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Monday, May 12, 2008

Review: My Own Kind of Freedom

One of the big benefits of the Kindle that few people mention is the large collection of free books out there. For instance, Tor has been giving away free books since February. It's kinda tough to read a novel on a computer screen, but download it to the Kindle and it's all good. For a while, Fictionwise has been giving away all the short form Hugo/Nebula nominees, so I also got to read all of those --- the first year I've managed to read all the nominees (no, don't expect to see a review of those --- they're all short enough that it's faster for you to read them than to read a review, and the nominees are all worth reading).

Imagine my surprise to discover that one of my favorite authors, Stephen Brust, released an entire novella on-line under the creative commons license. Imagine my further surprise to learn that it's effectively fan-fic written for the firefly universe.

Set in the period between the end of the series and the movie, the novel is a typical Firefly episode: our esteemed crew has to perform a job, the Alliance is coming after River, and Jayne betrays everybody, yet somehow is forgiven. Perhaps that's a bit too typical. As you might expect from Brust, the tale is well-written, and he gets the firefly dialog pet. Heck no, I think he does a way better job than the TV series did, and at least, in my head, the Pinyin doesn't get mangled by some actor who didn't have access to a language lab so he could speak Mandarin properly.

Given the price (free!), I don't see how a bona-fide Firefly fan could not want to read this. Recommended for fans. Not recommended if you've never seen a Firefly episode or hated the show.

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