The Expanse novels are set in multiple locations and tell of different situations; many of them have a vague familiar feel, like in example

  • the whole Miller neo-noir subplot and Ceres has points of contact with cyberpunk works like Blade Runner;
  • the mining industry based on Saturn's Rings to collect water for the Belt has a great resemblance to Asimov's The Martian Way;
  • the protomolecule mutant inside the Rocinante, from Caliban's War, seems to be inspired by the Alien's Xenomorphs;
  • and so on.

It made me wonder if these allusions were intentional or just coincidences or genre-wide tropes.

Do we have certain informations about what inspired The Expanse novels? Have the two authors explicity stated if they get their inspiration from other works of fiction (novels, movies, maybe games, and so on) or even non fiction (like in example Edward Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire was for the Foundation series by Asimov)?

I'm looking for factual and verifiable information, maybe from interviews, articles, and so on; please avoid the personal-speculation-enriched "we don't know" kind of answer if we don't have such material.


1 Answer 1


Funnily enough, I read The Stars my Destination recently, and couldn't shake the feeling that it was like a prototype for The Expanse. Sure enough, it seems I'm right:

“An aunt of mine bought me an anthology of science fiction stories from a garage sale, and it had a bunch of stories, including The Stars My Destination.” Franck was just a kid at the time—10 or 11, and he picked up and re-read the anthology many times throughout his childhood. The book was A Treasury of Great Science Fiction, Volume Two, edited by Anthony Boucher, originally released in 1959, and just one of many genre anthologies published at the time. Among its contents were stories from Poul Anderson, Judith Merril, Arthur C. Clarke, Robert Heinlein, Henry Kuttner and C.L. Moore, and Bester’s novel. “I don’t remember any of the other stories in there, and I read that book a dozen times. The only story that sticks out in my mind is The Stars My Destination.”

Ty Franck was also influenced by Orson Scott Card, who published some of his early work.

Daniel Abraham, on the other hand, was influenced by Clarke and Niven:

“The first book I specifically remember was The Other Side of the Sky by Arthur C. Clarke, and I remember exactly where I was when I first read ‘9 Billion Names of God.’ That was an amazing experience, and I read a whole bunch of Arthur Clarke and Larry Niven, [and] everything else I could get my hands on. I liked it all.”

He was also influenced by George R.R. Martin, whom he cooperated with on some of his early works.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.