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Finding Serenity: Anti-heroes, Lost Shepherds and Space Hookers in Joss Whedon's Firefly (Smart Pop series) Paperback – March 11, 2005


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Finding Serenity: Anti-heroes, Lost Shepherds and Space Hookers in Joss Whedon's Firefly (Smart Pop series) + Serenity Found: More Unauthorized Essays on Joss Whedon's Firefly Universe (Smart Pop series) + Firefly: A Celebration (Anniversary Edition)
Price for all three: $63.48

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Product Details

  • Series: Smart Pop series
  • Paperback: 238 pages
  • Publisher: Smart Pop (March 11, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932100431
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932100433
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.2 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #504,119 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jane Espenson is a veteran Mutant Enemy script writer who was responsible for the Firefly episode "Shindig." She has also written for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Deep Space Nine, Ellen, Gilmore Girls, and Star Trek. She lives in Los Angeles. Glenn Yeffeth is the editor of Seven Seasons of Buffy and Taking the Red Pill. He lives in Dallas, Texas.

More About the Author

I spent fifteen years consulting and running management consultancies in Chicago, Dallas and London. In a burst of mid-life crisis, I chucked it to start BenBella Books, a traditional publishing house. Starting a old-fashioned publishing firm in the 21st century is crazy, I know, but it's turned out to be one of the best things I ever did.

Customer Reviews

I highly recommend this for all Firefly fans.
GreySummers
Like one essay is written by Jewel Staite, who played Kaylee on Firefly.
gobluegirl
This compilation of essays has some very interesting contributions.
Andrew

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

302 of 305 people found the following review helpful By Glenn Yeffeth on April 26, 2005
Format: Paperback
For a brief period of time at the end of 2002, Joss Whedon, the man responsible for "Buffy, the Vampire Slayer," had a science fiction series on FOX television called "Firefly." Only eleven episodes aired before the show was unceremoniously cancelled, but the show lived on for its fans when all eleven episodes, plus three unaired shows, were released as a box set. In this way, the show kept its original fans and gained many more. The boxed set sold so well that Universal Studios acquired the rights to make a film based on "Firefly."

Jane Espenson, the "Firefly" writer who announced news of the film in 2003, has now edited Finding Serenity, a collection of essays about the television show, its universe, and characters. These essays run the gamut from larks, such as Glenn Yeffeth's attack on the FOX executives who cancelled the show to Keith R.A. DeCandido's well reasoned explanation for why the pilot-as-aired did not manage to attract an audience, to Lyle Zynda's complex look at the existential philosophy found in the series.

Many of the essays tend to focus on the same topics, although from different points of view. One of those topics is the strength and abilities of the women of the cast and crew. However, even as Tanya Huff describes the abilities of the second-in-command, Zoe Warren, or Robert Taylor lauds the women as the stronger portion of the crew, Nancy Holder sees them as weak and stereotypical.
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166 of 169 people found the following review helpful By Andrew on June 7, 2005
Format: Paperback
Firefly is, in my opinion, the greatest show to last less than a season. Usually when people think of shows that have been cancelled, especially shows that have been axed that quickly, they think of something with terrible writing, bad acting, and low production value. However, there have been short-lived shows that were killed way too quickly. Wonderfalls and Greg the Bunny each barely got one season while shows like Andy Richter Controls the Universe, Tru Calling and Titus didn't get much more (Family Guy would have fit into this category last year, but it has come back to the airwaves). All of the shows that I have just mentioned have either been edgy or quoirky, and that has led to their early, yet unwarranted demise. Each of those shows had a quality to them that many long-running shows could never dream of achieving (such as the Simple Life). But Firefly blew them all away.

This compilation of essays has some very interesting contributions. One essay investigates the question of just who killed the show (besides the network brass at FOX). Another looks at the role of Inarra (Morena Baccarin) on the show, and compares her to women of similar positions throughout history. Some of the episodes are just hilarious, such as the one with the supposed network notes from FOX exec Early Jubal (a take-off on one of the villains from the show), or the Firefly vs. Star Trek: Enterprise adventure. Some of them are strangely contradictory; one author writes that the women of the show are the smartest, ablest, and best characters, and that the men of the show would be nowhere without them (think about it; the most dangerous person on the ship is a 100-pound teenage girl).
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125 of 135 people found the following review helpful By David Ellis on October 12, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a die hard fan of Firefly and, as such, I grabbed this book as soon as I heard about it. The cancellation of the show left me wanting more. Essays dissecting the show? What the heck. Could be fun.

But, by and large, it isn't.

The book starts off promising enough. There is an essay that talks about the look and feel of the show from a filmmaking point of view, and that's pretty cool. Also interesting is the examination of the episode "Objects in Space" (my personal favorite) as an exercise in existentialism.

Unfortunately, the handful of insightful essays/articles do not offset the rest of the book. Most of the book reads like a fanzine (a fan-produced, fan-edited, usually low-quality collection of articles that are insightful and witty to only the most diehard fans). Chief among these were the silly "The Rise and Fall (and Rise) of Firefly," and the dreadfully un-funny and irrelevent "Firefly vs. The Tick." Many of the essays are guilty of simply overanalyzing the show to death. Yes, you can pick at the parts fo Firefly (the western part, the sci-fi part...) and find lots of flaws--but what none of the essays seem to point out is that it's the sum of the parts that makes this show such a wonderful thing.

Perhaps the worst of the bunch is "I Want Your Sex..." a seemingly endless man-hating rant by an irate Buffy fan that berates Joss Whedon for not taking the initiative to make the Firefly universe a matriarchal society where women wield all of the power and men are simply window dressing. The characters of Firefly--ALL of them--are strong characters, stronger than those on most shows on television today. To say that the women of this show were marginalized and weak is just plain silly.
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