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

Please Join James S.A. Corey in Lexington, KY on January 3, 2015

by Pat Rogers

Happy New Year!
Pat here. Hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season and looking forward to an amazing 2015!
James S.A. Corey is starting 2015 off in fine form at The Bluegrass Writers Studio in Lexington, Kentucky, Saturday January 3, 2015. The Bluegrass Writers Studio, in association with Eastern Kentucky University, is hosting  several writing workshops for students in which Daniel and Ty are participating.
In conjunction with this event: James S.A. Corey will be doing a reading, which is FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC, on Saturday, January 3, 2015 at 5:30 pm in the Hilton Triple Crown Room located in The Downtown Lexington Hilton. 369 West Vine Street, Lexington, KY 40507. The web address is The Triple Crown Room is on the second floor, just to the left of the top of the escalator.
Please help James S.A. Corey start 2015 off right and join “him” on January 3rd at 5:30pm for this reading!
Hope to see you there!
All the best,
Pat Rogers


Introducing Pat!

by Daniel Abraham

So you know when a bad thing happens to a dear friend, and you have to be very solemn inside even though the way it came down actually makes your own life WAY WAY better?

So, a little after the fact, I need to offer my condolences to everyone over at George RR Martin’s office for the unfortunate loss of his minion, Pat.

And TOTALLY UNRELATED, I’d like to introduce James SA Corey’s new minion, Pat!

Y’all will be seeing more of her around in the weeks and years to come.  Please join me in a welcoming round of applause.   And no, she won’t tell you who ends up on the Iron Throne.  EVEN THOUGH SHE PROBABLY KNOWS.


Goodreads Reader’s Choice Awards

by Ty Franck

Goodreads Cibola Burn, the fourth book in the expanding Expanse series was nominated in the first round of the reader’s choice poll.  If the urge strikes you, you should go vote for your favorite books of the year.  There are some great choices in every category.




Casting Lessons, or Why Not All Belters Are Tall

by Ty Franck


So this happened.

Which means we need to have a chat about casting choices.

Continue reading ›


MileHiCon Schedule

by Daniel Abraham

If any of y’all are in Denver this coming weekend, James SA Corey (meaning both me *and* Ty) are among the guest of honor at this year’s Mile Hi Con along with the fairly gorgeous slate of Michael Swanwick, and Phil & Kaja Foglio.  Jeanne Stein will be Toastmaster.

Our schedule looks like this:


3:00 – 3:50: Science Fiction in the Solar System: Keeping It Realisitic

7:15 – 7:45: Opening Ceremonies

8:00 – 9:00 Autograph Alley

10:00 – God Knows: Artemis Bridge Simulation


11:00 – 12:00: Spaceships WeHave Loved

2:00 – 3:00: Autographing


11:00 – 12:30:  Guest of Honor Remarks & Awards

3:00 – 4:00 An Hour with James SA Corey

5:00 – 6:00 Closing Ceremonies

Come play if you’re of a mind.


Catching up

by Daniel Abraham

So I’m still in the middle of a bunch of Really Cool Work, but there were a few things I wanted to pop on the Internet and mention.  Many of these are also cool.

1) The Long Price Quartet is finally going to be on audio.  A Shadow in Summer is already up for preorder.

2) I did an interview with my friend Cameron Goble that has been made available online.

3) Things are going well with the TV show.  There has been some more casting done with which I am *very* pleased.  There’s no official announcement yet, but I imagine it’ll start leaking out one place & another.

Also, if anyone’s waiting to hear back from me on Facebook or Twitter, you’re still better off dropping a comment here on the blog for the next couple months.


A little cold turkey

by Daniel Abraham

Well, the summer’s over and I’m a little behind where I wanted to be.  The TV show, it turns out, could easily have been a full time job all on its own.  But since we’re not giving *that* up, I (Daniel) am dropping off Twitter & Facebook for a couple three months.  And, to make sure I don’t cheat, I’ve had my Darling Wife change my passwords.

I’ve also deleted my favorite games and news apps.

If y’all need to get ahold of me, you can leave a comment here.  Or kick back until November or so when I get back.


Nemesis Games is starting to become a real thing.

by Ty Franck

Behold.  Cover art.




Other Stuff

by Daniel Abraham

So, it’s been pointed out that we’ve been pretty Expanse-centric around here of late — and for decent reason, I think — but there are other things going on. So, for those keeping score at home, here’s how things stand:

1) Bubonicon

Ty and I are both at Bubonicon this weekend. If you’re in Albuquerque, do stop by.

2) The Widow’s House launch

The Widow’s House — fourth and penultimate book of The Dagger and the Coin — launches Tuesday (though there are a few early copies at Bubonicon). I’m heading up to an event Tuesday night in Santa Fe at the Cocteau where George RR Martin and I will sit around with whoever shows up and chew the fat.

The final book — The Spider’s War — will be out next year, finishing out the five-book outline that I pitched back when this all started.

3) A Game of Graphic Novels

It’s not out yet, but I’ve turned in my final script for the Game of Thrones graphic novels, and — things being what they are — I’m sitting out the next round.  I expect that there will be a series of graphic novels for Clash of Kings, and I’m doing what I can to help build and support the creative team that’s taking it over.  It was a great process, and a fun project.

4) Clarkesworld

If you didn’t know, I’ve been doing a series of articles at Clarkesworld for a while now.  The latest one just went up.

5) MLN

So, I’ve been putting off talking about this one for a while.

I started writing a series of urban fantasy novels a while back called The Black Sun’s Daughter.  It was originally proposed as a ten-book series, but it’s pretty clear at this point that we’re only getting as far as 5 — Graveyard Child, which came out April of last year.

I have enjoyed that process, and I have nothing but praise for Pocket Books and the editorial, production, and publicity staff who helped carry it through.  Publishing is a form of gambling, and while I stand by the quality of the books and the project they were embarked on, the fact is that sales on the last couple books weren’t great.  Graveyard Child sold about half as much in its opening week at Killing Rites did in its.  The sales for Killing Rites were actually low enough, that the writing was on the wall even back then.  Pocket were kind enough to give me a contract for the one more book to let me get the story to a place where we could step away without leaving it at a cliff hanger.

And you?  What’re you up to?


Long-promised news on the TV Show

by Daniel Abraham

Sometimes you start something really big and complicated – like entering a whole new kind of business for instance – and you really really hope that things are going to go well? Yeah, so about that . . .

A few months ago, it was announced that SyFy, Sean Daniel Company, and Alcon Entertainment had made a deal to make The Expanse into a TV show. Ten episodes, straight to series (which means we wouldn’t be making a pilot episode and then hoping that it got picked up – the deal was to just march straight ahead), with the two of us attached as producers which we figured meant doing pretty much anything we could to help support Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby, who wrote the script for the first episode and agreed to spearhead the show. We came out to Los Angeles in . . . Jeez April, I think? We settled in to work, promising news as soon as we had it.

Detective Miller

Detective Miller

And then we went dark. It turns out releasing news about this kind of thing has an etiquette all its own. Even now, there are a bunch of things we know that we don’t get to tell you. But there is now some stuff to share.

First off, casting. This isn’t an easy project to cast. We were hoping to get as many folks to come play who both grokked genre and also knew how to do first-rate mainstream work. With that in mind, the role of Detective Miller is going to be played by Thomas Jane. Who, if you don’t know him, was designed in a government lab for the role. Seriously. He’d done The Punisher and Scott Pilgrim Vs The World and Stephen King’s The Mist and Dreamcatcher. The man knows his genre chops. And he’s also been in Boogie Nights and Magnolia and The Thin Red Line. And Hung, where he got the three Golden Globe nominations. He can play tough, he can play vulnerable, and most of all he can play someone who’s well-bruised by the world. There was a while there I was afraid we weren’t going to get him, but ever since we have, I’ve been tracking down clips of his performances and feeling like I just found a Banksy print in my alley. It’s that level of cool.

And then there’s the director. I was unaware coming in of how important the first director is in a new show like this. Turns out, sort of critical, because whatever they do, however they approach the show, it pretty much sets the tone for everyone who comes after. We already had a fair amount of Breaking Bad in our project’s DNA because we were working with Sharon Hall who developed it back when she was at Sony.

So now we have more.

Terry McDonough did several episodes of Breaking Bad, including the one called Better Call Saul which was for my money one of the best hours of one of the best shows in my lifetime. I didn’t know it, but I’d actually seen his work the first time years ago in a show called Wire in the Blood that I still remember. He’s won the BAFTA and Royal Television Society (UK) Awards. When they were talking to him about our show, he was actually in my hometown working with the folks on Better Call Saul. If you’re looking for someone who can take the project and see complex characters in serious conflicts, this is kind of your guy. He’s not one of the people who looks down on SF. He directed Brian Cox in Doctor Who: An Adventure in Time and Space and just got a Hugo nomination for it. He directed Patrick Stewart in The Eleventh Hour. Between his instincts for nuance and humanity and his track record for making character-centered, award-winning television, he’s a brilliant fit.

And then there’s the look of the sets and costumes, which I don’t get to show you. I can say this: we’ve gotten to be involved with a lot of the preliminary design and concept work. This has involved a lot of really cool art and conversations with Richard Taylor and his team at WETA in New Zealand. The folks that did Lord of the Rings. Yeah, them. And the production designer who’s going to take the concept work and carry it through? Seth Reed, who just got an Emmy nomination for Cosmos. And did the art direction on Minority Report and From the Earth to the Moon.

Also, we’ve been spending most of our time in the writer’s room with an amazing group of screenwriters. In addition to Mark and Hawk – who, I would like to say for the record, have some of the best instincts for story I’ve seen anywhere – Naren Shankar has come on board to help out. That might not be a name you know, but he worked as one flavor or another of producer on CSI from 2002 to 2010 while that show was not only one of the best rated but possibly the most visually stylish things on network TV. He’s worked on Star Trek and Farscape and The Outer Limits. And we have other writers who’ve come from shows like Mad Men (seriously, one of our writers has Emmy nominations from Mad Men), and The Killing and Burn Notice.

The adjective people keep using to describe this project is “ambitious.” We’re trying to write something that’s genre but doesn’t rely on a knowledge of genre. We’re trying to film something that’s dark and dramatic and also funny and humane. Something that actually moves the line forward on science fiction television.

You do something like that, you really really hope it’ll go well.

It’s going well.