The Expanse by James S.A. Corey: Genre Shenanigans (IN SPACE)
The Expanse is predicated on the idea that we have some compelling reason to populate places that are prohibitively hard to live on or in, like in domes on Mars, or the Asteroid Belt, or spaceships. Humans! We have the spirit of adventure! Time to travel is one issue blocking wider expansion, but once that’s solved? The only limitation is our desire to push out of our sphere of knowledge and experience and find new places to port both our best and worst qualities. Space is empty! Why not fill it with our drama?
There are themes of nationalism, but writ large. It’s less about your street address, where you came from Earth-wise, what you look like, and more about your place on a rock hurtling through space. It also picks up the practically antiquated concern about communication lag and shifts it into a future setting. In the past, getting news and other information was a longer process, taking additional time the farther back in the past you go, especially when dealing with colonies or places controlled by governments or corporations which were far away. We’re so spoiled by instantaneous communication. When we eventually send actual people far enough into space that there’s a communication lag, we’re going to get hurled back a century. I’m not sure most of us realize how weird that’s going to be. We’re so spoiled right now; this series grabs the idea that our metaphorical universes are going to expand and runs with it to great affect. Time is a commodity we’ve begun taking for granted in thousands of different ways. I mean, I can send my friends across an ocean a picture of an attractive celebrity and seconds later they can write back, “Ugh, no, what is your deal with Sebastian Stan?” The Expanse really shows how on a more important, political/human safety scale this lack of connection can change everything.
[Read More @ Lady Business]