Everything Is Nice

Beating the nice nice nice thing to death (with fluffy pillows)

‘The Remoras’ by Robert Reed

with one comment

A lovely bittersweet story about seeking romance and adventure in the face of deep space and deep time. ‘The Remoras’ has crystallised for me what I now think must be the defining feature of New Space Opera: it is space opera that has fully absorbed post-cyberpunk SF. Of course, that just risks introducing another undefined term but I do think it explains the difference between two types of contemporary space opera.

On the one hand, we have authors like Peter F Hamilton who are writing a type of space opera that stretches back in a direct line to the likes of his namesake Edmond Hamilton. There is no old/new divide here, it is simply a continuum; Brian Aldiss’s guilty pleasures have become today’s bestsellers and it is fashion rather than content that has changed. On the other hand, authors like Reed and Alastair Reynolds are writing a fundamentally different type of space opera: harder, fiercer, gnarlier and fascinated by post-human possibility. It is this – rather than nationality or political philosophy – that I would say represents the schism in contemporary space opera.

Quality: ****
OOO: ***

Written by Martin

31 January 2013 at 07:43

One Response

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  1. […] having just started to sketch out my own definition of New Space Opera, I turn the page to discover Paul McAuley has already done it for […]

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