ICv2 Stars: 4 (out of 5)
Posted by L.B. Bryant on March 30, 2016 @ 4:11 am CT
Publisher: Titan Books
Release Date: April 12, 2016
Author: Monica Valentinelli
Format: 160 pgs., Full-Color, Hardcover
Age Rating: 13+
ICv2 Rating: 4 Stars out of 5
Even though I discovered it after it was canceled, the TV series Firefly still holds a special place in my heart and is one of my all time favorite television programs. A big reason for this is because of the interesting use of language throughout the series. For those who aren't familiar with the show, the basic idea is that a few centuries in the future there are only two superpowers left in the world: the United States and China. However with the population growing so large that the Earth can no longer sustain it, mankind has left Earth and began colonizing planets in space which has created an amazing melding of languages and cultures.
While English is the language that is primarily spoken by people, language has evolved enough where there is new jargon and the average person is able to speak at least a little bit of Chinese. As you can imagine, this is interesting to listen to but can be a little confusing even for the most hardcore fans who don't speak a lick of this foreign language.
That's where The Gorramn Shiniest Dictionary and Phrasebook in the Verse comes in handy. Within 160 pages, this book will spill the beans and finally help viewers know exactly what the characters were talking about at any given point within the series whether they were speaking English, Chinese or something in between.
Keep in mind however that this is a dictionary which means that it's not exactly a page turner. This is definitely a reference book that you keep you on your shelf and pull out as you're watching the series and need a reminder of what certain words or phrases mean in the context that they are being used. Additionally, some fans are going to roll their eyes at some of the words that the author, Monica Valentinelli, chose to define, such as alcohol and birthday. I know that there is a lot of slang thrown around in this series but still, some of these words are pretty self-explanatory.
To keep things interesting, however, there are certain things that fans will get an extra kick out of, such as profiles of all the main characters and interviews with not only the author of the book but also the person who was responsible for inserting all of the Chinese words and phrases into the series to begin with, translator Jenny Lynn.
The Gorramn Shiniest Dictionary and Phrasebook in the Verse is a book for fans of the series. If you've seen or even heard of Firefly before, this dictionary isn't going to magically make you into a fan. If you're a person who proudly refers to themselves as a browncoat, though, and you love to learn about words and language, this is going to be a wonderful addition to your bookshelf.