Well, let’s clarify that. I love the space opera genre. Hell, current project fits squarely in the military space opera category. It’s the term… “space opera”.
From the Wikipedia article on space opera: “Space opera is a subgenre of science fiction that emphasizes space warfare, melodramatic adventure, and often risk-taking, inter-planetary battles as well as chivalric romance. Set mainly or entirely in outer space; it usually involves conflict between opponents possessing advanced abilities, futuristic weapons and other sophisticated technology.” (Here’s the kicker, folks) “The term has no relation to music but is instead a play on the terms “soap opera” and “horse opera…”
I’m probably going to catch some hell for saying this but, “Chivalic romance” and melodrama aside, what (in that definition) makes the genre deserve such a wussified name?
What typically appears in a Space Opera (ugh, it even hurts to say it in this post)? Strong characters, usually engaged in an armed conflict with sophisticated weapons and technology. In some cases, this can be described as: Michael Bay movies, but with actual, compelling characters. EXPLOSIONS! ( In my opinion)
Not that I’m putting down opera , in any way. Please, don’t think that. I hear Opera, in the name, and I think musical. By that definition, the closest SF property to qualify as a Space OPERA would be the fracking Star Wars Holiday Special! And I don’t need to remind everyone how that turned out.
I’ve watched a Nick Webb interview, recently. I don’t know Mr. Webb, obviously, but he looks like he good be a physically imposing individual. To hear him refer to his book, CONSTITUTION (which is excellent, BTW), as a military SPACE OPERA, just sucks the manliness out of the “military” in it (again, in my opinion). I say “manliness”, but I don’t mean that to take anything away from female protagonists. There are plenty of female leads that kick more ass in military s/f stories than their male counterparts.
But, unfortunately, I’m going to have to live with the term. That’s what the industry uses for category purposes for now and probably forever. Although, I saw the term “Science Fiction Epic” somewhere and I like that one better.
For lack of better, accepted terminology, though, I have guess I have to classify my upcoming series, CARSON LYLE’S WAR and its part one, FOOLS GOLD, as (sigh) Military Space Opera.
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Till Next Time…