"Genius Loci" Review

"Genius Loci" is the second of three Babylon 5 short stories written by J. Michael Straczynski for Amazing Stories. It is printed in issue 599.

At the end of Season Five, G'Kar and Lyta set out to journey the galaxy together, presumably for a couple of years. Many viewers were frustrated, feeling that this was a setup that had no payoff. However, "Genius Loci" gives us a small peak at one of the adventures G'Kar and Lyta have during their journey.

After a prologue in which we learn of G'Kar's search for balance in his life, G'Kar and Lyta discover a mystery: a Psi Corps mothership with only one crewman aboard - dying of hunger in a ship filled with food. Their investigation leads them to a strange world with some surprising inhabitants. Although separated, they must work together to solve the mystery.

This story is decidedly unlike the usual Babylon 5 story. The politics, intrigue, and drama common in the show are missing. It is a simple adventure story, but one which displays the intelligent storytelling that readers have come to expect from Babylon 5. "Genius Loci" succeeds by showing the respect, trust, and understanding that is growing between G'Kar and Lyta. While separated, these two characters are each able to solve the mystery with different methods by using their respective strengths. However, once they know what is going on, they must both do their parts to save themselves, each trusting the other to do the same.

As a bonus, the story is accompanied by a sidebar in which J. Michael Straczynski discusses "Genius Loci" and the two characters.

This is a quick, fun adventure with a couple of deep questions thrown in. It is recommended to anyone who wants a taste of what G'Kar and Lyta are up to after they were last seen on the show.

Excerpt - This is a short passage from "Genius Loci" by J. Michael Straczynski.