Where Are All The Stories About The Mid-Point Of Space Colonization?

The first tentative trips outwards or life under the heel of an entire sweeping galactic empire are both popular starting points in epic space exploration fiction, but what about the middle stories that fill in the tales between those two?

Top image: Artist's concept of astronauts setting up on Mars / NASA

Today, James S.A. Corey (a.k.a. the writing team of Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck) joined us to talk about their book Leviathan Wakes and the entire Expanse series, and explained how that gap in story-telling had inspired their stories:

APartyofOne

First of all, let me say I much I absolutely love the conceit of changing the setting of your series from one that is bound to the solar systems into one that allows FTL travel. That seems to be a decision that authors in SF make very rarely (the one example I can think of is Niven's Known Space series of books and novellas). What made you decide to do this? What made you confident that the narrative distinctiveness of your writing would remain consistent even after the setting was changed?

Daniel Abraham

Ty is the guy who made the world, and he's always said that he was interested in seeing that part of space opera that doesn't really get much play. We've seen humanity's first step stories and we've seen that galaxy-spanning empire stories, but we never really talk about that middle part in between. So that was part of what our mandate was, starting off.

As for confidence in the strength of the narrative, I'm not sure we're confident of anything. We were doing this for giggles and pizza money, and we overshot.

What do you think? Tell us about the other stories that do a good job of exploring the messy process of building outwards into space or about some of the stories you're still hoping to see told in the comments now.