Monday, August 6, 2007

The New Space Opera - Gardner Dozois and Jonathan Strahan

A really excellent collection of stories. I expected it to be pretty decent, and several people had told me it was really good. Well, they were right.

This book has the classic 'Oh wow' moment, in Ian McDonald's Verthandi's ring, where your eyes widen, and afterwards you wander around grinning at the brilliance for a couple of minutes.

I had also been looking forward to a new Greg Egan story for some time, and he doesn't disappoint. Not far in, I go 'What!! How the hell did he come up with that?!?' Shake your head at genius of invention, and continue happily along.

The only bone I have to pick, which may be me not getting it, is Kage Baker's story, which appears to be a planetary farce, as well aPoe homage. There is a spaceship or two mentioned, but not used in the usual sense you woulud expect. If the point is that this is a joke, because it isn't space, and the actual story is about a production that isn't actually an opera, then ok. Otherwise, I don't get it.

James Patrick Kelly's may be a bit borderline for what people will want, too. Nothing subpar to be found in this book, though, may just the odd not the right subgenre.

When I started on Dan Simmons story and saw all the Shakespeare stuff, I was thinking, 'oh not, not another Shakespeare story', yet, after maybe a bit of a slow start, that becomes excellent as well.

The introduction, pleasingly, has an essay on what is space opera, anyway, that is also well worth a time, and worth points. The stories for me are enough to give a 4.5, but with that, top marks.


New Space Opera : Saving Tiamaat - Gwyneth Jones
New Space Opera : Verthandi's Ring - Ian McDonald
New Space Opera : Hatch - Robert Reed
New Space Opera : Winning Peace - Paul J. McAuley
New Space Opera : Glory - Greg Egan
New Space Opera : Maelstrom - Kage Baker
New Space Opera : Blessed by an Angel - Peter F. Hamilton
New Space Opera : Who's Afraid of Wolf 359? - Ken MacLeod
New Space Opera : The Valley of the Gardens - Tony Daniel
New Space Opera : Dividing the Sustain - James Patrick Kelly
New Space Opera : Minla's Flowers - Alastair Reynolds
New Space Opera : Splinters of Glass - Mary Rosenblum
New Space Opera : Remembrance - Stephen Baxter
New Space Opera : The Emperor and the Maula - Robert Silverberg
New Space Opera : The Worm Turns - Gregory Benford
New Space Opera : Send Them Flowers - Walter Jon Williams
New Space Opera : Art of War - Nancy Kress
New Space Opera : Muse of Fire - Dan Simmons


Diaspora warpdrive fine young cannibal political assassination.

4 out of 5


Multiversal war dump survival massacre.

5 out of 5


Immortal evolution ship return desire.

3.5 out of 5


Alien desertion.

3.5 out of 5


Antimatter lightspeed starblast instantiation means mathematical archaeology discovery decision.

4.5 out of 5


Martian Poe production proves popular.

3 out of 5


Twin reproduction insurance.

3.5 out of 5


Empire threat impetus attack gives boomerang inspiration.

4 out of 5


Extrauniversal octopus minds are all grabby-blasty-tentacle, but slow to choke.

4 out of 5


Up the duff with your husband will make relations unfriendly.

3 out of 5


Planet evacuation tech boost co-operation is hard.

4 out of 5


Europa moss man's a stayer.

3.5 out of 5


Isolated solo history revelation retaliation.

4 out of 5


Not even close to 1001 nights needed for Imperial planetary wedding present.

4 out of 5


Sometimes, you give yourself the best advice.

3.5 out of 5


In all Probability, that will be trouble.

3.5 out of 5


Strange attractor society.

4 out of 5


Universal Lord Bard marathon trial or death.

4.5 out of 5





5 out of 5

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