James S.A. Corey - The Expanse

Ukerric

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Abraham worked with G.R.R. Martin, but he's not GRRM. The characters killed off come back stronger!
 

Ukerric

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Yep. Then it's waiting for the shipping (hardcover for me, since it's Orbit, and half the books from Orbit - notably the Expanse - break down when they land on my ebook reader)
 

Cybsled

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Finished the new book. The book giving a shout out to GRRM in the foreword was fitting considering what happens.

The book definitely represents a table flip in someways. After reading it, I have some theories.

whatever the alien threat is, it’s clear that 2 things set it off: gate travel and the super weapon. The only thing they would seem to have in common is manipulation of the fabric of space. This would suggest whatever this alien threat is, they live in some realm of sub space and the space manipulation causes distress in some fashion. I’m guessing the slow zone pocket universe is sort of like a foothold into the realm of that alien entity...the fact they could act inside that zone seems to speak to that. My guess is the Dutchman issue is them trying to communicate their limits...travel through the gates eventually reaches a limit of tolerance and they take ships as a sign to stop.

I don’t think they can beat the aliens, but maybe they can compromise. I think the proto people and the diamond planet will be key to communicating. The question will be the price: do they have to give up gate travel, or will it be some middle ground instead? The builders never figured it out in time, or maybe they did and pressed forward anyways
 
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Ritley

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I’m about halfway through (audio book so a bit slower) and I’m enjoying it. Think there’s only one book left, hope the authors actually explain the “enemy” and what happened with them and the proto creators
 

Cybsled

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I think they will. End of the book seems to suggest the main focus of the next one will be how to deal with the aliens/resolve that threat.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the aliens aren’t “evil” and we find out the builders did bad shit to them and they don’t know that humans are different.
 

TJT

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They are straight up Photino Birds from the Xeelee Sequence man. Just like I predicted.
 

velk

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I think they will. End of the book seems to suggest the main focus of the next one will be how to deal with the aliens/resolve that threat.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the aliens aren’t “evil” and we find out the builders did bad shit to them and they don’t know that humans are different.
Well, the proto-builders were clearly a bunch of shitheads. That doesn't mean the extradimensional aliens aren't also shitheads, but there's pretty strong evidence that they don't do anything unless provoked.
 

velk

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They are straight up Photino Birds from the Xeelee Sequence man. Just like I predicted.
You mean how they are trying to destroy all life in the universe ? Or that they live in stars ? Or that they look like birds ? I mean, is there anything similar other than being mysterious ?
 

Cybsled

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Well, the proto-builders were clearly a bunch of shitheads. That doesn't mean the extradimensional aliens aren't also shitheads, but there's pretty strong evidence that they don't do anything unless provoked.
The protobuilders are made out to be a hive mind, which means (in theory) they were all unified in their views. However, that also means they probably didn't war with themselves. So that brings up the question: Why did they have a warship with a powerful weapon (what they found on the orbital platform around Laconia)? Why do you need weapons/warships unless you're fighting an enemy?

The most telling thing is the mystery aliens just made ships go Dutchman once you passed a certain mass/energy threshhold in the gates, but otherwise didn't seem to be doing much. But it wasn't until Laconia used the alien weapon in the last book that they fired a 'void bullet' that fucked with everyone, which is the same thing they found in book 4 on the builder planet. Taken in context with what we learn in this book in terms of mystery alien actions, that makes me think the builders specifically created that weapon to harm the mystery aliens.

To me, that suggests the builders made the gates, noticed their shit was starting to vanish, then decided to create specific solutions to deal with the mystery aliens. This forced the mystery aliens hand and they escalated, destroying the builders. Getting into this book.

Laconia unintentionally repeats history with their anti-matter bomb and usage of the weapon. The 'prisoner dilemma' was a metaphor for that was happening, but no one recognized it. The tit-for-tat was the gate vanishing: The aliens are trying to send a message that if you step over whatever line, then they will punish you in turn. The weapon usage in the last book wasn't intentional, because they had no idea about the mystery aliens, but the mystery aliens responded in turn: they fired a void bullet that would have killed builders. They were responding to an escalation in hostilities, but didn't understand that humans != builders. When Laconia decides to use anti-matter bombs, the mystery aliens in turn escalate and begin to look for ways to kill the humans since their previous methods didn't work.

Now the aliens don't know humans can't make anti-matter anymore, but Laconia still has 1 alien warship left. The only way to solve the situation is they have to get on the same page as the mystery aliens and work out a mutual solution. The whole prisoner dilemma where the best long term solution is to cooperate. I think they will figure it out thanks to Elvi and the diamond planet "harddrive" thing.

I don't think the gates have to go away forever, but I think the compromise will involve their usage being extremely restricted (ie, you can use them once a year or ten years or whatever...I imagine the mystery aliens will be longer lived than humans, so whatever time scale they pick won't be the most ideal for humans that live for over a century if fortunate). Don't forget they didn't destroy ALL the ships going through, just when a certain threshhold was passed. That suggests that up to a certain limit, they're fine with it or at least tolerate it.
 

LachiusTZ

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The protobuilders are made out to be a hive mind, which means (in theory) they were all unified in their views. However, that also means they probably didn't war with themselves. So that brings up the question: Why did they have a warship with a powerful weapon (what they found on the orbital platform around Laconia)? Why do you need weapons/warships unless you're fighting an enemy?

The most telling thing is the mystery aliens just made ships go Dutchman once you passed a certain mass/energy threshhold in the gates, but otherwise didn't seem to be doing much. But it wasn't until Laconia used the alien weapon in the last book that they fired a 'void bullet' that fucked with everyone, which is the same thing they found in book 4 on the builder planet. Taken in context with what we learn in this book in terms of mystery alien actions, that makes me think the builders specifically created that weapon to harm the mystery aliens.

To me, that suggests the builders made the gates, noticed their shit was starting to vanish, then decided to create specific solutions to deal with the mystery aliens. This forced the mystery aliens hand and they escalated, destroying the builders. Getting into this book.

Laconia unintentionally repeats history with their anti-matter bomb and usage of the weapon. The 'prisoner dilemma' was a metaphor for that was happening, but no one recognized it. The tit-for-tat was the gate vanishing: The aliens are trying to send a message that if you step over whatever line, then they will punish you in turn. The weapon usage in the last book wasn't intentional, because they had no idea about the mystery aliens, but the mystery aliens responded in turn: they fired a void bullet that would have killed builders. They were responding to an escalation in hostilities, but didn't understand that humans != builders. When Laconia decides to use anti-matter bombs, the mystery aliens in turn escalate and begin to look for ways to kill the humans since their previous methods didn't work.

Now the aliens don't know humans can't make anti-matter anymore, but Laconia still has 1 alien warship left. The only way to solve the situation is they have to get on the same page as the mystery aliens and work out a mutual solution. The whole prisoner dilemma where the best long term solution is to cooperate. I think they will figure it out thanks to Elvi and the diamond planet "harddrive" thing.

I don't think the gates have to go away forever, but I think the compromise will involve their usage being extremely restricted (ie, you can use them once a year or ten years or whatever...I imagine the mystery aliens will be longer lived than humans, so whatever time scale they pick won't be the most ideal for humans that live for over a century if fortunate). Don't forget they didn't destroy ALL the ships going through, just when a certain threshhold was passed. That suggests that up to a certain limit, they're fine with it or at least tolerate it.
As Teresa explained, no matter what action the other party takes, it's always beneficial / best to defect.

How is it in the interests of the void aliens to not kill humanity?

Really hoping for an ending where everyone is dead, except Amos
 

Ritley

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Just finished, excellent book. Definitely a lot to wrap up in one book
 

Cybsled

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As Teresa explained, no matter what action the other party takes, it's always beneficial / best to defect.

How is it in the interests of the void aliens to not kill humanity?
It is best to defect until the other side defects, at which point the only viable long term solution is to cooperate. I think in the final book, they'll decode some research the Builders did that will give them a sufficient enough weapon to allow for the cooperation solution by showing the void aliens that defect is the losing solution for both sides. If I had to guess, that super successful colony will get wiped out by the void aliens (they mention it a bunch of times, but no one goes there...gives them an impactful bodycount w/o killing the Sol system). Humans counter with whatever. Some type of mutual cooperation pact is reached...I'm guessing the protomolecule/human hybrids will end up being key to communicating.
 

Ritley

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My guess is

that the proto rebuilt humans will be able to interface with the big diamond somehow to learn what they knew about the void bros. Elvi plans to go back to the diamond and at the ending of tiamats wrath she was asking the two kids for help. Guessing they will go with her and then something will trigger that will allow them to communicate with the diamond
 
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Cybsled

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Ya, 100% agree. I also think Duarte and you know who will also get involved/have a role to play.
 
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