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  1. #1

    Space Opera recommendations?

    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. #2
    Couch Commander Danogzilla's Avatar
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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 by Danogzilla; January 10th, 2012 at 07:50 PM.

  3. #3
    \m/ BEER \m/ Moderator Rob B's Avatar
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    These threads might point you in the right direction for a plethora of reading suggestions:
    Epic SF and Space Opera: Here's my giant list, what's missing?
    I'm running out of space operas!
    Best Space Opera

  4. #4
    Couch Commander Danogzilla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob B View Post
    These threads might point you in the right direction for a plethora of reading suggestions:
    Epic SF and Space Opera: Here's my giant list, what's missing?
    I'm running out of space operas!
    Best Space Opera
    Is there a search feature that I'm not seeing?

  5. #5
    Nevermind, I somehow skipped over the part where you want to avoid anything overly sexual

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Danogzilla View Post
    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.
    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?


    Quote Originally Posted by Rob B View Post
    These threads might point you in the right direction for a plethora of reading suggestions:
    Epic SF and Space Opera: Here's my giant list, what's missing?
    I'm running out of space operas!
    Best Space Opera
    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. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Danogzilla View Post
    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.
    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. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Michigan View Post
    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.
    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. #9
    Couch Commander Danogzilla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michigan View Post
    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.
    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:
    Is there a search feature that I'm not seeing?
    And I just found the search function I wasn't seeing.
    Last edited by Danogzilla; January 11th, 2012 at 10:34 AM.

  10. #10
    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 by ArtNJ; January 11th, 2012 at 01:04 PM.

  11. #11
    Registered User odo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArtNJ View Post
    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'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. #12
    Registered User odo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michigan View Post
    Peter Hamilton is the next obvious choice for space opera
    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. #13
    Couch Commander Danogzilla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by odo View Post
    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.
    I was looking at his House of Suns, have you read it/have any thoughts on it?

  14. #14
    Registered User odo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danogzilla View Post
    I was looking at his House of Suns, have you read it/have any thoughts on it?
    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. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by SpiderCrawler View Post
    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.
    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),

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