The Expanse

04 Mar 2019


As the son of a science fiction writer, and someone who grew up in a family where everyone read science fiction, I am frequently embarrased at how little of it I get these days, whether I am not reading it or not watching it.

My family and I frequently lamented our shared perception that the genre kept getting watered down with stories that trended more towards the fiction and less towards the science.

I recently stumbled across “The Expanse” and I was quite delighted: I was attracted to the special effects that were not only dramatic but realistic: The physics shown seems to match what would actually happen. People are floating inside a spaceship in deep space, and the engines start and the people are slammed into the wall. Except for the biggest locations and the planets Earth and Mars, there is not much gravity and many people are seen wearing magnetic boots so that they can traverse the (metal) interiors of their spaceships and hollowed out asteroids. It’s nice to see someone paying attention to the science in science fiction for a change.

I should hasten to ask that the other attractive part of the show is that it is set in the relatively near future and does not (initially) involve any far-fetched technology or god-like aliens or mysterious omnipotent forces. There is a pretty elegant transposition of the old west story to the asteroid belt at work here.