The New Space Opera 2: Out Today
Posted on June 30, 2009 Posted by John Scalzi 32 Comments
The anthology The New Space Opera 2 comes out today, and as it happens I have a short story in it, called “The Tale of the Wicked,” which features ships and missiles and explosions and aliens and all the other sort of stuff what space opera got. And aside from me, it’s got authors like Robert Charles Wilson, Cory Doctorow, Jay Lake, Garth Nix, Bruce Sterling, Elizabeth Moon, Justina Robson and many others. Who also feature ships and missiles and explosions and aliens and so on in their stories. Really, it’s a whole lot of space opera in compact anthology form. I suspect you’ll enjoy it immensely.
Oh, I will!
Holy Klono’s hassium haemorrhoids! That’s definitely one for the list…
Hey, you got your ships and missiles in my explosions and aliens!
No, YOU got your explosions and aliens in my ships and missiles!
Is that another Stephane Martiniére cover I see? Hm, maybe not. Doesn’t seem as slick as his usual work. Someone’s copying?
(Stephane is awesome)
The publisher’s blurb over at fictionwise mentions *some* of the authors, but there is no real list of titles and authors. I ordered my eCopy because Doctorow and Scalzi were on the list, but I would have likely been even more ready to buy after seeing a whole TOC.
C’mon, publishers! Food has to have its ingredients listed, why not anthologies?
The first one was really good.
AND…its available immediately on the Kindle. I’m sold.
Unfortunately it’s not available in a format I can read, so fictionwise won’t even tell me whether it’s available in Australia. I’m wondering if publishers even understand that ebooks might one day be something they can sell…
Anything with Dozois’ name on it is very probably excellent. I’ve got my copy.
I will be getting this although the review I read yesterday absolutely trashed you, Doctorow, Sterling, and Nix (and a bit unjustly I might add). The reviewer acknowledged she doesn’t really mesh with your styles.
I do like the fact that Dozois went out and got an entirely different slate of authors for the second anthology to keep things fresh.
Thanks for the heads up! Agreed with Josh Jasper @9: Dozois’s name on the cover is a pretty good indication that I’ll like what’s inside.
Wouldn’t “The New Space Aria” or “New Space Operetta” be more accurate? Operas are supposed to be long.
And for the sake of having actual content rather than meaningless quibble, I’ll mention the late Brian Daley, who wrote a trilogy of what had to be a Bob Hope, Bing Crosby Road Movie tribute in space. As far as I know, no one has ever used that format again, and I found it to be utterly brilliant. They were what I’d call space opera books.
Not everybody likes everything. The story’s received good notices as well. The nice thing about an anthology is that if you don’t like one story, another story comes along presently.
The first volume of this anthology series was incredibly good. It was almost all killer and very little filler.
And it had the virtue of having one of the single best SF stories I’ve ever read, “Muse of Fire” by Dan Simmons. Seriously. As I was reading it, I was actually muttering “classic, classic” in utter delight.
That’s the way to end an anthology…with the strongest story in the book.
Missiles and explosions? How did you know?
Not everybody likes everything
OH YOU AND YOUR LOGIC AND REASON. Didn’t you get the memo? Apparently, “pitch a hissy fit on the Internet” is the new “keep calm and carry on” when one receives a negative review.
You’ll never get on Jerry Springer’s Book Hour this way.
You, sir, have yourself a deal.
Ditto the comment about Simmons and “Muse of Fire” – I loved the first volume. This is going to have to pushed up to the top of the “Must Read NOW” list!
Oh, my! My credit card just popped out of my wallet like a pop tart from a toaster.
Thanks for the head’s up! ;)
There’s still 12 dollars and change on the Borders gift card my kids gave me for my birthday. I’m so buying this.
What birthday you ask? Sorry can’t hear you, I’m a little deaf in that ear. 8D
I certainly hope TNSO2 is better than TNSO.
TNSO was turgid, to say the least. Such a waste of awesome cover art!
Ah well, even Dozois can’t get it right all the time.
The NSO2 is quite a different book from The NSO1. Lighter, funnier, and a bit pulpier, I’d say. It’s interesting seeing what various people say about it, and the first one.
I do know Gardner and I worked hard to make both books as strong as we could, and we’re obviously (a) pleased and (b) incredibly biased.
As to that review? Well, reviewers are readers and they like what they like. I think it gets a lot right and there’s some stuff we have different views on.
There’s one thing I am confident about though: if you like John’s, Cory’s, Bruce’s, or Garth’s work you’ll like what they’ve done for the book. I, for one, can’t wait to read The God Engines!
Yeah I agree, I bought the first one a while back and I still haven’t finished it. The stories were a bit stiff and, I dunno, it just wasn’t doing it for me.
I meant to get back to it, but it’s been buried in the stack of half-read anthologies I’ve collected over the years. I suppose I could give it another try … but not before I buy Volume 2, of course. That unread stack isn’t going to grow itself, you know.
Surprised to see Nix in there, Space Opera is well outside what he usually works on. Still, great cover and great author list, I’ll give it a look-see.
Looking forward to it!
[Although I probably don’t need to add to my stack of “to read” sitting on my coffee table…but it’s just a book, one more won’t hurt anything…yeah, but the coffee table’s groaning under the load…but it’s just one book…I have the first one, need to keep the set complete…]
On a related note, I truly enjoyed your segment of METAtropolis.
Oh, my. On me mum’s birthday, no less — guess she will have to wait until Christmas…
Mum is the one to blame for teaching me to read before entering first grade and for infecting me with her love of that wacky science fiction stuff: Jules Verne, Hans Dominik*, and some guy named Heinlein.
* FWIW, the covers found on German SF from ’20s and ’30s have many of the same qualities as their present-day counterparts. *holds up copy of Unsichtbare Kräfte*
Gotta love comparison shopping:
Amazon.com (TPB): $10.87
Amazon.com (Kindle): $9.99
eReader.com: $9.95 (and 15% club rebate)
fictionwise.com: $10.97 (club rate) to $13.59, both after rebate
stanza.fictionwise.com: $13.59 (club rate)
The one that kills me is eReader vs. Fictionwise. They’re both run by B&N; the only difference is that you can get Secure Mobipocket and Secure eReader formats from Fictionwise, and Secure eReader format only from eReader.com. Plus stanza.fictionwise.com appears to have significantly more expensive prices than regular fictionwise.com, despite using the same format books.
Just to make life fun, my iPhone supports eReader and Kindle, my wife’s Iliad iRex secure Mobipocket, and her phone secure Mobipocket and, I think, eReader.
You crazy kids, with your eye-books, kindlers, fictionwises…
I just went down to Uncle Hugo’s Science Fiction Book Store here in Minneapolis, and BOUGHT the book, in convenient book format. (I also picked up the new Year’s Best anthology by Dozios, and THE OTHER IN THE MIRROR by P.J. Farmer.) Local, independent bookstores…that’s Old School.
And that whole thing about print being dead?
When the pry my books from my cold dead hands…
Give me paper or give me death, Robin?
I have to say, I agree. I prefer my fiction printed as well. Nothing against the New Media, but there is just something indescribably more satisfying, reading a piece of fiction in print, as opposed to on-line.
I don’t think this is uncommon, either. Which is why I suspect print will never truly “die.” It will be augmented by other mediums — and in some cases, like news, be overtaken. But fiction is not news, and many consumers still demand that their fiction come in a form that doesn’t need to be booted, charged, kept out of the sun, kept out of the water, etc.
Plus, if you lose a (insert name of electronic doo-dad here) you lose all the e-fiction on it in one swipe. If you lose a book or magazine, you lose only that one book or magazine.
Two words: offsite backups. Anyone who loses all of their ebooks because they lost their reader gets the same sympathy from me as someone who loses their next great american novel because they didn’t back up their laptop.
Personally, I prefer the tactile sensation of books, particularly quality hardcovers, but when faced with transporting over 30 boxes of books the next time my wife and I have to move, and what would happen to our print collection in case of fire or earthquake, the idea of being able to mirror my entire book collection over, say, two hard drives, a couple of DVD-Rs and whatever other durable archiving medium that comes into being in the next few years becomes very attractive.
Seriously, the ‘I prefer hardcopy’ thing is starting to sound like ‘I used to walk to school uphill, in the snow, both ways’. There are some valid criticisms of ebooks (DRM and cross-platform readers being my particular bugaboos), but ‘objectively worse than hardcopy’ isn’t one of them. They are different than hardcopy, certainly, with their own advantages, but I take issue with ‘worse’. Moreover, ebooks are only going to get better. I think paper books are only going to get worse, for a variety of economic reasons.
As far as the actual collection goes: of the 1.5 stories I’ve read so far (1 Scalzi, .5 Doctrow) the theme so far appears to be ‘acknowledge the convention then merrily break it’.
I just bought this bad boy on my Kindle and read through the first two stories – love it! Haven’t gotten to yours yet, but I’m not really worried about that one…
I can see the allure of e-books.
Honest, I can!
This past weekend, I was reading an old (old, old!) Ace books “double”, and as I was reading it (gently, gently!), the thing was essentially self-destructing as I progressed. Pages came loose from the binding, dropping into my lap. The pages were yellowed, so there was some eyestrain, and there had to have been something about the book that seemed to actually irritate the ol’ peepers as I read.
So, yes…the e-book might have its’ place in my library.
Now, where can I download the books of Emil Petaja?