Season 2 of The Expanse premieres Wednesday, February 1st on Syfy. The show features diverse and colorful characters, great dialogue, complex politics not unlike what we are experiencing today and most of all fantastic science.

The Expanse is Game of Thrones in Space

If you’re a fan of Game of Thrones you will love the planetary politics in The Expanse. It makes a lot of sense considering writer and producer Daniel Abraham has collaborated with A Song of Ice and Fire author George R.R. Martin.

The Expanse follows multiple characters from our newly colonized solar system, several hundred years in the future. Entire generations of humans have grown up off Earth under Martian domes or in large space stations. The entirety of Earth is unified under the U.N., but a cold war exists between Earth and Mars.

Caught in the middle are the Belters, those who live on large space stations in the Asteroid Belt beyond Mars. Think of them as the working class rural folk of space. Belters and their stations are invaluable for the good of Earth and Mars but are often looked down upon.

The Expanse is Hard Science Fiction

This isn’t Star Wars, there are no magic powers or anything like that. Nor is there faster-than-light travel. Instead, The Expanse uses established or believable near-future technology throughout. Sticking to what is scientifically realistic adds to the show greatly. Travel times add suspense. Space battles look less like WWII dogfights adapted for space and more like something that would actually happen in space.

Traveling at high-g is hell on the human body. In The Expanse, it requires crew members to strap into “Crash couches” that shoot them up full of drugs to keep them conscious.

There aren’t any magical shields or laser guns, well there are laser weapons but they are largely inefficient. Punching a clean hole through a ship with a rail gun is all you need to kill efficiently.

There’s a lot going for The Expanse. It is true hard science fiction, a rarity for television, with great plot and even better science. At the same time, it has drama, politics, and acting that are solid enough that a non-sci-fi person like my wife can truly enjoy the show.

The Expanse is based on a series of science fiction novels by the same name written by James S. A. Corey, the pen name of authors Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck. I highly recommend you check them out.

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