Thursday, November 29, 2007

Space Opera - Brian Aldiss

Aldiss mentions the term space opera may have come from horse opera and soap opera - does that make high fantasy sword opera?

He does say this book is not too serious.

Anyway, from the introduction : "Ideally, the Earth must be i peril, there must be a quest and a man to match the mighty hour. That man must confront aliens and exotic creatures. Space must flow past the ports like wine from a pitcher. Blood must run down the palace steps and ships launch out into the louring dark. there must be a woman farier than the skies and a villain darker than a Black Hole. And all must come right in the end."

He divides the book into four sections

Is Everything an Illusion
Precipices of Light that went Forever Up
Exile is our lot
The Godlike Machines

And "Science fiction is for real. Space opera is for fun. Generally. What space opera does is take a few light years and a pinch of reality and inflate thoroughly with melodrama, dreams, and a seasoning of screwy ideas."
Ray Bradbury not in until it is decided global warming would be rather nice, in Hades.

However, given all that, I am presuming he didn't have an attack of Anthologus Stupidus, and some of the inclusions are deliberate, and he put them in because he wanted to. He does mention a desire to reprint some non-reprinted mag stories.

A six year old could tell you that the Bradbury and Vance shouldn't be in a collection to fit the above, even if they decided that in Hades, hey, Global Warming actually doesn't sound too bad.

Planet is not equal to space, by the above definition. Duh. Likewise no people and vast computer intellectual exercises are probably not going to work for some, either, especially if you get multiple excerpts that don't stand alone so much. While there are some excellent and good stories here, the fitting the category work is poor, and there is plenty of ordinary to no good.


Space Opera : Zirn Left Unguarded the Jenghik Palace in Flame Jon Westerley Dead - Robert Sheckley
Space Opera : The Red Brain
Space Opera : A Honeymoon in Space [excerpt] - George Griffith
Space Opera : Tonight the Sky Will Fall! - Daniel F. Galouye
Space Opera : The Star of Life - Edmond Hamilton
Space Opera : After Ixmal - Jeff Sutton
Space Opera : Sea Change - Thomas N. Scortia
Space Opera : Breaking Point - James E. Gunn
Space Opera : The Sword of Rhiannon [exceprt] - Leigh Brackett
Space Opera : All Summer in a Day - Ray Bradbury
Space Opera : The Mitr - Jack Vance
Space Opera : The Storm - A. E. van Vogt
Space Opera : The Paradox Men [excerpt] - Charles L. Harness
Space Opera : Time Fuze - Randall Garrett
Space Opera : The Last Question - Isaac Asimov
Space Opera : The Answer - Frederic Brown


Spoof Opera.

4 out of 5


This Dust drives me crazy.

3 out of 5


Love star inhabitants.

3 out of 5


Trifid life wish is hot and mossy.

3 out of 5


Psychband Starblast warning.

2.5 out of 5


Different sort of explorer.

2.5 out of 5


Space shrink stress sacrifice.

3.5 out of 5


Direct archaeological experience time.

3.5 out of 5


Jungle play.

2 out of 5


Beach beetle.

2.5 out of 5


Mixed man ship smash lure.

3 out of 5


Sun station Thief confrontation.

4 out of 5


Supralight supernova situation.

4.5 out of 5


Immortal humans breed too fast for the universe.

4 out of 5


Computer god.

3 out of 5





2 out of 5

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