Space Opera

Space Opera

Book - 2018 | First edition.
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"A century ago, the Sentience Wars tore the galaxy apart and nearly ended the entire concept of intelligent space-faring life. In the aftermath, a curious tradition was invented by the remnants of civilization. Something to cheer up everyone who was left. Something to celebrate having escaped total annihilation by the skin of one's teeth, if indeed one has skin. Or teeth. Something to bring the shattered worlds together in the spirit of peace, unity, understanding, and the most powerful of all social bonds: excluding others"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Saga Press, [2018]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9781481497497
1481497499
9781481497510
Branch Call Number: F SFI VALENTE
Characteristics: 294 pages ; 22 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

List - K-POP Reads
FPL_Amy Sep 30, 2020

For ENHYPEN Stans: You spent weeks voting for your favorite trainees to create the new global K-POP group ENHYPEN. Space Opera takes this concept to the stars where sentient races compete in a galactic musical contest, only for higher stakes. Like the eradication of human life kind of stakes! All... Read More »


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LadyDi52
Dec 22, 2019

Gobbledy gook with a smattering of pop music (Bowie, T.Rex, Lou Reed) and many British references which might be clever or funny (Blackpool, cricket bat) if you're British. I didn't finish it.

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ckapadia
Nov 19, 2019

I love the Hitchhikers style of writing, but boy is this dense! The most enjoyable book I would still categorize as a slog. I wanted to read it but took over a week to finish. Reminds me a bit of Moby Dick where it drops everything to teach you about a new planet. And as rough as Moby Dick was I still liked it in the end.

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bulbatiff
Aug 13, 2019

Couldn't finish. Just not for me. Too much work to dissect every sentence.

RandomLibrarian Jul 24, 2019

Review excerpt: "'Space Opera' is not a book to read all at once. It is a book to savor. You should read one chapter at a time and bask in the afterglow. I have a chronic illness that causes me to spend a lot of time in the bathroom, so when I say that this was a perfect, incandescent, practically glowing bathroom book, I mean it, unironically, as the highest praise. If it can punctuate the last week I had with moments of glitter, light, and delight, then this book can do anything. But I would no sooner advise you to read it in one go than I’d advise you to chug an entire bottle of straight absinthe. At least, not if you are planning to operate heavy machinery."

https://smartbitchestrashybooks.com/reviews/space-opera-by-catherynne-m-valente/

a
AnnaGrainne
Nov 07, 2018

Completely ridiculous and amazing. Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Ziggy Stardust, Doctor Who, and Eurovision had a baby and it had really cool aliens in it.

JessicaGma Oct 18, 2018

I feel the other two commenters (SCL_Justin and Jessica_erbacher) have captured my feelings about the book: fantastic premise, great commentary, good jokes but perhaps too much "muchness". I barely registered that the story had ended....

SCL_Justin Jul 10, 2018

I loved this book about glamorous hasbeen rockstars singing to prove to the galaxy that humanity isn't just meat. Valente's style is rollicking and funny in a way I sometimes find exhausting, but works so incredibly well here. My favourite thing about the plot is that humanity can't be trusted to save themselves by sending what they think is the best musician we've got because our taste is terrible. We don't even appreciate Yoko Ono!

The universe she's created holds together much more coherently than the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy universe, and I think this is one of the first books I've read that's similar to Douglas Adams' masterpiece that I actually really liked. Great, light, funny, but also about what it means to be sentient. Highly recommended.

Video review here: https://youtu.be/8mS_qnY1528

j
jessica_ebacher
May 09, 2018

Funny, charming, and wistful in the typical Valente style; I love the inspiration of a Eurovision style competition to prove your sentience to the rest of the universe, and all the weirdness that went along with it. I couldn't quite give it 5 stars, though. While I love her vivid descriptiveness, it felt like she was trying entirely too hard this time around, piling on an avalanche of adjectives for each and every character and setting and concept. I guess it's fitting with the "too much of everything" glam rock aesthetic of the book, but it gets a tiring after a while. Still, I think fans of her other works will enjoy it.

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