The Firefly Connection

Today, Dear Reader, I have the extreme pleasure of playing host to one of my most favorite Indie Sci-Fi authors: Mary Pax.  Her short stories, which include Plant Girl, Translations, and Small Graces hooked me with her dynamic writing style.  When she came out with the novella Semper Audacia my infatuation with her work only deepened.  And now that she’s launching her first full length novel, which will be the first novel of a series I’m practically salivating with anticipation.  Especially since I learned that her inspiration for The Backworlds was the TV series FireflyFirefly was and still is my most favorite TV series; I have the series and it’s spin-off movie Serenity on DVD and re-watch them frequently.  In today’s guest post, Mary explains how Firefly influenced and inspired her new book, The Backworlds.

One of the biggest influences on my creation of The Backworlds was Firefly and the fact I still mourn its demise.

Husband Unit and I were among the few who actually watched Firefly as originally aired on Fox way back when. From minute one we were swept away into Joss Whedon’s vision.

What did I love about it? Foremost were the characters. They sometimes did bad things. Jayne Cobb wasn’t anybody I’d want to know in real life, but he became my all-time favorite character. I loved Mal Reynolds, a man at odds with himself. A mercenary to keep his freedom and independence, yet sometimes his good guy side gets in the way. Simon Tam risked everything and broke laws to rescue his sister. River Tam lived in a world no one else could understand. Then there was Inarra, a legitimate business woman in what we would consider an immoral profession. Kaylee, Zoe, Wash, and the Shepherd also had shiny and less shiny moments.

I loved that mix — that no one was wholly good or wholly bad. I think that creates interesting characters and interesting stories.

I also loved the exploration of different worlds and different societies. And the stories. The stories were fresh and original. Among the interesting twists was a lot of humor.

So, I pulled some of my favorite elements out of Firefly to create The Backworlds. I have characters who are sometimes good and sometimes not anybody you’d want to know. Humor is sprinkled in, and it’s set on the frontier, the edge of humanity’s expansion into the galaxy. After that, I went out on my own, seeing the Backworlds series as Firefly meets The Twilight Zone.

What existing stories have inspired your work?

The Backworlds After the war with Earth, bioengineered humans scatter across the Backworlds. Competition is fierce and pickings are scant. Scant enough that Craze’s father decides to hoard his fortune by destroying his son. Cut off from family and friends, with little money, and even less knowledge of the worlds beyond his own, Craze heads into an uncertain future. Boarding the transport to Elstwhere, he vows to make his father regret this day.

Available as an eBook from: Available from: Amazon / AmazonUK / Smashwords / Feedbooks

Free on Smashwords & Feedbooks. Will be free on Amazon in a few weeks.

Sign up for M. Pax’s newsletter to be notified the moment The Backworlds goes FREE on Amazon, and when it becomes available from other retailers.

About the author:

M. Pax’s inspiration comes from the wilds of Oregon, especially the high desert where she shares her home with two cats and a husband unit. Creative sparks also come from Pine Mountain Observatory where she spend her summers working as a star guide. She writes mostly science fiction and fantasy, but confesses to an obsession with Jane Austen. She blogs at her website, www.mpaxauthor.com and at Wistful Nebuae. You’ll find links there to connect on Twitter, Goodreads, FB and other sites.

15 thoughts on “The Firefly Connection”

  1. I really miss Firefly too. The dialog was so witty and sharp. The writing was so incredibly good.

    I’ve taken the three-dimensionality of the characters to heart in my own writing. Makes them more real.

    (Wasn’t it cool how there was no sound in the vacuum of space on Firefly?)

    1. My scientist friends up at the observatory appreciated that adherence to fact, the no sound in space thing.

      It was a fantastic show. If we channel just some of it, I figure we do OK.

  2. Wow, sounds like a cool series, must catch the movie on DVD…my inspirations are mostly books, the Arthur Clarke and Asimov kinds. Fantasy was based on the creative ideas in Indian mythology over 3000 yrs old…magicians, illusionists for gods and demons, we even have chariots that flew in the sky, a description of what resembles the after effects of an atomic bomb, mantras that could cause untold damage….then there were the magical carpets and Djinns of Arabia and the Grimm brothers threw in their dark tales, tiny books on wizards and witches…didn’t have to look elsewhere for a long time till the Greek and their Sirens called from across the ocean.

  3. I love Firefly. I watched it when it premiered on Fox too. It’s genius. Right now I’m working on a new urban fantasy/paranormal romance project. Joss Whedon influences me a lot too. The witty banter, great characterization, the kick butt heroines.

  4. Hey Mary (and Allan:)

    Honestly, I had never, evah heard of Firefly, but as soon as I saw the picture, I was like… Oh, look… it’s Richard Castle 🙂

    (I really like “Castle” and don’t tell anyone, but I have both his books 🙂

    Now, I shall have to look up Firefly

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