One of the privileges of living in Toronto is that there are a lot of bookstores. And one of the best things about Toronto’s book scene is Bakka Phoenix Books, one of the oldest bookstores (if not the oldest) dedicated to selling speculative fiction.

Oh, and hey, you know something else about Toronto? That’s where they’re filming The Expanse, the TV series based on the book series of the same name by James S.A. Corey.

So it’s kind of inevitable that, last night, Bakka Phoenix hosted the book launch for Persepolis Rising, the latest volume of the series.

I have to admit up front that I’m not a devoted reader of this series. I read the debut, Leviathan Wakes, in 2012 when it was nominated for a Hugo. But life happens — other books come out, the TBR pile grows, attention spans waver, all that stuff. And I haven’t read another book in the series since.

It’s my husband, Mr. Books&Tea, who is the true fan between the two of us, and he was the one who suggested attending the launch. In fact, that’s him you can see through the store window in the photo below — the guy in the Blue Jays hat.

A photo of the storefront of Bakka Phoenix Books, showing many copies of various volumes of the Expanse series by James S.A. Corey.

I snuck out to take a picture of the storefront. Poor Mr. Books&Tea was looking for me in the store’s basement to no avail.


We were lucky enough to get a seat before the store got too crowded. The two authors behind the pseudonym James S.A. Corey — Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck — showed up around 7 PM. Don’t worry about their annoyed expressions in this photo, though. They literally came to the store straight from the set of the TV show and so were probably tired.

Ty Franck and Daniel Abraham, the authors of Persepolis Rising, stand behind the counter at Bakka Phoenix Books

Ty Franck and Daniel Abraham were excited to be here, though they were weirded out by standing behind the counter.


This book launch was different from other book launches I’ve attended, as there were no readings. Instead, it became a giant Q&A session with the audience, with a lot of the discussion focused on the differences between the book and the show.

I ended up live-tweeting quite a bit of it:

The Q&A lasted for about an hour, after which the authors got ready to sign books. I didn’t realize until I needed to get up how crowded the store was!

People at the book launch waiting in line to get their copies of Persepolis Rising signed.


People who wanted to get their copies of Persepolis Rising signed had to get a number from the book staff and line up in order. Since Mr. Books&Tea and I showed up early, he was one of the first people in line.

Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck sign my husband's copy of Persepolis Rising.

Here’s Mr. Books&Tea getting his copy of Persepolis Rising signed.


After that, it was getting late and we needed to head home. But we both had a good time, since Bakka Phoenix is always a wonderful place to visit. And rest assured — someday I will read the entire series.