The Expanse Reading Order: Dive into the Epic Sci-Fi Book Series by James S.A. Corey

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The Expanse is a science fiction series written by James S.A. Corey set in a near future in which humans are colonizing space. A small group composed of Earthers, Martians, and Belters must face incommensurable hurdles to survive and save lives.

The Story of The Expanse

The story of Leviathan Wakes, the first book in The Expanse series: Humanity has colonized the planets – interstellar travel is still beyond our reach, but the solar system has become a dense network of colonies. But there are tensions – the mineral-rich outer planets resent their dependence on Earth and Mars and the political and military clout they wield over the Belt and beyond.

Now, when Captain Jim Holden’s ice miner stumbles across a derelict, abandoned ship, he uncovers a secret that threatens to throw the entire system into war. Attacked by a stealth ship belonging to the Mars fleet, Holden must find a way to uncover the motives behind the attack, stop a war and find the truth behind a vast conspiracy that threatens the entire human race.

Leviathan Wakes, the 1st book in The Expanse Series

The Expanse Books in Order

Following is a listing containing the main books with all the short stories and novellas:

Drive (short story, 2011)
The Churn (novella, 2014)
The Butcher of Anderson Station (short story, 2011)
Leviathan Wakes (2011) (book #1)
The Sins of Our Fathers (short story, 2022)
The Last Flight of the Cassandra (short story, 2019)
Caliban’s War (2012) (book #2)
Gods of Risk (novella, 2012)
Abaddon’s Gate (2013) (book #3)
The Vital Abyss (novella, 2015)
Cibola Burn (2014) (book #4)
Nemesis Games (2015) (book #5)
Babylon’s Ashes (2016) (book #6)
Strange Dogs (novella, 2017)
Persepolis Rising (2017) (book #7)
Auberon (novella, 2019)
Tiamat’s Wrath (2019) (book #8)
Leviathan Falls (2021) (book #9)

Abaddon’s Gate

More about The Expanse series

Does The Expanse series need to be read in order?

Yes, the story of The Expanse is serialized. The characters and the story evolve from one book to the other. Though, the short stories and novellas are not required to understand the novels. However, they add useful information, exploring plot points that are referenced in the novels.

Where can I find The Expanse’s short stories and novellas?

“Drive,” “The Butcher of Anderson Station,” “The Churn,” “Gods of Risk,” “The Vital Abyss,” “Strange Dogs,” “Auberon,” and “The Sins of Our Fathers” are now all collected in one book titled Memory’s Legion: The Complete Expanse Story Collection, published in 2022.

One is not available easily. “The Last Flight of the Cassandra” has been published in May 2019 inside The Expanse Roleplaying Game rulebook.

Has The Expanse books series ended?

Yes, the last novel, Leviathan Falls, which was published in 2021 is officially the last novel in the series, delivering the conclusion to the story.

The novella “The Sins of Our Father” that was released in March 2022 should also be the last one, but we still could hope for more.

The Expanse Series on Amazon Prime

Is there an adaptation of The Expanse books series?

The Expanse has been adapted for television in 2014 by the American television channel Syfy, developed by Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby. However, after three seasons, the show was canceled, but Amazon Prime Video quickly announced that a new season has been commissioned by the streaming service.

The show is composed of six seasons starring Steven Strait, Cas Anvar, Dominique Tipper, Wes Chatham, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Frankie Adams, Cara Gee, and Thomas Jane.

Trailer for The Expanse Season 1

Also, four digital comics based on the books and, tying into the television series, were published by ComiXology. Titled “The Expanse: Origins,” the books were written by James S. A. Corey, Hallie Lambert, and Georgia Lee and illustrated by Huang Danlan, Triona Farrell, Juan Useche, and Rahzzah.

An Expanse board game, designed by Geoff Engelstein and published by WizKids, was released in October 2017.

Finally, published in 2019, The Expanse Roleplaying Game was written by game designer Steve Kenson and published by Pramas’ company Green Ronin Publishing.

The Expanse Box set

More about the author of The Expanse series

Who is James S.A. Corey?

James S. A. Corey is the joint pen name of American authors Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck, who also wrote together the Star Wars novel Honor Among Thieves (2014).

The name James S.A. Corey is composed of Abraham’s and Franck’s middle names, respectively, and S. A. are the initials of Abraham’s daughter.

What have they written beyond The Expanse series?

Daniel James Abraham, who also uses the pen name M. L. N. Hanover, is a writer who is best known as the author of The Long Price Quartet and The Dagger and the Coin fantasy series.

Ty Frank, who authored the Game of Thrones: A Telltale Games Series (2014), is known for having worked as a personal assistant to George R. R. Martin and for having written for Martin’s Wild Cards universe.