The Jiu Hai Shen, RL

A Wave from the ‘Verse:

My original exposure to Firefly was a DVD set we received in the mail. Someone we knew in Star Wars Galaxies (MMO) back in the day was addicted to the show and had bought several DVD sets to gift to friends in the hopes we’d all be hooked as well. Big. Friggin. Understatement.

We fell in love with the language of the show, the cast, the ‘used future’ feel, and renewed our love for Joss Whedon. There was nothing quite like it. It was new, refreshing, and…cancelled? What do you mean this is the only season…?!! Devasted, we found out the follow up movie, Serenity, was coming out in the next year and we shifted our focus to a more hopeful temperament. It will forever be ‘too soon’ though. Yup, it’s ‘just’ a TV show, but what it stands for is awesome (and a whole other conversation in itself).

Fast forward about 10 years. My family and I moved from Florida to Kentucky in early May 2016, and I’d connected with the “Kentuckiana Browncoats” on Facebook. I took over as admin in order to kickstart the group and changed the name to the Kentucky Browncoats, setting us up as a Kentucky-only group as Indiana had started their own. The next steps were to set us up on social media, build our home in the virtual ‘verse, and start networking.

I’ve worked in and around books and the publishing industry for most of my life. I’m an avid reader and a huge fan of zines, aka handmade magazines. I recently taught two classes locally in Berea – one with the Berea Writers Circle, and one at Herb & Willow – and was involved with the Kentucky Fried Zine Fest (which was a blast), so I had it in my head to incorporate my love of Firefly with my love of zines and passion for creative action.

The Wine Dark Sea was inspired by a piece my husband had contributed to an art project I’d run years ago (image below) inspired by a line from Homer’s Odyssey: “And now have I put in here, as thou seest, with ship and crew, while sailing over the wine-dark sea to men of strange speech…”. From there, Wine Dark Sea was translated into Chinese where it became the Jiu Hai Shen (jwee-hi-shaen).

The crew of the Jiu Hai Shen is comprised of our Thursday night gaming group writing as our fictional characters on our fictional ship:

Captain Nyorissa Kel, myself
Syrus Gedron, my husband
Bella Dogden, my daughter
Shaemus McCrae, my ex-husband

For now, we’re just a little zine flying shiny in the deep black….can’t stop the Signal. Hope you’ll come along for the ride, it promises to be a fun one.

Still flyin,
Ana Maria Selvaggio, Renmeleon
fka (Firefly known as) Captain Nyorissa Kel