Expanding my View of the Expanse

I finished “Babylon’s Ashes” by James S. A. Corey last night and have had a thought about the structure of the series.  The Expanse series has been set to end in three more books for a total of nine, which are collectively the Expanse Series.  To my mind though, I am seeing a structure of a trilogy of trilogy.  The first three books (Leviathan Wakes, Caliban’s War, Abaddon’s Gate) deal primarily with the chaos created by testing and using the proto-molecule, eventually finding out the true purpose of the alien material.

The current three books (Cibola Burn, Nemesis Games, Babylon’s Ashes) that I just finished deal with the true fall out of the century old injustices that have created the sociopolitical environment at the beginning of the series.  The two major powers have gotten distracted by the crisis created when the proto-molecule was released on a large scale, leaving themselves open for attack by forces previously held in check.  In addition, during their quest to understand and fight the crisis, they blindly stomped across the solar system without a care for the third party, the most wounded, Belters.  Their arrogance will cost them greatly by  the end of the second trilogy.

I have not read Persepolis Rising but my thought and hope is that the last three books will fulfill the plot line raised in the first three books.  Early on, the writers outlined an alien race of supreme intelligence that found itself battling an unknown enemy wiping out entire solar systems.  By opening the gateways created by the proto-molecule, humans have reopened the galaxy to whatever destroyed the makers of the proto-molecule.  The final three books (Persepolis Rising, Tiamat’s Wrath, Unnamed book),or final trilogy in my mind, should finish this over-arcing plot and bring the series to a conclusion.  Let me know what you think.


Books Here, Get Your Books Here

I have seen people list the books they have read through out the year in an end of the year write up so I decided to join in.  Here is what I have read so far since the beginning of the year.  I have posted reviews of most of them on my librarything.com page that you can find a link to on the left side of this page.  You will need to scroll a little.  The last book listed is the one I am working on and I will say so far that it is not making sense yet.  I am still hoping for an aha moment that will make everything clear.  Check my librarything page to find out.  So, without further ado,:

2017 Read Books

The Iron Tactician                            Alastair Reynolds                             Free Arc from Librarything.com

Caliban’s War                                    James S. A. Corey                            New

Shadows of Self                                 Brandon Sanderson                        New

Nemesis                                              Louise Cooper                                   New

Dragon’s Bane                                   Barbara Hambley                             Reread

Dragon’s Shadow                              Barbara Hambley                             Reread

Knight of the Demon Queen           Barbara Hambley                             Reread

Dragon Star                                        Barbara Hambley                             Reread

The Bands of Mourning                   Brandon Sanderson                        New

Abaddon’s Gate                                 James S. A. Corey                            New

At the Speed of Light                       Simon Morden                                  Free Arc from Librarything.com

The Immortals War                         Leah Cutter                                        Free Arc from Librarything.com

The Way of Kings                             Brandon Sanderson                        Free E-book from Tor.com

2 DEE                                                 Robin Wyatt Dunn                           Free Arc from Librarything.com



Food for Thought

Just something for you avid readers out there.  Since joining Librarything in 2008 I have won 36 books in their early bird reviewer program.  Most have been e books but there were some physical copies and even two audio books (unabridged versions).  So, if your money is tight but you have to have a book to read like I do, this is a way to fill in the gaps with, for the most part, some quality reading.  Every month has a new batch of books to choose from.  Oh, by the way, two of the physical books were the last two books in the “Last Chronicals of Thomas Covenant” by Stephen R. Donaldson and  one audio book was “The Prince of Fools” by Mark Lawrence.  Not bad.

More than the sum of its Parts (from my Patreon page)

Mystics and Misfits, what is it?  Well, beyond a dream, it is a collection of short stories spanning the gamut of science fiction to fantasy, satire to philosophy, and past to future.  All of the stories are fiction but rooted deep within the bones of reality and humanity.  But my true desire was to create a book that I would have devoured in my youth when my ideas of what made a book great were still being shaped.

Back then I was just being introduced to all the amazing possibilities that the genre could engender.  The worlds contained within presented through maps made in detail or stylistically, appendices of characters or short historical stories, and prologues foreshadowing events or showing their results.  One of the things I enjoyed the most were drawing slipped into the story at unexpected places.

Michael Whelan’s inner illustration to Melanie Rawn’s “Dragon Prince was one such lucky find.  When I first started thinking about putting Mystics and Misfits together one of the ideas I had been to create an image for each story and place them at the beginning or end of each story.  Because some of the stories seemed hard to create an image for, I kind of shelved the idea, especially when I thought I would not even be able to create a cover.  Well, I did manage to create a cover and some other artwork I would not have thought it possible for me to do since then.  All I can say is that the itch to illustrate this book is starting to come back.  Given what you have seen of my work and what you have seen as readers of science fiction and fantasy, what do you think about a book that is illustrated?

What is it that Stirs Your Soul?

Okay, time for me to turn the tables.  I have spent much of the last few months telling you the things that get me excited about being an artist and an author of science fiction and fantasy.  Now I want to know what draws you to the genre?  Many of us know how it is in most cases to love science fiction and fantasy.  You are looked upon as if you have some disease you should see a doctor about, which is strange given how popular science fiction and fantasy is in media these days.  TV series like Game of Thrones, Agents of Shield, and The Arrow have strong followings while Marvel’s movie franchise is a money-making juggernaut.  So, all the silly snobbery aside, what makes SFF so important to you, the amazing vistas, crazy creatures and cultures, or the thought-provoking ideas?  Or better yet, all of it.  Go ahead, fill up my comments.

Happy New Year

I just wanted to say thank you to all those that are following my blog and have commented this year.  I am not one of the best people at socializing because I spend a lot of time thinking about the world and its history.  In recent years I have become fascinated by WWI and the handling of the aftermath that lead directly to WWII.  I see a lot of failures to learn on all sides, as well as, mistake my own country is failing to learn from.  I find it hard to express these thoughts in conversation because most of the people I know don’t spend much time thinking about such things.  In addition, as you can see from many of my posts, there are a lot of fine points to try to make in what usually turns into a heated debate.  This is why I share my thoughts here with you.  I can think through them better and deal with questions easier in this, believe it or not, slower medium, typing evens the playing field.

Where we will go together in the next year, I do not know, but hopefully it will be interesting.  As for my New Years resolution, I have decided to put all my short stories together into a collection to sell as an E book by the end of the year.  I look forward to sharing this journey with you.

Building my Dream

It has always been a dream of mine to have a place to show off all my books and be able just to look at them or find ones I want to reread.  Now that I have completed my Library/Computer room, I can.  I even have the big plush reading chair.


My Library


Here is a picture of my Library/Computer room I recently completed.