March SFFKIT: Space Opera

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March SFFKIT: Space Opera

Fev 14, 2:50 pm

During March our topic for the SFFKit is Space Opera so I thought I would start off with a Wikipedia definition of exactly what a Space Opera is:

“Space opera is a subgenre of science fiction that emphasies space warfare, with the use of melodramatic, risk-taking space adentures, relationships and chivalric romance.”

Sounds both fun and exciting. Obviously many of our favorite space television shows and movies fall into this genre, including Star Wars and Star Trek. I have listed a few well known Space Operas for your consideration:

The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
Shards of Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold
Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein
Nine Fox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
Old Man’s War by John Scalzi
Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey
Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky

If you are a reader of fantasy rather than science fiction then I would look for books that feature adventure, wars and romance from authors such as Robert Jordan, Guy Gavriel Kay, Lin Carter and Joe Aercrombie.

Have fun with this topic and enjoy your reading. Please find below a link to our SFFKit Wiki:

Fev 14, 2:56 pm

I am planning on reading Stars Uncharted by S. K. Dunstall.

Fev 14, 3:08 pm

I think I will probably try The Galaxy and the Ground Within by Becky Chambers

Editado: Fev 14, 3:50 pm

I don't know if I'll get through it in one month, but I'm going to try The Judas blossom by Stephen Aryan. It's an historical fantasy set in 13th century Persia.

Set in the 13th century, we follow four main point of view perspectives: Hulagu (a (Mongol) warlord), Kokochin (one of his many wives), Temujin (a son he is ashamed of), and Kaivon (a Persian General). All of these characters are major influences on whether the Mongol empire’s plans to encompass the whole world come to fruition or are derailed.
From the review on Grimdark magazine's website.

If you can't think of anything, I liked both books published so far in Elizabeth Bear's White Space series: Ancestral Night and Machine.

Fev 14, 3:43 pm

Fev 14, 5:28 pm

>5 KeithChaffee: I read that last month. Really loved it.

I'm planning on Abaddon's Gate and The Rings of Haven

Fev 14, 7:29 pm

I remember we had this category a few years back and I took a very literal take and read Space Opera. I had to - Eurovision set in space, yes please! And finally the sequel is out, but it doesn't publish until May. :(
I will have to think of something else.

Fev 14, 9:14 pm

>7 JayneCM: Space Opera was on my list of the Top Five Books of 2023. Such a fun and surprisingly touching book!

I haven’t decided what my space opera pick will be. I have several contenders:

Light by ‪M. John Harrison‬
Bluebird by ‪Ciel Pierlot
The All-Consuming World by ‪Cassandra Khaw
‬A Memory Called Empire by ‪Arkady Martine
‬Record of a Spaceborn Few by ‪Becky Chambers
‬Hyperion by Dan Simmons

If anyone can recommend, or advise against, any of these, that would help me narrow down the list.

Editado: Fev 15, 8:13 am

>6 majkia: Abaddon's Gate was an I-can't-put-it-down book for me.

I have a couple Andre Norton books unread, they'd qualify.

So would just about any CJ Cherryh, too bad her newest Alliance book hasn't been released yet!

Fev 15, 8:22 am

>9 fuzzi: They have a new series about to come out. First book set to publish in August, I think. The Mercy of Gods.

Fev 15, 8:27 am

I've been working on Iain M. Banks The Culture books for a while now and they're tagged as space opera, so I'm planning on reading Excession.

Editado: Fev 15, 9:42 pm

The Honor Harrington series by David Weber would definitely qualify. It starts with On Basilisk Station. A lot of his work is Space Opera.

Fev 17, 8:21 am

>10 majkia: aargh! I haven't finished the first series yet...

Fev 26, 5:20 am

I'm considering a re-read for this one, I haven't read The Price of the Stars for a while afterall.

Fev 26, 7:38 am

I’ve decided to toss out all my previous contenders because I think I’ll need something light after I finish my current BingoDOG, The Spear Cuts through Water, which is long, violent, and sad. Instead, I’ll read Chilling Effect by Valerie Valdes. Because, you know, psychic cats. Just look at them on the cover! Space kitties!

Fev 26, 10:19 pm

>15 Charon07: I am waiting for a library hold of The Spear Cuts Through Water - it was highly recommended to me.

Fev 27, 7:20 am

>16 JayneCM: I hope you enjoy it as much as I am. I haven’t finished, and a lousy ending can ruin a book for me, but I loved The Vanished Birds’s ending so I’m hopeful he won’t disappoint. The writing is beautiful.

Mar 1, 3:00 am

Currently reading Spin State by Chris Moriarty, which I think may fit this months challenge. Other contenders I have queued up are oceans echo and perhaps infinity gate.

Mar 1, 8:52 am

Currently reading Fallen Dragon by Peter F Hamilton

Mar 3, 10:31 pm

I've been needing to read more sci fi and fantasy. This might just be the excuse I need to dive back in and visit my local bookshop for some of these titles. Thank you >1 DeltaQueen50: for this topic!

Mar 4, 1:22 pm

>20 threadnsong: No thanks required - I love Space Opera!

Mar 4, 5:22 pm

Starting On A Red Station, Drifting by Aliette de Bodard, a novella set in her Xuya universe

Mar 5, 8:29 am

>22 DeltaQueen50: Well, it worked! I reserved A Memory Called Empire at my local library, and it is ready for pick up!

Mar 5, 11:32 am

>24 threadnsong: Hope you enjoy it. I quite liked it, and it's mate/sequel A desolation called peace

Mar 7, 12:36 am

I read The Red Scholar's Wake by Aliette de Bodard, which features Lesbian Space Pirates! One of whom is a mindship!

Mar 10, 11:00 am

I read Chilling Effect by Valerie Valdes. I’d raise >27 susanna.fraser:’s lesbian space pirates by a cargo hold of psychic space cats, except they were sadly underutilized.

Mar 13, 8:42 pm

The April thread is up, and it's time travel month!

Mar 19, 5:37 pm

I have completed Stars Uncharted by S. K. Dunstall and it was exactly the type of Space Opera that I was hoping for. Lots of adventure, humor, a slow burning love story and, of course, space travel! It's the first book of a duology so I have another book to look forward to.

Mar 22, 10:53 pm

I read Some Desperate Glory by Emily Tesh, which tended toward the dystopian side of space opera but was a total page-turner and had an ultimately hopeful ending.

Mar 30, 9:07 pm

I got about 150 pages into A Memory Called Empire and just could not finish it. I do appreciate the recommendation from folks on this thread.

Abr 1, 4:53 am

>33 threadnsong: I struggled a bit as well. I found a couple of books tagged Space Opera to read for this challenge. One was Spin State which to me was a lot more hard science fiction than space opera, and the other was The mimicking of known successes, which took place on a planet, so not very space opera, although the blurb called it a cozy (yes) space-opera (no) detective (yes)...

Inspired by >31 DeltaQueen50: the one that came closest to my idea of space opera was Linesman, which I finished this morning (so, technically not in March, but the library was closed for easter). Very nice and engaging read, lots of action, great ensemble cast behind an sympathetic main character. space war, FTL travel, aliens. This was the only K. S. Dunstall the library had, so I guess I'll have to buy the rest of the books in the series, and perhaps Stars uncharted.

Abr 1, 4:56 am

>32 susanna.fraser: I really liked Some Desperate Glory, although I struggled a bit with the first few chapters. I read a few reviews which reframed the story completely and helped me over the slump when the characters seemed a bit too unlikeable.

Abr 1, 1:24 pm

>35 amberwitch: It's one of the new Hugo nominees for Best Novel, and I'll be happy if it wins, though I'm really rooting for The Adventures of Amina Al-Sirafi.

Abr 1, 2:18 pm

>36 susanna.fraser: Good to know - just ordered it from the library. Can't wait to see where I rank it in comparison to the other nominees.

Right now I have:
1: Translation state
2: Some Desperate Glory
3: Witch King
Last: Starter Villain

Abr 2, 1:11 am

>37 amberwitch: Heh. I was fairly "meh" on Starter Villain, myself--I enjoyed it well enough, but wouldn't put it on a best-of list.

Abr 2, 10:51 am

I didn't end up starting Excession, but I still plan to get to it this year, and will credit this thread for moving it closer to the top of the pile!

Abr 3, 2:16 pm

>34 amberwitch: I also read The Mimicking of Known Successes this month and would agree that I don't think it fits as a space opera.
Then I read Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers which is tagged space opera but was another one that I don't think fits. This one did at least take place in space, but I don't think it fit any other part of the definition mentioned in post 1.
I would recommend both of these, but not if you are specifically looking for space opera.