Firefly and Dune both have: no sentient aliens, psychic powers, a fairly low-tech setting.... I'm thinking of Firefly taking place thousands of years before Dune, before the invention of FTL drives, and before the Butlerian Jihad. I just kind of see Firefly as when humanity starts to rise from the loss of Earth, and with River and her ilk as precursors of the Bene Gesserit.
Okay, finally a useful answer to the question. I don't know or care about all that other stuff, and I don't want to see the thread derailed by it any further. I don't think it's appropriate to attack authors personally just because you didn't like something they wrote. And Mr. Anderson was kind enough to give me a very positive promotional quote for Only Superhuman
, so I don't want anything to do with your hatefest.
I suppose it's possible that characters in the 'Verse just haven't found alien life or FTL drive yet
, but I'm not sure that's consistent with the intent. So I do think it's somewhat forced.