Amph Seeking Space Opera in the epic, classic style

Discussion in 'Archive: SF&F: Books and Comics' started by brodiew, Jul 26, 2007.

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  1. brodiew Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2005
    star 5
    I've been looking for a good book; a good sf book featuring well formed characters that participate in some epic battle of good vs evil, a plotline the is not infintely complicated, and a satisfactory conclusion. It can either be a series or a single novel.

    I'm not looking for pulp, but something a little more literary in style.

    Ideas?
  2. arwen_sith Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2005
    star 4
    It would help if you could tell me what you already have read in the genre.
  3. brodiew Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2005
    star 5
    Not much actually. I'm a star wars fan, and have read some Heinlen and Bester, but Bester really isn't space opera. I've not yet read "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress". I've heard good things.

    I'm open to your suggestions.
  4. jangoisadrunk Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 7, 2005
    star 4
    Alastair Reynolds' Revelation Space trilogy might fit the bill. He used to be a working astrophysicist with the ESA, so his science is pretty hardcore, but fanciful at the same time. The three novels you should start with are Revelation Space, Redemption Ark, and Absolution Gap. I was looking for exactly the kind of sci-fi novels you described in the first post. I picked Revelation Space at random out of the bookstore. And it really was a revelation.
  5. LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Games Mod

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    May 25, 2002
    star 9
    You might want to look into the Warhammer 40,000 (40K) novels as well. Just about all of them feature space ships, battles (both in space and on planets), an Empire (good guys) and the forces of Chaos (bad guys). Quite a few of the novels are parts of series but if you try one of the standalone ones you can get a taste of things. You can check the website out here. There are also gaming elements of Warhammer 40K but I have enjoyed the books without getting involved in the gaming. The series I started with was the Eisenhorn trilogy.

    There was a videogame (Fire Warrior) set in the same universe that came out back in 2002/2003 (I think). I haven't played the game but the novelization wasn't bad.
  6. StarscreamPrime Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 9, 2006
    star 4
    "Eisenhorn" is a good introduction to the WH40K universe, along with William King's "Space Wolves" series.

    Another name I often throw out for Space-Opera storytelling is Simon Green, with his "Deathstalker" series. I've always loved how the series reads like an ultra-violent retelling of the "Star Wars" storyline. It's got GOBS of gruesome violence, lots of entertaining fights, and if you think the story is all muscle, with no brains, there is a good measure of mystery and royal plots to keep you guessing.
  7. brodiew Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2005
    star 5
    I thought about 'DeathStalker' but a series that long is a big comittment. then again, I just need to see if I like it by reading the first book.
  8. StarscreamPrime Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 9, 2006
    star 4
    If the longness puts you off, then don't worry too much. What I did was read the first three books of the series, gave it a break, then finished off the last two of the first series. Those first three being:

    "Deathstalker"
    "Deathstalker Rebellion"
    "Deathstalker War"

    What you get is a FEW lingering plot details carrying over to the last two books, but you still get a solid-enough story, and a conclusion to the first major story arc.
  9. Ulkesh2 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 4
    OK here's my list of great Space Opera titles-

    I. Dan Simmons

    a. Hyperion
    B. Fall Of Hyperion
    C. Endymion
    D. Rise Of Endymion
    E. Ilium
    F. Olympos

    II. Kevin J. Anderson

    a. Saga Of The Seven Suns (eight books long)
    B. Dune (prequels)
    C. Dune (sequels)

    III. Debra Doyle/John McDonald

    a. Mageworld (prequels)
    B. Mageworld (sequels)

    IV. Frank Herbert

    a. Dune (classics)

    V. Stephen Baxter

    a. Vacuum Diagrams

  10. Obi Wan Bergkamp Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 19, 1998
    star 3
    Try Stephen Donaldson's Gap series. It is basically a retelling of Wagner's Ring cycle in a sci fi setting, and you can't get anymore operatic than that.

    Overall the goodies are the goodies, the baddies are the baddies {evil corporation, aliens} and there are lots of space battles, exploding stuff etc.

    A note of caution however, the first book if full of fairly graphically sick sexual violence. In the afterword Donaldson states that it was originally intended as a stand along book and only after he had finished it did he realise he could expand it into the 5 volume epic. The version I have doesn't have a 'what has gone before' at the start of each book so you will have to read number 1 as important stuff happens.
  11. Kimball_Kinnison Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    You cannot discuss Space Opera without talking about E. E. "Doc" Smith, and his two great works, the Skylark series (widely considered the first Space Opera), and his epic Lensman series (from which I took my screen name).

    The Skylark of Space is now out of copyright in the US, and so you can download it from Project Gutenberg, if you want. The first sequel, Skylark Three is also in the public domain.

    I highly recommend both series if you want to see the prototypes for almost all Space Operas (including Star Wars) that have come along since then.

    Kimball Kinnison
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