Though he was friends with Franck, Abraham wasn’t able to join those initial Santa Fe gaming sessions. “I had a kid,” Abraham said. “I couldn’t go up to Santa Fe. It’s an hour north of where I am. I couldn’t do that to play.” So, Franck brought the game to him: “He very kindly put together a version of the game to play in Albuquerque with me and him and our wives.”
It was during these sessions that the story fans have come to know as The Expanse began to really take shape. Abraham’s character in the game, for example, was Inspector Miller, the Belter detective who discovers a conspiracy surrounding an alien protomolecule. The Punisher and The Mist star Thomas Jane plays him in the TV show, and also directed an episode of season 5.
“You know, we didn’t actually play that many times,” Abraham remembered during our conversation. “We played maybe three or four times, and I was like, ‘Dude, you’ve done all of this work. You’ve done all of the background. You’ve done all of the research. You know everything about this. We should write this as a book.'” As Abraham tells it, Franck agreed, “and things just kind of snowballed from there.”
Now, over seven years later, both the books and the show are approaching their end. The Expanse‘s next season, its sixth, is currently set to be its last, and Abraham shared with Looper that book six has a “very natural and appropriate stepping-off place” that the show will use — even though the writing staff won’t necessarily be able to wrap up all of the show’s ongoing subplots.
Of course, fans remain hopeful that The Expanse might be revived to live on in another form. (Hey, it’s happened before.) If it does, Abraham will be happy to see it through. “If there is an interest and a hunger for the rest of the story to come out in some other format, I would be happy to help out on that,” he said.
The Expanse‘s fifth season is currently available on Amazon Prime. New episodes drop every Wednesday.