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The New Space Opera (The New Space Opera #1)

3.84  ·  Rating Details  ·  783 Ratings  ·  73 Reviews
The brightest names in science fiction pen all-new tales of space and wonder.

1 • Introduction (The New Space Opera) • (2007) • essay by Gardner Dozois and Jonathan Strahan
6 • Saving Tiamaat • (2007) • shortstory by Gwyneth Jones
24 • Verthandi's Ring • (2007) • shortstory by Ian McDonald
39 • Hatch • [The Great Ship Universe] • (2007) • shortstory by Robert Reed
66 •
Paperback, 528 pages
Published June 12th 2007 by Harper Voyager (first published June 1st 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,881)
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"The New Space Opera" is a somewhat deceptively titled but otherwise very good collection of short stories by what the editors refer to as "new space opera" authors. I put "somewhat deceptively" because, in my opinion, most of the stories don't really qualify as space opera. Space opera is a sub-genre of SF, consisting of over-the-top, galaxy-wide adventure stories, often with larger than life heroes, usually containing lots of space ships, dealing with a numbers of planets or galaxies or even u ...more
Danielle Parker
Jan 05, 2010 Danielle Parker rated it really liked it
Book Review: ‘The New Space Opera”, Edited by Gardner Dozois and Jonathan Strahan
Harper-Collins, 2007
ISBN 978-0-06-084675-6
515 pages

I’ve always enjoyed Dozois’s anthologies for two reasons: his thoughtful introductions, and the fact the man has a clear sense of taste. His taste comes through in all his choices, even if it’s not always what I’d have chosen to swallow. He likes what he likes, and at least he knows what that is. I like that about an editor.
So first, how do Dozois and his fellow ed
Nothing terribly impressive in this collection.

I had already read the two standouts - "Minla's Flowers" (Alastair Reynolds) and "Muse of Fire" (Dan Simmons). Of the remaining, the best is Tony Daniel's "The Valley of the Gardens" and the absolute worst is Robert Silverberg's "The Emperor and the Maula," a retelling of The Arabian Nights.

My dissatisfaction with many of these stories is philosophical more than literary. There's a tendency in the New Space Opera and other hard-SF novels toward a co
Jan 05, 2009 Ron rated it really liked it
Very good collection.

The term "new space opera" -- like other trendy genre labels of recent decades such as "cyberpunk" and "slipstream" -- seems all too vaguely defined. In this case perhaps it's little more than a marketing tag, or to be more generous, "what the editors think is cool this year." That's a quibble, I suppose, since it still resulted in a nice anthology, even if a number of the stories really didn't fit the editors' own description of "new space opera."

The only two stories I rea
Dec 29, 2014 David rated it it was amazing
Rating System:
5 Excellent
4 Very Good
3 Good
2 Fair
1 Poor
0 Awful

“Saving Tiamaat” by Gwyneth Jones - 2
“Verthandi’s Ring” by Ian McDonald - 2
“Hatch” by Robert Reed - 4
“Winning Peace” by Paul J. McAuley - 3
“Glory” by Greg Egan - 3
“Maelstorm” by Kage Baker - 5
“Blessed by an Angel” by Peter F. Hamilton - 5
“Who’s Afraid of Wolf 359?” by Ken Macleod - 4
“The Valley of the Gardens” by Tony Daniel - 5
“Dividing the Sustain” by James Patrick Kelly - 4
“Minla’s Flowers” by Alastair Reynolds - 5
“Splinters of Glas
Zachary Jernigan
Mar 15, 2015 Zachary Jernigan rated it really liked it
One of a few annotations from my MFA program, circa 2009-2010, that I'm including here on Goodreads because I recently stumbled upon them. Note: I may not agree with some of these opinions anymore...

For a variety of reasons, this anthology is difficult for me to analyze. The term Space Opera itself is quite loaded. Having read quite a bit of the “classic” Space Opera, I have formed a definite opinion of the subgenre—one that is based for a large part on the monumental shift that occurred in the
Chris Perrin
Feb 07, 2010 Chris Perrin rated it it was ok
So far, this book isn't thrilling me. The stories are okay, but the book feels like it's thumbing its nose at what I always thought space opera was: from Star Wars to the Honor Harrington.

Basically, the New Space Opera would feel like the Old Hard Science Fiction if not for the foreward which basically says that the familiar tropes of current science fiction (hence everything in the collection): huge ships, FTL, etc. are impossible and cannot happen.

Leave it to science fiction to take all the fu
Deborah Cooke
Mar 26, 2016 Deborah Cooke rated it really liked it
I love anthologies because you can read one story, think on it, then come back later for an entirely different story. I particularly like when the authors are new to me. Gwyneth Jones story is brilliant. I need to read more of her work.
Aug 03, 2015 Ron rated it it was ok
2 1/2 stars. This is a collection of stories that I expected to be more or less excellent and brilliant, but I ended up pretty disappointed. I was surprised by having several stories that I simply didn't like at all or thought were just too strange. Some were actually boring. I won't try to review or critique each of the 18 stories, although I'll comment on most. Every one of these stories is by an established and well regarded author. A number of the stories in the collection I felt were rather ...more
Jan 04, 2010 Guy rated it really liked it
An excellent collection of SF short stories. Not all of them are space opera in the classic sense of the term, but since they are all good that will trouble only the pedants among us. If you are looking for new authors to read (or more from authors you already know you like), this is a good resource.
Dec 12, 2008 Mark rated it really liked it
I read a lot of short fiction in the SF and Fantasy genre, but I rarely read an entire anthology from cover-to-cover. This is one of those where my effort was rewarded; every story is worth checking out.
Feb 09, 2010 Dynagrip rated it liked it
Some decent stories in here but because it's an anthology there are some terrible ones as well. Dan Simmons finished it up with a relatively strong entry, Muse of Fire. Gregory Benford's The Worm Turns was uh, not so good.

I skipped Mary Rosenbaum's story because it was clearly going to be utterly offal (see what I did there?). For some reason there are very few female genre writers that can write male characters at all. To be fair there are many genre writers (of any gender) that don't write wel
Vladimir Vázquez
Oct 19, 2011 Vladimir Vázquez rated it it was amazing
A través de este libro me he dado cuenta que mi subgénero favorito sigue vigente y vibrante, pero también he notado algo curioso, el ciberpunk, y la hard scifi, se han fundido con la Space Opera, quiero decir, en estas historias, los autores asumen que el lector ya entiende lo que es un mundo virtual, asumen que el lector ya comprende lo que son nanites (al punto de darles otro nombre y ni siquiera detenerse a explicarlos) y entonces utilizan esos elementos en los argumentos clásicos del viaje i ...more
Nov 06, 2008 Rob rated it liked it
Recommended to Rob by: B^2
This is a good/borderline-great collection of sci-fi shorts compiled and edited by Gardner Dozois and Jonathan Strahan. It has a great introduction that proffers a decent definition of the term "space opera", from its inception, through its disparaging adolescence, and now into its renaissance[†]. It has a great cast of authors but... And I feel bad saying this but: I really don't think that it's a collection of "best werk" from all of these authors. Most of the stories are at least good ( on th ...more
Aug 03, 2007 Paul rated it really liked it
The New Space Opera, Gardner Dozois and Jonathan Strahan (ed.), Eos Books, 2007

Space opera has been defined as "colorful action-adventure stories of interplanetary or interstellar conflict." These new, never before published stories are tales of aliens and alien cultures, not just interstellar war stories.

A pair of human researchers change their species to investigate a scientific anomaly on another planet. A group of traveling Shakespearean actors give the performances of their lives for the al
Jul 02, 2014 Denise rated it liked it
Evidently the New space opera is not much to my taste, since it seemingly involves a lot more space than opera these days (notwithstanding the last story, by Dan Simmons, which is about half Shakespeare.) Galactic empires are only fun if you have Han and Luke, R2 and Chewy, an Ewok or two - heroes, that is, with something to fight for. Otherwise it's all Rosencrantz and Guildenstern waiting for Godot, pointless and not even tragic.

But I loved the Kage Baker story.
Stephanie Griffin
Dec 30, 2007 Stephanie Griffin rated it liked it
The trouble with reading a 515 page book of short stories is that by the time I finish it I can't remember all of the plotlines. I was sure that if I just marked the ones I enjoyed as I went along it would be sufficient enough to at least remember those. No. So I give you a list of the ones I marked, and the one story that did stand out enough for me to choose it as my favorite.

SAVING TIAMAAT - Gwyneth Jones
MAELSTROM - Kage Baker
WHO'S AFRAID OF WOLF 359? - Ken Macl
Mar 19, 2012 Brian rated it liked it
I love space opera. Big galactic wars, spaceships as big as cities, empires that stretch across galaxies, big ideas, and fun to read in a light popcorn summer-movie way.

Unfortunately to many of these short stories aren't space opera at all - merely mediocre science fiction stories.

There are a few standouts; Dan Simmons does his usual terrific job at short fiction with "Muse of Fire" - who knew that Shakespeare will save us all in the future? Alastair Reynolds "Minla's Flowers" details how to adv
David Blyth
1 • Introduction (The New Space Opera) • (2007) • essay by Gardner Dozois and Jonathan Strahan - (7/10)
6 • Saving Tiamaat • shortstory by Gwyneth Jones - (6/10)

Saving Tiamaat is the first story I've read by Gwyneth Jones, it's ok - I found access to the story difficult - it explores the themes of assassination and of cannibalism.
Jul 08, 2015 Ezreal rated it it was amazing
Many of the 18 stories play with the scope that characterizes classic space opera. In Greg Egan's Glory, creatures embody themselves as aliens to perform archeological research, only to get caught up in a struggle between two worlds. Robert Reed's Hatch, limited in locale to the hull of a giant ship, proves that the scope of the struggle for life is always epic. Stephen Baxter's Remembrance walks a line between the personal and the global as resisters against Earth's conquerors remember one man' ...more
Aug 08, 2015 Ardwulf rated it really liked it
Probably one of the best SF anthologies of its kind. While some stories are stronger than others, there isn't a weak one in the bunch, and I never stalled at any point while moving through it.
Jan 16, 2015 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
Gardner Dozois assembles the best of the best. I figure that any anthology he is a part of will be good. Rolicking space tales for the armchair "explorer" in all of us/
Stephen Ryner Jr.
May 11, 2015 Stephen Ryner Jr. rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
Terrible. What a disappointing selection of stories. And the Silverberg one—wow. Are you kidding me?

Not actually space opera, not very good stories.
Pretty good anthology. Some of these authors I may never read again, but some I want more of.
Feb 11, 2009 Cissa rated it it was amazing
Pretty good stories. A lot of them are not exactly what I'd call "space opera" in the traditional sense, but they're good nonetheless.

I'm now about 2/3rds of the way through, and most of the stories are excellent. I've picked up a few new-to-me author's names to read more- always a plus! One nice thing about this anthology is that the stories are pretty long- generally at least 30 pages- so one can get a better idea of an author's style than with very short stories.

ETA: An EXCELLENT set of novel
Jun 11, 2015 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some stories were fantastic, others were great, and some just good. Still if you like Sci-FI this is worth picking up to check out authors you ahven't read yet.
Martin Mcgoey
Aug 15, 2012 Martin Mcgoey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Some very hard sci-fi in this collection. Several stories were difficult for me to get through since I'm relatively new to the genre and have noticed that sci-fi authors tend to focus more on tech-y stuff and world building than character development. By far the best piece in the collection was Dan Simmons's "Muse of Fire." It certainly made the collection worthwhile after suffering through some of the slower pieces at the beginning of the collection. Even though Simmons's piece is the longest, ...more
Aug 15, 2011 Chris rated it it was ok
Shelves: sffantasy, stories
Some good stories - the Kage Baker and the Ken MacLeod were stand-outs - and it does better than Aldiss's A Science Fiction Omnibus in the representation-of-women department. But my yardstick of 33% women is *not* a high bar, and Dozois still lambadas comfortably under it, so it loses a star.

I also note that, AFAICT, all writers are white, and all come from the Anglosphere.
Jan 14, 2011 Katie rated it it was amazing
Oh. MAN.
This book is the reason why I love science fiction. I can't say enough good things about this anthology, so I won't say much. It took me a while to finish it since I was saving it for my breaks at work, but it was good to savor it. Sometimes I had to put it down in between stories just so I could absorb them, mull them over like a fine wine, and just daydream a while.
Excellent, excellent read.
Sep 24, 2007 iamtedae rated it really liked it
Shelves: memorable
This is a collection of "all-new stories of science fiction adventure", and as such is a little difficult to review; overall, pretty darn good. This was the first time I've encountered the term "space opera", but I guess it fits: grand, sweeping, intense. It was hard to get started because I've apparently become quite the flabby fiction reader, but once I did it was wow! and away we go...
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