Here’s a hot link for everybody who loved Joss Whedon’s Firefly series and wants to get more of it. Steven Brust wrote a fanfic novel and published it under a creative commons licence so it’s completely free 😀 For a quick little review: I read it at work last week and I have to say it totally got me hooked, after the premature end of the series (shame on fox) left me wanting for more. I’d recommend it to everyone who’s feeling the same way. Brust manages to capture the spirit of Firefly extremely well in a novel that consists to about 80-90 percent of dialogue, but it’s the same direct, comic dialogue that makes Firefly such a great show.
The plot is set sometime in between the final episode of the series and the movie Serenity. Sadly we’re missing Inara who is occasionally mentioned in side comments and Mal’s apparent pining after her (even though he’d never admit it of course ;)) and the Shepherd who left the boat as well. But even so the book has everything the show had. Another job that doesn’t work out as it was supposed to be, Jayne causing more trouble than everybody had expected and a rather odd fed who’s not too eager to do what the Alliance is asking him to do. Oh and we also have a number of flashbacks into the past, portraying characters like Mal and Zoe, Simon and River and our rather weird fed in great depth. This is another accomplishment that Brust made: portraying the characters really well while adding some more depth to them. He thus followed the principle of the show being much more a character study than the scifi action series it is advertised as. In terms of action though nobody will go wanting with Brust’s novel.
The only thing that’s been raising some complaints from me would probably be the ending though. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but in my opinion it could simply have been a bit better exercised as Brust tries to keep up the tension, but he might be overdoing it a bit here. Maybe another ten or twenty pages added to the novel’s 167 wouldn’t have been too bad to make the end a little less abrupt.
Anyway, this being the first kind of fanfiction that I’ve read from a major author since my Buffy the Vampire Slayer spree in my early teens, I can only say: check it out, guys! It’s worth it.
Final Verdict: 9.0/10.0