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Lizard Brain is a shared blog about Science Fiction and Fantasy from Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck.

The Expanse PICKED UP at SYFY

04.11.14
by Daniel Abraham

So The Expanse has been picked up for a 10-episode season by Syfy on the strength of an amazing script by Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby.  Not shooting a pilot, commitment to a full season.

We have a *great* team, and they’re only getting better.

Things are going to get interesting right about now

29 Comments

Countdown to Honor Among Thieves (Full of Sith edition)

03.03.14
by Daniel Abraham

If anyone has the impulse to hear me and Ty talking about Star Wars in greater detail, you have the first of several opportunities right now.

0 Comments

Oh hey! I have a blog.

03.03.14
by Daniel Abraham

So you know that dream where you forgot to go to class all semester, and then you have to go take the final?  My relationship with the blog has been kind of like that.  I wound up getting on Twitter and Facebook, and then the whole updating the blog thing totally fell apart.  So. let’s see…  where to we stand, where do we stand…

Han Solo

If y’all are keeping track at home, you’ll recall James SA Corey wrote a Star Wars novel.  Well, it’s coming out Tuesday.  It’s gotten some decent reviews thus far.

The Expanse Novels and Novellas

The fourth Expanse novel — Cibola Burn — will be coming out this summer.  I’ll tell you the truth, there are some things about this one that made me *very* *nervous* but all our beta readers said we got away with it.

Also the second of the five novellas will be out before then.  It used to be called Beloved of Broken Things, but because we never have anything come out under the names we pick, it will be released as The Churn.  This is why our working title for Cibola Burn was Dave.  But anyway, keep an eye out, and we’ll let you know when it comes out.

The fifth book is well under way.  Right now, it’s going under the moniker Nemesis Games, but by the time it comes out, it could be anything.

The Expanse TV Show

We’ve seen the script that Mark and Hawk wrote, and it’s effing AWSOME.  Ty’s also seen some of the concept art.  What does this mean?  Hard to say. The process of business in Hollywood is pretty much a cipher to me, but the project has the best team I could ask for, and they’re doing great work.  We are, after all,  professional gamblers.

The Dagger and the Coin

I finished the page proofs for the penultimate Dagger and Coin book this weekend, only two days late.  The last book — presently The Spider’s War — is underway, and I’m already feeling a little wispy about ending my time with these characters.  I shall be bloody bold and resolute.  And there are some scenes coming up soon that I’ve been waiting five or six years to write.

The Game of Thrones graphic novels, Clarkesworld, etc.

I’m coming very close to the end of the the fourth Game of Thrones graphic novel.  Tommy Patterson, the artist who has been responsible for the heavy lifting on the art, has been doing great work.  Also, I’ve been doing columns for Clarkesworld. And James SA Corey has a (non-Expanse) short story in the Old Mars anthology. Daniel has one coming out Rogues.

Appearances

If you’re of a mind to come hang out, Ty and I will be at the Phoenix Comicon, Bubonicon, and MileHiCon.  I’m also going to be spending a few hours with George RR Martin at his theater in Santa Fe come August (about which more as we get closer).

We’re also looking at some signings one place and another when Cibola Burn comes out.  We’ll let you know when we have a better idea what that looks like.

Secret Projects

We’ve got a couple.  They’re pretty cool.  Without giving anything away, they involve watching West Wing, talking to a bunch of scientists and engineers, and talking about the economics of blackmail.

And you?

What’ve y’all been up to?

32 Comments

News and trivia

11.19.13
by Daniel Abraham

First off, there’s a contest over at Tor.com for a copy of the new Balfour & Meriwether novella.  And free stuff is cool.  So that.

Second, no, I haven’t seen the script that Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby have written for the first episode of The Expanse.  But I believe it exists…

Third, I’ve been having a lot of really interesting conversations about a cool new secret project .  More information as less secrecy.

And finally, this:

The new new cover, with extra added Scarlet Hark.

The new new cover, with extra added Scarlet Hark.

4 Comments

Promises, threats, and building a series: Random thoughts on Dragon Age and Korra

10.05.13
by Daniel Abraham

So I’ll get back to work in a minute here, but I was thinking about why I didn’t watch Korra tonight.  The kid was here.  There are new episodes.  We’ve watched Avatar: The Last Airbender about a gajillion times start to finish.  And Korra . . . yeah.  It’s pretty good.  I love the aesthetics of it.  I love the new Avatar who is totally not Ang.  I love having something with a strong female lead that I can show to the kiddo.

But I’m just not feeling it.

The thing about Last Airbender is that is had a story that went from the first episode to the last one.  I knew by twenty minutes in that the basic problem was that the Fire Nation had thrown the world out of balance, and that Ang was going to have to put things right.  Three seasons later, he did.

In Korra, the basic problem is . . . well, shit.  I don’t know.  There was the equalist thing in the first season, and now we’re talking about the spirit world, I guess.  And I figure there’ll be something else after that.  But honestly, it feels like one damn thing after another, and that’s my real life.  I don’t go to my stories for that.

Which brought me to Dragon Age.

If you aren’t a console gamer, I respect that.  I, apparently, am.  I played Dragon Age a *lot*.  Seriously, I went through the whole story five or six times.  My wife played it more than that.  We played the snot out of that game.

Dragon Age II, I played through once and gave the disks to a friend.  The problem was a lot like watching Korra.  In the first game, there was a Blight, and we were going to stop it.  And fifty hours later, four major side quests, and a massive decision tree later, we did it in one of maybe a half a dozen different variations.

And then Dragon Age II came and we . . . well we got Mom a house, and we dealt with the crazy dwarf thing, and there was a big fight with the Arishok, whose position I kind of agreed with by the time I got to him.  And then the Magi and the Templars got weird at the end, and Anders turned into an utter dickhead.  But that first promise — that *simple* promise of restoring the balance of the world from the Fire Nation or defeating the Blight or whatever was never made, so it was never paid off, so I didn’t invest in the ride.

Writing series is a pain.  I know, because it turns out that’s almost all I’ve done.  The Long Price Quartet was four books, with the problem I laid out in the prologue of the first book informing everything that came after and coming to the best conclusion I could manage at the end of book 4.  The Black Sun’s Daughter was built so deep with secrets I could pull out in later volumes that by the time you hit book 5, book 1 looks like a totally different story than the first time through.  The Expanse books were designed so that the scale and scope keep getting bigger and wider and cooler without ever turning away from the questions we asked about humanity in the first book.  And Dragon Age…

Dragon Age III is in production.  I’m going to buy it when it comes out.  Probably the week it comes out.  Maybe I’ll regret it, maybe I won’t.  But I realized that, in my world, I’d already plotted out the series the way I wanted it to build.  It’s not going to be like this, because it’s not my project, but what I saw was that the first game had actually made two promises to me, and had only resolved one.  I’m thinking now that’s the way I’ve built a lot of my series work too.  In the Black Sun’s Daughter, the first book was about Jayne Heller exacting vengeance for the death of her uncle, but it also set up a wider arc about what exactly her uncle did and was.  A Shadow in Summer told the story of Seedless and Heshai and Saraykeht, but it also set up a world where the power structures were unstable and the people who held the power were complaisant and short-sighted.  Leviathan Wakes asked what happened to Julie Mao, and it also set up the long arc of humanity’s expansion into the universe.

Dragon Age was the story of defeating the BLight.   But the Blight came about because the Magi had stormed and corrupted heaven.  So, structurally speaking, the Dragon Age series ought to be a series of games each of which is a complete story with a satisfying conclusion, that ends in the last scene of the last game with redeeming, recreating, and refounding Heaven.

Because *that* would be cool, and the promise has already been made.

13 Comments

Some news, and our new bestest pals

09.04.13
by Ty Franck

So, Alcon entertainment did a press release about their development of an Expanse TV show, written by me and Daniel’s new pals, Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby.

hawk-ostby-mark-fergus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can read the press release at the Variety website here.

So, yeah, this is what Daniel and I have been working on and shutting ourselves off from the world for.  We’re pretty excited to be working with these guys.  THEY INVENTED AGENT COULSON!!!!

50 Comments

Seriously, we know

08.29.13
by Ty Franck

We’ve been falling down on the job here on the blog for a while, but we’re working on some stuff that will make Expanse fans very happy.  We promise, next week we’ll have some stuff to talk about.  Thanks for your patience.  Daniel owes you the flaky pastry of your choice next time you see him.

 

In the meantime, look at this thing an amazing fan set up.

 

http://expanse.wikia.com/wiki/The_Expanse_Wiki

8 Comments

Well look what I found on the Internet

07.25.13
by Daniel Abraham

My seven-year-old self now thinks I'm the coolest thing ever.

My seven-year-old self now thinks I’m the coolest thing ever.

12 Comments

San Diego Comic Con

07.17.13
by Daniel Abraham

We are in San Diego along with George RR Martin, Diana Rowland, Jay Lake, and apparently everyone else in the freaking world. So that’s cool.

If you’re one of our fellow attendees, my schedule looks like:

 

Thursday:

2 pm:  Daniel Abraham signing at the Orbit booth in the exhibitor’s hall

Friday:

2:30: Epic Fantasy panel (24ABC) Daniel, Brandon Sanderson, Robin Hobb, Raymond Feist, Django Wexler, Melissa de la Cruz, and Christopher Paolini as herded by Colleen Lindsay.  Wish her luck.  (With a panel signing afterward)

Saturday:

1:30 Daniel and George RR Martin singning the new comic book Skin Trade at the Avatar booth (ticketed signing, so grab a ticket if this one’s your bag)

Sunday:

1:00 Science Fiction and the Future (24ABC) Daniel, Ty, Jason Hough, David Wellington, Mira Grant, Daniel Wildon and DJ MacHale as managed and controlled by Margaret Stohl. (With a panel signing afterward)

3:00 Daniel and Ty signing as James SA Corey at the Orbit booth.

2 Comments

Best Fan Art Ever

06.21.13
by Daniel Abraham

Fan art by Expanse fan, freelance translator, and artistEXPANSE holden_coffee Dana Berube.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12 Comments