‘Expanse’ co-author discusses sci-fi … and politics

Daniel Abraham
Daniel Abraham, co-author of “The Expanse” book series, gives a reading at Seattle’s University Book Store. (GeekWire Photo / Alan Boyle)

There’s more to Daniel Abraham than “The Expanse.”

To be sure, the science-fiction saga about our future fractious solar system has been very, very good to Abraham and his co-author for the book series, Ty Franck.

Writing under the pen name of James S.A. Corey, Abraham and Franck are just finishing up the eighth book in the series, “Tiamat’s Wrath,” and getting ready to start the ninth and final volume. (Abraham says he already knows the title, but is bound by Orbit Books to keep it secret for now.)

Then there’s the TV show: The third season of “The Expanse” is wrapping up on the Syfy cable channel, and a month ago, Amazon picked up the show in dramatic fashion for a fourth season.

That announcement was made at a space conference by none other than Amazon’s billionaire founder, Jeff Bezos, with the cast of “The Expanse” sitting out in the audience.

Abraham has compared the writing business to a casino, and says that “writers are, among other things, professional gamblers.” If that’s so, he’s hit the jackpot with “The Expanse” alone.

But that’s not his only play: He uses a different pen name, M.L.N. Hanover, for a long-running wizards-and-demons book series known as “The Black Sun’s Daughter.” Under his own name, Abraham writes fantasy novels (and has contributed to the “Wild Cards” graphic novel series).

Abraham, who lives in New Mexico with his wife and daughter, wore yet another hat this week: He served as an instructor for the Clarion West Summer Workshop, which brings a select few writers to Seattle’s University District to sharpen their skills in speculative fiction.

It was in that capacity that he gave a reading at University Book Store, and sat down in the store’s coffee shop before the reading for a Q&A with yours truly. Here’s an edited transcript of the talk, which started out with the revival of “The Expanse” TV series and ended up with a wide-angle look at politics in the Donald Trump era.

Get the full Q&A on GeekWire.

By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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