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In April, the SyFy channel announced they ordered a ten-episode season based on James S.A. Corey's sci-fi series, The Expanse. Corey is the pen name of co-authors Daniel Abraham, an excellent fantasy writer, and Ty Franck, who served as George R.R. Martin's assistant for a number of years. I think the first season is going to correspond with the first novel in the series, Leviathan Wakes. It's a big book with a lot of plot, so ten episodes seems right.

 

I just finished the second book in the series, Caliban's War. I loved both it and Leviathan Wakes. The books fit into the space opera mold, and they're page-turners. If you had to break it up into an ingredient list, it'd be three parts hard sci-fi, one part mystery, one part Lovecraftian horror. The mix works well, and there's some interesting sociological and world-building aspects that keep this from being merely enjoyable fluff. And as simple as it is, I think the prose is (often) good too. 

 

I've read that industry insiders are hoping to bill the show as "Game of Thrones in space." I can sort of see that—"Corey" has several viewpoint characters for each book, like Martin, and switches back and forth between them. Franck and Abraham also play a bit with some of the thematic issues that Martin explores in the ASoIaF series. But if the industry folks are hoping to capitalize on the crazy violent aspects and crazy sexy parts that some folks like about the show, well...they'll really have to change a lot. 

 

Attached so far: Breaking Bad director Terry McDonough, exec. producers/showrunners Mark Fergus and Hawk Osby (Iron Man and Children of Men), and actor Thomas Jane starring at Detective Miller. 

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(Sigh.) And I thought I was being somewhat original by calling The Auralia Thread world "the Expanse."

 

Right. That's where I've seen it before.


It's the side effects that save us.
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Got to see the pilot for this tonight. (It debuts December 15, I think?)

It suffers from some serious "tell don't show" in spots, but overall it's a pretty good entry into this story. Casting is fantastic, and the show—SyFy's most expensive project to date—looks like a million bucks. The comparisons to the new Battlestar Galactic are apt, but it's also got hints of cyberpunk and horror.

The books are quite good, the third actually getting into some serious theological nitty gritty (one of the viewpoint characters for that book is a Christian pastor, and the authors handle her surprisingly well). I hope this show takes off, if only so more people will read the fine novels. Judging from the buzz, I think it will be at least a modest hit. 

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Excellent! Keep posting on this, as I won't have time to catch up for a month or so.


"...the vivid crossing of borders between film and theology may save the film from the banality of cinema and festival business, and it may also save the church from the deep sleep of the habitual and the always known."

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Excellent! Keep posting on this, as I won't have time to catch up for a month or so.

I sadly don't have SyFy (or any cable channel...actually, I've never had access to even basic cable in my life!). I'm hoping to either watch over a friends' house or just catch the rest when it comes out on video. 

(Or, maybe, I can just buy the episodes from Amazon!)

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First four episodes available on SyFy.com

I've seen the first two and agree it looks promising. A lot going on. The co-author of the books (Daniel Abraham, writing with Ty Franck as James S.A. Corey) also writes some good Guy Gavriel Kay-style fantasy.


There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection. (George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie)

Isn't narrative structure enough of an ideology for art? (Greg Wright)

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14 hours ago, BethR said:

First four episodes available on SyFy.com

I've seen the first two and agree it looks promising. A lot going on. The co-author of the books (Daniel Abraham, writing with Ty Franck as James S.A. Corey) also writes some good Guy Gavriel Kay-style fantasy.

 

I also finished episode two last night. They've made some interesting adaptation choices--they're stretching Holden's story (that's the freighter office) out a little, truncating Miller's (the detective), and completely fabricating Chrisjen Avasarala's story (that's the politician). It's a bit clunky (they really, really didn't need to bring Avasarala into the narrative yet), but it's still effective. Glad they're also trying to fix a few of the first novel's problems, the biggest being how bland Holden's crew is initially. Amos is one of my favorite characters in the series, but his personality doesn't really form 'til the end of the novel. 

 

And yeah, Abraham's fantasy work is excellent. The Long Price Quartet is one of the most interesting set of books I've read. 

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On 12/17/2015, 7:09:35, Jason Panella said:

And yeah, Abraham's fantasy work is excellent. The Long Price Quartet is one of the most interesting set of books I've read. 

At the risk of thread drift, may I say that I'm currently reading the third volume of Abraham's The Dagger and the Coin series, and it may be even better.


There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection. (George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie)

Isn't narrative structure enough of an ideology for art? (Greg Wright)

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On 12/22/2015, 9:29:19, BethR said:

At the risk of thread drift, may I say that I'm currently reading the third volume of Abraham's The Dagger and the Coin series, and it may be even better.

Oh great! I own vol. 1, but have yet to start it.

Anyway, with the series. Watched all the way through episode four, since they're all available on Syfy's website. Each episode gets better, I think, and episode four caps with one of the more sense moments of the book. They really nail it, too. I've also grown interested in the characters in the context of the show as well. While Syfy already renewed the show for season 2, hopefully it actually builds up a sizable fanbase. 

Edited by Jason Panella

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Finally finished the first season. I loved it, though I'm sure some of that comes from my admiration of the source material. I'm quite excited for season 2. 

From what I've read, Abraham and Franck weren't happy (in hindsight) with a few of the plot choices they made in Leviathan Wakes, and they were able to correct them a bit on the show. Probably a wise choice. 

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Now streaming on Amazon Prime.

 


Formerly Baal_T'shuvah

"Everyone has the right to make an ass out of themselves. You just can't let the world judge you too much." - Maude 
Harold and Maude
 

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So the show had three seasons on SyFy before being canceled. Amazon Prime picked it up (Bezos is a fan) soon after.

The fourth season—the first for Prime—premiered last month. It's good. I recently rewatched the prior seasons. They're also good, but suffer from the "we're on TV, let's kill time with new subplots!" problem that shows up with lots of adaptations. The fourth season? Doesn't have this problem.

We also have a standout performance from Wes Chatham, who plays the interesting character of Amos Burton. I really can't think of another character like him currently on TV. 

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