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 — 65,197 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 — 575,200 ratings
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3 Cassastar
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4.08 of 5 stars 4.08 avg rating — 186 ratings
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4 Dune (Dune Chronicles, #1)
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4.11 of 5 stars 4.11 avg rating — 339,365 ratings
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5 Foundation (Foundation, #1)
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4.03 of 5 stars 4.03 avg rating — 183,857 ratings
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6 Cassafire
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4.33 of 5 stars 4.33 avg rating — 104 ratings
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7 The Fall of Hyperion (Hyper...
by
4.13 of 5 stars 4.13 avg rating — 37,062 ratings
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8 Revelation Space (Revelatio...
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3.95 of 5 stars 3.95 avg rating — 18,377 ratings
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9 Pandora's Star (Commonwealt...
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4.2 of 5 stars 4.20 avg rating — 17,310 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 — 48,829 ratings
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11 Consider Phlebas (Culture, #1)
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3.82 of 5 stars 3.82 avg rating — 26,242 ratings
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12 The Reality Dysfunction (Ni...
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4.12 of 5 stars 4.12 avg rating — 12,592 ratings
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13 The Forever War (The Foreve...
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4.12 of 5 stars 4.12 avg rating — 54,935 ratings
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14 Starship Troopers
by
3.96 of 5 stars 3.96 avg rating — 83,736 ratings
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15 Endymion (Hyperion Cantos, #3)
by
4.1 of 5 stars 4.10 avg rating — 16,737 ratings
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16 Leviathan Wakes (Expanse, #1)
by
4.06 of 5 stars 4.06 avg rating — 17,560 ratings
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17 A Fire Upon the Deep (Zones...
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4.12 of 5 stars 4.12 avg rating — 21,995 ratings
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18 The Player of Games (Cultur...
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4.23 of 5 stars 4.23 avg rating — 23,377 ratings
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19 Judas Unchained (Commonweal...
by
4.27 of 5 stars 4.27 avg rating — 12,583 ratings
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20 The Mote in God's Eye (Moti...
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4.03 of 5 stars 4.03 avg rating — 34,365 ratings
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21 On Basilisk Station (Honor ...
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4.09 of 5 stars 4.09 avg rating — 18,036 ratings
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22 Ghost in the Machine (Corwi...
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4.06 of 5 stars 4.06 avg rating — 72 ratings
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23 Ringworld (Ringworld, #1)
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3.93 of 5 stars 3.93 avg rating — 48,224 ratings
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24 Foundation and Empire (Foun...
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4.16 of 5 stars 4.16 avg rating — 69,312 ratings
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25 Second Foundation (Foundati...
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4.19 of 5 stars 4.19 avg rating — 66,456 ratings
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26 The Rise of Endymion (Hyper...
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4.12 of 5 stars 4.12 avg rating — 17,857 ratings
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27 Heir to the Empire (Star Wa...
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4.07 of 5 stars 4.07 avg rating — 31,923 ratings
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28 House of Suns
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4.13 of 5 stars 4.13 avg rating — 7,522 ratings
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29 The Dreaming Void (Void, #1)
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4.14 of 5 stars 4.14 avg rating — 9,216 ratings
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30 Surface Detail (Culture, #9)
by
4.16 of 5 stars 4.16 avg rating — 9,279 ratings
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31 Rendezvous with Rama (Rama,...
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3.99 of 5 stars 3.99 avg rating — 56,863 ratings
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32 The Ultimate Hitchhiker's G...
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4.35 of 5 stars 4.35 avg rating — 160,725 ratings
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33 Use of Weapons (Culture, #3)
by
4.17 of 5 stars 4.17 avg rating — 15,098 ratings
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34 Gateway (Heechee Saga, #1)
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4.05 of 5 stars 4.05 avg rating — 18,542 ratings
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35 Look to Windward (Culture, #7)
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4.06 of 5 stars 4.06 avg rating — 8,480 ratings
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36 CassaStorm
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4.41 of 5 stars 4.41 avg rating — 41 ratings
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37 The Evolutionary Void (Void...
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4.21 of 5 stars 4.21 avg rating — 7,723 ratings
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38 Star Wars: From the Adventu...
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4.01 of 5 stars 4.01 avg rating — 7,325 ratings
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39 The Backworlds (Book 1)
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3.62 of 5 stars 3.62 avg rating — 139 ratings
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40 Dark Force Rising (Star War...
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4.1 of 5 stars 4.10 avg rating — 24,586 ratings
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41 Dauntless (The Lost Fleet, #1)
by
3.91 of 5 stars 3.91 avg rating — 10,641 ratings
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42 Neutron Star (Known Space)
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4.06 of 5 stars 4.06 avg rating — 6,919 ratings
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43 When Earthlings Weep
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3.97 of 5 stars 3.97 avg rating — 38 ratings
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44 The Warrior's Apprentice (V...
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4.29 of 5 stars 4.29 avg rating — 9,981 ratings
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45 The Algebraist
by
3.91 of 5 stars 3.91 avg rating — 8,762 ratings
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46 The Pride of Chanur (Compac...
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3.88 of 5 stars 3.88 avg rating — 3,624 ratings
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47 The Empire Strikes Back
by
4.01 of 5 stars 4.01 avg rating — 5,047 ratings
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48 Deathworld 1
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3.91 of 5 stars 3.91 avg rating — 2,780 ratings
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49 The Songs Of Distant Earth
by
3.83 of 5 stars 3.83 avg rating — 5,601 ratings
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50 Tales of Known Space: The U...
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4.13 of 5 stars 4.13 avg rating — 3,424 ratings
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51 Double Star
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3.84 of 5 stars 3.84 avg rating — 9,818 ratings
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52 The Last Command (Star Wars...
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4.16 of 5 stars 4.16 avg rating — 21,356 ratings
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53 The Gap Into Conflict: The ...
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3.71 of 5 stars 3.71 avg rating — 4,814 ratings
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54 Red Mars (Mars Trilogy, #1)
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3.8 of 5 stars 3.80 avg rating — 26,645 ratings
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55 Deathstalker (Deathstalker,...
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3.91 of 5 stars 3.91 avg rating — 2,582 ratings
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56 Death Drop (The D-Evolution...
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3.84 of 5 stars 3.84 avg rating — 63 ratings
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57 Star Wars Episode VI: Retur...
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3.96 of 5 stars 3.96 avg rating — 4,559 ratings
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58 Excession (Culture, #5)
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4.13 of 5 stars 4.13 avg rating — 10,105 ratings
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59 Citizen of the Galaxy
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3.92 of 5 stars 3.92 avg rating — 7,058 ratings
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60 Startide Rising (The Uplift...
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4.02 of 5 stars 4.02 avg rating — 16,918 ratings
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61 Against a Dark Background
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4.03 of 5 stars 4.03 avg rating — 7,202 ratings
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62 The Skylark of Space (Skyla...
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3.69 of 5 stars 3.69 avg rating — 1,083 ratings
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63 Of Hearts And Stars
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3.88 of 5 stars 3.88 avg rating — 16 ratings
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64 The Worker Prince (Saga of ...
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3.59 of 5 stars 3.59 avg rating — 34 ratings
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65 The Returning (Saga of Davi...
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4.38 of 5 stars 4.38 avg rating — 8 ratings
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66 Triplanetary (Lensman, #1)
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3.61 of 5 stars 3.61 avg rating — 2,796 ratings
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67 Norstrilia
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4.05 of 5 stars 4.05 avg rating — 971 ratings
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68 Chasm City
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4.08 of 5 stars 4.08 avg rating — 7,501 ratings
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69 Darwin's Blueprint
by
3.89 of 5 stars 3.89 avg rating — 9 ratings
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70 2001: A Space Odyssey (Spac...
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4.03 of 5 stars 4.03 avg rating — 100,314 ratings
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71 Angels and Ministers of Grace
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4.06 of 5 stars 4.06 avg rating — 17 ratings
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72 Red Planet
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3.74 of 5 stars 3.74 avg rating — 5,466 ratings
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73 Tau Zero
by
3.85 of 5 stars 3.85 avg rating — 4,134 ratings
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74 Have Space Suit—Will Travel
by
3.86 of 5 stars 3.86 avg rating — 15,424 ratings
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75 Deepness In The Sky
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4.3 of 5 stars 4.30 avg rating — 13,278 ratings
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76 Io Deceneus - Journal of a ...
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4.11 of 5 stars 4.11 avg rating — 71 ratings
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77 Path of Destruction (Star W...
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4.2 of 5 stars 4.20 avg rating — 7,339 ratings
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78 Eon (The Way, #1)
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3.82 of 5 stars 3.82 avg rating — 12,457 ratings
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79 The High Crusade
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3.86 of 5 stars 3.86 avg rating — 1,576 ratings
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80 The Witches of Karres (The ...
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4.14 of 5 stars 4.14 avg rating — 1,227 ratings
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81 Saturn's Children
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3.5 of 5 stars 3.50 avg rating — 3,458 ratings
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82 The Last Colony (Old Man's ...
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3.98 of 5 stars 3.98 avg rating — 14,726 ratings
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83 The Ghost Brigades (Old Man...
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4.06 of 5 stars 4.06 avg rating — 20,395 ratings
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84 Star Smashers of the Galaxy...
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3.62 of 5 stars 3.62 avg rating — 372 ratings
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85 The Star Beast
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3.7 of 5 stars 3.70 avg rating — 4,151 ratings
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86 The Cassini Division (The F...
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3.9 of 5 stars 3.90 avg rating — 1,139 ratings
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87 Starman Jones
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3.74 of 5 stars 3.74 avg rating — 4,232 ratings
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88 The Beast Master (Beast Mas...
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3.93 of 5 stars 3.93 avg rating — 1,228 ratings
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89 Into Deepest Space
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3.06 of 5 stars 3.06 avg rating — 36 ratings
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90 The E. E. 'Doc' Smith Omnibus
by
3.79 of 5 stars 3.79 avg rating — 33 ratings
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91 Retief's War (Retief, #3)
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3.82 of 5 stars 3.82 avg rating — 268 ratings
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92 Dream Dancer (Kerrion Empir...
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3.99 of 5 stars 3.99 avg rating — 76 ratings
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92 The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress
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4.16 of 5 stars 4.16 avg rating — 52,279 ratings
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94 Into the Black: Odyssey One
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4.02 of 5 stars 4.02 avg rating — 1,830 ratings
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94 Homeworld (Odyssey One, #3)
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4.3 of 5 stars 4.30 avg rating — 630 ratings
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94 Santiago: A Myth of the Far...
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4.07 of 5 stars 4.07 avg rating — 808 ratings
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97 The Star Fraction (The Fall...
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3.75 of 5 stars 3.75 avg rating — 1,367 ratings
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98 Deathstalker War (Deathstal...
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3.91 of 5 stars 3.91 avg rating — 1,689 ratings
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99 History of Civilization 6 Vols
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4.6 of 5 stars 4.60 avg rating — 10 ratings
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99 The Engines of God (The Aca...
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3.81 of 5 stars 3.81 avg rating — 3,862 ratings
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264 books · 527 voters · list created July 24th, 2009 by Kevis Hendrickson (votes) .
42 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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