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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"And if it's true about hiking, ergo it must be true about life."
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December 17 2007

Christopher Brookmyre is a Flan. Christopher Brookmyre, Scottish crime writer notable for previous pop culture references to Buffy and the A-Team, has a major character in his new novel Attack of the Unsinkable Rubber Ducks who is an all-out Browncoat.

The first tip-off was a character named Malcolm Reynolds but that could be a coincidence for a story set in Scotland. Then an Inara/Kaylee reference which might have been a throwaway. But later:

Still, I loved the coat and I wasn't going to stop wearing it, babe repellent of not. I could happily admit it: the reason for me wearing the thing, the reason for me tracking it down, was geeky and embarrassing. ... I embraced my geekdom, and Keith was right: I wore my coat proudly as its badge. I wore a brown coat because I was a 'browncoat': I was - Keith nailed that too - a science geek with a chronic SF habit, and my drug of choice was Firefly.

I haven't finished it yet but I highly recommend all the CB books and it looks like this one most of all.

Very shiny, but it's perhaps a mistake to mix passing allusions to Firefly, like a person called Malcolm Reynolds, with an actual Browncoat character. It just strikes me as a bit unsubtle.
Clementine - Are Brookmyre's books in a series or stand-alone? I'm a bit - OK - a lot - compulsive about starting a new series at the beginning. But anyone who writes a book titled Attack of the Unsinkable Rubber Ducks has got to be checked out.
So... the book is about a Browncoat? Hmm. But not about being a Browncoat, right? *slightly confused, yet intrigued.*
Znachki: Brookmyre has one main character, Jack Parlabane, but several of the books are standalone. I would say, if you can, it's best to read them in order since sometimes he refers fleetingly to what happened in previous books. I love an inside joke and it always tickles me when it happens.

Sorry if I was cryptic before. CB makes tons of pop culture references in his books. Sometimes to obscure Glasgow bar bands that I don't get. Often they are incredibly subtle as in one book where a character spends a lot of time jerry-rigging an elaborate trap which fails so he thinks: "This never happens to Hannibal Smith."

When someone was named Malcolm Reynolds, I thought it was a coincidence. When a character referenced Inara and Kaylee, I thought it would be a subtle, passing nod. But then it turned out that being a Browncoat was an intrinsic part of this character and Firefly references kept coming. The book is about something else but it was really cool to see our obsession as such a big part of the book from a writer that I already love.

The Amazon UK review says that the author really knows his Firefly.

His titles are always amusing. One is Boiling a Frog and another is A Big Boy Did It and Ran Away. It always turns out that they are related to the plot.
Thanks for the info Clementine. I feel an Amazon UK order coming up.

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