Last week a friend loaned me the entire series of Firefly on DVD. Okay, so I'm a bit late to the Browncoat party, but with at least one of my Spacefreighter buddies being a fan, I felt I ought to look it over (and I rarely pass up the chance for scifi). I'd seen Serenity and enjoyed it. So, what did I think?
I'm disappointed there was only one series. The first season of anything generally only gives you an introduction to the characters and the universe. What I saw promised so many more storylines to come. Frankly I didn't warm to Captain Mal all that much, but compared to the film I felt his strange code of...honour?...probably had some explaining to come. The story with Simon and River had barely got started - again, I'm assuming the development of that might have appeared in summarized form in Serenity. In fact, I get the impression that Serenity was pretty much a super concentrated story arc that should have covered at least three seasons of Firefly had it got that far (Browncoats, please feel free to put me right). My impression of Firefly? Whedon took the frontier history of the US and thrust into space. That works fine for me. Breaking into new territories whether a new continent or new planets is going to follow a parallel. I liked the overall grungy, almost steampunk feel of the ship - again, like current society you'll have the rich, poor and primitive sectors same as modern cities and countries. I liked that it wasn't all high tech gadgets and laser blasters. My one issue with all the Star Trek series has been the almost utopian overall feel with sparkly smart spaceships and laserbeam phasers. Loved the galactic language, although I'd have liked a transalation. I'm guessing it was Chinese (or based on it). I've used a universal language in several stories although in my earlier works (and the UK scifi comedy series Red Dwarf) Esperanto was used. Again, ST translators always seemed too pat - anyone who has used something like Google translate will know how iffy that kind of program can be. The hospital on Ariel struck me as odd - considering they could rearrange someone's brain, why were they still conducting heart bypass and cracking open someone's chest to do cardiac massage? Some aspects of this projected future didn't quite gel for me.
Characterwise, the sexual tension between Simon and sweet, naive and yet tech savvy Kaylee, and between Mal and Inara had me screaming at the TV (and on Twitter). So I must have enjoyed it. I cannot, however - spoiler alert - forgive Whedon for killing off Wash. Him and Zoe were my fave couple in the series. And Jayne? Well. He didn't pretend to be anything he wasn't, and with that name I can understand his 'tude. Jaynestown showed he had some conscience, albeit a warped one. And being as Jayne is my middle name (that's where 'Jay' comes from) I still had a soft spot for the dude. River's chaotic nature just put an edge on the whole thing with never knowing what she might do next, although I think it was carried off better in Serenity.
Overall I enjoyed this but couldn't really invest myself in the series, knowing there's no more to come. Which is a gorram shame...
Additional - After a furore on Twitter over Kickstarter funding for a Veronica Mars film, the immediate aftermath was - why doesn't Joss do that for Firefly?! Well, you can read his response here.
Well, Entangled's new, shiny submission process did deliver on its promise of a four week response time. Unfortunately for me it was a no. However, Tethered is still with the original publisher I submitted to, although it'll be mid April at the earliest before I hear from them. In the meantime I'm researching other publishers.
Flaming Angel, a scifi short for an in-house anthology call, is still being tweaked. With the next school holiday in less than two weeks, I really want it gone, even though the final submission date has now been extended. I haven't done much on the writing front due to some real life stuff, but I'm hoping to finish my cyberpunk short for the Sword and Laser anthology before the school holidays too.
A great post by Allan Douglas on exotic space propulsions. It's something I've been reading up on more, to use in my books. Although I've vaguely picked up on varieties of inter- and intra-stellar transportation, I've kept the detail light because my scientific knowledge is shaky. But I want to improve it. So for anyone just starting to think about space travel for the first time, go here.
The Dee Mura Literary Agency have a new agent - Kaylee Davis - and she's looking for science fiction, among other things!Take a look here.
The Rites of Spring Blog Hop is on, celebrating firsts. I'm sharing Keir's first kiss, with a $5 gift card and a copy of Terms & Conditions Apply as my giveaway. The Grand Prizes are a Kindle Fire and a $50 Amazon gift card!Go here!
There's no Cover Love post this week, also due to the hop, but you can still check out Jessica Subject's post here. The next post is fantasy covers with UF author Chantal Halpin.
Next week I'll start posting details for the SFR Brigade's second blog hop, with a theme suggested by Greta van der Rol - Out of this World. Watch out for the info!
My review of Neal Asher's Zero Point (hard scifi) is now live on the Fantasy Book Review site here. At the moment I'm reading Revenge of the Mad Scientist by Lara Nance (steampunk). There's no Read Only Wednesday this week due to the Rites of Spring Blog Hop, but the following week will be Downside Girls by my big favourite Jaine Fenn (scifi/space opera).
I have Space Above and Beyond as my next scifi series to catch up on.
Laurie, great posts on sitting out the GH and your agent interview. Thanks to Amanda for her contributions.