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Old 01-28-2011, 03:50 PM   #61
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Galactic Center Saga by Gregory Benford. Im currently on the second book which is fantastic, the first was only so so but it seems to be improving as it goes along. Wiki Link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galactic_Center_Saga .
Cities in Flight by James Blish pretty good saga set over a whole heap of years both on earth and in space wiki link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cities_in_Flight.
I havent read over the whole lot of posts sorry if any have been mentioned already.
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Old 01-28-2011, 04:35 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by ATDrake View Post
Normally I don't recommend tie-in fiction, but I've found that Diane Duane is one of the rare writers who can come up with an original and imaginative story that fits into the existing framework without seeming like you're reading an episode re-run script, and actually does something interesting and believable with the setting and characters.

Sadly, even some of my other favourite writers who otherwise do excellent and highly recommended solo work (*cough*Barbara Hambly*cough*) have not managed this trick.
It's doubly hard in the case of ST novels, because Paramount owns the rights and licenses the characters and settings, and has final approval over the books that are published. People active in writing for Trek all have stories about dealing with Paramount, like the case where a book got rejected because "The Federation would never do that!", and the folks involved thought for about 5 minutes, and rattled off half a dozen produced scripts from TOS where the Federation did exactly that.

Given the circumstances, it's sometimes surprising good ST tie-ins appear at all, but Duane is one of the writers capable of transcending the form and doing very readable work.
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Old 01-28-2011, 05:32 PM   #63
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Have you read Piers Anthony's Cluster novels?
I was going to mention Piers Anthony's Bio of a Space Tyrant series.

And yes, Honor Harrington which you can get for free at the Baen free library. A good half of Baen books are space opera/military sci fi

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Old 01-28-2011, 05:35 PM   #64
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If you can find them, and are looking for some original space opera, check out the Lensman series from Doc E.E. Smith. True 40s space opera stuff. Fairly light reading...
I just tried to reread the Lensmen which I loved in high school, and I hate to say it, but the books did not hold up that well. For me, YMMV.

Lee
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Old 01-28-2011, 05:37 PM   #65
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Just throwing it out there because I haven't seen it mentioned.

The DUNE series by Frank Herbert is my favorite, the original is truly a masterork for this genre.
I don't consider Dune to be "space opera". Other than that, I highly recommend it.

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Old 01-28-2011, 09:22 PM   #66
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Space opera

Ian McDonald has been one of my favorite authors from the moment I picked up his first novel, at random. The 1988 Desolation Road is indeed a space opera (still one of my favorite books of all time), as is, to a lesser extent, its 2001 sequel Ares Express. Don't know if either is available as an e-book, but a recent reprint of Desolation Road was hands-down the most typo-laden hard copy book I've ever seen in my life -- to the point of being hard to follow. Just be aware, in reality the text is good.

Anything of McDonald's is extremely rewarding to read. He shows just how well it is possible to write science fiction. May be peerless.

For a few free samples of his work: http://www.freesfonline.de/authors/Ian_McDonald.html
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Old 01-28-2011, 09:26 PM   #67
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I don't consider Dune to be "space opera". Other than that, I highly recommend it.

Lee
Dune is kind of a complicated one. It takes place mostly on one planet, kind of like a Planetary Romance, but when one includes the scope, and the background setting and the stakes (and particularly when one includes the sequels), it has a space opera feel.

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Old 01-28-2011, 10:06 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by ATDrake View Post
Normally I don't recommend tie-in fiction, but I've found that Diane Duane is one of the rare writers who can come up with an original and imaginative story that fits into the existing framework without seeming like you're reading an episode re-run script, and actually does something interesting and believable with the setting and characters.

Sadly, even some of my other favourite writers who otherwise do excellent and highly recommended solo work (*cough*Barbara Hambly*cough*) have not managed this trick.

If you've got Kindle for PC/iPhone installed, the 10% sample Amazon supplies of The Bloodwing Voyages takes you about a third of the way into MEMA, by which time the action's been thoroughly and well setup and it'll be pretty easy to decide if the promised payoff is sufficiently compelling, officially licensed fanfic or no.
I do have Kindle for iPhone so I may do that. I adored Duane's _So You Want to be a Wizard_ books.
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Old 01-28-2011, 10:35 PM   #69
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I really enjoyed Rusch's Retrieval Artist series (which is more like a mystery series set in space than a space opera), but I couldn't finish Diving into the Wreck because of the tense. If present tense doesn't bother you, I would strongly recommended Rusch in general.
Present tense doesn't bother me particularly, so long as it's done well. The Retrieval Artist series is sadly out of print, but I just checked and it appears she'll be adding it to Smashwords soon, which pleases me greatly.
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Old 01-28-2011, 10:54 PM   #70
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I don't consider Dune to be "space opera". Other than that, I highly recommend it.

Lee
Really? I think it's totes "space opera". Audible has an excellent audiobook version, I was listening to it just this afternoon. I read all of the Dune series that was available by 1982. I hated everything after the original book, but I dutifully slogged through them anyway. I think, at that time, there was the original book and three follow-ons.
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Old 01-28-2011, 10:58 PM   #71
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A classic in the space opera field: Earthblood, by Kieth Laumer (in his prime) and Rosel George Brown. It's available at Baen, currently for $6, as part of a collection with other works by Laumer and Brown writing individually.
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Old 01-28-2011, 11:48 PM   #72
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I love all six books in the Dune series, by Frank Herbert. I haven't yet read any of the Dune books written by his son, Brian, but I've heard they're especially horrible.
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Old 01-29-2011, 12:07 AM   #73
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I'm looking for some good space opera to read. I like character-driven, action-filled plots (milSF is fine) and prefer at least one good female lead character.

I have read and loved Bujold's Vorkosigan books, Elizabeth Moon, Sharon Lee and Steve Miller's Liaden books, Jack Campbell's The Lost Fleet series, Feintuch's Seafort series, and Ann Aguirre's Sirantha Jax books, so I'm looking for more of that same kind of thing. I've read Heinlein and Asimov. Tried the Dune books but couldn't get into them. I'm aware of Weber's Honor Harrington books and they're on my list to try. I've also googled up Selina Rosen--anyone read her stuff? Any other recommendations?

Thanks!
I am not a fan of military themed stories, but I've really enjoyed the Honor Harrington series! I read the first 10 very quickly, and then took a long break. Now, the entire series (to date) is back on my "must read" list for 2011/2012.
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Old 01-29-2011, 01:11 AM   #74
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I do have Kindle for iPhone so I may do that. I adored Duane's _So You Want to be a Wizard_ books.
Oops, just checked and Amazon only does a 5% sample for the omnibus instead of the usual 10%.

But Duane's Star Trek books aren't too far off from her Wizard books in flavour (interaction with interesting aliens and learning they're not so "other", a bit of tech-talky people-should-be-careful-how-they-affect-the-universe-which-is-watching-them explanation that sounds really nice in a metaphysical sort of way, initially antagonistic parties working together to solve a problem for the common good which overrides any petty arguments they had to start with while still taking the occasional snipe at each other, etc.) and I think that they're mostly of as high a quality as her original work.

Except for Intellivore, which is the dud of the lot. And The Empty Chair, which is for the morbidly curious who want to find out how the initially promising story started in an earlier volume ends (in a parallel universe, apparently).
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Old 01-29-2011, 01:16 AM   #75
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I just tried to reread the Lensmen which I loved in high school, and I hate to say it, but the books did not hold up that well. For me, YMMV.

Lee
I started reading pulp a few years ago, and got hold of some of the Lensman and Skylark novels. While at first I didn't mind them, in some ways they really haven't aged well. You certainly won't find any strong female characters in them. It's very much a product of its time.
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