Book Log #74: My Own Kind of Freedom, by Steven Brust

It’s not often that I can actually include a fanfic novel in my reading, especially one released for free on the Internet by a professional author. That is however exactly what My Own Kind of Freedom is: Steven Brust’s Firefly fanfic novel. If I understand the history of this book correctly, Brust tried to pitch it professionally but couldn’t sell it, and ergo decided to release it to the net.

The plot’s decent enough and reads like a good idea for an episode of the show, one set after the last aired episode but before the events of Serenity, so we’re down Inara and Book. Our heroes take a job that takes them to Hera–the very planet where the Browncoats lost the war to the Alliance. Jayne’s blowing up at Mal and subsequent expulsion from the crew leads to a much bigger problem: Mal’s old commander is at large on Hera, and moreover, he’s up to no good. Common sense would tell the crew of Serenity to leave the world as fast as they can. But when has common sense ever gotten in the way of our Big Damn Heroes?

Mostly, the characterizations are on the true, and Brust does some lovely things writing from River’s point of view; his language and word choices are at their (aheh) shiniest when he’s writing for her. But I take some issues with Jayne’s part of the plot arc, since it’s precipitated by actions I don’t believe he’d have taken at the point at which the story is set. So overall, while this was pleasant to read, I found it a bit flawed. Three stars.