Best Space Opera Books

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Our pick of some of the top space opera science fiction books out there. Keep in mind that most space opera books come as a series. This is a public list; vote on the entries and/or submit new entries to the list to have the public vote on them. Books are ranked by YOUR votes.
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Eon

by Greg Bear

3.4 avg rating
The 21st century was on the brink of nuclear confrontation when the 300 kilometer-long stone flashed out of nothingness and into Earth's orbit. NASA, NATO, and the UN sent explorers to the asteroid's surface...and discovered marvels and mysteries to drive researchers mad.

For the Stone was from space--but perhaps not our space; it came from the future--but perhaps not our future; and within the hollowed asteroid was Thistledown. The remains of a vanished civilization. A human--English, Russian, and Chinese-speaking--civilization. Seven vast chambers containing forests, lakes, rivers, hanging cities...

And museums describing the Death; the catastrophic war that was about to occur; the horror and the long winter that would follow. But while scientists and politicians bickered about how to use the information to stop the Death, the Stone yielded a secret that made even Earth's survival pale into insignificance.
Arthur C. Clarke
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36
4

House Of Suns

by Alastair Reynolds

3.75 avg rating
Six million years ago, at the dawn of the star-faring era, Abigail Gentian fractured herself into a thousand male and female clones, which she called shatterlings. But now, someone is eliminating the Gentian line. Campion and Purslane-two shatterlings who have fallen in love and shared forbidden experiences-must determine exactly who, or what, their enemy is, before they are wiped out of existence.

Arthur C. Clarke
23
35
4

Use Of Weapons

by Iain M. Banks

4.5 avg rating
BSFA
Arthur C. Clarke
24
30
8

First Lensman

by Edward E. Smith

4 avg rating
In the not too distance future, while fleets of commercial space ships travel between the planets of numerous solar systems, a traveler named Virgil Samms visits the planet Arisia. There he becomes the first wearer of the Lens, the almost-living symbol of the forces of law and order. As the first Lensman, Samms helps to form the Galactic Patrol, a battalion of Lensmen who are larger than life heroes. These solders are the best of the best, with incredible skills, stealth, and drive. They are dedicated and incorruptible fighters who are willing to die to protect the universe from the most horrific threat it has ever known. Read by Reed McColm. 10 CD's 11 Hrs.
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Rendezvous With Rama

by Arthur C. Clarke

3.79 avg rating
Nebula
BSFA
Hugo
Locus Science Fiction
John W. Campbell

1 Similar Reader Recommendations

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Friday

by Robert A. Heinlein

3 avg rating
Nebula
Hugo
Locus Science Fiction
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14
0

Lord Of Light

by Roger Zelazny

4.83 avg rating
Hugo
Nebula
29
24
12

The Gap Into Conflict

by Stephen R. Donaldson

5 avg rating
Author of The Chronicles Of Thomas Covenant, one of the most acclaimed fantasy series of all time, master storyteller Stephen R. Donaldson retums with this exciting and long-awaited new series that takes us into a stunningly imagined future to tell a timeless story of adventure and the implacable conflict of good and evil within each of us.



Angus Thermopyle was an ore pirate and a murderer; even the most disreputable asteroid pilots of Delta Sector stayed locked out of his way.  Those who didn't ended up in the lockup--or dead.  But when Thermopyle arrived at Mallory's Bar & Sleep with a gorgeous woman by his side the regulars had to take notice.  Her name was Morn Hyland, and she had been a police officer--until she met up with Thermopyle.



But one person in Mallorys Bar wasn't intimidated.  Nick Succorso had his own reputation as a bold pirate and he had a sleek frigate fitted for deep space.  Everyone knew that Thermopyle and Succorso were on a collision course.  What nobody expected was how quickly it would be over--or how devastating victory would be.  It was common enough example of rivalry and revenge--or so everyone thought.  The REAL story was something entirely different.



In The Real Story, Stephen R. Donaldson takes us to a remarkably detailed world of faster-than-light travel, politics, betrayal, and a shadowy presence just outside our view to tell the fiercest, most profound story he has ever written.
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Blood Music

by Greg Bear

4 avg rating
In the tradition of the greatest cyberpunk novels, Blood Music explores the imminent destruction of mankind and the fear of mass destruction by technological advancements. Blood Music follows present-day events in which the fears concerning the nuclear annihilation of the world subsided after the Cold War and the fear of chemical warfare spilled over into the empty void of nuclear fear. An amazing breakthrough in genetic engineering made by Vergil Ulam is considered too dangerous for further research, but rather than destroy his work, he injects himself with his creation and walks out of his lab, unaware of just quite how his actions will change the world. Author Greg Bear's treatment of the traditional tale of scientific hubris is both suspenseful and a compelling portrait of a new intelligence emerging amongst us, irrevocably changing our world.
Nebula
Hugo
BSFA
John W. Campbell
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10
0

The Snow Queen

by Joan D. Vinge

4.5 avg rating
Hugo
Locus Science Fiction
Nebula
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12
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Cyteen

by C.J. Cherryh

5 avg rating
Hugo
Locus Science Fiction
BSFA
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Tau Zero

by Poul Anderson

5 avg rating
The epic voyage of the spacecraft Leonora Christine will take her and her fifty-strong crew to a planet some thrity light-years distant. But, because the ship will accelerate to close to the spped of light, for those on board subjective time will slow and the journey will be of only a few years' duration. Then a buffeting by an interstellar dustcloud changes everything. The ship's deceleration system is damaged irreperably and soon she is gaining velocity. When she attains light-speed, tau zero itself, the disparity between ship-time and external time becomes almost impossibly great. Eons and galaxies hurtle by, and the crew of the Leonora Christine speeds into the unknown.
Hugo
38
11
4

Trading Danger

by Elizabeth Moon

5 avg rating

1 Similar Reader Recommendations

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3 comments
Anonymous | 2014-10-17 04:22:49
Had to add a couple of titles by Grand Master Jack Vance. He was atypical, even denied writing science fiction at all, but his Gaean Reach books are space opera by any definition, and some of the most entertaining ever.
Anonymous | 2014-07-28 02:33:36
Really liking the Liaden universe by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller.
Anonymous | 2013-09-25 10:11:22
Quite a few of my favourites on here. How about Christopher Rowley's War for Eternity and Starhammer? Enjoyed those just as much as Consider Phlebas.

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