The original Star Wars trilogy, Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, Buck Rogers, even parodies like Galaxy Quest and Spaceballs are all examples of space opera, which according to Merriam Webster is "a futuristic melodramatic fantasy involving space travelers and extraterrestrial beings."
Notice how it's not referred to as science fiction? Probably because there ain't a whole lot of actual science in this fiction! According to the Urban Dictionary: "Generally speaking, [space opera] refers to an epic adventure in space that focuses less on the technical details and more on good vs. evil and action."
That's fine by me. Sure, I enjoy cerebral sci-fi too, but there's just something about the swashbuckling bravado of space opera that makes me feel like a kid again. (Cue Star Wars theme.) Which is probably why I've written so many Captain Quasar tales and why I'm going to share some news about a very cool anthology in the works:
It's called Raygun Chronicles: Space Opera for a New Age. Edited by Bryan Thomas Schmidt with cover art by Illustrators of the Future winner Paul Pedersen (preliminary sketch above) and released by Every Day Publishing (parent company of Every Day Fiction and Ray Gun Revival), it will include over 20 stories by Mike Resnick, Dean Wesley Smith, A.C. Crispin and others, some of whom have written Star Wars and Star Trek novels. My story "Captain Quasar and the Insurmountable Barrier of Space Junk" will also be included, and I can't tell you how honored I am to be in such good company.
You can pre-order your copy today and help fund this awesome project at the same time. There are different levels of participation, just like a PBS pledge drive: for $5, your name will be listed among the supporters and you'll receive the eBook edition; for $25, you also get a cool t-shirt. Paperback and hardcover editions of the anthology will be available as well.
If you have a few bucks to contribute, awesome. If you could help spread the word, also awesome. In the first three days of our Kickstarter, we raised over $1,000 in pledges, but we still have further to go and less than 40 days to do it.
May the schwartz be ever in our favor!