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TOC: The Space Opera Renaissance

A post on the Asimov’s forum lists the table of contents for next month’s space opera anthology The Space Opera Renaissance, edited by David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer. As I said before…[Homer gurgle]. Check out this juicy lineup:

I. Redefined Writers

“The Star Stealers” by Edmond Hamilton

“The Prince of Space” by Jack Williamson

“Enchantress of Venus” by Leigh Brackett

“The Swordsman of Varnis” by Clive Jackson

II. Draftees (1960s)

“The Game of Rat & Dragon” by Cordwainer Smith

“Empire Star” by Samuel R. Delany

“Zirn Left Unguarded, the Jenjik Palace in Flames, Jon Westerly Dead” by Robert Sheckley

III. Transitions/Redefiners (late 1970s to late 1980s)

“Temptation” by David Brin

“Ranks of Bronze” by David Drake

“Weatherman” by Lois McMaster Bujold

“A Gift from the Culture” by Iain M. Banks

IV. Volunteers”Revisionaries (early 90s)

“Orphans of the Helix” by Dan Simmons

“The Well Wishers” by Colin Greenland

“Escape Route” by Peter Hamilton

“Ms Midshipwoman Harrington” by David Weber

“Aurora in Four Voices” by Catherine Asaro

“Ring Rats” by R. Garcia y Robertson

“The Death of Captain Future” by Allen Steele

V. Mixed Signals/ Mixed Categories (to the late 1990s)

“A Worm in the Well” by Gregory Benford

“The Survivor” by Donald Kingsbury

“Fools Errand” by Sarah Zettel

“The Shobies Story” by Ursula K. Le Guin

“The Remoras” by Robert Reed

“Recording Angel” by Paul McAuley

“The Great Game” by Steven Baxter

“Lost Sorceress of the Silent Citadel” by Michael Moorcock

“Space Opera” by Michael Kandel

VI. Next Wave/21st Century

“Grist” by Tony Daniel

“The Movements of her Eyes” by Scott Westerfeld

“Spirey and the Queen” by Alastair Reynolds

“Bear Trap” by Charles Stross

“Guest Law” by John C. Wright

About John DeNardo (13012 Articles)
John DeNardo is the Managing Editor at SF Signal and a columnist at Kirkus Reviews. He also likes bagels. So there.

13 Comments on TOC: The Space Opera Renaissance

  1. Ought to nicely pump up the short story count for the year, no? Looks like an excellent anthology. Their past anthologies haven’t been too shabby, either.


  2. Yah for Me! I made the cut! Anchor position [Alarums. Let blow the sounding brass. The snoopy dancing to begin.]

    I am in august company, to be sure.

  3. Sounds like a good anthology, chances are though that I won’t be able to buy it here in the UK. The bookstores out here only stock SF books that I’m not interested in buying.

    This comment section works ok, btw.

  4. Appears to be the definitive anthology of space opera. I will look for it.

  5. No “Doc” Smith (an excerpt would work) or John W. Campbell, Jr.? No van Vogt? Otherwise a stellar lineup, and I can’t wait for my copy to hit my mailbox.


  6. Jose, what about through Amazon? I know a lot of people in the US (myself included) who buy stuff through that they can’t get here, so the reverse ought to work.

    And what about shops like Forbidden Planet? If anybody would carry it, it should be them (I am assuming they are still around).

  7. joshua corning // June 14, 2006 at 10:17 pm //

    to bad the Next wave/21rst century suck ass…well not you Wright…i haven’t read anything by you.

    maybe i should just write my own so i can mock them authoritativly.

    By the way LaGuin, Banks and the strugatski brothers are not in there…opps banks and Laquin are.. 🙁

    well crap i might have to actually buy it…and Reynolds and Stross can be good short story writters…it is just thier books I can’t stand.

  8. One of Hartwell’s themes is that the term “space opera” which used to be a term of opprobrium, meaning a cliche-ridden bit of cowboys-and-injuns in space, but with rayguns instead of sixshooters, had been redefined to mean a Doc E.E. Smith style big-idea, large-scale, cosmos-sized romp.

    I can only assume Doc Smith is not in this volume because his best work in not short fiction. Why no A.E. van Vogt? That question puzzles me. But there are two books in the works now (cross your fingers and knock wood) one by Kevin Anderson and one by some hack writer no one has ever heard of, to be sequels to SLAN and WORLD OF NULL-A. Maybe the editor thought there was enough Van Vogt out there these days?

    I am not sure I would count LeGuin as a Space Opera writer, so I am puzzled at her inclusion. Indeed, her work seems the opposite: her heroes are usually thoughtful onlookers, her settings pastoral, her work more on human relations than blowing up planets. I might call her a New Wave writer, except that I do not see in her early work any of the linguistic experimentation for which Moorcock’s circle of writers were famed. Certainly she attempted to bring a higher literary quality to her work, which was the stated manifesto of the New Wave writers.

    I am glad to see Scott Westerfield here. His work is good. That man can pen a mean supertechnological combat scene.

    Surpised to see nothing by Stephen Baxter. His Xeelee sequence revived the dead genre of space opera almost singlehandedly.

  9. Recall, though, that Le Guin got her start as a protoge of the Planet Stories style of writings by Leigh Brackett. So it might be one of those early stories.

    Baxter is listed in the fifth section, with the story “The Great Game”.

    I had been hoping for something like “The Storm” from van Vogt. That is a story that seems not to have been anthologized for years. It was kind of strange (for example) to see three “Space Beagle” and two “Rull” tales in the NESFA collection when they could have widened the collection a bit.

    Can the release date for this come soon enough? Nah!


  10. And who is that hack writer who is doing the Null-A sequel?

    (Grump. I was looking through my collection last night. Tor/Orb has done “Rull”, a combined “Weapon Shops” and “Slan”. But for “Null-A” they only ever did the first book–not the second. Grump. I also seem to have misplaced my copy of “The House That Stood Still”. Grump.)

  11. Baxter is listed in the fifth section, with the story “The Great Game”.

    Oops. My mistake.

  12. That’s one large book!! Glad I found this TOC, makes purchasing the book a little less worrisome since the local bookstores would have to special order it before I could see it. Will go nicly with my copy of _The Hard SF Renaissance_.

    Any idea why Hartwell publishes such large, hardback books, only to break them up into two volumes later?

  13. Bill,

    FYI, I have since reviewed this book.

    As to the booksplitting thing, I can only imagine it has to do with maximizing profits.

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