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C.T. Phipps

The Space Opera, Military Sci-Fi, and Interstellar Sci Fi thread

54 posts in this topic

Heh, I think of Honor Harrington more as Military SF more than Space Opera, but yeah I used to love those thing sup to book eh, 8? Then it just got stupid. Like, literally the same mettings in different books but cop pasted verbatim.

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Tobias Buckell's Xenowealth books.  I just saw he has a collection of shorts stories in this universe too, sweet.

Rachel Bach's (Aaron) Paradox Trilogy.

Peadar Ó Guilín's The Bone World Trilogy.

Richard Morgan's Takeshi Kovacs Novels - Broken Angels in particular.

Kameron Hurley's The Bel Dame Apocrypha.

Alfred Bester's The Stars My Destination, but surely you've already read this, right?

And you definitely need to finish The Vorkosigan Saga.  A Civil Campaign has my single favorite scene I've ever read.

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I'd say that the Guilin, Morgan, Hurley and Bester from that list aren't space operas, although they're all very good.

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I don't really like classic/80's Space Opera.My personal tastes lean towards the Brits:

Adam Roberts
Iain M. Banks
Alastair Reynolds
Paul McAuley
Peter F. Hamilton
Neal Asher
Ken MacLeod

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5 hours ago, Werthead said:

I'd say that the Guilin, Morgan, Hurley and Bester from that list aren't space operas, although they're all very good.

I wouldn't really either, I was recommending them based on what he's looking for:

23 hours ago, C.T. Phipps said:

I'm going with "Science fiction in space which doesn't necessarily worry about the hardness of what's possible but just the characters." I'm not going to be too harsh on the definitions of it versus sci-fi but just prefer good stories. Basically, I'll take just about anything with interstellar civilizations and mankind's interactions in them.

 

Edited by RedEyedGhost

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Space opera is a subgenre of science fiction that emphasizes space warfare, melodramatic adventure, interplanetary battles, chivalric romance, and risk-taking. Set mainly or entirely in outer space, it usually involves conflict between opponents possessing advanced abilities, futuristic weapons, and other sophisticated technology.

On my end, I should also note I've expanded the thread to not just include space opera.

However, I'm not sure what people are using as a criteria for "not space opera" since it seems a very broad category to begin with.

Edited by C.T. Phipps

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1 hour ago, C.T. Phipps said:

Space opera is a subgenre of science fiction that emphasizes space warfare, melodramatic adventure, interplanetary battles, chivalric romance, and risk-taking. Set mainly or entirely in outer space, it usually involves conflict between opponents possessing advanced abilities, futuristic weapons, and other sophisticated technology.

On my end, I should also note I've expanded the thread to not just include space opera.

However, I'm not sure what people are using as a criteria for "not space opera" since it seems a very broad category to begin with.

The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction has a recently revised/updated entry on Space Opera,it's much better and detailed than with wiki entry.

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Scott Westerfeld's The Risen Empire is another that I liked but I don't think has been mentioned yet - although as far as I know it's the only thing he's published in the subgenre.

17 hours ago, RedEyedGhost said:

Rachel Bach's (Aaron) Paradox Trilogy.

I'd forgotten about this, but this was a fun series.

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Seveneves by Neal Stephenson would qualify methinks. 

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5 minutes ago, Nasty LongRider said:

Seveneves by Neal Stephenson would qualify methinks. 

I haven't read that but the impression I got from this board was that it was pretty terrible.

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5 hours ago, williamjm said:

Scott Westerfeld's The Risen Empire is another that I liked but I don't think has been mentioned yet - although as far as I know it's the only thing he's published in the subgenre.

 

Co signed, great rec, and i just found out that a book two has been published

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Showing my grimdark roots, I think the ALTERED CARBON/TAKESHI KOVACS trilogy by Richard K. Morgan is actually very good despite being more like "cyberpunk in space" rather than space opera. The character of Takeshi himself is someone I want to slap silly because he really is an obnoxious prick but I love the world building and dark cruel universe. I also like the inherent premise of humans who are constantly uploading themselves into new bodies because they've transitioned to being A.I.

The first book is the best and I liked the second even if it was a totally different genre.

I look forward to the Netflix series.

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4 hours ago, Darth Richard II said:

I haven't read that but the impression I got from this board was that it was pretty terrible.


I think most of the board thought the first part was pretty awesome but are divided on whether the ending is a badly-fitted swerve that could have done with double the time, or just bad in every way.

Still, it's a worthwhile read. But I'm not sure it fits the topic even with the new title if I'm honest...

 

 

 



If you like Altered Carbon you definitely need to read Alfred Bester if you haven't already.

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4 hours ago, Darth Richard II said:

I haven't read that but the impression I got from this board was that it was pretty terrible.

The problem with Seveneves was that Stephenson randomly decided to write a sequel novella and then squish it in as the last part of the book. Seveneves should have ended with part 1, and Stephenson should have released a separate follow up. Unfortunately, he tried to cram in an entirely new world with requisite worldbuilding and character work in too small a space. Also it felt totally alien from the rest of the book. 

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On 11/6/2017 at 0:26 PM, C.T. Phipps said:

I should mention for those who aren't me, I became interested in the genre literature due to the Honor Harrington series. While I think the series became unreadable after WAR OF HONOR, I think it was great competence porn up until then.

I also like the Indie YA series, ALEXIS CAREW which is basically Honor Harrington with a teenage girl heroine.

 

The Elizabeth Moon books, Nicholas Seafort and a few others (Kris Longknife) have a similar style to Honor Harrington.  I wouldn't necessarily recommend any of them, but they can be quite readable.

A few I would recommend that haven't been mentioned yet:

  • Tanya Huff's Valor Confederation books (although again, not masterpieces)
  • The Andrea Cort books
  • The Evergence trilogy

 

Edited by ants

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On 06/11/2017 at 3:34 AM, RedEyedGhost said:

...

Kameron Hurley's The Bel Dame Apocrypha.

...

Hurley's The Stars are Legion is closer to proper space opera.

Not a novel in the series, but Aliette de Bodard's Xuya series is worth checking out. On a Red Station, Drifting and The Citadel of Weeping Pearls are readily available, and she has links to many of the short stories on her site (https://aliettedebodard.com/short-stories/).

The new book by Tim Pratt The Wrong Stars is a nice romp, a bit shallow on the space opera front but a nice exercise in diversity.

For an older work, I remember liking Take Back Plenty by Colin Greenland. No idea how that keeps up though.

edit:

another recent-ish work is Roboteer by Alex Lamb.

Edited by Seli

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6 hours ago, Andorion said:

The problem with Seveneves was that Stephenson randomly decided to write a sequel novella and then squish it in as the last part of the book. Seveneves should have ended with part 1, and Stephenson should have released a separate follow up. Unfortunately, he tried to cram in an entirely new world with requisite worldbuilding and character work in too small a space. Also it felt totally alien from the rest of the book. 

Oh, so that's what happened.

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I'm enjoying Ken MacLeod's Corporation Wars trilogy. Not technically space opera but really fun. 

Ditto Ian McDonald's Luna series. Think The Godfather on the Moon. 

Cant recommend highly enough The Gap series by Donaldson. Especially if you like Grim Dark. Classic and awesome. First book very different than rest of series. Be warned. But it all works. 

It doesn't stand up to the test of time (especially on gender treatment) but I recall enjoying Heinlein's The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress.

Agree with some of the other recs in here  

 

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15 hours ago, Andorion said:

The problem with Seveneves was that Stephenson randomly decided to write a sequel novella and then squish it in as the last part of the book. Seveneves should have ended with part 1, and Stephenson should have released a separate follow up. Unfortunately, he tried to cram in an entirely new world with requisite worldbuilding and character work in too small a space. Also it felt totally alien from the rest of the book. 



I wonder if that was down to the publishers. It's definitely what happened with Reamde, where his publishers made him ram together the game plot and the terrorist plot into one novel because people expect his books to be huge and they'd have been too short individually.

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