LOS ANGELES — I wanted to start out talking with Jeff Bezos tonight about his vision for settling outer space, but the billionaire founder of Amazon and Blue Origin had other plans.
When I asked my first question at a fireside chat, set up during an awards banquet here at the National Space Society’s International Space Development Conference, Bezos stopped me short.
“Before I answer that question, I want to do one small thing,” he told me. “Does anybody here in this audience watch a TV show called ‘The Expanse’?”
Wild applause followed — in part because the science-fiction TV series is tailor-made for the space crowd, and in part because cast members and the show runner for “The Expanse” were sitting out in the audience. They came to the dinner after doing their own panel presentation about the science behind the show.
When NBC Universal’s Syfy network announced this month that the show would be canceled after the current third season, that set off a worldwide fan campaign to #SaveTheExpanse. It also set off speculation that Amazon Studios might pick up the show.
Bezos ended that speculation tonight, on the stage that I shared with him.