roundtable picture title1 It’s ironic if not poetic justice, or license depending on how you feel about it, that a term which was spawned to deride a certain type of literature came to be championed decades later as an opportune way to describing a particular subgenre of Science Fiction by Publishers and authors alike to help market it to bookshops, fans, not to mention the general public at large.  These days the lines kind of blur between encompassing a greater part of Science Fiction, to those that would try and narrow its meaning as well as audience to something more precise like coming under mostly Military SF. Perhaps its like that episode in the excellent story arc of Babylon 5 where the Vorlon, Kosh reveals himself to the residents of the station in an effort to save Sheridan. Each see a different projection of Kosh manifested in their own belief system of their respective culture’s deities. In other words – each to their own. So I thought, given the current wave of book titles and new TV shows, it might be a fortuitous moment to ask a number of published authors in this field, who either embrace the term or not, what their thoughts are on Space Opera as a whole, and what it might mean today and its relevancy within the Science Fiction community. ROCKET ICON 001 OUR AUTHORS

mike cobleyMICHAEL COLBEY  Michael Cobley was born in Leicester, England, and has lived in Glasgow, Scotland, for most of his life. He has studied engineering, been a DJ and has an abiding interest in democratic politics. His previous books include the Shadowkings dark fantasy trilogy, and Iron Mosaic, a short story collection. Humanity’s Fire sequence are his first full-length foray into space opera which include so far the following books in order, Seeds of Earth [March 2009], The Orphaned Worlds [April 2010], and The Ascendant Stars [November 2011]. Orbit will be releasing Mike’s next novel in the Humanity’s Fire series, Ancestral Machines January 12 2016.

mike cobley ancestral devices
Orbit (January 5, 2016)


Mike’s website:

Facebook: ROCKET ICON 001 b3fZEcMGDAVE BARA Dave Bara was born at the dawn of the space age and grew up watching the Gemini and Apollo space programs on television. He dreamed of becoming an astronaut one day. This soon led him to an interest in science fiction, especially on television. His early years were filled with dozens of episodes of the original Star Trek, Lost in Space, The Outer Limits, and The Twilight Zone. He began to read science fiction voraciously in his teens, with authors like Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Frederick Pohl, Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle, Gordon Dickson, and Joe Haldeman being among his favorites. This led him to try his hand at writing, which he continued all through his college years, even using a novel project as part of his undergraduate degree studies. During these years the story concepts for what would become The Lightship Chronicles series began to take form. Dave’s writing is influenced by the many SF novels he has read over the years, but most notable were books like Dune (Herbert), The Mote In God’s Eye (Niven and Pournelle), Dorsai! (Dickson), The Forever War (Haldeman), Tau Zero (Poul Anderson) and the Foundation novels (Asimov), among many others. Dave looks forward to bringing SF fans many years of exciting and interesting writing, heroic characters, and soaring adventure in the years to come. IMPULSE: The Lightship Chronicles, Volume I was released in February 3, 2015 from DAW Books in the US and Del Rey Books in the UK and Europe.  STARBOUNDThe Lightship Chronicles, Volume II should be coming later in February 2016 [most of this information was extracted from GOODREADS]

Impulse (US cover)
Del Rey (February 12, 2015)


Dave’s Website:

Facebook: Twitter: ROCKET ICON 001 JACK01JACK MCDEVITT Jack’s first novel, ‘The Hercules Text’ won the Philip K. Dick special Citation Award in 1986. The Engines Of God was an Arthur C Clarke Award finalist. Ancient Shores was a finalist in the Nebular Awards in 1986. He has release twenty novels with most being in The Academy Series (Priscilla “Hutch” Hutchins and Alex Benedict). His next book,  Coming Home (part of the Alex Benedict series) will be released November 4 2014. Jack has written many short stories since 1981. This year Jack received  the Robert A. Heinlein Award “for outstanding published works in science fiction and technical writings to inspire the human exploration of space.” ‘Thunderbird‘ (a continuation of an earlier novel ‘Ancient Shores‘ will be released by Ace, December 1, 2015.

jack - engines  starhawk

jack - firebird jack - thunderbird


Jack’s Website:

Facebook:  ROCKET ICON 001  H Paul Hosinger photo     H. PAUL HONSINGER H. Paul Honsinger is the author of the “Man of War” Series, gritty Military Science Fiction novels with an age of sail flavor set in the year 2315.  The books follow the adventures of the 28 year old wily Max Robichaux, skipper of the stealthy Penetration and Attack Destroyer USS Cumberland, along with his friend and ship’s Chief Medical Officer, the brilliant Dr. Ibrahim Sahin, during the Earth Union’s interstellar war against the Krag, implacable aliens who believe that their Creator-God has decreed that they must destroy the human race.  Two books of the series, originally issued in self-published editions, are now available in new editions from 47North books:  To Honor You Call Us and For Honor We Stand.  The third volume, Brothers in Valor, which 47North was issued on June 30, 2015. The adventures of Max Robichaux and Ibrahim Sahin will continue in the next series, already begun by Paul, the “Brothers of the Black Sky” Trilogy (tentative title).  The planned books in this series are:  To Stations My Lads, Our Courage Defiant, and Hearts of Steel.  More volumes featuring these characters will follow in an indefinite series.

Brothers In Valor – 47North (June 30, 2015)



Paul’s Website: ROCKET ICON 001

Photograph by Andrew Kopp ©2015

S.K. DUNSTALL S. K. Dunstall is the pen name for Sherylyn and Karen Dunstall, sisters who have been telling stories—and sharing them with each other—all their lives. Around five years ago, they realised the stories they worked on together were much better than the stories they worked on alone. A co-writing partnership was born. Their novel Linesman Book One was released 30 June 2015. Book Two, Alliance will be released by Ace, February 23, 2016. They are currently writing book three in the series.

Ace (June 30, 2015)




S.K. Dunstall’s website: ROCKET ICON 001

authors quickfire

Given how many times the perception of the term Space Opera has been tweaked over the decades to suit, it’s not surprising we all have a slightly different take on its application, so I thought it might be an opportune time to ask five (well six if you’re attentive and counting) authors whose works I think fit well into the spirit of what good Space Opera is with their own respective slant on the subject. Not all agree on whether their own work fits the term, but for some of us as fans and readers, the term fits what we are reading. Enjoy. Please welcome our authors in order of responding below

  • Michael Cobley
  • Dave Bara
  • Jack McDevitt
  • H Paul Honsinger
  • S.K. Dunstall

mike cobleyb3fZEcMGJACK01Paul Honsinger1ROCKET ICON 001SKDunstall_LowRes         ROCKET ICON 001

mike cobleyMICHAEL COBLEY:    Widescreen, interstellar adventures that leap from planet to planet, or dimension to dimension (or both), where the melodrama is high, where the old tropes spring to life in retconned guises, and the drama of character interweaves with the drama of the plot.


DAVE BARA:   For me it’s pretty simple; Space Opera takes place primarily in space with the occasional planetfall for variety. The stakes are high, there is usually a menacing antagonist, and it’s a future far from our own. It’s adventure driven rather than science or concept driven. For example, I would classify Star Trek, the new Battlestar Galactica, movies like Forbidden Planet, Star Wars, and Jupiter Ascending as Space Opera. Bladerunner, The Day The Earth Stood Still, Gattaca, and even Interstellar are sci-fi, in my opinion. Then there’s the Miltary SF crossover, which would include Edge of Tomorrow, Starship Troopers, and the like.


JACK MCDEVITT:   Space Opera stipulates a narrative that deals with offworld discovery and/or conflict.  Unfortunately, it’s become caught up largely in political and military struggles, which miss the essence of what SF should be, the incorporation of a sense of wonder, rather than simply an interstellar shootout.

Paul Honsinger1

H PAUL HONSINGER:    First, a true confession.  When my first book came out in self­-publication and people started calling it “Space Opera,” I had to look the term up, as I had no idea what they were talking about.  I had some vague notion of the Flash Gordon serials being Space Opera, but that was about it.  So, I may be the worst author on the planet to ask for a definition here, but I’ll venture boldly where those with more wisdom would fear to tread.  I would think that Space Opera is distinguished from the broader field of SF by the following elements: 

1. Scope.  The scope of the Space Opera is interstellar, at minimum, and generally sweeps across a large swath of the galaxy, if not the whole galaxy, if not multiple galaxies. 

2Existential consequences.  What is at stake in a Space Opera is not merely the career of Lt.Commander Max Robichaux, Union Space Navy, or even that of the destroyer USS Cumberland, but the survival of the human race.  At least, the stakes have to be slavery or barbarism or something on that order for at least a whole planet full of people.  The good guys MUST win or the consequences are more than anyone can even begin to contemplate. 

3.  A certain grandness of style.  I think a Space Opera writer has to write with a bit of a broader brush and use brighter colors.  Big.  Bold.  Exciting.  Subtleties can be in the books, but the books can’t be about subtleties.

SKDunstall_LowRes S.K.  DUNSTALL:  For us, there are six things that make science fiction Space Opera rather than just Sci-Fi: The story is set in space. There is action. The story is character driven. That is, characters are just as important as the science. It usually involves some form of politics, or military, or both. There is often humour. It’s accessible. That is, not a lot of heavy techno-babble. People new to Sci-Fi can understand the story and appreciate it as much as an experienced Sci-Fi reader. Military science fiction isn’t always space opera, especially when it’s more about the fights than about the characters. That old adage—if you point the gun and shoot, then it’s space opera, whereas if you know the make and model and technical specs of the gun when you shoot it, it’s military Sci Fi—holds true for us.  Star Wars is classic Space Opera. Galaxy Quest and Guardians of the Galaxy are Space Opera. Old Man’s War is space opera (and military sci-fi). Inception and Annihilation are not.  

    mike cobleyMICHAEL COBLEY:   Yes, to an extent and for very specific reasons – all subgenre forms tend to go through cycles of being ‘new-and-exciting’ to ‘familiar-and-comfy’ to ‘worn-and-stale’, partially due to the limitations of the writers themselves, but mostly due to the kind of fatigue of meaning that is inherent in commercial culture. Any big successful work gets copied and referenced and sequels are encouraged, with all this repetition the meaning quickly gets leached out and what was once hot and full of urgency becomes stale and flat. The form slips into a fallow period of abeyance, other writers tinker around with the elements, bring in other ways of storytelling etc, and then another breakout book/film/game arrives and off it goes on the upswing again.

b3fZEcMGDAVE BARA:   Not at all. Some of our most popular films, books, and TV series are Space Opera based. Space Opera shows and tells us how heroes are made. That’s an important distinction in an age of negative dystopian TV shows, movies, and SF literature. Some people may get tired of it, and that’s fine. But it endures because it reaches out to a set of principles that many people embrace, and look for in their own lives.

JACK01JACK MCDEVITT:   The criticisms tend to be leveled at individual works rather than at the field as a whole. So accuracy and fairness have to be judged individually.

Paul Honsinger1H PAUL HONSINGER:   There are books of which these criticisms are true. These criticisms are also true of books in mainstream SF, Fantasy, and even Mystery and Young Adult. People need to wake up and read the newspaper headlines that today, as they have every day since the beginning of the genre, say: GOOD SCIENCE FICTION MUST BE GOOD FICTION. If it is full of tropes, it’s not good fiction, and that goes for the Lensman Series as much as it goes for Rendezvous With Rama. If it is a thinly disguised political tract, it’s not good fiction, either. As movie producer Samuel Goldwyn supposedly said (the quote has also been attributed to Frank Capra, who was much more likeable): “If you want to send a message, use Western Union.” Now, I have no doubt that a great deal of my personal belief system shows in my writing, but I didn’t write these books to sell that belief system. I wrote them to entertain readers and, I hoped, make some money as a result. If your primary goal is entertaining readers, you stand a better chance of having readers who are actually entertained.

SKDunstall_LowResS.K.  DUNSTALL:    Yes, it has had that reputation in the past. There has always been good Space Opera but it has often been overwhelmed. It’s improving. There are still tropes but the same could be applied to an epic fantasy, a whodunit, a western, or an urban fantasy. We’ve gone past a lot of the work that attracted this criticism. Nowadays, the good stuff is good. Look at Anne Leckie’s Ancillary Justice, John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War.  Vernor Vinge (if you consider A Fire Upon the Deep space opera). mike cobley

MICHAEL COBLEY:    I`m proud for my Humanitys Fire books to be known as Space Opera

. b3fZEcMGDAVE BARA:    Absolutely. My agent likes to call my work ‘Military SF’ and I like to call it Space Opera. To me military SF are these Warhammer type books with extensive detail put into weapons and battle scenes, and they only (usually) deal with aspects of the military life. I want my work to be broader than that, with adventure, character development, a bit of romance, and political intrigue all mixed in. That to me is Space Opera.

JACK01JACK MCDEVITT:    Not particularly. The term derives from soap opera, of course, which tended to be repetitive domestic struggles delivered with little, if any, imagination.

      Paul Honsinger1H PAUL HONSINGER:    I’m happy if they label it “Assorted Chicken Parts” as long as people enjoy it and continue to buy more. The label I like the most for my work is Space Naval Fiction, but no one else uses that term, so I’m wasting my breath trying to get people to use it for my work. My books show up on Amazon bestseller lists for Space Opera and Military Science Fiction, as well as War Fiction and Military Adventure Fiction outside of the Science Fiction Category. I really think my work can be categorized as easily with that of Patrick O’Brian as with that of David Weber. So, there are lots of labels that apply here and I’m very happy that “Space Opera” is one of them. I certainly DO try to write Big Stories Told in a Big Way. I meant those caps.

SKDunstall_LowResS.K.  DUNSTALL:   Very happy to be labelled space opera. We told everyone that’s what it was. We’re proud of that. Space Opera is so much fun. The characters make the story. Add action, humour, adventure, a dash of space, and throw in a few battles. Who could resist? Space opera is visual, full of characters you want to read about and follow.

mike cobley

MICHAEL COBLEY:    Some obvious ones, Iain Banks, David Brin, Vernor Vinge, Asimov, and others like John Brunner, David Wingrove, Star Wars (the original trilogy), Firefly, oh, and Andre Norton.

b3fZEcMGDAVE BARA:   I think the no. 1 influence for me was The Mote In God’s Eye by Niven & Pournelle. I think it’s the greatest Space Opera ever written. Dune was a big influence, with it’s dueling royal houses and such, and I always wanted to know more about how that system worked. The Dorsai books by Gordon Dickson were influential. There are others. Fredrick Pohl, Joe Haldemann, Samuel Delany. I’ve recently been enjoying the Lost Fleet series by John Hemry (AKA Jack Campbell) and the Diving series books by Kris Rusch as well.

JACK01JACK MCDEVITT:   Now you’re using the term, Paul. I don’t think of my work that way. But SF writers who have influenced me include Clarke, Asimov, Bradbury, Heinlein, and Benford. I don’t think we’d label their work as space opera.

Paul Honsinger1H PAUL HONSINGER:    Since I never set out to write “Space Opera,” my influences aren’t from that field. In fact, my initial notes for my series say something like: “Man of War Series–Blend [Patrick O’Brian’s] Aubry/Maturin Series, WWII Submarine movies like Run Silent Run Deep and Tom Clancy Technothrillers like Hunt for Red October and, especially, Red Storm Rising and set in a huge interstellar war.” I read huge amounts of Asimov, Clarke, and Heinlein when I was growing up, and truly-deeply loved David Niven’s writer’s voice. That sardonic, cynical yet fun tone he had, especially in stories like “Neutron Star,” was what I wanted to sound like. Except that I also wanted to sound a bit like the narrator in the old “Victory at Sea” documentary series. “The Marines held on. With their guts.” I think that there are both voices in my work, but I’m afraid that I’m more “Victory at Sea” than Larry Niven. I met Larry Niven last week and found him very nice, but surprisingly shy. I’m too loud and obnoxious for him to be comfortable. I wonder if I will make the same impression on Victory at Sea when I meet her. I would wonder if she’s cute but I know she’s a lot older than I am.

  SKDunstall_LowResS.K.  DUNSTALL:   We love space, we love Space Opera, but our influences come from everywhere.  We get them from characters we love in stories. Brandon Sanderson’s Kaladin, Sarah Monette’s Mildmay, Alan Grant from Ivan Southall’s Simon Black series, Anne McCaffrey’s Menolly. Plus, from writers we love. Diana Wynne Jones. Robin Hobb, Vernor Vinge, Joan D. Vinge, Connie Willis, Anne Leckie, John Flanagan, Anne Bishop, Sage Blackwood. We could go on. Plus, of course, the movies. Star Wars, Star Trek, Galaxy Quest, Thor.  This is by no means a complete list.  

mike cobleyMICHAEL COBLEY:   Oh, I think there’s plenty of room out there on the interstellar canvas for just about any variant of Space Opera to take root and expand – and in the screen and game mediums as well. I think its heading in several directions at the moment, carried by writers on fire with their own peculiar vision, and absent the surprise development of an FTL drive that`ll take us over to Alpha Centauri in a day or two, space opera will continue to be an integral part of Science Fiction gaudy patchwork territory.

b3fZEcMGDAVE BARA:      If it was going to die out it would have by now. I think it is evolving, taking on more technical science from SF. If you look at films and TV recently you see a renaissance with the successful Star Trek series reboot, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Jupiter Ascending, and many others. On TV we’ve got new shows like Killjoys and Dark Matter that are both set in space, so I think we’re in good standing there. SyFy even had to come back to space-based shows because their other offerings were failing. If the new Star Wars movie and spinoffs are as successful as I think they’ll be, you should see a rush of new Space Opera on TV and in the movies soon. Space Opera will never die. It will only change form and grow with the times.

JACK01JACK MCDEVITT:     Narratives about offworld travel, visits to new places, learning more about the universe, will always be a major part of the genre. We’ll never reach a point where we’ll have a solid grasp on everything beyond this planet.

  Paul Honsinger1H PAUL HONSINGER:    I’m not worried in the least about the genre dying out. There will always be Science Fiction, and as long as there is SF, there will be people who want to write it but to tell Big Stories in a Big Way. That’s really all that Space Opera is–SF, but with Big Stories told in a Big Way. I have no idea where it will evolve, save that it will go wherever writers are willing to lead and readers are willing to follow. It will wax and wane, but it will never die.

SKDunstall_LowResS.K.  DUNSTALL:   Space Opera is definitely an evolving genre. We believe it will continue. Right now, in fact, it seems to be heading for a resurgence. Movies help—because let’s face it, space opera comes across so well as a movie—and widens the audience for space opera. Can you imagine a world without Star Wars or Galaxy Quest? Its popularity will wax and wane, like any other sub-genre, but space opera is here to stay. Because it’s fun. Because it’s entertaining. And really good space opera does what any other good science fiction does. It makes you think.   ROCKET ICON 001  I can’t believe asking 5 questions could stretch this article to over 3552 words and about 38 revisions over the past few weeks but that’s thanks to a wonderful collection of authors here who gave generously of their time and thoughts. Thank you and all best with your novels and series

                                                                                                                                    – Paul



SF writer, Weston Ochse (author of SEAL Team 666 which has been optioned for a movie with Dwayne Johnson on board) has kindly put up a link to a Free kindle download from the publishers, Cohesion Press for the next five days which includes Military Science Fiction, Horror, and Dark Fantasy. Thanks, Weston!




0001tibi peacelord As ongoing Science Fiction series goes, this one absolutely rocks. There can’t be many books that started out in the early 60’s and still continue to be released to this day. That’s over 3500 novels put out since September 1961 and it doesn’t even take into consideration a further 2500 or so weekly novellas in the same universe. Oh, and did I forget to mention the spin off series (‘Atlan,‘ ‘Perry Rhodan Neo’ and ‘Planet Stories‘…? Not bad considering the life cycle of Perry Rhodan initially looked at releasing 30 issues of these Novella-sized books.

Walter Ernsting
K H Scheer

The first issue was written by K.H Scheer and Walter Ernsting and published in Germany under the title  ‘Unternehmen Stardust (Enterprise Stardust).’   Scheer would go on to write 70 Perry Rhodan novels and draft 647 of them and Ernsting would write over 300 titles including the Rhodan books. He was also honoured for his work in fandom and even honoured with an asteroid named after him. Other writers would be welcomed on board as a team and contribute to this colossal tome of Science Fiction literature for years to come .The ever growing series was cataloged  into what was referred as Cycles. The first Cycle was titled ‘The Milky Way‘ (from 1 to 199 issues), where upon another tier segmented them into further sub-categories as per this example of the first nine: book timelineSo what kind of namesake demands over 3500 books in the series? As said, written in 1961 the authors envisioned during a heightening Cold War scenario a manned mission in 1971 lead by U.S. Space Force Major Perry Rhodan and his crew, copilot Reginald Bell, Dr. Eric Manoli, and astrogator Clark Fletcher finding their communication system is jammed come across a marooned extraterrestrial spaceship on the moon using hyperspatial translation hyperspatial translation drives  paying homage to Isaac Asimov. Therein begins this epic Space Opera yarn where they discover thorathe occupants of this alien craft are commanded by the Arkonide. Welcome Thora from planet Arkon in the M13 (Hercules Globular) cluster. She of course is not that much impressed with mankind throwing a tin can up to the moon, having themselves ruled a large sector of the galaxy for a number of millenniums, albeit an empire on the wane. This is where Commander Perry Rhodan comes into his own by convincing Thora to let him take an Arkonide Scientist, Khrest who is apparently dying from leukemia, and that a cure can be found on Earth. Given the escalating Cold War on the planet, Rhodan has an epiphany of galactic proportions whereupon what the Arkonides offer as far as superior technology not to mention firepower, he decides, foregoing tribal affiliations and on behalf of Humanity to land in the Gobi Desert and… well… best discover for yourself the next step, we as sentient beings, make on this planet and out into the Universe as we know it, and to be fair, don’t really know it. Rest assured there are a lot of political hurdles to jump; dealing with immortality and world-shattering weaponry; alien empires and lots more which have consumed the ocean of pages within this series. They really have carved out a hefty and hearty niche in the Science Fiction galaxy of exciting and enjoyable literature. I came across the Perry Rhodan series in the mid-seventies where the first batch of books was put out by an English publisher, But before going into that it’s probably best that we give a big thank you to Forrest J Ackerman who by chance was visiting Europe in 1965 with his German born wife, Wendayne. They bumped into Walter Ernsting at a book fair where a friendship was born with Walter inviting the couple to stay with him for a few days. Ackerman helped co-found the Science Fiction Club Deutschland as well as given the opportunity for getting a firm foothold into the American market with the Perry Rhodan series. Wendayne was invited to come onboard as the translator from German to English, which she could do in her spare time. Given the growing title list of the number of books churning out each week, perhaps “spare time” should have been premeditated with the warning, “bite off more than you can chew.” Ackerman didn’t have much success with a number of US publishers who saw it as “too European,” but Don Wollheim who at the time was an editor at Publishing Co saw potential and released the first book in 1969. The series publishing run in the US would run until 1978 with a number of other books issued or reissued. Because of the limited page number of each story Ackerman would include an additional section of each issue with interesting fannish articles such as Con speeches from notable authors as well as editorials and mentions of various SF clubs around the States just to meat out each issue. The series gained a dedicated following as well as its detractors that saw it on one level as being considered juvenile and on another taking writing jobs away from Americans. Short of 10 years the publications of Perry Rhodan stopped.


Cover Artwork by Gray Morrow


There were various other international publications of the series and one I started collecting from the beginning was started in the UK in 1974 for at least the first 4 books by Futura Publishers. After that Orbit published them on a regular basis. I think for the most part I was buying them initially for the art covers painted by one of my favourite artists, Chris Foss who had also been providing his work for a number of Asimov novels in the UK. Later UK novel issues would include Tony Roberts and Peter Jones notable illustrations on the covers.  It wasn’t long before I was reading them and becoming hooked on the story arc of Perry Rhodan and all his trials and tribulations to bring peace to the world as well as to the Universe. A good job if you can get it.

futura book 1futura book 2PR8PR11PR 17PR 28PR15PR32PR13(Artists: CHRIS FOSS #1 #2 #8 #11 #13. PETER JONES #15 #17 #32. TONY ROBERTS #28)

You’ll also notice on the Futura cover for No.1, ENTERPRISE STARDUST, Kurt Mahr is acknowledged as one of the authors. This in fact is a typo as it should be accredited to K.H Scheer and Walter Ernsting. A slight oversight on the publisher’s proofing staff I guess. None-the-less, what amazing artwork for these books that still excite me to this day. I think I stopped collecting them up until about 135 or so. I don’t think, if given the opportunity, i would be able to catch up but some day, if the books become available again, I’d like to give it a good shot. Perry Rhodan continues to this day in Europe and has spawned all sorts of product in the way of comics and games and so forth. For the sheer mass of published issues alone Perry Rhodan has a place in the Space Opera Hall of Fame if ever one was set up. PR CD Source material from:


Amazing-Stories-March-1951We have Wilson Tucker to thank for that way back in 1941 for coming up with the term “Space Opera;” but that’s as far as it goes.He didn’t coin it as an endearment to this sub-genre of Science Fiction.

As someone heavily involved in fandom for most of his life he actually created it as a means of criticism, for criticism’s sake to encapsulate the type of speculative fiction  he referred to as “the hacky, grinding, stinking, outworn space-ship yarn.” The kind of stuff we come to love and celebrate, and it is the purpose of this site to explore the vast reservoir of books, magazines, comics, what else… oh yeah…  and other media, be it film, TV, podcasts, games, DVDs, radio,  artwork, etc… etc…

Haven’t decided yet whether to do this monthly or just off-the-cuff, but you’re welcome to forward on any recommendations within this sub-genre of Science Fiction. Just contact me if you would like to see something added. If you’re a writer or involved in someway with any of the above and you’d like to get it reviewed or mentioned then contact me either on Twitter or Facebook or via email.

One of the things I hope we can do here is to appreciate the full spectrum of what exactly Space Opera means now. We know it started off as a put down, and yet over the many decades the term has been taken on by not just the fans but also authors and their publishers which to my mind is a beautiful thing. I love the term i all of its romantic and space-faring overtures. Now romance doesn’t necessarily relate to the, “be still my beating heart stuff. Oh no. It could also fall into the realms of adventure and conflict in heroic pursuit or being pursued. There are a lot examples out there, and the good news is, it’s getting healthier by the minute.

512Hj9OWg5L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Just take a look at JAMES S A COREY’s books finding its way to a pending television series called THE EXPANSE. Mark my words, it WILL create a buzz in the entertainment market so look out for more books (it’s quite active anyway) and by-products. Well, that’s my prediction. That’s what’s currently happening now and maybe in the near future too. For sure, if you have a look on many of the new SF (forgive me for not using the more common familiar “Sci-Fi.” I’m old school and prefer SF or plain ol’ “Science Fiction,” but you’re welcome to use it if you so wish) releases on various websites you’ll see many books that fits into this genre.


But we should also look at what has come before. Where and when did it all start? What was the catalyst? Who was involved? Not just authors but also artists and publishers and let’s not forget the fans. Did it branch out into other areas? Does it tell us what it is or what it isn’t. How did the inevitable Space Age of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s change the genre from what it had been in the decades before? This is a good thing. For a term that initially pointed out the Emperor’s clothing to those fans back in the 40’s there is something endearing and exciting still about those two words “Space Opera.” Lets go exploring!