The lost last paragraph of our review of The Expanse

[no spoilers]

In spring 2021, a review of The Expanse TV series that I co-wrote with SFF author Heather Clitheroe was published in the open-access journal SFRA Review. (It got a surprise, much-appreciated nod from the authors.) The Review‘s editors had advised we cut the whole last paragraph of our draft. For that journal, the cut was right, a darling killed for length and tone. But having just finished the ninth and final Expanse novel, Leviathan Falls, today–after re-reading the first eight since September, and as new episodes of the sixth and final Expanse series are now airing weekly–I thought that last paragraph is worth retrieving and sharing now. My co-author had lamented its lopping off; moreover, everything I’ve read and watched this month has only affirmed it. So voilà:

As the generally glowing tone of all this commentary may suggest, the time of this writing finds one of your co-authors (McCutcheon) unexpectedly a fan again. Unaccustomed to unalloyed adulation, he’s not one to use the term “fan” lightly: after decades as an English professor, a man pushing fifty figures the profession has disciplined out of him the capacity for fandom–its afición. How little time has he to read a book based on a show–never mind burn through all the things the show’s based on. A man’s happy to be so wrong, hasn’t felt possessed by such weird and fierce fanhood since Star Wars. How welcome, in a world of relentless catastrophe, to encounter an epic page-burner that can ambush a jaded reader, reigniting fanboy delight in love and rockets’ flight, inviting critical self-reflection on a settler-colonial youth steeped in Westerns, and sharing a novel vision of solidarity, no less. How surprisingly the encounter restores to him both the sheer plaisir du texte and a glimpse of hope for all humankind.

I admit that’s a bit ebullient for academia; but I also meant it to echo a bit of Miller.

Meanwhile, more of my commentary on this extraordinary set of texts is forthcoming, in a chapter in Frankenstein and STEAM (U Delaware P, 2022) and in other research-creation in progress. For now, I’m still processing the finale of this epic and timely story, and looking forward to Friday’s episode…and fighting the temptation to pick up Leviathan Falls again and reread it right away.

My home library’s Expanse collection: 5004 pages of killer space opera

One response to “The lost last paragraph of our review of The Expanse

  1. This last/lost paragraph of yours reminds me of my gushiness the other night when I received a response to a messenger text I sent to a former ballerina I idolized in high school. She’d accepted my friend request and replied so graciously to my expression of gratitude.

    Love n rockets,

    Erika xo aka Princess Leia wannabe

    Sent from my iPhone


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.