Best Space Opera
This list features the best space opera books out there.
1 Hyperion (Hyperion Cantos, #1)
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4.16 of 5 stars 4.16 avg rating — 73,524 ratings
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2 Ender's Game (The Ender Qui...
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4.28 of 5 stars 4.28 avg rating — 612,585 ratings
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3 Cassastar
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3.97 of 5 stars 3.97 avg rating — 226 ratings
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4 Dune (Dune Chronicles, #1)
by
4.12 of 5 stars 4.12 avg rating — 355,693 ratings
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5 Foundation (Foundation, #1)
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4.04 of 5 stars 4.04 avg rating — 196,005 ratings
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6 Cassafire
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4.29 of 5 stars 4.29 avg rating — 129 ratings
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7 The Fall of Hyperion (Hyper...
by
4.13 of 5 stars 4.13 avg rating — 41,358 ratings
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8 Revelation Space (Revelatio...
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3.95 of 5 stars 3.95 avg rating — 20,912 ratings
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9 Pandora's Star (Commonwealt...
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4.21 of 5 stars 4.21 avg rating — 19,299 ratings
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10 Old Man's War (Old Man's Wa...
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4.21 of 5 stars 4.21 avg rating — 55,969 ratings
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11 The Reality Dysfunction (Ni...
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4.12 of 5 stars 4.12 avg rating — 14,006 ratings
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12 Consider Phlebas (Culture, #1)
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3.83 of 5 stars 3.83 avg rating — 29,715 ratings
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13 The Forever War (The Foreve...
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4.12 of 5 stars 4.12 avg rating — 61,288 ratings
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14 Starship Troopers
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3.97 of 5 stars 3.97 avg rating — 88,990 ratings
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15 Starshine (Aurora Rising, #1)
by
4.4 of 5 stars 4.40 avg rating — 211 ratings
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16 Leviathan Wakes (Expanse, #1)
by
4.07 of 5 stars 4.07 avg rating — 22,627 ratings
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17 Endymion (Hyperion Cantos, #3)
by
4.1 of 5 stars 4.10 avg rating — 19,043 ratings
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18 A Fire Upon the Deep (Zones...
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4.12 of 5 stars 4.12 avg rating — 24,617 ratings
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19 Judas Unchained (Commonweal...
by
4.27 of 5 stars 4.27 avg rating — 14,161 ratings
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20 The Player of Games (Cultur...
by
4.23 of 5 stars 4.23 avg rating — 25,955 ratings
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21 The Mote in God's Eye (Moti...
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4.03 of 5 stars 4.03 avg rating — 37,353 ratings
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22 Ringworld (Ringworld, #1)
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3.93 of 5 stars 3.93 avg rating — 52,643 ratings
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23 The Meat Market (Jonathan H...
by
4.37 of 5 stars 4.37 avg rating — 187 ratings
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24 On Basilisk Station (Honor ...
by
4.09 of 5 stars 4.09 avg rating — 20,151 ratings
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25 CassaStorm
by
4.39 of 5 stars 4.39 avg rating — 62 ratings
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26 Ghost in the Machine (Corwi...
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4.04 of 5 stars 4.04 avg rating — 96 ratings
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27 Rendezvous with Rama (Rama,...
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4.0 of 5 stars 4.00 avg rating — 62,672 ratings
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28 Foundation and Empire (Foun...
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4.17 of 5 stars 4.17 avg rating — 76,033 ratings
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29 Second Foundation (Foundati...
by
4.19 of 5 stars 4.19 avg rating — 70,436 ratings
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30 The Rise of Endymion (Hyper...
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4.13 of 5 stars 4.13 avg rating — 19,629 ratings
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31 Heir to the Empire (Star Wa...
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4.07 of 5 stars 4.07 avg rating — 34,478 ratings
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32 House of Suns
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4.14 of 5 stars 4.14 avg rating — 8,416 ratings
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33 The Dreaming Void (Void, #1)
by
4.14 of 5 stars 4.14 avg rating — 10,437 ratings
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34 The Ultimate Hitchhiker's G...
by
4.35 of 5 stars 4.35 avg rating — 177,423 ratings
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35 Surface Detail (Culture, #9)
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4.16 of 5 stars 4.16 avg rating — 10,528 ratings
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36 Use of Weapons (Culture, #3)
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4.17 of 5 stars 4.17 avg rating — 16,927 ratings
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37 Gateway (Heechee Saga, #1)
by
4.05 of 5 stars 4.05 avg rating — 20,584 ratings
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38 Look to Windward (Culture, #7)
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4.08 of 5 stars 4.08 avg rating — 9,662 ratings
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39 The Evolutionary Void (Void...
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4.22 of 5 stars 4.22 avg rating — 8,802 ratings
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40 Moon 514: Blaze and the Whi...
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4.62 of 5 stars 4.62 avg rating — 13 ratings
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41 Last Chance [Sunscapes Tril...
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4.55 of 5 stars 4.55 avg rating — 29 ratings
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42 Star Wars: From the Adventu...
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4.02 of 5 stars 4.02 avg rating — 8,158 ratings
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43 The Backworlds (Book 1)
by
3.52 of 5 stars 3.52 avg rating — 190 ratings
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44 Dark Force Rising (Star War...
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4.1 of 5 stars 4.10 avg rating — 26,655 ratings
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45 Dauntless (The Lost Fleet, #1)
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3.91 of 5 stars 3.91 avg rating — 12,146 ratings
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46 Neutron Star (Known Space)
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4.06 of 5 stars 4.06 avg rating — 7,586 ratings
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47 When Earthlings Weep
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3.95 of 5 stars 3.95 avg rating — 40 ratings
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48 The Warrior's Apprentice (V...
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4.29 of 5 stars 4.29 avg rating — 11,046 ratings
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49 Red Mars (Mars Trilogy, #1)
by
3.8 of 5 stars 3.80 avg rating — 29,555 ratings
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50 2001: A Space Odyssey (Spac...
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4.04 of 5 stars 4.04 avg rating — 109,727 ratings
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51 The Algebraist
by
3.93 of 5 stars 3.93 avg rating — 9,738 ratings
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52 The Pride of Chanur (Compac...
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3.88 of 5 stars 3.88 avg rating — 3,913 ratings
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53 The Songs Of Distant Earth
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3.84 of 5 stars 3.84 avg rating — 6,162 ratings
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54 The Empire Strikes Back
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4.03 of 5 stars 4.03 avg rating — 6,200 ratings
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55 Deathworld 1
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3.92 of 5 stars 3.92 avg rating — 3,189 ratings
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56 The Gap Into Conflict: The ...
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3.71 of 5 stars 3.71 avg rating — 5,196 ratings
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57 Tales of Known Space: The U...
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4.14 of 5 stars 4.14 avg rating — 3,706 ratings
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58 Tales from the 23rd Century...
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4.94 of 5 stars 4.94 avg rating — 17 ratings
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59 Deepness In The Sky
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4.3 of 5 stars 4.30 avg rating — 15,045 ratings
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60 Double Star
by
3.84 of 5 stars 3.84 avg rating — 10,571 ratings
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61 Deathstalker (Deathstalker,...
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3.91 of 5 stars 3.91 avg rating — 2,843 ratings
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62 The Last Command (Star Wars...
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4.16 of 5 stars 4.16 avg rating — 23,503 ratings
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63 Startide Rising (The Uplift...
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4.02 of 5 stars 4.02 avg rating — 18,389 ratings
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64 Chasm City
by
4.09 of 5 stars 4.09 avg rating — 8,505 ratings
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65 Death Drop (The D-Evolution...
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3.73 of 5 stars 3.73 avg rating — 77 ratings
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66 Star Wars Episode VI: Retur...
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3.97 of 5 stars 3.97 avg rating — 5,065 ratings
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67 Excession (Culture, #5)
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4.15 of 5 stars 4.15 avg rating — 11,297 ratings
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68 Citizen of the Galaxy
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3.93 of 5 stars 3.93 avg rating — 7,691 ratings
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69 Against a Dark Background
by
4.04 of 5 stars 4.04 avg rating — 7,954 ratings
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70 Norstrilia
by
4.06 of 5 stars 4.06 avg rating — 1,079 ratings
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71 The Skylark of Space (Skyla...
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3.71 of 5 stars 3.71 avg rating — 1,220 ratings
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72 Of Hearts And Stars
by
3.83 of 5 stars 3.83 avg rating — 18 ratings
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73 The Worker Prince (Saga of ...
by
3.61 of 5 stars 3.61 avg rating — 36 ratings
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74 The Returning (Saga of Davi...
by
4.38 of 5 stars 4.38 avg rating — 8 ratings
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75 Triplanetary (Lensman, #1)
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3.61 of 5 stars 3.61 avg rating — 3,098 ratings
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76 Foundation (Foundation, #1)
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4.04 of 5 stars 4.04 avg rating — 196,005 ratings
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77 Primary Inversion (Saga of ...
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3.77 of 5 stars 3.77 avg rating — 2,100 ratings
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78 Have Space Suit—Will Travel
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3.86 of 5 stars 3.86 avg rating — 16,247 ratings
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79 Darwin's Blueprint
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3.89 of 5 stars 3.89 avg rating — 9 ratings
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80 Angels and Ministers of Grace
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3.88 of 5 stars 3.88 avg rating — 24 ratings
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81 The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress
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4.16 of 5 stars 4.16 avg rating — 56,883 ratings
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82 The Last Colony (Old Man's ...
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3.99 of 5 stars 3.99 avg rating — 17,245 ratings
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83 Ringworld (Ringworld #1)
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3.93 of 5 stars 3.93 avg rating — 52,643 ratings
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84 The Ghost Brigades (Old Man...
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4.06 of 5 stars 4.06 avg rating — 23,445 ratings
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85 Red Planet
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3.75 of 5 stars 3.75 avg rating — 5,796 ratings
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86 Tau Zero
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3.85 of 5 stars 3.85 avg rating — 4,589 ratings
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87 Io Deceneus - Journal of a ...
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4.08 of 5 stars 4.08 avg rating — 76 ratings
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88 Path of Destruction (Star W...
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4.21 of 5 stars 4.21 avg rating — 8,312 ratings
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89 Eon (The Way, #1)
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3.82 of 5 stars 3.82 avg rating — 13,529 ratings
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90 Hunting Party (The Serrano ...
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3.82 of 5 stars 3.82 avg rating — 3,135 ratings
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91 The High Crusade
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3.87 of 5 stars 3.87 avg rating — 1,734 ratings
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92 The Witches of Karres (The ...
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4.14 of 5 stars 4.14 avg rating — 1,360 ratings
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93 Saturn's Children
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3.51 of 5 stars 3.51 avg rating — 3,912 ratings
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94 Veterans of the Psychic Wars
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4.25 of 5 stars 4.25 avg rating — 16 ratings
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95 Star Smashers of the Galaxy...
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3.64 of 5 stars 3.64 avg rating — 393 ratings
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95 Tales from the 23rd Century...
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4.94 of 5 stars 4.94 avg rating — 17 ratings
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97 Singularity Sky (Eschaton, #1)
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3.79 of 5 stars 3.79 avg rating — 7,439 ratings
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98 The Star Beast
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3.72 of 5 stars 3.72 avg rating — 4,388 ratings
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99 The Cassini Division (The F...
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3.9 of 5 stars 3.90 avg rating — 1,249 ratings
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100 Starman Jones
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3.75 of 5 stars 3.75 avg rating — 4,498 ratings
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286 books · 666 voters · list created July 24th, 2009 by Kevis Hendrickson (votes) .
75 likes · like
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Comments (showing 1-12 of 12) (12 new)

dateDown_arrow    newest »

message 1: by Melanie (new)

Melanie Great list of wonderful books.

Melanie


message 2: by Andre (new)

Andre Added Io Deceneus Journal of a time traveller. A brand new author but quite good in creating new worlds and conflicts between civilizations.


message 3: by David (new)

David I was surprised The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester was not included in the list. If you've never read it, I highly recommend it, it's probably the best singular Science Fiction novel I've read thusly


message 4: by Herman (new)

Herman Gigglethorpe Dune is here twice for some reason. . .


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

Saga does not forget to be awesome!


message 6: by Jamie (new)

Jamie Could someone define the difference between "space opera" and "sci-fi that happens to take place in space"?


message 7: by Kevis (last edited Dec 06, 2013 11:00AM) (new)

Kevis Hendrickson Jamie wrote: "Could someone define the difference between "space opera" and "sci-fi that happens to take place in space"?"

Space opera is a branch of science fiction where the story generally takes place in outer space. Its focus is usually on interplanetary adventure on a grand, epic scale, rather than the technical aspects of space exploration which you might associate with Hard Science Fiction which places the focus on the science, rather than the humanistic elements found in space opera.

When you say Space Opera, think Star Wars or Dune. Science Fiction in space is more akin to 2001: A Space Odyssey.


message 8: by Thomas (new)

Thomas Kevis wrote: "Space opera is a branch of science fiction where the story generally takes place in outer space. Its focus is usually on adventure on a grand, epic scale, rather than the technical aspects of space exploration which you might associate with Hard Science Fiction which places the focus on the science, rather than the humanistic elements found in space opera.."

Kevis.

I like your descripion of space opera vs science fiction. It's clear and concise.


message 9: by Kevis (last edited Dec 06, 2013 10:59AM) (new)

Kevis Hendrickson Thomas wrote: "Kevis wrote: "Space opera is a branch of science fiction where the story generally takes place in outer space. Its focus is usually on adventure on a grand, epic scale, rather than the technical as..."

Glad you like it, Thomas!


message 10: by Jamie (new)

Jamie Kevis wrote: "When you say Space Opera, think Star Wars or Dune. Science Fiction in space is more akin to 2001: A Space Odyssey. ..."

Thank you. I was confused because 2001 is on this list (so I must not be the only one...) :-)


message 11: by Kevis (new)

Kevis Hendrickson Jamie wrote: "Kevis wrote: "When you say Space Opera, think Star Wars or Dune. Science Fiction in space is more akin to 2001: A Space Odyssey. ..."

Thank you. I was confused because 2001 is on this list (so I ..."


No problem, Jamie. There's a lot of confusion about what's space opera and what isn't and it leads to some interesting book choices for this list.


message 12: by Jon (new)

Jon Graci How is the saga of seven suns not on here


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