The Janus Factor

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Title: The Janus Factor
Publisher: Joyce Muskat
Author(s): Cindy Rancourt
Cover Artist(s):
Date(s): 1995
Medium: print
Fandom: Quantum Leap/Real Ghostbusters
Language: English
External Links: online here
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cover by J.R. Dunster

The Janus Factor is a gen 252-page crossover novel by Cindy Rancourt. Art by J.R. Dunster.


Summary from the author from the online version: "A What if...? story. This is a Real Ghostbusters story with a liberal visit from the folks at Quantum Leap. The latter was a series that ran in the 1990's and portrayed the adventures of a time traveling scientist named Sam Beckett, and his colleague Admiral Albert [Al] Calavicci, who accompanied Beckett in the form of a hologram only he could see. Sam Beckett's mission was to take the form of other people to 'right what once went wrong.' He'd never failed an assignment. Until now."

Summary from a distributor, Agent With Style: "It's been ten years since the Ghostbuster family had suffered a devastating death of one of their members -- but just how final is death when you factor in Sam Beckett's propensity for leaping into people's lives and changing them -- for the better?"

From Bill Hupe: "How do you explain the Janus Factor? How do you say that, even though there are deaths in the Ghostbuster family, life goes on for them ten years from now and ... how final is death, when Quantum Leap people and their computer are thrown into the mix, before and after the fact?"

Reactions and Reviews

The basic story is that Ray was killed ten years ago in a trap explosion,

the team limped along after that for a few years until Winston was killed, apparently by Peter in a richochet with an demon who the beams bounced off of.

Peter disappears, spending sometime living on the street, and Egon doesn't see him but once in the intervening ten yes. In that time, Egon and Janine begin living together and finally get engaged. Egon then discovers a possible way to time travel and tracks down Peter to enlist his aid.

Peter and Egon manage to work out how to save Ray by using the Quantum Leap facilities, and extort the use of those facilities by the promise of getting Dr. Sam Beckett back for the QL project if they can save Ray first.

They save Ray, and try to take up their lives again. In the process, Egon begins to distance himself from Janine, who realizes he does not want to marry her after all, and breaks off the engagement. The Ghostbusters go back to their lives...

Needless to say, I wanted to SLAP each and every one of the characters at times. I don't mind dark stories, or ones that deal with adult themes like loss, grief and aging, but I very much dislike it when characters who are represented as 'heros' act dishonorably and despicably. [1]

You mean to tell me, Ray was saved, but WINSTON WASN'T!? WTF kind of story is *THIS*?! Oh goddess, from what you've told me that's absolute BS. I see that Winston and Janine *were* seriously screwed over. (The man was friggin MURDERED and not saved in the end!) I guess as long as the 'original three' survive, every things just happy friggin peachy keen.

I'm glad I DIDN'T buy this zine, thus saving the rest of the room the pain of listening to me fuss about Winston and Janine mistreatment.

What's the deal with people screwing these two over anyway?! [2]
She HAS written some excellent stuff. Her perception of the characters and mine do not quite agree, but then I'm sure that is the case with many people, and we all have our opinions. She has written some SUPERB Airwolf stuff, though. She is a very competent writer. The Janus Factor simply did not appeal to me. [3]
Well, when I bought my copy a few years ago, I was told it was the last one in stock. The artwork is certainly nice, but the story makes my teeth ache. In one word, characterization. Multiple times while reading this one, I wanted to hold various characters' heads underwater until they stopped *wriggling*. [4]
I never finished it -- it's too hard to read on the tan granite stock she used. It would have been great cover stock, but give me plain black text on white stock if you want me to read the zine. [5]


  1. ^ comment on RGBFanfic, quoted anonymously (May 2000)
  2. ^ comment on RGBFanfic, quoted anonymously (May 2000)
  3. ^ comment on RGBFanfic, quoted anonymously (May 2000)
  4. ^ comment on RGBFanfic, quoted anonymously (May 2000)
  5. ^ comment on RGBFanfic, quoted anonymously (May 2000)