Firefly: Big Damn Hero

I was absentmindedly scrolling through Amazon a few months back, as everyone in the world does every now and then, when I came across something I wasn’t expecting to see. It was a novel set in the ‘Verse (or, for those who don’t know what I mean by that, the Firefly/Serenity universe). Until that point, I had no idea that there were novels set there. I knew that they had done a number of Firefly comics because I’ve read most of them. Well, maybe not most. I can’t really say that because I don’t know exactly how many they’ve actually made, but I’m betting it’s more than half.

So, when I saw that there were novels (3 that are completed as of this writing, with a 4th available for preorder), I was excited. I enjoyed everything that I’d seen or read in the ‘Verse up until that point, and I hoped that these books would continue that trend. The first book in the series is entitled Big Damn Hero.

Here is the synopsis as it appears on Amazon:

“The Battle of Serenity Valley was the turning point that led the Independents to their defeat at the hands of the Alliance. Yet the Browncoats had held the valley for weeks against all odds, before being ordered to lay down their arms. Command stated they refused to send in airpower because the ground war was “too hot.” But the soldiers who were there insist that was not true…

While picking up a new cargo on Persephone, Captain Malcolm Reynolds is kidnapped by a bunch of embittered veteran Browncoats who suspect him of sabotaging the Independents during the war. As the rest of the crew struggle to locate him, Mal is placed on trial for his life, fighting compelling evidence that someone did indeed betray them to the Alliance all those years ago. As old comrades and old rivals crawl out of the woodwork, Mal must prove his innocence, but his captors are desperate and destitute, and will settle for nothing less than the culprit’s blood.

I don’t want to give away any more of the story than that, so I’ll just stick to my feelings on it. Simply put, I really enjoyed it. Was it perfect? No, but it did a very good job of being a novelized version of a Firefly episode. It was very easy to imagine the actors performing the scenes as you read through the pages.

The only thing that bothered me about the book it that the author (James Lovegrove) was constantly referencing something that happened in the show. Normally that wouldn’t be a problem, but half the time these references seemed forced. It was like he was constantly telling you that this story takes place in the ‘Verse as if you didn’t already know it.

Other than that, it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. If you’re a fan of the show/movie, you should definitely give it a try.

I Aim To Misbehave

The best sci-fi universe out there can be found in the pages of The Erratic Sun. Don’t believe me? Purchase a copy and see for yourself. For those of you who say I’m biased, that I should pick something not of my own creation, I suppose I could pick one that’s a close second.

And that close second would be a galaxy far, far away.

Though not everything in the Star Wars universe has been great, some the movies, novels, and video games set within it have been among the best things I’ve ever watched/read/played. It is a vast landscape full of possibilities. Even the worst of it is better than a lot of things that are out there.

However, while reading something set in a different sci-fi universe, I realized that while Star Wars may be my favorite universe as a whole, it doesn’t contain my favorite sci-fi movie. It was a weird experience because up until then, I didn’t even realize that it was my favorite sci-fi movie. I knew I liked it, but until I actually thought about it, I didn’t realize how much I liked it.

That movie is Serenity.

Joss Whedon has done a lot of good things in his career, but as far as I’m concerned, Serenity is the best, by far. I know, I know. Avengers. I’m right there with you. I love The Avengers. I still think Serenity is his crowning achievement, however.

Serenity took everything that was good about Firefly (which is a great show) and made it even better. The story is better. The interaction between the characters is better. The “villain” is better. Now, I’m not going to say that it’s perfect, but I can’t think of a single flaw in it.

Now I’m going to have to go watch it again.

What about you? What’s your favorite sci-fi movie? Is it set in your favorite sci-fi universe?

RTotD: 19008

In the new ABC series The Rookie (which I’m really liking so far), rookie cop John Nolan, played by Nathan Fillion (who played Malcolm Reynolds, captain of the ship Serenity in both Firefly and Serenity) hooks up with fellow rookie Lucy Chen, played by Melissa O’Neil (who played Portia Lin, captain of the Raza in Dark Matter).

If those two were to have a child, it would be the greatest starship captain the universe would ever see.