Recommended Reads March 2013 - The Space Opera, Past and Present

The space opera is a branch of science fiction that takes you off planet.  The action can take place anywhere from the moon to stars so far away their light hasn’t reached earth yet. Leave earth’s gravity well behind and enjoy the ride!

March 2012—The Space Opera, Past and Present

Short stories have always been an important part of science fiction.

Hive of Dreams: Contemporary Science Fiction from the Pacific Northwest edited by Grace Dillon.

This compilation includes stories by prominent authors such as Ursula K. Le Guin, Joanna Russ, Michael G. Coney,  Octavia Butler, Molly Gloss, Ted Chiang, William Gibson, John Varley, Douglas Coupland, Neal Stephenson, Greg Bear, and  Richard Powers.  2003. Digital Book DBW 8232. Also available as a downloadable book from WTBBL: http://www.wtbbl.org/login.aspx.

The New Space Opera edited by Gardner Dozois and Jonathan Strahan. 

Eighteen tales of interstellar adventure. In Stephen Baxter's "Remembrance," an old man's recollection of a legendary resistance fighter who battled Earth's alien conquerors inspires a new generation of dissidents. Includes Greg Egan's "Glory," Nancy Kress's "Art of War," and works by Alastair Reynolds, Robert Silverberg, and others. Some violence. 2007. Cassette Book RC 67821. Digital Book DB 67821. Also available as a downloadable book from BARD: http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.nls/db.67821.

A classic space opera starts on the moon and ends somewhere around infinity.

2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrick.

On a voyage into the unexplored universe, the spacecraft Discovery hurtles its human passengers through time toward a confrontation with an unknown, powerful intelligence. Written for the production of a science fiction film of the same name. 1968. Braille Book BR 15307. Cassette Book RC 58814. Digital Book DB 58814. Large Print Book LP 11732. Available as a downloadable digital book from BARD: http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.nls/db.58814.

Also available as a downloadable Braille book from BARD:
Volume 1: http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.nls/br.15307v01
Volume 2: http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.nls/br.15307v02

Mars is seen as the next frontier past the moon.

The Empress of Mars by Kage Baker.

Former British Arean Company (BAC) employee Mary Griffith and others are stranded after BAC's Martian experiment fails. Mary establishes a barter-and-trade system at her new bar, the Empress of Mars. But when BAC attempts to reclaim colonist land, Mary and her patrons must find ways to outwit the company. 2009. Braille Book BR 18650. Cassette Book RC 69230. Digital Book DB 69230. Available as a downloadable digital book from BARD: http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.nls/db.69230.

Also available as a downloadable Braille book from BARD:
Volume 1:  http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.nls/br.18650v01
Volume 2:  http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.nls/br.18650v02
Volume 3:  http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.nls/br.18650v03

The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury.

Covering the years 1999 to 2026 A.D., the story tells of the successive visits by Earth people to an unfriendly Mars. This collection of short stories is a science fiction classic. 1950. Braille Book BR 10324. Digital Book DB 26787. Large Print Book LP 16059. Available as a downloadable digital book from BARD: http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.nls/db.26787.

Also available as a downloadable Braille book from BARD:
Volume 1:  http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.nls/br.10324v01
Volume 2:  http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.nls/br.10324v02

Out past Mars you have the asteroids and the moons of Jupiter and Saturn where something truly dangerous is happening.

Leviathan Wakes [#1, The Expanse]  by James S. A. Corey.

When Jim Holden and the crew of his ice miner stumble upon the derelict ship Scopuli, they uncover a dangerous secret. Meanwhile, Detective Miller's search for a missing girl leads him to the same ship and interplanetary civil war threatens. Violence and some strong language. 2011. Digital Book DB 74083. Also available as a downloadable book from BARD: http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.nls/db.74083.

Caliban's War [#2, The Expanse] by James S. A. Corey.

A four-year-old is kidnapped from Ganymede just before its Martian marines fight off an attack that may herald an interplanetary war. Jim Holden, from Leviathan Wakes (DB 74083), and the crew of the Rocinante investigate--and find connections to a threat from their past. Violence and strong language. 2012. Digital Book DB 74942. Also available as a downloadable book from BARD: http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.nls/db.74942.

The search for intelligent life could still be going on centuries from now.

Echo [#5, Alex Benedict] by Jack McDevitt.

Sunset Tuttle spent his life fruitlessly searching for aliens--until his lover, Captain Rachel Bannister, brought him an amazing find. Twenty-eight years later Rachel forestalls antiquities dealer Alex Benedict's efforts to claim a strangely inscribed stone tablet, piquing Alex's curiosity. Sequel to The Devil's Eye (DB 70383). 2010. Digital Book DB 72742. Also available as a downloadable book from BARD: http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.nls/db.72742.

After 55 years this gritty book is still seen as one of the greatest science fiction novels.

The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester.

In a grotesque future where men have acquired the ability of instant teleportation, Gully Foyle, a common rogue, vows to track down the men who left him to die in a wrecked space ship. In doing so, he becomes the pathfinder of man's destiny among the stars. 1956. Braille Book BR 5282. Cassette Book RC 18912. Digital Book DB 18912. Available as a downloadable book from BARD:  http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.nls/db.18912.