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Space Opera?

  1. Dec 8, 2005 #1
    Space Opera??

    I just recently bought a book called LIGHT it's a space opera, well atleast that's what all the praisers on the back of the book call it.
    Is space opera some sort of genre because the book is really weird?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 8, 2005 #2
    slang for a sub class of science fiction
  4. Dec 8, 2005 #3


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    A genre where galactic kingdoms fight wars with space ships zipping from star system to star sytem and bafflegab overcomes relativity. If this sounds a lot like Star Wars, well, you got that right.
  5. Dec 8, 2005 #4


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    Wasn't the term originally coined for Flash Gordon?
  6. Dec 9, 2005 #5
    Sounds like a soap opera set in space. Star Trek, Deep Space Nine.
  7. Dec 9, 2005 #6


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    I believe the true origin was from "horse opera", slang for a western movie. Space operas were similarly shoot-em-ups, with death rays instead of six shooters, of course.

    In the pulps they predated Flash Gordon. Gordon's rival Buck Rogers actually debuted in a pulp story before being converted to a comic strip. In the 1920s-1930s pulps the great name for space opera was E. E. ("Doc") Smith. He had a Ph.D. in either Chemistry or Chemical Engineering, I believe. He wrote two great space opera series, the Skylark of Space books and the even better Lensmen series. They may still be in print.
  8. Dec 10, 2005 #7
    I'd never heard the term "horse opera" before. I googled it and it seems to refer not just to westerns, but to a specific kind of western:

    Last edited: Dec 10, 2005
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