E.G. Like Hyperion style
E.G. Like Hyperion style
Now that I know how old it is I think it is a good idea to read a couple of books by E. E. "Doc" Smith. I think that basically defines "Space Opera". It is good in a "campy" kind of way because it is cheezy. I think it can be fun for young kids but it is lacking in refinement. It was written almost 30 years before the atomic bomb.
That wiki entry says published in 1928 but it doesn't say it was started in 1915 and turned down by a number of publishers and sat in a drawer for almost a decade.
But 30 years later there were lots of bad examples of BAD SPACE OPERA to learn how not to write that junk. I would suggest Ensign Flandry by Poul Anderson. But don't assume all Flandry stuff is that good.
The Rebel Worlds (1969) is pretty good but A Circus of Hells (1970) doesn't quite make the grade.
Almost any stuff worth reading is not space opera if it was written after 1960. Some authors might deliberately imitate that cheezy style because some readers like it though. I don't like Revelation Space but I wouldn't call it space opera. It almost certainly qualifies as epic.
Ive always thought of "Revelation Space" as space opera, as well as being epic. But honestly if I think too hard about it I cannot come up with a solid definition of space opera.
Or maybe we should ask Andols what he/she thinks space opera is, since its his/her list let him/her define it
sorry for all the he/her/him's, but I hate to assume gender online.
At the time I just read science fiction I did not read about science fiction. I don't recall where I first encountered the term "space opera" but by that I mean low quality but can be fun and funny. But the writers of the 30s reflected the way people thought in the 30s. By the 60s it was weird and funny. And by low quality I mean the "science" can be totally without correspondence to anything real and the literary quality mediocre and no intellectual significance whatsoever. But can be a hell of a lot of fun if you are in that state of mind. But there was a general rise in scientific and literary quality from the 30s through the 60s. So mostly I don't call post-1960 material material "space opera". I relate it to soap opera that I never watched.
It is like reading stuff from the 50s today seems weird because the characters are all smoking cigarettes all of the time. How often do you encounter that in SF since the early 80s?
I am male by the way.
Last edited by psikeyhackr; October 29th, 2010 at 11:17 AM.
This best fits with what I think space opera is.It was only in the early 1990s that the term space opera began to be universally recognized as a legitimate genre of science fiction. As Hartwell and Cramer note, since then, space opera means "colorful, dramatic, large-scale science fiction adventure, competently and sometimes beautifully written, usually focused on a sympathetic, heroic central character and plot action, and usually set in the relatively distant future, or on planets in faraway space. It often deals with war, piracy, military virtues and very large-scale action, with large stakes."
as for smoking... Not too much. One of the main characters in Reynold's Revelation Space was a chain smoker though...
The trouble with that definition is that almost everything involving space travel can be called "space opera". Could anything with space travel not be space opera. Robinson's Red Mars is included and it is not interstellar. Asimov's Foundation obviously fits but it may be the oldest big name "space opera" around. It's almost as old as Triplanetary.It was only in the early 1990s that the term space opera began to be universally recognized as a legitimate genre of science fiction.
usually set in the relatively distant future, or on planets in faraway space. It often deals with war, piracy, military virtues and very large-scale action, with large stakes."
Opera is any music that is long with singing in it. In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida is opera.
Last edited by psikeyhackr; October 30th, 2010 at 02:33 PM.
ok, turning this on its head, of that list I have not read:
Poul Anderson - Tau Zero (1970)
Kevin J. Anderson
Michael Cobley- Seeds Of Earth (2009)
Gardner Dozois - The New Space Opera (2007)
Gardner Dozois - The New Space Opera 2 (2009)
Gary Gibson - Nova War (2009)
Gary Gibson - Empire of Light (2010)
Walter H. Hunt
Paul J. McAuley
Larry Niven and Edward M. Lerner
Kim Stanley Robinson
Bruce Sterling - Schismatrix (1985)
Walter John Williams
What would be team SFFWORLD's advice based on me wanting a good big hard technical read.... Pick an author. I am floundering badly at the moment.
Thanks Andols, that's made my day, which has otherwise so far consisted of kicking my holodeck which isn't working.
Can't believe I haven't contributed on this.
KSR certainly qualifies as as Big, Hard and Technical but you forgot to add boring.
Cherryhs Cyteen is also big and somewhat hard though not as technical. Incidentallt for listing purposes it, while stand alone does reference the other books in the Alliance Space series - especially 40,000 in Gehenna.
Vinge's Fire and Deepness also qualify on all three counts. Agree with the poster who said Rainbows end does not belong.
Further to the list Take Back Plenty by Colin Greenland is listed. This is part of a trilogy? by Greenland that includes Seasons of Plenty and at least one other with Plenty in the title (Plenty being a person).
KJA has a new space opera series together with his Dune coauthor Brian Herbert, Hellhole being the first volume in 2011; similar in style with Seven Suns or Terra Incognita and with a bit of Deathstalker flavor; campy but fun, just read an arc of it
noted with thanks!Cherryhs Cyteen is also big and somewhat hard though not as technical. Incidentallt for listing purposes it, while stand alone does reference the other books in the Alliance Space series - especially 40,000 in Gehenna.
read them loads!Vinge's Fire and Deepness also qualify on all three counts. Agree with the poster who said Rainbows end does not belong.
is that a further recommendation or an addendum to the list?!?Further to the list Take Back Plenty by Colin Greenland is listed. This is part of a trilogy? by Greenland that includes Seasons of Plenty and at least one other with Plenty in the title (Plenty being a person).
Last edited by pox; November 6th, 2010 at 12:58 PM.
Seasons and Mother should be added to the list with my recommendation on all three.
I may have missed it, but has AE van Vogt been left off the list?
In terms of early (not quite as early as EE Smith, but still) Space Opera, he is a key player:
Empire of the Atom, Wizard of Linn
Voyage of the Space Beagle