Joss Whedon's fan-favorite TV series, Firefly, is set to continue with a series of canon novels. Although Firefly only ran for 14 episodes, the series attracted a cult following, which is why there's been a constant interest in seeing the Firefly story continue on the small screen. Even though the cast has moved on, they're still regularly asked if they'd return.
Now, at last, it looks as though fans will indeed get new stories set within the Firefly universe, but it may not be what they were hoping for. Titan Books and 20th Century Fox Consumer Products have teamed up to launch a new series of Firefly novels. Whedon, himself, will be returning to the fold and acting as consulting editor on the new initiative. Whedon has been wary of bringing Firefly back, fearing it wouldn't live up to expectations, but he's evidently signed off on this.
According to EW, the first three books will each focus on a different character. Big Damn Hero, by Nancy Holder, will see Captain Macolm Reynolds "kidnapped by a bunch of embittered veteran Browncoats." The Magnificent Nine, by James Lovegrove, sees Jayne receive "a distress call from his ex Temperance McCloud" that leads the crew to an adventure on a desert planet. Finally, Tim Lebbon's Generations will star River Tam and see "the discovery of the location of one of the legendary Ark ships that brought humans from Earth to the ’Verse."
The books will be considered canon, and that raises some intriguing questions. In 2005, Whedon revisited the Firefly universe with the film Serenity. Set some years after the series, Serenity brought a number of characters' stories to a close. It sounds as though these Firefly novels will essentially chart the journey from the series to the movie. The movie left fans with a lot of questions, and hopefully these books will answer them. At the very least, they'll reintroduce readers to a complex, sophisticated future; a sort of sci-fi Wild West, soaked in Chinese culture.
Unsurprisingly, Titan Books are delighted. Commissioning editor Cat Camacho told EW: "[I'm] delighted to be bringing new, official stories to fans of a show that has continued to grow in popularity over the years, finding new audiences in an unprecedented way. Firefly is a hugely unique IP and Titan Books is excited to be becoming part of its legacy."
Camacho certainly has a point. Although Firefly's ratings were poor when the series first aired, fans have flocked to the show ever since. Firefly's cancellation is generally seen as one of Fox's worst mistakes, and there's unceasing pressure for the network to relaunch the series. Sadly, with the Firefly canon now continuing in novel form, that looks even less likely than ever before.