Investigating Firefly and Serenity: Science Fiction on the Frontier

Overview

Joss Whedon's Firefly is one of the most popular TV shows ever. Serenity was the wildly successful follow-up to the series. Here is a definitive guide to the series and the movie, offering an in-depth and comprehensive look at the TV phenomenon kept alive by the fans.

The brain child of Joss Whedon--of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel fame--Firefly ran for twelve hour-long episodes before being cancelled by the network. But this premature burial had a remarkable outcome: ...

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Overview

Joss Whedon's Firefly is one of the most popular TV shows ever. Serenity was the wildly successful follow-up to the series. Here is a definitive guide to the series and the movie, offering an in-depth and comprehensive look at the TV phenomenon kept alive by the fans.

The brain child of Joss Whedon--of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel fame--Firefly ran for twelve hour-long episodes before being cancelled by the network. But this premature burial had a remarkable outcome: resurrection. The fans--self-named Browncoats--kept multiplying, the DVDs kept selling and the show forged a new life on the internet, sustained by blogs, fan-fics and podcasts. Films, meetings and conferences ensured their numbers increased, as did the release of the major Firefly motion picture Serenity.

From detailed chapters on scenes and themes, through to explorations of the characters, actors, music, and, of course, the fans, Investigating Firefly and Serenity tells readers everything they need to know about the show and more. With contributions from over twenty of the best international Whedon scholars, TV & film critics, and writers, it will become the must-have book for followers of the series/film, for fans of Joss Whedon and his work, and anyone with an interest in the modern phenomenon of cult TV and the remarkable power of the internet.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781845116545
  • Publisher: I. B.Tauris & Company, Limited
  • Publication date: 10/14/2008
  • Series: Investigating Cult TV Series
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 1,421,447
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Rhonda V. Wilcox is Professor of English, Gordon College, Barnesville, GA and author of Why Buffy Matters: The Art of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (I.B. Tauris, 2005). She is co-editor, with David Lavery, of Fighting the Forces: What's at Stake in 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ and online editor of the International Journal of Buffy Studies, Slayage.

Tanya Cochran is both a doctoral candidate at Georgia State University and Assistant Professor of English at Union College, Lincoln, NE. She is currently Vice Chair of Science Fiction and Fantasy for the American Popular Culture Association.

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Table of Contents

Introduction

'Good Myth': Joss Whedon's Further Worlds Rhonda V. Wilcox Wilcox, Rhonda V. Tanya R. Cochran Cochran, Tanya R. 1

'They Tried to Kill Us, and Here We Are': Episode and Film Guide Rhonda V. Wilcox Wilcox, Rhonda V. Tanya R. Cochran Cochran, Tanya R. 11

Language and Rhetoric

1 'But She Was Naked! And All Articulate!': The Rhetoric of Seduction in Firefly Cynthea Masson Masson, Cynthea 19

2 Representing the Future: Chinese and Codeswitching in Firefly Susan Mandala Mandala, Susan 31

3 'Much Madness is Divinest Sense': Firefly's 'Big Damn Heroes' and Little Witches Alyson R. Buckman Buckman, Alyson R. 41

Gender

4 The Threat of the 'Good Wife': Feminism, Postfeminism, and Third-Wave Feminism in Firefly Laura L. Beadling Beadling, Laura L. 53

5 The Companions and Socrates: Is Inara a Hetaera? Andrew Aberdein Aberdein, Andrew 63

6 'I Aim to Misbehave': Masculinities in the 'Verse David Magill Magill, David 76

Genre

7 'The Alliance Isn't Some Evil Empire': Dystopia in Joss Whedon's Firefly/Serenity Sharon Sutherland Sutherland, Sharon Sarah Swan Swan, Sarah 89

8 Back to the Future: Retrofuturism, Cyberpunk, and Humanity in Firefly and Serenity Lorna Jowett Jowett, Lorna 101

9 Firefly's 'Out of Gas': Genre Echoes and the Hero's Journey Mary Alice Money Money, Mary Alice 114

Social and Cultural Themes

10 Reavers and Redskins: Creating the Frontier Savage J. Douglas Rabb Rabb, J. Douglas J. Michael Richardson Richardson, J. Michael 127

11 A Geopolitical Interpretation of Serenity Jeffrey Bussolini Bussolini, Jeffrey 139

Religion and Morality

12 'I Do Not Hold to That': Joss Whedon and Original SinRhonda V. Wilcox Wilcox, Rhonda V. 155

13 Humanity in a 'Place of Nothin": Morality, Religion, Atheism, and Possibility in Firefly Gregory Erickson Erickson, Gregory 167

Music

14 Music, Race, and Paradoxes of Representation: Jubal Early's Musical Motif of Barbarism in 'Objects in Space' Neil Lerner Lerner, Neil 183

15 Marching Out of Step: Music and Otherness in the Firefly/Serenity Saga Christopher Neal Neal, Christopher 191

Visuals

16 Between Past and Future: Hybrid Design Style in Firefly and Serenity Barbara Maio Maio, Barbara 201

17 Deathly Serious: Mortality, Morality, and the Miseen-Scene in Firefly and Serenity Matthew Pateman Pateman, Matthew 212

Fans, Transition, and the World Outside

18 'Can't Stop the Signal': The Resurrection/Regeneration of Serenity Stacey Abbott Abbott, Stacey 227

19 The Browncoats Are Coming! Firefly, Serenity, and Fan Activism Tanya R. Cochran Cochran, Tanya R. 239

Notes 251

Works Cited 267

Index 283

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