Hanne Madeleine Paine

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Hanne Madeleine ‘Iro’ Gates Paine lives in Brooklyn, and loves books, space, and languages. At Eurocon 2021 she will host a friendly workshop on Lang Belta, the fictional Belt Creole of The Expanse universe. She will even teach you how to swear, and we all know how it might come in handy to a multicultural citizen of outer space…

Together with Kegan D. MacTane, who lives in San Francisco, she forms a transcontinental pair of sci-fi fans, language enthusiasts, cocktail creators, and perpetual learners and teachers. They were brought together by an online community for The Expanse, the award-winning show now on Amazon, based on the acclaimed novel series by James S.A. Corey. They quickly found many shared interests, and have been collaborating on projects ever since.

Hanne has taught immersion classes in Lang Belta in seven countries, The Expanse’s “Belter Creole” language, at conventions from Montréal’s Congrès Boréal to Italy’s DeepCon to Baltimore’s ChessieCon, and at Worldcons in Helsinki, San José, California and Dublin.

She has also produced a Lang Belta course on Memrise, an online learning platform, designed to familiarize the average “Inner” with useful phrases to get around in the Belt.

Her Expanse Cocktails Project produced at least one original cocktail per week from September 2017 to November 2019. As of today, that’s 125 cocktails, based on characters, ships, and concepts from the show and books! You can browse the full collection on her website, where drinks are tagged by faction, base spirit, difficulty, and more. She enjoys publishing them each week on Twitter, where she has fun and interesting discussions with fellow fans and, often, the actors who portray the characters her drinks are based on.

She has created immersive “Belter Bar” experiences at Worldcon 76 in San José, where she won Best Overall Party, Best Party Decor, and Best Drinks, and at the Greater Philly Comic Con. She transformed each space into the Mung Belék or Black Moon, a broken-down Belter mining ship turned craft cocktail bar docked at Tycho Station. She sling drinks in character amid realistic shipwalls and airlocks, lights, and display screens, with in-universe background music. Her happy guests have included dedicated Screaming Firehawks, new fans of The Expanse, and some of the show’s cast and crew.