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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40
9
2

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
42
6
1
43
5
0

The Pride Of Chanur

by C. J. Cherryh

5 avg rating
Hugo
Locus Science Fiction
44
13
9

Ancillary Justice

by Ann Leckie

4 avg rating

1 Similar Reader Recommendations

0 Recs
45
9
5

The Risen Empire

by Scott Westerfeld

4.75 avg rating

From the acclaimed #1 New York Times bestselling author of Evolution’s Darling (Philip K. Dick Award special citation and a New York Times notable book) and Uglies, Pretties, and Specials, comes a sweeping epic. The Risen Empire is the first great space opera of the twenty-first century.

The undead Emperor has ruled his mighty interstellar empire of eighty human worlds for sixteen hundred years. Because he can grant a form of eternal life-after-death, creating an elite known as the Risen, his power is absolute. He and his sister, the Child Empress, who is eternally a little girl, are worshipped as living gods.

The Rix are machine-augmented humans who worship very different gods: AI compound minds of planetary size. Cool, relentless fanatics, their only goal is to propagate such AIs. They seek to end the Emperor’s prolonged rule, and supplant it with an eternal cybernetic dynasty. They begin by taking the Child Empress hostage. Captain Laurent Zai of the Imperial Frigate Lynx is tasked with her rescue.

Separated by light years, bound by an unlikely love, Zai and pacifist Senator Nara Oxham must both face the challenge of the Rix, and both will hold the fate of the empire in their hands.

46
7
3

The Man In The High Castle

by Philip K. Dick

3.88 avg rating
Hugo

1 Similar Reader Recommendations

0 Recs
48
5
1

Dread Empire\'s Fall: The Praxis

by Walter Jon Williams

2 avg rating

All will must bend to the perfect truth of The Praxis

For millennia, the Shaa have subjugated the universe, forcing the myriad sentient races to bow to their joyless tyranny. But the Shaa will soon be no more. The dread empire is in its rapidly fading twilight, and with its impending fall comes the promise of a new galactic order . . . and bloody chaos.

A young Terran naval officer marked by his lowly birth, Lt. Gareth Martinez is the first to recognize the insidious plot of the Naxid -- the powerful, warlike insectoid society that was enslaved before all others -- to replace the masters’ despotic rule with their own. Barely escaping a swarming surprise attack, Martinez and Caroline Sula, a pilot whose beautiful face conceals a deadly secret, are now the last hope for freedom for every being who ever languished in Shaa chains -- as the interstellar battle begins against a merciless foe whose only perfect truth is annihilation.

50
4
0

Neverness

by David Zindell

2 avg rating
The universe of Neverness is and filled with extraordinary beings, such as the neanderthal-like Alaloi and the Order of Pilots. Against this backdrop stands Mallory Ringer, who penetrates the Solid State Entity. There he makes a discovery. One that could unlock the secret of immortality.
Arthur C. Clarke
54
4
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55
3
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City Of Pearl

by Karen Traviss

5 avg rating
Philip K. Dick
John W. Campbell
56
7
5

Singularity Sky

by Charles Stross

Four hundred years in the future, time travel has been perfected and groundbreaking developments in Artificial Intelligence have been made. But is this a great step forward for humanity--or its ultimate downfall?

Hugo
ITEMS 39 - 57 of 78

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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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