There’s a well-written New York Magazine piece on how the face of network television is changing which has this to say about Firefly:
All of which leads to an enticing possibility: Let’s say that Joss Whedon, creator of Firefly, wanted to bring the series back to air. (Though “back to air” is a TV phrase now as anachronistically quaint as “switching the dial.”) Let’s say he found a million Firefly fans online—and, trust me, they’re not hiding—who were willing to pay, say, $39.99 each for a sixteen-episode season of Firefly. (Not an unreasonable price, given how many people pay about that amount for full seasons on DVD.) Suddenly, Joss Whedon’s got roughly $40 million to play with—and he doesn’t need a network. Or a time slot. Or advertisers. He can beam the damn shows right to your computer if he wants to. There’s even a mini-precedent for this: The online phenomenon of “ransom games,” in which a board-game developer sets a price (usually something minuscule, like $1,000), then, once he’s received that amount in pledges from strangers, creates the game and releases it for free.
I’m not sure how realistic this is, but as a Firefly fan I’d love to see it return.
Bill Adams at Idler Yet sees another revolution on the horizon: the death of the book publishers.
Realistic? I don’t know but his point is taken: if selling directly, authors need sell much fewer books to reap a huge profit. Author Tobias S. Buckell’s post Alternate Income Streams does some quick math regarding Bruce Holland Rogers’ short story subscription service in which he appears to making twice the dollar-per-word average. Not a bad system.