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The brightest names in science fiction pen all-new tales of space and wonder. Contents 1 • Introduction (The New Space Opera) • (2007) • essay by Gardner Dozois and Jonathan Strahan 6 • Saving Tiamaat • (2007) • shortstory by Gwyneth Jones 24 • Verthandi's Ring • (2007) • shortstory by Ian McDonald 39 • Hatch • [The Great Ship Universe] • (2007) • shortstory by Robert Reed 66 • The brightest names in science fiction pen all-new tales of space and wonder. Contents 1 • Introduction (The New Space Opera) • (2007) • essay by Gardner Dozois and Jonathan Strahan 6 • Saving Tiamaat • (2007) • shortstory by Gwyneth Jones 24 • Verthandi's Ring • (2007) • shortstory by Ian McDonald 39 • Hatch • [The Great Ship Universe] • (2007) • shortstory by Robert Reed 66 • Winning Peace • (2007) • novelette by Paul J. McAuley 88 • Glory • (2007) • novelette by Greg Egan 112 • Maelstrom • (2007) • novelette by Kage Baker 143 • Blessed by an Angel • (2007) • shortstory by Peter F. Hamilton 158 • Who's Afraid of Wolf 359? • shortstory by Ken MacLeod 170 • The Valley of the Gardens • (2007) • novelette by Tony Daniel 202 • Dividing the Sustain • (2007) • novelette by James Patrick Kelly 234 • Minla's Flowers • [Merlin [4] • 2] • (2007) • novella by Alastair Reynolds 291 • Splinters of Glass • (2007) • novelette by Mary Rosenblum 316 • Remembrance • (2007) • shortstory by Stephen Baxter 334 • The Emperor and the Maula • (2007) • novelette by Robert Silverberg 379 • The Worm Turns • (2007) • shortstory by Gregory Benford 401 • Send Them Flowers • (2007) • novelette by Walter Jon Williams 436 • Art of War • shortstory by Nancy Kress 454 • Muse of Fire • (2007) • novella by Dan Simmons


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The brightest names in science fiction pen all-new tales of space and wonder. Contents 1 • Introduction (The New Space Opera) • (2007) • essay by Gardner Dozois and Jonathan Strahan 6 • Saving Tiamaat • (2007) • shortstory by Gwyneth Jones 24 • Verthandi's Ring • (2007) • shortstory by Ian McDonald 39 • Hatch • [The Great Ship Universe] • (2007) • shortstory by Robert Reed 66 • The brightest names in science fiction pen all-new tales of space and wonder. Contents 1 • Introduction (The New Space Opera) • (2007) • essay by Gardner Dozois and Jonathan Strahan 6 • Saving Tiamaat • (2007) • shortstory by Gwyneth Jones 24 • Verthandi's Ring • (2007) • shortstory by Ian McDonald 39 • Hatch • [The Great Ship Universe] • (2007) • shortstory by Robert Reed 66 • Winning Peace • (2007) • novelette by Paul J. McAuley 88 • Glory • (2007) • novelette by Greg Egan 112 • Maelstrom • (2007) • novelette by Kage Baker 143 • Blessed by an Angel • (2007) • shortstory by Peter F. Hamilton 158 • Who's Afraid of Wolf 359? • shortstory by Ken MacLeod 170 • The Valley of the Gardens • (2007) • novelette by Tony Daniel 202 • Dividing the Sustain • (2007) • novelette by James Patrick Kelly 234 • Minla's Flowers • [Merlin [4] • 2] • (2007) • novella by Alastair Reynolds 291 • Splinters of Glass • (2007) • novelette by Mary Rosenblum 316 • Remembrance • (2007) • shortstory by Stephen Baxter 334 • The Emperor and the Maula • (2007) • novelette by Robert Silverberg 379 • The Worm Turns • (2007) • shortstory by Gregory Benford 401 • Send Them Flowers • (2007) • novelette by Walter Jon Williams 436 • Art of War • shortstory by Nancy Kress 454 • Muse of Fire • (2007) • novella by Dan Simmons

30 review for The New Space Opera

  1. 4 out of 5

    David

    Rating System: 5 Excellent 4 Very Good 3 Good 2 Fair 1 Poor 0 Awful “Saving Tiamaat” by Gwyneth Jones - 2 “Verthandi’s Ring” by Ian McDonald - 2 “Hatch” by Robert Reed - 4 “Winning Peace” by Paul J. McAuley - 3 “Glory” by Greg Egan - 3 “Maelstorm” by Kage Baker - 5 “Blessed by an Angel” by Peter F. Hamilton - 5 “Who’s Afraid of Wolf 359?” by Ken Macleod - 4 “The Valley of the Gardens” by Tony Daniel - 5 “Dividing the Sustain” by James Patrick Kelly - 4 “Minla’s Flowers” by Alastair Reynolds - 5 “Splinters of Glas Rating System: 5 Excellent 4 Very Good 3 Good 2 Fair 1 Poor 0 Awful “Saving Tiamaat” by Gwyneth Jones - 2 “Verthandi’s Ring” by Ian McDonald - 2 “Hatch” by Robert Reed - 4 “Winning Peace” by Paul J. McAuley - 3 “Glory” by Greg Egan - 3 “Maelstorm” by Kage Baker - 5 “Blessed by an Angel” by Peter F. Hamilton - 5 “Who’s Afraid of Wolf 359?” by Ken Macleod - 4 “The Valley of the Gardens” by Tony Daniel - 5 “Dividing the Sustain” by James Patrick Kelly - 4 “Minla’s Flowers” by Alastair Reynolds - 5 “Splinters of Glass” by Mary Rosenblum - 5 “Remembrance” by Stephen Baxter - 4 “The Emperor and the Maula” by Robert Silverberg - 4 “The Worm Turns” by Greg Benford - 4 “Send Them Flowers” by Walter Jon Williams - 4 “Art of War” by Nancy Kress - 4 “Muse of Fire” by Dan Simmons - 5 The first two stories, “Saving Tiamaat” and “Verthandi’s Ring”, left me cold. I really didn’t connect with them, though the former ended well. The latter was so far in the future with vast time scales and god like technology that it seemed like I was reading mythology. After going 0 for 2, I was afraid that I might’ve made a mistake in picking up this book. But the third story, “Hatch” by Robert Reed, got me. The story is the latest in a series of tales which take place on an alien constructed, Jupiter-sized starship circumnavigating the galaxy. Humans, and many other aliens, are just along for the ride. “Winning Peace” and “Glory” were solid stories. The former dealt with a post-interstellar war treasure hunt while the latter concerned an archaeological dig on an alien world in the midst of a cold war threatening to turn hot. Things took a turn for the better after that. “Maelstorm” is about the amusing misadventures of a production company on Mars performing a retro form of entertainment known as “plays.” There’s nothing amusing about the diabolical exploits of the titular character in “Blessed by an Angel.” It brought the promise of immortality, but the price was one’s soul. And “no” really wasn’t an answer it wanted to hear. “Who’s Afraid of Wolf 359?” takes the clever play on words and runs with it. “The Valley of the Gardens”, one of a few stories in which humanity gets its ass handed to it, skillfully pits bio-engineered humans versus an extra-universal lifeform that achieved sentience when the universe only contained subatomic particles. “Dividing the Sustain” is another amusing tale in which humans re-engineer themselves with strange physical characteristics to avoid becoming stale. “Minla’s Flowers” shows that no matter how hard you try to save a world from destruction, you inevitably wind up destroying it. Good intentions and roads to brimstone destinations and all that. This was my first Alastair Reynolds story. I'm now on my third book. “Splinters of Glass” is an excellent tale of intrigue and love beneath the ice on Europa. “Remembrance” is another Earth’s ass gets brutally kicked story. The problem is, no one remembers it. Well, one guy does. “The Emperor and the Maula” is a bit gentler in its ass kicking of Earth. Humor salves the wound though. In order to save our world, a woman seeks an audience with the Emperor. But as Earth is considered barbaric, barbarians are to be executed upon setting foot upon the capitol world. Corporations will always be up to shenanigans. Hostile takeovers for competitors will go on, whether the prize is greater telecom market share or wormholes. In “The Worm Turns” a plucky woman is sent out to traverse a wormhole before someone else can snatch away the rights to it. “Send Them Flowers” lets us know that the laws of physics may change from one to universe to the next but love triangles are still messy. History shows us that you can learn a lot about a culture by studying its art. In “Art of War” the same holds true for aliens, but whoever heard of soldiers as artists? “Muse of Fire” ends the book on a spectacular note. A Shakespearean production company is tasked with performing various works of the Great Bard for humanity’s alien overlords. The performance of the work will determine whether our species lives or dies. All in all, this is a great collection of stories that will please most sci-fi fans. Hard sci-fi purists are the only group that I don’t see enjoying this anthology. I’ll have to pick up volume two and see what great tales Messrs Dozois and Strahan have gathered for us to read.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Stefan

    "The New Space Opera" is a somewhat deceptively titled but otherwise very good collection of short stories by what the editors refer to as "new space opera" authors. I put "somewhat deceptively" because, in my opinion, most of the stories don't really qualify as space opera. Space opera is a sub-genre of SF, consisting of over-the-top, galaxy-wide adventure stories, often with larger than life heroes, usually containing lots of space ships, dealing with a numbers of planets or galaxies or even u "The New Space Opera" is a somewhat deceptively titled but otherwise very good collection of short stories by what the editors refer to as "new space opera" authors. I put "somewhat deceptively" because, in my opinion, most of the stories don't really qualify as space opera. Space opera is a sub-genre of SF, consisting of over-the-top, galaxy-wide adventure stories, often with larger than life heroes, usually containing lots of space ships, dealing with a numbers of planets or galaxies or even universes. It's adventure, romance and violence. Galaxy-wide intrigues. Multiple societies on multiple planets. Aliens, if at all possible, should be included --- ideally many different kinds of them. Also, space opera doesn't pay too much attention to science - as a matter of fact, I'd go as far as saying that it doesn't count as space opera if it doesn't have some form of faster-than-light or hyper-speed or phase space or whatever else the author comes up with that allows ships to shoot from galaxy to galaxy in a few hours or days. So anyway. The stories in this collection all range from good to excellent. There are really no clunkers in there (although strangely enough, the very first story - by Gwyneth Jones - comes closest). The odd thing is that many of the stories just aren't space opera. One of them is set entirely under the ice on one of Jupiter's moons. While it's a thrilling story, it's really not space opera. Others are confined to a single city. Kage Baker's story, loosely connected to the "Empress of Mars" novella (and I just figured out this is actually connected to her Company series) deals with someone setting up a theater company on a Martian colony. It's great, but it's just not space opera. Of course, the short story as a format by definition doesn't lend itself to the epic narrative form you'd expect for space opera, but if you're willing to concede that some of these stories offer slices of a larger epic, a snapshot of a longer story, then they could work as space opera. In fact, some of the stories are presented as part of an author's established SF universe. E.g. Peter F. Hamilton's story appears to be set somewhere between "Judas Unchained" and "The Dreaming Void" (and explains some of the new concepts that popped up in the 1500 year gap between those 2 novels). Other stories are part of a series of short stories that tell a larger story. There are some great stories in this collection. The final story, "Muse of Fire" by Dan Simmons, is simply excellent. "Minla's Flowers" by Alistair Reynolds is also great (and reminded me of "Tuf Voyaging" by George RR Martin). I'd recommend this anthology to anyone who is looking for new authors to try, and to people interested in the genre. However, if you're new to space opera, you're probably better off trying something by Iain M. Banks (who is missing from this collection, unfortunately) or Peter F. Hamilton.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Cathy

    Review for GLORY by Greg Egan An ingot of metallic hydrogen gleamed in the starlight, a narrow cylinder half a meter long with a mass of about a kilogram. A very abstract beginning. I skimmed past most of that science-tech babble, I confess. I liked the story that followed the info dump. However... “There’s more to life than mathematics,” Joan said. “But not much more.” Math was always one of my best subjects at school, but still... too much! Math Fiction? Mathematical SF? It was ok, nice idea of a va Review for GLORY by Greg Egan An ingot of metallic hydrogen gleamed in the starlight, a narrow cylinder half a meter long with a mass of about a kilogram. A very abstract beginning. I skimmed past most of that science-tech babble, I confess. I liked the story that followed the info dump. However... “There’s more to life than mathematics,” Joan said. “But not much more.” Math was always one of my best subjects at school, but still... too much! Math Fiction? Mathematical SF? It was ok, nice idea of a vaguely Star Trekky set-up without the Prime Directive and more cloning and uploading of consciousness. Plus that hard SF thing with the needle that I skimmed... Did I miss the big reveal, aka Brig Crunch? It probably just flew right over my head. Glory by Greg Egan can be read for free here: https://outofthiseos.typepad.com/blog...

  4. 5 out of 5

    Terence

    Nothing terribly impressive in this collection. I had already read the two standouts - "Minla's Flowers" (Alastair Reynolds) and "Muse of Fire" (Dan Simmons). Of the remaining, the best is Tony Daniel's "The Valley of the Gardens" and the absolute worst is Robert Silverberg's "The Emperor and the Maula," a retelling of The Arabian Nights. My dissatisfaction with many of these stories is philosophical more than literary. There's a tendency in the New Space Opera and other hard-SF novels toward a co Nothing terribly impressive in this collection. I had already read the two standouts - "Minla's Flowers" (Alastair Reynolds) and "Muse of Fire" (Dan Simmons). Of the remaining, the best is Tony Daniel's "The Valley of the Gardens" and the absolute worst is Robert Silverberg's "The Emperor and the Maula," a retelling of The Arabian Nights. My dissatisfaction with many of these stories is philosophical more than literary. There's a tendency in the New Space Opera and other hard-SF novels toward a coldness and inhumanity that rubs me the wrong way.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Florin Pitea

    A superb anthology courtesy of Messrs. Gardner Dozois and Jonathan Strahan. Definitely worth a second reading. Highly recommended. Mr. Dan Simmons's "Muse of Fire" is unforgettable. A superb anthology courtesy of Messrs. Gardner Dozois and Jonathan Strahan. Definitely worth a second reading. Highly recommended. Mr. Dan Simmons's "Muse of Fire" is unforgettable.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ron Henry

    Very good collection. The term "new space opera" -- like other trendy genre labels of recent decades such as "cyberpunk" and "slipstream" -- seems all too vaguely defined. In this case perhaps it's little more than a marketing tag, or to be more generous, "what the editors think is cool this year." That's a quibble, I suppose, since it still resulted in a nice anthology, even if a number of the stories really didn't fit the editors' own description of "new space opera." The only two stories I rea Very good collection. The term "new space opera" -- like other trendy genre labels of recent decades such as "cyberpunk" and "slipstream" -- seems all too vaguely defined. In this case perhaps it's little more than a marketing tag, or to be more generous, "what the editors think is cool this year." That's a quibble, I suppose, since it still resulted in a nice anthology, even if a number of the stories really didn't fit the editors' own description of "new space opera." The only two stories I really didn't care for were those by Kage Baker and Robert Silverberg. I tried starting the Baker story twice and bounced off it both times, which surprised me since I always found her Company stories pretty readable. The Silverberg story felt like a work from the 50s where the aliens are just thinly-disguised non-Anglo ethnic stereotypes -- think those Chinese-sounding trade reps in the Star Wars movies for sad comparison. I can't imagine the editors would have considered publishing this if it hadn't been by a sf eminence grise like Silverberg. On the other hand, I particularly liked Ian McDonald's "Vertandhi's Ring" (which takes place in a vivid post-human far future), Robert Reed's "Hatch" (set in a niche of the Marrow milieu), Paul McAuley's "Winning Peace," Greg Egan's "Glory," James Patrick Kelly's "Dividing the Sustain," Alastair Reynolds' "Minla's Flowers" (though the direction the plot took was fairly inevitable), Gregory Benford's "The Worm Turns" (felt like a first run at a future novel), Nancy Kress' "Art of War" (maybe was a little long for the central idea), and Dan Simmons' "Muse of Fire." The Kelly and Simmons stories were particularly original and vivid; Simmons's novella in particular had a haunting, gothic feel to it that shouldn't surprise anyone who read the Hyperion novels.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jose Moa

    Greg Egan is the hardest SF writter of all times and in this short novel is not less,he introduce advanced quantum physics comcepts as quantum Zeno effect and as ever extrapolates the most advanced physics known ,but rigurously and beliavly to astounding limits. This narration, with a very fitted title , is about the possible evolution of advanced civilizations as Seekers is to say,that once reached material confort is aimed , witout go out its planet, to pure mathematics,music,art,literature and Greg Egan is the hardest SF writter of all times and in this short novel is not less,he introduce advanced quantum physics comcepts as quantum Zeno effect and as ever extrapolates the most advanced physics known ,but rigurously and beliavly to astounding limits. This narration, with a very fitted title , is about the possible evolution of advanced civilizations as Seekers is to say,that once reached material confort is aimed , witout go out its planet, to pure mathematics,music,art,literature and so on,or as Spreaders that search a way to stars and his efforts are aimed to pure and applied physics,applied mathematics,tecnology,engineering,esplotation of resources and conquering space. In the novel this dicothomy is presented between the ancient civilization of the Niah and the new of Noudah.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    I read a lot of short fiction in the SF and Fantasy genre, but I rarely read an entire anthology from cover-to-cover. This is one of those where my effort was rewarded; every story is worth checking out.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Peter Tillman

    Stronger of the two. Go-to review is David's, below: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... Standout for me, from memory: “Who’s Afraid of Wolf 359?” by Ken Macleod. One of his "fast burn" stories, clever & fun. Online at http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/macle... I should reread it. OK, I did, in 2016, so not just yet. Shorts are good for rereading, because I forget then so fast.... Stronger of the two. Go-to review is David's, below: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... Standout for me, from memory: “Who’s Afraid of Wolf 359?” by Ken Macleod. One of his "fast burn" stories, clever & fun. Online at http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/macle... I should reread it. OK, I did, in 2016, so not just yet. Shorts are good for rereading, because I forget then so fast....

  10. 5 out of 5

    StarMan

    VERDICT: Average ~ 3.2 suns (mostly goodthink). REVIEW: Not all tales within are "space opera," in my opinion. Not a keeper, but good enough to recommend. BREAKDOWN: (view spoiler)[ 3/18 stories were 2 stars or lower for me. 5/18 rated 4 or more stars: Saving Tiamaat by Gwyneth Jones - 1.6 Verthandi’s Ring by Ian McDonald - 1.7 Hatch by Robert Reed - 3 Winning Peace” by Paul J. McAuley - 2.8 Glory by Greg Egan - 3.3 Maelstorm by Kage Baker - 2 Blessed by an Angel by Peter F. Hamilton - 4.6 Who’s Afraid VERDICT: Average ~ 3.2 suns (mostly goodthink). REVIEW: Not all tales within are "space opera," in my opinion. Not a keeper, but good enough to recommend. BREAKDOWN: (view spoiler)[ 3/18 stories were 2 stars or lower for me. 5/18 rated 4 or more stars: Saving Tiamaat by Gwyneth Jones - 1.6 Verthandi’s Ring by Ian McDonald - 1.7 Hatch by Robert Reed - 3 Winning Peace” by Paul J. McAuley - 2.8 Glory by Greg Egan - 3.3 Maelstorm by Kage Baker - 2 Blessed by an Angel by Peter F. Hamilton - 4.6 Who’s Afraid of Wolf 359? by Ken Macleod - 2.8 The Valley of the Gardens by Tony Daniel - 4.3 Dividing the Sustain by James Patrick Kelly - 2.9 Minla’s Flowers by Alastair Reynolds - 4.9 Splinters of Glass by Mary Rosenblum - 3.3 Remembrance by Stephen Baxter - 3 The Emperor and the Maula by Robert Silverberg - 4 The Worm Turns by Greg Benford - 2.9 Send Them Flowers by Walter Jon Williams - 3 Art of War by Nancy Kress - 3 Muse of Fire by Dan Simmons - 4 AVERAGE (MEAN) ~3.2 stars (hide spoiler)]

  11. 5 out of 5

    Katya

    The whole thing gets just barely 3 stars out of 5. There were some great stories and some not so great ones; there were also some great narrators and some not so great ones. The following is more quick notes (some including spoilers) than actual reviews of most of the stories, so I'm putting it under a spoiler tag. I have rated each story on its own, and averaged those to get the book rating. (view spoiler)[Saving Tiamaat by Gwyneth Jones (read by Carrington MacDuffie) 3.5/5 People will be people, The whole thing gets just barely 3 stars out of 5. There were some great stories and some not so great ones; there were also some great narrators and some not so great ones. The following is more quick notes (some including spoilers) than actual reviews of most of the stories, so I'm putting it under a spoiler tag. I have rated each story on its own, and averaged those to get the book rating. (view spoiler)[Saving Tiamaat by Gwyneth Jones (read by Carrington MacDuffie) 3.5/5 People will be people, even when those people are aliens, and the more things change, the more they stay the same. Verthandi's Ring by Ian McDonald (read by Caroline Shaffer) 3/5 Wibbly wobbly timey wimey. Hatch by Robert Reed (read by Paul Michael Garcia) 3/5 Inscrutable trilobite. Winning Peace by Paul J. McAuley (read by Tom Weiner) 2/5 It's missing something, but I'm not really sure what. I wasn't really invested in any of the characters, and they were not terribly distinct from each other. Glory by Greg Egan (read by Cat Gould) 4/5 People will be people, even when they are aliens, and some of them are more like cancer. Maelstrom by Kage Baker (read by Tom Taylorson) 1/5 The humor is too broad for me, and seems far too self-indulgent and amused by itself. I particularly dislike futuristic stories that drop current pop-culture references like people 200 years from now are going to a) care about them and remember them, and b) have the same context and perception of them that we do now. Blessed by an Angel by Peter F. Hamilton (read by Paul Michael Garcia) 1/5 Somehow I don't think that the author wanted my reaction to be what it was. I was appropriately horrified at the "angel" and his behavior, but I was equally horrified at Paul et al's behavior. Who's Afraid of Wolf 359 by Ken MacLeod (read by Tom Weiner) 2/5 Meh. The worst kind of space opera: no characterization. This might have made a nice novel, but as a short story it read more like a synopsis than a story. The Valley of the Gardens by Tony Daniel (read by Carlos Lopez and Peter Macon) no rating The portions of the narration by Carlos Lopez are painfully awkward. I had to stop listening and will probably try to read the story in ebook form instead, because it was interesting. Dividing the Sustain by James Patrick Kelly (read by Kevin Kenerly) 3/5 Weird, and weirdly entertaining. Not really the surprising twist it was intended as. Minla's Flowers by Alastair Reynolds (read by Paul Michael Garcia) 4/5 Depressing. Good, but depressing. Splinters of Glass by Mary Rosenblum (read by Peter Macon) 3/5 I suspect I wasn't paying as much attention to this as I should have been, because it felt like it ought to have made more sense than it did. Remembrance by Stephen Baxter (read by Pamela Garelick) 2/5 I usually like Stephen Baxter, but this felt like a short piece of a much longer story, especially with the addition of new plot stuff near the very end that wasn't really addressed. The Emperor and the Maula by Robert Silverberg (read by Carrington MacDuffie) 3/5 Scheherazade in space. The romance angle was kind of weird, and I couldn't connect with the protagonist at all. The Worm Turns by Gregory Benford (read by Erica Sullivan) 4/5 I really like the banter and the turns of phrase. I've seen the author's name around, but with so many books out there, I hadn't gotten around to reading anything by him yet. Putting him on my list. Send Them Flowers by Walter Jon Williams (read by Kevin Kenerly) 4/5 Intergalactic con artists. I'm probably giving this a higher rating than it deserves, but I love this type of story. Art of War by Nancy Kress (read by Tom Taylorson) 4/5 There will always be people who try to understand perspectives outside their own, and there will always be people who can't imagine there is any perspective other than their own. Muse of Fire by Dan Simmons (read by Tristan Morris) 4/5 Shakespeare in space. (hide spoiler)]

  12. 5 out of 5

    Chris Perrin

    So far, this book isn't thrilling me. The stories are okay, but the book feels like it's thumbing its nose at what I always thought space opera was: from Star Wars to the Honor Harrington. Basically, the New Space Opera would feel like the Old Hard Science Fiction if not for the foreward which basically says that the familiar tropes of current science fiction (hence everything in the collection): huge ships, FTL, etc. are impossible and cannot happen. Leave it to science fiction to take all the fu So far, this book isn't thrilling me. The stories are okay, but the book feels like it's thumbing its nose at what I always thought space opera was: from Star Wars to the Honor Harrington. Basically, the New Space Opera would feel like the Old Hard Science Fiction if not for the foreward which basically says that the familiar tropes of current science fiction (hence everything in the collection): huge ships, FTL, etc. are impossible and cannot happen. Leave it to science fiction to take all the fun out of the future. The other problem I have about this volume is that several of the stories try to outdo themselves with techy jargon which detracts from the overall storytelling. After reading the first story, I don't know what numinal intelligence is and because the rest of the story was so lame, I haven't cared to look it up. Somehow I think it means being able to create things with your mind, but the story didn't deign to describe any of the mechanics of how the world worked. Which was a poor choice since somehow there was time travel in a fake world that kind of sort of didn't exist. In sum, right now the book is lost somewhere in my car and I'm not trying too hard to find it. I'd stay away if I were you. -------------- I made myself finish it and it got better. It made me think about science fiction different. I still feel like there was some snobbery against space opera in it.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Tracy B

    Rating for each story: ***** Saving Tiamaat • (2007) • shortstory by Gwyneth Jones ***** Verthandi's Ring • (2007) • shortstory by Ian McDonald ***** Hatch • [The Great Ship Universe] • (2007) • shortstory by Robert Reed *** Winning Peace • (2007) • novelette by Paul J. McAuley *** Glory • (2007) • novelette by Greg Egan ** Maelstrom • (2007) • novelette by Kage Baker ***** Blessed by an Angel • (2007) • shortstory by Peter F. Hamilton *** Who's Afraid of Wolf 359? • shortstory by Ken MacLeod **** * The Rating for each story: ***** Saving Tiamaat • (2007) • shortstory by Gwyneth Jones ***** Verthandi's Ring • (2007) • shortstory by Ian McDonald ***** Hatch • [The Great Ship Universe] • (2007) • shortstory by Robert Reed *** Winning Peace • (2007) • novelette by Paul J. McAuley *** Glory • (2007) • novelette by Greg Egan ** Maelstrom • (2007) • novelette by Kage Baker ***** Blessed by an Angel • (2007) • shortstory by Peter F. Hamilton *** Who's Afraid of Wolf 359? • shortstory by Ken MacLeod **** * The Valley of the Gardens • (2007) • novelette by Tony Daniel *** Dividing the Sustain • (2007) • novelette by James Patrick Kelly **** Minla's Flowers • [Merlin [4] • 2] • (2007) • novella by Alastair Reynolds FAVORITE STORY: ***** Splinters of Glass • (2007) • novelette by Mary Rosenblum ***** Remembrance • (2007) • shortstory by Stephen Baxter *** The Emperor and the Maula • (2007) • novelette by Robert Silverberg **** The Worm Turns • (2007) • shortstory by Gregory Benford ***** Send Them Flowers • (2007) • novelette by Walter Jon Williams ***** Art of War • shortstory by Nancy Kress **** Muse of Fire • (2007) • novella by Dan Simmons

  14. 4 out of 5

    Dynagrip

    Some decent stories in here but because it's an anthology there are some terrible ones as well. Dan Simmons finished it up with a relatively strong entry, Muse of Fire. Gregory Benford's The Worm Turns was uh, not so good. I skipped Mary Rosenbaum's story because it was clearly going to be utterly offal (see what I did there?). For some reason there are very few female genre writers that can write male characters at all. To be fair there are many genre writers (of any gender) that don't write wel Some decent stories in here but because it's an anthology there are some terrible ones as well. Dan Simmons finished it up with a relatively strong entry, Muse of Fire. Gregory Benford's The Worm Turns was uh, not so good. I skipped Mary Rosenbaum's story because it was clearly going to be utterly offal (see what I did there?). For some reason there are very few female genre writers that can write male characters at all. To be fair there are many genre writers (of any gender) that don't write well at all. The worst writing of all goes to Paul J. McAuley's Winning Peace. Holy shit was it bad. I don't have the book in front of me, otherwise I would share my favorite passage. Greg Egan had a really good story in here, Glory, which somehow I can't recall the details at the moment. I know it was good enough that I'm now considering checking out his more recent stuff. Robert Silverberg committed a cardinal sin for genre fiction in my book, taking an old old story, in this case Night of a Thousand Tales, and making it science-fictiony. It's just so damn lazy.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Denise

    Evidently the New space opera is not much to my taste, since it seemingly involves a lot more space than opera these days (notwithstanding the last story, by Dan Simmons, which is about half Shakespeare.) Galactic empires are only fun if you have Han and Luke, R2 and Chewy, an Ewok or two - heroes, that is, with something to fight for. Otherwise it's all Rosencrantz and Guildenstern waiting for Godot, pointless and not even tragic. But I loved the Kage Baker story. Evidently the New space opera is not much to my taste, since it seemingly involves a lot more space than opera these days (notwithstanding the last story, by Dan Simmons, which is about half Shakespeare.) Galactic empires are only fun if you have Han and Luke, R2 and Chewy, an Ewok or two - heroes, that is, with something to fight for. Otherwise it's all Rosencrantz and Guildenstern waiting for Godot, pointless and not even tragic. But I loved the Kage Baker story.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Tom Rowe

    There are good stories here, and there are great stories here. My favorites: The Muse of Fire by Dan Simmons - A Shakespearean acting troupe travels the galaxy. Minla's Flowers by Alastair Reynolds - A man tries to save a planet, but they don't listen. Remembrance by Stephen Baxter - Are there some things better left forgotten? The Emperor and the Maula by Robert Silverberg - 1001 Nights in space. Art of War by Nancy Kress - Someone has mommy issues. I would listen to these again. There are good stories here, and there are great stories here. My favorites: The Muse of Fire by Dan Simmons - A Shakespearean acting troupe travels the galaxy. Minla's Flowers by Alastair Reynolds - A man tries to save a planet, but they don't listen. Remembrance by Stephen Baxter - Are there some things better left forgotten? The Emperor and the Maula by Robert Silverberg - 1001 Nights in space. Art of War by Nancy Kress - Someone has mommy issues. I would listen to these again.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Guy

    An excellent collection of SF short stories. Not all of them are space opera in the classic sense of the term, but since they are all good that will trouble only the pedants among us. If you are looking for new authors to read (or more from authors you already know you like), this is a good resource.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Bryan

    You may look at this and wonder what is the "new space opera"? Paul McAuley once did a great job of explaining it: "Like the old space opera of E.E. "Doc" Smith, Edmund Hamilton, and a host of unsung pulp writers, the New Space Opera sets its stories against vast backdrops of both time and space, and its characters are often engaged in superhuman efforts on which the fate of humanity is hung. But the new stuff is also closely engaged with hard science (from quantum physics and cosmology to evolu You may look at this and wonder what is the "new space opera"? Paul McAuley once did a great job of explaining it: "Like the old space opera of E.E. "Doc" Smith, Edmund Hamilton, and a host of unsung pulp writers, the New Space Opera sets its stories against vast backdrops of both time and space, and its characters are often engaged in superhuman efforts on which the fate of humanity is hung. But the new stuff is also closely engaged with hard science (from quantum physics and cosmology to evolutionary biology, bioengineering, and cybernetics) and asks tough questions (Who are we? Why are we here? Where are we going?) about humanity's place in a hostile universe. Its stories are informed by a sense of deep and often secret histories imperfectly understood and closely associated with cosmological mysteries, and are played out against a culturally rich patchwork of governments, economies, alliances, and alien species rather than the monolithic empires of old." I've devoured hundreds and hundreds of books while on this rock and I've learned I clearly love one specific genre more than others. I love science fiction because it often takes me further than I'll probably ever go. More specifically, I love stories that often get labeled 'the new space opera' and typically fit the profile of what McAuley is talking about. Science fiction in its very essence is political and often presses some of the most progressive questions and ideas into our culture. That's why I loved this collection of short stories. The major standouts are Hatch by Reed, Glory by Egan, Minla's Flowers by Alastair Reynolds, Remembrance by Baxter, and Muse of Fire by Simmons. This is a great audiobook. It caused me to buy several books by the contributors! 1 • Introduction (The New Space Opera) • (2007) • essay by Gardner Dozois and Jonathan Strahan Great introduction. I really enjoyed the history of this sub-genre of sci-fi. 6 • Saving Tiamaat • (2007) • shortstory by Gwyneth Jones Saving Tiamaat - This was a fun story that’s definitely up my alley, alien cultures, galactic diplomacy, loved it. 3.5/5 24 • Verthandi's Ring • (2007) • shortstory by Ian McDonald Verthandi’s Ring - I love Ian McDonald as a writer but this story was a little weird. Good but still weird. 2.5/5" 39 • Hatch • [The Great Ship Universe] • (2007) • shortstory by Robert Reed Hatch by Robert Reed - was excellent. 5/5 stars. Definitely found a new author I like. I ordered 4 of his books! (I'm reading Marrow now.) 66 • Winning Peace • (2007) • novelette by Paul J. McAuley Winning Peace - Paul J. McAuley: 2/5 stars. Wasn’t my cup of tea. Maybe I just didn’t appreciate the ending? 88 • Glory • (2007) • novelette by Greg Egan Glory - I love Greg Egan and enjoyed this story. 4/5 stars. Cool premise and ending 112 • Maelstrom • (2007) • novelette by Kage Baker 143 • Blessed by an Angel • (2007) • shortstory by Peter F. Hamilton 158 • Who's Afraid of Wolf 359? • shortstory by Ken MacLeod 170 • The Valley of the Gardens • (2007) • novelette by Tony Daniel 202 • Dividing the Sustain • (2007) • novelette by James Patrick Kelly Just finished the Divide the Sustain novella and that was a weird one. I’d give it 3.5/5 though! Unlikeable characters always make stories weird for me... 234 • Minla's Flowers • [Merlin [4] • 2] • (2007) • novella by Alastair Reynolds This story simply blew me away. I love Alastair Reynolds but my god this story was fun. Dark but still fun. 291 • Splinters of Glass • (2007) • novelette by Mary Rosenblum 316 • Remembrance • (2007) • shortstory by Stephen Baxter Just finished Remembrance by Stephen Baxter. Wow, simply fantastic. An incredible invasion story. 5/5 stars on this one. 334 • The Emperor and the Maula • (2007) • novelette by Robert Silverberg Just finished Robert Silverberg’s The Emperor and Maula... very good stuff. Another earth being conquered story. 379 • The Worm Turns • (2007) • shortstory by Gregory Benford 401 • Send Them Flowers • (2007) • novelette by Walter Jon Williams This was a little hard to follow. I'd give it 2/5 but I may have just simply not been paying close enough attention to what was going on. 436 • Art of War • shortstory by Nancy Kress 454 • Muse of Fire • (2007) • novella by Dan Simmons This story is excellent! Definitely didn't see the end coming! I've always held Hyperion in my top sci-fi stories ever. It was cool to see another Dan Simmons sci-fi story by such a strong author! 4/5.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ben Lund

    This was really a book full of hits and misses. The book grabbed my interest because there were a few authors names I recognized and I was very interested in short stories by them. Unfortunately the first several stories were severe disappointments, I seriously considered giving up on the book altogether a few times. But eventually the stories did start to run more to my liking. Minla's Flowers was an especially nice surprise. However the stories that were unenjoyable tempered by the ones that l This was really a book full of hits and misses. The book grabbed my interest because there were a few authors names I recognized and I was very interested in short stories by them. Unfortunately the first several stories were severe disappointments, I seriously considered giving up on the book altogether a few times. But eventually the stories did start to run more to my liking. Minla's Flowers was an especially nice surprise. However the stories that were unenjoyable tempered by the ones that left me wanting more lands the book in 3 star territory. If I only enjoy half the book, is it really worth it? The hallmark of a good anthology (in my opinion) is that I want to read more by that author, usually reading a collection of stories like this lets me add new books to my want-to-read list. I want to dive deeper into the universe that author has created. Too many of these stories left me wanting to get the first spaceship out of there.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jacob

    3.5 stars. A good variety of Space Opera short stories and novellas. As with any collection, there were both hits and misses for me. I was fascinated that three of the stories dealt with art and two of those dealt with the profession of acting in outer space ("Maelstrom" by by Kage Baker and "Muse of Fire" By Dan Simmons, which gets extra points for combining Shakespeare and Gnostic theology in a futuristic and intergalactic setting). These last two were among my favorites. 3.5 stars. A good variety of Space Opera short stories and novellas. As with any collection, there were both hits and misses for me. I was fascinated that three of the stories dealt with art and two of those dealt with the profession of acting in outer space ("Maelstrom" by by Kage Baker and "Muse of Fire" By Dan Simmons, which gets extra points for combining Shakespeare and Gnostic theology in a futuristic and intergalactic setting). These last two were among my favorites.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Paul J

    Thank goodness for Silverberg I am an Asmovian through and through. I guess the SciFi world has changed a lot over the years. I found the bulk of this collection to be blah, or unreadable. Never in my life have i skipped through more than half a book - my reading compulsion just wont let me usually - this time the compulsion was to get away from most stories. If not for Silverberg i would have given this book a 1 star rating

  22. 5 out of 5

    Robert Hepple

    First published in 2007, 'The New Space Opera' is a collection of 18 tales by some of the best SF writers. Story length varies from short to novella, but all were impressive. I particularly liked contributions by Robert Silverberg, Dan Simmons and Peter F Hamilton but it would be difficult and pointless to try to rank the stories. It seems to prove that talent at writing decent Space Opera is still out there, and I look forward to acquiring the follow-up volume. First published in 2007, 'The New Space Opera' is a collection of 18 tales by some of the best SF writers. Story length varies from short to novella, but all were impressive. I particularly liked contributions by Robert Silverberg, Dan Simmons and Peter F Hamilton but it would be difficult and pointless to try to rank the stories. It seems to prove that talent at writing decent Space Opera is still out there, and I look forward to acquiring the follow-up volume.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jason Pike

    I wanted to like this collection. These stories are exactly the kind of thing I dig. Half of them I just didn’t get. Maybe they were over my head. The rest - well, the endings were just kind of obvious. So, there ended up being no payoff for me. I see there’s a volume II and I’d be willing to give it a shot.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Brujaja

    Perhaps the most worthwhile anthology ever This book is the very definition of "getting your money's worth," and it would be so at five times the price. Once in awhile I will run across a story that makes me put the book down, and say, wow! What a story! This particular book is made up entirely of such stories. It is a masterful feat of anthologizing. Perhaps the most worthwhile anthology ever This book is the very definition of "getting your money's worth," and it would be so at five times the price. Once in awhile I will run across a story that makes me put the book down, and say, wow! What a story! This particular book is made up entirely of such stories. It is a masterful feat of anthologizing.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ron

    2 1/2 stars. This is a collection of stories that I expected to be more or less excellent and brilliant, but I ended up pretty disappointed. I was surprised by having several stories that I simply didn't like at all or thought were just too strange. Some were actually boring. I won't try to review or critique each of the 18 stories, although I'll comment on most. Every one of these stories is by an established and well regarded author. A number of the stories in the collection I felt were rather 2 1/2 stars. This is a collection of stories that I expected to be more or less excellent and brilliant, but I ended up pretty disappointed. I was surprised by having several stories that I simply didn't like at all or thought were just too strange. Some were actually boring. I won't try to review or critique each of the 18 stories, although I'll comment on most. Every one of these stories is by an established and well regarded author. A number of the stories in the collection I felt were rather weak, and some also did not give me any of that "space opera" feeling that this collection is supposedly about. These stories are all over the map for style and quality and I certainly would not use this collection as an introduction to the genre of science fiction. A list of all the stories and authors (from ISFDB) follows my comments. There are some excellent stories in this collection but there is way too much yuck included here with them. Another disappointment with this anthology lies with the introductions to the stories. To put it simply, most are lousy and not much more than a long recitation of all the various stories and novels written by the author. It would be nice to get a bit more or in most cases ANY information from the editors about why the story was chosen, what it represents, etc. Really lacking here for most stories. The opening story, Gwyneth Jones' "Saving Tiamaat", was nearly incomprehensible and really put me off and I didn't even finish it. It seems to me to be a poor choice as an editor to start off with such a challenging difficult to comprehend story. I fear it also affected my enjoyment of the ultra far future story that followed by Ian McDonald, which I disliked also as being entirely too strange. I was about ready to bail on this collection at this point. Robert Reed's far future "Hatch" was better, and a little intriguing. I've read a lot of Reed's short fiction over the years and find it to be more hit than miss, but I didn't really like this either. The fourth story, Paul McAuley's "Winning Peace", a post space war prisoner escape yarn was the first story I actually sort of liked. The fifth story here, Greg Egan's "Glory" is the first very good to excellent story in this anthology. A meld of hard science fiction with space opera where two mathmatician/archaeologists of a far future human culture encounter and insert themselves into a less advanced culture. The method of accomplishing this was mind boggling to me. A lot going on in this one and a little wild and "sense of wonder" at the start of it. Kage Baker's "Maelstrom", set on Mars, followed, but hardly space opera. Sometimes I enjoy Kage Baker's stories, sometimes not so much. "Maestrom" is one of those supposed to be clever and amusing stories that just didn't charm me for very long. Other readers might enjoy it more than I did. Here's some trivia for Ken MacLeod's "Who's Afraid of Wolf 359?". The page headers in the uncorrected proof I read show the story as "Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf 359?". An unmemorable story that I didn't like. Nor did I like James Patrick Kelly's "Dividing The Sustain". I enjoyed Tony Daniel's inventive "The Valley of the Gardens" quite a lot until the end where it sort of rolled over and went to sleep. Alastair Reynolds' "Minla's Flowers" is the only story here that I have read before, and I liked it quite a bit, considering it one of the stronger stories in the collection, and I enjoyed re-reading it. "Splinters of Glass", a novelette by Mary Rosenblum is set on Europa and was wonderfully inventive, exciting and rich with details and I liked it a lot. I wish more of the stories in this anthology were this good. I'm a longtime fan of Robert Silverberg's stories. That bias may have slightly influenced my feeling that "The Emperor and the Maula" is one of the 2 or 3 best stories in this anthology. Nevertheless this is just a well told highly imaginative story set in the far future where humans were conquered by a huge galactic civilzation. A human woman, Laylah, travels against all taboos to the planet of the conquerors. More or less, this is Scheherazade in space. Wonderful story. Dan Simmon's "Muse of Fire" is one of the other "best" stories in this anthology. •6 • Saving Tiamaat • shortstory by Gwyneth Jones •24 • Verthandi's Ring • shortstory by Ian McDonald •39 • Hatch • shortstory by Robert Reed •66 • Winning Peace • shortstory by Paul J. McAuley •88 • Glory • novelette by Greg Egan •112 • Maelstrom • novelette by Kage Baker •143 • Blessed by an Angel • shortstory by Peter F. Hamilton •158 • Who's Afraid of Wolf 359? • shortstory by Ken MacLeod •170 • The Valley of the Gardens • novelette by Tony Daniel •202 • Dividing the Sustain • novelette by James Patrick Kelly •234 • Minla's Flowers • novella by Alastair Reynolds •291 • Splinters of Glass • novelette by Mary Rosenblum •316 • Remembrance • shortstory by Stephen Baxter •334 • The Emperor and the Maula • novelette by Robert Silverberg •379 • The Worm Turns • shortstory by Gregory Benford •401 • Send Them Flowers • novelette by Walter Jon Williams •436 • Art of War • shortstory by Nancy Kress •454 • Muse of Fire • novella by Dan Simmons

  26. 5 out of 5

    Blake Kanewischer

    I love space opera as a genre, and the vast majority of these didn't quite sit with me. Rereading the table of contents, I can't confidently identify which stories I liked, which doesn't bode well for a collection of short stories. I love space opera as a genre, and the vast majority of these didn't quite sit with me. Rereading the table of contents, I can't confidently identify which stories I liked, which doesn't bode well for a collection of short stories.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Ebenmaessiger

    "Saving Tiamaat," by Gwyneth Jones: 9 - Genre work, often being labeled 'guilty pleasures,' conjures up an image of the smooth and/or easy read. At the same time, however, genre work -- esp. of the short fiction variety -- is more than happy, and more willing than non-genre literatures, to toss unwitting readers into a deep end of shared worlds or continuing series without so much of a 'oh-this-is-what-this-is' lifejacket. The subsequent result is often anything but a smooth read; yet, as with m "Saving Tiamaat," by Gwyneth Jones: 9 - Genre work, often being labeled 'guilty pleasures,' conjures up an image of the smooth and/or easy read. At the same time, however, genre work -- esp. of the short fiction variety -- is more than happy, and more willing than non-genre literatures, to toss unwitting readers into a deep end of shared worlds or continuing series without so much of a 'oh-this-is-what-this-is' lifejacket. The subsequent result is often anything but a smooth read; yet, as with many difficult reads, that sense of being adrift can likewise be a bit exhilarating, when done well. Gwyneth Jones's "Saving Tiamaat" is an example of the latter. It is not simply the unfamiliarity with the world that imbues her narrative with a frenetic denseness; it's also the rigid momentum of her prose--allusive, idea-packed, and, above all, redolent of a ringing intelligence at work behind the curtain. The question, though, even here: to what degree was my response conditioned by this unknown-at-the-time fact, this story's piece-of-a-puzzle relationship to other stories? Would it have seemed so brazen, so propulsive otherwise? Unsure. The ending of the story, at least partially, can't quite cash the check that its beginning writes, but this, as well, is more likely a sign of its place in a series--the 'end' here is not a conclusion, but a building block (with a decidedly Bernsteinian view on political reform v. revolution -- plus ca change).

  28. 5 out of 5

    Joshua

    Not every story hits, but the ones that do hit hard.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Keso Shengelia

    Great sci-fi with few exceptions

  30. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    I enjoyed maybe 5/18 Stories.

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