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The New Space Opera

(New Space Opera #1)

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  1,053 ratings  ·  91 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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3.83  · 
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 ·  1,053 ratings  ·  91 reviews

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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
Mar 29, 2012 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
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
Florin Pitea
Mar 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A superb anthology courtesy of Messrs. Gardner Dozois and Jonathan Strahan. Definitely worth a second reading. Highly recommended. Mr. Dan Simmons's "Muse of Fire" is unforgettable.
Ron Henry
Jan 05, 2009 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
Peter Tillman
Stronger of the two. Go-to review is David's, below:

Standout for me, from memory:
“Who’s Afraid of Wolf 359?” by Ken Macleod. One of his "fast burn" stories, clever & fun. Online at

I should reread it. OK, I did, in 2016, so not just yet. Shorts are good for rereading, because I forget then so fast....
Dec 12, 2008 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.
Sep 14, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: anthology, spec-fic
The whole thing gets just barely 3 stars out of 5. There were some great stories and some not so great ones; there were also some great narrators and some not so great ones. The following is more quick notes (some including spoilers) than actual reviews of most of the stories, so I'm putting it under a spoiler tag. I have rated each story on its own, and averaged those to get the book rating.

(view spoiler)
Chris Perrin
Nov 03, 2009 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
Tracy B
Feb 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Rating for each story:

***** Saving Tiamaat • (2007) • shortstory by Gwyneth Jones
***** Verthandi's Ring • (2007) • shortstory by Ian McDonald
***** Hatch • [The Great Ship Universe] • (2007) • shortstory by Robert Reed
*** Winning Peace • (2007) • novelette by Paul J. McAuley
*** Glory • (2007) • novelette by Greg Egan
** Maelstrom • (2007) • novelette by Kage Baker
***** Blessed by an Angel • (2007) • shortstory by Peter F. Hamilton
*** Who's Afraid of Wolf 359? • shortstory by Ken MacLeod
**** * The
Feb 09, 2010 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
Jul 02, 2014 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.
Jan 04, 2010 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.
Deborah Cooke
Mar 26, 2016 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.
Ben Lund
Sep 24, 2018 rated it liked it
This was really a book full of hits and misses. The book grabbed my interest because there were a few authors names I recognized and I was very interested in short stories by them. Unfortunately the first several stories were severe disappointments, I seriously considered giving up on the book altogether a few times. But eventually the stories did start to run more to my liking. Minla's Flowers was an especially nice surprise.
However the stories that were unenjoyable tempered by the ones that l
Tom Rowe
There are good stories here, and there are great stories here.

My favorites:
The Muse of Fire by Dan Simmons - A Shakespearean acting troupe travels the galaxy.
Minla's Flowers by Alastair Reynolds - A man tries to save a planet, but they don't listen.
Remembrance by Stephen Baxter - Are there some things better left forgotten?
The Emperor and the Maula by Robert Silverberg - 1001 Nights in space.
Art of War by Nancy Kress - Someone has mommy issues.

I would listen to these again.
Dec 04, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. A good variety of Space Opera short stories and novellas. As with any collection, there were both hits and misses for me. I was fascinated that three of the stories dealt with art and two of those dealt with the profession of acting in outer space ("Maelstrom" by by Kage Baker and "Muse of Fire" By Dan Simmons, which gets extra points for combining Shakespeare and Gnostic theology in a futuristic and intergalactic setting). These last two were among my favorites.
Jason Pike
Aug 29, 2018 rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this collection. These stories are exactly the kind of thing I dig. Half of them I just didn’t get. Maybe they were over my head. The rest - well, the endings were just kind of obvious. So, there ended up being no payoff for me. I see there’s a volume II and I’d be willing to give it a shot.
Aug 03, 2015 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
Mar 21, 2019 rated it it was ok
I enjoyed maybe 5/18 Stories.
Jun 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Not every story hits, but the ones that do hit hard.
Florin Constantinescu
Mar 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
One of the best all sci-fi original anthology I have read.
Somehow it happened that Strahan & Dozois chose a large list of authors which I like and follow, and very strong stories from them: McAuley, Hamilton, Reynolds, Baxter, Silverberg, Simmons.
Remaining stories are above average as well, there are no fillers here.
Mar 28, 2008 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 ...more
Sadie Mayo
Feb 16, 2017 rated it liked it
I listened to this book. To be completely honest I chose it based solely on the title, Space Opera. I assumed it would be about some sort of outer space opera. I was wrong, although one of the stories did have a theater theme.

This was a interesting menagerie of mostly enjoyable short stories. I gave it a three star rating because it had some unreadable stories and some absolutely brilliant ones.
Aug 03, 2007 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
Stephanie Griffin
Nov 25, 2007 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
Pat Beard
Aug 30, 2016 rated it liked it
If this is the new I think I like the old better, But thankfully I don't think that it really is the new since I have read some really fine current space opera.

As with any anthology some stories I liked some I really didn't like some were lukewarm but none of these really made me enthusiastic to read more. Too bad. My intro to SF was as a young teen with a library that was restrictive in policies - "You may only check out 5 books at a time." Never mind that I lived in the country and, disliking
Mar 12, 2012 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
May 19, 2015 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
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Gardner Raymond Dozois was an American science fiction author and editor. He was editor of Asimov's Science Fiction magazine from 1984 to 2004. He won multiple Hugo and Nebula awards, both as an editor and a writer of short fiction.
Wikipedia entry: Gardner Dozois

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