During a live stream today, Orbit Books officially announced the title and cover for the final installment of James S.A. Corey’s science fiction series, The Expanse: Leviathan Falls, which will hit stores sometime in 2021 .
The novel is a long time coming—Corey (the pen name for authors Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck) published the first Expanse novel, Leviathan Wakes, back in 2011, and followed it up yearly (or nearly so) with new installments: Caliban’s War, Abaddon’s Gate, Cibola Burn, Nemesis Games, Babylon’s Ashes, Persepolis Rising, and Tiamat’s Wrath. That last novel hit stores last year, and fans have been waiting to find out how the series will come to an end. Now, we’ll find out in 2021 with Leviathan Falls.
Set in the distant future in an inhabited solar system split between three major factions (Earth, Mars, and the Asteroid Belt / Outer planets), Leviathan Wakes follows the crew of an ice hauler—captain James Holden, XO Naomi Nagata, pilot Alex Kamal, and engineer Amos Burton—after they encounter a ship in distress. A private company unleashes an alien substance known as the Protomolecule, plunging the system’s various factions into a major conflict as they vie for power.
The substance is essentially a technology that can replicate itself and manipulate matter, and it eventually links our solar system to a vast network of other gates and habitable planets, allowing humanity to expand into the galaxy. In the latest pair of novels, Abraham and Franck jump decades into the future, where a lost Martian task force returns—having used the Protomolecule to create some advanced technologies and set up a fascist civilization—and are bent on creating an interstellar empire.
In 2014, the Alcon Entertainment picked up the rights to adapt the series, and broadcast it on the Syfy Channel. The series lasted for three seasons on the network before it was eventually canceled, only to be picked up by Amazon for its streaming video platform, Prime Video. It debuted a fourth season last year, and renewed the show for a fifth season, which has yet to be released.
Orbit didn’t release any synopsis for the book, but Abraham and Franck did explain that the novel will provide a definitive ending for the series.
During the live stream, Abraham and Franck answered a handful of reader questions. In addition to Leviathan Falls, they plan to have another novella that’ll come out after that final book, which will provide a “nice grace note” to some hanging threads from the series. Abraham noted that he’s been waiting to write the story for “years.”
Franck explained that they don’t plan to write any novels in the world, but that Alcon could always put together another Expanse-related project for television.
After The Expanse, they do have some other projects in the works: A new, three-book series. They haven’t begun working on it just yet, but with The Expanse coming to a close, they’ll be devoting their attention to that shortly. “It’s a very different project [from The Expanse],” Abraham said. Where The Expanse drew its inspiration from authors like Larry Niven and Alfred Bester, “the new ones will be much more Frank Herbert.”
Leviathan Falls will hit stores sometime in 2021.