Epic SF and Space Opera: Here's my giant list, what's missing?

Discussion in 'Science Fiction' started by Andols, Oct 21, 2010.

  1. Andols

    Andols I like stories

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    I began a thread to try and list all of the truly Epic SF and great space opera that is out there.

    At the risk of a scolding and/or merging, I started a new thread to house the list. Mainly so we can have a fresh discussion on what's missing from this list and what might not really be epic enough to be on here.

    There are some people like Sawyer, Baxter, Banks and other I just don't know enough about to judge their epic-ness. I know there are even more out there so I figure 11 less pages might be a good start for revised discussion.


    List in the post below.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2010
  2. Andols

    Andols I like stories

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    Poul Anderson - Tau Zero (1970)

    Kevin J. Anderson - Hidden Empire (2002)
    Kevin J. Anderson - A Forest of Stars (2003)
    Kevin J. Anderson - Horizon Storms (2004)
    Kevin J. Anderson - Scattered Suns (2005)
    Kevin J. Anderson - Of Fire and Night (2006)
    Kevin J. Anderson - Metal Swarm (2007)
    Kevin J. Anderson - The Ashes of Worlds (2008)

    Neal Asher - Gridlinked (2001)
    Neal Asher - The Line of Polity (2003)
    Neal Asher - Brass Man (2005)
    Neal Asher - Polity Agent (2006)
    Neal Asher - Line War (2008)

    Neal Asher - Prador Moon (2006)
    Neal Asher - Hilldiggers (2007)
    Neal Asher - Shadow of the Scorpion (Prequel to Gridlinked, 2008)
    Neal Asher - The Technician (2010)

    Isaac Asimov - Foundation (1951)
    Isaac Asimov - Foundation and Empire (1952)
    Isaac Asimov - Second Foundation (1953)
    Isaac Asimov - Foundation's Edge (1982)
    Isaac Asimov - Foundation and Earth (1986)
    Isaac Asimov - Prelude to Foundation (1988)
    Isaac Asimov - Forward the Foundation (1993)


    Iain M. Banks - Consider Phlebas
    Iain M. Banks - Excession


    William Barton - White Light; 1998
    William Barton - Alpha Centauri 1997
    William Barton - When Heaven Fell1995
    William Barton - Iris 1990


    Stephen Baxter - Coalescent 2003
    Stephen Baxter - Transcendent 2005
    Stephen Baxter - Timelike Infinity 1992
    Stephen Baxter - Ring 1993
    Stephen Baxter - Reality Dust 2000
    Stephen Baxter - Riding the Rock 2002
    Stephen Baxter - Exultant 2005
    Stephen Baxter - Raft 1991
    Stephen Baxter - Flux 1993
    Stephen Baxter - Ring 1994

    Gregory Benford - In the Ocean of Night (1976)
    Gregory Benford - Across the Sea of Suns (1984)
    Gregory Benford - Great Sky River (1987)
    Gregory Benford - Tides of Light (1989)
    Gregory Benford - Furious Gulf (1994)
    Gregory Benford - Sailing Bright Eternity (1995)

    David Brin - Sundiver (1980)
    David Brin - Startide Rising (1983)
    David Brin - The Uplift War (1987)
    David Brin - Brightness Reef (1995)
    David Brin - Infinity's Shore (1996)
    David Brin - Heaven's Reach (1998)

    Lois McMaster Bujold - The Warrior's Apprentice (1986)
    Lois McMaster Bujold - Borders of Infinity (1989)
    Lois McMaster Bujold - Brothers in Arms (1989)
    Lois McMaster Bujold - The Vor Game (1990)
    Lois McMaster Bujold - Barrayar (1991)
    Lois McMaster Bujold - Vorkosigan's Game (omnibus) (1992)
    Lois McMaster Bujold - Mirror Dance (1994)
    Lois McMaster Bujold - Cetaganda (1995)
    Lois McMaster Bujold - Memory (1996)
    Lois McMaster Bujold - Young Miles (omnibus) (1997)
    Lois McMaster Bujold - Komarr (1998)
    Lois McMaster Bujold - A Civil Campaign (1999)
    Lois McMaster Bujold - Miles, Mystery and Mayhem (omnibus) (2001)
    Lois McMaster Bujold - Diplomatic Immunity (2002)
    Lois McMaster Bujold - Miles Errant (omnibus) (2002)
    Lois McMaster Bujold - Miles, Mutants and Microbes (omnibus) (2007)
    Lois McMaster Bujold - Miles in Love (omnibus) (2008)
    Lois McMaster Bujold - "Winterfair Gifts" (2008)

    Orson Scott Card - Ender's Game (1985)
    Orson Scott Card - Speaker for the Dead (1986)
    Orson Scott Card - Xenocide (1991)
    Orson Scott Card - Children of the Mind (1996)
    Orson Scott Card - A War of Gifts (2007)
    Orson Scott Card - Ender in Exile (2008)



    (omnibuses, wiki the damn series if you want in indivdual books, its a mess)
    C.J. Cherryh - The Book of Morgaine (1979) —Gate of Ivrel (1976), Well of Shiuan (1978) and Fires of Azeroth (1979)
    C.J. Cherryh - The Dreaming Tree (1997) —The Dreamstone (1983) and The Tree of Swords and Jewels (1983)
    C.J. Cherryh - The Faded Sun Trilogy (2000) —Kesrith (1978), Shon'Jir (1978) and Kutath (1979)
    C.J. Cherryh - The Chanur Saga (2000)—The Pride of Chanur (1981), Chanur's Venture (1984) and The Kif Strike Back (1985)
    C.J. Cherryh - Devil to the Belt (2000) —Heavy Time (1991) and Hellburner (1992)
    C.J. Cherryh - Alternate Realities (2000) —Wave Without a Shore (1981), Port Eternity (1982) and Voyager in Night (1984)
    C.J. Cherryh - At the Edge of Space (2003) —Brothers of Earth (1976) and Hunter of Worlds (1977)
    C.J. Cherryh - The Deep Beyond (2005) —Serpent's Reach (1980) and Cuckoo's Egg (1985)
    C.J. Cherryh - Alliance Space (2008) —Merchanter's Luck (1982) and Forty Thousand in Gehenna (1983)


    Arthur C. Clarke - 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
    Arthur C. Clarke - Rendezvous with Rama (1972)
    Arthur C. Clarke - Rama II (1989)
    Arthur C. Clarke - The Garden of Rama (1991)
    Arthur C. Clarke - Rama Revealed (1993)

    Arthur C. Clarke - Childhood's End (1953)

    Michael Cobley- Seeds Of Earth (2009)

    Stephen R. Donaldson - The Gap into Conflict: The Real Story (1991)
    Stephen R. Donaldson - The Gap into Vision: Forbidden Knowledge (1991)
    Stephen R. Donaldson - The Gap into Power: A Dark and Hungry God Arises (1993)
    Stephen R. Donaldson - The Gap into Madness: Chaos and Order (1994)
    Stephen R. Donaldson - The Gap into Ruin: This Day All Gods Die (1996)

    Gardner Dozois - The New Space Opera (2007)
    Gardner Dozois - The New Space Opera 2 (2009)

    Gary Gibson - Stealing Light (2007)
    Gary Gibson - Nova War (2009)
    Gary Gibson - Empire of Light (2010)



    Simon Green - Deathstalker (1995)
    Simon Green - Deathstalker Rebellion (1996)
    Simon Green - Deathstalker War (1997)
    Simon Green - Deathstalker Honour (1998)
    Simon Green - Deathstalker Destiny (1999)
    Simon Green - Deathstalker Legacy (2003)
    Simon Green - Deathstalker Return (2004)
    Simon Green - Deathstalker Coda (2005)

    Colin Greenland - Take Back Plenty (1990)

    Peter F. Hamilton - The Reality Dysfunction (1996)
    Peter F. Hamilton - The Neutronium Alchemist (1997)
    Peter F. Hamilton - The Naked God (1999)

    Peter F. Hamilton - Pandora's Star (2004)
    Peter F. Hamilton - Judas Unchained (2005)

    Peter F Hamilton - The Dreaming Void (2007).
    Peter F Hamilton - The Temporal Void (2008).
    Peter F Hamilton - The Evolutionary Void (2010).

    Harry Harrison - Bill, the Galactic Hero (1965)
    Harry Harrison - Bill, the Galactic Hero on the Planet of Robot Slaves (1989)
    Harry Harrison - Bill, the Galactic Hero on the Planet of Bottled Brains (1990)
    Harry Harrison - Bill, the Galactic Hero on the Planet of Tasteless Pleasure (1991)
    Harry Harrison - Bill, the Galactic Hero on the Planet of Zombie Vampires (1991)
    Harry Harrison - Bill, the Galactic Hero on the Planet of Ten Thousand Bars (1991)
    Harry Harrison - Bill, the Galactic Hero: the Final Incoherent Adventure (1991)

    Harry Harrison - A Stainless Steel Rat is Born (1985)
    Harry Harrison - The Stainless Steel Rat Gets Drafted (1987)
    Harry Harrison - The Stainless Steel Rat Sings the Blues (1994)
    Harry Harrison - The Stainless Steel Rat (1961)
    Harry Harrison - The Stainless Steel Rat's Revenge (1970)
    Harry Harrison - The Stainless Steel Rat Saves the World (1972)
    Harry Harrison - The Stainless Steel Rat Wants You (1978)
    Harry Harrison - The Stainless Steel Rat for President (1982)
    Harry Harrison - The Stainless Steel Rat Goes to Hell (1996)
    Harry Harrison - The Stainless Steel Rat Joins the Circus (1999)
    Harry Harrison - The Stainless Steel Rat Returns (2010)


    Frank Herbert - Dune
    Frank Herbert - Dune Messiah
    Frank Herbert - Children of Dune
    Frank Herbert - God Emperor of Dune
    Frank Herbert - Heretics of Dune
    Frank Herbert - Chapterhouse: Dune

    Walter H. Hunt - The Dark Wing(2001)
    Walter H. Hunt - The Dark Path (2003)
    Walter H. Hunt - The Dark Ascent (2004)
    Walter H. Hunt - The Dark Crusade (2005)

    Ken MacLeod - Cosmonaut Keep (2000)
    Ken MacLeod - Dark Light (2001)
    Ken MacLeod - Engine City (2002)

    Paul J. McAuley - Four Hundred Billion Stars (1988)
    Paul J. McAuley - Secret Harmonies (1989)
    Paul J. McAuley - Eternal Light (1991)
    Paul J. McAuley - The Quiet War (2008)
    Paul J. McAuley - Gardens of the Sun (2009)


    Michael McCollum - Antares Dawn (1986)
    Michael McCollum - Antares Passage (1987)
    Michael McCollum - Antares Victory (2002)

    Jack McDevitt - A Talent for War (1989)
    Jack McDevitt - Polaris (2004)
    Jack McDevitt - Seeker (2005)
    Jack McDevitt - The Devil's Eye (2008)
    Jack McDevitt - Echo (2010)


    Richard Morgan - Altered Carbon (2002)
    Richard Morgan - Broken Angels (2003)
    Richard Morgan - Woken Furies (2005)

    Richard Morgan - Black Man (2007)

    Larry Niven and Edward M. Lerner - Fleet of Worlds (2007)
    Larry Niven and Edward M. Lerner - Juggler of Worlds (2008)
    Larry Niven and Edward M. Lerner - Destroyer of Worlds (2009)


    Kim Stanley Robinson - Red Mars
    Kim Stanley Robinson - Green Mars
    Kim Stanley Robinson - Blue Mars


    Kathryn Rusch - Vol. 1: The Disappeared, 2002
    Kathryn Rusch - Vol. 2: Extremes, 2003
    Kathryn Rusch - Vol. 3: Consequences, 2004
    Kathryn Rusch - Vol. 4: Buried Deep, 2005
    Kathryn Rusch - Vol. 5: Paloma, 2006
    Kathryn Rusch - Vol. 6: Recovery Man, 2007
    Kathryn Rusch - Vol. 7: Duplicate Effort, 2009


    John Scalzi - Old Man's War (2005)


    Charles Sheffield - Summertide (1990) (Book One)
    Charles Sheffield - Divergence (1991) (Book Two)
    Charles Sheffield - Transcendence (1992) (Book Three)
    Charles Sheffield - Convergence (1997) (Book Four)
    Charles Sheffield - Resurgence (2002) (Book Five)

    Dan Simmons - Hyperion (1989)
    Dan Simmons - The Fall of Hyperion (1990)
    Dan Simmons - Endymion (1996)
    Dan Simmons - The Rise of Endymion (1997)

    Dan Simmons - Ilium (2003)
    Dan Simmons - Olympos (2005)

    Allen Steele - Coyote: A Novel of Interstellar Exploration (2002)
    Allen Steele - Coyote Rising: A Novel of Interstellar Revolution (2004)
    Allen Steele - Coyote Frontier: A Novel of Interstellar Colonization (2005)
    Allen Steele - Spindrift (2007)
    Allen Steele - The River Horses (2007), novella
    Allen Steele - Galaxy Blues (2008)
    Allen Steele - Coyote Horizon (2009)
    Allen Steele - Coyote Destiny (2010)


    Neal Stephenson - Snow Crash (1992)
    Neal Stephenson - Anathem (2008)

    Bruce Sterling - Schismatrix (1985)

    Charles Stross - Singularity Sky (2003)
    Charles Stross - Iron Sunrise (2004)
    Charles Stross - Saturn's Children (2008)

    Vernor Vinge - A Fire Upon the Deep (1992)
    Vernor Vinge - A Deepness in the Sky (1999)
    Vernor Vinge - Rainbows End (2006)


    Sean Williams - The Prodigal Sun (1999)
    Sean Williams - The Dying Light (2000)
    Sean Williams - The Dark Imbalance (2001)
    Sean Williams - Echoes of Earth (2002)
    Sean Williams - Orphans of Earth (2003)
    Sean Williams - Heirs of Earth (2004)
    Sean Williams - Saturn Returns (2007)
    Sean Williams - Cenotaxis (2007) - book 1.5, novella
    Sean Williams - Earth Ascendant (2008)
    Sean Williams - The Grand Conjunction (2009)

    Tad Williams - City of Golden Shadow (1998)
    Tad Williams - River of Blue Fire (1999)
    Tad Williams - Mountain of Black Glass (2000)
    Tad Williams - Sea of Silver Light (2002)


    Walter John Williams - The Praxis (2002)
    Walter John Williams - The Sundering (2003)
    Walter John Williams - The Conventions of War (2005)

    Jack Williamson - The Legion of Space (1947)
    Jack Williamson - The Cometeer (1950)
    Jack Williamson - One Against the Legion (1967)
    Jack Williamson - The Queen of the Legion (1983)

    Gene Wolfe - The Shadow of the Torturer (1980)
    Gene Wolfe - The Claw of the Conciliator (1981)
    Gene Wolfe - The Sword of the Lictor (1982)
    Gene Wolfe - The Citadel of the Autarch (1983)

    Gene Wolfe - Nightside the Long Sun (1993)
    Gene Wolfe - Lake of the Long Sun (1994)
    Gene Wolfe - Caldé of the Long Sun (1994)
    Gene Wolfe - Exodus From the Long Sun (1996)

    Gene Wolfe - On Blue's Waters (1999)
    Gene Wolfe - In Green's Jungles (2000)
    Gene Wolfe - Return to the Whorl (2001)

    Timothy Zahn - Conquerors' Pride (1994)
    Timothy Zahn - Conquerors' Heritage (1995)
    Timothy Zahn - Conquerors' Legacy (1996)
    Timothy Zahn - Heir to the Empire (1991)
    Timothy Zahn - Dark Force Rising (1992)
    Timothy Zahn - The Last Command (1993)

    David Zindell - Neverness (1988)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 21, 2010
  3. Andols

    Andols I like stories

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    *reserved incase the list ever breaks the character limit*
     
  4. Hobbit

    Hobbit Administrator Staff Member

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    Thanks Andols. I've stuck the list, because I think that's what we said we'd do.

    The only thing I'd add is that the list is not in alphabetical order which some may complain at.

    Seeing as how you've added a couple of collections at the end, I would just add David Hartwell's two excellent (and very large!) collections, The Hard SF Renaissance (2003) and Space Opera Renaissance (2007).

    Excellent both.

    Mark

    [LATER EDIT: You twisted my arm! All in alphabetical order now, I think. Hobbit]
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2010
  5. Andols

    Andols I like stories

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    Thanks Mark.

    I'll get around to alphabetizing it at some point. Or maybe another kind soul will give it a go.

    I think I'll house the anthologies and collections in their own section of the list. I really want to get those soon.
     
  6. Rob B

    Rob B \m/ BEER \m/ Staff Member

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    Glen Cook's Starfishers trilogy. I have all three reissues from NightShade but haven't yet read them

    1. Shadowline
    2. Starfishers
    3. Star's End
     
  7. Andols

    Andols I like stories

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    Ok hold on now. What if you read them and they dont turn out to be as epic as his black company work? What if they read like a phone book? :D

    Or did you read the first issues and just havent gotten to the reissues?
     
  8. nquixote

    nquixote trolling > dissertation

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    Andols, you rock. And your avatar rocks.

    I'd add some unlisted works by some of these authors.

    All of Banks' Culture books are pretty epic.

    David Zindell's follow-up trilogy to Neverness is equally epic.

    C.J. Cherryh's Downbelow Station and Cyteen should be on here.

    Poul Anderson and John Scalzi each have decidedly more than one epic book to their name!

    Other authors I'd add to this list include:

    E.E. Doc Smith!!!!! <--- the true master
    - Lensman series
    - Skylark series
    Tony Daniel
    - Metaplanetary and Superluminal)
    Samuel Delaney
    - Nova, Empire Star, and Babel-17
    Alan Dean Foster
    - Pip and Flinx novels
    Larry Niven
    - Ringworld and its sequels
    - Protector
    - The Integral Trees
    Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle
    - The Mote in God's Eye
    Alastair Reynolds
    - Revelation Space and its sequels (even though I hate them!)
     
  9. Rob B

    Rob B \m/ BEER \m/ Staff Member

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    I've seen them described as Epic Space Opera in a number of places, like this review at the estimable SF Signal. From what I've gathered it's based on Norse myth, which is pretty epic.
     
  10. Andols

    Andols I like stories

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    I'll fill out Banks, I figured it would happen anyway I just wasnt sure.

    CJ's others I will add also, Are they together or stand alones? His(her?) wiki is confusing in its bibliography.

    Poul Anderson and John Scalzi - List them out? Are their entire selections worthy of this list?

    The rest of the list is going up!
     
  11. livens

    livens Registered User

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    Thanks Andols. Looking through this list I realize I have ALOT of reading to catch up on!

    [nitpicking]
    Asimov's stuff is listed twice.

    Going by the format of the rest, is this saying that 2001 and the Rama books are somehow linked? And if 2001 is listed, shouldnt 2010, 2061 and 3001 be there too? I could be completely wrong about that, Ive only ever read the first Rama.

    [/nitpicking]
     
  12. Ash

    Ash Registered User

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    I would say Banks' new novel surface detail really fits the bill for epic Space opera. There are some pretty amazing 'god damn' moments in it :D
     
  13. fluffy bunny

    fluffy bunny Tasty or your money back! Staff Member

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    Nice list
    You may want to add some of Alastair Reynolds' stuff although he doesn't seem to be talked about as much as a decade ago and he hasn't quite written his 5 star book yet
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2010
  14. nquixote

    nquixote trolling > dissertation

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    Stand-alones.

    Don't know, haven't read anything by either!

    Anderson's Flandry novels are space adventure, kind of along the lines of A.E. Van Vogt's Null-A books (which I have read and which are good, and fairly epic) or Asher's Polity novels. There are a million of them.

    Scalzi has also written The Ghost Brigades, The Last Colony, and Zoe's Tale, in the same universe as Old Man's War.
     
  15. nquixote

    nquixote trolling > dissertation

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    That is because his books are a crappy bunch of crappycrapcrap!!

    But he should still be on the list.
     
  16. nquixote

    nquixote trolling > dissertation

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    Also: Vinge's Rainbows End is not especially epic, but Marooned in Realtime is, and possibly The Peace War and The Witling as well.
     
  17. bluetyson

    bluetyson Blue Captain

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    Here's a list for you to browse that you maybe will get some from.

    Stephen Baxter's Xeelee Sequence is definitely epic.

    http://www.smashwords.com/books/download/15662/6/latest/1/0/space-opera-and-planetary-romance-reader-guide.txt

    Gary Gibson's Nova War books probably not on this list.
     
  18. psikeyhackr

    psikeyhackr Live Long & Suffer

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    I think I would say the Original master.

    I just recently learned he started writing in 1915. Before World War I.

    When I first read "DOC" Smith, probably in the 60s, I thought is was from the 30s. But it was really THE FIRST space opera. He didn't have any bad space operas to learn from and improve on. Now I know why I always used it as a reference for "space operas" which I mostly didn't think much of. But plenty of works began rising above that level of lack of quality in the 50s. But they had bad examples to learn from.

    None of Bujold's stories have style that fall that low.

    http://www.lunch.com/Reviews/d/Vorkosigan_Saga-1436309.html?cid=121&rid=17529#rid_17529

    It should qualify has EPIC though, long, heroic, with great events. Definitely long.

    psik
     
  19. bluetyson

    bluetyson Blue Captain

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  20. Andols

    Andols I like stories

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    I appreciate the list, the trouble is we already have a variety of similar lists. Having not read hundreds of the works on there, it's best if one or more people can personally vouche for the quality of the books.

    That's really what this list is, a personal favorites of the posters here.