Sunday Jan 22, 2023

Episode 622: More about space opera

It's not been that long since they last discussed it, but this week Jonathan and Gary return to the question of space opera, new space opera, and what contemporary SF authors might make of the concept.

Is space opera the core narrative of SF, as Jonathan suggests, or only one of them? What are its essential characteristics? Has the greater diversity of SF over the last decade changed its basic form? It seems that when the term was first coined, it clearly referred to pulp adventure tales that we popular in the 1930s. But later versions have questioned the assumptions of those old chestnuts, redefining the form for each generation.

How, for example, do current writers like Arkady Martine, Charlie Jane Anders, and Emily Tesh make use of the form? We definitely don’t settle any of these questions, but we’ll probably keep trying.

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