The Expanse (novel series)
|Author||James S. A. Corey|
|Published||June 2011 – present|
The Expanse is a series of science fiction novels (and related novellas and short stories) by James S. A. Corey, the joint pen name of authors Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck. The first novel, Leviathan Wakes, was nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 2012. The complete series was nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Series in 2017. It later won, following its second nomination for the same award in 2020.
As of 2020[update], The Expanse is made up of eight novels and eight shorter works – three short stories and five novellas. A ninth novel is planned to complete the main series, as well as one more novella after the final novel. The series was adapted for television by the Syfy Network, also under the title of The Expanse. After Syfy cancelled the TV series after three seasons, Amazon acquired it and began to stream it on Prime Video for an additional three seasons.
|1||Leviathan Wakes||592||20h 56m||June 15, 2011||978-0-316-12908-4|
|2||Caliban's War||595||21h||June 25, 2012||978-1-841-49990-1|
|3||Abaddon's Gate||539||19h 42m||June 4, 2013||978-0-316-12907-7|
|4||Cibola Burn||583||20h 7m||June 17, 2014||978-0-316-21762-0|
|5||Nemesis Games||544||16h 44m||June 2, 2015||978-0-316-21758-3|
|6||Babylon's Ashes||608||19h 58m||December 6, 2016||978-0-316-33474-7|
|7||Persepolis Rising||560||20h 34m||December 5, 2017||978-0-316-33283-5|
|8||Tiamat's Wrath||544||19h 8m||March 26, 2019||978-0-316-33286-6|
|9||Leviathan Falls||560||November 18, 2021||978-0-356-51039-2|
Short stories and novellas
|0.1||"Drive"||Before Leviathan Wakes||7||November 27, 2012||978-1-781-08056-6|
|0.3||"The Churn"||Before Leviathan Wakes||75||April 29, 2014||978-0-316-21766-8|
|0.5||"The Butcher of Anderson Station"||Before Leviathan Wakes||40||October 17, 2011||978-0-316-20407-1|
|1.0||"The Last Flight of the Cassandra"||During Leviathan Wakes||5||May 14, 2019||978-1934547977|
|2.5||"Gods of Risk"||Between Caliban's War and Abaddon's Gate||75||September 15, 2012||978-0-316-21765-1|
|3.5||"The Vital Abyss"||From before Leviathan Wakes to Cibola Burn||74||October 15, 2015||978-0-316-21756-9|
|6.5||"Strange Dogs"||Between Babylon's Ashes and Persepolis Rising||64||July 18, 2017||978-0-316-21757-6|
|7.5||"Auberon"||Between Persepolis Rising and Tiamat’s Wrath||63||November 12, 2019||978-0-3164-3428-7|
The first eight novels and five of the novellas have been released as audiobooks, with Jefferson Mays as the narrator for all novels and the novellas The Vital Abyss, Strange Dogs and Auberon. Erik Davies is the narrator for the novellas The Churn and Gods of Risk.
The Expanse is set in a future in which humanity has colonized much of the Solar System, but does not have interstellar travel. Travel between the vast distances between planets of the solar system has been made possible with the "Epstein drive", though the G-force exerted during acceleration is debilitating without the use of special drugs. In the asteroid belt and beyond, tensions are rising between Earth's United Nations, Mars, and the outer planets. The residents of the outer planets have developed a creole language due to their physical isolation to Earth and Mars. The series initially takes place in the Solar System, using many real locations such as Ceres and Eros in the asteroid belt, several moons of Jupiter, with Ganymede and Europa the most developed, and small science bases as far out as Phoebe around Saturn and Titania around Uranus, as well as well-established domed settlements on Mars and the Moon.
As the series progresses, humanity gains access to thousands of new worlds by use of the ring, an artificially sustained Einstein-Rosen bridge or wormhole, created by a long-dead alien race. The ring in our solar system is two AU from the orbit of Uranus. Passing through it leads to a hub of starless space approximately one million kilometers across, with more than 1,300 other rings, each with a star system on the other side. In the center of the hub, which is also referred to as the "slow zone," an alien space station controls the gates and can also set instantaneous speed limits on objects inside the hub as a means of defense. Andy Weir's novel The Martian takes place in the same universe as The Expanse, according to the authors. Andy Weir clarified in an AMA that this is not the case. This link is made canon with the mention of a ship named the Mark Watney, the main character in The Martian in Babylon's Ashes.
|James Holden||1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 (prologue, Interlude, epilogue)|
|Julie Mao||1 (prologue)|
|Fred Johnson||1 (epilogue), 6|
|Bobbie Draper||2, 4 (prologue), 6, 7, 8|
|Chrisjen Avasarala||2, 4 (epilogue), 6|
|Praxidike Meng||2, 6|
|Mei Meng||2 (prologue)|
|Clarissa Melpomene Mao||3, 6, 7|
|Annushka Volovodov||3, 6 (epilogue)|
|Carlos 'Bull' de Baca||3|
|Manéo Jung-Espinoza||3 (prologue)|
|Elvi Okoye||4, 8|
|The Investigator||4 (interludes)|
|Amos Burton||5, 6, 7|
|Alex Kamal||5, 6, 7, 8|
|Naomi Nagata||5, 6, 7, 8|
|Filip Inaros||5 (prologue), 6|
|Paolo Cortazár||7 (prologue)|
|Santiago Jilie Singh||7|
|Winston Duarte||7 (epilogue)|
The story is told through multiple main point-of-view characters. There are two POV characters in the first book and four in books two through five. In the sixth and seventh books, the number of POV characters increases, with several characters having only one or two chapters. Tiamat's Wrath returns to a more limited number with five. Every book also begins and ends with a prologue and epilogue told from a unique character's perspective.
Crew of the Rocinante
The central characters are the crew of the Rocinante, a salvaged Martian naval gunship. The main crew consists of:
- James "Jim" R. Holden, the captain of the Rocinante, former UN Navy (UNN) officer; from Earth (an Earther).
- Naomi Nagata, chief engineer and executive officer; a Belter.
- Amos Burton, mechanic and general muscle; an Earther.
- Alex Kamal, pilot of the Rocinante, former Mars Congressional Republic Navy (MCRN) pilot; a Martian.
The Outer Planets
- Josephus "Joe" Aloisus Miller, a Belter who worked as a detective for the Ceres station security firm, Star Helix Security
- Juliette "Julie" Andromeda Mao, the oldest child of Earther plutocrat Jules-Pierre Mao, former pinnace racer and Outer Planets Alliance convert
- Frederick "Fred" Lucius Johnson, a former UN marine reviled as the "Butcher of Anderson Station" and now the leader of the OPA
- Dr. Praxidike "Prax" Meng, the chief botanist of the RMD-Southern soy farm project on Ganymede and father of Mei Meng
- Mei Meng, daughter of Prax
- Carlos "Bull" c de Baca, a member of the OPA serving as chief security officer aboard the Behemoth
- Michio Pa, executive officer of the OPA ship Behemoth, later captain of the Free Navy ship Connaught
- Basia "Baz" Merton, a welder from Ganymede, later citizen of Ilus
- Manéo "Néo" Jung-Espinoza, a young Belter from Ceres
- Marco Inaros, a commander of Free Navy, a radical OPA branch
- Filip Inaros, a teenage member of the OPA, and later Free Navy, and son of Marco Inaros and Naomi Nagata
- Camina Drummer, chief of security of Tycho Station, later president of the Transport Union
- Jakulski, Roberts, Salis & Vandercaust, four techs, working for the Free Navy on Medina Station
- Roberta "Bobbie" W. Draper, Martian gunnery sergeant in the MCRN, of the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force
- Sauveterre, the captain of the MCRN Barkeith
- Solomon Epstein, inventor of the "Epstein-Fusion Drive". He died testing his machine when he went into deep space with no way to get back
- Dmitri Havelock, a security contractor from Earth and former partner of Joe Miller
- Chrisjen Avasarala, the UN Assistant Undersecretary of Executive Administration, later UN Secretary General
- Clarissa "Claire" Melpomene Mao a.k.a. Melba Alzbeta Koh a.k.a. Peaches, a daughter of Jules-Pierre Mao, magnate of Mao-Kwikowski Mercantile from Luna; as Melba she is a licensed electrochemical technician. After forming a bond with her, Amos gives her the nickname Peaches.
- Dr. Elvi Okoye, a biologist from Earth, now a leading figure among citizens of the new colonies
- Rev. Dr. Annushka "Anna" Volovodov, a Methodist pastor at St. John's United on Europa and Earth
- Namono "Nono" Volovodov, wife of Anna, with whom she has a daughter, "Nami"
- Winston Duarte, High Consul of the Laconian Empire, defector from the Martian navy
- Teresa Duarte a.k.a. Tiny, the daughter and heir of the High Consul
- Paolo Cortázar, a former member of Protogen's nanoinformatics research division, he is now the lead researcher on Laconia
- Santiago Jilie Singh, a captain in the Laconian Imperial Navy and commander of the Gathering Storm
- Anton Trejo, High Admiral of the Laconian Imperial Navy and captain of the Heart of the Tempest
Inspiration and writing
Ty Franck began developing the world of The Expanse initially as the setting for a MMORPG and, after a number of years, for a tabletop roleplaying game. Daniel Abraham, who had authored a number of novels on his own, suggested, given the depth of the setting, that it could serve for the basis for a series of novels, noting: "People who write books don't do this much research."
The authors have stated that the series gets some of its inspirations from Fred Pohl's Gateway and the other Heechee books. It has also been observed that there are similarities in the political and social setting of the series to Alfred Bester's classic science fiction novel The Stars My Destination. Ty Frank has also stated Ridley Scott's Alien as having "the single largest influence on The Expanse."
Franck writes all the Holden, Bobbie, and Anna chapters, while Abraham writes the Miller, Melba, Avasarala, Bull, and Prax chapters. The writers meet weekly to discuss upcoming chapters and swap completed chapters for the other to edit.
The novels are written in third-person limited. Each chapter is told from the point of view of a character central to the story, while the prologue and epilogue are told by a recurring character or a one-off viewpoint. Most of the books employ four point-of-view characters (plus the prologue and epilogue viewpoints). Leviathan Wakes features two, Babylon's Ashes features sixteen, and Tiamat's Wrath features five. James Holden is the only character to be used as a viewpoint character in all eight novels.
The series overall has been well received, with the first novel Leviathan Wakes being the highest praised. For Caliban's War, Wired.com's Geek Dad and Publishers Weekly both praised the novel. GeekDad cited the book's "believable human personalities and technology that is easily recognizable" as a highlight. Publisher's Weekly gave Abaddon's Gate a starred review saying "series fans will find this installment the best yet." The same publication gave Cibola Burn a starred review and called it "splendid" and it "blends adventure with uncommon decency." The Expanse was nominated for and won the 2020 Hugo Award for Best Series.
Awards and nominations
|2011||Leviathan Wakes||Goodreads Choice Awards||Best Science Fiction||Nominated|||
|2012||Hugo Award||Best Novel||Nominated|||
|Locus Awards||Best SF Novel||Nominated|||
|Caliban's War||Goodreads Choice Awards||Best Science Fiction||Nominated|||
|2013||Locus Awards||Best SF Novel||Nominated|||
|Abaddon's Gate||Goodreads Choice Award||Best Science Fiction||Nominated|||
|2014||Locus Awards||Best SF Novel||Won|||
|Cibola Burn||Goodreads Choice Award||Best Science Fiction||Nominated|||
|2015||Locus Awards||Best SF Novel||Nominated|||
|Nemesis Games||Goodreads Choice Award||Best Science Fiction||Nominated|||
|2017||Babylon's Ashes||Locus Awards||Best SF Novel||Nominated|||
|Goodreads Choice Awards||Best Science Fiction||Nominated|||
|Dragon Award||Best Science Fiction Novel||Won|||
|The Expanse||Hugo Award||Best Series||Nominated|||
|2018||Persepolis Rising||Locus Awards||Best SF Novel||Nominated|||
|Goodreads Choice Award||Best Science Fiction||Nominated|||
|Dragon Award||Best Science Fiction Novel||Nominated|||
|2019||Tiamat's Wrath||Dragon Award||Best Science Fiction Novel||Nominated|||
|Goodreads Choice Award||Best Science fiction||Nominated|||
|Google Play Users' Choice Awards||User's Choice Book||Nominated|||
|2020||The Expanse||Hugo Award||Best Series||Won|
The American television channel Syfy announced a straight-to-series commitment to a television adaptation of The Expanse in April 2014, ordering the production of ten hour-long episodes for a first season which premiered in December 2015. As of 2021[update] five seasons consisting of a total of 56 episodes have been produced, with the final episode of each season sharing its name with the respective book. The series stars Thomas Jane as Josephus Miller and Steven Strait as Jim Holden. As for the other crew of the Rocinante, Dominique Tipper was cast as Naomi Nagata, Cas Anvar as Alex Kamal, and Wes Chatham as Amos Burton. The other major cast members are Shohreh Aghdashloo as Chrisjen Avasarala, Chad Coleman as Fred Johnson, and Florence Faivre as Julie Mao. In season 2, Frankie Adams joined the cast as Bobbie Draper.
Four digital comics based on the books and tying into the television series were published by ComiXology. The comics were written by James S.A. Corey, Hallie Lambert and Georgia Lee and illustrated by Huang Danlan, Triona Farrell, Juan Useche and Rahzzah. The Expanse: Origins reveals the untold backstories of the crew members of the Rocinante before the start of the series. All four comics were also released in print as a compilation titled The Expanse Vol. 1: Origins by BOOM! Studios, which also featured a new story about Detective Miller.
|The Expanse Origins #1||James Holden||2017-02-01|||
|The Expanse Origins #2||Naomi Nagata||2017-04-19|||
|The Expanse Origins #3||Alex Kamal||2017-05-24|||
|The Expanse Origins #4||Amos Burton||2017-07-12|||
An Expanse board game, designed by Geoff Engelstein and published by WizKids, was released in October 2017. The authors of the book series collaborated with Engelstein on its development. The game focuses on politics, conquest and intrigue similar to the board game Twilight Struggle, although with a shorter playing time. Players represent Earth's UN forces, the military of Mars, the O.P.A., and Protogen Inc, each struggling to become the dominant power in the Solar System. They use cards and action points to move and place Fleets and expand their Influence in contested areas. The cards represent characters and events from the universe of The Expanse, each bearing key images from the show. Each character has special abilities that must be correctly exploited in order to gain the upper hand in the struggle for control.
The Expanse: Doors & Corners Expansion has been announced for release by WizKids in February 2019. It contains five new modules that can be used independently or in any combination together with the base game.
The Expanse Roleplaying Game uses the AGE (Adventure Game Engine) system designed by Chris Pramas to bring James S. A. Corey's universe to life. The core rulebook and Gamemaster's Kit launched on Kickstarter in July 2018 and gathered over $400,000 from their campaign. The book was written by game designer Steve Kenson and is published by Pramas' company Green Ronin Publishing. The game allows players to create their own character of the various galactic factions and adventure through the galaxy at the various settings or even on their own ships. It includes a bonus short story by James S. A. Corey titled "The Last Flight of the Cassandra".
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