In support of the Expanse trilogy, James S.A. Corey, a pen-name for authors Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck, has been publishing a series of novellas set in the same universe (or, perhaps a more apt term would be solar system… get it?) as their popular inter-solar series, which began with 2011′s Hugo-nominated Leviathan Wakes (REVIEW), and was joined by 2012′s Caliban’s War, to be concluded in 2013 with Abaddon’s Gate, ‘Gods of Risk’ is the second of these novellas.
Though ‘Gods of Risk’ is set during the same time period as the Expanse trilogy, and featuring cameos by both characters and conflicts from the mainline novels, knowledge of the series in unnecessary. ‘Gods of Risk’ is an intimate story about a young martian (meaning, ‘born on mars,’ not ‘alien from mars’) man, Daniel Draper, a brilliant, but somewhat troubled student and drug manufacturer. The obvious comparison here is to television’s Breaking Bad, though Daniel’s insertion into the drug dealing community isn’t the result of desperation or need, but through social pressures and because, well, as a top-level chemistry student, he’s good at it and has access to the materials, making him an easy and obvious target for Hutch, a volatile drug dealer and tentative friend. Continue reading