Fanlore:Featured Article Archives/2022: Week 25

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J. Michael Straczynski is a fan, a prolific writer, and a producer. He is the creator of Babylon 5. He has also worked on many other fannish shows such as The Real Ghostbusters, as well as writing comics, novels, and plays.

Straczynski is often referred to as JMS, and sometimes "The Great Maker" (the latter a nod to the supreme deity on Babylon 5).

He has been online since 1984 and is known for being extremely accessible to fans online. JMS made many posts about upcoming or ongoing projects and answered fans' questions. Fans often used the phrase ATTN: JMS in the subject lines in hopes of getting his attention.

Many fans enjoyed the close company, the ability to communicate with JMS (with the hope that their comments could sway characterization and plot in future episodes), and the feeling of being cozy with the source of their admiration.

But other fans disliked it, saying that JMS' presence hindered honest opinion, stifled their creativity and communication, and was an intrusion on their private spaces. JMS' own personality and comments created both positive and negative feelings about the man himself, and this trickled down to opinions about the show and its fandom. JMS' very frequent presence on USEnet also meant that not only were discussions of fanfic prohibited, but fans' discussion of "scenes they'd like to see on the show" was not allowed.