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The New Space Opera 2

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All-new stories of science fiction adventure from some of the most beloved names in science fiction spin all-new tales of interstellar adventure and wonder. Contents 3 • Utriusque Cosmi • (2009) • novelette by Robert Charles Wilson 27 • The Island • (2009) • novelette by Peter Watts 63 • Events Preceding the Helvetican Renaissance • (2009) • novelette by John Kessel 93 • To Go All-new stories of science fiction adventure from some of the most beloved names in science fiction spin all-new tales of interstellar adventure and wonder. Contents 3 • Utriusque Cosmi • (2009) • novelette by Robert Charles Wilson 27 • The Island • (2009) • novelette by Peter Watts 63 • Events Preceding the Helvetican Renaissance • (2009) • novelette by John Kessel 93 • To Go Boldly • shortstory by Cory Doctorow 113 • The Lost Princess Man • (2009) • novelette by John Barnes 139 • Defect • (2009) • novelette by Kristine Kathryn Rusch 175 • To Raise a Mutiny Betwixt Yourselves • (2009) • novelette by Jay Lake 209 • Shell Game • (2009) • novelette by Neal Asher 237 • Punctuality • (2009) • shortstory by Garth Nix 245 • Inevitable • (2009) • novelette by Sean Williams 273 • Join The Navy and See the Worlds • (2009) • shortstory by Bruce Sterling 293 • Fearless Space Pirates of the Outer Rings • (2009) • novelette by Bill Willingham 321 • From the Heart • (2009) • novelette by John Meaney 353 • Chameleons • (2009) • novella by Elizabeth Moon 407 • The Tenth Muse • (2009) • novelette by Tad Williams 431 • Cracklegrackle • (2009) • novelette by Justina Robson 465 • The Tale of the Wicked • (2009) • novelette by John Scalzi 487 • Catastrophe Baker and a Canticle for Leibowitz • (2009) • shortstory by Mike Resnick 501 • The Far End of History • (2009) • novelette by John C. Wright


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All-new stories of science fiction adventure from some of the most beloved names in science fiction spin all-new tales of interstellar adventure and wonder. Contents 3 • Utriusque Cosmi • (2009) • novelette by Robert Charles Wilson 27 • The Island • (2009) • novelette by Peter Watts 63 • Events Preceding the Helvetican Renaissance • (2009) • novelette by John Kessel 93 • To Go All-new stories of science fiction adventure from some of the most beloved names in science fiction spin all-new tales of interstellar adventure and wonder. Contents 3 • Utriusque Cosmi • (2009) • novelette by Robert Charles Wilson 27 • The Island • (2009) • novelette by Peter Watts 63 • Events Preceding the Helvetican Renaissance • (2009) • novelette by John Kessel 93 • To Go Boldly • shortstory by Cory Doctorow 113 • The Lost Princess Man • (2009) • novelette by John Barnes 139 • Defect • (2009) • novelette by Kristine Kathryn Rusch 175 • To Raise a Mutiny Betwixt Yourselves • (2009) • novelette by Jay Lake 209 • Shell Game • (2009) • novelette by Neal Asher 237 • Punctuality • (2009) • shortstory by Garth Nix 245 • Inevitable • (2009) • novelette by Sean Williams 273 • Join The Navy and See the Worlds • (2009) • shortstory by Bruce Sterling 293 • Fearless Space Pirates of the Outer Rings • (2009) • novelette by Bill Willingham 321 • From the Heart • (2009) • novelette by John Meaney 353 • Chameleons • (2009) • novella by Elizabeth Moon 407 • The Tenth Muse • (2009) • novelette by Tad Williams 431 • Cracklegrackle • (2009) • novelette by Justina Robson 465 • The Tale of the Wicked • (2009) • novelette by John Scalzi 487 • Catastrophe Baker and a Canticle for Leibowitz • (2009) • shortstory by Mike Resnick 501 • The Far End of History • (2009) • novelette by John C. Wright

30 review for The New Space Opera 2

  1. 5 out of 5

    Felicia

    LOVED this collection. Think I'm on a hard sci-fi kick though, so this really rung true with me! All the stories were interesting (a few too pretentious in that hard sci-fi way, but surprisingly few). Particularly liked Elizabeth Moon's, and Sean Williams (always forget how much I like this author!) I know this ground might feel familiar to aficionados of this genre, but especially for ppl not as immersed, this is really a good compilation! LOVED this collection. Think I'm on a hard sci-fi kick though, so this really rung true with me! All the stories were interesting (a few too pretentious in that hard sci-fi way, but surprisingly few). Particularly liked Elizabeth Moon's, and Sean Williams (always forget how much I like this author!) I know this ground might feel familiar to aficionados of this genre, but especially for ppl not as immersed, this is really a good compilation!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Mona

    Please remember this review is only my opinion. Overall rating for the anthology: 3.5. I got the book for “The Island”, by Peter Watts, a great story. I gave this story, and one other, the John Scalzi story, a 4 rating. Bear in mind that space opera is not my favorite genre. That said, this is probably as good and varied a collection of space opera short stories as one could have found anywhere. One could have wished for a more diverse group of writers (most were men from America, Britain, or Austr Please remember this review is only my opinion. Overall rating for the anthology: 3.5. I got the book for “The Island”, by Peter Watts, a great story. I gave this story, and one other, the John Scalzi story, a 4 rating. Bear in mind that space opera is not my favorite genre. That said, this is probably as good and varied a collection of space opera short stories as one could have found anywhere. One could have wished for a more diverse group of writers (most were men from America, Britain, or Australia), but that was the state of science fiction when this volume was published. It’s changed since then. As one can expect for any anthology edited by Gardner Dozois and Jonathan Strahan, all the stories were solid. However, many of them (not all) felt like they were truncated, and finished before a satisfying endpoint. A lot of the stories in this book seemed to be written and for men. The main focus of these stories are flashy plot twists. Personally I prefer more character driven stories. Often these are written by women, although male writers like Neal Stephenson and Kim Stanley Robinson feature strong characters. Space opera tends to be more plot driven, with thinly developed or even cartoonish characters. Maybe that’s why it’s not my favorite genre. That said, there are some stories in which this framework works very well, as in the Peter Watts story, and in “Fearless Space Pirates of the Outer Rings”, by Bill Willingham. The latter tale is an unabashed ode to comic books, read with swashbucking flair by R.C. Bray. As for the audio readers: the audio narration specialists were much better than the film and TV actors, as a rule. As I’ve mentioned below, though, there were some notable exceptions to that rule. Utriusque Cosmi by Robert Charles Wilson 3 The title is taken from the name of the book that’s the major work of seventeenth century mathematician, mystic, and Qabbalist Robert Fludd. It roughly translates as “Origin and Structure of the Universe” (strict translation from Latin: “Both of the Cosmi”). In the story, this title referred to an old drawing, showing a sky full of enemies. I’m not sure if Fludd’s manuscript and the drawing are related, but I’m betting they are. This is story of Carlotta Boudaine, who is a teenager when the world ends. She is “raptured” up into the Fleet, which attempts to save as many as possible from the multiple worlds that are being destroyed by invisible enemies. Carlotta continues living as a sort of virtual entity in the Fleet’s data banks. Her addict mother, Abby, and Abby’s violent boyfriend Dan-O, don’t survive. Meh. This story didn’t really work for me. Its attempts to marry cosmology, metaphysics, and vastness with mundane, everyday life fell flat. I’m not sure if Bahni Turpin’s audio narration contributed to the problem. Its bright and breezy tone seemed unsuitable for the material. Often TV and movie actors aren’t great audio narrators. It’s a different skill set. Part of me thinks a better reader would have made a difference. But part of me isn’t sure it’s her fault. Maybe it’s just the way the story was written. Her reading sounded like someone chanting some solemn spiritual text to the tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”. Incongruous and silly. Still, it’s a well crafted story, which is why I didn’t give it a lower rating. The Island by Peter Watts 4 Great story. This story was the main reason I got the book. It’s expertly narrated by Caroline Schaffer. She’s also an actress, so she’s clearly an exception to the rule that actors aren’t always good audio narrators. This story is the successor to Watts’ novella “The Freeze-Frame Revolution”. It takes place in the future, long after the events in that novella. Sunday Ahzmudin, the heroine of this series, the Sunflower Cycle, wakes from cold sleep to a couple of surprises. One is that the ship’s personnel roster has changed. The other is that, for the first time in the spaceship Eriophora’s millennia long voyage, a sentient alien has apparently attempted to contact the ship. What could possibly go wrong? We are shown two very different sides of Sunday’s character. On the one hand, she is understandably, though inexcusably, impatient with a crewmate’s stupidity. On the other hand, she nobly tries to protect the alien because it’s the first sentient species that’s attempted contact with the ship. We come away with mixed feelings about Sunday, but we understand her better. Events Preceding the Helvetican Renaissance by John Kessel 3 A well told tale about a war between the Helveticans and the Caslonians, narrated by a monk. It left me totally cold for some reason. I couldn’t bring myself to care about the characters or their story. To Go Boldly by Cory Doctorow 3.5 Read by Sean Runnette This was initially confusing so I had to reread it, although admittedly I was very drowsy when I read it the first time and maybe wasn’t paying attention. You’ve got to be attentive when you read this, or you’ll be lost. It’s a Star Trek parody. (The title hints at this). Here’s the first sentence : “Captain Reynold J. Tsubishi of the APP ship Colossus II was the youngest commander in the fleet.” APP stands, a bit ironically, for “Alliance of Peaceful Planets”. I’ll say no more about this story, because I can’t without spoiling it. Except that the story is based on a tricky or deceitful concept. We aren’t let in on the secret until the story’s end, although the author drops pretty broad hints along the way. While I found this type of scenario annoying, I also had to admire the author’s skill in pulling it off. (It’s too much artifice—like the author is shouting, “Hey, look at me, aren’t I clever?) The audio reader’s pompous tone is very appropriate. The Lost Princess Man by John Barnes 3.5 Read by Tom Taylorson Another quite original but rather confusing story. Aurigar is running a successful con. He finds young girls who are “fostindents”, tells them they are some lost princess, then spirits them away to be genetically modified for beauty and sells them to high end brothels. His life is dandy until he runs into Lord Leader Cetus Sir. Then it all changes. This is another story where the reader is tricked and isn’t in on the secret until the end of the story. The plot is like a Russian doll. Once again, I found my irritation (too much artifice—like the author is shouting, “Hey, look at me, aren’t I clever?) vying with admiration of the author’s skill. Defect by Kristine Kathryn Rusch 3.5 Read in a suitably understated way by Hilary Huber A science fiction crime story. A major crime takes place aboard a space ship for tourists. A former secret agent, who has defected, gets drawn in against her will and better judgement, because her family is involved. A good, solid story. To Raise a Mutiny Betwixt Yourselves by Jay Lake Read by Marguerite Gavin 3.5 I’ve been a fan of the late, great Jay Lake for a few years. I have really enjoyed all of his stories that I’ve read previously and all the anthologies he edited. I thought the same would be true of this story too. I was enthralled...until it ground to a halt in a bizarro ending. Now I’m not sure. This story seems to be heavily influenced by Dan Simmons..there is a religious Ekumen and strange ways of killing and maiming people. Check out the ending. That’s a Dan Simmons ending if I ever saw one. Captain Raisa Siddiq and her second in command on the space ship Polyphemus, Michaela Cannon, are at war with each other. Long ago, they were once lovers. Both are “Befores” (meaning they are ancient beings that have been alive for hundreds of years and predated the “Mistake”). After The Mistake, Galactic civilization ground to a halt and its efficient method of Faster Than Light travel, the threadneedle drive, was lost forever. Some of it’s been built back. A new method of Faster Than Light travel called Paired Drives has been developed, but it’s not nearly as efficient as the threadneedle drive was. As the story opens, Michaela Cannon cannot reach Captain Siddiq, who, for some unknown reason, is off the ship, out of range, and apparently fomenting a mutiny against her own ship. She seems to be taking trips to a certain (relatively) nearby planet. Cannon is trying to put a stop to this nonsense and get the ship back under control. Very weird story. Lake gives a nod to the next story, “Shell Game” by mentioning The Polity in passing. Shell Game by Neal Asher 2.5 Read by Tom Weiner. I don’t think Tom Weiner’s monotonously singsong reading style is suitable for this story. Every sentence sounds the same. He put me to sleep. Stupid story, involving giant mollusks, parasitical worms, a race that thinks it’s God’s gift to the universe, and a crazy starship captain’s revenge. Oh, and a senior citizen romance based on bonding over shared danger. I wonder if a better reader might have rescued this tale. Probably not. Punctuality by Garth Nix 3.5 Read by Xe Sands Nice story about imperial succession. Excellent reader. But so cryptic, I went “huh?” at the end. Inevitable by Sean Williams 3 Read by Erica Sullivan Is she reading a science fiction story or “Gossip Girl”? I’m waiting for the “like..like...like” and “OMG”. Another stage and film actor who isn’t the best audio narrator. Ok. I’m exaggerating. She wasn’t a bad reader. But at times she did sound like she was reading Gossip Girl. As for the story... Oh wow oh wow...time loops and time paradoxes. Enemies working together. The Guild and Terminus (along with the Structure) are enemies. Or are they? Whoopee doo. I suppose this wasn’t a bad story. Just not my cuppa. Join the Navy and See the Worlds by Bruce Sterling 3.5 Read by Neil Shah Neil Shah is a first class audio narrator. In fact, his reading was one of the best in this entire collection. Good story. But with another frustratingly cutoff ending. Fearless Space Pirates of the Outer Rings by Bill Willingham 3.5 Read by R.C. Bray Another excellent reading by a top drawer audio narrator. Once again we see an audio specialist outclassing TV and film actors. Good story, perfectly read by Bray. I can’t say much without revealing spoilers. Let’s just say that our tale starts with a bunch of space pirates aboard a ship called the Merry Prankster. The First Mate, Danny Wells, is the only human on the crew and they’re about to raid a merchant ship. This is one story where the comic book atmosphere is perfectly suited to the tale. Well done. From the Heart by John Meaney 3.5 Read by Lloyd James Strange but hauntingly lovely story. We’re not sure what’s real and what’s imaginary here. Carl Blackstone is travelling under an assumed name to a planet that it’s illegal to fly to. Various adventures and misadventures ensue. I’ll say no more to avoid spoilers. Lloyd James was a generally good audio narrator, but he seemed to totally miss the reference to the writer Borges in The Labyrinth, mispronouncing the name as “Borjez” (ucch...). (It’s Borges Boulevard in the Labyrinth in this story. The real writer Borges wrote a book called “Labyrinths”, a very surreal fantasy to which John Meaney, the writer of this story is obviously giving a nod. It’s very appropriate, given the dreamlike quality of this story). Audio narrator James probably never heard of Jorge Luis Borges, who the author of the story is clearly referencing. It annoys me how little preparation some of these audio readers seem to do prior to reading a text. Chameleons by Elizabeth Moon 3.5 Read by Sean Runnette Good, fun interstellar crime story, with lots of twists and turns. Solid audio reader. The Tenth Muse by Tad Williams 3.5 Read by Tristan Morris A fun story about Dr. Balcescu, who turns out not to be as much of an arrogant jerk as he appears to be. Told by crew member Rahul Jatt of the Confederation Starship Lakshmi, who also creates a misleading first impression. When there is a major disruption at the Rainwater Hub wormhole, Dr. Balcescu, apparently a professor of linguistics, has some unusual ideas about a solution. Cracklegrackle by Justina Robson 3.5 Read by Tom Weiner Good, absorbing story. Mark Bishop’s daughter, Tabitha, went missing a year ago in a Mars expedition. He enlists the aid of a strange creature called Hyperion, a kind of shaman who can see energy, to help him find her. Also, Tom Weiner was a much better reader for this story than for the previous one he read in this anthology. The Tale of the Wicked by John Scalzi 4 Read by Kevin Kenerly. A very suprising story about the spaceship “Wicked”; its Commander, Michael Obwije, and a Tarin battle cruiser. I’m not a huge John Scalzi fan, but I loved this story. Perfectly read by Kevin Kenerly, a film and stage actor who’s an exception to the rule that many screen actors are bad audio narrators. He does a great job reading. Catastrophe Baker and a Canticle for Leibovitz by Mike Resnick 3.5 Read by R.C. Bray Cute and mildly funny story about “freelance hero” and spacer Catastrophe Baker and his adventure involving a beautiful woman named, memorably, Voluptua Von Climax, and the theft of an..er..canticle. R.C. Bray narrates it perfectly. The Far End of History by John C. Wright 3.5 Read by Terri McMahon This was more like an epic poem. In beautiful poetic language, Wright describes the love affair between the planets Ulysses and Penelope. It was almost like a science fiction version of the Odyssey. I nearly gave it a 4, but the stuff at the end, while interesting, diluted the impact of the whole. Film and stage actress Terri McMahon was generally a good reader. However, at times her overly crisp enunciation seemed like overkill, although it was preferable to the sloppy mispronunciation frequently heard from audio readers.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Liviu

    Excellent anthology; 19 stories from totally different authors than NSO1; big time highlights from John Barnes and JC Wright with highlights from RC Wilson, P. Watts, E. Moon, new author Bill Willingham, N. Asher, S. Williams, KK Rusch, J. Robson, J. Meaney and quite good stories from Jay Lake, John Kessel, Mike Resnick and Tad Williams. Only the Doctorow, Nix, Sterling (none surprisingly since neither of these authors is readable by me) and Scalzi (surprising since I generally like his work) did Excellent anthology; 19 stories from totally different authors than NSO1; big time highlights from John Barnes and JC Wright with highlights from RC Wilson, P. Watts, E. Moon, new author Bill Willingham, N. Asher, S. Williams, KK Rusch, J. Robson, J. Meaney and quite good stories from Jay Lake, John Kessel, Mike Resnick and Tad Williams. Only the Doctorow, Nix, Sterling (none surprisingly since neither of these authors is readable by me) and Scalzi (surprising since I generally like his work) did not connect. But 15 out 19 is a great ratio especially with 11 superb stories in the mix

  4. 4 out of 5

    Neal Asher

    I do have a bad habit with anthologies I’ve been published in. I tend to receive them then stick them on a shelf as eye-candy yet, of course, they probably contain lots of stories I would like to read. The other day I changed that habit by picking up The New Space Opera edited by Gardner Dozois and Jonathan Strahan. It contains a story by me called Shell Game, and has been sitting on my shelf since 2009. I did enjoy this and out of the 19 stories enclosed there were only two I didn’t finish and I do have a bad habit with anthologies I’ve been published in. I tend to receive them then stick them on a shelf as eye-candy yet, of course, they probably contain lots of stories I would like to read. The other day I changed that habit by picking up The New Space Opera edited by Gardner Dozois and Jonathan Strahan. It contains a story by me called Shell Game, and has been sitting on my shelf since 2009. I did enjoy this and out of the 19 stories enclosed there were only two I didn’t finish and maybe only a couple more I finished with a ‘meh’. Particular highlights for me were the stories by Robert Charles Wilson, Peter Watts, Kristine Kathryne Rusch, Jay Lake, Sean Williams, John Meaney, Elizabeth Moon and John Scalzi.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Florin Pitea

    An enjoyable read. Recommended.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Mouldy Squid

    Dozois is my go to editor for science ficiton. I have been reading Dozois' Year's Best Science Fiction for twenty years now and he almost never disappoints me (his co-editor, Honathan Strahan is no slouch either). I find it strange and wonderful that my editorial aesthetic matches so closely with his. This usually means that I can't wait to get into a Dozois anthology. Usually. The New Space Opera 2 is the follow-up anthology to last year's The New Space Opera. New space opera is one of my favor Dozois is my go to editor for science ficiton. I have been reading Dozois' Year's Best Science Fiction for twenty years now and he almost never disappoints me (his co-editor, Honathan Strahan is no slouch either). I find it strange and wonderful that my editorial aesthetic matches so closely with his. This usually means that I can't wait to get into a Dozois anthology. Usually. The New Space Opera 2 is the follow-up anthology to last year's The New Space Opera. New space opera is one of my favorite sub-genres. I love the things that authors like Reynolds, Banks and MacLeod are doing with the form and I love seeing others move the ball forward. The original The New Space Opera was delightful, ingenious and exciting. The New Space Opera 2 is, well, more of the same. It feels as if that Dozois was worried that he couldn't sell a massive 1000 page anthology of space opera and divided it into two. In an interesting turn, Dozois did not include any authors from the first anthology. This helps it to feel fresh despite the sameness of the subject matter. It also allows for the-not-usual-suspects to have a chance to strut their stuff out of the shadow of the British Triumvirate. While I would have prefered to see more of Reynolds, Banks and MacLeod, what I got was better than average. Mostly. I can't really complain about the quality of the stories, nor can I complain about the excitation of them either. Everything is above average, and yet, because of that, everything seems average. There were only a couple of standout stories for me, and by couple I mean two. That should not happen in an anthology like this (although I will admit that there have been a couple of Year's Best… that have left me wanting as well). Peter Watts' "The Island" about a continously resurrected starship crew eternally building FTL gates in their wake for a civilization they have never seen (since they travel at relativistic speeds and cannot slow down) really struck me. Watts captures the frustration and futility of the viewpoint character and his shipmates and their longing for the Earth they left so many millions of years behind. Watts tantalizingly hints at the mystery of what mankind has become, but only hints; neither the characters nor the reader ever find out. The story also contains one of the most interesting and ingenious alien lifeforms I have seen in a long time. "The Island" is fast paced, chock full of mysteries and has a satisfying ending with a twist I didn't see coming. I want more. I would love to see another story, or better yet, a series of linked stories about this crew. The other is the anthology's last story, a novelette by John C. Wright. "The Far End of History" is love story, a war story and a myth story all wrapped up together. I would love to go into details, but anything I can say about it would be a spoiler; the novelette's structure defies spoilerless analysis. So I will say what I can about it. It is very well written. Wright's language is lyrical, sad, triumphant and strange all at once. This is one of the most powerful and touching stories I have read all year. It is not to be missed. In the end, The New Space Opera 2 is fun but I can't help but feel that the first anthology was "better" in some way. I do recommend it to anyone interested in the sub-genre of New Space Opera, even if you have never read any of it before. All of the stories here are approachable by any fan of science fiction, and they are sure to please. If you have the original The New Space Opera you really should do yourself a favour and get the sequel. You won't be disappointed.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    Listening, on the road with my husband. Would probably be a better experience for you if you weren't so distracted, so consider these notes as not particularly helpful... 3 • Utriusque Cosmi • (2009) • novelette by Robert Charles Wilson "Go fast. Go now." I really liked the narrator. 27 • The Island • (2009) • novelette by Peter Watts Too much left out, I think. Ralph and I discussed what we understood to be going on, and pretty much got it, but didn't really understand the point of it. 63 • Events Listening, on the road with my husband. Would probably be a better experience for you if you weren't so distracted, so consider these notes as not particularly helpful... 3 • Utriusque Cosmi • (2009) • novelette by Robert Charles Wilson "Go fast. Go now." I really liked the narrator. 27 • The Island • (2009) • novelette by Peter Watts Too much left out, I think. Ralph and I discussed what we understood to be going on, and pretty much got it, but didn't really understand the point of it. 63 • Events Preceding the Helvetican Renaissance • (2009) • novelette by John Kessel Payoff abrupt and (unless we missed something) implausible. 93 • To Go Boldly • shortstory by Cory Doctorow Good question... if we really did have both replicators and transporters, would we conduct explorations the way Roddenberry described? (Either this, the next, or both had a narrator interested more in lively delivery than in clarity, so beware esp. if in a car or gym....) 113 • The Lost Princess Man • (2009) • novelette by John Barnes Way too many layers of cliched intrigue, even for Ralph who usually reads popular thrillers. 139 • Defect • (2009) • novelette by Kristine Kathryn Rusch A story that turned out to be about people, though it seemed like that bit was the beginning it turned out to be over as soon as something truly interesting was going to happen. Maybe it's been turned into a novel? Anyway, the main problem is that it didn't have to take place in space, that is to say, it's not really SF imo because all of it could have happened just about anywhere or anytime. 175 • To Raise a Mutiny Betwixt Yourselves • (2009) • novelette by Jay Lake Unintelligible narration... tried the following story, too, and the narrators just can't compete with road noise. I'm going to have to try to find this in text.

  8. 4 out of 5

    CatBookMom

    As usual, some good, some not-so-much, a lot of worth reading. Good: "Chameleons" by Elizabeth Moon; "The Tale of the _Wicked_" by John Scalzi; "Defect" by Kristine Kathryn Rusch; Not-so-much: "The Far End of History" by John C. Wright (the mythical and astronomy babble of the first 3 segments stopped me from going further; YMMV, as they say); "Catastrophe Baker and a Canticle for Leibowitz" was just too cutesy. As usual, some good, some not-so-much, a lot of worth reading. Good: "Chameleons" by Elizabeth Moon; "The Tale of the _Wicked_" by John Scalzi; "Defect" by Kristine Kathryn Rusch; Not-so-much: "The Far End of History" by John C. Wright (the mythical and astronomy babble of the first 3 segments stopped me from going further; YMMV, as they say); "Catastrophe Baker and a Canticle for Leibowitz" was just too cutesy.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Traci

    As a fan of both fantasy and SciFi I feel as though I've been neglecting half of my soul. Time to rectify that. My favorites have always been good old fashioned space operas. Poul Anderson. Isaac Asimov. But I'm not too familiar with contemporary authors. Thought this would be a good collection to start with. I never know how to review short story collections. By an average? By my favorites? Today I've decided to go with the second choice. So not every story here is worth a four star rating. But As a fan of both fantasy and SciFi I feel as though I've been neglecting half of my soul. Time to rectify that. My favorites have always been good old fashioned space operas. Poul Anderson. Isaac Asimov. But I'm not too familiar with contemporary authors. Thought this would be a good collection to start with. I never know how to review short story collections. By an average? By my favorites? Today I've decided to go with the second choice. So not every story here is worth a four star rating. But my favorites are. Utriusque Cosmi by Robert Charles Wilson starts the book with a bang. I loved this story. Earth is gone and humans have adopted a new form of life. To Go Boldly by Cory Doctorow. This bleak tale is for all the gamers out there. Although it's mostly a commentary on the game of life. The Lost Princess Man by John Barnes. An Anastasia con in space. With a very cool twist. Defect by Kristine Kathryn Rusch. A solidly fun space adventure. Fearless Space Pirates of the Outer Rings by Bill Willingham. For the comic book super hero fans. Reminded me of something that could've come from the golden age of SciFi. (a favorite era of mine even though I am too young to have enjoyed it first hand) The Tenth Muse by Tad Williams. Frankly didn't expect to like it because I don't enjoy his fantasy. But he surprised me. Liked it. Talked to the old Hollywood fan in me. And what draws me to SciFi. The exploration of different alien worlds and cultures. The Tale of the Wicked by John Scalzi. A starship becomes sentient. Expected to like it when I saw who wrote it and I did. So...seven stories out of nineteen. Doesn't sound so good. But better than I usually do with analogies. So whatever. The rating stays. Recommended to any reader of SciFi. The stories here run the gamut of thought provoking puzzles to what the hell was that about to just plain mindless action. Whatever your tastes you'll probably find something you like.

  10. 5 out of 5

    John

    What do people mean when they say something was "well written". It's always bothered me, and this compendium of stories yet again makes me wonder. A lot (most) (actually, nearly all) of these stories I found difficult to read for one reason or another. Either they were too simple: "The Tale of the Wicked" by John Scalzi "Fearless Space Pirates of the Outer Rings" by Bill Willingham. or they were too hard (tiresome) to figure out: "The Island" by Peter Watts. or they seemed, once the first few parag What do people mean when they say something was "well written". It's always bothered me, and this compendium of stories yet again makes me wonder. A lot (most) (actually, nearly all) of these stories I found difficult to read for one reason or another. Either they were too simple: "The Tale of the Wicked" by John Scalzi "Fearless Space Pirates of the Outer Rings" by Bill Willingham. or they were too hard (tiresome) to figure out: "The Island" by Peter Watts. or they seemed, once the first few paragraphs had been read, and sometimes re-read, not worth the trouble. Nothing grabbed me. Most of those that that I finished at all were a struggle. Is it me, or is it them? A book is after all a two-way conversation, and it may well be possible that should any of them and I meet on a train, we would bore the pants off each other. And yet and yet… I started reading " How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe," by Kenneth Wu, a book that docks beside my bed in a sloshy slipstream of high-falutin' praise, and there it was! Two sentences in and I knew I was in good hands. Completely hooked. So what makes this book different from some (most?) the authors writing in the other one? It's clear. Clear, clear, clear. It explains it's world with great economy, and paces the explanations so you can absorb them as easily as climbing into a warm bath. And it doesn't leave you puzzling over things that are only gradually revealed later (a huge problem for me. Not being a particularly self-confident reader, I always assume the not-getting-it is my fault). To me, the best science fiction books are really one-offs, often done by people not in the field, or more accurately, done by people who are writer's first.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Joy

    The idea of machine minds has permeated the 'new' space opera quite thoroughly. A side effect is that it is no longer Westerns In Space (if it ever really was) and is more of its own thing. It does what all good science fiction does: explore being human, the requirements and the ramifications. The idea of machine minds has permeated the 'new' space opera quite thoroughly. A side effect is that it is no longer Westerns In Space (if it ever really was) and is more of its own thing. It does what all good science fiction does: explore being human, the requirements and the ramifications.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Florin Constantinescu

    Great setup, great list of writers assembled here by Dozois & Strahan. Four standouts (the Wilson, the Asher, the Scalzi, and the Wright) and decent level with the others. Certainly the only good original anthology of 2009 and a worthy sequel.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Cissa

    Mostly excellent stories here, though there were a couple I didn't care for. Doctorow's riff on some "Star Trek" cliches was a blast! Mostly excellent stories here, though there were a couple I didn't care for. Doctorow's riff on some "Star Trek" cliches was a blast!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Heather-Lin

    It took me AGES but I finally completed this beast of a compilation. Short stories don't tend to work for me as well as tomes, novels and even novelettes. Ultimately I enjoyed less than half the stories presented. But a few of these deserve special mention. • Utriusque Cosmi • (2009) • novelette by Robert Charles Wilson Interesting. Unsure if it was real or imagined? Great concepts of expansive time and space. Update: this one has actually stuck with me. (view spoiler)[The idea of an organizatio It took me AGES but I finally completed this beast of a compilation. Short stories don't tend to work for me as well as tomes, novels and even novelettes. Ultimately I enjoyed less than half the stories presented. But a few of these deserve special mention. • Utriusque Cosmi • (2009) • novelette by Robert Charles Wilson Interesting. Unsure if it was real or imagined? Great concepts of expansive time and space. Update: this one has actually stuck with me. (view spoiler)[The idea of an organization capturing and preserving consciousness, only to realize that they are disappearing into a similar higher level organization. The process of life and rebirth without anything ever being truly lost... (hide spoiler)] • The Lost Princess Man • (2009) • novelette by John Barnes This narrator is AMAZING. Tom Taylorson. The story was okay, reminded me from time to time of Black Mirror or The Quantum Thief, but that latter might be due to the magnificence of the narrator. • Defect • (2009) • novelette by Kristine Kathryn Rusch I liked it. A mother/government assassin rescues her son and decides despite her coldness toward him previously to keep him by her side. Dark. But well written • Inevitable • (2009) • novelette by Sean Williams Very nice story about time loops and paradox. Well done. • Chameleons • (2009) • novella by Elizabeth Moon Hard to get into a week or so ago, but I started over, and once I realized that it was written by Elizabeth Moon I paid closer attention. Her signature style of very meticulous details was very much in evidence, and slow burned / built into a hell of a good story. Two rich kids and their bodyguard navigating a nasty space station. It was great! • The Tenth Muse • (2009) • novelette by Tad Williams Story was okay, the writing was great. I can see why Tad Williams is a well-esteemed author. *** GR Personal Rating System: 5 ~ LOVED 4 ~ ENJOYED 3 ~ LIKED 2 ~ MEH 1 ~ NOPE

  15. 4 out of 5

    Norman Howe

    This is a fascinating collection of stories, spanning the SF gamut through planetary romance, science fantasy, noir mystery, New Age, galactic saga, and more, including good old-fashioned Space Opera, as the title suggests. A good read.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Keith

    Meh. It would probably be better in print. Audible books can be great but not in this case.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Josephine

    There were some great story's. There were some great story's.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    Boring.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sam

    I've been really enjoying this genre of late. I've been really enjoying this genre of late.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Keith Horowitz

    new space short stories fine in the classic style, updated for newer knowledge. enjoyable situations. varied telling by different, experienced tellers.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Janta

    Enjoyed some of the stories in this book, but several just weren't my thing. Overall a mixed bag. Enjoyed some of the stories in this book, but several just weren't my thing. Overall a mixed bag.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Al

    a.combination of very good stories and some not so good stories. Worth reading.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sable

    This anthology was a mixed bag of stories by some of today's top sci-fi talent. Some of it was great, some not so great, and some I thought was pretentious artsy garbage more interested in impressing critics than telling stories. Of course YMMV. Here's a short breakdown. Liked: Events Preceding the Helvetican Renaissance by John Kessel - neat take on human religion and spirituality in a space opera setting The Lost Princess Man by John Barnes - This had great potential. The premise is a new take on This anthology was a mixed bag of stories by some of today's top sci-fi talent. Some of it was great, some not so great, and some I thought was pretentious artsy garbage more interested in impressing critics than telling stories. Of course YMMV. Here's a short breakdown. Liked: Events Preceding the Helvetican Renaissance by John Kessel - neat take on human religion and spirituality in a space opera setting The Lost Princess Man by John Barnes - This had great potential. The premise is a new take on an old trope in a flipped fairy tale kind of way. And the plotting against each other was fun. But it never went anywhere and ended oddly. Shell Game by Neal Asher - great aliens, neat protagonists, and the McGuffin was cool To Raise a Mutiny Betwixt Yourselves by Jay Lake - an unusually good artsy story with complex characters (in a no clear good guy, Game of Thrones style) in a complex universe Inevitable by Sean Williams - neat look at the dilemma of relativity problems and the real nature of inevitability Fearless Space Pirates of the Outer Rings by Bill Willingham - a new take on a couple of old tropes that I enjoyed The Tenth Muse by Tad Williams - a new take on the hostile First Contact trope The Tale of the Wicked by John Scalzi - a fun look at the dilemma of AIs The Far End of History by John C. Wright - a very human way to tell a tale as vast as the Universe in a way that is part mythology, part cyberpunk, and part space opera on a truly grand scale Disliked: The Island by Peter Watts - I realize it's en vogue to be nihilistic in sci-fi these days, but the protagonist was terribly unsympathetic and so I'm not sure I really cared what happened to her. Hated: Utriusque Cosmi by Robert Charles Wilson - Really, I'm not sure I grasped the point of this. I suppose the author thought he was saying something profound about the nature of life and the universe, but I thought it was bad cyberpunk masquerading as pseudo-spiritual space opera. The title is a reference to an obscure work of philosophy that only proves that the writer thinks he's the smartest person in the room. I think this is writing for hipsters and putting it at the beginning of the book just about put me off the whole thing. To Go Boldly by Cory Doctorow - As far as I can tell, the whole point of this story was to prove how much better and more sophisticated modern sci-fi writing is compared to the classic Star Trek style space opera. It didn't work. All it did was prove to me that the author is willing to contemptuously spit upon the works of those who paved the way for him. In other words, he writes like a hipster. Punctuality by Garth Nix - I had not yet read anything by Garth Nix either so I was looking forward to it, since he has such a reputation as a rising star in modern sci-fi. I hope this story was no indication of the kind of writing we can expect from him. It had no plot, no goal, no direction, and the characters were completely flat and uninteresting, barely more than memes. And it was boring. That's several minutes of my life I'll never get back. Join the Navy and See the Worlds by Bruce Sterling - This one had great potential and went nowhere. I was left scratching my head at the end of it, asking "what the hell just happened?" and "what, exactly, was your point here?" From the Heart by John Meaney - Again, the setup was great - a world and characters of vast complexities and depths. Then it just fizzled. I don't understand the point of the ending at all, and as a matter of fact, it seems to turn a whole bunch of the coolest parts of the story into red herrings. Did the author realize he was running close to his word count limit and decide to end the story in a hurry so that he could shoehorn it into the slot, or what? Loved: Defect by Kristine Kathryn Rusch - space opera meets spy thriller with a twist ending. Good work that reminded me of Lois McMaster Bujold. Chameleons by Elizabeth Moon - a wonderful sci-fi thriller in a very complex and interesting world. I would like to read more about this world. Strangely I've never before read anything by Moon (despite the fact that she's been around for a long time) and I would like to read more of her work. Cracklegrackle by Justina Robson - what a cool sci-fi explanation for mysticism, that also manages to be a sci-fi whodunnit while it waxes rhetoric about the nature of life, identity and humanity. Catastrophe Baker and a Canticle for Leibowitz by Mike Resnick - not only does this witty story give a nod to a sci-fi classic in the title, but it also invokes about a dozen classic sci-fi tropes and turns them gently on their heads with masterfully woven language. Highly recommended! So there's a fair number more of the stories I liked than anything else, but because there are several stories I loathed also, I can't give this book any higher than three starts. But it's worth a read anyway.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Alytha

    Finished the collection The New Space Opera 2, edited by Gardner Dozois. All these stories are set in the far future, with very advanced tech, and often a rather loose definition of human. Most of them are OK, although, unfortunately, there are few WOW moments, and some stories that don't make all that much sense. Detailed review: ꉿ Robert Charles Wilson: “Ultriusque cosmi” Carlotta was taken away by aliens when Earth exploded. Now, she's travelling back in time, in order to close a time loop and m Finished the collection The New Space Opera 2, edited by Gardner Dozois. All these stories are set in the far future, with very advanced tech, and often a rather loose definition of human. Most of them are OK, although, unfortunately, there are few WOW moments, and some stories that don't make all that much sense. Detailed review: ꉿ Robert Charles Wilson: “Ultriusque cosmi” Carlotta was taken away by aliens when Earth exploded. Now, she's travelling back in time, in order to close a time loop and make sure things happen like they are supposed to be. Not bad, but not terribly exciting either ꉿ Peter Watts: “The island”: A space-ship crew comes across life on the other side of the universe, and finds out that some characteristics seem to be true for all intelligent species...quite liked this one. ꉿ John Kessel: “Events preceding the Helvetican renaissance” : A young monk has to bring a precious object home in order to blackmail the enemy into ceasing hostilities. Not terribly original, but well-executed, and with nice world-building ꉿ Cory Doctorow: “To go boldly” : A kind of Star Trek parody. Captain Tsubishi, trying hard to out-kirk Captain Kirk, comes across a rather weird alien species, and suddenly his whole world is turned upside-down. Quite funny. ꉿ John Barnes: “The lost princess man” : A conman is running the Lost Princess con in the very very far future, when he gets a strange busines proposition. Quite a good story, although there could have been some more explanations about the tech, it gets a bit confusing. Pretty nice take on the con story though. ꉿ Kristine Kathryn Rusch: “Defect”: An assassin swears revenge...quite standard assassin-revenge story in space. Decently done but nothing special ꉿ Jay Lake: “To raise a mutiny betwixt yourselves”: In the very very far future, at the other end of the universe, two immortal former lovers and an intelligent starship have to deal with mutiny. Quite good story with complex background and interesting characters. ꉿ Neal Asher: “Shell game” : A very long-planned and complex revenge story. Quite liked this one. ꉿ Garth Nix: “Punctuality” : The heir to the throne of the Galactic Empire is introduced to the secret about the mysterious Punctuality drive. Interesting worldbuilding. Would be interested in reading more stories set in this universe. ꉿ Sean Williams: “Inevitable” : Another time loop story. A terrorist who destroyed an entrance to the mysterious Structure is supposed to redeem himself by leading a Guild captain to another entrance, but things don't quite turn out as planned. Really liked this one, it has another very interesting universe which should have more stories set in it. ꉿ Bruce Sterling: “Join the Navy and see the worlds” : Pretty bizarre story about a captain of space trips for tourists (where he's only for show), and Titan, somehow. More deliberately confusing than interesting. ꉿ Bill Willingham: “Fearless space pirates of the outer rings” : Quite fun story about a human from the 1960s who ends up in a space pirate crew. ꉿ John Meaney: “From the heart” : I really like the background of this story, where cadets bond with a spaceship grown specially for them. The story itself, though, is again more confusing than interesting. Some more details about what's going on would have been nice. ꉿ Elizabeth Moon: “Chameleons” : A bodyguard and his two teenage charges run into trouble at the spacestation where he grew up. Pretty standard plot with quite special and interesting supporting characters though. ꉿ Tad Williams: “The tenth muse” : A strange spaceship appears through a gate and indiscriminately starts destroying ships. A linguist has an extraordinary theory about it. Quite interesting premise. ꉿ Justina Robson: “Cracklegrackle” : A father is looking for his disappeared daughter, with the help of a heavily modified human. Pretty annoying main character, but interesting setting. ꉿ John Scalzi: “The tale of the wicked” : A couple of intelligent ships decide to take matters into their own "hands". Really quite liked this one, very optimistic. ꉿ Mike Resnick: “Catastrophe Baker and a canticle for Leibowitz” : Fun story about a hero, a beautiful, mysterious woman, and a quest. ꉿ John C. Wright: “The far end of history” : Didn't like this one. It throws a ton of unexplained ultra-high-tech terms at you, and is in general very confusing in structure and plot. Something about intelligent planets and something called Atkins anyway... All in all, some very nice worlds, and mostly quite decent stories, but few real highlights. 7/10

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kristin

    October 2013 book group selection. Kinda. I didn't realize there was a New Space Opera 1 and a New Space Opera 2 with nearly the same covers. I grabbed 2. Oops! In my defense, Space Opera 2 was the only one available as an e-book. Ultimately, it all worked out. Mixed thoughts on this selection that stemmed partly from my inability to get into the stories - I wasn't in the mood. Some selections were better than others, and what I may like, someone else detests. Overall, recommended. 1) Utriusque October 2013 book group selection. Kinda. I didn't realize there was a New Space Opera 1 and a New Space Opera 2 with nearly the same covers. I grabbed 2. Oops! In my defense, Space Opera 2 was the only one available as an e-book. Ultimately, it all worked out. Mixed thoughts on this selection that stemmed partly from my inability to get into the stories - I wasn't in the mood. Some selections were better than others, and what I may like, someone else detests. Overall, recommended. 1) Utriusque Cosmi (2009) novelette by Robert Charles Wilson. A woman goes back in time to tell her younger self to run and don't look back because the Earth is going to explode, but see's things from a different perspective. 2) The Island (2009) novelette by Peter Watts. In space, when building a interstellar highway, nobody wins. 3) Events Preceding the Helvetican Renaissance (2009) novelette by John Kessel. A monk is tasked with bringing a set of plays back to the Monestary in an attempt to stop the fighting. 4) To Go Boldly shortstory by Cory Doctorow. Making fun of Star Trek. 5) The Lost Princess Man (2009) novelette by John Barnes. A conman is running the “lost princess” con with a technological twist. 6) Defect (2009) novelette by Kristine Kathryn Rusch. An assassin refuses to carry out an assignment involving biological annihilation and is now a wanted woman. The ship carrying her husband and young son is subject to an attack, leaving only her son alive. For the first time, she is responsible for another person, and finds that this person is more like her than she ever realized. 7) To Raise a Mutiny Betwixt Yourselves (2009) novelette by Jay Lake. Two “Before's” with an ancient history, one ship-mind caught between its Captains. Mutiny on several levels, but who really wins in the end? 8) Shell Game (2009) novelette by Neal Asher. Interspecies revenge with a biological twist. No pun intended. 9) Punctuality (2009) short story by Garth Nix. A young woman finds out she is Heir to the Galactic Throne. The Galaxy wants to bring on more Punctuality drives. There are two people who have the right kind of training - herself and her father. One will sublime, one will rule the Galaxy. 10) Inevitable (2009) novelette by Sean Williams. Who is the actually terrorist? A planetary terrorist is caught trying to blow an access to the “Structure” by the Ship-bound. Captured and forced to reveal another access, Ship-bound and Terrorist alike learn more than they realize. 11) Join The Navy and See the Worlds (2009) shortstory by Bruce Sterling. India and America are the superpowers after international nukes destroy major cities. Kipp is a world-renown hero reduced to giving space trips to tourists and ends up on an unexpected tour of the slums of India. 12) Fearless Space Pirates of the Outer Rings (2009) novelette by Bill Willingham. A case of mistaken identity and space pirates. 13) From the Heart (2009) novelette by John Meaney. Lost love. Humiliation. Redemption. One ship for one person. 14) Chameleons (2009) novella by Elizabeth Moon. A bodyguard finds himself stuck on his home-world with two petulant teenagers and they all surprise each other. 15) The Tenth Muse (2009) novelette by Tad Williams. 16) Cracklegrackle (2009) novelette by Justina Robson. 17) The Tale of the Wicked (2009) novelette by John Scalzi. 18) Catastrophe Baker and a Canticle for Leibowitz (2009) short story by Mike Resnick. 19) The Far End of History (2009) novelette by John C. Wright.

  26. 4 out of 5

    L.

    There is nothing mind-blowing here, but all of it is readable and some is pretty good. The story that came closest to greatness, in my opinion, was Peter Watts' The Island. It had truly epic scale and a believeable sense of the human as alien and the alien as maybe human after all. There is nothing mind-blowing here, but all of it is readable and some is pretty good. The story that came closest to greatness, in my opinion, was Peter Watts' The Island. It had truly epic scale and a believeable sense of the human as alien and the alien as maybe human after all.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

    Well, the stories had to do with space, so I'll give it that. Aside from being stories about space, there were only a few stories in this collection that I would say were worth my time to read (e.g., "The Lost Princess Man", "The Tale of the Wicked", "Utriusque Cosmi", and "To Go Boldly"). So many of the stories were trying so desperately hard to be poignant or meaningful or "current" that they ultimately just ended up being confusing, depressing, and/or pointless. The biggest wastes of time (the Well, the stories had to do with space, so I'll give it that. Aside from being stories about space, there were only a few stories in this collection that I would say were worth my time to read (e.g., "The Lost Princess Man", "The Tale of the Wicked", "Utriusque Cosmi", and "To Go Boldly"). So many of the stories were trying so desperately hard to be poignant or meaningful or "current" that they ultimately just ended up being confusing, depressing, and/or pointless. The biggest wastes of time (the ones I thought were especially bad) were "The Island" and "Punctuality". On the bright side, there were two good things about this book: 1) it reminded me of how much I enjoy Scalzi John's stories. As a result, I stopped reading this anthology and instead picked up Fuzzy Nation, a book I enjoyed much more than this collection. 2) The adequate (which is above-the-average for this collection) story "Catastrophe Baker and a Canticle for Leibowitz" once more piqued my curiosity about the real A Canticle for Leibowitz that I finally broke down and read it (after having it on my to-read list for quite some time) - a decision I do not regret in the least!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Catherine Fitzsimmons

    I'm still not precisely sure what defines space opera, I just like the phrase, and this short story collection caught my eye at our local bookstore for the selection of authors, most of whom I'd either read and enjoyed some of their work, or at least knew about. For the most part, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The stories were engaging and well-written, and most of them made very good short stories; only one or two I thought could easily make good longer works, and they were still delightful sh I'm still not precisely sure what defines space opera, I just like the phrase, and this short story collection caught my eye at our local bookstore for the selection of authors, most of whom I'd either read and enjoyed some of their work, or at least knew about. For the most part, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The stories were engaging and well-written, and most of them made very good short stories; only one or two I thought could easily make good longer works, and they were still delightful short stories. The authors I bought the collection for did not disappoint - though I'll admit I'm still a little confused by Cory Doctorow's contribution - and upon reading, there were more I was familiar with than I recalled at first glance. There was one story I wasn't crazy about, though I'm still uncertain if it was the author's writing style or the lead character that irked me, and one that lost me early and I never got through, but otherwise, I found the stories very enjoyable. Overall, I'd recommend this to anyone interested in the genre, especially those familiar with the authors or those looking for authors to become interested in.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Suzette

    Whew! There's a few hours I will never get back. Of the many stories in this collection there were only three I thought were actually interesting and well written. Elizabeth Moon's Chameleons is wonderful! There were a couple more that weren't completely horrible. The remainder were either outright bad or incredibly and completely horrible. I have never read so many puffed up pieces with little or no story in one volume. I love sci fi. My tastes are varied from light to hard, short stories to lon Whew! There's a few hours I will never get back. Of the many stories in this collection there were only three I thought were actually interesting and well written. Elizabeth Moon's Chameleons is wonderful! There were a couple more that weren't completely horrible. The remainder were either outright bad or incredibly and completely horrible. I have never read so many puffed up pieces with little or no story in one volume. I love sci fi. My tastes are varied from light to hard, short stories to long series. I enjoy so many varied styles of writing and story types but I wanted to quit reading DOZENS of times in this one book. It was actual work to continue. Not because of the depth and meaning but because the writers seemed to be trying to give the impression of depth by piling on bullshit and vocabulary words that in some cases LITERALLY said nothing. It is sad because the very few stories that were good were very good.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Elijs Dima

    More miss than hits, and a strong avoidance of any 'hard' writing. Going by this book's collection, new space opera seems to be a romanticised and personalized account of how lead characters feel while spacemagic the ever wondrous just sort of happens. Except when even that does not happen, and the stories of 1970s' tourist escapades are given a veneer of the magicspacestationish. And maybe short stories just aren't my thing, but this amalgamation of them had little flow or consistency, and the u More miss than hits, and a strong avoidance of any 'hard' writing. Going by this book's collection, new space opera seems to be a romanticised and personalized account of how lead characters feel while spacemagic the ever wondrous just sort of happens. Except when even that does not happen, and the stories of 1970s' tourist escapades are given a veneer of the magicspacestationish. And maybe short stories just aren't my thing, but this amalgamation of them had little flow or consistency, and the ultimate impression was of an onslaught of mediocrity and unfulfilled ideas, morphing in an asphyxiating sum of wasted potential and cacophonic snapshots of B-grade scifi telenovellas. All hail New Space Opera, just as bad as the predecessor, but in new and exciting ways! (c) (tm) (r) (sponsored by MtnDew)

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