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TIAMAT'S WRATH - Book 8 of Expanse (SPOILERS)


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On 9/16/2020 at 11:56 AM, Kalibear said:

This is also interesting:
"After The Expanse, they do have some other projects in the works: A new, three-book series. They haven’t begun working on it just yet, but with The Expanse coming to a close, they’ll be devoting their attention to that shortly. “It’s a very different project [from The Expanse],” Abraham said. Where The Expanse drew its inspiration from authors like Larry Niven and Alfred Bester, “the new ones will be much more Frank Herbert.”"

Does anyone know if this differs from Daniel Abraham's recently announced fantasy series?

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19 hours ago, Garlan the Gallant said:

Does anyone know if this differs from Daniel Abraham's recently announced fantasy series?

Yes. I believe, among other things, that Ty has said he's not interested in writing fantasy, so if it's a fantasy narrative it's much more likely going to be Daniel. Plus the fantasy series was announced with Daniel's name on it, the new post-Expanse SF series appears to be a Corey project.

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  • 5 months later...
4 hours ago, larrytheimp said:

bumping because it's now less than 8 months till Leviathan Falls is here.

I was just looking at the books on my shelf earlier today and wondering when that would be.

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3 hours ago, Rhom said:

I was just looking at the books on my shelf earlier today and wondering when that would be.

I am stoked.  I think that I'm more excited for this than the end of any series I've been live-reading... just re-read NG, BA, PR, and TW and they were all better than I'd remembered, and the pacing was really great.  I remember feeling like Babylon's Ashes was kind of a slog compared to the rest of the series when I read it the first time, but this time around it might have been some of my favorite writing in the series.  So good.

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22 hours ago, larrytheimp said:

bumping because it's now less than 8 months till Leviathan Falls is here.

I just started a series re-read (last time I did this was before Persepolis Rising) in preparation for the last book -- although my pace is pretty slow because LOL the pandemic-related mental health challenges have absolutely destroyed my attention span and it might take me until well after the final book is out to actually get through the series.

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1 hour ago, Xray the Enforcer said:

I just started a series re-read (last time I did this was before Persepolis Rising) in preparation for the last book -- although my pace is pretty slow because LOL the pandemic-related mental health challenges have absolutely destroyed my attention span and it might take me until well after the final book is out to actually get through the series.

Ugh, me too. This year has shattered my ability to read, I cannot for the life of me maintain any kind of focus.  I've tried putting in ear plugs while reading recently but I don't think they've helped much.  It took me over 6 weeks to reread those four books!  

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The one thing I've discovered works better for me than anticipated is having an audio book on while playing games that don't demand the same attention as listening to a book. That's in part because the woman doing the audio books for The Locked Tomb trilogy is fantastic, but I've started on Abercrombie again and Steven Pacey's performance for those is pretty good as well.

No idea on The Expanse audiobooks though.

ETA: Although discovering the ways some British people pronounce some common words is completely different to Australian was weird. Migraine jumps from Moira Quirk and grimace + dour from Steven Pacey.

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Getting stoked for this.  Last I saw, no more Expanse short fiction prior to book 9, with a coda afterwards.  If there's been a change, let me know.

Got so many questions about the gates etc. Read through twice, watching twice just started S4 again.

So the Precursors/Progenitors/Protomolecule makers (just going to call them the P's from now on) were sending out road building bundles of protomolecules at presumably sublight speeds which would then get to their destination and build a gate.  Maybe not all the time build a gate but if the system in question had at least one biosphere within some parameters.  Any of these assumptions off base?  Apart from the odd ball systems like the giant diamond or barely sub critical neutron star.

Phoebe was an extra solar capture.  As the protomolecule seems to exhibit non-locality, I'm assuming that sometime between when it was launched and when it arrived in the Sol system, the P's got killed off by the Goths.  Otherwise, it would have been able to tap into the larger network and steer itself out of orbit from a gas giant for brainier pastures.   Does that make sense?  Curious how far from the nearest gated system Sol is.  I'd think that at some point someone would have mentioned that X system appears to be nearest to Sol on the ring network, if only because I kind of expect the series to end with the gates being shut, rather than with the equivalent of the plucky ants defeating the guys that exterminated the humans.

This raises the question to me, how many other bundles were in transit when the gate network shut down, and does that mean that other gates could potentially open now that things have been reactivated?  Or am I over thinking it on the non-locality thing?  Less than 100k on Eros got assimilated and provided enough complexity to make the Sol gate feasible.  IIRC some shit the Tempest did in the Sol system affected everywhere simultaneously.  If they were growing exponentially, there were some number of other probes that were en route when it all got shut down.

As for that neutron star system that Elvi found in book 7 or 8, what was the point of that?  The station in the center of the gate seemed to be able to make a star go nova on its own per Holden's vision.  The neutron star or whatever destroyed everything in the formerly slow zone, and apparently the system who's gate was directly opposite.  I'm decades from being a math major, but my sense is that if you have 1300 plus or minus a few gates spread equidistant, odds are awfully low the opposite side will line up with the resulting burst.  Missing something here about who this weapon would be effective against.

Watching s3 again, the scientist guy on the Arboghast put the Drake Equation up on the board, and that made me wonder about something else.  If there are 5 million or 50 million or whatever figure he said intelligent civilizations before accounting for the Goths killing them all off eventually, what does that mean for the slow zone exactly?  Did the P's create it?  Did they just link to it?  If the O's or the Q's (not those Q's but you get the point) developed ring tech would they be in overlapping space or would each be creating their own pocket universe for lack of a better term?  Since no additional aliens have been seen I want to assume that the slow zone was uniquely created, but at some point there's a potential that another civilization that is near peer to the P's pops a second gate open in an overlapping system.  Are the Goths the final filter?

Also, I didn't go back and check this, and some of this may just be based on the perspective shots of ships passing out of the Sol ring at the end of S3 finale, but I sort of got the impression that when Holden had his vision of the P's blowing up their own systems, the ring density seemed higher, that there were many more systems whens the gates fell than that are accessible in the series.  Which relates to the questions - how many of the 1300 gates or so have habitable planets.  How many have alien artifacts?  How many are just ape shit crazy like the systems Elvi was tasked to investigate?  What are the criteria to actually open a gate?  Most systems seem to have a habitable planet so there's some selection going on at some point.

And what is the total volume encompassed by the systems reachable from the ring gates?  Could tell us something about the spread of the P's before it all hit the fan, and perhaps where they originated.  As well as how many other potential civilizations could still be out there.  

Hopefully final volume will answer some of these and make most of the rest irrelevant.  Or Dan and Ty's kids can read this eventually and Brian Herbert the fuck out of this series.

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59 minutes ago, mcbigski said:

So the Precursors/Progenitors/Protomolecule makers (just going to call them the P's from now on) were sending out road building bundles of protomolecules at presumably sublight speeds which would then get to their destination and build a gate.  Maybe not all the time build a gate but if the system in question had at least one biosphere within some parameters.  Any of these assumptions off base?  Apart from the odd ball systems like the giant diamond or barely sub critical neutron star.

Not quite. The diamond disk drive/neutron star were also once biosphere capable planetary systems with some kind of hijackable material. They were just made a bit more interesting later on. (this is mentioned explicitly by Elvi in TW). 

59 minutes ago, mcbigski said:

Phoebe was an extra solar capture.  As the protomolecule seems to exhibit non-locality, I'm assuming that sometime between when it was launched and when it arrived in the Sol system, the P's got killed off by the Goths.  Otherwise, it would have been able to tap into the larger network and steer itself out of orbit from a gas giant for brainier pastures.   Does that make sense?  Curious how far from the nearest gated system Sol is.  I'd think that at some point someone would have mentioned that X system appears to be nearest to Sol on the ring network, if only because I kind of expect the series to end with the gates being shut, rather than with the equivalent of the plucky ants defeating the guys that exterminated the humans.

The protomolecule (I think) is basically inert until it encounters material it can work with. It doesn't steer itself or do anything interesting until then. Phoebe - and presumably thousands of others - were just unlucky misses that didn't work. They likely shot out millions of seeds. If it wasn't inert, it doesn't make sense why it didn't just alter its own course.

I also don't think that the protomolecule is perfectly nonlocal; it has a range. It didn't wake up Ilus until it was in the actual Ilus system, for instance. It didn't wake up Laconia until it was in the Laconia system. If what you were saying was right it should have woken up all the 1300 systems basically at the exact time that the Roci and protoMiller were in the ring space and the gates reopened. I suspect that the Ps were somewhat nonlocal but just a little bit, and that nonlocality functionality was what eventually drove the Goths to wipe them out. 

Note that the Goths have reacted violently in a couple cases that we know of: Ilus (where they had a way to turn off fusion in a nonlocal way), the Magentar in Sol system (where the magnet gun also acts nonlocally), and the bomb ships. They also react violently (possibly) when things go through the gates up to a point, though it's not clear if that's an actual attack or if it is a property of the weird nonspace that the ring exists in. 

59 minutes ago, mcbigski said:

This raises the question to me, how many other bundles were in transit when the gate network shut down, and does that mean that other gates could potentially open now that things have been reactivated?  Or am I over thinking it on the non-locality thing?  Less than 100k on Eros got assimilated and provided enough complexity to make the Sol gate feasible.  IIRC some shit the Tempest did in the Sol system affected everywhere simultaneously.  If they were growing exponentially, there were some number of other probes that were en route when it all got shut down. 

There might have been other things en route, but it's also just as likely that they were done with seeding at that point and anything that wasn't turned into a gate was written off. 

Ultimately we have evidence that no new gates have opened between the time of their death and Sol System, because when Sol system came up there were no other gates open. I guess it's possible that the ring station shut down those gates after a while, but it doesn't seem likely given that we haven't seen much in the way of worlds which have zero evidence of P workings on that system.

59 minutes ago, mcbigski said:

As for that neutron star system that Elvi found in book 7 or 8, what was the point of that?  The station in the center of the gate seemed to be able to make a star go nova on its own per Holden's vision.  The neutron star or whatever destroyed everything in the formerly slow zone, and apparently the system who's gate was directly opposite.  I'm decades from being a math major, but my sense is that if you have 1300 plus or minus a few gates spread equidistant, odds are awfully low the opposite side will line up with the resulting burst.  Missing something here about who this weapon would be effective against.

Presumably it was an attempt at being effective against the goths. This was, as Elvi put it, a shotgun with the trigger wired to the door. Goths 'attack' that system in some way, cause quantum boiling, and the most energetic thing that can possibly exist in our known universe shoots precisely at the gate. To me this was the P's way of doing something similar to the bomb ships, but at a much grander scale. It wasn't about wiping out Tecoma system - it was about wiping out the Goths. 

What's interesting to me is that Tecoma system had to have something that had been keeping it clean for 2 billion years. We'll never know what that was, but they didn't even allow a single meteor to come anywhere close to that star. Not even flecks of dust. 

59 minutes ago, mcbigski said:

Watching s3 again, the scientist guy on the Arboghast put the Drake Equation up on the board, and that made me wonder about something else.  If there are 5 million or 50 million or whatever figure he said intelligent civilizations before accounting for the Goths killing them all off eventually, what does that mean for the slow zone exactly?  Did the P's create it?  Did they just link to it?  If the O's or the Q's (not those Q's but you get the point) developed ring tech would they be in overlapping space or would each be creating their own pocket universe for lack of a better term?  Since no additional aliens have been seen I want to assume that the slow zone was uniquely created, but at some point there's a potential that another civilization that is near peer to the P's pops a second gate open in an overlapping system.  Are the Goths the final filter?

I'm sure the Goths are part of the filter, but the bigger one is that the Ps wiped out 1300+ biospheres 2 billion years ago. I suspect intelligence is not particularly common anyway, but that didn't help things much. 

My take on the slow zone is that it is an artificial pocket universe created in the Goth dimension with a bubble of reality that keeps the Goths out. Kind of like a diving bell. The machine in the center keeps the bubble strong enough to stay in the nonspace, but any transits cause some of that to falter a bit - and Tecoma exploding caused it to falter a LOT and allowed the Goth dimension to bleed through the bubble enough, at least for a time. 

59 minutes ago, mcbigski said:

Also, I didn't go back and check this, and some of this may just be based on the perspective shots of ships passing out of the Sol ring at the end of S3 finale, but I sort of got the impression that when Holden had his vision of the P's blowing up their own systems, the ring density seemed higher, that there were many more systems whens the gates fell than that are accessible in the series.  Which relates to the questions - how many of the 1300 gates or so have habitable planets.  How many have alien artifacts?  How many are just ape shit crazy like the systems Elvi was tasked to investigate?  What are the criteria to actually open a gate?  Most systems seem to have a habitable planet so there's some selection going on at some point.

Most everything was normal worlds. There were only a few really interesting systems that Elvi got to visit. Almost everything else not only had habitable worlds but actually had colonists going out there. 

As to the criteria, as far as I can tell it was a planet that could have a water-based life form or carbon-rich stuff which it could build from. IE, not just gas giants or iceballs. I don't think the protomolecule was that picky - after all, it worked when it hit Venus too, though it did have a head start by then. I think it's more likely that it was a very large launch of cheap protomolecules out into the universes. 

59 minutes ago, mcbigski said:

And what is the total volume encompassed by the systems reachable from the ring gates?  Could tell us something about the spread of the P's before it all hit the fan, and perhaps where they originated.  As well as how many other potential civilizations could still be out there.  

Unknown, they're never that clear other than things are well across the galaxy. 

59 minutes ago, mcbigski said:

Hopefully final volume will answer some of these and make most of the rest irrelevant.  Or Dan and Ty's kids can read this eventually and Brian Herbert the fuck out of this series.

I don't think that we'll ever get super hardcore answers; a lot of the series is about dealing with unknowable mysteries and please do not fuck with them, kthx. But I do expect that the diamond drive will be able to give us some major backstory and possibly give us the ability to talk with a full gestalt of a P alien. 

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On 3/14/2021 at 7:37 AM, larrytheimp said:

Was it the goths or the protomolecule that turned off fusion on Ilus?  I thought it was the protomolecule, as with he slowzone speed limit. 

And then when elvi drags a node into the Goth artifact it shutsdown the protomolecule and allows physics to return to normal.  

Yes, it was the protomolecule tech that turned off fusion, as part of the planet's defense system.

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Yeah, sorry, I wasn't clearer there. I was saying that Ilus is one of the only places - possibly THE only place - where we know that the Goths fired a bullet similar to the Magnetar. And on Ilus, they had the ability in normal space to turn off fusion in a controlled area. That also might have really pissed off the Goths (again, similar to the Magnetar) in some way. 

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On 3/23/2021 at 12:53 PM, Karlbear said:

Yeah, sorry, I wasn't clearer there. I was saying that Ilus is one of the only places - possibly THE only place - where we know that the Goths fired a bullet similar to the Magnetar. And on Ilus, they had the ability in normal space to turn off fusion in a controlled area. That also might have really pissed off the Goths (again, similar to the Magnetar) in some way. 

Still confused, you meanthe protomolecule, right?

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2 hours ago, larrytheimp said:

Still confused, you meanthe protomolecule, right?

No, the goths fired a black bullet at the Magnetar in Persepolis Rising that stayed with it, and they did so right after the Magnetar obliterated one of the stations. (Pallas?).

So far we've seen two of these - on Ilus as part of Cibola Burn, and on the Magnetar. 

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