Alfred Bester
A Psi-Cop, one of an elite unit of the Psi Corps, Bester had risen to a position of some importance in the Corps.  Bester ruthlessly pursues his agenda, which "most" of the time is the same as the Corps'. Among their many "duties" they often track down rogue telepaths.  He first appears in "Mind War" while in pursuit of Jason Ironheart, a rouge telepath with dangerous talents. 

Bester quickly became one of the favorite characters to pass through Babylon 5.  He would eventually appear in 11 episodes, always making quite an impression.  Each time we saw him, there were added layers for us to try and pick through, but we never did quite see all of Bester.  Walter Koenig played Bester for 5 years with performance that took many people by surprise.  For those who had only seen him as Chekov in the original Star Trek series, he was finally able to show them just how talented an actor he was.  For a condensed look at all 11 episodes, click here.

If you are like me and just can't get enough of the Psi Corps and Bester, order the first two copies of the Psi Corps trilogy today!

 
Dark Genesis: The Birth of the Psi Corps
Written by J. Gregory Keyes
Release date: September 4, 1998
 
Book 1 of the Psi Corps trilogy, detailing how the Corps started. 
Reader reviews, and online ordering, can be found at Amazon.com or, Barnes & Noble:  Dark Genesis

Long before the Babylon 5 space station brought Humans face-to-face with alien races, they discovered an extraordinary breed among their very own...

The year is 2115. Shock waves follow in the wake of astonishing news: science has proven the existence of telepaths. Amid media frenzy, panic, and bloodshed, Earth's government steps in to restore order -- and establish tight control over the newfound special population...by any means necessary. 

Ambitious senator Lee Crawford spearheads the effort, overseeing the creation of the Psi Corps -- an elite unit charged with tagging and monitoring all telepaths "for their own protection." But the real agenda behind the crackdown is one of government control. Many question the telepaths' origins, while others view them as a coveted weapon. As the Corps tightens its iron grip, the stage is set for a cataclysmic confrontation -- one in which the future of Earth will be decided. 

Bester was born in early 2189 or late 2188, which would make him about 70 years old during the TV series. By today's standards he looks younger than that, but the average human lifespan in the B5 era is almost 100 years ("Soul Hunter") as opposed to 70-80 today, so his appearance is probably normal for a man of 70 in 2260. 

JMS Speaks
Just for those who haven't heard yet, the newest B5 novel -- first in a trilogy of books about the origins of the Psi Corps through and beyond the events of the fifth season -- is out. "Dark Genesis," by J. Gregory Keyes, from a jms outline. For my money, this is probably one of the best B5 novels ever done, and it takes quite a risk, because even though you see ancestors of some of our characters (the books cover about 80 years), there are none of the regulars in it. It's our first attempt to really flesh out the B5 universe and future history. 

Anyway, it's a hell of a read, and I commend it to you without reservation. 
I think my outlines for each of the Psi Corps novels was about ten pages each. It spelled out the broad strokes of what happened in each one of them, and left Gregory to fill in the gaps and work out the details in conjunction with myself and our reference editor, so that all the timelines jived and everything made canonical sense. 

 
Deadly Relations: Bester Ascendant
Written by J. Gregory Keyes
Release date: February 1999
 
 
Bester rises through the ranks of the Psi Corps. 
Reader reviews, and online ordering, can be found at Amazon.com or,Barnes & Noble:  Deadly Relations

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.

Bester Images
Bester's Babylon 5 Episodes
Bester meets Bester P12
And....
Website of Alfred Bester, the science fiction writer for whom Bester's character was named.

  
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