In today’s continuation of the A-Z Challenge, I give you:
S is for Space Opera
Space opera is a sci-fi sub-genre that people either love or hate. The movie, Jupiter Ascending is proof of that as critics and audiences either wanted the movie to die in a fire or be rescued from bad reviews by folks that understood the genre.
From grand space adventures like Guardians of the Galaxy to military themed plots in Old Man’s War by John Scalzi, space opera is a sub-genre I’ve enjoyed reading (and writing) since middle school.
The first space opera book I ever read was Sassinak by Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Moon. It’s the first in the Planet Pirates series and still an entertaining read.
The main character, Sassinak, is twelve at the beginning of the book. Pirates destroy her home on a newly colonized world, and kill her parents & siblings (something she witnesses). She’s taken off-world to be sold as a slave. An ex-fleet slave named Abe teaches her useful skills and plants a message in her mind.
She’s sold again and eventually captured by Fleet. The message Abe instilled comes out, and the Fleet uses the information to attack the slavers and free the slaves. Abe adopts Sassinak. She sets out on her quest to go to the Academy and join the Fleet. There are a few spoiler things I’ll skip, but after graduation, Sassinak gets her own ship and first deployment.
Now she’s on her own to hunt pirates.
It’s a fast read and one of my favorites of the old-school space opera, where the hardness of the science takes a back seat to the characters and their arcs. I enjoy some hard science fiction, but for me, a good read is all about the characters.
Got any favorite space operas?
This post is part of the A-Z Challenge. Every day (except Sundays) in the month of May, I’ll be posting about people, places, books, games, and other things that influence me as a writer or add a certain magic to my life. Join me in April as we explore a Hodge-Podge of Influences & Wayward Treks through the Fantastical.