November 7, 2010

My book has a new genre?

When my agent emailed me last week, he referred to my little book as a "space opera."

A space opera! I don't really know what that means, but it sounds cool. Like Luke Skywalker or Captain Picard speeding through the galaxy and breaking out in song. Awesome! 

Anyway, I decided to look up the definition of "space opera" on trusty Wikipedia and here's what I found:

Space opera is a sub-genre of science fiction that emphasizes romantic adventure, and is set mainly or entirely in outer space. Perhaps the most significant trait of space opera is that settings, characters, battles, powers, and themes tend to be very large-scale. Unlike conventional opera, space operas do not usually feature people singing.

What?! No people singing? I guess no genre can be perfect...

Interestingly enough, I've finally found a genre that encompasses my book to a tee! My novel is set almost entirely in space and it features a plethora of battles and spaceships and sharp weapons. (A Trekkie's dream!) But alas, it does not feature people singing. Perhaps I should pen some ditties and insert them into a few of the chapters? Maybe something like "Meet Me at the Asteroid Belt" or "I'm Goin' Off to Fight Aliens" or "I Left My Heart at a Cafe on Pluto."

I also thought it would be fun to see what I could find when I typed "space opera" in Google Images. Some cool stuff came up, as well as some super-weird things.

Pretty awesome! I love the vintage, Star Wars feel of this poster. If my book could be distilled into a single image, it would look a lot like this: sleek space vessels, crazy-looking aliens, and a backdrop of stars. But no spandex-clad women. This is a middle grade novel for goodness sake!

Ahhh! Why do space opera women have to wear skimpy clothing? Don't they have proper apparel in the future? 

Look! They're totally singing! 

I'm weird, huh?


  1. Excellent. Space Opera is cool. Gotta love StarWars (esp Emp Strikes Back).

    There's not enough good space opera out there and I don't know of too much in MG. Caroline, you're spearheading a new trend here!

  2. My favorite Star Wars would have to be Return of the Jedi. I loved the Ewoks as a kid. :)

    Well, I certainly hope that MG space opera becomes popular! Ah, to be published...

  3. Brilliant! :D

    I actually used to have Star Wars: the musical on my iPod. I have to admit, it was... disturbing. 'May the force be with you', the song, may just haunt me for the rest of my days :D (And yes, of course I listened to it way too much :P)

  4. Wahoo, look at all of these Star Wars fans!

    Marieke, that musical sounds awesome!

  5. Oh my god, this is kind of awesome. <3

    I love space opera as a genre. It's one of the genres I know I will write something in someday, as soon as The Idea comes.

    I recently rewatched all six (I know, I tortured myself with the modern three) Star Wars films and was reminded just how awesome the originals were. In a ridiculous way.

  6. HA! Fantastic! I would have thought Space Opera meant Science Fiction Musical ;o) hehehe ...

  7. Too funny! Is this ship going to land on Broadway?

  8. i googled "space opera" and found your blog. considering the structure and style hasn't trended in the mainstream for some time i thought id look it up. ive been writing my own space opera non stop since 2004 and its over 4000 pages long. (divided among 11 books) it'll be finished june next year. while everyone loves star wars, space opera got a bad name in the 1970's by being too melodramatic. i think i can bring people back around by giving them a story thats equal parts star wars, final fantasy, and harry potter.

    i wish you the best of luck in the future on your writing career


  9. The first image shown is the box of an actual game called Space Opera. It was published by Fantasy Games Unlimited ( in 1980 I think ) and was one of the best RPG ( role playing games ) around in the early eighties. I, like about 99% of all other role players, got started on Dungeons and Dragons, but around 1982, someone introduced me to this game, and after just a few weeks playing this game, it became my new favorite RPG ( yes, even more so than Dungeons and Dragons ). I also just found out, and am kind of surprised, but Fantasy Games Unlimited still sells this game and they have a website. I thought they went out of business. They did stop selling or doing anything there for a while, and it looks like they haven't published anything new in a couple of decades, but it appears they are now back in business to sell their old games and creations anyways.