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Old 02-02-2011, 08:04 PM   #91
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I agree in the main that they are science fiction fantasy but to my mind they do contain some space opera elements. I was lucky enough to hear Carter speak at a convention many years ago and he emphatically listed these as a homage to both space opera and ERB.
I remember that Lin Carter did admit that he was a homage writer, going back as far as the Lancer Conan paperbacks.
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Old 02-02-2011, 08:48 PM   #92
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I agree in the main that they are science fiction fantasy but to my mind they do contain some space opera elements. I was lucky enough to hear Carter speak at a convention many years ago and he emphatically listed these as a homage to both space opera and ERB.
I knew Lin back when. He was a nice guy, and did good work as the editor of Ballantine's Adult Fantasy series, spawned in the wake of the success of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. I have a far bit of his stuff in old PB editions.

Lin got classed as a hack, turning out wordage to order. This is not a knock: he was a competent wordsmith who could meet deadlines and turn in copy to editorial specifications. But most of his work was derivative, and I suspect he'll be remembered for his editing more than his writing.
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Old 02-02-2011, 09:02 PM   #93
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I have nothing against sf-fantasy; loved the Darkover books though I didn't particularly think of them as space opera.
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Old 02-02-2011, 09:27 PM   #94
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I've heard that "space opera" of the Darkover & Pern sort is usually called "planetary romance".

Since you're willing to do sf-fantasy, Steven Brust's excellent Vlad Taltos series kind of just barely qualifies, since the Jenoine are technically some sort of space aliens and all the humans apparently live on some sort of post-apocalyptic planet along with some other technical space aliens. Though it really is mostly presented in a Lankhmar-ish fantasy city kind of way, with swords and magic and assassins and obstructionist bureaucracy.

But there are plenty of strong female major characters, as one of the technically alien species has no gender barriers for personal/professional achievements the way that most pseudo-medievalish fantasy societies (not to mention in-the-future-we-will-have-amazing-technology-but-no-advances-in-treating-people-equally sf societies) do.

And they're really entertaining books, though they may be insufficiently sfnal to be what you're currently looking for.
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Old 02-03-2011, 03:41 AM   #95
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I've heard that "space opera" of the Darkover & Pern sort is usually called "planetary romance".

Yes, definitely.
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Old 02-03-2011, 10:30 AM   #96
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Yeah, I'm still making my way through Huff's Valor series now, so of course I'm more into spaceships and battling aliens right now than I am into empathetic dragons, but that could really change at any moment
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Old 02-03-2011, 11:25 AM   #97
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Am really suprised that no one has mentioned John W. Campbell's Arcot, Morey, and Wade novels. They are as follows:

The Black Star Passes
Islands Of Space
Invaders From The Infinite
The Ultimate Weapon
As previously mentioned, The Ultimate Weapon is not an AMW novel, but is a space opera.

Other space operas from John W. Campbell include his AARN MUNRO series: The Mightiest Machine and The Incredible Planet.
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Old 02-03-2011, 11:28 AM   #98
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The Lensman books hold up far better for me than the Skylark series. Skylark's hero, Richard Seaton, is a little too squeaky clean, and a guy who can destroy an entire sentient alien race (even if they are loathsome Chlorine breathers who want to destroy humanity) without batting an eye or breaking a sweat is a bit much to take.
Somewhere between the Lensman and the Skylark books is Smith's Subspace Explorers.
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Old 02-03-2011, 11:36 AM   #99
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Bill Baldwin's Helmsman Saga (The Helmsman et al) is a rollicking space opera. It is written very cinematic, almost like a Star Wars movie.

On the other hand, Bill Baldwin has come under scrutiny over the resemblance between his books and books by other authors.

They are still pretty good space operas.
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Old 02-03-2011, 11:41 AM   #100
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Somewhere between the Lensman and the Skylark books is Smith's Subspace Explorers.
Hmmmm. Yes. And The Vortex Blaster is set in the Lensman universe, but not part of the Lensman sequence.

Another stand-alone space opera from Smith is The Galaxy Primes.
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Old 02-03-2011, 12:09 PM   #101
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I have nothing against sf-fantasy; loved the Darkover books though I didn't particularly think of them as space opera.
I don't either. They're part of the class of books that sits in the nebulous gray area between SF and fantasy, and could be classed as either.

They have fantasy tropes, like talismans and magic, but they're set on a world humanity got to by starship, and it's pretty clear the "magic" is technology we don't fully understand, and the "gods" and "goddesses" are manifestations of the "Laran" power, but probably not sentient beings as we understand the term.

There is still a Darkover convention held in November of every year.
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Old 02-03-2011, 01:19 PM   #102
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Actually, it is held Thanksgiving weekend every year which is why I've never made it (I wouldn't have to travel far to get there. But we have one major holiday and 2 family birthdays that weekend and it's just too crazy)
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Old 02-03-2011, 02:48 PM   #103
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Space opera! One of my favorite things! I'm going to read this thread later today - thank you in advance for your suggestions, everyone!
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Old 02-03-2011, 05:39 PM   #104
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I've just been writing about this at length :- (including Schmitz) - got through a couple of hundred authors now :-

http://bluetyson.livejournal.com/tag...0space%20opera
Good stuff, and thank you. One nitpick, however: I concur on the quality of Karl Schroeder, but he's not a Macmillan author. Karl is published by Tor Books. Tor is a unit of Holtzbrink, and Macmillan is Holtzbrink's US umbrella, which also includes Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux, Henry Holt, Palgrave Macmillan, Scientific American, St. Martin's Press, and others, but that's a different matter.
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Old 02-03-2011, 06:50 PM   #105
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Bill Baldwin's Helmsman Saga (The Helmsman et al) is a rollicking space opera. It is written very cinematic, almost like a Star Wars movie.

On the other hand, Bill Baldwin has come under scrutiny over the resemblance between his books and books by other authors.

They are still pretty good space operas.
Bill took a lot of inspiration from historic events as well. The Siege was inspired by The Battle for Stalingrad for instance.
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