Okay, it's 1956. Maybe 1957. Everyone else in the family is watching TV in the back room, but little Billy Crider is in his own room with the latest issue of Imaginative Tales. (Motto: Action-Packed Science Fiction!") There's a great cover, and there are stories by, say, Robert Silverberg, Randall Garrett, Ivar Jorgenson, Milton Lesser, Robert Moore Williams, Alexander Blade. And best of all, there's a "full-length novel" by Edmond Hamilton. To heck with TV. Little Billy Crider is going to be blissfully happy for a couple of hours with blasting ray guns, ships hopping into hyperdrive, hideous aliens, square-jawed heroes, and tough space babes.
Fast-forward to 2005. Old Bill Crider goes to a theater to see Serenity. He never saw Firefly, the TV series it's an extension of, so he doesn't know what to expect. But what he gets is that issue of Imaginative Tales, a little updated, maybe, but still pretty much the same characters, same story, same sense of fun, and for two hours Old Bill is is blissfully happy, transported back to a time he never thought he'd visit again. George Lucas might have made this movie once upon a time, but now he's completely unable to (if we're to judge by the last three Star Wars episodes). I'm glad that someone knows how, and now I'll have to find Firefly on DVD.