Jump to content
Corvinus

The Expanse #4: Amazon Rising (spoilers for book only up to last episode)

Recommended Posts

Careful with spoilers guys...

@Kalbear nah, I wasn't asking for the actual answers, just asking whether we will get them later on. :P
I should have been a bit clearer.

@Corvinus thanks for the answer.

 

Honestly it crossed my mind that we might never learn more about the gatebuilders and their exterminators again. A bit silly of me, of course, but "realistically" speaking it was a possibility, i.e. that all that was left were ruins and anti-proto-molecule weapons.
I'm reassured now.

Quote

But you're saying that thing has a limited range - are you sure? When Miller died, every piece of protomolecule tech died: the structures, the defensive moons, the mechanism that killed off the fusion drives - that's because Miller made sure everything was linked to him. So, if Miller could do that, wouldn't you assume that the protomolecule tech had intricate links that could easily be exploited? 

Ah, yes. I guess I was easily fooled by the fact Miller (in his weird form) had to go through the weapon/bomb himself.
I suppose range isn't what's really bugging me, more like... its passive nature. In the state we saw it in, that weapon/bomb was obviously not aggressively going after the proto-molecule or proto-molecule tech.
Of course we don't know for how long it's been there, so it probably switched to a smaller or dormant state with time alone... Yet, even Miller going through did not reactivate it.
For a weapon, it's all a bit surprising imho.
On the topic of range itself: I did wonder if the weapon wouldn't affect the gate(s) itself and/or the protomolecule all the way back in the solar system, but that would have been inconvenient to develop the story.
And BTW, as I understand it, Miller is gone, but the Investigator could still come back...

I even wonder if Miller himself is really gone... Since I really don't understand how that weapon works, there's always a tiny chance that with time it can separate an individual consciousness from the proto-molecule that infected it.

Quote

it's nice that you picked up on Elvi not being harmed by the sphere, while Miller died, and everything else died. 

Well I fully expected her to die, or at least suffer grievous harm.
I mean, a human going through a deadly alien weapon? The odds of surviving ("realistically") are minuscule.
So I expected her to die, or at least (for plot convenience) to go into a coma/mad. That she didn't is extremely surprising and interesting. It means the weapon's makers were not going for indiscriminate destruction, but on the contrary designed the weapon in such a way that it wouldn't harm "random" biological lifeforms.
This suggests that, from a human perspective at least, they are the "good guys" because either they try to protect other lifeforms throughout the universe or... they are biological themselves. 

Edited by Rippounet

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On the sphere, and attempting not to be a spoiler as this was pretty much how I interpreted in book 4

Spoiler

Don't think of the sphere so much as the active weapon, it wasn't deployed now - it's from hundreds of millions of years ago. Think of it as the site a weapon was deployed, like a crater left by a bomb. The left over from a weapon.

On the whole, the developments of that particular question in the books is slow but the pay off has been incredible for me so far. Extremely satisfying and intriguing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of the themes that really sticks out to me as unique in The Expanse that I don't think I've seen discussed anywhere, not even from Dan and Ty so I'm not sure if it's intentional, is the danger of algorithms.

Our entire view of the gate builders (the Romans as they've been referred to in the books/book threads) isn't actually of them. The callousness towards "lower life" we see isn't a conscious act by them at the time, it's the approach is automated systems functioning hundreds of millions of years later in circumstances it wasn't programmed for.

Phoebe is sent to soak up primordial biomass, there was no intention of killing even moderately developed life but they didn't consider the possibility of it being delayed so they never put in safeguards against doing it to developed life.

The ring station seems to have simplistic rules similar to the laws of robotics - protect ring space and protect the builders from threats. Fast things are dangerous? Change physics so things can't go fast. These objects with nuclear explosions in them are a threat? Eliminate the newly acquired system trying to attack the builders.

In season 4

Spoiler

One of our nuclear reactors blew up? Change physics so nuclear fusion can't happen, that will stop any other reactors blowing up until the people in charge can check what happened.

They look quite similar to cases we see reported in the media of algorithms that have been programmed simplistically and decide to meet their requirements in unanticipated ways. I'm blanking on the specific cases I've seen, but they're things to the effect of "feed these digital cats regularly, the feedback system to control this behaviour works by encouraging as little cat hunger as possible. Algorithm computes killing all the cats results in the lowest possible level of hunger".

The combination of simplistic coding and increased power is very much topical at this point in our development, and its not really a theme that could have emerged earlier in science fiction other than in more simple ways like the Asimov story with the robot stuck in a circle due to competing first laws.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, karaddin said:

Don't think of the sphere so much as the active weapon, it wasn't deployed now - it's from hundreds of millions of years ago. Think of it as the site a weapon was deployed, like a crater left by a bomb. The left over from a weapon.

That makes a lot of sense, and also explains where they found the sphere, thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, Rippounet said:

Careful with spoilers guys...

@Kalbear nah, I wasn't asking for the actual answers, just asking whether we will get them later on. :P
I should have been a bit clearer.

@Corvinus thanks for the answer.

  Reveal hidden contents

Honestly it crossed my mind that we might never learn more about the gatebuilders and their exterminators again. A bit silly of me, of course, but "realistically" speaking it was a possibility, i.e. that all that was left were ruins and anti-proto-molecule weapons.
I'm reassured now.

Ah, yes. I guess I was easily fooled by the fact Miller (in his weird form) had to go through the weapon/bomb himself.
I suppose range isn't what's really bugging me, more like... its passive nature. In the state we saw it in, that weapon/bomb was obviously not aggressively going after the proto-molecule or proto-molecule tech.
Of course we don't know for how long it's been there, so it probably switched to a smaller or dormant state with time alone... Yet, even Miller going through did not reactivate it.
For a weapon, it's all a bit surprising imho.
On the topic of range itself: I did wonder if the weapon wouldn't affect the gate(s) itself and/or the protomolecule all the way back in the solar system, but that would have been inconvenient to develop the story.
And BTW, as I understand it, Miller is gone, but the Investigator could still come back...

I even wonder if Miller himself is really gone... Since I really don't understand how that weapon works, there's always a tiny chance that with time it can separate an individual consciousness from the proto-molecule that infected it.

Well I fully expected her to die, or at least suffer grievous harm.
I mean, a human going through a deadly alien weapon? The odds of surviving ("realistically") are minuscule.
So I expected her to die, or at least (for plot convenience) to go into a coma/mad. That she didn't is extremely surprising and interesting. It means the weapon's makers were not going for indiscriminate destruction, but on the contrary designed the weapon in such a way that it wouldn't harm "random" biological lifeforms.
This suggests that, from a human perspective at least, they are the "good guys" because either they try to protect other lifeforms throughout the universe or... they are biological themselves. 

As to Miller...

Spoiler

This isn't Star Wars. ;)

Where would his consciousness go if there is no more active protomolecule?

Edit: I can't say more without hinting at spoilers

 

Edited by Corvinus

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Corvinus said:

This isn't Star Wars. ;)

Where would his consciousness go if there is no more active protomolecule?

Edit: I can't say more without hinting at spoilers

Well, if the human consciousness can travel in protomolecule tech it's also possible it can travel in other kinds of tech... So for starters, it could be stored in the "sphere"/bomb/weapon.

But I'll have to wait for the next season(s) and/or read Nemesis Games to continue discussing... ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think there's actually anything that could be said to further the discussion without getting at least spoilerish, but I will say that you're asking the right questions. And better than the ones I was lol.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/14/2020 at 4:27 AM, Corvinus said:

Nine books (one still to be published), informally organized in 3 trilogies. So book 4, and thus this season, is the beginning of the 2nd trilogy, which is why it feels like a transition, and why there are now as many, if not more, questions.

 

So I always thought this was the case, and is actually how I read the series (I read books 1-3, then waited until book 6 came out and read 4-6, and now am waiting for book 9 to finish it out), but I recently learned this is actually not the case! In fact the authors consider them as sets of duologies!

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/blog/sci-fi-fantasy/the-evolution-of-james-s-a-coreys-space-epic-the-expanse/

Quote

While they sold the first three books together, and then three more, Franck notes that the books weren’t structured like a trilogy; that’s just how they sold: in triplets. They consider the series in terms of duologies: Leviathan Wakes and Caliban’s War each complement one another, and tell a complete story, while each novel remains a complete story in and of itself. The second pairing of books, Abaddon’s Gate and Cibola Burn likewise work together, telling a complete arc. “Books five [Nemesis Games] and six are flat out a duology,” Franck noted. “They’re so closely tied together, we could end book five with, ‘to be continued’.”

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, Starkess said:

So I always thought this was the case, and is actually how I read the series (I read books 1-3, then waited until book 6 came out and read 4-6, and now am waiting for book 9 to finish it out), but I recently learned this is actually not the case! In fact the authors consider them as sets of duologies!

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/blog/sci-fi-fantasy/the-evolution-of-james-s-a-coreys-space-epic-the-expanse/

 

The math doesn't add up then. :P Though I suppose books 7-9 may be considered a trilogy.

Edited by Corvinus

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I thought they were all duologies. I dont see how 4, 5 and 6 are a trilogy in any way, nor do I see 1,2 and 3 as a trilogy. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Corvinus said:

The math doesn't add up then. :P Though I suppose books 7-9 may be considered a trilogy.

I suspect the last book is more likely to be an epilogue. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Corvinus said:

The math doesn't add up then. :P Though I suppose books 7-9 may be considered a trilogy.

Yep I think so.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Corvinus said:

The math doesn't add up then. :P Though I suppose books 7-9 may be considered a trilogy.

Being as vague as possible here,  but Tiamat's Wrath and Persepolis Rising could be the duology with the final book being a 'stand alone' or epilogue, bringing all/many of the story threads together.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, lets' divert away from openly discussing the books, even if it's just about the general structure.

So season 4... I was expecting more pages filled with discussions here. Is the show's popularity still relatively low? I think it is spreading through word of mouth, which is what GoT had in the beginning, but maybe not as fast.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Corvinus said:

OK, lets' divert away from openly discussing the books, even if it's just about the general structure.

So season 4... I was expecting more pages filled with discussions here. Is the show's popularity still relatively low? I think it is spreading through word of mouth, which is what GoT had in the beginning, but maybe not as fast.

I think that in general when seasons are released en masse, it fosters less discussion, because people midway through the season don't want to discuss for fear of getting spoiled, and once the season is over, there is kinda less to discuss because a lot is wrapped up.  Obviously there's still some discussion, but I think for an internet forum that week by week is more likely to have page after page. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/16/2020 at 6:35 PM, Corvinus said:

So season 4... I was expecting more pages filled with discussions here. Is the show's popularity still relatively low? I think it is spreading through word of mouth, which is what GoT had in the beginning, but maybe not as fast.

I tend not to bother posting here as two out of every three posts is book spoilers. Not complaining, it’s just the nature of it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/16/2020 at 6:35 PM, Corvinus said:

So season 4... I was expecting more pages filled with discussions here. Is the show's popularity still relatively low? I think it is spreading through word of mouth, which is what GoT had in the beginning, but maybe not as fast.

According to Amazon, the show did very well for them and by some reports its profile and viewership are much higher than they were on SyFy, but certainly not at GoT or now The Witcher levels.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Werthead said:

According to Amazon, the show did very well for them and by some reports its profile and viewership are much higher than they were on SyFy, but certainly not at GoT or now The Witcher levels.

Maybe sci-fi just isn't as fashionable as fantasy these days because I can't think of any sci-fi shows as good as The Expanse. And I don't remember other recent sci-fi shows doing amazing in terms of viewership either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×