Amos Burton—the character Wes Chatham plays on the science fiction TV show The Expanse—doesn't seem like much of a reader. He prefers to take action, preferably before any of his crewmates on the Rocinante get hurt.
Chatham joined the military out of high school. An aviation firefighter on the USS Essex, Chatham was cast in a small role for military personnel in the film Antwone Fisher, starring Denzel Washington. After his tour was finished, Chatham moved to Los Angeles and won a number of roles in both television and film.
In The Expanse, Chatham plays stoic mechanic Amos Burton who becomes a key but sometimes unpredictable member of James Holden's crew as they try to keep tensions between Earth, Mars, and the Belt from escalating into war. The Expanse is based on the best-selling novels by James S.A. Corey, the pen name of writing team Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck.
Wes Chatham’s Favorite Reads
I discovered reading in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. I was a young airman in the military and books became my best friends and companions on those long lonely tours. To this day reading is what I enjoy doing most with my free time.
Firestarter by Stephen King
I am a massive King fan and I read everything he writes. One of my favorites is Firestarter. Perhaps because of the below average '80s film, it does not get the attention as some of his other better known novels. The story is about Andy and Charlie McGee, a father and daughter with special abilities. Andy can control or “push” people’s minds into believing or seeing anything he wants. Charlie, Andy’s 11-year-old daughter, has the power of pyrokinesis, and might just be the most powerful thing the world has ever seen. They are on the run from a secret government organization called The Shop, who want to study and control their powers. It’s a thrilling page turner, but what touched me the most was the beautiful father and daughter love story King created. Warning: It might break your heart.
The Forever War by Joe Haldeman
The Forever War is a SF classic written in 1974. William Mandela is a physics teacher who gets drafted into a cosmic war with an alien race called the Taurans. Due to time dilation, every time Williams returns home from the war, it is decades in the future. He finds his home strange and unwelcoming. Haldeman processes his own experience of the Vietnam through this fascinating novel. It was, and still is, ahead of its time. Definitely a must-read for any SF fan.
20th Century Ghosts by Joe Hill
My pal Ty Frank (co-author of The Expanse series) told me about Joe Hill. Ty knew that I loved King and couldn't believe I never heard of his son, Joe. I read 20th Century Ghosts, and I feel it is the best collection of short stories to read since Different Seasons. He definitely has his old man's talent. My absolute favorite story in the collection is "Pop Art." It’s a tragic fantasy about two misfits who are best pals and grow up together. One of them is a social outcast and the other is an inflatable boy. This highly original, bizarre, heartwarming tale just might bring tears to your eyes.
The Expanse TV series was originally shown on Syfy. After three seasons, Syfy canceled the show. Shortly thereafter, Jeff Bezos announced that Prime Video would pick up the fourth season. Filming for the fourth season has wrapped, and viewers are awaiting the release date announcement.
You might also like:
- Amazon Fishbowl with the writers and cast of The Expanse (March 2019 - Facebook Live video)
- 100 Science fiction and fantasy books to read in a lifetime
- 10 most anticipated SF and fantasy books of summer
- Editors' picks: Best science fiction and fantasy books of the month
Sign up for the Amazon Book Review: Best books of the month * author interviews * the reading life * and more