Friday, January 4, 2019

I am going to talk about The Expanse books and their television adaptation until February.

I really want to talk about The Expanse television series and the novels. I read all of them in December. Not to toot my own horn, but each of the seven novels clocks in at roughly 550 pages. So I plowed through A LOT of pages during credit card debt month, a.k.a. the Christmas season.

The way I see myself talking about The Expanse is by talking about the individual main characters first (touching on how they are represented in the television series up to the cliffhanger finale of season three) based off the books and novels in the series, which consists of:
And as many of you (who are fans of the SyFy series) know, it was canceled to make room for George R.R. Martin's "Nightflyers." This was a bad decision, by the way. However, Amazon did pick it up and season four should be coming along nicely sometime in 2019. So here's my publishing schedule that I've worked out thus far:

Monday, January 7: James Holden (the star and primary protagonist of the books). It sounds like a great place to start.

Wednesday, January 9: Naomi Nagata (partner to James Holden).

Friday, January 11: Amos Burton (Loveable Psychopath Engineer).

Monday, January 14: Alex Kamal (Dumpster Fire Hot Shot Pilot).

Wednesday, January 16: Chrisjen Avasarala (Firecracker Diplomat).

Friday, January 18: Fred Johnson (The Butcher of Anderson Station and Leader of Tycho Station).

Wednesday, January 23: Bobbie Draper (Martian Juggernaut).

Friday, January 25: Detective Josephus Miller (Detective Investigating Juliette Mao's disappearance)

Monday, January 28: Clarissa Mao (otherwise known as "Peaches" by Amos).

Wednesday, January 30: Praxideke Meng (the Botanist of Ganymede Station).

Friday, February 1: Winston Duarte (the Biggest Bad Guy there is).

Each of these characters is unique in their own way, and it's a marvel that they all came together so well. In case you didn't know, James S.A. Corey is the pen name of two authors who both live in New Mexico (so The Expanse isn't the work of a single person). In reading it, I would have been surprised to think of it as coming from just one person. It's just too huge...too big of an idea for anyone's head to handle. Additionally, one of the authors was the personal assistant to George R.R. Martin, and you can see Martin's influence (only the good influences) on just about every page. Point of View chapters told in the headspace of a single character have become my "go to" favorite for stories of this size. I wish more people adopted it, because it makes for one hell of a read.

Also, did you know that The Expanse started out as a pitch for a mmorpg based in space? I learned that by reading one of the interviews posted in the book, Persepolis Rising. I think that's kind of fascinating.

So tune in over the next few weeks if you want to know about all of these characters in depth. There will be spoilers as I intend for each post to be as thorough as I remember of what these characters did in each of the books, which is the source material for the television series. However, things will probably change in the adaptation. This has already happened, and I don't expect anything different from Amazon. Oh and (as usual) I will speculate on what happens next for these characters going forward.

Monday: James Holden!


  1. I tried watching the series but couldn't get into it. Are the books better?
    As for the point of view you mentioned - you mean third person from only one character or first person?

    1. Alex, the point of view is third person tight perspective from the point of view character. It's exactly like Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" series. You know...each chapter is Tyrion, Sansa, John, Daenerys, etc.? It's the same way, only in these books it is "Holden, Naomi, Amos, Bobbie, Avasarala, etc."

      The books are absolutely fantastic. The Proto-molecule itself (once you get into the books) is simply a deus ex machine with one miracle exemption: it ignores any of the laws of physics. So given that, there is a bit of "oh this thing that the protomolecule built or constructed will actually solve all are problems..." But the authors are careful to balance it out by also having the protomolecule (and things related to it) be major problems.

      In the space opera genre, it is quite an achievement, and you get an amazing amount of depth from the books. I would recommend reading them.

  2. You should save it until April for the A to Z Challenge.

  3. I couldn't get into the series. (I heard bad things about Nightflyers, too, so I recorded it, but I deleted it unseen.) I'm finding that modern sci fi is too violent or something for me. I couldn't connect to the characters, and I found it more of a chore to keep up with season 1, so I stopped watching. I hear good things about The Expanse, so I'm glad it'll still be on Amazon for you.