Grif Vindh vs. Malcom Reynolds

Submitted by C B Wright on

There have been a number of reviews for Pay Me, Bug! that have compared it to Firefly. I love those reviews, because a) Firefly is awesome, b) I wrote PMB! a year after Firefly’s painfully short-lived run (it came out in 2002, I wrote PMB! in 2003) and yes, the show did leave its mark on me so some comparison is apt, and c) Firefly did a lot of things, story-wise, that I want to do when I write—so being compared to it is a good sign.

(Though I should note that while I was writing PMB! I found myself more influenced by Farscape, and I specifically took inspiration for Grif and Amys’ relationship from an episode where John Crichton and Aeryn Sun impersonate bounty hunters and go by the names “Butch” and “Sundance.”)

There is one part of the comparison that fascinates me, which is when Grif gets compared to Malcom Reynolds. Superficially it’s a good fit: they’re both mavericks, they’re both smartasses, they’re both loyal to their crew, they’re both always getting into trouble. But I think the comparison can really be ONLY superficial. Fundamentally their characters are so different that I don’t think, at the end of the day, they would ever really get along.

The more I thought about this, the more I thought it would be fun to write about why I see it that way, and it mostly has to do with how I view Mal, who has become one of my favorite characters on television and, I think, is the proper heir to Han Solo’s Mantle of Scruffy Nerf-Herder Awesome. So without further ado, here are my Reasons Why Grif and Mal Aren’t the Same, and Why They Probably Wouldn’t Get Along.

A Rake by Starlight - Chapter 16

Submitted by C B Wright on
WHEREIN the Business Partner Evaluates the Merits of the Pitch

Baron Minerva Tyrelos was young for a Trade Baron. She wasn’t a girl by any means—in most professions, she would be considered someone with an extensive resume. But politics, as a profession, skewed old by default; with technology capable of extending human life by decades even without the use of age-slowing anagathics, the “default setting” was beginning to be viewed more as a minimum requirement. Most of the other Trade Barons had been around for a long time, and most remembered when she’d been a girl.

So when her father died, and she assumed his place, she found the transition difficult to manage.

A Rake by Starlight - Chapter 15

Submitted by C B Wright on
WHEREIN Our Hero, Safely Returned to Friendly Lands, Contacts a Business Partner of a Surprising Pedigree

The Tyrelos Barony was the poorest of all the Trade Baronies, by a fair margin. It specialized in mining and processing high-grade alloys and in ruggedizing equipment to survive in exotic and hostile environments. Tyrelos Metallurgics was a premier manufacturer of artificially enhanced starship hull alloys, and Tyrelos Environmentals had no competitors when it came to top-of-the line closed environment systems. Tyrelos Mining Endeavors was one of the top-tier mining endeavors in known space, and along with the high-quality equipment they sold to the industry at large, their mining expertise was sought after by worlds who had precious materials but lacked the resources to mine them.

All these industries were in high demand and very successful. At the same time, their profits were needed by the Barony to sustain itself. The Tyrelos Barony was unique among the Trade Baronies in that every planet in the Tyrelos System was uninhabitable, some of them aggressively so. All the technology and know-how from the various Tyrelos corporations was needed to create enclosed cities, protected environments, and artificially habitable zones for its citizens. This was an expensive process, and after expenses, the Barony enjoyed only a modest profit.

Of course, modest is a relative term: what the Tyrelos Barony considered modest was considered staggering to pretty much every other corporation that wasn’t a Trade Baron. But if total accumulated wealth could be translated into power and influence, the Tyrelos Barony had significantly less than its neighbors.

What it lacked in comparative wealth, however, it more than made up for in sheer ambition. And nothing captured this ambition better than Tyrelos Station, its capitol city.

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