Full record for space opera n.

Definition a genre of science fiction which uses stock characters and settings, especially those of Westerns translated into outer space; a genre of science fiction in which the action spans across a galaxy or galaxies; a work of these genres
OED requirements antedating 1941
Earliest cite 'Bob' Tucker in 'Le Zombie'
Comment Keith Stokes submitted a 1941 cite from Wilson Tucker's fanzine "Le Zombie" that appears to be the original coinage of the term. James A. Landau submitted a cite from a 1968 reprint of Damon Knight's book review "Half Loaves"; Mike Christie verified the cite in the original 1959 magazine appearance. Matt Freestone submitted a cite from John Clute's 1988 book, "Strokes"; Mike Christie verified the cite in the 1974 original magazine appearance. James A. Landau submitted a cite from a 1974 reprint of Edward E. Smith's essay "The Epic of Space", in Lloyd Eshbach's book "Of Worlds Beyond"; Rick Hauptmann verified the cite in the 1947 first edition. Matthew Hoyt submitted a 1984 cite from Brian Aldiss, in David Wingrove's "Science Fiction Source Book". Malcolm Farmer submitted a 1974 cite from Brian Aldiss' anthology "Space Opera". Jeff Prucher submitted a 1993 cite from John Clute's article in David Garnett's anthology "New Worlds 3".
Last modified 6 July, 2008

Citations for space opera n.

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1941 ‘B. Tucker’ in Le Zombie Jan. 9 In these hectic days of phrase-coining, we offer one. Westerns are called ‘horse operas’, the morning housewife tear-jerkers are called ‘soap operas’. For the hacky, grinding, stinking, outworn space-ship yarn, or world-saving for that matter, we offer ‘space opera’.
a1948 E. E. Smith Epic of Space in L. A. Eshbach Of Worlds Beyond (1947) 78 Great stories must be logical and soundly motivated; and it is in these respects that most ‘space-operas’—as well as more conventional stories—fail.
1948 R. A. Heinlein Let. 6 Nov. in R. A. Heinlein & V. Heinlein Grumbles from Grave (1990) 93 It would be easy enough to cook up another space opera.
1948 R. A. Heinlein Let. 6 Nov. in R. A. Heinlein & V. Heinlein Grumbles from Grave (1990) 93 It would be easy enough to cook up another space opera.
1974 J. Clute in Fantasy & Sci. Fiction Sept. 44/1 In a space opera, control of the lines of power illuminates the world, making it comprehensible to the hero at the reins, and to the reader.
1974 B. Aldiss Space Opera Introd. 9 What space opera does is take a few light years and a pinch of reality, and inflate thoroughly with melodrama, dreams and a seasoning of screwy ideas.
1982 R. Arbur Leigh Brackett in T. Staicar Feminine Eye (1982) i. 6 In her introduction to The Best of Planet Stories No. 1 , not only does she justify ‘space opera’ (usually a derogatory term for science fiction/fantasy tales that intellectuals find too heroic or adventure filled); she actually evokes the sense of wonder that she is describing.
?1983 Frank Kendig in O. Davies Omni Bk. of Space Pref. 11 Thanks to movies like Star Wars and Close Encounters and even space operas like Battlestar Galactica.
1988 S. McCrumb Bimbos of Death Sun v. 50 It's a throwback to the 'Thirties teenage space-opera stuff. It's a stroke book!
1990 Thrust Winter 6/3 Phlebas is a space opera of giant scope, depicting vividly the conflict between the enigmatic Culture, of human beings and machines, and the giant tripedal Idirans who are ‘pro-life’ religious fanatics.
1991 Locus Nov. 63/2 This is space opera only marginally removed from its horse opera roots.
1991 Locus Sept. 15/1 Some of science fiction's greatest and most revered creations are essentially space opera, populated by grandiose archetypes and redolent at once of myth, rocket fuel, and soap.
1991 Locus May 28/1 The plot is basically space opera.
1992 SFRA Rev. July–Aug.–Sept. 58 This novel continues the tradition of Dietz's Sam McCade series, which SF Chronicle praised as ‘good solid space opera, well told.’
1992 Locus Aug. 56/1 ‘When the Five Moons Rise’‥originally appeared at a period when most of Vance's production ran to robust, extroverted space operas and planetary romances.
1993 SFRA Rev. Jan. 82 Although the plot sounds like something out of the early days of space opera, it's surprisingly well-written.
1993 Sci. Fiction Stud. Nov. 352 Another much less ‘space-opera’ variant of such brain-reading devices occurs in Stanislaw Lem's 1967 SF novel The Invincible.
1993 SFRA Rev. May 84 There's space opera and space opera: the unsophisticated variety that is all THUD!
1993 Locus June 5/2 He would go on to produce a number of thoughtful space operas and somewhat more unconventional sf novels in quick succession.
1994 B. Bova Craft of Writing Sci. Fict. that Sells ix. 80 Science fiction stories have been written along the same lines, and such stories are called ‘space operas’.
2001 Locus June 70/2 Worlds are colonized, civilisations fall, rayguns are used — but‥Alastair Reynolds is playing a more complex game‥. He is taking the stuff of space opera and remaking it into something new—something that doesn't eschew the pulpish romanticism of space opera's roots, but seeks to transform it into romanticism better suited to modern science fiction.
2001 Dreamwatch Oct. 80/2 Adroitly mixing grandiose space opera with the darkness and occasional cynicism of Cyberpunk, Banks' Culture books are unsettling, fiendishly clever and frequently hilarious.
2001 Sci. Fiction Chron. July 44/1 The result is a confused and uninteresting space opera.
2006 Analog June 134/1 Space opera in the classic vein, Mutiny begins as Wilson Cole reports as first officer aboard the Theodore Roosevelt.