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Still Looking for a Good Space Opera Series

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6 hours ago, unJon said:

You should. It’s still bonkers but less out of left field. That said, the decision to have all the explanation in a novella is sort of bonkers in itself. 

Reynolds I think had a very active and committed fanbase at the time who followed everything he did, so he published the novels and short stories in a way that made sense if you read them as they came out. Of course, coming to the series after the fact this just becomes a bit more confusing (shades of how Erikson/Esslemont carefully published their books in a certain order which now everyone mostly ignores).

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On 9/27/2018 at 2:12 AM, Wilbur said:

And if you choose Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan Saga as your Space Opera du Jour, TOR.com is doing a re-read with discussion from the author right now.

Will ditto on Bujold. The first five or seven books are really good fun, and get some real psychological depths on the characters.

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https://www.tor.com/series/rereading-the-vorkosigan-saga/

And hey, no one has mentioned Jack Vance yet!  Let's not forget to include some style in our diet of Space Opera.

Huge fan. Had no idea the VIE folks have helped make these ebooks available. Are there all based on the VIE texts?

 

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18 hours ago, ljkeane said:

That's an unfortunate choice for a title. :lol:

Vance got surprisingly high royalties from the UK for that specific book, according to legend. Pornographic bookshops ordered it a lot on the assumption that it was something very different than it was.

 

Also, a BIG yes on Banks, and Donaldson's Gap series (but it is very grim)

Edited by Ran

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I am posting this Space Opera list from B&N without endorsement. I’m sure we could argue the defects in this list (including whether some entries qualify as space opera) ad naseum. But many recommendations in this thread show up in this list so I thought it would be of interest. 

Also the list reminded me of the Lecke and Rachel Bach series, which I think are both deserving. I enjoyed the Bach series more overall but know there was lots of love for Lecke on this board. 

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/blog/sci-fi-fantasy/55-essential-space-operas-last-70-years/

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Sorry for dp but need to ask a question of the collective board memory and this thread is closest. 

I have a memory of a book that came out in the last couple of years that I found really interesting but then forgot to buy and now can’t remember the book name. All I remember is that the plot takes place on a ship where most of the crew is in cold storage and gets woken for brief periods of time on a rotation system over 100s of years. And the protagonist discovers something is wrong with those in charge of the ship. And the book is about how you start a revolution and communicate with others that you never meet, but wake up after you in the rotation over hundreds of years. 

Anyone remember that and was it any good?

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For me one of the best Sci fi books of the last 15 years are Blindsight and Echopraxia by Peter Watts.

Blindsight especially was very highly acclaimed when that came out, I remember that well, felt like a real event in science fiction. Echopraxia is a loose sequel and had more mixed reviews but still has some great ideas and scenes.

Edit to add: will check out that Freeze Frame Revolution short novel as well.

Edited by Calibandar

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Back to OP, I think Paul McAuley might be worth a try - kjnd of Clarksian space exploration/settlement story with lyricism and sweep, but also characters and conflict and adventuring. The Quiet War and Gardens of the Sun, and I think there might be another one now.

Also maybe Vernor Vinge - Deepness in the Sky, and maybe David Brin's Sundiver and sequels.

Edited by Datepalm

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16 hours ago, Datepalm said:

Back to OP, I think Paul McAuley might be worth a try - kjnd of Clarksian space exploration/settlement story with lyricism and sweep, but also characters and conflict and adventuring. The Quiet War and Gardens of the Sun, and I think there might be another one now.

Also maybe Vernor Vinge - Deepness in the Sky, and maybe David Brin's Sundiver and sequels.

Thanks! I'll be sure to add it to my list.

I just finished Player of Games last night. I enjoyed it, solid prose and a decently entertaining plot. I'd give it a solid 3/5 stars. @Darth Richard II I'll return to the Culture at some point in the future, but for now I'm going with Adrian Tchaikovsky's The Children of Time some harder sci-fi.

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1 hour ago, Darth Richard II said:

*obligatory rant about how Dune isn't that great*

:leaving:

Darlin' -- u iz rong in yr opinionated opinion.  :commie:

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Arguable its just not that space operatic, in terms of the genre. More in-tune with the kinda mystically-tingeed, philosophizing social SF of the period...I think of like, Stranger in a Strange Land and Philip K. Dick as the books to lump Dune with - not so much either the pulpy space adventure Space Opera, or the more hard SF, travails of colonizing space ala Clarke, if we're calling it that, type of space opera.

And its meh.

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On 9/25/2018 at 4:58 PM, Gorn said:

Try The Player of Games instead. The Culture series can be read in any order, and Consider Phlebas is one of the weaker books in the series. Use of Weapons is probably the best book in the series and has one of the best endings I've ever read, period (it literally left me stunned for several minutes on my first read), but it doesn't focus much on the Culture itself.

Indeed. I loved The Player of Games. The others in the series were hit or miss for me. RIP, Banks.

 

Ah, I see no one mentioned the Heechee series by Frederik Pohl. The first book, Gateway, won the 1978 Hugo Award for Best Novel, the 1978 Locus Award for Best Novel, the 1977 Nebula Award for Best Novel, and the 1978 John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Novel. It's damned good but rather dated these days. 

Edited by Gigei

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I'm not sure I'd consider Gateway space opera, though I suppose maybe its follow-ups take it a bit more in that direction. That said, yes, it's a really excellent novel. Robert Kirkman's production company optioned it for TV adaptation last year, though I expect nothing good to come from it.

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18 hours ago, Darth Richard II said:

*obligatory rant about how Dune isn't that great*

:leaving:

Or, more to the point, a space opera. It's more of an epic fantasy that takes place on another planet.

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7 hours ago, Werthead said:

Or, more to the point, a space opera. It's more of an epic fantasy that takes place on another planet.

It's an epic space opera, like Wagner's Ring Cycle.  Instead of dragons though, there are sand worms.

And it'a lot of planets it's set on, not just one.

Also, I only include the original, first Dune novel in this greatness.  The others, that's where he goes off the rails blathering on and on about stuff that makes no sense.  So much content in which the characters can either manipulate or travel in time turns into that kind of miserable pseudo mystical mush that are pretty much the rest of the Dune books.

Not that I've read them all.  The ones after Children of Dune  and Messiah -- and that one too is pretty much as unreadable as all the murk that comes later. But I've looked into them, just in case.  Feh.  But the one and only Real Dune was The Best Evah!   I also am more impressed with how well Herbert had digested the Islamic world and history from the earliest days and the varieties of practices and approaches to God they came up with, and how he used it intelligently.  And, I'd say with respect, other than making the centered Hero a white boy who saves the desert, but never mind

:ninja:

Edited by Zorral

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10 hours ago, Zorral said:

It's an epic space opera, like Wagner's Ring Cycle.  Instead of dragons though, there are sand worms.

And it'a lot of planets it's set on, not just one.

Meh, there's no space in dune. The other planets are a new theater set for villains to have their monologue, but the story is on Arrakis, where the prince of good guys' kingdom is chased from his castle by a family coup. Since he has destiny(tm) and magical powers, he survives, trains with a local tribe, and comes back to get his crown once his power among the people is great enough. Also included: swordfighting, taming mythical beast, and feudality.

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11 hours ago, Zorral said:

It's an epic space opera, like Wagner's Ring Cycle.  Instead of dragons though, there are sand worms.

And it'a lot of planets it's set on, not just one.

Also, I only include the original, first Dune novel in this greatness.  The others, that's where he goes off the rails blathering on and on about stuff that makes no sense.  So much content in which the characters can either manipulate or travel in time turns into that kind of miserable pseudo mystical mush that are pretty much the rest of the Dune books.

Not that I've read them all.  The ones after Children of Dune  and Messiah -- and that one too is pretty much as unreadable as all the murk that comes later. But I've looked into them, just in case.  Feh.  But the one and only Real Dune was The Best Evah!   I also am more impressed with how well Herbert had digested the Islamic world and history from the earliest days and the varieties of practices and approaches to God they came up with, and how he used it intelligently.  And, I'd say with respect, other than making the centered Hero a white boy who saves the desert, but never mind

:ninja:

The horrid fucking white male just being a fucking hero white male. Frank Herbet specifically had everyones eyes change blue for a very very nefarious purpose indeed. 

 

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5 hours ago, Errant Bard said:

Meh, there's no space in dune. The other planets are a new theater set for villains to have their monologue, but the story is on Arrakis, where the prince of good guys' kingdom is chased from his castle by a family coup. Since he has destiny(tm) and magical powers, he survives, trains with a local tribe, and comes back to get his crown once his power among the people is great enough. Also included: swordfighting, taming mythical beast, and feudality.

That's the definition for a multiple of space opera elements, going back to early feeders into the tradition such as John Carter of Mars.  Not to mention other space operas such as Vernor Vinge's A Fire Upon the Deep and Deepness in the Sky.

Perhaps what I love most about Dune is how Herbert worked in all these elements of warring states in the era of the Holy Roman Empire's greatest power in conflict with city states and other principalities of Italy (and Spain) of the later medieval and Renaissance eras -- Italy especially, which invented opera.  This is what immediately seduced me upon first reading and which delighted me all the more all the time.  There are so many levels and layers of what Herbert drew upon for Dune, which he never did in any other works, before or after.

Honestly, particularly when going through this list of space operas how anyone could say Dune isn't one is beyond my comprehension.

Edited by Zorral

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