UPDATE: Thanks for your questions; this was fun, but we need to get back to work. As a reminder, season 2 of The Expanse premieres Wednesday, Feb. 1, at 10/9c on Syfy. And if you missed season 1, you can stream it on Amazon. http://syfy.tv/2jhib5J

Thanks for reading and watching!

We're Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck, and we write the NYT bestselling Expanse series that begins with Hugo-nominated novel Leviathan Wakes. We are also supervising producers on the Syfy series based on the books, whose second season premieres this Wednesday, Feb. 1, at 10/9c.

Proof photo: https://twitter.com/JamesSACorey/status/824661147596886017

Ask us anything.

Comments: 1227 • Responses: 111  • Date: 

kevcaleg300 karma

So when can we get our hands on some Expanse merch? I could really use a tycho station t-shirt.

JamesSACorey178 karma

[ty] Soon, would be my guess.

mistersavage272 karma

What's it like being, like, two people, who are also one person?

JamesSACorey239 karma

[Daniel] Often confusing.

SenatorIncitatus243 karma

How much longer do you see the series going? Do you have an "ending" or a set number of books in mind?

Also, I love the pace at which you put them out - some other authors who shall remain nameless could learn a lot from you.

JamesSACorey704 karma

[Daniel] The Expanse is going to be 9 novels and a book of short stories. We've known the ending for years.

Yan-Isleth189 karma

Hey guys Spacedock here. :) What is it like finally being able to walk around on the Rocinante sets, having written about the ship's interior so much for years? I personally loved the show's adaptation of the Roci interior, I can only imagine what it's like for you guys. :) Daniel (Spacedock)

JamesSACorey185 karma

[Daniel] Really weird, and also gratifying. It looks very different than the version in my head, which is why they don't have me as a set designer.

shankbeezy180 karma

Just how important is the role of coffee in both of your lives and did that influence Holden's deep love?

JamesSACorey241 karma

[ty] I drink coffee. Daniel treats it like alchemy and tries to make gold with it.

JamesSACorey222 karma

[Daniel] Hands down my favorite psychoactive.

kethinov119 karma

Can we expect books 7 through 9 to provide us with more details about the gate builder aliens? Inquiring minds want to know what they looked like, what their civilization was like at its peak, and what exactly caused them to all to disappear!

JamesSACorey147 karma

[Ty] Certainly more of that mystery will be revealed. Just as in life, though, no one ever gets all the answers.

JamesSACorey102 karma

[Daniel] I am sure some of that will come up. :)

Rust_Coal96 karma

Question #1: How did you come up with Chrisjen Avasarala's character/personality? While I absolutely enjoy all of them and truthfully can't get enough of their dialogue with each other, Avasarala's combination of "ball busting" personality mixed with poignant observations about humans (and their ulterior motives) always makes me smile.

Edit: Also just want to say, "Thank you so much for your work! Can't wait for the next novel (already read Babylon's Ashes and loved it!) and the next season on SyFy!. As a native Texan, I always laugh when I read/hear Alex's dialogue...seems so familiar and yet out of place! Darn it, now I have another question...

Question #2: How did you come up with the ideas for the synthesis of different cultures for specific groups? (both the Belter patois but also the ethnically Indian Martian's with Texas drawls).

JamesSACorey195 karma

[Daniel] As I recall, I though "What if Rahm Emmanuel were a little Indian gramma" and then started typing. :)

TheDTYP96 karma

Hey, guys! Finished BA about a week ago, absolutely fantastic book. Your series is a huge influence on my own work.

From what I hear, The Expanse started off as a concept for a MMO or something. That said, are you two big gamers? What are your favorites?

JamesSACorey172 karma

[Ty] Yeah, still a big gamer. My wife and I play a lot of coop games, so lately that's been Diablo 3 and Borderlands mostly. My favorite game of all time is the original System Shock by the mad genius that is Warren Specter.

CleganeBowlThrowaway92 karma

Wearing my "Remember the Cant" shirt today.

I have read a great deal of co-authored books, but none as seamless and well-written as I have found yours to be. When you disagree on where the story should go, how do you compromise with each other without compromising the quality of the story?

JamesSACorey115 karma

[ty] Check your ego at the door. Agree on what the mission statement of the book is, and stick to it. Best idea wins, no matter who came up with it. Also, we rewrite each other's work, so the voice winds up very consistent, and also not the voice of either of us individually.

JamesSACorey100 karma

[Daniel] Well we spent a lot of time talking it over when we started so we'd have a solid idea what the core project was. That gives us a yardstick. Past that, usually, it's what would be the most awesome.

Red_Mask83 karma

I'm in the tabletop game industry. Have you ever considered licensing The Expanse for a tabletop game?

JamesSACorey130 karma

[ty] Yes.

shotteh2275 karma

What scares you more, deep sea or deep space?

JamesSACorey206 karma

[Ty] Deep underwater is actually a scarier technical problem to solve. Much easier to handle a single atmosphere pressure differential.

CrustySeaDog75 karma

Most authors seem less than thrilled by the audiobook versions of their novels. How about you guys? Are you pleased with your audiobooks?

JamesSACorey122 karma

[Daniel] Generally, quite pleased. Jefferson Mays, who's done most of our voice work, really has an ear for the books.

piebob65 karma

in particular, any chance of getting Cibola Burn re-recorded with Jefferson Mays? i just can't stand Erik whatsispants's reading of it. :/

JamesSACorey136 karma

[Daniel] Yes. That is a thing that is happening.

motelcheeseburger72 karma

what push back did you receive on portraying the Mormons? either from religious groups or lawyers (etc).

did you ever consider portraying scientologists in the expanse?

JamesSACorey123 karma

[Daniel] Most of the folks I've heard back from were good with it. We have had more static for our using our fiction as a soapbox for our religious beliefs, which is hilarious if you've met us. You could fit our piety in a thimble and have room for cream. But we wanted to treat the idea of faith respectfully.

And no, never thought about putting in ol' L. Ron.

JamesSACorey97 karma

[ty] None at all. Our vision for the Mormons in the expanse is pretty aspirational. They're not in the story to be made fun of. A Mormon friend of mine pointed out a few places where our terminology was off, but that was pretty much it.

MegaManatee71 karma

Why did you choose to take on the challenge of writing new characters for each book? Most authors struggle with writing a few compelling characters, and you guys have written 15+. Is it difficult to keep their personalities straight etc?

JamesSACorey108 karma

[Daniel] Part of it was what we wanted to have stories that ended within the greater story of the series. So we can bring Anna or Basia or Elvi or Prax to a moment of pause and have a little resolution at the end of a book. And I have a pretty easy time keeping them clear in my head. They're all pretty different to me.

JamesSACorey88 karma

[Ty] That's actually the fun of it. Trying to stuff the same people into every situation would eventually get boring.

hadronwulf69 karma

How much (if at all) was the creation of Marco Inaros influenced by the current political climate? Or was he a bit more of a happy accident?

JamesSACorey188 karma

[Daniel] We made him years ago. There are always men like him.

JamesSACorey107 karma

[ty] You have to understand, we were writing Marco before anyone was taking Trump seriously, so the current election stuff was just a happy accident.

Hyperspacehost66 karma

What's the funniest behind-the-scenes story you can tell us about without risking the wrath of anyone when Season 3 (hopefully) starts filming?

JamesSACorey134 karma

[Ty] The funniest would probably the time a day player made Thomas Jane angry, but that's one I can't tell here.

The second funniest was the time we hung Wes Chatham on wires 80 feet in the air, and then the director sort of forgot he was up there. Wes will tell you that one if you meet him.

ishywho61 karma

Thank you guys for all the work you've put into the books and show. What is the most difficult part of translating from books to show?

JamesSACorey133 karma

[Ty] honestly? Explaining how the science works to the rest of the crew. We had fantastic writers, but most people working in TV have never had to pay attention to science. Then, once all the writers got it, we had to teach all the directors what the science of the show was. Some got it quickly, some fought us the whole way.

JamesSACorey111 karma

[Daniel] For me, the part where I have to figure out how to take the evocative but vague descriptions that work well in prose ("the split circle") and turn them into distinct, specific things. That and making all the internal stuff explicit without a shit ton of cheesy voiceover.

sl600rt54 karma

Why aren't the Belters living in O'neil cylinders with proper simulated gravity?

did you have them all living in dwarf planet asteroids, just so you can have them be physically different, and as an excuse for low gravity action?

JamesSACorey101 karma

[Daniel] Nope. Spun up dwarf asteroids are awesome. And the ethos of the belt -- as with many places on earth -- is that good enough is good enough, at least right up until it isn't.

JamesSACorey78 karma

The asteroids basically are that. surface melted and resolidified to give it a hard shell, then the whole thing spun up to .3g

mistersavage52 karma

Seriously, though. My only question is whether you think that Shohreh Aghdashloo would be willing to be my best friend?

JamesSACorey55 karma

[ty] You're a pretty likable guy, but trust me when I say that the line of people to be her best friend is very very long. You gotta wait your turn.

ExternalTangents48 karma

I've heard that you guys consider each book to be styled after a specific genre.

Leviathan Wakes was a noir/detective story, Caliban's War was a political thriller, Abaddon's Gate was a bit of a ghost story, Cibola Burn was clearly a western, Nemesis Games was a disaster/terrorism story, and Babylon's Ashes was a war story.

Do you have planned genre styles for the remaining books? Can you tell us what they are?

What genres are even left at this point? Can we expect Persepolis Rising to be an erotic romance tale?

JamesSACorey100 karma

[Daniel] You're thinking of book 9: Captain Holden's Sexy Funtime Sorority Hour.

No, the last three books are styled as a single story in three parts, like an epic fantasy. But not Lord of the Rings. Another one.

JamesSACorey91 karma

[ty] The last three books are our love song to Ursula K LeGuin. Read into that what you will.

baoziface46 karma

Never liked to read. Read LW. Now I like to read. Thanks guys.

Is there a reason why the characters in the show seem a bit more dramatic? Was that intentional?

JamesSACorey48 karma

[ty] TV likes drama. Also, the feeling among the showrunners was that watching the crew slowly grow together would be an interesting path for the show.

zac--attack45 karma

To the extent that your books about the future reflect the times we're living in now, they are provocative and fascinating and an awesome read. What sorts of things that happen in the expanse do you really think will happen in the future, and what sorts of things are a reflection of our time and maybe you don't really think will work out that way? Will we always be at war with each other? Will there always be religion? Most importantly to me, do you really think the food will suck? I feel great sympathy every time someone has to drink crappy fungus-based whiskey. I'm kind of hoping we figure out how to make test-tube proteins and hydroponic vegetables taste good.

JamesSACorey93 karma

As long as we are recognizably human we'll have war and religion, I think. Space mining is more likely to be robots rather than people, but mining robots are harder to make into compelling characters. I think by the time we have to make fungal whisky, we won't be thinking about how gross that is.

LaserSwordAshes42 karma

Do you think we will see an "Expanse" comic/graphic novel eventually?

JamesSACorey52 karma

[Daniel] This seems possible. :)

michel_v41 karma

How do you plan to reconcile the description of Belters in the books (taller than us, bigger heads, weaker body under full G) versus their representation in the series where they look just like average earthers?

Is there a plan to make their "otherization" different in the series, so viewers can understand that part of the universe, or was that part considered out of scope?

JamesSACorey88 karma

We have a few of those guys walking around. We hire every super tall and skinny extra in Toronto. Just can't fill our scenes with those guys, there aren't enough of them.

insanehitz40 karma

Is there any chance for a video game (telltale) adaptation?

JamesSACorey48 karma

[Daniel] I wouldn't say no. Ty knows a bunch of those folks.

ravnos1340 karma

Better yet, any chance for an MMO?

JamesSACorey75 karma

That would be awesome.

vladtud39 karma

Has the show changed how you write/view some of the characters? I remember how George R.R. Martin said that he was so impressed by Natalia Tena’s portrayal of Osha in the show that he decided to give her a bigger role in the upcoming books. He also admitted that he likes show-Shae better than his version. Did anything like the two examples happen to you guys?

PS: I love the books and the show, can’t wait for season 2 and Persepolis Rises.

JamesSACorey45 karma

[Daniel] Not really. Book-version and show-version are pretty different beasts. We try not to cross those streams.

RocketTech9937 karma

How difficult is it to introduce plot lines and actually resolve them after working with GRR Martin? Does it seem un-natural or unintuitive?

JamesSACorey63 karma

[Daniel] GRRM has a profoundly different approach to writing and outlining than we do. Not that it's better or worse, but boy howdy is it really not even sort of the same. Different strengths and weaknesses...

Bleyddyn29 karma

Any idea when season 2 will make it to Netflix?

Or when the Syfy channel will let people watch on their web site?

Asking for a friend myself, who got rid of his cable box long ago.

JamesSACorey50 karma

[ty] Season 2 will air first on Syfy starting on February 1st, then will later become available on Amazon Prime (in the US) and Netflix (almost everywhere else) at some point after that initial broadcast. I do not know the exact delay between those two things.

TheCrookedKnight29 karma

Since the show started up, have you found yourselves factoring in whether a scene or plot thread is reasonably filmable when you put together the books?

JamesSACorey65 karma

[Ty] Nope. They are two different projects, and we very deliberately never cross the streams.

Darth-Storm25 karma

As an aspiring writer, I'm always curious as to how authors develop the world building of such big book series like your own. How was your process to create everything in terms of worldbuilding like (the culture, people, language, how the future would go, etc)? Was this process different from the books to the TV show?

Thank you, and keep up with the great work!

JamesSACorey60 karma

[Daniel] I got into this because Ty had already done so much of the world building as part of a tabletop RPG. So he already had a huge binder of all the world details, and all I had to bring was how to write a novel. The TV show had a lot more negotiating and translation, but we al pretty much kept referring back to Ty.

JamesSACorey59 karma

[Ty] I dunno. I just sort of accumulate facts about the solar system, and then think, "what would future people use this moon/asteroid/planet for?" Take notes, and eventually you have a lot of notes and a future society that sort of makes sense.

Because the TV show was based on the books, the world building was already done. We just imported it in.

gcwebber24 karma

Any thoughts about an Expanse RPG? I know the series started that as a post-to-play game, but I'd love to be able to play too! Also: what system was the original game using (Traveller, homebrew...?)

JamesSACorey37 karma

[ty] The original was a heavily modified version of open source D20 modern, mostly because I thought D20 future was terrible.

joshuallen24 karma

Do you share one mind? If not, how how do you navigate a collaboration?

JamesSACorey48 karma

[Daniel] We do not. We share two.

JamesSACorey35 karma

[Ty] check your ego at the door. Best idea wins, always. Agree on what the mission statement for the project is and stick to it. Pretty much that.

DragonPup24 karma

Has Prax been cast?

JamesSACorey51 karma

[Daniel] Yes. Terry Chen. And he crushed it.

MerrymakerTovia24 karma

Are either of you working on any solo projects or have plans to in the near future?

JamesSACorey53 karma

[Daniel] I finished up a 5-book epic fantasy last year. So there was that.

MerrymakerTovia15 karma

I loved the Dagger and the Coin series! Plus my husband and I still occasionally try to mimic poses from the Long Price Quartet as well ;) I'm more referring to the future, we will get more solo fantasy projects from you?

JamesSACorey22 karma

[Daniel] You'll get something, but I have to clear off my plate first. :)

ExternalTangents22 karma

How much swearing can we expect from Avasarala in Season 2?

I noticed another SyFy show, The Magicians, aired a safe-for-cable version of its show when aired live, but had much more colorful language (and a good bit of intense visuals) in the Netflix/DVD release. Is that something we could potentially see from The Expanse in the future?

JamesSACorey50 karma

[Daniel] More. Probably not "stand there with his dick in his hand and cry" more, but more.

JamesSACorey22 karma

[ty] potentially.

Mythology-Section22 karma

In The Expanse, I get a sense for a lot of different influences, the Alien like aesthetics, the driving human elements of Pohls Gateway, (the Prax/Mei storyline reminds me a lot of the Korean film Host.) What is the main element, for you as writers, that breathes life into Science Fiction and fuels your passion for it?

JamesSACorey23 karma

[Daniel] For me, it's the chance to comment on things in a kind of other-realm where it doesn't get muddled up in history and still is a part of history. it's a tricky line to walk but I love it.

carolinasphinx20 karma

Which character is your favorite to write? Also do you hope the future is like the series, minus the protomolecule?

JamesSACorey65 karma

[ty] I like Amos and Bobbie an awful lot. And at this point, any future at all seems pretty hopeful.

SacHammer20 karma

If you were any character in the books.. who would it be and why?

JamesSACorey54 karma

[Ty] Captain McDowell. Old, lazy, in charge but of a shitty leaky ship.

Atutundji20 karma

How much science background did you have ( academic, personal study, etc. ) before the writing of the series. Or did all the research and study happen once you started outlining and fleshing out the stories?

JamesSACorey45 karma

[Daniel] Ty's an autodidact with a deep knowledge of history and years of puttering around with astronomy. I've got a biology degree, a latecomers love of economics, and a few novels under my belt. We pretty much just go with those. :)

JamesSACorey28 karma

[ty] Daniel has a biology degree. That's the extent of our formal training. I read a lot of astronomy books, and pop physics is also a hobby. That's about it.

piebob20 karma

what's your favorite The Expanse gif to date? :)

JamesSACorey45 karma

[Daniel] Less a gif than a meme. https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CXmcVtdU0AIw4oa.jpg

JamesSACorey29 karma

[ty] Anything with Amos.

Rotsen123019 karma

Will all of Caliban's War be finished in Season 2? Or will it follow a similar path to Season 1 and Leviathan Wakes?

JamesSACorey45 karma

[Ty] Please watch season 2 on Syfy to find out. :)

JamesSACorey44 karma

[Daniel] That would be telling.

wickerwaka19 karma

Do you feel that using a pen name was necessary? It's strange that people readily accept teams of writers on TV shows and musicians co-writing songs, but multiple authors on the cover of a book is a rarity.

JamesSACorey42 karma

[Daniel] I have a thing about each new project having its own name. Daniel Abraham writes epic fantasy. MLN Hanover wrote urban fantasy. James SA Corey does space opera. It lets people know what kind of book they're picking up, and setting expectations is a great way to meet them, yeah?

Besides, we didn't want it to look I'd Tom Clancy'd Ty.

squidtrap19 karma

Hey guys! Thanks for this AMA! I have 2 questions...

1) what books do you like to read in your spare time?

2) want to grab a beer at La Cumbre?

JamesSACorey24 karma

[Daniel]1) Right now, I'm reading Go Tell My Horse by Nora Zeale Hurston and Strong Poison by Dorothy Sayers.

2) Sure.

azswift17 karma

Which of you has the coffee fetish like Holden?

JamesSACorey37 karma

[Daniel] [rasies hand] Using a Rancilio Silva right now with medium roast single-source Colombian beans.

JamesSACorey23 karma

[ty] We both drink coffee, but Daniel is a coffee freak. Which is weird, because I write most of the Holden stuff.

Ezaric16 karma

Thanks for doing this AMA! I have two quick questions. I recently re-read Cibola Burn and i was confused- it was established earlier in the series that Belters can not go planetside, gravity is even used as torture- So how could the Belter Colonists live on Ilus without major reconditioning? My confusion on this topic might be solvable by a closer re-read. But I thought I'd ask, either way. Second question, the names of the books are fucking awesome and I'm curious what your naming process looks like. If you follow a particular scheme, etc., etc. Thank you!

JamesSACorey52 karma

[ty] we do in fact talk about the major reconditioning they went through before landing. Months of drugs to promote bone and muscle growth, and lengthy and painful rehabilitation.

The books are named using the mythical thing does a thing scheme. I'm a mythology and history geek, so I sit and toss names at Daniel till he likes one.

Hyperspacehost16 karma

Long time fan of the books and very impressed by the show. GOOD JOB EVERYONE.

If the show does well enough and the final three books allow it, would you like to see a movie to round things off? Related, but would you like to see the series enter the realm of videogames or board games?

JamesSACorey18 karma

[Daniel] I'd like the filmed version to come to a satisfying ending, however we get there. And yes, video games and boardgames will be fun.

PhysicsToday15 karma

Can we get a picture of y'all with our cover?

JamesSACorey19 karma

[Daniel] Yes, that is a thing that can happen.

aecht13 karma

Robert Heinlein or Isaac Asimov?

JamesSACorey31 karma

[Daniel] Early Heinlein/late Asimov.

azswift13 karma

Is there any plan to do a spinoff focused on Avasarala? She is totally badass in print and on TV and I really loved the casting on the show.

JamesSACorey14 karma

[Daniel] That would be awesome, but we still need her for a while, yeah?

Gilbone13 karma

In the first season, I was stunned by how well the silence in the scenes from out in space contrasted with the noise and activity inside the ships. Will you continue in this method or will you be adding lots of sound effects in the vacuum of space? For me, this really adds a lot of realism and drama to the scenes and hammers home just how empty and desolate the environment they are travelling through is. It really gives a great sense of immersion!

JamesSACorey27 karma

[Ty] Sound is one of only two ways to deliver information on a TV. If you go soundless, you can only deliver half as much info to the audience. And because of the way our brains are wired, sound is a much more visceral sensory input. Scenes without sound will feel as if nothing is happening for a lot of viewers. People keep experimenting with soundless space, but it keeps not really working. Firefly got away with it because the action almost never takes place in space. 2001 got away with it, because that movie was deliberately slow moving and cold. Picture something like Star Wars with no sound, and it just doesn't work.

ExternalTangents12 karma

I know you guys had a planned ending all along, but I've heard that the number of planned books has expanded from what you originally planned. Is that true? And if so, what caused you to extend it to nine novels?

JamesSACorey18 karma

[Daniel] Actually, we cut it back from 12 because the longer version felt a little saggy in the withers. We originally planned just one that we'd sell for pizza money. We build 9- and 12-book outlines while we were writing Caliban's War.

catgirlthecrazy12 karma

If you had to pick one location from the books, what planet/moon/asteroid/space station would you most want to live in?

JamesSACorey31 karma

[ty] Tycho. I've seen those sets. That place looks sweet.

JamesSACorey27 karma

[Daniel] Titan seems nice.

barringtonmacgregor11 karma

Thanks for doing this. Have ratings and views grown since the end of the first season and are you anticipating a larger audience with the second season?

JamesSACorey23 karma

[Daniel] It's hard to say exactly what 'ratings' are anymore. I lot of people watched it streaming and on disk since the first season came out. If they come watch the premiere, we could blow the roof off. If not, less with the roof blowy. We'll see.

Gehaktbal32111 karma

Hi Ty and Dan, I love the books. In the books Earthers and Belters have their own gestures. Shrugging with your shoulders is an Earther Shrug and shrugging with your hands is a Belter Shrug. So I wondered, how would a Martian shrug?

JamesSACorey35 karma

[ty] I dunno. Something more scientific and a little bit arrogant would be my guess.

MerrymakerTovia11 karma

Do you have any conventions you plan on attending this year (fingers crossed for Bubonicon)?

JamesSACorey9 karma

[Daniel] If we're in town, we'll hit B'con. And we're guests of honor at Baycon, so we'll do that. Otherwise, a lot will depend on how the schedule for season 3 goes.

s7sost11 karma

Hey guys! I'm glad you're taking the time to do this AMA for us. I have a question:

How do you conceive the government organization within each of the colonies of The Belt, beyond the OPA? There's a lot of talk about private corporations but very little about the governments themselves, aside from people like Anderson Dawes. Even Mars has a Congress with its own political arraignment. Are there elections and offices in the stations or are they just ports where Belters dock and take up jobs and trade in disregard of public policies?

JamesSACorey21 karma

[ty] Yeah that's a good question. Most stations are owned by a corporation, and run like everyone there is in a company town. The larger stations like Ceres are protectorates of Earth or Mars, and treated like client states. As the series progresses, the outer planets more and more start to shrug off that inner planet control and you'll see their own governing bodies start to appear. Babylon's Ashes directly addresses this.

JamesSACorey21 karma

[Daniel] My picture of the belt is a lot of little ad-hocracies. The political arrangements fall along lines of money and power, which often means corporate structures, but also cooperatives and small local governments.

NickCrowder11 karma

I think you mentioned in some interviews how you were able to improve things on the TV show compared to the books. What are some examples of that in season 1?

JamesSACorey22 karma

[ty] Honestly, I don't see the show as an improvement. But there are things we can do in the show that we didn't get to do in the books because of the built in limitations of the novels. I liked getting our badguys on screen sooner, and I loved bring Avasarala into the story sooner.

opentheyear10 karma

One of my favorite things about The Expanse is the representation of diverse identities it showcases. I'm curious if you've experienced any backlash by people who see it as tokenism, or if you've encountered any hurdles in writing so many backgrounds that are different from your own. Also, I see the influence of so much of the wider sci-fi oeuvre in The Expanse; are there any books or movies that you would cite as particular inspirations or influences? I love your work, both the books and the show. You guys are awesome!

JamesSACorey25 karma

[ty] Well, there are always dickwads who hate the portrayal of anyone that isn't exactly like them, be that ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, whatever. But we ignore those guys, because they are dickwads.

For me, the biggest influences on The Expanse were Alfred Bester's Stars My Destination, and the crew of the movie Alien.

JamesSACorey16 karma

[Daniel] We've had several weak, tepid flavors of backlash, but I don't think tokenism was one of them. So much of what we do is uncommented that it's easy to pass over if you don't go looking for it. Not going around breaking our arm patting yourself on the back over how inclusive you are takes some of the curse off.

JakobXP10 karma

Hey dudes. I am currently writing my first ever Sci Fi epic and your books have been a massive inspiration. Do you have any advice or tips for new writers trying to get published or even just have their works get out there? Thanks, looking forward to season 2 :D

JamesSACorey27 karma

[Daniel] Read it out loud. You'll catch a gazillion little fuckups that way.

JamesSACorey18 karma

[Ty] Yeah, I get asked this a lot. Honestly, everyone's path is different. Daniel wrote a couple dozen short stories, got them published in magazines, and got an agent based on that work. I started out writing games and got an agent when Daniel and I started collaborating. Some people start with novels and submit direct to agents. Some people skip that and self publish. There are success stories and failure stories no matter which route you choose.

The best advice is to write a kick ass book that people can't ignore and hope for the best. There's no magic bullet to publishing success.

lord_of_the_waters8 karma

Hey Jimmy! Big fan of your work.

What's the plan regarding future novellas?

Do you plan on setting one earth during the UN takeover?

JamesSACorey6 karma

[Daniel]There are two more novellas under contract already, so at least that much, yeah. The UN takeover hadn't been one I'd planned on. I imagine that coup to have been bureaucratic and bloodless. Government is at its best when it's undramatic.

JamesSACorey5 karma

[ty] We have one that's almost done, that should be coming out shortly. We haven't decided what the last one will be, or what the setting is.

Haverholm7 karma

Now that the "new book every summer"-schedule for the books went a bit astray with Babylon's Ashes, are you planning on a regular release date to be December every year or something else?

JamesSACorey16 karma

[Daniel] We're planning on having them out every summer, but our plans are a little wonky. :) The plan is that we'll get through the books as fast as we can and still have them be good, with an eye toward once a year. Then, we'll see how well we do.

Hyperspacehost6 karma

Any secret merch plans you can share with us? I can't imagine I'm the only one who would like some official swag.

JamesSACorey6 karma

[Ty] we are making things. Some day, you will be able to buy those things.

That's as much as I am allowed to say.

MXTFF6 karma

What makes your lead characters so relatable? If you were any one of them, what would you do differently to change the character's personality?

JamesSACorey6 karma

[Daniel] Ty was talking a couple days ago about the combination of competence and vulnerability. I don't think we planned that consciously, but I think you could do a lot worse than use that as the connecting thread. And I don't know how I'd want to make them different. I'm mighty fond of 'em as they are.

JamesSACorey6 karma

[ty] Hopefully they are relateable because they want the kinds of things we all want, and they make the sorts of mistakes we all make trying to get them.

backstept5 karma

Hey Ty and Daniel! I have a bunch of questions.
Are there any supporting characters from the books that changed drastically for the show?
How cool is Frankie Adams?
Do you have any rituals while writing? Snacks, beverages, locations etc. that has to be just right to get you in the zone?
Weirdest fan theories you've seen on r/TheExpanse?

JamesSACorey12 karma

[Daniel] 1) There are some who've gotten a lot bigger (Drummer, Dawes) and some who've basically disappeared (Soren, Sam).

2) Frankie-Bobbie rocks.

3) Nope, just an overriding desire to get the thing done well by deadline.

4) I don't remember any being particularly out of the realm. Some wrong, of course... :)

ChaseDFW5 karma

I know that Daniel is big on word count from other interviews, but how do you approach writing an actual chapter that always ends up being about the same word count?

Do you have a structure for your approach to writing chapters?


JamesSACorey5 karma

[Daniel] Usually we figure out three or four things that happen, and that's plenty enough to form a chapter around.

JamesSACorey3 karma

[ty] It's pretty easy. I know from past experience I can't do anything in less than 500 words, so the smallest scene size is at least that. That means I can have six small scenes at most in a chapter. A big scene can be 1000 or more, so I reduce the number of scenes accordingly.

rickmuscles4 karma

How challenging is it to work together? Are you friends outside of your collaboration?

JamesSACorey6 karma

[Daniel] We're pretty good with it. I've been in other collaborations, but Ty's a real pleasure to work with. Outside of the collaboration... I don't know if that exists anymore. Is there anything outside of the project? It just seems to go on to the horizon.

zire5133 karma

Hi, I was just wondering how hard it is to stay as true to the books as possible while converting to a television show? I thought about this often as I was reading.

Let it be known that I just started the 3rd book yesterday, and I haven't seen any of the show so I do not know how close they are to each other.

JamesSACorey6 karma

[Daniel] We try to stay very true to the spirit and meaning of the books, even when we swap out details. There are a lot of things that don't translate between media, so you have to make allowances. Do different things to get the same effects. Like that.

ezzyrd3 karma

What do you like most about what you do?

JamesSACorey6 karma

[Daniel] That they pay me for it. I did a lot of this as an amateur for years, and doing it for money is way more fun than tech support.

Batanna3 karma

I understand that your involvement in the TV show, as the book writers, is more extensive than usual. How did this arrangement come about, and why does it work for The Expanse TV show?

JamesSACorey6 karma

[Daniel] No one ever gets to do what we do, and usually for very good reason. It worked out for us, I think, because we have a surprisingly small amount of ego invested in the final product being ours and no one else's. I mean, otherwise we wouldn't have done a collaboration in the first place, yeah?

kethinov3 karma

Below is my personal prediction for how many seasons The Expanse will run and which books are covered in which season. How accurate do you think this will be?

Season 1

  • Half of book 1.
  • Some apocryphal material to establish later book characters earlier.
  • Cliffhangers in the middle of book 1.

Season 2

  • Rest of book 1.
  • All of book 2.
  • Parts of book 3 rearranged to happen earlier.
  • Cliffhangers on book 2's ending.

Season 3

  • Rest of book 3.
  • All of book 4.
  • Parts of book 5.
  • Cliffhangering early in book 5 when the super dramatic stuff starts to happen.

Season 4

  • Rest of book 5.
  • All of book 6.

Additional seasons

  • Plus 1-3 additional seasons for the remaining unreleased 3 books.
  • I'm betting 2 additional seasons. So it'll be a 6 season show.

JamesSACorey11 karma

[Daniel] [wiggles hand ambiguously]

JamesSACorey10 karma

[ty] Two seasons in, your bracket is already wrong.

eyewitness45603 karma

Do you have regrets about interesting ideas that you just have to leave out from Expanse because it would be too disruptive/far-fetched? What do you do with these?

JamesSACorey5 karma

[Daniel] It's hard to regret what's let us do the story we wanted. But there are things that wouldn't have fit that we've used elsewhere. Jimmy Corey had a story come out a year or two ago called "Rates of Change" that had tech The Expanse doesn't use. There are always venues.

JamesSACorey4 karma

[ty] You think we avoid things that are far fetched? Have you read our books?

Obviously, not everything makes it into the story, just because some things work better than others. I think most writers have a notebook of things they're holding for later.

TimeAgents3 karma

Was BA the series wrap for Prax? The thing that Marko saw in the gate, was that proto molecule related or apart of what destroyed the gate builders?

JamesSACorey5 karma

[ty] Time will answer both questions.

Chahk3 karma

What are your favorite science fiction books and TV shows?

JamesSACorey4 karma

[Daniel] That's a long ass list. For books, Blindsight, Snow Crash, The Dread Empire's Fall books. Shows: Babylon 5 (it's a classic), The Good Place.

Ask again in 5 minutes, get a different answer, though.

Aglance2 karma

Geralyn from Subterranean Press is way cooler than Bill. Yes, or super-yes?

JamesSACorey2 karma

[Daniel] Yanni beats al of them. You know that. ;)

amiedd2 karma

What piece of technology were you most impressed with when you were growing up?

JamesSACorey5 karma

[Daniel] As a kid? TV remote controls.

AteketA2 karma

Hej. Your stance on fan-fiction? Good? Bad?

Keep up the good work!

JamesSACorey9 karma

[Daniel] Do what you enjoy, but I don't want to see it and you shouldn't try to make money from it....

.... hey, we're still talking about fanfic, right?

eyewitness45602 karma

How much does it freak you out, having so many hands and minds work on your IP, and not being able to control it all?

JamesSACorey3 karma

[Daniel]Eh. I could only steer half of it when it was just us.

dw58921 karma

Nemesis Games is my fav book in the series so far. I loved when you gave point of views to the rest of the Roci crew. Was it hard to start writing point of views for Amos, Alex, and Naomi after writing them for so long with out point of views?

JamesSACorey2 karma

[Daniel] Nah, that part was easy. (For me anyway) We knew them so well, slipping behind their eyes was pretty intuitive. I think it was like that for readers too.