Series: The Expanse #0.5
Publisher: Hachette Book Group
Released: October 17, 2011
A new story set in the world of The Expanse. One day, Colonel Fred Johnson will be hailed as a hero to the system. One day, he will meet a desperate man in possession of a stolen spaceship and a deadly secret and extend a hand of friendship. But long before he became the leader of the Outer Planets Alliance, Fred Johnson had a very different name. The Butcher of Anderson Station.
This is his story.
A companion-piece to the Expanse series, this short story tells the origin story (of sorts) of Fred, the rebel military leader from Leviathan Wakes. It adds some interesting nuance to Fred’s backstory, painting him to be a somewhat different person than what is revealed in the main book. The reader now knows that he is carrying some baggage which, if it were widely known, might make others see him quite differently.
It’s not a bad short-story, but it seems very much like it has been tacked on to Leviathan Wakes, telling a story that needed to be told, but just didn’t have a natural place in the main book. Which is probably exactly what it is. With that in mind, the fact that this is a separate book means that not everyone reading the main books of the series will know the full story. If Fred returns, it’ll be interesting to see if the contents of this story is brought up at all, or if the light in which the reader sees Fred will differ depending on whether or not they’ve read this short story…