EDIT: Thanks for all your questions! We're going to go ice our fingers now. We hope some of you join us over at our Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/JamesSACoreyWritesaNovel).

Hi! We're Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck, who work together as James SA Corey. We wrote the NYT-bestselling The Expanse novels and a bunch of other stuff, including a show that we can't promote right now because we're members in good standing of the WGA, and we're on strike. We're writing a bunch of other stuff, though, including a limited-time novel writing project on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/JamesSACoreyWritesaNovel

Proof: https://imgur.com/a/RrUSYk6

Ask us (almost) anything.

Comments: 1030 • Responses: 114  • Date: 

CTDubs0001581 karma

Let me be the first to ask what everybody wants to know. Will we get a film or TV of the final three books? And thanks for writing one of the most enjoyable series I’ve ever read. Amazing stuff.

JamesSACorey732 karma

[Daniel] Yeah, unfortunately, I don't get to talk about the show because WGA strike. But if your friends and mine at the AMPTP decide that they'd like to get the industry back to work, we'll totally circle back.

I don't know if the intersection of art and labor relations is your jam, but there's a pretty decent rundown about it here: https://www.vulture.com/article/wga-strike-2023.html

Chuckthe5th357 karma

One thing that impressed me most (and hooked me) was the level of detail and feasibility/accuracy given to describing the evolution of aspects of biology, physics, linguistics, and culture as influenced by the different environments ex-earth.

Did you consult subject matter experts in these scientific disciplines to plan these details or have them vetted after the fact? Or was this just tediously researched and reasoned out between you two?

JamesSACorey438 karma

[Daniel] We didn't actually do a lot of extra research for the books, but we did build the novels entirely out of things we already loved and knew a lot about.

Plus which, I actually got to use my biology degree for something.

Ironscotsman210 karma

The Expanse. Broadway Musical. When?

JamesSACorey189 karma

[ty] I heard Andrew Lloyd Weber is too busy right now.

Ok_Astronomer422157 karma

"Walking away is the only choice anyone ever has"
Is one of the quotes i will forever carry from the series

Is there one overall thought you had in mind when writing The Expanse?

JamesSACorey346 karma

[ty] tribalism is bad.

ThadCastleRules_G151 karma

Hi! Thanks for creating such an amazing universe to experience! How long did you know the ending of the series? Was it from the start or did things change as you wrote? Thanks again, y’all gave me countless hours of enjoyment!

JamesSACorey253 karma

[ty] We knew the last scene when we were plotting book 2. In fact, Ty told Daniel what the last line was, and nearly ten years later that's the last line of dialog we used.

RobertSage150 karma

Hello Dan and Ty! Can you share any news/info about the upcoming Ursula Le Guin inspired trilogy? So excited to read more from you guys!

JamesSACorey263 karma

[ty] do not blame Ursula LeGuin for this. We're playing around with some ideas she worked with, but neither of us has her astonishing level of talent. But the first book in that new trilogy has been delivered to the publisher. So news soon?

neepple_butter45 karma

I was really curious when I read the HerbertXLeGuin quote. Your guys' work is fairly politically ambiguous in that the liberals (Earth), fascists (Mars), and revolutionary leftists (Belters) are presented as all morally compromised. The work of both Herbert and LeGuin is explicitly not politically ambiguous. I'm excited to read the first book.

JamesSACorey84 karma

[Daniel] <coughs in The Dispossessed> ;)

marlissa_lavellan130 karma


What did you like about the changes to the Belter Creole from the books to the TV show? Is there anything that you wish would have remained the same?

Thank you for your time.

JamesSACorey320 karma

[ty] The book version is some crap a couple of non linguists came up with.

allinfun107 karma

I just started The Expanse series a few weeks ago. Loving it! Already halfway through Abaddon's Gate. Why did it take me so long to discover this?!?

Actual question: How did/does the co-authorship work? Did y'all split up the POVs - like, one of you wrote Holden and other wrote Miller?

JamesSACorey191 karma

[Daniel] Fir the first few books, we split it by character, but later on we got to know each other's styles and started dividing it more on subject matter. Ty did the action stuff, I did the meditations on death. Play to your strengths.

JamesSACorey146 karma

[ty] It changes with every book. Some were done by splitting up the viewpoints. Some were done by deciding which chapters each of us wanted to write, irrespective of POV. And some were done where we plotted together, one person did the first draft, and the other person rewrote them.

goodguygenc104 karma

What are your thoughts on the newly released Telltale's The Expanse video game?

JamesSACorey220 karma

[ty] I think it's great. Very happy with it. And love that they got Cara Gee to come play Drummer again.

RunDNA102 karma

When do you think The Winds of Winter will be released?

JamesSACorey197 karma

[ty] When everyone stops asking.

Uriel_Alberto91 karma

Current plans?

JamesSACorey191 karma

[ty] New book trilogy called The Captives War is the one we can talk about.

plymouthpatsfan89 karma

Sins of our Fathers was such an amazing coda to the series. What was the creative process behind that story coming together and how important was it for the both of you to end the story like that?

JamesSACorey101 karma

[Daniel] The end of Leviathan Falls was the end we planned out back in the day, but Sins was a lovely chance to tie up that one last thread and kind of restate the core thought of the series.

If we hadn't done it, that would have been ok too.

Cook_061288 karma

How did you guys decide on how space warfare was gonna work in the Expanse? Seems like a bit of a nerdy question, but I imagine settling on the right level of hardness was probably a nuanced task. Some things you guys treat with absolute seriousness (time lag, Gs) other things you let yourselves go with the rule of cool (mechs, stealth in space), so I'm curious as to what motivated your choices or what your process was. Why ballistics and so few lasers?

JamesSACorey151 karma

[ty] Just kinda winged it? I just with what made sense in the setting in my head. And kinetic weapons are just so much better in pretty much every way than lasers.

rspeed78 karma

Can Solomon Epstein's body be recovered?

JamesSACorey218 karma

[ty] Eh, let the guy rest. His crypt is a ship traveling at relativistic speeds. That's kind of badass.

Darrone76 karma

What are your thoughts on the privatization of space travel and exploration that is occuring in our world today?

JamesSACorey138 karma

[ty] i like that it has reignited our interest in space exploration.

Sgt_Buttes66 karma

Hello! I adore your work, but it's created a problem for me... I'm now ruined for a lot of other scifi. Specifically the way that you managed to blend the human and cultural aspects of your world(s) with the hard scifi elements has proven to be near impossible to find elsewhere.

I'm perilously close to finishing the last of bit of the series I haven't read yet, the short stories. What series should I read next to get my fix?

I love linguistics and your belter patois is one of my favorite aspects of the books - how did you work together to create it?

(Last one, I swear) Could you please give us a one sentence tip for writing dialogue?

JamesSACorey75 karma

[ty] We both admire Walter Jon Williams a great deal, especially his Praxis series if you love space opera. One sentence dialog tip? Use fewer words.

krondel60 karma

Which main characters in the expanse were from your RPG campaign and which ones did you create as you were working on the books? (Did someone RP Ambassador Avasarala or was she added after the campaign ended?) What was your favorite part(s) about watching the universe unfold as a series of books and then on TV?

JamesSACorey83 karma

[ty] Only the four person crew of the Roci had any roots in the game, and even then the characters in the book are quite different from any game versions of themselves.

philipquarles58 karma

Do you ever accidentally hit each other in the hand while typing on the same keyboard?

JamesSACorey46 karma

[ty] We don't even live in the same state.

kRe4ture57 karma

Is there also a non-companionable silence?

JamesSACorey103 karma


stubot198056 karma

Random Q for Dan - has anyone shown any interest in making a TV/Film adaptation of either the Long price Quartet or the dagger and coin series? Also is that something you would be excited to do/be involved in?

JamesSACorey95 karma

As a matter of fact, yes, there has been interest and some meetings and some really interesting takes by people I admire.

And then the strike started, so. . . we'll see. Many things will become possible if the AMPTP gets back to the drawing board.

GuynemerUM56 karma

What was the hardest chapter or scene to write? Either because of what happens to the characters, or the themes involved, or just the logistics of making the plot work, or anything? Similarly, who did you find was the toughest POV to write, and why?

JamesSACorey95 karma


Ty had to twist my arm into the one where we killed Sam. I was very squeamish on that one. It was just that I liked her so much.

For POV, I don't know. They all had their own voices. I think Tanaka was least like my own, but I still enjoyed being her for a while.

monk_main47 karma

How long did the research process take for The Expanse? Did you guys consult experts in any particular fields relevant to the series?

JamesSACorey116 karma

[ty] I asked a physicist how much energy it would take to heat Eros by two degrees. I asked Zach Weinersmith to do the math on Ring Spacing in the Slow Zone. I think those two are the only experts. And Zach is only an expert at being snarky in comic form.

TheInfiniteWell45 karma

Hi Dan and Ty thanks for doing this AMA! The Expanse very quickly became my favourite series after I discovered the amazing audiobooks narrated by Jefferson Mays. Not sure how much input you had on his narration but he did a phenomenal job bringing the characters to life!

Now that the Expanse is all wrapped up have you got any plans to do a new novel series together? And would you want to stay with a science fiction setting or do something a little different?

JamesSACorey81 karma

[Daniel] We didn't have any input on Jefferson's work besides the occasional list of pronunciation queries, but if we're ever out drinking together, his money's no good. He did a great job, and we're grateful.

We do have a new series underway called The Captive's War. It's space opera because JSAC writes space opera.

And we're doing this other thing too: https://www.patreon.com/JamesSACoreyWritesaNovel

Norfolkwolf44 karma

Love your work. What was your inspiration to write The Expanse?

JamesSACorey95 karma

[ty] Snarky version: Daniel said hey do you want to write a book? Non Snark version: I made up a setting for a video game that never went anywhere, but I really liked the setting.

SissiSaatana44 karma

How in hell you guys come up with gems like: "Mars has got its collective asshole puckered up so tight it's bending light." that Avasarala keep dropping ?

JamesSACorey60 karma

[Daniel] That's pretty much how the back of my head is all the time. I just stop trying to be nice, and that stuff comes out.

Apollo41643 karma

What are the odds of books 7-9 being adapted to the screen someday?

JamesSACorey124 karma

[ty] Non Zero.

ohheyitspaul35 karma

Will there be a collectors hard cover complete box set for The Expanse?

JamesSACorey55 karma

That's an Orbit question, but I like the idea. We'll see if the series stays popular enough for things like that to make sense to our publisher.

Jaradakar35 karma

Dan who's your favorite Expanse character personality wise? Ty who's yours?

Who's the most fun to write?

When writing the books, did you typically each handle a specific character or did you switch?

JamesSACorey106 karma

[Daniel] Avasarala is my life coach.

JamesSACorey35 karma

[ty] No favorites. I find different aspects of all of them fun to write.

djschwin29 karma

A comment: I read "How It Unfolds" this morning and really enjoyed it! I'm holding out hope for more Expanse filmed adaptations, but I am also really looking forward to so much new non-Expanse stuff from you all. And I love the Patreon concept.

A question: Daniel, when you were tweeting more, you recommended some books I really enjoyed that were outside my normal reading: "In the Dream House" and "21st Century Ghosts" ... got any recent reading recs?

JamesSACorey22 karma

[Daniel] I'm glad the Patreon thing sounds fun to you. I really like the idea, and I'm enjoying the process so far.

As for reading recs, I really enjoyed Romantic Comedy by Curtis Sittenfeld.

futureb1ues28 karma

In just the last few years, we have seen a number of technological and biological breakthroughs and announcements about promising developments across several scientific fields. Have there been any such breakthroughs or developments that if they had occurred 10-15 years ago would have changed any aspects of the level or nature of technology displayed in The Expanse?

And on the other end of it, are there are any such breakthroughs or announcements that have validated the choices you made about the level and nature of the technology shown in The Expanse?

For example, broad spectrum oncocidal meds suddenly seem very possible with the recent news about small molecule KRAS inhibitors. Even if some research was already out there when you were writing LW, the recent developments seem to validate the decision to include the concept of oncocidal pills in the books.

JamesSACorey70 karma

[Daniel] The things that kind of screwed us over were figuring out that Ceres is actually totally covered in ice and the ubiquity of deep fakes.

The thing that made me feel smartest was the discovery of radiotropic fungi and some suggestions that of parallel molecular evolution. There's a good move in design space down at the molecular level, just like Elvi thought.

Thowle27 karma

Are you guys absolutely done with The Expanse universe?

I feel as if there are many stories that could be told on the worlds beyond the gates and after the epilogue on Leviathan Falls you guys just left us THIRSTING for more. (come on, why is amos such a fucking badass)

What are the inspirations for the new series you are working on? Is it going to be something like an Alastair Reynolds kind of future, or maybe The Culture? Is it more space opera-y or something else?

JamesSACorey73 karma

[ty] Yeah, we're pretty much done with The Expanse books. We both like stories that have an ending. Our new story is inspired by Dune and Ursula LeGuin, but we don't claim to have the astonishing talent of Herbert or LeGuin so we'll see how it turns out.

AlaskaManiac27 karma

Was the living, polyamorous relationship of Holden's parents meant as a deliberate subversion of the classic orphan-hero trope? I love your books (and the show!) There were so many times you just reversed the classic tropes (like the chosen one trope), I always wondered how conscience that decision was. Like were you thinking of the tropes you were subverting?

JamesSACorey95 karma

[Daniel] It was not consciously intended that way until literally right now, but as of right now, yes, that was absolutely what we meant to do.

EdorasVistas27 karma

I really enjoyed following you on Twitter. Do you’ve any plans to use one of the new Twitter alternatives? Any other good places to follow you?

JamesSACorey124 karma

[ty] Nope. Twitter was an experiment to see if I'd enjoy social media. I didn't. So I'm climbing back into my hermit hole to play video games with my wife.

IdiosyncraticOwl26 karma

Would you consider making a series just focused on drummer?

JamesSACorey69 karma

[Daniel] Probably not. The Expanse is a complete story as it stands, and we'd rather try building something new and different. That said, I think the RPG/fanfic/spin off work like Telltale has been pretty good stuff. So...

seifertc25 karma

What's one question you wished folks would ask you about The Expanse? Like, what's one awesome thing about the books/shows that you want to brag about but nobody ever asks you about?

JamesSACorey50 karma

[Daniel] The thing I'm really looking forward to bragging on is if someone gets inspired by the Expanse to do something awesome the way that Niven/Bester/etc got us started.

gottabook25 karma

Librarian here - I’ve put your books in so many patrons’ hands and continually recommend to people in my online groups. The world-building is amazing, character depth over time is well-done and the hard science fiction related to real world physics is a big draw for some of my patrons, although more of them don’t mind liberty-taking with the sci-fi. I’m excited to say I’ve just started revisiting the series via the audiobooks.

As far as the show, the casting felt totally spot-on. Did you have a role in choosing the actors for the show?

Left Twitter so will catch you on Patreon.

JamesSACorey36 karma

[Daniel] You are awesome. Librarians in general are awesome, and you're the front line in the struggle for a thoughtful, humane future. So thank you for that. Seriously.

As for the show, we're on strike, so I don't get to talk about it. But once the AMPTP cuts a fair deal with the writers, let's loop back and talk about it.

LostWanderer6924 karma

will there be a novel based in the time those ancient civilizations existed?

JamesSACorey40 karma

[ty] There might be a writer good enough to make a compelling novel out of two utterly alien species like that, but I am not that writer.

brwhyan24 karma

What lessons have you learned for your novel writing, that you learned while adapting The Expanse for television?

JamesSACorey55 karma

[Daniel] The big thing I learned was that screenwriting and novel writing have totally different toolsets. I will say that working with Naren Shankar gave me a new appreciation of how much paying attention to the details pays off for the overall project.

ebState24 karma

I'm curious about the co-writing process. How does that typical go for you guys? Does one write one subplot while the other works on another? Is it iterative where you are editing and adding on each other's work? Do you both do the same characters dialog?

Loved The Expanse series, I still remember starting Leviathan Wakes and an hour so in realizing "holy shit, this is great" sitting in the back seat on a road trip through Southern Missouri and Arkansas. Thanks for the adventures.

JamesSACorey24 karma

[ty] Short answer is that it changes with every book. Long answer is come hang with us on Patreon and watch how we do it for a new book.

djschwin24 karma

I just read Ready Player One/Two and one thing that bummed me out about that world was that no new art was being created.

You often included bits of art and culture in the Expanse books, and a movement by Laconia to consolidate new art to them as a central hub.
How did you imagine the kinds of art those cultures would make?

JamesSACorey43 karma

[Daniel] It's tricky putting in art that doesn't exist, but it's also really fun in a way. Borges used to get out of writing novels by writing reviews of books that didn't exist, though. So there's precedent.

A lot of the creation of those future artworks was just thinking about what I'd like to see/hear/watch and then pretending I could.

niv_291222 karma

If you could, would you write any scene/arc/plot line in the entire Expanse series differently? And why? (Ily guys Expanse is my all time fav media!!)

JamesSACorey54 karma

[Daniel] Sadly, since we're on strike, we don't get to talk about the show. I can say there are a few things I would change in the novels, like maybe taking a closer pass to cut some personal cliches that we maybe used too much. :)

RunningLowOnFucks21 karma

Has a real James SA Corey reached out to you already? Wonder how often that happens with pen names

JamesSACorey34 karma

[Daniel] Nope, but I have talked to a couple Daniels Abraham. One was a sound engineer for Duran Duran.

TX4Ever21 karma

One of the things I enjoyed most about the Expanse novels were all the different and varied POV characters. How did you two write such different voices in such a convincing way? Especially those who I assume are quite different from your lived experiences. In particular, I enjoyed the teenage girl character because she was written so well her chapters were my favorite.

JamesSACorey35 karma

[ty] Getting inside the head of someone who isn't you is the job of a fiction writer. If the person feels real to you, then the voice will just feel right when you do it correctly. There's no trick, sadly. You just have to do the work ahead of time developing the character.

vaughany20 karma

If you could be anywhere doing anything in the world of The Expanse, for real, where/what would you choose?

Or maybe the reverse, where/who would you absolutely not want to be

JamesSACorey56 karma

[ty] Happily married rich guy on Earth? Is that job available? I definitely don't want to be on a leaky spaceship dodging missiles or anywhere near alien death goo.

OliverMaths-538019 karma

How much work went into ensuring Belter Creole was linguistically coherent? What languages inspired you to come up with the idea?

JamesSACorey47 karma

[ty] For the book version, it isn't linguistically correct at all. We just made some stuff up to give the sense of a new dialect, and to make non Belter characters feel like outsiders.

hello_there8918 karma

Any plans for an RPG expanse video game? Also huge fan of Ty and that guy podcast. Love all the work you guys do

JamesSACorey36 karma

[ty] It's been talked about, but nothing to announce. Thanks for the kind words about the podcast. Always nice to meet one of the eight.

libbillama18 karma

If anyone gets inspired to write a book after subscribing to your patreon, and they want to dedicate their book to you guys when it's published, would you rather they dedicate it to James SA Corey, or to you guys as individuals?

JamesSACorey23 karma

[Daniel] Honestly, I'd be chuffed either way.

mashington1418 karma

I watched the show, and am just now going through all the books.

I'm on book 7 now, and was wondering when you guys knew you were going to do the time jump? Was that always in the plan, or did it come up organically after the end of book 6?

Also, what was the hardest part about picking things up after 30 years?

JamesSACorey34 karma

[ty] we had two different versions of the outline, one that had three more books during that thirty years. we decided not to write them because we didn't think they were interesting enough. better to jump ahead to the good stuff.

bitreign3317 karma

Like many of your fans I write shitty Expanse fan fiction, its truly terrible stuff, mostly for an RPG table I run in my case. One of the most pressing questions, really a matter of life and death, about the setting I would love to hear your guys thoughts on is uh... so waste right. As in poop.

Are ships routinely storing that, flushing it when they get to a station, or are they recycling it in some way for water or using the... matter as additional shielding by storing in the hull as outlined here https://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1027&context=symposium.

Just wondering if we can get some clarity from on high here.

JamesSACorey29 karma

[ty] Shitty fan fiction. I see what you did there. Also, yes, they recycle. Poop is full of really useful stuff.

Grizzlysol17 karma

Can you give us any details (themes, genres, etc) on the next book project (The Captive's War) you guys are working on together?

JamesSACorey38 karma

[Daniel] It's a space opera, but in a very different part of the space opera genre. The Expanse books were kind of an arc between late Apollo 13 and early Buck Rodgers. The Captive's War is much more far far future stuff.

clozepin17 karma

Hi. Love the book series (including the novellas). Loved the show. Really enjoying the Telltale game as well.

Question 1: Do you each write specific characters (ie one writes all the Amos chapters, while another writes all of Holden, etc)? Or is there cross over. Or is it not how it works at all….?

Q2: Does your pen name have any significance?

JamesSACorey29 karma

[Daniel] Q1: We both have characters whose voice we are expert in -- Ty does Amos best, I'm Avasarala -- but it was more regimented in in the early books. All the way through, one of us writes the first draft and the other edits it, so we both get to take a crack at everything.

Q2: My middle name is James. Ty's middle name is Corey. We thought it would stand out more if there were a couple middle initials, and SA are my kid's initials. It seemed like fun.

extimate-space17 karma

How much time did y’all spend working out how the world got from where it is now to where it is when your start the novels? Is the a secret history of Earth and the solar system squirreled away in your notes somewhere?

Obviously one of the strengths of the expanse is the way the world building is woven into the narrative in a way that helps drive it forward, but I’m really curious how much time you spent defining the world behind the scenes, and if so, did it happen all at once or as the novels came together?

JamesSACorey27 karma

[ty] One of my weird superpowers is that when I come up with an idea for a setting (mostly for RPG games) the entire world just sort of pops into my head fully formed. The Expanse universe was a real place in that weird part of my brain, so I have no idea how my subconscious came up with the ideas, they were just already there.

Miket_H17 karma

Hi! Huge fan here, love your work! Got more people hyped about Expanse :)

One question - are you familiar with the "Letter 44" comic book? It has some similarities to The Expanse and I was wondering if you had some sort of "hey that's very similar!"-kind-of-moment when you read it (provided you did ofcourse) :)

Also it'd be great if you could visit Poland's biggest scifi convention PYRKON but that's another subject ;)

JamesSACorey25 karma

[ty] Neither of us has read that comic. Now I feel like I should check it out.

Dunadanjets16 karma

Hello! Now that you've finished the show, have any of the performances by any of the actors affected how either of you imagine your characters in the novels? Shohreh Aghdashloo absolutely took over Avasarala and Dominique Tipper took over Naomi in my imagination, for example. And also, how do you think your experience working on television will affect your writing process in the new novel?

JamesSACorey32 karma

[ty] Writing scripts and writing books never had any crossover for us. They feel like very different projects.

BitGamerX16 karma

I always feel like I learn something from reading your books. Do you research stuff to add interesting details or is it something you already know?

JamesSACorey31 karma

[Daniel] Most of it is stuff we already knew and found the least efficient possible method of showing off about.

Rollmeister15 karma

I am always intrigued by the creative process when multiple people are involved. How do you decide on the major direction of the story, and how do you handle creative disagreements?

JamesSACorey28 karma

[ty] If you'd like to sit in with us as we make exactly those sorts of decisions, our new patreon will let you do that. If not, the short answer is we talk through it. Just that.

UnnamedArtist15 karma

Love your books!

I was just wondering, what was the last great book you enjoyed?

JamesSACorey25 karma

[ty] I loved Between Two Fires by Christopher Beuhlman.

JamesSACorey19 karma

[Daniel] I'm evangelizing for Romantic Comedy by Curtis Sittenfeld.

AuburnEatsBoogs14 karma

Since it's been over 10 years since the start of the series, is there anything about the world of the expanse you'd change if you were starting from scratch with the way the world has developed since then? Also putting my vote in for a collectors book set my bookcase is ready.

JamesSACorey28 karma

[ty] I'd include more of the current science our probes have learned about the solar system for sure.

The_Doc_Man14 karma

Is Wes pulling a Misery on you?

Follow up question: What happens if you enter the ring portal from the back side?

JamesSACorey25 karma

[ty] Like, is Wes breaking my legs and making me write books? How did you know? I dunno about the Ring question. Never gave that much thought.

Weyoun514 karma

Any chance of a 4K uhd physical release of your tv show? It would look and sound amazing without Amazon’s compression! Please lobby the powers that be for this

JamesSACorey22 karma

[Daniel] Sadly, since we're on strike, we don't get to talk about the show. But once the AMPTP decides to get us all back to work, we can revisit the issue. :)

tharoktryshard13 karma

Hello! The Expanse is my favorite book series. I was just thinking today about how the Expanse story isn't over. ln 10,000 years when humans rediscover jump travel or some other travel and explore the stars and just find a bunch of other humans, but no one remembers the 30 year period when all this migration happened.

Ok, here is an actual question. Have you ever played the game Stellaris? I've always thought it would be so cool to do a story mod of the Expanse in the game. The engine is perfectly designed to simulate the faction politics, the ship combat and tech differences, the interstellar gate travel, and even the boogeyman from another plane are in the game.

Anyway, thanks for your amazing addition to Sci-fi literature.

JamesSACorey11 karma

[Daniel] I haven't but Ty might have. He's a more experienced gamer than I am.

Alastor313 karma

What do you think of The Expanse new game by Telltales?

JamesSACorey21 karma

[ty] It's great. Really happy to see Cara.

Talonthebrave12 karma

Thank you for creating a story that made my parents and I dream head in the stars. How many years of research did you conduct to be able to build the future your imagined in the Expanse and start the writing process? Were you both already space-nerds? And what is your most sincere advice for a low nobody spending their life chasing a creative dream that seemingly will never happen.
We can't wait to see what you create next. Thank you, and all the best wishes!

JamesSACorey13 karma

[Daniel] Almost everything in the books is there because we were interested in it first. The whole series got to be a way to revisit all the things that we were already kind of in love with. So yes, space nerds.

As far as chasing a creative dream that may never happen: We did this because it was fun, not because there was a market for it. We were advised to write fantasy because SF didn't sell. Nothing I've ever done cynically to chase the market has paid out. Everything that's succeeded was for shits and giggles.

RamboGoesMeow12 karma

What inspired you two to write together under a single nom de plume?

Love the series, though I’m still on the first book (dang lack of free time!) but the show was wonderful. My father was thankfully able to watch the show with me before he passed, but I’m still hoping for the rest of the books to be adapted!

JamesSACorey20 karma

[Daniel] I have a thing about pen names. I think they're really important for setting reader expectations. Like, you know what a Steven King book is just because it's a Steven King book. Daniel Abraham already wrote epic fantasy when we started this, and The Expanse novels are many things, but satisfying epic fantasy ain't one. :)

diggergig11 karma

Does the enormity of space scare you?

JamesSACorey36 karma

[ty] Space has never tried to pick a fight with me, so I'm pretty sure I scare it.

solocupknupp11 karma

If there was one character (either major or minor) you had to write a stand-alone novel for, which character and what part of their life would you want to cover?

JamesSACorey28 karma

[Daniel] With the caveat that we're never gong to do it, I'd loop back to Erich and his missing years.

Chernobyl-Red11 karma

How does Basic in the expanse work? What was the basis for it?

JamesSACorey44 karma

[ty] Basic is NOT universal basic income. Basic includes no money. It is a system for giving people food, shelter, and medicine without ever giving them currency. It's extremely paternalistic and insulting. I think UBI would be a much better way to handle it.

InGenNateKenny9 karma

Hey what’s going on? Ty - I recall you worked closely with GRRM (hoping he gets TWOW out soon!) and served as a consultant on the Telltale Game of Thrones game. I’m curious if that experience into video games inspired the recent The Expanse game (also by Telltale, with Deck Nine)? And what are yours and Dan’s opinion on video games for storytelling more broadly?

JamesSACorey29 karma

[ty] Alcon TV did the expanse video game deal, I had very little to do with it, though Telltale did include us in the initial story development. I love video games. Playing Baldur's Gate 3 with my wife right now and loving it.

HeliumBurn9 karma

I'm curious why in the expanse series you excluded laser based weaponry from common use?

JamesSACorey22 karma

[ty] Kinetic weapons just work better. Lasers have use cases for specific things, but most of the time a high speed hunk of metal is much better. You can deflect a laser with a high albedo smoke cloud. Try stopping a railgun round with smoke.

Come_The_Hod_King8 karma

What's the best sandwich you've both had?

JamesSACorey32 karma

[ty] Daniel and I have never shared a sandwich.

veryangrydoggo7 karma

Hey Dan/Ty! Great to have the chance to talk to you guys! I'm sure you were asked this before but here it goes anyway: what were your inspirations for Leviathan Falls? I was hooked from the beginning all the way to the end but there was just so much to read and I got kind of lost! Did you guys found inspiration for it in other works?

JamesSACorey10 karma

[ty] Not sure how to answer that. Its the end of a thing we'd been working on for nearly two million words, so I'm not sure it has its own independent inspiration apart from the rest of the series.

NightsRadiant5 karma

Can you share a bit about your time working with George RR Martin?

I read once that you were helping him with GoT but once you started writing The Expanse (which is incredible, btw), the pace of GRRM’s writing slowed to a crawl.

JamesSACorey6 karma

[Daniel] Reports of our helping George write are greatly exaggerated. George taught me to write starting at Clarion West in 1998. Ty just helped manage his business empire.

Akstuntmanmike4 karma

I might be headed to Antarctica for just over a year, and will have quite a bit of downtime. What are some reading recommendations you have for my electronic device, besides your own work?

I am a huge fan of your Expanse novels and of some show I can't have you talk about. Thank you for your time!

JamesSACorey5 karma

[ty] Read everything Stephen King and Joe Hill have ever written and you'll need five years in Antarctica.

nervous_toast4 karma

Hi! I just read The Expanse over the last year and loved it, especially Amos and Miller. My question is,

Do you have any advice or resources you’d recommend for aspiring writers?

JamesSACorey8 karma

[Daniel] Well, funny you should ask. https://www.patreon.com/JamesSACoreyWritesaNovel

Self-promotion aside, though, there are some awesome books and workshops out there. I just finished A Swim in a Pond in the Rain by George Saunders, and I also recommend Wonderbook by Vandermeer.

FastFooer2 karma

Good afternoon fellas!

I would like to ask, what book or book series that you haven’t written would you recommend? If possible, a reason why!

Could be something that inspired you, or that you just enjoy!

On another note, I’m merely to the second expanse book, I’m just happy there’s lots left!

JamesSACorey4 karma

[Daniel] Walter Tevis' novel The Queen's Gambit is one of the best books I've read, specifically if you want to see how fiction is put together. The prose is good enough to enjoy but not so smooth you can't appreciate how it's all fit together. Tevis is one of my favorites.

lonesomespacecowboy2 karma

Do either of you play chess?

JamesSACorey3 karma

[ty] badly.

JamesSACorey3 karma

[Daniel] I'm a wood pusher at best, but I know some.

thed0000d2 karma

Serious: are there going to be any more books, novellas, tv shows, movies, games, or anything build on the characters and universe of the Expanse in the future? I fell in love with your characters (even Amos) and I’m very sad I don’t have any more ways to explore with them.

Not-serious: Have you guys played Nebulous Fleet Command? 11/10 recommend. They even have an MCRN mod!

JamesSACorey3 karma

[Daniel] I can't talk about shows/movies/etc -- one there's a strike, and two I don't have those rights anymore -- but for books and stories, nah. Stories are better when they end.

asph0d3l2 karma

Hi! Awesome of you to do an AMA. I’ve loved The Expanse from the beginning and as the series progressed it just grew to be a consistent source of joy in my life. It also introduced me to Daniel’s other work and allowed him to take a spot as one of my favourite authors of all time.

Questions! 1) I’ve read before that The Expanse was written as 3 duologies and a trilogy and that you wrote each book in a different sub-genre (noir/horror, mil-sci fi, political thriller, etc). Were there specific world events from the present say or history that informed certain sequences or events in the books?

2) What are your thoughts on an adaptation of the last 3 books of the Expanse? Would you want to see that happen, or are you happy with how the show leaves off?

3) What changes that were made in the show had you feeling like you wished you’d done that? (I suspect you’ll get this one a bunch!)

4) What can you share about your future project(s)? And do you think you’d jointly tackle another Star Wars book?

Have an awesome day!

JamesSACorey4 karma

[ty] 1) Everything in the books is inspired by history, but it's mostly preclassical history, not current stuff. 4) We're writing a new SF series called The Captives War, should get a pub date on that one for next year I'd guess. And no, I don't think either of us wants to work in someone else's universe again.

Queernephy1 karma

Hello! Thank you for your wonderful work the expanse is one of my altime favourite book and TV series.

This is more of a show question but hoping you have the answer. After the fight on Ganymede when the refugees are on tycho and the crew are welcoming them amos has a wee moment with a kid pushing him off his mom, he then goes to cortesar to talk about the procedure cortesar had done that removes his empathy, after this we have amos being a bit of a dick to everyone and really spacy and stuff, did he take cortesar up on his offer to have the procedure tested on himself?

Ta in advance!

JamesSACorey2 karma

[Daniel] Sadly, because we're on strike, we don't get to talk about the show. But once the AMPTP decides to get back to work, we can totally circle back and talk it through.

Maryachy1 karma

Hey guys, what is the process of writing together? Do you plot together or discover while writing?

JamesSACorey1 karma

[ty] It changes with every book. If you want to sit over our should and what how we do it on a brand new book, please see the Patreon link above.

tfandango1 karma

What can you tell us about the experience of the show transitioning from SciFi to Amazon? It was stressful for us, what was it like for you?

JamesSACorey1 karma

[Daniel] Sadly, since we're on strike, we don't get to talk about the show. But when the AMPTP decides to get us back to work, we'll totally talk all that through.

faze-hammer1 karma

The Expanse is the best!

How does the writing process work between the two of you while working on a joint project? Also, were there any challenging chapters/events to write or narrative choices you spent a lot of time workshopping?

JamesSACorey1 karma

[Daniel] Funny you should ask. Short answer is pretty well. Long answer is: https://www.patreon.com/JamesSACoreyWritesaNovel

We didn't workshop much of The Expanse so much as chew it through between each other and our beta reader, Carrie Vaughn.

StuckInTheUpsideDown1 karma

Are Firefly and Expanse in the same universe? I believe Firefly takes place after the conclusion of Leviathan Falls.

JamesSACorey1 karma

[Daniel] Sadly, since we're on strike, we don't get to talk about the show. Or the other show. Or any WGA project. Which is bullshit, and for which I blame the AMPTP. When the strike's over, loop back, though, and we'll talk about it.

J_Factor1 karma

Were The Expanse books originally written to be adapted to the screen? If so or if not, either way, do you feel that producing the tv series ultimately affected your story planning and authoring style to make it easier to adapt the books to the screen?

JamesSACorey2 karma

[ty] No, when we wrote Leviathan Wakes we had no idea it would be adapted, and no belief ahead of time it would even get optioned. And for us, screen writing and novel writing are completely different animals. Not a lot of crossover from one to the other.

AlmightyStrongPerson1 karma

First I want to say thank you to both of you for creating this universe. It's one of the few book series where I can finish the books and immediately want to read them all again. The comfort of spending time with these fantastic, relatable characters is invaluable. My question: How much research did you have to do into the subject of childhood trauma for the background of characters like Amos?

JamesSACorey1 karma

[ty] Not a lot of research as such. Mostly pulled from some actual situations I was aware of.

1970s_MonkeyKing1 karma

Any thoughts of either of you collaborating with others or solo for new works?

JamesSACorey5 karma

[ty] Daniel has multiple solo projects, including his Kithamar series. Ty is lazy, but he collabs with people who are willing to do most of the work.

Rigocat1 karma

Hi! really love the books and series. wanted to know, any chance of making spin off of them? Amos year 0, other stories from the belt, the expanded expanse?

Greetings from Argentina

JamesSACorey3 karma

[ty] unlikely. Daniel and I don't really have any desire to do prequels and spinoffs. But that's on the book side. We have no idea what people will want to do in other media.

CowzMakeMilk1 karma

Really enjoy the universe you've created. Any chance you think you will dip back into it, even if it's just through more short stories? Likewise, any thoughts on the universe being expanded more through other mediums, such as TellTales 'The Expanse' game?

Also season 7,8,9 when? Or a movie trilogy to finish off The Expanse?

JamesSACorey3 karma

[Daniel] For us? No. We told the story we had to tell, and it's time to move on.

That said, I'm delighted by the TTRPG folks like Abraxas' Precipice and fanfic folks who are making their own stories.

As for the TV stuff, I don't get to talk about it because strike. I blame the AMPTP. ;)

rich11261 karma

What are some highlights of your writing process(es)? What tools did you use to write together, share notes, etc.?

JamesSACorey3 karma

[ty] If you'd like to sit over our shoulder and watch us write, the new Patreon project will let you do that. But the short answer is we mostly use email and Word. Nothing fancier than that.

Alastor30 karma

Do you think Amazon will continue the serie with the last books to be adapted? I just can't understand why they stopped when it was the best sci-fi of the moment

JamesSACorey2 karma

[Daniel] Unfortunately, we're on strike, so I can't talk much about the show. If the AMPTP decides to get folks back to work, we'll totally circle back to this.

Rocinate81940 karma

What's your favorite show that you've watched this year?

JamesSACorey1 karma

[ty] Loved lots of stuff that the strike keeps me from promoting. Sorry.

Mycroft_xxx0 karma

Are there any upcoming neo-noir style detective stories coming from you guys? Thanks for Themis amazing universe!

JamesSACorey1 karma

[Daniel] We're doing some stuff together, but not new-noir particularly.

I am, however, looking at writing a couple crime novels on my own. Probably under a new pseudonym.

colt-jones0 karma

The Expanse is one of my all time favorite series and what I consider to be a modern classic, so thank you.

My favorite part about your books and the show is your representation of realistic physics. Obviously using and taking the time to explain realistic physics was a deliberate choice but can you expand on why that decision was important to your story? Was it ever challenging? Did you do the research on your own?

Also, fear tastes like nickel to me.

JamesSACorey2 karma

[ty] Since the later events with the protomolecule would get so weird, we felt like it was important that the world feel grounded to start. If everything starts out weird, there's nowhere for the story to go.

Abrham_Smith0 karma

Did you approve/like the way the show changed the crew dynamic in the first season from the first book? I liked that they were friends and knew each other, there was immense amount of respect for Holden as captain, I enjoyed that very much. In the series they hated Holden and it seemed like they didn't know him at all, it really turned me off.

JamesSACorey2 karma

[Daniel] Sadly, since we're on strike, we don't get to talk about the show. But hit me up when the AMPTP decides to let us get back to work and we'll chat.

No_Tamanegi0 karma

Did the writer's room on the show influence the writing of the later books? I feel like I was able to witness - and enjoy - your evolution as writers and I wonder how much working on the show impacted that.

JamesSACorey4 karma

[ty] Writing books and scripts feels very different to us. If you think we got better, blame that on the nearly two million words of fiction we wrote together during that period instead.

JeNiqueTaMere-5 karma

and a bunch of other stuff, including a show that we can't promote right now because we're members in good standing of the WGA, and we're on strike.

By mentioning the show you can't promote, aren't you essentially promoting the show, since anyone not already aware of the show in question will now google it to find out what it is?

JamesSACorey1 karma

[Daniel] Dr. Lakoff would very much prefer that you not think about an elephant.