What are the best science fiction 'space opera' books?

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#1

What do readers say about Leviathan Wakes?

long but smartly economicalscience fiction/space opera

From a New York Times bestselling and Hugo award-winning author comes a modern masterwork of science fiction, introducing a captain, his crew, and a detective as they unravel a horrifying solar system wide conspiracy that begins with a single missing... Read more about Leviathan Wakes

A hundred and fifty years before, when the parochial disagreements between Earth and Mars had been on the verge of war, the Belt had been a far horizon of tremendous mineral wealth beyond viable econo...

#2

What do readers say about Old Man's War?

engrossing and believableeasy, conversational tone

John Perry did two things on his 75th birthday. First he visited his wife's grave. Then he joined the army.

The good news is that humanity finally made it into interstellar space. The bad news is that planets fit to live on are scarce-and alien races... Read more about Old Man's War

Visiting Kathy's grave was the less dramatic of the two. She's buried in Harris Creek Cemetery, not more than a mile down the road from where I live and where we raised our family. Getting her into th...

#3

What do readers say about The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet?

fun and well-writtena found family space opera

National Bestseller!

The acclaimed modern science fiction masterpiece, Hugo Award winner for Best Series!

Follow a motley crew on an exciting journey through space-and one adventurous young explorer who discovers the meaning of family in the far re... Read more about The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet

Living in space was anything but quiet. Grounders never expected that. For anyone who had grown up planetside, it took some time to get used to the clicks and hums of a ship, the ever-present ambiance...

#4

What do readers say about Pandora's Star?

fast-paced and well writtenan intriguing story

"An imaginative and stunning tale of the perfect future threatened . . . a book of epic proportions not unlike Frank Herbert's Dune or Isaac Asimov's Foundation trilogy."-SFRevu

The year is 2380. The Intersolar Commonwealth, a sphere of stars, contai... Read more about Pandora's Star

The star vanished from the centre of the telescope’s image in less time than a single human heartbeat. There was no mistake, Dudley Bose was looking right at it when it happened. He blinked in surpris...

#5

What do readers say about Shards of Honour?

classic space operacharacter driven story

FIRST BOOK FEATURING CORDELIA NAISMITH. Journey back to where it all started, from multiple New York Times best selling author, Hugo Award winner, Lois McMaster Bujold.

When Cordelia Naismith and her survey crew are attacked by a renegade group from ... Read more about Shards of Honour

A sea of mist drifted through the cloud forest—soft, gray, luminescent. On the high ridges the fog showed brighter as the morning sun began to warm and lift the moisture, although in the ravine a cool...

#6

What do readers say about Revelation Space?

clear and accessibleclever and well executed

Nine hundred thousand years ago, something wiped out the Amarantin. For the human colonists now settling the Amarantin homeworld Resurgam, it's of little more than academic interest, even after the discovery of a long-hidden, almost perfect Amarantin... Read more about Revelation Space

Sylveste stood on the edge of the excavation and wondered if any of his labours would survive the night. The archaeological dig was an array of deep square shafts separated by baulks of sheer-sided so...

#7

What do readers say about Ancillary Justice?

first person narrativefar future sf

Ancillary Justice is Ann Leckie's stunning debut - the only novel to ever win the Hugo, Nebula, and Arthur C. Clarke awards - about a ship's AI who becomes trapped in a human body and her quest for revenge. A must read for fans of Ursula K. Le Guin a... Read more about Ancillary Justice

The body lay naked and facedown, a deathly gray, spatters of blood staining the snow around it. It was minus fifteen degrees Celsius and a storm had passed just hours before. The snow stretched smooth...

#8

What do readers say about Hyperion?

a ensemble actscience fiction space opera

A stunning tour de force filled with transcendent awe and wonder, Hyperion is a masterwork of science fiction that resonates with excitement and invention, the first volume in a remarkable epic by the multiple-award-winning author of The Hollow Man.... Read more about Hyperion

The Consul awoke with the peculiar headache, dry throat, and sense of having forgotten a thousand dreams which only periods in cryogenic fugue could bring. He blinked, sat upright on a low couch, and ...

#9

What do readers say about Consider Phlebas?

gripping, well writtennouveau space opera

The first book in Iain M. Banks's seminal science fiction series, The Culture. Consider Phlebas introduces readers to the utopian conglomeration of human and alien races that explores the nature of war, morality, and the limitless bounds of mankind's... Read more about Consider Phlebas

The ship didn’t even have a name. It had no human crew because the factory craft which constructed it had been evacuated long ago. It had no life-support or accommodation units for the same reason. It...

#10

What do readers say about On Basilisk Station?

classic space operathe characters were great

Comprehensive Teacher's Guide available.... Read more about On Basilisk Station

THE fluffy ball of fur in Honor Harrington’s lap stirred and put forth a round, prick-eared head as the steady pulse of the shuttle’s thrusters died. A delicate mouth of needle-sharp fangs yawned, and...

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