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Based on the sci-fi mystery novels penned by James S.A. Corey (a nom de plume serving the endeavours of the writing team Daniel Abraham and Ty Franc, Leviathan Wakes) The Expanse titles have spread like flowering spores into a SyFy original series. Some two-hundred years in the future, a now-fully-habitable solar system serves as the ripe-for-rivalry mise-en-scène. Space provides the optimum landscape, especially space under colonial administration, to host not one, but all three classical conflicts of storytelling: man vs. man, man vs. nature, and man vs. himself.

It is in this expanse where a new breed of mankind operates in roughly the same rigid, egocentric and tenuous fashion that ancient mankind did when Earth was, essentially, his only domain; yet, now there is more territory to cover and more peoples to monitor, and control. If resources, greed, logistics, prejudices, power trips and egos proved existential beasties on one planet, whilst the endgame may remain the same when dealing with an entire solar system, the wider struggle proves a significant hurdle.

In The Expanse, dominant Earthlings, militant Martians and second-class Belters (those living and working in space, in the asteroid belt) clash like Real Housewives thrown together at a theme party. As the humans delicately co-exist, the United Nations - yes, still in "action" - persuades against a roiling warfare burgeoning between Earth and Mars, under the auspices of violet-cloaked U.N. exec Chrisjen Avasarala (played regally by Shohreh Aghdashloo whom, if you know your Portlandia, will recognize her from S2e3 as the visiting author at Women and Women First.).

In these potentially warring skies, Captain James Holden (Steven Strait) and his skeleton crew of the ice trawler Canterbury face a more immediate concern: who blew up their ship? Fortunately, Holden and his crew were saved from annihilation, as they all happened to be on a (set-up?) distress call, on-board a Canterbury short-range shuttle. So, who killed the Cant? The offending machine was a stealth vessel. Who has the funds for, and access to, a stealth vessel. The war-happy Martians, of course ... or was it?

Whilst scouring the colonies for the real Canterbury destroyer, Captain Holden and his stragglers, Naomi Nagata (Dominique Tipper), Alex Kamal (Cas Anvar) and Amos Burton (Wes Chatham), are hired by Outer Planets Alliance (OPA): a quasi-terrorist organization fighting for the rights of the second-class Belters. Their mission? To find a missing compatriot, one Lionel Polanski. On their travels, in their new ship, Rocinante, they locate the very vessel that took out the Cant: the Anubis. A seemingly abandoned ghostship, there's plenty of life in the old girl yet. The Anubis is festering with "spiraling layers of an amorphous, glassy, blue-green mass, clutching the reactor like a strangler fig". A self-aware protomolecule, the Phoebe Bug, as it were.

Elsewhere, a young, wealthy scion named Julie Mao goes missing. On the case is hard-living, self-damaged Det. Joe Miiller (Thomas Jane). When it is learned she is, in fact, OPA-sympathizer Lionel Polanski, Miller follows her alias until he finds she is registered at the Blue Falcon Hotel, as Polanski. Oddly, she is covered in the same Phoebe Bug that took control of the Anubis. The spaceship that killed the Cant and the disappearance and bizarre death of Julie Mao/Lionel Polanski can't be related ... or can they?

As with any quality, conspiracy-heavy sci-fi series, the simple, seemingly unrelated elements of a workaday spaceship, a self-aware, extra-terrestrial protomolecule and a dead, Phoebed, rich girl must be connected, and all via top-level, high-stakes, interplanetary, 23rdC. battle for air and water ... or must they?

San Diego Comic-Con 2016 and the good folks at SyFy afforded Yours Truly a seat at The Expanse roundtable, for a bit of chat and interview with the series' cast and writers. When I asked exec producers/writers Mark Fergus and Naren Shankar for a hint of what's to come in S2, specifically the self-aware Phoebe Bug, I was given a deftly crafted non-answer and, as the picture shows, a couple of Paddington Bear-style "very hard stares".

Jennifer Devore: Obviously, you can't give any direct hints as to the next season, but ... in the beginning of next season, will the origins of the discovery, of the spores or matrix, will that be divulged, or, and I apologize f it sounds like I'm asking a derivative question, but will it be similar to something like "Helix" or "The X-Files", where, like, the black oil becomes its own character throughout season after season ... or, will it be solved right away?

Naren Shankar: Yeah, yeah, yeah. You're going to get some answers for sure. No question about that. But, like the books, what it does is, it keeps changing. So, you can't ask anybody questions about that! You have to figure it out.

Mark Fergus: One of the joys of the books is it takes you, you know, three books before you really understand what this thing is. But it is something v specific, the mystery of it is ... there's no reason to put yourself in the shoes of your characters, trying to figure out what it is. Ultimately it does become its own character in the sense that it's become the elephant in the room for humanity. It's the new thing we have to grapple with. But, this show is about how does a new, game-changing technology change humanity? It is always about people. it's not about this thing. The thing never becomes more important than how do people  ... deal with ... a new reality, given that it now exists.

Jennifer Devore: Whiich is very apropos to current events.

Mark Fergus: Absolutely. This show is about people. The beauty of the books is, it never starts to say, "Oh, this thing is so cool, let's leave our people behind and follow this cool, interesting, game-changing thing." The story is about how our guys are going to survive and react to that. That will always be our focus.

The Expanse S1 streams on Amazon beginning December 2016; S2 starts on SyFy January 2017. Need a little S2 tease? Voila!

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The Expanse

Creators

Mark Fergus

Hawk Ostby

Executive producers

Naren Shankar

Mark Fergus

Andrew Kosove

Sharon Hall

Sean Daniel

Jason F. Brown

Hawk Ostby

Broderick Johnson

 

Producer

Lynn Baynor

 

Prod. Companies

Penguin in a Parka

SeanDanielCo

Alcon Entertainment

 

Distributor

NBC Universal TV Dist.

 

Original Network

SyFy

 

Read Jennifer Susannah Devore's) previous SDCC/SyFy roundtables with the cast and writers of Helix: So Many Monkeys and It Ain't Easy Being Human: SyFy Interviews

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jenniferdevore.blogspot.com

amazon.com/author/jenniferdevore

#SDCC2016 #The Expanse #SyFy

 
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As author Jennifer Susannah Devore works diligently, her wee fingertips tattered to the bone, editing Book IV of her Savannah of Williamsburg series of historical-fiction, she finds herself currently obsessed with AMC's resplendent, American Revolutionary War drama, TURN: Washington's Spies.

Well, of course she is, you roll your eyes. She's JennyPop. Anyone who knows her even moderately well knows of her love affair with the 18thC.: art, architecture, fashion, history, literature and so on. To boot, the series is shot on-location in Virginia, including her fave American hamlet, her former home of Colonial Williamsburg. I wonder if the cast hangs out at The Green Leafe? JennyPop wonders. Oh, wait., she recalls. It's closed for renovations. Maybe they go to Blue Talon Bistro? she adjusts her curiosity.

In between long bouts of editing, she has, of late, been curating her own TURN soundtrack. Odd, you might think. Yes, one could agree. What a glorious waste of time, you amend. Again, yes, one could agree.

Regardless of your opinion, she has gloriously wasted her time for you, the TURN devotee. As you await the fourth, and, sadly, final season on AMC, fret not. If you find yourself mourning the loss of Major John André, fretting over the emotional well-being of Miss Peggy Shippen-Arnold, terrified of Captain Simcoe's next psychotic demonstration, curious if Mary Woodhull will take to attempted murder again and hoping against hope that Anna and Captain Hewlett find true love together, you can always watch and re-watch the series on Netflix and Amazon Instant, buy the Blu-Rays and, if you so choose, peruse JennyPop's TURN soundtrack and perchance create your own playlist.

Aside: One of JennyPop's dear friends, Lance Pedigo, former Head of Music for Colonial Williamsburg and former head of the CW Fife and Drum Corps, leads the sad, drum procession to Major John André's hanging at the end of S3e10: "Trial and Execution".

 

JennyPop's TURN Soundtrack

 

"Don't Cry" (Major André's and Peggy's lament) by Guns N' Roses

"Centuries" by Fall Out Boy

"Regular Army O" by Mick Moloney

"Sucker For Pain" on Suicide Squad soundtrack

"Stressed Out" by Twenty One Pilots

"Renegades" by X Ambassadors

"Strip" by Adam Ant

"Little Talks" by Of Monsters and Men

"Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen or Panic at the Disco!

"Fake It" by Seether

"Stand and Deliver" by Adam Ant

"God's Gonna Cut You Down" by Johnny Cash

"How I Could Just Kill A Man" (Simcoe's theme) by Rage Against the Machine

 

 

What would you add? Curate your own and share @JennyPopNet! Feel free to share mine!

 

#TURN #MyTURNSoundtrack #TURNAMC

 

 

 

 

The Darlings of Orange County - Epub format The Darlings of Orange County - Epub format $4.99

Customer Reviews:

Sea Gypsy  (Saturday, 24 March 2012)
Rating: 5
I can't remember the last time a book made me laugh out loud. This is a must read!!! I've only had the book for two days and i can't wait for the
sequel!!!


Read more >>

Savannah of Williamsburg: Book I Savannah of Williamsburg: Book I $14.95

Customer Reviews:

admin  (Wednesday, 05 June 2013)
Rating: 4
via "Lisa's List" NPR Review: What a pleasant surprise Savannah of Williamsburg is. At first glance I thought a story about a squirrel who comes to
Colonial Virginia, dressed in pretty frocks and traveling with a steamer trunk and a violin would not be my cup of tea. But I’m game, so I started
reading.


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Savannah of Williamsburg: Book II Savannah of Williamsburg: Book II $15.95

Customer Reviews:

admin  (Wednesday, 05 June 2013)
Rating: 5
via J. Carroll on Amazon: An interesting history lesson, much of it told in the third person, through the eyes of a little, English squirrel who made
her way to America and settled in Williamsburg during the early years of this nation. See previous writing by the same author, titled "Savannah of
Williamsburg".


Read more >>

Savannah of Williamsburg: Book III Savannah of Williamsburg: Book III $15.95

Customer Reviews:

admin  (Wednesday, 05 June 2013)
Rating: 5
via Larry on Amazon: Very interesting read. Just enough history to make it interesting. Will look for other Savannah of Williamsburg books. Recommend
to all for enjoyable read!


Read more >>

 

 

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JennyPopcorn: Netflix New Releases

  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

    This wizardly spin-off from the cinematic world of Harry Potter relates the wondrous and exotic life of "magizoologist" Newt Scamander, who wrote the Hogwarts School's textbook on magical creatures decades before Harry Potter would lay eyes on it.
  • The Marine 5: Battleground

    While working as an EMT back stateside Jake Carter after responding to a distress call, finds himself caught up protecting a person of interest from a biker gang ruthlessly hunting them down.
  • Underworld: Blood Wars

    The fifth chapter of the gripping Underworld vampire epic follows "death dealer" Selene and her protégé David as they take on Marius, a new and ruthless Lycan leader, and the ambitious schemes of a rival female vampire.
  • Catfight

    Though Veronica and Ashley were friends in college, they fell out long ago. When they bump into each other years later, old wounds resurface, and the two end up brawling in a stairwell -- which is just the beginning of their renewed rivalry.

Theme from Savannah of Williamsburg: The Trials of Blackbeard and His Pirates (Book II)

Blackbeard's Chanty:"Me Cup is Broke!"Music by PBIII, lyrics by Jennifer Susannah Devore

Meet Miss JennyPop

Jennifer Susannah Devore

Jenny Pop is the acclaimed Author of the Savannah of Williamsburg series of books and The Darlings of Orange County. In addition, Jen is a prolific consumer of media and pop culture. Never leaving the house without her journal and fave Waterman pen, an old-fashioned, analog book (usually Hunter S. Thompson) and a fresh coat of lipstick, she is constantly on the hunt for fun, espresso, animation  and comics of any kind and always ready for an impromptu day at Disneyland.  JennyPop.net is a natural extension of  Jen's World; so, spend some time visiting. You'll have fun, she promises!

Meet The Darlings

The Darlings of Orange County

The sexy, cashmere beaches of southern California aren't always what they seem. The dirty little secret here is what it takes to survive. Everyone has a trick up their silk sleeve. Liz Lemon meets Parker Posey, Veronica Darling is smart enough to know what it takes and is willing to soil her soul to bring Hollywood to the California Riviera. The Darlings of Orange County is a salacious, hilarious, harrowing romp chock full of eco-terrorism, horse-racing scandals, weed deals and the obligatory lipstick-lesbian affair that inevitably leads to murder. It all climaxes in a white-knuckled, glitzy, celebrity-stacked Laguna Beach Film Premiere that spells success for Veronica Darling and trouble for her friends and family.

Meet Miss Savannah Squirrel

Savannah Prudence Squirrel

Savannah Prudence Squirrel

Meet Miss Savannah of Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia. Equal parts Amelia Earhart, Lucy Honeychurch, Scarlett O'Hara and Miss Piggy, Savannah is a scholar, adventurer and a lady. Moreover, she is a pebble in the silver-buckled shoe of injustice and with her best pals she is not a squirrel to challenge. She carries  the Magna Carta in one paw and the latest Parisian silk bag in her other. Whether fighting to end slavery, arguing for freedom of the press or scheming to end a duel, Miss Savannah does so with wit and persistence. Read more to meet her best friends and accomplices: Ichabod Wolfgang and Dante Marcus Pritchen. Prepare to also meet pirates, a Venetian fox and an Irish gull, The Commodore!

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Meet Miss Hannah

Hannah Hart, ghost dame of the Hotel del Coronado

Hannah Hart, ghost dame of the Hotel del Coronado

So, here's the low down, all you Joes and Janes ... I'm Hannah Hart, dead girl. Don't fret, it's actually a sweet dish being dead. Having perished in 1934 in a terrifically vicious accessories incident with actress Ida Lupino, I reside where I died: San Diego's gorgeous Hotel del Coronado. It ain't a bad gig at all, really! Great weather, swanky guests (not to mention a few fellow ghosties), amazing amenities, my own private turret overlooking the sea and all the java juice and giggle water I can handle; plus, these bartenders know how to make a Planter's Punch like nobody's business! See, I've been waiting for this Internet thing forever ... now, instead of slamming doors and moving lamps, I get to wag my tongue all I like at goodtobeageek.com

Abyssinia, kids!