So Titan Books came out with the Serenity Companion, which included the screenplay and interviews and behind-the-scenes stuff and tons of pictures and was exceedingly good.
Then they produced two Firefly Companions, which contained scripts from all the episodes as well as even more interviews and pictures and insider stuff, and they were also exceedingly good. So that was it, right?
Nope. On sale next Tuesday (May 25) is "Firefly: Still Flying," which has even more behind-the-scenes material, quotes from and about the actors, closeup views and histories of some of the most iconic props (and where they ended up), interviews with the stunt coordinator and the location manager and copies of the Serenity Valley battle storyboards and candid photos and a look at the wardrobes and, oh, I don't know what else.
Oh, right. Four new, original Firefly stories by some of the Firefly writers.
Some of you reading this have just left to go pre-order it, but for the benefit of those who have not (or, more likely, have already pre-ordered it), here's some pics.
Like the Companion books, Firefly: Still Flying is big, colorful, and beautifully presented by people who obviously love the material. And again, amazing for someone like me who spent years seeking this stuff out, many of the photos are new. Each actor gets a section filled with quotes from the actor — taken from interviews and convention appearances — and quotes about the actor from others. And alternating with those sections is an article about the production of the show, a story, or a photo gallery.
The section on props ("Objects in Space") includes how each props was made and where they ended up afterward. The chair/table in the med center, Jayne's knife, the breathing masks hanging at every hatchway (did you notice those? did you notice they had call buttons built in?), even the cookware in the galley. There's even a separate essay on the whereabouts of the Jaynestown statue.
And then there's the stories. "What Holds Us Down" by Jane Espenson, "Fun With Dick and Jayne" by Ben Edlund (a two-page cartoon), "Crystal" by Brett Matthews and "Take the Sky" by Jose Molina. The first new authorized Firefly stories since the movie. I'm not going to give plots or spoilers (I even blurred the photo above to hide the text) so I'll just give you my impressions: overall, not bad. Not as amazing and world-changing as I'd hoped, no new secrets were revealed, but solid stories told by people who know the characters inside and out. (My favorite was probably "Crystal," although the others got a smile out of me several times).
And the fans. We get our own section, along with a section on new merchandise. I had a (small) hand in quite a lot of that, and I'm proud to see it represented, and delighted to see so many friends mentioned.
I didn't even mention the lengthy section on the ships of the 'verse, or The Story of Monkeyshines, or Jane's essay on writing for a Joss show (Buffy, but close enough).
There is a slight sense of "what did we have that didn't fit in the first two books" in this one — die-hard fans may recognize a lot of what's in here — but what's here is well presented and fun to read and even if you've seen some of the interviews or already knew where Burgess' laser came from, it's nice to have it all together in a handy package and excellent gift idea, hint hint.
I don't have one to give away this time — you can't have mine — but several other sites are giving them out: Aint It Cool News, IESB.net, ForcesofGeek.com, SciFiBlock.com, StarPulse.com, StayingInWithVlada.com, SyFy.co.uk, TVOvermind.com, and Whedonesque.com.