Tuesday, April 7, 2015

F: Firefly


My theme for the A to Z Blogging Challenge this year is a mishmash of books, movies, writers and TV shows that have in one way or another taught me something about writing and helped me be a better writer. Some inspired my own stories and a few taught me what not to do. Each post is a one minute lesson on writing. Over on the IWSG blog, you find some more great inspiration for all of April.

Firefly, the show known around the world as one of the best, if not the best, science fiction TV series EVER. There were so many things that made the show successful. The writing. The characters. The uniqueness of the setting, but it had other quirks that made it different. Though it took place in space, it never overburdened viewers with tech stuff. Mal Reynolds often amused us with his pretended or sometimes not false, ignorance of technology. The characters weren't always the white-hatted good guys and walked on the work side of the law. But did the viewers ever doubt they were the heroes? The settings ranged from old west style societies to wildly advance space stations and government facilities. Settlements of outcasts or those who had little to do with the central government added color and provided unique plots. Joss Whedon made something special.

Lesson: Space adventures like I write don't have to be full of scientific jargon. Political dissidents make for interesting protagonists and antagonists. If we ever colonize among the stars, people have no trouble believing that the colonies will greatly vary in their levels of technological advancements. And lastly, you might write the best space adventure ever and still get ignored by the big decision makers.

FOX network made one of most infamous mistakes in programming when they canceled this show.

"A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools."

Douglas Adams

And a special announcement since we're talking about space adventure.  Dragon of the Stars by Alex J. Cavanaugh is available starting today. I was fortunate to receive an advance copy of this book and let me assure you that it belongs on your 'keeper' shelf. It has everything a space opera needs. Interstellar conflict, mysterious beings, ambitious men all thrown together in a an adventure story you won't be able to put down. The hero, Aden must find the ship of legends to secure his goals and along the way figure out what is really important. Buy Dragon on Amazon today.

What is your favorite episode of Firefly? What would you expect futuristic colonies to be like if we ever settle on distant planets? The wild west or techno-wonders? What show besides Firefly would you like to see return to TV?


58 comments:

  1. i hesitate to try science fiction, worried about scientific jargon, now i think i am encouraged to make an effort

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    1. Firefly had almost no scientific jargon. Nothing to worry about.

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  2. Firefly is utterly awesome and anyone who says different is plain wrong! ;) *glances over at the DVDs* No, I must do work... My fav ep was where Mal ended up naked. However, I really, really love the movie ... except the part that shall never be spoken of.
    Tasha
    Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

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    1. I like the one where Mal gets shot and they show flashbacks of how he selected the crew.

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  3. I noticed Firefly on Netflix and I think I eve have it on our watch list. In the past year, we have gotten hooked on several sci-fi TV series. I was surprised to find how much I enjoyed these types of programs. I will have to check this show out now that you mentioned it. Thanks for hosting the A2Z fun!

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  4. At least Joss Whedon was able to finish the story with the movie Serenity.

    Congrats to Alex.

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  5. It's on Netflix now? I have to watch it.

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  6. I remember catching it in the middle of an episode on tv. I wanted to like it, but I caught it at the worst time. No action and lots of dialog between characters I didn't know.

    When the movie, Serenity came out, we immediately fell in love, then bought the disc set of the series.

    I like War Stories, (except for the torture) because that's the first inkling we get of River's talents.

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    1. I like War Stories too because it really clears up Mal and Zoey relationship.

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  7. Firefly! I was very late to that party and didn't discover it until well after it'd been cancelled. And now I'm panicked because my disk 3 has gone missing!!

    Very smart theme to apply what you've learned from other creative works. Even when we think we're just sitting down relaxing, we're learning.

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    1. I have to guard my copies so the kids don't steal them.

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  8. mmmm, I want to read it, if there were world enough and time. I had a dream yesterday, that ended up being my "F" post.... and it had aliens and a spaceship. Fun.
    https://drkottaway.wordpress.com/2015/04/07/fly-dream/
    this thing won't accept my wordpress name, or at least I can't figure it out. So included url because it's listing me as anonymous....

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  9. Yep, awesome show and Fox really screwed the pooch when they cancelled it.

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  10. Sorry... never heard of this program, no I tell you... well thanks to FOX for killing this... we are lucky Whedon maybe would not be working on Avengers? So I am looking for the positives...

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    1. Jeremy, you may be the first person I've met blogging who doesn't know Firefly. Turn in your nerd badge.

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  11. Thanks, Susan!!! You rock.
    Firefly was the best show ever. (Curses to FOX.) Perfect example of space opera, which is light on the science element. Exactly why I write it.

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    1. My pleasure to share your news today. Whedon should check out your books for his next idea.

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  12. Firefly!!!! Yes! I loved Firefly. I STILL can't believe it was canceled.

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  13. I've never seen Firefly, but it sounds great. Congratulations to Alex on the release of Dragon of the Stars!

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  14. I haven't seen it, but will add it to my list. Congrats Alex!

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  15. It must be on Netflix. I'll have to check. And another congrats to Alex.

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  16. Not seen Firefly! Hope to one of these fine mornings! Wonderful prose Susan!

    Hank

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  17. I am loving your posts for AtoZ. Discovering so many great books and tv shows. Will need to check this one out on Netflix. Thanks for sharing. :)
    *Shantala @ ShanayaTales*

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  18. I was hoping there would be a full length feature movie for Firefly. But it never happened.

    And good luck to Alex and his new release!

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  19. I like to think that the Fox exec who pulled the plug on this show chastises himself daily for his stupidity.

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  20. Awesome series, tragic outcome. Fox is notorious for canceling shows. :)

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  21. Don't shoot me, but I've never seen a single episode of Firefly and the first thing I thought of was, "Hey, that's Richard Castle on the cover!"

    Yes, I lead a sheltered life :)

    I just checked... it's on Netflix (first season?? or was there only 14 episodes made??) so I will watch it and report back :)

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  22. Hi Susan .. I've never heard of Firefly - but I am living in another age! It's great that Alex is bursting out all over with his book .. yet Fox has a meltdown in cancelling the show .. such is life?! Cheers Hilary

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  23. I have heard from many about how much they liked Firefly.

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  24. I'm not sure which episode is my favorite. I really liked the first time I saw the show - so that would be first episode fare, but then the one where they make the monument to Jane is awesome, too. Oh, I don't know. It's too hard to choose a favorite episode.

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  25. I posted about Firefly too! Great show.

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  26. I had not seen this show, but it is always hard when you find a good show and then it is cancelled.

    betty

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  27. Don't have Fox network, but drawn to the word firefly, had to research the creatures for my book Thin Time as I used them to light the passageways for Alice and Thomas :0)

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  28. Don't get me started on the stupidity of networks. Honestly, I'm glad I didn't get into it because I know I would have liked it and been so bummed that it was canceled.

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  29. I've never seen Firefly, but I know it's a very big deal.

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    1. I'M GONNA CRY!
      You need to watch it ;)

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  30. I love everything with Gina Torres in it. She always felt like the common sense part of the crew.
    http://stormiekent.com/blog/

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  31. Brilliant show on so many levels. However, a grave mistake in naming the show Firefly. I know many who turned away just because of the name. Then he did it again with Dollhouse, though I've no idea how long that one lasted, as I have zero interest in it.

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  32. It's truly tragic Firefly was cancelled. Truly.
    Of course, it's gone into legend because it never got a chance to get bad.

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  33. Never saw it but ilima Todd will freak if she sees this! Lol

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  34. This is the second post about this show and I've never seen it. I really do have to watch it.

    Scribbles From Jenn - Visiting from the A to Z Challenge

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  35. I was trying to convince my friend that she NEEDS to watch this show, the other day. She is ignorant of Nathan Fillion entirely, and most Joss Whedon stuff too!

    Bloody well LOVE this show.

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  36. Amazing show! Everytime I watch a show or movie Joss Whedon has a hand in, I'm inspired all over again! I have to echo Trisha - I bloody well love this show too!!

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  37. I keep meaning to watch Firefly because I loved Buffy and Angel and worship Joss Whedon, so I know it's ridiculous that I've missed Firefly. I really need to remedy that mistake.

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  38. I'm a huge fan of Firefly. Excellent lesson learned from this.

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  39. I've just bought Firefly on DVD and can't wait to watch it. I love everything else Whedon has done so I'm sure I'll enjoy it.

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  40. I love Firefly, I can't believe it got cancelled.

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  41. I don't watch much TV...
    Love that Douglas Adams quote.

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  42. Firefly = good television. Fox is just dumb. :)

    My favorite episode is Out of Gas.

    Such good writing. Such awesome characters. There is nothing better than when Mal gets all pissed off and shoots someone!

    I loved Dragon of the Stars. I must write my review!
    Heather

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