Dramatic, celestial adventures that often romanticize space, dubbed “space operas”, have been popular since the pulp stories were published in sci fi magazines, such as Amazing Stories and Astounding Science Fiction, in the early 20th century (author Jamie Rubin has a blog series revisiting Astounding Science Fiction, which you can learn about here). Popular in the early and mid twentieth century, space operas' heyday is generally considered the 1930s mainly because this is when E.E. "Doc" Smith published a short story that would become his Lensman series, which was runner up for a Hugo Award for best All-Time Series. And while there are dozens of sci fi plot lines that have become popular over time, traveling beyond the stars never seems to get old. In the past several years, space opera has seen a come back, with many authors putting their own spin on the classic space travel trope.
Today we take a look at three 2011 titles that prove this subgenre is still alive and kicking:
James S.A. Corey, the pen name of writing team Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck, begin the Expanse series with Leviathan Wakes. It is another example of a sci fi mystery with space opera trappings. Humans have started colonizing space, including Mars and the moon, and the clash between planets means a full-fledged war is boiling. When Jim Holden and his crew come across an abandoned ship with a big secret, will it be the tipping point? With equal amounts of suspense, action and muddy politics, Leviathan Wakes will leave readers anxious for the series second, Caliban’s War, set for release in June 2012.
What space opera story would you suggest to a friend? Let us know in the comments below. And for more genre coverage be sure to visit RT’s Everything Science Fiction and Fantasy Page!