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Descent by Ken MacLeod


Author of 2013 Arthur C. Clarke Award-nominated Intrusion tells a science fiction story for the twenty-first century – what happens when conspiracy theorists meet Big Brother?
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The start of a brand new epic fantasy trilogy from the author of the Stormlord series – full of scheming, spying, action and adventure.
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Who would you cast in an Expanse television series?

This week Variety announced that Iron Man and Children of Men scribes Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby will script the pilot of The Expanse, based on a series bestselling novels written by James S.A. Corey, for Alcon Television Group.  Check out the full scoop here.

This of course begs the question: who would you like to see cast in any television adaptation of the series?  Go wild. We can’t wait to hear who you would choose.

Leviathan Wakes   Corey_CalibansWar TP   Corey_AbaddonsGate_TP   Corey_CibolaBurn_HC

Like the freshly unveiled cover of CIBOLA BURN? Go to SF Signal to see a larger version and also the cover of Daniel Abraham’s upcoming THE WIDOW’S HOUSE, book four of the Dagger and the Coin series.


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  1. Andrew Liptak

    September 6, 2013
    at 2:48 pm


    Fred Johnson, Idris Elba. Hands down, the only choice for him, IMO.

    • Jacob Patton

      September 6, 2013
      at 4:22 pm


      I concur, he would be perfect.

    • Gimo

      September 6, 2013
      at 4:22 pm


      agreed! Idris Elba would be perfect.

  2. andols

    September 6, 2013
    at 3:38 pm


    Miller: Donal Logue, Jonathan Banks

  3. Cletus

    September 6, 2013
    at 4:19 pm


    I mean, I happily volunteer for Alex or Praxidike (the latter would depend on what kind of casting they’re looking for…)

    Just sayin’!

  4. Ty Franck

    September 6, 2013
    at 4:33 pm


    Idris Elba is composed entirely of awesome, no doubt.

    Daniel always wanted William H Macy for Miller.

  5. Tobias V. Langhoff

    September 6, 2013
    at 4:56 pm


    My list from yesterday:

    Holden: Sam Rockwell
    Miller: Kenneth Branagh or Gary Oldman
    Naomi: Gina Torres (Firefly)
    Amos: Adam Baldwin (Firefly)
    Alex: Kal Penn (House)
    Julie Mao: Grace Park (BSG)? Or Kimberly Estrada maybe? She knows martial arts!
    Dresden: Kevin Spacey (House of Cards) or Michael Fassbender (Prometheus)? Or Ray Wise (Twin Peaks) if he’s older.
    Fred: Someone from The Wire: Idris Elba or Robert Wisdom would both be awesome.

  6. Sam

    September 6, 2013
    at 5:03 pm


    Dream Cast? Morgan Freeman as Fred Johnson, Karl Urban as Holden, Olivia Wild as Naomi, Michael Rooker as Amos.

  7. Johannasbear

    September 6, 2013
    at 5:09 pm


    Richard Dean Anderson + Miller = Awesome

  8. Johannasbear

    September 6, 2013
    at 5:12 pm


    By the way Ty Franck, what was his choice for Holden?

  9. Wade Winningham

    September 6, 2013
    at 5:19 pm


    I think William H. Macy would be awesome for Miller. James Remar and Karl Urban are two others.

    For Holden, how about Lee Pace?

  10. Brandon

    September 6, 2013
    at 5:22 pm


    Jim Holden – Henry Cavill
    Naomi Nagata – Janina Gavankar
    Alex Kamal – Kal Penn
    Amos Burton – Vin Diesel
    Miller – Jonathan Banks
    Fred Johnson – Idris Elba

    Bobbie Draper – Gwendoline Christie
    Praxidike Meng – BD Wong
    Chrisjen Avasarala – Helen Mirren

    Annushka Volovodov – Andrea Riseborough
    Carlos “Bull” de Baca – Bruce Willis
    Clarissa Mao/Melba Koh – Olivia Wilde

  11. Brent

    September 6, 2013
    at 5:33 pm


    The entire cast of Firefly…

  12. Vanessa

    September 6, 2013
    at 5:53 pm


    Miller – Shea Whigham
    Holden – Richard Armitage
    Naomi – Oliva Munn
    Amos – Chris Bauer
    Alex – Benedict Wong
    Julie – Maggie Q
    Fred – Idris Elba
    Bull – Guillermo Díaz
    Melba/Clarissa – Grace Park
    Anna – Vera Farmiga

  13. Airo

    September 6, 2013
    at 8:09 pm


    Dennis Haysbert for Fred Johnson. I imagine Fred as a guy with a strong almost intimidating voice.

  14. Mariscience

    September 6, 2013
    at 9:32 pm


    I think Idris is great, but I always pictured Lawrence Fishburn while I was reading.

    • Cletus

      September 9, 2013
      at 10:09 am


      I always envisioned something akin to Keith David for Fred Johnson. There’s an actor that can make you believe his smile is genuine, while using his eyes to let you know that same smile is going to get you messed up.

      And as long as we’re having dreams, Gary Oldman as Miller. I like the ideas mentioned about about a square-jawed detective, but I think Oldman can pull off Miller’s exhaustion best.

      Michaela Conlin for Naomi.

  15. D.W.Brown

    September 9, 2013
    at 12:34 pm


    As I have posted elsewhere, Simon Baker (The Mentalist) as Holden, but how about Colin Salmon as Fred Johnson and Meera Syal for later episodes as Avasarala. Also won’t a one hour show be too short to set the scene for a possible story arc? Minor quibble.

    • Ty Franck

      September 9, 2013
      at 7:54 pm


      One hour times 12 episodes?

  16. Kristin

    September 9, 2013
    at 5:55 pm


    I’ll be really upset if they end up with a mostly white cast. The majority of the characters are not white, and people who come from different planets and stations look very different.

  17. Natalie

    September 9, 2013
    at 8:07 pm


    I hadn’t thought of it before, but I really like Elba as Fred but I suspect he’s too big now.

    Amos needs to be someone both big, and who sells the physical presence, he’s very intimidating.

    I feel the diversity in the book is one of it’s strengths, so I really dislike the idea of making Bobbie or Avasarala white. I’m sure there are plenty of elderly Indian actresses who can play a grumpy awesome politician. Bobbie is going to be harder, and will pretty much require an unknown.

    I pictured Naomi as Janet Mock who unfortunately isn’t an actress, but I think more that kind of look – quite distinctly dark, with the very curly hair but enough different to hint at potential partial Japanese ancestry as well.

    Miller I had no idea on, but Jonathan Banks could totally manage that role.
    Holden I’d love Karl Urban as but is unlikely. Simon Baker could probably manage it decently.

    Alex I’d like another probably unknown, and have a genuine Indian from Texas with the Texan drawl. I love the cognitive dissonance of that and don’t think they should give it up.

  18. Ty Franck

    September 10, 2013
    at 5:37 am


    Everything we’ve heard from the people develop9ng the show leads us to believe they are committed to keeping a diverse cast.

  19. Natalie

    September 11, 2013
    at 3:32 am


    Hmm reading a piece on The Shield and it strikes me that while he’s probably not as tall as I pictured Amos, Michael Chiklis certainly has the physicality for it. And less tall perhaps helps distinguish Earther vs Belter more.

  20. Brian

    September 12, 2013
    at 4:38 am


    I don’t know about anyone else but I always thought of Sam the engineer as sounding and looking a lot like Audrey Ramirez as voiced by Jacqueline Obradors from Atlantis: The Lost Empire. Idris Elba is pretty much how I imagined Fred Johnson. Always sorta thought Miller would be kinda Clint Eastwood (Dirty Harry-esk).

  21. hmcguin

    October 15, 2013
    at 2:17 pm


    Holden–Jamie Bamber
    Naomi–Jessica Parker Kennedy or long-shot Crystal Kay (Japanese Singer)
    Alex–Faran Haroon Tahir
    Amos–Guillermo Díaz
    Miller–Bruce Greenwood
    Fred–Joe Morton
    Avasarala–Hema Malini

  22. Punklunchbox

    December 3, 2013
    at 6:41 pm


    Here’s who I pictured while reading:
    Holden: Chris Pratt
    Naomi: Rinko kikuchi (I know she isn’t described as looking exactly like this but I feel that her personality fits.)
    Amos: Vin Diesel
    Alex: Josh Holloway or Norman Reedus
    Miller: I pictured Bruce Willis but I know he’s too big. Somebody else mentioned Sam Rockwell and I could actually see him here as well. Dominic West.
    Fred: Keith David
    Bobbie: gwendoline Christie
    Julie Mao or Clarissa Mao: Kristen bell
    I’m so excited for this show! I hope it goes to a network that allows it to be what it needs to be which is a gritty gory kickass space opera!

  23. evan

    December 16, 2013
    at 4:03 pm


    ok how has NOBODY mentioned Hugh Laurie as Miller? That’s exactly who I pictured and I think he’s perfect. Plus he’s not doing anything right now.

    Holden – Heath Ledger woulda been perfect, alas.

    Naomi should be Naomie Harris, honestly.

    For Amos I always pictured a shorter Spike (Cowboy Bebop). So idk, Tom Hardy mb?

    and yes, Idris as Fred, obvi.

  24. B. Madigan

    January 22, 2014
    at 6:01 pm


    Miller: Robert Patrick
    Jim Holden: Eric Bana

    Prax: C.S. Lee (Vince Masuka from Dexter)

  25. Kyle M.

    January 27, 2014
    at 7:37 am


    In my mind, Amos was always Kevin Durand(Little John in the most recent Robin Hood.)

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