Exploding the Heads of Browncoats Everywhere

Steven Brust took a little time off from the world of Vlad Taltos to write a Firefly fanfic novel. It’s here.

Browncoats, try not to quiver with too much joy. People will cross the street to avoid you.

41 Comments on “Exploding the Heads of Browncoats Everywhere”

  1. Ooh ooh! I downloaded it, probably won’t get around to reading it unless I’ve run out of dead-tree books while on business travel…

    On the other hand, my son (who is pining that the HD version of the Firefly DVD we got him for Xmas isn’t the Special Edition), will probably neglect his homework over it.

  2. I’ve downloaded…and will give a look see. I bought and enjoyed the firefly TV series DVDs. Too bad they cancelled before they got their grove.

  3. I’ll add my SQUEEEEE here as well.

    @Monsieur Scalzi: I think you’re wrong about people walking across the street to avoid us Browncoats. I’ve worn my Jayne hat that my ma knit for me (it’s pretty cunning) on the streets of Toronto and had people scream “Shiny” at me _every time_ and begged me to know where I got it. It’s great having a retired mom who knits.

  4. Hah! Let them avoid me as I quiver! Let them flee before me, I say! That way I’ll get a seat on the train home during rush hour.

  5. “What’cha reading there boss?”

    “A story about a ship captain and his crew. They get in all sorts of trouble because they are smugglers and have to live on the run.”


    “Shut up, Loisosh.”

  6. Oh, noes, the world is coming to an end, a respected novelist has written a piece of fanfiction without authorization.


    Thank you for the link, Mr. Scalzi. I’ll be passing it around, and I look forward to reading the novel.

  7. I am afraid you are right Mr. Scalzi. I can understand wanting to break a code. Cool puzzle. But if the result is finding out how often someone got some where’s the fun in that? Ah well all I have to do is look at how much intrest and coverage B. Spears gets to know we are a generally screwy species.

  8. Why is it that people who seem sane and knowledgeable about writing (you, Theresa Nielsen Hayden, Cory Doctorow) *like* Steven Brust’s writing? I read the first three Vlad Taltos books, and… well… I can’t say it’s the worst book I ever read, but that is only because Dan Brown established the writing quality equivalent of 0 Kelvin.

    Still, to each his own of course. I didn’t mean to troll: I am just puzzled.

  9. I can’t speak for Cory or Teresa, but I like his dialog and his story telling chops. Not every Vlad book works for me equally (the third one’s kind of a bust for me), but generally speaking he hits the spot.

  10. This is an excellent read and a tremendous find, John Scalvi. Maybe we can chip in to buy you an “s” to upgrade to a full Scalsi.

    For those who are interested but have not yet read (no spoiler): Mr. Brust is channelling the spirit of Firefly with amazing success. If Mr. Wheadon has an ounce of sense, he’ll option the story right now.

  11. Having read Cowboy Feng and a Vlad novel, I will say I preferred the Vlad novel by a great deal (although Cowboy Feng’s Space Bar and Grill definitely wins for best title).

    Will check out the Firefly fanfic, though, because that sounds like a pretty great match.

  12. Steven Brust should be locked inside a padded cell. And forced to write a book every month. [Also, I should totally marry either Vlad Taltos or any one of the brothers from Zelazny’s Amber novels (hopefully Corwin).] Prepare for me not responding to human contact in 2nd period study hall tomorrow.

    Cowboy Feng I can take or leave, preferably leave.

  13. The response to Steve releasing this novel has been really gratifying to everyone at Dream Cafe, especially Steve himself obviously. Personally I cared about the sex life of a dead economist for two reasons — 1) He was a member of the Bloomsbury Group, who I rather idolize and 2) The idea of keeping that kind of tally of sexual activity was an interestingly obsessive thing to do to me.

  14. As a long time Whedon and Brust fan, I took holiday today to read it. It was pure joy. As short run as Firefly was, the characters were real enough to stay with you. Steve nailed the tone of the characters and the ‘verse. When I started reading today, my first reaction was I missed these folks. It was a fun ride. Thanks, Steve!

  15. It was a great read, I thought. It hasn’t been too long since I first saw Firefly, but the story rang true. As I finished reading the last page, I could hear the instrumental of the “Ballad of Serenity” over the end credits. Glad to see Brust doing a little to keep Serenity flying…as Mal would say, that makes this a good day.

  16. So my brother sent this link and it is the first thing that pops up in my email, and what, someone wants me to WORK now?? Right, like that’s going to happen!! In WHAT ‘verse would that be?!?!

    Long Live the Serenity!!

  17. Flippanter @12: By its very (textual) nature most any emotional communication on the intartubes will seem affected. Much of our emotional communication in the real world uses body language and other nonvocal cues – in the pure text world we are reduced to being terribly obvious, which will, yes, come off as affected. Because it IS. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it – if I want to communicate that I’m excited about something, how else am I to do so?

    Jurie@16: You read what I consider his absolute worst work. Try Phoenix Guards or Freedom and Necessity or Cowboy Feng or any of the later Taltos novels.

    And in general..


  18. On re-read I feel I should add: The first Taltos books aren’t BAD, they just don’t justify the level of excitement I and apparently other people feel at every NEW Brust book circa now. Just figured I’d throw that out in case Mr. Brust reads this thread. Because, you know, %apparently% authors are people too.

  19. (First of all: thanks for not flaming me.)

    I read Jhereg, Yendi and Teckla, which I believe were the first three Taltos novels Mr. Brust wrote, but not the first three within the chronology of the setting.

    Partially I didn’t like the noir / fantasy mix (although I normally have no problems with genre mixes). Partially I was a bit put off by reading about the heroic exploits of a crime lord / pimp / assassin. The fact that Taltos is a pretty bad guy did not seem to be very prominent to me – you know, unlike The Godfather or something. (And no, I don’t usually mind reading about bad guys.) Partially I just didn’t believe in the character at all, but that may be the genre mix.

    fuz@28: I may give those a try if I come across them cheap, thanks.

  20. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it – if I want to communicate that I’m excited about something, how else am I to do so?

    That sounds like the sort of question a writer — professional or amateur — might find interesting.

  21. Just finished reading it (what, you expect me to do work at work?), and enjoyed it. Much fun.

    @ DaveD: I want a Jayne hat! I’m just in Winnipeg, you think your Mom might make me one? :)

  22. Really!? That’s amazing, it’s also great to know that all my favourite authors are Browncoats, you, Orson Scott Card.. a whole bunch of them!!


  23. The guilt only starts to get really bad when you realize you’re only halfway through printing it on your work printer after everyone else has gone home. I feel like a smuggler, hiding the printed pages deep in my bag to go home. But then, I realize how little they pay me, and what’s a little ink and paper for them to give me just another tiny bit of happiness? Looking forward to reading it, in other words. :)

  24. Does Mr.Burst want to be the fanfic test case or did he get legal authorization up front.

  25. @Jurie –
    It’s funny you should say that, because the later books are about his coming to terms with the person he was. I think his character makes sense, considering his upbringing, and he does change as the series progresses. He is, arguably, an anti-hero.

    The set of books that I actually enjoyed more was his “Pheonix Guards” series – they take place in the same universe, but far in the past. They are a fantasy homage to the Three Musketeers books by Dumas. They use the french romantic style of storytelling which I found to be a real hoot.

  26. I downloaded this went it appeared on Metafilter a couple days ago, forwarded it to all my friends, and just half an hour ago finally printed it on the printer here at work. In the words of a great man, “I’ll be in my bunk.”

  27. “Why is it that people who seem sane and knowledgeable about writing [like Brust]”

    You may have answered your own question.

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