Scifi Space Operas

By | June 23, 2010

There was a good post over on SF Signal this morning about favorite Space Operas.  A number of the ones listed I have read, though I did note a few I felt were missing.  Book lists are always very subjective things, so perhaps missing is the wrong term.  Books or series that I personally feel are must reads in the genre and that I classify as Space Opera.

First though, I did see some that I expected and fully agree with.

The Dune novels I see listed a couple of times and is a long time favorite.  I do note that they mention just the first three in this and I have to agree.  I have read some of the follow on on books and some of the prequel books as well and while I do like them, rarely drug me as into the story as the original.  I still remember (and own along with the soundtrack) the 1982 movie version of Dune.  I remember watching this with a mixture of love and horror.  I liked the cast and the music was incredible, but it was like someone had taken 10 pages here and there out of the original novel and pasted them all together.  I could follow the plot, but I knew the level of complexity that was being skipped over.  Yet I digress, the novel is epic in scope, but the stories and plots within plots stands to this day.

Also listed are The Mote in God’s Eye and Eon which I found great world building and believable first contact situations.  I was a little disappointed to see not a whole Asimov books included since there are many standalone stories that fit well with these.  While they are getting a bit dated now, perhaps it was felt they weren’t a “Space Opera.”   (The one off novels.) Though I would submit that the Foundation Series or the Robot novels are Operatic in scope and worth a look at – they were indeed mentioned.

The most surprising to me of what I didn’t see, was the lack of any David Weber novels.  Weber is a very prolific writer who is currently the master of military scifi. Empire from the Ashes is probably still my favorite trilogy from him, though his current Safehold series is catching up there, though the Safehold series branches away from the more Space Opera side of Scifi.  His Honor Harrington series keeps you in space with plenty of action and political intrigue.

Even with those gaps, the list is worth reading.  I found a couple of recommended books that I added to my reading list as they sounded interesting, but somehow I have missed ever picking them up.

A couple of honorible mentiones I would like to make are Graham Paul Sharp’s Helfort’s War series (Link to Helfort’s War: Book I) and Jack Campbell’s The Lost Fleet series.  Both are fairly quick reads but I really like the word building and general story construction.  Since they are fairly quick reads I would suggest picking up the first novel in each series and seeing if it suits.  Helfort’s War Book 4 is coming out in November 2010 and The Lost fleet series recently had book 6 of 6 come out.

Any others to add?

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