Tag Archive: Firefly


Review by C.J. Bunce

Some concept artists light the spark for the visuals of a film or television project.  A few create something truly novel, something that endures.  The late artist and designer Ron Cobb has something of both.  Fans of pop culture know his work even if they don’t know his name.  Now he’s the centerpiece of the next look at the greatest artists and artisans behind the scenes of cinema.  With Titan Books’ new work The Art of Ron Cobb, the publisher adds to the film enthusiast’s bookshelf of sci-fi designers like Cinema Alchemist: Designing Star Wars and Alien, The Artistry of Dan Curry, Tech Noir: The Art of James Cameron, and a stack of books on John Eaves, including Star Trek: The Art of John EavesThe Art of Ron Cobb is available for pre-order now here at Amazon.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

Last year Netflix delivered what Blade Runner creator Philip K. Dick would have flipped over–the futurism and dark beauty of Adult Swim and Crunchyroll’s Japanese and American half-hour anime series Blade Runner: Black Lotus With a second season of the brilliant Blade Runner anime up in the air, Titan Comics is offering the next best thing.  This week the TV series continues in the first issue of Blade Runner: Black Lotus–the monthly comic.  This past May we previewed the comic here at borg.

So how does the comic compare to the TV series that made our annual best TV of the year, kick-ass heroines, and the Borg Hall of Fame?

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Review by C.J. Bunce

The seventh Firefly novel has arrived at last, this time from a newer voice in the sci-fi genre, M.K. England, author of the great Guardians of the Galaxy: No Guts, No Glory (reviewed here), one of the more humorous and faithful tie-ins we’ve covered lately.  England’s latest is Firefly: What Makes Us Mighty, the latest episode in novel form of the short-lived Firefly series, which takes the crew of Serenity on another job, another cargo run, to another planet with quirky folk whose lifestyle mirrors something from Earth of the Past.  As with some of the better novels in the series, this story revisits the best of what Browncoats loved about the show.  It also does something much needed after all these years: It finally allows characters some room for expansion and growth.  England delivers a steady, slower paced journey, but it has all that space Western charm of Joss Whedon’s series, with Whedon back as consulting editor.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

When I previewed Cowboy Bebop: Making the Netflix Series last month I’d hoped writers Jeff Bond and Gene Kozicki (a visual effects artist on the series) would dig deep into the unique style of the very futuristic series.  I am happy to say I was not only not disappointed but dazzled by the level of work completed for what could have been the next major science fiction franchise.  What does the future look like?  Going back to Syd Mead’s future-defining work on films like Blade Runner, you must count as the next futurism visionaries production designers Grant Major and Gary Mackay.  Cowboy Bebop: Making the Netflix Series delivers photographs of props and sets that viewers didn’t get to see in the series, providing another level of behind-the-scenes production design not ordinarily seen in this kind of “making of” book.

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Just because Netflix canceled after only one season 2021’s best sci-fi TV series, best western TV series, best space fantasy series, best retro fix, with the best TV soundtrack, best costumes, best actors and guest stars, and best borg on TV, doesn’t mean we can’t keep reliving the fantastic live-action reboot/homage series Cowboy Bebop One more way we’re going to do that is with Cowboy Bebop: Making the Netflix Series, coming next month from Titan Books.  It’s the official companion book to the Netflix TV series featuring concept art, sketches, behind-the-scenes photography and interviews with the cast and production crew.  Check out a preview below, courtesy of the publisher.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

I’ve reviewed all six Firefly novels here at borg, all but the fourth by James Lovegrove (Firefly: Big Damn Hero reviewed here, Firefly: The Magnificent Nine reviewed here, Firefly: The Ghost Machine reviewed here, and Firefly: Life Signs reviewed here, with the fourth by Tim Lebbon, Firefly: Generations reviewed here).  All make a good starting trajectory for Firefly to develop its own expanded universe beyond the first season.  British writer Una McCormack has created the latest novel in the series, Firefly: Carnival (available now here at Amazon).  Marking the sixth novel in the series, it seems like it’s time to find a way to up the stakes for these characters.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

At $6.5 billion in sales, Halo, the 77th biggest media franchise, is nothing to sneeze at.  So what took the video game franchise so long to make it to a major live-action production?  It was just stuck in development stages.  But for both those who never played the games and those who have, Halo is now a live-action series joining sci-fi’s Star Trek franchise on Paramount+.  The series opener is full of all the pew-pew action you’d expect of a first-person shooter game.  Neither a continuation, adaptation, or prequel to the games, the show is meant to be a standalone world.  It’s Lost in Space meets Ender’s Game and Star Wars: The Clone Wars, with similar plotting to Dune and Gears of War, a non-human threat like Ender’s Game and Starship Troopers, a 26th century mad scientist’s super squad with Edge of Tomorrow armor and guys in them that talk and stomp around like Jayne in Firefly.

Fortunately the pilot comes together like the short mini-series that touched off the successful Battlestar Galactica reboot.  Yes, this is a military sci-fi genre series to check out, and one you’ll likely return for next week.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

It’s been 16 years since we last saw the Serenity crew on the big screen.  If you’re like me, you’ve been enjoying every new Firefly tie-in novel since the first debuted in 2018, including Big Damn Hero (reviewed here), The Magnificent Nine (reviewed here), The Ghost Machine, reviewed here–all by James Lovegrove–and earlier this year Tim Lebbon’s Generations (reviewed here).  Lovegrove is back again with the fifth novel in the series, Firefly: Life Signs, now available here at Amazon.  Each novel in essence is a new hour-long episode of sorts that continues the story of Mal Reynolds and his crew after that first–and only–season of the TV series.  Just like a TV series, Firefly: Life Signs is a play on tropes from decades sci-fi history.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

The fourth and latest novel in the expanded Firefly universe is the closest story fans will have encountered since the short-lived series’ first season.  Tim Lebbon’s Firefly: Generations leans into its science fiction roots as Mal Reynolds and his crew find themselves balancing the life of a crew member and her desire to fulfill a destiny promised from the first episode.  Two keys put them on their next adventure across the ‘verse: one key they’ve had all along, and the other is a bit of a treasure map that goes to the very heart of understanding the old Earth-That-Was.  Only they may find it’s not treasure waiting, but a ship.  And not just any ship, but a seemingly haunted ghost ship.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

Along with a comic book limited series, a new novel is the best bet for an additional space Western fix for anyone saddened by the cancellation of Netflix’s fantastic sci-fi series, Cowboy Bebop.  Cowboy Bebop: A Syndicate Story–Red Planet Requiem provides the full space mobster origin story for both lead hero Spike Spiegel aka Fearless and his one-time friend and partner, Vicious.  As a bonus, this novel, now available in paperback here at Amazon, is written by a member of the writing staff for the series.

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