GENERAL DISCUSSIONS

Crossover Fanfic Discussion

POSTED BY: ZOID
UPDATED: Sunday, February 13, 2005 09:23
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Friday, February 11, 2005 8:10 AM

ZOID


Howdy again, folks!

I was talkin' with Channain on the 'BSG Renewal' thread, when it occurred to me that it might be possible to wed Firefly and Battlestar Galactica, at least in fanfic. Of course, we all know that our favorite Firefly-class transport was spotted in the miniseries, so maybe the shows' creators won't mind too much, huh?

Here's the concept: We, the Flans, attempt to bridge the universes of the two series so that an imaginary environment exists, which can support fanfic writers as they create stories with any combination of characters. We're basically trying to build a framework, a 'bible' for the crossover universe.

Here's an example: Tom Zarek (Richard Hatch's character in Battlestar Galactica) was a prominent Browncoat. He's currently a political prisoner, guilty of resorting to violence in an attempt to overthrow/restructure the government. In the fictive environment I'm visualizing, this means that Mal and Zoe would be deeply distrustful of Laura Roslin's government, although the tentative inclusion of Zarek and his followers against the mutual Cylon threat would make them reluctant allies with the government they once rebelled against. The Firefly characters would also be at least ten years older than they currently are, since Zarek's been in prison for almost 20 years, following his failed revolt. (NB: 10 years older? How suggestive is that, vis-a-vis the length of time before Firefly could return to TV?)

How would the other characters respond to their new alliance partners? Simon? Inara? Book? ...Would anyone among Serenity's crew be a Cylon?

This will be like a game of Pong, but with as many players as would like to join. Someone serves up a concept, we either refute its validity in response, or serve up one of our own, by way of accepting. Of course, we're gonna have to bend both universes slightly to make 'em fit, but we don't necessarily have to break them. Every once in a while -- if this proves to be an engaging endeavor -- we'll condense the acceptible ideas into a rule set (a bible) that may be used as a guideline for writers.

Sound like fun? Then join in! Every couple of days, I'll try to consolidate what we've said for final approval.

Okay, so somebody graph out the conflict/accommodation rules for Cylons ('Those That Know' and 'Those That Don't'), Blue Hands and Reavers. Heh, heh...


Respectfully,

zoid

P.S.
I'm personally hoping for a 'Zoe and Starbuck fight over Wash' episode. Sparks fly as two warrior women fight over the same 'sub' pilot...
_________________________________________________

"Burn the land and boil the sea, you can't take the sky from me." The Ballad of Serenity


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Friday, February 11, 2005 8:35 AM

AURAPTOR

America loves a winner!


I'm such a green horn when it comes to this crossover stuff. My biggest sticking points would be continuity of technology and the timeline.

First, the issue of BSG. They seem to be a good bit further along in the technology dept. than what we see in the Firefly 'verse. While there seems to be a wide range of technology in the 'verse, exactly how advanced its become, we don't really know. Hovering islands which hold private estates is pretty impressive. But basic Cylon level technology ?

Second, the timeline issue. I get the impression,from what I recall of the original BSG, that their early settlers went on and formed the basis of what we call Egypt. At least they had a heavy influence there. So, where do they fall in Earth history? Did the Anciets of BSG colonize Earth? Or simply mingle w/ the indigenous population of coincidentally very similar vertibrate mammals that walked on their hind legs? Either way, we here on Earth are 1000's of years behind the folks in the BSG 'verse, while the Firefly 'verse is still 500+ yrs in OUR future.

Maybe I'm going about this all wrong. Being too literal and all. I liked the idea of a Riddick / Firefly crossover, and I like this one too. But basic issues keep cropping up that seem awfully tough to bridge.

( Wonders to self if he's made ANY sense )

" They don't like it when you shoot at 'em. I worked that out myself. "

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Friday, February 11, 2005 8:55 AM

CHANNAIN

i DO aim to misbehave


Quote:

Originally posted by zoid:
This will be like a game of Pong, but with as many players as would like to join. Someone serves up a concept, we either refute its validity in response, or serve up one of our own, by way of accepting. Of course, we're gonna have to bend both universes slightly to make 'em fit, but we don't necessarily have to break them. Every once in a while -- if this proves to be an engaging endeavor -- we'll condense the acceptible ideas into a rule set (a bible) that may be used as a guideline for writers.

Sound like fun? Then join in! Every couple of days, I'll try to consolidate what we've said for final approval.

Whoa. Good concepts running there for sure and it does sound like all manner of twisty-turny kind of fun.

Unfortunately, it's also feeling and tasting more like an RP than a fan fic. If it is, then I'm afraid I'm going to have to decline. Provided, that is, you had anticipated my joining in. I wouldn't want to assume or anything.

Having been involved with the Gunrunners RP on this self-same Web site for the better part of 2004, I'm currently finding significant time constraints when it comes to posting as it is. Adding another RP would only compound the issue. Much as I love the notion of combining two excellent 'verse's into one, I simply can't commit to another RP. Awfully sorry, but that's how it will be until I finish my degree. School's fun, but not all that forgiving when it comes to following my muse - my publishing "schedule" (or lack thereof) for my own claim to fan-fic would be the most obvious case in point.

Also - and this is just a suggestion - beings this would eventually get posted in the Blue Sun Room, or even the Firefly Universe sections, it might be a good idea to technomagically *SHIFT* this thread over to either of those venues. You could ask Haken about it, I'm sure he'd be happy to do that.



Fans come and fans go...but zealots are with you until the bitter black end.
I draw...therefore I am. http://www.mnartists.org/artistHome.do?rid=7922
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Friday, February 11, 2005 9:16 AM

ZOID



AURaptor:

You made yourself clear enough, I believe.

My only observation would be that the current incarnation of BSG is really not identical to the original BSG's universe. There are some glaring departures, and I think the new show is better than the original for those changes.

While we know FF takes place 500+ years in our future, we've not been specifically told when the new BSG occurs. We have been told that Earth is/was an established-but-lost colony, now mostly considered a legend (as it was in the original, to my recollection. Sure you're not thinking of Stargate?). In FF, the precise whereabouts of Earth-That-Was is also a lost location, if you'll recall.

A somewhat larger, though not insurmountable problem is the naming of planets in specific, and, in general, the galaxy vice single-system argument that has stormed on FFFn for a couple years.

So, if JW's comments on the subject can be taken at face value (I assume they should be), then BSG is running from one system to the next by FTL jumps, staying just ahead of the pursuing Cylons. Eventually, they will come to the Firefly single-system, whereupon the stories would merge.

As far as planet-naming is concerned though, one is based on zodiacal signs (BSG), another on mythological gods (FF); so, not that large a departure either, and certainly not a major stumbling block, IMO...

Another interesting question arises: What happens to the Cortex when Cylons reach the FF solar system? Is it virus-protected against the code that disabled Caprica's defense net?

I believe it's possible to combine the two series without too much absurdity (and we can always just ignore that when it does happen). It'll be a little more difficult than "Alien vs. Predator" (which really violated timelines), due to the complexity of the settings; but it shouldn't be impossible. As I said, we'll have to bend the rules of both series a little, not necessarily break them.

And I'd really like to 'see' some of the possible character and plot permutations. The BSG heroes are Purplebellies, with lots of justification for the things they believe in and fight for; Firefly characters are -- to varying degrees -- anti-establishment, and likewise justified in their beliefs (Apollo might even be turned to the Browncoat way of thought, based on his reading and intellectual acceptance of Zarek's banned book)...


Imaginatively,

zoid
_________________________________________________

"Burn the land and boil the sea, you can't take the sky from me." The Ballad of Serenity

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Friday, February 11, 2005 9:39 AM

HOTPOINT


One thing that might be interesting is that although the Firefly 'Verse is in some ways less high tech it does have a lot more colonised worlds and therefore population and industrial depth than the Colonies do on BSG.

If we think in terms of the Alliance and Independents being able to field millions of troops during the war and there being enough shipbuilding capacity for there to be 40,000 Firefly Class ships alone then you could play it as technological sophistication versus sheer numbers. For that matter BSG technology apart from FTL seems often no more high-tech in many ways than Firefly, they have no energy shields, rely on missiles and projectile weapons and nukes are still the ultimate weapon.

Darn there I go thinking like a Sci-Fi MilFic writer again

...................................
Hurrah, hurrah, when things are at their worst
With cries of “Death or Glory” comes the mighty Twenty-First

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Friday, February 11, 2005 9:39 AM

RUTHIE


Interesting concept, this.

I'm wondering if it's necessary to make ANY changes to the basic premis of either show?
It seems to me that they could easily both fit in the same 'universe', just different parts of it and could meet up with little trouble.

Like this -

In BSG, it seems that 'Earth' is part of their history/mythology, as being another place settled by the same people who settled the BSG colonies. A long time passes, they develop technology which is very similar to Earth.

In the Firefly 'Verse, the inhabitants of Earth - decended from the same stock as the BSG colonists, but having lost knowledge of them, find it necessary to leave Earth that was, and go off to another part of the galaxe where the worlds are closer together.

Neither show has aliens (except the Cylons, who were created by man).

So, there's just two lots of humans in the galaxy, one traveling in the BSG convoy, the other in the Firefly 'Verse cluster.

Then, one day, the BSG convoy happens on the Firefly cluster of planets.

What happens? Do the BSG people seek to make allies against the Cylons? What would the Allience make of another 'independant' military force arriving in its midst? How would Serenity get caucht up in the middle of this? What would Zoe make of Starbuck, and vice versa?

I see lots of interesting possibilities...

(I'll play this one through in my own head, if it doesn't fit with what you are doing here....)

*******************
Ruthie
*******************
By the data to date, there is only one animal in the Galaxy dangerous to man - man himself. So he must supply his own indispensable competition. He has no enemy to help him. (R.A.Heinlein)

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Friday, February 11, 2005 10:35 AM

MANOFSTEEL25


Well aside fomr the timeline implication of when BG takes place.... because I recall that that they hint that either they're supposed to arrive on Earth eithe rin our past (inidicating these futurisitc folks ar ein fact our ancestors- a la Star wars "A long time a go in a galaxy far far away" - or they arriv eon Earth present day.

Now even fudging that I'm confused how Hatch's character could be a browncoat or how Mal and Zoe would have distruct of BG's govt since they wouldn't arriv eon the scene until post Ois or even the BDM.

But I'm sure there's a way to make it work.

If you're looking for anyone to try a Blake's 7, Red Dwarf (surprisingly possible but the tones don't match), Dr. Who or Cowboy Bebop- I'm all on board. For fun I outlined a Greatest American Hero crossover as well but scrapped it out of respect for Joss's rules (it introduces extraterrestrials into the 'Verse).

The character interactions on a B7 crossover would be a hell of a lot of fun to see though.

-Bob

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Saturday, February 12, 2005 4:19 AM

REGINAROADIE


Actually, I was thinking of doing a cross-over fanfic, but with the cast of STAR TREK: VOYAGER. Out of all the TREK spin-off's, the only one I really got into was VOYAGER, even though it was the most pissed on series. I guess I have a real underdog complex.

Anyhow, I hadn't figured out exactly how they'd mesh, but I can just imagine various pairing from both series. Mal with Capt. Janeway, Simon with the Doctor, Kaylee with B'Elanna (I imagine Kaylee would be both enchanted and dumbfounded if she got her hands on a warp core), Wash with Tom Paris, Zoe with Chakotay, Inara with Seven and (I think the most entertaining) Jayne with Tuvok. That would definitly be a interesting meeting of Jayne's man-ape mental capacity and Vulcan logic.

"NO HAI ES BANDAI. THERE IS....NO.....BAND. AND YET....WE HEAR A BAND."

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Saturday, February 12, 2005 4:53 AM

AURAPTOR

America loves a winner!


Quote:

Originally posted by zoid:

AURaptor:


While we know FF takes place 500+ years in our future, we've not been specifically told when the new BSG occurs. We have been told that Earth is/was an established-but-lost colony, now mostly considered a legend (as it was in the original, to my recollection. Sure you're not thinking of Stargate?). In FF, the precise whereabouts of Earth-That-Was is also a lost location, if you'll recall.


"Burn the land and boil the sea, you can't take the sky from me." The Ballad of Serenity



Zoid, are you are mind reader or what ? Actually, I was thinking about SG-1 a bit as I was typing, thanks in part to the SciFi channel. However, a reason I associated the original BSG to the Egyptian theme was because of the 'King Tut' helments that the Viper pilots wore. And of course, everyone knows that the Pyramids were made by super advanced aliens, whether they came through a Star Gate or migrated from the original 12 colonies.

" They don't like it when you shoot at 'em. I worked that out myself. "

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Saturday, February 12, 2005 7:05 AM

ZOID


Hotpoint wrote:
Quote:

One thing that might be interesting is that although the Firefly 'Verse is in some ways less high tech it does have a lot more colonised worlds and therefore population and industrial depth than the Colonies do on BSG...

A very useful post, along the lines I'm considering. If I might, though: Please recall that while the 'Rim' or 'Border Moons' are technological backwaters, the Core Worlds are quite advanced, and may even be ahead of BSG tech. Don't forget Rance Burgess' hover car and laser pistol (which he'd clearly never read the 'dash one' on); a medical imaging technology that outstrips BSG's radiological methods, not to mention cerebral microsurgery. I would also say that the Dortmund (a 'cruiser') is significantly larger than a Battlestar, based on relative size of fighters juxtaposed alongside each. How much larger would an Alliance battleship or dreadnought be?

So, just because the Rim is technologically stunted, should not lead us to believe that the Core Worlds are. (Simon's most common complaint is his loss of access to high-tech.)

I rather envision the crossover environment as being highly conducive to Milfic. So, I'll be expecting at least one short story from you, once we get the ground rules -- the 'bible' -- finalized.


Respectfully,

zoid

_________________________________________________

"Burn the land and boil the sea, you can't take the sky from me." The Ballad of Serenity

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Saturday, February 12, 2005 7:52 AM

ZOID


Ruthie wrote, in part:
Quote:

...What happens? Do the BSG people seek to make allies against the Cylons? What would the Allience make of another 'independant' military force arriving in its midst? How would Serenity get caucht up in the middle of this? What would Zoe make of Starbuck, and vice versa?...

Thanks for your imaginative input; you've gotten it just right. I quoted this one part of your response because I don't necessarily think the BlueSun/Alliance and the central government of the BSG Colonies would necessarily be ignorant of one another. Allow me to explain a bit...

In FF, differing planets have differing forms of government and legal systems. Some have slavery, others do not. I also presume variations in governmental models: monarchies, technocracies, and perhaps variant feudal systems based on Asian models of historical record. (NB: Has anyone else considered that the Firefly premise might be a reversal of the Asian experience in the American Old West? Perhaps the Chinese settlers of the system's Core Worlds use Anglos to do the 'coolie' work out on the Rim, similar to Chinese immigrants who worked on the Transcontinental Railway? Consider TTJ.)

It might also logically follow that the Colonial Government (BSG) allows for individual systems to determine their own sociological models, if for no other reason than it's too cumbersome to try to tightly structure them all into a single ideology. So, the "Articles of Colonization" might set down some basic rules, but the individual system is left to interpret them legally.

For instance, while the Articles might specifically ban "Slavery", perhaps a system's hierarchy could sidestep that by legalizing 'indentured servitude'. The two are basically the same -- the servant is bought and paid for -- but the lawyers could keep you out of hot water, based on the wording.

The BlueSun/Alliance might therefore be in nearly continuous contact with central Colonial Government, while exercising its inalienable Article-given right to determine its own local governmental style. Think of the US and the UK: Two different ways of doing business internally (monarchy vs. republic, social vs. private medicine, actual beer vs. lightly alcoholic soda water, et cetera), and yet allied quite closely in geopolitical affairs.

There is a historical model for such cultural diversity; we're living it right now...

Please continue to provide insights. I think we're on the right track. And don't forget, I'm just a participant, not a moderator of this conversation. I'm only offering input, which may be accepted or refuted.


Respectfully,

zoid

P.S.
I'm not familiar with Blake's 7, which never aired in the US (to my awareness). For the purposes of this discussion, though, I'd prefer to stick with the Galactica + Firefly concept, to stay on point...
_________________________________________________

"Burn the land and boil the sea, you can't take the sky from me." The Ballad of Serenity

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Saturday, February 12, 2005 8:01 AM

ZOID


Channain:

RP = Role Playing? I'm fairly stupid when it comes to most of these acronym-thingys. No, I meant what I said: This is for purposes of assisting those who are interested in writing crossover fiction. If someone else wanted to subsequently turn it into a role playing scheme, I've got no objections to that. But I'm specifically looking for any kind of creative input in setting up the working boundaries of the combined worlds. Some of our UK Flans have a better idea on some of the complete parameters of the BSG 'verse, too. Their input would also be appreciated (no spoilers, though, please). Sort of a "No, that won't work, based on later revelations" sort of thing, maybe.

My ultimate goal is to allow those who are so inclined (myself included) to write fiction of various lengths, with characters of both series interacting. How about a crisis-driven, engineering problem-solving story featuring CPO Tyrol (BSG) and Kaylee? The Battlestar develops a mechanical problem for which it will take an unacceptably long time to mill a new part. Kaylee pulls one of her 'terrifying space monkey' repairs to save the day, helping them elude a Cylon battleship. Richard Dean Anderson cameos as the Chief Engineer of the mechanical system's manufacturing corporation; he insists that Kaylee's 'MacGyver' of a fix won't work, and then is proven embarassingly wrong...


Respectfully,

zoid
_________________________________________________

"Burn the land and boil the sea, you can't take the sky from me." The Ballad of Serenity

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Saturday, February 12, 2005 8:05 AM

RUTHIE


I'm from the UK, and have seen the whole first series of BSG.

Nothing you have suggested would seem to be to go against the way the series develops.

I'm confused at just how you are envisioning it, Zoid - in your first post, it sounds as though yor are trying to 'bend' the two scenarios to make them fit together (making Zarek a Browncoat etc), wheras your second post sounds more along the lines I was thinking - just take the two as they are, and bring them together.

I'm imagining the reports from the rim - a huge fleet of space vessels has been spotted - can it be that there ARE aliens after all? Tha Allience fleet is summoned - as many ships as can be mustered...
Co-incidentaly, a little transport ship called 'Serenity' just happens to have been doing a job in that sector. As the 'alien' fleet advances, they happen to pick up some stray comms signals, including visual - the 'aliens' are human!

Can the Allience be convinced in time not to destroy the newcomers?

*******************
Ruthie
*******************
By the data to date, there is only one animal in the Galaxy dangerous to man - man himself. So he must supply his own indispensable competition. He has no enemy to help him. (R.A.Heinlein)

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Saturday, February 12, 2005 8:09 AM

ZOID


AURaptor wrote:
Quote:

Zoid, are you are mind reader or what?

Yes.

When Joss created me, He made me a psychic, non-violent, cretinous type; but that was as far as He was willing to go. I was kinda hoping for one of those bony forehead plates, too...

Pattern recognition is my prime modus operandi, "and it's brought me a galaxy a'fun I'm here to tell you."


Mentally,

zoid
_________________________________________________

"Burn the land and boil the sea, you can't take the sky from me." The Ballad of Serenity

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Saturday, February 12, 2005 8:26 AM

CHANNAIN

i DO aim to misbehave


Quote:

RP = Role Playing?

Yes, sorry, my bad. I've been deep in it for so long that I just think "RP" these days

And everything you said was totally awsome, only, you meant Richard Dean Anderson, right? Not Harry? With the MacGyver reference and all, I was thinking Rick, not Harry.

Anyway - Good Writing!

Chan

Fans come and fans go...but zealots are with you until the bitter black end.
I draw...therefore I am. http://www.mnartists.org/artistHome.do?rid=7922
Minnesota Meetup - join us! http://firefly.meetup.com/45/

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Saturday, February 12, 2005 8:58 AM

ZOID



Ruthie responded:
Quote:

...I'm confused at just how you are envisioning it, Zoid - in your first post, it sounds as though yor are trying to 'bend' the two scenarios to make them fit together (making Zarek a Browncoat etc), wheras your second post sounds more along the lines I was thinking - just take the two as they are, and bring them together...

Hopefully then, one of my series of posts above have clarified it somewhat.

That's kind of the point of this exercise. If a group of people wanted to write some crossover fanfic, it would be helpful to have some ground rules that readers could count on.

You seem to be suggesting that FF and BSG would be unaware of one another's existence, and that would fuel some conflict between the two. I think it would be more satisfying to have them aware of one another, from the get-go.

I predict that a 'they don't know about each other' scenario is going to be less fertile than a 'they are intimately linked' scenario. In your scenario, after the initial conflict is resolved there would be a lot of cultural alienation that would keep them from meshing productively against the common Cylon threat. In my version, the Alliance and Colonials would have a built-in basis for cooperation, as well as a built-in basis for social unrest.

I would have Zarek be one of the founding fathers of the Independent movement across the galaxy (i.e., a failed revolt across many systems, including Firefly's), imprisoned after the uprising was crushed in the various systems in which it arose. But, his anti-government ideas inspired the downtrodden, including Mal, Zoe and other Browncoats. He would, therefore, be a hero to Mal, and any Browncoat would be 'on the outs' with Purplebelly-types like Roslin.

The conflict for our heroes would then be reassimilation into a larger society, fighting injustice within the system, while fighting a common enemy (Cylons). This would provide an on-going subcontextual conflict for the stories, much as it did for the Firefly series.

As a final note, I think one could've taken the Tom Zarek story out of the BSG universe and made it a compelling Firefly story with very few adaptations. If Tom Zarek had been a Browncoat leader, and the Alliance society had offered him a second chance similar to the one Apollo had offered him, he and other Browncoats might have opted back in. The post-Civil War US had a Reconstruction period that offered similar amnesty for former rebels. But the Reconstruction was fraught with evils of its own making; food for thought, when considering how well Zarek/Browncoat leadership's deal with the Alliance might actually pan out.

Still, we're working on this 'bible' idea together, and that's what I'd hoped for. Perhaps you could describe how the conflict would be perpetuated after the initial contact between Alliance and Colonials? It seems rather a dead-end, after the first episode or two, but I'm probably just being single-minded...


Respectfully,

zoid
_________________________________________________

"Burn the land and boil the sea, you can't take the sky from me." The Ballad of Serenity

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Saturday, February 12, 2005 9:04 AM

ZOID


Channy wrote:
Quote:

...you meant Richard Dean Anderson, right?

Oops! I is a mo-ron! I'll go fix it; but I admit you're right: I got it goofily wrong.

And thanks for pointing it out. The only thing worse than the embarassment of making such a silly blunder, is leaving it uncorrected...


v/r,
-zed

P.S.
Was I thinking Harry Dean Stanton? Who knows what passes for cognition with zoid...

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Saturday, February 12, 2005 11:08 AM

RUTHIE


(Alcohol warning - but not TOO much, I hope.....)

Quote:

I would have Zarek be one of the founding fathers of the Independent movement across the galaxy (i.e., a failed revolt across many systems, including Firefly's), imprisoned after the uprising was crushed in the various systems in which it arose. But, his anti-government ideas inspired the downtrodden, including Mal, Zoe and other Browncoats. He would, therefore, be a hero to Mal, and any Browncoat would be 'on the outs' with Purplebelly-types like Roslin.


Hmmm. Well, maybe I do have the advantage on you here of having seen all of BSG (so far). Or perhaps it is a difference of natural inclination. But I don't see Zarek as any sort of hero, or Roslin as a Purplebelly. Perhaps a few more monthe, and more eps, are needed to be sure we are basing interpretations on the same information.

I think the problem I have with your scenario (as I understand it) is that there has been no hint in Firefly of any power greater than the Allience, or in BSG of colonies known, but not attacked by Cylons.

Wheras both have a backstory that includes Earth as a historical/mythical place. So I see the link as in the past, with the possibility of being resumed in the future, rather than in the 'present' of either series.

To put it in an SF-sort of way, and assuming that the two series won't 'officially' intermingle, I see the timelines diverging at the point we are at - i.e. during BSG's search for Earth, and Firefly's independance from it. In the 'official' series/films, the BSG convoy goes a different way, and so never finds the Firefly 'Verse, in our alrenative scenario, they turn left, not right, and meet.

As for story development, I've got ideas, but food is ready now, so will post later/tomorrow :)

*******************
Ruthie
*******************
By the data to date, there is only one animal in the Galaxy dangerous to man - man himself. So he must supply his own indispensable competition. He has no enemy to help him. (R.A.Heinlein)

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Saturday, February 12, 2005 10:16 PM

ZOID


Ruthie:

Y'know, one of the common problems of human beings in general is a certain casual myopia. We seldom see things from the other guy's perspective. This failure of imagination leads to a lot of the world's ills: war, persecution, bigotry, ethnocentrism, the French... Okay, so it's not really the raison d'etre for the French, but I figured it was as good an excuse as any.

Before you jump to conclusions, let me lay down a cushy mattress for you: My point is that we know practically nothing about the rank-and-file Alliance citizen, nor about their form(s) of government. Are Alliance leaders elected? Is its citizenry in the majority happy, healthy and fulfilled? I feel it's supportable to argue that the Alliance is very similar to modern capitalist democracies of the West. Are those of us who live in these societies 'evil', simply because we live in them, and defend our families and way of life from those who would destroy our governmental and economic systems?

Firefly fans see Malcolm Reynolds and his comrades as heroes, because we are intimate with his story. We see Purplebellies as 'evil' because we are not intimate with their individual stories. We see Roslin and Adama (but I intend to make a special case of him later in this project) as heroes because we are intimate with their story. This is what I meant by saying "casual myopia". On both sides of every conflict are human beings who feel (more or less) fully justified for their beliefs and actions. And since logic so seldom applies in matters of belief, both sides may argue quite compellingly -- and with equal lunacy -- that their cause is Just.

How about a little pertinent thought experiment? From a Firefly-only perspective, how would the common Alliance citizen (surely, 98% of them are good, honest folk) feel about the failed Independent Revolt, and those who espoused that cause? Do you think they'd feel as patriotic about their way of life as we do, or as a Colonial citizen would? Wouldn't they equate Mal's thievery, brigandism and illicit bobble-head doll smuggling to the same sort of outlaw behavior Zarek got imprisoned for (depending perhaps upon the network they tune to for news)?

One of the things I like most about Galactica is that it in many ways is analogous to that untold Alliance side of the Firefly story. That's why I originally came to the conclusion that the two stories could be married. Yin and yang, if you will.

On the other hand, maybe I'm barking up the wrong tree with the whole crossover notion. Some ideas seem promising, but work their way into an intractable knot. Still, I'll sit and listen for a while, and see how (or if) the thread proceeds...


Pensively,

zoid

P.S.
Had another crossover story idea: Cylons meet Reavers. Of particular personal interest: Reavers operate without core containment, meaning high levels of radiation, which we know Cylonic bodies cannot tolerate. Maybe, when Cylons disappeared after the truce they moved in right next door to the humans who became Reavers; Reavers developed higher tolerance to radioactive environments as a defense mechanism against Cylons. Tasty.
_________________________________________________

"Burn the land and boil the sea, you can't take the sky from me." The Ballad of Serenity

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Sunday, February 13, 2005 1:21 AM

HOTPOINT


Quote:

Originally posted by zoid:
I feel it's supportable to argue that the Alliance is very similar to modern capitalist democracies of the West.



We know that there are at least a few Alliance Worlds that have a functioning aristocracy. We also know from Jaynestown that indentured servitude is legal and taking a supposition from a throwaway comment on Shindig that "Why Banning Miller, what a vision you are in that fine dress. Must have taken a dozen slaves a dozen days just to get you into that get-up" that slavery is not only practiced it's likely legal to boot or else we wouldn't see the upper classes at a society function talking this way.

Additionally from an economic standpoint there are certainly major restictions on trade (to the extent that smuggling of wobbly headed dolls is profitable and necessary) so I don't think you can say that the Alliance is a proponent of lasse-faire free-trade capitalism either.

However it could very well be akin to late 18th Century Britain with an elected parliament (although not based on universal suffrage), an aristoscracy, informal Empire in the colonies (like the East India Company) and merchantalism (economic nationalism with stong tariffs etc) rather than lasse-faire capitalism.

To think that the Alliance is like a modern Capitalist Democracy would be to go against established facts in my opinion. That wouldn't necessarily make it evil though.


...................................
Hurrah, hurrah, when things are at their worst
With cries of “Death or Glory” comes the mighty Twenty-First

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Sunday, February 13, 2005 4:56 AM

ZOID


Hotpoint argued thus:
Quote:

...would be to go against established facts in my opinion.

All your points were excellent, and I decided not to reiterate them, since they're in the post just atop this one. Mostly though, you're disagreeing that the Alliance -- in the main -- resembles modern societies.

And from what we've seen -- through Mal and his crews' eyes -- I'd agree with you. However, as I said above, this is a myopic viewpoint. We've only been shown Persephone, among Core Worlds, and it looked pretty spiffy for the common folk. The docks and ghettos and rustic backworlds where Mal and crew normally ply their trade can hardly be considered indicative of the Alliance way of life, any more than down-bayou Louisiana resembles New York City. I daresay a proper megacorp like BlueSun would have its wage slaves pampered with every conceivable frippery they desire, like our consumer-driven capitalist society today. And if the IAV Cruiser Dortmund looks like a skyscraping city in space, how must the actual cities on Sihnon, etc., appear? Inara describes Sihnon's nightside as a planet of light, which causes a wealthy client to wonder how she could leave such opulence for the boondocks where they live. Also, the opening monologues for Firefly, which appear to have been lost in time, gave a similar viewpoint: It's a society of 'have' planets and 'have not' planets.

So, we haven't been shown true Alliance culture and society, except in peripheral glances. All we've seen in any detail is the Border Worlds, which are quite as you've described them. On the Core World of Persephone we saw a junk yard, a hospital (quite advanced, wouldn't you agree?) and a city side street where Jayne did the deal for costumes (paved, clean, electronic access, citizens well-clothed).

While there's scarcely enough hard evidence to go on, I must still counter-argue that the Core Worlds are very advanced and the Rim or Border Worlds are as technologically and sociologically challenged as the Third World is today. I think Joss was trying to get us to realize that there is a huge gap in the quality of life for West and East, here on Earth today. The 'haves' and 'have nots'.

And as we know, the 'have nots' are getting increasingly pissed about it. But I still believe that the Core Worlds are synonymous with modern capitalist democracies, while the Rim is analogous to the Third World. This makes the Alliance more akin to the UN than NATO, only with a touch more multinationalist flair economically than current. We all have our own opinions on how well that whole UN thing is working out...

With Joss, we must read between the lines, and purposely see things from the other side's perspective, too. The story on the surface is entertaining, but it's less than half of the entire message Joss is sending. That subcontext, even if we only perceive subconsciously, is what makes FF 'verse so real and emotionally engaging.

Of course, it helps to remember that zoid still believes the main reason Firefly was so badly treated is because this subcontextual message scared the living sh*t out of F*x's pinheaded little capitalistic nationalists...


Respectfully,

zoid
_________________________________________________

"Burn the land and boil the sea, you can't take the sky from me." The Ballad of Serenity

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Sunday, February 13, 2005 6:50 AM

HOTPOINT


Quote:

Originally posted by zoid:
We've only been shown Persephone, among Core Worlds, and it looked pretty spiffy for the common folk.

It's a society of 'have' planets and 'have not' planets.



Yes but since the Alliance has direct rule over these colonies First World/Third World is not really a completely valid comparison in that they are more like states within the US than states within the UN.

Parts of Louisiana and New York may have differentials in living standards but they don't have slavery legal in one and not the other (well not since the Civil War ).

Remember just because the society is high-tech doesn't mean it has to be advanced politically. Even a Feudal or Imperial society could easily exist in an industrial system it would just have severe drawbacks.

Quote:

Originally posted by zoid:
So, we haven't been shown true Alliance culture and society, except in peripheral glances. All we've seen in any detail is the Border Worlds, which are quite as you've described them.



Yes but we know that the Alliance permits this situation within their own borders so even if things are different in the core the chances that it could be an identical twin of our own modern capitalist democracies is remote.

People today may exploit the Third World economically but would we in the UK allow slavery to be practiced in the Falkland Islands? We would have two hundred years ago which is why I think an 18th Century model is better. It could still be democratic to some extent, and even capitalist (though not the capitalism of Adam Smith or John Maynard Keynes)

Quote:

Originally posted by zoid:
I think Joss was trying to get us to realize that there is a huge gap in the quality of life for West and East, here on Earth today. The 'haves' and 'have nots'.



I'll go along with that but regardless the situation still doesn't mesh with the notion that the Core Worlds are like California and New York and the Rim Worlds are Alabama

(Apologies to anyone from Alabama just making a point)

Quote:

Originally posted by zoid:

And as we know, the 'have nots' are getting increasingly pissed about it. But I still believe that the Core Worlds are synonymous with modern capitalist democracies, while the Rim is analogous to the Third World. This makes the Alliance more akin to the UN than NATO, only with a touch more multinationalist flair economically than current. We all have our own opinions on how well that whole UN thing is working out...



The analogy doesn't work in my opinion because the Rim Worlds are part of the Alliance and governed by it. Remember the model for the War was the American Civil War so Hera is Arkansas not Angola.

Quote:

Originally posted by zoid:

With Joss, we must read between the lines, and purposely see things from the other side's perspective, too.



I am looking from the Alliance perspective. The British didn't think they were the bad guys during the days of Empire either


...................................
Hurrah, hurrah, when things are at their worst
With cries of “Death or Glory” comes the mighty Twenty-First

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Sunday, February 13, 2005 7:21 AM

RUTHIE


Quote:

Originally posted by zoid:
On both sides of every conflict are human beings who feel (more or less) fully justified for their beliefs and actions. And since logic so seldom applies in matters of belief, both sides may argue quite compellingly -- and with equal lunacy -- that their cause is Just.



Oh yes, I'm right with you there - one man's freedom fighter is another man's terrorist. I've got two specific problems with your characterization of Zarek and Roslyn, though, which are based on eps of BSG which I don't think have aired in the USA yet. I could be more specific if you like, but it would probably be a spoiler.


Quote:

How about a little pertinent thought experiment? From a Firefly-only perspective, how would the common Alliance citizen (surely, 98% of them are good, honest folk) feel about the failed Independent Revolt, and those who espoused that cause? Do you think they'd feel as patriotic about their way of life as we do,


OK, I'll play.
EVERYWHERE we have seen much of life in Firefly there seems to be a sharp dividion between the 'haves' and the 'have nots'. Even on the rich planet where Saffron's 'husband' lived in Trash, there were servants.

Now, some people can be quite happy being servants. British society functioned perfectly well on that premise for 100's of years. However, there comes a time when the people at the bottom of the pile start to think that they could run things better than those at the top - and do something about it.

So, I'd say that, of those 98% of citizens who are happy with the allience, the few 'on top' would think the Independants were terrible, the majority 'underneath' would start wondering if they had a point.

I think, however, we may be seeing the War slightly differently. From your post, it sounds as though you see the war as an attempt from the Independants to break away from an established Allience, wheras I understood it as an attempt to refuse to be taken into the initial formation of the Allience.

*******************
Ruthie
*******************
By the data to date, there is only one animal in the Galaxy dangerous to man - man himself. So he must supply his own indispensable competition. He has no enemy to help him. (R.A.Heinlein)

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Sunday, February 13, 2005 9:23 AM

HOTPOINT


Quote:

Originally posted by Ruthie:
I think, however, we may be seeing the War slightly differently. From your post, it sounds as though you see the war as an attempt from the Independants to break away from an established Allience, wheras I understood it as an attempt to refuse to be taken into the initial formation of the Allience.



I have another view again in that I see the Core Worlds pre-war as already being in the Alliance and the war was due to them expanding their control to the previously independent colonies.

This brings me back to my model of the Alliance as being like 18th Century Britain as it shifted from informal Empire to direct control with the large interplanetary conglomerates and the private terraforming concerns playing the role of the East India and Hudson Bay companies.


...................................
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