Thursday, December 19, 2013

Essential Operas

A list of essential space operas courtesy of monkey-man Gareth L. Powell. Note, "new space opera" (I could think of five or more classic space opera titles to add to a more expanded list.). Good books all.


  1. Hi Fred, could you please list those 'five or more' earlier titles here? I'm very keen to hear recommendations from the previous era in addition to those cited by Powell. Cheers!

  2. "Doc" Smith: The Lensman series, but I would skip Triplanetary (unless you can find it in the original form), First Lensman. The first was expanded to fit the series, the second was written as bridge, both weaker than the rest of the series. Also skip Masters of the Vortex, as that was an independent that was added in later. Skylark: Skylark of Space and Skylark III are my favorites there.

    Jack Williamson: The Legion of Space. I like the first book, same title, the best. In fact it is one of my favorite "golden age" books of all.

    Edmond Hamilton, various titles.

    Leigh Brackett, various titles.

    C.L. Moore, Northwest of Earth stories (but Jirel of Joirey also rocks).

    C.L. Moore and Henry Kuttner, writing under a pseudonym, now usually packaged as Kuttner alone: Fury and Clash By Night.

    Poul Anderson has many titles, but I'd point to his Technic Series, with the stories of Nick Van Rijn, Flandry of Terra and various independent entries. Good stuff.

    Somebody (on The Twitters, I think) mentioned the James S.A. Corey "Expanse" novels that have come out over the past few years. If we're going to mention "solar system space opera", I'd point to Raymond Z. Gallun's The Planet Strappers (available at Gutenberg, etc.).

    Hope that helps!