Syfy’s ‘The Expanse’: The imperial project unhinged

Syfy channel’s political/military thriller “The Expanse,” set hundreds of years in the future, seems eerily resonant with our own era. The two major powers of the solar system, Earth and Mars, have been locked in a cold war for decades. Exploited populations working and living in the asteroid belt–an area that supplies crucial raw materials to both empires–become the flashpoint for what could turn out to be a civilization-destroying hot war between the two imperial powers.

Review: A Place Beyond Man and The Webs of Varok – the first two books in Cary Neeper’s Archives of Varok series

When Cary Neeper first published excerpts of her novel The Webs of Varok on, one commenter dismissed the work as being “merely a polemic pretending to be a novel.” Only the first charge is correct. The book clearly is an impassioned polemic against the extravagance and destructiveness of industrial society, but it’s hardly “pretending to be a novel.” Rather, it is an involving, well-plotted story that does justice to both the hard science underpinning its interplanetary settings and the long evolutionary perspectives typical of the old scientific romances (those of H.G. Wells, Jules Verne and Arthur C. Clarke). Further, Neeper is in good company in her use of polemic, as Resilience editor Bart Anderson pointed out in his reply to the first commenter’s post. Anderson observed that George Orwell, Sinclair Lewis, Aldous Huxley and many other great authors have used polemic to poignant and lasting effect.