What is space opera?
Space opera is a subgenre of science fiction that takes place mostly or entirely in space. A more specific definition of the genre remains fuzzy, changing from writer to writer, from decade to decade.
The phrase was first coined in 1941 by Wilson Tucker, a fanwriter who later became an author. It was used as a derogatory term, equating space opera to soap operas. It remained a term referring to poor science fiction until the 1960’s.
Beginning in the late 1960’s, the definition began to change, and by the 1990’s, space opera became a legitimate branch of science fiction, defined as adventures set in outer space.
It’s been described as melodramatic with action on a grand scale, everything about it large, bold, and big. But as I said, this remains in flux.
Some of my favorites: Dune series, Frank Herbert / The Confederation novels, Tanya Huff / Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Robert Heinlein / 2001: A Space Odyssey, Arthur C. Clarke / Martian Chronicles, Ray Bradbury.
Like many of those imaginative stories, The Backworlds takes place entirely off Earth. It’s my vision of the future of humanity, of how we’ll colonize space. Well, one of my visions. To leave the world we were designed for we’ll have to change ourselves physically. Different worlds will require different alterations to our genes so that our species thrives.
Craze has several improvements: skin that makes him irresistible to touch, he can hibernate to survive in less ideal environments, he has living hair, and he has more sensitive hearing. The series is about life on the new frontier. Action. Drama. Life and death. Love and loss.
The Backworlds After the war with Earth, bioengineered humans scatter across the Backworlds. Competition is fierce and pickings are scant. Scant enough that Craze’s father decides to hoard his fortune by destroying his son. Cut off from family and friends, with little money, and even less knowledge of the worlds beyond his own, Craze heads into an uncertain future. Boarding the transport to Elstwhere, he vows to make his father regret this day.
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About the author:
M. Pax’s inspiration comes from the wilds of Oregon, especially the high desert where she shares her home with two cats and a husband unit. Creative sparks also come from Pine Mountain Observatory where she spend her summers working as a star guide. She writes mostly science fiction and fantasy, but confesses to an obsession with Jane Austen. She blogs at her website, www.mpaxauthor.com and at Wistful Nebuae. You’ll find links there to connect on Twitter, Goodread, FB and other sites.