Lizard Brain is a shared blog about Science Fiction and Fantasy from Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck.

Sword and Laser: Leviathan Wakes Book Club

07.07.12
by Daniel Abraham

Sword and Laser

9 Responses »

  1. The firefly vibe WAS really (too?) strong at times…

    (Amos or Jayne, no diff…)

    I don’t know if that’s good or not.

    • You think? I always saw Jayne as defined by his greed and questionable loyalty. I think if you offered Amos a billion dollars to betray Naomi, he’d shoot you to death on the spot since you might make the same offer to someone else, and why not fix the problem before it goes any farther?

      • Oh, okay… yes, maybe.

        But their body languages, appearance and even syntax (although Jayne was unable to curse for obvious TV reasons) are so similar that to me they just seemed like the same person?

        Okay. It would be fair to say that both occupy the same archetype, as defined by their place in the overall crew/team dynamic. In that same way Alex was slightly Wash to me… Although, of course in actuality they don’t look anything alike… Right?

        But I hasten to add that the firefly vibe was only strong with some secondary characters! I think it’s the interactions/relationships between those Roci crew members that sort of made me occasionally/often see a few of them as (their counterpart) firefly characters. And since we couldn’t see into their heads, I suppose there was less opportunity to really… um, customize them? Not that they weren’t fleshed out or three-dimensional. Just slightly too… familiarly archetypal.

        But I really really do want to know what happens next. As in, I really love the story and am not presently criticizing you (nor it) in any way.

        This is a great book.

        • Wow, I gotta admit, Amos is nothing like Jayne in my head. They’re both violent men, but that’s about it. Amos is probably the most loyal member of the crew, whereas Jayne is defined by his disloyalty. Amos is a mechanic with a rough past, Jayne is just a mercenary.

          In my head, Amos is a taller Michael Chiklis from The Shield. A guy with questionable morals but redeemed by his loyalty and love for his team.

          Writing and reading are a collaborative process, so your take on it is always valid.

          I think what happened is that Firefly is such a great show, and the characters are so vivid, that we go looking for similarities. But Alex isn’t Wash at all. Not the jokester of the crew, a pudgy middle aged man of Punjabi descent. Pretty much their only similarity is that they fly spaceships. Zoe is a warrior woman, Naomi is a tech head who is terrified of violence. And Holden is someone Mal would probably shoot if he met him.

      • Hi,
        I just started reading Leviathan Wakes and so far I am just loving it.

        But a few moments ago I read the sentence “Schrauben sie sie weibchen”.
        I am neither very good at English nor german but I can read english good enough that I can enjoy books like yours and I am german.
        And this sentence doesn’t make any sense in german (not even in a distant future german). It is of course direly translated from the english Sentence “Screw you you bitch” but is, if you look at the semantics more similar to “spin it you female”.
        The Sentence you guys where looking for would be “Fick dich, du Schlampe!”.
        I am definitively not a writer in neither language and I understand only german and english but I can just imagine what is happening with other languages which are not so similar to english.
        I am begging all writers in the world, any time you use a sentence from a language you don’t understand, ask someone who does. If it makes any difference I volunteer for any german sentence you want to use in a book, tv-serie or anything else.

        I just read what I wrote above and I think my starting sentence lost any impact it had.

        I love the book it is really really good.

        • We get a lot of pushback on this sentence, so I think it was probably a mistake.

          The sentence — while borrowing from German — was intended to be another example of Belter, and no more grammatically or semantically correct than the broken English we used other places. I understand that we failed with that, and we’ll try to do better next time.

  2. I enjoyed Firefly and saw every episode. As I read Leviathan and Caliban’s, the firefly similarities had never crossed my mind. Perhaps because I was so wrapped into the story that I read both books in the space of two days (I did nothing else!).

  3. I see a lot of people comparing this to firefly and I don’t see it. Well, I do in the sense that you have similar themes and a lot of strong character development but I don’t see any of the characters being remotely similar to the ones on firefly. Yes, Holden and Reynolds are both strong captains but I don’t think they’re at all alike and those were the two that most of the people I’ve talked to like to compare.

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