Space Opera Fans discussion

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message 1: by Charlotte (new)

Charlotte (charlotte-) | 2 comments I really have difficulty with the concept of space opera as a distinct sub genre of science fiction. I thought the boundary with hard sci fi was whether there was believable science at its core, but then someone throws in Hal Clement as space opera. In the end I don't find the distinction very helpful as it seems very little futuristic writing can truly be excluded from space opera.

message 2: by Jim (new)

Jim Mcclanahan (clovis-man) Some discussion of this is contained in the "Space Opera Education Needed?" discussion in this group. But I agree that clear delinations are difficult. Alastair Reynolds, due in large part to his astronomy background, has to be considered as hard SF, IMHO. But he is clearly in the space opera fold. OTOH, Kim Stanley Robinson in his Mars trilogy is clearly hard SF, but is it space opera?

Frank Herbert? Hal Clement? Even less clear, I think. But I'm not sure it really matters in the long run. I thought I might enjoy this group because I assumed some of my favorite authors (Vinge, Banks, Kress, etc) might be discussed. So far, there hasn't been a firestorm of discussion, but I'm always optimistic.

message 3: by Creature (new)

Creature | 37 comments Hello:
There was for a couple months over at the SOE (space opera education) thread. I don't know, to me I don't feel anything that is less than swashbuckling action in space where story matters the most and the science is only there to embellish is truly Space Opera. Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers, John Carter of Mars, Carson Napier of Venus, Star Wars, ...etc.; these are the trappings of Space Opera. Of course there are others but these would be the ones to come to the forefront. Star Trek, similarly, is Space Opera.
Space Opera is not confined to serie stories either. The Book "Earthblood," by Keith Laumer and Rosel George Brown is as Space Opera as a story gets. It is a stand alone book. Heinlein wrote several stand alone books that qualify as Space Opera. There really is a lot out there but I think the lines that differentiate the different sub-genres are very indistinct.
Have a Great Day!!!
The "Creature"

message 4: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl Angst (CherylAngst) | 1 comments I love space opera - well, as it fits my definition anyway. ;-)

For me, it's not so much the space, science, future, or aliens, but rather what happens to the characters inhabiting such a world. I love the idea of strange new worlds and new futures because they open up so many possibilities for conflict, for growth, for stroy. Sometimes I feel as though we are never more truly human than when confronted with an alien (as in foreign/new, not just beings with tentacles or slimy heads) situation.

How far can we push ourselves, our humanity, if we don't push the boundaries beyond our 'normal' world?

I'm more than willing to suspend my disbelief when it comes to the science behind faster than light space travel, or aliens, or transporter technology so long as it serves the purpose of letting me delve deeper into the characters. For me, that is what space opera is all about.

I don't expect everyone (or even anyone) to agree with me, but since things seemed a little quiet around here I decided to throw my $0.02 in. :-)



The Firestorm Conspiracy by Cheryl Angst

message 5: by Creature (new)

Creature | 37 comments Hello:
It was worth the $0.02 I hope.
One thing though; we like beings with tentacles and slimy heads (lol).
I love the exploration of strange, new worlds as well. Space Opera is certainly loaded with that.
Have a Great Day!!!
The "Creature"

message 6: by Katelyn (new)

Katelyn | 1 comments Creature wrote: "Hello:
It was worth the $0.02 I hope.
One thing though; we like beings with tentacles and slimy heads (lol).
I love the exploration of strange, new worlds as well. Space Opera is certainl..."

I'd have to disagree. Some of my favorite Space Opera books are 100% Human. I personally think that the lack of a "We're Human, You're Alien" discrimination makes the conflicts so much more powerful.
Trading in Danger (Vatta's War, #1) by Elizabeth Moon

message 7: by Przemek (new)

Przemek (przemo_li) | 18 comments Well distinction is pretty simple. You need multiple planets, or space stations, inhabited asteroids, etc. and/or space travel. And single (or small group of) heroes. That is all. Military SF is basically the same but you need heroes that are part of organized force (Space Naval, Goverment Institutions), and being part of them is vital to story. (rouge ex-military stuff, is more likly to become space opera).

And SF is space opera. SF is military sf. SF is more. SF is when you have some plausible (or not plausible) fiction, set in technological universe (future, past, alternative, or post-technical).

SF will count also psychological books, where sf is just background. Space opera and msf is more about fiction, tech, etc.

In short
Space travel? So it is space opera or military sf. Former if characters represent larger organized forces, while space opera is more about individuals saving whole universe.

PS You do __not__ need aliens. Human to human can be more alien, than any alien can be (do to common heritage).

message 8: by Stephen (new)

Stephen Goldin (stephengoldin) | 113 comments As a writer--and reader--of space opera myself, I'm very much in favor of your inclusive definition. Space opera is great adventure on the largest possible scale. When it works right, it's exciting, exhilarating, and loads of fun.

message 9: by Creature (new)

Creature | 37 comments Hello:
Amen to that.
Have a Great Day!!!
The "Creature"

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