Space Opera recommendations?

Discussion in 'Science Fiction' started by SpiderCrawler, Jan 11, 2012.

  1. SpiderCrawler

    SpiderCrawler I ate a big red candle.

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    I'm kind of new to the science fiction genre, and while the ideas interest me, the books usually seem to be lacking in character depth. Do you know of any really good Space Opera books/series that feature strong characters and character development?

    Also, I don't want any books that are overtly sexual.
     
  2. Danogzilla

    Danogzilla Couch Commander

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    Just came to search around for some too. I've been in a space opera mood and just ordered Leviathan Wakes, I'm looking for some other titles.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2012
  3. Rob B

    Rob B \m/ BEER \m/ Staff Member

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  4. Danogzilla

    Danogzilla Couch Commander

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  5. inishi

    inishi New Member

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    Nevermind, I somehow skipped over the part where you want to avoid anything overly sexual
     
  6. SpiderCrawler

    SpiderCrawler I ate a big red candle.

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    Forgot about that book. Hmm... I'll have to check it out. I wonder how the characters are. Have you read any other space operas?


    Thanks! I'll be sure to browse through those lists. Bad things with lists, though, is a lot of times it's just a, well, list... You never know exactly why the books are on the list. Like, what makes them good.
     
  7. Michigan

    Michigan Registered User

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    Just finished Leviathan Wakes two nights ago. Very impressed. It's not quite as big as Hamiltons stuff, Hamilton will throw out a dozen character viewpoints while Leviathan Wakes sticks to two characters throughout the whole book. Peter Hamilton is the next obvious choice for space opera, though there is enough sex in his stuff that it might not be what you are looking for.
     
  8. SpiderCrawler

    SpiderCrawler I ate a big red candle.

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    Another thing that deterred me from Hamilton is all of his books' length: 1,000 pages (!). I don't know if I'd have the patience for one, especially when they all end on cliffhangers.

    How was the characterization in Leviathan? Was there any character development? Also, was it well-written? Sorry. I'm just looking for a well-written book; seems like SF gets too carried away (for my tastes) with the technology of it all. Just give me a well-written story with good characters.
     
  9. Danogzilla

    Danogzilla Couch Commander

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    Thanks for the recommendation. I just ordered a Hamilton book, they look fun (and the sex is fine by me, I have no opinion of sex in fiction one way or the other, if it works it works, if it doesn't it doesn't).

    edit:
    And I just found the search function I wasn't seeing.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2012
  10. ArtNJ

    ArtNJ Registered User

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    Just my opinion, but Hamilton's space opera is in another league vs. Levian Wakes in my view. Leviathan Wakes may not even make the top 5 sci-fi books of the year in the ongoing poll, whereas we still talk about Hamilton long after his stuff came out.

    Leviathan Wakes is a well written book with A- level mystery (for part of the book), B+ charachters, B Space Opera (in system faction fighting), B+ pacing/action, and C- for the very unoriginal and silly science fiction idea underlying the reveal. I enjoyed the book, but will not automatically buy the sequel without reading reviews because it seems the unoriginal (and silly) sci-fi idea is going to play a much bigger role in the sequels. The what is really going on reveal is roughly as realistic as Umbrella Corporation's work on the T-virus.

    In fairness though, the book may still be on sale for 2.99, AND it works as a stand-alone, even though sequels are planned. I do recommend it, just not to the same degree as Pandora's Star/Judas Unchained or the Reality Dysfunction.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2012
  11. odo

    odo Registered User

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    I'm 2/3 through Leviathan Wakes myself, and I agree with your analysis. It also annoys me how easily they find the information they need to unravel the mystery and just at the right moment. Lots, lots of improbable coincidences and always obvious details that everybody else in the Solar System has, somehow, missed.
     
  12. odo

    odo Registered User

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    I agree. Imho, Peter F. Hamilton and Alastair Reynolds are the best Space Opera authors out there (and two of the best SF authors, in general). To start reading Alastair Reynolds I'd recommend Pushing Ice, but Revelation Space is also a good starting point.
     
  13. Danogzilla

    Danogzilla Couch Commander

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    I was looking at his House of Suns, have you read it/have any thoughts on it?
     
  14. odo

    odo Registered User

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    I have it here, sitting in my shelf, but I haven't read it yet. I've heard very good things about it, though.
     
  15. ArtNJ

    ArtNJ Registered User

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    Vernor Vinge is, like Hamilton, very popular on this forum, and his stuff tends to clock in more around the 600 page mark, and his books tend to be stand alones. Better than Leviathan Wakes imho, but than again, Leviathan Wakes may still be 2.99 on Amazon (kindle only),
     
  16. psikeyhackr

    psikeyhackr Live Long & Suffer

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  17. Rob B

    Rob B \m/ BEER \m/ Staff Member

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    Hey psik,

    Is it safe to assume what you are pointing out on the Cryoburn CD link is this Space Opera, Miles, and Me?
     
  18. SpiderCrawler

    SpiderCrawler I ate a big red candle.

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    The books I'm looking for are large-scale epics. That's the way I view Space Opera. Think Star Wars.

    I looked up Pushing Ice, and it sounds like a lot of dry technology information... Maybe I'm interested in the wrong genre...

    I'm willing to look into other Sci-Fi books, as well. It doesn't just have to be Space Opera. Really, anything with 3-dimensional characters and well-written. I know the first request is a rarity in SF (seems especially rare in Space Operas), but do you guys know of any?
     
  19. Michigan

    Michigan Registered User

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    It's good but as far as Reynolds goes it's one of his weaker entries. He seems to be in a bit of a funk as his last two, House of Suns and Terminal World are my least favorite. Pushing Ice has to be the easiest Reynolds to start with. It's a standalone and reminds me alot of the Rama books. Lots of people start with Revelation Space since it begins his main universe. I loved it but its a mixed bag for some people and I can see why others are turned off. I started with the three Revelation Space books which I liked alot, then read Chasm City which sealed the deal with me and I will read anything Reynolds puts out. I wouldn't start with Chasm City though as it refers to things that happened in the main trilogy.
     
  20. psikeyhackr

    psikeyhackr Live Long & Suffer

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    Actually, I hadn't read it.

    http://search.yahoo.com/r/_ylt=A0oG...Baen%2024/Essays/Space%20Opera%20and%20Me.doc

    I tend to think in terms of the original meaning of Space Opera. I would not apply that term to Bujold's work. She makes characters more interesting than the Big Three but it takes more writing to do that. More words, fewer ideas.

    psik