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SilverStormm

The Expanse Novels

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So I'm a big fan. I picked up Leviathan Wakes almost on a whim. It was one of my, 'peruse the shelves at Waterstones looking for interesting covers/titles/synopses. Really worked out quite well.

 

I love the first book so much, with the initial mystery and the body horror stuff and the friendship/antagonism between Holden and Miller. The world was built so quickly and so efficiently, that I felt like I completely got the inter-organisational dynamics and the way technology worked, in no time at all.

 

I know a lot of people have trouble with Holden and his self-righteousness, but in the first couple of books, I feel like the authors walk a fine line quite well, and manage to create someone who is always on his high horse, yet also sympathetic and relatable. I particularly liked his absolute terror whenever the protomolecule reared its head.

 

But after reading Cibola Burn, I just felt like perhaps the series should just have been a trilogy, and should have ended with the opening up of all those other worlds. Because it feels like it's departed so much from the initial claustrophobic politics of the Solar System, and instead delved into more traditional, explorational space opera. I honestly don't care about the flora and fauna of alien planets, and don't really get why any reader would. I just hope the fifth book will return to the arenas where the series has been strongest. Political and military wrangling, with Avasarala playing kingmaker and Holden being the spoiler.

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Anyone read Nemesis Games yet? I loved it.

 

Interesting choice not to bring in a new batch of POV characters, and just to focus on the core four and bring back some of the old POV people, but it worked for me. Nice to get some more details of those characters' lives before the series. Very happy to have Bobbie back (and Clarissa, I guess), but I'd have liked some more Avasarala.

 

Much less of a definitive ending then the previous books too. I guess this is the start of the series's endgame.

Edited by ApathyMonger

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Finished the second book last night and wow!  My jaw dropped with the final paragraph.  

I figured we'd see Miller again at some point, but not that soon!

 I'm looking forward to #3 although I'm disappointed that

Bobbie won't be in it. I was hoping she'd join the Roci crew.

Edited by Haleth

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I just finished Nemesis Games two nights ago! So good! I found it a bit difficult to dive into at first, though I liked that we got to focus on a bit more on the four main characters and get a few more reveals about their pasts and what effect those events have on their current motivations. There was a lot of good tension and badassery going on. Love that Bobbie is back!

I don't think the above is too spoilery, because I'm not sure how to spoiler bar on my iPad, but needless to say, I really enjoyed the latest addition to the series.

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Now that the series is over, I feel free to read the books (which I've had since 4th January).  So, I've started Leviathan Wakes.  Only got to page 19, but enjoying it so far.

 

I'm sure everyone wanted to know this...

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Now that the series is over, I feel free to read the books (which I've had since 4th January).  So, I've started Leviathan Wakes.  Only got to page 19, but enjoying it so far.

 

I'm sure everyone wanted to know this...

 

I'd put money on you going right out and buying book two as soon as you finish this one. The books are so readable and engaging, and move so quickly. But be warned, this first season only covers the first half of Leviathan Wakes, so if you want to avoid spoilers, you'll have to stop at Eros.

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Yeah, I'm wondering what season 2 will be. There isn't enough left in Leviathan Wakes for 9 episodes without a whole lot of padding, so they may include part of Caliban's War? I'm not sure they shouldn't have cut all the Earth stuff and just had the first season follow the book, especially if there was any question about a season 2. Instead viewers are left with an uncertain outcome until next year.

Edited by Haleth

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I'd put money on you going right out and buying book two as soon as you finish this one. The books are so readable and engaging, and move so quickly. But be warned, this first season only covers the first half of Leviathan Wakes, so if you want to avoid spoilers, you'll have to stop at Eros.

 

You lose!

 

I already have books 1-4.  :)

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Yeah, I'm wondering what season 2 will be. There isn't enough left in Leviathan Wakes for 9 episodes without a whole lot of padding, so they may include part of Caliban's War? I'm not sure they shouldn't have cut all the Earth stuff and just had the first season follow the book, especially if there was any question about a season 2. Instead viewers are left with an uncertain outcome until next year.

 

At the pace they went for this season, I think there's enough to get them through season 2. I'd spend the whole of the first episode on Miller and Holden's recovery, and on Avasarala and Fred Johnson learning more about what just happened on Eros. From there, it should flow well enough. I think they need to beef up Holden and Naomi's relationship, for starters, and they'll probably want to revisit Havelock and Octavia on Ceres.

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As an Expanse fan, the front page of today's Globe & Mail made for interesting reading. The federal minister recently handed the Families, Children and Social Development file has expressed interest in a guaranteed minimum income as a possible help in eradicating poverty. Basic is on the table.

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If I recall correctly, Switzerland has a basic income referendum on the table this year as well.

 

It's one thing I really enjoyed about the books.  They aren't the best books evah by any means.  But they are rather well researched, in my opinion.  They really paid attention to how things would evolve over time.  Like immigration patterns, language changes, social constructs like racism would alter, and they followed natural progressions like changes in social safety nets with the basic income that's still mostly only theorized now becoming standard in the future.  

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Well, with only bedtime to pursue reading, last night I finished Leviathan Wakes, which I started a week ago.

 

Hmmm.  Sorry to see the back of Miller, but Venus becomes a huuuuge source of potential infection/infestation?  I hope they can recover the Nauvoo!

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I am so glad for this show that it introduced me to the wonderful novels.  My mother has been sick, so this has been a great escape for me.   I found  myself up very late unable to put the books down.  Very well written and compelling.

 

Miller was redeemed for me in Leviathan Wakes.  I did not like the tv version. He gave a damn for his partner in the novel which helped tremendously for me,given that the points of view were split between him and Holden.

 

Nemesis Games was fantastic.  No spoilers that I won't tag I promise.  I loved that the point of views were from all crew members of the Roci, and Amos made me laugh many times.  I loved his relationship with Chrisjen "Chrissie" Avasarala. 

 

A sample of dialogue  between the two: 

"Burton?  You make goddamned sure there isn't any trouble from this..."  "You got it, Chrissie."  "Don't fucking call me that, I' m the acting secretary-general of the United Nations, not your favorite stripper."  Amos spread his hands.  "Could be room for both."  Avasarala's laughter rang out through the dock.

 

The actors for the show were well cast and helped me see them clearly for the novels.  However given how the actors playing Holden and Game of Thrones John Snow could be twins - I have been picturing John Snow more than Holden.  It doesn't help that the phrase "You know nothing" could very well apply to Holden as well.

 

 

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Just started Nemesis Games today but have loved the first four books a lot. I thought Cibola Burn was fascinating and loved it even though it split up the crew (again!)  I see the Roci crew as being like a sci fi version of the Leverage gang or the A-Team - going around solving problems.  I wasn't a huge fan of some of the new characters introduced in Cibola Burn but overall loved the book book because there was so much focus on the core characters.  Also there were some classic quotes.

 

For instance ...

 

The old lady leaned in toward the camera, her face swelling on the screen until Holden could see the fine detail of every wrinkle and blemish. “If Fred is showing this to you, Holden, know that your home planet appreciates your service. Also try not to put your dick in this. It’s fucked enough already.

 

And this funny exchange between Amos and Holden, too:

 

“I also,” Holden continued, “may have shoved him down and stolen his hand terminal.”

“Stop making me fall in love with you, Cap, we both know it can’t go anywhere.”

 

Anyway, the series is amazing and I bought the books off amazon.com with the audible versions, too so can kind of switch back and forth between reading and listening depending on what I'm doing.  Once I finished Nemesis Games I'll probably start at the beginning again with the audiobooks since I only started using the audio from book 3.  

Edited by koalathebear
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An unsolicited recommendation: If you enjoy The Expanse novels you might also enjoy the Gentlemen Bastards series.  Not in space, but on a fictional planet with a pair of con men who have an easy camaraderie like Holden and Amos.  Fun stuff.

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There are nine novels planned, according to the authors.

I just finished Babylon's Ashes as well. Really enjoyed it, and completely loathed Marco Inaros. But sadly, some of his character traits really seemed prescient. For example, his ability to constantly twist the truth into whatever he needed it to be to say, 'I won'.

I think the last two books will have to focus on finally discovering the truth behind the gates, the Slow Zone and the disappearing ships. The aliens who built it, or the guardians they left behind

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Babylon's Ashes was good but not my favorite.  Nice to see Marco get his (depending on what really happens when they disappear, it seemed like his molecules were separating) but way too much Filip.   I understand why they gave us so much of him but I can't stand him and omg teen ANGST ugh.

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3 hours ago, raven said:

Babylon's Ashes was good but not my favorite.  Nice to see Marco get his (depending on what really happens when they disappear, it seemed like his molecules were separating) but way too much Filip.   I understand why they gave us so much of him but I can't stand him and omg teen ANGST ugh.

Yeah. And I had Filip framed more as the budding sociopath type than as the angsty,  'daddy, love me' type. Finding out his dad was a complete prick who cared about little but himself was kind of comeuppance, I guess. As long as we don't ever have to see him again. Let him become an anonymous Belter, out there doing a hard job without much hope of reward, trying to help humanity recover from the damage he helped cause.

Naomi is too awesome to be shackled to that kid.

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WearyTraveler, the authors have put out a book a year pretty consistently since 2011, with the latest just being released.  I understand your reluctance though.  IIRC they (the Expanse authors, there are two) didn't think they would get to do 9 books but the series has been so successful they are continuing.  The conclusion of Book 6 would make a decent end of series, though there are a few unanswered questions but that doesn't bother me (I know it's not for everyone).  I guess I was lucky because I hadn't heard about the series until the TV show, so was able to read all the books in about a couple of weeks. 

There are still a lot of questions about the protomolecule - it doesn't take aggressive action towards humans unless directed/used by humans.  People still don't really understand it and there's not specific info about where it came from. It is assumed by the characters that its creators are long dead.  It has literally opened new worlds, which, due to a catastrophe on Earth, will be necessary. 

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Regarding the protomolecule,  the reaction to each thing it 'does' is always marked by all the sides. But when nothing negative seems to come from it, they quickly go back to bickering amongst themselves, and trying to take advantage of the opportunities that come up.

I guess it's sadly realistic in that respect, that the attention span of humans quickly wanes, and they soon go back to their own selfish agendas. The only people who don't seem to lose focus on the potential threat of the protomolecule are Holden and his crew, due to their first hand experiences.

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Finished Babylon's Ashes last night and please, ffs, let

Spoiler

Marcus be dead.

I hate him and would be perfectly fine if we never see him again. Same for Filip. I don't mind Naomi having a complicated past, but I'm not a fan of Filip. Maybe he'll grow up a little off screen and then maybe I won't mind him so much.

I really felt for Bobbie in this book, because it finally crystallized for her that Mars will never be the home that she dreamed of and fought for. Especially with her portrayal in the tv version.

I do think they could stop the series here if they wanted, but I think we will need to see the return of Duarte before that happens and get some closure on Earth/Mars/the Belt and how they are progressing. I'll be curious to see if the next book has more of Cibola Burn feel to it (ie out in the new colonies) or is more in line with politics in space.

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I'm enjoying reading comments in the latest episode thread about

Spoiler

Miller's death. Can't wait to see the reactions when he shows up again.

(Spoiler tagged just in case any book readers here haven't reached that yet.)

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9 hours ago, Haleth said:

I'm enjoying reading comments in the latest episode thread about

  Hide contents

Miller's death. Can't wait to see the reactions when he shows up again.

(Spoiler tagged just in case any book readers here haven't reached that yet.)

That could be the final scene of season 2, but I think it would be too early for it. End of season 3 would be much more effective. It would be pretty awesome to see onscreen.

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On 2/4/2016 at 8:26 PM, Netfoot said:

Now that the series is over, I feel free to read the books (which I've had since 4th January).  So, I've started Leviathan Wakes.  Only got to page 19, but enjoying it so far.

 

On 2/5/2016 at 8:52 AM, Danny Franks said:

Iif you want to avoid spoilers, you'll have to stop at Eros.

I'm halfway through Leviathan Wakes (the crew of Roci have found out that Protogen killed the Canterbury), and I love it even though I know what happens.

Thanks for the warning -- I think I'll finish this book, then hold off on the others until SyFy catches up.

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On 2/24/2017 at 9:48 AM, Danny Franks said:

That could be the final scene of season 2, but I think it would be too early for it. End of season 3 would be much more effective. It would be pretty awesome to see onscreen.

I think it might be difficult to lock an actor that far in advance, unless the show is willing to pay him not to take another job that could later interfere with his job in Season 3.  I'm not sure how much of a budget SyFy has for this.  Not impossible, but very difficult.

For practical TV reasons, they'll probably reveal that Miller is not a complete goner yet at the end of this season.  I haven't read the books, just summaries, so I know he survives in some form but that this is not immediately revealed to the reader.  A book can take its time, but it's different for TV.

Edited by WearyTraveler

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6 hours ago, WearyTraveler said:

I think it might be difficult to lock an actor that far in advance, unless the show is willing to pay him not to take another job that could later interfere with his job in Season 3.  I'm not sure how much of a budget SyFy has for this.  Not impossible, but very difficult.

For practical TV reasons, they'll probably reveal that Miller is not a complete goner yet at the end of this season.  I haven't read the books, just summaries, so I know he survives in some form but that this is not immediately revealed to the reader.  A book can take its time, but it's different for TV.

Well, the thing is, Miller is dead. The thing that interacts with Holden is conjured up by the Protomolecule as an AI construct to solve a particular set of problems. It appears as Miller, as far as I can recall, because Miller is familiar to Holden, and because Miller was an investigator, so has personality traits that will be useful in solving the problems it encounters. It has enough of Miller's personality to piss Holden off, though.

I never considered it to be Miller himself coming back, and it's not really around enough to keep Thomas Jane busy.

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1 hour ago, Danny Franks said:

Well, the thing is, Miller is dead. The thing that interacts with Holden is conjured up by the Protomolecule as an AI construct to solve a particular set of problems. It appears as Miller, as far as I can recall, because Miller is familiar to Holden, and because Miller was an investigator, so has personality traits that will be useful in solving the problems it encounters. It has enough of Miller's personality to piss Holden off, though.

I never considered it to be Miller himself coming back, and it's not really around enough to keep Thomas Jane busy.

Whatever form it takes, the show might decide to tweak it.  That depends on how much the show wants "Miller" to be there.  If Thomas Jane takes on another job, depending on what job he takes, he might be too busy even to do a few scenes for The Expanse and there's no guarantee that the shooting schedules will not overlap.

We'll have to wait and see, off course, but my feeling is that if the show wants Miller to be there in some capacity, they will lock Thomas Jane for the next season, and once they do that, they might as well decide to get as much out of their money as they can and have as much Miller as possible.

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During the break between season one and season two, I started reading the novels. I just finished the third in the series -- "Abaddon's Gate" -- and I must say, I didn't care for it as much as I enjoyed the other two. It felt very claustrophobic and repetitious. Also, I have never wanted a character ... 

Spoiler

... to die as much as I wanted Clarissa Mao to die.

It pisses me off that not only didn't she die, she got a redemption arc that was out of proportion to her crimes. I hated her from the start, with her desire to kill our band of heroes, and my hatred just kept growing with every action she took. She blew up a fucking ship and killed hundreds of people, but Anna and Holden et al. acted like the most important crime was trying to kill Naomi, and since Naomi forgave her, everything was OK (except for the people who died when the ship blew up). Also, Clarissa's guilt over her murder of Ren while she was apparently blase about killing the people on the UN ship was infuriating.

Taking out the insane captain and helping Holden & Co. retake the ship does not negate her crimes. And yes, I know that she was going to Luna for trial, but they were normalizing her at the end. Someone should have just shot her in the head before they even left the bridge.

Edited by SmithW6079
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@SmithW6079 I felt the same way you did.  

Spoiler

Too many chapters on her and I didn't like that she was the one who essentially first foiled the plan to knock out everyone on the bridge and then reversed course and helped Holden & co.   It was also depressing that Sam died, and I did like Bull.  They could have had essentially the same story with no Clarissa.

I found Cibola Burn very enjoyable after Abaddon's Gate. 

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I am about 100 pages into Babylon’s Ashes. I am really having a hard time accepting that Earth’s population has ballooned to 30 Billion. There is no way Earth can support that many people, even if they can import resources from the Belt. Also, isn’t one of the motivations for settling the Solar System to relieve population pressures?

Edited by marinw

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Babylon’s Ashes mentions a Martian ship named the Mark Watney. Cute. I can see how The Martian and The Expanse could share a universe.

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I've finished all the books so far, and have already preordered the next one, which is due out in December. I haven't read any of the novellas, though I have  couple of them in my queue, to read after I've taken a sci fi break.

What i love about sci-fi is the world building. Learning what people are reading and watching and what they eat, etc. The expanse books are full of that stuff. These people are all so human, Earthers, Martians and Belters alike. 

I don't have any problems with Clarissa Mao's redemption, but I love Holden's ambivalence. I think Clarissa and Amos make an interesting pairing. They are both so damaged, but he from poverty and she from wealth and privilege. I love that he calls her "peaches." I just like the fact that this whole adventure started with Julie Mao, and we have had the Razorback and now Clarissa. Her redemption didn't come easily and she has been through a lot.

I also don't think we have seen the last of Fillip. At the very least Naomi has to find out that he is alive. She has been suffering because she had to let him die. She has to have relief from that, at least. Though he has quite a bit more to answer for than Clarissa Mao. He did help kill a billion people, after all. Which makes him rather more than your typical juvenile delinquent. 

Edited by Jodithgrace

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I'm next in the queue for Babylon's Ashes at the library but it's been overdue for over a week. Somebody is gonna get it if it doesn't show up soon.

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So I just  started  the books (there's  no way I'm  waiting  in real time to see what happens) and I'm currently  almost  done with Caliban's  War. Good  God Avasarala has quite  the  mouth on her! But I crack up each and every time she  rags on Holden. 

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I am half way thru Babylon's Ashes and I am sick to death of reading POV chapters for 

Spoiler

Filip.  He and Marco are both smug, obnoxious, murderous SOBs who I can't wait to see get their comeuppance.  I literally groan when I see the next chapter is Filip and am tempted to skip it.  The only reason I keep reading them is because so far Holden and Bobbie keep outwitting them.

 

On 4/14/2017 at 4:32 PM, marinw said:

Babylon’s Ashes mentions a Martian ship named the Mark Watney. Cute. I can see how The Martian and The Expanse could share a universe.

I saw that.  I wonder if all of the ship names are inside jokes, winks at friends and family.

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On 4/29/2017 at 8:38 AM, Haleth said:

 I wonder if all of the ship names are inside jokes, winks at friends and family.

I don't know about all the ship names, but with regard to the Mark Watney, the story goes that JSAC and Andy Weir were appearing at some event and were signing books alongside each other or something, when somebody in the crowd asked if The Martian and The Expanse took place in the same universe. Apparently they looked at each other and shrugged and said "yeah, sure - why not?" and the rest was (alternate, future) history.

Edited by btp
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IIRC he did not know anything about it until Holden - returned from Ganymede - accused him of being responsible for the experiment.

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17 hours ago, MissLucas said:

IIRC he did not know anything about it until Holden - returned from Ganymede - accused him of being responsible for the experiment.

Thank you! So Fred sent Holden and the crew to Ganymede just to check it out, see what was going on? 

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Yes, the Roci was sent there by Fred to check out what was going on - i.e. what had caused Mars and Earth to go bonkers.

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100 pages into Persepolis and I am completely underwhelmed.

Spoiler

It takes place 25-30 years after the last book, so I guess they're prepping to end it (which isn't a bad thing). Drummer is the HBIC and she's bored.  Fred's death is a blink-and-you'll-miss-it aside, and I'm betting Avasarala is long gone, too. 

 If it improves I will post an update.

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Regarding Persepolis Rising; I finished it today and it was hit/miss.

Spoiler

Fred actually dies in Babylon's Ashes and they have a funeral for him.  Avasarala is indeed still around, though not the force she was.  I think she is being set up to be a major player in the future or at least one with important information.

Drummer's chapters were pretty meh to me - she's not as interesting or compelling as Avarasala.  I suppose the authors felt the time jump was necessary to explain how far Duarte's "empire" has come.   The story's at its best when everyone is working together.

I read somewhere the authors have two more books in the works to finish up the series.

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It's okay, so far. I still always prefer the parts that deal with our Roci friends and not so much the cast of others, though, of course sometimes those others, like Bobbi and Clarissa, do become part of the family, so to speak.

Spoiler

It's kind of weird having everybody suddenly so much older. 

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Finished it.  It did pick up, but it seemed more like a setup for a finale, not a story that has two books left.

Oops, I forgot Fred was already dead.

Spoiler

I did like that Bobbie finally beat Amos' ass, but Avasarala cursing in a wheelchair was a bit much.  She'll probably outlive them all.

I think the time jump was also necessary to avoid discussion on the relief efforts on Earth.

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