I'm very transparent in my love for (often bad) space, space adventures, spaceships, alien planets, exploration, and the very close teams that inhabit those types of stories. It's why I loved Stargate and all associated spin-offs (yes, I really liked SGU even though at times it was atrocious). It's why The Fifth Element, Starship Troopers, Lost in Space (blarp!) and the Dune miniseries (the new
one) were touchstones of my young adulthood. It's why I was so happy to embrace Star Trek (2009) even with its horrible gender politics, and Firefly, which had problems but was full of so much heart. But my experiences here don't translate to literature because I often didn't have access to it. My access is still spotty, but hey, a lady can dream. So I was excited to see Crowdsourcing The Essentials: Space Opera
over at Terrible Minds
, because, yes
, recommendations. I love recommendations.
So, using the comments of the aforementioned post
, I compiled a list, which I love almost as much as recommendations.
I make no claims about titles fitting the spirit of the question; I just compiled what people mentioned using Goodreads as a resource. I tended toward listing series where available.( List of Essential Space Opera )
I'm curious about the date ranges of these novels. I know they span at the least from the 1950s up to the early 2000s, and if I had more time I would actually research and graph the range of when these books were published, because as we go ever onward into the future I feel like we're going to see a shift toward honoring newer books in user-driven rec drops like this. That there are books on here say, published in 2004 — it makes me wonder how we define "essential". What's essential is going to differ from person to person, especially depending on their age.
And I just wouldn't be me if I didn't point out that this list is awfully dude-heavy, and I'm hoping by sharing it, I can pull in some additional recommendations of women, non-white authors, or authors of space opera fiction in translation that's good. Share'em if you've got them. :D
(However, please do not promote your own books here. That makes me extremely uncomfortable.)