Pretty high standard throughout all the short stories/novella’s with a couple of great ones thrown in.
Drive: A story based on how the Epstein Drive was invented which is core to the setup of the Expanse series. Interesting to see a very early Mars and how the relationship with Earth was put in place for the start of the series.
The Butcher of Anderson Station: The story of how Fred Johnson became disillusioned with his military career and was recruited by the OPA. All pretty much from Fred’s POV. I think the show did this much better by focusing on the people in the station rather than Fred. Still have images of the father and daughter in space.
God of Risk: Honestly this was just of meh. About Bobbie and her nephew who gets involved with some dodgy people. The only reason for this was to see what Bobbie was up to after book two.
The Churn: Absolutely brilliant. Set on earth in Baltimore before everything kicks off. Features the youth of our favourite sociopath. Quite long and fairly messed up in places. Couldn’t get enough.
The Vital Abyss: We find out how Cortazar ended up the Laconians after the events of Phoebe. A good read, always interesting to read on a POV that is so far removed from a ‘normal’ person.
Strange Dogs: Of all of these, this is the most necessary one to read as events in the last three books make way more sense. The author’s notes at the end really nailed it. To me this was almost a horror story but to someone younger it probably does read more like a rebellion story against old fashioned parents. Great story and if you read nothing else, read this before the last three books.
Auberon: Set on one the new worlds from the POV of the new Laconian governor and his wife, as well as a smaller character of note. Not strictly necessary but an interesting read on politics, greed, and what makes a person compromise their values.
The Sins of Our Fathers: Set after the events of the series on a planet that has now been cut off with only a few people on it. Also features a very prominent character who we’ve heard nothing about since book six. I didn’t care at all what had happened to him but still found the dynamics of the story good.