A series of novels turned into a television show offers one of the most realistic visions of what the colonization of space could really look like.
Why you should read and watch: “The Expanse” envisions a future in which humans have moved into space without growing far beyond today’s often unfair political and economic systems.
How does it work: Set in the 24th century, when humanity has managed to colonize Mars and part of the asteroid belt, “The Expanse” sees space not as the last frontier, but simply as the last backdrop of ancient geopolitical struggles, albeit without the ” geo. “
- Humans have left Earth less removed from the spirit of discovery than because their planet had become hot and crowded, and the only opportunities for advancement lie in the harsh environment of space.
Context: “The Expanse” is an example of “hard science fiction”, which means that it operates largely under the limitations of science as we know it.
- That means there are no warp units, transporters, and absolutely no Force.
- What definitely exists is gravity, which works almost like a minor character in “The Expanse”, a factor that must always be taken into account.
- Humans growing up in the lightest gravity on Mars or in the asteroid belt can’t really function on Earth, contributing to political divisions.
Analog for “Star Trek” fans: The series of the nineties “Deep Space Nine”.
- But if “Deep Space Nine” was occasionally brave, “The Expanse” is a veritable Beijing-style sandstorm, featuring brutal exploitation of workers, planetary-scale warfare, and nasty aliens.
Yes, but: It’s still fun!
- Additionally, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is such a fan that he reportedly helped save the show from cancellation by moving it to Amazon Prime in 2019.
- That’s a bit strange, given that Bezos is one of the main proponents of the space settlement, which “The Expanse” largely describes as a terrible mistake.
The bottom line: Read the books and watch the show.
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