ARTWORK by Simon Fetscher

Today we’re celebrating space opera. There are all kinds of different definitions of space opera that end up splitting hairs about different types of stories. For my purposes, space opera is any story that takes place mostly on a space ship. I like simplicity.

Most of the classic definitions of space opera emphasize space battles. I’m not really into that. So what books have I liked that I would consider space operas?

Reese is a space ship captain and an avid romance reader. Her preferred subgenre of romance features a mysterious and secluded race of aliens. Now she gets a job to go on a rescue mission. Her target is a real-life member of that species. All she knows about about them is what she’s read in her books. What could go wrong?

It is basically what would happen if a Tolkien fan had to go rescue an Elf or a paranormal romance fan had to handle a werewolf.

I’m a huge fan of books that feature food. That’s why I run the Foodies Read link up on the first of the month. This book combines space opera, mystery, and food! Andorra Pett goes to work in a cafe on a space station orbiting Saturn. She finds herself mixed up in a murder mystery.

This is a lesbian romance set in space and featuring carnivorous amoebas. Why not? I read this because I loved this author’s other book and I wanted more from her.

This is probably the flagship series of gentle space opera. The first one, The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet, was definitely my favorite.

You can probably guess my answer to the question to end all questions when it comes to space opera. Star Trek or Star Wars?

I’m a Star Trek fan all the way. I want to live in a universe where people are actively working on getting along. Also, on a purely professional level, a want a tricorder before I retire. I scan dogs and cats for microchip so I can sort of pretend but totally isn’t the same as doing one pass with a machine and having it tell me what is wrong with my patient. That’s so much more useful than a light saber!