Pass the dice and the channel changer!

Damn, I needed that "Get Off Eros for Free" card!

Damn, I needed that “Get Off Eros for Free” card!  Photo: Syfy Channel

Ty Franck and Dan Abraham’s popular space opera series, The Expanse, is about to come full circle, from game to book to TV show, and now back to game.  In a well-detailed interview with the authors, Andrew Liptak, writing on the Barnes & Noble blog site, tells of how Ty Franck, a successful entrepreneur, was inspired by Alfred Bester’s The Stars My Destination, to dream of a mid-future Solar System with various planetary factions being infiltrated by an alien virus.  Played as an on-line role-playing game, Franck’s scenario featured the crew of a water hauler, the Rocinante, getting pulled into the intrigue and the conflicts.

Meanwhile, when Franck’s wife enrolled at the University of New Mexico, he joined a local writer’s group, Critical Mass, and began running a role-playing game for some of its members, including George R.R. Martin.  Martin’s assistant, Dan Abraham, was also interested and joined Franck’s space opera game as down-and-out detective named Miller.  No wonder that Abraham wrote the Miller chapters when they decided to collaborate on a novel set in The Expanse universe.

And the TV show stayed faithful to Franck’s original game vision.  On a visit to the set, two of the original players remarked that the spaceship and colonized asteroid interiors looked almost exactly as they imagined the rooms and spaces to look when they were playing Franck’s game almost 10 years earlier.

Now, Beth Elderkin on io9 reports that WizKids, best known for their collectible superhero miniatures games HeroClix, is preparing to create a 2-4 player card-driven strategy game where players vie for domination of the Solar System as Earth, Mars, the Outer Planets Alliance, or everyone’s favorite mega-corp, Protogen.  Come June (and go $50), The Expanse can be spread out on every fan’s gaming table in addition to being on their televisions and computer monitors.

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