Should Space Opera (SO) be its own genre, as opposed to a sub-genre of Science Fiction? I think it should. To me, Science Fiction is Wonder Literature. Dave Farland thinks that books might better be categorized by the emotions they evoke:
…we don’t really even have “genres” in fiction. Books are sold based upon the emotion that they’re supposed to evoke. Thus, romance books evoke romance, thrillers arouse feelings associated with adventure, mysteries give us our dopamine rush, and of course we have horror. If you look science fiction and fantasy, you’ll understand why they were called “wonder” literatures as early as the 1960s. – Dave Farland
I think they would be great primary categories, but I’d still want to see more granular genres. Back to Space Opera and Science Fiction: When I think of Science Fiction, I think of new ideas, or hard-science. When I think of Space Opera, I think of drama in space, and re-packaged tropes. I’m not knocking SO, in fact, I love it, and it’s what I most enjoy reading and writing. But movies like Star Wars don’t inspire me to think of science, so why call it science fiction? It’s a Soap Opera set in space = Space Opera, right?
Many folks would say that there is already Hard Science Fiction, which is where the author tries to abide by the confirmed laws of physics and accepted theories. (Don’t get me started defending Warp Drive – Alcubierre Drive)
What do you think?
* Don’t forget to check out my latest novel: Star Viking