I really love the political aspects and cultural differences between the various factions though.
Same here, I was quite annoyed when the books veered away from the excellent political stuff into the silly alien monster stuff.
If anyone is looking for a book series that doesn't veer away, I'd recommend John Scalzi's Collapsing Empire. If anyone knows any others please suggest!
It might make you happy to know that I found the the later books too concerned with politics and not enough about the mystery of the protomolecule.
Although he is doing us all a favor. I stopped watching season 3 although I loved the series, because I saw that it was cancelled and didn't want to leave on a cliffhanger.
Now ill get back at it.
Anyway, I'm extremely happy to see The Expanse saved.
> Amazon Studios had streaming rights to the first three seasons of the show. Sources say Bezos is a big fan of the book and was livid that the TV series went to NBCUniversal-owned Syfy. The move is said to have ignited Bezos' demand that Amazon Studios brass find the company's version of Game of Thrones.
30 years old so a tad dated, but a solid story.
I love the off kilter future tech of making audio recordings on minature CDs
Big fan of the series but hard sci-fi it is definitely not! True, the humans don't break the laws of physics, but Eros certainly does, and if season 3 tracks the books then that gets turned up to 11...
There has been a shot with a screen showing the Nauvoo's trajectory to Eros which was quite ridiculous too, though.
I know it seems dumb but the preposterousness of that scene ruined the episode for me. I've played too much KSP :D
Many assumptions are built into this.
First, that fusion drives don't need much reaction mass. This is part of the F =(d/dt) (m*v) needed for rocket thrust. The mass you throw away at high velocity (dm/dt) has to be sufficient for you to be able to accelerate a several million kg ship to 1-10g.
Second, and related to the first, they are not using energy efficient Hohmann transfer orbits. They are using fast transit orbits to get between sites. Which means that their engines are continuously operating, first accelerating away from the initial site, finally decelerating towards their destination site. You still want to orbitally match on the destination, so your delta V isn't measured in km/s orthogonal to the destination.
Third, a fusion reactor will be massive, if for no other reason, due to the shielding you need for the hard x-rays/gammas coming off. Massive in this case doesn't mean large, rather having lots of high Z mass (lead and other heavy nuclei elements that have a very high cross section to Xray/gammas). You likely will need several 10s of cm of such material. Which means you have to accelerate lots of "inert" mass as well as your reaction mass, as well as your ship.
I don't expect shows/movies to get all the physics/science right. I do expect them to at least make an effort to hint at why we should suspend our disbelief in this. There was a single episode with a side arc on the ships engines. They let that arc go unfinished, which is a shame, as that was potentially very interesting. The protagonist in that arc is assumed to be dead, though somehow, he narrated his experience. The arc was about drive efficiency, and by extension, specific impulse/thrust.
The other slight physical violation is in the instantaneous communication of the protomolecule infected individuals. Maybe they have their own EPR pairs they interact with to ensure instantaneous comms. But its rather hard to exceed C for information transmission as far as we know right now.
So ... yeah ... there are some violations that bug me.
 fixed spelling errors
Engines not existing yet doesn't break any laws of physics, except possibly those governing material science. The main obstacle for the engines would be to find a material that survives the temperatures involved. The reaction part is pretty accurate, except perhaps that it goes way closer to the theoretical optimums than what our current technology in the area can achieve.
> and in S1, transit between Ceres and Eros on a passenger ship doesn't require weeks/months. Transit from earth to Jupiter/Saturn systems are achievable in days.
No, it really isn't, even if the show gloss over the travel times (because it doesn't make good TV). It is very, very clear in the books that the distances involved take weeks, months or even years to travel.
As for the protomolecule, that one DO break the laws of physics as we know them. But there will be more of that shortly.
DOES. But yes this is what I meant, the protomolecule (aka Eros aka Julie) plays all sorts of games with momentum, mass, velocity, all sorts of things. Remote-fusion-damping, later. I'm fine with it. Science fiction after all.
Only if you believe marketing bullshit.
So far, Musk has done everything he's promised: decent electric roadster, electric luxury, SUV and mid-priced cars, powerwalls and roof panels, re-usable light and heavy launchers for obscenely low prices and turnaround times, tunnels under LA. This stuff is all real and working. You can quibble about schedule slips or whatever, but none of this is vapor. In fact there's already an F9H payload overshooting Mars orbit.
So where's the bullshit?
As SpaceX is still recouping the technology research investment, 95% may be a stretch, but 80% reduction is not that far of really, it will probably be very close to that if they are able to reuse fairing.
So 80%-90% has already happened.
SpaceX blames this on NASA. So Orbital ATK didn't have that problem because, reasons?
Unbiased sources on launch costs are really hard to find.
And about the Mars thing, it's not going to happen. SpaceX works for contract work, not for dreams. Nobody's going to pay for that. Why not the moon first anyway? Almost just as cool and way more practical.
I haven't seen any practical unpartial sources for savings from reusable rocket stages.
I expected the hackernews community to be more skeptical.
It's quite possible that this kind of expansive (sorry) space opera can never be fully realised on a small screen, or on any screen. The limitation of the format are just too restrictive. Kudos to them for trying but for any fans - take my word for it and read the books. You won't regret it.
(A particularly memorable scene for me was the initial launch of the Nauvoo. During the sequence, ship's engine exhaust was shown to heat up structural elements of the scaffolding it was leaving far in the background, and also it destroyed a small drone that got too close. Neither of those things were important to the scene or even immediately noticeable for the viewer.)
Screen adaptations of background-rich books have three choices: simplify away the background, add new scenes engineered to convey background via protagonists, skip the background and let the viewer sink or swim on their own.
Readers who later watch an adaption are rarely happy with either option, but "simplify" is the worst. People new to the material rarely even notice "simplify", but fall into two very polarized camps for "engineer" and "skip". Just ask them about miniseries vs. Lynch Dune.
Personally, I love the feeling of only scratching the surface of a much deeper world, and I hate having everything spelled out in detail. As for The Expanse (TV only), I could have binged through ten seasons of life, death and intrigue in an industrialized collar system, could protomolecule ruined that, cancellation or not - guess I should read the first book for more of the good parts)
I thought the film captured the religious elements and emotional content of the book quite well. It obviously felt a lot out of course.
It's still the best recent scifi series on Netflix, though.
I think the memories of what made Firefly so special ignore the reality that it's been 16 years.
Nathan Filion will be 50 in 3 years, he can no longer physically pull off the young uppity captain with a grudge against the system.
The same goes for all the other actors - they've all grown up and matured since then.
So to account for that, time would've had to pass.
I find I find it difficult to believe that the crew of Serenity would've been able to stick together for more than another year, two at the outside.
In the movie we'd already had Book and Inara leave, and given the events in the movie I can't see Zoe wanting to stick around much longer, despite her loyalty to Mal.
Given the wanted status of most of the rest of the crew, paying work would continue to be hard to find, and the ship was already running on fumes as it was. Any failures of any critical components would quickly see the ship grounded, and then Jayne would be gone if he hadn't already bailed.
Kaylee and Simon might have made it work for a while, but Simon was always too focused on his sister's well-being to the exclusion of everything else. With the government apparently no longer after River, he might have reached out to the rich father to return home.
Still glad the Expanse was picked up.
It felt like just another mediocre predictable action/adventure show, but in space.
Part of the appeal of Firefly too was that no one was anyone special - just a bunch of random folks who do their best in weird situations. Now they’re all superheroes...
Dark matter came out and I got into that and quelle surprise. It gets cancelled to.
Sigh, then started watching Expanse and loving it. Gets cancelled.
This is me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eKgPY1adc0A
Suffice to say, I'm ditching Syfy for good now. I hope Netflix or Amazon just buys them out at this point. Nothing of value would have been lost. Except for the time viewers put into watching their shows!
That the internet has given fans the power to affect studio decisions is quite a useful feature.
I'm sorta happy they picked it up and not Netflix; I find the quality of Amazon's streams to be higher on average. Netflix squeezes the bitrate too much even on their flagship titles like Altered Carbon resulting in banding an artifacting in dark scenes. Space is pretty dark.
But the show being in HDR or DV, using extra bits for shadows, and kicking in the TV’s HDR blacks, makes more difference to banding than the distribution.
Not coincidentally, anticipating Altered Carbon and this winter’s updates for Dolby Vision across the industry prompted my TV upgrade. Having been in the streaming video business from 1998, it felt like a milestone to have a TV quality purchase driven by an online show.
OLED would add even larger jump.
I bought the seasons wholesale on Google Play so I could watch conveniently. I wonder if I will need to temporarily get Amazon Prime.
I assume the third series will get to Netflix eventually. Will the fourth onwards not?
Responding to new data that shows science fiction and related programming powered the biggest viewer share of its genre content in the first quarter of 2018, Netflix is getting ready to aim even more of its seemingly limitless resources toward outer space, committing more money to more new sci-fi projects in a bid to give its still-expanding subscriber base more of what they already love.
 - http://www.syfy.com/syfywire/report-netflix-is-about-to-make...
The fact that I already qualify for Syfy through my Sky package rubs salt in the wound somewhat. Same goes for me getting all UK CBS channels but no new Star Trek.
I'm glad it's saved. Not too excited about it being Amazon, but I might actually switch to Amazon for The Expanse.
Anecdotically, I've found the Torrented (from SyFy or canadian TV?) and Netflix versions in Stereo to be OK.
In any society, there is old science, modern science, cutting-edge science and then theory. To depict a realistic society of the future, the Expanse must have all of these things, and it does:
People drink coffee and read books and talk to each other on devices that are essentially thinner smartphones. That's their old science.
They travel through space using the Epstein drive and communicate with other planets. That's their modern science. (It's worth noting, by the way, that the Epstein drive itself is impossible by modern scientific understanding; it's actually the "magic" of the show well before the protomolecule is at all explained.)
They encounter ships that can't be tracked doing human experiments of questionable morality in order to produce super-soldiers. That's the cutting edge science.
And, finally, they come face-to-face with something they don't totally understand or know how to interact with, something beyond even what they fully believe to be possible. That's the theoretical part.
Missing any one of these parts, the Expanse wouldn't be as realistic, to me, because the bigger point is that no matter how far we've come, there is always something we don't yet understand. Limiting ourselves in the fiction we create to what we consider "realistic" on the grounds of what we, right now, consider to be absolutely within the realm of understood science is as silly now as it was two hundred years ago (and try explaining how the Internet is a real thing to people from that time, and imagine how patiently they'd explain to you that a network of mathematical rocks communicating via trapped lightening is impossible).
Is the "it can do ANYTHING" nature of the protomolecule sometimes a little rope-pull-ish? Yes. But it doesn't matter, to me, because the way everything else in the show responds to that magic is the realistic part. People try to understand it, or weaponize it, or profit off it, or some combination of all three. The storytelling around the magic is what makes the show realistic, to me, not the other way around. Given all that, why is the idea of glowing blue space alien rock any harder to stomach than hyperefficient fusion drives?
The Expanse is the best old-school SciFi show on air now.
Verizon-owned sites that use this policy include Engadget, Techcrunch, Aol, and Yahoo.
Some more info here:
Even though it's opt-out, at least they let you use their services when you deselect all of them - although I don't really trust a company such a Verizon to live up to its word and not actually track you, even if you deselect all of those partners.
However, companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter seem to only give you the "option" to "take it or leave it": either agree to their terms or you'll lose access to the account (also illegal under GDPR). That's also why noyb is filing complaints against them (although they missed Twitter):
Are we really at the point where if one does't agree to all kinds of nasty ad crap he can't access a webpage..?
I have an ad blocker--AdGuard, paid but blocks ads in apps as well--so I'd just see the site with no ads. Now I have to be bothered with notices.
But anyway--everyone is different. I only keep viewing websites that provide a good experience to me, if they show popups and similar crap I just go back to Google immediately.
If they care about my visit and visits of people that do the same I do, they'll try to provide a better experience. Otherwise they won't.
It's all fine with me.
It's depressing how many people here either haven't read the books or somehow think this dreck is superior to the books.
Curious how this will workout on tv, although I will keep reading the books.