Space Opera is bad by the original definition.
The usage seems to have changed
Is it safe to assume what you are pointing out on the Cryoburn CD link is this Space Opera, Miles, and Me?
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?
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.
FYI, Reynolds tends to inspire more mixed feelings on here than a few of the other oft recommended authors. I cant say more than that that, since although I definitely read it (book 1 is in my library, and dog eared), I seem to have forgotten Revelation Space entirely.
I would go with Vernor Vinge's A Fire Upon the Deep if you want something less overwhelming than Hamilton.
In the Olde Days, "Space Opera" meant bad science fiction.
But in 1977 the producers of Star Wars admitted that it WAS NOT SCIENCE FICTION!
So it is as though Star Wars has been a major factor in changing people's attitude about that word. In 1977 10 year old kids did not care what was and was not science fiction and what was and was not "Space Opera". So now anything with space ships can be called space opera. The term doesn't really mean anything any more. It just no longer has an automatic negative connotation.
What good are words without meaning?
http://www.reelviews.net/movies/t/2001.htmlI remember the first time I saw the movie. (2001) The year was 1981, and this country was in the post-Star Wars, early VCR era. Because of the rampant success of George Lucas' space opera, science fiction was once again in vogue.
That sentence kind of implies that Star Wars was science fiction but it could mean that it was so similar to science fiction that SF got dragged along. The Majority of People do not care that much.
So for me if it is GOOD science fiction then it is not "Space Opera". I am not saying that space opera cannot be very enjoyable but it is different genre with superficial similarities to science fiction.
So right now, I've discovered Pushing Ice and A Fire Upon the Deep. Those have some strong characters, yes? Also, how is Warrior's Apprentice?
Warrior's Apprentice by Lois McMaster Bujold, right? It is the third book in the overall series, but the first to feature the main character Miles Vorkosigan. Funny you should ask about that one since I just got back into The Vorkosigan Saga by Lois McMaster Bujold today (about 7 years after initially reading Young Miles, the omnibus containing Warrior's Apprentice). Don't let the long lag between me reading the books be an indication of their quality because they are very solid in many ways - plot, setting, character, pace.
So yes, give it a shot.
I probably mentioned it in one of the threads I linked initially, but Helix by Eric Brown is solid epic SF/Space Opera, too.