For the same reason, certain common tropes like Planet of Hats and Single-Biome Planet tend to appear frequently in Space Opera though harder science fiction is by no means immune to them. For storytelling purposes, interstellar civilizations are analogous to countries, and planets analogous to cities. Space Opera is an Earth-sized story lifted onto a galactic scale. How this move would actually affect the logistics of such a story is safely ignored. While Hard Science Fiction defines itself in part in opposition to space opera and vice versa , in recent years, however, there has been a trend towards incorporating hard science fiction elements into space opera, as in Starship Operators , the s Battlestar Galactica , Firefly and especially Alistair Reynolds' Revelation Space.
In fact, "New Space Opera" has gained some currency as a term referring to works that combine fast-paced adventure plots with some degree of hard SF rigor. In many ways, this is the science fiction equivalent of High Fantasy.
Note that while many more famous space operas go to the "ideal" side of the Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. One famous example in the music world, however, is Swedish composer Karl-Birger Blomdahl's Aniara , based on Martinson's poem Community Showcase More. Follow TV Tropes.
- Legends Lost.
- Best Space Opera Books.
- The 21 Best Space Opera Books - The Best Sci Fi Books?
- Redemption Song.
- Winston Churchill: The Story of the Great British Statesman (Real Lives).
You need to login to do this. Get Known if you don't have an account. Le Wrath di Khan. It's Grapes of Wrath in outer space! Oh, it's got heart, it's got laser battles, it's got a timely message of interstellar poverty—! Anime and Manga. The first written by Haruka Takachio immediately after seeing Star Wars. Dragon Ball : The original series was entirely Earth-based, but starting with the Saiyan Saga it began to exhibit a more galactic scope. It does mostly stay back on Earth after Frieza's defeat, though, although a good chunk of the menaces, including from the Non-Serial Movie villains, come from space.
Legend of Galactic Heroes , a large scale space opera set in the century old clash between an Empire and a Republic. The classic works of Leiji Matsumoto. Among the first space operas to involve the legend Leiji Matsumoto. Space Battleship Yamato , remake and spin-off movie, followed by the sequel series Space Battleship Yamato Warriors of Love Starship Operators , notable for its extreme realism, one of the hardest space operas out there.
Stellvia of the Universe Str. GXP and the second half of Tenchi Universe are clear-cut examples. Toward the Terra Trigun more so in the manga. Tytania , the closest thing to an anime Dune and written by the same author as Legend of Galactic Heroes though it is an independent story. Ulysses 31 Vandread : Humanity has split into two factions: Men and Women, who are continually at war with each other. Our story starts with a shipful of women and three guys, all thrown together and having to cooperate to stay alive. As a metaphor, the technology of the two factions combines together to become far greater than the sum of the parts, barely keeping them alive and fueling the story line.
Comic Books. Judge Dredd : Though mainly set in a Dystopian Wretched Hive on Earth, several stories especially The Judge Child Quest have seen Dredd traverse space and visit many different alien civilizations, both friendly and hostile. Shakara is an incredibly Troperrific take on this genre, covering the Roaring Rampage of Revenge of a Killer Robot who was made to avenge the deaths of its species at the hands of the evil alien alliance. Planets blowing up , spaceship battles , and time travel ensue.
Nemesis the Warlock. Albedo: Erma Felna EDF mixes this with Furry Fandom , albeit it's also a desconstruction of both genres, being more realistic than the regular space opera. Buck Rogers and its imitator Flash Gordon are the Trope Codifiers , though the former began as an After the End story and only moved into space and the latter originally stayed on the planet Mongo, where Flash, Dale Arden and Dr.
Zarkoff were stranded. The story takes place in the present day. However, the popular image and later iterations of the strip have Flash Gordon adventuring in space. Star Wars began after Lucas failed to obtain the rights to Flash. King Features, realizing their mistake, made the Flash Gordon film after the wild success of Star Wars.
Cosmo is an all-ages variant of the genre, which a Rag Tag Bunch Of Misfits explored exotic locales on both the solar system and beyond. In a twist of irony, Max acted as a side character and a pastiche of muscular square-jawed space hero to the alien main characters. Green Lantern has a foot firmly placed in Space Opera , especially in Crisis Crossover comics like Sinestro Corps War where Sinestro himself set the war up so he wins either way. Marvel Comics turned the cosmic part of their Shared Universe into one giant Space Opera , since Fan Fiction.
Sold To The Highest Bidder is a rather dark one of these, covering the political, emotional, and interpersonal complications of an intergalactic slave trade. Undocumented Features Earth's Alien History is a collaborative project Mega Crossover between numerous Sci-Fi franchises including many of the ones listed elsewhere on this page , which quickly expands into a truly massive universe.
The Reaper War Arc alone could constitute a full story all on its own, and a spinoff featuring Colony Ships sent to the Andromeda galaxy has begun as well. Film — Animated. Titan A. Treasure Planet has all the trappings of a Space Opera, despite being a comparatively more personal affair. Film — Live Action.
Space Opera and the New Wave
Captain EO , a Disney Theme Parks 3-D movie, is less than 20 minutes long but clearly takes place in this genre: A dashing hero with a crew of misfit alien creatures is sent on a mission to transform a grim, H. Giger-esque planet. There's a skirmish with the evil Supreme Commander's fleet of starships, and later the heroes are taken captive by her forces — but they use The Power of Rock to turn into it a land of Crystal Spires and Togas and its people including the ruler into happy, Day-Glo dancers.
The Fifth Element , a Space Opera with an opera in space! Flash Gordon , though it does not technically count. It set out to emulate the success of Star Wars. Guardians of the Galaxy and its sequel. Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame are mostly not this, but dip into it with scenes involve the Guardians or Thor.
The Ice Pirates Jupiter Ascending. Kai: Death of Dreams. Pandorum has a love story Bower's wife , battles, a dashing hero Mahn and a insanely gorgeous female lead Nadia. Spaceballs although technically, it's a parody of Space Opera. Star Wars is perhaps the most famous modern example as noted in the main description , with its grand and fantastical tale of heroic rebels fighting against the evil Empire set "a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away Transformers: The Movie.
Some edits even have the Opening Crawl. The Warlord: Battle for the Galaxy. Aeon 14 , after the Time Skip during which Faster-Than-Light Travel is invented, is space opera with significant influence of hard science fiction and Post-Cyberpunk. Probably the " hardest " of all Space Opera , with Faster-Than-Light Travel being the only deviation from known physics.
Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie. Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard 's opus Battlefield Earth. Adam Christopher's The Burning Dark uses a Space Opera setting for what is basically a haunted house space station story, Throwing in Eldritch Abominations in towards the end for flavor The Commander Toad picture books by Jane Yolen are a parody of space opera. The Conquerors Trilogy by Timothy Zahn. John C. Banks , although again it does have a society changed by technology - in particular near-perfect medicine and a lack of the need for money due to massive technological advances.
Simon R. Green's Deathstalker books. The Deathstalker series is both a parody and an homage to more traditional Space Opera's and exaggerating or taking various tropes to their most extreme conclusion. His Drake Maijstral trilogy, by contrast, is a tongue-in-cheek comedy of manners space opera, starring an interstellar Gentleman Thief. Edmond Hamilton : Has big love stories, epic space battles, oversized heroes and villains, awe-inspiring places, gorgeous women, and they usually rule the universe - or at least a star kingdom to boot. The Flight Engineer trilogy by S.
Sterling and James Doohan. Foundation , by Isaac Asimov , an extremely influential series inspired in part by Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire and which in turn partly inspired Star Wars. Future History , a novella set in this genre. Stephen R. Newer editions of the first volume have a cool author's note explaining how the dramatic elements and thus, tropes of Opera work in a sci-fi setting. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy derives a lot of its humor through parodying space opera conventions.
The unrealistic elements typical of the genre are either lampshaded or replaced with even sillier ideas. Over the course of many books, Harrington has moved away from her source and evolved into a different kind of character entirely, but the vestiges of that initial inspiration remain.
But this one is too outlandish to leave off the list. Simmons apparently thought he could get even more complex and sprawling with this duology. Mars hosts beings who are, for all intents and purposes, old-school gods, living where else at Olympus Mons.
They are masters of quantum forces who easily manipulate time and space. The result is a story that exists in two quantum states: straightforward homage and postmodern metafiction, all wrapped up in a story that includes things like a resurrected scholar transported to the Trojan War to offer expert commentary in real-time. Rather than simply use history or the source book as a structural or thematic model, Asimov cleverly extrapolates alternative, speculative possibilities—the purest essence of sci-fi writing.
Readers do not want to read page after page of mind-numbing tedium; they already live that in everyday life. They read fiction, especially science fiction, to escape reality, not to delve deeper into it. David Weber's Honor Harrington series is a classic example of space opera: interstellar diplomacy and warfare, grand strategy and fleet tactics, conspiracies and drama, high technology and higher stakes. The series doesn't have Admiral Harrington spending entire novels caught up in mindless staff meetings and tedious paperwork; that's not the point of space opera.
Space Opera - TV Tropes
People don't want to read boring stuff, and ordinary, everyday life is boring. If they want to read about ordinary human drama, that's what literary fiction is for.
Tor's assertion to the contrary demonstrates a lack of awareness of what readers want. But that's what you get when you bring aboard a writer who admits she is " not really a Space Opera kind of girl ". Space opera is about, well, fun. As John Del Arroz points out on the Castalia House blog , space opera doesn't have to realistic; it just has to be fun. Not that there isn't room for realism if it doesn't subtract from the story. It just has to be done right. Science fiction celebrates the vasty deep of the galaxy, marvels at the strange wonders born in the light of alien suns, and lauds the power of the imagination.
Today, sci fi is split into 'realistic' hard science fiction and 'unrealistic' soft science fiction, with works assessed by how closely they hew to known science. The old pulp masters would have laughed at such a notion. But it doesn't mean that it's not useful. Hard science fiction is the fiction of probability. It celebrates the glory of science today , showing us what we can do with what we already know. It is not about fixing your imagination into tedious todays and stagnant yesterdays, or locking your brain into the realism box.
Science constantly changes; a hard sci fi story cannot possibly remain completely accurate forever, nor should it. Instead it should strive to show what humans can achieve simply with what we know today, and build a ladder for us to reach for brighter and more glorious tomorrows. Starship Operators is perhaps the hardest science fiction anime today. There is no sound in space; the sound is explicitly described as dubbed in for viewers.
Battles take hours or days, with ships jostling for position. The only artificial gravity aboard a ship comes from rotating wheels. Light-speed lag significantly affects tactics and combat.