Space Opera
  • icon
  • Anna's Archive icon
  • LibGen icon
  • Goodreads icon
  • Github icon
ibsn13: 9781481497497

Which of us are people and which of us are meat?

Let’s set the stage (you can read all of this on the front cover so no spoilers):

In Space Opera, an intergalactic World War 2-stand-in breaks out, causing much destruction and suffering (while humans remain woefully unaware of this).

As a result of this confrontation, the remaining alien civilizations unite and organize a Eurovision-esque contest (the Metagalactic Grand Prix) to determine how the resources of the galaxy will be shared amongst the participants for the following year (based on their relative ranking in contest).

Importantly, if a civilization is participating in the competition for the first time then coming in last place leads to them being exterminated.

Of course, eventually, humans find themselves participating for their first time and send an oddball duo of has-been musicians who’ve either settled down (and “sold out”) or wasted the rest of their lives away trying to recapture the success of their youth.

Hijinks ensue.

The novel executes on this wacky premise in a comedic way reminiscent of Douglas Adam’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I actually laughed out loud quite a few times and that’s something i cherish because writing comedic novels is anything but easy.

The novel has a unique voice that might rub some people the wrong way. The way that the many run-on sentences were written gave the text an almost lyrical vibe that felt like a good fit given the premise of the book.

I would have given Space Opera a 5/5 but unfortunately I feel as though the book would have benefited greatly from more of a focus on the main character Danesh and his partner in crime Oort. Spending more time with them, experiencing their newly expanded world (filled with many alien aliens) from their perspective would have been great. Instead, many chapters are spent describing in detail the events/winners of past Metagalactic Grand Prix(s).

These chapters are fine in isolation but, within the context of the rest of the novel, they clash with the more personal chapters preceding and following them leading to a less fulfilling read (at least for me).

Overall, I recommend Space Opera if you’re looking for something light, that might make you smile and chuckle more than you would expect.