The Expanse book series ended in 2021 with ninth entry Leviathan Falls, and the TV series adaptation wrapped up after six seasons in 2022. And while Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck—who write together as James S.A. Corey—have nixed any return to the world of The Expanse, they’re still working on sci-fi projects together, as today’s big announcement attests.
Fans can look forward to the arrival of The Mercy of Gods, a space opera trilogy “that sees humanity fighting for its survival in a war as old as the universe itself,” according to a press release from publisher Orbit. This book will kick off the Captive’s War trilogy, and it will be released August 6, 2024.
Today’s announcement came with a full plot summary, which you can read below:
How humanity came to the planet called Anjiin is lost in the fog of history, but that history is about to end.
The Carryx—part empire, part hive—have waged wars of conquest for centuries, destroying or enslaving species across the galaxy. Now, they are facing a great and deathless enemy. The key to their survival may rest with the humans of Anjiin.
Caught up in academic intrigue and affairs of the heart, Dafyd Alkhor is pleased just to be an assistant to a brilliant scientist and his celebrated research team. Then the Carryx ships descend, decimating the human population and taking the best and brightest of Anjiin society away to serve on the Carryx homeworld, and Dafyd is swept along with them.
They are dropped in the middle of a struggle they barely understand, set in a competition against the other captive species with extinction as the price of failure. Only Dafyd and a handful of his companions see past the Darwinian contest to the deeper game that they must play to survive: learning to understand—and manipulate—the Carryx themselves.
With a noble but suicidal human rebellion on one hand and strange and murderous enemies on the other, the team pays a terrible price to become the trusted servants of their new rulers.
Dafyd Alkhor is a simple man swept up in events that are beyond his control and more vast than his imagination. He will become the champion of humanity and its betrayer, the most hated man in history and the guardian of his people.
This is where his story begins.
“I pitched Daniel an idea a couple of years ago,” Franck said in a Crowdcast announcing the book (watch the full replay here). “It might have even been like 10 years ago. But I pitched him this idea of the Book of Daniel, from the Old Testament, but as a science fiction story. That’s ultimately what it is. At some point when I was pitching him the idea, he pointed out that there was a little touch of Ursula Le Guin in it, a little touch of Frank Herbert in it. So we started describing it as the disappointing love child of Frank Herbert and Ursula Le Guin [laughs] as a retelling of a biblical myth.”
Added Abraham, “It was a really interesting place to go after The Expanse. The Expanse had so much in a particular slice of space opera that was sort of between late Apollo 13 and kind of early Buck Rogers that we spent a lot of time there. This is still space opera, but it’s such a very different place, a very different part of the genre. There’s some things we get to do and play with we couldn’t have done anyplace else.”
Here’s the full cover for The Mercy of Gods; look for it to hit bookshelves on August 6, 2024.
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