On Space Opera

When it comes to speculative fiction (sf), I’ve always been significantly more of a fantasy fan. That’s not to say that I don’t like science fiction. I do. But, like I said in my previous post, I’m not overly fond of the science fiction often championed by the sf internet circles I frequent.

When I read science fiction, I prefer space opera by a significant margin. Perhaps it comes from the fact that I was introduced to science fiction largely by space opera. Okay, I started out as a Star Trek and Babylon 5 fan. And my love for those series moved me gradually into a small passion for space opera.

My favorite science fiction novel is Dune with Excession and Chasm City fighting it out for second place.

What I love about space opera is the scope of the story. And the fact that the focus is on both sweeping narratives and interesting characters. Don’t get me wrong, I like science, but I’m really not that interested in scientific accuracy or nitty gritty. So what if the FTL method is ludicrous? Just so long as it works.

Science fiction has been plagued for decades with the question of why people read it. What is the value of science fiction? To me, that is a rather stupid question. I read science fiction because I want to be entertained. If I also happen to have my mind blown by the themes, ideas, characterization, etc. of the work, then that is absolutely a great thing. But I don’t read for revelation or prophecy. The assumption that science fiction’s worth is tied up to its predictive accuracy is, to me, bull. Perhaps that is why I have an issue with a lot of science fiction? It dates so poorly.

Now, space opera isn’t the only subgenre of science fiction I read. I do like me some punk (so long as the punk is actually punk). And I don’t completely hate the New Wave. But I tend to go for space opera.

The funny thing is that I haven’t really read science fiction in months. I think the last time I read any science fiction was either an anthology or for Critters. Damn, I need to get some science fiction read!


Crap, before I post this, I need to remind every one about Post 300. Remember, comment any ideas you have for the subject.

Also, here’s an update of for the posts I have for the rest of the week:

I’m adding a rant on LGBT inclusion in fiction (again). Expect this either tonight or early tomorrow morning.

I also have a review of The Avengers on tap. I just need to watch the film first.

And I have a ton of comics coming in from my local library. So expect a review of The Children’s Crusade among others.



Posted on November 27, 2012, in Books and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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