In my endeavour to understand more about the sub-genre of space opera, I spent some time on Amazon/Goodreads looking for books that seem to share aspects with E.A. Copen’s Aftermath, (while also grabbing a couple that piqued my interest in general).
Brief history of Space Opera
Space Opera has a history going back as far as the early 1900’s, and in 1941 was defined by Wilson Tucker as a “hacky, grinding, stinking, outworn, spaceship yarn”.
Through the course of many years and publications (and film), its definition progressed to define ‘action-adventure stories of interplanetary or interstellar conflict’, often with an element of romance. Star Wars and Star Trek (novelisations) helped increase the popularity of space operas a popular sub-genre in the twentieth century.
You can read more about the history of Space Opera here: http://www.sf-encyclopedia.com/entry/space_opera
My ‘to be read’ list:
My search appears to have found a couple of the books listed in the (linked) article I mention above. One I chose because I’ve heard everyone raving about how good the series is on Netflix (The Expanse) but despite three attempts, I can’t get into it. The others I’ve chosen because something about the blurb attracted me, but all in all, I think I’ve selected a variety of space operas (though at least two mention military SF).
I have decided to share my ‘to be read’ list below (just in case anyone is as curious as I am about what makes ‘space opera’ space opera).
(If you are interested in reading any of these books, the images are linked to the Amazon Kindle store)
On Basilisk Station (Honor Harrington #1)
Having made him look a fool, she’s been exiled to Basilisk Station in disgrace and set up for ruin by a superior who hates her.
Her demoralized crew blames her for their ship’s humiliating posting to an out-of-the-way picket station.
The aborigines of the system’s only habitable planet are smoking homicide-inducing hallucinogens.
Parliament isn’t sure it wants to keep the place; the major local industry is smuggling; the merchant cartels want her head; the star-conquering, so-called “Republic” of Haven is Up To Something; and Honor Harrington has a single, over-age light cruiser with an armament that doesn’t work to police the entire star system.
But the people out to get her have made one mistake. They’ve made her mad.
Broken Stars (Universe on Fire #1)
Sixty-seven years ago the Qash’vo’tar conquered Earth. They had judged humanity as dangerous and unworthy of joining the other races among the stars. Ever since then, the aliens had ruled from above, keeping humanity from even thinking about reaching for the stars. The Qash’vo’tar did not care what humanity did on the ground, as long as they didn’t attempt to build anything that could get them to the stars. Outmatched in every way and not willing to accept the cost of fighting back, the United Earth gave up ever again reaching beyond the boundary of Earth’s sky.
In its isolation, humanity turned its eyes from the sky and pointed them to the ground. Instead of the stars, humanity explored the oceans, burrowed deep underground, and broadened its understanding of laws of physics. Until finally they could take no more. In secret the United Earth’s best scientists attempted to find a way out. They experimented, and in a single moment changed the fate of humanity. Accidentally, they broke through someplace else, created a breach in space-time. Deep underground, they created a portal to another universe.
They made a breach to a universe where there was magic. This new universe changed them, changed their own universe. This one accident gave them a new weapon against the Qash’vo’tar. A weapon that the aliens had no knowledge of. It gave humanity magic. And they studied it, integrated it with their technology, and they waited for the right time to strike back against their alien overlords.
And now, sixty-seven years after they had been conquered, it was time for humanity to show the Qash’vo’tar that they had been right to fear humanity. Now was the time for humanity to reclaim its world and carve a place for Earth among the stars.
Ninefox Gambit (Machineries of Empire #1)
When Captain Kel Cheris of the hexarchate is disgraced for her unconventional tactics, Kel Command gives her a chance to redeem herself, by retaking the Fortress of Scattered Needles from the heretics. Cheris’s career isn’t the only thing at stake: if the fortress falls, the hexarchate itself might be next.
Cheris’s best hope is to ally with the undead tactician Shuos Jedao. The good news is that Jedao has never lost a battle, and he may be the only one who can figure out how to successfully besiege the fortress. The bad news is that Jedao went mad in his first life and massacred two armies, one of them his own.
As the siege wears on, Cheris must decide how far she can trust Jedao–because she might be his next victim.
The Void War (Empire Rising #1)
It’s the year 2465, two hundred years since the stars were opened to humanity by the invention of the shift drive. So began the First Interstellar Expansion Era, catapulting humanity into a deadly race for the limited resources of navigable space.
Now tensions between the human nations are threatening to boil over into open hostility. Into this maelstrom steps the exiled Commander James Somerville of the Royal Space Navy. Banished from London to the survey ship HMS Drake he is about to make a discovery that may change his fortunes and throw Britain into a deadly war with its closest rival.
Leviathan Wakes (The Expanse #1)
Two hundred years after migrating into space, mankind is in turmoil. When a reluctant ship’s captain and washed-up detective find themselves involved in the case of a missing girl, what they discover brings our solar system to the brink of civil war, and exposes the greatest conspiracy in human history.
The Ember Way (The Ember War saga #1)
The Earth is doomed. Humanity has a chance.
In the near future, an alien probe arrives on Earth with a pivotal mission—determine if humanity has what it takes to survive the impending invasion by a merciless armada.
The probe discovers Marc Ibarra, a young inventor, who holds the key to a daring gambit that could save a fraction of Earth’s population. Humanity’s only chance lies with Ibarra’s ability to keep a terrible secret and engineer the planet down the narrow path to survival.
Earth will need a fleet. One with a hidden purpose. One strong enough to fight a battle against annihilation.
Featured image courtesy of: https://pixabay.com/en/ufo-children-alien-sky-evening-3014638/