|Books character||TV character|
Josephus "Joe" Aloisus Miller was a hardened, world-weary detective originating from Ceres, working for Star Helix Security. He developed a love-interest in OPA operative Julie Mao after being assigned a case involving her disappearance, and would eventually play an integral role in saving Earth from the Protomolecule after it took control of Eros.
Hard-working, grizzled, and a bit of an alcoholic, he was dedicated to getting by. He knew the system was rigged, and always had been. He just wanted a decent cut of it. He took pay-offs when he could and made arrests when he had to. He was perceived by his leadership and peers as unmotivated and was routinely assigned the least urgent duties as well as any assignments for which lack of results was preferred.
He is quite a cynical guy with a dark sense of humor. But something happens to him during the search for Julie Mao; he responds to the personality he is learning about. She moves him deeply, It is mentioned that he has "Laura" syndrome -- a detective falls in love with a victim whose murder they're investigating -- and it may be true, but Miller doesn't care what people think about it. He is determined to find her and eventually we see that indeed he loves her.
An orphan, born and raised on Ceres Station in the Asteroid Belt, Miller and his fellow orphan Sematimba grew up in a life of petty crime just to survive. As they became adults, Semi planted this question in him, "Do you want to be the ass or the boot?" They both became cops. Miller now works as a detective with Star Helix Security, an Earth corp with the security contract for Ceres. Choosing to work for Star Helix meant working for Earth – the oppressors of Belters like himself – but at least it put him on the winning side.
His friend and partner Sematimba got 'kicked off the force' and gave Miller his signature hat to remind him "not to lose your head like I did."
His role as a cop serving an Earth-based corporation often put him at odds with the Belter inhabitants who consider him a traitor to his people.
Miller has witnessed a lifetime of the horrible things people will do to each other out of greed, anger, lust, and desperation. He stopped trying to stem the tide of man’s depravity years ago, and is resigned to surviving as best he can. Despite the lack of rainy or sunny days in Ceres' subterranean colony, Miller wears a hat in defiance of the anti-Earth sentiments expressed by many of his fellow Belters. At the start of the series he has never left Ceres. When asked why he has never been in space before Miller replies: "I'm more of a city Belter".
His personality evolves as he investigates the case of the missing heiress until he pokes his nose too deep and uncovers sensitive information at which point he was fired.
Having found a sense of purpose, he does not abandon the case. His devotion to the search for Julie Mao turns to something even more inspired when he learns her ultimate fate and that of the other victims of the experiment.
Throughout the series
In "The Big Empty", Miller investigates Julie Mao’s apartment and finds a message from her estranged father, wealthy industrialist Jules-Pierre Mao. He learns Julie was sympathetic to Belter independence. He also discovers she left Ceres on a ship called the Scopuli.
In "Remember the Cant", Miller realizes the ship Julie left on, the Scopuli, is the same one whose distress call the Canterbury responded to when it was destroyed. He questions Anderson Dawes, Ceres’ Outer Planets Alliance liaison, on what he knows about Julie but is stonewalled. Meanwhile, extreme water rationing and Holden’s incendiary broadcast incite a riot among the Belters against their colonial governors.
In "CQB", with the help of Octavia Muss, Miller realizes a man Julie Mao contacted on a dating site was actually a data broker using the alias Bizi Betiko. He finds a memory crypt on the man’s dead body, cluing him in that Julie’s disappearance is connected to something larger.
In "Back to the Butcher", Miller visits his partner recovering from he near-fatal assault by "Pock Mark". Gia is present and Miller insults her motives. While Miller is reviewing surveillance footage of the docks, he finds an encounter between Julie and Neville Bosch. Anderson Dawes interrupts him to provide information to locate the culprit behind the assault on Miller's partner. In exchange, Dawes wants Miller to abandon his Julie investigation. Miller opts to forego any retribution against "Pock Mark" and instead question Bosch. This gives him the information to discover the location of the data that Julie purchased. Soon after, he is kidnapped.
In "Rock Bottom", Miller is kidnapped and nearly killed by Anderson Dawes' henchmen. Dawes is covering his involvement with Julie Mao's disappearance by blocking Miller from investigating about her. Later, Miller’s investigation finally takes shape when he unlocks the data he recovered from Julie’s dead contact. It reveals that her ship, the Scopuli, intercepted an Eros-bound ship called the Anubis mid-flight. Miller finds a data cube hidden in Julie’s apartment. Miller unlocks the data cube he found in Julie’s apartment, which reveals a bioweapon is being built on Phoebe. He tells his boss, Shaddid, about it, but she confiscates the cube, thus destroying any chance Miller had of proving his claims. Then, she strips him of his badge.
In "Windmills", despondent over the dead ends in the Julie Mao case and losing his job, Miller gets a message from an old friend revealing the Anubis – the ship Julie Mao’s Scopuli was hunting – had a shuttle that landed on Eros. Broken and directionless, Miller takes the Belt Transit Ferry to Eros in search of closure.
In "Salvage", Miller arrives on Eros, where he learns the passenger of the Anubis shuttle – Lionel Polanski – checked into a seedy motel. Upon arriving there, he encounters Holden and Co. All of them barely escape death from the black ops assassins sent by UN Undersecretary Errinwright. Miller finds the body of the Scopuli survivor: it is Julie. She is dead and her body is infected with a strange substance.
In "Critical Mass" and "Leviathan Wakes", Miller compares notes with James Holden and co. Both parties realize that the trails they’re following point to the bioweapon that made its way from Phoebe. Eros goes on lockdown, and Miller deduces it is the work of the same people responsible for the bioweapon. He and Holden go searching for answers, but are hit with a fatal dose of radiation. They manage to elude the security forces keeping Eros on lockdown and get back to the Rocinante. After getting some medicine, Miller, Holden and the Rocinante crew vow to find Antony Dresden, the scientist who is responsible for locking down Eros to use its populace as an experiment for the bioweapon.
In "Safe", in the aftermath of the Eros station disaster, Miller is still recovering from an almost lethal dose of radiation. He is heartbroken over Julie Mao’s death and infuriated that the residents of Eros were used as an experiment for the protomolecule, the extrasolar lifeform responsible for the havoc on the station. Everyone decides to reconvene on Tycho with Fred Johnson.
In "Doors & Corners", once on Tycho, Miller and the crew of the Rocinante hatch a plan to get rid of the protomolecule, the extrasolar thing that destroyed Eros. Miller and the crew of the Rocinante depart for Thoth, a Black Ops station hidden in the belt and the whereabouts of the foremost protomolecule scientists. On Thoth station, Miller finds Dresden, the scientist responsible for unleashing the protomolecule that killed Julie Mao. He kills him before Dresden can be questioned.
In "Static", after Miller went rogue and killed Dresden, the head scientist on Thoth, he is on the outs with the crew of the Roci. Miller may have killed him to avenge Julie, but he also did it out of a sense of duty to the belt. Miller notices radio signals of people talking are still emanating from Eros. With Fred Johnson’s backing, Miller devises a plan which uses the generation ship Nauvoo to destroy Eros (and the protomolecule) once and for all.
In "Godspeed", Fred Johnson and Miller inform the Rocinante crew of their plan to get rid of the protomolecule threat on Eros once and for all: By using a commandeered Nauvoo as a battering ram, they plan to push Eros into the sun. Eventually, the crew of the Rocinante gets on board. With the Rocinante crew preparing to send the Nauvoo ramming into Eros, Miller arrives on the asteroid to plant massive explosives to help destroy it. Thanks to a bomb malfunction, he gets stranded and must manually detonate the bomb. Later, the Rocinante crew launches the Nauvoo into Eros, but the asteroid defies all physics and dodges the starship.
In "Home", stranded on Eros, Miller encounters a version of Julie Mao merged with the protomolecule. The Julie-Protomolecule hybrid is in control of Eros’ trajectory and her subconscious has sent it hurtling towards Earth, where the impact could kill everyone on the planet. Miller provides comfort to the disoriented Julie and convinces her to guide Eros towards Venus. Miller dies alongside Julie, saving billions of lives and humanity as we know it.
As a member of Star Helix Security on Ceres he carries a wallet with a badge. He also has a hand terminal with a large visible crack and software that enables him to override most locks on Ceres, and to transform his voice into anyone else so long as a recording is already available. He also wore a Star Helix pin identifying himself as a cop.
For weapons Miller is shown to have a preference for revolvers which plays in to the 'anachronistic old grizzled cop who has been around forever' aura that he cultivated.
While on Ceres, Miller is known for his wearing a hat which he facetiously says 'keeps the rain off my head' even though there is no rain on Ceres. He was given the hat by his friend Sematimba. After his escape from being kidnapped and tortured by Anderson Dawes, he reveals that despite Dawes' search of his hat, it still has the data cube from Julie Mao's apartment hidden within the inner band.
|2 "The Big Empty"||Appears|
|3 "Remember the Cant"||Appears|
|5 "Back to the Butcher"||Appears|
|6 "Rock Bottom"||Appears|
|9 "Critical Mass"||Appears|
|10 "Leviathan Wakes"||Appears|
|2 "Doors & Corners"||Appears|
|6 "Paradigm Shift"||Mentioned|
|7 "The Seventh Man"||Mentioned|
|9 "The Weeping Somnambulist"||Absent|
|11 "Here There Be Dragons"||Absent|
|12 "The Monster and the Rocket"||Absent|
|13 "Caliban's War"||Absent|
- The Investigator
- Dimitri Havelock
- Octavia Muss
- Gaunt Belter
- Neville Bosch
- Lida and Kaipo
- Mikey Ko
- Filat Kothari
- Diogo Harari
- OLD Joe Miller