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Described as a Space Opera, Leviathan Wakes is a science fiction novel by "James S. A. Corey", actually a collaboration by Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck. Set a few hundred years in the future humanity is still limited to the solar system but large parts of it have been colonized. The three main powers are Earth, Mars, and the unorganized "Belters", who inhabit the asteroid belt and many of the outer moons. Those three groups have been in economic dependence and conflict for almost as long as they've existed, but now it seems that someone wants to push that conflict into outright war.

The technology used is hard but not described in detail. An unexplained breakthrough in fusion drive technology has made interplanetary travel possible but no FTL drive has been discovered and no interstellar voyages have been attempted... yet.

Leviathan Wakes is the first book in a planned series called The Expanse. The second book will be titled Caliban's War.

Provides Examples Of:

 Naomi: We’ve got ships on their way from all over the system.

Holden: How many are coming?

Naomi: At a guess? All of them.

  • Asteroid Miners - A lot of this goes on in the belt though it doesn't directly impact the plot much.
  • Body Horror - The effects of the protomolecule.
  • Casual Interplanetary Travel - Acquiring a small ship capable of interplanetary travel seems to be about as difficult as acquiring a house is now. With all the attendant risks of defaulting on your loans and having it seized by bank.
  • Colony Drop - Never actually used, but discussed a lot. Asteroid drops are the new Mutually Assured Destruction.
  • Cool Starship - Both present and averted. It is noted that the lack of atmosphere to deal with combined with efficient designs has resulted in mostly ugly, blocky looking ships. Some of them very large and impressive but still looking like a simple warty skyscraper laid on its side. Some of the ships however, as exemplified by the Rocinante, are very cool on the inside.
    • I was struck by the multipurpose design of the blocky ships. Rather than have spin or some magic gravity technology allow people to have gravity, he turned the people on their side so that the G forces caused by acceleration hold people down (your head is pointed to the destination rather than standing like you would in a traditional ship (NEWS is the same plane as you are standing in, you can face where you are moving towards)
  • Domed Hometown - It is mentioned that Martian cities are under domes.
  • Earth Is the Center of the Universe - Mars is in some ways more technologically advanced and both Mars and the Belt view themselves as independent of the home planet, but more educated people are pretty sure that they couldn't survive without access to the resources of the home planet.
  • Fantastic Racism - Earthers vs. Belters.
  • Generation Ships - None have been used yet, but there is one under construction.
  • Humanity Is Infectious - How Julie is able to retain control over Eros.
  • I Know You Are in There Somewhere Fight - Miller to Julie at the end
  • Kansas City Shuffle - Holden's plan to intercept the missiles involves pulling this kind of con on the UN.

  Holden: We'll tell them we're going to trick them so they stop listening, and once they're not listening, we'll trick them.

  • Mohs Scale of Science Fiction Hardness: 4.
    • Hardness: slower-than-light travel, no Stealth in Space, generally excellent physics where described.
    • Softness: ships powered by Applied Phlebotinum fusion reactors, almost everything about the protomolecule.
  • Potty Failure - Julie Mao in the prologue.
  • Self-Destruct Mechanism - Used by the Donnager after it is borded.
  • The Sociopath - Dresden. And he had all his employees clinically altered to be sociopaths, too.
  • Terraform - A project to terraform Mars is ongoing, but it is currently still reliant on imports from Earth.
  • Thrown Out the Airlock - Happens at least once and is mentioned numerous times as appropriate punishment for especially unpleasant people.
  • The Virus - The protomolecule
  • The War of Earthly Aggression - This is one of the things that the Belters are worried about, although they're more immediately worried about a War Of Martian Aggression. Mars itself has also prepared for war with Earth, both in terms of military buildup and running elaborate battle simulations.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human? - In universe example - "real" Belters who grew up under low gravity are tall and skinny and look slightly deformed to people who grew up on Earth or Mars (apparently Mars' 1/3rd g is enough to avoid this effect?) They also have their own dialect that can make it difficult for "Inners" to understand what they're saying even when theoretically speaking the same language. It is speculated that many Inners don't even view Belters as real humans anymore and that is part of the reason why conflict has developed between them.
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