Firefly Flies Again!

As some of you may know, I was asked by Titan Books if I would be willing to write a Firefly tie-in novel. You know, Firefly. The Joss Whedon show (and movie). The one with the space cowboys and the deliriously delicious dialogue and superbly-drawn characters.

It so happens that I mentioned to my editor Miranda Jewess a couple of years ago that the only licensed property I would be interested in writing for was Firefly. She remembered this, and when Titan got the licence to produce Firefly tie-in fiction, she very kindly (and wisely) called me.

The result is that I now have not one but two Firefly novels ready to go.

The first is Big Damn Hero, and it’s based on a story by the esteemed Nancy Holder, who was herself unable to complete the book for various reasons. It’s a rollicking tale of kidnap and revenge as the sins of Mal Reynolds’s youth catch up with him. It’s out in November.



The second is The Magnificent Nine, in which Jayne Cobb is contacted by an old flame, Temperance McCloud, asking for his assistance against bandits who are attacking her hometown. In it, I indulge in just about every Western-movie trope imaginable. You may be able to gather as much from the title alone. It’s out in March.



I had a blast working on these books. It was so much fun, in fact, it was hardly work at all.

Both are available where all shiny books are sold. And there may be more to come…

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  1. Kenneth Gagnon says:

    My wife has been bugging me for seven years now to read a book . I told her when there is a Firefly Novel … I WILL READ IT ! And I Was Not Disappointed !!!! PLEASE MORE MR LOVEGROVE !!!!!! How about some signed books maybe ?

  2. James says:

    Ha ha! Your wife wins. You win. Everybody wins. I can assure you there are going to be more Firefly novels. My next is out in March (The Magnificent Nine) and then there’s one due from Tim Lebbon in the autumn, I think. And after that… Well, strictly between you and me and anyone else who’s reading this, I may well be writing a couple more. Indeed, I may already have written the first of that couple more.

    As for signed books, I’ve autographed a fair few copies that are now on sale at Forbidden Planet in London, but I don’t know whether it’s convenient for you to get there.

  3. Milan says:

    It was a great pleasure reading the book! This really was a dream come true for me since I have longed for a Firefly novel for many years. Beside the intriguing story and the trademark humor, I also loved the fact that the book is not connected only with the TV series but with the Serenity comics, as well – the references to The Shepherd’s Tale or Those Left Behind were greatly appreciated!

    This reminds me I also wanted to ask – what was the cooperation with Joss Whedon like? Has he only read or approved the outline, or has he read and edited the whole manuscript? Has he added or changed some things? Also, I wonder about the role of Nancy Holder – did you only have her outline as a starting point, or did you have some parts of the book that were already written and you fleshed them out?

    Anyway, I can’t wait for the second novel – and hope there are many more to come!

  4. James says:

    Hi, Milan. Delighted you enjoyed the book so much. I had a blast writing it.

    In answer to your questions, I had no direct contact with Joss Whedon (more’s the pity). Everything was done via intermediaries. I know only that the licensor of the Firefly property read the outline and the finished manuscript and approved both, with no changes.

    As for Nancy, she was unable to write the book to her satisfaction, for a variety of reasons, and I simply completed the job for her.

    There are three more Firefly novels to come from me, as well as one from Tim Lebbon. The second you know about, The Magnificent Nine, and I’ve recently written the third, The Ghost Machine. It’ll be out in early 2020, I believe.

  5. clara says:

    was it difficult finishing a novel that was someone else’s idea? How much was your own input and how much were you conscious of following someone else’s vision?
    I really enjoyed how you wrote Jayne, and am looking forward to reading your next book

  6. James says:

    Because I’d written The Magnificent Nine when Titan asked me to take over Big Damn Hero, I already had some idea how to do Firefly. Nancy gave me plenty of good material to work with, and my input was extensive enough that it was agreed I should be the named author of the book.

    I love writing Jayne, and he gets to play a major role in The Magnificent Nine. There’s something refreshing about his honesty. He knows who he is and he makes no pretence about it. He’s not necessarily a good person but he can usually be called on to do the right thing. Kicking and screaming, sometimes, but still.

  7. Sylvie says:

    I love sherlock holmes, i like lovecraft (sometime he make me laugth). I’m reading your book in audio in french. I would like your opinion about that there is a lot of gothic english woman writer (Ann Radcliffe, Ada Lovelace, Eliza Parson, Regina Maria Roche, Eleonor Sleath). Why I can’t read her in french (sure the french elite hate the gothic, the fantastic, and the science fiction, sure we are the nation of Bonaparte and it nothing to write it when your are a french women, the only french women autor that i know from XIX century called George Sand, GEORGE!). Do you know English women autor, I’m going to read Lois Harriet Gresh but she’s american.
    I will contact you when I finish your book, to tell you what i think about it (10 Hours). Sylvie

  8. Andy Wierda says:

    Hi, Are there any plans to continue with more Firefly stories after the current five? They have been most enjoyable and more would be appreciated. Thanks

  9. James says:

    Hi, Andy. I’m glad you’ve enjoyed my Firefly stories. I’ve had fun doing them. However, I myself will not be writing any more. The publisher is giving other authors the opportunity to take on the franchise. I don’t know what their specific plans are, but I know that there is at least one more book scheduled, and there may be others in the future.

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