by Chris Tobias
Firefly: The Ghost Machine is the third original Firefly novel from Titan Books, and the third by New York Times bestselling author James Lovegrove (The Age of Odin). Much like Lovegrove’s previous two novels set in the Firefly ‘verse, 2018’s Big Damn Hero and 2019’s The Magnificent Nine, this latest effort reads for the most part like a lost episode of the series. Unlike the previous two books, however, this novel takes a unique and somewhat bold approach in that the vast majority of the story takes place only in the unconscious minds of Serenity’s crew, in alternate realities of their own design.
image courtesy amazon.com
This story, which takes place after the events in Firefly but before the events of Serenity, begins as most tales of the ‘verse do. Malcolm Reynolds and his crew (minus Shepherd Book and Inara Serra, who at this point have both already left the ship) are hired by Badger to retrieve illegal cargo from Canterbury and transport it to Persephone, where a buyer is waiting. When the crew arrives at the rendezvous, Mal sees that the cargo is a flightcase stamped with the Blue Sun logo that likely contains Alliance-funded tech that was stolen from a nearby R&D facility, and decides to scrub the mission. He and his crew are desperate, but not desperate enough to risk smuggling an item this hot out of an area that’s swarming with Alliance ships that are almost as keen to regain the stolen property as they are to find the two fugitives that have been hiding aboard Serenity for several months.
Unbeknownst to Mal, Jayne Cobb isn’t willing to pass on the potential payday, and sneaks the cargo aboard Serenity in the hopes of bringing it to Badger and securing the payment for himself. When Jayne stows the case in a secret compartment in his cabin, however, its contents begin to have a strange effect on the crew.
by Chris Tobias
In the wake of this weekend’s successful Bangabandhu-1 mission, which featured the successful launch and landing of the new Block 5 Falcon 9, SpaceX is taking a full eight days off between launches. (Let that sink in for a minute. We now have a private space company that’s basically launching once a week… but I digress.) Since we have a little time before we have to discuss the specifics of the next mission, I figured I’d devote some space (yes, the pun is always intended) to a Browncoat-themed post.
Take Back the Sky
is not the only cause to which this Browncoat devotes his time and energy. Since 2013, I have also been the organizer of the annual Can’t Stop the Serenity
(CSTS) charity screenings of Serenity
(and occasionally Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog
) for the city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. As a CSTS organizer, I have access to the global CSTS message boards at www.cantstoptheserenity.com
, which really have a plethora of great information in their archives that any hardcore Browncoat would love to read through if he or she had the time. In fact, it was on these very message boards that Jeff first proposed the idea of lobbying SpaceX to name its first Crew Dragon after Serenity.
Since only the organizers or co-organizers (think captains and first mates) of local CSTS events have access to the boards’ archives, I think it’s a shame that a lot of Browncoats will never have the chance to read some of the interesting things that are contained there. So, seeing as how I’m an organizer who has that virtual all-access pass, I decided to share one of them with you.
The following is a chronological list of important dates in the history of Firefly and Serenity, presented in calendar format. It appears almost exactly as it was originally posted on the global CSTS message boards, though I have made a few minor modifications for the sake of clarity and ease of reading.