RE: The Expanse…spoilers. (Full Version)

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Ricardo -> RE: The Expanse…spoilers. (Dec. 21 2022 17:42:49)

I’ll try to answer some things without spoiling it for you too much.

First the creole…you know more than me so if you can imagine a more realistic scenario for the propagation of a race of people isolated from their original home, go ahead and apply it and pretend it is going on despite what it looks like on paper or TV. From my point of view, their basic jobs keep them close together so they don’t have much opportunity (time) to developed variation separate from each other…however collectively as a group they remain “out there” to collectively reinforce whatever general evolution happens to their language. Like slang in the ghetto could develop pockets of variation in different cities, but these belters are always coming back to some collective single city where they either incorporate the same variations or lose them. This because they need to return for food, air, water, unlike earthers. Now the gates are opened and you have pilgrims in various other systems, of course the language can now evolve as you suggest it should, but so will their physiology.

Next the protomolecule technology is explained in detail throughout the series so I have to try to give you stuff that is not spoiling things. We never learn the physical biology of these protomolecule creators, obviously alien, advanced, and old. We don’t learn the true time frame, however lets imagine it took a billion years to seed the galaxy with this proto tech, and the way it was done is not revealed exactly but we can imagine it was “launched” physically and sort of randomly at solar systems (or possibly only at specific ones, we don’ t learn this either), from one of 1300+ spread out vantage points (gradually as more ring gates are opened we can imagine the seeding of the galaxy to expand exponentially). If you think that despite that the terrible distances would make such a thing take a long time (much longer than a billion years maybe) to land on any random rock like Phoebe or Earth, I agree. In the final book 9 a technology these creators had is revealed that might be involved that would significantly reduce that time frame, but I simply don’t like that aspect and have pushed it aside (and it is not suggested either, that is what it was used for). Lets say they produced enough of the material to send out and hit “something”, Earth would have been ideal, but any rock was ok, from the time of formation (4.5 billion years minus the time light took to reach the creators), till the time it was discovered on Phoebe. So a potential of that full time to have reached Pheobe from launch (they witnessed solar system formation and wishful thinking drove them to launch the stuff at it and it arrives soon before we find it). I could imagine a large web of the stuff yet it all is lost or destroyed or floating out there, except by chance the tiny bit that hits Pheobe.

Once on the rock, the tech is inert. It remains inert until some biology contacts with it. So imagine that stuff seeded all over the galaxy to various degrees, waiting, inert. Once the gates are opened we see various places in the Galaxy the builders had, for a time, found safe harbor to establish other technology, usually around the planets that the biology originated from. If a biology was already established, as we saw with humans, it takes them over pretty much. If they were advanced enough, where are their gates/tech? How could they fight if their home world was infected with protomolecule tech? And we don’t know that there were not “wars” as you suggest…but based on what is found in the 1300+ gates, the proto builders were the first and most advanced biology in the galaxy. What we learn is that the ring space that they create with energy affects the higher dimensional entities negatively, and the vision Holden had at ring station relates what happened because of this. This drama plays out in the last 3 books in detail.

Piwin -> RE: The Expanse…spoilers. (Dec. 23 2022 8:55:05)


the tiny bit that hits Pheobe

Ah OK, that makes more sense to me. In books 1-4 they seem to be saying that Phoebe itself is an alien object. Something about its shape and finding silicates or something. So I thought the aliens had shot Phoebe towards Earth as a vessel to carry the protomolecule. Hence all the questions about how do you park that thing once you arrive, why aren't there machines on it, etc. It makes more sense if Phoebe was just a natural moon that was already there and the protomolecule just happened to land on it.

Ricardo -> RE: The Expanse…spoilers. (Dec. 23 2022 20:39:16)




the tiny bit that hits Pheobe

Ah OK, that makes more sense to me. In books 1-4 they seem to be saying that Phoebe itself is an alien object. Something about its shape and finding silicates or something. So I thought the aliens had shot Phoebe towards Earth as a vessel to carry the protomolecule. Hence all the questions about how do you park that thing once you arrive, why aren't there machines on it, etc. It makes more sense if Phoebe was just a natural moon that was already there and the protomolecule just happened to land on it.

The thing I don’t like about most sci-if is when they assign this “consciousness” concept to Alien powers, as if because humans think it is a “thing” rather than just a subjective vantage point, that all the Universe must be aware of its “importance”. But, the authors of this story are using it as a plot point, so we can get into the mind of the Builders via the connection between Holden and Miller. So the way I read it is that the tech is inert on Phoebe and after the biology awakens it, and gets consumed, it consciously takes over the rock, using the biology, similar to how it was starting to do it to the first Anubis spaceship, in order to pilot it. It did not matter how these “machines” operate, after all, this “conscious” Alien mind had the power to cut a hole through Spacetime itself. “Moving” a rock was child’s play. I assume the reason it did not happen immediately is it took time and a minimal amount of biology and raw materials to do “the work” which was to build the gate.

Ricardo -> RE: The Expanse…spoilers. (Dec. 27 2022 18:59:50)


In books 1-4 they seem to be saying that Phoebe itself is an alien object.

I went back and reviewed the TV show. Just like other places in the books, a problem I always had with the story in general is that some mediocre scientists would present a singular hypothesis, and this is a way for the authors to present, I guess their own theories about their own fiction. Because of the realism in space they attempt to present, my mind has always pushed these singular hypotheses aside, allowing for my own personal conjecture. At least, I always hoped that was the true intent of the authors, if not, then it is pretty cheesy they only let us hear one scientific opinion regarding extremely deep and important plot points.

Either way, I assume the Authors were inspired by the Cassini mission that had actually got good data on Phoebe. Real scientists used to believe that this moon of Saturn was an asteroid belt object that had been capture, due to its coloration, and the fact it runs retrograde far out from Saturn. But the Cassini data revealed Phoebe was from farther out and captured as it ventured inward. Kuiper Belt Objects are divided up such that ones, probably like Phoebe, the hang out between Jupiter and the obit of Uranus/Neptune, are called “Centaurs”. Based on its composition they believe it to be Kuiper belt origin, and based on its movements and capture by Saturn, it was likely a Centaur. It has an odd shape due to being pummeled by asteroids, hence its superficial dark color, and a ring system of debris around Saturn.

So I believe the authors were inspired by this “capture” of Phoebe and used the fact that is was from farther out, for the scientist to put forth his conjecture that the object was actually “interstellar”. The big problem is that interstellar objects come in harder and would not get captured so easily by Saturn or any other planet. Plus, if the builders had used the Phoebe rock as a “delivery system” as the scientist claims, meant for Earth as the target, they surely would have been able to navigate a better trajectory based on their advanced tech, such that an unwanted capture by Jovian sized planets would be avoided. For me, the concept still works as a plot point, considering the reality that Phoebe would have been out in the Kuiper belt at some point, acquired the proto molecule by chance during it’s more exposed existence out there on the fringes, and migrating in as normal and getting captured by Saturn. Of course getting hit so hard by asteroids means there could be more protomolecule out orbiting the debris of Saturn. But again, my feeling was the amount of the stuff humanity initially finds was minuscule. It only took Julie’s small exposure on Anubis to infect Eros, (they seem to think it was other wise entirely lost with Anubis) and the added bio mass resulted in the main plot points (it was starting to happen on Phoebe). So I always imagined tons of the stuff scattered out in the galaxy waiting inert to be awakened by biomass energy.

The entire conjecture around Phoebe only appears by the same scientist twice in the show, the most detailed right before his death by miller. If more is presented in the books about it, this information is missing from the show and my understanding. Any fiction beyond what he states in the show, to me, would be pretty silly if they did go into more detail about it in the book.

Piwin -> RE: The Expanse…spoilers. (Dec. 27 2022 20:40:38)


the same scientist twice in the show, the most detailed right before his death by miller.

That Dresden guy from Protogen, right? I think it's the same thing in the books. They first hear him lay out the idea in a recording they find when they rummage around the Anubis. The main protagonists mention it again, but they're not scientists so maybe they just ran with it and didn't question it. I guess the only thing that would be trouble is if dead Miller says that Phoebe was an alien vessel, since that would be the protomolecule talking and it would exclude the possibility that the Protogen guy was just wrong about it. I don't think dead Miller talks about it, but I'd have to check.

But honestly I like your idea better.

Ricardo -> RE: The Expanse…spoilers. (Dec. 28 2022 19:50:22)


But honestly I like your idea better.

The same theory was echoed by another scientist in the show…after the ring gate opens the guy on the Behemoth explaining to the religious lady, and he adds that protomolecule is found “inside” Phoebe, implying it was buried in there. To me it is still in line with the reality situation of Phoebe getting hit by asteroids and the dark layer is rather thin (humanity not having to dig far down to find stuff that had landed on its surface in the past). However, seeing the same bad idea get echoed by another scientist means it is likely the cheesy concept of the authors in fact, and I am just trying to salvage what was otherwise a cool sci-fi story that I love. But yes…extra solar Phoebe is a dumb idea, doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, nor that the builders would have used such a primitive method to transport proto tech through interstellar space.

Piwin -> [Deleted] (Jan. 3 2023 20:24:58)

Post has been moved to the Recycle Bin at Jan. 4 2023 0:04:38

Piwin -> RE: The Expanse…spoilers. (Jan. 15 2023 3:23:04)

Finished Babylon's Ashes, which I gather is where the TV show ends. Pretty good. Books 5 and 6 changed the pace a bit, with more focus on people's background and mindset. That was interesting, particularly Naomi and her son's arc. Nothing new with the aliens though. We just get two vague POV descriptions of people dying in the gate, like their molecules start to disassemble or something, then they see something coming at them and it ends there. I gather those are the aliens from another dimension, but that hasn't been explicitly mentioned yet.

The ending is Holden proposing to form a shipping union, with Belters becoming responsible for interstellar travel. So, I think we can now plug in The Expanse into the lore of the Dune series, a prequel as it were: The Belters are the ancestors of the Spacing Guild. Their limbs are already elongated, and they have 10,000 years to discover spice, get hooked on it, start living in spice tanks and turn into prescient humanoid fish. It checks out [:D] It'll work even better if in the final three books they decide to destroy the gate network, coz then the Belters / Guild Navigators will be the only way to safely travel from one system to another. Anna or her kid will become the founder of the Bene Gesserit. Holden is an ancestor of the Atreides, and Amos of the Harkonnen.

Where it gets weird is that we know that the Dune books existed in the universe The Expanse takes place in. Miller finds Julie Mao's diary, and in one part she had written "Fear is the mind killer. Ha. Geek." That's a clear reference to the Bene Gesserit mantra, which means that Julie had read Dune. So Dune had already been written in that universe and, given how smoothly the Belters-Spacing Guild transition fits together, we can reasonably assume that Dune was actually a prophecy describing the future of humanity in that universe.

But what if that universe was actually our universe? Ha, the plot thickens when you consider the very last chapter of the last Dune book written by Frank Herbert. In it, he mentions two enigmatic beings, Daniel and Marty, who just pop out of nowhere. They have nothing to do with anything, but it's heavily implied that they're interfering with the events of Dune. Herbert's son decided that Daniel and Marty were advanced AI entities, but that was just his mistaken take on it. We'll never know for sure who they were since Frank died before writing the next book. The bit about Daniel and Marty was some of the last words Herbert ever wrote. But look, Daniel and Marty... James Corey is Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck. You think his name is really Ty or is that a nickname for... MARTY?! Dun dun dun... Maybe Franck's reference to those names was actually a clue describing his murderers. Daniel and (Mar)Ty who interfered in Dune by...killing its author to steal his prophetic powers! QED. I'm on to something. Wait. Fúck. Two Black Sedans just parked in front of my building and guys in suits are getting out. It's 4am, why are they wearing sun glasses? I gotta go...

mrstwinkle -> RE: The Expanse…spoilers. (Jan. 15 2023 18:39:18)

You're a murdering retard, but I agree this is the best character of the show.

Ricardo -> RE: The Expanse…spoilers. (Jan. 16 2023 16:57:29)


we can reasonably assume that Dune was actually a prophecy describing the future of humanity in that universe.

Is not almost all space science fiction? None of which will be literally true, unless humanity deliberately follows one of those narratives by choice. As for Expanse I liked the solar system drama, and the Alien was brought it to move us forward time wise (meaning, humanity might continue and develop its own tech to go interstellar without alien intervention). Because of the time frame I like to link this to Contact, however, of course the authors are influenced by other work such as Dune, 2001, Asimov, and the mentioned Revelation Space series.

I felt like the inter dimensional entities are sufficiently revealed by the end of the TV show, to set the stage for the final trilogy. Not sure if you will go on to read the rest, but at the start I was not clear if that guy Duarte who went silent and closed off, would have known about Marco Inaros etc. It turns out that he does in fact, but it is never explained how he would have known or heard about that news. I might have missed it that news gets in to Laconia but does not come out. Anyway, it does not go the Dune route, and has interesting twists and turns, and an annoying incessant chase that I had to fast forward through at times. While Book 7 is frustrating, Book 8 was very good of the Trilogy. And 9 is where it finally diverges toward comic book gothic fiction out of the norm, but that is my take on it, and it does close up the story properly. Unfortunately all the Alien questions you have get told through one physicists view point.

Piwin -> RE: The Expanse…spoilers. (Jan. 16 2023 23:07:36)

Sorry, that was just me goofing around after not being able to sleep all night.

I'm planning on reading the rest, but I'll probably take a break here and pick it up later in the year. Re: the interdimensional aliens, so far most of it was from dead Miller in book 4, since he's looking for what killed the gate-builders, and so most of it is about that eye thing on Ilus. They haven't explicitly made the connection with the gates yet. Naomi figures out that you can predict when it'll gobble up a ship, but as far as they're concerned it could just be the gates malfunctioning when there's too much mass or whatever. Then we have those two POV descriptions of what happens, Sauveterre in book 5 and Inaros in book 6. Their whole "my molecules are disassembling" thing is probably the closest hint so far that this thing involves another dimension.

Re: Duarte, dunno. End of book 6 Laconia is sending out a signal through the gate saying that they're independent and nobody is allowed to come through the gate. So I'm imagining that there's no actual barrier to the flow of information there, it's just that Laconia isn't sending anything other than that "do no pass" message. And since he buggered off with a bunch of ships and both Earth and Mars don't have much left to fight with, they don't want to test him. If he had people on Medina they could've perhaps sent him the info. There were some there at the beginning of book 6, but I'm not sure they were still around when Holden took over. And even if they were they would've presumably been taken prisoner. So dunno, maybe a spy on Medina or something?

Ricardo -> RE: The Expanse…spoilers. (Apr. 20 2023 13:43:22)

So, after having been down the rabbit hole of the show for a couple years, watching it multiple times and being pretty emotionally involved with the characters, I had a crazy experience this week. So those that watched this show (not just read the books) remember the character Klaes Ashford and how he, like many characters, appears at first as abrasive and problematic, but gradually makes mistakes that any of us might make, so we gain empathy for his position, and then later we like him and think of him as a major “good guy” character, and finally he gets spaced and it is probably the most dramatic and emotional deaths in the series, that echoes on through the character Drummer, that also gets attached to him as we viewers do, right up to the ending episode. Here are a couple of aficionado videos about the character:

Well, the actor David Strathairn, walked into our flamenco rehearsal (a play about Manuel de Falla and Garcia Lorca), and the shock to the system was like witnessing an old friend resurrected from the dead! [:D] He joined us (Ismael Fernandez and Sonia Olla), reading the part of Manuel de Falla, so we got to hang out and talk Expanse for 3 days! Great stories, and professional nice guy to work with. Just read the comments about him in the above YouTube vids.

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eccullen -> RE: The Expanse…spoilers. (Apr. 21 2023 0:43:06)

Very cool for you to meet, much less work with Strathairn.

What are the dates of the show?

Ricardo -> RE: The Expanse…spoilers. (Apr. 21 2023 11:50:57)


ORIGINAL: eccullen

Very cool for you to meet, much less work with Strathairn.

What are the dates of the show?

We literally met monday, went through the play once. Then a tech and run through on Tuesday in theater (Kennedy Center) fixing stuff along the way, show was Wednesday night! [:D]. It was very much improvised.

Piwin -> RE: The Expanse…spoilers. (Mar. 21 2024 21:38:00)

Netflix's adaptation of The Three-Body Problem is out if ever you want to give it a try. Just watched the first few episodes. Looks like they're sticking less closely to the books than Tencent did in their adaptation, but the overall plot is still there. Since it's made by the guys who made Game of Thrones, I suppose what we should expect is for them to nail the first 2 seasons then ruin everything in the last one. [:D]

edit: oh wow, must've missed your post about meeting David Strathairn. That's very cool!!

Ricardo -> RE: The Expanse…spoilers. (Mar. 22 2024 17:37:38)


edit: oh wow, must've missed your post about meeting David Strathairn. That's very cool!!

yes. I got the DVD set (out of fear we might lose the streaming show from Amazon someday), and the extras have a cool interview with him.

3 body, I was checking the plot when i heard about it, looks interesting. I will check it out.

Ricardo -> RE: The Expanse…spoilers. (Mar. 26 2024 12:33:04)


The Three-Body Problem is out if ever you want to give it a try.

It is an interesting murder mystery of sorts. I am not keen on the “video game test” idea, which is borrowed from the “last star fighter”. I feel we have too much video game style movies these days, which is of only one variety which is the “Doom” style computer game. Last Star fighter at least was from a time when there were all sorts of arcade games, not this redundant first person maze situation. And the “physics” stuff is extremely cheesy, if not misleading (many worlds is not implying infinite copies of anything) unlike expanse that only cheesed it up in certain spots like the Drake equation or the Phoebe conjecture (and any conjectures really as they come from a single character usually).

Piwin -> RE: The Expanse…spoilers. (Mar. 26 2024 18:41:54)


It is an interesting murder mystery of sorts

I.e. the first season of The Expanse [;)].

I took the VR schtick to just be a plot device to recount the history of the Trisolarans while not having to fully describe them. It's kind of fun to imagine what kind of species they are, based solely on the features described in the VR game.

A lot of the technology is far-fetched, and in many cases probably impossible. E.g. the sophons violate the no-communication theorem of quantum entanglement. But then again, the sophons are also screwing up our science so who's to say the no-communication theorem is true? ^^

The core ideas of the books, the ones that people remember and like to talk about after having read them, haven't been introduced in the show yet (many worlds isn't one of them). The only thing they leave intact is relativity. But they do ungodly things to matter, dimensions and space-time, all of which are highly speculative but create a coherent, horrendous view of what our universe is and how the species that inhabit it interact with one another.

While more speculative than The Expanse, it's also closer to traditional sci-fi. It posits an underlying idea, "what if X were true about the universe?" and then explores how that idea would play out. The Expanse is mostly driven by the characters. It definitely has sci-fi elements to it, but the plot is driven by the characters more so than by the underlying ideas (the show 3BP has done a good job fleshing out the characters though, whereas in the books they mostly come off as cardboard cut-outs only there to help develop the broader ideas). What both series have in common is that they both start with a detective story, and at some point they both involve tall, lanky humans born in space talking a bullsh1t creole. [:D]

Ricardo -> RE: The Expanse…spoilers. (Mar. 27 2024 12:31:15)


While more speculative than The Expanse, it's also closer to traditional sci-fi.

Yes I get that. I am continuing to watch it. I stumbled upon the podcast “ty and that guy” with Amos actor and one Expanse writer, and they go through a bunch of related movie rundowns, and I realized that pretty much the main reason I liked the show is that they were deliberately playing into all my favorite Gen X kid sci fi action movies of the 80s. So it plays out how I would have subconsciously wanted it to, based on all that I loved as a child and am familiar with intimately. In a way I felt cheated since it made me feel “really? Am I THAT easy to peg as an American 80’s suburban child?”. Like that Stranger things was playing into that, but they lost me after the first season. In my defense I have noticed poor actors such as Harrison Ford having to relive those roles even now, very reluctantly, for the sake of my Gen X nostalgia. I have to admit the BEST film I have seen in the last 10-20 years in a theatre, and it was super obvious not to just me but my kids as well, was Terminator 2 re-cut in 3D, which came out in 2017 or 18. Nobody was in the theater just me and my kids, and I was already bored of the movie but as an objective movie going experience it really was orders of magnitude superior. I can’t really tell if this Gen X nostalgia thing is actually because everything has gone down hill these days, or if it is just my own bias. I was HOPING this is just bias. But the way things are going with re-boots….where are the new ideas? Only video game inspired things? I am sick comic books becoming movies too.

Then there is the new Dune. The sound was good at least! [:D]

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