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The New Space Opera 2: All-new stories of science fiction adventure Paperback – Bargain Price, June 30, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager (June 30, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061562351
  • ASIN: B005DIAQTY
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,197,072 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This solid follow-up anthology to 2007's The New Space Opera includes 19 new stories that show how far space opera has come since its pulp beginnings in the '30s and '40s. These entertaining and provocative tales of interstellar adventure, written by a laundry list of genre heavyweights, range from Mike Resnick's Catastrophe Baker and a Canticle for Leibowitz, a campy misadventure that follows a larger-than-life freelance hero on his quest to regain a musical theater producer's lost song, to John Meaney's From the Heart, set in his Nulapeiron universe, which revolves around spy Carl Blackstone and an unlikely—and surprisingly poignant—love story at the galactic core. The impressive diversity of stories reaffirms that soap opera is alive and well, and where some of the genre's most innovative writing is taking place. (July)
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Review

“Dynamic and exciting, THE NEW SPACE OPERA is something new under an alien sun, an essential roadmap to the cutting edge of SF today.” (Charles Stross )

“This anthology is a reminder of why science fiction captured the hearts and minds of generations of generations of readers.” (Orson Scott Card )

“In sheer breathtaking, mind-expanding scope, this collection . . . delivers hours of exhilarating reading.” (Booklist )

“Highly recommended!” (Greg Bear )

“Dynamic and exciting, THE NEW SPACE OPERA is...an essential roadmap to the cutting edge of SF today...” (Charles Stross )

“...Dozois and Strahan bring together some of the finest writers in the field...” (Vernor Vinge )

“The roster of contributors includes some of contemporary sf’s brightest innovators… In sheer breathtaking, mind-expanding scope, this collection of some of the finest tale-spinning the subgenre has to offer delivers hours of exhilarating reading.” (Booklist )

“One of the best anthologies ever assembled by this most prolific of science fiction editors....” (Joe Haldeman )

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 22 customer reviews
If you like "space opera" type sci fi, this book is well worth a purchase.
Learner
As with most anthologies The New Space Opera 2 is a mixed bag but the good stories outnumber the weaker one's by a wide margin and the best one's are really well done.
Tim Janson
There was not a "stinker" in the bunch - all were good reads, all were entertaining.
Richard C. Drew

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By John M. Ford TOP 1000 REVIEWER on August 9, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoyed reading all 19 stories in this collection. I confess that The New Space Opera first volume is still on the shelf by my bed, only a few stories sampled. The difference was having this one in my iPhone Kindle app, so I could read away at it during train rides or boring staff meetings. I'm grateful for the entertaining diversion.

My five favorite stories in this book made me rethink my approach to my job:

"The Lost Princess Man" by John Barnes demonstrates how to conduct a job interview with a con man in a high-tech dictatorship.

"Defect" by Kristine Kathryn Rusch shows how to resign from a job as an undercover assassin--and how to resign ourselves to the consequences.

"Chameleons" by Elizabeth Moon reminds us what it is like to babysit a pair of bratty kids.

"The Tale of the Wicked" by John Scalzi evokes those feelings we sometimes have that our office computers are really running things--and that their errors are intentional.

"The Far End of History" by John Wright emphasizes the dangers of becoming romantically involved with someone at work--especially when different versions of both of you play so many different roles that it's hard to keep them straight.

Two more stories weren't among my favorites, but get an honorable mention for succeeding as "space opera" while making fun of it. Cory Doctorow's "To Go Boldly" made me laugh harder about Star Trek than I have since reading Terry Bisson's Galaxy Quest. And Mike Resnick's "Catastrophe Baker and a Canticle for Leibowitz" pokes enjoyable fun at the handsome heroes and shapely sirens of truly bad space opera. Can't wait to see the comic book version.

It's a good collection. Read and enjoy.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Nathaniel Karas on August 7, 2009
Format: Paperback
I liked this collection a lot. 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. Read it and see. Bruce Sterling's was the best written, but was not actually space opera. I enjoy Asher's work immensely, but his contribution here was good, not great. The Kessel and Meany stories were interesting in places, but did not finish strong for me. Lake's story made me want to read more of his work. I enjoyed his setting and characters, but the plot seemed to just happen; maybe the longer version will correct this. Barnes' story was very good, but I grew weary of its constant narrative dislocations; less cleverness would have been wiser in this case, but I still enjoyed most of it a great deal. Doctorow's story started off as mildly pleasant parody and then derailed in what I thougt was shoddy, unbelieveable character development. The opening story had great ideas and the grandest scale of any of these mini operas, but the narrative device was a little trite to my mind. Every story was at least a pleasant diversion, so I recommend this book quite highly.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By K. L. on May 27, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A few standouts, some real big duds, and the rest mediocre. Overall rating: B-

"Utriusque Cosmi" by Robert Charles Wilson. A story that spans the timescale of universes, yet is also a poignant tale within the lifetime of one individual. On the one hand there are aliens competing for a slice of pie as big as the universe; on the other there is a girl competing for the affection of her estranged mother. A-

"The Island" by Peter Watts. A woman, her not-too-bright son, and the ship computer crew a ship and self-replicating machines to build a wormhole network for an authoritarian intelligence. In the process, an "Island" creature hinders their progress. Figuring out what the Island is and what to do about it makes up the plot. Not the best "isolated crew in a space ship discovers something" stories but still worth reading. B-

"Events Preceding the Helvetican Renaissance" by John Kessel. A thinly disguised dialog between atheism and theism and the pitfalls/benefits of belief. Good if you're into that kind of thing, which I am. B+

"To Go Boldly" by Cory Doctorow. We humans have certain pre-conceived notions of how our world is supposed to work and we assume that aliens will operate on those same notions. But what if the aliens don't? A wonderful story that examines this conceit. The Star Trek language was a bit annoying, though. A-

"The Lost Princess Man" by John Barnes. A black comedy about a con man and his con game of convincing poor maidens they are a long lost galactic princess. But in a universe of virtual "dwellspaces," can a con man be conned? B

"Defect" by Kristine Kathryn Rusch. A spy vs. spy space opera that reminded me of the movie "The Professional." B

"To Raise a Mutiny Betwixt Yourself," by Jay Lake.
Read more ›
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Benedict J. Jackson on August 9, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Several years ago in one of the "Year's Best" summations, Gardner Dozois concluded that the defining characteristic of good Science Fiction was being a "good read". This is a fun collection of short stories set in big universes with solid plots. If you want more cerebral material, ambiguous morality or less fantastical futures then you should consider "Year's Best Science Fiction 25" (or any of the prior 24) instead. If you want to enjoy reading some clever adventure stories in space, this is the book for you.
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