Decades ago the writing of E.E. Smith paved the way for a new kind of sci-fi adventure: the space opera. The subgenre continues to thrive to this day but what, exactly, is a space opera? For insight we put out a call to some noted science fiction authors and asked them to finish this sentence:
"At its best, space opera is..." Read
their responses below.
"Apocalyptic. Sweeping. Intense. Human. Dramatic.
Funny. Above all apocalyptic." --John Ringo, author of the Troy Rising
"A breathtaking epic that takes readers across the
galaxy and universe in a way that not only entertains, but also fires the
imagination and makes us want nothing more than to pack our bags and just go.
Go outward, beyond the normal, beyond the human, to whatever it is that awaits
us all just past the protection of our blue-white cradle." --Evan Currie, author of the Odyssey One series (Into the
BlackandHeart of Matter)
"Frantic, frivolous, fast-paced fun; thought-provoking;
tender; and romantic." --Sharon Lee, co-author of the Liaden Universe
"An over-the-top romp of adventure and ideas, bowing to
the sense of wonder that marks all good SF." --Steve Miller, co-author of the Liaden Universe
"At its best, space opera is rollicking.
Merriam-Webster defines rollicking as boisterously carefree, joyful, or
high-spirited, and that to me captures the feeling found in early space
operas. They described a new frontier with endless horizons ahead -- and while
there were dangers to be faced, there was always the feeling there might be
something wondrous on the next planet over." --John Jackson Miller, author of Overdraft