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Speaking of THE EXPANSE...

As Ogre Jenni details below, we will be hosting the world premiere of SyFy's new EXPANSE series tomorrow at the JCC, screening the first two episodes on our big medium-sized screen. First fifty people to attend the 4pm booksigning will get tickets for the 8:30 screening; the rest of the tix will be available on first come, first seated basis.

However, it's the latest Expanse novel that I want to talk about here.

NEMESIS GAMES is just terrific.

This is definitely one to keep in mind when filling out your Hugo ballot this year. The first of the Expanse series, LEVIATHAN WAKES, was a Hugo nominee (and loser) back in 2012. Subsequent volumes have not made the ballot. This one should. I don't know if it will be the best SF novel published in 2015 (I still have a lot of novels to read), but I can't imagine that it won't be one of the top five. Fans of space opera, of classic old school SF done really well, of great can't-put-it-down storytelling, should love this one, I'd think. Fans of military SF as well; the Expanse books have all the excitement of the best military SF along with a lot more. Two-headed Jimmy Corey has created a detailed, vivid, well-imagined, lived-in world, peopled it with a great cast of characters, and here welded all that to a page-turning plot that takes us places I never imagined they could go.

Those of you who live near enough, come to the JCC tomorrow and get Jimmy to sign your books and catch the EXPANSE premiere.

Those who don't... go out and grab NEMESIS GAMES. It's a hell of ride.


Andy Marinkovich
Dec. 2nd, 2015 08:33 pm (UTC)
Do you have to read the Expanse books in order?
I am assuming if one wants to read the Expanse series books they need to start with LEVIATHAN WAKES and read them in order, correct?
Dec. 2nd, 2015 08:42 pm (UTC)
Re: Do you have to read the Expanse books in order?
I don't think it is strictly necessary... but it would certainly be the best way to read the books.
Dec. 3rd, 2015 07:01 pm (UTC)
Re: Do you have to read the Expanse books in order?
I didn't much like Leviathan Wakes so I haven't read the others, but based on this recommendation I'll look them up.

Edited at 2015-12-03 07:02 pm (UTC)
Dec. 7th, 2015 03:35 pm (UTC)
Re: Do you have to read the Expanse books in order?
Leviathan in a Song of ice and fire - it's just that whales or sea dragons in the Bible? I'm sorry for offtopic.
Lincoln Narcelio Thomaz Noronha
Dec. 3rd, 2015 01:08 am (UTC)
Re: Do you have to read the Expanse books in order?
You definatly should. Less from the overarching story itself (although that too), but more for the character development. You can, however, skip Leviathan Wakes and catch the series, to get a fell for the books. Than, I guarantee you will jump on the second one like a candy apple on a State fair.
Dec. 3rd, 2015 03:53 am (UTC)
Re: Do you have to read the Expanse books in order?
I think the best experience would be to read them in the order the authors intended them to be read in. That said, "Nemesis Games" can *probably* stand on its own for the most part. The plots of the books are all intertwined but they can also sort of work as standalone adventures.

A lot of the character development and plot in "Nemesis Games" expands on the previous books and it will definitely have more impact if you read it as the fifth book instead of the first. If you like sci-fi (or just good stories), it's worth the time investment to read the full series in order. :)

Edited at 2015-12-04 07:01 am (UTC)
Dec. 3rd, 2015 01:12 pm (UTC)
Re: Do you have to read the Expanse books in order?
I started reading the series last year and honestly, Leviathan Wakes is FANTASTIC and I shot right through it I loved it! I mean, you can do whatever you want, but, I think you do kinda need to read them in sequence because the events that happen and the characters have personalities you get to know. And Leviathan Wakes sets up the whole story. There are a couple of insert stories I've read that give you a side stories and/or set-up stories of certain B characters that I loved too, what was funny, was one of those stories I had NO idea what was going on and who was the main character until kind of the end and then I was like, "ah HA!! Clever clever writers, I see what you're doing there..." haha!!
I've been reading them in sequence. It's not really a big deal since it's the future and the idea of being "dated" is irrelevant.
I mean, I would never recommend you read the main books of ASoIaF out of order, you know? (well except for the historical books like Dunk & Egg and the History readings which I love the way my dog loves brussel sprouts and carrots, which he tries to steal from the shopping bags.
Dec. 2nd, 2015 08:39 pm (UTC)
Good to know that this series is still going strong, starting CALIBAN'S WAR hopefully by year's end.
Dec. 2nd, 2015 09:02 pm (UTC)
Oh, my goodness. Yes! Totally agreed. The whole series has been excellent so far but "Nemesis Games" takes things to an entirely new level. I essentially had to put the rest of my life on hold once I started reading it.

And how about that cliffhanger? Just when you think they've concluded a certain subplot it returns with a vengeance. I can't wait for "Babylon's Ashes."
Dec. 2nd, 2015 10:37 pm (UTC)
Tuf voyaging
Talking of interplanetary adventure, any chance we will see haviland on the small or even big screen in the future, I'm not sure of his name but the gentleman who plays Varys in GoT jumps out as a great choice for the role!
Dec. 2nd, 2015 11:29 pm (UTC)
Re: Tuf voyaging
His name is Conleth Hill, and yes, he'd make a superb Tuf.

The rights are presently in hand of a young producer, but of course, development can be a long and arduous road in Hollywood... a road that often leads nowhere. Fingers crossed.
Dec. 2nd, 2015 10:44 pm (UTC)
haven't started reading the expanse yet... really
I loved Daniel's Long Price Quartet, and can't wait for the finale of the Dagger & the Coin. I read the first few chapters of leviathan wakes but it did not grab me as much as these other two series did. Should probably give it another go!

What are some of your favourite, yet to be finished fantasy series by the way?
Dec. 2nd, 2015 11:30 pm (UTC)
Re: haven't started reading the expanse yet... really
Dagger and Coin is certainly one of them, along with Patrick Rothfuss's series.
Dec. 3rd, 2015 01:10 am (UTC)
With All Due respect
Sir I love your books and have written on here many times and you always respond with haste. I have recently read you comments on fan fiction and agree with you its your world, you worked hard to make it. But I also read that you got your start by writing fan fiction letters to Marvel. Correct me if i am wrong Sir. And believe me i have no plans on infringing your copyright and world but I was just wondering what you have to say. But if my facts are wrong i apologize i took them your wikipedia page. And i mean this with utmost respect.

Edited at 2015-12-03 01:26 am (UTC)
Dec. 3rd, 2015 04:26 pm (UTC)
Re: With All Due respect
Your facts are wrong.

Letters to Marvel are hardly "fan fiction."
Lincoln Narcelio Thomaz Noronha
Dec. 3rd, 2015 01:14 am (UTC)
Also, just wanted to say: Avassarala and Naomi are awesome on this one!
Dec. 3rd, 2015 02:53 am (UTC)
Nearing the end
I'm going to tackle the last 150 pages tomorrow.

I think their writing has been getting better and better over the last books, and this is the pinnacle so far. I knew I was in for something special when I started browsing through the book and saw the Rocinante crew members at the head of each chapter, and with the addition of favourites Bobbie and Clarissa this has been explosive. I've been reading slowly with a ball of fear in my gut for most of the book.
Dec. 3rd, 2015 05:14 pm (UTC)
Have to disagree a bit
I have been reading the Expanse books since the first one came out so I am definitely a fan of the series. What I have always appreciated about them is that even though the overarching narrative continues from book to book, each story has a solid beginning, middle, and an end.

Unfortunately, Nemesis Games is the first book in the series to buck that trend. The story is all set-up, ending right when it should have been switching into the next gear. It is a hell of a ride - that I will agree and the characterization is as consistent and enjoyable as ever - but it is a ride that ends before it is actually finished. It reminded me unpleasantly of John Scalzi's The Human Division, a similarly plotted story that turned out to be (to be seasonal) nothing more than a "Be sure to drink your Ovaltine" advertisement for future books.

That said, I still recommend the series to any sci-fi fan. I've enjoyed all the books, even Nemesis Games. Like George, they have a plan for X (forgetting the number) amount of books and they have the chops to leave us with something special.
Dec. 3rd, 2015 06:10 pm (UTC)
I get so confused by these JCC announcements. It takes me a moment to remember "Jean Cocteau Cinema." Clearly not a lot of New Mexico Jews, because JCC stands for "Jewish Community Center" in most cities I've lived in.
Dec. 3rd, 2015 10:06 pm (UTC)
Anit-puppy Reaction
Do you think Trufans will reject this work because it is associated to the type of SF that the Puppies enjoy? I wouldn't have thought this possible previously but when they no-awarded some very decent people and cheered when that was announced my thoughts on this may have shifted. I am curious to your thoughts on what this book not getting nominated might mean. Thanks!
Dec. 4th, 2015 10:15 pm (UTC)
Re: Anit-puppy Reaction
There's a lot of false assumptions in that question.

On the No Awards: I thought Hugos should have been awarded in both editor categories, as I have stated numerous times. Will not rehash that. In the fiction categories and Related Work, well, you can make a case for "Totalled" in short story, and for the Burnside in RW, but aside from that, No Award was more than justified. Whether or not the nominees in those categories are "decent people" or not is completely beside the point. The Hugos are not meant to honor 'decency,' whatever that means. You don't win one for being a nice guy (though I will grant that it helps, while being an asshole or fugghead hurts). These are awards for literary excellence, and there was little of that to be found in most of the Puppy nominees.

As for the premise that fandom will reject the Expanse because it is "associated" with "the type of SF that Puppies enjoy" -- what type of SF is that? Space opera? Military SF? Action adventure? Are we supposed to believe these subgenres are now Puppy property? That's nonsense. REDSHIRTS was space opera. Anne Leckie's ANCILLARY books are military SF. Go further back, pre-Puppy, and you will find plenty of examples of both contending for Hugos... including LEVIATHAN WAKES, the first Expanse novel, in 2012.

I don't know if NEMESIS GAMES will be nominated or not, but if it falls short, it will be either because (1) the majority of those nominating found five other novels they liked better, or (2) the Sad Puppies turned out again in force and filled the ballot with their own favorites. It will NOT be because any imaginary "rejection" on the part of fandom.

Even without the Puppies, this looks to be a strong year in novel. Recent winners Anne Leckie and Cixin Liu have both published sequels to their Hugo-winners, there are big new novels from Kim Stanley Robinson and Neal Stephenson, lots of good work from new upcoming authors... it will not be easy for ANYONE to make this ballot.
Dec. 4th, 2015 12:48 am (UTC)
Talking about Sci-fi, how's your expectation regarding Star Wars EP VII?
Dec. 4th, 2015 10:00 pm (UTC)
I will see it, of course. But without expectations. After the last three, I am wary.
Dec. 5th, 2015 08:51 am (UTC)
I would have zero expectations if George Lucas were still running things. I'm slightly more optimistic now that he's out of the picture, though I'm not really expecting anything mind-blowing.

Poor George Lucas. If he had never returned to Star Wars, or simply kept himself at a distance and left it to others, I would still think of him as a godlike figure from my childhood. Now, I think fans will be forever curious how many of the good things in the original Star Wars films were a result of other people saving George Lucas from his own bad instincts.
Dec. 7th, 2015 03:14 pm (UTC)
I'm in the vast minority but I think Episode II is a great movie... I just can't stand I or III.
Dec. 4th, 2015 03:51 am (UTC)
W/r/t great 2015 Novels
Any thoughts on The Traitor Baru Cormorant? It got a lot of hype, and the premise had a lot of promise, but it was really (in my opinion) underwhelming. I'm wondering if I'm just missing something.
Dec. 4th, 2015 09:59 pm (UTC)
Re: W/r/t great 2015 Novels
Have not read that one, sorry.


George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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