Release date: June 1997
ISBN: 0-440-22354-7 (US)
ISBN: 0-7522-2354-2 (UK)
Sinclair travels to Minbar and takes command of the Rangers.
Reader reviews, and online ordering, can be found at
They called them the first line of defense. They called
Ambassador to the alien world of Minbar, former Babylon 5
commander, Jeffrey Sinclair, is one of the first to learn
the truth about the Shadows, the ancient race pursuing the
destruction of the galaxy. Sinclair also discovers a
startling secret: he is the linchpin in the legendary
Minbari warrior group, the Rangers. But it may cost him
his one chance to love... and his life.
To Dream in the City of Sorrows
Catherine Sakai, commercial pilot and planetary surveyor,
has lost her heart to Jeffrey Sinclair. Not even an
attack by the Shadows can stop her from getting to Minbar
to join him... and the Rangers. As she trains with other
pilots, including the mysterious Marcus Cole, the time is
coming when their skills will be tested on their first
mission. Led by Sinclair, they will venture into deepest
space, into a battle of stealth and might, and toward a
fate none but the bravest can face... and none but the
luckiest will survive...
- The Minbari and Centauri gained hyperspace travel when they discovered
a network of functioning jump gates. The oldest gates are 7000 years
old, and nobody knows anything about the race that built them, other
than that they flourished for 3 to 4 millennia, then vanished, leaving
only the gates behind.
- Ranger Headquarters is in the city of Tuzanor, also known as the City
of Sorrows after a battle before the days of Valen, in which a million
Minbari died in a single day. The Minbari have a saying, "To dream
in the City of Sorrows is to dream of a better future."
- The Minbari were fighting the Shadows alone, and losing, until the
Vorlons arrived with Babylon 4 and Valen.
- Valen elevated the worker caste to equality with the other two castes
and united the warrior clans.
- Valen has no tomb and left no known remains.
- Valen established the Rangers (Anla'Shok) and became the first Ranger
One (Anla'Shok Na.) He was also given the title Entil'Zha, a word whose
meaning has been lost but which may have been supplied by the Vorlons.
After Valen, none of the Ranger heads assumed that title until Sinclair,
and he only did so thanks to the dying wish of the Grey Council's
- The Rangers were formerly made up of warrior caste members only, though
Valen never specifically prohibited other castes. Sinclair actively
opened their ranks to the other castes and to humanity.
- Since Dukhat's death, the Grey Council has become used to operating
without a leader. His replacement, Jenimer, was a figurehead.
- Did Catherine survive, and if so, where and when did she go?
- What does it mean that Valen "traveled beyond?" The First Ones
"passed beyond the veil"
("In the Shadow of Z'ha'dum.")
Is there a connection?
- Assuming Marcus' note was genuine, does Valen's "we" refer to he
and Catherine? Why did he think he'd see Marcus again?
- Was Ulkesh the Vorlon on Minbar in
"War Without End, Part 1?"
- Who built the original jumpgates?
- According to the Vorlons, the Shadows would never attack the
- The Minbari superstition about not sleeping horizontally
("Messages from Earth")
stemmed from a physiological problem that is no longer a significant
- All Minbari understand the languages of all three castes, but it
is considered a social disgrace for a warrior or religious caste
member to speak the worker caste language.
- The novel says that Sinclair couldn't remember 48 hours at
the Battle of the Line. But the show has stated his missing time
as 24 hours
- While she has written prose for Twilight Zone magazine, and
other national publications, and is a Clarion graduate, this will mark
her first novel. It's quite good (having read most of it now),
tracking Sinclair's journey from B5 to Minbar, taking up the role of
Ambassador, then transitioning to head of the Rangers.
This book stands to be the first one (closely followed by
Jeanne Cavelos' forthcoming B5 book) that's 100% canon...to be
considered a true chapter in the B5 storyline.
What's fun about it is that it ties all the books and comics
together with the show, and puts it all in chronological order, and
weaves in and out of events in the second season. I think this is
going to be a fan favorite. The Cavelos book follows Anna Sheridan as
she comes to join the crew of the Icarus, and the details of their fate
- In the past, we've taken pitches, but overall I've felt that the books
strayed too far from canon by doing it that way; the latest batch were
more directly influenced. One is taken right out of B5 canon, the
Anna/Icarus story, and it's one of the best to date; the second one up
is based on a premise I wrote up and was assigned to the writer (it's
the weakest of the three, set on Centauri Prime while G'Kar was still
held prisoner, but still okay); the third is also based on a premise,
and follows Sinclair after leaving B5 to form the Rangers...I worked
very closely with the writer here to ensure that virtually *every
line* is canon. Frankly, if anyone asks from now on, "What happened
to Sinclair after leaving B5?" I can point to this book and say,
honestly, "It's all in there."
I think we'll continue to work this way more in future.
Dell only works with published authors with agents and credits.
- "Is this book consistant with what happened to Sinclair in the first few
issues of the DC comic? Or is the DC comic now non-canon?"
It's *absolutely* consistent with the comic, the events of which are
mentioned at some length in the novel. I'm telling you...it ties in the
comics, the first year, the following year, the development of the
Rangers, what happened to Marcus and his brother, what happened to
Catherine Sakai, we learn a lot more about Valen...it's going to be
- Kathryn, for obvious reasons [she's married to JMS],
is the only person on the planet whose knowledge of the B5 universe is
second only to my own. Especially the backstory, the history of the
characters and worlds, and so on. She's seen virtually every frame of
film. So when I got the idea of having one of the books follow
Sinclair's story after leaving B5, through a year of story time that
weaves in and out of the books, the comic, and the show...she was the
logical candidate. The only one that made sense. She was hesitant to
do so at first, for various reasons, but she's always been very fond
of the Sinclair storyline, and Michael O'Hare, and wanted to tell that
story. So she agreed to write it.
And of all the novels, this one is 100% canon...it's also the most
exhaustive attempt to tie in all the storylines done to date. Anybody
wants to know what happened to Sinclair, it's in the book. That's a
genuine chapter of the story arc.
- The Drennan book, just hitting the stands now, is 100% canon;
the Cavelos book, out for a bit now, is about 90% canon. (Those are
books 7 and 9.)
- Catherine Sakai is one of the major characters in the third of
the current batch of new B5 novels.
- Ulkesh was named Naranek, just like the original Kosh. Did Kosh2
have a distinct name that he was hiding from Sheridan
Yes, he had another name or designation (Naranek is actually a
title, not a name, hence why they both had it) and was primarily being
a pain in the butt.
- I gave Kathryn a bare-bones stucture on the Marcus thing -- the
death of his brother, his trip first to B5 and then to Minbar -- but
she took on the rest on her own. The process was pretty much as I
describe it in the intro, asking what X meant, how A related to B, and
then her pulling all the threads together in a story that filled in all
the blanks. The credit is entirely hers on this. I consulted and
read, but she did all the creative work on this.
October 20, 1998