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Farscape Forever!
Sex, Drugs and Killer Muppets
Reviewed by Joe Crowe, © 2005

Format: TV
By:   Glenn Yeffeth (editor) and BenBella Books
Genre:   Nonfiction
Review Date:   December 09, 2005

"Nary an episode went by that Rygel did not fart, puke, or piss." — Rick Klaw, in "Flatulence, Food and Fornication."

Very cancelled it may be, but Farscape still has its followers. A gaggle of them are gathered here to discuss and discourse upon the show's characters and stories.

Essays include Jim Butcher (writer of The Dresden Files) discussing the episode "Crackers Don't Matter," Jeanne Cavelos (The Science of The X-Files) on the show's refusal to follow formulaic plots, folklorist Josepha Sherman on Zhaan, and science professor Thomas Easton on the possible science behind Moya. RevolutionSF contributing editor Rick Klaw talks about how the Farscape cast seems more real than other sf TV characters.

The essays are short, none more than 20 or so pages. The essayists seem to channel the essence of the show. Vampire Files writer P.N. Elrod, in a good overview of the villains, gets a little crazy using the show's slang terms ("Dren, I'm so fraxed over this dude it ain't even funny.") But hey, everybody's myvonks are a different size. None of the articles take the show too seriously or are lacking in wit. And several are good, straight-up funny stuff: Tee Morris' "Dear John" depicts NASA's project leader writing a termination notice to John Crichton. ("I won't even discuss the tab your future wife Aeryn Sun left for us at Victoria's Secret.")

Roxanne Longstreet Conrad contributes a travel magazine article about vacationing in the Uncharted Territories. On sightseeing in Tormented Space, it says, "Someone may spot your pitiful, freeze-dried corpse drifting along, but they will be in the grip of Space Madness.")

One drawback to the show, to me, was that you really had to see every episode in order to keep up. You won't find that criticism anywhere in the book. In fact, non-likers of the show won't find much to read here at all. Luckily, they wouldn't be reading it. But Farscape Forever is a compelling advertisement for the show to people who have never seen it. The essayists point to the uniqueness the stories and plotlines, and break down the characters, including essays on Crais, Rygel, and D'argo and Crichton.

This is a fun, intelligent look at a fun, intelligent show. "Scapers" will find plenty to dig their brains into. It covers the entirety of the series, including the happenings of the Peacekeeper Wars final miniseries. Technically this book serves as an epitaph, but it doesn't seem like it. No essayist here bemoans the show's fate and no one decries decisions made by the creators. It's a celebration of a show that blazed a trail in story and characters that hopefully other series will follow.

At the very least, somebody should give some work to those guys that put their hands up muppet ass.

Humor editor Joe Crowe's body fluids have turned explosive.

 
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