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September 05 2007

An untitled Firefly proposal. Fancy finding out what Chris Roberson came up with for a Firefly novel that never happened? Then read on.

What's in the coffin shaped box?

Actually, it sounds like a few Firefly episodes all rolled into one. Like he borrowed a little bit from each.
Having a hard time getting past the repeated "Brown Jackets" references. :)
Having a hard time getting past Kaylee killing a bunch of people.
Didn't Amazon put up a book called Serenity: Mirror Image with some completely random SERENITY artwork in 2005 by Pocket? Heh!

Personally, I'm still glad there haven't been a constant stream of Serenity books since the movie came out. Which I know goes against the grain. I'd love to see a Whedon overseen book project to clear up the loose ends of Serenifly at some point, though.
Steven Brust's Firefly novel, written on spec, is still gathering dust on someone's desk. I'd very much like to read it.
Steven Brust's Firefly novel is still being pushed in Joss' direction, according to Steven Brust. Anyone's guess if it'll see the official light of day, though.

This story? I didn't get the sense that the writer "knew" Serenity and its crew beyond the basic relationships. Need some dialogue to tell, but Kaylee's bombs were a bit much. Easily fixed, though: have her place the bombs in the mine instead. Just as much fun, more satisfying, and now there'd be another crew out there wanting Mal dead. Can't have too many of those. And if the contents of the box were never revealed, that plotline would fall flat to me.

I'd be interested in seeing how Roberson would rewrite the proposal knowing now how things stood after the movie.
So, yah see, Mel and the crew of the Serene go to this bar to meet the Brown Jackets. Zena's husband Washie is getting jealous at this new guy. Kelly, the ship's engineer ...
Pocket cancelled their contract after Joss sat on the proposals he was sent (including one by me, one by Jamie Chambers & Margaret Weis, one by Terri Osborne, one by James Swallow, one by Laura Anne Gilman, and apparently one by Chris Roberson) for over a year.

So nothing's being pushed at Joss, because nobody has the license, and I can't imagine a publisher being interested in acquiring a license for a property that has already been killed once through inaction.

Mine, in case anyone's interseted, was called The Hero of Canton.
Wow. That's really disappointing news. I know Joss posts here; I'd love to hear his viewpoint on the cause of the delay.
What's in the coffin shaped box?

Spike ! To survive the rigours of space he has to be surrounded by a coffin of his native Jack Daniels ;).

Or possibly an even more mysterious but slightly smaller coffin shaped box.

Also, seems like the dark mirror version of "thieves and smugglers with hearts of gold" would be "philanthropists and Customs officers with nothing but evil in their hearts".

Could've been interesting though it does feel like a "greatest hits" story to some extent and I also don't see Kaylee committing mass murder, s'not how she rolls. With original novels though I kinda don't want anyone but Joss to write them (maybe he feels the same ?).
Joss has stated his reasons for the novelisations not going ahead before a few months ago; he didn't want them being done.
And if the contents of the box were never revealed, that plotline would fall flat to me.

That was actually the part that I liked.
Joss has stated his reasons for the novelisations not going ahead before a few months ago; he didn't want them being done.

Indeed. I believe at the time his position was that he still felt too close to the Verse to start turning it over to other people, and the whole novelization thing in the past has been something he wasn't ever really able to spend time and attention on overseeing. So, it wasn't something he felt willing to have happen for Firefly/Serenity.
So nothing's being pushed at Joss...

Didn't say it would actually make it that far, but it was being pushed. Maybe "pushed in the general direction of Joss' people with hopeless optimism" might be more accurate.
That was awful :(
I dunno, aside from the 'Brown Jacket' thing I thought it was okay. It had a few interesting ideas. It's hard to get a sense without hearing the dialogue, which is the delicious center of most Jossy goodness.

In any case, I feel sort of bad for the writer - after all, it's just a proposal and not a finished draft. I think I'll give him the benefit of the doubt, since we'll never know for sure.

I can well imagine that with all the comic stuff happening right now, Joss might want to hang on to creative control of the 'Verse, in case he gets the opportunity to write Firefly Season 2!

krad, "Hero of Canton" is a really good title. Makes me want to burst out into song. Thanks for sharing that!
I was annoyed by some details like the "Brown Jacket" thing, but I could get over that. Really, the outline seemed pretty much inconsequential, a retread of a few episodes but most particularly "The Message," what with the Simon/Kaylee angst, coffin-shaped cargo, and old army buddy/dark mirror. The anti-Serenity crew was done in "Out of Gas." And yeah, Kaylee killing people is not so much.

My thought was that the girl carrying cargo was meant to be a mirror of Simon and River (with the superpowered chick being the protector and not the protected), but he never did reveal what was in the cargo (in the outline) so it's hard to be sure, even though the "coffin-sized" comment does tend to give a hint.

Of course with good writing, the Mal/Vince conflict and the various jealousies abounding could make for some good scenes, but it's a pretty weak story overall.
Ya know? I think the Big Purple One has already done an example of "anti-Mal" with The Operative. With him, we got to see the polar opposite of Mal in action, since he is what Mal could have been but for the Alliance instead of the Independents.

Staunch belief system...obscene amounts of resolve and skill...dangerous mofo when pressed...yep, I think Joss covered the dark side of Mal well. Heck, probably would have really shown the mirroring had the BDM been the Big Damn Second Season;)
My eyes glazed over at 'Brown Jackets'. I've read fanfic better than this novelization proposal.
Leiasky, you've written fanfic better than this novelization proposal. Way better. : )
Whilst I rather enjoyed the prospect of Kaylee getting all proactive about her relationship with Simon (despite my die-hard M/S ship), I agree that it sounded like a rehash of several series episodes. For dark Mals, we've had Jubal Early. For dodgy cargoes, Tracey. Also, I didn't see the point. Where was the deep meaning? The character development? And what about River? There were enough hints in the series that she would be a big player in a situation like this.
I think the Big Purple One has already done an example of "anti-Mal" with The Operative. With him, we got to see the polar opposite of Mal in action, since he is what Mal could have been but for the Alliance instead of the Independents.

You know, that hadn't really even occured to me. Which is curious.
To be fair, there haven't been any..."Dark Mals" on his side of the Independent/Alliance divide; the Op was Alliance, and Early certainly didn't believe in either side. I think the closest we've found to war-buddy-gone-bad was Tracey, the only issue being that he wasn't ever Mal's equal. I vaguely recall it being a part of the plot in the unproduced script "Dead or Alive," though I might be mistaken. I'd be interested in seeing a well-written story about Mal facing off against another diehard Browncoat, one who either hasn't moved on the way Mal has (and is doing terrorist actions against the Alliance, e.g.) or who has given up even more completely (is now a complete cutthroat), and having have to face him down.
This read as rather formulaic to me. Part of that is probably that it's an outline-- maybe the writing itself would have given a stronger impression.

I think the captain who tried to take Serenity in "Out of Gas" was a good representation of what Mal would be like if he went entirely cutthroat as a thief. Similar to Patience, who was a dark version of a Mal who'd stayed on a world outside the Alliance's reach. Neither was explicitly Independent (Patience seems likely) or a war veteran, which I agree would be interesting to see.

I don't think the Operative was a dark version of Mal-- he was too different from Mal, more the anti-Mal than a Mal gone bad. Even when Mal had faith and was fighting for a larger purpose he believed in, he was quirky and a bit duplicitous. He was down to earth in a way that the Operative wasn't. I don't think we've seen a dark Mal within the Alliance.

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